Posted by & filed under blockchain.

Imagine if while you were shopping for produce, you could scan an apple and see its entire history, from the moment it was picked from a tree, all the way to your local grocery store — right on your smartphone.

That’s just one of the ways that companies are planning to use blockchain technology within the food industry. The same networked record system that powers cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is now being used to document the origins of what we eat, and even, potentially, help trace the origins of contamination outbreaks.

 

Source: CBC News

Date: August 14th, 2018

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/blockchain-food-industry-1.4781017

Discussion

1) What other things could be traced from start to finish so you know where they came from (I am not suggesting you list out grown products such as apples, oranges)

2) Is there a way to fake or hack blockchain technology?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, Ethical Issues, Fake News.

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have been moving recently to deal with the threats posed by misinformation and meddling that they didn’t see coming, but now they face an emerging form of disinformation they know is on the horizon: Deepfakes — doctored videos that will eventually fool even the sharpest eyes. As the technology to create deepfakes advances, experts say, it won’t be long before it’s used to foment discord or even affect an election.

“The opportunity for malicious liars is going to grow by leaps and bounds,” said Bobby Chesney, professor and associate dean of the University of Texas School of Law who has been closely researching deepfakes.

Source: CNN Technology

Date: August 14th, 2018

Link: https://money.cnn.com/2018/08/08/technology/deepfakes-countermeasures-facebook-twitter-youtube/index.html

Discussion

1) There are almost no details how you Facebook, Google or CNN, say, might detect a deepfake video.  How might you go about doing this?

2) Why do Facebook, Google or CNN, say, have a responsibility to root out fakeness?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence promises to make hiring an unbiased utopia.

There’s certainly plenty of room for improvement. Employee referrals, a process that tends to leave underrepresented groups out, still make up a bulk of companies’ hires. Recruiters and hiring managers also bring their own biases to the process, studies have found, often choosing people with the “right-sounding” names and educational background.

Source: Bloomberg Technology

Date: August 14th, 2018

Link (allows 9 free downloads per month): https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-08/artificial-intelligence-is-coming-for-hiring-and-it-might-not-be-that-bad

Discussion

1) How might artificial intelligence still bring bias to the hiring process?

2) How might you train artificial intelligence to make sensible hiring decisions?

Posted by & filed under Ethical Issues.

Fortnite characters on laptops

A French marketing agency is inviting applicants for an internship to discuss the opportunity over a game of Fortnite.

Candidates are asked to add Dare.Win on the Playstation Network, which is one of its clients, and then be interviewed while playing the video game.

Dare.Win says the game-play fits with its entertainment-focused brand.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: August 14th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45184151

Discussion

1) “Successful candidates would work on content for brands including Spotify, PlayStation, Bacardi and YouTube”.  Why does it makes sense to interview for a marketing position in this way?

2) Why does it make no sense to interview for a marketing position in this way?

Posted by & filed under Ethical Issues, Google.

Crowd of people

Google records users’ locations even when they have asked it not to, a report from the Associated Press has suggested.

The issue could affect up to two billion Android and Apple devices which use Google for maps or search.

The study, verified by researchers at Princeton University, has angered US law-makers.

Google said in response that it provides clear descriptions of its tools and how to turn them off.

The study found that users’ whereabouts are recorded even when location history has been disabled.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: August 14th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45183041

Discussion

1) “To stop Google saving these location markers, users have to turn off another setting called Web and App Activity, which is enabled by default and which does not mention location data”  Would you consider this “clear descriptions of the tools” as Google is saying?

2) Why should you expect privacy from a company that is not obligated to provide you any service – what you are using you use for free?

Posted by & filed under Ethical Issues, FaceBook, Instagram, IT Trends.

Facebook wants its users to send them their naked photos.

The social network is rolling out the measure to crack down on revenge porn, the non-consensual sharing of explicit images.

The catch is you need to share those photos with the company first.

Source: CBC News

Date: June 6th, 2018

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/facebook-revenge-porn-measures-1.4687659

Discussion

1) Here’s how this works: “Using a form obtained through a partnering organization — in Canada, Facebook has partnered with YWCA — users can request a secure, one-time link with which to upload the image.

