Four Weekly Tech Newsletter – Dec 27

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

Lead articles from December 27

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Paying money to criminals is not an ordinary business transaction. Public authorities must step up their game to help SMBs. Ransomware has been on the radar with cyber security professionals for a number of years. At Corix Partners, we wrote about it for the first time 3 years ago in the summer of 2016 following a conference in London at the Institute of Directors hosted by Beazley and the topic was already quite well established as a pillar of cyber-crime. We facilitated a panel discussion on the theme at the FIC in Lille in January 2017 where law enforcement officials around the table made it clear that the problem was widespread and that they were already deeply involved in fighting it.

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Is Artificial Intelligence Saviour of COVID 19?

Artificial Intelligence for COVID-19: saviour or menace? The current state of health emergency across the world has led to a new wave of transformative technologies emerging as a possible solution to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Bringing an array of fresh opportunities to tackle critical challenges, artificial intelligence (AI) tools are emerging as a prospective saviour of the day. An unexamined AI algorithm has even received emergency authorisation from the United States Food and Drug Administration. But a question arises: with new technologies and concepts taking shape every day, is it safe to assume that AI will take centre stage to control such pandemics?

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What is AI bias?

The AI bias trouble starts — but doesn’t end — with definition. “Bias” is an overloaded term which means remarkably different things in different contexts.Here are just a few definitions of bias for your perusal.

  • In statistics: Bias is the difference between the expected value of an estimator and its estimand. That’s awfully technical, so allow me to translate. Bias refers to results that are systematically off the mark. Think archery where your bow is sighted incorrectly. High bias doesn’t mean you’re shooting all over the place (that’s high variance), but may cause a perfect archer hit below the bullseye all the time. In this usage, the word carries little emotional connotation.
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AI classifies supernova explosions with unprecedented accuracy

Artificial intelligence is classifying real supernova explosions without the traditional use of spectra, thanks to a team of astronomers at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian. The complete data sets and resulting classifications are publicly available for open use.By training a machine learning model to categorize supernovae based on their visible characteristics, the astronomers were able to classify real data from the Pan-STARRS1 Medium Deep Survey for 2,315 supernovae with an accuracy rate of 82-percent without the use of spectra.

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Top ten AI stories of 2020

AI has moved beyond a tool for internet giants and start ups to something mainstream businesses should take seriously. If there is one message that has resonated this year, it has been that organisations must ramp up innovation. This is not necessarily about doing something that is radically new. Under normal circumstances, inefficient business processes are not given a priority, since people can simply fill in the bits of the process that are not working optimally. But the lockdown changed working practices for millions of people, and office workers were unable to go into their usual place of work. Inefficient manual processes that relied on people to do the work IT is supposed to streamline needed to be automated.

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Only 30% prepared to secure a complete shift to remote work

The biggest security concerns facing businesses are data leaking through endpoints (27%), loss of visibility of user activity (25%) and maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements (24%), DTEX Systems reveals. These concerns are followed by access from outside the perimeter (23%) and remote access to core business apps (18%) such as email and collaboration.