Posted by & filed under Consumer Technology.

A home for sale is displayed in a new housing development in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

While the advent of e-commerce and mobile technology long ago changed the way Canadians shop for everything from clothing to vacations to food, the real estate industry has been slower to embrace digital innovation. For most people, buying a house remains a cumbersome, time-consuming process that involves multiple in-person visits with agents, lawyers and bankers.

But that’s beginning to change, with a growing number of homebuilders, real estate brokerages and financial institutions offering digital solutions aimed at modernizing the buying and selling process.

Source: Toronto Daily Star

Date: October 29th, 2021

Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/2021/10/21/proptech-is-making-it-easier-to-buy-or-sell-a-house-online.html

Discussion

  1. Why do you think the property sector has been late to the game in introducing technology to support what they do?
  2. Is there anything in the home buying or home building process that could not or should not be put online?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence.

Search and Rescue teams look for possible survivors in the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on June 29, 2021 in Surfside, Florida.

Insurance is not a subject to set the pulses racing. But Anthony Peake is passionate about it.

He is driven by anger at the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 72 people in June 2017 in London.

The insurance industry collects a lot of data about individual buildings and Mr Peake argues that if this were better organised and analysed then tragedies like Grenfell might be avoided.

“The data was there that could have prevented it but it was not being managed correctly. I felt I could either scream about it, or I could do something to prevent it happening again,” he says.

Mr Peake also thinks the Beirut port explosion in 2020 and the 2021 condominium collapse in Miami, Florida could also have been averted, with better technology.

His company, Intelligent AI, was founded in Exeter in 2020. Its big idea is to create a mirror image of a building incorporating multiple data sources, known as a digital twin. This can be assembled and analysed by artificial intelligence (AI).

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: October 27th, 2021

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-58676113

Discussion

  1. If this technology can save lives and save money, why is it taking so long to become mainstream?
  2. In what other ways might a digital mirror image of a building be useful?

Posted by & filed under 3D Printing, Robotics.

This robotic housebuilder is not a 3d-printing approach to building houses. It is much closer to the automotive approach to building cars.

Source: In The Know

Date: October 27th, 2021

Link: https://fb.watch/8E9nKPKTkQ/

Discussion

  1. When does it makes sense to use a robotic housebuilder over 3D-printing a house?
  2. What other applications could be used for this robot?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence.

Karthik Ramakrishnan poses in this undated handout photo. Ramakrishnan co-founded Armilla AI, a Toronto-based business that launched Thursday with a new quality assurance platform that analyzes systems to detect faulty AI and predict its consequences, before systems turn dire or even deadly.

Rarely a week goes by without Toronto tech worker Karthik Ramakrishnan seeing another example of artificial intelligence gone wrong.

Systems programmed with the technology have led to a French medical chatbot suggesting someone commit suicide, another created by Microsoft tweeting a 9/11 conspiracy theory and an Amazon.com Inc. recruiting tool downgrading resumes with references to women.

But Ramakrishnan is convinced this pattern can be eased and many of the problemsstemming from AI — machine-based technologies that learn from data — can be prevented.

That’s why he, Dan Adamson and Rahm Hafiz co-founded Armilla AI, which launched Thursday with $1.5 million in financial backing from investors including AI godfather Yoshua Bengio and Two Small Fish Ventures, a fund run by Wattpad’s Alan and Eva Lau.

Source: Toronto Daily Star

Date: October 22nd, 2021

Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/2021/10/21/new-toronto-company-can-alert-firms-to-unintended-consequences-in-their-ai.html

Discussion

  1. What is it about AI that means it can get to a place where ” the technology ha[s] led to a French medical chatbot suggesting someone commit suicide “?
  2. ” a situation where an AI system for detecting cancerous skin lesions was less likely to pick up cancers in dark-skinned people because it had been developed from a database comprised of mostly light-skinned populations. ” How can this be fixed?

Posted by & filed under Self-driving vehicles.

A completely different approach to self-driving cars, one in which they are part of a larger system.

Source: Your Future Car

Date: October 20th, 2021

Link: https://fb.watch/8E3SrNGSyt/

Discussion

  1. Most of the point of having a car is the freedom to do things the way you want to at the time you want to. This model seems to largely be the opposite of that. For what circumstances might this model work?
  2. Does this make more sense for trucking than for passenger cars?

Posted by & filed under Health-tech, Healthcare.

Emma Baumert

Emma Baumert admits that when she first put on the high-tech headband she felt silly. “But I also felt so cool wearing it, because I’m such a nerd.”

The 24-year-old from Illinois is a member of the USA Bobsled/Skeleton development team.

An all-round athlete, she is also a qualified weightlifting coach, and this year gained a masters degree in exercise physiology.

The headband she now uses is a neurofeedback or EEG (electroencephalogram) device. Growing in popularity among sports people, they measure the wearer’s brainwaves.

As a stressed brain gives off more waves or signals, due to increased electrical activity, the idea is, that, together with meditation, the headbands can help the user train him or herself to be calmer. And then in turn boost their performance.

But are such devices, which are otherwise used by doctors to test for conditions such as epilepsy and strokes, really beneficial in helping people to reduce their stress?

Source: BBC Health

Date: October 20th, 2021

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-58813873

Discussion

  1. This is part of a growing “health-tech” revolution. Does it make sense for athletes to use tech designed to treat epilepsy and strokes?
  2. What are some issues with “health-tech” like this going mainstream?

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”?