Blockchain, AI, Machine Learning And IOE Will Make You Money in 2018

Blockchain, AI, Machine Learning And IOE

Blockchain, AI, Machine Learning And IOE

Everyone loves annual assessments. Mine for 2018 are simple: AI is making real progress, IOE is spreading, blockchain is real, lots of digital content is fake, and big, rich companies will eventually be regulated. We also like to talk to machines – especially when everything’s connected. The momentum around all these trends is strong and likely to accelerate in 2018 and into 2019.

Every year we look at trends. Lots of companies, consultancies and research organizations do the same thing. Every year many of the trends are simple extrapolations of the previous year’s trends. But every year there are also some breakout trends. Perhaps of greatest interest are the rates of acceleration some of the trends experience in any given year. Some trend quickly; some more slowly. Momentum is driven by technology maturity, adoption rates and how well – or badly – the use cases evolve. Momentum scores are as useful as the trends themselves.

Last year I identified 5 technologies that should have made you some money in 2017. I asked you to pretend to you were an Angel investor, a venture capitalist or a company with pilots-on-their-minds with money to invest. I identified five technology clusters that should attract your cash. Here are the 5 clusters I identified for 2017: intelligent systems technology, interaction technology, small software technology, sensor analytics technology and cyber security technology.

This year is no different. There are some old favorites and some new ones. There are some break out trends and applications attracting a lot of attention, and there are some trends that will generate serious momentum in 2018 and beyond. Let’s look at 5 of them. Place your bets.

  • Conversational Interfaces
  • Blockchain Platforms
  • Fake Content
  • Enabling Platforms for AI & Machine Learning Applications
  • Internet of Everything (IOE)
  • Regulatory Threats

Talk to Me

We’ve known for decades that people love talking to machines, searching with graphic interfaces and immersing themselves into video. It’s not the preference that’s important, it’s the state of the technology that matters. Comcast, Google, Amazon and others led the use of voice interfaces in 2017. HomePod will help Apple erase Siri’s problems. Comcast built some of its advertising based on the differentiation their Xfinity voice interface enables. This trend will accelerate in 2018: everyone loves to talk to their apps.  People love saying “Hey, Google” and “Alexa.” The real impact comes from connectivity via the Internet of Things (IOT) than enables additional functionality. The infrastructure is now in place to enable voice-controlled smart homes, cars, buildings and cites. If you don’t feel like talking, you can authorize Alexa (and others) to just manage increasingly aspects of your life. Momentum score? 5 (out of five).  This is the killer app because it enables all sorts of interaction, problem-solving, planning and even analytics.

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Article Credit: Forbes

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Microsoft is reportedly shifting its Windows strategy as it tries to outmaneuver Apple and Google

Microsoft is reportedly shifting its Windows

Microsoft is reportedly shifting its Windows

Last weekend, long-time Microsoft blogger Paul Thurott reported that Windows 10 S – the latest version of the operating system, launched in mid-2017 – is, for all intents and purposes, dead.

The report set off all kinds of conversations in the world of Microsoft fans, who wonder what it could mean for the future of Windows 10 itself. The truth, Business Insider has learned, is a little bit more complicated, and depends to some extent on your perspective.

The idea of Windows 10 S is that it offers a smoother, more secure, and more streamlined experience, with the added benefit of extending a laptop’s battery life. The tradeoff is that it can only install apps from the Windows Store, rather than from the internet, a disc, or anywhere else you might get software.

You can easily go from Windows 10 S to the more traditional and fully-featured Windows 10 Pro – but it might cost you. Owners of the Microsoft Surface Laptop can currently make the switch for free as part of a limited-time promotion, but otherwise, you might have to pay $49 for the transition.

In the bigger picture, Microsoft was positioning Windows 10 S as a way to chip away at Apple’s and Google’s presences in the classroom – Google’s low-cost Chromebook laptops, in particular, beat out Windows in the American classroom by offering cheap, secure laptops that also offer superior battery life.

Thurott cites internal Microsoft research showing that 60% of all Windows 10 S users actually stick with it and don’t switch.

Glass half-empty or half-full?

Now, here’s where things get a little tricky. Because whether or not Windows 10 S is dead kind of depends on your perspective.

Thurott reports that Microsoft will no longer offer Windows 10 S as a standalone operating system. You could never buy it yourself, but computer manufacturers (OEMs, or “original equipment manufacturers” in industry parlance) could license it from Microsoft to pre-install on the computers they sold to customers.

