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TECHNOLOGY

What Modern Technologies Should Small Businesses Take Full Advantage Of?

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Wondering how you can harness the power of the latest technology to improve your business operations?

Technology is rapidly changing, and it impacts almost all facets of the business. Businesses that fail to incorporate technology into their operations often face challenges in attaining growth and satisfying their customers. 

Read on to learn the modern technologies that small businesses should take full advantage of to improve their operations.  

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Consider Remote Work

The internet offers far-reaching advantages if you harness it properly. Operating a brick-and-mortar business can be costly since it involves many factors like office rentals, utility charges, transportation costs, and other related expenses. However, you can consider implementing remote work depending on the type of business you operate. This option is less costly since your employees can work from the comfort of their homes and also set flexible schedules. 

You will need adequate communication avenues to run a remote workforce successfully. There are different communication technologies like Skype, Zoom, and other video conferencing tools you can use to handle your operations. You can also use other web-based instant messaging tools like Slack, and chatbots to promote communication among the workforce in diverse backgrounds. Make sure you choose the appropriate technology that can help you achieve your goals when you decide to implement remote work.  

Cyber Security Solution

While digital tools are designed to make life easier, they also invite threats that can impact business. It is vital to ensure that sensitive company data is protected from hackers and other cyber threats. One way of achieving this is to consider cloud migration services, which can help you secure your data and keep it inaccessible to any unwanted or unauthorized parties. When you store your company data in the cloud, you can enjoy peace of mind since it will be safe from different forms of threats. Keeping your company data in the cloud also means that you can access it from any place using internet-enabled devices. 

Use Tracking Software

Tracking software is ideal for your business since it helps measure your team’s performance and enhance productivity and accountability. With this kind of technology, you can streamline your processes to eliminate challenges that can impact productivity. For example, with the ideal management software, you can monitor the activities of all employees who work remotely. When the workers know that they are being monitored, they will not waste time on social media or doing other activities not related to their work.    

Create a Functional Website

In this digital era, no business can function without a website since it represents the face of your brand. This is a platform where you can provide your customers with critical information about your brands such as services and products offered, contact details, price lists, and opening hours. When you optimize your site for search engines, you will improve its visibility online. Make sure your site has a fast loading speed, and it is easy to navigate if you want to attract more visitors.  

Use Affordable Telephony Services

Traditional phones are slowly becoming incompatible with the new demands of businesses in this digital era. Additionally, landline and mobile phone services can be rather expensive. This is where Voice over the Internet Protocol (VoIP) comes in handy. This service is not only affordable, but it offers increased accessibility since it only requires internet access and an appropriate device. This phone service offers cheaper international calls which can help your business lower its operational costs. 

Harness the Power of Social Media

Most businesses aim to maximize profits from their operations. Instead of using paid marketing services like traditional advertising, your business can harness social media in its operations to improve customer engagement and promote brand awareness. Different social media platforms can help your business connect with a wide range of potential customers from various backgrounds. 

Web-Based Payment Solutions

As technology continues to improve, any business should provide varying payment solutions for their customers and partners. Simple and secure payment options such as Skrill, PayPal, and stripe are convenient and easy to use since they do not require any intermediaries. Online payment systems will help make your transactions more flexible, making you a much more accessible option in the market; especially if you work with freelancers based in different countries across the globe. Transfers are encrypted as well, ensuring safety and security.  

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

The success of your business depends on the customers you have. When you generate leads, you convert them into customers. Furthermore, you need to build quality relationships with your clients so they can continue buying from your company. You can do this by utilizing a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) tool to manage your company’s relationships with existing buyers and potential leads. This tool also helps you collect data about the customers to help you understand their needs.  

Use Accounting Software

It is essential to use accounting software to streamline your bookkeeping processes. With this tool, you can automate your finances, and this helps you eliminate human error and improve accuracy. It also allows you to focus on your core business. Your small business can benefit from accounting software if you cannot afford to employ a full-time accountant. It will help you perform simple tasks like tracking payments and generating invoices with relative ease. 

Analyze Your Target Audience

When you use different online marketing tools to attract more customers to your business, you should be able to analyze critical data. For instance, you need to know the number of visitors to your website, the type of content they look for, and the time they spend on your site. You can use Google Analytics to track and obtain accurate data about the traffic to your website. This tool helps you analyze the readership trends, so you can make necessary changes to your content.  

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Technology continues to improve and alter the way we go about business relations and interactions in many different ways. If you operate a small business, it is a good idea to take advantage of different tools available to you, as it will help you maximize your leads and profits. You also need to find appropriate technologies that can help streamline your operations and workflow so as to enhance productivity. We hope the tips mentioned above can help you better shape the operations of your business and eventually develop a more competitive edge in your market.


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NLP & Computer Vision in Cybersecurity

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NLP & Computer Vision in Cybersecurity

Natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision are two branches of artificial intelligence (AI) that are disrupting cybersecurity.

NLP is the ability of computers to understand and process human language, including speech and text. In cybersecurity, NLP can be used for fraud detection by analyzing large amounts of text data, such as emails and chat logs, to identify patterns of malicious activity. NLP can also be used for threat intelligence by analyzing data from various sources, such as news articles and social media, to identify potential security threats.

