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Computer science: The learning machines

Computer science: The learning machines | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it

Using massive amounts of data to recognize photos and speech, deep-learning computers are taking a big step towards true artificial intelligence. Three years ago, researchers at the secretive Google X lab in Mountain View, California, extracted some 10 million still images from YouTube videos and fed them into Google Brain — a network of 1,000 computers programmed to soak up the world much as a human toddler does. After three days looking for recurring patterns, Google Brain decided, all on its own, that there were certain repeating categories it could identify: human faces, human bodies and … cats1.


Google Brain's discovery that the Internet is full of cat videos provoked a flurry of jokes from journalists. But it was also a landmark in the resurgence of deep learning: a three-decade-old technique in which massive amounts of data and processing power help computers to crack messy problems that humans solve almost intuitively, from recognizing faces to understanding language.

 

Deep learning itself is a revival of an even older idea for computing: neural networks. These systems, loosely inspired by the densely interconnected neurons of the brain, mimic human learning by changing the strength of simulated neural connections on the basis of experience. Google Brain, with about 1 million simulated neurons and 1 billion simulated connections, was ten times larger than any deep neural network before it. Project founder Andrew Ng, now director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Stanford University in California, has gone on to make deep-learning systems ten times larger again.

 

Such advances make for exciting times in artificial intelligence (AI) — the often-frustrating attempt to get computers to think like humans. In the past few years, companies such as Google, Apple and IBM have been aggressively snapping up start-up companies and researchers with deep-learning expertise. For everyday consumers, the results include software better able to sort through photos, understand spoken commands and translate text from foreign languages. For scientists and industry, deep-learning computers can search for potential drug candidates, map real neural networks in the brain or predict the functions of proteins.

 



Via Szabolcs Kósa, Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

The monikers such as "deep learning" may be new, but Artificial Intelligence has always been the Holy Grail of computer science.  The applications are many, and the path is becoming less of an uphill climb.  

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luiy's curator insight, February 26, 6:19 AM

Deep learning itself is a revival of an even older idea for computing: neural networks. These systems, loosely inspired by the densely interconnected neurons of the brain, mimic human learning by changing the strength of simulated neural connections on the basis of experience. Google Brain, with about 1 million simulated neurons and 1 billion simulated connections, was ten times larger than any deep neural network before it. Project founder Andrew Ng, now director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Stanford University in California, has gone on to make deep-learning systems ten times larger again.

 

Such advances make for exciting times in artificial intelligence (AI) — the often-frustrating attempt to get computers to think like humans. In the past few years, companies such as Google, Apple and IBM have been aggressively snapping up start-up companies and researchers with deep-learning expertise. For everyday consumers, the results include software better able to sort through photos, understand spoken commands and translate text from foreign languages. For scientists and industry, deep-learning computers can search for potential drug candidates, map real neural networks in the brain or predict the functions of proteins.

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Technology Breakthroughs, Trends, and Applications That Are Changing Our World.
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No one has the 'right to be forgotten' online, says justice minister

No one has the 'right to be forgotten' online, says justice minister | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
Simon Hughes argues that people do not have an ‘unfettered’ right to demand the removal of links to internet articles containing information about them.
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

Compliance with the controversial EU "Right to be forgotten” ruling has commenced, but the debate rages on.  It is a non-trivial issue:  censorship and shutting down people’s access to information on one side;  and a person’s right to request deletion of their personal data where it is irrelevant, outdated or inappropriate on the other.  Consistency is difficult to attain as various search engines setup review committees and panels to decide what goes and what stays as tens of thousands of requests stream in. With the UK Justice Minister likening the situation to Communist China closing down people’s rights to information, this ruling appears far from immutable.   

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Facebook Mood Manipulation: 10 Bigger Problems - InformationWeek

Facebook Mood Manipulation: 10 Bigger Problems - InformationWeek | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
Facebook's failure to communicate about its mood experiment is the least of the things Internet companies do to us.
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

Opinions are abundant regarding Facebook’s experimentation with mood research and the unknowing subjects they involved. It strikes me that those who do not view this as poor or even unethical practice may fall into the group that is accepting of new technology practices and policies as blazing new ground, technology moving forward, “it is what it is.” The author hits on several other key facets of web usage, technology privacy policies, unilateral contract change clauses in many terms-of-service agreements, and technology company practices that might fall under the “it is what it is” umbrella. Brings to mind the adage:  What you allow will continue.    

