A Practical Guide to SharePoint 2013

A Practical Guide to SharePoint 2013
A Practical Guide to SharePoint 2013 - Book by Saifullah Shafiq

Friday, March 31, 2023

How Small Businesses can be Successful

Learning the art of selling your product and services in the market has become crucial for small businesses in today’s time where there is cut throat competition. You might be an expert in your field of profession but you will ultimately suffer if you have a lack of business sense. Many startups fail because they do not have an effective marketing strategy or a proper plan to scale up their business. Businesses should see things from a holistic perspective before implementing their ideas. Following are some tips for you to keep your head high and stay at the top.

1. Be Organized

The first step towards business success is to adopt an organized approach. This means all tasks should be performed properly without missing anything. You should automate all the repetitive tasks to save time and enhance productivity. Proper documentation and full record of your business transactions should be kept by keeping multiple copies of the cash payments or invoices. Managing your time efficiently is important so you must set deadlines and use project management software. You need to plan everything beforehand whether it is your social media campaign or employee meetings to get feedback or to assign them tasks. All business data must be kept in a safe repository with a backup such as cloud.

2. In-depth analysis of your competition

For best results and to make huge profits, companies must keep an eye on their competitors. You can learn from the strategies that they are adopting which you can implement in your business if it seems right and fruitful. Collecting competitor’s information depends on which type of business you are managing. If it’s a clothing or a packaging brand then you can keep a track of their marketing campaigns and see how they are adopting sustainable means to save resources and to attract customers.

3. Protection of Intellectual property

Intellectual property includes all the intangible assets of a business for example trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks, patents. Small businesses have to protect their logo, business ideas, trade secrets or designs from rivals or competitors so that they do not try to imitate or copy your designs or products. Once this gets copied you will lose your market share and it will even affect your brand image or damage your reputation in the market. You will suffer from losses in the end. The best way is to refer to an attorney for help if you want to register your trademark. This will save you from making mistakes since everything will be done legally. 

4. Customer Service

When a business provides excellent customer service and support it is more likely that those customers will come to you next time to make a purchase rather than going for substitutes or your competitor's products. Customers are attracted towards companies that respond promptly and stick to a personalized approach. Small businesses should know who their target audience is and they should maintain professionalism when dealing with them. Chatbots, FAQs and emails are some best ways to communicate with your customers.

5. Keep your cost low

Cost management and budget control are the most important things to stay afloat, especially if you have just started your business. Start by making a plan of your budget and stick to it. You can find low cost suppliers and vendors through market research to buy raw materials, machines, video editing software etc. Companies can even hire part time staff and start their marketing through online social media platforms.

Every business will experience growth at its own rate but along with the above discussed tips and tricks they have to adapt to the changing marketing trends to reach the heights of success.


Thursday, March 30, 2023

Top 3 Mind Reading Gadgets

 We Are Duped!

Mind reading gadgets? Yes you heard it right! Technology has already engulfed us with its astounding innovations. Previously, we had a vague gleam of hope that one day our far-fetched dreams will turn into present day realities. Things that we never thought before and previously seemed impossible have now become very common in our daily lives, helping us tremendously in different activities that we perform. But machines articulating your thought process and revealing what you try to hide from others seem very intimidating. The jaw dropping achievements of technology will put us in hot waters someday. Now with these new and amazing mind reading gadgets we might end up in a scuffle, offending others. Imagine your boss is able to read all your intrusive thoughts and whatever is going on in your head. Alas! You are screwed.

There are already some technologies in the market that are able to read your thoughts through the brain computer interface. The mastermind entrepreneur, Elon Musk has put one of his similar ideas into practice through his Neuralink (neural interface technology company). The company is developing a coin sized device that will be affixed into a person’s skull to monitor and record his brain activity and later process it. This chip will wirelessly transmit data to computers so that experts can study and interpret. Now let’s discover some new technologies that are surfacing, some of these gadgets are already available in the market.

1. Necomimi by Neurowear

A Japanese company known as Neurowear introduced a gadget shaped like cat ears that you wear like a headband on your head. This device is known as Necomini and serves as the perfect example of a brain machine interface. The device has sensors that detect human emotions through their brain impulses or waves. With the help of EEG (electroencephalogram) electrical signals are recorded from the brain via a metal disc that is attached to the scalp. When a wearer is stressed or involved in a brain racking activity, these ears turn up automatically and when he or she is in a relaxed state of mind it turns down. This gadget is powered by batteries and works for almost 4 hours.

