Daily Tech Digest - January 02, 2024

Decoding the Black Box of AI – Scientists Uncover Unexpected Results

“If the GNNs do what they are expected to, they need to learn the interactions between the compound and target protein and the predictions should be determined by prioritizing specific interactions,” explains Prof. Bajorath. According to the research team’s analyses, however, the six GNNs essentially failed to do so. Most GNNs only learned a few protein-drug interactions and mainly focused on the ligands. Bajorath: “To predict the binding strength of a molecule to a target protein, the models mainly ‘remembered’ chemically similar molecules that they encountered during training and their binding data, regardless of the target protein. These learned chemical similarities then essentially determined the predictions.” According to the scientists, this is largely reminiscent of the “Clever Hans effect”. This effect refers to a horse that could apparently count. How often Hans tapped his hoof was supposed to indicate the result of a calculation. As it turned out later, however, the horse was not able to calculate at all, but deduced expected results from nuances in the facial expressions and gestures of his companion.

Why 2024 is the year for IT managers to revamp their green IT plans

Conversations with enterprise operators reveal that many do not consolidate applications when they refresh their IT equipment and are hesitant to deploy power-aware workload management tools out of concern for impacting the reliability of their IT operations. IT managers must guide their organisations to intelligently utilise their available equipment capacity, using software tools to measure, manage, and maximise utilisation within reliability constraints. All organizations should set equipment utilisation goals and build multi-year efficiency project plans to improve IT infrastructure energy performance. Data available from IT equipment manufacturers indicate that workloads on two to eight old servers can be migrated to one new server when deploying n+1 (e.g., Intel or AMD CPU generation 3 to 4) or n+2 (e.g., Intel or AMD CPU generation 2 to 4) technology. Similar improvements can be achieved in storage and network equipment. Consolidating CPU workload and storage and network operations delivers a defined workload on three-quarters to one-half of the equipment. 

AI Everywhere, All the Time: Top Developments of 2023

AI-powered robots are increasingly automating tasks in manufacturing and logistics, among other industries, driving efficiency and changing the nature of work. Some major milestones include Tesla's Optimus Bot prototype demonstrating dexterous and adaptable humanoid robots, which could shape future automation solutions. Separately, Boston Dynamics' Atlas showcased its parkour skills, paving the way for applications in search and rescue or disaster response. The AlphaFold 2 AI system, developed by Alphabet subsidiary DeepMind, can perform predictions of protein structure, and stands to revolutionize drug discovery and personalized medicine, carrying the potential for helping mitigate numerous diseases. Robotic surgery systems grow ever more sophisticated, while AI-powered prosthetics offer amputees greater control and functionality. AI algorithms are already assisting doctors in medical diagnosis for diseases such as cancer, offering increased accuracy and early detection possibilities. 

How Gamification Can Help Your Business

At work, gamification is often used to build employee experience by promoting fun competition and immersive learning experiences, leading to better information retention and a heightened incentive to engage in ongoing learning and upskilling, Ringman says. Gamification is frequently used to boost staff productivity. “In any business, there are many things that need to be done every day that many of us aren’t naturally motivated to do,” Avila observes. Gamification, provides helpful context, guidance, and rewards, allowing tasks to be completed faster and more efficiently while improving focus. “This, in turn, helps the company achieve larger business goals.” Brands can also tap into gamification as they strive to engage customers and transform ordinary interactions into memorable experiences. Ringman notes that brands can use gamification to add extra fun to loyalty programs by hosting contests and competitions, as well as awarding virtual badges and trophies to customers as they complete various actions or pass significant milestones.

Envisioning a great future – India as a SuperPower

A nation’s growth is underpinned with technological advancement and how swiftly it adopts tech. During the recent state visit of India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modiji to the United States, he put a lot of emphasis on growing technology that will revolutionize various industries. India is fast moving towards digitization. The thrust from the Government of India with the Digital India initiative and the growing use of digital technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Analytics across various private organisations is bringing a phenomenal shift in India’s growth and development. Secondly, there is going be a lot of disruption in the way we work. With AI, lots of work will be done by BOTS, so it is important to have highly skilled labor to manage the AI which will also require upscaling the work, as we will have more leisure. The way society works will change and need to be adaptable. AI tools can be used as an Add-on tool to enable our lawyers, CAs, economists and leaders at large. Today, India is a force to be reckoned with in the domain of Information Technology without an iota of doubt.