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GM Wants You to Creepily Text Drivers by Scanning Their Plates | Autopia | WIRED

GM Wants You to Creepily Text Drivers by Scanning Their Plates | Autopia | WIRED | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
A new app would let users text other drivers by scanning their license plates.
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

It is doubtful this app will ever gain mass acceptance here in the U.S. but its mere presence may be a bit disturbing.  Public license plate info tied directly to your cell phone so anyone can send you a message just by knowing which vehicle you drive.  Perhaps a portion of the public might find this useful or amusing, and would sign-up for an opt-in plan purposely allowing this relationship to be brokered by a benevolent third party. The potential for misuse still seems strikingly high.

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Harvard Professor To Send The World's First "Scent Message" Across The Pond

Harvard Professor To Send The World's First "Scent Message" Across The Pond | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
You've got smell!
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

Vapor Communications “Scent message” demo set for 6/17. (c/o FastCompany)  Not the first time remote scent/aroma replication has been attempted, however the concept has never caught on with consumers.  David Edwards' pedigree is impressive - perhaps this one will be different.

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Design your own 3D-printed braille phone - CNET

Design your own 3D-printed braille phone - CNET | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
As we begin to scratch the surface of 3D-printing tech, OwnFone is ahead of the pack with its braille mobile phone.
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

The potential for 3D printing is ever-expanding as the costs come down.  Some uses are fads, others are truly innovative.  For sight-impaired phone users, this application stands out:  the addition of a customized braille keypad or a customized raised text keypad for users who do not know braille.   

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Tech Curiosity: Why Does Black Box Data Stay OnThe Plane? | R Schumacher & Associates LLC

Tech Curiosity: Why Does Black Box Data Stay OnThe Plane? | R Schumacher & Associates LLC | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
Tech-savvy folks may be asking – with all the location-based data and infrastructure today, why don’t they know where Malaysia Airline Flight 370 is, or was?
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

Wonder why Black Box data stays within the airplane? Money (well,mostly)

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A Ring That Lets You Control Pretty Much Anything By Writing In The Air

A Ring That Lets You Control Pretty Much Anything By Writing In The Air | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
Take your index finger and write yes please in the air.
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

An interesting form factor for in-the-air gesture recognition – a ring.  The training mode and self-defined library of gestures would appear to be key to the success of this approach, compared with other gesture-based systems where there is *some* form of background/icon palette/menu system from which the user can draw upon standard symbols or “pushbutton” commands and get instant feedback on their selection.  Here the smartphone may remain pocket-bound or otherwise outside the user’s line-of-sight.  Initial funding trends via Kickstarter indicate this one has some inertia behind it.

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Business Plans = Waste of Time? | R Schumacher & Associates LLC

Business Plans = Waste of Time? | R Schumacher & Associates LLC | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it

Don’t throw out that business plan and strategic roadmap just yet. Make sure those plans include customer trial-and-error efforts, along with associated costs and risk mitigations. Get close to your customers, rather than hoping you know what they need or like.

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How The Internet Of Things Is More Like The Industrial Revolution Than The Digital Revolution

By Glen Martin Philadelphia’s Centennial Exposition of 1876 was America’s first World’s Fair, and was ostensibly held to mark the nation’s 100th birthday. But it heralded the future as much as it celebrated the past, showcasing the country’s strongest suit: technology. The centerpiece of the Expo was a gigantic Corliss engine, the apotheosis [...]
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

The premise here is that the digital age was a change in focus from “atoms to bits” – mechanization of industrial or “hard” goods compared to information aggregation, and that focus will change back to a “collision of hardware and software” in the IoE/IoT model.  A look back at computer-controlled manufacturing and process control innovation going back to the 70’s and 80’s yields a related, but slightly different view.  Perhaps the difference is better expressed as a network model versus a hardware-software model: rather than computer controls sampling loosely-integrated sensors and data points, and pushing control parameters to otherwise unintelligent “hardware” devices - we now have smart devices, gathering information independently from tightly integrated data points, and asynchronously communicating that information to a world-wide network of other intelligent devices.  The underlying “digital age” concepts, use cases and applications for the technology have been around for decades – however the resulting volume of information that can be gathered, and the speed at which that data can be shared, are both vastly improved.    

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Dozens of U.S. retailers impacted in global POS malware campaign

Dozens of U.S. retailers impacted in global POS malware campaign | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
A worldwide pointofsale malware operation involving a relatively new trojan called ChewBacca has impacted dozens of retailers in the U.S., according to RSA researchers.
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

After Target’s recent breach, the retail industry’s state of readiness for preventing security breaches continues to be under the microscope.  This particular threat has worldwide impact, and the number of U.S. companies affected is still TBD.

