Why MacDonald’s is taking a “break today” from their AI. Hashtag Trending for Wednesday June 18, 2024

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Why MacDonald’s is taking a “break today” from AI. The US Government is teaming up with tech giants on an AI cyber-attack simulation.  A shocking number of Microsoft SQL Server databases are old and out of support and at least one leader in a software company bucks the trend by saying – layoffs won’t happen on his watch.

All this and more on the “can I have an Amenarmgreen9595” edition of Hashtag Trending.  I’m your host Jim Love, let’s get into it.

More news is emerging on why McDonald’s is pulling the plug on its artificial intelligence automated ordering technology at drive-thrus across the U.S.

The technology was always controversial, with worries about it replacing jobs when first announced in 2019, the voice AI has proven problematic, struggling with accents and background noise.

But the voice recognition system, developed with IBM, was having some unique problems, some of which have made their way into social media videos and may be the reason for the abrupt halt to this

In one widely-shared video, which got 30,000 views on TikTok, a customer orders a caramel sundae but instead gets pats of butter added instead of caramel. Another shows the AI misunderstanding adding nine extra orders of tea to someone’s bill.

Another showed hundreds of dollars’ worth of chicken nuggets being accidentally added to an order. While the customer laughs in disbelief, someone in MacDonald’s PR was most likely, urging the company to “take out” this system.

While this AI experiment is being pulled, McDonald’s is not backing down on a move to an AI solution and in a statement says it will re-evaluate scalable voice ordering solutions by year-end after ending this current global trial with IBM.

Sources include:  BBC

In a first-of-its-kind exercise, federal officials teamed up with AI companies like Microsoft, OpenAI, Nvidia and Amazon Web Services  to simulate responding to a cyberattack on a critical artificial intelligence system. The tabletop drill, hosted by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) brought over 50 AI experts together to game plan for unique threats facing this emerging technology.

Responding to an AI system hack will require a different playbook than typical cyber incidents. As AI tools become more widespread, officials warn hackers could leverage the technology to rapidly scale and accelerate attacks.

The closed-door simulation explored current and potential future AI threat vectors. Lessons learned will inform CISA’s forthcoming AI incident response playbook expected later this year.

Sources include:

If your business is still running on an aging Microsoft SQL Server database, you’re not alone – but that’s little consolation. A new study found nearly 20% of SQL Server instances being used are now out of official support from Microsoft.

The research from IT asset management firm Lansweeper scanned over 1 million SQL Server deployments worldwide. It revealed 19.8% were running unsupported versions, with another 12% on SQL Server 2014 which hits end-of-life next month.

For database admins, the findings underscore the challenge of persuading organizations to allocate budget for critical software updates. The risks of sticking with outdated servers are well known – no more security patches, bug fixes or new features. But getting signoff to upgrade solidly running if outdated systems is often an uphill battle.

One Microsoft veteran says the stickiness of legacy apps and inconsistent backward compatibility in the past both contribute to the issue. With SQL Server 2022 now current, he notes some instances still run ancient versions like SQL Server 7 from the 90s.

While not unique to Microsoft’s database, the research shows a surprising number of businesses appear willing to run SQL Server indefinitely without updates.  And while any software that is not up to date and patched is a concern, a database just makes the hacker or ransomware attackers job so much easier.

But if a company hasn’t paid attention to updating its databases, you can almost bet that they don’t really have a great idea of how valuable that data is.

And we know, hackers go for easy targets.

Sources include: The Register

And here’s an announcement that you’d love to hear. There will be no layoffs at FromSoftware.

As major gaming companies continue shedding jobs, FromSoftware’s president Hidetaka Miyazaki said his studio will buck that disturbing trend.

The director of hits like Elden Ring addressed concerns over potential layoffs under FromSoftware’s parent company Kadokawa.

“Speaking to myself and this company, I want to say that this is not something I would wish on the FromSoftware staff in a million years,” Miyazaki stated. “I’m pretty sure our parent company Kadokawa understands that and shares that view.”

FromSoftware has actually expanded since developing the blockbuster Elden Ring, now large enough to create multiple titles simultaneously like the recently revealed Armored Core 6.

Miyazaki cited the philosophy of late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who famously took a pay cut rather than lay off employees during difficult times. Iwata felt “people afraid of losing jobs are afraid of making good things.”

Miyazaki wholeheartedly agrees, saying “at least as long as this company is my responsibility, that’s something I would not let happen. Hopefully our players and fans can take assurance from that.”

Sources include: PCGamer.com

And that’s our show for today.

Hashtag Trending goes to air 5 days a week with a daily news show, with a weekend interview show we call the Weekend Edition.

Show notes are at technewsday.ca or .com  – either one works.

We love your comments.  Contact me at editorial@technewsday.ca

I’m your host Jim Love, have a Wonderful Wednesday.

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