The software the security experts fear and hate and why it might succeed. Hashtag Trending, Thursday, June 6th, 2024

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IKEA will pay you to work in the metaverse.  Can ChatGPT win the office pool?  Three of the big AI providers go down in the same week and a new Microsoft program called Recall elicits a huge backlash – which is why we predict it will be hugely successful.

These stories and more on this “crazy days of summer” edition of Hashtag Trending. I’m your host Jim Love, let’s get into it.

Maybe it’s just the time of year but the stories today all seemed to be close to and some, over the edge.

For example. Here’s a use case for ChatGPT that I hadn’t thought of.  Predicting the outcome of a playoff series? For most of you that are sports enthusiasts, this might not seem like a big deal. But for a nerd like me who tries to keep up just enough so I can make meaningful conversation or survive the office pool – this could be a big timesaver.

So I asked ChatGPT

(VOICE OF CHAT GPT) The Boston Celtics are the favorites to win the NBA finals against the Dallas Mavericks. They have a strong team with good depth and defense. However, Luca, Dante and Kyrie Irving on the Mavericks are capable of turning any game around.  It’s expected to be a competitive series. But most predictions lean towards the Celtics victory due to their overall team strength and playoff performance so far.

What about the point spread on the first game?

(VOICE OF CHAT GPT) Given the current predictions and betting tips. A reasonable point spread for the next game would be Boston Celtics, 6.5. The Celtics have shown strong performances in their playoff series openers. And have beaten the Mavericks by significant margins during the regular season.  This spread reflects their home court advantage and overall team strength.

Now I’m a sports genius. It will be interesting to see how accurate this is.

Thanks to Anatolii at PR Care for suggesting this.


IKEA is taking an innovative approach to attracting talent by launching a virtual job opportunity within the gaming platform Roblox. In a first for the company, IKEA will be paying real wages to a limited number of players tasked with staffing a virtual IKEA store in the new Roblox game called “The Co-Worker.”

Ten lucky players, aged 18 and over residing in the UK or Ireland, will be hired to perform duties reminiscent of actual IKEA co-workers. They’ll earn an hourly wage equivalent to 13 pounds 15 pence – around 17 US dollars – to serve up digital versions of IKEA’s famous Swedish meatballs or redesign virtual showroom floors.

Darren Taylor, the Country, People, and Culture Manager for IKEA UK and Ireland says:

“Our co-workers are able to change roles, switch departments, and grow in any direction they choose. This game is an advertisement for the wonderful career opportunities available at IKEA.”

While the game is open for anyone to play for free, applications are now being accepted for the paid virtual roles. Prospective digital employees will have to successfully navigate virtual job interviews before being selected for the positions.

For those who thought the metaverse was dead, you can see how major brands are exploring innovative ways to engage with younger audiences through gaming platforms like Roblox. For IKEA, it’s an opportunity to showcase potential career paths in an engaging new format. For parents of that kid I in the basement who won’t stop playing video games – it brings hope.

Sources include: Business Insider

Ahoy Mateys. We be havin’ a lot of scurvy dogs checkin’ out ChatGPT right now and we be doin’ our best to make sure every landlubber get’s a chance to give it a try. We’re sorry for the inconvenience this be causin’

That was the message that greeted users unable to get on to ChatGPT yesterday.

But the reality was, it wasn’t just ChatGPT. Major outages struck ChatGPT, Claude, and Perplexity – three of the leading artificial intelligence providers – in a simultaneous disruption that left many businesses and users without access to these critical AI tools.

Imagine this scenario – your company is heavily leveraging AI assistants like ChatGPT for everything from customer service to content creation to data analysis. Suddenly, the AI system goes dark without warning. Across your organization, productivity screeches to a halt as human workers find themselves cut off from the AI capabilities they’ve come to depend on.

This fictional nightmare played out in real life this week and it wasn’t just ChatGPT that talked like a pirate. As one observer tweeted, “What the actual F is going on?”