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Tech Security Upstarts Enter Fray

Tech Security Upstarts Enter Fray | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
Younger firms like FireEye and Palo Alto Networks are competing with Symantec and McAfee in a market that is expected to swell to $87 billion by 2016.
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

One solution typically is insufficient in the security space, so it is not surprising that the focus has expanded from antivirus alone.  The consolidation trend continues as newer technologies become part of larger suites.

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CES 2014 - Latest CES news - CNET

CES 2014 - Latest CES news - CNET | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
Our editors bring you complete CES 2014 coverage and scour the showroom floor for the hottest new tech gadgets around.
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

Smart appliances, smart homes and the Internet of Things are hot at CES2014.

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CES 2014: Startups steal the show

CES 2014: Startups steal the show | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
Little companies are showing big potential at the massive International Consumer Electronics Show. In 2014, there were dozens of young companies doing great things. Here are a few of our favorites.
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

The afterglow of the Consumer Electronics Show 2014.  Startups and small companies put their best foot forward.

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Google grappling with 70,000 'right to be forgotten' requests - CNET

Google grappling with 70,000 'right to be forgotten' requests - CNET | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
The search giant's plight reveals the challenges inherent in trying to comply with a controversial and complex law.
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

The onus has been placed on the search engines to review and remove any/all info on a person based on requests from literally anybody with literally any motive for wanting the information removed.  Although noble in nature – providing folks with some path to follow when untrue or questionable information has been posted about them – this may be the blunt instrument approach: beat on the messenger because that is far easier than finding/correcting the root cause buried in the vast space that is the World Wide Web.  The time, resources and money required to comply with said requests is non-trivial. Of course that means business opportunities for reputation management companies. Compliance is underway at Google and Microsoft, but the debate over the validity of the ruling continues within member countries.

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Will car-hacking become the new carjacking?

Will car-hacking become the new carjacking? | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
More cars are connecting to the Internet in some capacity, collecting and transmitting data, making consumers vulnerable to hackers.
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

An interesting stat in this article is that the average vehicle on the road today contains 60 microprocessors running more than 10M lines of code.  Those various lines of code and various processors have been designed in since the 1990’s – an eternity ago with respect to security considerations and technology in general.  The answer to preventing hacks in connected and/or driverless cars with tightly integrated systems may be: out with the old, in with the new.  Start with a new vehicle platform rather than bolting on smart systems to aging technology. 

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With Amazon Fire's Six Cameras, Smartphones Are Evolving Into More Perfect Spying Devices

With Amazon Fire's Six Cameras, Smartphones Are Evolving Into More Perfect Spying Devices | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
Amazon announced this week that it's launching its very own smartphone called Fire. It will have six cameras. Six. That's to make it easier to do a 3D-scan of the world around you and buy the things you see. It out-innovates Apple's incredible decision to put two cameras on a [...]
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

The inclusion of 6 cameras is intended to bring a 3D picture/video experience to the user.  Side effects include potential exposure of “out-of-view” images not seen through the normal single-lens view.  Before vilifying Amazon’s new technology as an invasion of privacy, one should consider that the underlying issue isn’t the 6 cameras vs. 2 vs. 1 – it is the potential for ANY of the technology embedded in a smartphone to fall under remote control without your knowledge, just like your laptop that you grew so accustomed to years ago.  That potential must be considered when designing smartphones, automotive technology, home automation, medical monitoring systems, and a host of other technology applications intended for good and useful purposes.

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Interactive Map Site Lets You Travel the World Through the Lenses of Drones

Interactive Map Site Lets You Travel the World Through the Lenses of Drones | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
A new site mixes the power of YouTube and Google Maps to give you a drone's eye view of the entire planet.
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

Crowdsourcing comes to drone video footage, and it’s available for your viewing pleasure. c/o Mashable

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Target Ignored Data Breach Alarms - InformationWeek

Target Ignored Data Breach Alarms - InformationWeek | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
Target's security team reviewed -- and ignored -- urgent warnings from threat-detection tool about unknown malware spotted on the network.
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

Information surrounding Target’s point of sale system breach is still coming to light, and the latest announcements are a good-news/bad-news story.  Security measures were funded, in place and working.  However, technical staff reviews of the resulting alarms and threat annunciations lead to inaction on the part of the security team.  Other sources have noted the potential downsides of more automation and “heavy-handed” security measures that were not engaged: overblocking, false-positives, and the impact those can have to the business systems.   

One is left wondering about the volume of alarm data that they faced, how difficult it may have been to separate the golden nuggets from the common alarm message clutter, and the urgency placed upon subsequent remediation efforts. Additionally, there are open questions regarding the network segmentation issues and level of controls surrounding a vetted vendor’s access.      

