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AI Can Help Protect Smart Home IoT Devices from Hackers




Smart home hubs and IoT devices, poised for dramatic growth, have an immature security infrastructure. AI can help manage the complexity. (Stephan Bechert on Unsplash)

By AI Trends Staff

As researchers continue to find security flaws in smart home hub IoT devices, part of an immature security infrastructure. One researcher suggests AI can be helpful to address the vulnerabilities.

A cybersecurity team from ESET, an internet security company based in Slovakia, found bugs in three different hubs dangerous enough to trigger remote code execution, data leaks and Man-in-the-Middle attacks, according to a recent account from ZDNet.  The hubs were: the Fibaro Home Center Lite, eQ-3’s Homematic Central Control Unit (CCU2) and ElkoEP’s eLAN-RF-003.

The issues were reported to the vendors, and ESET did some follow up evaluation later. “Some of the issues appear to have been left unresolved, at least on older generations of devices,” ESET stated in its report. “Even if newer, more secure generations are available, though, the older ones are still in operation […] With little incentive for users of older-but-functional devices to upgrade them, they [users] need to be cautious, as they could still be exposed.”

The smart home hub vulnerabilities exist in devices that are poised for dramatic growth. According to IDC, the global market for smart home devices is expecting 26.9% growth in 2019, amounting to 832.7 million shipments. Growth of 17% is expected through 2023.

Revenue generated by the smart home market was estimated to be some $74 billion in 2019, with the US leading at $25 billion in sales projected for 2020, according to Statista. US penetration of smart homes is projected to grow from 18.5% in 2020 to 52% by 2023, the researchers estimate.

This growth means homes will be equipped with enough connected devices to rival the number of connections in a mid-sized company. Updates, passwords and settings will have to be managed, without the support of an IT security team or enterprise-level security tools, suggested a recent account from the IoT Security Foundation.

“This is where artificial intelligence and machine learning can come to the rescue,” the report states. “As is the case in many industries and niches, machine learning is complementing human effort and making up for the lack of human resources.”

AI Looks for Patterns in Device Communication to Flag Unusual Activity

AI is specifically adept at finding and establishing patterns, when it’s fed huge amounts of data, which is plentiful from IoT devices.

For example, a network traffic monitoring system can be applied to interactions between devices, to find attacks that might be past the outer perimeters. While the IoT is heavy with machine-to-machine (M2M) traffic, since device functionality and interaction is limited per device, the devices engaging in abnormal exchanges can be singled out. They may be compromised.

The common denominator of AI-based endpoint solutions that can outsmart malware is that they are very lightweight and use pattern-based approaches to deal with threats.

Researchers with consultancy Black Marble last year reported finding three vulnerabilities in two smart hubs made by Zagreb from Zipato of Croatia, according to an account in Bank Info Security. The researchers tried to see if they could unlock a door remotely without prior access, and take data off a single controller that could be leveraged to open other doors. They also searched for vulnerabilities that might allow for unlocking a door on the same network as the controller.

The researchers accomplished two of the three tasks and reported the third was very likely possible given enough time. The researchers reported the results to the vendor, which was reported to have addressed the software issues in a timely manner.

Zipato says it has 112,000 devices in 20,000 households across 89 countries; the company is not sure how many serve as smart home hubs.

Hackers Look for Data of Value Wherever They Can Find It

Hackers target smart home hubs for the potential to retrieve passwords and other data they can use for further exploits.

“All of these smart devices are really networked computers in addition to what they traditionally are: refrigerators, light bulbs, televisions, cat litter boxes, dog feeders, cameras, garage door openers, door locks,” stated Professor Ralph Russo, Director of Information Technology Programs at Tulane University, in an account from Safety. ”Many of these continually collect data from embedded sensors. Malicious actors could gain access to your home network through your device if they can exploit an IoT device vulnerability.”

Professor Ralph Russo, Director of Information Technology Programs, Tulane University

Devices seen most at risk are outdoor devices with embedded computers that support little or no security protocols, such as garage door openers, wireless doorbells and smart sprinklers. Next most vulnerable are devices inside the home that can be controlled through an app from a smartphone or PC, such as smart bulbs and switches, security monitors, smart door locks and smart thermostats.

