Information Systems Integration – Tony Messina


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This Weather Startup Provides Hyperlocal Data To Customers Like Monsanto


“A no-maintenance weather station is important when you install in harsh environments that are exposed to dust, wind, and high temperatures,” said Giovanni Piccinni, Global Field Optimization and Production Sustainability Lead at Monsanto. “Having no moving parts is really key. It guarantees a continuous stream of high-quality data.”

IT is enhancing every industry and business around the world. But It is really impressing when an amazing technology can be environmentally friendly as well. This startup will provide real life accurate weather information that can be used to make decisions about irrigation, harvest times, and seed production.  The company can in the future offer the data it collects to different potential customers, from insurance companies to farms to governments.

I think this is brilliant, and the data collected by the sensors can be utilized in so many ways. Again, IT is IT, and it can be used to improve any product or service.

Were you impressed by this innovation? Can you think of any limitations to the use of the stations? Leave you comments and thoughts below!

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Artificial Intelligence is changing the CIO’s role

The role of the Chief Information Officer has grown over the years. The disruptive potential of artificial intelligence, Internet of things and rapidly developing robotics technologies mean the role should become even high profile and strategic. CIOs at large enterprises must be prepared to play a more central role in their organization.

The rapid expansion of AI technology in the workplace is creating an ever-changing environment for IT departments. The AI revolution is not about providing tools to workers anymore, it is about creating a new type of organization.

The modern role of the CIO is vital to creating a stressful environment for the organization. CIOs job can help keep people at all levels on board and keep everyone involved in the process. AI technology can help with this.

Do you agree that AI is changing CIO’s role? What specifically did AI change in CIO’s role?

Original Article

Fake News and Digital Media

In recent months it has been impossible to avoid the term “Fake News”. Regardless of political affiliation it’s impossible to deny that our current digital media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube can very easily be made into effective and manipulative digital media tools. A recent study conducted by MIT found that there are vast swathes of content on our social media sites that are generate by AI bots, and shared by them too. The study also found that most of this content is written as what is called click-bait, or eye catching / provocative content meant to capture the readers attention, regardless of accuracy. Fake media content, on average seemed to reach consumers six times quicker than legitimate, non-clickbait content.

As we continue using these digital eco-systems, and as their use continues to expand into the developing world, what are some safeguards that we can put in place to ensure content is legitimate? Do media platforms have the responsibility of verifying their content?



3-D Printed Homes

1.2 billion people in the world live without adequate housing, according to a report by the World Resources Institute’s Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, but a company called ICON may have a cheaper solution for people who need homes at a low cost. The solution they have is to build these homes using 3-D printing. The 3-D printing method the company is using can create homes that are between 650-800 square feet and it is trying to get the cost to make these homes to around $4000. It only takes 12 to 24 hours to makes these homes and if everything goes according to plan then it will make a community of 100 homes in El Salvador next year. The company is also looking to the future potential of this technology to be used to build communities off-planet. The company thinks this can be a more promising habitat technology for space.

What are your thoughts on this technology? Do you think this could one day be used to build communities off-planet?

Global Smart Pills Market Expected to Account $3 Billion by End of 2026

Smart pills have just been approved in the US. The smart pills contain cameras, trackers, and sensors that can detect health problems, and communicate those problems with the doctor. Smart pills can monitor a patient’s prescription intake, and they are currently widely being used to detect gastrointestinal diseases. Smart pills will be able to diagnose diseases much more efficiently than doctors. Companies are also looking into adding a function for it to assess physiological health metrics.

The smart pill is worth so much because it provides a solution to the increasing problem of patients not taking the medicines. Doctors are encouraging patients to take the smart pills to ensure their patients are taking the medications they need. The healthcare sector also loses billions of dollars each year from patients not taking their medicine, so the smart pill will be very helpful for the healthcare industry.

Do you think digital drugs will be the future of medication?…-end

AI Can Now Accurately Diagnose Eye Diseases


Researches at the Shiley Eye Institute at UC San Diego Health and University of California San Diego School of Medicine along with researchers from Germany, China, and Texas, have created an Artificial Intelligence capable of quickly and reliably diagnosing patients with retinal diseases.

Thousands of tomographs non-invasively scan the iris and pupil of the eye to determine if a patient has an eye condition. This speeds the process of a diagnosis, enabling the patient to receive treatment quicker than a manual diagnosis.

Artificial Intelligence is certainly a hot topic of discussion, but it spans farther than smart speakers and self-driving cars. In this instance, a medical process is expedited without sacrificing accuracy. This use, though very niche, showcased just how AI can alter all aspects of our technology-driven world. What could be next?


