By CHARLES BARRATT, principal business solutions architect for EMEA EUC Strategic Accounts at VMware
Despite the hype that exists around it, we have to remember that in its current format, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is actually quite limited with what it can offer. Why? Because AI and Machine Learning (ML) are based on data – it doesn’t have opinions of its own. When I talk to Alexa, I can ask it what the weather will be tomorrow, the bookies favourite for the next Bond actor or how long to roast a chicken for, and it will be able to give you a fairly accurate answer. Yet when, after the 1000th time that week of hearing it, I ask why the song Baby Shark went viral, I’m faced with silence.
But whilst you can have a lot of fun testing the ability of your Alexa or other AI technology, there are some practical applications of AI that can transform the workplace.
As a society, we are starting to interchange the terms Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) without fully understanding what the nuances are between them. AI can be described as intelligent machines that mirror a human’s approach to solving challenges. An extension of this, is machine learning which is the act of leveraging vast amounts of data to automate a response.
These concepts are not new, but have been made possible through:
- Huge amounts of data being generated by systems
- Internet scale and reach
- Better computing resources
We know that automated processes can help with productivity and empower the workforce to express their creativity. However, companies are struggling to find a balance between employee experience and maintaining the sufficient levels of security required within the enterprise. Two crucial attributes that can help with this are insights and intelligence. So how can businesses harness the power of AI to help build these qualities?
What security challenges do we face?
As we advance as a society, so do the tools we use. AI should be seen as simply another weapon businesses can use to help them succeed, rather than something that should be feared. And this applies to security. CEOs who are now responsible for digital security, are heavily reliant on the IT function to deliver this. If a business doesn’t know where a device is being logged into, by which employee and which applications they’re accessing – how can they ensure that their enterprise is secure? Visibility is a core part of a security approach, because the traditional perimeter methods are obsolete and more sophisticated attacks are inevitable. It doesn’t come as any surprise that two areas of significant interest are UEBA (User Entity Behaviour Analytics) to deliver a context based access to users and SOAR (Security Orchestration and Automation Response) to ensure that attacks are remediated swiftly with minimal manual process.
Mobile devices have become a great source of cyber security breaches and there’s a lot of technology available to help mitigate these threats. Whilst this might seem like a positive, the result is an extremely complex environment, with multiple security systems that aren’t integrated, and information remains insecure. These clouds of information have become siloed; split into the different business functions – HR, IT, marketing, sales etc. IT will historically focus on devices and the data associated with them, and the other business units will focus on their relevant applications and data.
Businesses need a way to view the entire digital workspace across all endpoints, apps, networks and user experience, to enable them to pin point what is and isn’t working in the environment and adopt a zero trust approach to security.
Click here to read about why one needs AI, and how business benefits.
Gaming gets rad at Rand Show
With the opening of the 125th Rand Show at Nasrec, south of Johannesburg, today, gamers and cosplayers have a new destination to strut their stuff.
A new addition to the show, the Gaming Entertainment Pavilion, is offering anything from gaming and cosplay to dance-offs and science displays.
The organisers provided the following information (although several million exclamation marks and exaggerations have been removed!):
There was a time when Gaming was a considered a solitary pastime, confined to single player consoles; but that truly is a thing of the past with a fully immersive Fortnite Tournament open to all Fortnite afficionados and even those just starting out. Players can battle it out over both show weekends, including a final on each weekend. Family fan clubs can also get in on the action with live broadcasts of the game as it happens across screens – a full-on Fortnite family affair. Sponsored by PlayStation, gamers are truly going to be spoiled and should get in on the action as fast as they can because R 100 000 in cash prizes is up for grabs.
Smart Technology Centre will deliver a super-fast FibreMAX 500Mbps fibre link, wholly dedicated to the gaming pavilion to ensure that absolutely nothing ruins the thrill of the National Fortnite Tournament.
“As the exclusive connectivity provider, we have gone all out to ensure an amazing experience for gamers,” says Dillynn Els of Smart Technology Centre (STC), an internet service provider (ISP) and IT technology partner. “When it comes to gaming and the best experience possible, it’s all about ensuring we provide a dedicated, uncapped, unshaped connection that makes every second count.”
Keen players can come along and enter on the day, but don’t delay because space is limited.
Fortnite Inspired Dance Off
Visitors can come along and be entertained by the finalists in the Fortnite inspired dance-off. There will be daily dances to enjoy for the entire duration of the show.
Come and play – Cosplay, to be exact.