Computer vision, on the other hand, refers to the ability of computers to interpret and understand images and videos. In cybersecurity, computer vision can be used for password cracking by analyzing images and videos that contain passwords or other sensitive information. It can also be used for facial recognition, which verifies the identity of individuals who access sensitive information or systems.

Cybersecurity is a critical issue in our increasingly connected world, and artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an increasingly important role in helping to keep sensitive information and systems secure. In particular, natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision are two areas of AI that are having a major impact on cybersecurity.

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Source: Masernet

NLP and computer vision have the potential to revolutionize the way organizations approach cybersecurity by allowing them to analyze large amounts of data, identify patterns of malicious activity, and respond to security threats more quickly and effectively. However, it’s important to be aware that AI itself presents new security risks, such as the potential for AI systems to be hacked or misused. As a result, organizations must adopt a comprehensive and well-informed approach to cybersecurity that takes into account the full range of risks and benefits associated with AI technologies. Here are 4 ways NLP & computer vision are useful in cybersecurity.

1. Detecting Fraud

NLP can be used to analyze large amounts of text data, such as emails and chat logs, to identify patterns of fraud and other types of malicious activity. This can help organizations to detect and prevent fraud before it causes significant harm.

2. Analyzing Threats

NLP can also be used to analyze large amounts of text data from a variety of sources, such as news articles and social media, to identify potential security threats. This type of “big data” analysis can help organizations to respond to security threats more quickly and effectively.

3. Preventing Password Cracking

Computer vision can be used to crack passwords by analyzing images and videos that contain passwords or other sensitive information. This type of technology can help organizations to better protect their sensitive information by making it more difficult for attackers to obtain passwords through visual means.

4. Improving Facial Recognition

Computer vision can also be used for facial recognition, which can help organizations to improve their security by verifying the identity of individuals who access sensitive information or systems.

Conclusion

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Source: Visua

AI technologies like NLP and computer vision are playing an increasingly important role in helping to keep sensitive information and systems secure. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way that organizations approach cybersecurity by allowing them to analyze large amounts of data, identify patterns of malicious activity, and respond to security threats more quickly and effectively. However, it’s also important to recognize that AI itself presents new security risks, such as the potential for AI systems to be hacked or misused. As a result, organizations must take a holistic and well-informed approach to cybersecurity that takes into account the full range of risks and benefits associated with these powerful new technologies.

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What’s Wrong with the Algorithms?

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What's Wrong with the Algorithms?

Social media algorithms have become a source of concern due to the spread of misinformation, echo chambers, and political polarization.

The main purpose of social media algorithms is to personalize and optimize user experience on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Most social media algorithms sort, filter, and prioritize content based on a user’s individual preferences and behaviors. Social media algorithms have come under scrutiny in recent years for contributing to the spread of misinformation, echo chambers, and political polarization.

Facebook’s news feed algorithm has been criticized for spreading misinformation, creating echo chambers, and reinforcing political polarization. In 2016, the algorithm was found to have played a role in the spread of false information related to the U.S. Presidential election, including the promotion of fake news stories and propaganda. Facebook has since made changes to its algorithm to reduce the spread of misinformation, but concerns about bias and polarization persist.

Twitter’s trending topics algorithm has also been criticized for perpetuating bias and spreading misinformation. In 2016, it was revealed that the algorithm was prioritizing trending topics based on popularity, rather than accuracy or relevance. This led to the promotion of false and misleading information, including conspiracy theories and propaganda. Twitter has since made changes to its algorithm to reduce the spread of misinformation and improve the quality of public discourse.

YouTube’s recommendation algorithm has been criticized for spreading conspiracy theories and promoting extremist content. In 2019, it was revealed that the algorithm was recommending conspiracy theory videos related to the moon landing, 9/11, and other historical events. Additionally, the algorithm was found to be promoting extremist content, including white nationalist propaganda and hate speech. YouTube has since made changes to its algorithm to reduce the spread of misinformation and extremist content, but concerns about bias and polarization persist.

In this article, we’ll examine the problem with social media algorithms including the impact they’re having on society as well as some possible solutions.

1. Spread of Misinformation

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Source: Scientific American

One of the biggest problems with social media algorithms is their tendency to spread misinformation. This can occur when algorithms prioritize sensational or controversial content, regardless of its accuracy, in order to keep users engaged and on the platform longer. This can lead to the spread of false or misleading information, which can have serious consequences for public health, national security, and democracy.

2. Echo Chambers and Political Polarization

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Source: PEW Research Center

Another issue with social media algorithms is that they can create echo chambers and reinforce political polarization. This happens when algorithms only show users content that aligns with their existing beliefs and values, and filter out information that challenges those beliefs. As a result, users can become trapped in a self-reinforcing bubble of misinformation and propaganda, leading to a further division of society and a decline in the quality of public discourse.

