The blog occasionally discusses digital marketing and AI. But it mostly discusses laws that impact the way we use technology.
This what your Almostism Blog Ad will look like to visitors! Of course you will want to use keywords and ad targeting to get the most out of your ad campaign! So purchase an ad space today before there all gone!
notice: Total Ad Spaces Available: (2) ad spaces remaining of (2)
A recent investigation by The New York Times indicates Facebook may have given access to more data to other companies than it told everyone about. Is it possible that Facebook has been cheating on millions of its users worldwide and also governments and investigating agencies? A recent investigative report by The New York Times clearly points […] The post Facebook shared your data with others – secretly appeared first on Technology services...
Is it possible that Facebook has been cheating on millions of its users worldwide and also governments and investigating agencies? A recent investigative report by The New York Times clearly points Facebook has been sharing more “intrusive access to users’ personal data” than it told its users or governments about.
Worse still, Facebook may have been doing this for years now.
On December 18, 2018 The New York Times published a well-researched article about how Facebook has been handling users’ data. As per the post, there’s a huge gap between what Facebook tells its users and authorities about the way it shares users’ data and the way it actually does.
Apparently, Facebook has been giving access to its users’ data to some of the largest companies in the world.
Companies that have had access to Facebook users’ data include Amazon, Bing, Sony, Netflix, Spotify, Royal Bank of Canada, Yahoo… Needless to add, this access appears both illegal and unethical.
The list of companies that had access to Facebook users’ data reads eerily like Fortune 500.
The New York Times investigation showed that Facebook had made several deals with over 60 brands of smartphones, tables and other devices to let these makes have access to Facebook users’ data. Here’s a list of what kind of data was available to some of them (note that all this, without users’ permission, was illegal):
Essentially, Facebook allowed the companies mentioned above, and many more, access to users’ data without express permission from users.
Not only that, it appears Facebook had not been fully honest in what it disclosed to authorities.
The biggest reason it is unfair and unethical (and possibly illegal) is this: the companies that were given access to Facebook user’s data were termed partners and were accorded special status. As a result, they were not subjected to extensive privacy program reviews.
In other words, Facebook seemed to have relaxed its rules for these companies.
Here are some other reasons why Facebook’s sharing of data is unfair and unethical:
Facebook spokespersons are not sitting silently; they have been issuing their own versions of the truth and offering justifications and explanations.
Here are some of the explanations Facebook is putting up in its own favor:
In Part 1 of China’s Social Credit System, we covered the basics of the credit system of China. We talked about the weaknesses of the current credit system in China and compared the current credit score system in developed countries like US, Germany, Switzerland and so on. Next, we identified the 4 principles behind the […] The post Social Credit System China Part 2: Implementation, Benefits, Criticism appeared first on Technology services...
In Part 1 of China’s Social Credit System, we covered the basics of the credit system of China. We talked about the weaknesses of the current credit system in China and compared the current credit score system in developed countries like US, Germany, Switzerland and so on.
Next, we identified the 4 principles behind the proposed system and the objectives the system seeks to achieve. We ended with an infographic on the 14 focus areas of the system.
In this 2nd and final part, we talk about how the social credit system of China will be implemented, what are its benefits – from the point of view of the Chinese government – and what are the criticisms leveled against the proposed system.
The Social Credit System of China has the goal of establishing the basic structure of a credit system by 2020. That goal wishes to achieve objectives like:
The time-line of the history and implementation of China’s Social Credit System can be roughly represented in the following way:
Exactly what technology will be used – or is already in use – is not clear at this stage. And that is partly understandable: if the authorities were to expose everything, the risk of gamification of the system would increase manifold.
Sources used include:
The post Social Credit System China Part 2: Implementation, Benefits, Criticism appeared first on Technology services news.
“Marketers today must be part artist, part scientist” says Michelle Urban from Marketing 261. In that small phrase, she packs a lot of punch, as also what the future holds for marketing. From the days when marketing meant sending out fancy ads and offering great discounts, it has evolved into a craft, a complex profession with […] The post Interview with Michelle Urban of Marketing 261 appeared first on Technology services...
“Marketers today must be part artist, part scientist” says Michelle Urban from Marketing 261. In that small phrase, she packs a lot of punch, as also what the future holds for marketing.