“These devices rely on weak security tokens and may be hacked due to weaknesses in the communication protocols used, configuration settings or vulnerable entry-points left open by the vendor for maintenance,” stated Dr. Zahid Anwar, an associate professor at Fontbonne University, St Louis.

Dr. Zahid Anwar, Associate Professor, Fontbonne University, St Louis

Some hackers intend to take over smart home devices as part of a plan to build a network of bots, which could be used for example to orchestrate a large-scale capture of personal data, suggested Maciej Markiewicz, Security CoP Coordinator & Sr. Android Developer at Netguru, a digital consultancy and software company. “These devices can be easily used to conduct more complex attacks. Very often, the management of such botnet networks consisting of smart home devices are sold on the darknet to be used in crimes,” he stated.

Suggestions to protect smart home hubs include: assessing whether the risk of connection is worth the benefit, secure the Wi-Fi network router, use a password manager, register devices with the manufacturers in order to get the software updates, consider a professional installation and unplug the devices not in use.

Read the source articles in  ZDNet, at the IoT Security Foundation, in Bank Info Security and in Safety.



Impacts of Artificial Intelligence in Content Writing




Artificial intelligence has transformed the content-writing industry because most things are done by artificial intelligence when writing content today. Many publishers use artificial intelligence to generate their content, for example, The Press Association creates about 30,000 local stories through artificial intelligence.

“If you think that this is done by formula writing, you are wrong, because the AI has gone beyond formulating and is now creating sensible written content.” 

Whether you are a content writer or have a content writer team, writing content is not an easy task, especially if you have limited time. There are also many other tasks such as keyword research, optimization, proofreading, uploading and publishing.

Now, all these tasks take time and effort, but what if there is a machine that does these tasks automatically for you?

In this article, you will learn more about how AI works and some of its applications in the content writing industry.

How AI Content Writer works

There are various technologies in AI Content Writer, the most important of which is Natural Language Generator (NLG). NLG automatically generates the narrative written content from the data you have provided, i.e. titles, key points.

NLG will be responsible for various tasks for writing content such as

  • Data analysis and reporting
  • Automatic e-mails
  • Financial update system
  • Automatic communication between user and system
  • Business intelligence dashboards
  • Business intelligence dashboards

These are only the most common and popular, but numerous other applications are used in different industries.

However, we have sorted out some of the popular AI-based tools available online to help content creators.

  • Plagiarism checker

Every author of the content knows the importance of plagiarism and the side effects of its use in publications. Artificial intelligence has made it easier to check for plagiarism in your content because without it, it seems impossible to verify copied content.

The plagiarism AI checks your article and compares it to all other content to find similarities. However, the modern AI of some tools is also able to detect the paraphrased context in your article, as CopyScape’s plagiarism check does.

The above tool is a very accurate gauge of the appropriate content, as it searches all content in search engines, including descriptions on social media and YouTube. If your content has any twisted content, it will detect it.

  • Grammar Checker

“There was a time when authors had to hire proofreaders to find bugs in their content, but now the trend has changed: the AI-based tools automatically detect the bugs and suggest you correct them.” 

Grammar checkers like Grammarly only take seconds to detect grammatical errors and some other content errors. It uses its AI technology to find all tenses, spelling, interference, clarity and output errors.

In this way, the tool could be more efficient than a human because it only takes seconds and does not need any revision. Some of the modern artificial intelligence in this tool help improve the integration, clarity and execution of sentences.

  • Paraphrasing Tool 

The paraphrasing tool is another example of an AI-based tool that works more efficiently than a human. The online rephrasing tool works by replacing the words with their suitable synonyms to create a new copy of the original content.

As an example of how it works, we can take the paraphrasing tool from Prepostseo. This tool is very fast and precise as it uses its AI-based technology Natural Language Processing NLP to replace the words but keeps the actual meaning of the context.

  • Image to Text Converter 

This online tool uses AI to convert the uploaded image into text that can be used for any purpose. This tool is useful for students, teachers, business people and writers as they need to convert previously written work into editable documents.

For example, Simple OCR’s picture-to-text tool uses the AI-based Optical Character Recognition OCR technology to extract the text from the image. This tool is beneficial for converting documents that need to be converted into some modifications, and you don’t need to rewrite the entire context.