2. Mindball

Mindball is a game in which the movement of a ball is controlled by both the players through their brain waves. Each player wears a headband that has sensors embedded in them. An EEG monitor helps to detect the electrical signals from their brain and these signals are converted into actionable form later. The player who is more calm and relaxed is able to roll the ball into his/her opponent’s side of the goal.

3. Epoc + by EMOTIV

Epoc is another product created by the company EMOTIV. This wireless neurohead set is designed and created for the purpose of contextualized research, to gain marketing insights and for human computer interaction (brain computer interface). Marketing experts believe that this method is best for marketing research as it gives them accurate and unfiltered opinions of people. Rather than asking for individuals’ perspective you directly get to their unbridled emotions through the headset that they wear. Real time data can be collected in this way as it streams through the device that users put on. You can get answers to your questions such as which product (for example cosmetics) they liked the most after testing from their stores. Epoc + will provide you the exact answers which the customers might not give if asked in the form of a survey.

Humans are still decades away from fully and accurately achieving what they aim for. A lot of work is needed to reach the heights of intellectualism and make flawless mind reading gadgets.





Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Why Digital Immune System is Important for Businesses

Businesses face never ending challenges on a daily basis. They constantly work on providing a reliable client experience by formulating optimization strategies and by practicing resilience. A recent study has shown that enterprises that will invest more in the digital immune system will be able to satisfy their customers and might be able to exceed their expectations. Such companies will be able to minimize their downtime to 80% by 2025. Let’s explore how the digital immune system is helping to reduce business related risks. 

What is a Digital Immune System?

A digital immune system is a comprehensive term which involves a set of technologies, practices and software engineering strategies used for software design and development, automation, data analytics and operations in order to minimize business risks. Having an effective digital immune system means that it will act as a barrier against software bugs or other security related flaws. There are many instances when your applications and services fail to function properly which might affect your business performance. DIS allows these applications and services to be robust, resilient and competent enough to recover from such faults and failures by mitigating business risks. 

Prerequisites for Digital Immune System

There are six prerequisites for an efficient and powerful Digital Immune System as discussed below:

1. Chaos Engineering: In order to identify the faults, weaknesses or vulnerabilities in the complex system, it is essential for businesses to do experimental testing beforehand. This means that the teams can practice and test run safely without any obstructions in a pre-production process. Later, they can implement the lessons that they learnt in the normal operations and proceed towards the right course of action by engaging in the process of production hardening.

2. Observability: The element of observability enhances transparency and allows systems or software to be "seen" or "observed". The data that the system generates helps IT teams to monitor the application performance. This helps them to identify the root cause of the problem and address it. Users’ experience also improves as their behavior is monitored. 

3. AI augmented Testing: This means software testing will be done by businesses without much dependency on humans or requiring their intervention. It automates the planning, creation, maintenance, and analysis of tests, complementing and extending conventional test automation.

4. Auto remediation: This practice involves building context-sensitive monitoring capabilities and automated remediation functions into an application. This enables an application to monitor itself and correct issues automatically, returning to a normal working state without requiring the involvement of operations staff.

5. Site reliability engineering: SRE is a way of managing digital services that focuses on improving the user experience and customer retention. It uses a set of engineering practices and principles to balance the need for speed and innovation against stability and risk. By doing so, it frees up developers to focus on creating a great user experience.

6. Software supply chain security: This is essential to protect against attacks that can happen when software is being created and distributed. One way to improve security is to create a "bill of materials" that lists all the components used in the software, whether they are open-source or proprietary. This makes it easier to track and manage potential vulnerabilities. By implementing strong version-control policies, using trusted artifact repositories, and managing vendor risk, you can help protect the integrity of your code.

 In conclusion, every company should have a Digital Immune System to deal with the growing challenges and risks. This will protect your business from vulnerabilities and attacks. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

The Growing Use of Smart Devices

Comfort and luxury has become the top priority of people. They are now more conscious because of technological evolution. The worldwide demand for smart devices such as smartphones, wearables, smart appliances or tablets has increased and it is rapidly transforming the lives of billions of people. Let’s have a look at how these smart devices are turning the wheels.

