Four Weekly Tech Newsletter – Dec 6

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

Lead articles from December 6

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Will artificial intelligence ever live up to its hype?

Replication problems plague the field of AI, and the goal of general intelligence remains as elusive as ever. When I started writing about science decades ago, artificial intelligence seemed ascendant. IEEE Spectrum, the technology magazine for which I worked, produced a special issue on how AI would transform the world. I edited an article in which computer scientist Frederick Hayes-Roth predicted that AI would soon replace experts in law, medicine, finance and other professions.

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AI has cracked a problem that has stumped biologists for over 50 years

A breakthrough on the “protein folding problem” can help us understand disease and discover new drugs. DeepMind, an AI research lab and an independent part of Google’s parent company Alphabet, announced a major breakthrough this week – called “a game changer.” “This will change medicine,” the biologist, Andrei Lupas, told Nature. “It will change research. It will change bioengineering. It will change everything.”

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Unlocking the secrets of chemical bonding with machine learning

A new ML approach offers important insights into catalysis, a fundamental process that makes it possible to reduce the emission of toxic exhaust gases or produce essential materials like fabric. Hongliang Xin, associate professor of chemical engineering at Virginia Tech, and his team of researchers developed a Bayesian learning model of chemisorption, , aiming to use AI to unlock the nature of chemical bonding at catalyst surfaces.

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7 Big Data goals for 2021

As you plan your big data strategy for next year, keep these seven goals in mind. In 2021, corporate big data leaders will be looking to improve data quality and turnaround of big data projects, as well as performance in meeting business objectives. While 2020 hasn’t been a normal year for anyone, you still have to plan for the future and get ready for what may come. Here are seven key big data areas of focus for 2021.

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The biggest hacks, data breaches of 2020

A pandemic is no reason for hackers to hold off cyberattacks against everything from government bodies to healthcare providers. Cybersecurity may be far from many of our minds this year, and in light of a pandemic and catastrophic economic disruption, remembering to maintain our own personal privacy and security online isn’t necessarily a priority. However, cyberattackers certainly haven’t given anyone a break this year. Data breaches have all occurred over 2020.

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Failing towards zero - why your security needs to fail to get better

Each security incident should lead to a successive reduction in future incidences of the same type. Organizations that fail toward zero embrace failure and learn from their mistakes. The sentiment is always the same: Failing doesn’t feel good in the moment, but it’s possible to appreciate failure as a lesson in overcoming adversity. To put it simply, you have to fail in order to get better.