From the days when marketing meant sending out fancy ads and offering great discounts, it has evolved into a craft, a complex profession with science and art in almost equal measures. Internet and its metrics and tools of measurement are fast making marketing an exact science.
On the other hand, the unprecedented changes that technology keeps bringing in our lives keeps marketing from becoming a predictable, hum-drum activity.
We spoke to Michelle to understand what she thought of brick-and-mortar businesses embracing the internet, AI, executive buy-in and a lot more. Here goes: (Scroll down for an infographic.)
We hear Content is King so often. In a crowded marketplace, how do you suggest bringing readers to your blog when everyone is producing a lot of content and when readers’ attention span is continually shrinking?
Don’t write for the sake of writing. Write only for your target audience. Write about how they can work through their challenges, pain points, and obstacles. Write about how they can reach their goals and how they can be more successful in their job. Give them useful and practical content.
Write about how they can reach their goals and how they can be more successful in their job. Give them useful and practical content.
If your readership is quickly skimming your content and bouncing off, your content is not geared towards their needs. When it’s not relevant or interesting chances are readers are not going to engage or return back. Make your content inspiring and educational to your target audience.
There are still a large number of successful, brick-and-mortar businesses that haven’t embraced the digital space. How do you think they should go about building their brand online and make sure their voice is heard, especially if even their customers aren’t frequent on the internet?
In this day and age, it’s silly for anyone NOT to have a website. Website show credibility and when done correctly, social credibility. All websites should be optimized for mobile and local search.
What are the three skills you rate as most important for a digital marketer in today’s world?
1. Be resourceful
2. Be part artist AND part scientist.
3. Be a risk taker
1. Be resourceful
2. Be part artist AND part scientist.
3. Be a risk taker
Businesses have begun investing in digital marketing, but there’s still some resistance when it comes to paying for tools and services that don’t directly lead to marketing (e.g. SEO tools, email verification, analytics tool etc). How should marketers go about getting top-level executive buy-in for such matters?
Whether a marketer is asking for new tools, to sponsor an event, invest in new programs, or double down on an existing channel, the best way to get buy-in is by letting the metrics do the talking. Break down how the line item is going to help reach the company goal.
Executives speak one language and that is revenue. Provide the details that support the positive ROI. If you cannot show this, chances are you don’t need it.
Executives speak one language and that is revenue. Provide the details that support the positive ROI. If you cannot show this, chances are you don’t need it.
For the few industries that don’t expect too much of business coming from online inquiries (e.g. heavy engineering) in the next few years, how do you suggest they should go approach their online marketing efforts?
Your brand matters – bottom line. In today’s day and age, your brand needs to expand to the web in some way shape or form. If you’re in a field that is not web forward, chances are a potential buyer is going to be Googling something pertaining to your brand – the owners, the investors, the competitors. Having an online presence, like a website, can show credibility and social proof.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is fast becoming a threat to many professions. How do you think marketers and freelancers can tackle that?
I can see many marketers using AI to increase their productivity. AI algorithms can help automate the repetitive tasks that many freelancers do on a weekly or monthly basis. This leads to increase productivity, which saves time and money.
Do you think customer loyalty will be a realistic goal to pursue over the next few years, given the enormous competition everywhere?
Yes, without a doubt. Companies should put their customers as #1 priority. This means building meaningful and lasting relationships with your customers and users.
Companies should put their customers as #1 priority. This means building meaningful and lasting relationships with your customers and users.
So even if they move away from being your customer, they can still help to promote your brand positively due to the great experience they had while engaging with your product/service. Always leave the door open for your customers to return to you quickly.
Michelle Urban is the founder of Marketing 261, a marketing shop for tech startups and small businesses. With a hands-on, get-it-done attitude, she and her team focus on executing measurable plans to get real results. For over 16 years, she’s built scalable marketing programs for demand creation, lead generation, customer advocacy, and engagement. A few of her clients include productboard, Rancher Labs, Layer, BetterManager, and more.
