Topic 3 (Software)
Software is eating the world. Pretty sure you have heard of that before. If you are hearing it first from us, the saying itself is self-explanatory: It is taking over large facets of the traditional economy. Amazon, Uber, Netflix…We can easily pop up examples of conventional core businesses being taken over by software-based companies.
In topic 3, we will list recent developments that you should be aware of and notice that these are all big opportunities to put your money in.
List of Interesting Software Tech News
1. 5 Revolutionary Apps that changed the world
Among the top 5 apps, two are sharing economies (Uber & Airbnb), and two are mobile payment solutions (Square & PayTM). They are the two best examples where businesses shape the consumer behaviour, instead of the other way round traditionally.
2. How AI will impact software development
Artificial intelligence has long been a popular topic. It brings a new mindset to software development as developers will be able to get the stronger code out of this sharp recognition. It makes testing easier and enables applications to learn autonomously and react to scenarios. Nonetheless, innovation and creativity is still the main driving force of software development while AI serves as assistants instead of as creators.
3. How Self-Learning is already a massive part of your life
While buzzwords such as self-learning software (SLS) and artificial intelligence (AI) may sound futuristic to us, this article talks about how they have already permeated our lives, perhaps without us realising it. SLS gives programs an added layer of sophistication and ability to recognise patterns, learn from data, and become more intelligent over time. Some examples of SLS that act as technological assistants today include Siri on Apple devices, Cortana in Microsoft products, Google Assistant for Google, and Alexa for Amazon.
4. These Emotional Chatbots Are Here To Probe Our Feelings
The article talks about Replika, a chatbot equipped with AI that is able to have a conversation with people about their day. The chatbot uses a neural network to hold an ongoing, one-on-one conversation with its user, and over time, learn how to speak like them.
5. How Windows 10 data collection trades privacy for security
Microsoft’s Windows 10 is able to collect large amounts of data from users, and Microsoft claims that the collection of data is to improve the user experience and Windows functionality. However, the collection of data poses a great security problem, especially for corporate users. Although corporate users have the choice of turning off Windows’ telemetry to increase corporate privacy, doing so will decrease security features and effectiveness of the software, thus resulting in a dilemma.
6. Blockmetry launches its GDPR-friendly web traffic software
Blockmetry, a new software created by an ex-Google employee allows for anonymous web tracking. Currently, when websites add visit count trackers on their sites, it is attached to each user’s specific IP address and location. Thus, companies have been compromising privacy and security for their own benefits. With Blockmetry, this issue can be resolved.
7. The importance of debugging
Software development is a tedious process. Programmers have access to user-friendly tools to create low-code applications and software development projects. Development of the app is accomplished with a drag-and-drop approach. New screens quickly come to life; features and functions deliver new experiences customers never dreamed of. Then it comes time to try it out on the mobile phone and… it doesn’t work. This is where you realise debugging is crucial to ensure that the program runs smoothly.
8. HackerOne predicts its bug bounty payments will quintuple by 2020
The article talks about how bug bounty platforms are confident in expansion as well as the reasons why large organisations are using hackers to find security holes and bugs.
9. Smart Contact Lenses Could Record Everything You See
Link (Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWLti-oVwuw
Sony has been awarded a patent for new contact lens technology that is able to record, store and replay everything before users eyes. Instead of recording a continuous stream, these lenses are embedded with piezoelectric sensors that can differentiate between an average blink and a blink intended to activate the mechanism of the lens camera.
10. Companies are using software robots to reduce errors, says CEO
Software robot is an artificial intelligence software, and it acts like a “self-driving brain” engine that helps companies to automate most of their processes which include front and back office processes. According to the CEO of UiPath (Robotic Process Automation Company), his customers have experienced a reduction in both costs and errors after using such software.
11. How does software help us fend terrorism today?
This article shares how AI developed by Primer analyses media coverage, such as Facebook, to analyse the frequency and content of media post, draft a report and even explains the methods used to obtain such analysis, ultimately aiding analyst to predict the next terror attack. With many economies being affected by the threat of terror attacks, such AI can reduce the uncertainty that is the essence of terrorism. With better prediction, perhaps the fear of the world will decline.
12. System could let thousands of researchers contribute to data analysis projects
Researchers have developed a new collaboration tool, dubbed FeatureHub, intended to make feature identification more efficient and effective. What it does is it collates all the researchers proposed features on a problem, Filter the features and choose the combinations of features that are most effective for a given predictive task.
