Posted by & filed under Disruptive Innovation, Emerging Technologies, Robotics.

It seems there are few jobs robots can’t do these days, even the most delicate jobs, like picking asparagus or potting plant seedlings.  But they’re only needed because humans can’t – or won’t – do the work, farmers say.

Source: BBC Business

Date: April 20th, 2018

Link to video: http://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-43824607/meet-the-robots-that-can-pick-and-plant-better-than-we-can

Discussion

1) Robots that can pick and plant seeds and plants.  What else could you apply this technology to?

2) What sorts of tasks can be robotized?

Posted by & filed under Privacy.

Data

Next month a new law in Europe will make the consequences of failing to protect personal data for banks and others far more serious.  The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force on 25 May, will be the biggest shake-up to data privacy in 20 years.  A slew of recent high-profile breaches has brought the issue of data security to public attention.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: April 20th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43657546

Discussion

1) Why will a European data privacy law impact U.S.-based companies?

2) What steps might a U.S-based company have to take to understand and implement this law?

Posted by & filed under Cyberattack.

 

Britain carried out its first major cyber-attack in 2017, disrupting Islamic State’s communications and propaganda infrastructure for much of the year, one of Britain’s intelligence chiefs has revealed.

Jeremy Fleming, the director of GCHQ, which is better known for its communications interception work, said his agency had worked with the Ministry of Defence to make “a significant contribution to coalition efforts” against the al-Qaeda splinter group. He said that as well as making it “almost impossible” for the group to spread its message, the attack had protected forces on the battlefield.

Source: Bloomberg Technology News

Date: April 12th, 2018

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-12/u-k-reveals-its-first-major-cyber-attack-was-against-is

Discussion

1) Revealing this news obviously suggests that the Islamic State is considered a legitimate target for a cyberattack.  At what point does someone or a group not become a legitimate target?

2) What sorts of things might GCHQ have done to attach the Islamic State’s communications?

Posted by & filed under Facebook, IT and Politics.

Congress has warned Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook Inc. chief executive, that the era of self-regulation for social media is likely over, following Facebook’s data breach and Russia’s use of the social-media behemoth in its disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election. Zuckerberg agreed regulation is inevitable, even desirable. But how far it should go — and the implications for his company’s $55 billion in projected revenue this year — are far from settled.

Source: Bloomberg Technology

Date: April 12th, 2018

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-12/here-s-how-washington-could-really-unfriend-facebook-quicktake

Discussion

1) Why might the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zickerberg, believe regulation of Facebook is “desirable”?

2) Should social media be regulated?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Business Intelligence, Consumer Technology, Disruptive Innovation, Emerging Technologies.

Poppy Crum

The fear levels of an audience have been measured to show how machines are beginning to reveal people’s deepest feelings.  The demonstration was part of a talk given by Dolby Labs chief scientist Poppy Crum at the TED conference in Vancouver.  The ability to hide emotions is becoming “a thing of the past”, she said.  The professor believes this could usher in an era of empathetic technology.

Source: BBC Future

Date: April 12th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43653649

Discussion

1) What sorts of applications could this technology be safely and usefully put towards?

2) How could a company exploit this technology to manipulate people to do something they otherwise would not?

Posted by & filed under Facebook, Privacy.

Young woman looking at touch screen

While Facebook desperately tightens controls over how third parties access its users’ data – trying to mend its damaged reputation – attention is focusing on the wider issue of data harvesting and the threat it poses to our personal privacy.  Data harvesting is a multibillion dollar industry and the sobering truth is that you may never know just how much data companies hold about you, or how to delete it.

Source: BBC Technology and Business News

Date: April 12th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-43697133

Discussion

1) “it involves poring over every privacy policy then contacting the app provider to ask them” what data they are collecting.  Where are the privacy policies for your smartphone apps?

2) What sort of things should go in a privacy policy?

Posted by & filed under Ethical issues, Facebook, Fake News.

Facebook trumpeted this week the deletion of hundreds of pages and accounts run by the Internet Research Agency, the Kremlin-linked troll army that has sought to meddle in U.S. politics. But of the five examples of deleted accounts Facebook provided the public, CNN has found, two had links to the troll army that should have been obvious to the social networking company months ago.

Source: CNN Technology News

Date: April 6th, 2018

Link: http://money.cnn.com/2018/04/05/technology/facebook-internet-research-agency/index.html

Discussion

1) Why is it Facebook’s responsibility to track and delete “troll army” pages and accounts?

2) How would you go about detecting a “troll army”?

Posted by & filed under Disruptive Innovation, Innovation, Innovator's Dilemma.

Social Finance Inc. said it will start offering deposit accounts and debit cards to some customers next month, the first major new product under Chief Executive Officer Anthony Noto.  The San Francisco-based company is looking to branch into various financial services

Source: Bloomberg Technology News

Date: April 6th, 2018

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-05/sofi-plans-to-start-rolling-out-checking-accounts-next-month

Discussion

1) Look up SoFi and see what it does.  It’s a tech start-up company

2) SoFi’s move to “start offering deposit accounts and debit cards” is classic innovator’s dilemma wherein a startup comes out with a disruptive innovation aimed at a market that is “unsophisticated audience” (students) and then moves up into more lucrative markets.  Do you understand the innovator’s dilemma?

 

Posted by & filed under Business to Business, Emerging Technologies.

Airbus Beluga XL on tarmac

Passenger aircraft are built in sections around the world then assembled in various locations, so how do you transport huge parts like wings and fuselages? Meet the super-transporters – giant planes for giant jobs.

Source: BBC Technology of Business

Date: April 6th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-43641665

Discussion

1) “why not simply build everything in one place to do away with the need for giant transporters?”  Great question.  What is the answer for Airbus, and does it make sense?

2) What sorts of companies would also benefit from this approach?

Posted by & filed under Emerging Technologies, Ethical issues.

There is no proof that memories can be retrieved from a dead brain

A start-up that claims it will one day allow people to back-up their brains admits it will come at the ultimate price: death.  Nectome has said it will one day be capable of scanning the human brain and preserving it, perhaps running a deceased person’s mind as a computer simulation.  However, its current process requires a fresh brain.  The product is “100% fatal”,

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: April 6th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43394758

Discussion

1) The ability to scan and preserve the brain has been a feature of sci-fi movies for decades.  How would you sell such a service to clients?

2) The technology is currently “100% fatal” meaning your brain dies during the process, along with you.  The article mentions that people who have chosen to take their own lives in a doctor-assisted method are currently testing this technology.   How ethical is this?