As the industrial and academic ecosystem changes, the demand for 3D printers in India is rising too. With wide applications in academics, jewellery, industrial prototyping, medicinal implants and prosthetics, 3D printing is quickly becoming both widely available and widely used. 3D Printing is the process where liquid molecules, powder or granulated material is solidifed and […] The post Top 8 3D printing companies in India appeared first on Technology services...
As the industrial and academic ecosystem changes, the demand for 3D printers in India is rising too. With wide applications in academics, jewellery, industrial prototyping, medicinal implants and prosthetics, 3D printing is quickly becoming both widely available and widely used.
3D Printing is the process where liquid molecules, powder or granulated material is solidifed and joined to achieve the desired shape and size in three-dimensions. One of the most popular applications is Rapid Prototyping, where either a small part of a machine or a scale model is created using 3D Printers.
The following list of the top 3D printing companies includes those companies that manufacture and or distribute 3D printers. Most also offer 3-D printing services and some even conduct training programs for 3D printing.
Here is the list of the top 3D printing companies in India:
About: They developed their first 3D printer for internal use in May 2013 – and by August the same year, they received their first order for print service. Today, their client list has impressive names: Eicher, Saint Gobain, Hawkins, Mahindra, TVS… Their printers are classified as Desktop, Professional and Industrial, based on capacity, size, specifications and so on. They develop their printers based on their in-house developed and patented AFPM (Advanced Fusion Plastic Modeling) technology.
1. World Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME) SME Excellence Award 2017
2. India Design Mark Award 2017 by India Design Council
3. 3D Printing World Award
4. IPF Industrial Excellence Award
Website: Divide By Zero
About: Imaginarium India Pvt Ltd dubs itself India’s largest 3D printing company. And that doesn’t sound like an exaggeration, given that it has 20 Industrial 3D printers you can choose from. They pride themselves in the fact that product impacts medicine, engineering, jewelery and what not.
About: Their recently launched Brahma 3 Anvil is a versatile beast for 3D printing. It has a high resolution – upto 100 microns per layer – and works on LCD as well as with a computer. It supports a large variety of material including ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PLA (Polylactic acid, which is biodegradable). In case you forgot, PLA is a popular bio-plastic used in medical implants as well as for cups.
Brahma3 Anvil can print objects as large as 240mm x 240mm x 240mm. That’s about the size of a football!
About:Apart from offering 3D printers, JGgroup Robotics also offers printing services, 3D printing material and 3D printed products. Of the many printing methods available, its printers rely on Fused Deposition Modeling (popularly called FDM). This technology uses thermoplastic filament that are heated and extruded. Each of these ultimately create a three dimensional object. They also offer online courses.
Website: JGroup Robotics
About: Launched in April 2015, Stratasys 3D Printing Experience center is the the Indian arm of Stratasys global. It features both FDM and Polyjet technologies. According to the company websites, the Centre “exhibits Stratasys’ comprehensive range of 3D printing materials – PolyJet photopolymers and FDM thermoplastics.” Their objective is to help test new products and design finished products.
Website: Stratasys Global
About: Altem Technologies Pvt Ltd, head-quartered in Bangalore, uses Dassault Systems’ 3D Experience Platform to provide cutting edge solutions, mainly ENOVIA, CATIO, and DELMIA. Recipients of the Frost & Sullivan 2017 Award for innovation in 3D printing, Altem boasts of clientele in sectors as diverse as ng automobile, architecture, aerospace, defense, medical, consumer durable, electronics and so on.
Founded in 2010, Altem recently joined hands with ARTEC3D to sell 3D Scanners.
About: Founded in 2014, Novabeans today has offices in Gurgaon, Delhi and Paris, in addition to over 10 resellers and franchisees across India. They are currently authorized resellers of brands like Littlebits, Ultimaker, LeapFrog, ColorFabb and so on. Novabeans runs a special program to provide 3D printers for schools, under its Novabeans 3D Printing for Education Program.
It runs e-Studios that caters to professionals and creative people who’d like to build models for courses, workshops etc.
About: Since the company is headquartered in Singapore, in this list Think3D will classify as a multinational with Indian presence. Founded by BITS graduates, Think3D also sells 3D Scanners and 3D Filaments in addition to 3D Printers, both desktop and industrial. It also offers customized training programs for schools selected for Atal Innovation Mission (AIM). Its client list appears to be the largest among all companies in this list, from Microsoft, Shell and Pepsico to Indian Navy and ISRO.
