SOGETI UK BLOG

Image 1What if Donald Trump were to buy the worlds first real ‘strong’ AI? What would he do with a thinking computer that would out-think everybody else? This was a question that crossed my mind when thinking about the ethics of AI. Or, along the same lines, what if Bill Gates (you know, from the Gates foundation) were to own one? Or the government of China? Or the Vatican? Different owners would surely lead to different scenarios of how this AI would be used and different outcomes for mankind.

There is a lot of discussion already about the dangers and opportunities of AI. Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking are among the famous people warning for what could go wrong. Automatic autonomous weapons, killing anybody who fits a certain description? It might just be possible for anyone to build in a few years time.

Or perhaps – hopefully – a real strong AI would quickly realize that to achieve the goals of any owner, progress for whole mankind would be best? Regardless if you pursue world peace, great fortune or to become the world’s leader, it probably helps if people are happy, healthy and productive. Although, another view says that any computer would quickly realize that the greatest threat to it’s own operation would be for someone to turn it off, and you don’t need to have a super-brain to reason this scenario through. (“I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that”)

On a more serious note, if you’re interested in the ethics of AI I can strongly recommend this video by Nick Bostrom, who also wrote a book on the same topic: Superintelligence.

 

Erik van Ommeren AUTHOR:
Erik van Ommeren is responsible for VINT, the international research institute of Sogeti, in the USA. He is an IT strategist and senior analyst with a broad background in IT, Enterprise Architecture and Executive Management. Part of his time is spent advising organizations on innovation, transformational projects and architectural processes.

Posted in: Developers, Human Interaction Testing, Innovation, IT Security, Open Innovation, Requirements, Research, Robotics, Social media, Social media analytics, Software Development      
Comments: 0
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 

5441334603_watchers_xlarge Why have we not found extraterrestrial life? Could it have something to do with IT security? With now thousands of habitable planets spotted, some people are starting to worry that the fact that we have not yet received any intelligent signal from outer space means that perhaps there is no intelligent life outside of earth. Or even worse: that it existed before, but didn’t survive. That perhaps there exists a step in every intelligent society where they – accidentally – obliterate themselves. Perhaps a weapon that is just a little too powerful, a drug (or social platform?) that is just too addictive, a virus that is too effective or a scientific discovery that -‘whoops’- turns the planet into a flaming ball of plasma. This could then of course also spell doom for mankind, as these things may lie in our future.

 Then again, why would we receive a signal that is understandable? This expectation seems to be built on one of two expectations:

  1. Either, aliens would purposely broadcast some kind of signal, a beacon for us to discover,
  2. Or, we would pick up accidental signals. Perhaps their ‘Dallas’ episodes accidentally being broadcast  into space.

Aliens purposely broadcasting could be an illusion because perhaps even in a super advanced society nobody is willing to invest in anything that takes thousands to millions of years for a two-way message (assuming the speed of light is indeed limiting the speed a message can travel). Mankind has sent out some spacecraft with a message on board, but if this actually reaches any intelligent being ever it would really be like winning the cosmic lottery.

And then the accidental signals: analogue, leaking signals are only temporary. The power needed to transmit signals is going down all the time, signals become binary and ultimately become encrypted. And low powered, encrypted signals are basically noise… unless you have the key. So perhaps we should search for extraterrestrial life by trying to decrypt all the noise we can find in the sky. Perhaps there is an intelligence agency out there who want to repurpose some of their equipment and change their name: alien intelligence agency?

Related posts:

Erik van Ommeren AUTHOR:
Erik van Ommeren is responsible for VINT, the international research institute of Sogeti, in the USA. He is an IT strategist and senior analyst with a broad background in IT, Enterprise Architecture and Executive Management. Part of his time is spent advising organizations on innovation, transformational projects and architectural processes.

Posted in: Digital, Extrarerrestrial Life, Internet of Things, IT Security, IT strategy, Robotics, Security, Social Aspects, Software Development, Test environment, Testing and innovation      
Comments: 0
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

What is life like for people who are not connected to the Internet, who do not use mobile? How do they pay their bills? Find a phone number? Get information about anything? How do they find a job?

An ever-shrinking part of the population is not ‘on the Internet’ and I’m very intrigued by this fact. Yes, there will be the homeless, and people in special care, but what about ‘normal’ people? People who purposely choose to not connect? People who choose to be an  Analogitarian? (Yes, like vegetarian). I don’t think mankind has ever forced a medium onto people as quickly and completely as the Internet. Being an analogitarian would exclude you from all kinds of jobs, where email and Internet-connected tools are key to the job. Could you do it without converting to the Amish? With self-service HR systems, collaboration platforms and planning tools, even many simple manufacturing jobs now require at least some Internet connectivity. Jobs that you initially think of (Farmer! Captain of a ship! Policeman!)… all require the Internet.

Still, thinking about it some more, it doesn’t sound so bad. No more worries about cyber security, no fragmentation of your attention, no time wasted following the trail of links and likes. You’d probably replace all that with more mindful and human activities. Perhaps part-time Analogitarian can be a thing? I think I’m going to try in weekends for now, and see where it leads…

Related posts:

  1. Big Data, a day in the life
  2. Big Data, a day in the life: The Nightmare
  3. Machine learning: the next big thing in big data for our everyday life?
  4. Top 10 post: “Machine learning: the next big thing in big data for our everyday life?”

Erik van Ommeren AUTHOR:
Erik van Ommeren is responsible for VINT, the international research institute of Sogeti, in the USA. He is an IT strategist and senior analyst with a broad background in IT, Enterprise Architecture and Executive Management. Part of his time is spent advising organizations on innovation, transformational projects and architectural processes.

