The Importance of Cybersecurity in the Age of Digital Transformation

Cybersecurity has become a critical issue in today’s digital world. With the increasing reliance on technology and the Internet, protecting sensitive information and critical systems from cyber threats has become essential. As we enter the age of digital transformation, cybersecurity is more important than ever before. 

Digital transformation refers to the integration of technology into all areas of business, leading to fundamental changes to how companies operate and deliver value to customers. This transformation has given rise to a new generation of digital businesses and services and has increased the amount of sensitive information stored online. 

As a result of this increased reliance on technology, cyber threats have become more sophisticated and widespread. Hackers, cyber criminals, and nation-state actors are constantly searching for vulnerabilities to exploit for their own gain. This can lead to data breaches, theft of sensitive information, and disruptions to critical systems, with devastating consequences for businesses and individuals. 

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting computer systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks, theft, and damage. It involves implementing a range of security measures to prevent unauthorized access, protect sensitive information, and ensure the continuity of critical systems. This includes everything from firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems, to employee training, risk assessments, and incident response plans. 

One of the key challenges in cybersecurity is keeping up with the constantly evolving threat landscape. As technology continues to advance, so too do the methods used by cyber criminals to attack it. This means that businesses must constantly adapt and improve their security measures to stay ahead of these threats. 

In addition to protecting sensitive information, businesses also have a responsibility to their customers to protect their personal data. In the age of digital transformation, customers are entrusting companies with increasing amounts of personal information, such as their name, address, and financial details. If this information is compromised, it can have profound consequences for both the customer and the business.  

Cybersecurity is not just an IT issue; it is a business issue. It affects all aspects of an organization, from its reputation and financial stability to its ability to deliver products and services to customers. As such, it is essential that businesses take a comprehensive and proactive approach to cybersecurity. 

In conclusion, in the age of digital transformation, cybersecurity is more important than ever before. With the increasing reliance on technology and the growing threat of cyber-attacks, it is essential that businesses implement strong security measures to protect sensitive information and critical systems. Cybersecurity is not just an IT issue; it is a business issue that affects all aspects of an organization. By taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity, businesses can ensure their continued success and protect their customers in the digital age. 

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How will AI (Artificial Intelligence) shape the Metaverse?

 

What is a Metaverse?

A metaverse is a digital universe created by the convergence of enhanced physical reality and persistent virtual reality. It encompasses all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the internet. The concept of a metaverse is often associated with science fiction and virtual reality, but it is also being developed as a potential future reality. To create and support a metaverse, various technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, 3D modelling and animation software, game engines, cloud, and edge computing, blockchain, 5G networks, and artificial intelligence and machine learning are utilized. These technologies will continue to develop and improve as the metaverse progresses.

Let us dive deep into one such technology that is important in shaping and developing the metaverse: Artificial Intelligence.

 

How does Artificial Intelligence contribute to the metaverse?

Artificial Intelligence is instrumental in the development and operation of the metaverse. It allows for the creation of highly realistic and engaging virtual worlds, ensuring optimal performance, enhancing security measures, and providing users with personalized experiences. As the metaverse continues to expand and progress, the importance of AI in its growth will become increasingly evident.

 

Why is Artificial Intelligence important to the metaverse?

Artificial Intelligence can enhance the metaverse by allowing for the creation of realistic and interactive virtual worlds. The technology can improve the immersion of the metaverse by providing users with the ability to interact in a more natural way with the virtual environment. AI can be used to create virtual characters that can interact with users in a lifelike manner, and to develop virtual economies, tracking user behavior and analyzing data to create virtual marketplaces. Additionally, AI can be used to tailor virtual worlds to each user’s interests and preferences, providing a more personalized and engaging experience.

 

How will Artificial Intelligence shape the metaverse?

Artificial Intelligence creates sophisticated, responsive virtual characters and environments which is used to provide personalized experiences to users, based on their interactions and preferences. This helps to create a more engaging and immersive experience within the metaverse.

AI can manage and optimize the performance of the metaverse. It can be used to monitor and analyze data to identify and resolve bottlenecks, ensuring smooth and seamless experiences for users. This helps to ensure that the metaverse is always running at peak performance.

AI enhance security within the metaverse. It can be used to identify and prevent potential security threats, such as hacking or fraud. This can help to ensure that the metaverse remains a safe and secure place for users.