The rise of immersive entertainment

Videos are becoming an important part of our digital landscape. People nowadays prefer and demand wireless audio devices and do not compromise on quality and ease of use. Headphones and earphones that are connected through Bluetooth and offer best sound quality are well liked especially by the youngsters. Smart assistants and sensors embedded in the devices such as hearables allow users to control other devices around them and provide a remarkable audio visual experience as they watch videos or make calls etc. Through increased connectivity and the unique features offered by the latest smartphones, gaming enthusiasts can play online games any time they want. New technologies like 5G or cloud gaming is already on its way to provide high quality gaming experience to the gamers. 

Health and fitness related devices

The Internet of Things has already created ripples in the health and fitness niche. We have already used or seen smart health devices and wearables such as the fitness tracker or the smartwatch. Such gadgets have helped us to record the number of steps we take daily and even the amount of calories we burn. This data is then transmitted to an app on your smartphones so that you can improve and take care of your health and fitness. You can even check your heart rate, monitor stress level or keep a check over your sleeping patterns through these wearables. More features are coming in these new devices especially for those who have to work for long hours and feel totally exhausted after office work. Some are already offering you breathing exercises and providing you notifications or reminders to start exercise if needed depending on your body health that the device detects.

Smart working culture

Flexibility in performing tasks is a growing need for businesses today. In the future, companies will prefer more desk-less jobs or mobile workers. Connectivity and reliance on a bunch of different devices is necessary for the accomplishment of remote tasks. To enhance productivity, many different tasks need to be done such as sharing files or using a number of screens to work across different departments. Cohesion between gadgets such as smartphones and mobile PCs is needed to achieve these goals. A fast internet service and well-connected PCs is a must for content creators, influencers, photographers or those who have to constantly post videos or reels on their various channels. 

Smart devices at home

When it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT) people think of gadgets that will provide them with convenience and are easy to use. Smart appliances (air fryer), home security systems, thermostats, and smart televisions are already here. People are also demanding smart speakers because they function as command centers in homes. Also, for your online shopping convenience voice enabled technology has also been introduced.

We are quickly moving towards intelligent living through these smart devices. It has made almost every task seamless and easier for us. Whether it’s about gaming, audio video experience, employee or business productivity, ensuring the health of individuals or about managing household chores all has become fascinating. 



Monday, March 27, 2023

Hyper Connectivity In Our Daily Lives

Modern technology has lured us with lofty promises. Business world is reaching skyscraping heights by adopting hyper connectivity. As we go back in time, almost two decades ago we did not have access to the internet or devices that connect us today. There was no such impulse to check social media feeds every now and then. But today we can't imagine life without these gadgets and the internet. We can control so many devices from our smartphones such as television or the air conditioning. The internet of things, artificial intelligence and smartphones with advanced features are some examples of hyper connectivity. It is hard to believe that still two thirds of the global population is not connected through the internet. Companies like Google and Facebook are coming up with new ways to deliver internet and connect to the areas where there is lack of internet availability. Balloons in space and solar powered planes are being introduced to provide fast internet services all around the globe. This will be the biggest technological achievement in the coming years. 

What is hyper connectivity?

We are living in a world where almost everything is connected and interrelated, whether it is machine to machine, human to human or human to machine interaction. Likewise, hyper connectivity is a broad term that refers to the interconnection between multiple devices, information systems or the data. This high tech communication ensures that you are always connected to social networks or various other information sources with the help of the internet.

Hyper connectivity has many benefits in our daily lives. If we talk about from a supply chain perspective, it saves money, you can respond quickly in situations that demand your attention and it also increases efficiency. For example a disruption can occur in the logistic process due to several issues such as technical or mechanical faults and failures, weather conditions, political unrest, traffic congestion etc. With a well-connected logistic chain you can track and monitor the changes and communicate with your logistic team so that the best possible route can be taken in real time for the delivery of goods or products. You can make better decisions and improvements can be made accordingly.

Communication adds flexibility in your business processes too. Hyper connectivity enables you to communicate with your customers through multiple ways and have access to massive amounts of their data. This allows you to serve them according to their changing demands. For example you are able to decide what will be the best time for you to launch the product in the market. When your digital infrastructure is connected well and covers all the business data from various aspects, your machine learning system is able to produce more valuable insights. However, when everything depends on a single system you open doors for hackers. When you deal with customer and employee data you have to adopt a comprehensive privacy and security approach.

All in all, the world is moving towards the age of hyper connectivity and it is very clear that this technology has too much potential for individuals and businesses if they adopt it with care.


