Daily Tech Digest - December 25, 2017

What Does the Human Experience Mean to Digital Identity?

The Identities Project distilled the findings into a following set of twelve articles categorized by a) identity practices employed, b) the vulnerabilities exposed, and c) the implications for policymakers and system architects.There is tension between fixed identities within rigid systems and the reality of people’s shifting, dynamic lives. There are persistent tensions around gender and identity. The social and cultural contexts of power and status embodied in the use of identification systems can serve to mitigate, as well as reinforce, established dimensions of gender identity. Crossing borders makes managing identities a struggle for migrants. Registration and enrollment into ID systems exposes and reveals vulnerabilities for many individuals. In addition to the end users, intermediaries — the people who support enrollment and ID use — may lack knowledge of awareness of changes to system rules.

Fintech and banks: Collaboration may help close digital delivery gap

Representational image. Reuters
After a combative approach, banks are now beginning to see merit in partnering with fintechs to close the digital delivery gap, and in investing in them for joint value propositions. Fintechs do not have the burden of legacy infrastructure, but lack scale and understanding of regulations. On the contrary, traditional banks have an established customer base, and heaps of data, but lack digital agility. As of 2017, top 10 global banks reported to have invested nearly $3.6 billion in about 56 fintech firms. Leading banks such as JP Morgan Chase in the US, and Santander in the UK, have also significantly increased their fintech investment. The key areas of investment include blockchain, payments, APIs, Cloud, and an overall proclivity to ensure the technology landscape is responsive to market changes. Future may seem nebulous for banks with traditional business under constant attack, but there is a silver lining for those who choose to go beyond the haze.

Agencies May Want to Think Neuro-Differently About the Cyber Workforce

ASPertise recruits “atypicals”—people who, per their conditions, often have very high IQs, memories and a “better relationship with data” than the neurotypicals, or people who aren’t on the autism spectrum, Vezon explained. Some have been employed before; others have struggled to integrate into traditional office spaces and therefore have opted out of the workforce altogether. Instead of isolating them, ASPertise embeds atypical consultants in client offices and checks in regularly to create a sort of social support network, he explained. Such a strategy could also help companies and federal agencies learn how to better accommodate an atypical workforce in the office, Vezon explained. For instance, atypicals often need cognitive stimulation, and organizations that hire them should consider that traditional reward systems—doling out performance bonuses, for instance—might not be an adequate incentive for an atypical.

Stop Fixating on the 'Artificial' in AI Because It's Actually an Evolution

Stop Fixating on the 'Artificial' in AI Because It's Actually an Evolution of Our Own Intelligence
The expression often evokes images of the Terminator coming to exterminate people -- or take their jobs. For me, it’s the “artificial” aspect that bestows the phrase with the character of something cold, alien and unsympathetic to human concerns and frailties. However, firsthand experience has taught me there's nothing artificial about intelligence. AI is real. It’s just part of a continuum of intelligence that’s now coming to machines. In practice, AI is an extension of human intelligence that’s guided by people. Far from spelling your doom, AI is more likely to save your life. Its applications can help stop a skyjacker or halt the spread of an epidemic, for example. I’ve personally observed AI’s very real and very human side in the excited faces of high-school students who have developed their own AI apps.

Blockchain: The Rajnikant or Chuck Norris of all technologies?

India-Chain will contain details of every citizen's academic records, land records, driving license, investments, marriage certificates, criminal records, biometrics, etc. Basically, India-Chain would have a citizen's birth certificate, death certificate and everything in between. Over the next 12 months, all physical property and assets would be mapped with their digital equivalents on India-Chain. So, when you buy a new car, its details would be added to a smart asset on India-Chain and every subsequent sale, insurance claim or even theft would be automatically appended to the car's record. This would make it very easy for the police to detect thefts. Taking and giving loans is also going to become very efficient. People with money to lend would create smart contracts by mentioning the amount of money they are ready to lend, the time period and minimum acceptable rate of interest.

International Standard looks to curb theft of personal data

Curbing personal data theft
The increasing prevalence of high-profile data breaches has motivated countries worldwide to investigate potential reforms to policy and regulation. One of the best-known examples is the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation to come into force in May 2018, with global implications. Privacy has taken on new dimensions in our hyper connected world. The need to protect personal data is increasing in urgency with the digital transformation of sectors such as healthcare and financial services. More and more organizations are processing personal data, all of them dealing with an increasing amount of this data. Personal data custodians have received new guidance from IEC, ISO and ITU – the three leading international standards bodies – in the form of an International Standard providing a ‘Code of Practice for the Protection of Personally Identifiable Information’.

4 New Platforms Combining VR and Blockchain

Blockchain, a decentralized ledger technology with relevant applications in finance, data storage, cybersecurity and investing, doesn’t seem like a likely candidate for virtual reality (VR). The former is a somewhat complicated platform relying on a blend of algorithmic cryptography to achieve autonomous consensus between individuals, and the latter an immersive new way to experience games and entertain oneself. However, these young inventions are finding new applications with each passing day, and are slowly drifting closer together. The market now has several examples of unique, useful solutions that combine both blockchain and VR — with others joining soon, as the trend catches on. Though VR can now claim a purpose in the fields of science, engineering and more, Decentraland takes it back to its roots: the gaming world. This virtual world is accessible through any normal VR headset and is hosted entirely on the blockchain.

Turning to Machine Learning for Industrial Automation Applications

Turning to Machine Learning for Industrial Automation Applications
If manufacturers want to remain competitive, they will have to eventually (if they haven’t already) incorporate these new technologies into their plant infrastructure or modernize their legacy systems, a key component of which is industrial automation. With consumers growing more conservative in their product views (quality and customization), being able to change production systems in a short amount of time is crucial, and advanced hardware and software help provide that path without the need for retooling or systemwide reprogramming. Machine learning in this area and all aspects of industrial automation can be beneficial—it can monitor and help perform maintenance on production machinery, reprogram industrial PCs (distributed intelligence) for new product production, and optimize the efficiency of plant operations over the entire supply chain.

The Dangers of Shadow IT to Cloud Security

The problem with Shadow IT is that the broken system that causes it to exist in the first place is precisely what hackers exploit for their attacks. For instance, a strong password security policy could accomplish the goals of one business unit by achieving a higher rate of password rotation. However, this has an unintended consequence. To simplify the password updates, users might create passwords that are easier to remember — and easier to hack. Or, if they don't receive training on using a password management system, users might write them down on paper and keep them in an insecure place, like at their desks. This defeats the purpose of changing them in the first place. The password rotation policy would have been made with good intentions, and it's obviously a good start. But without shared goals and a review across the organization, it's easy to see how it could actually do more harm than good if these programs are implemented in a silo.

The Coming Of Intelligent Apps

Some of these apps predict race performance using such metrics and average pace per mile. And some apps, such as RockMyRun, scan music playlists to slow down or speed up beats to keep pace with a runner’s footfalls and heart rate. Seeing what tech companies were doing, organizers of the New York City Marathon offered a virtual training program powered by the data-driven platform RUNtrix, which uses information provided by a user to design a regimen and predict the finishing time. “Artificial intelligence will become much more ingrained because users will expect it,” said Sanjay Malhotra , co-founder and chief technology officer of Clearbridge Mobile, an Ontario-based custom mobile app development company. Using data analysis to apply artificial intelligence, a chatbot was developed to collect information from customers and relay it to a representative. With those AI-collected details, the representative could respond with more precision.

Quote for the day:

"Science is nothing but trained and organized common sense." -- Thomas Huxley