Tag: Microsoft

Tech Firm Consortium Laud Progress on Blocking Terrorist Content

Tech Firm Consortium Laud Progress on Blocking Terrorist Content

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), which is a consortium of leading tech firms and governments, said this week that it was exceeding its targets in preventing terrorist content online. In a meeting last Friday, the group reported that 88,000 “hashes”, which are digital fingerprints used to identify content, of terrorism-related content had been added to the coalition’s shared database. Twitter also revealed that it has developed a database of web addresses that it has blocked on its own network which has been made available to other coalition members. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter are some of the […]

Microsoft, Google Researchers Discover New Chip Flaws

Microsoft, Google Researchers Discover New Chip Flaws

Cybersecurity researchers from Google and Microsoft announced this week a new chip bug called Speculative Store Bypass or “Variant 4” which is related to the Spectre and Meltdown flaws discovered in January. The bug, which was given a low risk rating by the researchers, is said to affect a broad swatch of chips from Intel, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), and ARM Holdings. It carries with it a vulnerability that may allow attackers to access passwords and other sensitive data on chips, but the probability of such attack is highly unlikely. Patches have already been made available from both manufacturers and […]

Microsoft Buys Startup to Boost Conversational AI Technology

Microsoft Buys Startup to Boost Conversational AI Technology

Microsoft had recently bought a startup called Semantic Machines which specializes in using machine-learning to add context to conversations with chatbots. It is said that the acquisition could mean that the software giant is looking to boost the development of its conversational AI and extend the boundaries of what is possible in language interfaces. According to David Ku, chief technology officer at Microsoft AI and Research, the company is looking to combine its own AI advances with Semantic Machines’ technology to achieve a powerful, natural and more productive user experience that will take conversational computing to a new level.   […]

White House to Discuss AI with Tech Companies

White House to Discuss AI with Tech Companies

The White House is set to meet with major US tech companies such as Facebook and Google, along with senior government officials to discuss the future of artificial intelligence in the country. Companies from various industries including Intel, Ford, Boeing, Mastercard, Microsoft, Accenture, IBM, and General Electric are expected to participate in the day-long event. A White House spokesperson said that AI is quickly transforming every segment of industry in the US. Meanwhile, Information Technology Industry Council chief Dean Garfield assured that the tech sector is committed to ensuring that the transformative technology will benefit all Americans.   Source: Reuters

Major Tech Companies Sign Cybersecurity Tech Accord

Major Tech Companies Sign Cybersecurity Tech Accord

At the recently held RSA conference, 34 tech firms including Microsoft, Facebook, Cisco, and SAP have signed an agreement called the Cybersecurity Tech Accord where they vowed to protect users from cybersecurity threats and not participate in any government-supported cyber attacks. Those who have signed the accord are required to commit to four pillars: 1. Building stronger defenses to protect all internet users around the globe. 2. Oppose any offensive cyber attacks. 3. Empower people, businesses and developers. 4. Work together and with other private and public sector partners to mitigate threats. Microsoft President Brad Smith emphasized that the wave […]

UK Lawmaker Calls for Review of Monopolization of Data by US Firms

UK Lawmaker Calls for Review of Monopolization of Data by US Firms

In a report on ethical AI development released Monday by the House of Lords committee, a witness warned against the “unprecedented concentration of wealth and power in a small number of corporations” such as Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Tencent. The committee called on regulators to review the “potential monopolization of data” by US technology firms in the UK which, according to them, could hamper homegrown development of artificial intelligence. It was also recommended in the report that a national and international “AI code” be created to protect the data rights or privacy of individuals, families or communities. […]

Microsoft Bans Swearing, “Inappropriate Content” on Skype

Microsoft Bans Swearing, “Inappropriate Content” on Skype

A blogger named Jon Corbett recently wrote that Microsoft had already implemented some changes to Skype’s “Code of Conduct” to ban inappropriate content such as offensive language. Microsoft’s Skype and other services prohibit the sharing of content that include “nudity, bestiality, pornography, offensive language, graphic violence, or criminal activity”. However, a number of users pointed out that while this is makes sense for public platforms like Twitter, the policy change raise privacy and censorship questions since Microsoft would effectively be policing sharing a private conversation between two consenting adults. Microsoft has not yet responded to questions on how it will […]

Blackberry to Provide Security for Microsoft Office Apps

Blackberry to Provide Security for Microsoft Office Apps

Blackberry shares went up 4% last Tuesday after it had announced its partnership with one-time rival Microsoft. Blackberry, which has moved away from selling phones to focus on its software and security business, is set to provide a secure means of accessing Office apps such as Excel, Word, and Powerpoint on mobile devices. Bernstein analyst Mark Moerdler said that Microsoft’s core Exchange/Outlook customer base, which are government and regulated industries are have been the biggest users of Blackberry. The companies also announced that BlackBerry Dynamics and Workspaces will be made available on Microsoft’s cloud computing platform Azure. Source: Reuters

Hundreds of Harassment and Discrimination Complaints Filed by Women in Microsoft

Hundreds of Harassment and Discrimination Complaints Filed by Women in Microsoft

Last Monday, court filings revealed that up to 238 internal complaints on sexual harassment and gender discrimination had been filed by women working at Microsoft between 2010 and 2016. The figure was cited by the legal team who had filed a lawsuit against the tech giant for allegedly having a system that denied pay raises or promotions to women. The plaintiffs are looking to proceed as a class action which will cover around 8000 women. However, Microsoft argued that the plaintiffs did not identify practices that impact enough employees to warrant a class action, and also pointed out that the […]

Microsoft Warns Against “Constant Connectivity”

Microsoft Warns Against “Constant Connectivity”

According to a recent survey by Microsoft, technology can negatively impact an employee’s productivity instead of increase it. The survey, which was answered by 20,000 European workers from 12 nations, found that only 11.4% felt that they were being highly productive. Most said that the steady stream of emails and messages affected their concentration, while others said that their productivity is being hampered by the technology their employer deployed. A professor of organisational psychology at the Manchester Business School, Sir Cary Cooper, said that “technostress” can be the result of not following good guidelines on what counts as the productive […]