Google Social Credit System China and chances are most sites you check out will call it dystopian and Orwellian. They will tell you how intrusive the Chinese Social Credit System is and how it runs with little regard to data privacy. Is that really the truth? How bad is the Chinese Social Credit System? Is […] The post Social Credit System China: A detailed study, Part 1 appeared first on Technology services...
Google Social Credit System China and chances are most sites you check out will call it dystopian and Orwellian.
They will tell you how intrusive the Chinese Social Credit System is and how it runs with little regard to data privacy.
Is that really the truth? How bad is the Chinese Social Credit System? Is it unfair and too intrusive to the people of China? How does it compare with data collection policies and tools of some of the most developed democracies?
We made a detailed study of the literature available to answer these and many such questions. The result is our two-part post on Social Credit System China.
In Part 1, we begin by identifying some of the weaknesses of the current credit system in China. From there, we look at look at some of the basic facts of the new Social Credit System of China and identify the 4 principles behind it.
Next we take look at the credit score system in the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland and the USA. The post then analyses the objectives behind China’s Social Credit System. Finally, we conclude with an infographic on the 14 focus areas of the system.
Part 2 will discuss how the system is being implemented. Besides, it will discuss the major criticism leveled against the system as also the benefits of the system.
By China’s own confession (see Rogier Creemers’s translation of the official Chinese document), their current credit score system is, at best, broken, inconsistent and far from comprehensive.
A credit score system, by definition, is both present and necessary in a country where people have the funds to purchase products through financing options and there are enough products to attract buyers. The way China was heavily loaded in its communist ideology, it was nearly impossible for the average citizen to get prosperous enough to afford consumer goods, housing, overseas education or expensive holidays.
Since then, a lot of things have changed and building a strong and reliable, nation-wide credit score system has become a major requirement.
Here are some of the major weaknesses in the older Chinese credit score system (and the ones that the new Social Credit System is trying to overcome):
The roots of the new Social Credit System of China date back to 2014.
On June 14, 2014, an outline of what was to become the current Social Credit System of China was published by China’s State Council. The document was titled “State Council Notice concerning Issuance of the Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System (2014–2020)”.
Over time, the document evolved into what has today become the 3-year plan to build Social Credit System.
The government wants at least the basic model in place by 2020.
Companies that operate within China need a Chinese business license. This includes trade unions, social organizations, business enterprises, NGOs and so on. All these have been included under the social credit system. These entities will carry an 18-digit unified social credit code that the Chinese authorities will use to track such bodies. All information, including transgressions, will be reported to National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System.
The credit system aims to build a mammoth, centralized database of searchable files of every single Chinese citizen and organization. Each of these files will be a consolidation of data collated from public as well as private sources.
Given the size, geographic diversity and the difference in development in rural and urban areas, China’s plan is certainly ambitious, to say the least. Naturally, numbers and records alone are insufficient to pull this off.
One of the key forces China will use is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Surveillance, powered by 200 million CCTV cameras, will report events of various sizes that will be consumed by AI that will try and make sense of the images captured.
Following are the four principles of China’s Social Credit System:
As China gears to perfect its own Social Credit System, it might be interesting to have a quick look at the credit score systems in some of the developed countries around the world.
Here is basic understanding of how credit scoring systems operate in the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland and the USA.
Three credit reference agencies dominate credit scoring process in the UK: Callcredit, Equifax and Experian. When you apply for any form of credit, data from these agencies is combined to get the larger picture of how sound a debtor you are.
To begin with, there’s data from previous lenders (if any), including how often you have applied for credit.
Having applied too often, especially in a short time could indicate you’re in serious need of funds, making you a high-risk prospect. Joint accounts are also covered.
Next, the data will include your court appearances, mostly to do with previous debt behavior and bankruptcies. Naturally, there will be mentions of whether you’ve committed frauds in past.
Finally, among other information, there will be information in your address, how long you’ve lived there and your voting eligibility status.
In exchange of a certain fee, you can also find what information these agencies hold against your name.
The credit rating system in Germany is believed to have started at the beginning of the 20th century, when the Berlin Electric Company sold electrical appliances on installments only those people who paid their bills regularly.