13. How machines learn and are better than humans.
Link (Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9OHn5ZF4Uo
This is a video that illustrates how machines are able to ‘learn’ and develop ideas so complex that we may not be able to understand although we ‘built’ them.
14. Faster big-data analysis – System for performing “tensor algebra” offers 100-fold speedups over previous software packages
Researchers have created a new system that automatically produces optimised codes for sparse data. This is done through a system called Taco for Tensor Algebra Complier which has a code that is 100 times faster over existing, non-optimized software packages. As a result, data space is effectively utilised.
15. Here’s How Jailbreak Really Works
Link (Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYKfXNiA1wc
The article talks about what jailbreaking is about and the process of it. It also mentioned the possible security complications of jailbreaking.
16. Singing Machine Makes Anyone Sound Like a Star Using Auto-Tune™ vocal pitch correction software
Link (Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4KenjEhEN4
Using the same genuine autotune software singers use in their recording studio, this new karaoke machine lets you sing like a pop star with an inbuilt auto-tuning system. The “Singing Machine” from a Florida based company, improves your vocals, just like in a recording studio.
17. Three Steps to Launching Reusable Software Assets
Software development teams are constantly under pressure to reduce costs, achieve earlier returns on investment, respond with agility to market forces, collaborate with other departments to integrate end-to-end business processes, leverage scarce resources and align technology with the needs of the business. There is a need to identify software assets early that have high value for application development teams. Businesses should start applying asset-based development by establishing measures for success, understand software-asset consumer and refine strategy and start small.
18. A Startup Is Developing Software to Control Devices With Your Mind
The company named Neurogress is planning to develop artificial intelligence (AI) based software for mind (or neural) led tools to maximise their full potential. The company’s short-term vision is to create software that will allow people to control different types of devices with their thoughts. They want the software to be able to recognise brain commands via a neuro interface contained in a non-invasive headband that is worn (nothing needs to be implanted). The software will be able to translate these brain commands into actions. For example, a prosthetic arm can grab and lift a cup of coffee for you to enjoy by merely thinking it.
19. Barcelona to ditch Microsoft in favour of the open source software
Barcelona plans to replace its Microsoft software with alternative open source like Linux, Libre Office and Open Xchange. This would reduce Barcelona’s reliance on proprietary software and therefore also decrease spending on software licensing. Barcelona has also been pouring more budget into the development of the open software scene in Barcelona and the open softwares written in Barcelona will be made available to Spanish municipalities and the public.
20. With 3-D printing, braces can be quicker and cheaper, but issues remain
In summary, Harold Slutsky penetrated the teeth-straightening market through plastic aligners created from the use of 3-D scanners and printer accompanied with his own specialised software. As a result, these clear plastic aligners enabled patients/customers significantly cheaper costs and accelerates the whole monitoring process as compared to traditional methods.
21. Best practices for Singapore software firms eyeing a global market
The article talks about the considerations and practices software developer in Singapore should look out for to be able to overcome vulnerabilities and failure, compete effectively in the global market and ultimately, develop into giants. This is particularly relevant with the Smart nation initiative here in Singapore. Many strategies and guidelines are brought up in the article to guide potential developers to improve and augment their software to allow them to compete on the world stage.
22. Personalized ads in the real world
Imagine going grocery shopping and while in the check-out line, seeing an ad that seems oddly like it’s tailored just for you. Advertisements that are tailored to you are making the jump from the virtual to the real world, and they work with facial recognition as well. Fundamentally speaking, this new technology is able to sieve out important data like age group and gender to allow for optimisation of commercials and advertisements at real-life supermarkets or stores.
23. AI is learning from our encounters with nature – and that’s a concern
This article talks about the potential AI impact on species and ecosystems. Custodianship of data is more and more important in promoting a wider data literacy, but what is ignored is the ethical concerns about how data is collected and shared. The real danger of AI is that we will overestimate the comprehension of our latest thinking tools, prematurely ceding authority to them far beyond their competence. And there are unknown risks in assigning authority to any computer program.
24. Dilemmas of the Internet age: privacy vs security
Companies are collecting information about consumers to sell ads more effectively. Some of the most commonly visited sites use tracking cookies and sophisticated software through third parties to collect information about consumers and sell it to advertisers, often times without the consumer’s permission.
25. Robo advisers set to rock investment world
Robo advisers are changing the game played in the investment world. Robos offer a cheap, automatic version of the services provided by an expensive financial adviser to pick the stocks and bonds one is planning to invest in. With a simple click, Robos can provide a much-diversified exposure to thousands of global stocks and bonds, and they are rapidly overtaking human capabilities.