Thursday, March 23, 2023

Impact of Information Overload on Businesses

Anything that is more than necessary becomes problematic for us in the long run. Likewise, information glut is becoming a menace in this age of internet and technology. Every day we are exposed to a colossal amount of information through social media, the internet and other traditional and modern ways. Though, this information is a valuable commodity but over exposure is not always worthwhile. Let’s discuss how all this is impinging businesses. 

Organizations around the world are facing the challenge of information overload. They focus on enhancing their employee experience by over burdening them with information or data which they have to process. This in turn not just affects their health, mental and physical well-being but also their performance at work because they feel pressurized. If companies keep on nudging their employees, then attracting or retaining the most proficient employees will be an issue in the long run. Business's success and reputation will also be at stake.

What is Information Overload?

In business terms, information overload is a term that refers to the massive influx or flow of irrelevant information among the staff members or employees. This negatively affects their productivity and acts as a barrier in the path of innovation, since they have to process and deal with this overwhelming data on a daily basis. This unnecessary and poor quality information which is shared with the employees is mostly discarded by them and most of them hardly read it. There are several reasons that collectively lead to this issue. Mostly, the employees are not given enough time to process and go through the information they receive. Sometimes, it happens as a result of lack of alignment among the members which ultimately affects employees, your team and the business on the whole.

The Impact

There are many drawbacks of information abundance. Around 65% of the managers expressed that their personal and professional life and relationships were perturbed by the workload. They faced issues such as sleeplessness due to stress and anxiety. 42% of the managers belonging to the IT niche said that they were bombarded with data and information through multiple communication channels, some could not understand its significance while others were unable to determine which information was accurate. On average, employees spend 2.5 hours daily to filter out the necessary information that they are looking for. It wastes a lot of time (one third of their time) as they have to visit other departments to gather the information. Sometimes, they have to browse their mailbox in order to complete their task. Ultimately, they are unable to make decisions in a timely manner, feel stressed and burned out. Also, they end up making more mistakes out of befuddlement. 

A company will never be able to make outstanding teams with ineffective internal communication. Each member's work is interconnected so they all must remain in the loop. Overload of information along with miscommunications means overlapping of tasks and employees might miss their important deadlines. With lower employee performance because of misalignment results in poor customer service. Your IT department would not be able to come up with new products, features and services on time. Work atmosphere is largely affected as screwed up employees often start to search for a new job or share about their bad experience outside the company.

Thus, companies should treat their employees as their asset and focus on ways to attract and retain them. Efficient communication channels must be used and there should be a central place so that your remote and onsite employees can remain updated about the company’s latest news. 



Wednesday, March 22, 2023

The Need for Employee Monitoring Software

The pandemic brought an upheaval in the way the business carried out their operations. The idea of remote and work from home jobs seemed favorable in those hard times, being the only possible solution for the smooth running of the global businesses. Initially, it was difficult for many employees to work from home as they were already fed up from the monotony of home constricted lives and the post pandemic malaise. It brought problems for the upper management who could not check and monitor their team members and their performance physically. Some business owners were eager to embrace the remote work system and allowed their employees to permanently work from home which also lowered their cost. While others were much skeptical and concerned about how to track their progress and the way tasks are being done. Due to this new work mode they faced issues related to communication, work life balance and getting used to the new technologies, but it also offered them flexibility in their working hours. This remote or hybrid system has urged companies to deploy employee monitor tools and software that will help both the employers and the employees.

What is Employee Monitoring?

Employee monitoring is all about keeping a track of your employees, their performance, and the progress made as they perform their work related tasks. Organizations use a number of different digital tools and monitoring methods to check and record their attendance, analyze their behavior, ensure their workspace is safe and secure, keep proof of number of hours they have worked as well as to measure their productivity. So employment monitoring is more like you are under surveillance. Many people are against this system of monitoring and say that it’s more like the invasion of privacy.

Now let's see how companies get updates about their employees and keep their team in the loop.

1. Employees usage of apps and internet

During their job hours, most of the employees surf the internet for personal reasons such as shopping or entertainment. If they are browsing different websites to make an online purchase and do not respond to their colleagues in a timely manner, it is most likely that they are not working. You can get this information through their URLs and also see which employee logged on apps such as Instagram or Facebook and for how long. Sometimes, employees lack the tools and training to complete their job and fail to meet deadlines so that doesn’t mean they are involved in some other activity. This monitoring is essential for employees who are performing or dealing with sensitive data of the company. The company can be at risk if he/she visits certain sites. 

