IT World Canada 2024-03-19 14:58:55

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Gartner unveils their cybersecurity predictions with some good news and some bad news, more Apple AI rumours, Oracle tries a no-hype approach to AI, the US government may lose the ability to combat disinformation on social media and Microsoft aims to power through initial lukewarm responses to its AI integration.

These and more top tech stories on the “rumours and predictions” edition of Hashtag Trending

I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and Tech News Day in the US.

Gartner Inc. unveiled their top eight Cyber Security Predictions for 2024 at their Security and Risk Management Summit in Sydney, Australia yesterday. For those not familiar with Gartner, they are the leading technology analyst firm, and their predictions aren’t always accurate, but they do reflect a lot of consultation with industries and consideration by some of the best minds in the industry.

There was some good news – and some bad news in their predictions.

One of their top predictions was that “by 2028 the adoption of Gen AI will collapse the skills gap, removing the need for specialized education form 50% of entry-level cybersecurity positions.

In another prediction they talk about 30% of cybersecurity functions will be in the hands of non-cyber experts and “owned by applications owners.”

Deepti Gopal, Director Analyst at Gartner said, “As we start moving beyond what’s possible with GenAI, solid opportunities are emerging to help solve a number of perennial issues plaguing cybersecurity, particularly the skills shortage and unsecure human behaviour. Any Chief Information Security Officer looking to build an effective and sustainable cybersecurity program must make this a priority.”

Another prediction stated that by 2026, enterprises combining GenAI with an integrated architecture in security behaviour and culture programs would have 40% fewer employee-driven cybersecurity instances.

Those are the benefits of AI.  Now the downside:

Clearly, they expect the trend to holding cyber security leaders legally accountable will continue as they recommend that organizations explore covering these leaders with insurance.

By 2028 they predict that enterprise spending on battling misinformation will surpass 500 billion dollars, and cannibalize 50% of marketing and cybersecurity budgets.

There’s a link to the full list of predictions with the show notes.

And Oracle is taking a “no-hype” approach to the Generative AI race and it might be paying off.

At the Oracle CloudWorld 2024 event, Doug Kehring, Executive Vice President of Oracle’s corporate operations, took centerstage to outline the company’s strategy. He emphasized Oracle’s unwavering focus on enterprise solutions, taking a few jabs at competitors along the way.

“Our sole focus is enterprise technology,” Kehring stated. “We don’t venture into gaming systems, consumer advertising, or even writing term papers for students.”

Amidst the whirlwind of hype surrounding generative AI over the past 15 months, Oracle seems to be setting its sights on delivering practical AI functionality.

Oracle says they will be supporting over fifty generative AI user cases withing Oracle Fusion cloud application suite and focusing these on “existing business workflows” in finance, supply chain, HR, sales, marketing and customer services.

Less well known than their competition and certainly smaller in terms of client base, still Oracle appears to be doing something right with this no hype approach. The companies cloud revenue jumped by 25% and they have surpassed their profit estimates.

Sources include: ITPro

More Mac rumours abound. This time there’s a lot of buzz saying that Apple may be working with Google to bring Google’s new Gemini AI to iOS devices.

Apple has long been rumoured to have invested billions in developing its own generative AI framework. It’s been acquiring companies quietly. After it abandoned its self driving electric car, most of those resources were thought to be going to its AI development.

But there are persistent rumours that Apple’s generative AI still remains inferior to Google’s offerings that are now moving into its Pixel series.

One of the key elements has to be the finding enough RAM and processing power to run AI on a phone. But clearly Google has made progress to make AI functionality work on their Pixel series phones.

It’s not the first time that these two competitors have found common ground. Google pays Apple at least 18 billion a year to maintain its position as the default search engine on iDevices.

And with Microsoft linking up with OpenAI to challenge Google’s AI dominance, maybe the old saying is true, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  Or at least a good source of revenue.

Sources include: The Register

National Public Radio in the US is reporting the Supreme Court in the US is hearing arguments on Monday that could restrict the government’s ability to combat false, misleading or dangerous information online.

While the right to free speech is guaranteed in constitution of every Western democracy, the US takes it to a whole new level.

In September of last year, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, widely regarded as the most conservative federal appeals court in the United States, handed down a sweeping ruling that prohibited certain key government officials from engaging in contacts with social media companies. The order specifically targeted officials from the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Office of the Surgeon General, the FBI, and a prominent cybersecurity agency, restricting their ability to interact with these platforms.

So with the idea that the US government could be restricted from even contacting a social media company and pointing out errors, it may be believable that they could be further restricted.

Given that the internet knows no borders, and how little ability that some countries like Canada have in restricting US social media companies, governments could be prevented from managing disinformation – even harmful disinformation. And while there are many challenges to regulating the safety of AI, disinformation is one of the most immediate clear and present dangers.

Sources include: NPR

And finally,  the jury is still out on the paid version of Copilot for Office 365, with many companies wondering if the extra 30 bucks per employee is really worth it.

Copilot has been generally available for enterprise since November 1 and Microsoft has been offering companies month-long trials hoping to they will convert to paying customers.

How is it going? Reportedly, Microsoft is telling investors to “temper their expectations.”

Part of the issue has been a “meh” type response from testers according to a Wall Street Journal report.  Even Microsoft couldn’t disagree with one executive saying that Copilot in various applications is at “different stages of development.”

From what we’ve seen as well, we agree with his assessment. Copilot is most effective in terms of information retrieval but not as well integrated into programs like Excel. From what we’ve seen first-hand, it’s promising but still has a long way to go.

One CIO told the paper, “I wouldn’t say we’re ready to spend $30 per user for every user in the company.Despite this, Microsoft seems to be doubling down on its AI in everything strategy.

There are reports from tech insiders indicate that upcoming builds of Windows 11 will integrate Copilot right into the right-click context menu when you select a file.

When a file is right-clicked, options will appear to “Send to Copilot” or “Summarize” using the AI capabilities. Sending the file to Copilot will allow you to ask questions about it or maybe even issue commands within the Copilot interface.

If you’re old enough to remember the early days of Windows, it’s not the first time that Microsoft has come to market with a product set that was not quite ready for prime time, but still triumphed over better products. So don’t count them out yet.

Sources include: The Register

And that’s our show for today.

Hashtag Trending goes to air 5 days a week with a special weekend interview show we call “the Weekend Edition.”

You can get us anywhere you get audio podcasts and there is a copy of the show notes at itworldcanada.com/podcasts

Once more I want to thank all of you who have responded to our informal census. The information is very helpful, and I do want to assure you all that we will absolutely respect your privacy.

I’m your host, Jim Love. Have a Terrific Tuesday.

 

 

 

The post first appeared on IT World Canada.

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