Daily Tech Digest - February 18, 2018

Ready or Not, It's Time to Embrace AI

Ready or Not, It's Time to Embrace AIAI has changed online commerce by enabling brands to make sense of their data and put it to good use with smarter algorithms. In this age of conversational commerce, artificial intelligence is critical to providing a personalized experience. Businesses without an AI strategy are almost certain to perish. According to Forrester, insights-driven businesses will "steal" $1.2 trillion per year from their "less-informed peers.” Until a few months back, only bigger companies could afford the sizable investments required to implement AI. That's no longer the case. AI is becoming more accessible to businesses of all sizes. In the next few years, AI will continue to expand its reach throughout organizations. Early adopters already are reaping the benefits. If you're not one of them, now is the time to start.  Here are four reasons you (and every small-business owner) should incorporate AI-enabled technology in your sales and customer-service strategies.

Artificial Intelligence And The Threat To Salespeople

If you work in sales, now is the time to step your game up in a major way. Companies are investing in technology to replace salespeople. The truth is, your company thinks you're overpaid. If you're a salesperson, you're probably making six, seven or eight figures a year, and your company believes it's too much money. Now, listen, I'm not here to give you good news. I'm here to give you the truth. Here's what I see in the wave of the future. Those who know how to program the technology, operate the robots and work with artificial intelligence — the computer programs, algorithms, etc. — will be the salespeople remaining in their jobs. No longer will you be able to say, "People expect service. They want me to answer when the phone rings." Admin jobs will be automated. ... A human. We can expect a slew of robots to replace a lot of mid-level income earners. Many salespeople making six and seven figures a year will be removed, no matter their skills and sales. Artificial intelligence is far stronger than our natural-born intelligence.

Why is it so hard to train data scientists?

A data scientist should be familiar with databases, as many of the world’s data are organized in relational and non-relational databases. For working with a variety of data types the data scientist needs to be able to parse and render files, and convert between data formats. Working with large databases often requires programing skills beyond basic scripting in R or Python, as well as knowledge in algorithm design and operating system. Machine learning is also a required skill. In other words, a complete data scientist should have knowledge in computer science at the level of a trained computer scientist. A data scientist must also be highly familiar with statistics, and understand multiple statistical methods for tasks such as regression, dimensionality reduction, statistical significance analysis, Mote Carlo simulations, and Bayesian methods, to name a few.

Trend Micro Cybersecurity Reference Architecture for Operational Technology

Trend Micro Cybersecurity Reference Architecture for Operational Technology
Vulnerabilities arise particularly when just-in-time manufacturing and a faster speed to market leave less time for product safety testing. These vulnerabilities might not be uncovered until millions of vehicles have been released, in which case the necessary patching procedure is all but certain to prove even more costly — not only to the affected carmaker’s finances but also to its reputation. It’s important, then, for security measures to be properly applied right from the outset of the car manufacturing process, starting in the design phase. That is why it is important for device manufacturer to integrate security into the device itself, to ensure consumers and businesses are protected from these challenges, the minute they install your IoT device. Because of these challenges, Trend Micro have developed a cybersecurity solution called Trend Micro Internet of Thing (IoT)

Is REST the New SOAP?

Almost a decade ago there was a flurry of activity around REST and SOAP based systems. Several authors wrote about the pros and cons of one or the other, or when you should consider using one instead of the other. However, with much attention moving away from SOAP-based Web Services to REST and HTTP, the arguments and discussions died down and many SOA practitioners adopted REST (or plain HTTP) as the basis for their distributed systems. However, recently Pakal De Bonchamp wrote an article called "REST is the new SOAP" in which he compares using REST to "a testimony to insanity". His article is long and detailed but some of the key points he makes include the complexity, in his view, of simply exposing a straightforward API which could be done via an RPC mechanism in "a few hours" yet with REST can take much longer. Why? Because: No more standards, no more precise specifications. Just a vague “RESTful philosophy”, prone to endless metaphysical debates, and as many ugly workarounds.