2. File and time tracking 

Through the time tracking feature employees can mark their time in and time out. They can stop the timer when they have to take a break and start it again when they have to resume their work. In this way they can keep a record of how many hours they worked on a project or task. This data helps managers to make better predictions and manage budgets accordingly. They can also check which file is edited and how.

3. Location

Using the GPS features, managers can easily check their employees’ current location through their personal devices such as mobile phones or the vehicle the company gave them. They can even track the route they take or locate where their team was during the day through the historical data.

4. Webcams or CCTV

For remote work webcams are very useful to get live updates from your employees. Similarly, closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) can help to monitor workers on different sites such as oil fields, construction sites or offices. This encourages employees to work efficiently without delaying the task.

5. Phone or emails

Businesses can record their employees’ interaction with customers, suppliers, or other parties. For example, you can listen to your customer support representative's conversation and if he is dealing in the right way then you ask other team members to follow the same manner. If you get negative feedback you can also check that through their conversation to see what went wrong. Most of the employers check the emails of their employees so that they can identify issues and tackle them before they create major problems.

There are many other employee monitoring software that companies use to track their employees not only for the sake of work but also to ensure their well-being and to observe their behavior (some companies are using smart badge-like gadgets). Such tools and techniques increase their efficiency and improve their proactiveness. Employers also become aware of what changes and steps they should take to encourage and bolster their workforce. Such steps are mandatory for a healthy internal environment because it affects the organization on the whole.


Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Importance of Digital Trust

In this digital age, trust is of paramount importance for the success of a business. Before any kind of interaction or engagement, you have to establish ground for trust to meet the expectations of your target audience and to achieve your purpose. In recent times, both the digital and physical world have merged and the true meaning of trust has also changed. Today, when conducting business, you focus on digital trust more so that all the transactions and business dealings take place in a secure and ethical way between all the parties. 

What is Digital Trust?

Digital trust is a concept which depends on a number of factors such connectivity, transparency, data use and adoption of new technology. In order to ensure and develop the element of trustworthiness, technology must be used carefully and it should be safe, secure and reliable. Today, there is an increase in distrust because of new and emerging technologies. People have become more cautious and suspicious due to the invasion of privacy. Thus, business relationships are not just about the exchange of products and services anymore, customers’ perception of you and your brand as well as security of personal information is way more important.

The Pillars of Digital Trust

Digital trust is built upon four major pillars which are as follows:

1. Accessibility and Transparency:

With the rise in digitization, customers expect greater transparency from the company selling different products and services. They can easily search for products as they have access to massive amounts of information through the internet. Customers also share their personal data with the intention that the company offers transparency in terms of operations and also for the sake of accessibility when needed.

2. Privacy and Control: 

Customers share their data with the company because they are confident that it will not be misused. They want to gain access to the latest products and make their experience more individualized. This exchange between both the parties is mutual but has some limits. For customers convenience, a set of privacy terms and conditions are proposed which they can accept or deny. Customers can control when and how their data can be used. This leads to respect and creates a trusting relationship between them.

3. Reliability and Security

Customers feel satisfied when they are able to make a purchase, search or browse without any hassle. Though, the convenience that comes from the digital platforms is much appreciated, simultaneously they believe that companies should take full responsibility for breaking their terms or for the breach of trust. Customers are more inclined towards companies that protect their data and whom they can trust while submitting their confidential information. Today’s customers are well aware of the cybercrimes and risks so companies have to remain updated with their cybersecurity to attract and retain them.

4. Ethics and Responsibility

Companies must cling to their core values and see how they can reuse the given or available technology and resources is the best possible way. This makes them worthy in the eyes of the customers when they fulfill their expectations and deliver what they claim. 

Digital trust results in business growth and customer retention so companies must ensure a fool proof cyber security system when customers entrust their data.


Monday, March 20, 2023

Top 5 Applications of Machine Learning

Machine Learning is a very interesting technology and a subcategory of Artificial Intelligence which is everywhere around us today. With the help of machine learning, computer programs learn, adapt and improve themselves on the basis of past data and experiences. It also allows systems to identify patterns, perform tasks and make predictions, accordingly. This technology requires very less human interference as machines autonomously access data. As more data is fed into machines, the algorithms teach the systems, which ultimately presents and delivers better results. For example, if you request Alexa to play your favorite song, she will go through the list of your most played songs and then pick one to play. You have to give her commands if you want to make changes such as adjust volume or skip a song. ML applications do not require explicit programming. As they are fed with new data, they learn, change, and develop on their own. Through an iterative process computers are able to find insightful information independently.

