Daily Tech Digest - December 03, 2023

The need to upskill India’s tech talent is critical. Why? Because India has perhaps the most to gain or lose when it comes to the impact of Generative AI. A survey by ServiceNow found that India faces a critical need to upskill 1.62 crore workers in AI and automation, creating 4.7 million new jobs in technology by 2027 to meet the nation’s skill deficit. ... Now, the question is, can Generative AI help train such a large young population? Yes! This technology can create personalized learning paths. With modules integrated with AI to optimize outcomes, students can learn better with real-time feedback and take advantage of a more customized learning experience. If India has to become a global economic superpower, engineers must become tech-agnostic and adaptable in a world that’s changing fast. A Generative AI layer must be integrated into their education modules. This will equip them with cutting-edge skills and ensure versatility – from software developers to prompt engineers, enabling them to navigate diverse technological domains.

5 Ways To Demonstrate Leadership Skills In A Team Meeting

Don't just speak to be heard; speak to provide tangible solutions. Leaders are always thinking about innovative ways to drive forward positive business outcomes, and it's your responsibility in these meetings to think of creative solutions to the challenges your team is facing. Even if you don't have the complete solution yet, make some recommendations with a "What if we tried XYZ approach?" This engages other team members and shows that you are confident with sharing your ideas, while simultaneously ensuring everyone is included and feels heard—a mark of a true leader. ... One of the most difficult and embarrassing situations any professional could be placed in is to acknowledge when they've made a mistake or accidentally jeopardized the success of the team project. But it's the bravest thing to do, and it's an essential quality of a rising leader to take ownership for your mistakes. Refuse to cast blame on others or talk behind your colleagues' back, because this can destroy trust. Instead seek ways to rectify the situation and actively discuss solutions.

How can AI and advanced analytics streamline due diligence processes in financial industries

In an era of increasing digital transactions, customer due diligence (CDD) demands robust identity verification processes. AI brings biometric data, document analysis, and identity validation methods to the forefront, enhancing the accuracy and speed of customer due diligence. OCR, face match, liveness detection, match logic, and digital address verification facilitate contactless KYC and paperless onboarding. These technologies not only streamline onboarding processes but also contribute to a more secure and fraud-resistant financial ecosystem. Staying compliant with an ever-changing regulatory landscape is a perpetual challenge for financial institutions. AI provides a dynamic solution by automating the monitoring and adaptation to regulatory changes. Leveraging data analytics to best utilise and parse alternate data sources, such as utility bills, financial account data, etc., can help further track customer behaviour while empowering the team to identify discrepancies and stay compliant. From anti-money laundering (AML) to know-your-customer (KYC) tech, AI ensures that due diligence processes remain effective and consistently aligned with the latest regulatory standards. 

The World Depends on 60-Year-Old Code No One Knows Anymore

The problem is that very few people are interested in learning COBOL these days. Coding it is cumbersome, it reads like an English lesson (too much typing), the coding format is meticulous and inflexible, and it takes far longer to compile than its competitors. And since nobody's learning it anymore, programmers who can work with and maintain all that code are a increasingly hard to find. Many of these "COBOL cowboys" are aging out of the workforce, and replacements are in short supply. ... If it proves successful, the watsonx code assistant could have huge implications for the future, but not everyone is convinced it's a silver bullet that IBM says it is. Many who remember IBM’s previous AI experiment, Watson Health, are hesitant to trust another big AI project from the company because the previous one failed so miserably and didn't deliver on its high-flying promises. Gartner Distinguished Vice President and Analyst, Arun Chandrasekara is also skeptical because “IBM has no case studies, at this time, to validate its claims,” he says. 

Tech Works: How to Build a Life-Long Career in Engineering

As Hightower put it, “You get to move as fast as you’re willing to believe that you can. You identify a problem and you execute it.” Aim to be agile in mindset and practice as long as you can, both with your organization and with your own career. Nothing is precious. Always look for opportunities to learn. If you get stuck with one language or framework, it limits where you can move and also your ability to change. It may even have you wasting time rebuilding things in your framework of choice — like Hightower acknowledged he used to do with Python. ... IT is a massive cost center that often demands an explanation from an organization’s budget makers, especially with a recession looming. An underappreciated benefit of platform engineering, for instance, is that it can enable a conversation between the tech side and the business side. Developers and engineers benefit from this conversation. They feel a deeper sense of purpose when their work is more closely connected to business goals. That means, especially in a time of increased automation, storytelling is of great value. To act as a translator and context giver can help boost an engineer’s value.