As one article stated: “This has been a wake-up call about our overreliance on a handful of AI giants. The centralization and lack of resilience in the AI ecosystem has been exposed. Organizations need robust contingency plans and must rethink concentrating so much operational dependency on a few AI winners that could become single points of failure.”

The outages also raise concerns around capacity constraints, potential cyber threats targeting AI providers, and a lack of transparency from the companies around what exactly went wrong.

As AI plays an increasingly vital role, this week’s disruptions serve as a cautionary tale – that immense potential comes with new vulnerabilities businesses must proactively manage before hitching their mission-critical functions to AI systems that could suddenly go dark.

Source include: TechCrunch

Microsoft’s Recall – Analysts and IT experts hate it – which is why it’s going to be successful

Few new software products have produced this level of backlash from media and expert commentary as Microsoft’s new offering “Recall.”  With a name inspired by  the sci-fi movie Total Recall, this software will keep an ongoing record of everything you’ve done on your PC and be able to let you replay that.

What not to hate about that? It is, as security experts point out a privacy and security disaster waiting to happen. Get control of that record and you can see everything some has done.  And to illustrate that, an ethical hacker,  Alex Hagenah, released a demo tool that can automatically extract and display everything Recall records on a laptop. He calls it “Total Recall.”

So it’s no wonder why a number of security experts have said that under no circumstances should this software be on your PC. My favourite headline, is obvious but clever from The Register. It reads, “Recall Recall.”

And this negative reaction will ensure the success of this concept. Don’t get me wrong, the negative reaction may force Microsoft to back off, I’m not really sure. But the concept of Recall is going to succeed regardless of what anyone in IT security wants or thinks.

Why? Because it’s a great idea from a user point of view. How many times have you done something, read something, saw something and then two hours later, or a day later, asked yourself, “where was that?” Or “what did that say?”

We all do it. The fact is that we all drink from a firehose every day. We are exposed to what would once be an unimaginable amount of information.  Somehow, we are required, in real time, to isolate and note what, out of all that, we need to remember.

With the ability to create this information digitally and now also through using AI – it becomes, or will become impossible to continue to find and recall what we need.

Even when we do record it, we can’t find it in the thousands of pictures, the tens of thousands of emails, the hundreds of sites we visit each day, the thousands of messages we get on Slack, chat or whereever, the hours of meetings we sit through. And a lot of that information is unstructured.

This is why studies consistently show that average knowledge worker spends an hour or two every day looking for some information they need.

And we can’t do it.

Added factor – it gets worse as you get older. And a lot of us are getting older.

Google has had a lot of stumbles with their AI products, but one announcement they made that caught everyone’s attention.  The ability to search through photographs and find information.

So, Recall is something that has an irresistible alure.

An article in Windows Central asked why if Rewind got such a negative reaction, why were there so many “clones” of it emerging.

Which is not exactly true. I’ve been using the same concept in a software called “Rewind” for months now. And that company is busily working use AI to not only remember, but be able to find that information with a simple user interface. I’m sure there are many more.

So why this sudden reaction? Two things. One, the experts are right. It is a huge vulnerability. But two, it come from Microsoft and yeah, it’s a big company and all that – which means that it could be shipped to unknown millions of users.  And the reality is, at least recently, Microsoft doesn’t have a stellar record in terms of being able to protect even highly sensitive data. That might not be fair, but it’s real.

But will this backlash stop something that most of us want – and some might say, need. It hasn’t worked so far.

Our efforts would be better spent trying to figure out how we could secure a facility like this in a real and meaningful way.

Currently the strategy of how to manage the risk – don’t install it or turn it off at the right time are about as good as Nancy’s Reagan’s “just say no” campaign.

You don’t remember what that was? Or how effective it was? Geez. Don’t you wish you had total recall?

Sources include: Windows Central , Wired and The Register

And that’s it for today’s show. Remember that you can get us on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. We’re available on YouTube in both audio and video format.

Show notes are on Tech Newsday dot com or dot ca. Take your pick.

I’m your host Jim Love, have a Thrillin’ Thursday…


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