Daily Tech Digest - January 11, 2024

Four Ways the Evolution of AI Is Changing the Corporate Governance Landscape

There is no doubt that AI has been touted as the long-awaited answer to everyone’s productivity and efficiency woes. Tools like ChatGPT can do everything from generating interview questions to writing a song. It can create pictures, deliver data, and solve complex problems. Yet AI is not without its issues, and some believe that the most pressing dangers associated with this technology have not even begun to emerge. AI giants have been very clear that society must pay close attention to AI development. It’s crucial for directors and investors alike to understand that while science fiction movies seem like they belong in a fantasy realm, the reality they depict may not be as far-fetched as it seems. Similarly, scientists cannot take for granted that a bent toward corporate profit won’t motivate boards to push AI developers in that same direction. Instead of making an attempt to battle the behemoth of monetary thirst, it may be a better idea to come up with creative ways to make social goals and AI safety profitable. If developers can’t overcome the opposing viewpoint, why not try to find a way to join them?

The Incident Lifecycle: How a Culture of Resilience Can Help You Accomplish Your Goals

There are three points within the incident lifecycle where we can focus time and energy to improve the learning cycle and gain some bandwidth to improve resilience in the system. It’s not easy, because you’ll generally have to make small adjustments and changes along the way. CTOs won’t generally approve $100,000 for cross-incident analysis (that won’t be a marketable improvement to stakeholders) without evidence that it’s helpful. ... You need perspectives from across the organization. The discussion shouldn’t include only the incident manager and the person who pushed the bad code. I find that folks in marketing, product management, and especially customer support have great insights into the impact of an incident. When you meet, make sure it's an open conversation – the person facilitating should be talking less than anyone else in the room. This way, you will capture how this incident affected different groups. You may learn, for example, that the on-call engineer lacked dashboard access or customer support got slammed with complaints.

Nurturing Leadership Through The Power Of Reading

The most straightforward yet impactful way reading can contribute to self-development is through gaining knowledge. Whether extracting insights from books, articles or research papers, immersing oneself in written content is a foundational pillar of continuous development. This direct approach is not just about gathering information; it's also about internalizing concepts and lessons to create a reservoir of intellectual wealth for informed decision-making and sustained professional evolution. The simple power of reading remains a reliable means of absorbing knowledge—a timeless practice that can help propel individuals toward continuous growth and success. ... Reading also facilitates internal exploration. Self-help and philosophical literature invite introspection, which can nurture profound self-awareness. Atomic Habits by James Clear, for example, provides actionable insights for leaders seeking to enhance their habits and maximize their potential, fostering a deeper understanding of personal strengths and weaknesses. 

CI Is Not CD

A crucial difference I’ve often observed is that CI and CD tools have different audiences. While developers are often active on both sides of CI/CD, CD tools are frequently used by a wider group of people. ... CD tools have a range of subtle features that make it easier to handle deployment scenarios. They have a way to manage environments and infrastructure. This mechanism applies the correct configuration for each deployment and provides a way to handle deployments at scale, such as managing tenant-specific infrastructure or deployments to different locations (such as retail stores, hospitals or cloud regions). Alongside practical deployment features, CD tools also make the state of deployments visible to everyone who needs to know what software versions are where. This removes the need for people to ask for status updates, just as your task board handles work items. If you want to know your bank balance, you don’t want to phone your bank; you want to self-serve the answer instantly. The same is true for your deployments.

Managing CEO expectations is this year’s Priority No. 1

Today’s CEOs are more likely to get their IT visions from stories written by credulous writers authoring for online business media. That’s if we’re lucky. If we aren’t, they’ll want Tony Stark’s ability to conjure up high-tech solutions by gesticulating into a 3D touch interface while arguing with the AI that ran the Iron Man’s lab. That leaves it up to you, your company’s hard-working CIO, to temper the CEO’s expectations from what they infer from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to Earth 2024. Because CEOs’ real reality (“real” by definition) is likely to be disappointing compared to the MCU and other semi-fictional realities they see, hear of, or imagine, CIOs can worry a little less about how IT might disappoint them on this score. ... Okay, fair’s fair and fun’s fun. But few CEOs will be completely consumed by these semi-whimsical depictions of information technology’s future. They’ll continue to have practical concerns, too, like where all the money is that cloud computing was supposed to save them. Some disappointments, that is, are both evergreen and rooted in real reality. 