Where do blockchain opportunities lie? Top FinTech influencers weigh in

Any evolution in infrastructure must support the service and product expectations of the marketplace. Perhaps the most notable change in the financial services space would be the transition from corporate to individual data ownership and privacy. This in itself will fundamentally change the relationship between a bank and its customers, as well as industry revenue models. Beyond this, you’ll see intermediaries from our traditional financial services model get squeezed out as blockchain technologies reduce overall risk to any transaction. Additionally, blockchain technology’s standardization of information will enable broader adoption of adjacent new age technologies such as RPA and AI. These technologies leveraged together will move traditional financial services off of spreadsheets. This will require more training and retraining of personnel.

Strava’s privacy PR nightmare shows why you can’t trust social fitness apps

Strava needs its users to share their rides, runs, and swims. After all, the more activities they share—currently users post over 1.3 million activities per day—the more evidence Strava has to encourage others to keep using the app, and perhaps even trade up from the free version to an $8-per-month one. More shared data also means more to feed into Strava’s Metro business, which sells anonymized commuter data to cities. The company wasn’t profitable as of this past fall, but its CEO, James Quarles, clearly sees these two lines of business as the main paths to growth, assuming it gets more and more information from its users. And, frankly, using Strava in a very social way can be addicting. Since it began, in 2009, the company has perfected the art of fitness gamification and competitive sharing. Its app lets you see basic stats from your and your friends’ workouts; it encourages you to give each other kudos for completing activities

“Unlearn” to Unleash Your Data Lake

Figure 2:  Data Science Engagement Process
Sometimes it’s necessary to unlearn long held beliefs (i.e. 2-point shooting in a predominately isolation offense game) in order to learn new, more powerful, game changing beliefs (i.e. 3-point shooting in a rapid ball movement offense). Sticking with our NBA example, Phil Jackson is considered one of the greatest NBA coaches, with 11 NBA World Championships coaching the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers. Phil Jackson mastered the “Triangle Offense” that played to the strengths of the then dominant players Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant to win those 11 titles. However, the game passed Phil Jackson as the economics of the 3-point shot changed how to win. Jackson’s tried-and-true “Triangle Offense” failed with the New York Knicks leading to the team’s dramatic under-performance and ultimately his firing. It serves as a stark reminder of how important it is to be ready to unlearn old skills in order to move forward.

Why a CHRO Will Be the Next Must-Have Role in the Boardroom

The primary job of any board of directors is to make sure the right leadership team is in place to drive the business, and the CEO is at the heart of that goal. A strong leadership bench is one with a succession plan in place, but this is a delicate topic. There are disclosure issues around such material information, of course, and some CEOs need encouragement to leave when the time is right – whether the change is contentious or not. Similarly, boards are often nervous about the timing of such shifts, particularly when they perceive a lack of a strong successor. Managing through these issues doesn’t come naturally to many board members, but it does for experienced CHROs. Such executives can offer insights on planned transitions and how to navigate the process, from identifying internal candidates to talking about development plans to introducing these topics to chief executives.

How IoT Affects the CISO's Job

"There are a lot of companies that are well positioned to handle IoT, but there are a lot that are so focused on just the day-to-day security work of keeping windows PCs and Linux servers secure, that they haven't gotten started at all," Pesatore says in an interview with Information Security Media Group. CISOs need to take steps to ensure they're involved in device acquisition decisions in all departments within the enterprise, he stresses. "Security and IT need to be involved in the decisions on building and buying these types of devices so we can make sure they are as secure and safe as possible," he says. And security staffs need to diversify their skills as a wider variety of devices are used in the enterprise, he adds. "When you look at the internet of things devices, it's a very heterogeneous world. There are all kinds of different operating systems and software and communications standards," he notes.

Quote for the day:

"The man who is afraid to risk failure seldom has to face success." -- John Wooden

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