AI-driven Personalizationin Digital MediaPolitical and Societal Implications

| December 6, 2019

article image
Machine learning (ML)-driven personalization is fast expanding from social media to the wider information space, encompassing legacy media, multinational conglomerates and digital-native publishers: however, this is happening within a regulatory and oversight vacuum that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Mass-scale adoption of personalization in communication has serious implications for human rights, societal resilience and political security. Data protection, privacy and wrongful discrimination, as well as freedom of opinion and of expression, are some of the areas impacted by this technological transformation.

Spotlight

Siemens Technology India

Siemens is a global powerhouse positioned along the electrification value chain – from power generation, transmission and distribution to smart grid solutions.

OTHER ARTICLES

Build The Truth Block By Block

Article | April 12, 2021

There is nothing new about fake news. It has been in existence for centuries, albeit without the scaffolding of support from social media. From housewives’ tales to gossip magazines, the Trojan horse to the misinformation around the D-Day landing site, fake news has been a rite of passage. The Russian military made this into a fine art with “maskirovka,” the doctrine gaining superiority through deception, denial and disinformation. However, it was the 2016 U.S. presidential election that branded it with a legit identity and with such alacrity that today, I find myself questioning everything I read or hear about, no matter the veracity of the source. Fake news is a contagion that has the potency to be as disruptive as the coronavirus and must be fought with equal urgency. If you cannot solve the problem, manage it. The power behind fake news is big data — the quantum of data generated and its velocity of distribution. Big data feeds companies with interesting consumer insights on evolving trends and behaviors, which are then beautifully packaged into text, video or audio content by harnessing machine learning and deep learning algorithms. The slips happen here. If I were to personify fake news, Cersei Lannister, the manipulative, power-hungry queen in Game of Thrones, would be the perfect candidate. Cersei embellishes the truth with dramatic twists and turns to create compelling lies. We experienced a similar situation when news broke that President Trump’s grandfather owned the Arctic Restaurant and Hotel in Bennett, British Columbia, during the 1890s and 1900s, which fueled an interesting twist on the source of the family's wealth. While AI will help us identify fake news, we need a preventive measure that nips it in the bud It is almost difficult to differentiate fake news from real news. While AI will help us identify fake news, we need a preventive measure that nips it in the bud — a vaccination rather than medication. If tech helps in creating an issue, should tech help solve it too? Based on my years of experience in implementing these solutions for large enterprises and developing next-gen blockchain offerings with startups, I believe blockchain may just be the remedy we are looking for. Most technologists, however, do not consider blockchain to be a relevant or credible technology, with the primary criticisms being its lack of widespread adoption and its esotericism. But I believe the contrary. The vision of grandma-proof blockchain is becoming real — to create an inclusive global, scalable blockchain solution that can cater to every human need. Blockchain should be our weapon to effectively reduce and ultimately eradicate fake news. In blockchain, no single individual or group holds the authority, but everyone needs to approve; therefore, it enables the highest degree of integrity, privacy and security Blockchain is nothing but a distributed ledger that helps build trust in decentralized networks and that runs on the computing power of its participants. No single individual or group holds the authority, but everyone needs to approve; therefore, it enables the highest degree of integrity, privacy and security. This is accomplished by consensus algorithms. Each blockchain has adopted some form of it, and some even claim to have consensus that can prevent obfuscation of the truth even when faced with over 90% malicious intent. Blockchain technology enables a "shared single version of truth" across multiple entities based on two fundamental characteristics: immutability and traceability. Immutability Immutability is when a blockchain ledger has the capability to remain unaltered, effectively ensuring that any data on the blockchain cannot be altered — only built upon. Each block created has a unique identity and timestamp attached to it that builds a fortress around the data. Innovative upcoming blockchains use crypto-biometric identity to further buttress the fort. For example, Mediachain, a decentralized independent music library, uses blockchain to protect the originator’s authenticity by providing information about the creator, producer and lyrics to listeners. Steemit is a decentralized social media site that rewards content creators who also interact with other users. Each content piece or interaction is recorded on the immutable record by blockchain. And if news companies were to adopt blockchain — and organizations like the New York Times are already working on this — this is what we might expect: Journalists could create a block (an entry in a distributed ledger) and upload news via text, image or video. Editors would then create another new block with an edited version of the news, leaving the original block unchanged. Publishers (news agencies) would then publish the news based on their block and any changes that they might make. Each one of the participants is authenticated on the blockchain with a simple touch of their finger while protecting the fidelity of the news. Remember, entries cannot be changed, only built upon, and therefore, each change is recorded and allocated to a specific entity. For someone to “fake” the news, they would have to alter the data at each level. Infiltrating the high-security protocols would require considerable time and resource allocations. Traceability As mentioned, each block that is created has a distinct identity attached, preferably a crypto-biometric for added security and individual control. So, if fake news is generated and circulated through social media using blockchain as the base, it becomes easier to pinpoint the culprit while establishing the real source of the news. This would ascribe true content ownership to credible creators. Fake news creators are using advanced tech stacks to create deepfakes for digital deception. Generative adversarial networks (GANs) can help them to create deepfakes of images and videos that can even counteract or deceive advanced AI/ML algorithms. Of course, GANs are also being used to detect fake news now. If technology has helped fake news become compelling and believable, let’s use intelligent and available technology like blockchain to at least control it, if not eradicate it. Then again, if blockchain had existed in the medieval ages, we would have been denied the entertaining antics of Cersei Lannister and the wonderful blockbuster series that kept most of us enthralled!

