A Practical Guide to SharePoint 2013

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

Sunday, April 30, 2023

International Workers Day

A debt of honor

The International Workers Day is a day to laud the countless achievements of our working class who play a prime role in our society. Each year Labor Day is commemorated on May 1, with a public holiday. All around the globe, workers have been positively contributing towards the welfare of their country. It is their unwavering hard work that has paved the path towards continual prosperity. Therefore, they definitely deserve a break to free themselves from exhaustion and worries of work.

Let’s pay homage

All the workers belonging to different professions or occupations whether they are skilled or unskilled, plodders or doctors, engineers or office boys, sweepers or teachers, pilots or miners, soldiers or janitors, mechanics or lawyers deserve the same level of respect. The effort that they put in their work whether it is manual or intellectual cannot be undermined on the basis of their qualification, status or level of hierarchy. At the same time this day condemns the escalating issue of child labor which is mostly prevalent in third world countries. Such unlawful acts have shattered the dreams of thousands of talented gems. Labor Day also sheds light on the difficulties that many workers face such as long working hours, poor working conditions and low salaries. Many on site workers or those working at the manufacturing plants have expressed such grievances. On the very opposite end, some tech workers continue to enjoy the privileges of high salaries and fringe benefits.

The tech side

From a technological perspective, labor’s day holds much significance. The sky rocketing advancement in technology has resulted in the automation of many tasks which has both a good side and a bad side as this has impacted the labor market in several ways. Machines, especially in the manufacturing and transportation sector have replaced the workforce. According to an estimation, nearly 400 million jobs will be lost by 2030 as a result of automation and 800 million will be automated. There has been a huge reduction in jobs, so manual labor is no longer needed. However, the demand for skilled workers in the field of cyber security, quality assurance, data analytics, network engineering, and software development has increased. This has also revealed that workers are getting more technologically savvy and diverse in terms of skills. 

Every soul matters, so make them smile!

All those who have sweated under the sun or racked their brains in their workspace to earn a living will always be revered today and forever. The efforts of every individual worker will never go in vain. On this labor’s day, don’t forget to speak up for those who are being underpaid and are demanding fair and equitable working conditions. Be the first one to present a bouquet of flowers to those who really deserve it.

 

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Pros and Cons of Data Visualization

Data and technology go hand in hand. We are exposed to a lot of data on a daily basis so viewing and interpreting it has become more important than ever. Companies and business owners are demanding employees that have a data skill set so that they can understand and know the impact of the data and come up with solutions. It is at this moment when data visualization comes into play. The purpose of data visualization is to analyze and make the data accessible as well as comprehensible enough. There are a number of different tools and techniques that are used for data visualization. One such tool is the digital dashboard on which many businesses depend. Let’s find more about data visualization through this blog.

What is Data Visualization?

Data visualization, as the name suggests is the visual or the graphical depiction of different forms of data and information. In order to derive meaning out of the data, businesses usually use visual tools or interactive elements such as maps, plots, charts, graphs as well as animations. By summarizing and translating large amounts of information in a visual form, a company can easily and efficiently comprehend trends, patterns or the outliers within the data. This is essential in order to make data driven decisions and put it before their untechnical audience who cannot understand the raw data. Sometimes data visualization can be troublesome if the data is misinterpreted or misrepresented. Thus, it is important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages when going through the process of data visualization.

Pros 

Humans are quickly attracted to colors or patterns. We are able to discern one color from another or one shape from another such as a circle from a square. Visual elements are everywhere such as in movies, advertisements, art etc. Data visualization is also a kind of attention grabbing visual art that helps us to focus on the message. Through graphs and charts we can effortlessly tell the outliers and the trends. On the other hand, if it’s a long spreadsheet of data we cannot interpret it that easily. We can quickly visualize the associations and patterns and internalize what we see. With data visualization, information sharing becomes convenient and you can search for different opportunities in an interactive way.

Cons 

At times, data visualization can lead to confusion and biases because the visualization is done or designed in a wrong manner. Also, sometimes there are a number of data points so there are chances of having erroneous assumptions and sharing of inaccurate information. If there is correlation between variables that does not always depict that there will be causation too. Moreover, the actual messages might get lost as it is translated.

The benefits of data visualization are more as compared to the trivial disadvantages but with the use of good quality tools, software and through skilled employees the desired outcome can be achieved and errors can be minimized.


Technology and Green Funerals

It's not as spooky as you are thinking!

It seems like the technology would not spare even the dead ones. You might be feeling uneasy after reading the topic but calm down that does not mean any harm will be done to your body after you die. We all know that death is inevitable but there is no need to worry at all. Sustainable living has been a major concern of scientists and environmental experts and now they have come up with ways to ensure eco-friendly burial and disposal of dead bodies. 