Applications of Machine Learning

All the industries immensely benefit from machine learning technology, especially those that have massive amounts of data to handle. Many of them have realized its significance and value and are taking maximum advantage to stay ahead of their competitors. Let's closely see the various sectors that are making the most out of this technology.

1. Retail Sector

ML is being implemented by many shopping and retail companies who prioritize their customers. From capturing and analyzing data to running marketing campaigns, gaining customer insights, and price optimization, it is present everywhere. Based on the purchase history of customers, retail websites suggest products using machine learning technology. They also use conversational Chatbots to engage with them. To satisfy their customers and provide them a personalized shopping experience, sellers adopt various ML techniques. Netflix and YouTube are the perfect examples of companies that heavily depend on ML. They recommend movies, shows and videos to their viewers or users based on their past searches and viewing history.

2. Healthcare sector

A number of devices and wearables have sensors inside them for example fitness trackers, sleep trackers or smart health watches. Such devices are used to check, assess and monitor the overall health and fitness of patients or users in real time. ML algorithms are very useful for medical practitioners and experts to make accurate predictions about the lifespan of a patient dealing with a deadly disease. Making or discovering a new drug is very costly and a long process, but through ML it is easy to analyze large volumes of data.

3. Travel sector

All the ride sharing apps such as Uber, Careem and InDrive incorporate machine learning, especially for the dynamic pricing. Companies also use it to analyze the reviews of users and also for the brand, compliance or campaign monitoring. The demand and supply as well as the traffic patterns are taken into account. Also, real time predictive modeling is used for the fare and ride booking. 

4. Finance sector

Banks and financial institutions make use of machine learning technology in order to analyze large volumes of data. Cyber security teams can also get information and warnings regarding fraudulent activities so that they can deal with them in a timely manner. ML also provides valuable insights to the investors related to investment opportunities.

5. Social Media

Machine learning has played a crucial role in showing user specific ads through the personalization of news feed. A plethora of users can connect and engage with each other through different social media platforms and networks. Through ML and image recognition, Facebook recognizes your friend’s face so that you can automatically tag them on posts.

Machine learning has influenced all industries around the globe and will continue to do so, since computer algorithms are becoming more efficient with the passage of time. Overall, an upward trajectory is expected for machine learning in the coming years.


Friday, March 17, 2023

The Overall Impact of Artificial Intelligence

"Will technology overrule humans?" is a thought provoking question that has touched many experts around the world. The line of distinction between humans and technology is gradually blurring as machines are performing human-like functions. A growing number of people belonging to the tech field have either lost their jobs or are at the risk of becoming jobless. A recent study has revealed that 30% of the activities, particularly tasks that are monotonous and repetitive will be autonomously performed by machines in 2023. This era is more about Artificial Intelligence which has ingrained in every walk of our lives in one way or another. Whether you use Siri for weather updates, Alexa to play your favorite music or to turn on your smart lights, every gadget and device is powered by AI technology. However, humans have to cope with the changes and embrace the challenges that their own actions and inventions have brought up for them. 

The good side

There are a wide range of activities in which AI technology has surpassed human capabilities and intelligence. For example, it helps in language translation, answering questions, speech recognition, tracking and fighting cyberattacks, complex decision making, discovering patterns and analytics and assists in a lot of other tasks. Smart systems (homes, appliances and vehicles) have been saving time and money and have also enabled people to have access to more customized features. By gathering massive amounts of health related data, many diseases will be cured. Even the informal and formal system of education will transform and thrive as a result of EdTech.

The bad side

On the other hand, many experts and individuals have expressed deep worries that the future will deprive humans from intervening and using their intellectualism for the accomplishment of tasks. The loss of human control over various processes is due to the rise of automated systems and digitized lives. Decision making is now code driven and people lack the skills and inputs that are needed for the tools to work. With time automation is becoming complex and beyond human perception. Values and ethics are not taken into consideration (data abuse and surveillance) when such systems make people's decisions. It’s quite difficult to regulate these networks that operate globally. Everywhere, governments want to attain power while companies attempt to make huge profits without caring for individuals’ privacy and security.