Instead, Microsoft will push a so-called S Mode onto all versions of the Windows 10 operating system, reports Thurott. When enabled, S Mode will make any version of Windows 10 act like Windows 10 S, with all of the benefits and tradeoffs therein.

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Article Credit: Business Insider

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Microsoft’s LinkedIn continues to go its own way in the cloud

When Microsoft initially purchased LinkedIn, many assumed LinkedIn would be moved to Microsoft’s Azure cloud sooner rather than later.

That has not happened. Nor do there seem to be any plans for this in the near term.

In some ways, LinkedIn not running on Azure isn’t surprising. Microsoft officials have been promising for years that Office 365 would one day be moved to Azure and that still hasn’t happened. Xbox Live also does not run on Azure. Instead, Microsoft seems to be focusing on introducing new features for these in the form of Azure services, while leaving the existing legacy base of Office 365 and Xbox Live where they are (running in their own data centers).

But in other ways, LinkedIn’s data center independence issurprising, especially given Microsoft’s focus in the past few years on getting as many ISVs (independent software vendors) and service providers to commit to Azure as their “preferred cloud.” Microsoft has cemented (and touted) partnership deals with AdobeSAPBox and others as major Azure proof points.

When Microsoft appointed LinkedIn’s infrastructure chief Kevin Scott as chief technology officer in early 2017, I wondered whether this signaled an intention by Microsoft’s senior leadership to bring together the LinkedIn and Microsoft clouds. But the answer seems to be no.

In April 2017, a senior LinkedIn official said publicly that LinkedIn planned to continue to manage and control its own infrastructure for the foreseeable future. And a February 2, 2018, post from LinkedIn engineering VP Sonu Nayyyar titled “Lessons learned from LinkedIn’s Data Center Journey” also points to LinkedIn continuing to run its own, independent datacenters.

Nayyar explained that in 2012, LinkedIn realized it needed to change its data center strategy.

“Instead of relying on third-party data center vendors, we needed to operate and manage our own data centers. It was a pivotal decision and created a new principle for us: ‘control our own destiny,’” he noted.

LinkedIn decided to go multi-colo — serve its applications from multiple data center sites. The then-independent company opened a new data center every year from 2013 to 2015. It also opted to build, moving forward, for hyperscale, which resulted in LinkedIn’s “Project Altair,” its data center fabric that “could be scaled horizontally without changing the fundamental architecture of the network or interrupting its core during upgrades.” In 2016, LinkedIn opened its Oregon data center (pictured in the image embedded at the top of this post) that used the Project Altair designs.

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Article Credit: ZDNet

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How Microsoft the giant of the 90s, survived the first tech backlash

Microsoft the giant

Microsoft the giant

Twenty years ago, Microsoft looked unassailable.

In 1998, it was the poster child for America’s ascendant tech industry,  respected and feared for its stranglehold over the PC software market through its Windows operating system.

In a symbolic moment that year, it unseated the century old industrial icon General Electric to become the world’s most valuable company.

Then came the backlash.

That May, amid mounting concerns over its dominance and businesspractises, the US Justice Department sued the Windows-making giant for anti-competitive behaviour.

It wanted to break the company up.

“There was a period where the strength we had in the industry gave some people the reputation that we were stronger than we should have been,” Kurt DelBene, Microsoft‘s head of corporate strategy and operations, and a 20-year veteran of the company, told me at its head offices this week.

“We learned a lot [from that].”

The case (which was ultimately settled – with the company forced to unbundle its Internet Explorer browser from Windows) arguably marked the beginning of the end for Microsoft‘s reign as the world’s most important tech company.

Now, two decades later, a potentially even more significant backlash against the giants of tech industry is fermenting.

But this time, the company behind Windows, Excel and Word isn’t in the crosshairs. Partly due to the strategy put in place by its current leader.

It is now four years since Satya Nadella, a mild mannered, Indian-born cricket enthusiast took the reins as Microsoft CEO.

He replaced the bombastic Steve Ballmer, who was obsessed with expensive forays into whatever the flavour of the month in the tech industry seemed to be – the search advertising business, MP3 players, smartphones – with mostly disastrous results.

“We didn’t have sufficient focus,” recounts DelBene, who among other things now oversees the company’s mergers and acquisitions activity.

Under Nadella, Microsoft has sharpened its focus on key strengths: Selling productivity software people use at work, and selling ‘cloud computing’ services to big companies.

It might sound boring. But boring is a good place to be right now.

