Four Weekly Tech Newsletter – Dec 20

A round up of the latest tech stories, curated for you weekly, by Four.

Lead articles from December 20

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Forecast 2021: AI during COVID and beyond

The pandemic has created an unusual opportunity for a technology aimed at efficiency and lean operations. Artificial intelligence has been a sector to watch during the pandemic. The enterprise has been seeking new routes to efficiency, organizations with an abundance of furloughed or fired workers have bandwidth crunches, and some companies may have used the hardships of the past year to clean house with the intent of hiring fresh using new technology-driven strategies.

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How to create space for ethics in AI

In a year that has seen decades’ worth of global shocks, bad news, and scandals squeezed into 12 excruciatingly long months, the summer already feels like a distant memory. In August 2020, the world was in the throes of a major social and racial justice movement, and I argued hopefully in VentureBeat that the term “ethical AI” was finally starting to mean something.It was not the observation of a disinterested observer but an optimistic vision

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Can we teach a computer to feel things? A dialogue...

The dialogue got started because of a gifted computer nerd, Rosalind Picard, also a playwright, who decided to become an evangelical Christian in midlife (approx 2019). As she tells it, “a flat, black-and-white existence suddenly turned full-color and three-dimensional.” The director of MIT’s Media Lab, she had also written a book in 2000 called Affective Computing which seems to suggest that one could somehow give emotions to machines. O’Leary: Emotions are based on actual well-being or suffering. How can something that is not alive have actual emotions? Don’t think of people here!; think of dogs. Dogs have emotions. When my computer is giving trouble, I certainly hope it’s not because the thing is upset with me.

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Top ten AI and machine learning stories from 2020

Whether assessing vaccine safety and efficacy, assisting with X-ray readings or tracking communities’ vulnerability to COVID-19, artificial intelligence has been put to work in new and innovative ways throughout the pandemic. Toward the tail end of pre-pandemic 2019, Mayo Clinic Chief Information Officer Cris Ross stood on a stage in California and declared, “This artificial intelligence stuff is real.” Indeed, while some may argue that AI and machine learning might have been harnessed better during the early days of COVID-19, and while the risk of algorithmic bias is very real, there’s little question that artificial intelligence, evolving and maturing by the day for an array of use cases across healthcare.

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8 leading women in the field of AI

It is a simple truth: the field of artificial intelligence is far too male-dominated. According to a 2018 study from Wired and Element AI, just 12% of AI researchers globally are female. Artificial intelligence will reshape every corner of our lives in the coming years—from healthcare to finance, from education to government. It is therefore troubling that those building this technology do not fully represent the society they are poised to transform.Yet there are many brilliant women at the forefront of AI today. As entrepreneurs, academic researchers, industry executives, venture capitalists and more, these women are shaping the future of artificial intelligence. They also serve as role models for the next generation of AI leaders, reflecting what a more inclusive AI community can and should look like.

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A roundup of the best cybersecurity predictions of 2021

In 2020, breaches are the digital pandemic proving to be just as insidious and difficult to stop as Covid-19. Cyberattacks on healthcare facilities in the U.S. this year alone have affected 17.3 million people in 436 breaches tracked by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Breach Portal. That is up from 31 breaches affecting 419,000 people in January alone. Malicious actors often attack healthcare providers because medical records are best-sellers on the Dark Web and are challenging to track and can sell for up to $1,000 each. State-sponsored cyberattacks discovered earlier this month add a new dimension to the cybersecurity arms race that is accelerating.