Social upheaval and economic disparity will continue to increase as people are being laid off by companies who are shifting toward AI. This will cause a major disruption in our lives. Some say that over dependency on AI and other similar technologies will erode the cognitive and survival abilities of humans and the way they interact with others. They would not be able to take actions independently, without relying on machine driven networks. Another concerning subject is the introduction of autonomous weapons which might give rise to carnage and many lives will be lost in future. Cybercrimes will also rise as AI is giving an opportunity to the cybercriminals to improve the effectiveness of their malicious attacks.

Way forward

The only possible solution to mitigate these risks and threats is to follow worldwide digital cooperation by entering into a rational agreement. Value based systems must be introduced to ensure that technology is socially acceptable and parallel to ethics. More work is needed in order to expand human capacities and the idea of prioritizing humans along with Artificial Intelligence must be promoted at a larger scale.


Thursday, March 16, 2023

What's Incredible About the Latest GPT-4?

The murmur is all about GPT-4!

Chat GPT is already taking the world by storm. The technology has not yet fully sated the desire of AI experts who are still working on to improve and add more amazing features into it. The new and phenomenal version of Generative Pre-trained Transformer was officially announced on 13th March. This latest Chatbot of OpenAI, GPT-4 is highly advanced in terms of performance and features. Its unique features were unfolded through livestreaming on YouTube and it quickly received large scale public validation. One thing to note is that GPT-4 is grounded upon the prior series i.e. GPT 3.5 and can generate text that is almost indistinguishable from human speech. It has 100 trillion machine learning parameters (more than GPT 3.5). However, unlike GPT 3.5 it is not available for free. Those who were impatiently waiting for this series to release have to avail this service (Chat GPT Plus) by paying a subscription fee that is $20 per month. 

This language model will also be useful for software developers and engineers as an Application Programming Interface (API). It will allow them to build and create applications or websites along with other services. Developers can easily understand the complex coding with the help of GPT-4. It will even help them to write generic codes or functions which will in turn increase their efficiency. Many of the well-known businesses such as Khan Academy and Duolingo are already using it and making the most out of this new technology.

What's new?

GPT-4 has been released after undergoing extensive testing. The fourth updated version of OpenAI software is more powerful as compared to its predecessors. Studies have shown that it is 40% more reliable and accurate in generating responses as it is trained according to human feedback. This new language model is based upon deep learning technology and has the ability to understand human speech. It makes use of artificial neural networks in order to write and generate human-like responses. As per OpenAI, this version is outstanding in areas such as creativity, context and visual input. In simple words, GPT-4 is way ahead in terms of creativity than previous models. It fully understands, learns and copies the user’s way of writing. In this way it collaborates and provides them ideas for their creative tasks and projects for example creative writing, technical writing, lyrics, screen plays etc. From a visual aspect, GPT-4 uses images for the purpose of interaction and to generate responses. For example, you can share a picture with different cooking ingredients and it will tell you what dishes or recipes you can make out of those. Longer context means that it can interact with the content and process a maximum of 25000 words from the text.

GPT-4 is attracting many individuals from different employment backgrounds such as software developers and bankers. Critics say that it will lead to a widespread disruption in the way different businesses operate and work. Others argued that social biases are still there. Many work oriented individuals are now apprehensive and have expressed their concerns that the future of the global job market will be at stake. The technology might disturb the entire education system and negatively impact the learning and thinking abilities of students. So GPT-4 is not the perfect model and AI experts are still working on it to address the prevailing issues.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Benefits and Risks Associated with the Emerging Technologies

Not all the high powered scientific inventions (machines/devices) and technologies are efficient, cost effective and safe to use. There are plenty of risks associated with modern world's emerging technologies which need continuous regulation. We as users are unaware of many benefits and dangers linked with these innovations. Though they enhanced the productivity of many tasks, there are a multitude of cases in which human casualties and monetary losses were reported. Let’s have a closer look at the negative consequences of these technologies.

Studies have shown that the biggest risks are posed by Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. Though, AI is known for its excellent decision making capabilities and its complex algorithms which backs the autonomous work in factories. AI helps in managing and overseeing the tasks associated with machinery and production. However, it is replacing the factories and businesses workforce who have to look for new jobs now, since AI is improving its autonomous functions and performing tasks that workers used to do. No doubt, AI is reducing the cost for businesses but some argue that quality and ethical decision making is not ensured by Al. For example, it’s a huge dilemma for AI to choose whether to save the life of a pedestrian or the passenger while he/she sits in a self-driving vehicle.