26. Why is open source so popular?
The article talks about the significance and impact of open source on business operations. It also defines the reasons behind it becoming more popular and mainstream. It also discusses the future of open source model and the current trend.
27. How Steam Employs DRM & What That Means For Your Game
The article discusses the integration of Digital Rights Management (DRM) into the entire Steam ecosystem, specifically how it impacts game developers who choose to sell their games on the Steam platform. The employment of DRM by Steam and the pros and cons of DRM are highlighted as well.
28. More companies using software to conduct job interviews
This article is about how software is assisting companies in their recruitment process. It features Hirevue, an enterprise which uses video interviewing software and artificial intelligence to help their clients discover and hire talents more efficiently.
29. Artificial Intelligence Cyber Security Risk? A look into how AI increase cybersecurity risk
The article talks about the movement of the world towards Artificial Intelligence as one of the future in our software technology. Yet, with this movement, it comes with certain implication, especially regarding security. These implications include faster attacks from hackers, improved adaptation in the software attack by the hackers and the attack to be everchanging.
30. What is Asana? Task management tracking made easy
Asana is created in 2008 by Facebook’s co-founder and is now used by companies such as Uber, Airbnb and Spotify. It is a cloud-based software that allows colleagues within an organisation to track and manage the progress of projects on a group and individual level.
31. Is your software racist?
Softwares, which are created using algorithms, have always been seen as powerful and objective tools. However, scandals (and research) that cropped up in recent years have proven otherwise. In fact, the software that we use every day, such as Google translate, face recognition and voice-based assistants, are becoming increasingly gender-biased and racially-biased, and this unexpected problem is an increasing concern in the technology world.
32. Exclusiveness for iOS and Android softwares
While it is not profitable to produce applications only for one software system, many application developers still choose to adopt this seemingly “less profitable” method. This article explains why some application developers choose to only develop on iOS systems or Android systems exclusively.
33. Software enables robots to be controlled in virtual reality
New software allows users to control robots remotely (overcoming geographical distances) using virtual reality, allowing users to completely immerse themselves in a 3D experience from the robot’s POV. This also allows robots to perform more sophisticated functions instead of merely moving (e.g. drones), taking the advancements of robots one step closer.
34. Chatbot lets you sue Equifax for up to $25,000 without a lawyer
In September 2017, Equifax, a consumer credit reporting agency, compromised 143 million people’s Social Security numbers and other data. A chatbot which was originally meant for helping with parking tickets can be used to help fill out forms to file in small claims. Maximum damages range between $2,500 in states like Rhode Island and Kentucky to $25,000 in Tennessee. The bot helps affected citizens take the guesswork out of small claims court procedures.
35. Artificial Intelligence vs Software
It highlights how the introduction of Artificial intelligence (AI) has overtaken the development of software regarding debugging, in building new softwares which are faster and better, as well as its deep learning function. However, this does not threaten the need for development given that AI can be considered as a software as well. Hence, given the tremendous future prospect of AI, more companies are moving towards AI. AI is thus very significant for future development.
36. Is Language Agnosticism the Future of Software Development?
The article talks about how software engineering is no longer restricted only to writing code with the rise of Language Agnosticism. It is a necessary skill that programmers develop by expanding their reach to different languages to allow themselves to choose a language that fits a particular task based on factors like performance, preference, and quality.
37. “The Internet is filling up because Indians are sending millions of good morning texts.”
Technology has become more accessible, especially to the (demographically) large developing nation of India. Millions of Indians are getting online for the first time, and due to the nature of their culture, are sending greetings across the Internet from their phones. As a consequence, (other than the cultural trauma of having to send messages daily as a form of respect) many citizen’s low-cost phones are freezing up due to the large size of images taking up Cloud/Mobile storage. Google’s solution was a new app called FilesGo that highlights files for possible detection, deleting many good-morning messages at once with the help of databases and AI.
38. BlackBerry is refocusing on driver-less car software
This article talks about BlackBerry, who was once part of the smartphone industry had turned their attention to make software for the next generation driverless car. It also mentions BlackBerry-owned core technology, QNX’s new software would help and change the current auto sector.
39. A Software Shrink: Apps and Wearables Could Usher In an Era of Digital Psychiatry
The article talks about how data collected by a software in your smartphone can revolutionise the treatment of depression and many other disorders. The ultimate promise of digital psychiatry is that it could help improve everyone’s mental health. It also looks at the challenges of the digital future of psychiatry faces. Despite the challenges, we are already very close to this future that the article discussed.
