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Success with automation and AI requires a high ‘RQ’

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Companies know that a high IQ can help drive business value. But the analyst outfit Forrester Research believes that if companies are going to successfully work side by side with artificially intelligent systems, they’re also going to need a high “RQ.”

RQ, or robotics quotient, is a measurement of how competent a company will be at automation and AI implementation. The Forrester assessment is based on three main areas: people, leadership and organizational structures. A fourth area, trust, will influence the three main categories and change depending on the type of technology being deployed.

J.P. Gownder, a Forrester analyst serving CIOs, described RQ as the “human contribution” companies need when deploying automation and AI technologies. “It’s not just about the bots; it’s not just about artificial intelligences,” he said in a July presentation at the New Tech and Innovation 2018 conference in Boston. “It’s about real people, real leaders and real organizational structures that you need to put in place to make sure you’re most likely to succeed.”

Toronto moments

Automation and AI technologies are on a spectrum from more deterministic, where A always leads to B, to more probabilistic, where A could lead to B but could also lead to C or to D.

And these probabilistic systems create a new wrinkle for companies: No matter how swanky the user interface or how cutting-edge the technology, probabilistic systems can produce incorrect — and even illogical — results that can erode the trust humans have in the machine’s abilities.

Gownder pointed to IBM Watson as an example. During its Jeopardy! debut in 2011, Watson answered a final question about U.S. cities with “Toronto,” causing the audience to gasp. When researchers did a post-mortem, it became clear that even Watson doubted the response. Using probabilistic judgement, the machine determined that Toronto had only a 30% chance of being correct, but it was the best answer it could come up with at the time.

These “Toronto moments,” as Forrester now refers to them, “teach us something about the intersection between human beings and AI and the trust that is part of this,” Gownder said.

The more probabilistic a system is, the more human intervention it might need. But designing systems and processes that strike a balance between trust and intervention will be a challenging step for companies. That’s where Forrester believes RQ will come in handy.

What is RQ?

The robotics quotient is a self-assessment that “measures the ability of individuals and organizations to learn and adapt to and collaborate with automated entities,” Gownder said. It’s composed of 39 characteristics that Forrester regards as a collection of automation and AI best practices.

Forrester Research, RQ, robotics quotient, PLOT frameworkJ.P. Gownder

The higher the score, the more prepared a company is to tackle the new challenges that come with automation and AI technologies. But RQ doesn’t just measure readiness, according to Gownder. It also enables CIOs to “identify gaps or areas where you need to prioritize resources before you make a big bet on automation and AI,” he said.

The 39 characteristics fall into one of three categories — people, leadership and organizational structure. People, for example, are measured across different dimensions — such as facilitation, which considers how effective an employee might be at communicating with an automated entity, and perception, which includes things like basic digital literacy and “constructive ambition,” or an eagerness to learn.

For leaders, the RQ highlights vision, adaptability, the ability to inspire trust and influence. The final category refers to IT employees and beyond; CIOs will need to influence the C-suite and even the board of directors to secure the budget, buy-in and support that automation and AI tools can demand. “The CIO is no longer a benign dictator who has all the power,” Gownder said. “This is the creation of an ecosystem across business units with lots of participation from the workers themselves.”

Organizational structures will also need to adapt. Automation and AI may require new titles such as bot manager, new training and mentoring opportunities for humans and machines alike, new processes that encourage human-machine team creation, and new metrics. “After all, we can have all the good intentions, and the well-educated employees and the leaders who are on board,” Gownder said, “but if we do not create structures, processes and budgets — the b word — we’re going to have a hard time getting this through.”

Don’t forget about trust

The categories of people, leadership and the organization are then measured against one final category — trust. Gownder called trust “a multiplier in this model.” Automation and AI technologies exist on a spectrum from transparent to opaque, and where the technology falls on that spectrum will influence employee trust.

“If you’re implementing something that is very transparent, that is very deterministic, your employees will bring a high level of inherent trust to the machine. They’re used to these sorts of systems,” Gownder said. “If you’re using probabilistic systems, where the machine is often uncertain of its results, then you’re going to have a higher burden of RQ investment.”

Forrester’s model breaks down the complexity of trust by providing a numeric value for how deterministic the technology is, how transparent the technology is and how much change the technology could have on the workplace.

The changes that automation and AI will have on the workplace could be a sensitive area for leaders, especially as automation and AI instigate changes in the workforce. “As you might imagine, when employees are losing their jobs as part of a deployment of automation, you magnify the mistrust among remaining employees,” Gownder said. “It raises the bar for the change management.”

