Wednesday, July 26, 2023

AI Isn’t an Employee Alternative, but a Tool to Assist Users

 The past several years have brought about innovations in artificial intelligence, or AI, that has workers worried for their jobs—especially as it moves into more practical and usable mediums. This can all be tied to the Turing Test, a way of measuring the intelligence of a computer, created by one of the most notable minds behind computing, Alan Turing.

Nowadays, it’s worth asking if comparing the two was the right call; rather, industry professionals think that collaboration between AI and human workers is more preferable compared to competition.

Turing’s Standard May Have Produced Economic Inequities

At the Stanford Digital Economy Lab, director Erik Brynjolfsson claims that advances in AI have created serious issues, economic inequality among them. In the Spring 2022 issue of D├Ždalus, a journal produced by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he writes that the goal of AI swiftly became a mission to overtake the capabilities of the human mind. All of that to say that this mission was not the appropriate way to handle the development of this technology. Brynjolfsson’s work illustrates that this fixation on creating human-like machines has made wage inequality worse.

Brynjolfsson’s argument is that the development of AI has simply removed the need for human employees, and while productivity can increase as a result, the benefits of that productivity are only really reaped by business owners and leaders within organizations. This divide further increases the rift between workers and the rich, increasing the wage gap and creating what is known as “the Turing Trap.”

The creation of AI is just another example of humans attempting to ascend from humanity to become something different entirely, a creator of life in their own image. There are countless examples of this ranging from the golem of Jewish folklore, the automatons built by Daedalus of ancient Greek tales, or the inventors from early Islamic kingdoms and the European Renaissance. Modern popular culture and media does little to separate AI from these stories, as they paint AI as human-like entities seeking to become even more human-like.

If this is the wrong approach, then what is the right one?

According to Brynjolfsson, AI Would Be Better Used as “Augmentation”

Human employees and AI employees are both capable of doing things well, but it’s critical to note that the things they do well are not the same. Therefore, the key to making the most good out of AI is for humans to supplement their shortcomings with it. In essence, humans are “partnering” with AI to produce better results.

Unfortunately, it’s seen as easier to replace rather than integrate AI, simply because there is no true precedent for doing so. Other research has shown that there are various tasks that people would prefer to do themselves rather than AI, so there will always be things that people want to do themselves that AI can, but should not, do. People are worried that automation will replace the human worker, but there are other proponents who argue that AI can only feasibly cover a small portion of the various duties associated with human work.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

How Can T-Mobile’s Security Woes Help Your Efforts?

 Bad news for T-Mobile users, they’ve suffered another data breach. Hackers have gained access to customer data for nearly 37 million individuals, including both pre-paid and subscription-based accounts. Let’s look at what has happened and what knowledge you might apply to your own network security practices.

Why Did This Happen Again?

This hack occurred thanks to a tactic known to target the Application Programming Interface, or API. The API is code that allows an application to connect to the Internet and communicate with other applications. For example, some smart appliances and devices might make use of APIs for their core functionality.

APIs tend to be secure, but they are, of course, not fail-safe, as this breach showcases. Sensitive information was leaked as a result of the T-Mobile data breach. Despite this grim news, take heart knowing that financial information was not exposed or stolen.

T-Mobile discovered this hack on January 5th, but by then, the hack had been active for about one month. The API informed companies using it on November 25, 2022, leaving a clean near-two months between the notification date and the resolution date of January 19th. According to the company, “the malicious activity appears to be fully contained at this time.”

What Can You Learn from This Incident?

T-Mobile has a track record of suffering from data breaches, including attacks in 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2015, leading to millions of dollars in settlements. The unfortunate truth of the matter is that network security issues are preventable and costly, so you should do all you can to ensure they don’t bring about challenges for your business.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

3 Factors You Need to Consider Before You Upgrade

 If you consistently find that technology in your office causes more problems than it’s worth, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at what you could be doing better with your infrastructure. We want you to look at failing or inoperable/inefficient technology as an opportunity for improvement rather than another large expense. A good hardware refresh centered around your organization’s needs can revitalize operations and improve your bottom line.

