Daily Tech Digest - January 13, 2017

Silicon Valley reckons it can give AI a conscience

“There’s an urgency to ensure that AI benefits society and minimizes harm,” said Hoffman, who is now a Partner at venture capital firm Greylock Partners. “AI decision-making can influence many aspects of our world – education, transportation, health care, criminal justice, and the economy – yet data and code behind those decisions can be largely invisible.” The idea of developing a series of standards to define ethics and morals is something which has needed to be addressed, and has been raised at industry conferences. Back in October at IP Expo, Nick Bostrom who leads Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute, noted there needed to be a set of rules to define the development of AI. It was all very doom and gloom, but Bostrom asked a very basic question; how we control computers when their own intelligence supersedes our own? For this, developers will have to essentially develop consciousness and a moral code into the algorithm; is this possible?


Carnival Ocean Medallion: 5 takeaways from one of 2017's premier IoT projects

Carnival, with headquarters in both Miami, Florida, and London, England, is calling the 1.8 ounce device the Ocean Medallion. It is a quarter-sized metal disc that can be carried in a passenger's pocket, pinned to clothing, or worn on the wrist or neck. It will be loaded with the user's personal identifying information and act as a payment method, logging all of their purchases and preferences. It will also note what they opt to do while on board, and what they opt against, as well as which invitations they accept, and which they ignore in order to personalize future invitations and offers. The medallion will allow for keyless entry into a passenger's cruise cabin, and serve as a personal tracking device with wayfinding so that passengers can locate friends and family members around the massive cruise ship.


Why businesses must make cyber security skills a priority in 2017

Given the long latency period before many security failures are discovered, it’s entirely possible the first fines under the new regulatory regime will be for breaches that are happening now. Businesses can therefore hardly afford to wait for the new generation of code breakers to complete their training. Added to that, no single college, nor even the whole the whole Cyber Security Challenge initiative, can really hope to address the scale of the skills shortage. To look just at one aspect of the GDPR, again, the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ recent study suggests businesses worldwide need to hire at least 75,000 data protection officers (DPOs) required by the regulations in the next two years. The 500-strong cohort of pupils that makes its way to the college in 2018 is a welcome contribution to the fight. It can only go so far, however, particularly after GCHQ and other government agencies have taken the cream of the crop.


The Best Techniques to Avoid Phishing Scams

Due to improper readiness and awareness about the phishing attacks, many companies fall prey to phishing attacks. However, the question is how can we prevent phishing attacks and scams? There are several human and technological factors that companies should consider to avoid falling victim to phishing attacks ... Banks and e-commerce companies generally send personalize emails to their customers, while phishers do not. Phishers often include some sensational messages, (e.g., “Urgent – your account details may have been stolen”) to get an immediate reaction from the recipient. Due to security reasons, reputable organizations avoid asking personal information from their customers in an email. Even if such the email seems legitimate, don’t respond. Contact the company by phone or by visiting their website. Pick up the phone and speak to a real person, or type the URL in yourself by hand rather than clicking a link in a suspicious email.


Blockchain: Time To Get Your Feet Wet

Blockchain’s inherent benefits include no middlemen. By having currencies such as Bitcoin, where there is no Central Bank (middleman), payments can be moved instantly just like a domestic currency. An excellent pilot would be between two central banks. Here, you can discover the real benefits of blockchain at an increasing volume across two currency sets seamlessly linked and with currency owners embedded. The EBA has announced a consultantion to provide real time settlement for instant euro payments We are seeing a number of POCs now underway between banks and corporates, who own subsidiaries in other countries, utilising blockchain in multi-currency movements. A pilot involving multiple and bi-lateral netting, for example, could demonstrate blockchain’s security and efficiency.


Day To Day Data: How To Build Knowledge From Daily Life

One of the newest and most revolutionary factors when it comes to turning personal experience into data is the Internet of Things (IoT) – but most know this sector through big name products like Fitbits and Nest thermostats. At its core, IoT technologies are the little data collectors that live inside everyday objects, tapping into our surroundings and actions to improve our daily lives. In many cases, they’re also feeding that information back to companies, cities, or other institutions that are learning from our data. There are numerous IoT devices for the health and fitness sector and they tap into everything from steps taken and calories burned to variations in glucose level throughout the day. These tools are helping us live healthier lives and normalizing activities like step counting that used to automatically signal that someone was trying to lose weight.


Davos: Technology poses new risks to jobs, economies and society

“AI is going to focus now as much on white-collar as on blue-collar jobs. You are looking at machine learning algorithms being deployed in financial services, in healthcare and in other places. The machines are getting increasingly powerful.” Although, historically, technology has increased labour productivity and created new and better jobs, as machines become more intelligent, there is significant uncertainty over future job creation. The US manufacturing industry is producing as much as it ever did, but with fewer workers. According to economists, 80% of the decline in the share of income going to the workforce between 1990 and 2007 resulted from improved technology. This trend is expected to spread to the service sector, as rapid advances in robotics, sensors and machine learning enable employers to replace hired labour.


From Berkeley Labs to democratising AI with APIs

With the latest 2.0 version Spark, Databricks CEO and co-founder Ali Ghodsi is hoping to bring Artificial Intelligence to the masses. “People have been working on it [Machine Learning] for 20, 30, 40 years, but it's really breaking through now. We're seeing it everywhere,” he says. “The same algorithms that existed in the 70s or 60s now become powerful because you have a lot of data.” ... “Most and the time and effort of building machine learning systems goes to configuring them, collecting these massive amounts of data that these algorithms need, doing feature engineering, extracting the features that you need, tuning that, and then running it through machine learning, then doing the verification, using tools to make sure that you’re managing all these resources that you have.”


5 apps to keep your Android device running smoothly

The Android world has changed a lot since 2012, but that was the last time we wrote about the best Android cleaning apps. Five years is an eternity in the tech world: Some of the apps we originally covered have been abandoned, while others have given way to better products. ... One of the biggest problems for smartphones—both Android and iOS—is background services chewing through battery capacity and device performance. The more apps you install and leave running in the background the worse your device will perform. We've all experienced it, and while Android is getting better at freezing apps that aren't performing necessary functions, problems still exist. Greenify wants to solve that problem by putting apps into hibernation mode when your device isn't in use. It won't just put your apps to sleep, though: Greenify gives you a full list of what's running and what may be causing issues and then gives you the choice to add it to its hibernation list.


NIST Issues Draft Update to the Cybersecurity Framework

“We wrote this update to refine and enhance the original document and to make it easier to use,” said Matt Barrett, NIST’s program manager for the Cybersecurity Framework. “This update is fully compatible with the original framework, and the framework remains voluntary and flexible to adaptation.” NIST further notes that, “in the renamed and revised ‘Identity Management and Access Control’ category, the draft clarifies and expands the definitions of the terms ‘authentication’ and ‘authorization.’ [NIST}also added and defined the related concept of “identity proofing.” In the draft update, NIST also includes the concept of using metrics — measuring the business impact of using the framework of standards. “In the update we introduce the notion of cybersecurity measurement to get the conversation started,” Barrett said.



Quote for the day:


"Unselfish thinking makes you part of something greater than yourself" -- John Maxwell