The tech sector is arguably even more powerful now than it was at the turn of the millennium.  But in the breathless coverage of surging tech stocks or awe inspiring technologies that have dominated business coverage in recent years, Microsoft has generally been excluded.

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Article Credit: SMH

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Microsoft Build will run from May 7 to 9 in Seattle, will overlap with Google I/O

Microsoft Build will run from May 7 to 9 in Seattle

Microsoft Build will run from May 7 to 9 in Seattle

Scheduling tech conferences is hard, especially in May, when seemingly every company wants to hold a major event, including Google and Microsoft. Typically, Google I/O and Microsoft Build, the flagship developer conferences for both companies, happen within a week or two of each other in May. But not this year.

Microsoft today announced that its Build conference in Seattle will run from May 7 to 9. Google I/O is scheduled to run from May 8 to May 10. That’s not ideal.

Google probably put Microsoft in a tough spot given that it announced its dates first. Both companies use these events to make major announcements that affect both their respective developer communities and their users. Last year, for example, Microsoft used Build to announce both new developer and cloud tools, as well as the latest version of Windows 10.

By scheduling Build right before I/O, Microsoft clearly hopes to steal some thunder from Google.

Most attendees probably only attend one of these shows, so that shouldn’t be an issue for most. Microsoft typically schedules two days of keynotes for Build, though, so May 8 will be an interesting day for the tech press if both Google and Microsoft hold dueling keynotes on that day.

Registration for Build will open on February 15. Developers who want to be in the running for a ticket for Google I/O will have to put their hat in the ring between February 22 and 27.

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Article Credit: TechCrunch

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AI Expo Europe – June 2018

ERPINNEWS has partnered with AI EXPO Global to offer great discounts to our readers

The AI Conference & Exhibition taking place 18-19th April at London’s Olympia is a showcase of next generation technologies and strategies from the world of Artificial Intelligence, an opportunity to explore and discover the practical and successful implementation of AI in driving forward your business in 2018 and beyond.

3 co-located events. 15 conference tracks. 12,000 attendees. 300+ speakers. 300+ exhibitors.


The high-level conference will bring together forward-thinking brandsmarket leaders, AI evangelists and hot start-ups to explore and debate the advancements in Artificial Intelligence and the impacts within the Enterprise & Consumer sectors.  Topics covered include Business Intelligence, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, AI Algorithms, Data & Analytics, Virtual Assistants & Chatbots as well as case study based presentations proving an insight into the deployment of AI across different verticals.

The AI Expo will bring together over 2,000 visitors over the two days including IT decision makers, developers & designers, heads of innovation, brand managers, data analysts and scientists, start-ups and innovators, tech providers and venture capitalists.

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Top Benefits of Big Data in the Healthcare Industry

 Benefits of Big Data in the Healthcare Industry

Benefits of Big Data in the Healthcare Industry

Quantzig, a global analytics solutions provider, has announced the completion of their latest analytics article on the top benefits of big data in the healthcare industry. The advent of digital technology has offered numerous benefits to healthcare providers. A key advancement is the use of big data in the healthcare industry. Using big data can help healthcare sector players to provide more efficient operations and insights into the patients and their health.

The healthcare industry faces multiple challenges, ranging from new disease outbreaks to maintaining an optimal operational efficiency. Big data analytics can help in solving these healthcare challenges. With the vast amount of data available in the healthcare sector like financial, clinical, R&D, administration and operational data, big data can derive meaningful insights to improve the operational efficiency of the industry.

According to the big data experts at Quantzig, “Big data and advanced analytics may just be the answer to the hardest of healthcare challenges.”

Quantzig is a global analytics advisory firm concentrated on leveraging analytics for strategic decision making and offering analytics solutions to clients across several industrial sectors. Listed below are the top benefits of big data in the healthcare industry.

Top benefits of big data in the healthcare industry

  • Advanced patient care: Electronic health records help in collecting demographic and medical data such as lab test, clinical data, diagnoses, and medical conditions, which helps healthcare practitioners to provide quality care.
  • Improve operational efficiency: Healthcare companies use big data as a part of their business intelligence strategy to examine historical patient admission rates and to analyze staff efficiency. Healthcare companies can cut down on healthcare cost and provide better care with the help of predictive analytics. Big data also helps in reducing medication errors by improving financial and administrative performance, and reduce readmissions.
  • Finding a cure for diseases: A particular medication seems to work for some people but not for others, and there are many things to be observed in a single genome. It is not possible to study all of them in detail. But big data can help in uncovering unknown correlations, hidden patterns, and insights by examining large sets of data. By applying machine learning, big data can study human genomes and find the correct treatment or drugs to treat cancer.

