Hashtag Trending May 30th-JPMorgan, Apple and Paypal top list of companies that customers say protect their information “well”; RedHat’s CTO says its LLMs are curated, unlike ChatGPT; Can you power a car using milk?

Are the big investments in security products paying off? Generative AI sets a new standard for user interfaces and a lawyer cites bogus cases manufactured by ChatGPT in legal court filings.

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These top tech news stories and more for Tuesday, May 30th , I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada, and Tech News Day in the US.

According to the 2023 Axios Harris Poll 100 brand reputation survey, JPMorgan, Apple and Paypal topped the list of companies that consumers said protect customers’ personal information and data “well”.

Military-focused financial services company USAA, Amazon and American Express trailed close behind.

Interestingly, each of these sectors and companies have faced major cyber and data privacy incidents in the last decade and made privacy a selling point with their consumers.

The 2013 Target breach that affected millions of customers’ credit cards during the holiday shopping season was pivotal for retailers. Apple started pushing its own privacy campaign after the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal.  And the 2012 coordinated attack on several U.S. banks’ websites, prompted the reckoning at JPMorgan.

Apple, for instance, continues to invest in new security tools including new encryption levels and malware detection abilities and JPMorgan invested $12 billion in technological and security updates last year.

However, the poll or these beefy investments does not mean that these companies are flag bearers of data privacy and protection.

Thousands of PayPal customers were affected by a so-called credential-stuffing attack earlier this year. Experts at Apple continue to push for more robust privacy and security programs. Even the financial sector has some of the most stringent security regulations in the U.S.

Bottom line is – no matter how we rate these companies, we need to be smarter and limit what we share or turn on security features like multi-factor authentication because it’s impossible for any of these companies to be 100 per cent safe from cyber attacks.

Source: Axios

Can generative AI set a new standard for user interfaces?

Windows head Panos Panay told Axios in an interview that AI is bringing a generational shift in computer interfaces and that it will feel magical.

We’re already seeing key players using large language models to make chat-style interaction a key way to interact with their software.

Microsoft, last week unveiled Windows Copilot which adds a side-pane where users can both summon the AI-powered Bing search engine and change settings, without rummaging through the arcane system of control panels.

Adobe also announced a new generative fill tool for Photoshop that lets people describe what they want to take place in an area, say put a mountain here or remove this object.

Microsoft CTO, Kevin Scott said in a statement, “I think over the coming years, this will become an expectation for how all software works.” 

But Panay said that it’s going to take time for the full power and nuance of AI-as-interface to emerge. He said, “It’s a migration, not an overnight change. You learned to point and then you learned to scroll.”

Plus there could be drawbacks.

 You won’t have a lot to do, but that also means you may end up with less skills or less direct control.

Plus, the chat window does not provide users with much indication of what it can do or how to use it. There’s no easy way to poke around and get a sense of its capabilities.

1990s office assistant Clippy faced similar troubles. It used to pop up in Word when it looked like you were writing a letter or resume and might need help. But it was constrained by the limits of computers to understand all the different ways that humans describe the actions they want to take.

The arrival of large language models has, however, changed a lot, to the point that computers seem poised to speak our language rather than humans having to learn to speak computer.

Either way, expect to see chatbot-like interfaces show up all over the place, for better or worse, we’ll see.

Source: Axios

Long before ChatGPT triggered an AI blitz in the tech world, Red Hat was working to turn AI into a useful tool.

It began in 2021, with Project Wisdom, together with IBM. This enabled users to input a coding command as a straightforward English sentence.

This developed into Red Hat’s first major AI success: Ansible Lightspeed, which uses natural language processing and integrates with Code Assistant to access IBM Foundation Models built on OpenShift, Red Hat’s Kubernetes service.

CTO Chris Wright told the Register that, unlike ChatGPT, which vacuums in all publicly available data, Red Hat’s LLMs are curated and domain-specific.

