25 February 2018

Decision Advantage: Cognitive Apps to Achieve Digital Trust...

There are several nation states racing towards substantial "Decision Advantage" priorities that includes Quantum computing.  The reason is becoming more obvious to those who operate somewhere within the Information, Technology, Communications (ICT) sector.  Operational Risk Management (ORM) is a top of mind dialogue for industry and governments.

Countries are being measured on their "Dimensions of Digital Trust" as these authors in Harvard Business Review recently revealed:

"What these stories underscore is that our digital evolution and our productive use of new technologies rests on how well we can build digital trust. But is it possible to measure digital trust and compare it across countries? Are there countries where guaranteeing trust is a more urgent priority and will draw a larger share of trust-building resources and regulations?"
Sweden's attitude towards Digital Trust is highest, with China in second place.  China leads the behavior category on how users respond to frictions in digital experiences.  Yet there are low levels of trust in the environment and experience categories in China, compared to the rest of the world.

As business races to gain market share and industry continues to own 85% of critical infrastructure, you will see three clear trends and business requirements emerge for "Artificial Intelligence":
  • Process Automation
  • Cognitive Insight
  • Cognitive Engagement
These are the key places today that Artificial Intelligence technologies are being applied in business.  You will see a continuous race to apply this new innovation where business requirements exist for:
  • Automating Business Processes
  • Gaining Insight Through Data Analysis
  • Engaging with Customers and Employees
Organizations are currently evaluating how these emerging "Artificial Intelligence" technologies can assist in some capacity to make humans make faster decisions.  Will AI make more accurate decisions and enhance the overall user experience with vast oceans of new and rapidly changing data sets?

The capability to utilize new data to become more predictive, improves over time with "Cognitive Insight" applications.  These kinds of applications can recognize images and speech and attempt to mimic our brain.  Now think about how these are being applied outside of business, in the National Security domains.

The ICT applications that are now being tested and applied in the "Cognitive Engagement" realm, include chatbots and other intelligent agents that are providing answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).  The immaturity of this category is on a slower pace with business, including Facebook that has found its Messenger chatbots, could not satisfy 70% of customer requests without a human assistant.

So what?

Organizations and industry, will need to create a portfolio of active projects within the enterprise.  The trend is a larger pool of (1) process automation apps, followed by (2) cognitive insight and then a smaller set of true (3) cognitive engagement applications.  The maturity curve of these applications is accelerating rapidly.

Will the application of cognitive computing increase the level of "Digital Trust?"  How will humans verify that the decisions made by Artificial Intelligence are true and correct?  Jeffrey Ritter has been a leader in assisting organizations and governments in achieving digital trust.  He writes:
"Building for digital trust must become a priority of the nation-state and its components. Once ubiquitous computing is achieved, digital trust will become the competitive differential within the global space of the Net. Nation-states that position their regulatory rules to enable private sector companies to build digital trust more effectively will generate genuine advantage for both the public and private sector. But nation-states must also invest in building digital trust in their own infrastructures and services."
Where are there "Use Cases" to examine how these capabilities are currently being applied?

xView is one of the largest publicly available datasets of overhead imagery. It contains images from complex scenes around the world, annotated using bounding boxes. The DIUx xView 2018 Detection Challenge is focused on accelerating progress in four computer vision frontiers:
  • Reduce minimum resolution for detection
  • Improve learning efficiency
  • Enable discovery of more object classes
  • Improve detection of fine-grained classes
The dimensions of "Digital Trust" are expanding globally. Our human cognitive abilities are being assisted with rules being applied to expanding data sets. What are the "Rules for Composing Rules?" (authoring rules that are effective when crossing the chasm between the ambiguity of broad, governing rules (such as statutes or regulations) and the binary precision required by the executable code of software applications) 

The complexity of our "Operational Risks" has now become exponential.  Systems are in battle against other systems.  The speed and accuracy of our TrustDecisions will determine our "Decision Advantage."  In the near future, cognitive technologies will finally propel industry and countries, to a new strategy for achieving Digital Trust.

18 February 2018

Information Warfare: The Future of Trusted Words...

Trust is on the minds of almost every American as they read the Washington Post these days.  Reading a publication that utilizes a set of standards for journalism, may address part of your "Trust Decision" to depend on this source for your information.