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Article Credit: Business Wire

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How big data is helping states kick poor people off welfare

“These systems make our values visible to us in a way that calls us to a moral reckoning.”

big data is helping states

big data is helping states

Technology is being used to target and punish poor people in America, according to a new book by Virginia Eubanks, a professor of political science at the University of Albany, SUNY.

Here’s one example: In 2014, Maine Gov. Paul LePage released data to the public detailing over 3,000 transactions from welfare recipients using EBT cards in the state. (EBT cards are like state-issued debit cards, and can be used to disperse benefits like food stamps.)

LePage created a list of every time this money had been used in a strip club, liquor store, or bar, and used it to push his political agenda of limiting access to state benefits. LePage’s list represents a tiny fraction of overall EBT withdrawals, but it effectively reinforced negative stereotypes and narratives about who relies on welfare benefits and why.

I spoke with Eubanks recently about her new book, and why she believes automated technologies are being used to rig the welfare system against the people who need it the most.

A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.

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Article Credit: VOX

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Amazon reviews scam? Couple who keeps getting mystery packages fear they are victims

A US couple who keep receiving mystery packages from Amazon fear they are the next victims in what is believed to be an elaborate fake reviews scam that is impacting the e-commerce giant.

Mike and Kelly Gallivan, of Acton, Massachusettstold The Boston Globe the first package arrived in October. They have continued to arrive at a rate of one or two a week, about 25 in all. The cheap items inside the boxes range from USB-powered humidifiers to rechargeable dog collars.

“We’re just plain, ordinary people,” Kelly Gallivan told the newspaper. “We don’t want any part of this. But the packages just keep coming.”

The couple, both retired nurses, said it was fun at first when they started receiving the packages from Amazon that they hadn’t ordered. Now they think it’s annoying and want it to stop, and fear they are being used in a scam, the newspaper said.

The Gallivans said Amazon told them the merchandise was paid for with a gift cardwith no sender’s name. But two former Amazon employees said the couple is probably unwittingly being used in a ruse to manipulate Amazon buyer reviews. The anonymous sender is likely writing glowing reviews of their own product.

Here’s how the scam works: a seller trying to boost the ratings of their own merchandise sets up a fake email account to create an Amazon profile, then purchases the items with a gift card and ships them to the address of a random person.

Once the package is delivered, the owner of the Amazon account is then listed as a “verified buyer” of the product and can write a positive review of it that gets higher placement on product pages because of their status, James Thomson, a former business consultant for Amazon, told The Boston Globe.

“The key is to get something delivered somewhere,” Mr Thomson said, noting that Amazon gives products with a greater number of verified reviews a higher ranking in search results, making them more noticeable to shoppers.

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Here’s How Amazon Prime’s New Whole Foods Delivery Will Work

Amazon Prime's New Whole Foods Delivery

Amazon Prime’s New Whole Foods Delivery

Amazon will be offering free two-hour delivery of Whole Foods products to Amazon Prime customers in select cities starting Thursday.

While the service is only available in Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas, and Virginia Beach for now, Amazon plans to expand the Whole Foods Prime Now service across the country over the course of the year.

How Much Does Whole Foods Delivery Cost?

Customers who pay for the yearly Amazon Prime subscription will be able to purchase a range of items that their local Whole Foods store stocks via Amazon or Prime Now. The items will then be delivered, for free, within two hours. For $7.99, customers can get one-hour delivery on orders over $35.

What Kind of Foods Will It Include?

Prime members will have access to thousands of items, from produce, to meat, dairy, and even fresh flowers, but not every item will be available for Prime Now delivery. Stephenie Landry, vice president of Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, and Amazon Restaurants told USA Today that “we might not have every last item that could be available in your local store but we’re going to have the vast majority of them.”

How Will the Food Be Delivered?

Once a customer has placed an order, pickers—not necessarily Whole Foods employees—will manually collect the items from a nearby Whole Foods store and put them in “appropriate packaging.”

The orders will then be given to Amazon Flex delivery drivers—contract drivers who, similar to Uber, drive their own cars but use Amazon’s routing app to make deliveries. These drivers also deliver items for Amazon, Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, and Amazon Restaurants.

The service will generally be available while the stores are open, broadly 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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Article Credit: Fortune

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