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Your Smart Device Will Feel Your Pain & Fear

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Your Smart Device Will Feel Your Pain & Fear

What if your smart device could empathize with you?

The evolving field known as affective computing is likely to make it happen soon. Scientists and engineers are developing systems and devices that can recognize, interpret, process, and simulate human affects or emotions. It is an interdisciplinary field spanning computer science, psychology, and cognitive science. While its origins can be traced to longstanding philosophical inquiries into emotion, a 1995 paper on #affective computing by Rosalind Picard catalyzed modern progress.

The more smart devices we have in our lives, the more we are going to want them to behave politely and be socially smart. We don’t want them to bother us with unimportant information or overload us with too much information. That kind of common-sense reasoning requires an understanding of our emotional state. We’re starting to see such systems perform specific, predefined functions, like changing in real time how you are presented with the questions in a quiz, or recommending a set of videos in an educational program to fit the changing mood of students.

How can we make a device that responds appropriately to your emotional state? Researchers are using sensors, microphones, and cameras combined with software logic. A device with the ability to detect and appropriately respond to a user’s emotions and other stimuli could gather cues from a variety of sources. Facial expressions, posture, gestures, speech, the force or rhythm of key strokes, and the temperature changes of a hand on a mouse can all potentially signify emotional changes that can be detected and interpreted by a computer. A built-in camera, for example, may capture images of a user. Speech, gesture, and facial recognition technologies are being explored for affective computing applications.

Just looking at speech alone, a computer can observe innumerable variables that may indicate emotional reaction and variation. Among these are a person’s rate of speaking, accent, pitch, pitch range, final lowering, stress frequency, breathlessness, brilliance, loudness, and discontinuities in the pattern of pauses or pitch.

Gestures can also be used to detect emotional states, especially when used in conjunction with speech and face recognition. Such gestures might include simple reflexive responses, like lifting your shoulders when you don’t know the answer to a question. Or they could be complex and meaningful, as when communicating with sign language.

A third approach is the monitoring of physiological signs. These might include pulse and heart rate or minute contractions of facial muscles. Pulses in blood volume can be monitored, as can what’s known as galvanic skin response. This area of research is still in relative new but it is gaining momentum and we are starting to see real products that implement the techniques.

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Recognizing emotional information requires the extraction of meaningful patterns from the gathered data. Some researchers are using machine learning techniques to detect such patterns.

Detecting emotion in people is one thing. But work is also going into computers that themselves show what appear to be emotions. Already in use are systems that simulate emotions in automated telephone and online conversation agents to facilitate interactivity between human and machine.

There are many applications for affective computing. One is in education. Such systems can help address one of the major drawbacks of online learning versus in-classroom learning: the difficulty faced by teachers in adapting pedagogical situations to the emotional state of students in the classroom. In e-learning applications, affective computing can adjust the presentation style of a computerized tutor when a learner is bored, interested, frustrated, or pleased. Psychological health services also benefit from affective computing applications that can determine a client’s emotional state.

Robotic systems capable of processing affective information can offer more functionality alongside human workers in uncertain or complex environments. Companion devices, such as digital pets, can use affective computing abilities to enhance realism and display a higher degree of autonomy.

Other potential applications can be found in social monitoring. For example, a car might monitor the emotion of all occupants and invoke additional safety measures, potentially alerting other vehicles if it detects the driver to be angry. Affective computing has potential applications in human-computer interaction, such as affective “mirrors” that allow the user to see how he or she performs. One example might be warning signals that tell a driver if they are sleepy or going too fast or too slow. A system might even call relatives if the driver is sick or drunk (though one can imagine mixed reactions on the part of the driver to such developments). Emotion-monitoring agents might issue a warning before one sends an angry email, or a music player could select tracks based on your mood. Companies may even be able to use affective computing to infer whether their products will be well-received by the market by detecting facial or speech changes in potential customers when they read an ad or first use the product. Affective computing is also starting to be applied to the development of communicative technologies for use by people with autism.

Many universities did extensive work on affective computing resulting in projects including something called the galvactivator which was a good starting point. It’s a glove-like wearable device that senses a wearer’s skin conductivity and maps values to a bright LED display. Increases in skin conductivity across the palm tend to indicate physiological arousal, so the display glows brightly. This may have many potentially useful purposes, including self-feedback for stress management, facilitation of conversation between two people, or visualising aspects of attention while learning. Along with the revolution in wearable computing technology, affective computing is poised to become more widely accepted, and there will be endless applications for affective computing in many aspects of life.

