Daily Tech Digest - January 10, 2024

It's Time to Take a Modern Approach to Password Management

Standards for decentralized identity are being advocated by recognized bodies such as W3C. While regulations and other aspects such as authorization, role, and attribute-based access are still further developing, businesses and institutions now have the opportunity to create interoperable designs that can seamlessly integrate with this new model. In this architecture, the most trusted identity providers are likely to play a dominant role as decentralized issuers (DID), which will be crucial for the adoption of VCs. Users are more likely to trust these established brands to certify their digital credentials. However, new vendors, brands, and institutions may emerge to compete in this space and position themselves as market leaders. Furthermore, a witness ledger, which offers traceability and trust of VC transactions, will likely be supported by a technology similar to blockchain network but more eco-friendly. This will enable digital merchants to verify the credibility of a credential, and ultimately their potential customers. 

Putting AI to Work: Systems of Intelligence and Actionable Agency

Pervasive AI will create a new System of Intelligence (SoI) that integrates data, technologies, platforms, and practices for the purposes of finding and understanding patterns, extracting insights, promoting efficiency and creativity, and facilitating decision-making. This will illuminate how organizations actually do on a functional basis, through real-time data inputs, allowing people greater awareness and meaningful action. Here is why: The system of intelligence is designed to work in a way that is different from traditional data systems or systems of record. Rather than requiring users to know how to extract insights from the data, the system of intelligence is designed to identify, ask questions and provide insights in a way that is easy for all users to understand. Standards and practices of the SoI are still emerging, which gives leaders the rare chance to both learn from and guide the development of a new system of work in the coming year. This is necessary work since imagining that nothing will change with AI is akin to thinking that, at the dawn of television, radio would simply be transposed wholesale, with no particular effect on culture, process, or business models.

Leveraging Blockchain Technology to Counter the Threat of Deepfake Videos

One of the fundamental features of blockchain is its immutability. Once data is added to a blockchain, it becomes virtually impossible to alter or erase. Applying this characteristic to video content could create an immutable record of the original footage, ensuring that any subsequent alterations or manipulations would be immediately apparent. ... Blockchain’s timestamping capabilities can provide a reliable chronology of when content is created, modified, or accessed. Integrating blockchain into the video creation process allows for the creation of a verifiable and transparent timeline for each piece of content. This timestamping ensures that any attempt to manipulate videos would be easily traceable, enabling swift identification of the source of misinformation and aiding in the attribution of responsibility. ... Blockchain operates on a decentralized network of nodes, each maintaining a copy of the ledger. This decentralized nature can be harnessed for video verification, where multiple nodes across the network can independently verify the authenticity of a given video.

How to Build Team Culture in a Remote-Work World

A positive team culture leads to happier employees. This may result in increased productivity over the long run. Because a positive work environment leads to things like friendships and increased levels of support between coworkers, you're more likely to see lower turnover rates and higher employee retention rates when you emphasize team culture. Positive team cultures also reduce levels of stress and anxiety among employees. With a less stressful environment, your skilled workers are more likely to remain with your company long-term. Additionally, they'll share their positive experiences as an employee. As this word-of-mouth spreads, your positive team culture may eventually result in your business becoming a sought-after place to work. In addition to these hiring and personnel benefits, positive team cultures correlate directly with profitability. You might engage in a chance discussion with a coworker over the water cooler or in the breakroom — leading to opportunities, collaborations and innovations that otherwise might not have happened.

Faster than ever: Wi-Fi 7 standard arrives

For home networks, Wi-Fi 7 enhances the performance of smart home devices, providing a more reliable connection for Internet of Things technologies. The improved bandwidth and speed are perfect for families, like mine, which have multiple devices streaming high-definition content simultaneously. Your overall Wi-Fi performance, whether it's just you or your family and friends, will see a dramatic improvement. In businesses, Wi-Fi 7 can support more devices with minimal interference. This capability makes it ideal for large offices and coworking spaces. The improved speed and stability facilitate seamless video conferencing and efficient cloud-based applications, which are essential for modern companies. All that's the good news. The bad news is that the 6 GHz wireless spectrum uses shorter wavelengths. Short wavelengths are great for fast data transfers at close range, So, they're great for connecting to your Wi-Fi 7-enabled HDTV a few feet away from your router. But short wavelengths are poor at connecting at long distances and suffer greater interference from physical obstructions, such as dense walls or floors in a building.

