Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Health-tech, Healthcare, Privacy.

Getting more for less is the consumer Holy Grail, but it’s rarely fulfilled.

Yet by integrating artificial intelligence (AI) solutions into our health system, this is exactly what Canadians could get: better care at lower costs, freeing up resources to deliver faster and more integrated care.

However, to fully realize health AI’s potential, researchers need better access to data collected by our publicly funded health system — something that current policies make challenging.

The pandemic highlighted the dangers of a strained health system and the domino effect on services and staff. Across Canada, health spending is the single largest budget item. Every dollar not used as efficiently or effectively as possible is money taken from other programs. To address current system pressures, we need sustainable solutions that don’t pit the needs of one service against another.

Investing in health AI innovation is not a silver bullet. But it could go a long way toward alleviating volume pressures and wait times facing the Canadian health system.

Source: Toronto Daily Star

Date: November 23rd, 2022

Link: https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2022/11/26/ai-can-improve-ontarios-health-care-system-at-lower-costs.html

Discussion

  1. “to fully realize health AI’s potential, researchers need better access to data collected by our publicly funded health system.” Why is it difficult for research to get data from the Canadian publicly funded health system?
  2. What are some ways that you can sensibly anonymize data?
  3. Just removing someone’s name doesn’t make data anonymous. How can you figure out who someone is without knowing their name?

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Apple, Career.

Tech companies saw exceptional growth in both revenue and employee headcounts through the pandemic. But now, they’re cutting thousands of jobs. WSJ explains the macro — and micro — reasons for the industry’s massive layoffs.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Date: November 23rd, 2022

Link to 4 minute 45 second video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYVMuWGCtK4

Discussion

  1. This is an important discussion for the Intro to MIS class, as layoffs in the tech industry have a direct impact on MIS majors.
  2. The video talks about Apple’s decision to ask users if they want to be tracked had a major impact on social media companies. Why is this?

Posted by & filed under The Internet.

The internet is the most technically complex system humanity has ever built. Jim Kurose, Professor at UMass Amherst, has been challenged to explain the internet to 5 different people; a child, a teen, a college student, a grad student, and an expert.

Source: YouTube

Date: November 23rd, 2022

Link to 24 minute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EqKnvzo3no

Discussion

  1. This is an excellent video for the infrastructure part of the Intro to MIS class. It is okay to stop the video at or after the “grad student” description
  2. Why is it correct to say that the “internet is the most technically complex system humanity has ever built”?

Posted by & filed under Career.

TORONTO – When Mary Hailu learned she was being laid off from her executive assistant job at Toronto auto sales startup Clutch in June, all she could think about was her eight-year-old daughter.
“I’m a single mom. I’m the only income in my family, in my household,” said Hailu, who quit a stable engineering job to join the tech sector in 2021.
“I was feeling very anxious, very worried about the future. I think I probably cried for two weeks and I still cry now, when I think about it.”


Hailu’s experience places her in a growing group of tech workers that have experienced a layoff this year as investor exuberance around the sector fades and companies re-examine payroll costs in preparation for a potential recession.
Despite the apparent downturn, tech workers like Hailu aren’t fleeing the industry. A month after her layoff, Hailu was settling into a new role at a software startup.
“People in the tech industry are committed to the craft and they really are quite eager and quite motivated by what the industry has to offer,” said Abdullah Snobar, executive director of the DMZ tech hub in Toronto.
“Although many are getting laid off, they’re able to find new jobs quite quickly.”

Source: Toronto Daily Star

Date: November 18th, 2022

Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/2022/11/17/mass-layoffs-dont-deter-tech-workers-as-they-stick-with-sector-look-to-startups.html

Discussion

  1. What is it about technology careers that means that there can be massive layoffs at Amazon, Twitter and such, but “Although many are getting laid off, they’re able to find new jobs quite quickly.”?
  2. What sorts of careers in technology are available to MIS majors?

Posted by & filed under Cyber Security.

