Weekly Tech News Roundup 7/8/2017

The 10 things AI will change by 2050. Hackers take aim at rural Australia. Social media posts cost couple US$1.3 million.

Professor Toby Walsh has come up with the following points that he thinksĀ AI will impact society towards 2050.

  1. People will be banned from driving.
    I can see this becoming the norm well before 2050 and future generations will either laugh or be horrified with the thought that at the turn of the 21st century we used to pilot fossil fuel burning ourselves and accepted the fact that people will die as a result.
  2. Your doctor will monitor you 24/7.
    Not the usual professional in a white coat but an AI doctor that knows more about you than you do. With genetic sequencing, constant monitoring of body chemistry, activity, food in and waste out your health will become a part of the trillion dollar global business. Your AI doc will have access to all medical research and knowledge and will be able to outperform any human physician on a daily basis.
  3. Actors will rise from the dead.
    We are already seeing the beginnings of digital actors in feature films where deceased actors are digitally recreated for key scenes in story lines. The video game industry is on a collision course with Hollywood that will see the two worlds combine into interactive movies.
  4. A computer will be your boss.
    From scheduling your activities to performance review to even giving you your marching orders. This is painting a picture that will not sit well with most people. Professor Walsh warns that there are lines to be drawn as to where we will not allow AI to cross or we could find ourselves regretting the decision to allow this to go ahead.
  5. You talk to rooms.
    Already seen in the early versions of smart speakers like the Google home, we will be able to ask questions in a seemingly empty room and get a spoken response from a voice piped in through a small device on a counter or light fittings. This will raise the challenge in knowing what information we are handing over to the corporations and eventually the governments of the day. Potentially with ears in every corner our concept of privacy will be challenged.
  6. A robot will rob a bank.
    Cybercrime is escalating and the criminals are constantly looking for new ways to compromise systems. There have been recent demonstrations and competitions on AI agents waging cyber warfare on each other in a controlled environment. It will not be long until it is seen in the wild.
  7. World soccer champions will lose to a team of robots.
    There will be an exhibition match between a human team and a robot team and since the robot team will have perfect communication between players and a strategy learned from analysing every single recorded game in known history the human team will be soundly defeated.
    There will be no points games as the humans and robot will compete separately but coaching for many sports will be changed as AI will be able to assist coaches or even replace them as they will be able to make decisions much quicker than their human counterparts.
  8. Autonomous ships, planes and trains around the world.
    The biggest uptake of autonomous vehicle technology will not be for the family car but for mass transit and freight services looking to operate more efficiently and with greater safety around the clock. Airline pilots may be the last transport profession to become automated but Professor Walsh expects that it will happen eventually.
  9. TV news will be made by robots.
    With computers writing basic sport and finance reports the early pieces are already there and as AI develops, more complex writing will come. Presentations will be given by computer generated avatars similar to what we see in the movies and music industry. There are already robotic cameras in TV studios.
  10. Humans will live on after death.
    Researchers have already created chatbots based on their own social media profile with similar patterns displayed in chat and posts. Chatbots will remain to help families and friends through grief, provide a link to ancestors, settle old scores and execute wills. This opens a whole new arena of discussion in regards to freedom of speech and who has the right to switch off a bot?

More of this on the original ABC story here.

Rural and regional businesses under threat from hackers.

In a disturbing trend, more and more businesses in regional and rural Australia are becoming targets of choice for up and coming cyber criminals and hackers.

It stems from an attitude that cybersecurity is a big city problem and to a point, remote Australia is not susceptible to the same threats as the large centres and capital cities. This could not be farther from the truth as the internet puts everything in reach of anyone with a connection.

The attitude towards cybersecurity in country areas is lowering the bar for hackers who are using the rural targets as a “practice range” looking to sharpen their skills and prove themselves to larger parts of the hacker community.

The call is clear for everyone using technology. Cybersecurity is an issue for everyone.

Original story from ABC here.

Social media campaign backfires and costs couple AU$1.3m in damages.

A dispute over a US$125 fee has blown out to a AU$1.3m damages case in favour of a wedding photographer who’s reputation was ruined after Neely and Andrew Moldovan (pictured) embarked on a campaign alleging that the photographer held photos of their wedding to ransom.

The fee in question was for a cover photo for the wedding album as a variation but the photographer later agreed to wave the fee. By then the story from Mrs Moldovan (a beauty blogger) had gone viral and destroyed the photographers reputation to the point that work had dried up and forced the closure of her studio of 10 years.

A Dallas County jury ruled that the photos were not ransomed and found the Moldovans liable for defamation, disparagement and civil conspiracy.

The Yahoo News article can be found here.