August 24, 2016
While science fiction portrays artificial intelligence in novel and far-reaching ways, certain products utilizing artificial intelligence are already in existence. WinBeta released a story, Microsoft exec at London conference: AI will “change everything”, which reminds us of this. Digital assistants like Cortana and Siri are one example of how mundane AI can appear. However, during a recent AI conference, Microsoft UK’s chief envisioning officer Dave Choplin projected much more impactful applications. This article summarizes the landscape of concerns,
Of course, many also are suspect about the promise of artificial intelligence and worry about its impact on everyday life or even its misuse by malevolent actors. Stephen Hawking has worried AI could be an existential threat and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has gone on to create an open source AI after worrying about its misuse. In his statements, Choplin also stressed that as more and more companies try to create AI, ‘We’ve got to start to make some decisions about whether the right people are making these algorithms.
There is much to consider in regards to artificial intelligence. However, such a statement about “the right people” cannot stop there. Choplin goes on to refer to the biases of people creating algorithms and the companies they work for. Because organizational structures must also be considered, so too must their motivator: the economy. Perhaps machine learning to understand the best way to approach AI would be a good first application.
August 23, 2016
The U.S. intelligence community will no longer receive information from Dataminr, which serves as a Twitter “fire hose” (Twitter owns five percent of Dataminr). An article, Twitter Turns Off Fire Hose For Intelligence Community from ThreatPost offers the story. A Twitter spokesperson stated they have had a longstanding policy against selling data for surveillance. However, the Journal reported their arrangement was terminated after a CIA test program concluded. The article continues,
Dataminr is the only company allowed to sell data culled from the Twitter fire hose. It mines Tweets and correlates that data with location data and other sources, and fires off alerts to subscribers of breaking news. Reportedly, Dataminr subscribers knew about the recent terror attacks in Brussels and Paris before mainstream media had reported the news. The Journal said its inside the intelligence community said the government isn’t pleased with the decision and hopes to convince Twitter to reconsider.
User data shared on social media has such a myriad of potential applications for business, law enforcement, education, journalism and countless other sectors. This story highlights how applications for journalism may be better received than applications for government intelligence. This is something worth noticing.
Megan Feil, August 23, 2016
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph
There is a Louisville, Kentucky Hidden /Dark Web meet up on August 23, 2016.
Information is at this link: https://www.meetup.com/Louisville-Hidden-Dark-Web-Meetup/events/233019199/
August 2, 2016
The article on TheNextWeb titled Teenagers Have Built a Summary App that Could Help Students Ace Exams might be difficult to read over the sound of a million teachers weeping into their syllabi. It’s no shock that students hate to read, and there is even some cause for alarm over the sheer amount of reading that some graduate students are expected to complete. But for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and even undergrads in college, there is a growing concern about the average reading comprehension level. This new app can only make matters worse by removing a student’s incentive to absorb the material and decide for themselves what is important. The article describes the app,
“Available for iOS, Summize is an intelligent summary generator that will automatically recap the contents of any textbook page (or news article) you take a photo of with your smartphone. The app also supports concept, keyword and bias analysis, which breaks down the summaries to make them more accessible. With this feature, users can easily isolate concepts and keywords from the rest of the text to focus precisely on the material that matters the most to them.”
There is nothing wrong with any of this if it is really about time management instead of supporting illiteracy and lazy study habits. This app is the result of the efforts of an 18-year-old Rami Ghanem using optical character recognition software. A product of the era of No Child Left Behind, not coincidentally, exposed to years of teaching to the test and forgetting the lesson, of rote memorization in favor of analysis and understanding. Yes, with Summize, little Jimmy might ace the test. But shouldn’t an education be more than talking point mcnuggets?
