Daily Tech Digest - October 25, 2020

Meet modern compliance: Using AI and data to manage business risk better

Strong, tech-enabled, third-party risk management capabilities can strengthen corporate governance, which will in turn enhance reputation and build trust. In essence, compliance should no longer be seen simply as a backroom cost center. Rather, it is a means of strengthening the business brand, increasing productivity, and driving growth of market share, with relevance at the C suite and at the board level. ... “By engaging early in the sales contract life cycle and providing compliance oversight and ongoing risk education, we [at Microsoft] have been able to realize better, more compliant deal construction. This is critical at quarter-end when deal volumes spike. Sellers internalize the risk guidance and proactively ensure their contract meets the company’s compliance standards — often reducing monetary concessions that improve margin and profitability.” Four years ago, PwC and Microsoft worked closely together to further develop a tech-enabled compliance analytics suite of tools called Risk Command. “We started the journey to respond to internal and external pressures to embrace a ‘data-driven’ approach,” Gibson recalled. “But it appears to be what regulators are now expecting and serves as a benchmark for what others may want to do.”

Is The Cybersecurity Industry Selling Lemons? Apparently Lots Of Important CISOs Think it Is

If it’s true that poor products have contributed to the success of cyberattacks then something must be wrong, but what? The report’s thesis – which borrows its title from economist George Akerlof’s Nobel Prize winning 1970 paper on the same topic – doesn’t sugar coat it: cybersecurity has become an industry that keeps churning out lemons that not enough people complain about. Searing tech skepticism is nothing new of course – Clifford Stoll’s Silicon Snake Oil or Michael Lewis’s satirical The New New Thing come to mind – but those were about issues (the Internet will go wrong, dotcom excess), people have already processed. Cybersecurity, by contrast, is all that stands between us and a world where criminality contorts the system in ways that cost livelihoods and whole economies. Bad cybersecurity isn’t just inconvenient, it’s dangerous and somebody needs to say this now. The authors believe the underlying problem is economic rather than technical. Technology doesn’t work as claimed because the market relationship between customers and the vendors has broken down. This manifests as an ‘information asymmetry’ where vendors know how good their product is, but their customers not only don’t know but don’t have time to find out.

How advanced AI language tools could change the workplace

Within the last decade, some of the most notable breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI) have come in the form of computer vision. Essentially giving robotics systems ‘eyesight’, in the ability to identify and classify objects using image or video recognition, the technology has been put to use in anything from facial recognition systems and quality control in manufacturing to anomalies in MRI scans and self-driving vehicle systems. And while computer vision applications are still comparatively nascent, the ‘breakthrough’ AI applications of the decade ahead might well come in the form of advances in language-based applications. AI research and deployment company OpenAI developed the largest language model ever created this year, GPT-3. The software can generate human-like text on demand and is set to be turned into a commercial product later this year, as a paid-for subscription via the cloud for businesses. It represents a leap forward from previous language processing models that used hand-coded rules, statistical techniques, and increasingly artificial neural networks — which can learn from raw data, with less reliance on data labelling — to perform language processing.

Open-source software detects potential collisions in radiotherapy plans

The RadCollision software needs to be embedded into each TPS database and a folder (STL files) with the 3D models of the machines prepared. RadCollision is currently limited to use with the RayStation TPS, but versions for use with other commercial TPS are planned, says first author Fernando Hueso-Gonz├ílez. The researchers quantitatively evaluated their software using the RayStation TPS with four patient treatment plans that were found infeasible during previous collision checks by therapists. The software reported collisions with the couch at similar angles to those reported experimentally. The team also tested the software with a model of a proton treatment room and a robotic patient positioning system. “In one case, we tested in the RadCollision software a beam where the dosimetrist doubted that there was enough clearance with the toe of a patient’s foot. RadCollision predicted that clearance would be very tight, but the irradiation-optimized TPS was feasible,” comments Remillard. “When we performed a dry run, there was no collision.” The team note that the reliability of the collision assessment depends upon the accuracy of the input data.

Technology is about to destroy millions of jobs. But, if we're lucky, it will create even more

CIOs are effectively banking on AI systems and machines to carry out tasks that would have previously been taken on manually. For example, the WEF predicts that in 2025, machines will be performing up to 65% of information and data processing and retrieval, leaving only 35% of the job to humans. This means that some roles are set to become increasingly redundant in the next few years. Data entry clerks, accountants and auditors, and factory workers are among the jobs that the WEF expects to be particularly displaced by automation. At the same time, growth in so-called "jobs of tomorrow" will offset the lack of demand for workers in jobs that can be filled by machines. Leading the polls for positions in growing demand are roles linked to the green economy, data, AI, and cloud computing. Think data analysts, machine-learning specialists, robotics engineers or software developers. Jumping from a redundant job to one in high demand is no easy challenge. The "jobs of tomorrow" will require new skills; in fact, the vast majority of employers (94%) surveyed by the WEF said that they expected employees to pick up new skills on the job. The past few months have seen employees and employers alike getting started with tackling the issue. 