One of the future applications will be the use of affective computing in #Metaverse applications, which will humanise the avatar and add emotion as 5th dimension opening limitless possibilities, but all these advancements in applications of affective computing racing to make the machines more human will come with challenges namely SSP (Security, Safety, Privacy) the three pillars of online user, we need to make sure all the three pillars of online user are protected and well defined , it’s easier said than done but clear guidelines of what , where, who, who will use the data will make acceptance of hardware and software of affective computing faster without replacing physical pain with mental pain of fear of privacy and security and safety of our data.


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Vodafone Ireland turns to Amdocs to drive enhanced customer experience

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Cloud Computing News

Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.


Vodafone Ireland has chosen Amdocs, a provider of software and services to communications and media companies, to transition its infrastructure and application workloads to the cloud, enabling an enhanced customer experience and rapid adoption of the latest 5G innovations.

Under the agreement, Amdocs Customer Experience Suite (CES) will migrate from Vodafone Ireland on-premise to the cloud, providing the Irish operator with greater flexibility and capacity to support its future growth.  

Mairead Cullen, CIO at Vodafone Ireland, said: “Moving to the cloud is a key part of our strategy as we look to become even more dynamic, agile and responsive to our customers’ needs. We have a long-standing relationship with Amdocs and we’re pleased to be collaborating with them on this important initiative.”

Anthony Goonetilleke, group president of technology and head of strategy at Amdocs, said: “By migrating its IT services infrastructure to the cloud, Vodafone Ireland can ensure it has the foundations in place to achieve growth and further enhance the experience of its customers.

“We are excited to be taking such a central role in the company’s cloud strategy.”

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London.

Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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How to Align Data and Analytics Governance with Business Outcomes

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How to Align Data and Analytics Governance with Business Outcomes

With access to large amounts of data made available to businesses, maintaining and governing the kind of data that is accessible to users have become significantly essential.

Proper data and analytics governance in organizations can help them in achieving on-point data and analytics processes.

The use of data and analytics is increasing across practically all industries. Due to the availability of inexpensive storage alternatives, organizations have access to more data. It’s not surprising that the usage of analytics due to access to extensive data has expanded to every part of the company when you take into account the growing number of user-friendly tools for managing, retrieving, and analyzing data. 

However, a lot of effort goes into managing data and analytics. Thus, organizations must ensure that their efforts are aligned with their business priorities, and the data is accurate in nature and thoroughly secured. Without analytics governance, even if the organization has a good hold on its data governance policies, the advantages of establishing policies and processes to govern the analytics process still stand. As data governance guarantees your business has processes and standards around the use of data, analytics governance provides the same level of oversight to the way analytics initiatives are built and delivered.

Aligning Data and Analytics Governance

Data and analytics governance initiatives must be closely related to organizational strategies. However, businesses frequently base their data and analytics governance processes on data rather than the business. Here are a few points on how businesses can align their data and analytics governance with their business outcomes.

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Trusted Governance

Forming business decisions based on the notion that “all data is equal” is no longer a sound strategy because data and analytics capabilities exist across a company and differ in nature. Instead, create a paradigm of trust-based governance that allows for a dispersed data and analytics ecosystem and is able to help business executives make decisions that are more confidently appropriate to the circumstances.

Digitization

With the essence of developing technology, digitization has taken over almost every business to stay relevant in the market. However, for businesses to gain the best outcomes from the digital space, digitization is essential. And for successful digitization, data and analytics governance must function based on factors like digital ethics and transparency. Therefore, ensuring that the values and concepts of digitization are reflected in the data and analytics governance is crucial to significantly align it with business outcomes.

Data Security

Today, organizations are aware of the potential risks associated with their businesses and securing data has become a necessity. This awareness implies that they address both the threats and the possibilities brought about by data and analytics. Organizations frequently manage risk and market potential independently, and they also do not really prioritize information security when assessing business results. Therefore, data and analytics governance authorities should have interdisciplinary teams capable of making decisions that are well-balanced, giving risk, opportunities, and security the appropriate weight while considering the organizations’ future interests in mind.

 

Today, businesses are aware of the fact that without effective data and analytics governance, their initiatives and investments in data and analytics won’t be able to satisfy important organizational goals like increased revenue, cost reduction, and improved customer experiences. Therefore, aligning it with business outcomes is critical for business success.

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IBM launches new way to partner through IBM Partner Plus

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IBM has developed IBM Partner Plus, a new program that reimagines how IBM engages with its business partners through unprecedented access to IBM resources, incentives, and tailored support to deepen their technical expertise and help speed time to market.

