Posted by & filed under data analytics, Emerging Economies.

Cholera Map

Cholera cases in Yemen have been slashed by a new system that predicts where outbreaks will occur.

Last year, there were more than 50,000 new cases in just one week – this year, the numbers plummeted to about 2,500.

The system has enabled aid workers to focus efforts on prevention several weeks in advance of an outbreak – by monitoring rainfall.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: August 28th, 2018

Link (includes video): https://www.bbc.com/news/health-45259922

Discussion

1) The solution to the problem here involved combining different sets of data in order to provide useful information.  Which different sets of data were used?

2) What other sorts of problems could be solved by combining different sets of data?

Posted by & filed under Careers.

Hundreds more Alberta students will be able to study in tech-related fields this year, after the province announced it was adding 406 additional seats at post-secondary schools.

“We all know that Albertans need access to high-quality opportunities to succeed in the tech sector,” said Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt.

“Because of our efforts, 406 more Albertans will be able to study in their chosen field this year and will be prepared for success.”

The seats are part of a five-year, $50-million investment into the province’s tech sector, and by 2023 Alberta plans to add 3,000 new seats in tech-related, post-secondary fields.

Source: CBC News

Date: August 20th, 2018

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/alberta-tech-degrees-1.4788583

Discussion

1) What are you doing to be part of the solution to the projected tech worker shortage?

2) Should the government be funding more seats in the sector?

Posted by & filed under Privacy.

Buyers who have to provide personal information to purchase recreational pot online after legalization this fall should be able to rely on existing laws to protect their privacy but the issue needs to be watched closely to ensure regulations are obeyed and mistakes are avoided, experts say.

The matter is important given the stigma many people still attach to marijuana use, and the potential for Canadians to be barred from the United States if their otherwise legal indulgence becomes known to American border agents.

Source: CBC News

Date: August 20th, 2018

Link:

Discussion

1) “We need to keep eyes on it, meaning we have to make sure this information is not abused or used for secondary purposes that were never intended,” Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s former privacy commissioner and now an expert at Ryerson University, said”.   How could you make sure private information is not used for other purposes?

2) “Personal data will remain in Canada and not be shared with third parties”  How will the Ministry of Finance make sure this is happening, do you think, or is it almost impossible to do this?

Posted by & filed under Crypto currency.

The image above is of a cryptomining rig

For almost a year, cryptocurrency miners have snapped up all the graphics cards they could get their hands on. That was a financial windfall for Nvidia and AMD, the leading makers of consumer graphics cards. Both reported soaring profits their last two quarters.

But on Thursday, Nvidia reported its financial results for its second fiscal quarter, which ended on July 29. The results were pretty good overall, with strong demands for Nvidia products for AI and data center applications. However, cryptocurrency-related demand has cratered.

Source: Ars Technica

Date: August 20th, 2018

Link: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/08/the-blockchain-bonanza-is-over-for-graphics-card-makers/

Discussion

1) Why does cryptomining need video cards?

2) The article does not discuss much why the price of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum have been falling.  Why have they been falling?

Posted by & filed under IT and the law.

Friday marked a major milestone for the more than $15 billion adult toy industry, with the expiration of a longstanding patent. The basic idea behind the expiring patent is almost as old as the internet – that two users might sexually stimulate each other using devices controlled over the internet.

This week marked a major milestone for the more than $15 billion adult toy industry, with the expiration of a longstanding patent on sex toys controlled over the internet. The patent has been held in recent years by a company widely regarded as a ‘patent troll,’ focused not on developing usable technology, but instead on seeking monetary damages from anyone who infringed on their claim to the idea.

Source: Ars Technica

Date: August 20th, 2018

Link: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/08/cybersex-toy-industry-heats-up-as-infamous-teledildonics-patent-climaxes/

Discussion

1) What is a patent troll?

2) It has been said that music and the sex industry are the first to feel the impact of technology developments.  Why is this, and why is it important for every other industry?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence – a rapidly advancing technology promising to transform whole industries in the next five years with profound implications for how we live and work.

Or, as we hear on this week’s Tech Tent, a massively overhyped buzzword for quite a mundane field of computer science which has not made any great leap forward in the last decade.

That is the view we hear from Zia Chishti, who is deeply sceptical about the claims that AI is disrupting every industry on earth at breakneck speed.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: August 20th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45219902

Discussion

1) It is common in many instances that companies that want to sell things will say that their thing is part of whatever is new and exciting.  This is what is being claimed here – much of what is being called AI is not actually AI.  Q: what are the differences between “Machine learning, predictive analytics, AI”?

2) Is it “fake news” that companies are selling what they have as AI when it is not?

Posted by & filed under History of IT and IS.

A recent study has revealed which kinds of tech have stood the test of time – in terms of recognition, if not use.

Source: BBC Future

Date: August 20th, 2018

Link (to a gallery of 10 items): http://www.bbc.com/future/gallery/20180816-do-you-recognise-these-obsolete-technologies

Discussion

1) “More than five billion floppy disks were sold per year worldwide at their peak in the mid-1990s” – why is it important, or is it not important, to know the history of things?

2) Some of these items have been simply replaced by digital versions.  Why is this an important development?

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?