To help you better identify these opportunities, let’s examine some of the frustrations you might experience that could result in a hardware refresh.

Slow Technology

Slow technology is a telltale sign that something is wrong with your infrastructure. Computers will grow slower and more sluggish over time, and they will ultimately result in your operations and security suffering. Be sure to implement a timeline for when you will refresh your computers, somewhere between the three-and-five year mark. Of course, if things get too slow for your preference, it’s perfectly fine to address this issue before (or even after) that point.

Furthermore, we also recommend that you upgrade your servers around the four-year mark. Some companies can get away with going longer, but we don’t recommend it, as technology can become obsolete and unsupported if you’re not careful. Plus, the maintenance and upkeep of old servers can be more than the cost of simply upgrading it. Basically, the rule here is simple; overestimate the time it will take to upgrade your infrastructure, and you can do no wrong.

A Growing Company

If your business has seen considerable growth since the last time you upgraded your infrastructure, it is time to consider it. Your network is likely under more pressure than it was when you were just a handful of employees getting things started. You should see this upgrade as an exciting opportunity rather than an annoyance or a budget-breaker, as it means that your organization is thriving and growing. Still, looking at your entire infrastructure can be intimidating, to say the least.

Legacy software in particular can be challenging to move away from, as your team has likely been using it for a long time and is used to it. The older a software becomes, the less likely it is to play nice with new and innovative tools that could help you stay competitive. You’ll want to stay ahead of this if possible, and know that replacing legacy applications with more viable, long-term solutions is a sign that your business is making progress when so many others are stagnating.

A Remote Team

A remote workforce brings opportunities for improvement, as there are unique challenges and opportunities presented by the possibility of your team working off-site. With cloud-hosted tools, you can increase the flexibility and accessibility of your resources to not just your remote team, but also to your in-house employees. This allows for smoother operations as a whole across the board.

Plus, cloud computing can have considerable benefits for your budget, cutting your costs by about one-third. If you implement it properly, it can save you a lot in terms of operational costs and capital expenses. With the cloud, you’ll find deploying assets, managing solutions, and allocating resources to be as simple as can be. With so many software solutions out there, you will surely find the Software-as-a-Service technologies your business needs to see great and continued success through the cloud.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

How Does AI Influence a Business’ Ability to Produce?

 Now that AI tools are more publicly accessible than ever before, the question of whether or not it’s good for business looms ever closer. These tools are limited in their capacity to help, but they do show enormous potential that could be indicative of success in the future. Let’s go over some of the questions people have about AI tools.

Do AI Programs Steal Art and Work from the Internet?

An AI program cannot function without data to work with, and the Internet is the single most populated database in existence. Recent AI tools make use of data found on the Internet, much of which is legally protected by copyright law, often without recognition or recompense. There are even examples you can find online, including those where AI-generated paintings showcase the base work amidst the scraps of others (including the author’s signature). Furthermore, AI-generated text can also be run through plagiarism checkers to determine its authenticity, often failing to pass the test—at least in terms of what is acceptable.

The odds are just as likely that the AI you might use will create more problems than it solves, particularly with this kind of creative work and intellectual property. How these problems will be addressed and resolved is unclear at this time.

AI Could Influence Employment

How work is done is constantly changing, and AI presents yet another opportunity for some businesses to accomplish specific tasks in a different, more hands-off way. While there have been cases in the past where certain technologies and innovations have been replaced by more modern tools, like the horse with the car, for example, certain positions in the creative arts have long been considered “safe” from the interference of technology. Well, AI makes a case against that statement.

There is a very real concern that AI could invalidate many creative positions, even with plagiarism involved. That said, however, it’s equally likely that these positions will simply change and adapt to the new technology. New opportunities will emerge from this new technology, leading to a sort-of “collaboration” between AI tools and their human masters. In this way, AI is doing the heavy lifting while the humans are the ones in charge of managing that lifting.