40. The Money In Open-Source
This article summarised the successful strategies used by some open-source companies such as Red Hat in generating sustainable business and at the same time, providing support to the users of the open-source. Some of the business models suggested include selling their open-source with added benefits and security to enterprises, placing more emphasis on customer satisfaction rather than upfront sales, and changing their business model from a service-focused to a product-focused model.
41. Online Software to Learn about Evolution!
Link (Supporting): https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180205113043.htm
Hands-on learning has always been the best way for children to learn in class, such that time is set aside in school for lab lessons to do experiments and projects to aid in learning. Biological evolution, however, has been unable to learn through hands-on means, but now, there is an online tool that can show students the evolution of populations over time.
42. Pay with your face at this KFC in China
Link (Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzFDYR_Mv90
Customers can now leave their house without cash, credit cards or a smartphone, and settle the bill with solely their face. Ant Financial, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA), launched the new service in the eastern city of Hangzhou. It is the latest example of the growing use of facial recognition by businesses and government agencies in the world’s most populous nation.
43. Munich council: To hell with Linux, we’re going full Windows in 2020
Link (Supporting): https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/04/munich_linux_costs_ownership/
The article is about Munich city council’s decision to drop Linux as its OS and adopt Windows 10 instead. The city was famous in the open-source world for its decision to use Linux over Windows, to make itself independent from the claws of Microsoft. While it was a heroic attempt, it never proves fruitful in the long run, due to incompatibility issues with softwares and so on. Most software available was only for Windows and mail servers, for instance had to be migrated to Windows Exchange. While it may sound as easy as just migrating between 2 separate systems, the city has been using Linux for 15 years and migrating to Windows, which will be the better option in the future, will cost them close to a 100 million euros! The whole 15 years, they have poured in financial resources to find a workaround and fixes to thrive in their Linux system and be independent of Microsoft.
44. New software turns a mobile-phone accessory into breathing monitor
Researchers have developed new software that makes it possible to use low-cost, thermal cameras attached to mobile phones to track how fast a person is breathing. This type of mobile thermal imaging could be used for monitoring breathing problems in elderly people living alone which uses infrared wavelengths to reveal the temperature of an object or scene, have been used in a variety of monitoring applications, it is also helpful for people suspected of having sleep apnea or babies at risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
45. 1,900 rotten apps bounced out of Google Play every day in 2017
More than 700,000 apps are removed from Google Play last year due to inappropriateness, and some of them contain malware which developers managed to sneak through to earn coins.
46. AI-powered Automated Customer Service is the Future
Automation is everywhere these days enabling users to accomplish a wide range of tasks – from ordering pizza, checking luggage at the airport, booking a hotel room, right through to scheduling a doctor’s appointment. And the customer service industry is no exception.
Advancements in technology continue to transform customer service interactions. By 2020, experts project that more than 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without the need for a human agent.
47. How ASOS is looking to transform its entire enterprise technology stack in just five years
This article talks about how British fashion and beauty eCommerce giant ASOS is shifting its whole technology stack to Microsoft’s cloud Azure platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and a host of software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for its backend enterprise systems. This also includes the shifting of key consumer-facing applications, including the mobile apps, to be hosted on and interact with the Azure PaaS.
48. Benefits of an Integrated Business Software System
In an attempt to manage expanding operations of the company, most business corporations today find themselves evolving their systems by continuous usage of multiple softwares. From accounting software to inventory and order management software, many firms become tangled in a “software hairball” with such poorly planned architecture. However, the article shows how there are both advantages and disadvantages to the company as a result of applying this system.
49. This French Biotech’s Software Helps Drugs to Succeed in the Clinic
French biotech company BioNext develops drug testing software to check on early drug development candidates and the possibility of it being an alternative to AI that is geared for this usage.
50. Google learning software learns to write learning software
There is a high potential of computer software taking over the jobs of accountants and lawyers now. For example in Google, in a project called AutoML, Google’s researchers have taught their machine-learning software to build machine learning themselves. Remarkably, some of the software that they came up with is better than what the researchers themselves can design. The system recently scored a record of 82% of categorising images by their content.
51. Mobile game revenue to pass console, PC for the first time
Mobile gaming revenues are expected to outstrip the money generated by console and PC games in 2016 for the first time, a new report shows.
52. Smartglasses from eSight are changing blind people’s lives by enabling them to see
eSight is a pair of smart glasses that give legally blind people the ability to see. The eSight is a device worn on the head, with a pair of corrective glasses built in if they’re needed. A high-speed camera views the world around the wearer, projecting the image onto a pair of OLED screens, where special software enhances and cleans up the image. It’s arguably the true definition of augmented reality
53. Facial recognition in CCTV for criminal catching
In Moscow, the government has formally deployed facial recognition technology on the network of CCTV cameras “city-wide”. The system matches people’s faces against billions of photos, collected from Russia’s version of Facebook and related social media as well as police and passport database.
