MIS4596: Information Systems Integration

Instructor: Aleksi Aaltonen, Section 002

ABB building robotics “factory of the future” in China

A plant is slated to open in China in 2020 that is being labeled as “A factory where robots will build robots”. Swiss firm ABB Group plans to build a $150 million “Factory of the Future” in Shanghai, it said in a recent statement. It will become the most high-tech robotics manufacturing site on the planet, the company said. The Shanghai factory will host artificial intelligence research, and humans will work alongside robots. Autopiloted carts will be following robots around the factory, carting necessary supplies. The new Shanghai factory will feature a number of machine learning, digital and collaborative solutions to make it the most advanced, automated and flexible factory in the The new Shanghai factory will feature a number of machine learning, digital and collaborative solutions to make it the most advanced, automated and flexible factory in the robotics industry. (Photo: Business Wire)
robotics industry, and an onsite R&D center will help accelerate innovations in artificial intelligence. Even though the main purpose of this factory is to make better use of manufacturing space, it may start a trend of completely eliminating factory workers and replacing them with robots and automated machines, leaving many people unemployed.

AI Lie Detector

In Hungary, Latvia, and Greece boarders will be met with new security – AI. The new systems called IBorderCTRL is AI developed in the UK. Its main focus is security of borders and will replace the traditional man in the box security.

The AI will analyze facial features typically unnoticeable to the blind eye. Through micro-expressions (elevated eyes or mouth twitch) this AI will be likely to pick up on signals of liars. If it detects a lie, it will become more aggressive and  eventually escalate to human security. Right now it is in its trivial stages of development, but this is the next step in global security.

Personally, I have mixed feelings on this type of system. I think security is necessary, but there is a fine line between excess security and freedom.



The Downside to Social Media

After the recent tragedies that have happened throughout the world, people have come to blame social media and technology for the lack of security and surveillance of these platforms. Social media has become a place for people to express themselves, which means that while people are innocently talking about their own life and use it as entertainment, others are using it as a place to spew their hate and find likeminded individuals like them. Social media tech companies are now trying to find a way on how to limit what certain people say without destroying the very fundamentals of their company.

With the AI and machine learning of these companies not being able to pick out the troubling tweets and posts, they have to find a new way on how to keep a hold of them. The solution to this problem may just be developing better tools and adding to what they already have. With social media platforms having billions of customers worldwide, there has to be some way to monitor what is happening throughout the platform. This shows how the risks with technology can be a big problem to solve, with the solution not being invented yet, and there needs to be innovation to do this.

source: https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/29/tech/social-media-hate-speech/index.html


The federal Communication Commission is looking to auction US licenses that will allow 5G services. 5G will allow speeds to be about 100 times faster than the current cellular speeds we experience now. There are a few more benefits as well. It can increase the responsiveness and allow more people being on the same network without any delay or lagging. Having less delay and response time can help other technology improve dramatically such as VR, drones, self driving vehicles, and social media apps. Self Driving vehicles can allow accelerated information such as finding out the location and speeds more effectively. VR devices would be able to display a much more advanced experience that consumers would enjoy. Social media apps, such as Facebook Live would be able to have more clear live videos of everyone. Drones are similar to the self driving vehicles that would give us more data and footage needed. 5G is coming soon and will impact all of our lives dramatically. What features are you looking for most that will be impacted by 5G networks?



Lockheed Martin Develops “Intelligence Driven” Cyber Security

Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor, has steadily been targeted with cyber attacks by malevolent parties (particularly nation-state actors from Russia, China, and North Korea) since 2003. As an enterprise that “interacts with the internet 20 billion times a day” in carrying out its roughly 8,500 programs, there is vast opportunity for attackers to exploit weaknesses in Lockheed Martin’s systems and extract classified information. In an effort to combat these threats, the company has combined its intelligence function with its ability to track big data and invested in creating its Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) called “Palisade”: a “centralized platform” which integrates their Security Information & Event Management (SIEM) systems “to provide enterprise wide alerting capability and manage all threat
intelligence.” Palisade is aligned with Lockheed’s trademarked “Cyber Kill Chain” framework of threat analysis; this framework applies the military terminology of “kill chain” – an outline of all events from reconnaissance activities to battle damage assessments that need to take place in order to execute a mission – to the analysis of attempted cyber attacks.

Understanding that cyber attacks are constantly evolving to better breach targeted entities, Lockheed Martin reasons that the “seven distinct steps” to a cyber attack’s kill chain are an excellent way to determine patterns in attacks and mitigate future ones. This is because adversaries, while likely aware of the need to change their techniques, are unlikely to change all seven of these techniques at once simply due to time/cost constraints. What this means is that even minor elements of past attacks, such as “a scrap of code”, can be tracked and stored into a database that Palisade can then assess in terms of the Cyber Kill Chain framework. Lockheed’s intent here is for Palisade to improve its overall network defense posture, incorporate big data into cyber security (a field that is still largely reliant on human driven analysis), empower analysts with a more comprehensive view of threats using historical data, and identify and respond to threats in a proactive, rather than reactive, manner.

I find this incredibly intriguing as it is the combination of my top two professional interests: big data and intelligence analysis. This initiative certainly innovates the company’s cyber security operations, placing less of a burden on analysts and providing new tools for Lockheed’s defense teams, but I have concerns about its efficacy. What happens if the platform inappropriately raises a red flag on an interaction between internal and external actors because it matched one element of that interaction to a previous attack’s kill chain? What happens when an attack is attempted and Lockheed’s framework fails to identify that breach because of Palisade’s algorithm? Obviously the need for human-level analysis is still very much needed even with this platform, so how much business value is Lockheed Martin actually enjoying from this development? Could this platform be marketed to outside clients to transform Palisade from being a cost center to a profit center? If they could market it as a solution, what impact would it have on the project’s Net Present Value – negative or positive? There is much to consider here for the company, but this development of “Intelligence Driven” cyber security is nonetheless thought-provoking and offers new potential to organizations in protecting their information.

