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70% of customers expect fair AI interactions from firms Report

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Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence

Even as deployment of a range of Artificial Intelligence technologies grows, about 70 per cent of customers expect organisations to provide AI interactions that are transparent and fair, according to a global report by Capgemini.

Discriminatory bias of AI systems and negative AI customer experiences come at a high cost for organisations.

However, the share of customers who believe organisations are being fully transparent about how they are using their personal data has fallen from 76 per cent in 2019 to 62 per cent today, said the report.

“AI is a transformational technology with the power to bring about far-reaching developments across the business, as well as society and the environment,” Anne-Laure Thieullent, Artificial Intelligence and Analytics Group Offer Leader at Capgemini, said in a statement.

“Instead of fearing the impacts of AI on humans and society, it is absolutely possible to direct AI towards actively fighting bias against minorities, even correcting human bias existing in our societies today.”

The research also showed that only 53 per cent of organisations have a leader who is responsible for ethics of AI systems.

Additionally, governance and accountability for AI, and deploying pragmatic tools and frameworks for AI systems to be developed and used, is coming at a high cost for organisations.

The report titled “AI and the ethical conundrum” noted that while organisations are more ethically aware, progress in implementing ethical AI has been inconsistent.

For example, nearly the same share of executives in 2019 said that they have taken steps on building “fairness” and “auditability” dimensions of their AI systems.

For the 2020 report data points, Capgemini conducted a global consumer and executive survey during April-May 2020.

The consumer survey polled 2,900 consumers in six countries, while the executive survey polled 884 executives from across 10 countries including India.

Capgemini also conducted in-depth interviews with a number of industry executives, academicians, and subject matter experts in the area of ethics in AI, during August-September 2020.

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OnePlus flagship 8T 5G launched in India

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One Plus 5G
One Plus 5G

New Delhi, Oct 14 (IANS) Smartphone brand OnePlus on Wednesday launched its new flagship 5G smartphone, the ‘OnePlus 8 T’ with 120Hz Fluid AMOLED display and quad-camera set up, in the Indian market.

The OnePlus 8T will be available in two colours, aquamarine green and lunar silver at Rs 45,999 (12GB RAM+ 256GB internal storage) and Rs 42,999 (8GB RAM+128GB internal storage).

Customers buying the smartphone will also enjoy 10 per cent instant discount on purchase through HDFC Bank Debit and Credit cards on Amazon.in as well as upto 6 months no cost EMI on purchase through HDFC Bank debit and credit cards

“As a growing company, OnePlus is consistently exploring opportunities to fuel our growth, and meet the needs of more users worldwide, by starting to strategically diversify into new product categories and new price points, but at the same time, not compromising on our OnePlus promise,” Navnit Nakra, VP and Chief Strategy Officer OnePlus India, told IANS.

The smartphone will be available for early access at 12 a.m. on October 16 for Amazon Prime members on Amazon.in and OnePlus Red Cable Club members on oneplus.in and OnePlus Store app.

Open sales for the OnePlus 8T 5G begins on October 17 across Amazon.in, oneplus.in, OnePlus Store App, OnePlus exclusive offline stores and partner outlets.

In terms of specifications, the smartphone features a 6.55-inch 120Hz Fluid AMOLED display and is the first flat 120Hz display ever to earn an A+ rating from DisplayMate.

The device is equipped with the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G Mobile Platform with a Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System coupled with up to 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage.

The quad-camera system includes a 48MP main camera with optical image stabilisation, a 16MP ultra-wide-angle lens, and dedicated macro and monochrome lenses, letting users enjoy studio-level photography on the go.

The 123-degree ultra-wide lens on the OnePlus 8T 5G aims to provides a new perspective for framing shots so users can confidently capture vast landscapes, expansive architecture and other wide-angle subjects in full view.

There is also a 16MP camera on the front.

Not only is the OnePlus 8T 5G the first OnePlus device to come with the latest version of OnePlus operating system, OxygenOS 11, right out of the box – it is also the first global smartphone not manufactured by Google to launch with Android 11.

The device houses a 4500mAh battery and comes with Warp Charge 65.

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New AI-driven security platform mimics thousands of hackers

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Hacker (File Photo IANS)
Hacker (File Photo IANS)

Bengaluru, Oct 15 (IANS) Breach risk assessment firm FireCompass on Thursday unveiled a new Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered platform that mimics thousands of hackers trying to break into an organisation, thus enabling the IT security teams launch continuous safe attacks to identify blind spots before hackers do.