How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming the Insurance Space

Although insurance CEOs are conscious of the herald of digital disruption breaking through the industry, it will be a whole new challenge to keep up with these revolutionary changes and to see it beyond the plain integration of modern technology. Intelligent solutions must be innovative enough to foster better customer relationship and deliver customer experience in a way that inspires much-needed poise between incipient market expectations and cost optimization. Apart from these, another pressure point is coming from emerging InsurTech entrants who are giving rise to tough competition by creating affordable solutions to reach and serve customers. What is relaxing is that to surpass this challenge, industry leaders are prepared to embrace new innovative possibilities and appreciate the role of creativity in evolving the processes and becoming a beloved brand in the financial marketplace. Over the last two years, we have seen the widespread advent and adoption of AI across multiple industries (be it hospitality or be it healthcare). The idea of digital technologies ruling the financial market isn’t exactly new since Nasdaq in its early days established a secure connected network of trading desks for integrated customer data records.

Voice Payment in Banking: The New Revolution in Fintech

Voice recognition methods use biometrics data to identify who’s speaking with virtual assistants. The robotic assistants have gone through so much changes and updating that you won’t be able to differentiate whether it’s a human or AI is talking to you. However there are a lot of privacy concerns around smart speakers. 33% of U.S. surveyed adults said they had security concerns which restrain them from purchasing the devices. Estimated that in January 2019 26% of people showed a strong concern about speaker’s privacy risk. The number jumped to 30% in January 2020. The reason is exposure to recorded conversations. All of the world’s biggest voice assistant providers Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook are listening to some utterances because machine learning won’t be efficient if there would be no improvements in conversations between humans and devices. However, some situations were real leakage of consumer secret information which caused many doubts and indicated privacy as key risk in voice assistant technology.AI updates will facilitate the ability to understand accents, dialects, intonations and more. Fingertips is unique biometrics data which is an important secure measure. 48% of people have used biometrics to make payment.

How blockchain is used to transform the lives of people in marginalised communities

A key aim of the Building Blocks project is to provide people in refugee camps with the means of buying food and necessities quickly and securely using direct cash transfers. Another objective is to ensure they no longer have to worry about food vouchers being lost or stolen or about third party organisations, such as banks, having access to their personal data. Direct cash transfers, according to WFP research, are often the most effective and efficient way to distribute humanitarian assistance as well as support local economies. But being able to distribute it relies on the support of local financial institutions, which are not always in a position to do so, not least because many refugees face restrictions in opening bank accounts. To try and address the situation, in early 2017 the WFP introduced a proof-of-concept blockchain-based system to register and authenticate transactions in Sindh province, Pakistan, which did not require a bank to act as an intermediary to connect both parties. The system is now being used to support 106,000 Syrian refugees in the Azraq and Zaatari camps in Jordan and 500,000 Rohingyas in the Cox's Bazar camp in Bangladesh.

Chip industry is going to need a lot more software to catch Nvidia’s lead in AI

"Software is the hardest word," quipped Gwennap, referring to the struggles of competitors. He noted how companies either don't support some aspects of popular AI frameworks, such as TensorFlow, or how some AI applications for competing chips may not even compile properly. "To compete against deep software stacks from companies such as Nvidia and Intel, these vendors must support a broad range of frameworks and development environments with drivers, compilers, and debug tools that deliver full acceleration and optimal performance for a variety of customer workloads." ... The use of AI is spreading from cloud computing data centers where it has traditionally been developed to embedded devices in automobiles and infrastructure. Vendors such as the UK's Imagination and Think Silicon, a division of chip equipment giant Applied Materials, are pushing the boundaries in low-power designs that can go into power-constrained devices, such as battery-powered, microcontroller gadgets.  The stakes seem suddenly higher since Nvidia announced last month that it intends to buy Arm Plc for $40 billion. Arm makes the intellectual property at the heart of all the chips made by all the challengers in the chip industry. Hence, Nvidia's software is poised to gain even greater sway.

JP Morgan Veteran Daniel Masters Explains How Blockchain Will End Commercial Banks

The most interesting aspect of CBDCs is the impact they will have on commercial banks and the financial system as a whole. Today, central banks issue currency to a slew of commercial banks like Chase and Bank of America. These banks do two things—create products and services such as mortgages, and deal with the end users. I think we are going into a new paradigm where central banks issue CBDCs, commercial banks cease to exist and the service layer is filled by crazy new emerging companies like Compound Finance, Uniswap, SushiSwap, and people that are really getting distributed, decentralized finance done today. Then the final interesting layer is who actually faces the consumer. You can already see that there are multiple choices. Coinbase would like to get to all the users, as would Binance though probably not in America. You’ve got wallet infrastructures like Blockchain.com that already have 50 million outstanding wallets. That said, you could get incumbents as well. Samsung is putting chips into phones now, making them essentially hardware wallets. Amazon could come out with a digital wallet. Whoever owns that level at the bottom is critical.

Quote for the day:

"We are drowning in information, but starved for knowledge." -- John Naisbitt

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