According to Red Hat, this means that its LLMs are built on data that the company knows is correct, and based on tested, high-quality data and code.

Wright said, “We make sure the models are accurate because we build metrics into the whole end-to-end process.” This includes business metrics to make sure your projects aren’t just technically successful but deliver successful results for your business as well.”

Unlike the other buzzy AI projects, Wright said that IBM and Red Hat can tell you exactly where their data for their domain-specific LLMs comes from.

Knowing exactly what’s in LLMs is rapidly becoming a critical issue for quality, accuracy, and legal issues.

For example, if you use code from GitHub CoPilot, do you know if the code it produces is sourced from a copyrighted open source project? Can you be sued for using it?

The Register wrote, “Businesses, once they recover from getting drunk on AI’s potential, must deal with these issues.”

Source: The Register

App developer Alitheon says that its new app, FeaturePrint, an AI-based app can spot counterfeits and fakes using a smartphone camera.

The company website says, “Pick up a car brake pad, a circuit board, a bar of precious metal, or your collectable baseball card. Are you sure it is what you think it is? Is it what it should be? What is the consequence if it isn’t? Eliminate these questions and avoid the doubt. Be FeaturePrint sure!”

The software sees and converts the minute surface details of physical items into a unique mathematical identity. No two objects can be exactly the same, even if they come from the same production line. Features common to similar objects are rejected, and only the information that makes this object unique is preserved.

So the app basically replaces barcodes, QR codes, or RFID tags that can fall off, get covered up, or get counterfeited.

FeaturePrint is only available to businesses.

The app is currently used by the London Bullion Market Association to identify and authenticate the gold bars it receives to make sure that they are legitimate and are not from an illegal source

Source: Phone Arena

Lawyer Steven Shwartz has been practicing law for three decades. Then he decided to rely on ChatGPT,  which propped him up with completely manufactured,non-existent previous cases.

The case in question involves Roberto Mata who is suing Avianca airline for allegedly injuring his knee during a flight with a serving cart. Avianca is attempting to get a judge to dismiss the case.

As a response, Shwartz, Mata’s lawyer, submitted a slew of similar court decisions in legal filings.

Some include, Varghese v. China Southern Airlines, Shaboon v. Egyptair, Petersen v. Iran Air, Martinez v. Delta Airlines.

None of these exist and when Avianca’s team could not locate these court decisions, Shwartz admitted to using the popular chatbot. He also said he was unaware of the possibility that its content could be false. He showed interactions with ChatGPT, where the chatbot affirmed that the cases were real and could be found in reputable legal databases.

The judge has ordered a hearing next month to “discuss potential sanctions” for Schwartz.

Source: Mashable

Can you power a car using milk? This small distillery in Ottawa, Canada thinks so.

Dairy Distillery developed a technology to transform a lactose-rich dairy byproduct, called milk permeate into vodka, or as it is aptly named, Vodkow.

This caught the attention of the Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) which produces 14,000 tonnes of milk permeate a year that’s currently being used for animal feed.

But the MMPA wants more value for its dairy farmer members and is hence partnering with Dairy Distillery to build a plant to process its milk permeate into 2.2 millions gallons of ethanol. 

When blended with transportation fuel, the permeate ethanol can offset 14,500 tonnes of carbon a year or reduce the carbon footprint of the milk processed at MMPA by 5 per cent.

Ethanol production at the $40 million ethanol plant is slated for early 2025. 

Source: MMPA

That’s the top tech news for today.  We go to air with a daily newscast five days a week, as well as a special weekend interview with an expert on topics relevant to today’s tech news.

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I’m your host, Jim Love.  Have a Terrific Tuesday!

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Jim Love
Jim Lovehttp://www.itworldcanada.com/
I've been in IT and business for over 30 years. I worked my way up, literally from the mail room and I've done every job from mail clerk to CEO. Today I'm CIO of a great company - IT World Canada - Canada's leading ICT publisher.

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