How do hackers break into your technology environment? According to our penetration testing services team, it often comes down to one missing patch. How do you avoid this fate? Let’s step through a recent penetration test that illustrates the latest hacker techniques. We’ll share how the pentest team finds the security gaps and some critical steps that stop attackers in their tracks.

The target: a professional services firm. The IT team had recently updated their systems and said it was unlikely that the penetration testing services team would find anything, but they wanted to do their due diligence (turns out, that was a very wise move!)

The client provided a list of IP addresses which anyone on the Internet could scan—and nothing else. From there, it was game on.

Source: LMG Security

Date: November 18th, 2022

Link: https://www.lmgsecurity.com/penetration-testing-services-team-says-it-often-comes-down-to-one-missing-patch/

Discussion

  1. What is “a patch” when it comes to software and operating systems?
  2. Why is so hard for companies to keep up with “patches”?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Career.

While nearly half of the executives surveyed by KPMG LLP (KPMG) at the start
of 2021 say that they are concerned that their overall industry may be moving
too fast with AI adoption, nearly all wish their own organization would move even
faster. Executives also harbor a nagging feeling that everyone else is doing better
than they are. Nearly eight in 10 say AI is functional in their organization, and a
majority using it say it is delivering value beyond what was promised. Yet threequarters believe the use of AI to help businesses is still more hype than reality,
and nearly two-thirds believe the U.S. is trailing other countries in taking advantage
of the technology.
Impossible contradictions? We see a coherent narrative behind these
findings. Faced with a stark reminder of what is possible with AI—COVID-19
vaccines developed in record time, for example—it is natural for many executives
to worry that their own organization may not be keeping pace. And trite as it
may seem, it is worth remembering that the grass usually looks greener on the
other side.

Source: KPMG

Date: November 15th, 2022

Discussion

1) Why are these percentages like this?

2. “

Executives widely believe in AI’s ability to deliver value. Ninety-two percent agree
AI would make their organization run more efficiently, and individual industries report
confidence in AI’s potential to solve some of their biggest challenges. Indeed, at
organizations where AI has been adopted, the majority of executives say it is adding
even more value than was promised. The retail industry is a leader on this front, with
69 percent of retail executives saying their organization’s AI initiatives are yielding more
value. But even among the industries that are not as far ahead in this area—life sciences
and government—at least half report similarly favorable results (50 percent and 54
percent, respectively).”
In what ways can MIS majors be involved in AI initiatives?

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Sensors.

Saskatchewan has become a hub for emerging ag tech, according to several industry experts. Plus, farmers in that province have a track record of adopting new technology and supporting local startups, says Sean O’Connor, managing director of Emmertech, a $60-million Conexus venture capital fund focused on Saskatchewan ag tech startups. 

“Farmers are the most innovative business owners in Canada as far as we’re concerned, and they’re looking for new solutions,” he says. 

“You can’t build ag tech companies on Bay Street. They belong in agriculture ecosystems, where you’re directly interacting with industry itself.”

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: November 11th, 2022

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/saskatchewan-agriculture-technology-fertilizer-emissions-1.6638165

Discussion

  1. “He has installed half a dozen weather stations across his property – third-generation land he farms with his family near Filmore, Sask., in the southeast part of the province – to make his operations more efficient. The stations track a variety of factors that affect crops, such as air and soil temperature, moisture levels and wind. The app, developed by a Saskatchewan agriculture technology company, helps him interpret the data.”
    The key here is not the “half a dozen weather stations”, it’s the “app, developed by a Saskatchewan agriculture technology company, [that] helps him interpret the data.”
    Data analytics is critical, but requires the correct data input.
    How can MIS be involved?
  2. What other ways could sensors be used in combination with an app to help?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning.

As banks increasingly deploy artificial intelligence tools to make credit decisions, they are having to revisit an unwelcome fact about the practice of lending: Historically, it has been riddled with biases against protected characteristics, such as race, gender, and sexual orientation. Such biases are evident in institutions’ choices in terms of who gets credit and on what terms. In this context, relying on algorithms to make credit decisions instead of deferring to human judgment seems like an obvious fix. What machines lack in warmth, they surely make up for in objectivity, right?
Sadly, what’s true in theory has not been borne out in practice. Lenders often find that artificial-intelligence-based engines exhibit many of the same biases as humans. They’ve often been fed on a diet of biased credit decision data, drawn from decades of inequities in housing and lending markets. Left unchecked, they threaten to perpetuate prejudice in financial decisions and extend the world’s wealth gaps.

