Posted by & filed under 5G.

Hologram of Princess Leia in Star Wars Episode IV

High-speed 5G networks could lead to big changes in how we use our mobile phones, allowing us to enjoy virtual reality on-the-go, interactive live broadcasts, and even project holograms from our handsets. But will connection “not-spots” and high costs stop many of us reaping the benefits?

Source: BBC Analysis

Date: September 20th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45009458

Discussion

1) What practical and useful applications of holographic telephony can you come up with?

2) How might you build a business around holographic telephony ?

Posted by & filed under Automation.

A catwalk show at London Fashion Week has divided opinions about the future of fashion.

Source: BBC Trends

Date: September 20, 2018

Link to video: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-45548805/london-fashion-week-2018-robots-take-over-the-runway

Discussion

1) Whether or not this is just a gimmick, why does it matter that robots are featured in fashion?

2) The robots in this “fashion” show are no where near realistic.  Does it matter?

Posted by & filed under Censorship, Civil Liberties, Cyber Security, Ethical issues, IT and Politics, IT Security.

Millions of Americans are looking forward to the return of Sunday NFL football this weekend. And somewhere in St. Petersburg, a group of Russian trolls likely is too.

The same Kremlin-linked group that posed as Americans on social media during the 2016 US presidential election has repeatedly exploited the controversy surrounding the NFL and players who have protested police brutality and racial injustice during the National Anthem, playing both sides in an effort to exacerbate divides in American society.

 The debate is almost certainly an irresistible one for the Russians, given that it includes issues of race, patriotism, and national identity — topics the Russian trolls sought to exploit during the run-up to the election, and have continued to focus on in the two years since.

Source: CNN Technology News

Date: September 13th, 2018

Link: https://money.cnn.com/2018/09/08/technology/nfl-national-anthem-russia-trolls/index.html

Discussion

1) First off, in what way are Russian internet trolls even a discussion topic for a Management Information Systems class?

2) How might the likes of Twitter correctly identify a Russian troll posting and then effectively deal with it?

Posted by & filed under IT and Politics.

Donald Trump

Google has defended the way its bosses greeted the election of Donald Trump, after criticism by right-wing media.

A video published on Wednesday by the Breitbart website shows senior executives commenting the morning after the 2016 election.

During the 60-minute presentation, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said he found the election “deeply offensive”.

Breitbart said the video showed evidence of Google’s inherent bias against Republicans.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: September 13th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45509673

Discussion

1) Why is important for Google (and other tech companies) to be free of political bias?

2) In what ways might political bias, eluded to by the BBC with their quote that a Google co-founder said that “I certainly find this election deeply offensive and I know many of you do too” be reflected in what Google does or how Google prioritizes and presents search results, for instance?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Bots, Ethical issues.

“Inflatable duck baby pool with canopy.” “Hot selling colourful temporary full arm tattoo for men.” “Splendid reusable dog pee pad (minimum order: 500).”

Load up the homepage for e-commerce giant, Alibaba – a wholesale shopping site that’s more or less China’s answer to eBay – and you’ll find images and descriptions of anything you could wish to buy, from kitchen sinks to luxury yachts. Every item has a short headline, but most are little more than lists of keywords: hand-picked search terms to ensure this USB phone charger or that pair of flame-resistant overalls float to the top in a sea of thousands upon thousands of similar items.

“Generative bots are the new chatbot,” says Jun Wang at University College London. “Generating copy is just one of the applications that can be done.”

Source: BBC Future

Date: September 13th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180829-the-worlds-most-prolific-writer-is-a-chinese-algorithm

Discussion

1) ” the AI copywriter applies deep learning and natural-language processing tech to millions of item descriptions on Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao sites to generate new copy of its own”.  What actually is “deep learning” and “natural-language processing”?

2) Is it ethical to use a “Generative bot”?

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Privacy.

A study looked at hundreds of apps’ privacy policies — then compared them to the data actually collected.  Of the 757 apps analyzed, the researchers found nearly 60 per cent of apps collected more information than stated in their privacy policies.

Source: CBC News

Date: September 7th, 2018

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/app-privacy-policy-apptrans-uoft-third-parties-ads-code-1.4791834

Discussion

1) Why does it matter that apps collect more data than stated in their privacy policies?

2) Since you never check your apps’ privacy policies, shouldn’t the app be able to collect whatever it wants, or should it have to tell you what it is collecting?

Posted by & filed under Automation, Chatbot.

Call centre worker with head in his hand

The biggest threat to jobs might not be physical robots, but intelligent software agents that can understand our questions and speak to us, integrating seamlessly with all the other programs we use at home and at work. And call centres are particularly at risk.

Last week we learned that British retail giant Marks & Spencer is moving 100 switchboard staff to other roles because chatbots are taking over their duties.

“All calls to 640 M&S stores and contact centres now handled via Twilio-powered technology,” boasted the California-based tech company operating the new system.

M&S is now using Twilio’s speech recognition software and Google’s Dialogflow artificial intelligence (AI) tool to transcribe customers’ verbal requests and understand their intent. Then the call is routed to the appropriate department or shop.

The system could handle about 12 million queries a year, Twilio says.

Source: BBC Technology of Business

Date: September 7th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45272835

Discussion

1) How might you use a Twilio chatbot to build a brand new company?

2) What are some of the business issues and risks with building a company around just a chatbot?

Posted by & filed under Cyber Security, Quantum Computing.

Circuit board head graphic

Quantum computers have long been touted as incredibly powerful machines that will be able to solve hugely complex computational problems much faster than any computer we have available today. But no-one can agree on the best way to make them. Who will win the race?

Superfast quantum computers could speed up the discovery of new medicines, crack the most complex cryptographic security systems, design new materials, model climate change, and supercharge artificial intelligence, computer scientists say.

But there’s currently no consensus on the best way to make them or how to make them available to the mass market.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: September 7th, 2018

Link (page includes several short videos on quantum computing): https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45273584

Discussion

1) The article notes that “Moore’s Law … is finally breaking down.”  What is Moore’s Law, and how is it important in information systems and technology?

2) What are some of the issues arising if quantum computers can “crack the most complex cryptographic security systems”?

Posted by & filed under crypto-currency, Virtual goods.

Investors are spending real money to buy land in a new city that only exists in virtual reality. Buyers can build whatever they want on their plots in Decentraland. Many hope to make a profit trading goods and services in the virtual world’s own crypto currency. But will Decentraland be an online utopia or a cyber slum?

Source: BBC

Date: September 5th, 2018

Link to video: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/stories-45275461/the-virtual-land-selling-for-millions

Discussion

1) A good ten years ago, a very similar community called Second Life was created, with people conducting business inside it, including Best Buy, IBM and even political candidates.   Why should Decentraland be successful ,whereas Second Life (which is actually still around) was not so much?

2) Does it make sense to invest in virtual land?