Posted by & filed under IT and Politics, IT Infrastructure, IT Trends.

The federal government is investing $52.4 million in an innovation network that is expected to create 18,000 skilled jobs in Waterloo, Toronto and Ottawa.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the funding for the new “Scale-up Platform” program for tech companies at the Communitech technology hub in Kitchener, Ont., on Tuesday.

The federal government says the platform will be the first of its kind in Canada, and it will incorporate the skills of Ontario’s “top innovation hubs”: Communitech, in Kitchener, the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto and Invest Ottawa.

The three will work with tech companies to grow their businesses.

Source: CBC News

Date: April 19th, 2019

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/prime-minister-trudeau-kitchener-tech-hub-announcement-1.5099705

Discussion

  1. “”For the first time in decades, we have a crop of scale-ready firms that are on the path to $100 million. Our job — through the Scale-up Platform — is to help those high-growth firms find the talent and capital to accelerate their growth,” said Iain Klugman, President and CEO of Communitech.”  What do you think “scale-ready” means?
  2. Why do networks like these work so well for tech-related firms?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, Careers.

A call centre

I am becoming increasingly concerned that AI will, in fact, block the traditional growth path by replacing low-wage jobs with robots.

As Kai-Fu Lee, a Beijing-based venture capitalist who invests in artificial intelligence, tells us, AI is potentially the most revolutionary technology to emerge this century. It is also, along with the associated technologies of machine learning and robotics, advancing at breakneck speed.

Already AI has the capacity to replace many work tasks that are rules-based and repetitive, and which do not require great dexterity or empathy.

In developed economies, for instance, robots have replaced well over half of the jobs in the car and related industries in recent decades.

Source: BBC News

Date: April 19th, 2019

Link:
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47852589

Discussion:
1) AI has the capacity to replace many work tasks that are rules-based and repetitive, and which do not require great dexterity or empathy. ” What topics have you covered so far in your business school courses that almost exactly match this statement?
2) What are you doing to better understand how AI works?

” AI has the capacity to replace many work tasks that are rules-based and repetitive, and which do not require great dexterity or empathy. ” What topics have you covered so far in your business school courses that almost exactly match this statement?

Posted by & filed under FaceBook, System development.

Man looking at Facebook

Facebook “unintentionally” uploaded the email contacts of more than 1.5 million users without asking permission to do so, the social network has admitted.

The data harvesting happened via a system used to verify the identity of new members,

Facebook asked new users to supply the password for their email account, and took a copy of their contacts.

Facebook said it had now changed the way it handled new users to stop contacts being uploaded.

Source: BBC News
Date: April 19th, 2019
Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-47974574

Discussion

  1. How likely is it that no one immediately noticed that the entire contact lists of 1.5 million people suddenly appeared in a database at Facebook? (If each person only had 100 contacts that would be 150 million entries in a database)
  2. What does it say about Facebook’s software testing procedures that this “error” existed?

Posted by & filed under 3D Printing, Digital Detox.

Everyone expects automation and other tech advances to eliminate some jobs and create others. But in a new report, Canadian futurists say there’s a far wider range of trends that could influence the types of skills that are likely to be in demand — or not — in the future.

Focusing too closely on the impact of technological change alone could create blind spots that leave Canadians unprepared to handle changes to the labour market, says the report, released Wednesday and entitled Turn and Face the Strange: Changes Impacting the Future of Employment in Canada.

The report was written by researchers at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, a non-partisan policy institute housed at Toronto’s Ryerson University. It was set up to help Canadian policy-makers navigate the growth of Canada’s innovation economy.

Source: CBC News

Date: April 12th, 2019

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/change-job-market-2030-1.5086022

Discussion

  1. “Digital Detox”.  What sort of company could you build around this?
  2. “3D Printing”.  I feel like this is old news, but this futurist report says “The technology could also be set to transform the health-care industry, as scientists work to develop new methods to 3D print living tissue, potentially creating a new industry around providing organs and tissues for transplant.”  What could you do around this?

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Civil Liberties, Privacy.

Image result for amazon alexa

Not only is Alexa listening when you speak to an Echo smart speaker, an Amazon employee is potentially listening, too.Amazon (AMZN) employs a global team that transcribes the voice commands captured after the wake word is detected and feeds them back into the software to help improve Alexa’s grasp of human speech so it can respond more efficiently in the future.

Amazon reportedly employs thousands of full-time workers and contractors in several countries, including the United States, Costa Rica and Romania, to listen to as many as 1,000 audio clips in shifts that last up to nine hours. The audio clips they listen to were described as “mundane” and even sometimes “possibly criminal,” including listening to a potential sexual assault.