Chelsea Kerwin, August 2, 2016
June 6, 2016
New technologies for use in security are increasingly receiving attention. An article, Lip-reading technology ‘could capture what people on CCTV say’ claim researchers from Mirror discusses one example. The University of East Anglia in Norwich developed what is called a visual speech recognition technology. The purpose is to identify what people are saying in situations where audio is not good enough to hear. One application mentioned is for videos recorded from security cameras. The post describes more,
“Helen Bear, from the university’s school of computing science, said the technology could be applied to a wide range of situations from criminal investigations to entertainment. She added: “Lip-reading has been used to pinpoint words footballers have shouted in heated moments on the pitch, but is likely to be of most practical use in situations where there are high levels of noise, such as in cars or aircraft cockpits. “Crucially, whilst there are still improvements to be made, such a system could be adapted for use for a range of purposes – for example, for people with hearing or speech impairments.” Some sounds like “P” and “B” look similar on the lips and have traditionally been hard to decipher, the researchers said.”
Whether in real life or online, security and cybersecurity efforts and technologies are making headlines, keeping pace with security threats and breaches. It is interesting that applications for emerging technologies like this have such a range, but this particular technology seems to be rooted in brick-and-mortar security. We think there is a need for more focus on security as it relates to the Dark Web.
Megan Feil, June 6, 2016
May 2, 2016
The article on The Verge titled The Most Dangerous Writing App Lets You Delete All of Your Work For Free speculates on the difficulties and hubris of charging money for technology that someone can clone and offer for free. Manuel Ebert’s The Most Dangerous Writing App offers a self-detonating notebook that you trigger if you stop typing. The article explains,
“Ebert’s service appears to be a repackaging of Flowstate, a $15 Mac app released back in January that functions in a nearly identical way. He even calls it The Most Dangerous Writing App, which is a direct reference to the words displayed on Flowstate creator Overman’s website. The difference: Ebert’s app is free, which could help it take off among the admittedly niche community of writers looking for self-deleting online notebooks.”
One such community that comes to mind is that of the creative writers. Many writers, and poets in particular, rely on exercises akin to the philosophy of The Most Dangerous Writing App: don’t let your pen leave the page, even if you are just writing nonsense. Adding higher stakes to the process might be an interesting twist, especially for those writers who believe that just as the nonsense begins, truth and significance are unlocked.
Chelsea Kerwin, May 2, 2016
March 25, 2016
Within the past few years, gamers have had the privilege to easily play brand new games as well as the old classics. Nearly all of the games ever programmed are available through various channels from Steam, simulator, to system emulator. While it is easy to locate a game if you know the name, main character, or even the gaming system, but with the thousands of games available maybe you want to save time and not have use a search engine. Good news, everyone!
Sofotex, a free software download Web site, has a unique piece of freeware that you will probably want to download if you are a gamer. Igrulka is a search engine app programmed to search only games. Here is the official description:
Igrulka is a unique software that helps you to search, find and play millions of games in the network.
“Once you download the installer, all you have to do is go to the download location on your computer and install the app.
Igrulka allows you to search for the games that you love either according to the categories they are in or by name. For example, you get games in the shooter, arcade, action, puzzle or racing games categories among many others.
If you would like to see more details about the available games, their names as well as their descriptions, all you have to do is hover over them using your mouse as shown below. Choose the game you want to play and click on it.”
According to the description, it looks like Igrulka searches through free games and perhaps the classics from systems. In order to find out what Irgulka can do, download and play search results roulette.
March 8, 2016
Are we approaching peak app? Not likely if one works at Apple and IBM. I read “SleepHealth Debuts as First ResearchKit App & Study to Support IBM Watson Health Cloud.”
According to the write up, Apple and IBM along with Johnson & Johnson (a fine outfit) and Medtronic (sounds very technical, doesn’t it?) are now on Watson’s band wagon.
The write up states:
Official titled the SleepHealth Mobile Study, IBM’s latest initiative seeks to leverage the advanced sensor suite provided by Apple’s iPhone and Apple Watch, in conjunction with the open source ResearchKit framework, to determine how sleep quality impacts daytime activities, alertness, productivity, general health and medical conditions. The study is being rolled out in partnership with the American Sleep Apnea Association.
It is working. I got tired reading about Watson and the connection between slep and health. Heck, who needs an app. El Chapo wants to be extradited to the US because Mexican jailers won’t let him sleep. No Watson needed if El Chapo is representative of a tired person and clear thinking.