Read More

Predictions on Software Development Trends of 2022

Article | July 14, 2021

The world has started stepping into the “new normal” era. With the boost in vaccine inventions and countries rapidly vaccinating their citizens, we will be back to living a ‘new normal’ life. We keep mentioning normal as the ‘new normal’ because things will never be the same as before the pandemic. A majority of changes have happened for the best. Nevertheless, challenges emerged in the pandemic, and these were answered by innovations. Let us precisely talk about the innovations in software development trends. Digitalization played a vital role in transforming society and overcoming the hurdles created by the pandemic. Hybrid working style, chatbots, IoT, AI, and development in applications to improve performance and customer experience are the key software development trends that are on the rise. Growth Predictions Post Pandemic ● 63.3% of companies consider accelerated digital transformation. ● IaaS market solutions will be worth $64 billion. ● Online sales will account for 22% of global retail (currently it is 14%) ● The utilization of low code products will reach 50%. ● The outsourcing services industry is estimated to reach more than $66 billion. Software development trends have led to a boom in the software industry. As a result, all the sectors have turned towards software for solutions. Observing this change of scenario, here are some of the predictions on software development trends that will rule the industry by 2022. Software Development Trends IoT The combination of AI and Big Data with IoT has led to significant changes in the IoT industry. IoT has profoundly incorporated its way into daily human life. It eases everyday chores by connecting all the devices with sensors and syncs them automatically. The machines understand our timely needs and act subsequently. IoT has come a long way from just connecting the phone and the laptop. Instead, the day starts with Alexa, Siri, or Google. From telling them to turn on your coffee maker to adjusting your AC temperature, every little thing is manageable by the internet of things! As a result, more and more devices are built with sensors to simplify everyday processes. Thus, IoT is one of the software development trends to be utilized in various sectors by 2022. IoT has groundbreaking potential and has been adapted in smart cities. The smart cities project is a possibility only because of IoT. Progressive Web Apps (PWA) Progressive Web Apps are a trend in software development that is gaining popularity in these challenging times. PWA are apps that combine the functions of native apps and website accessibility. They provide the same user experience as native apps without having the hassle of upgrading and installing for web or mobile devices. Easy maintenance, one codebase, easily searchable, lightweight, and operating offline are some of the advantages of progressive web apps. PWA is here to stay and is the latest in software development. It is progressive, responsive, connectivity-independent, secure, easily installable, and linkable. As a result, many companies are switching their websites and apps to PWA for hassle-free code development and a great user experience. Low-Code Development Be it software developers, web developers, or users, low-code development is a hit amongst all. This new technology in software development saves time, is fast and intuitive. The long hours spent in coding every line are held by low code development. Herein the code is sketched like a flowchart and fed into the machine. As a result, a lot of manual effort is saved. Low-code development is one of the latest technologies in software and the future of the software industry. Traditional developers thought that this process did not have much potential, but the pandemic changed this thought. Low-code development will allow people with little digital skills to digitalize their ideas. Building apps quickly is the need of the hour, and low code development helps achieve that. This trend will also help in bridging the gap between the supply and demand of software engineers. AR (Augmented Reality) Augmented reality has appallingly changed the marketplace. Customers can virtually try new makeup or beauty products without even touching the product. The beauty industry has seen incredible conversion while using AR for its marketing. Similarly gone are the days of 2D mapping. AR has managed to bring 3D mapping into our lives. Be it gaming or navigation; augmented reality has strongly made things attractive. AR is a hit in advertisements. Companies are luring customers by adding filters or creating environments in apps. This has shown great conversion numbers to the businesses. This is because AR is software that is more than visually appealing. It improves functionality, enhances effectiveness, and creates brand value. As a result, we are going to see more from this technology in 2022. Big Data Using Big Data is building credibility. Security has a whole new meaning post-Covid-19. The public has become aware of the information that it will allow access to. This has led to a