3 Essential Attitudes & Dispositions of Good Corporate Governance

While leadership and governance are two concepts that often work in tandem, every director must understand that they are not the same thing. Leadership refers to a person’s ability to influence the attitudes and actions of others to lead them toward a common goal. Governance, on the other hand, should be about making decisions that lead to increased corporate performance and meeting or exceeding agreed-upon targets. Being a good leader without shifting their mindset toward governance can make directors behave in selfish and territorial ways, putting undue focus on their own desires and beliefs. On the other hand, having the power to govern without the skill of leadership can often lead to passivity and a bend toward bureaucracy, which can easily stop board progress in its tracks. ... Many directors — especially those who are new to the position — struggle with speaking up when they see something happening that needs the board’s attention. They may be worried about receiving private or public backlash or derailing the company’s progress toward meeting targets. 

Why most companies suck at digital transformation

Focus on architecture in the wide, without forgetting architecture in the narrow. Enterprises need to understand the holistic architecture required to support accurate DX positive outcomes and not just focus on individual systems. This is an outcome of a comprehensive strategy, in that we’re utilizing all systems in place, including legacy and other on-premises assets, and establishing how they will work and play well with migrated or net-new systems existing on public clouds. If companies focus only on small systems or architectures, they usually neglect to understand how they will exist within a strategically defined DX ecosystem. This results in decoupled projects that may be impressive on their own but provide little or no value to the larger strategy that is more important than just the parts that make it up. ... The most significant issue is that most don’t even understand what digital transformation is, even those with the term in their titles. Instead, they focus on the tactics, meaning tools and technology, never understanding the plan to make things incrementally better.

Researchers develop technique to prevent software bugs

Baldur took several months to build. The work was done as a collaboration with Google, and built on top of a significant amount of prior research. First, whose team performed its work at Google, used Minerva, an LLM trained on a large corpus of natural-language text, and then fine-tuned it on 118GB of mathematical scientific papers and webpages containing mathematical expressions. Next, she further fine-tuned the LLM on a language, called Isabelle/HOL, in which the mathematical proofs are written. Baldur then generated an entire proof and worked in tandem with the theorem prover to check its work. When the theorem prover caught an error, it fed the proof, as well as information about the error, back into the LLM, so that it can learn from its mistake and generate a new and hopefully error-free proof. This process yields a remarkable increase in accuracy. The tool for automatically generating proofs is called Thor, which can generate proofs 57% of the time. 

Reconciling Agile Development With AI Safety

On one hand, the Agile principles of an iterative approach, regular risk management checks, cross-expertise collaboration, solicitation of third-party feedback at every stage, and adaptability to changing priorities or new findings seem well-suited to the seamless incorporation of responsible AI practices. However, we think responsible AI development will require a full revamp of the software development lifecycle, from pre-training assessments of data to post-deployment monitoring for performance and safety. Some practices, such as automated algorithmic checks (like tests for data bias and model performance metrics, all of which are part of Stanford’s HELM set of evaluations) can be utilized anywhere in the development lifecycle. Other techniques may be purely ex post, like algorithmic audits. An Agile approach avoids engineering siloes, allowing for stage-specific practices to be adopted where necessary, while ensuring stage-agnostic practices are adopted at all relevant stages, and allowing these stages to proceed in tandem.

Modern-day manufacturing: A process built on data governance

The average manufacturer generates high volumes and different types of data, including customer information, production orders, and shipment tracking, to name a few. This is further compounded with every supplier, distributor, and third party that’s added to the supply chain. Without a system to validate all this data, a manufacturer can find itself with inaccurate or incomplete data. Poor data quality not only leads to operational inefficiencies and mistakes, it also hinders the organization’s growth by limiting its ability to forecast demands and plan production runs. ... Within complex manufacturing ecosystems, it can be unclear who owns data as it flows across the supply chain. Various teams generate and use different types of data, making ownership and responsibility a challenge to pin down. ... Establishing data ownership involves identifying primary stakeholders who are responsible for ensuring the quality, security, and correct use of data assets. 

Quote for the day:

"We live in a society obsessed with public opinion. But leadership has never been about popularity." -- Marco Rubio

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