Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence.

The Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa is shown at sunset on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. The website, thisclimatedoesnotexist.com, was created by Quebec institute Mila to use artificial intelligence to show the potential impact of climate change on almost any address on the planet. The website can show Ottawa's parliament buildings engulfed in orange skies from wildfires, clouded in smog and flooded with water.

Imagine Parliament Hill blanketed in orange skies, floodwaters climbing the sides of BC Place stadium or a thick layer of smog fogging the view of Halifax from Citadel Hill.

These are all scenes depicted on a website published Thursday that blends artificial intelligence with geography to show the potential impact of climate change on almost any address on the planet.

The website, thisclimatedoesnotexist.com, was created by Mila, a machine-learning and technology research institute in Quebec founded by Yoshua Benigo, one of the godfathers of AI.

The website can apply filters showing the impacts of flooding, wildfires or smog to any address available through Google Street View and is meant to raises awareness about future scenarios that could arise if the world’s response to climate change continues to fall short.

Source: Toronto Daily News

Date: October 15th, 2021

Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/2021/10/14/montreal-made-website-uses-ai-to-show-impacts-of-climate-change-on-any-address.html

Discussion

  1. How might you be able to build a business around this app?
  2. The article suggests that certain assumptions have to be made for the AI to work. Why is this an issue?

Posted by & filed under Addiction, Social Networks, Social Responsibility.

“Our childhoods were stolen,” says 21-year-old Rikki Schlott, who has had an Instagram account since she was 11.

Recently, Facebook has come under fire for the impact its apps can have on teens and their mental health.

The BBC looks at how algorithms have made social media the new “drug of choice” and what people are doing about it.

Source: BBC

Date: October 14th, 2021

Link to 5 minute video: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-58838000

Discussion

  1. Shouldn’t Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and other social media platforms have the freedom to design their algorithms in the way they see fit as a company?
  2. No person is “required” to use any social media platform. To what extent should governments be expected to step in to regulate user behavior on such platforms?

Posted by & filed under Augmented Reality, Ethical issues.

Source: Mojo Vision

Date: October 12th, 2021

Link to 3 minute 0 second video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61QNTWE54QU

Discussion

  1. What are some of the Management Information Systems issues around having an AR-enabled contact lens?
  2. This is a clear push into a world of augmented reality. What issues, such as ethical issues, might a Management Information Systems professional have to consider?

Posted by & filed under FinTech.

Analysts at Wells Fargo bank predict that a wave of tech-driven change is about to disrupt the industry.

The era of bankers dominating banking is over as software developers rise — and a record wave of job cuts will soon sweep the industry.

That’s according to Wells Fargo & Co. analysts led by Mike Mayo, who estimated that the technology improvements and automation these developers bring will allow the industry to cut 100,000 jobs over the next five years.

“New job additions could lower reduction levels, but our conclusion is still that this will be the biggest reduction in U.S. bank headcount in history,” Mayo, along with six other senior equity analysts, said in a note to clients late Monday.

Banks spend more on technology than any other industry and had to set aside a whopping $200 billion for information technology last year alone. That’s meant the technologists they hire play an increasingly important role inside the world’s largest financial institutions, the Wells Fargo analysts found.

Many of the job cuts will hit lower-paid roles. The financial-services industry — which operates some of the world’s largest call centres — will likely “aggressively” reduce headcount in such locations, the analysts said. Branch workforces may drop 20 per cent over the next several years, and could account for as much as one-third of banks’ total reduction.

Software developers wield greater influence over lenders’ purchasing decisions and budgets for their tools are ever increasing, the analysts found. That means banks are looking to add technologists and front-line employees to help manage their apps and websites as consumers rapidly adapted to new finance tools during the pandemic.

Source: Toronto Daily Star

Date: October 5th, 2021

Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/2021/09/28/developers-are-the-new-bankers-analysts-predict-wave-of-job-cuts-in-banking.html

Discussion

  1. What does this article mean if you are thinking of going into the Financial Services industry?
  2. Why do you think ” Banks spend more on technology than any other industry and had to set aside a whopping $200 billion for information technology last year alone”?

Posted by & filed under Apple, IT and Politics, Politics.

USB-C connector next to Apple Lightning connector

Manufacturers will be forced to create a universal charging solution for phones and small electronic devices, under a new rule proposed by the European Commission (EC).

The aim is to reduce waste by encouraging consumers to re-use existing chargers when buying a new device.

All smartphones sold in the EU must have USB-C chargers, the proposal said.

Apple has warned such a move would harm innovation.

The tech giant is the main manufacturer of smartphones using a custom charging port, as its iPhone series uses an Apple-made “Lightning” connector.

