What happens to a smart appliance when its manufacturer dies?

Juicero smart-juicer device. Source: Juicero

Early this month, the widely ridiculed juice-squeezing company Juicer, which managed to raise the absurd amount of $120 million in funding from Silicon Valley investors, declared its shutdown. The startup’s demise, which is another manifestation of solutions to non-problems, also points out another endemic problem with our increasingly connected world: the fate of connected devices after the end of their companies.

20 years ago, when you bought a fridge or dishwasher or washing machine for your home, it wouldn’t make much of a difference to you if the company that created the appliance would go bankrupt or remained in business. You would install it in a corner in your home and let it work for years, until it was time to replace it.

Soon enough, that may no longer be the case, thanks to the increasing number of “smart” appliances that are entering consumers’ homes. Continue reading

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5 reasons to own a 3D printer

The development of 3D printing technology has had considerable impact on many industries, and will continue to do so in the near future. The technology allows you to create any design you wish to precise dimensions, save it as a computer file, and reproduce it whenever you like on your machine.

This is beginning to change the way people live, and perhaps even the way they think. The ability to make a real-world object from a digital file creates endless opportunities for learning, research, medical needs, and manufacturing, to name just a few areas.

With the growth in demand, 3D printers are also becoming more user-friendly and affordable. Now you can own a 3D printer for your personal use. Here are just some of the benefits to having one. Continue reading

What is machine learning?

This article is part of Demystifying AI, a series of posts that (try) to disambiguate the jargon and myths surrounding AI.

I was nine years old when I had my first taste of programming, and fell in love with the art (yes, I believe programming is as much art as it is science). I quickly became fascinated with how I could control the flow of my programs by setting logical rules and conditions, if…else statements, switches, loops and more.

In later years, I learned to remove clutter from my code by creating modules and abstracting pieces of code into functions and classes. I enhanced my software development skills with object oriented analysis and design (OOA/D). I learned code reuse and design patterns. I learned to express my program in UML charts and diagrams. And I learned to apply those principles in nearly a dozen programming languages.

But the rule of thumb of programming remained the same: Defining the rules and logic. The rest were just tricks that helped facilitate the implementation and maintenance of those rules. Continue reading

Rob High: The future of AI-powered chatbots

 

Rob High IBM Watson CTO

Rob High, Chief Technology Officer at IBM Watson

Since their first appearance decades ago, chatbots have come a long way thanks to leaps in natural language processing and generation (NLP/NLG), the branches of artificial intelligence that enable us to interact with computers in a conversational manner. Today AI-powered chatbots have established a prominent role in various fields, including customer service, healthcare, banking and more.

Meanwhile, the technologies that power chatbot assistants are growing smarter and more efficient. I had a chance to talk with Rob High, Chief Technology Officer at IBM Watson, on the evolution of chatbots and where the trend is leading to. He shared some very interesting insights on the prospects and challenges that lie ahead. Continue reading

5 tips to keep your customers’ data safe

By Lisa Michaels

After many large businesses around the world became involved in data breach scandals, many other businesses of all sizes have begun paying more attention to data security and protection.

No matter what kind of business you run, protecting customer data is crucial to maintain your brand’s reputation and your bottom line. In some industries, businesses who fail to take proper measures to secure confidential information may expose themselves to fines and other penalties from regulatory authorities.

In order to prevent data leaks that carry huge financial costs and could have a huge negative impact on your reputation, you need to apply the following security tips. Continue reading

Why is edge AI important?

This article is part of Demystifying AI, a series of posts that (try to) disambiguate the jargon and myths surrounding AI.

Imagine having to run to your local library and flip through the pages of an encyclopedia every time you saw a dog or cat in the street and wanted to know what its species is. That is pretty much how artificial applications function currently.

Artificial intelligence can predict stocks, diagnose patients, hire job applicants, play the games of chess and go, and do many more tasks on par or better than humans. Humans still have an advantage however: They have intelligence at the edge. Continue reading

5 tips from experts on how to lock down your online security

By Maxwell Donovan, BestOnlineReviews.com

Passwords are essential. They are the only way that gives you a direct ticket to various sites any time you want to. However, only understanding and observing the basics of password protection is not enough for you to keep hackers away for good? Over just the basics protections such as two-factor authentication, password manager and of course ensuring that your password is secure from being easily guessed by hackers.  These are valuable tips for protecting your online security. However, you still need to go an extra mile beyond the standard. Here are a few tips from experts to ensure your online security is not compromised. Continue reading