In conclusion, AI is a key technology that can help shape and enhance the metaverse. It can be used to create realistic and immersive virtual worlds, provide personalized experiences to users, manage, and optimize performance, and enhance security. As the metaverse continues to evolve and grow, AI will play an increasingly key role in its development and operation.

 

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Renowned Data Science Personalities

With the advancement of big data and artificial intelligence, the need for its efficient and ethical usage also grew. Prior to the AI boom, the main focus of companies was to find solutions for data storage and management. With the advancement of various frameworks, the focus has shifted to data processing and analytics which require knowledge of programming, mathematics, and statistics. In more popular terms, this process today is known as Data Science. Few names stand out and have a separate base of importance when the name data science comes into the picture, largely due to their contributions to this field and who have devoted their life and study to reinvent the wheel. Let’s talk about some of the best data scientists in the world.


Andrew Ng

Andrew Ng is one of the most prominent names among leaders in the fields of AI and Data Science. He is counted among the best machine learning and artificial intelligence experts in the world.  He is an adjunct professor at Stanford University and also the co-founder of Coursera. Formerly, he was the head of the AI unit in Baidu. He is also an enthusiast researcher, having authored and co-authored around 100 research papers on machine learning, AI, deep learning, robotics, and many more relevant fields. He is highly appreciated in the group of new practitioners and researchers in the field of data science. He has also worked in close collaboration with Google on their Google Brain project. He is the most popular data scientist with a vast number of followers on social media and other channels.

DJ Patil

The Data Science Man, DJ Patil, needs no introduction. He is one of the most famous data scientists in the world. He is one of the influencing personalities, not just in Data Science but around the world in general. He was the co-coiner of the term Data Science. He was the former Chief Data Scientist at the White House. He was also honored by being the former Head of Data Products, Chief Scientist, and Chief Security Officer at LinkedIn. He was the former Director of Strategy, Analytics, and Product / Distinguished Research Scientist at eBay Inc. The list just goes on.

DJ Patil is inarguably one of the top data scientists around the world. He received his PhD in Applied Mathematics from the ‘University of Maryland College Park’.

Kirk Borne

Kirk Borne has been the chief data scientist and the leading executive advisor at Booz Allen Hamilton since 2015. Working as a former NASA astrophysicist, he was part of many major projects. At the time of crisis, he was also called upon by the former President of the US to analyze data post the 9/11 attack on the WTC in an attempt to prevent further attacks. He is one of the top data scientists to follow with over 250K followers on Twitter.

Geoffrey Hinton

He is known for his astonishing work on Artificial Neural Networks. Geoffrey was the brain behind the ‘Backpropagation’ algorithm which is used to train deep neural networks. Currently, he leads the AI team at Google and simultaneously finds time for the ‘Computer Science’ department at the ‘University of Toronto’. His research group has done some overwhelming work for the resurgence of neural networks and deep learning.

Geoff coined the term ‘Dark Knowledge’.

Yoshua Bengio

Having worked with AT&T & MIT as a machine learning expert, Yoshua holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from McGill University, Montreal. He is currently the Head of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) and also has been a professor at Université de Montréal for the past 24yrs.

Yann LeCun

Director of AI Research at Facebook, Yann has 14 registered US patents. He is also the founding director of NYU Center for Data Science. Yann has a PhD in Computer Science from Pierre and Marie Curie University. He’s also a professor of Computer Science, Neural Science and the Founding Director of the Data Science Center at New York University.

Peter Norvig

Peter Norvig is a co-Author of ‘Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach’ and ‘Paradigms of AI Programming: Case Studies in Common Lisp’, some insightful books for programming and artificial intelligence. Peter has close to 45 publications under his name. Currently the ‘Engineering Director’ at ‘Google’, he has worked on various roles in Computational Sciences at NASA for three years. Peter received his Ph.D. from the ‘University of California’ in ‘Computer Science.’

Alex “Sandy” Pentland

Named the ‘World’s Most Powerful Data Scientist’ by Forbes, Alex has been a professor at MIT for the past 31 years. He has also been a chief advisor at Nissan and Telefonica. Alex has co-founded many companies over the years some of which include Home, Sense Networks, Cogito Corp, and many more. Currently, he is on the board of Directors of the UN Global Partnership for Sustainable Data Development.