The program is designed to fuel growth for new and existing partners, including resellers, hyperscalers, technology providers, independent software vendors and systems integrators, by putting them in control of their earning potential. IBM Partner Plus is central to the company’s Hybrid Cloud and AI strategy and aims to empower partners to help clients automate, secure and modernize their businesses.

IBM Partner Plus offers partners a transparent, simple and modern experience. By growing technical expertise and demonstrating sales success, participants can progress to three tiers – Silver, Gold and Platinum – which unlock specialized financial, go-to-market support and education benefits. In the new program, badging will become the standardized measure of skills and validated solutions will demonstrate expertise. The enhanced IBM Partner Portal consolidates and tracks all expertise, revenue, and deals globally, offering each partner a clear line-of-site into their progression through the program.

“IBM Partner Plus introduces a new way for IBM to deliver value to new and existing partners by helping them gain skills, grow faster and earn more,” said Kate Woolley, GM, IBM Ecosystem. “We’ve heard from partners that they want a simplified experience that helps them win with clients. I’m confident these changes and our continued investment in our ecosystem will make IBM the partner of choice across the industry, and together we can drive growth for partners, clients, and IBM.”

IBM Partner Plus results from the company’s journey to put partners at the centre of IBM’s go-to-market strategy and act as a growth engine to help capture the $1 trillion hybrid cloud and AI market opportunities. IBM has invested in elevating the role of partners and accelerating partner-led sales by enabling the ecosystem to become a preferred route to market, offering clients an optimal mix of technology, services, and consulting expertise. To drive continued growth, IBM will increase its capacity to support partners by doubling the number of partner-facing brand and technical specialists to help them prospect and win additional client business.

“The new IBM Partner Plus program provides an enhanced experience that sets our company up for success by offering employees access to skills and opportunities, so we can help more clients utilise IBM’s technology portfolio to modernise their operations,” said Bo Gebbie, President, Evolving Solutions. “IBM is more serious than ever about putting partners first. They’ve listened to our feedback, and it is reflected in the new partner experience that makes it easy for us to collaborate, rewards our investments and fuel growth.”

IBM Partner Plus brings all partner types and programs together – whether they sell, build on or with, and/or provide services for IBM technology – into one integrated ecosystem. For example, to help broaden the market opportunity and create new revenue streams for its ecosystem, IBM recently enabled partners in North America to resell IBM products through other cloud marketplaces. This allows for independent software vendors to embed IBM Software from partner marketplaces into their own solutions. All partner sales through the marketplace accumulate towards their progression in IBM Partner Plus. 

Competitive incentives

Partners can advance through tiers to unlock benefits and demand generation programs which could offer them up to a threefold increase in total investment from IBM. The IBM Partner Portal gives partners real-time visibility into the incentives they are eligible for, predictability into potential earnings, and includes an automated deal share engine that helps them surface quality leads. This has improved deal registration and introduced partners to more than 7,000 potential deals valued at over half a billion dollars globally.*  IBM investments in co-marketing campaigns and co-sell support with partners can also help bring solutions to market and generate demand.

Insider access

IBM Partner Plus builds on the successful release of its October badging and selling enablement materials to partners, which has driven more than 15,000 partner enrollments in sales and technical badges. Offering partners the training, enablement, and experiential selling resources available to IBMers at no cost can help better equip them to win with clients. Additionally, access to IBM’s seller tools can help them generate competitive and transparent pricing. Partners can also attend IBM’s quarterly Sales Kickoffs together with IBM sellers, and participate in live training sessions and other global technical advocacy events to help upskill, increase eminence, and engage with technical experts. For new partners, IBM is launching the IBM New Partner Accelerator, which provides onboarding, training, and other benefits during their first six months in the program to help accelerate their path to profitability.

Enhanced support and benefits

Partners can grow skills, develop solutions, and build sales expertise with technologies like AI, security, and cloud on an open hybrid cloud platform by leveraging technical experts from IBM. IBM will also assist partners in the development of minimal viable products, proofs of concept, and custom demos to help them win client business and accelerate growth. In addition, as partner businesses grow with IBM, they can unlock additional benefits designed to help them expand capabilities and find new clients.

PartnerWorld will transition to a new IBM Partner Plus experience on January 4, 2023, with the new incentive program taking effect on April 1, 2023. Registered PartnerWorld members will maintain their current tier through July 1, 2023 and can progress to the new tiering system during this time as they meet criteria.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London.

Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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