Instant Global Communication

Biz @ the speed of thought

My first year of college I felt lost and didn’t know what I wanted to study. After reading Bill Gates’ “Business @ The Speed of Thought” I instantly knew I wanted to get involved in technological innovation. Gates predicted many innovative technologies in this early 2000’s novel including ride sharing, experience sharing, and the rise of social media.

It seems like most people in class are interested in social media due to the activity on other posts on this topic, so I’ll elaborate a bit more on one of Gates’ thoughts on the positive and negative aspects of social media. In today’s age of rapid mass-communication, both fans as well as critics can quickly and easily spread their opinions to a potentially unlimited number of people. This is a double-edged sword for brands. The existence of social networks has given rise to limitless marketing opportunities, yet also presents the risk of creating serious crisis situations. Consider the phenomenon of virality, where something spreads quickly and ubiquitously across social networks and the internet. Virality can be either positive or negative, and making companies or campaigns go viral in a positive sense can be groundbreaking for their growth and image. If something goes viral for negative reasons, however, a critical and tricky public relations crisis arises. It can be nearly impossible to stop a negative viral message from spreading across the internet, reaching millions of people, and tarnishing the creators reputation. Because of this, companies need to be cautious about the content they produce and the way they project it to the world.

In today’s context, consider the Pepsi advertisement with Kendall Jenner that ran in 2017. Many people found it to be tasteless and offensive, and this caused a viral outcry across the internet against Pepsi. On the other side of things, positive virality can make creators become a household name. Consider the case of the ALSA (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association) “Ice Bucket Challenge” which Gates participated in himself. If you aren’t familiar with this, do a quick Google search and you will see just how widespread the ice-bucket challenge became. The campaign went completely viral and ended up raising $220 million for ALS organizations worldwide.

Is this instant access to the global populations thoughts and feelings a marvel of modern technology or a wild west network capable of granting power to those with malicious intentions?


Can African Tech Startups Succeed with Google and Facebook Dominating the Industry?

In African markets, information and communication technology are facilitating and improving the process of socioeconomic developments. However, large companies like Google and Facebook are making it difficult for African startups to make a profit. For example, WhatsApp has made texting and calling free which has disrupted the local telecom businesses. Facebook beame the second largest e-commerce company after Jumia, the industry leader in Africa. Facebook has made it possible for merchants to reach millions of potential customers at no cost without having the typical marketplace subscriptions and this causes traditional e-commerce to diminish. With large companies controlling the industry, African startups continue to suffer.

Should these startups focus on niche areas like agriculture tech and waste management? Another option they could consider is relocating to the U.S, specifically Silicon Valley, where they would have better access to enabling infrastructures like finances, talent, and legal systems. What are the benefits of either of these options and what could some potential implications be?

Artificial Intelligence and China’s Face of Security

Image result for facial recognition

Long lines and waits have been commonplace for many years for security checks at major events in China. A facial recognition system currently in development may change that according to CEO Robin Li Yanhong of multinational tech company Baidu.

Current measures to identify people attending the “Two Sessions”–China’s national legislature meetings–have been inconvenient according to many. This year’s sessions features a system called “Sky Net”, which can alert authorities if a wanted person identified by facial recognition.

China’s push to lead the world in artificial intelligence is evident by its growing use of facial recognition. Some of Beijing’s subway stations have already installed facial recognition cameras, and railway police in China’s Henan province have been equipped with facial recognition technology to assist in screening passengers.

Police officers at the Two Sessions this year have worn panoramic body-cameras that can identify wanted suspects in real time. Up to 50,000 officers are expected to wear them this year.

What are your thoughts on facial recognition? Will its positive impacts outweigh any potential negative impacts?


Tracking ID To Detect Who Might Drop Out

The University of Arizona is tracking freshman students’ ID card swipes to anticipate which students are more likely to drop out. University researchers hope to use the data to lower dropout rates. Since every students has an ID with an embedded sensor, it is easy to track. The card data tells researchers how frequently a student has entered any building on campus/ buys anything.

With the data, the university creates lists every quarter of freshman students most likely to drop out and shares it with its staff. The hope is that the university will pinpoint which students need more support from advisers to stay on.

The University of Arizona’s retention rates in 2017 rose to 86.5 percent for residents and almost 89 percent for international students.

Still, algorithms can sometimes be wrong and biased.

It could be argued that this level of analyzing students’ social interaction data, which includes timestamps and locations, potentially violates students’ privacy. Is it necessary for schools to track student drop out rates to offer support? Do you think all schools should do this?


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