Posted in: Digital, Human Resources, Security      
Comments: 0
Tags: , , , ,

 

It never ceases to amaze me how on social media, people I consider to be among the smartest of my friends and business connections still reply to stupid quizzes, contests or puzzles of shady origin. These quizzes have many forms: a series of numbers of which you have to guess the next one, a diagram in which you have to guess the number of squares, a series of sums in which you have to predict the next one or something stupid like ‘name a country (or a fruit) without an a’. All worded in such a way that they are teasing out the replies.

A somewhat different category of posts with similar goal is the ‘click reply to win this ‘xyz’, in which xyz can be anything from a vacation to a brand new luxury car. Apparently freshly started Facebook pages are not suspicious at all when there is even the remotest chance to win a brand new BMW. (Yes, genuine sweepstakes exist, but these are often easy to spot: well established websites and social media profiles)

Of course, all these exist to extract likes, comments, links, reposts, retweets etc. To gain influencer score, to increase reach, to harvest information. Your comment today will probably mean you’ll see a more commercially flavored post from a similar origin later.

So what can we learn from all this?

One, people are people: they respond to challenges and social circumstances in such a way that optimism or ego perhaps overtake ratio sometimes. I find this a very positive thing: every time I see someone reply to one of these, I think ‘ah, the sign of hope, the sign of a confident optimist’.

Second, it again proves that social media ‘likes’ are really worth harvesting and that it doesn’t take much to do it. On this topic, I’m a bit less optimistic, especially if I put this in the context of machines that think. What spam was for email, these gimmicks are for social media, but slightly smarter. And if machines really get smarter, will they learn to create their own ‘irresistible content’ and swamp the web?

And third, all platforms really are part of one digital realm. Even LinkedIn is not immune to this. Basically any platform that has some social dynamic will be susceptible to this type of content. I’m guessing that over time, the differences in content between the different platforms may fade, as they all want to focus on content that is most eagerly shared and discussed.

But, personally, perhaps the most annoying thing I find is that I’m always tempted to post ‘People, don’t reply to this, it’s spam’… but in doing so I would fall into the same trap. It would add my 2cts of social media value to someone’s profile, which I’d much rather spend on someone I really know and like.

To read the original post and add comments, please visit the SogetiLabs blog: 1, 3, 7, 15, … I bet you don’t know the next number in this series!

Related Posts:

  1. Relating unrelated things with social data: Cyclists are more likely to own tablet computers
  2. The Dark Side of Social Media – provocative but very real!
  3. Bitcoin 2.0: It’s about the platform, not the currency, stupid!
  4. VINT series on Big Data now complete

 

Erik van Ommeren AUTHOR:
Erik van Ommeren is responsible for VINT, the international research institute of Sogeti, in the USA. He is an IT strategist and senior analyst with a broad background in IT, Enterprise Architecture and Executive Management. Part of his time is spent advising organizations on innovation, transformational projects and architectural processes.

Posted in: Behaviour Driven Development, Business Intelligence, communication, Digital strategy, e-Commerce, Internet of Things, IT strategy, Opinion, Social media, Social media analytics      
Comments: 0
Tags: , , , , ,

 

social_media_trends_1

I love technology. I love innovation. I love communication. But please, can we now stop inventing new iterations of the same thing? Can we please stop making up new ways to share content? We can now send long or short texts, pictures, video and live streams. We can send them to individuals, to groups, to all our friends or to anyone. We can do so with name attached or anonymously. We can do so on mobile or computer or both. We can invite responses or not. We can like,Facebook Heart, share or retweet. We can even say that content should only be available for a short time, for people in the same area or for people with a special key.

Startups have been exploring all the cross-sections of these dimensions and marketing them as Snapchat, Twitter, Meerkat, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, etc. So, let me be a grumpy old man for a minute; but now it has to stop! Seriously. I cannot be expected to track who of my friends is on what channel. I cannot be expected to track my friends’ activities across all these things. I just want ONE interface where I can quickly choose what to send, who to send it to and let the tool figure out what channel to use, how to package it or how to make sure I get the responses I need. I want one interface where I collect friends, contacts and other sources of relevant interactions. Ideally with some prioritisation, so I don’t drown in the well-intended tweets of a high-school friend while the message from my boss is urgently awaiting my reply.

Marshall McLuhan already wrote that the medium IS the message, that the channel you choose matters in what the effect of your interaction will be. But please, let’s not overdo it. I also want the message to be the message and most of all: I don’t want to waste time on the medium, if I can spend it on the message.

Oh, and if you have a comment, please share it because I love comments! Feel free to send them on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, as a comment below this post, Instagram or send me a text, email, Skype IM, Whatsapp or whatever other channel you can find. I promise… I’m there, waiting for your reply!

Related Posts:

  1. Understanding media, look at the pattern
  2. How do Facebook and Google handle privacy and security?
  3. Google+ is dead, long live Google+!
  4. Facebook needs big data to stay on top

Erik van Ommeren AUTHOR:
Erik van Ommeren is responsible for VINT, the international research institute of Sogeti, in the USA. He is an IT strategist and senior analyst with a broad background in IT, Enterprise Architecture and Executive Management. Part of his time is spent advising organizations on innovation, transformational projects and architectural processes.

Posted in: e-Commerce, Innovation, Internet of Things, Marketing, mobile applications, Social media, Social media analytics      
Comments: 0
Tags: , , , , , , ,