Blockchain: What is it and Why is it Important?

Blockchain has been a term that has been thrown around for a while, even though many people do not completely understand what it is. Essentially, it is a potentially revolutionary piece of technology that top companies are currently using to track shipments and store big data. Going back to the original question of what it is, blockchain is a public digital ledger. So here is how it works:

  1. One person wants to pay another person
  2. That payment is logged and entered into a “block” with other transactions
  3. The data from that “block” is sent to every entity in that network
  4. The entities in the network verify that “block”
  5. The “block” is then added to a chain, where it cannot be changed
  6. The transaction is complete

One of the major advantages of blockchain technology is the high level of security it offers. Once the “block” is added to a chain, that information cannot be changed so it is almost impossible to hack since the ledger is held by so many entities and there is a permanent public record of the ledger as well. Additionally, when the entries are being logged in, they are usually logged using pseudonyms so that provides even more security.

So why is this so important? In light of the recent breach of security with Facebook and Google, it is crucial to look for technology that provides tighter security online, especially when it comes to sensitive information such as financial transactions. In today’s age, almost every company is heavily dependent on technology when it comes to their customers’ data and it is imperative to ensure that their information is being protected. It raises a lot of concern from a consumer’s perspective when two of the biggest tech companies are unable to provide the high level of security they expect. That is why we should be exploring new technologies that have some form of a public record while being almost impossible to hack.


The future of Automobiles

According to recent reports, we could soon see fully self-driving on U.S. roads. The Trump administration has been saying that it is considering allowing real-world testing for thousands of fully self-driving cars to allow for companies to start gathering more accurate real-world data for when the real push for self-driving cars occurs. Cars used in the program are said to need technology that monitors speed and sensor functionality as well as the ability to fully disable the car if it needed according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA is also working on figuring out if it wants to make data available to the public that could contain sensitive information such as near misses. The Trump administration is also looking to revise safety rules to allow different types of cars to be allowed so automakers can design cars that don’t have pieces like a steering wheel or mirrors as the cars will be handling everything.

If this program goes through, it will open up a huge job market for people looking to work as a technical employee. With relatively low amounts of data and experience, this field would surely be an interesting one to get into especially as someone coming out of college. While there are still barriers in place including the senate as well as local and state government approval, the future is bright for self-driving cars.


Automation is Humanizing Property Management Experience

Related image The Real Estate industry is not the first thought of when it comes to technological advancements. However, that has changed over the last years. Real Estate tech investments have ballooned from $33M to $5B since 2010, mainly focusing in the property management. Perhaps this has been the topic for many Real Estate agents as they are fearing that it would replace high-value and negatively impact face-to-face interaction, technology and automation, when used thoughtfully, humanize the customer experience.

There are different ways we could look at the benefits of this market-industry integration. For example, real estate tech investments may provide solutions that systematize how properties and tenants are managed, while others contribute to the data insights that is being provided to landlords and tenants. From a data visualization perspective, the amount of information retrieved can be overwhelming, but it also led firms to focus on how to best visualize all kinds of constant streams of information. Leverton, in one hand, applies AI / Deep Learning technology to extract data from real estate firms and create data visualizations and analytics from unstructured data and converted into meaningful insights. Another emerging product that promises help visualize data is called Matterport, which allows people to virtually walk around the interior of an existing space using 3-D renderings.

Giving up the wheel

Justin Rowlatt of the BBC looks at various valuation metrics related to Uber’s entrance into the driverless electric car market.  Rowlatt postulates that Uber is in an advantageous position to reduce transportation costs and gain a positive net present value from their investments. He cites the driverless format as having the potential to cut transportation costs by 50%. Additionally, Rowlatt points out that electric engines extend the life of the vehicle and cost less to maintain because they have fewer parts. He believes electric engines will reduce costs by another 40%.

He notes that profits from this investment depend on regulatory approval from government entities. By assigning a probability of reaching this approval over the three years, we can find the net present value of investments Uber would make. Using the industry standard as an example, the investment for driverless car technology costs $1.1 billion. Add another $500 million for an electric car fleet, and the total investment is $1.6 billion. With a 90% reduction in costs, Uber would have 1.7 billion in savings per year assuming the U.S. government provides regulatory approval. If we put the odds of approval at 0% in year 1, 50% in year two, and 100% in year three with a discount rate of 12%, the net present value equals $420 million, making this a good investment for Uber.




Device-as-a-Service (DaaS)

Major OEMs (original equipment managers) such as Dell, Hewett-Packard, and Lenovo are exploring the world of subscription based services. With DaaS, these major companies will offer a monthly (or yearly) subscription service that will allow businesses to offload the responsibilities of purchasing and maintaining equipment to third party vendors. This is similar to businesses outsourcing data storage to third party cloud storage providers, such as Amazon Web Services or Office 365. These services would include distributing and managing devices as well as retiring them once they’ve reached the end of a predetermined lifespan. Set, monthly payments would provide businesses with an operational expense and eliminate the headache of working capital expenditures into a budget.

Companies that offer these services are able to take processes that normally require maintenance and effort and make them non-factors for businesses. The popularity of the recent shift to subscription-based services is intriguing and reflects of the evolution of technology and its ubiquitous nature. The state of the subscription economy is headed in different directions and it is interesting to see how this culture will be reflected in the future.dell photo