Speakers at a conference conducted on Tuesday night at Great Rivers Distributing in Pomona discussed the past of the Heritage Business Park, where Great Rivers and many other companies are housed, as well as the prospects for high-speed internet in the region.
Owner of Current Inc. Danny Thomas discussed the second of those subjects and introduced employee Alan Stocki as the team’s subject matter expert for its online services.
The company was once a provider of heating and cooling systems, but it has subsequently expanded to include fibre optic internet installation. When Stocki inquired about installing equipment on five towers approximately six years ago, a reputable service provider in California informed her that it was a lofty objective. He proceeded by saying that since then, 262 towers across five counties have had equipment installed by Current Inc.
Stocki said that during the coronavirus shutdown in spring 2020, he painfully realised that his family’s requirement for an improvement in internet speed and availability wasn’t being satisfied because children were home from school and sharing the bandwidth.
He added that it was a major issue for businesses like Air Evac whose staff members were finding it challenging to work from home due to sluggish internet speeds.
By doing their research and taking a risk, he and Thomas set out on a mission to find a solution to that problem. In certain cases, they collaborated with Howell Oregon Electric Cooperative to put fibre optic cable on cooperative poles in order to serve rural clients.
With its internet service, Current Inc. started providing public utilities roughly two years ago, according to Stocki.
According to Stocki, a customer might pay to have their own wireless internet tower installed and then receive a discount on their internet service bill by sharing the service with neighbours who are within the tower’s broadcast range. In some cases, this would give access to an extra five to ten users.
That was OK, he added, but fibre optic, with a transmission speed of 1,000 megabytes per second, is superior.
In March, the company was given approximately $9.46 million to help bring high speed internet to more than 1,600 single family homes, 80 businesses, and 33 anchor institutions in Oregon County. Anchor institutions are defined as public entities such as schools, hospitals, and government offices. The company participated in a competitive bidding process to receive federal funds for internet expansion.
The goal of the expansion, according to Stocki, is to specifically reach the underserved in small towns and rural areas like the Ozarks, who are frequently ignored because it is less cost-effective for many companies to build the infrastructure to provide service to a population where there may only be a few customers per mile than in a more densely populated city.
“At a cost of about $14,000 per mile, you’re never going to see a payback,” said Stocki. It was crucial for the government to step in and make this possible for the inhabitants since “no company in their right mind is going to come in and lay out that infrastructure.”
He stated that the company’s policy of being good neighbours and assisting in the solutions to the problems caused by a lack of high speed internet connection included investing the money made back into the community.
He stated that Current Inc. has installed fibre optic cable on “thousands” of HOEC poles with a 10 year plan to keep extending its fibre optic internet accessibility into inaccessible regions of Ozark County.
As ChatGPT turns one, big tech is in charge
The AI revolution has arrived a year after ChatGPT’s historic release, but any uncertainty about Big Tech’s dominance has been eliminated by the recent boardroom crisis at OpenAI, the company behind the super app.
In a sense, the covert introduction of ChatGPT on November 30 of last year was the geeks’ retaliation, the unsung engineers and researchers who have been working silently behind the scenes to develop generative AI.
With the release of ChatGPT, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman—a well-known figure in the tech community but little known outside of it—ensured that this underappreciated AI technology would receive the attention it merits.
With its rapid adoption, ChatGPT became the most popular app ever (until Meta’s Threads took over). Users were amazed at how quickly the app could generate poems, recipes, and other content from the internet.
Thanks to his risk-taking, Altman, a 38-year-old Stanford dropout, became a household name and became a sort of AI philosopher king, with tycoons and world leaders following his every word.
As for AI, “you’re in the business of making and selling things you can’t put your hands on,” according to Margaret O’Mara, a historian from the University of Washington and the author of “The Code,” a history of Silicon Valley.
“Having a figurehead of someone who can explain it, especially when it’s advanced technology, is really important,” she added.
The supporters of OpenAI are sure that if they are allowed unrestricted access to capital and freedom to develop artificial general intelligence (AGI) that is on par with or superior to human intellect, the world will be a better place.
However, the enormous expenses of that holy mission compelled an alliance with Microsoft, the second-biggest corporation in the world, whose primary objective is profit rather than altruism.
In order to help justify Microsoft’s $13 billion investment in OpenAI earlier this year, Altman steered the company toward profitability.
This ultimately led to the boardroom uprising this month among those who think the money-makers should be kept at bay, including the chief scientist of OpenAI.
When the battle broke out, Microsoft stood up for Altman, and the young employees of OpenAI supported him as well. They understood that the company’s future depended on the profits that kept the computers running, not on grand theories about how or why not to use AI.
Since ChatGPT launched a year ago, there has been conflict over whether AI will save the world or end it.
For instance, just months after signing a letter advocating for a halt to AI advancements, Elon Musk launched his own business, xAI, entering a crowded market.
In addition to investing in AI startups, Google, Meta, and Amazon have all incorporated AI promises into their corporate announcements.