Wi-Fi 7’s mission-critical role in enterprise, industrial networking

Wi-Fi 7 devices can use multi-link operation (MLO) in the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz bands to increase throughput by aggregating multiple links or to quickly move critical applications to the optimal band using seamless switching between links. Fast link switching allows Wi-Fi 7 devices to avoid interference and access Wi-Fi channels without delaying critical traffic. This and other new features also make Wi-Fi 7 ideal for immersive XR/AR/VR, online gaming and other consumer applications that require high throughput, low latency, minimal jitter, and high reliability. ... Naturally there are challenges with achieving seamless connectivity between 5G & Wi-Fi. A lot of industry alignment is needed to enable frictionless movement between networks, across technologies, vendors, and areas such as authentication, QoS, QoE and security. The Wireless Broadband Alliance is playing a key role in bringing all the stakeholders (operators, enterprises and network owners) together to ensure collaboration and alignment on the frameworks that will deliver seamless connectivity.

Data Center Governance Trends to Watch in 2024

Historically, data center governance did not drive frequent conversations in the data center industry. Data center operators sometimes talked about it, but it has not tended to be a core area of concern – perhaps because, unlike other types of governance, data center governance isn't a requirement for businesses seeking to meet regulatory rules or avoid compliance fines. Looking ahead, however, governance in data centers is likely to become a more common item of discussion. Data centers have now matured to the point that businesses are increasingly keen to squeeze as much efficiency as possible out of them. In the past, disorganized data center assets or lack of optimal server room layouts may not have been critical. But today, data center operators face growing pressure to maximize the efficiency of their facilities. Certain regulators are now requiring disclosures about data center emissions, for example, meaning that increasing energy efficiency through effective governance practice has become important for protecting business's brands and reputations.

Essential skills for today’s threat analysts

Very often, for instance, there's an urgent need to communicate a new vulnerability to different audiences, which demands tailored communications for technical teams, CISOs, and board members. Williams highlights task management and patience, especially when dealing with uncertain or misleading information, and above all, coordinating between different sources of information. "So much of threat hunting today relates to that living off the land kind of thing where you're seeing things that look malicious. And so oftentimes you’re developing hypotheses and that involves consulting system admin and working toward a resolution," says Williams. ... It's also a mind game, with threat hunters needing to be highly adaptable as threats are changing daily, sometimes hourly. "You need to change with them. Never allow an inflexible mind to pervade your operational approach," says Brian Hussey, VP of threat hunting, intelligence and DFIR at SentinelOne. At the same time, you also need to see the forest through the trees. "Often threat actors introduce surface changes to their attack patterns, but core modus operandi remains unchanged, leaving important opportunities to identify and eliminate new attacks, even before they arrive," Hussey tells CSO.

Want to tackle technical debt? Sell it as business risk

There is no magic potion that can eliminate all technical debt, but technical debt can be attacked via budgeting if technical debt is not just perceived as upgrading IT infrastructure. What CIOs need to do instead is to present IT infrastructure investment as an important corporate financial and risk management issue that the business can’t afford to ignore. ... Technical budget justifications for IT infrastructure upgrades, which are seldom linked to end business strategies, make it easy for budget decision-makers to defer IT infrastructure investment. Instead, budget decision-makers figure that the company can “make do” because IT will somehow find a way to keep systems running. CIOs must change this thinking. They can start the process by changing IT infrastructure investment justifications from technical explanations to corporate financial and risk management explanations. ... CIOs should also team with the CFO to help reframe the tech debt narrative, because CFOs are always on the lookout for new corporate financial and risk management scenarios. 

Leveraging Leadership: The Fourfold Path to Business Control

Belief systems function as a mechanism for communicating the core values, objectives, and mission of the organization, thus providing guidance and motivation to staff members. By encouraging people to improve their customer service through the inculcation of positive values, conduct, performance, and a feeling of inclusion, this lever ensures the fulfillment of the organization's objectives. In the absence of a clearly-defined Belief System, employees are forced to depend on conjecture regarding the organization's intended behaviors and objectives. ... Without stifling individuals' capacity for innovation or entrepreneurship, this control mechanism permits the development of policies and standards that instruct individuals on bad behavior. Boundary systems implement regulations, codes of conduct, and premeditated strategic boundaries to delineate acceptable and abhorrent employee conduct, thereby establishing governing parameters. These boundaries clearly define the irreversible consequences of violating ethical principles and the potential outcomes that should be avoided. 

Quote for the day:

"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation." -- Herman Melville

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