boost in the use of Big Data. By 2022 Big Data can be used as DaaS (Data as a Service). This will allow companies to access the required data, and thus redundancy is avoided. The use of Big Data has proven to provide data-driven solutions. It is giving the customers exactly what they are looking for. And this can be achieved only when you have proper segregation and security of a large amount of data. Netflix has proven its popularity by utilizing Big Data and giving the viewers the exact content they are looking for. Thus, Big Data is a software trend that will be a compulsion for companies to adapt in the future. AI (Artificial Intelligence) This list would be incomplete without mentioning the hottest software trend in the market these days. In the last five years, AI is one industry that has gained tremendous momentum. This is because machines are trained to think and perform tasks that were possible only for humans. The combination of machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, and machine control has already enhanced customer experience in various sectors. The improved user experience, better efficiency, less prone to errors, reduced costs, and increase in ROI have made AI a dominant trend in the technology world. By 2022 there will hardly be a sector that has not implemented AI. From the demand and supply chain industry to predicting stock markets, we will see a lot of AI everywhere. Conclusion: Be Ready for 2022! These are some of the predictions of software development trends 2022. There will be enormous changes in the lifestyle, working style, and adaptive measures taken by humans. And in this changing era, technology trends will guarantee maximum productivity along with comfort. As the pandemic unfolds and most of the population gets vaccinated, there will be turning points in the latest software trends and the IT industry. There will be minor glitches and fluctuations, but these newest software development trends will help overcome them all. They assure an increase in revenues and adding value to the brand of the company. Software development is not just a trend in software engineering but a process of continuous innovation. Of course, the predictions of technological processes are pretty unpredictable as inventions surge. But one predictable thing is that game-changing technology trends will keep emerging, and there are no stopping innovations in these fields. Frequently Asked Questions What are the top 3 emerging technologies in software? AI (Artificial Intelligence) dominates the emerging technology industry, followed by IoT (Internet of Things) and then AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), and MR (Mixed Reality). These play a predominant role in changing the face of technology. What is trending in software development nowadays? The current trends in software development are AI chatbots, powerful programming languages, and active incorporation of IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, DaaS to provide flexibility and improve productivity. These effective solutions are implemented to build apps, websites, manage hybrid working culture, and ease communication processes between teams. Why should you track trends in software development? It is the need of the hour to digitalize the business. If you keep up with the rapidly changing software trends, you can be distinguished from your competitors, and it will help you stay ahead of the race. Your products/services will be productive, efficient, and trusted by the customers. If you do not digitalize your businesses and incorporate the required technology, your business will cease to exist. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the top 3 emerging technologies in software?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "AI (Artificial Intelligence) dominates the emerging technology industry, followed by IoT (Internet of Things) and then AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), and MR (Mixed Reality). These play a predominant role in changing the face of technology." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is trending in software development nowadays?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The current trends in software development are AI chatbots, powerful programming languages, and active incorporation of IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, DaaS to provide flexibility and improve productivity. These effective solutions are implemented to build apps, websites, manage hybrid working culture, and ease communication processes between teams." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why should you track trends in software development?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "It is the need of the hour to digitalize the business. If you keep up with the rapidly changing software trends, you can be distinguished from your competitors, and it will help you stay ahead of the race. Your products/services will be productive, efficient, and trusted by the customers. If you do not digitalize your businesses and incorporate the required technology, your business will cease to exist." } }] }

