Inside CTO/CIO - July 23rd, 2019 |

Inside CTO/CIO (Jul 23rd, 2019)

Microsoft's big AI investment/Trump talks Chine trade/ FTC and Equifax settlement

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1. Microsoft has invested $1 billion in artificial intelligence research company OpenAI and will eventually become the sole provider of computational resources to the nonprofit organization. Together, the companies plan to increase progress in artificial general intelligence (AGI), which can eventually lead to the development of human-like AI. During its fourth-quarter report last week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the company was building Azure as 'the world's computer," and much of the funding the tech giant provides will be spent on the computing power OpenAI needs to achieve its ambitions. OpenAI was co-founded by Elon Musk, Ilya Sutskever, Greg Brockman, and former Y Combinator President Sam Altman, who now serves as the organization’s CEO. - CRUNCHBASE NEWS

2. President Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow met yesterday with top Huawei tech suppliers. Qualcomm, Broadcom, Intel, Micron and Google execs were in attendance to discuss security concerns around the use of the Chinese company's equipment and the possibility that the vendors will face increased regulations related to their dealings with Huawei. The companies requested that the Department of Commerce make  "timely licensing decisions” regarding Huawei, the White House says. Intel provided its perspective about how the current trade situation with China impacts the critical U.S. semiconductor industry. - CNBC

3. The Federal Trade Commission has ordered Equifax to pay $700 million as part of a settlement for its 2017 data breach. At least $300 million will go towards paying for identity theft services and other related expenses run up by the victims. Equifax also has agreed to carry out its own annual audit of security risks and submit to an external assessment of its security efforts once every two years. It also must ensure that third-parties with access to the personal data it stores have adequate data protection measures in place. The giant cybersecurity breach compromised the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans. - BBC

4. Researchers at the University of California have developed a deep neural network architecture that can identify manipulated images at the pixel level with high precision. By detecting boundaries of inserted and removed objects, a computer should be able to identify altered images, an ability which may have cybersecurity implications. With the new DNN architecture, when a computer is given a new image, it now is able to provide a probability that the image is manipulated or not and to localize the region of the image where the manipulation occurred. More researchers are improving image identification technology to catch manipulations, too. Berkeley and Adobe researchers have developed technology that not only can tell when a face has been Photoshopped, but can suggest how to undo it. - SCIENCE DAILY

5. Starbucks is licensing its mobile and loyalty program technology to restaurant tech company Brightloom. Once the software from Starbucks is integrated into its system, Brightloom plans to provide the enhanced technology platform to other restaurant companies and operators of licensed Starbucks stores that don't currently have access to it. Brightloom calls Starbucks' technology "the gold standard in digital platforms.” - CNBC

6. Intel and SAP partner to optimize Intel’s platform innovations across SAP’s portfolio of end-to-end enterprise software applications. SAP will get early access to emerging data-centric Intel technologies to move data faster, store data more efficiently and process all kinds of data for all kinds of workloads. The expanded partnership with Intel is also designed to accelerate SAP customers move to SAP S/4HANA by allowing organizations to unlock the value of data assets - TECHCRUNCH

7. The OpenPower Foundation, a nonprofit led by Google and IBM executives, reportedly has set up a collaboration between IBM and U.S. chip manufacturer Xilinx and Chinese company Semptian. The partnership is aimed at continuing to advance the development of microprocessor technology that enables computers to store and analyze unlimited amounts of data. U.S. government officials and human rights organizations have concerns that the technology will be used for internet surveillance and censorship in China. - THE INTERCEPT   

8. Apple may buy Intel’s 5G abandoned smartphone modem business. Intel exited the mobile business after Apple reached a settlement with Qualcomm to return to using Qualcomm’s modems in its phones. Intel said that it didn't see a path forward without Apple as a customer. - THE VERGE

9. Cisco's new Group CIO is redefining the operations of the company's IT infrastructure. Jacqueline Guichelaar wants to standardize and simplify the company's technology platform and application landscape. Her goal is to accelerate digital transformation, starting with the goal of better understanding Cisco customers. - ETCIO

10. The true potential of location intelligence is to digitally transform businesses toward customer-obsessed enterprises. Forrester principal analyst James McCormick explains that firms should get “beyond the map” and use location technology so they can contextually understand their customers uring moments of engagement. Such tecnology includes location intelligence execution, GIS spatial analytics, location intelligence and enterprise data location management.- FORRESTER

Jennifer Zaino is a freelance writer and editor specializing in business, technology, healthcare and education. 

Editor: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).

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