Source: CNN Technology News

Date: April 12th, 2019

Link (includes video):
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/11/tech/amazon-alexa-listening/index.html

Discussion

  1. If the audio clips don’t come with a name and address, is this even a privacy issue?
  2. Why does Amazon need to have humans listen to what Alexa is hearing?

Posted by & filed under Amazon, FaceBook, Google, IT Infrastructure, IT Trends, microsoft.

Most of us wouldn’t trust just anyone to watch our children, home, or pets, right? And we typically don’t hire just anyone who applies for employment, do we? What about the guy living out of his van offering low cost tax prep? Probably not your first choice this tax season.

It’s our instinct to take the time to look into these people and perform the due diligence and oversight necessary to assure us that we’re entrusting the right people with our assets. A similar approach needs to be taken when it comes to entrusting vendors with your organization’s systems and data, as well as your clients’ data

Source: LMG Security

Date: April 12th, 2019

Link:
https://lmgsecurity.com/vendor-risk-management-the-importance-of-vendor-vetting/

Discussion

  1. What sort of technology vendors might an organization like Nike, or Starbucks have?
  2. For many small, medium and large organizations, Google, Microsoft and Amazon are technology vendors. Do these companies need to be “vendor vetted” too?

Posted by & filed under Emerging Technologies, Future of Work, Tech-savvy.

The world of work will be radically different in the future. From hyper-surveillance of staff to digital nomadism to robots taking jobs—how, where and why we work is changing beyond all recognition.

This is the workforce of the future. Technology is transforming the world of work beyond all recognition creating groundbreaking opportunities. But it’s also eroding the rights of workers. Some even fear a dystopian jobless future. But are these anxieties overblown? How we react to this brave new world of work today will shape societies for generations to come. What are the forces shaping how people live and work and how power is wielded in the modern age? NOW AND NEXT reveals the pressures, the plans and the likely tipping points for enduring global change. Understand what is really transforming the world today – and discover what may lie in store tomorrow.

Source: The Economist

Date: April 9th, 2019

Link to 19 minute video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=gUc5oN_ffRo

The discussion here should be about how technology is transforming work and who does that work, and most importantly what is the student doing to prepare themselves to be productive in this transformed world. I use the phrase “tech-savvy” a lot during my discussions to get away from “coding”, “databases” and other highly technical topics. “Everyone needs to be tech-savvy” in this new world.

Posted by & filed under data analytics, Future of Work.

g_108059_cybers_bg_280x210.jpg

Each paradigmatic shift in the workspace has always been accompanied with a restive period in human history. In the early 19th century, as the first Industrial Revolution took root in the UK, and mechanisation came to replace the predominantly agrarian economy, a group of workers took to violent protests smashing machines that deprived them of their livelihood. Called the ‘Luddites’, they gave anti-mechanisation an identity that transcended centuries and came to be associated even with the likes of Ted Kaczynski, a Harvard math prodigy who parcelled 16 bombs to universities and airlines to halt the relentless march of technology in the 1970s and ’80s.

Source: Forbes India

Date: April 9th, 2019

Link:
http://www.forbesindia.com/article/future-of-work/work-it-out-jobs-that-will-emerge-over-the-next-decade/50933/1?sf100994744=1

Discussion

  1. “Technology will actually democratize opportunity. When the new 5G network is implemented and the next billion goes online, opportunity will be in the hands of everyone with a good idea. It’ll be the age of betapreneurs, entrepreneurs who, enabled by technology, can rapidly test and scale ideas, and bring them to market.” What does it mean to “democratize opportunity”?
  2. Data detective/data broker ” is listed as the top “new job”. What are you doing to improve your data skills?

Posted by & filed under Cybersecurity, Privacy.

Many Canadians were surprised this weekend when their phones were buzzed by an incoming spam text from an unexpected political source.

The Conservative Party of Canada mass-texted millions of randomly generated phone numbers in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick, telling recipients that gasoline prices were about to spike and they should fill up. The texts were meant to drum up political opposition to the Trudeau government’s carbon tax, which came into effect Monday in the four provinces that didn’t come up with carbon pricing plans of their own.

Source: CBC News

Date: April 5th, 209

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/text-spam-andrew-scheer-1.5079957

Discussion

1) “such messages do carry privacy and security risks. There may be ways to opt out of them as well.”  What sort of privacy risks are there here?

2) “such messages do carry privacy and security risks. There may be ways to opt out of them as well.” What sort of security risks are there here?