Neural Networks, IoT & Other Tech News

Neil Henry / security, Tech, Tech News Leave a Comment

News and views from this week in tech. What inspired and encouraged, shocked and appalled? Here’s our top 10.

1. Neural Networks

When we think of the tech trends that will shape the industry in 2018, AI is rightly staking claim to the top spot. As a result, it is front and center at many business strategy meetings.

But there is an elephant in the room! Genuine concern that the networks on which all this AI data will run, simply won’t be able to keep up. The challenge – and opportunity – for AI is quite simple:

“At the moment, machines cannot compete with human brains. They can help you find something or give you a piece of advice, but they cannot replace a human assistant. Neural networks were developed to resolve this issue and create a revolution in this field.” 

Good read: Neural Networks in Business: Advantages and Perspectives

It discusses how neural networks can specifically help industries such as marketing, retail, finance and more, and it certainly offers a balanced perspective that AI can have a massive future in many markets. The caveat is this: it needs neural networking in order to provide tangible value in the real world.

2. IoT

We’ve not touched on the IoT specifically in the last couple of weeks, but this week interesting research from Verizon validates business thinking on IoT strategy. Not just today but how it will almost certainly manifest in 2018.

Good read: 73% of Executives Are Researching & Launching IoT Projects In 2017

That’s 73%! A very large number for one of these types of study, and it will undoubtedly rise in 2018. Which makes estimates that “the IoT platform market is expected to grow 35% per year to $1.16B by 2020” almost a given.

The IoT is a powerful – if somewhat unknown – quantity for many businesses. They simply don’t know how it can benefit them, such is its broad reach and ‘outside of the box’ capabilities. As such there is apprehension – ‘how can we look to use the IoT to benefit our business? Can we scale operations around it? Will it ransom our future if we over commit budget and resources to it?’

Valid questions aplenty, but the tide is turning, as these stats show. The concerns are being addressed, and going forward they will disappear entirely, as the IoT finds new and engaging, liberating and inspiring, ways to help us at work and play.

For now, one thing is clear. In conjunction with advances in AI, the IoT is going to shape the deployment of technology within business more than any other technology platform.

3. Future Trend Watch

Manufacturing often leads the way in tech innovation. And here we have a fabulous article on the machinations in the place to take the industry forward.

Good read: 3 Trends Driving Modern Manufacturing Innovation

“The world of software is coming full circle to cater to the physical needs of modern manufacturing, culminating in a new movement called Industry 4.0.”

Industry 4.0! An interesting concept that can be applied to other sectors of business.

Quite simply the tech trends mentioned here will transform how manufacturing plans operational workflow and implements strategic thinking. They are also trends that have the capacity to transform other industries too as the virtual world of automation inspires future digital transformation.

4. Blockchain

Estimates from Gartner suggest that by 2025 the business value-add of blockchain will have grown to over $176 billion, and will exceed $3.1 trillion by 2030. This tells us there is significant logic to embracing the latest tech movement. Or is there?

Good read: 4 industries that are making the best use of blockchain technology

As discussed, “blockchain could revolutionize the way business is conducted across several industries—but it isn’t necessarily right for every company.”

And the fear stems from “many companies that bought into the technology’s hype faced challenges to adoption, including corporate muscle memory, technology maturity and security, enterprise needs, a fragmented tech landscape, and unclear ROI.”

These are scary unknowns.

Still, if you are in finance, retail, manufacturing, healthcare or government, this is most definitely worth a look. As with any technology you are thinking of integrating, consider purpose over profit. The latter is a natural by-product of the former.

5. Regulatory Compliance

We are seeing “a call to arms for business and regulation to keep pace with technological advancement in order for the global economy to thrive.” Or at least we are in this article.

Good read: Regulation must keep pace with technology, says World Economic Forum

From the fallout of Uber being severely slapped on the wrists, to the impact of technology dictating a significant proportion of job markets, this is an excellent post. Are we acting appropriately or heading for troubled waters? We cannot allow technology to outpace the rules of engagement for which we use it.