These are some of the few leaders from a vast community of leaders. There are many unnamed leaders whose work is the reason why you have recommender systems, advanced neural networks, fraud detection algorithms, and many other intelligent systems that we seek help to fulfill our daily needs.

Artificial Intelligence vs Machine Learning vs Deep Learning

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning are one of the most prominent topics in the domain of technology at the present. Although the three terminologies Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning are used interchangeably, are they really the same? Every technophile is stuck at least once in the beginning whenever there is a mention of artificial learning vs machine learning vs deep learning. Let us try to find out how actually these three terms differ.

The easiest way to think of the relationship between the above terms is to visualize them as concentric circles using the concept of sets with AI — the idea that came first — the largest, then machine learning — which blossomed later, and the most recent being deep learning — which is driving today’s AI explosion — fitting inside both.

Graphically this relation can be explained as in the picture below.

As you can see in the above image consisting of three concentric circles, Deep Learning is a subset of ML, which is also a subset of AI. This gives an idea that AI is the all-encompassing concept that initially erupted, which was then followed by ML that thrived later, and lastly, Deep Learning that is promising to escalate the advances of AI to another level.

Starting with AI, let us have a more in-depth insight into the following terms.

Artificial Intelligence

Intelligence, as defined by Wikipedia, is “Perceiving the information through various sources, followed by retaining them as knowledge and applying them with real-life challenges.” Artificial intelligence is the science that deals with machines that are programmed to think and act like humans. By Wikipedia, it is defined as the simulation of human intelligence in machines using programs and algorithms.

Machines built on AI are of two types – General AI and Narrow AI

General AI refers to the machines capable of using all our senses. We’ve seen these General AI in Sci-Fi movies like The Terminator. In real life, a lot of work has been done on the development of these machines; however, more research is yet to be done to bring them into existence.

What we CAN do falls in the hands of “Narrow AI”. These refer to the technologies that can perform specific tasks as well as, or better than, we humans can. Some examples are – classifying emails as spam and not spam and facial recognition on Facebook. These technologies exhibit some facets of human intelligence.

Where does that intelligence come from? That brings us to our next term -> Machine Learning.

Machine Learning

Learning, as defined by Wikipedia, is referred to as “acquiring information and finding a pattern between the outcome and the inputs from the set of examples given.” ML intends to enable artificial machines to learn by themselves using the provided data and make accurate predictions. Machine Learning is a subset of AI. More importantly, it is a method of training algorithms such that they can learn to make decisions. (ReadAI and ML. Are they one and the same?)

Machine learning algorithms can be classified as supervised and unsupervised depending on the type of problem being solved. In Supervised learning the machine is trained using data which is well labelled that is, some data is already tagged with the correct answer while in unsupervised learning the machine is trained using the information that is neither classified nor labelled and the algorithm is supposed to find a solution to it without guidance. Also, a term called semi-supervised learning exists in which the algorithm learns from a dataset that includes both supervised and unsupervised data.

Training in machine learning requires a lot of data to be fed to the machine which then allows the machine (models) to learn more about the processed information.

Deep Learning 

Deep Learning is an algorithmic approach for the early machine-learning crowd. Neural Networks from the base for Deep Neural Learning and is inspired by our understanding of the biology of the human brain. However, unlike a biological brain where any neuron unit can connect to any other neuron unit within a certain physical distance, these artificial neural networks (ANN) have discrete layers, connections, and directions of data propagation.

For a system designed to recognize a STOP sign, a neural Network model can come up with a “probability score”, which is a highly educated guess, based on the algorithm. In this example, the system might be 86% confident the image is a stop sign, 7% convinced it’s a speed limit sign, and 5% it’s a kite stuck in a tree, and so on.

A trained Neural Networks is one that has been analyzed on millions of samples until it is sampled so that it gets the answer right practically every time.

Deep Learning can automatically discover new features to be used for classification. Machine Learning, on the other hand, requires to be provided these features manually. Also, in contrast to Machine Learning, Deep Learning requires high-end machines and considerably significant amounts of training data to deliver accurate results.

Wrapping up, AI has a bright future, considering the development of deep learning. At the current pace, we can expect driverless vehicles, better recommender systems, and more in the forthcoming time. AI, ML, and Deep Learning (DL) are not very different from each other; but are not the same.

