Tech Biz

British and EU Flags

BREXIT Tech: It’s Complicated

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The impact of BREXIT is so vast that we may never fully understand its effect. I'm not a political pundit, so I'll leave the politics of BREXIT to others. Technology is the core focus of my advisory practice, and our solutions group builds digital products for some of the world's leading multinational corporations. Through that lens, I offer some thoughts about the near-term impact BREXIT will have on the tech sector and make a few educated guesses at the outcome.

FCC

Net Neutrality: The FCC Won. Did You?

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A federal appeals court upheld the rights of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate broadband (wired and wireless) under Title II of the 1934 Communications act (Title II). Or, to put it another way, regulate the Internet in 2016 like it was the phone system in 1934. This is a big win for the FCC. But what does it mean for you?

HAL9000

Should You Fear AI?

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Opining about the future of AI at the recent Brilliant Minds event at Symposium Stockholm, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt rejected warnings from Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking about the dangers of AI, saying, "In the case of Stephen Hawking, although a brilliant man, he's not a computer scientist. Elon is also a brilliant man, though he too is a physicist, not a computer scientist." This absurd dismissal of Musk and Hawking was in response to an absurd question about "the possibility of an artificial superintelligence trying to destroy mankind in the near future." However, in Commander #1's immortal words, "We've analyzed their attack, sir, and there is a danger."

Blue Flatline

What We’ll Do When Ad Tech Dies

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When you analyze the effects of fraud, viewability and ad blocking on the digital display advertising business, then add the ever-increasing abilities of the traffic launderers to game the system, you reach an inevitable conclusion: ad tech has evolved into a toxic ecosystem that is killing itself, and it is taking digital advertising with it.

Google Home and Amazon Echo

I’ve Talked to the Future and It Talked Back

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Sometimes I walk into a room and say, “Alexa, what’s the temperature outside?” She answers by speaking the current temperature followed by an abbreviated weather report. She’s so human-like, I have to resist the temptation to say “Thank you” when she finishes. Importantly, Alexa is not a she; it is a component of Amazon's Echo natural language processing system. Amazon has anthropomorphized Echo with a female voice and a feminine name, which makes it easy to call Alexa a “she.” Should we be polite when we speak to it, or is it OK to be abrupt or even abusive? The device won’t care. It doesn't have feelings; but how will we teach our children to differentiate between machines that sound and act like people, and other disembodied voices that actually are people?