Read More

These Mindblowing Theories About Human Consciousness Will Change How You Look At The World

Article | October 21, 2020

Consciousness—it’s one of the biggest questions out there. One thing that people today have in common with those from the earliest ages is questioning consciousness and our own existence. It’s taken different forms through the years, but the questions are largely similar at their core and the answers are still at large after all this time. The good news is that while we don’t have the answers yet, or even a timetable for when we might get those answers, we know more now than we have at any other point in human history. It’s easier to share information than it ever was in the past, and in this era, even an average person can study the big questions about life without the requirement of a formal education or access to a university. But in this age where it’s easier to ask questions, what kind of answers are we actually being led towards? We could be in a simulation—but not in the way you think One of the more modern theories on consciousness proposes that we might be living in a simulation. And modern really is the right word to describe this one, because it would have been an unthinkable idea even 20 years ago. However, as computing has grown stronger and stronger over the years, a key question was raised by these advancements: Is it possible that somewhere, computers are already powerful enough to run an entire universe? And if that’s the case, are we living in one of these simulations? While this sounds outlandish, it’s certainly a theory that has at least some support. That includes support from Elon Musk, who says we probably are living in a simulation. Don’t think, however, that we’re living in some version of the Sims catered to an alien audience. Games might be the first thing that comes to mind for us when simulations are brought up, but a more serious answer is quite a bit different from that idea. Rather than a game, such a simulation may be for, to put it simply, historical purposes. That is to say, instead of some advanced alien civilization running their own simulated universe, it may be advanced humans from the future simulating the lives of their ancestors. But this simulation of the past would be real enough that for the simulated person on the other side, everything feels real and there’s no way to tell that it is a simulation. This isn’t just an idea from science fiction, as much as it might sound like one. It was proposed by Nick Bostrom, an Oxford professor. There’s a lot of possible reasons why a future society might want to run a simulation in this way, ranging from studying history to preserving the records of the past. If you don’t think this would be possible from a technical perspective, just consider the jump in quality between early computers and the computers of today. Computing has already improved exponentially within our lifetime. In the very far future, this growth may have continued to heights that would have been unimaginable previously, just like computers today would have been unimaginable to someone used to the first computers. Quantum mechanics could be part of the explanation We don’t know much about how the brain works. While there’s been a lot of scientific progress since the questions around the nature of consciousness were first raised, there’s still a long way to go in figuring out just what makes the brain tick so to speak. Quantum mechanics, however, is good at explaining these kinds of things that don’t operate along the regular laws of physics. It’s hard to explain exactly how quantum mechanics work also, but we do know a bit more about them than we know about the brain. Essentially, if you break things down to a small enough level, they begin to respond differently. Some of the laws and theories that would have dictated their behavior previously begin to behave more loosely. Take a toothpick for example. You can move it around or drop it or throw it and it follows the same laws of physics. And if you snapped it in half, those halves would also follow the same rules. However, if you kept doing this until you reached a certain tiny, microscopic level, things would get weird. But just saying that the brain might work on quantum mechanics doesn’t actually explain much. After all, that statement says nothing about what these mechanics may actually do, and more importantly, what that means for us. Fortunately, though, more detailed theories on the subject do exist. It’s been said that quantum mechanics could explain these different quantum laws working with our brain to create consciousness from a “fourth dimension” around us. Quantum laws may also dictate that particles behave differently depending on if they’re being observed or not. Of course, the definitions are complex. Observation is