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NASA asks citizen scientists to become 'asteroid hunters'

NASA asks citizen scientists to become 'asteroid hunters' | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
In an effort to avoid a potential apocalypse, the space agency is holding a contest to get people to help it discover deadly asteroids. Read this article by Dara Kerr on CNET News.
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

Numerous Sci-Fi story themes have focused on rogue asteroids hurtling toward earth and causing the end of mankind as we know it.  A few notable “close calls” like the one last week, and a few noticeable hits like the one that caused damage in Russian  last year – and pretty soon Sci-Fi starts to look like reality.  So – why not let technology help?  The means for gathering the data are there – what is needed is the intelligent software to recognize asteroids from the other space clutter, and then further identify the potential threats. Crowdsourcing has proven to be very useful for QA testing, market research, investment “crowdfunding”, software security hardening, and other applications (think open source software.)  Why not put interested parties from around the world to work on a tantalizing problem - with huge potential upside someday for their efforts?     

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How To Say “This Is Crap” In Different Cultures

How To Say “This Is Crap” In Different Cultures | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
Different cultures qualify feedback differently.
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

A good, quick read for anyone who has worked with, or for, foreign enterprises.  As was often joked when I worked for an overseas telecommunications firm: improving communications is our business – and we prove every business day how much we need improved communications.   The world may be flat, as the popular book title says, when it comes to integrated business ecosystems.  However, the subtleties of culture run deep, and it is no easy task to remember all the various differences when attempting to clearly state our intentions or opinions along with the underlying facts.

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Box CEO: How will your company compete in the information economy? - Fortune Tech

Box CEO: How will your company compete in the information economy? - Fortune Tech | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
The rules of business are changing.
By Aaron Levie



FORTUNE – The CEO of a large insurance provider had the misfortune of being seated next to me at a recent event. As the founder of an enterprise software company, naturally I pressed him on
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

Mr. Levie, CEO of Box, brings up many good examples of how information is king when it comes to business today.  Similar articles are currently circulating regarding the role of IT, and how it has gone from a back-end support organization to the head of the line in terms of the effect it can have on a business.  Calls ring out for IT leaders to recognize themselves as being in the marketing business, whether they like it or not.   The ubiquity of smart devices, whether they fall into the mobile category or the internet-of-things, changed the game.


His primary message rings true with me: don’t get caught napping - ignoring your IT resources and information management strategy - because someone will come along and one-up you with competing products and offerings that more than fill those gaps in information management.

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Yahoo Hacked And How To Protect Your Passwords

Yahoo Hacked And How To Protect Your Passwords | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
Yahoo yesterday announced that Yahoo mail has been the focus of a co-ordinated hack and that at this time it has confirmed a number of users e-mail accounts have been compromised - you may be one of them (and if you are see below for my top tips on how [...]
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

As noted in the article – passwords are ubiquitous when it comes to authentication, so it is incumbent on the user to make the best of their choices for both passwords and challenge questions.

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Super Bowl Wi-Fi password credentials broadcast in pre-game security gaffe | ZDNet

Super Bowl Wi-Fi password credentials broadcast in pre-game security gaffe | ZDNet | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
Prior to the start of Super Bowl 48, the stadium's internal Wi-Fi login credentials were inadvertently broadcast on national TV.
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

As is often the case – you can put in a series of checks and balances and security measures – but you always have the human factor to contend with when plotting out worst case scenarios.  Broadcasting a big screen image with login credentials clearly visible - likely wasn’t on the checklist this year.

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Tech Finds Its Voice: The Future of Virtual Assistants | TIME.com

Tech Finds Its Voice: The Future of Virtual Assistants | TIME.com | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
Someday, just about anything and everything will have a brain of some kind. But what about a voice?
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:
Speech recognition and automated speech generation have been around for some time – ditto for virtual assistants. (Anyone recall the Wildfire demos from the mid-late 90’s telephony tradeshows? It’s still around.) More refined applications such as Siri, and the ubiquitous smartphone platforms, brought the technology to the masses. Artificial intelligence precepts will provide the underlying “automation” and “brain” noted in the attached article, and it will be interesting to see how many other applications evolve.
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Five components that will rock your next smartphone

Five components that will rock your next smartphone | Technology Today and Tomorrow | Scoop.it
Chip makers like Qualcomm, Nvidia and Samsung Electronics are working on components that will increase processing power, add more memory and increase screen resolution of next-generation smartphones.
R Schumacher & Associates LLC's insight:

Underlying technology changes that will affect smartphones in 2014. c/o ComputerWorld.

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