  • AI article generator

“This is also called a virtual content writer because it generates the article independently without human interaction and writes the content automatically with the support of the AI” 

Article Forge’s article generator is a very amazing tool that not only creates context but also makes it suitable for SEO, foreign exchange, review, editing and proofreading your article.

  • Reverse Image Text

Sometimes you need to search for a query about a similar image or similar information through an image. There are some tools on the Internet known as reverse image text that perform the aforementioned operations.

The user uploads the image and the tool looks for the relative result over the image and in this way, you can get what you want. As an example, we can take the tool called Tin eye, which helps to browse the data within seconds by uploading images.

  • Optimizer Checker

If you are a writer or SEO specialist, you may know the importance of text optimization. Text optimization is described as improving your performance in the context of improving readability.

The writing performance check tools are based on artificial intelligence because it analyses the article and generates a score accordingly.

  • Readability Analyzer

The author can write the content in an easily understandable way and this is one of the needs of SEO guidelines for search engines.

The tools that generate the readability value analyze your text and see the reading behaviour according to the human. 


The content writing quite becomes difficult when trying to escape plagiarism or low-quality writing but the AI has changed this practice. Now, the time efficiency has gone more far after the AI has started generating articles on its own. 

If you are a writer and want to check the quality of your writing then AI will let you know your position. It is expected that AI will be enough in the future to replace humans for writing the content. 

Also, Read How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Education


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How chatbots add value in the financial industry




In the world of technology, the first big leap was reached, and it was bringing the web to the mobile. Now the next one should take place, bringing the mobile to the conversation. At this stage, it can be stated that the first generation of chatbots in the financial industry has not yet convinced the majority of customers. However, the better the technology becomes, the more banks provide a wide range of roles and functionalities for these virtual assistants. The simple question and answer programs available today will transform themselves into intelligent conversational partners who can help customers to manage their financial businesses. Accordingly, financial institutions expect that more and more customers are managing their financial businesses by using chat services such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Number of chatbots and websites

The development of sophisticated chatbots and their widespread acceptance by the consumers could take several more years. As soon as it happens, however, the idea of managing finances without a bot will be like trying to imagine life without a smartphone. Most of the FinTech start-ups are already one step ahead and it is time to catch up for traditional financial institutions. Bot and artificial intelligence (AI) technology provide finance services the tools they need to improve the customer experience, streamline the compliance process and lower costs.

Improvement of customer experience

These days, organizations have a lot of opportunities to meet and interact with their customers. There are sufficient communication channels such as Facebook Messenger, e-mail newsletter, SMS and mobile apps that companies can use to engage with their customers or promote their products and services. The most important aspect to consider is how to use these various communication channels to ensure that businesses get more value out of each one. On the one hand, it is difficult to manage the entire process, even more for financial institutions as their structures are more complicated. On the other hand, customers are more and more looking for exceptional services from their banks and also want a highly personalized experience where banks are able to remember their preferences, monitor their expenditures and advise on savings.

Customer satisfaction from one platform approach

Organizations can simplify the process by using bots while they are not required to develop or modify their services for each communication channel. Besides, they have the ability to gather information about the audience that helps financial institutions create a personalized customer experience. Furthermore, in general, customer service agents can only support one person at a time whereby chatbots can support thousands of customers at the same time. Thus, agents can devote themselves to more complex tasks. On the whole, these bots can provide excellent services and experience to customers, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and revenue growth and this 24/7.

Revenue opportunities & lower service costs

Not only the existing processes are optimized, but new business ways are also being opened up that increase the opportunity for revenue growth. A business can receive significant web traffic due to online advertising expenditures. However, it may not be converted into tangible sales. Nonetheless, by implementing a chatbot, a customer gets prompted when browsing something specific, even if the user has no intention to buy. It is not only the advertisement but also the virtual consultation regarding offered products and services that add value for customers. All this, around the clock one can offer at no additional cost. At this stage, it can be stated that this marketing and sales strategy can increase the revenue and at the same time lower the service cost.


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Why Data & Data Annotation Make or Break AI




Ashely John

1. Conversational AI: Code/No Code

2. Chatbots 2.0: Simplifying Customer Service with RPA and AI

3. Question Answering on Medical conversation

4.Automating WhatsApp with NLP: Complete guide


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