But the efforts could be worthwhile. As repetitive tasks become automated, job satisfaction generally goes up, Gownder said. And although AI remains in its early stages, it is poised to transform how companies operate and interact with customers.

Whether companies choose Forrester’s RQ method or not, Gownder argued that an organizational competency in AI and automation is needed.

“If you want to be successful in creating a mixed workforce that incorporates digital workers, human workers, lots of automated processes, lots of probabilities, lots of real-time data and AI, you’re going to have to measure your people, your leaders, your organization and the inherent trust that is associated with technology,” he said.

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Source: https://searchcio.techtarget.com/feature/Success-with-automation-and-AI-requires-a-high-RQ

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Crypto sees second week of outflows; ether posts record outflows – CoinShares

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By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Cryptocurrency investment products and funds saw outflows for a second straight week, with ether posting record outflows as institutional investors took a step back, data from digital asset manager CoinShares showed on Monday.

Total crypto ouflows hit $21 million for the week ending June 11. Since mid-May, total outflows reached $267 million, representing 0.6% of total assets under management (AUM).

Ether, the token used in the Ethereum blockchain, posted its largest outflow last week of $12.7 million, data showed. The token has been one of the strongest performers this year.

But CoinShares said ether inflows last week were mixed, “implying mixed opinions among investors.”

Ether was last up 1% on the day at $2,536. Since hitting a record $4,380.64 on May 12, ether has fallen 40%.

The outflows in bitcoin cooled last week to $10 million, significantly lower than the previous record week of $141 million, CoinShares data showed. Trading activity in bitcoin products rose 43% from the previous week.

Bitcoin rose above $40,000 on Monday following tweets from Tesla boss Elon Musk, who said Tesla sold the currency but may resume transactions using it. It was last up 1.8% at $39,686.

While bitcoin is currently trading 36% below its 11-year exponential trend, Dan Morehead, co-chief investment officer at Pantera Capital, said in his Blockchain Letter on Monday that investors should resist the urge to close positions and instead go the other way if they have the emotional and financial resources to do so.

“Bitcoin generally goes way up…Anyone that has held bitcoin for 3.25 years has made money,” said Morehead.

Grayscale, the largest digital currency manager, raised its AUM to $33.04 billion last week, from $30.3 billion the previous week.

CoinShares, the second biggest digital asset manager, saw AUM slip to $3.8 billion, from nearly $4 billion the week before.

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/crypto-sees-second-week-outflows-ether-posts-record-outflows-coinshares/15444

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Analysis: Murkiness of Russia’s ransomware role complicates Biden summit mission

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By Joseph Menn

(Reuters) – As U.S. President Joe Biden prepares to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin over ransomware gangs in his country that twice recently targeted critical American infrastructure, his administration is publicly blaming the Russian government for allowing those criminals to profit without prosecution.

The FBI and private cybersecurity companies have not disclosed any evidence showing Russian government involvement in the ransomware attacks on U.S. fuel transporter Colonial Pipeline Co and meatpacker JBS SA of Brazil. Putin has called the idea that Russia was responsible absurd.

But as the cyber operations of Russian intelligence agencies have evolved, it has become harder for the U.S. government to distinguish alleged Russian intelligence operatives from ordinary cyber criminals stealing secrets in ransomware forays and threatening to publish them, according to more than a dozen U.S. intelligence, national security and law enforcement officials and experts outside of government interviewed by Reuters.

“It’s a combination of tasking and turning a blind eye, but there’s always a plausible deniability,” said cybercrime expert John Bennett of corporate risk consultancy Kroll.

As the top FBI agent in San Francisco, Bennett oversaw an investigation of a massive breach https://www.reuters.com/article/yahoo-hack-indictments-fsb-idINKBN16N0K4 of 500 million Yahoo email accounts that led to 2017 U.S. charges against two officers of Russia’s FSB security agency accused of instructing outside criminal hackers. A Canadian defendant pleaded guilty to nine felony counts in the case, while charges against three Russians remain pending because they are outside of America’s grasp.The White House said Biden will bring up ransomware attacks emanating from Russia when he meets Putin in Geneva on Wednesday in the wake of forced shutdowns at Colonial Pipeline and meatpacker JBS, which has extensive U.S. operations.

Putin told Russian state television that Moscow would be willing to hand over cybercriminals to the United States if Washington reciprocates. Biden on Sunday called that statement a sign of progress. White House and State Department officials declined to elaborate or say what Biden would seek from Putin.