Created by a team of serial cybersecurity entrepreneurs, the Continuous Automated Red Teaming (CART) platform is already in use by top companies, including Sprint (now a part of T-Mobile), Security Innovation and others, spanning multiple industries.

“Organisations typically conduct security testing only a few times a year on a partial list of online assets, excluding shadow IT unknown to security teams. Meanwhile, hackers are always attempting attacks on the entirety of their assets,” said Bikash Barai, Co-Founder of FireCompass.

“At FireCompass, our vision is to make the CART platform available to all so that organisations can discover and test all their assets at all times – just like real attackers do”.

The solution runs continuously without the need for software, hardware or additional employee resources.

It indexes the deep, dark and surface web using similar reconnaissance techniques as nation-state actors.

The platform automatically discovers an organisation’s ever-changing digital attack surface, including unknown exposed databases, cloud buckets, code leaks, exposed credentials, risky cloud assets and open ports, etc, the company said.

The attack engine then launches multi-stage attacks, which includes network attacks, application attacks and social engineering attacks, on the discovered digital surface to identify attack paths that are otherwise missed by conventional tools.

FireCompass is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for Continuous Automated Red Teaming (CART) and Attack Surface Management (ASM).

Founded by industry veterans Bikash Barai, Nilanjan De and Priyanka Aash, FireCompass is backed by leading investors and venture capitalist funds.

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Embracing AI vital for future of work in India: Intel (Lead)

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Intel.( photo:wikipedia.org)
Intel.( photo:wikipedia.org)

Chip giant Intel on Thursday said that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is essential to the future of work in the post-pandemic world, with over 90 per cent respondents in a survey considering AI to be essential or highly relevant to their businesses in India.

More than 40 per cent of small and micro revenue firms are using AI for decision support while in medium sized firms, nearly 50 per cent rely entirely on human decision-making as they still do not use AI, revealed the report by Intel India based on two surveys in the country.

Conducted by the Srini Raju Centre for Information Technology and the Networked Economy (SRITNE) at Indian School of Business (ISB), the Suitability of Machine Learning (SML) survey had 3,099 employees across 106 Indian occupations, and the ‘AI and Future of Work’ survey had 301 firms across sectors that have adopted AI/machine learning (ML) in their workflows.

Over 70 per cent of respondents across various firm categories expect their organisational headcount to increase in response to AI over the next two years while a similar number indicated the growth of all firm-level initiatives to support AI adoption.

“There is a need to better understand AI’s integration and impact at work in order to accelerate innovation and scale its benefits, especially in the context of emerging economies such as India,” said Nivruti Rai, Country Head, Intel India and Vice President, Data Platforms Group, Intel Corporation.

“This study by Intel India and ISB will help drive future research to meaningfully inform policymakers and the industry about the impact of AI and machine learning,” she added.

According to the report, an overwhelming 80 per cent of their workforce will undergo significant re-training due to AI implementation over the next two years.

Over 80 per cent of respondents from the survey indicated that either the organisation or more than one department in the organisation stood to benefit with AI deployment.

“An overwhelming 80 percent of the surveyed small, micro, medium and high-revenue firms have specific AI teams. Nearly 40 percent of all firms indicate that a designated programme manager is responsible to provide oversight to AI initiatives,” the findings showed.

A key finding is that firms that have projects with a high suitability for ML are expected to receive investments that are broader in scope and quantum.

These projects are also expected to see high growth in investments over the next five years.

The survey also indicated a growth in workforce hiring and re-training over the next two years.

“The pandemic has only accelerated this growth, thereby rendering the work forms systematic and pervasive. It is, therefore, important for policymakers and organisations to develop an acute understanding of this future of work as they frame policies for work and workers,” said Deepa Mani, Professor of Information Systems and Executive Director of SRITNE, ISB.

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Zoom to roll out end-to-end encryption starting next week

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Zoom app
Zoom app

Video meeting app Zoom is all set to roll out the first phase of its end-to-end encryption (E2EE) offering from next week, initially as a technical preview for a month during which the platform will solicit feedback from users.

Bot free and paid Zoom users around the world can host up to 200 participants in an end-to-end encryption meeting on the platform, Zoom said on Wednesday during its Zoomtopia 2020 event.

“End-to-end encryption is another stride toward making Zoom the most secure communications platform in the world,” said Zoom CEO Eric Yuan.

“This phase of our E2EE offering provides the same security as existing end-to-end-encrypted messaging platforms, but with the video quality and scale that has made Zoom the communications solution of choice for hundreds of millions of people and the world’s largest enterprises.”

Zoom first announced its plans to build an end-to-end-encrypted meeting option into its platform in May.

