Posted by & filed under Ethical Issues, health.

Insurance giant John Hancock, owned by Canadian company Manulife Financial Corp., announced Thursday a switch to “interactive” life-insurance policies only, which offer incentives for things like wearing a Fitbit or other fitness tracker.

Source: CBC News

Date: September 20th, 2018

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/privacy-life-insurance-john-hancock-1.4833193

Discussion

1) When I read articles like this and people complain about “invasion of privacy”, I am always drawn to the fact that no one is making you buy life insurance policies from Manulife Financial.  Is this an appropriate way, or not, to think about technological invasion?

2) Why does it make sense for Manulife Financial to do this?

Posted by & filed under Ethical Issues, health.

Russ Foxx strolls up to his home in Vancouver and lifts his arm to unlock his door — but instead of using keys, he simply waves the back of his hand near the knob until it clicks open.

Foxx, 36, is able to do so because of a small transponder implanted just beneath his skin on his left hand. A self-described transhumanist, Foxx uses science and technology to push his body beyond its physical limitations.

Source: CBC News

Date: September 20th, 2018

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/meet-the-b-c-man-who-uses-body-modifying-technology-to-enhance-physical-capabilities-1.4825085

Discussion

1) Does it even matter that someone is embedding technology in their body to do things that just a keycard or a set of keys can do?

2) What might you usefully embed in your body to get something done better or quicker?

Posted by & filed under Apple, health, healthcare.

When Apple said its new Apple Watch heart monitoring capabilities were FDA cleared, they meant only FDA cleared, it seems.

The new Apple Watch touts a fancy new ECG, or electrocardiogram, monitor. It’s the type of device that is medically advanced enough to need clearance before public consumer use. Apple actually only got FDA clearance a day before its big event announcing the new Apple Watch, along with three new iPhones, Bloomberg reported. Now, it’s working on getting equivalent clearances internationally.

Source: Fortune

Date: September 20th, 2018

Link: http://fortune.com/2018/09/22/apple-watch-heart-ecg-tracker-us/

Discussion

1) Why does the Apple Watch need FDA approval?

2) What sort of business could you build around the Apple Watch and its ECG monitor?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Hologram of Princess Leia in Star Wars Episode IV

High-speed 5G networks could lead to big changes in how we use our mobile phones, allowing us to enjoy virtual reality on-the-go, interactive live broadcasts, and even project holograms from our handsets. But will connection “not-spots” and high costs stop many of us reaping the benefits?

Source: BBC Analysis

Date: September 20th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45009458

Discussion

1) What practical and useful applications of holographic telephony can you come up with?

2) How might you build a business around holographic telephony ?

Posted by & filed under Automation.

A catwalk show at London Fashion Week has divided opinions about the future of fashion.

Source: BBC Trends

Date: September 20, 2018

Link to video: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-45548805/london-fashion-week-2018-robots-take-over-the-runway

Discussion

1) Whether or not this is just a gimmick, why does it matter that robots are featured in fashion?

2) The robots in this “fashion” show are no where near realistic.  Does it matter?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence.

The Justice Department has quietly launched an artificial intelligence experiment as the Trudeau government prepares to use such sophisticated software to help make decisions in cases involving immigration, pension benefits and taxes.

The 18-month pilot project, which involves the Canada Revenue Agency, was started even though the government has yet to establish clear ethical guidelines on its use of artificial intelligence, or AI.

Definitions of AI vary, but it’s generally understood as a computer system designed to quickly learn, reason and make decisions by imitating human cognition.

Source: CBC News

Date: September 13th, 2018

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/artificial-intelligence-tax-justice-pilot-1.4817242

Discussion

1) MIS is the intersection of business and technology.  What is the business case for this technology?

2) “26 tax practitioners at Justice Canada have been using commercial AI software that analyzes thousands of court cases to predict how judges might rule on a given set of facts about a taxpayer’s affairs.” What do you think is going on here?

Posted by & filed under Autonomous Vehicles, Careers, Uber.

Raquel Urtasun is the chief scientist for Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group, which is planning an expansion into Toronto.

The San Francisco, Calif.-based company announced on Thursday that it is expanding its Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) in Toronto and opening a new engineering lab — its first in Canada. Uber says it plans to spend $200 million Cdn on the Toronto hub over the next five years, which will eventually bring its head count in the city from 200 to about 500 employees.

Uber’s ATG in Toronto is one of the company’s four autonomous research hubs, alongside Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Phoenix.

Source: CBC News

Date: September 13th, 2018

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/uber-self-driving-cars-atg-engineering-toronto-lab-ai-1.4821637

Discussion

1) Why is it important for Uber to have autonomous-driving technology labs in Canada?

2) What sorts of careers might be available for MIS majors as part of this 300 employee increase at Uber Toronto?

Posted by & filed under Cybersecurity, Ethical Issues, IT and Politics.

Millions of Americans are looking forward to the return of Sunday NFL football this weekend. And somewhere in St. Petersburg, a group of Russian trolls likely is too.

The same Kremlin-linked group that posed as Americans on social media during the 2016 US presidential election has repeatedly exploited the controversy surrounding the NFL and players who have protested police brutality and racial injustice during the National Anthem, playing both sides in an effort to exacerbate divides in American society.

 The debate is almost certainly an irresistible one for the Russians, given that it includes issues of race, patriotism, and national identity — topics the Russian trolls sought to exploit during the run-up to the election, and have continued to focus on in the two years since.

Source: CNN Technology News

Date: September 13th, 2018

Link: https://money.cnn.com/2018/09/08/technology/nfl-national-anthem-russia-trolls/index.html

Discussion

1) First off, in what way are Russian internet trolls even a discussion topic for a Management Information Systems class?

2) How might the likes of Twitter correctly identify a Russian troll posting and then effectively deal with it?

Posted by & filed under IT and Politics.

Donald Trump

Google has defended the way its bosses greeted the election of Donald Trump, after criticism by right-wing media.

A video published on Wednesday by the Breitbart website shows senior executives commenting the morning after the 2016 election.

During the 60-minute presentation, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said he found the election “deeply offensive”.

Breitbart said the video showed evidence of Google’s inherent bias against Republicans.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: September 13th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45509673

Discussion

1) Why is important for Google (and other tech companies) to be free of political bias?

2) In what ways might political bias, eluded to by the BBC with their quote that a Google co-founder said that “I certainly find this election deeply offensive and I know many of you do too” be reflected in what Google does or how Google prioritizes and presents search results, for instance?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence, bots, Ethical Issues, ethics.

“Inflatable duck baby pool with canopy.” “Hot selling colourful temporary full arm tattoo for men.” “Splendid reusable dog pee pad (minimum order: 500).”

Load up the homepage for e-commerce giant, Alibaba – a wholesale shopping site that’s more or less China’s answer to eBay – and you’ll find images and descriptions of anything you could wish to buy, from kitchen sinks to luxury yachts. Every item has a short headline, but most are little more than lists of keywords: hand-picked search terms to ensure this USB phone charger or that pair of flame-resistant overalls float to the top in a sea of thousands upon thousands of similar items.

“Generative bots are the new chatbot,” says Jun Wang at University College London. “Generating copy is just one of the applications that can be done.”

Source: BBC Future

Date: September 13th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180829-the-worlds-most-prolific-writer-is-a-chinese-algorithm

Discussion

1) ” the AI copywriter applies deep learning and natural-language processing tech to millions of item descriptions on Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao sites to generate new copy of its own”.  What actually is “deep learning” and “natural-language processing”?

2) Is it ethical to use a “Generative bot”?