Mike from Finance has issues. There's little more personally disturbing than trying to act normal when things are at the outer edges of aberrance. Most every organization has been thrust into the future of work faster than prognosticators dared imagine. What will determine failure or success in this brave new world of work? Yet here we are on Zoom calls and Teaming with Microsoft and pretending we've got everything under control.
Microsoft's .NET team boasts that the forthcoming .NET 5 development stack will offer major performance improvements. Microsoft started shipping previews of .NET 5 in March and plans for general availability in November. ".NET 5 has already seen a wealth of performance improvements, and even though it's not scheduled for final release until this fall and there's very likely to be a lot more improvements that find their way in by then, I wanted to highlight a bunch of the improvements that are already available now," said Stephen Toub, partner software engineer on Microsoft's .NET team. The sixth and newest preview of .NET 5 from June allowed developers to build and run Windows Forms apps on Windows Arm64 devices, like the Surface Pro X. Microsoft at that stage was still working on adding support for WPF on Windows on Arm. Toub's performance analysis covers the .NET garbage collector, the Just-In-Time compiler, 'hardware intrinsics methods', runtime helpers, text processing, regular expressions, threading and asynchrony, and more.
Pegasystems is launching X-ray Vision, a tool that enables robotic process automation to fix itself without human intervention. X-ray Vision aims to address the problem of bot failures. The tool will be combined with automated bot authoring tools in Pega RPA, which is part of the Pega Infinity suite. Broken bots occur when applications user interfaces and processes change and can result in downtime and maintenance costs. X-ray Vision will detect broken bots and then fix them.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has debuted a new database that reveals how, and where, law enforcement is using surveillance technology in policing strategies. Launched on Monday in partnership with the University of Nevada's Reynolds School of Journalism, the "Atlas of Surveillance" is described as the "largest-ever collection of searchable data on police use of surveillance technologies." The civil rights and privacy organization says the database was developed to help the general public learn about the accelerating adoption and use of surveillance technologies by law enforcement agencies. The map pulls together thousands of data points from over 3,000 police departments across the United States. Users can zoom in to different locations and find summaries of what technologies are in use, by what department, and track how adoption is spreading geographically.
Like most nebulous technologies marketed as the cure-all for the enterprise in the 21st century, artificial intelligence--and more specifically anyone tasked with selling it--promises a lot. But there are some major obstacles to adoption for both the public and private sector, and understanding them is key to understanding the limits and potential of AI technologies as well as the risks inherent in the Wild West of enterprise solutions. Consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton has helped the US Army use AI for predictive maintenance and the FDA to better understand and combat the opioid crisis, so it knows a thing or two about getting large, risk-averse organizations behind meaningful AI deployments. For insights on where AI still stumbles, as well the hurdles it will have to clear, I reached out to Booz Allen's Kathleen Featheringham, Director of AI Strategy & Training. She identified the five greatest barriers to AI adoption, which apply equally to public and private sector organizations.
Samsung Electronics expects 6G communication to be commercialised as early as 2028 and go mainstream by 2030, it said in a white paper published on Tuesday. ITU-R, a sector of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) responsible for radio communication, is expected to begin their work to define a 6G vision next year, Samsung said. The time spent on defining and developing technical standards for each successive generation, from 2G to 5G, has shortened, the company said. It took 15 years for 3G to be defined and eight years for 5G, and this trend of acceleration will continue to 6G, it added. The South Korean tech giant also said its vision for 6G is to bring the next hyper-connected experience to every corner of life.
Facebook Connectivity, in league with ULC Robotics, has developed a robot capable of winding optical fibre on live medium voltage (MV) power lines that typically serve residential areas in much of the world, at a claimed cost three to five times cheaper than traditional aerial fibre construction. Karthik Yogeeswaran, wireless systems engineer at Facebook Connectivity, said in a blog post the idea for the project came after travelling through rural Africa and noticing the ubiquity of power line infrastructure, which is far "more pervasive than the total fibre footprint of the country". In order to keep costs down, Facebook needed to lower the preparatory and manual work needed to wind fibre around power lines, and to minimise disruption of electrical services, the robot needed to able to do its job on a live line and be able to avoid and cross obstacles it encountered. Keeping the weight of the robot within the limits that a medium voltage power line could handle was a key challenge because it would limit the amount of fibre it could carry, so the size of the cable needed to be reduced. "Using the MV power line as a support adds a number of additional challenges. The first is the voltage stress. MV conductors can have a voltage as high as 35kV which can cause degradation phenomena such as tracking, partial discharge, and dry band arcing," Yogeeswaran said.
Helping people to help the environment is the core mission at Eden Reforestation Projects, a non-profit that began its work in Ethiopia in 2004, according to the organisation's director of forest monitoring and evaluation Ezra Neale. "A lot of trees are being cut down without any alternatives and local communities are turning towards the land … [and] it creates this endless poverty cycle for the environment and communities; it's all interlinked," he said. "But there's this amazing ability to transform it through planting trees by directly employing and training people to plant trees, totally transforming their lives through a steady income … reinvesting in their community." These days the Los Angeles-based organisation has expanded operations to eight different countries -- Madagascar, Mozambique, Nepal, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, and Central America -- and has planted more than 330 million trees. This year alone, the company aims to plant over 120 million trees.
The AI and ML deployments are well underway, but for CXOs the biggest issue will be managing these initiatives, and figuring out where the data science team fits in and what algorithms to buy versus build. Fifty-three percent of enterprises adopting artificial intelligence have spent more than $20 million over the past year on technology and talent, according to a survey by Deloitte. The State of AI in the Enterprise survey, based on 2,737 information technology and line of business executives, highlights how AI implementations are moving into production at a rapid pace. Deloitte's respondent base included 26% "seasoned adopters," 47% "skilled" adopters and 27% "starters." The respondents were classified based on AI adoption and systems launched into production.
Earlier this year, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) admitted to using a facial recognition tool, despite not having an appropriate legislative framework in place, to help counter child exploitation. The tool was Clearview AI, a controversial New York-based startup that has scraped social media networks for people's photos and created one of the biggest facial recognition databases in the world. It provides facial recognition software, marketed primarily at law enforcement. The AFP previously said while it did not adopt the facial recognition platform Clearview AI as an enterprise product and had not entered into any formal procurement arrangements with the company, it did use a trial version. Documents published by the AFP under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 confirmed that the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) registered for a free trial of the Clearview AI facial recognition tool and conducted a pilot of the system from 2 November 2019 to 22 January 2020.