The US-based company had said that since releasing the draft design of the platform’s end-to-end encryption on May 22, it has engaged with civil liberties organisations, child safety advocates, encryption experts, government representatives, its own users, and others to gather their feedback on this feature.

Zoom was earlier sued by one of its shareholders who alleged in the complaint that the platform failed to disclose some vulnerabilities and that the services did not provide end-to-end encryption.

“We’re pleased to roll out Phase 1 of 4 of our E2EE offering, which provides robust protections to help prevent the interception of decryption keys that could be used to monitor meeting content,” Max Krohn, Zoom’s Head of Security Engineering, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

“To be clear, Zoom’s E2EE uses the same powerful GCM (Galois/Counter Mode) encryption you get now in a Zoom meeting. The only difference is where those encryption keys live,” Krohn said.

To use the new security feature, customers must enable E2EE meetings at the account level and opt-in to E2EE on a per-meeting basis.

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Modern workplaces for secure remote work need of the hour: HP CEO

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HP President and CEO Enrique Lores
HP President and CEO Enrique Lores

As large enterprises and small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India and elsewhere hit the refresh button in the pandemic times, the onus is on tech companies to keep their customers secure and provide them modern devices that make their lives easy as they work from home, HP President and CEO Enrique Lores said on Thursday.

Responding to an IANS question, Lores stressed on the fact that digital transformation has entered top gear as organisations realise the importance or remote learning with modern workplaces that can be set up right at home premises.

“I think the conversation we’re having with most of our clients is about acceleration and transformation. The digital transformation we have seen during the last few months is something we saw happening in the timeframe of two to three years in the pre-Covid era,” Lores told IANS during the virtual ‘HP Innovation Summit 2020′.

He said that the adoption to digital technologies is something not limited to large corporations only as more and more SMBs are on the path to realise their digital dreams and embrace state-of-the-art, secure workplaces.

“We tell our customers how they can work remotely in a secure way, to use the technology in ways that were not possible before. HP Inc is leading the digital transformation journey for enterprises of all sizes,” Lores emphasised.

SMBs account for 97 per cent of all businesses in Asia-Pacific and employ over half of the workforce.

“We are witnessing the dawn of a new age, where our cyber and physical worlds converge to create amazing new opportunities,” Lores said at the company’s ‘Reinvent 2020′ virtual conference last month.

“This is a defining moment for each of us, our companies and our industry,” he told partners.

The Covid-19 pandemic “has accelerated trends such as workforce mobility, digital education and the rise of the subscription economy. Even in our core PC and print businesses, people expect more personalized solutions,” Lores said.

To prepare enterprises of all sizes for the new normal, HP recently announced a slew of new innovations designed to meet the needs of businesses with hybrid workplaces and distributed workforces for making remote employees as productive, connected and secure as possible, while seeking cost-effective ways to buy and manage IT.

The company launched a number of new innovations of PC, printer, and services to support companies and SMBs continue to adapt and stay productive in the changing working landscape.

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Rapido launches auto services in 14 Indian cities

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Rapido ties up with essential suppliers to aid last-mile deliveries
Rapido ties up with essential suppliers to aid last-mile deliveries

Bike taxi service provider Rapido on Thursday launched its auto services in 14 cities across 10 states.

According to the company, the service will allow commuters to book autos for their everyday commute from the comfort and safety of their home.

Rapido said it to bring standardisation to the pricing of the services offered for the auto drivers and customers.

“Autos have emerged as a preferred way of commuting post the COVID-19 pandemic after bike taxis. While the auto service industry is highly penetrated, it has only 5 per cent of its existing market online,” Aravind Sanka, Co-Founder, Rapido, said in a statement.

The service will be available at the meter price with an additional minimal convenience fee.

The company plans to expand the auto services to 50 cities in India by the end of 2020.

This is the first phase of the launch and Rapido said it has already on-boarded 20,000 auto Captains (driver-partners) so far.

It has plans to onboard more than half a million in the next six months and interested auto drivers can self-onboard themselves by downloading Rapido Captain App or calling the Rapido helpline number.

Each Rapido auto will be powered with Rapido’s GPS technology ensuring access to continuous demand from customers around them. Through Rapido Auto, users will be able to track and share their ride in real-time, with their loved ones.

Rapido Auto, like Rapido Bike Taxi service, will have an in-app feedback mechanism to allow for and ensure a safe and consistent experience for commuters.

The captains will be expected to sanitize and clean the seats and all customer accessible areas, post every ride, along with mandatory usage of masks during the entire ride by the Captains and the passengers.

The company also introduced new policy support where the company provides free cancellation if Captains or customers are without a mask.

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