54. Software failure caused $1.7 trillion in financial losses in 2017
The article highlights the financial impact of software issues in 2017 ($1.7 trillion). It moves on to give a breakdown of the major industries affected, most significant issues causing the losses, as well as what the failures entail.
55. Accounting software adoption is growing at breakneck speed
The growth of accounting software is increasing, with more companies seeing the benefits of adopting the software, to reduce costs but also to increase accuracy and efficiency of different processes. However, even current users are leaving older accounting software system and changing to new ones that cater to non-accounting functions that are specific to their business.
56. Court Software No Better Than Mechanical Turks at Predicting Repeat Crime
This criminal risk analysis tool, Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions (COMPAS), has been used to assess more than 1 million offenders since it was developed in 1998. This software uses 137 variables, such as sex, age, and previous criminal history in its predictions, but how accurate can this software go with its analysis and predictions?
57. Facial recognition software helps diagnose rare genetic disease
Researchers have successfully used facial recognition technology to diagnose DiGeorge Syndrome, a rare, genetic disease in Africans, Asians and Latin Americans. This is the newest addition to the Atlas of Human Malformations in Diverse Populations launched last year.
58. How Will AI Impact Software Development?
The author discussed how the job of a software developer will change with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI). He talks about how AI allows developers to create better software, improving overall quality and helps testers to find flaws in their software, improving cybersecurity.
59. Paying with Your Face
An artificial intelligence (AI), Face ++ created for identity verification purpose. In addition, Face++ can do other things such as analysing someone’s age, race, face comparison, gender as well as emotional expression all based on one photo.
Users upload their photos to the system, it the system will integrate facial biometric data and tracking up to 83 different key points on the face from various angles at the same time. Identity verification happens immediately with an extremely high accuracy. This technology is used in Alipay, Smile to Pay application. Face++ payment confirmations can improve the financial security of any person. Together with an overall image of an individual’s face, this app also captures some specific facial features. The software can identify faces with 99 percent accuracy.
60. AI insights could help reduce injuries in the construction industry
Artificial intelligence (AI) is giving researchers new insights to help reduce wear-and-tear injuries and boost the productivity of skilled construction workers.
61. Lucep – an omnichannel management system for customer engagement
Initially, Lucep had a product designed to solve the problem of queues called VirtualQ. It took the spotlight when India suddenly withdrew high-denomination currency notes in November 2016, leading to chaos at banks and ATMs. Lucep has an operations team in India and initially offered banks a simple SMS-based service for virtual queues. This evolved into an online-to-offline product for customer engagement.
This later evolved into Lucep’s Omnipath. Whether people want to connect with a business in person or via digital means – mobile app, SMS, website, or telephony – Lucep’s OmniPath helps to funnel connections to one channel and direct them to suitable entities like a branch, call centre, relationship manager, or customer support team. And where necessary, it can also use AI-powered analytics at the backend from its original online product. It’s an omnichannel management system for customer engagement in specific types of businesses.
62. Your New Best Friend: AI Chatbot
The article speaks about an AI Chatbot called Replika, a relatively new artificial intelligence app meant to act like your best friend. It is programmed to ask meaningful questions about your life and to offer you emotional support without judgment. The app learns about your interests and habits over time, even adopting your lingo and style of speaking.
63. Scientists warn we may be creating a ‘digital dark age.’
The article highlights how we are creating a “digital dark age”. With most of our memories such as photos and photos being stored on digital storage or cloud systems, there are concerns that this digital information may not be readable by software or machines created in the future. There are also concerns that current digital storage medium, most notably magnetic tape, will suffer from a degradation called ‘bit rot’ as well as plans to store information in the future using synthetic DNA.
64. Barcelona ditches Microsoft in favour of OSS
This year, the city of Barcelona plans to embrace open source, moving away from proprietary licensed software like Microsoft. Alternatives include Linux, Libre Office and Open Xchange, and even changing the default browser like Mozilla’s Firefox across systems. This move comes as Barcelona tries to reduce its dependency on long-time proprietary suppliers and expenditure on such software.
65. Why is there still Internet Explorer?
Link (Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD9FAOPBiDk
Have you wondered why despite so many of us hating Microsoft’s former browser with a passion, our employers choose to still use Internet Explorer?