a general term that doesn’t literally mean looking at something in the context that the word would come up in a regular conversation. But at least in theory, it’s possible that much of how we experience the world has to do with our brain observing and interacting with particles around us at the quantum level. These observations may be a basic building block behind everything—a source code, so to speak, for the universe at large. Universal consciousness remains a theory Universal consciousness might be the oldest theory on this list. It predates the more modern ideas mentioned with quantum mechanics and the simulation theory, but there’s enough anecdotal evidence surrounding the subject to at least consider it. It’s not complicated such as quantum mechanics. On the other hand, it’s probably the easiest theory to understand between the three. It’s the idea that essentially we come from the same place, or that consciousness itself is an extension of the universe. This belief has been seen in religions from differing times and places, with Buddhism notably claiming that consciousness is around us everywhere. It’s not just Buddhism that has reflected these ideas, however. There’s many anecdotal stories over the years of people who have been close to death or have medically died and believed that during these experiences, they’ve become one with the universe or something else along those lines. Of course, these stories won’t hold up in the opinion of the scientific community and it’s obviously hard to study this kind of phenomenon in a meaningful way. But to consider a subject like consciousness, something that we don’t understand, entirely using the same scientific methods used for other things may be a mistake. After all, the concept of the universal mind has been around since at least 480 B.C., when it was introduced by Anaxagoras, a philosopher from before the time of Socrates. While this much time passed doesn’t necessarily mean the theory is true, a lot of people have put their belief behind it between that time period and now. Optimism about the future Earlier in this article, we mentioned Elon Musk’s belief that humanity is living in a simulation. It’s not the only time Musk has spoken about things that would be considered outlandish by a lot of people. He’s spoken of other things that might as well sound like something out of a science fiction novel, such as the threat of artificial intelligence. When Musk did speak about AI, however, he had a notable quote that didn’t have to do directly with that specific subject matter at all. Rather, it was a general outlook on philosophy and life. “You kind of have to be optimistic about the future. There’s no point in being pessimistic,” Musk said. “I’d rather be optimistic and wrong than pessimistic and right.” It’s philosophical advice worth keeping in mind. The fact of the matter is, we don’t have the answers. There’s various places to draw the answers from, whether it’s conventional theories or these newer modern ones about simulations and quantum physics, or even religions which have been around for hundreds or thousands of years. Whatever you do believe about the mind, or even if you don’t believe anything at all and you’re just waiting to see what answers scientists come up with in the future, keep your head up. When the answers aren’t around yet and all of them could be wrong, you can only keep a positive outlook on things and hold a hope that your preferred theory is one with truth behind it.

Read More

The streaming, AI and VR-assisted future of listening

Article | March 29, 2020

As our world has become filled with screens in our work as well as personal lives, it has also become filled with more and more visual imagery – and it can all start to feel a bit garish, a bit fake or simply too much. For some time now, whenever I’m in the office, instead of sitting in front of my laptop over lunch, I force myself away from my desk for 15 minutes, find a quiet space or just sit in my car, put in my earphones, turn on some music, and close my eyes. I've found that I can actually relax better by tuning out the visual world and concentrating on my music. I sleep better, I dream better, I live better. Even the brief lunch break clearly does some good, as I often work and engage better in the afternoon too. According to a recent study, I’m not alone. Feeling increasingly distressed by fakery and overloaded with superficial images, millennials and Gen Z in particular are seeking deeper connection, greater meaning and more mindfulness – and they’re finding it when they close their eyes and start to listen.

Read More

Spotlight

Siemens Technology India

Siemens is a global powerhouse positioned along the electrification value chain – from power generation, transmission and distribution to smart grid solutions.

Events