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With artificial intelligence and machine learning, KPIs are crucial

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Two technology leaders who appeared on stage at the recent MIT Sloan CIO Symposium represented opposite ends of…

the AI proficiency spectrum.

At one end was Kayak, a digitally native company founded in 2003 that has seamlessly integrated artificial intelligence and machine learning into its product development lifecycle. At the other end was DBS Bank, a multinational financial services company established in 1968 by the Government of Singapore.

The two companies may not be competitors, but with their technology leaders sitting side by side on stage, it seemed only natural to wonder: Can a DBS Bank ever catch up to a Kayak when it comes to implementing artificial intelligence? The answer seems to be yes, but not without drive, vision and well-thought-out key performance indicators (KPIs).

Building an AI-conversant enterprise

DBS Bank is in the midst of an enormous digital transformation effort, one that includes an aggressive plan to implement artificial intelligence and machine learning. Part of the near-term effort is to build an enterprise AI competency.

“We want to train the top 250 executives in the firm to become AI conversant,” said David Gledhill, group CIO and head of group technology and operations at DBS Bank. “We want to train 200 people to be what we call AI translators.”

By conversant, Gledhill means training executives to understand machine learning techniques at a high level, as well as knowing enough to “intelligently question what a model is and what it can do,” he said.

DBS Bank, AI, implementing AI, implementing artificial intelligence, MIT CIO Symposium, CIODavid Gledhill

The numbers he shared are more than a want, they are key performance indicators for the year, and they are tangible enough to give employees a realistic goal without drowning them in the vision thing. “We don’t want to go too far, too soon because we think that’s just going to completely alienate people,” Gledhill said.

And, ultimately, this executive cadre is an important part of a larger strategy to grow the company and to foster a reputation as a premier digital bank. Gledhill described the education efforts as “phase one” of a multiphase plan. Phase two metrics are being hashed out now but will focus on “how to solve process at scale.” That could include KPIs that measure process automation as well as targets for company growth.

Phase three is still a work in progress but will likely focus on observation and prediction. “A goal that one of our teams there has already set is how do I detect a million problems before they happen,” Gledhill said.

The customer comes first

Gledhill said he sees artificial intelligence and machine learning as “just another tool in the toolbox” and the implementation of the technologies as an extension of the data culture already in place.

What’s missing is employee training and a supporting workflow design. When Gledhill and his team began asking what it means to design for AI, they helped guide the conversation to focus on “data capture, data governance, instrumentation, and also the way you design a process and what is applicable to AI,” he said. “Training people to understand what that actually means is kind of the challenge and the opportunity.”

At Kayak, artificial intelligence and machine learning are also seen as tools in the toolbox, but KPIs that measure their usage simply don’t exist. The company, which aggregates prices on flights, hotels and car rentals, has been using artificial intelligence and machine learning behind the scenes for years.

Kayak, AI, implementing AI, implementing artificial intelligence, MIT CIO Symposium, CTOGiorgos Zacharia

“At the end of the day, it’s about measuring user experience,” said Giorgos Zacharia, Kayak CTO and chief scientist who holds four math and computer science degrees from MIT. “If machine learning is the right tool, you use it. If it provides improvement, you use it.”

When pressed to share UX KPIs that might influence developers to choose artificial intelligence and machine learning tools over traditional coding techniques, Zacharia insisted the company just doesn’t think that way. “We basically have one KPI: Have we helped users find the flight, hotel or car they were looking for?” he said. “Whatever tools you use underneath, they have to drive toward an improvement for that.”

Indeed, customer experience appears to influence just about every decision at Kayak. Even when talking about security measures, latency and fraud detection, Zacharia brought his point back to user experience. “Our own suppliers of information — airlines, online travel agencies, et cetera — love our data,” he said. “Some of them actually hire bot scrapers to find out their competitors’ prices. So protecting the website from malicious — and non-malicious — bots is very important because it affects user experience.”

A shared goal

The distinction between the detailed, multiyear plan from Gledhill and the laser-like focus on customer experience from Zacharia drove Michael Schrage, MIT researcher and panel moderator, to pit the two against each other. “What advice would you offer [Gledhill]?” he asked Zacharia. “Do you think he’s being too process-oriented on this?”

“Maybe. But it’s a bank,” said Zacharia, drawing a hearty laugh from the audience.

Gledhill didn’t let the comment slide, asserting that the financial institution’s goal to solve a million problems before they happen is directly tied to customer experience. He described DBS Bank as being “on this journey” to make customer experience less of a passive endeavor and more of a predictive one.

“As we evolve our product set,” he said, “we’ve kind of gone on this journey of customer experience from customer feedback, which simply doesn’t work out well, to design thinking to what we’re now exploring, which is this whole area of customer science,” he said. He said it was important to understand the science of customer behavior, to find areas where customers struggle and to determine what great service looks like.

We are at war, and, as my boss keeps reminding me, digital and technology is the way we’re going to win or lose.
David Gledhillgroup CIO, DBS Bank

Rather than designing for AI, DBS Bank’s developers will eventually design for what Gledhill called “customer ops.” That includes finding the friction points customers might experience, figuring out how long a customer is likely to wait for a response before moving on to the next transaction, aligning KPIs to a customer ops dashboard in an effort to stay one step ahead of customers, and using cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to make it happen.

“We are at war, and, as my boss keeps reminding me, digital and technology is the way we’re going to win or lose,” Gledhill said.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://searchcio.techtarget.com/opinion/With-artificial-intelligence-and-machine-learning-KPIs-are-crucial

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Must Know Data Pre-processing Techniques for Natural Language Processing!

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Data Pre-processing Techniques for NLP projects! – Analytics Vidhya






















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Source: https://www.analyticsvidhya.com/blog/2021/06/must-know-data-pre-processing-techniques-for-natural-language-processing/

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Donut Plots : Data Visualization With Python

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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

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
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

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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