Today, almost all credit scores come from the privately held SCHUFA Holdings AG, popularly known as SCHUFA scores, or just SCHUFA.
SCHUFA scores still remain the central. As would be expected, paying your bills on time and not stretching your credit limits lead to a healthy SCHUFA score. To ensure the system isn’t gamed, the exact method of how number in the score is arrived at is not disclosed.
SCHUFA scores contain your past purchases, honoring of payment schedules (e.g. if you leased a car) and previous credit card history.
That said, there is some fair criticism on the extent to which SCHUFA scores are accurate, updated or complete. It could be one of many reasons why it’s not easy in Germany to get loans for high-ticket items like houses.
Unlike the UK and Germany, France does not have a prominent credit scoring agency. That means when you apply for a loan, your bank will look at your history and relationship with them before accepting or trashing your request.
That also means that, to some extent, if one bank rejects your loan application, it might not affect your chances with another bank!
The Banque de France holds a list of defaulters and this information is available to financial institutions.
You could say the system is a bit of a cross between that of France and Germany. While there’s Betreibung that tracks your credit behavior, it isn’t always used. That way, banks can sometimes be on their own. Occasionally, it will behave like SCHUFA – it won’t assign any reason why it’s turning your application down!
The Betreibung tracks your bill payment behavior and your delaying on payments due can swiftly harm your reputation.
You can build your score by using your credit card and remaining timely on your payments.
Unlike the United Kingdom, the US credit score system is expressed in numbers, which indicates the likelihood of the borrower repaying the debt.
Experian, Equifax and TransUnion are the three major credit score reporting bureaus in the US. They use what is called the FICO model.
While each of the three bureaus use the same model, the score reported for the same individual may vary depending upon which bureau prepared the score. That is the because different bureaus may carry different information on the same individual.
The FICO score relies upon payment history, debt burden, length of credit history, type of credit used and recency of credit inquiries (if the individual has made frequent credit inquiries recently, she might be in serious need of funds, which might go against her).
China expects to achieve some game-changing goals with the proposed system it is so diligently putting in place.
Here are some of the major objectives China is pursuing through its Social Credit System:
Sources and references:
The post Social Credit System China: A detailed study, Part 1 appeared first on Technology services news.
The Chinese government’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced its 3-year action plan for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in 2017. Over the past year since the announcement, experts have come to realize the plan is ambitious to the point of being scary. The proposals set in the MIIT 3-year plan are massive, far-reaching and […] The post Everything you should know about China’s 3-year AI action plan appeared first on Technology services...
The Chinese government’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced its 3-year action plan for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in 2017.
Over the past year since the announcement, experts have come to realize the plan is ambitious to the point of being scary. The proposals set in the MIIT 3-year plan are massive, far-reaching and comprehensive.
Here are the major goals the AI action plan of China:
What does all this lead to?
Apparently, China is looking for major breakthroughs whereby it can accelerate industrialization and application deployment.
With this plan, China plans to dominate AI in particular and business and technology in general. But more importantly, it is looking for what it calls ‘Collaborative Innovation’. That means China categorically is looking forward to combine production, education, research, SMEs, industrial ecology and government policy to come out a winner.
Here is a graphical representation of China’s AI blueprint:
As one of the end-goals of the 3-year plan, China is looking forward to some genuinely smart products down the line. Here are a few of them.
Intelligent Aerial Vehicles
These vehicles will have to have completely automated cruise control. They must be fully capable of operating in highly complex environments. That means they will have a superior level of intelligence that will smartly avoid obstacles.
And no, they’re not vague targets.
These goals have been more specifically defined. For instance, China is aiming for 360-degree omindirectional perceptional avoidance and a precision of 0.005 degree.
Intelligent Home Products
This is where Internet of Things (IoT) comes into picture. A set of coordinated appliances, all smoothly integrated, will lead to the improvement of the overall quality of life.
These products will have intelligent sensors and should be able to conserve water and power consumption without sacrificing efficiency. Further, they should be safe to use and priced in a way to become articles of mass consumption.
The specifics? Achieve 90% penetration rates for smart TVs by 2020.