Russian officials have denied control of criminal groups while calling hackers whose activities fulfill Kremlin objectives “patriotic.” In public statements and private forums, major criminal groups warn affiliates not to attack targets in Russia. Many ransomware programs will not execute on devices that have keyboards set for the Russian language.

In another U.S. criminal probe, Evgeniy Bogachev, a Russian national, was charged https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/us-leads-multi-national-action-against-gameover-zeus-botnet-and-cryptolocker-ransomware in 2014 with running GameOver Zeus, a variant of sophisticated bank-fraud software, and distributing early ransomware called Cryptolocker.

Though it was not part of the indictment, GameOver Zeus’ pattern of data collection – searching infected computers for banking passwords and phrases including “top secret” – indicated a relationship with Russian intelligence, according to senior U.S. Justice Department official John Carlin, who oversaw the case during the Obama administration.

Increasingly, ransomware has moved toward bigger targets and toward stealing secrets instead of just encrypting them inside the targets. Both trends could fit with Russian government goals, said analyst Craig Williams of Cisco Systems’ Talos threat intelligence unit.

Evil Corp, a group that the U.S. Treasury has said is led by a Bogachev associate named Maksim Yakubets, became the first ransomware gang to focus on “big game” targets likely to pay more, said Adam Meyers, senior vice president of cybersecurity technology company CrowdStrike.

A 2019 U.S. Treasury Department sanctions order https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm845 accused Yakubets both of carrying out large-scale crimes and taking FSB directions, “acquiring confidential documents through cyber-enabled means and conducting cyber-enabled operations on its behalf.”

Yakubets was indicted https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/russian-national-charged-decade-long-series-hacking-and-bank-fraud-offenses-resulting-tens in the United States in 2019 for alleged hacking, wire fraud and bank fraud. The United States has offered millions of dollars in reward money for information leading to the arrests of Bogachev and Yakubets and published photographs of them, but they have not been apprehended by Russian authorities.

Analysts told Reuters Yakubets is married to the daughter of a former senior FSB operative. Reuters was unable to reach either man for comment.

Because the Treasury sanctions forbid U.S. ransomware targets from paying Evil Corp, the group keeps renaming its encryption software.

One of the new variants is called Hades, according to CrowdStrike https://www.crowdstrike.com/blog/hades-ransomware-successor-to-indrik-spiders-wastedlocker. As of March, the Hades variant had been found in multiple companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, according to incident responders at Accenture https://www.accenture.com/us-en/blogs/cyber-defense/unknown-threat-group-using-hades-ransomware, including in the transportation and manufacturing sectors.

(Reporting by Joseph Menn in San Francisco; Editing by Will Dunham and Edward Tobin)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/analysis-murkiness-russias-ransomware-role-complicates-biden-summit-mission/15439

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Analysis: Murkiness of Russia’s ransomware role complicates Biden summit mission

Published

on

By Joseph Menn

(Reuters) – As U.S. President Joe Biden prepares to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin over ransomware gangs in his country that twice recently targeted critical American infrastructure, his administration is publicly blaming the Russian government for allowing those criminals to profit without prosecution.

The FBI and private cybersecurity companies have not disclosed any evidence showing Russian government involvement in the ransomware attacks on U.S. fuel transporter Colonial Pipeline Co and meatpacker JBS SA of Brazil. Putin has called the idea that Russia was responsible absurd.

But as the cyber operations of Russian intelligence agencies have evolved, it has become harder for the U.S. government to distinguish alleged Russian intelligence operatives from ordinary cyber criminals stealing secrets in ransomware forays and threatening to publish them, according to more than a dozen U.S. intelligence, national security and law enforcement officials and experts outside of government interviewed by Reuters.

“It’s a combination of tasking and turning a blind eye, but there’s always a plausible deniability,” said cybercrime expert John Bennett of corporate risk consultancy Kroll.

As the top FBI agent in San Francisco, Bennett oversaw an investigation of a massive breach https://www.reuters.com/article/yahoo-hack-indictments-fsb-idINKBN16N0K4 of 500 million Yahoo email accounts that led to 2017 U.S. charges against two officers of Russia’s FSB security agency accused of instructing outside criminal hackers. A Canadian defendant pleaded guilty to nine felony counts in the case, while charges against three Russians remain pending because they are outside of America’s grasp.The White House said Biden will bring up ransomware attacks emanating from Russia when he meets Putin in Geneva on Wednesday in the wake of forced shutdowns at Colonial Pipeline and meatpacker JBS, which has extensive U.S. operations.