New and sustainable burial ways

From ecological perspective, those religious groups who cremate the dead bodies of their deceased ones contribute to the carbon footprint. It is reported that the average act of cremation adds 400kg of carbon dioxide which is very alarming and harmful for our atmosphere. Instead of that some countries such as the United States have started practicing composting, a natural way to decompose the bodies without fussing with the environment. In this process bodies are covered in soil, tree trimmings, straws, papers and other organic materials that boost natural decomposition. Just in 30 days the body decays and disappears in the soil which is then used as a fertilizer to grow plants in gardens or woodlands. As a result of that, very less carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere as compared to cremation. This initiative has been first taken by the company known as Recompose. 

Another start up called Coeio used alternative technology with slight changes in the aforementioned process. They used fungi and made suits out of mushrooms and some other microorganisms to cover the body. This promotes decomposition and toxins which are released when the body starts to decay also get neutralized. One interesting chemical process is alkaline hydrolysis in which the body is placed in a pressurized chamber in order to dispose it through heating and there is very less emission. The entire process takes almost four to six hours and finally the body of a dead human or animal is broken down into simpler substances or chemical components. This method has been legalized in the US and is being adopted by many pet and animal companies. Green burials are not just cost effective but also saves resources such as wood, concrete, bricks, steel or copper used for graves. You do not have to spend so much on concrete vaults or the caskets. It also reduces the need for hazardous chemicals that are used in embalming process. 

Green burial is being welcomed by many individuals in the western countries because of the lower cost as well as to protect the environment from harmful chemicals and gases that are released in the atmosphere.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Best Cryptos for Gaming

A significant change has occurred in the gaming industry in the past few years and cryptocurrencies have made it more exciting and interesting. Gaming has become a lucrative market, especially with the rise of block chain technology. Cryptocurrencies offer gamers a number of options to purchase and sell or even exchange the in game objects such as collectibles, accessories and NFTs. It provides them with security in terms of transactions and trading of digital goods and everything is done in a decentralized manner. So let’s see which are the best cryptos keeping in mind their transaction speed, reliability, popularity and security.

1. CHILIZ (CHZ)

This gaming platform relies on block chain technology and helps gaming enthusiasts to purchase the branded fan tokens. With these tokens you can be a part of different games, club activities and sport teams. It is considered the best crypto since it has partnered with some international sport teams, one of those is FC Barcelona. CHZ is a versatile currency to purchase because it is a defi token. There is more transparency and security, you can take part in yield farming and it even has the feature of liquidity. Chiliz has become popular in 40 countries and has more than 20 million users. 

2. Theta (THETA)

This platform is also backed by decentralized block chain technology. It was introduced to fulfill the needs of gaming and streaming industries and also enhance users’ viewing experience by offering them better quality. With a peer to peer network they can view any type of content such as videos or even play games. It also lessens your dependency on a centralized server. It is considered the best crypto and a solid option for investment because of its Theta fuel (TFUEL) token which powers this platform. Networks are supported through the users’ bandwidth or their computing power. As the number of users who participate in the network increases, TFUEL’s demand also surges. 

3. ENJIN (ENJ)

Another cryptocurrency that has been popular these days for gaming is ENJIN (ENJ). It is liked by many investors and gamers. A decentralized marketplace for virtual valuables is created through the ENJIN ecosystem. With the addition of block chain, developers are able to create and deal with the buying, selling and exchange of items in a game. The unique token model has monetary benefits for users since they can redeem that certain amount of Enjin Coin for real world use. 

In conclusion, block chain and cryptocurrencies have brought a positive change in the gaming industry. Investment in gaming cryptos seems an exciting and viable option for the experienced investors as well as the beginners. 

 

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Most in demand tech roles for 2023


Companies all over the world are putting in efforts to attract the top tech talent, since it is becoming increasingly challenging to find highly skilled professionals belonging to software and application development. Though the average salary depends on the experience of every individual there are several other factors that impact their salaries such as budget, location, roles they are performing, corporate culture, and budget. Let’s have a look at the most in demand jobs in 2023 related to the IT sector.

1. Software developers

Software developers also known as the software engineers have to perform many tasks and duties such as to build applications, software programs and networks. When it comes to coding, they have to keep in mind their client’s needs, go through the process of testing and documentation etc. They also have to pay attention to the front end or back end applications. If someone is looking for a job as a software developer, he must have knowledge and experience related to coding and programming languages such as Python, HTML, Java, C++, Ruby, JavaScript etc. His concepts of software development and computer science must be clear, communication skills and critical thinking skills are a must. Studies have shown that there will be a 25% increase in software development jobs between the years 2021 to 2031. 

2. Data Scientists

The role of data scientists is to gather, process, analyze and interpret massive amounts of data using the latest analytics technologies. These technologies include artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive modeling. Technical skills, soft skills and critical thinking is needed in order to interpret the data, on that basis companies can devise business strategies and this helps them to better understand consumer behavior. They must be well aware of statistics, data visualization, model deployment and predictive modeling etc. There are tremendous job opportunities for data scientists and the demand for them will rise to 36% between the years 2021 to 2031.