Medical Diagnosis Systems
While China’s healthcare spending, as a percentage of GDP, has risen from 3.7% in 1994 to 5.6% in 2013, services are still concentrated mostly in cities. In other words, there’s quite of a bit of stuff that remains to be done.
One of the key areas of China’s AI plans is medical imaging and diagnosis systems. The priority is making things streamlined and standardized. Next, AI must power diagnosis of the most prevalent diseases.
A key milestone, surprisingly, is speeding up the commercialization of medical imaging diagnosis support systems. That’s because the Chinese government both understands and acknowledges that private sector medical services are unavoidable, even in the communist state.
Numbers? False negatives must fall below 1% and detection of common diseases by these intelligent services must remain well over 95%.
Intelligent translation system
The bigger objective is to sharpen machine learning and apply it to translation. Currently, translation services falter beyond a point, in terms of accuracy and practicability.
The ambitious target is to further the application of high-accuracy smart translation systems. It will produce translation solutions that are extremely reliable. These translations services will be accurate in multi-language scenarios.
Target? By 2020, the intelligent translation system will have an accuracy of over 85%.
Intelligent video image identification
China is making giant strides in face recognition and is using a multi-pronged approach for that. Using big data and AI, it is not only improving face recognition to deliver social value but is also trying hard to dissuade dissent, prevent miscreants to stage protests and even punish erring drivers.
As a part of the AI plan by MIIT, China is driving innovations in fields as diverse as biometrics, video understanding and human-video integration. In other words, it is looking toward a future where cross-media convergence is an absolute reality. The 3-year plan in AI targets to achieve even image search, video surveillance, video summarization and improved resolution (read accuracy) from considerable distances.
If you’re wondering what goal it will serve beyond surveillance, the answer is an extremely robust credit and finance systems that will prevent frauds and reward high credit-score individuals.
Here’s the number: China plans to exceed 97% detection accuracy in face recognition by 2020.
The larger picture is offering policy support and funds, nurture talent, improve business environment, develop cutting-edge technology, establish technological leadership and dominate global business.
China is pursuing a complex network of objectives and understanding of China’s 3-year plan for Artificial Intelligence will be incomplete without understanding the associated goals.
One of the associated goals is “Made in China 2025” (MiC25). The MiC25 is a long-term strategic gameplan that China came out with in 2015, thus building over a period of 10 years. The MiC25 intends to, among other things, improve domestic content of core material by upto 70% by 2025. Many people see parallels between MiC25 and Germany 4.0.
The second associated or intertwined goal is the success of China’s Social Credit System. The Credit System is sometimes considered Orwellian, owing to the huge government surveillance in China, it is bringing and the degree to which it may invade privacy of individuals. The system calculates scores individuals and corporates.
Experts might be seeing China’s massive AI initiatives as a comprehensive threat to the technological dominance that Europe and the USA have traditionally enjoyed. In that narrative, China was always a country that mass produced cheap goods and India was where you outsourced services at dirt cheap rates.
Suddenly, China is trying to change its own image. It is ready to don the mantle of technology leader the world over. Its push, investment and intent speaks volumes about what it intends to do.
The more data you feed your AI, the stronger it becomes.
The more data you feed your AI, the stronger it becomes. And with the millions of devices everywhere, data is hardly a problem for China.
There’s one more thing about AI in cases like face recognition.
Face recognition, to be fully reliable, must not just be fed huge amount of data. It must also be fed diverse data.
So if the Chinese cameras grow smart only by reading Chinese faces (Mongolian race), they may falter when they try reading other races, say Caucasians.
And China isn’t unaware of this. Against its multi-billion dollar investments in the African continent, it is getting one important return. It could be using this opportunity to train its camera AI recognize other races – in this case of Negroid origins.
The option left for the US and European countries is clear: a really smart AI, with algorithms so developed and complex they won’t have to depend on huge data, big data.
If the US or Europe can really pull that off, they could beat China at its own game.
But today, that seems like distant future.
The post Everything you should know about China’s 3-year AI action plan appeared first on Technology services news.
Or if you prefer use one of our linkware images? Click here
If you are the owner of Almostism, or someone who enjoys this blog why not upgrade it to a Featured Listing or Permanent Listing?