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AI and the future of work

August 15, 2017

The robots are coming and the world of work is set to change forever: recent research from consultants PWC estimates a third of existing jobs are susceptible to automation, due to the use of robots and artificial intelligence (AI) by 2030.

The survey adds more weight to a fast-growing body of work on the impact of AI. Take KPMG’s recent global CIO survey in conjunction with recruiter Harvey Nash, which found almost two-thirds of CIOs are investing or planning to invest in digital labour, which broadly covers robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence.

A quarter of these technology chiefs have already see very effective results. The survey suggests digital leaders are investing in digital labour at four times the rate of other executives. These CIOs are also implementing digital labour solutions across the enterprise, in some cases at twice the rate of their less-pioneering peers.

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New semiconductors

August 14, 2017

Researchers hope the future of our semiconductors lies not within silicon, but new materials which can be used to create transistors ten times smaller than our current circuitry.

Last week, Stanford associate professor of electrical engineering Eric Pop and post-doc Michal Mleczko revealed a new study into the applications of semiconductor material potentially able to support computer chips just a few atoms thick.

Published in the academic journal Science Advances, the engineers report how two semiconductors, hafnium diselenide and zirconium diselenide, either share or go beyond the traits that make silicon such a popular semiconductor today.

All three, for example, can “rust.” While you would be forgiven for thinking that rust is not generally a desirable feature for metals and materials, in this case, the “rust” — encouraged by exposing silicon to oxygen during manufacturing — isolates and protects the circuitry.

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New Trojan malware campaign

August 14, 2017

A notorious banking Trojan is targeting customers of a major bank with a new email spam campaign, which directs victims to a fake login page that’s indistinguishable from that of their real bank.

The credential-stealing Trickbot banking malware has been hitting the financial sector since last year and targets online banking customers in the US, UK, Australia, and other countries.

Those behind this particular banking Trojan are continually developing it and have even been experimenting with EternalBlue, the Windows exploit that helped spread WannaCry and Petya.

But no matter how advanced malware gets, phishing remains a common attack vector for distributing malicious payloads.

Uncovered by security researchers at Cyren, the latest Trickbot distribution campaign sent over 75,000 emails in 25 minutes, all claiming to be from Lloyds Bank, one of the UK’s biggest banks.

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GE’s use of Google Glass

August 14, 2017

When Google announced the revival of Google Glass, it came armed with evidence that the augmented reality glasses have a real market — in the enterprise space. The company showcased major customers like GE, Agco, DHL, and Sutter Health already piloting Google Glass Enterprise Edition.

AR is certainly something many business leaders have already considered: A Tech Pro Research survey conducted last year showed that 39 percent of respondents were already using AR at their organization. Of those who weren’t, 67 percent said they were thinking about it. Meanwhile, analysts are optimistic about the market: IDC tallied around 111,000 AR headsets already in the commercial segment in 2016 and projected that there will be more than 20 million by 2021 — that’s a 184 percent CAGR, giving the commercial segment 83 percent of AR headset market share in 2021.

So what’s going to drive that growth between now and 2021? GE’s use of Google Glass demonstrates how AR has finally hit a maturity level where major enterprises can feel confident it’s worth the investment. For a major entity like GE, changing workflows to adopt new technologies like AR is no small effort.

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Which is the right desktop processor for you?

August 11, 2017

You’re in the market for a new desktop processor, but you’re not sure which is the best processor for you?

Read on!

Before we go any further, I feel the need to point something out. There are a lot of processors out there, and the market is rapidly changing, so it’s impossible for me to tell you the exact processor you need. All I can do is offer pointers and guidance based on your needs.

Let’s break down the market into four segments:

This territory is a fight between AMD’s Ryzen 3 and Intel’s Core i3 chips.

Right now my recommendation goes to AMD and the Ryzen 3 chips for the budget segment. You can pick up a Ryzen 3 1200 for $110. For that price you get quad-core/four threads, an unlocked multiplier for overclocking, and a fantastic cooler.

And if you don’t feel the Ryzen 3 1200 offers enough power, then for an extra $20 you can have the Ryzen 3 1300X which has a faster clock speed and boost.

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