Embracing offensive cybersecurity tactics for defense against dynamic threats

The essence of a coalition approach in offensive cyber operations is straightforward: combining forces to enhance cyber defense capabilities. This approach is critical in today’s world, where cyber threats transcend national borders. By pooling resources, knowledge, and intelligence, a coalition approach facilitates a more comprehensive and effective response to cyber threats. In the financial industry for example we have FS-ISAC that supports all these. Effective implementation involves establishing clear communication channels, defining shared objectives, and ensuring mutual trust among participating entities. ... Looking ahead, the line between offense and defense in cybersecurity is blurring. The future I envision is one where these two are not distinct entities but different aspects of a singular, holistic strategy. Offensive tools will be used not just to attack but to inform, to scout for threats and act before they materialize. This integrated approach is akin to a martial artist’s stance, ready to block and strike simultaneously.

CES 2024: Will the Coolest New AI Gadgets Protect Your Privacy?

As Tschider points out, "COPPA doesn’t have any cybersecurity requirements to actually reinforce its privacy obligations. This issue is only magnified in contemporary AI-enabled IoT because compromising a large number of devices simultaneously only requires pwning the cloud or the AI model driving function of hundreds or thousands of devices. Many products don't have the kind of robust protections they actually need." She adds, "Additionally, it relies primarily on a consent model. Because most consumers don't read privacy notices (and it would take well over a hundred days a year to read every privacy notice presented to you), this model is not really ideal." For Tschider, a superior legal framework for consumer electronics might take bits of inspiration from HIPAA, or New York State's cybersecurity law for financial services. But really, one need only look across the water for an off-the-shelf model of how to do it right. For cybersecurity, the NIS 2 Directive out of the EU is broadly useful," Tschider says, adding that "there are many good takeaways both from the General Data Protection Regulation and the AI Act in the EU."

Critical Components for Data Fabric Success

In a physical data fabric, users access data, run analytics on it, or use APIs at a consumption layer to deliver the data wherever it is needed. Prior to that, data is modeled, prepared, and curated in the discovery layer, and transformed and/or cleansed as needed in the orchestration layer. In the ingestion layer, data is drawn from one or more data sources (which can be on premises or in the cloud) and stored in the persistence layer, which is usually a data lake or data warehouse. Logical data fabrics integrate data using data virtualization to establish a single, trusted source of data regardless of where the data is physically stored. This enables organizations to integrate, manage, and deliver distributed data to any user in real time regardless of the location, format, and latency of the source data. Unlike a logical data fabric, a physical data fabric requires the ability to physically centralize all the required data from multiple sources before it can deliver the data to consumers. Data also needs to be physically transformed and replicated every time and be adapted to each new use case. 

Boost Your Business With Digital Twin Technology

Digital twins allow businesses to answer questions that can directly impact strategic and operational decisions. “Organizations can move from answering simple questions about asset performance to understanding how these assets -- machines, assembly lines, supply chains -- will operate in the future, and what actions the business can take to meet performance and uptime goals,” Mann explains. Manufacturers are the businesses most likely to gain value from digital twin technology. “Manufacturers look to understand the causes of downtime, model scenarios to improve efficiency, and reduce waste,” says Devin Yaung, senior vice president, group enterprise, IoT products and services, at technology and business solutions provider NTT, in an email interview. Digital twins of individual machines permit instant views into maintenance issues and potential failures. “The growth of connected IoT sensors and devices has allowed all industries to gain insights into assets,” Yaung says. “Because of this explosion of connectivity, we are seeing large adoption not only in manufacturing but also in utilities, mining, hospitals, ports, airports, logistics/transportation, agriculture, and many other industries.”

Hey Gen. Z, you’re looking for tech jobs in all the wrong places

The pace of digital adoption and technological change today is far greater than it's ever been, according to Ger Doyle, senior vice president of US-based IT staffing firm Experis. The rise AI and genAI is likely to accelerate that trend, “so new graduates, as well as those in the workforce today, need to embrace a concept of life-long learning to stay relevant in the new world,” Doyle said. Pandor agreed: “Candidates should remain consistently curious throughout the job-searching process. Keeping up to date with the latest trends and developments in the digital world by reading technical news enables them to showcase their interest in the ever-changing sector when they do land a job interview. From a more practical perspective, talent can also continue to practice and enhance their technical skills while job hunting so that they are ready to hit the ground running.” Younger job candidates might not be aware of the breadth and diversity of roles available, Pandor said, and they shouldn’t rule out other opportunities early in their careers.

Quote for the day:

“Nobody talks of entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is.” -- Anita Roddick

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