6. Bing

It’s about time Microsoft upped their game when it comes to search! But is this another dangle but won’t deliver moment?

Good read: Bing now means business

It certainly would be good, both for the industry and the consumer, if Bing provided a viable alternative to Google’s search dominance, but we’ve been here before…

Now, Bing for Business uses AI and the Microsoft Graph to “deliver more relevant search results in the Bing search page with a browser on any device based on your organizational context.”

For Microsoft to really turn a corner here, they need to do much more work with their API. I’m worried they are still barking up the wrong tree if they can’t glean insights from documents, email, apps, and data from outside the Microsoft wheelhouse.

To deliver “personalized and contextual search results” they need a much more integrated approach to social graphs and individual user experience. Call me skeptical but how much is Google going to assist Microsoft by sharing such user data with their only real competitor in this space, API or no API.

7. Like Vs. Love

The first time in a while we’ve referenced an infographic here – largely because so many are made up of random ‘facts’ and fancy non-stats. But this is a beauty!

Thinking about the luxuries people can and can’t live without.

Good read: The Luxuries People Can’t Live Without (Infographic)

Why is this tech related you may ask? Because the results show fascinating insights into consumer need vs want, and technology plays a huge part in the lifestyles people want to lead.

In an age of massive digital transformation, engendered through consumer choice and personalized experiences, the results are most interesting. The top two in particular clearly set the bar for what we ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE in our lives. Which is a bit sad really when you think about it. Surely mental health and physical well-being are more important than WiFi and a smartphone? Actually.

8.  Security Overconfidence

Lots of interesting stats on the state of cyber-security here…

Good read: The Cyber Risk of False Confidence

Some that pop off the page:

  • Gartner predicts security spending will reach $90 billion this year
  • 94% think their perimeter security is quite effective
  • 76% have increased investment in security over the past five years
  • Nearly a third have seen their security breached in the past 12 months
  • 65% are not confident that their data would be secure if someone did breach security
  • One in seven IT decision makers admits they would not trust their own organization to store and manage their personal data.

And yet for all this, whether it’s a lack of understanding or overconfidence, cybersecurity breaches happen every week, to all shapes and sizes of organization.

Why, if the evidence is so strong and the stats so compelling, are people still not taking action?

I would hazard a guess that it’s not an awareness issue. Scare-mongering and throwing out stats on the subject doesn’t engender change. Confidence in bona fide solutions is the key.

It is the role of government, regulators and the IT providers to ensure the technologies we use are secure. To do that we need to implement cybersecurity measures – and promote tech trends – that we can keep pace with, in terms of security and performance, when deployed in the real world.

9. Next-Gen Disruptors

Revealing the 25 fastest-growing companies in tech and highlighting the latest industries to be transformed by technology – as presented by Forbes and TrueBridge Captial Partners.

Good read: 5 Major Industries And Their Next-Gen Disruptors

This is a really interesting grouping, and while I take the 25 ‘fastest growing tech companies’ with a pinch of salt (as I’m sure there is some bias here) the industries mentioned are spot on. There is no doubt that continued investment in areas such as fintech and logistics will transform many of the business sectors of tomorrow – such as education, retail, manufacturing, finance, health and many more.

Exciting times in the world of tech innovation as the opportunities for enterprise adoption are so great.

10. Playing Monopoly

And finally, it’s important to mention in any weekly news roundup when any of Google, Microsoft, Amazon or Apple have a pop at each other.

Good read: Amazon: Google won’t tell us why it pulled YouTube from the Echo Show

Now, I’m sure that at the time of reading this will likely be resolved, but still, it’s not good when two of the big four are in a posturing contest to show who has the biggest muscles! It harms nobody but the consumer (and of course Amazon’s short-term share price).

That is not good!

In a society ever more reliant on technology, we really do need these companies to find common ground and facilitate an integrative approach to tech enablement.

I am positive that Google will say this was done to protect the end user, to ensure the perfect balance of security, performance and user experience, but we’ve been here before. Google has a history of playing a very good game of monopoly. It would be nice to see a little more transparency that doesn’t look like protectionism bordering on nepotism.

Until next week.

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