Putin told Russian state television that Moscow would be willing to hand over cybercriminals to the United States if Washington reciprocates. Biden on Sunday called that statement a sign of progress. White House and State Department officials declined to elaborate or say what Biden would seek from Putin.

Russian officials have denied control of criminal groups while calling hackers whose activities fulfill Kremlin objectives “patriotic.” In public statements and private forums, major criminal groups warn affiliates not to attack targets in Russia. Many ransomware programs will not execute on devices that have keyboards set for the Russian language.

In another U.S. criminal probe, Evgeniy Bogachev, a Russian national, was charged https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/us-leads-multi-national-action-against-gameover-zeus-botnet-and-cryptolocker-ransomware in 2014 with running GameOver Zeus, a variant of sophisticated bank-fraud software, and distributing early ransomware called Cryptolocker.

Though it was not part of the indictment, GameOver Zeus’ pattern of data collection – searching infected computers for banking passwords and phrases including “top secret” – indicated a relationship with Russian intelligence, according to senior U.S. Justice Department official John Carlin, who oversaw the case during the Obama administration.

Increasingly, ransomware has moved toward bigger targets and toward stealing secrets instead of just encrypting them inside the targets. Both trends could fit with Russian government goals, said analyst Craig Williams of Cisco Systems’ Talos threat intelligence unit.

Evil Corp, a group that the U.S. Treasury has said is led by a Bogachev associate named Maksim Yakubets, became the first ransomware gang to focus on “big game” targets likely to pay more, said Adam Meyers, senior vice president of cybersecurity technology company CrowdStrike.

A 2019 U.S. Treasury Department sanctions order https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm845 accused Yakubets both of carrying out large-scale crimes and taking FSB directions, “acquiring confidential documents through cyber-enabled means and conducting cyber-enabled operations on its behalf.”

Yakubets was indicted https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/russian-national-charged-decade-long-series-hacking-and-bank-fraud-offenses-resulting-tens in the United States in 2019 for alleged hacking, wire fraud and bank fraud. The United States has offered millions of dollars in reward money for information leading to the arrests of Bogachev and Yakubets and published photographs of them, but they have not been apprehended by Russian authorities.

Analysts told Reuters Yakubets is married to the daughter of a former senior FSB operative. Reuters was unable to reach either man for comment.

Because the Treasury sanctions forbid U.S. ransomware targets from paying Evil Corp, the group keeps renaming its encryption software.

One of the new variants is called Hades, according to CrowdStrike https://www.crowdstrike.com/blog/hades-ransomware-successor-to-indrik-spiders-wastedlocker. As of March, the Hades variant had been found in multiple companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, according to incident responders at Accenture https://www.accenture.com/us-en/blogs/cyber-defense/unknown-threat-group-using-hades-ransomware, including in the transportation and manufacturing sectors.

(Reporting by Joseph Menn in San Francisco; Editing by Will Dunham and Edward Tobin)

Image Credit: Reuters

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://datafloq.com/read/analysis-murkiness-russias-ransomware-role-complicates-biden-summit-mission/15439

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Huawei CFO seeks publication ban on HSBC documents in U.S. extradition case

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By Moira Warburton

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on Monday will seek to bar publication of documents her legal team received from HSBC, a request opposed by Canadian prosecutors in her U.S. extradition case who say it violates the principles of open court.

Meng’s legal team will present arguments in support of the ban in the British Columbia Supreme Court.

Meng, 49, was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018 on a warrant from the United States, where she faces charges of bank fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC about Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s business dealings in Iran and potentially causing the bank to break U.S. sanctions on business in Iran.

She has been under house arrest in Vancouver for more than two years and fighting her extradition to the United States. Meng has said she is innocent.

Lawyers for Huawei and HSBC in Hong Kong agreed to a release of the documents in April to Meng’s legal team on the condition that they “use reasonable effort” to keep confidential information concealed from the public, according to submissions filed by the defense on Friday.

Prosecutors representing the Canadian government argued against the ban, saying in submissions filed the same day that “to be consistent with the open court principle, a ban must be tailored” and details should be selectively redacted from the public, rather than the whole documents.

A consortium of media outlets, including Reuters News, also opposes the ban.

The open court principle requires that court proceedings be open and accessible to the public and to the media.

It is unclear what documents Huawei obtained from HSBC, but defense lawyers argue they are relevant to Meng’s case.

Meng’s hearing was initially set to wrap up in May but Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes granted an extension to allow the defense to read through the new documents.

Hearings in the extradition case are scheduled to finish in late August.

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Howard Goller)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/huawei-cfo-seeks-publication-ban-hsbc-documents-us-extradition-case/15438

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