Artificial intelligence is slowly making its way into every industry, such as transportation and healthcare. Those with the ability to sift through volumes of data to identify insights are best equipped to succeed in an AI-driven job market. If you're interested in a career in AI, then you need to add Python to your skillset. Python is an extremely popular programming language, and it happens to be one of the easiest to learn, especially with The Ultimate Python & Artificial Intelligence Certification Bundle. These expert-taught online courses are normally $199 apiece, but ZDNet readers can grab the set for 97% off, dropping the price to $39.99.
What do IT leaders believe the future of the profession will be, and what kind of threats will be most pervasive down the line? Dallas, TX-based cloud security firm Trend Micro recently carried out new research which reveals that over two-fifths (41%) of IT leaders believe that AI will replace their role by 2030. Its predictions report, Turning the Tide, forecasts that remote and cloud-based systems will be ruthlessly targeted in 2021. The research was compiled from interviews with 500 IT directors and managers, CIOs and CTOs and does not look good for their career prospects. Only 9% of respondents were confident that AI would definitely not replace their job within the next decade.
Amazon is rolling out a new service that gives companies access to Alexa's AI smarts to build their own voice assistants. Amazon said the Alexa Custom Assistant lets automakers and device manufacturers create voice assistants that are built on Alexa technology and work in cooperation with Alexa. The company said this is the first time it's offering this type of access to its voice AI technology. Automaker Fiat Chrysler is the first to integrate Alexa Custom Assistant into its vehicles. Among the key features of the service, Amazon is highlighting what it calls an industry-first capability of simultaneous multi-assistant cooperation.
I have to admit it: I backed the wrong horse when it came to driving home automation from a digital assistant and went with Microsoft's Cortana and its Harmon Kardon Invoke smart speakers. I had good enough reason: I trusted Microsoft's privacy commitments a lot more than either Amazon's or Google's, and Apple's Home relied on the too-expensive HomePod smart speakers. Sure, I had a couple of Amazon Echoes and a Google Nest Mini to try out those ecosystems, but their over-reliance on in-cloud voice recognition was that bit too much on the creepy side. Still, I could happily control my Hue lights from Cortana, though support for my Netatmo thermostats and Ikea Tradfri lights had to be through maker tools like IFTTT and workflow automation with webhook APIs like Power Automate or Zapier. But then Microsoft refocused Cortana on its commercial customers and announced that its Invoke Cortana integrations were due to be turned off early in 2021.
I like the idea that users can take back control of their data in a variety of ways, and I really like the fact that my web search results are not being used to direct ultra-targeted ads toward me. I have been using DuckDuckGo for a while now, have used Presearch when I use Chrome as a browser, and Startpage is my search tab on my Edge browser. Recently I have been having a look at Germany-based tech startup Xayn's app for my Android device. It is based on research in privacy-protecting AI and stands for transparency and ethical AI made in Europe. The app lets you have control over its search algorithms.
This week, Intel announced CEO Bob Swan will be replaced by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger. Facing stronger competitive challenges, Intel has struggled. Recently, the company has come under pressure by activist investors to make significant changes. Wednesday brought one such change. Gelsinger is no stranger to Intel.
Google is offering a free course for people who are on the hunt for skills to use containers, big data and machine-learning models in Google Cloud. The initial batch of courses consists of four tracks aimed at data analysts, cloud architects, data scientists and machine-learning engineers. The January 2021 course offers a fast track to understand key tools for engineers and architects to use in Google Cloud. It includes a series on getting started in Google Cloud, another focussing on its BigQuery data warehouse, one that delves into the Kubernetes engine for managing containers, another for the Anthos application management platform, and a final chapter on Google's standard interfaces for natural language processing and computer vision AI. Participants need to sign up to Google's "skills challenge" and will be given 30 days' free access to Google Cloud labs.
Microsoft has released a new preview of a future Windows 10 taskbar that shows how it plans to display news and weather in the task bar. Microsoft is kicking off 2021 with more user interface changes as it gears up for the big Sun Valley UI update in for the 21H2 Windows 10 release. The widget panel features news and other tidbits that can be personalized or turned off, and are accessible from the taskbar. A point to keep in mind is that the feature isn't guaranteed to turn up in a future version of Windows 10, but if things go well, it probably will turn up in Windows 10 21H2. That the software giant is bothering to show off improvements to the feature bodes well for it.
Google has introduced Guest Mode to Google Assistant to give users the chance to ensure their interactions with their Google smart speakers or displays, including Nest Audio and Nest Hub Max, are not saved to their account when this new mode is switched on. When Guest Mode is switched on, users will be able to continue to ask questions, control smart home devices, set timers, and play music, but will not be able to access personal results, such as calendar entries or contacts, until Guest Mode is switched off. Google added the device will also automatically delete audio recordings and Google Assistant activity from the device owner's account when in Guest Mode. However, if users are interacting with other apps and services, such as Google Maps, YouTube, or other media and smart home services while in Guest Mode, those apps may still save that activity, Google said. To switch on Guest Mode, it is a matter of users saying, "Hey Google, turn on Guest Mode", before the device plays a special chime and a guest icon is displayed.
Walmart is focused on things such as "what the future of AI will mean, or how robotics will change our business, and how 5G will change how people want to live and shop," says CEO Doug McMillon. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon was the big keynoter at the Consumer Electronics Show 2021, in a half an hour segment that covered a range of broad topics such as equality and leadership. He was hosted by Tiffany Moore, senior Vice President, political and industry affairs for the Consumer Technology Association. CTA president Gary Shapiro set the context: 11,000 stores in 26 countries, more than 2 million employees globally. McMillan started out a wage earner thirty years ago at the retail giant, loading trucks.