Source: Forbes

Date: November 9th, 2022

Link: https://hbr.org/2020/11/ai-can-make-bank-loans-more-fair

Discussion

  1. “In our work with financial services companies, we find the key lies in building AI-driven systems designed to encourage less historic accuracy but greater equity. That means training and testing them not merely on the loans or mortgages issued in the past, but instead on how the money should have been lent in a more equitable world.”
    It is worth making sure that students know how AIs are trained. Typically it is “machine learning” which means you feed in information to the AI, let it do its work to find the answer, and then tell it whether or not it got the answer correct. Over time it learns how to get the correct answer from the data it is given.
  2. “by using AI, one lender discovered that, historically, women would need to earn 30% more than men on average for equivalent-sized loans to be approved. It used AI to retroactively balance the data that went into developing and testing its AI-driven credit decision model by shifting the female distribution, moving the proportion of loans previously made to women to be closer to the same amount as for men with an equivalent risk profile, while retaining the relative ranking. As a result of the fairer representation of how loan decisions should have been made, the algorithm developed was able to approve loans more in line with how the bank wished to extend credit more equitably in the future.”
    Use this example to explain how to correct for AI machine-learning inaccuracies

Posted by & filed under Cloud Computing, Low-code, SaaS Software as a Service.

Despite widespread automation in other industries, contact centers are still lagging. Humans largely handle everything from resolutions to logging call summaries. I recently asked a 30-year contact center executive how she compared her agents’ work today to the work at the same company 20 years ago. She said she used to handle six calls an hour, and her agents today handle exactly the same number of calls.
Call volumes have increased with unpredictable spikes. Contact center leaders have lost their ability to plan workforce assignments effectively, and call patterns continue to change with pandemic waves and hybrid work—leaving leaders with no baseline for planning.

Source: Forbes

Date: November 9th, 2022

Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2022/07/20/the-brave-new-world-of-contact-center-automation/?sh=662ce33b68b6

Discussion

  1. “Many of today’s solutions are pretrained on customer service data, require little development effort and natively integrate with existing contact center software. This eliminates the need for contact centers to hire their own machine learning experts or accrue thousands of hours of training data themselves to deploy an effective automation solution.”
    This is Software as a Service (Saas), cloud computing and low-code programming all in one.
    Make sure students understand these three concepts, and how they are all coming together.
  2. What role can MIS majors play in the delivery of Software as a Service (Saas), cloud computing and low-code programming?

Posted by & filed under Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Robotics.

Lovely, intelligent and well-dressed.
That’s how 82-year-old Frances Greenberg describes Grace, the newest member at her long-term care home in Montreal’s Notre-Dame-De-Grâce neighbourhood.
Grace is a rosy-cheeked, young-looking woman with a layered bob haircut. Oh, and she’s also a robot. 
Designed by the GeriPARTy Laboratory team, Grace will be visiting Résidence Pearl & Theo twice a week for the next eight weeks as part of a study led by Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital.
Her goal during each 30-minute session will be to keep seniors living in nursing homes company and help break social isolation.
“It’s lovely to have something like this here,” said Greenberg, who is among three seniors taking part in the study. 

Source: Toronto Daily Star

Date: November 4th, 2022

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/grace-humanoid-robot-montreal-seniors-study-1.6623292

Discussion

Discussion

  1. https://www.cbc.ca/i/caffeine/syndicate/?mediaId=2087939651989
    1 minute video
    The interaction looks very clunky. In what other circumstances might this sort of humanoid technology work?
  2. Robots in the workplace will look nothing like this. Robots in the workplace will be Robotic Process Automation, which is basically the same as Excel macros. They will complete a set of repetitive tasks such as doing all the accounting for an invoice that has been received by pdf. This is an important point to make with students.