A Short History of Data Science

Over the past two decades, tremendous progress has been made in the field of Information & Technology. There has been an exponential growth in technology and machines. Data and Analytics have become one of the most commonly used words since the past decade. As they are interrelated, it becomes essential to know what is the relation between them and how are they evolving and reshaping businesses.

Data Science was officially accepted as a study since the year 2011; the different or related names were being used since 1962.

There are six stages in which the development of Data Science can be summarised-

Stage 1: Contemplating about the power of Data
This stage witnessed the uprising of the data warehouse where the business and transactions were centralised into a vast repository. This period was embarked at the beginning of the 1960s. In 1962, John Tukey published the article The Future of Data Analysis – a source that established a relation between statistics and data analysis. In 1974, another data enthusiast, namely Peter Naur, gained popularity for his article namely Concise Survey of Computer Methods. He further coined the term “Data Science” which came into existence as a vast field with lot many applications in the 21st century.

Stage 2: More research on the importance of data
This period was witnessed as a period where businesses started research for finding the importance of collecting vast data. In 1977, the International Association of Statistical Computing (IASC) was founded. In the same year, Tukey published his second major work – “Exploratory Data Analysis” – arguing that emphasis should be laid on using data to suggest the hypothesis for testing and simultaneous exploratory testing for confirmatory data analysis. The year 1989 saw the establishment of the first workshop on Data Discovery which was titled Knowledge Discovery in Databases(KDD) which is now more popularly known as the annual ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining(KDD).

Stage 3: Data Science gained attention
The early forms of markets began to appear during this phase. Data Science started attracting the attention of businesses. The idea of analysing data was sold and popularised. The Business Week cover story from the year 1994 which was titled ‘Database Marketing” supports this uprise. Businesses started to witness the importance of collecting and applying data for their profit. Various companies started stockpiling massive amounts of data. However, they didn’t know what and how to use it for their benefit. This led to the beginning of a new era in the history of Data Science.

The term Data Science was yet again taken in 1996 in the International Federation of Classification Societies(IFCS) in Kobe, Japan. In the same year, Usama Fayyad, Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro, and Padhraic Smyth published “From Data Mining to Knowledge Discovery in Databases”. They described Data Mining and stated “Data mining is the application of specific algorithms for extracting patterns from data.

The additional steps in the KDD process, such as data preparation, data selection, data cleaning, incorporation of appropriate prior knowledge, and proper interpretation of the results of mining, became essential to ensure that useful knowledge is derived from the data.

Stage 4: Data Science started being practised
The dawn of the 21st century saw significant developments in the history of data science. Throughout the 2000s, various academic journals began to recognise data science as an emerging discipline. Data science and big data seemed to work ideally with the developing technology. Another notable figure who contributed largely to this field is William S. Cleveland. He co-edited Tukey’s collected works, developed valuable statistical methods, and published the paper “Data Science: An Action Plan for Expanding the Technical Areas of the field of Statistics”.

Cleveland put forward his notion that data science was an independent discipline and named six areas where data scientists should be educated namely multidisciplinary investigations, models and methods of data, computing with data, pedagogy, tool evaluation, and theory.

Stage 5: A New Era of Data Science
Till now, the world has seen enough of the advantages of analysing data. The term data scientist is attributed to Jeff Hammerbacher and DJ Patil as they carefully chose the word. A buzzword was born. The term “data science” wasn’t prevalent yet, but was made incredibly useful and significantly developed. In 2013, IBM shared the statistics that 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years alone. By this time, companies had also begun to view data as a commodity upon which they could capitalise. The importance of transforming large clusters of data into usable information and finding usable patterns gained emphasis.

Stage 6: Data Science in Demand
The major tech giants saw significant developments in demand for their products after applying data science. Apple laid out a statement for increased sales giving credit to BigData, and Data Mining. Amazon said that it sold more Kindle online books than ever. Companies like Google, Microsoft used deep Learning for speech and Voice Recognition. Using AI techniques, the usage of data was further enhanced. Data became so precious; companies started collecting all kinds of data from all sorts of sources.

Putting it all together, data science didn’t have a very prestigious beginning and was ignored by the researchers, but once its importance was adequately understood by the researchers and the businessmen, it helped them gain a large amount of profit.

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