Businesses across all industries are registering to test AI, whether it be through magic wands or killer robots, usually from OpenAI or through cloud providers like Microsoft, Google, or Amazon.
“The time from learning that generative AI was a thing to actually deciding to spend time building applications around it has been the shortest I’ve ever seen for any type of technology,” said Rowan Curran, an analyst at Forrester Research.
However, concerns are still widespread that bots could “hallucinate,” producing inaccurate, absurd, or offensive content, so business efforts are currently being kept to a minimum.
In the aftermath of the boardroom drama, tech behemoths like Microsoft, which may soon have a seat on the company’s board, will write the next chapter in AI history.
“We saw yet another Silicon Valley battle between the idealists and the capitalists, and the capitalists won,” said historian O’Mara.
The next chapter in AI will also not be written without Nvidia, the company that makes the graphics processing unit, or GPU—a potent chip that is essential to AI training.
Tech behemoth, startup, or researcher—you have to get your hands on those hard-to-find and pricey Taiwan-made chips.
Leading digital firms, such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, are leading the way.
Amazon is launching Q, an AI business chatbot
The announcement was made by Amazon in response to competitors who have introduced chatbots that have drawn attention from the public. It was made in Las Vegas during an annual conference the company organizes for its AWS cloud computing service.
San Francisco-based startup A year ago, OpenAI released ChatGPT, which ignited a wave of interest in generative AI tools among the general public and industry. These tools can produce textual content such as essays, marketing pitches, emails, and other passages that bear similarities to human writing.
Microsoft, the primary partner and financial supporter of OpenAI, benefited initially from this attention. It owns the rights to the underlying technology of ChatGPT and has utilized it to create its own generative AI tools, called Copilot.
However, it also encouraged rivals like Google to release their own iterations.
These chatbots represent a new wave of artificial intelligence (AI) that can converse, produce text on demand, and even create original images and videos based on their extensive library of digital books, online articles, and other media.
Q, according to Amazon, is capable of helping staff with tasks, streamlining daily communications, and synthesizing content.
It stated that in order to receive a more relevant and customized experience, businesses can also link Q to their own data and systems.
Although Amazon is seen as the leader in AI research, it is not as dominant as competitors Microsoft and Google when it comes to cloud computing.
According to the researchers, among other issues, less transparency may make it more difficult for users of the technology to determine whether they can depend on it safely.
In the meantime, the business has kept up its AI exploration.
In September, Anthropic, a San Francisco-based AI start-up founded by former OpenAI employees, announced that Amazon would invest up to $4 billion (£3.1 billion) in the business.
Along with new services, the tech giant has been releasing AI-generated summaries and an update for its well-liked assistant Alexa, which allows users to have more human-like conversations. of customer reviews for products.
WatchGuard reveals 2024 cybersecurity threats forecasted
The world leader in unified cybersecurity, WatchGuard Technologies, recently released information about their predictions for cybersecurity in 2024. Researchers from WatchGuard’s Threat Lab predict that in 2024, a variety of new technologies and advancements will open the door for new cyberthreats. Large language models (LLMs), AI-based voice chatbots, and contemporary VR/MR headsets are a few possible areas of focus. Managed service providers (MSPs) play a big part in thwarting these threats.
“Every new technology trend opens up new attack vectors for cybercriminals,” Said WatchGuard Technologies’ Chief Security Officer, Corey Nachreiner. The persistent lack of cybersecurity skills will present the cybersecurity industry with difficult challenges in 2024. As a result, MSPs, unified security, and automated platforms are more crucial than ever for shielding businesses from ever-more-complex threats.
The Threat Lab team at WatchGuard has identified a number of possible threats for 2024. Large Language Models (LLMs) will be one major area of concern as attackers may use LLMs to obtain confidential information. With 3.4 million cybersecurity jobs available globally and a dearth of cybersecurity expertise, MSPs are expected to focus heavily on security services utilizing AI and ML-based automated platforms.
Artificial intelligence (AI) spear phishing tool sales on the dark web are predicted to soar in 2024. These AI-powered programs can carry out time-consuming operations like automatically gathering information, creating persuasive texts, and sending spam emails. Additionally, the team predicts a rise in voice phishing or “vishing” calls that use deepfake audio and LLMs to completely bypass human intervention.
The exploitation of virtual and mixed reality (VR/MR) headsets may pose a growing threat in 2024. Researchers from Threat Lab claim that hackers might be able to obtain sensor data from VR/MR headsets and replicate the user environment, leading to significant security breaches. The widespread use of QR code technology may not come without risks. The group predicts that in 2024, a significant cyberattack will occur when a worker scans a malicious QR code.
These professional observations from the WatchGuard Threat Lab team center on the convergence of artificial intelligence and technology. It is anticipated that in the future, entities of all sizes, will depend more heavily on managed and security service providers due to the rapid advancements in AI technology and the accompanying cybersecurity threats.
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