Reading this Operational Risk blog, you understand that the words and opinions are not under the same editorial guidelines and grammar rule sets as the authors and journalists at the Washington Post.  The sentences and thoughts are being written freely however, by someone who you may know of, yet how do you really validate that the words were actually written by the assumed author?

At an early age in school, as a young student, your teacher at some point assigns that work called an essay, a short piece of writing that tells a person's thoughts or opinions about a subject.  Regardless of the topic assigned by the teacher, when the work is turned in to the teacher, they are assuming it was written by that particular student.  Unless they have doubts.

The trust you put into the author of words written in an essay for a class, or an article in the established news papers, has for decades relied on the integrity of institutions and the validation of persons true identities. Yet as the typewriter replaced hand written documents, so too did the act of using another person's words or ideas without giving credit to that actual person : the act of plagiarizing something.

When you read this Washington Post article, you assume that the words are actually from the journalist:
Indictment shows how Russians conspired to disrupt U.S. politics — but not how to stop them next time

By Craig Timberg February 16 The Washington Post
"Efforts to reconstruct the Russian conspiracy to sway 2016’s presidential election benefited from the digital trails left behind whenever people travel, make payments or communicate using common technology such as Facebook or Gmail. Such breadcrumbs provided plentiful evidence for Friday’s indictment by the special counsel of the Internet Research Agency and 13 Russian associates.

But even as the disinformation campaign from two years ago finally came into focus, it was far from clear how to prevent future bids to distort American politics.

U.S. intelligence agencies warned this week that the federal government remains ill equipped to combat Russian disinformation even as crucial midterm congressional elections loom this fall. And technology companies, while cooperating with federal investigators, acknowledge that they still struggle to detect and thwart foreign propaganda without impinging on the free-speech rights of Americans."
Now in the age of computing, word processing and the Internet, the integrity of written words by a person is in question?  The origin and authenticity of the actually words that are written by a human on paper, a typewriter or computer such as these, is now in question?

The utilization of various methods for "Information Warfare" is actually well known:
"Information Warfare has three main issues surrounding it compared to traditional warfare: 

The risk for the party or nation initiating the cyberattack is substantially lower than the risk for a party or nation initiating a traditional attack. This makes it easier for governments, as well as potential terrorist or criminal organizations, to make these attacks more frequently than they could with traditional war.

Information communication technologies (ICT) are so immersed in the modern world that a very wide range of technologies are at risk of a cyberattack. Specifically, civilian technologies can be targeted for cyberattacks and attacks can even potentially be launched through civilian computers or websites. As such, it is harder to enforce control of civilian infrastructures than a physical space. Attempting to do so would also raise many ethical concerns about the right to privacy, making defending against such attacks even tougher.

The mass-integration of ICT into our system of war makes it much harder to assess accountability for situations that may arise when using robotic and/or cyber attacks. For robotic weapons and automated systems, it’s becoming increasingly hard to determine who is responsible for any particular event that happens. This issue is exacerbated in the case of cyberattacks, as sometimes it is virtually impossible to trace who initiated the attack in the first place.[5]"
These words are being written by a human being.  His name is Peter L. Higgins.  Or are they?  The art and science of the truth has been evolving for hundreds of years.  What will we invent next, to validate our identities, provide assurance that the words written are actually human, and not of an Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Whether the words you read are being written by a human-based "troll factory" in St. Petersburg or by a specialized Artificial Intelligence is not the point of this essay.  Then what is the point?

You have to make judgements as a human being about who to trust.  What to trust.  How to trust.  Why to trust.  This is a foundation of our human evolution.  Trust takes time.  TrustDecisions and the decision to trust someone or something, is actually a factor of science, mathematics and history.

Reading, writing and a decision to trust, is an Operational Risk.  True or False?

10 February 2018

Cluetrain: Manifesto Revisited...

When was the last time you revisited the 95 theses of the Cluetrain Manifesto? There are some nuggets here that remain timeless, even though they were written over 16 years ago. Here are some of the classics:
  • Markets are conversations.
  • Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.
  • People in networked markets have figured out that they get far better information and support from one another than from vendors. So much for corporate rhetoric about adding value to commoditized products.
  • There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.
  • Networked markets can change suppliers overnight. Networked knowledge workers can change employers over lunch.
  • Your own "downsizing initiatives" taught us to ask the question: "Loyalty? What's that?" Smart markets will find suppliers who speak their own language.
  • Companies make a religion of security, but this is largely a red herring. Most are protecting less against competitors than against their own market and workforce.
  • To traditional corporations, networked conversations may appear confused, may sound confusing. But we are organizing faster than they are. We have better tools, more new ideas, no rules to slow us down.
  • We are waking up and linking to each other. We are watching. But we are not waiting.
In a hyperlinked, social networked, iPhone rich society the authors and founders of the Cluetrain Manifesto must have had a crystal ball. The "end of business as usual" has been accelerating and the exponential explosion of zero's and one's has produced a global economy.