3. Bias in Algorithm Design and Data Collection

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Source: Springer Link

There are also concerns about bias in the design and implementation of social media algorithms. The data used to train these algorithms is often collected from users in a biased manner, which can perpetuate existing inequalities and reinforce existing power structures. Additionally, the designers and developers of these algorithms may hold their own biases, which can be reflected in the algorithms they create. This can result in discriminatory outcomes and perpetuate social injustices.

4. Democracy in Retreat

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Source: Freedom House

Social media algorithms are vulnerable to manipulation and can spread false or misleading information, which can be used to manipulate public opinion and undermine democratic institutions. The dominance of a few large social media companies has led to a concentration of power in the hands of a small number of organizations, which can undermine the diversity and competitiveness of the marketplace of ideas, a key principle of democratic societies.

How to Improve Social Media Algorithms?

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Source: Tech Xplore

Governments and regulatory bodies have a role to play in holding technology companies accountable for the algorithms they create and their impact on society. This could involve enforcing laws and regulations to prevent the spread of misinformation and extremist content, and holding companies responsible for their algorithms’ biases.

There are several possible solutions that can be implemented to improve social media algorithms and reduce their impact on democracy. Some of these solutions include:

  • Increased transparency and accountability: Social media companies should be more transparent about their algorithms and data practices, and they should be held accountable for the impact of their algorithms on society. This can include regular audits and public reporting on algorithmic biases and their impact on society.

  • Regulation and standards: Governments can play a role in ensuring that social media algorithms are designed and operated in a way that is consistent with democratic values and principles. This can include setting standards for algorithmic transparency, accountability, and fairness, and enforcing penalties for violations of these standards.

  • Diversification of ownership: Encouraging a more diverse and competitive landscape of social media companies can reduce the concentration of power in the hands of a few dominant players and promote innovation and diversity in the marketplace of ideas.

  • User education and awareness: Social media users can be educated and empowered to make informed decisions about their usage of social media, including recognizing and avoiding disinformation and biased content.

  • Encouragement of responsible content creation: Social media companies can work to encourage the creation of high-quality and responsible content by prioritizing accurate information and rewarding creators who produce this content.

  • Collaboration between industry, government, and civil society: Addressing the challenges posed by social media algorithms will require collaboration between social media companies, governments, and civil society organizations. This collaboration can involve the sharing of data and best practices, the development of common standards and regulations, and the implementation of public education and awareness programs.

Conclusion

Social media companies have the power to censor and suppress speech, which can undermine the right to free expression and the democratic principle of an open and inclusive public discourse. It is crucial for technology companies and policymakers to address these issues and work to reduce the potential for harm from these algorithms. Social media platforms need to actively encourage and facilitate community participation in the development and improvement of their algorithms. This would involve setting up forums for discussion and collaboration, providing documentation and support for developers, and engaging with the community to address their concerns and ideas. In order to ensure that the algorithms are fair and unbiased, tech companies need to be transparent about the data they collect and use to train their algorithms. This would involve releasing the data sets used to train the algorithms, along with information about how the data was collected, what it represents, and any limitations or biases it may contain.

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Daasity builds ELT+ for Commerce on the Snowflake Data Cloud

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Cloud Computing News

Modular data platform Daasity has launched ELT+ for Commerce, Powered by Snowflake.

It is thought ELT+ for Commerce will benefit customers by enabling consumer brands selling via eCommerce, Amazon, retail, and/or wholesale to implement a full or partial data and analytics stack. 

Dan LeBlanc, Daasity co-founder and CEO, said: “Brands using Daasity and Snowflake can rapidly implement a customisable data stack that benefits from Snowflake’s dynamic workload scaling and Secure Data Sharing features.

“Additionally, customers can leverage Daasity features such as the Test Warehouse, which enables merchants to create a duplicate warehouse in one click and test code in a non-production environment. Our goal is to make brands, particularly those at the enterprise level, truly data-driven organisations.”

Building its solution on Snowflake has allowed Daasity to leverage Snowflake’s single, integrated platform to help joint customers extract, load, transform, analyse, and operationalise their data. With Daasity, brands only need one platform that includes Snowflake to manage their entire data environment.

Scott Schilling, senior director of global partner development at Snowflake, said: “Daasity’s ELT+ for Commerce, Powered by Snowflake, will offer our joint customers a way to build a single source of truth around their data, which is transformative for businesses pursuing innovation.

“As Snowflake continues to make strides in mobilising the world’s data, partners like Daasity give our customers flexibility around how they build data solutions and leverage data across the organisation.” 

Daasity enables omnichannel consumer brands to be data-driven. Built by analysts and engineers, the Daasity platform supports the varied data architecture, analytics, and reporting needs of consumer brands selling via eCommerce, Amazon, retail, and wholesale. Using Daasity, teams across the organisation get a centralised and normalised view of all their data, regardless of the tools in their tech stack and how their future data needs may change. 

ELT stands for Extract, Load, Transform, meaning customers can extract data from various sources, load the data into Snowflake, and transform the data into actions that marketers can pursue. For more information about Daasity, our 60+ integrations, and how the platform drives more profitable growth for 1600+ brands, visit us at Daasity.com.

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