Friday, December 28, 2018

The State Of AI for Year Ending 2018

According to Geoffrey Hinton (University of Toronto, AI professor since the 1970s) and Demis Hassabis (DeepMind founder): Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is nowhere close to being a reality

" We don’t have systems that can … transfer in an efficient way knowledge they have from one domain to the next. I think you need things like concepts or extractions to do that,” Hassabis said. “Building models against games is relatively easy, because it’s easy to go from one step to another, but we would like to be able to imbue … systems with generative model capabilities … which would make it easier to do planning in those environments.” 

Hinton argues that AGI won’t so much make humans redundant, though. Rather, he says, it will remain for the most part myopic in its understanding of the world — at least in the near future. And he believes that it’ll continue to improve our lives in small but meaningful ways.

“[AI in the future is] going to know a lot about what you’re probably going to want to do and how to do it, and it’s going to be very helpful. But it’s not going to replace you. If you took [a] system that was developed to be able to be very good [at driving], and you sent it on its first date, I think it would be a disaster." Hinton says.

Friday, December 14, 2018

How to Translate any Foreign Language Document to English Successfully using AI

  1. Get image for each page of the document in foreign language

    Scan each page in a flat-bed scanner and save as PNG image.

    If you have a PDF or Document, or online web document you can use
    Snipping Tool to capture a screen area and save it as a image.

    Click New and draw around area you wish to capture.
    Choose File -> Save As to save PNG image.

    PRO TIP: If you can open your email attached document from Outlook in Word Online or PowerPoint Online to edit, then you choose to Translate entire document or portions to any target language.

  2. Use the advanced Microsoft Azure Computer Vision API which is available to developers to using optical character recognition (OCR) and extract the recognized words.

    Use the 
    Browse button to upload image under heading "Read text in images"

    Once image changes to your upload, pressing Submit button and wait.
    The resultant text will appear to the right in the Preview tab area.
    The extracted text will be in the original language of the text. 
    The language will be auto-detect for you, no options to change.
  3. Past source language paragraphs into Bing Translate, limit 5000 words each time.

  4. Past translated paragraphs into a English document

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Equifax breach was entirely preventable according to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee 96 Page Report

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, following a 14-month probe, released a scathing report Monday saying the consumer credit reporting agency aggressively collected data on millions of consumers and businesses while failing to take key steps to secure such information. "In 2005, former Equifax Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Richard Smith embarked on an aggressive growth strategy, leading to the acquisition of multiple companies, information technology (IT) systems, and data," according to the 96-page report authored by Republicans. "Equifax, however, failed to implement an adequate security program to protect this sensitive data. As a result, Equifax allowed one of the largest data breaches in U.S. history. Such a breach was entirely preventable."

The cause of the leak revealed - new facts

It was previously disclosed an unpatched version of Apache struts was to blame. But new in this report, Chinese attackers began a cyberattack on Equifax. The attack lasted for 76 days. The attackers dropped “web shells” (a web-based backdoor) to obtain remote control over Equifax’s network.

Attackers sent 9,000 queries on these 48 databases, successfully locating unencrypted personally identifiable information (PII) data 265 times. The attackers transferred this data out of the Equifax environment, unbeknownst to Equifax. Equifax did not see the data exfiltration because the device used to monitor ACIS network traffic had been inactive for 19 months due to an expired security certificate. On July 29, 2017, Equifax updated the expired certificate and immediately noticed suspicious web traffic.

Outcome in my humble opinion

Expect to see your private information for sale on the darknet and extortion schemes soon. 

Why is Equifax still allowed to operate?

Microsoft has confirmed that the upcoming Chromium-based Edge browser will also be able to run Chrome extensions

Microsoft has confirmed that the upcoming Chromium-based Edge browser will also be able to run Chrome extensions.

Sounds great but Chrome extensions are common hacking methods for performing malicious activity such as; 
  • hijacking your search pages
  • injecting ads
  • stealing contact information from logged in accounts
  • registering free domains for attackers
  • stealing account credentials
  • and injecting in-browser crypto-currency miners.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Microsoft Edge's switch to Google's Chromium is bad news for privacy

Well it's official Microsoft announced that it seems it will swap out EdgeHTML for Chromium's Blink engine. 

One of the primary reasons is that "Microsoft Edge will now be delivered and updated for all supported versions of Windows and on a more frequent cadence.

This supports Microsoft Agile objectives but clearly this methodology has not done so well with Microsoft Updates. Microsoft had to pull October 2018 update after many issues plagued it. It's not about speed, it's about quality.

Seems Mozilla is not too happy either, as it erodes the competition and give another advantage to Google-plex. Also, developers might want to just develop to Chrome browser and stop support IE and Edge altogether now. And the the cards will fall, and Microsoft will stop supporting IE and Edge for internal corporate website, where IE still has authentication advantages and uses.

Another huge issue is privacy, Chromium built-in tracking features unavoidable leak private information to Google-plex. Not sure how Microsoft will shore up their privacy policy or prevent this entirely. 

Let's hope Microsoft does the right thing and prevent communication to Google servers entirely.