Just look at the saturation of IP connections across the planet Earth and you will see where the capital is flowing and the societal impact is obvious.
"A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies."
So what? So what does all of this have to do with Operational Risk Management?

It has to do with the pervasive vulnerability that an organization perpetuates, without the correct attitude and policies about managing risks. Theft of trade secrets, corporate espionage, competitive intelligence and loss of intellectual capital as the head hunters feast on your key employees to name a few.

Global enterprises with deep hierarchy in the organizational chart, continue to wonder how their best people have left and who leaked the information on the next big idea.

How would you ever put enough policies, tools, systems, training or behavior modification in place to stop the flow of new hyperlinks through your own corporate IntraNet or the public bulletin boards and social networking web sites? The fact is that you can't.

Here’s one example of how things work in a hyperlinked organization:

You’re a sales rep in the Southwest who has a customer with a product problem. You know that the Southwest tech-support person happens not to know anything about this problem. In fact, (s)he’s a flat-out bozo. So, to do what’s right for your customer you go outside the prescribed channels and pull together the support person from the Northeast, a product manager you respect, and a senior engineer who’s been responsive in the past (no good deed goes unpunished!). Via e-mail or by building a mini-Web site on an intranet, you initiate a discussion, research numbers, check out competitive solutions, and quickly solve the customer’s problem -- all without ever notifying the "appropriate authorities" of what you’re doing because all they’ll do is try to force you back into the official channels.

Game. Set. Match. Managing Operational Risks in the 21st century requires a whole new perspective. A brand new definition of the new "Normal."

03 February 2018

The 3rd Planet: On The Edge of a Digital Precipice...

After reading the Washington Post on February 3, 2018, there is little debate in our world capitals, that we are on the edge of a digital precipice.

Mobile devices in the hands of humans, has exponentially changed the transnational landscape for our communications forever.  Yet this digital precipice is just inches away from a tremendous chasm in our cultural, social and legal way of life.

Every organization, now has substantial Operational Risks to manage, within the context of their group, company, enterprise, government and even family.  This alone is not a revelation.  However, if you are a Mother, Father, Brother or Sister, you are constantly challenged by the kinds of risks that plague anyone who dares to explore and utilize the benefits of the modern day Internet.

Our children are growing up faster, as they are exposed to the dark side of life, the evil that is present in our world.  They witness violence, revenge and all of the other negative attributes of society faster than ever before.

The outcomes of mother nature and our natural disasters are always front and center.  The digital controls and censors of broadcast television are no longer pervasive across the content and web sites available, to those who know how to navigate our IP-based digital oceans.

Operational Risk Management (ORM) is now each persons responsibility.  It is no longer in the hands of a few people, in a few departments at your organization.  It is not the role of a single person in your household, to make sure the family router is configured correctly.

If you are holding your latest "Digital Device" in your hand, or tapping away on the keyboard of your new lap top it is your decision to "Give" or to "Take."

Over a year ago, Adam Grant wrote his book.  To get some context in 13 minutes, you can watch this YouTube of his Ted Talk.

We have for years been exposed to the concepts of "Pay It Forward" or even other concepts of reciprocity.  The real question is:  Are you a "Giver or a Taker?"  You might be surprised to learn what Adam Grant's research uncovers.

So what?

The ethics and morals that are embedded in you at an early stage of your life, will most likely continue.  The influence your Mother and/or Father or early childhood caregiver provided you may have made a difference.  Maybe it was an old book they read to you, or someone asked you to read.

We all know that the words, content, pictures, videos and ideas on the other side of that tiny digital screen in your hand, is nothing more than a mirror, of our own human behavior.  Good or deleterious.

How will you use this iPhone tool today, to be a "Giver or a Taker?"  There might even be another option.  Turn it off and put it in a drawer.  At least for a few hours...but could you for a whole day?

When was the last time you donated your time, expertise, abilities or resources?  What will you do right now, to make a difference on the third planet from the Sun...