The stage is set for a celebration of creativity and imagination that is going to be literally out of this world. Super hero heavy weights and masters of the mysterious will be letting their creative vision loose and take part in various Cosplay Tournaments and a visually stunning Cosplay Masquerade. Come see what all the fuss is about and get lost in this world costumes, colour and creative talent.
Games, Games and Science
For those wanting to get their gaming on, there will be three free play areas sponsored by Xbox with a host of games available to play. Xbox will be giving away 3 Xbox 1’s and an awesome Xbox 1X, but you truly have to be in it to win it, so make sure you don’t miss out.
The Kalahari Scientist will be onstage delighting visitors with his explosive displays that are guaranteed to up the ooh and aah factor with audiences young and old.
But wait, there’s more
Along with the larger-than-life gaming entertainment offering, visitors will also get to be the first gamers on SA soil to get a sneak peak of PlayStation’s brand new Mortal Kombat 11. Don’t miss your chance to experience the continuation of this epic saga through a new cinematic story that is more than 25 years in the making. The iconic showcasing brutal battles like never before, along with a host of customisable fighters with enhanced graphics and animations.
Other activities at the Pavilion include VR Experiences, a full-on NAG Nerf Arena, Gaming vendors with awesome gaming content, retailers selling gaming related products and software, and tutorials and workshops on how to improve your gaming skills, Celebrity Fortnite match off for charity.
With huge sponsors such as PlayStation, Xbox, MMS, NAG, SABC 2 and Smart Technology, the Gaming Entertainment Pavilion is geared up to become a hot zone of entertainment.
In case the entertainment offering just doesn’t get the heart beats racing fast enough, an all-expenses paid trip to TwitchCon USA, sponsored by PlayStation, in conjunction with 94.7 Highveld Stereo, is waiting for one lucky visitor to grab it. Every ticket purchased into the Entertainment Gaming Pavilion qualifies as an entry, so bring the whole family along for the ride.
Tickets to the Gaming Entertainment Pavilion can be purchased at the show for R 20 which gives the ticket holder access for two hours.
The pavilion will be open from 14h00 to 19h00 weekdays and 10h00 to 19h00 on weekends from 19 to 28 April 2019.
Riaad Moosa show debuts on Vodacom Video Play
Riaad Moosa’s comedy special, Life Begins, will be the first major local title to be released on Vodacom’s video-on-demand service, Video Play.
As an award-winning comedian, actor, writer and presenter, Riaad Moosa is one of South Africa’s most renowned funny men. His one-man show is available for download on the platform from today, 26 April 2019. Life Begins is rated PG-16L
Vodacom’s says its affordable video-on-demand service, Video Play, has had an incredible uptake since its launch in August 2018, with over 2-million subscribers.
“But with a proliferation of affordable video-on-demand platforms available to the South African market, what is it that gives Video Play the competitive edge?” it asked in a release this week. “Recognising the consumer’s need for flexibility and freedom of choice, Vodacom has ingeniously developed an adaptable subscription model that puts the power in consumers’ hands. Forget being tied down to a monthly subscription. Video Play gives consumers the liberty of choosing a daily, weekend or even monthly package.
“Blockbuster movies can even be viewed for a once off cost, without subscription. Furthermore, these bundles can be purchased according to niche categories and genres, from Bollywood movies to gospel music.”
Consumers are able to pay for movies and series by using their airtime or adding it to their bill, eliminating the need for a credit card. Subscribers are also able to purchase video-specific data at a fraction of the regular price to consume constant content without overspending. Daily subscriptions start from R5 a day.
Zunaid Mahomed, Group Digital and Fixed Services Officer, says: “Video Play has enabled the company to provide a seamless and enjoyable customer experience. With the addition of Riaad Moosa’s Life Begins, we’re excited to offer consumers even more quality content and a wider variety of entertainment on demand than ever before. We’re putting quality entertainment, into the hands of anyone with a mobile device and an internet connection.”
Riaad Moosa describes his show as “very philosophical and existential”.
“It involves the normal issues of getting older while at the same time experiencing, at a maturity where I’m supposed to be wise, a world that is completely turned on its head. It’s about how I negotiate all these things happening around me while trying to maintain a positive attitude. Through my comedic lens, I hope to put a different spin on that and hopefully I can enter my next 40 years with renewed vigour and excitement.”
To access Riaad Moosa’s Life Begins comedy special, register for Video via the Video Play website (www.videoplay.co.za).