Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Future of Work.

OVER the past few years, artificial intelligence has matured into a collection of powerful technologies that are delivering competitive advantage to businesses across industries. Global AI adoption and investment are soaring. By one account, 37 percent of organizations have deployed AI solutions—up 270 percent from four years ago.1 Analysts forecast global AI spending will more than double over the next three years, topping US$79 billion by 2022

Source: Deloitte

Date: January 14th, 2021

Link: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/focus/cognitive-technologies/ai-adoption-in-the-workforce.html

Discussion

  1. ” leaders see AI rapidly transforming their businesses and industries. Fifty-seven percent predict that AI will “substantially transform” their company within the next three years; two-thirds believe that their industry’s transformation will happen within five years. ” How is AI going to impact your major, be it MIS, finance, accounting, marketing…?
  2. ” the effect AI will ultimately have on jobs is uncertain: Are we staring at a dim future in which AI-driven automation has made most jobs obsolete, or is AI ushering in a new age characterized by humans working in collaboration with the technologies—augmented by AI capabilities rather than displaced by them? ” This is worth a class discussion to see what students think and why.

Posted by & filed under COVID-19, Digital Transformation.

“If AI (Artificial Intelligence is the engine, data is the fuel”. This video from technology consulting firm Cognizant does a very nice job of overviewing the digital transformation that companies need to get on board with.

Source: Cognizant

Date: January 14th, 2021

Link to 5 minute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaV15TrfC_o&feature=youtu.be

Discussion

  1. The move to digital, digital transformation, is impacting every business, and every major on campus, let alone every major in the business school. It would be worth having a discussion about how students think digital transformation is going to change marketing, finance, accounting, and any other majors you have in your school
  2. This video highlights that “the great Covid-19 reset” has brought forward the digital transformation. Why is this?

Posted by & filed under Career, Systems Development.

Ellen and Rafael Robles tried to have everything in order for Monday morning when their son, Bento, started school virtually after the holiday break rather than in person: a good desk, chair, headphones and an iPad.

Still, the morning got off to a rocky start for the family in Woodbridge, a suburb of Vaughan, Ont., north of Toronto.

“The camera was not working. We couldn’t see the teacher. We couldn’t see anything,” recounted Ellen Robles, describing it as “a little bit of a nightmare.”

After immediately checking through a parents’ group chat that fellow classmates weren’t experiencing the same issues, she rushed to swap desks with him.

“He’s working at her [home] office with her computer, and she’s working from his desk with his iPad,” said Rafael Robles.

He said the family is now looking at getting another computer for Bento so he can do his online classes.

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: January 6th, 2021

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/school-new-year-virtual-restart-1.5860964

Discussion

  1. How might you set up a service that would help parents prevent some of the issues arising in this article?
  2. What is it about the design of technology that means that, in 2021, we are still have some of these very basic issues?

Posted by & filed under Self-driving vehicles.

Nuro R2 vehicle

California has given the go-ahead for a commercial driverless delivery service for the first time.

Robotics start-up Nuro plans to start its driverless delivery operations as early as next year.

It previously tested its R2 vehicles in the state in April, but the permit will let it charge people for its service.

The firm’s vehicles will be limited to 35mph (56km/h), and will be restricted to operating in “fair weather” conditions.

“Issuing the first deployment permit is a significant milestone in the evolution of autonomous vehicles in California,” said California Department of Motor Vehicles director Steve Gordon.

“We will continue to keep the safety of the motoring public in mind as this technology develops.”

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: January 6th, 2021

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-55438969

Discussion

  1. This is incredibly significant, as the ability to charge people for a self-driving vehicle service is a world’s first. What sort of services could you build around this technology?
  2. What are some of the issues with self-driving technology that you would need to be careful about as you set up your new service?

Posted by & filed under Self-driving vehicles.

Source: YouTube

Date: January 5th, 2021

Link to 15 minute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKUOkiKHD8U

Discussion

  1. The first prediction is that self-driving cars will put Uber out of business, because there will be a platform (possible built by Tesla) that will allow you to let your Tesla go and make money for you by being a self-driving taxi. What are your thoughts on this?
  2. What are some changes that could happen in your city or town if car ownership essentially went away as you can just hail a self-driving car when you need one?

Posted by & filed under Environment, Green Technologies.

Canada Post is expecting a significant increase in holiday packages this year due to COVID-19. But that doesn’t have to mean a higher carbon footprint, according to logistics experts. 

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: December 14th, 2020

Link (includes 6 minute podcast as well as the article): https://www.cbc.ca/radio/costofliving/you-ve-got-mail-looking-at-delivery-from-shippers-to-drivers-to-receivers-1.5836658/how-to-make-your-online-shopping-less-of-an-environmental-or-carbon-footprint-mess-1.5836703

Discussion

  1. Why is important for digital companies to think about their carbon footprint?
  2. In what ways might digital companies “green wash”, which is where they say they are doing things that are environmentally friendly, but really they are not.