3. Artificial Intelligence Specialists

AI Specialists are also called machine learning engineers. They have to develop and work on AI and ML tools and technologies which a company needs for the computer programs. For this role, expertise in AI, ML and DL is must. They should have in-depth knowledge and understanding of TensorFlow, NLP, Python and algorithms. These are some specific skills that a business intelligence developer or AI engineer should have. Overall, there is high demand for these professionals in the IT, communication and automotive industries.

4. Information security analyst

The storage of sensitive data is crucial for companies. Information security analysts have a major role in safeguarding and protecting a company's data, computer systems, confidential information and network from hackers, cyber-attacks and malware. The duties that they must perform include formulation and execution of cybersecurity measures, keep a check on network breaches, analyze and report about breaches and perform penetration testing etc. The skills needed for these professions include clear knowledge of computer networks and systems. Since their main purpose is to provide system security, they should be well aware of cyber threats, attacks and defense strategies. Research has revealed that only in the United States, 56, 500 new jobs in this field will be created in a decade i.e. 2021 to 2031.

5. IT managers and directors

IT managers have to fulfill both the short term and long term technological requirements of a company. For this, meetings have to be arranged with the executives and they have to collaborate with the top management to discuss technological matters. These include discussions on the upgrading of hardware and software, security, purchase decisions and handling IT tasks. A number of skills are needed for this role such as strategic thinking, communication and technical skills, project management and they should have the ability to handle pressure. They must also possess leadership qualities, should be aware of the latest technologies and have knowledge of computer science. With the digital transformation, it is expected that more than 82000 new jobs in this field will be created between 2021 to 2031.

All those who are seeking a job must know these highly demanded and promising positions in the market.

 

All about ChatSonic

We have been hearing a lot about ChatGPT lately and how it has flabbergasted people with its amazing features and benefits. There is no doubt that the technology is highly versatile but there are many other amazing options that users can consider for business and personal purposes. One such latest and incredibly powerful chatbot is named ChatSonic which is trending these days. 

It’s invaluable!

Writesonic’s ChatSonic is a cutting edge conversational AI chatbot that has been creating ripples worldwide with its GPT-4 capabilities and covers the limitations of ChatGPT. This tool is powered and trained by Google Search and allows you to create content that is ten times faster and efficient as compared to other AI chatbots. It can chat with you on latest occurrences, hot topics and events in real time and help you to write factual content. 

A perfect partner for conversation

ChatSonic is a unique chat platform that makes use of both Adaptive Learning Technology and Natural Language Processing to deliver up to date responses through Google Search. One thing to note is that ChatSonic is user friendly and has easy to navigate software, so you can quickly produce high quality professional documents. It can also easily produce phenomenal AI generated digital artwork that you might need for your marketing campaigns or social media posts to better engage with your target audience. 

Chatsonic gives an artistic touch to your digital images which you can generate in different styles. If you are stuck on an assignment question or a math problem, want help for the preparation of an interview or need tips for physical well-being, a personal assistant does everything for you. ChatSonic has the ability to understand voice commands which saves your time and gives responses just like Alexa or Siri, though you can still write commands. Since it utilizes the power of AI, companies can provide a compelling and personalized experience to their customers in a human-like fashion. What gives ChatSonic an edge over its competitor is that it is trained on large datasets of human written text and conversation. Though it offers a free trial to users, it has a limit of only 2500 words. Its interface is simple and more than 1 million marketing agencies and freelancers are making use of it.

In simple words, ChatSonic is considered the next best alternative to ChatGPT. It is preferred and loved by millions of people all around the world.

 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Future of IT Industry in Pakistan

The prestigious beginning of Information Technology and Computer Science in Pakistan dates back to the 1980s. Some say that the country is a late bloomer in this regard, but it is way ahead as compared to hundred other countries around the globe. In terms of performance it comes under the shed of top IT services providers. In 2021, the Global Innovation Index reported that Pakistan IT sector greatly improved and got a strong grip globally (bagged a position of 99th from among 132 countries).It is competing with many countries such as Malaysia, India, China, Indonesia and several others.

More and more people are getting computer literate and the number of technophiles is continuously increasing. This is an achievement on our behalf, since Pakistan is considered a third world country. Five lac laptops and computers are bought each year by Pakistanis and since the outbreak of the pandemic the demand significantly surged as it gave rise to work from home jobs. Since people are getting more knowledge and awareness related to information technology you can have an idea what the future will be like.

Pakistan has a wide base of information technology users. Side by side, it is also a producer and provides a number of different services such as programming, development, consultancy, network and security, computer training and many others. Even high quality information technology gadgets and devices are being manufactured here that are later exported to other countries at a low cost. This not only helps the country in revenue generation but also increases foreign reserves. A decade ago, in 2014 the foreign exchange was more than $ 525 million (twice as that in 2002). Government has planned to invest more in IT so that there can be an influx of foreign income. This will also give rise to technological advancement and more jobs will be created for those who are ardently choosing it as a field for career. With government support, the country will look up and come closer to the developed countries such as China.

Many professionals and experts are taking advantage of the internet by making a hefty sum of money in website design and development, computer programming, information management and other areas. While many top notch IT companies are outsourcing jobs so that they can get things done faster. It’s hard to believe it might be, Pakistan has a string of phenomenal hackers and bug detectors, many of them have worked for reputable companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Dropbox etc. and hunted bugs for them. In the late 90's and early 2000, internet was available only in a handful of cities, but now almost every part of the country has access to the internet.

In future, if the government extends support and facilitates the IT sector with full alacrity then surely it will leave behind many developing countries and will inch closer to the domineering IT countries. As hinted earlier, if this is done then the IT industry can bring more revenues than other sectors such as agriculture, textile or construction etc. However, with limited resources Pakistan still has a long way to go and wait for the fruitful outcome. There is a worldwide demand for tech talented individuals. Government is taking initiatives to attract and promote this sector which is a great source for foreign investment. The most promising areas are software development, e-commerce and digital services. Backed by internet and mobile services the sector seems to break all the previous barriers that hindered it to achieve some tech goals. However, much progress depends on the political situation and well planned infrastructure. A lack of skilled professionals can create obstacles in the path of growth of this sector.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Cloud Computing in Pakistan

For all the techno geeks and computer savvy individuals cloud computing is not a novel term. It has got a nod from many companies around the world and almost 90% of them are making use of this technology. In Pakistan, businesses from all sectors have seen an upward turn since the adoption of cloud computing. In recent years, the IT sector is growing exponentially and the future seems quite reassuring and momentous.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing refers to the use of the internet in order to deliver computing services which include both applications as well as tools such as software, data storage, networking, analytics, databases, servers, intelligence etc. It is a safe repository that companies use as a backup in case there is a malfunction or other issues in the local storage system or their hard drives. You can save and have access to your data and files through a remote database. This data can only be retrieved if your devices have internet access and a well-functioning software program. For many businesses it is a top preference because of its performance, efficiency, cost effectiveness (minimizes operating cost), security, speed and productivity.

Having numerous benefits, cloud computing is a boon to businesses. Its trend is surging in Pakistan because of its competitive edge, adaptability in terms of capacity and autonomous backup system. There are different types of cloud computing including public, private and hybrid. Public clouds are controlled by third party businesses who manage and operate its overall infrastructure as well as hardware and software. It is not owned by the users and provides internet storage and services through a remote server. There are several examples of public clouds including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. On the other hand, private cloud as the name suggests, provides services to its specific clients and is solely reserved for single users which are mostly businesses. They are given isolated access, however the ownership or the location rule no longer applies as many such organizations are coming up with their off premises infrastructure. There is another type of cloud computing which is an amalgamation of both public and private clouds known as the hybrid system. This system provides better security, enhances flexibility, and helps users to take maximum advantage of the infrastructure.

Advantages of Cloud Computing

Companies are always in imminent danger when it comes to data security, especially in Pakistan where there is an influx of cyber attackers that pose a potential threat. Every company needs cybersecurity teams for the protection of their sensitive data. For this purpose, many cloud providers offer features that secure their apps, data and infrastructure. They have set stringent policies to mitigate such threats. Another advantage is that it saves users storage spaces on their devices, laptops or desktops. In case of hard disk failures, disaster or other issues, its backup and recovery feature allows individuals to immediately retrieve and access files, data, music or photos. This data and information can be recovered easily from the cloud provider's network because it is available there in the form of expendable sites. Users cannot just have access to their files but they can also keep file records by storing them on Google Drive. 

One benefit of cloud computing for large businesses is that it has saved their costs and increased their productivity by eliminating different expenses. Before cloud computing, companies had to spend huge sum of money on capital such as hardware, software and on the hiring of  IT specialist to operate and manage infrastructure and server centers. Now they don’t have to waste their time on setting up all this. They can utilize this time by directing their efforts towards achieving other business objectives. Some of the largest cloud computing services have a global network with well protected data centers. They are continuously updated according to the most recent version of computer hardware. This boosts performance and helps to achieve greater economies of scales.

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

Despite the fact that cloud computing provides security against cybercrimes and sensitive information such as financial data is protected by encryption, in case you lose the encryption key that means all your data will be lost too. There can be many technical mishaps and defaults such as natural disasters or power blackouts etc. If there is power failure in one city then users in other geographical areas would be curtailed from using cloud computing services. Another issue with cloud computing in the corporate sector is that when a number of people handle and access the portal, they end up making accidental mistakes that are carried forward and disrupts the whole system.

On the whole, cloud based applications are being used in various sectors of Pakistan including telecom, health, education, manufacturing, banking etc. It has empowered employees to share data with each other regardless of time and place. From tracking employee activities to holding meetings everything can be done digitally which ultimately boosts company’s productivity and helps them to generate revenue streams.

 

Friday, April 14, 2023

Future of the Internet


The ubiquitous internet technology has motivated businesses to break new grounds around the globe. It has become so sophisticated over the years that you no longer have to rely on wired connections. The initiation of wireless hubs have helped us to connect a number of devices to the web. Though the security vulnerabilities are growing each day, there is no need to fret about it since computer scientists are plunging in to make it fast, efficient and safe for us to use. Now let’s see what’s happening at the back end and what the future of the internet would be like.

Data explosion and the way towards innovation

In recent years, spectacular developments have taken place that have increased the usage of the internet. We see everyone carrying a mobile device, online shopping has massively expanded and the fiber optic cabling is almost everywhere. For the upcoming applications, low latencies and fully secure transmission will be a need. Technologies like virtual reality require massive volumes of data and side by side needs low latencies. Most of the data centers and businesses are adopting a scale out approach in order to grow and fulfill their requirements. To make the most out of it, data centers are depending more on automation by using robots that work in geographically inaccessible locations or extremely confined areas. Some are even using light impulses for communication instead of fiber optics. There has also been a rise in quantum cryptography to prevent data from being hacked.

Internet of things (IoT)

The number of devices connected are more on our planet as compared to the population of people. The introduction of video doorbell systems and microwaves with voice response features have eased our lives. But designers of such connected devices have to keep in mind individual's privacy and security vulnerabilities that they have to face. The entire internet relies on the internet protocol (IP). Protocols that are in use require standardization so that bits can be structured and interpreted as they passed along the internet infrastructure.

We have already entered into an era where everything is connected through the internet so efficient data processing and security has become crucial. Also, the existing technologies need more development and the infrastructure, software and services must be updated.

 

 

Thursday, April 13, 2023

The Relentless LockBit Ransomware

All eyes are on LockBit

In recent times, LockBit Ransomware has gained momentum and made the headlines. Many of the high profile companies and enterprises have been under threat because of the spree of cyber-attacks made by this group through malicious software. There are a number of other notorious ransomware gangs like LockBit who are active and have steadily impacted thousands of organizations around the globe. DarkSide, Conti, REvil and DoppelPaymer are to name a few who have adopted aggressiveness, persistence and effectiveness to be successful in their vile mission. Countries such as the United States, France, China, India and the United Kingdom have been their major targets. Since LockBit has been driving the world crazy so it’s important for you to know more about it.

What is LockBit Ransomware? 

LockBit Ransomware, also known as the ABCD ransomware is a smart and prolific ransomware gang that has emerged lately. This group has professionally designed a malicious software through which they lock the user’s computer and demand ransom in return. If their target does not provide a ransom then LockBit automatically encrypts and gets access to all their files in their computers. With this aggressive approach and through their extortion tools, it has posed unique threats to large businesses and government organizations. The first high severity cyber-attack was made by them in September, 2019. The cycle of attacks has continued since then.

What’s more threatening?

Through LockBit, data theft, extortion and illegal publications are made by the hackers for monetary gains. Businesses face operational disruptions and with it their crucial processes come to a sudden halt. It is important to note that LockBit attacks are self-piloted. These cyber attackers have adopted various ways to target for example by email attachments or by cascading of files. Since LockBit integrates sophisticated technology, it is seen as a formidable adversary in the cyber realm. The gang is backed by ransomware groups which encourages them to carry on with the attacks. Moreover, with superior upgrading they have been able to introduce its new encryption tool called the StealBit which is far better than the prior versions. Initially, it attacked only the Windows systems but with time it evolved to target Linux computers as well. With the help of its malware, it targets the key data of both the operating systems by infiltrating into them. LockBit attacks are self-spreading and they are using highly advanced methods such as the double extortion and triple extortion techniques to exploit their victim by stealing or leaking their data. In future, DDoS attacks will be a further challenge for them.

Keeping the aforementioned threats in mind, it is essential for businesses to take protective measures to prevent themselves from falling into LockBit ransomware’s trap. A strong password, multi factor authentication, regular system wide backups and comprehensive cyber security solutions will act as a shield against them.

 

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Best ChatGPT Alternatives


ChatGPT became an overnight sensation as soon as it was made publicly available to people in November, 2022. Artificial Intelligence is already called the muse of the technological world and the addition of generative AI chatbots have in turn stirred up excitement among people. ChatGPT's amazing features such as answering queries, writing articles and codes have been beneficial in many ways but also disadvantageous for some people. Many tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Meta and Amazon were already on their mission to come up with similar models like the AI powered Natural Language Processing tools and now they have to catch up with ChatGPT as well. The competition is getting stronger. Let’s see who is delivering the best services to the users. 

Amazon Codewhisperer

In order to help software developers and programmers to detect, understand or debug code issues, Amazon created and launched its Codewhisperer. This tool is powered by machine learning service and makes use of natural language processing technology to recommend and suggest codes in real time. Patterns and errors are identified by analyzing the codes and then solutions are proposed. Amazon’s codewhisperer is available for free and it also integrates another development tool known as the GitHub for better service. Codewhisperer has improved the productivity of developers by analyzing their prior codes and comments.

Microsoft Bing AI

Microsoft has been investing in OpenAl for the past couple of years. As ChatGPT, the product of OpenAl gained popularity and recognition, the company became more determined to invest in it. A little while back, the tech giant has successfully released its own version of generative AI chatbot called the Bing Al, making the most out of their partnership. The company aims to deliver maximum speed, accuracy and efficiency through this new model. This tool is superior in terms of performance and delivers better results as compared to ChatGPT and GPT-3. It provides you with comprehensive human-like responses and incorporates OpenAl language model platform. The "chat" tab helps users to interact with the chatbot while the "compose" tab provides you with options to create content such as emails, paragraphs or articles. But it seems like this tool is not too effective and needs more work as many people complained that it generates troubling responses. Only a limited version of Bing AI is currently available for free for public use. 

Google Bard

Google bard is a competitor of ChatGPT which is powered by Google's Language Model for Dialog Applications (LaMDA). One interesting thing about this chatbot is that it is pre-trained with more than 1.56 trillion words and has around 137 billion parameters. LaMDA has worked upon three elements i.e. groundedness, quality and safety. With the finest Natural Language Processing (NLP) features, it generates responses that are coherent and human-like. Bard gives unique responses to the follow up questions and is still under testing. However, it is a good alternative to ChatGPT.

ChatGPT has gained mainstream success since the day it was launched but all these popular generative AI tools have their own flaws. The software working at the backend of these chatbots is not really groundbreaking. All of them are working on their inefficiencies, so at this moment it is hard to tell if they will be able to dethrone ChatGPT or not. 

 

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

The Negative Impact of Marketing

Every day we are bombarded with an unlimited stream of advertisements in the form of billboards, digital screens, banners, posters or emails etc. Whether you turn on your television screens at home or leave for work, these advertisements are polite reminders from brands and companies to inform their target audience about their presence in the market and to sell their products and services. But many of these ad campaigns have negative connotations, misrepresent information or are clich├ęs. One must give a thought to these elements before promoting their brands and consumers should also make a purchase while keeping such factors in mind. For example they should question themselves "Is the brand selling products in an ethical way?”. Now let's discuss some negative consequences of marketing.

Consumerism and Overspending

Marketing has given rise to consumerism. People believe that buying material possessions and consuming goods and services leads to happiness and wellbeing. This has negatively impacted the mindset of the society and has made them more materialistic. For example carrying the latest iPhone depicts your social status. Similarly, buying new clothes, shoes, makeup and accessories has become a necessity to enhance your appearance. Companies and marketers urge you to buy their products and services even when you can live without them. Many such products are useless and make little difference in your life. Some people overspend, borrow money or go into debt and waste their hard earned money so that the society does not look down upon them. 

Promotion of Harmful Products and Rise of Environmental issues

In order to manufacture products for customers companies need huge amounts of raw material which means large scale mining of metals and cutting down of trees. Ultimately, earth has to pay the price when harmful greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere and natural resources deplete. Not just this, brands sell harmful products such as drugs, alcohol, vapes, cigarettes and many others to which many people get addicted. Though these are extremely bad for one’s health, people, especially teenagers’ use them because they believe that such products will make them cool in the eyes of other people. Similarly, gadgets and fast food chains have caused many health issues among youngsters such as obesity, diabetes, eyesight issues and high blood pressure etc.

Use of Stereotypes

Most of the companies and brands adopt a stereotypical approach so that more people can relate. Companies that offer beauty products such as fairness creams target women. Such brands are promoting racism, narrow-mindedness and pushing them into the wrong direction by telling them what they should do to fit in the society. Marketers try to create a need by subliminally telling them through ads which products they should use to look more masculine and attractive e.g. body sprays. Similarly, companies who sell products for women inculcate the idea that their product will make them look pretty and physically appealing. 

Lower Self Esteem

In order to persuade you to buy a product, companies often try to make you feel bad about yourself by lowering your self-esteem and confidence. This has given rise to insecurities and vulnerabilities among people. We have often seen ads featuring models with a perfect hourglass body while some show people being bullied or body shamed for being overweight. In the end pills are recommended to you as a solution to your problem. Through this toxic mindset companies take advantage of the consumers and make money. 

Mislead and Misrepresentation

Through manipulation and amazing advertisements brands try to sell their products and increase their sales. Most of the time these companies do not deliver what they promised and rob you of your money. Some ads highlight a number of benefits of a product but when the person uses it in real life they have to face a number of side effects too. A very common example is fairness cream brands that say that you will get fair after just one application but in reality you get the results after several applications. So most of the time you cannot trust these brands.

Marketing and advertising is considered one of the most effective forms of communication, but strict regulation is needed because many companies misuse them to increase their sales.

 

 

 

Monday, April 10, 2023

Top 5 Travel and Tourism Trends

Travelling has always been a pleasure for all the excursionists and globetrotters, be it for the sake of business or just for leisure. There has been a major shift in the travel sector in the past few years and the introduction of modern elements have attracted more of the market. Even if we picture the time of pandemic, the travel industry hardly underwent a total lockdown of operations. Inevitably, the situation back then prompted the experts to make changes in their system of operation to best deal with the crisis and some of them are being adopted till now. Let’s look into those trends.

1. Rise of touchless service

The acceleration of touchless services is a direct result of Covid-19. The layover or the transit time during international flights which air passengers utilize for recreational activities is one of the major sources of income for airports. To ensure minimal human interaction, a number of technologies have been introduced such as kiosks systems for self-ordering, biometric systems for identification, artificial intelligence, payment by cards, digital identity management and other digital tools etc. Through these unique methods companies try to deliver contactless and seamless services to the customers. These technologies are also used for ticketing and airport check ins. Google Pay or Apple Pay have also allowed customers to make contactless payments for hotel stays, food, transport and other services without the need for a card.

2. Safety and hygiene

Consumers have become more health conscious since the outbreak of pandemic so safety and hygiene has become a priority for them even when it comes to the airline they choose to travel. Tourists have been hesitant to visit places or tourist hot spots because of the rise in Covid cases. Airlines, hotels and other companies had to redefine their health and safety policies and measures to keep their customers safe and to attract them. Whether you talk about airlines, hotels, malls or restaurants you will find socially distanced seats, face masks, hand sanitizers and more cleanliness than before. 

3. Automation and Artificial Intelligence

More and more people are relying on internet chatbots to book their travel and accommodation. These AI powered chatbots can handle customer queries efficiently and help them by providing useful information even when human workforce is not available for guidance. With Artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, finding or booking your trips is no longer a problem. AI provides a personalized experience in the form of smart hotel rooms. The technology provides room services according to the customer or guests needs and preferences. AI makes adjustments in their surroundings, ensures security, and provides virtual guidance to tourists.

4. Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT devices with sensors and microprocessors means that you can connect and control them through the internet. All the smart room hotels that you might have visited have heating, entertainment and cooling systems that depend on IoT to provide better experience to guests. Through voice controlled room assistants, they can control and fine tune in-room features or even book a table and call a waiter by simply communicating with the device in the room. Electronic key cards have also been introduced to lock and unlock the door through the phones.

5. Virtual and Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality is very much useful in the tourist industry since it combines the real world experiences with the virtual elements. Some AR apps on tourist smartphones help them to provide information regarding the area they want to visit or explore. Information can be about the list of famous eateries near the historical place or entertainment venues they might visit, details about the landmarks, tourist spots or buildings etc. Augmented Reality is used in museums where visitors can see a virtual overlay of the monuments and artifacts. Augmented Reality is also used to provide the menu of the restaurants and to view the virtual maps with the help of the internet.

All in all, travel and tourism trends are becoming more fascinating and exciting as technology is making strides.

 

 

Friday, April 7, 2023

The Dark Side of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence, the jack of all trades has casted a shadow over the human race through its sophistication and superintelligence. Many experts argue that AI is not a threat to humans as it is not capable of exhibiting human feelings and emotions such as sadness, happiness, love, anger or hate etc. But some have also pinpointed the potential downside of AI to which we all must give a thought. Let's discuss them in detail.

1. Joblessness

Tasks are increasingly depending on AI powered machines. Automation has thus become a concern for employees working in various industries such as marketing, healthcare, supply chain, manufacturing etc. Around 85 million people are expected to lose jobs between 2020 to 2025 as more and more AI machines are taking charge and becoming smarter and dexterous with time. This means fewer humans will be needed in future to perform tasks. Even professions such as law and medicine are at huge risk. Some say that it will soon replace the corporate attorneys and will deliver the best possible contract to achieve the desirable outcome without missing anything. 

2. Social manipulation

Among one of the potential dangers of AI is the spread of fake and unreliable information. Many public figures such as politicians depend on social media platforms to express their point of view. The technology has allowed people to replace the face of an individual in a picture or a video with another which is ethically wrong. This has given rise to abuse and propaganda. Tiktok app relies on AI algorithms which cannot filter out harmful, misleading and inaccurate content. Thus, one of the pressing issues is that it cannot protect its users from misleading media.

3. Biases

Human beings are intrinsically biased. The majority of AI creators and researchers are male who come from various socioeconomic, racial and demographic backgrounds so inadvertently racial and gender biases creeps in. This often happens when you command ChatGPT to write an article. So they have to be careful and avoid biases and prejudice approaches that can harm the minorities. AI developers have limited experience which is evident from the fact that the speech recognition features often fail to comprehend some accents and dialects.

4. Social surveillance

Privacy and security will reach another level with AI technology. One major example is China that is incorporating facial recognition technology everywhere for example in schools, offices and other important places. This means that the Chinese government will now be able to track not just a person's movement but also their activities i.e. where crime is likely to occur, individual’s views regarding politics or religion and even their relationships.  

5. Ethical concerns and the rise of autonomous weapons

People are increasingly relying on conversational AI tools such as ChatGPT for the purpose of writing assignments. This is a major hindrance in the path of creativity and will affect academic integrity. Many countries are investing in AI powered autonomous weapons pushing the world towards a global arms race. When such weapons fall into the hands of cyber attackers it can be very dangerous for the society as they will misuse them.

There are a number of activities in which Artificial Intelligence has served us but a lot of regulation is needed in order to get maximum benefit from it.

 

 

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Lexi, the new Chatbot in India


Another Achievement


India has become an intellectually dexterous country since it is hastily adopting new technologies. On Monday, a team of their software developers launched the first ever ChatGPT powered WhatsApp bot which is taking the country to a next level of development. This new Chatbot, Lexi, is a product of their financial technology company known as Velocity. Lexi is good news for the consumers who can now use and take advantage of the analytical app in a far more conversational way. The company aims at providing a simple, seamless and customized chat experience to the users of Velocity Insights (analytical tool kit). Business owners will now have access to business information in a simplified way. The introduction of Lexi is an important milestone for India and it is evident from this that the country is not far from reaching technological heights, especially in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

The Details

It is important to note that Lexi is based upon the GPT-3 language model of OpenAI which is why it is able to understand and process the users request accurately and in a user friendly way. It can give recommendations, perform activities and even provide answers to your inquiries. Users are able to communicate with it through natural language. One unique feature of Lexi is its ability to analyze and learn from user’s interactions and provide an individualized experience to them on that basis. Lexi also incorporates machine learning technology to improve its performance by accessing the users’ data. As more and more people interact and engage with it, it becomes more precise, effective and useful. 

Many reports have revealed that within two months, the number of ChatGPT users rose to 100 million. Since then, the team of professionals at Velocity has been thinking of ways in which it can benefit its founders. As per the company's owner, the integration of ChatGPT with Velocity Insights will be helpful for the ecommerce giants as it will aid them in business decisions through conversational means. This will give them time for critical business functions. All the e-commerce companies that use Velocity Insights get a business report on a daily basis through Meta powered WhatsApp which encourages them to integrate ChatGPT in the same WhatsApp interface.

With the emergence of ChatGPT the whole aura of countries around the globe has changed. This change is inevitable so every nation has to adopt this new technology to remain on the same page just like India which is going through a development phase at a very surprising pace.

 

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

All about AI, ML and DL


Humans’ obsession with technology has been leaping. In one way or another, automation has infiltrated in every aspect of our lives and will continue to do so. The gadgets and devices we use have a number of interrelated technologies ingrained in them and today we will be discussing some of these in this blog. Artificial intelligence is an umbrella term that has become very popular in the last few decades. It has made machines way smarter and efficient than before. Not just this, researchers and experts are also working upon the concept of Machine Learning and Deep Learning too. 

Through Artificial Intelligence, machines are given the power to interpret, think and perform tasks just like humans but without their intervention. All this is done with the help of algorithms or by subsuming human intelligence in machines. So in simple words, it’s the mechanism through which machines are trained to perform activities which the human brain can only perform. There are three crucial aspects on which AI focuses to achieve maximum output. Learning, reasoning and self-correcting. Learning is a process in which data is gathered, a set of rules are made to convert this information in an actionable state. In reasoning, you select the best algorithms to get the efficacious results. Lastly, in the self-corrective process you keep on making adjustments in the algorithms in order to get precise results. In many recurring tasks that require detail, Artificial Intelligence is better than humans in terms of performance. For example AL tools help in analyzing and assessing professional, legal, or technical documents to check they are free from errors. Al also eases business operations by providing valuable insights to them. There are countless examples of AI powered applications such as the ride sharing app Uber. Some airplanes also have AI autopilot features.

Machine Learning is one of the subgroups of Artificial Intelligence in which machines (systems or computers) have the ability to automatically learn and improve its functions according to the prior experience it has. Smart systems are built without the need for explicit programming or human intervention. There is a further classification of machine learning algorithms i.e. supervised, unsupervised and reinforcement learning. The most common example of ML is Siri and Alexa which serve as your virtual personal assistants.

Another component of Artificial Intelligence or a sub discipline of Machine Learning is Deep Learning. Here the data is processed, filtered and classified just like the human brain. The neural network imitates the behavior and functions of the human brain and organizes the information. Its emphasis is on information processing patterns and it works on large data sets. Image analysis is one major example in which meaningful information and some visual attributes are extracted from the images.

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep learning are all new and interconnected terms that are subliminally and positively affecting our lives.