“We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world

Source; BBC Technology News

Date: October 5th, 2021

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-58665809

Discussion

  1. How likely is it that a move to have just a USB-C charger will” stifle innovation rather than encouraging it”, as Apple claims?
  2. What is a more likely reason for Apple wanting to not use the USB-C charger in some of its devices?

Posted by & filed under Consumer Technology.

The video is here: https://www.tiktok.com/foryou?lang=en&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1&item_id=6988270489290411269#/@sarahndom/video/6988270489290411269

Thousands of scientific studies had to toss out weeks of data because of a 56-second TikTok video by a teenager.

The July 23rd video is short and simple. It opens with recent Florida high school graduate and self-described “teen author” Sarah Frank sitting in her bedroom and smiling at the camera.

“Welcome to side hustles I recommend trying — part one,” she says in the video, pointing users to the website Prolific.co. “Basically, it’s a bunch of surveys for different amounts of money and different amounts of time.”

Source: TikTok and The Verge

Date: October 5th, 2021

Link to article:https://www.theverge.com/2021/9/24/22688278/tiktok-science-study-survey-prolific

Discussion

  1. How might this issue have been detected earlier by the platform, and not instead by a researcher: “We have noticed a huge leap in the number of participants on the platform in the US Pool, from 40k to 80k. Which is great, however, now a lot of our studies have a gender skew where maybe 85% of participants are women. Plus the age has been averaging around 21.” ?
  2. In what others ways could you use a platform like the Prolific Platform?

Posted by & filed under Virtual Reality.

ABBA is about to create an entire location in London which will feature a state-of-the-art version of the technology shown here from 2 years ago.

Source: Channel 4

Date: September 29th, 2021

Link to 3 min 18 second video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PObUosg5ZUg

Discussion

  1. What are some of the Management Information Systems issues surrounding putting on a “performance” like the one you see here?
  2. This is a clear push into the virtual world. What issues, such as ethical issues, might a Management Information Systems professional have to consider?

Posted by & filed under 3D Printing.

The Fibonacci House in Procter, B.C., boasts spectacular views of the nearby mountains — but that’s not what makes the tiny home a one-of-a-kind vacation rental.

It is Canada’s first 3D printed house — a spiral structure with a standout feature: Curved walls. (It was inspired by — and named after — the mathematical Fibonacci sequence.)

Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing is a process where an object is built using layers of materials as directed by a digital design.

While 3D-printed construction is still considered to be in its infancy, advocates say that in the future, the technology could be used to build houses with unique designs quickly and more cheaply, with less of a need for scarce skilled labour.  

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: September 29th, 2021

Discussion

  1. Why is it important to have “unique designs”?
  2. What sort of labor might be needed for this “additive manufacturing” house?

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Consumer Technology.

Astro the home robot

Amazon is launching Astro, its first household robot, powered by its Alexa smart home technology.

The company said it can be remote-controlled when not at home, to check on pets, people, or home security.

It can also patrol a home automatically and send owners a notification if it detects something unusual.

Amazon said it was more than “Alexa with wheels” and had been programmed with a range of movements and expressions to give it personality.

It demonstrated asking Astro to “beatbox” – and the robot bopped its head and made expressions while playing hip-hop beats.

Amazon was also keen to pre-empt privacy concerns.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: September 28th, 2021

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-58727057

Discussion

  1. What might be some of the privacy concerns of an Amazon robot?
  2. Why is Amazon pushing into this type of technology?

Posted by & filed under Bitcoin, crypto-currency, IT and Politics, Politics.

 The amount of money invested worldwide in cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, reached $2 trillion in April, more than the total value of Canadian mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.

Getting sick of those cryptocurrency ads that have all the grace and subtlety of carnival barkers or neon signs on the Vegas strip? So are securities regulators.

The Canadian Securities Administrators and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) announced new advertising, marketing and social media guidelines for cryptocurrency exchanges Thursday.

Ontario Securities Commission chair Grant Vingoe said the goal of the guidelines is simple: Keeping investors safe in a rapidly-growing sector where there’s something of a wild-west atmosphere.

“The biggest focus is investor protection,” said Vingoe.

Those “quickest one to 500 trades gets a bonus” ads or “click here and invest before the price goes up” tweets? Big no-nos. Ditto for the ones saying an exchange is the safest one around, without any proof. And above all, any advertising will have to mention the volatility and risk inherent in the entire cryptocurrency sector.

Source: Toronto Daily News

Date: September 24th, 2021

Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/2021/09/23/canadian-investment-watchdog-hopes-advertising-guidelines-will-rein-in-cryptocurrencys-wild-west-bad-actors.html

Discussion

  1. What are some of the fundamentals underlying the price of bitcoin and many other crypto-currencies (answer: nothing!)
  2. Why is important for regulators to protect investors in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin?