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This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through August 1)

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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

OpenAI’s Latest Breakthrough Is Astonishingly Powerful, But Still Fighting Its Flaws
James Vincent | The Verge
“What makes GPT-3 amazing, they say, is not that it can tell you that the capital of Paraguay is Asunción (it is) or that 466 times 23.5 is 10,987 (it’s not), but that it’s capable of answering both questions and many more beside simply because it was trained on more data for longer than other programs. If there’s one thing we know that the world is creating more and more of, it’s data and computing power, which means GPT-3’s descendants are only going to get more clever.”

TECHNOLOGY

I Tried to Live Without the Tech Giants. It Was Impossible.
Kashmir Hill | The New York Times
“Critics of the big tech companies are often told, ‘If you don’t like the company, don’t use its products.’ My takeaway from the experiment was that it’s not possible to do that. It’s not just the products and services branded with the big tech giant’s name. It’s that these companies control a thicket of more obscure products and services that are hard to untangle from tools we rely on for everything we do, from work to getting from point A to point B.”

ROBOTICS

Meet the Engineer Who Let a Robot Barber Shave Him With a Straight Razor
Luke Dormehl | Digital Trends
“No, it’s not some kind of lockdown-induced barber startup or a Jackass-style stunt. Instead, Whitney, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at Northeastern University School of Engineering, was interested in straight-razor shaving as a microcosm for some of the big challenges that robots have faced in the past (such as their jerky, robotic movement) and how they can now be solved.”

LONGEVITY

Can Trees Live Forever? New Kindling in an Immortal Debate
Cara Giaimo | The New York Times
“Even if a scientist dedicated her whole career to very old trees, she would be able to follow her research subjects for only a small percentage of their lives. And a long enough multigenerational study might see its own methods go obsolete. For these reasons, Dr. Munné-Bosch thinks we will never prove’ whether long-lived trees experience senescence…”

BIOTECH

There’s No Such Thing as Family Secrets in the Age of 23andMe
Caitlin Harrington | Wired
“…technology has a way of creating new consequences for old decisions. Today, some 30 million people have taken consumer DNA tests, a threshold experts have called a tipping point. People conceived through donor insemination are matching with half-siblings, tracking down their donors, forming networks and advocacy organizations.”

ETHICS

The Problems AI Has Today Go Back Centuries
Karen Hao | MIT Techology Review
“In 2018, just as the AI field was beginning to reckon with problems like algorithmic discrimination, [Shakir Mohamed, a South African AI researcher at DeepMind], penned a blog post with his initial thoughts. In it he called on researchers to ‘decolonise artificial intelligence’—to reorient the field’s work away from Western hubs like Silicon Valley and engage new voices, cultures, and ideas for guiding the technology’s development.”

INTERNET

AI-Generated Text Is the Scariest Deepfake of All
Renee DiResta | Wired
“In the future, deepfake videos and audiofakes may well be used to create distinct, sensational moments that commandeer a press cycle, or to distract from some other, more organic scandal. But undetectable textfakes—masked as regular chatter on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and the like—have the potential to be far more subtle, far more prevalent, and far more sinister.”

Image credit: Adrien OlichonUnsplash

Source: https://singularityhub.com/2020/08/01/this-weeks-awesome-tech-stories-from-around-the-web-through-august-1/

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Benefits of Personal Voice Assistant Technology

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Voice assistant technology software is fast becoming a part of our everyday life. Ninety-two percent of young people stated they use this technology to learn. Voice assistant technology performs tasks or services using voice commands. With such commands, you can control home automation devices, manage email, create to-do lists, watch movies, and set calendars.

Introducing voice assistants to your business operation improves your business processes. This technology helps you cut costs, free-up time and give you an edge against your competition.

Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google’s Assistant are accessible voice assistants. Breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence in recent years has aided this technology’s evolution. Now they can serve regular needs.

Some services personal voice assistant technology render is:

  • Provide information, e.g., weather.
  • Create to-do lists.
  • Play music, and videos from your device
  • Read audiobooks.
  • Provide live chat assistance

Voice assistants do not serve only the needs of individuals. They are an excellent economic tool. Enterprises can deploy them to improve productivity in the workplace.

Almost any business can use this technology. It can range from writing service review sites like Online Writers Rating to e-commerce sites such as Amazon. 

There are several benefits of voice assistant technology. In this article, we will expose those that are beneficial to businesses.

They Help To Streamline Business Operations

Integrating this technology into your enterprise helps to improve your worker’s productivity. Personal assistant technologies never stop working, offering your enterprise smooth day-to-day operational efficiency.

Voice assistants are responsible for remembering important dates and deadlines. They are in charge of scheduling appointments and keeping crucial systems updated. This, in turn, offers your professionals more time to be resourceful. Providing innovation for your company and reducing operational costs.

Improves e-Commerce Marketing

E-commerce hubs can use voice assistant technology-enabled chatbots to serve their customers. The chatbot experience for the customer helps make an enjoyable online shopping experience on any device.

Businesses can also program these intelligent assistant technology chatbots to get consumer information. Such as customers’ interests, transaction history, and location.

Upon collection, this data improves your business’s personalized marketing strategies. The information also enhances your business website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Piyush Goel says his company uses intelligent assistant technologies to record Zoom meetings. The voice assistant transcribes the recording. Then it identifies the callers and flags keywords, so they become searchable.

Provides HR Support

Voice assistants for HR have become seamless and increased efficiency. This is because HR can now focus their energy on more complicated tasks, which gives a good experience for the people being interviewed. There are voice technologies that can select qualified candidates and conduct initial interviews. Thanks to the machine learning algorithm, it allows the hiring process to proceed quickly and accurately. 

Another way it helps HR is with scheduling. They schedule training and vacation programs. They also schedule reviews and meetings. Now, with just voice commands, meetings for different personnel can be held without any overlaps. 

Removes Language Barriers

Voice assistant technology integrates well with translation services, helping your business handle language barriers. Which often happens when browsing on the internet.

For example, Google’s assistant understands 27 different languages. And there are developments in progress to cater to more languages. Personal assistant technology integrates with e-Commerce sites, communicating with customers in their language. This leads to smoother customer experience and more revenue. 

Improves Your Customer Service

Intelligent assistant technology is a useful utility to support small business’s customer service. They respond to queries, process payments, and follow up on orders. A personal assistant is an excellent tool for small businesses to optimize customer service.

Human beings need to take a break once or twice a day. Voice assistant technology, on the other hand, does not take breaks. Thus enabling your business to be available at all times to respond to customer queries. They can set appointments and any task that is specific to your business.

These smart machines are not called personal assistant technology as a naming convention. Voice assistant will serve as your secretary. Answering your calls, booking appointments, taking messages, and a lot more.

Helps Your Business Save Time By Automating Repetitive Tasks

A Gartner report states that: by 2021, intelligent assistant technology will recover 6.2 billion employee working hours and generate $2.9 trillion in business value.

Including voice assistant technology to your business operations will improve your customer experience and impact on your business’s productivity level. 

Automate repeated tasks to a voice-activated personal assistant because this will free-up time for your human personnel. Thus all your resources, which help business growth, generating more revenue. 

Programming voice assistants to deal with routine tasks helps your employees dedicate their time only humans can excel in.

Catering To The Needs of Employees And Customers With Visual Impediments

Voice assistant technologies are getting better at responding to voice commands. These technologies are making interaction with smart devices more convenient. Businesses whose employees have visual impairments can get the best out of them. How? By integrating voice assistant technology to their business operations.

The impaired employees will use the voice assistant to get any task done like any other human. This technology ensures that your customers with visual impairments get good customer service. No matter the time of the day.

So long as there is a voice assistant technology-aided customer service.

Conclusion

The product or the service a business renders determines its success. The business’s competitive edge is also an important factor. Voice assistant technology incorporated into any business operation improves its competitive edge regardless of size.

Source: https://www.aiiottalk.com/business/voice-assistant-benefits/

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Internet of Things Approach In Healthcare Industry

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The 20th century brought us innovative technologies that changed the standards in all areas of science. Software development for business, robotic technologies, and the Internet of things help companies cross the borders, reach their clients in every single part of the world, as the smart connections between people and things have made our life completely different. The audience is looking for new opportunities to get better products and services faster and at less cost.

“As for healthcare, where the life of people is always on the line, expectations and demands in it are higher than anywhere else.” 

Management of hospitals, clinics, and separate medical specialists are taking advantage of the IoT technologies in the way that during recent years we witness the occurrence of a new scientific field, the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT).

To define it shortly, by the IoMT we mean a well-organized system of gadgets, collecting data from different sources and interacting with each other to support the providing of different services on the high level of quality.

Let’s briefly analyze in what aspects of healthcare the application of ITO is more widespread.

Out-Patient Healthcare 

It’s always difficult for doctors and medical institutions to provide good support for the patients who continue their treatment at home, that’s why applying smart technologies gave additional opportunities for both, patients and hospitals, monitor the processes related to therapy with necessary accuracy and attention. Among the most the areas the IoT is most popular are the following:

  • Medication Management

Some patients are dependent on the schedule and dose of medication in the way that any single mistake may lead to severe consequences. That’s why to eliminate the human factor, which is evident in forgetting to take a pill on time or the lack of attention to the process of medication, doctors use IoT to help patients follow the recommendations, and control the dose of the drug taken.

Some patients who control the process of medication themselves, often need reminders. Other patients, whose medication is under control of caregivers, need special supervision. And first of all, their nurses or members of the family should be properly informed about the schedule and dose to avoid mistakes.

“Patients with chronic diseases, who’s been using the same medication for a long time, don’t need to visit the hospital to get a new prescription anymore.” 

Their doctors will e-prescribe the pills when they need it. Just a couple of clicks and that’s it.

  • Communication with hospital 

Patients want to save their time, and in this situation, only hospitals and clinics that are aware of the importance of waiting time reduction can hope for their clients’ loyalty. Some patients have a habit to come earlier, others are always late, the same is about doctors. So, to get rid of the negative effect of those factors, hospitals start using IoT to reduce waiting time and manage the patient flow easily.

Timely patient ticketing and well-designed system of patient distribution help manage the patients who come for the initial consultancy in a proper way. Another very important aspect is setting the appointment itself. Previously, when it was done on the telephone, patients would spend a lot of time holding on the line.

Besides, to cover the needs of the growing number of patients, hospitals would have to hire additional human resources for the calling centre. But in the end, a significant number of patients would be still disappointed. Nowadays, with the help of IoT, patients only need to open the application on their smartphones, choose the appropriate time, and click for approval.

  • Preventive healthcare measures

Patients who don’t show the symptoms of certain diseases, but are genetically predisposed to them, need their permanent diagnostics to monitor the vitals and notice any suspicious changes as early as possible. Dementia, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease are the most vivid cases. Collecting data, storing, and analyzing it by doctors will help such patients prevent the disease, or postpone its occurrence easily with even small changes in the lifestyle. Wearable gadgets are widely used for these cases. 

In-Patient Healthcare

Among the areas, ITO is applied in the in-patient healthcare services we can mention the cases where smart technologies are used for treatment and the cases where they are applied for the general administrative tasks.

  • Routine tasks automation

To improve the inner communication in the hospital, and the cooperation between different hospital departments, automation with the help of IoT has gained great popularity. Nurses on the ward can be permanently in touch with the responsible doctors without the necessity to leave the patient.

As for automation in the managerial issues, we can mention the improvement of data management with the help of IoT. Medical data is very sensitive, and any mistake in its entry or processing may lead to lethal consequences. That’s why to optimize the accuracy the new technologies are used to collect, analyze, and store the information.

On the other hand, doctors and allied medical staff are not the only people who need constant access to the patients’ data.

“The patients are also interested to get the test results on time and can monitor any changes in the personal records 24/7. So, IoT provides a multi-dimensional system for data management.” 

  • Treatment and life support

Different sensors connected to the hospital monitoring system incessantly collect the data about patients who are in the department of intensive care. They help maintain the normal process of treatment, as the information they provide, is constantly upgraded.

Usually, in such departments, every patient is connected to several types of equipment, like lung ventilation sets, and different sensors that control vitals. It’s impossible to hire a separate specialist who will check the equipment and the information it provides, that’s why IoT plays a key role here, as it remotely controls and maintains the life and health of the patients. Besides, doctors can reach the needs of several patients simultaneously, as they have a possibility to monitor tier state on distance.

Also, Read 6 Major IoT Security Issues

Source: https://www.aiiottalk.com/internet-of-things/iot-in-health-care-industry/

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Why Do You Need Customized Database Management Solutions?

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Database management is no simple task; it is a complicated process that requires skilled professionals. Over time and with the advent of new technologies, database management has gotten even more complex. There are several software tools now available in the market that promise to maintain and look after your database. However, as a business owner, are you equipped with the technical expertise to know which of these tools are needed for monitoring your business database management systems?

Why expertise is critical

In order to get the best value and optimization when it comes to database management systems, you need to know how your database works. Second, you need to allocate a specific amount of your budget for its maintenance and protection. This holds true for business heads who manage extensive databases. They need to ensure all the data is stored safely without cybersecurity hazards, and this is where they have to allocate a large budget for the need. Most large businesses have an in-house team of skilled database management administrators to take care of unique business needs. However, small to medium scale businesses often face a challenge when it comes to database management maintenance and security. They generally cannot invest lots of money for the protection or the maintenance of database systems. This is why their databases fail to perform and give them the desired results. This proves to be detrimental to the business as well.

Hiring reliable database management specialists 

Small-to-medium-scale businesses can partner with managed IT services to take care of the organization and management of their data in an effective manner. These services typically have trained and qualified database administrators who are skilled in the latest technologies. They are able to detect issues and rectify them with customized solutions. When it comes to database management and maintenance, no two organizations are the same. However, the key goal for every business is to make the database system as simple as possible. The data should be collected and stored without fears of potential risks and threats. In the event of a potential risk, the business should be equipped with the right strategies to retrieve lost data to minimize losses. A data recovery plan should be created and put in place. This will ensure that the business does not collapse due to compromises in the data management systems.

How does the right database management service company add value to your business?

A new business might not face immediate problems when it comes to database management. However, things can get complicated when the nature of the data changes and increases. For instance, credit card numbers have the risks of getting manipulated in several harmful ways in case it reaches the hands of people with malicious intent. It is here that effective database management systems have to provide for different levels of authorized access so that the data of the company does not accidentally – or intentionally – fall into the wrong hands. It should be the priority of the company to protect the sensitive information of the business round the clock.

Selecting the right models for the growth of your business 

Specialists from a respected name in the field of database management and administration, RemoteDBA.com, state there are several database management system tools that one can choose for their business: for instance, relational, hash-based, ad-hoc, hierarchical, etc. These services use different management models for the collection and maintenance of the data in an organized and efficient manner. As a business owner, you need to decide which model will work for you. There are certain factors that impact your choice. Specialists say that the model you select will not only affect the way the software functions, but it will also influence the way you look at data. The choice you make at this junction will be very crucial to the future of the business, as you are not able to reverse it later.

Note that database management is not limited to the collection of information. This data needs to be extracted in order to co-relate it to the goals of the business. The data that is wrong, redundant, and incomplete should be discarded from the system. The duplicate entries done by mistake have to be weeded out. The entries need to be correct and verified, and it is here that the process of data cleansing for an effective database management system requires high levels of experience as well as expertise.

What does database management entail?

Database management covers the collection of relevant data, developing mailing lists, and sorting when it comes to data cleansing. The above tasks depend upon the levels of expertise and use of technology that could either be researched on the Internet or learned about with a simple phone call to a qualified provider. Effective database management helps a business to:

  1. Control the costs of information management
  2. Optimize time for database maintenance
  3. Provide good service

The database management system needs to be 100% secure. Access and authentication should be precise. Security permissions for the system should be restricted to stop illegal access. It should include the process of regular backups and the archiving of raw files so that the data can be retrieved in the event of a risk or a threat, or if something else goes wrong. Moreover, a good system is simple for the business to use, and it is endowed with a friendly user-interface so that individuals of different capabilities can use the tools without extensive training. Experts say that effective database management should also be accompanied with online documentation and excellent support.

Therefore, when it comes to effective database solutions for a business, one should choose the right maintenance partner for the job in the absence of an in-house team. The service provider will take charge of the maintenance and management systems of the database to help the company boost its performance and reach its short- and long-term goals with minimal or no disruption.

Source: https://1reddrop.com/2020/08/04/why-do-you-need-customized-database-management-solutions/

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