The image is then reviewed and a unique hash is generated for it. Like encryption, hashing turns data into a string of numbers so that the original content is unidentifiable. That blocks all future uploads of the same image on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.”

Do you completely understand how this works?

2) “if uploading your intimate photos to a giant corporation makes you nervous, the fact that the process involves having those images screened by an employee of the company might also make you squeamish.”  Why is Facebook having a human as well as an algorithm review these photos?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, Biometrics, Civil Liberties, Consumer Technology, Ethical Issues, FaceBook, Instagram.

While your selfie might get lots of “likes” on social media, companies and perhaps even fraudsters may like your face even more — because they can profit from it.

But a University of Toronto researcher has found a way for internet users to opt out by very slightly distorting images, and he’s working on an app that will help them do just that.

“When you publicly make available photos of your face, you want the power to control who can actually use that,” said Joey Bose, the masters student who developed the algorithm.

Source: Toronto Star

Date: June 6th, 2018

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/u-of-t-facial-recognition-technology-privacy-filter-1.4693066

Discussion

1) “Instagram and Facebook… are known to use multiple facial recognition algorithms to extract all they can from your selfie.”  Were you aware that these companies were doing this?  Should you be made clearly aware and be able to opt out?

2) What sorts of things do you think Instagram and Facebook can pull from your selfie?

Posted by & filed under Ethical Issues, FaceBook.

Facebook Inc. said it had data-sharing partnerships with four Chinese consumer-device makers, including Huawei Technologies Co., escalating concerns that the social network has consistently failed to tell users how their personal information flows beyond Facebook.

The disclosure came after Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said earlier Tuesday that he saw “a serious danger” that Facebook shared user information with Chinese device makers. Facebook said it was careful about the partnerships, which were designed to help smartphone makers build custom versions of Facebook’s app. Still, the confirmation is likely to heighten scrutiny of the company’s privacy practices if the deals weren’t explicitly disclosed to users.

Source: Bloomberg Technology News

Date: June 6th, 2018

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-05/facebook-discloses-data-sharing-deals-with-chinese-device-makers

Discussion

1) What does Facebook mean, do you think, when they say “Facebook’s integrations with Huawei, Lenovo, OPPO and TCL were controlled from the get go — and we approved the Facebook experiences these companies built”?

2) Does the fact that Facebook approved sharing your information with Chinese technology companies mean that they did not or should not disclose this to you, the Facebook user?

Posted by & filed under Data center, IT Infrastructure, microsoft.

Microsoft has sunk a data centre in the sea off Orkney to investigate whether it can boost energy efficiency.

The data centre, a white cylinder containing computers, could sit on the sea floor for up to five years.

An undersea cable brings the data centre power and takes its data to the shore and the wider internet – but if the computers onboard break, they cannot be repaired.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: June 6th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44368813

Discussion

1) Why does it make sense for Microsoft to essentially bury a datacenter in the ocean?

2) Should Google, Facebook, Amazon and others be considering this too?

Posted by & filed under Careers.

ATG  Missoula, a technology consulting firm, recently announced in the Missoula Current that it is moving to the Old Sawmill District.

ATG Missoula started a little over seven years ago with just two employees in a conference room near Red’s Bar. Today, it has over 135 employees who need their own building.

A recent search of LinkedIn showed that more than 100 University of Montana students have worked or are working in some capacity at ATG Missoula over those years. A study by UM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research found that ATG provides $18.4 million in economic impact to Missoula each year, and pays average salaries in the $85,000 range.

But what is “technology consulting”?

Source: MIssoula Current

Date: June 6th, 2018

Link: https://missoulacurrent.com/opinion/2018/05/technology-consultants/

Discussion

1) Technology consulting is a major career outlet for my MIS students.  What technology consulting opportunities are available to you?

2) Many of my MIS majors go to national technology consulting firms, not local ones like ATG Missoula covered in this article.  They go to FAST Enterprises, KPMG IT Advisory and PwC Risk Assurance.  Look up these specific opportunities and see what others are available to you outside the area where you live.