Prepare to be terrified at ESC Silicon Valley 2017

first_img Log in to Reply Log in to Reply Continue Reading Previous Spotlight topics for in 2018Next Meet a new era of materials science at ESC Silicon Valley 2017 4 thoughts on “Prepare to be terrified at ESC Silicon Valley 2017” zeidman says: Max The Magnificent says: I don’t know about you, but some of the things I’m seeing and hearing are beginning to make me a tad uneasy as to what the future holds for us.The optimistic side of me — the part that loves technology — envisages a time when we all enjoy the benefits of things like 3D holographic computer interfaces, tactile displays, and augmented reality (AR) systems that make me squeal in delight.By comparison, the pessimistic side of me looks at some of the technologies that are starting to appear and thinks, “But what if…”(Source: For example, I love my Amazon Echo, but I have a niggling feeling of disquiet about having something that’s constantly listening to what’s going on in my home. It’s not that I think the folks at Amazon (or Google, or Apple) are interested in accessing my conversations — at least, not at the moment — but who is to say what tomorrow will bring? Theoretically, the only time anything is transmitted into the cloud is when I use the keyword “Alexa,” but what if someone did decide to spy on my family at some time in the future?The way artificial intelligence (AI) is going, will it really be all that long before someone can create an AI agent that can locate and take over someone’s Echo and start listening to everything that’s going on?And this won’t stop with smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and the Google Home. Pretty soon, just about everything from your electric toaster to your dishwasher to your television will be speech-enabled, which also means they will be cognizant of your every utterance.Do you recall my recent article XMOS + Setem could be a game-changer for embedded speech? In that column, we discussed how the folks at XMOS now have the ability to disassemble a sound space into its individual sources. Take a roomful of people chatting, for example; in addition to being able to identify and resolve the locations of the individual speakers, the system provides the ability to simultaneously listen to all of the speakers all of the time.Now imagine you are wearing an augmented reality (AR) headset. Suppose you focus your attention on two people chatting at the far side of the room. Now suppose that your headset has the ability to “wind down” all of the other voices to a background hum, and to amplify the voices of the people you are observing. This could be very useful or very invasive, depending on who is doing what to whom.Did you see the recent Gizmodo article: How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met? It turns out that, behind the profile you build for yourself, Facebook is constantly evolving a “shadow profile” (they don’t like this term) for you based on the content of the inboxes and mobile devices of other Facebook users.The bottom line is that Facebook and Amazon and Google know more about you than you think they know. I remember some time ago hearing that one or more of these companies are working on building avatars for each of their users. I’m not talking about visual representations of the users here, I’m talking about embodiments or personifications in the form of artificial neural networks (ANNs).Do you remember the way it used to be when you were looking at a book on Amazon? The system would tell you “A lot of people who bought this book also bought…” and it would give you a couple of other suggestions. Although it was clever at the time, this was really based on simple number-crunching. Now the system is much more predictive, offering proposals and recommendations based on all sorts of factors, and we’re still in the early days of what’s possible.The idea behind the avatars is that your “Mini-Me” would be trained using all the items you’ve previously bought along with all the items you’ve looked at and rejected. Over time, your avatar will continue to be educated based on the items you search for, the links and images you click, the pages you look at, and the amount of time you spend there.The goal, of course, is to be able to sell you more things more efficiently. Rather than show you so many offerings that you become annoyed, the system will instead present tens or hundreds of thousands of items to your avatar. The only ones you see will be ones to which your avatar gives the equivalent of a “thumbs up.”None of the above is bad in and of itself, but it does make me wonder if we really know what we are doing and where we are headed with our latest and greatest technologies. In fact, these are a few of the topics I will be discussing in my Advanced Technologies for 21st Century Embedded Systems session at the forthcoming Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Silicon Valley, which will take place December 5-7, 2017, in the San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, California.Happily, this talk will take place in the ESC Engineering Theater, which means it will be open to anyone to attend so long as they are flaunting a Free Expo Pass, but you do have to register. I’ll be the one in the Hawaiian shirt. As always, all you have to do is shout “Max, Beer!” or “Max, Bacon!” to be assured of my undivided attention. November 20, 2017 at 1:38 pm antiquus says: November 19, 2017 at 9:48 pm Max The Magnificent says: November 20, 2017 at 1:40 pm “@Antiquus: “…Who would imagine that a “speaker” is listening?…”nnWhen I was a student, speakers were huge — great big boxes with big base units and mid-range units and high-frequency units — I wish I could go back in time with one of today’s s November 20, 2017 at 4:38 am Log in to Reply Log in to Reply Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Industry Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. “@Zeidman: “…Or will new technologies arise to protect our privacy…”nnThat’s what I think will happen — like the “Anti AI AI” software they lets you know if you are talking to an AI rather than a human being.” “Yes, a lot of scary technology coming down the pike, Max. I wonder if we will just evolve (intellectually and emotionally, not physically) to deal with it. For example, we’ll just be complacent giving up what we think of now as privacy. Or will new techno “Even the name “smart speaker” is a misleading misnomer that will go down as one of the great marketing concepts of the century. Who would imagine that a “speaker” is listening?”last_img read more