Similarly, biotechnology helps to mitigate the hunger crisis around the globe and improves the overall health of humans and animals through the production of health related products. But again, this process involves the exploitation and abuse of an organism through genetic manipulation. Another technology, Quantum computing, has played a crucial role in quickly processing massive amounts of data. It has helped in computer intensive scientific or medical research. But it has also allowed external hackers to have easy access to your computer systems or business records through the breaking of encryption systems and codes, giving rise to security threats.

Some devices have sensors lodged inside them or consist of software and other technologies that help to connect (send and receive) data with other gadgets or objects through the internet. These have been very useful in everyday life such as providing home security and helping to track livestock etc. If no IoT security is provided for devices for example laptops, smartphones or appliances then it is prone to cyber-attacks and these objects can be affected by malware. 

Geoengineering has also been saving our planet from the harmful rays of the sun by limiting sunlight reach. It is also helping us to deal with climatic changes and global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Fiddling with the natural processes by altering climate means that wildlife and forest will have to cope with the negative consequences. It can reverse the function of the ozone layer (sulfate particles can slowly result in ozone depletion), reduce the global rainfall and rain might be more acidic in nature. Also, geoengineering is a very costly technique and scientists need trillions of dollars to cover the earth with a sunshade.

There are a multitude of other technologies that humans have created for their benefit but each comes with their drawbacks. So tinkering with nature or using man made technologies will never be easy in the years to come. 


Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Changes in Marketing Trends

The marketing world is evolving to align with the changing needs of the modern consumers. This has urged the marketing professionals to devise competitive strategies in order to survive in the industry. Let’s discuss the advancements that took place recently and the new developments that are on their way, shaping the future of marketing.

1. Social responsibility will be one of the top priorities of businesses

Companies know that the modern consumers value ethics, trust, transparency, and social responsibility. Thus, they are planning to invest more in social responsibility in the coming years. The generation Z and millennials are concerned about the prevailing social issues such as gender inequality, climate change, resource depletion and racial discrimination. They want companies to take steps to mitigate them. When companies advocate or become vocal about these growing issues such people often end up becoming your loyal customers and it positively affects their purchase decision. Companies target their audience through social media strategies i.e. offerings and promotions that focus more on the noble cause to attract them. For example, every time you buy Nestle Fruita Vitals juice it comes with a paper straw. This is part of their campaign to eliminate plastic from the earth as mentioned on the pack.

2. Experiential Marketing seems to rule

Companies have been using experiential marketing campaigns in order to engage their audience or for consumer business interaction and provide them with an immersive experience. This is either in the form of a physical place or created through Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality. For example when you visit a mall they have placed massager chairs on which you can sit and get a massage. iRest is one such company that offers such services to promote their product and also for their brand engagement. Such immersive experiences are liked by customers and prove to be effective. However, with the spread of covid-19 the market faced a setback and companies were forced to shut down their operations. Providing customers with AR/VR experience is way too costly and that also means that their target audience or customer should also have the latest gadgets or smartphones to access the content. But experiential marketing is showing a comeback as people are getting more access to such immersive platforms.

3. More dependency on influencer marketing

Influencer marketing has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years and 17% of marketers were eager to plan and invest in 2023. It helps to create brand awareness and companies can gain more customers through their millions of followers. Micro influencers or those who have less followers as compared to celebrities helps in converting leads. People have a high level of trust in them and their opinions or recommendations are very much valued.

4. Investing in video marketing

Though longer videos are more informative and give detail about the company's product and services to the customers and target audience, marketers have learned that viewers lose interest after a short period of time so short content and to the point videos are more effective in delivering the intended messages. Instagram or Facebook reels and Tiktok videos have been popular these days. Marketers are increasingly investing in video marketing especially the short videos which take less bandwidth.

5. Focus on Search Engine Optimization

Companies want to make sure that their website and content appears at the top when people search for the relevant information, especially on Google. They are relying more on SEO techniques and tools to increase their short term and long term traffic. The need for SEO strategies is growing and it is ranked the third most effective marketing tactic. Marketers are turning towards SEO specialists who can provide them with search insight reports and help them to improve the website ranking as well as increase the number of visitors. 

All these initiatives are becoming more ingrained in the marketing sphere. Companies must remain open to change by clinging to the new marketing trends so that they do not fall behind in competition or face failures.