Time for a nap. When I wake up, will Watson have revenues? Will IBM complete its downsizing?
Stephen E Arnold, March 8, 2016
March 3, 2016
Gentle reader, you may have seen out write ups about IBM Watson and its work to cure cancer and develop innovative recipes for barbeque sauce with tamarind.
I read “Smart Care: How Google DeeepMind Is Working with NHS Hospitals.” The write up points out:
A smartphone app piloted by the NHS could improve communication between hospital staff and help patients get vital care faster.
Yikes, Watson, a phone. Come here I need you will echo in the corridors of these paragons of efficiency throughout Britain.
Their research, published in the journal Surgery, showed that half of hospital patients do not get the care they need fast enough, usually because of poor communication, particularly when one team of doctors or nurses hands over to another. In early pilots at St Mary’s Hospital, part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, where Darzi [former health minister in the Blair government and director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London] is a consultant surgeon, they found medical staff responded 37% faster when alerted by the Hark app than when they used pagers.
Will an app work cooperatively with IBM Watson? Will DeepMind, the app, keep IBM Watson in the lounge area?
Painful questions for an app to answer or notify in this case of technological innovation.
Stephen E Arnold, March 3, 2016
February 3, 2016
Another enterprise software distributor has taken the leap into a proprietary encrypted search engine. Computer Technology Review informs us that “VirtualWorks Releases Its Encrypted Enterprise Search Platform ViaWorks Built On Hitachi Technology.” VirtualWorks’s enterprise search platform is called ViaWorks and the company’s decision to release an encrypted search engine comes after there has been a rise in data security breaches as well as concern about how to prevent such attacks. We will not even mention how organizations want to move to the cloud, but are fearful of hacking. More organizations from shopping in person on the Internet, banking, healthcare, government, and even visiting a library use self-service portals that rely on personal information to complete tasks. All of these portals can be hacked, so trade organizations and the government are instituting new security measures.
Everyone knows, however, that basic rules and a firewall are not enough to protect sensitive information. That is why companies like VirtualWorks stay one step ahead of the game with a product like ViaWork built on Hitachi’s Searchable Encryption technology. ViaWorks is a highly encrypted platform that does not sacrifice speed and accuracy for security
“ViaWorks encrypted enterprise search features are based on AES, a worldwide encryption standard established by NIST; special randomization process, making the encrypted data resistant to advanced statistical attacks; with key management and encryption APIs that store encryption keys securely and encrypt the original data. ViaWorks provides key management and encryption APIs that store encryption keys securely and encrypt the original data, respectively. Users determine which field is encrypted, such as index files, search keyword or transaction logs.”
VirtualWorks already deployed ViaWorks in beta tests within healthcare, government, insurance, and finance. Moving information to the cloud saves money, but it presents a security risk and slow search. A commercial encrypted search engine paired with cloud computing limits the cyber risk.
January 28, 2016
There are many apps available that can aggregate news stories that cater to your interests: Feedly, Google News, Pulp, and other RSS feeders. While these apps have their strengths and weaknesses, one question you need to ask is: do they use semantic search? If you want a news app designed specifically to bring you news stories using semantic search there is “Algo: Semantic Search Engine For Customizable News” and it can be purchased on iTunes.
SkyGrid developed Algo and Apple named it a “Best News App”. It has earned a 4.5 star rating. Algo was designed to keep users up-to-date on news, follow topics of interest, and your favorite publications to create your own personalized newspaper.
Algo is described as:
“The only true real-time news aggregator. Simple, fast, and reliable, Algo is the only place to follow all of your favorite topics and interests. Search for anything you want! From people to TV shows to companies to finance, follow your interests on Algo. Set notifications for each topic and be notified as information updates in real-time.”
Other Algo features are ability to share articles on any service, save favorite articles, notification settings, and up-to-date news in real time. Algo’s reliance on semantic search is one of the reasons why it has gained such favor with Apple and iTunes users.