Google takes aim at imposter websites with new Chrome warning

first_img Tags 12 Comments Share your voice Security It’s hard to be sure where you are on the internet these days. Carefully checking the URL is one approach to avoiding danger. Trouble is, many fraudulent websites use tricks to make their URLs look like the real deal. Now, Google wants to call them out.To do that, the company is developing a new warning in its Chrome browser that appears when you’re visiting a site that’s mimicking a well-known web page. The warning could ask you, for example, if you actually meant to go to “” when you were headed to a lookalike scam site called “” instead.The warning is intended to take the pressure off you to notice when something’s wrong with the URL. That’s important because most people don’t notice when they’re headed off to a scam site, Google Chrome engineer Emily Stark said in a talk on Tuesday at the Enigma Conference, a security and privacy event. “What people are seeing in the URL bar really just isn’t helpful to them as a security mechanism,” Stark said.The warning could help make it harder to carry out on one of the most pervasive and effective hacking attacks out there — phishing. If users heed Chrome warnings, it could save them from entering usernames, passwords or credit card information into websites controlled by criminals. It could also keep them from downloading malicious software at scam websites that could do things like encrypt their data and demand a ransom.Scammy websites use a number of tricks to look legitimate in that URL field at the top of your web browser. They might use a slight misspelling, or swap out the number one for a lowercase letter L to look like a legitimate website. The latter is called a homograph attack, and it’s powerful because it usually involves characters that the untrained eye will miss. The new warning, which is still being tested, alerts users to the fact that they aren’t heading to a popular website or a website they’ve engaged with in the past. If the user wants to keep going in that direction, they can click “ignore.” Stark said her team wanted to throw up a flag for users without overselling the danger.”We designed this warning to be informational rather than scary,” she said. The talk follows comments Chrome security experts made in September about security problems involving URLs. At the time, Google said its engineers were researching how to make changes to the way Chrome handles URLs in order to improve safety. On Tuesday, Stark said changes Google and other software developers propose should be “incremental.” Still, no idea is too crazy to at least consider, she said.”Website identity is so, so broken that all ideas should be on the table,” Stark said. Hacking Privacylast_img read more

St Louis Broadcaster Who Called MLK Coon Will Temporarily Leave Anchor Desk

first_imgBy The Associated PressA St. Louis newscaster who uttered what he called an unintentional racial slur while discussing Martin Luther King Jr. says he will step away from the anchor desk while he works to regain viewers’ trust.KTVI-TV’s Kevin Steincross said on Jan. 17 that an upcoming tribute would honor “Martin Luther Coon Jr.” He apologized and station management initially said he would not be disciplined.Kevin Steincross (Screengrab)But the St. Louis County NAACP demanded the station fire Steincross.On Jan. 25, Steincross apologized again. He and station management issued statements saying they agreed Steincross should take a break from the anchor desk and address the “pain (Steincross) caused.”Station management says they met with several Black and civic organizations and employees to hear their views.The statements didn’t indicate how long Steincross would be away from the anchor desklast_img read more