Posted by & filed under Cyber Security.

Learn how to recognize the precursors of the latest ransomware threat and protect your organization. The FBI recently released a Joint Cybersecurity Advisory warning of imminent ransomware attacks on healthcare and the public health sector. In this fast-paced, technical talk, we will show you real examples of the Ryuk ransomware, including indicators to watch for on your network. We will step through the warning, show you samples of a Trickbot infection which is one of the precursors to Ryuk, discuss the techniques of the cybercriminal gang behind the operation. Finally, learn tactics for detecting this stealthy threat, and effective ways to respond once you discover it.

Specific topics include:
* Identify early warning signs of the impending ransomware attack
* Understand how to properly contain the sophisticated malware off your network
* Learn tactics for preventing or mitigating ransomware attacks

* Identify early warning signs of the impending ransomware attack
* Understand how to properly contain the sophisticated malware off your network
* Learn tactics for preventing or mitigating ransomware attacks

Source: LMG Security

Date: December 15th, 2020

Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOsHIN8LMfg

Discussion

  1. LMG Security is a cyber security firm based in Missoula, Montana, with a global client base. What are you doing to understand basic issues of cyber security?
  2. How could you use videos like these to perform basic, paid work for clients?

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Automation, Business Analytics, Data Analytics, Electronic Surveillance, Ethical issues.

Workers with masks

Amazon plans to sell companies a way to detect when staff are not wearing face masks or socially distancing.

Beyond the pandemic, the system could also be used to track compliance of other workplace rules or to monitor the public – for example, to check the number of customers queuing in a store.

It involves retrofitting a box to existing security cameras that can then draw on off-the-shelf AI apps.

But privacy campaigners have raised concerns.

Remote working has already led to an increase in the use of software that checks up on employees, but Amazon’s new solution is focused on tracking people and products in factories, shops and other traditional workplaces.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: December 14th, 2020

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-55158319

Discussion

  1. Amazon says that this technology can be put to tasks such as ” in a retail shop, it could count the number of customers, track their movements and check the length of queues/lines”. How else might this technology be used?
  2. If you installed this technology at a business you are running, would you need to tell your employees that you have installed it?

Posted by & filed under Systems Development.

The largestbattery poweredelectric bus fleet in North America is Canadian. Toronto’s transit system is now running 59 electric buses from three suppliers. And Canadian pioneers like Toronto offer lessons for other transit systems aiming to transition to greener fleets for the low-carbon economy of the future.

Diesel buses are some of the noisier, more polluting vehicles on the urban roads. Going electric could have big benefits.

Emissions reductions are the main reason the federal government aims to add 5,000 electric buses to Canada’s transit and school fleets by the end of 2024. New funding announced this week as part of the government’s fall fiscal update could also give programs to electrify transit systems a boost.

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: December 7th, 2020

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/electric-buses-transit-1.5823166

Discussion

  1. Electric vehicles are a technology-driven service. What sorts of services could you package around this?
  2. ” Having never bought electric buses before, the city had no specifications for what it needed in an electric bus, so it decided to try all three suppliers: Winnipeg-based New Flyer; BYD, which is headquartered in Shenzhen, China; and California-based Proterra. ” Many, if not most companies that buy new software or switch to cloud software provider have never bought this before. Why don’t these companies do what Toronto did with electric buses and try out all three suppliers?

Posted by & filed under E-Business, E-Commerce.

Gymshark

Even in the slightly unhinged world of internet influencers, Devon Lévesque is one of the most intense—hands down. Recently the 28-year-old fitness pro bear-crawled 26.2 miles around New York City to raise awareness of veterans’ mental health. To the delight of his nearly 500,000 Instagram fans, on October 30 Lévesque, who can hit 12 miles per hour on all fours, crawled across the Brooklyn Bridge, then shot through the East Village and up to Harlem before finishing strong at Central Park’s Overlook Rock. And he did it all decked out in gear from British fitness startup Gymshark. Never heard of it? Spend more time on TikTok.

In the crowded and well-capitalized sportswear market, Gymshark has become a $1.4 billion–plus (valuation) brand by paying 80 ripped fitness influencers like Lévesque anywhere from $6,000 to more than $100,000 per year by Forbes estimate to live—and sell—the Gymshark lifestyle on social media. Founder Ben Francis, 28, has one rule for his athletes: Do you, but do it in Gymshark. “Young people only want to buy community-led brands that align with their values,” Francis says. “We are a community that also happens to sell things.”

Source: Forbes

Date: December 7th, 2020

Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexandrasternlicht/2020/12/02/how-ben-francis-used-tiktok-and-instagram-to-build-gymshark-into-a-billion-dollar-sportswear-brand/?sh=5861c3c2358e

Discussion

  1. Gymshark uses technology to build an audience for is products. How could you do the same for your idea?
  2. At its core, Gymshark started by designing and making things for themselves, and then moved into online retail to sell those things. Why is this so important in an online business?