Bridging the gap between cloud vs on-premise security

Cloud-native security architectures like SASE and SSE can offer the east-west protection typically delivered by a data center firewall by rerouting all internal traffic through the closest point of presence (PoP). Unlike a local firewall that comes with its own configuration and management constraints, firewall policies configured in the SSE PoP can be managed via the platform’s centralized management console. ... As security functions move increasingly to the cloud, it’s crucial not to lose sight of the controls and security measures needed on-site. Cloud-native protections aim to increase coverage while reducing complexities and boosting convergence. As critical as it is to enable east-west traffic protection within SASE and SSE architectures, it’s equally important to maintain the unified visibility, control, and management offered by such platforms. To achieve this, organizations must avoid getting carried away by emerging threats and adding back disparate security solutions. 

5 tweaks every developer should make in Windows 11

The new Windows Terminal is nothing short of fantastic. It's a night-and-day improvement that allows you to run Powershell, cmd, and WSL sessions within one window. It's customizable, has great tab support, and is even open-source. It's got a similar JSON configuration for settings as VSCode, which is well worth exploring, and the inbuilt GUI menus allow you to set your default shell among a range of other things. The new terminal also supports side-by-side windows or split panes, and background opacity settings. ... While Microsoft has made great strides in recent years trying to win back developers, the Windows file system has often been a pain point. Developers have long been used to a Linux/Unix file system, where managing and creating thousands of small files for dependencies is of trivial impact on the overall system performance, and many common tools have been built with this in mind. NTFS has already been known to suffer from a performance gap with the defacto Linux standard ext4, and Windows Defender's real-time protection can slow this down even further. 

Data Observability: Reliability in the AI Era

Data observability is characterized by the ability to accelerate root cause analysis across data, system, and code and to proactively set data health SLAs across the organization, domain, and data product levels. ... Data engineers are going to be building more pipelines faster (thanks Gen AI!) and tech debt is going to be accumulating right alongside it. That means degraded query, DAG, and dbt model performance. Slow running data pipelines cost more, are less reliable, and deliver poor data consumer experience. That won’t cut it in the AI era when data is needed as soon as possible. Especially not when the economy is forcing everyone to take a judicious approach with expense. That means pipelines need to be optimized and monitored for performance. Data observability has to cater for it. ... This will shock no one who has been in the data engineering or machine learning space for the last few years, but LLMs perform better in areas where the data is well-defined, structured, and accurate. Not to mention, there are few enterprise problems to be solved that don’t require at least some context of the enterprise. 

Top 9 Cybersecurity Trends in 2024

Looking to the future of cybersecurity, companies will need to implement new cyber defenses to combat info stealer malware, he adds. Organizations should seek comprehensive malware remediation strategies to neutralize the stolen data before it’s used for other cyber incidents. “Session cookies, passwords, and APIs can remain active for weeks or months after they were initially stolen, leaving organizations vulnerable to follow-up or repeat attacks using the same data,” according to Hilligoss. “A holistic post-infection remediation plan that includes monitoring the dark web for malware-stolen data allows enterprises to invalidate any compromised sessions and patch vulnerabilities before criminals use the information to cause harm.” ... In addition, the SEC charges against the SolarWinds chief information security officer (CISO) will change that role in 2024, according to Thomas Kinsella, co-founder and chief customer officer at Tines, a security workflow automation company. The SEC’s decision means more cybersecurity issues will escalate to boardroom issues as CISOs force the entire company to accept the risk rather than shouldering it alone.

Turmoil at OpenAI shows we must address whether AI developers can regulate themselves

In the background, there have been reports of vigorous debates within OpenAI regarding AI safety. This not only highlights the complexities of managing a cutting-edge tech company, but also serves as a microcosm for broader debates surrounding the regulation and safe development of AI technologies. Large language models (LLMs) are at the heart of these discussions. LLMs, the technology behind AI chatbots such as ChatGPT, are exposed to vast sets of data that help them improve what they do – a process called training. However, the double-edged nature of this training process raises critical questions about fairness, privacy, and the potential misuse of AI. Training data reflects both the richness and biases of the information available. The biases may reflect unjust social concepts and lead to serious discrimination, the marginalising of vulnerable groups, or the incitement of hatred or violence. Training datasets can be influenced by historical biases. 

Quote for the day:

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” -- Colin R. Davis

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