Wanted: A world where virtual assistants help (without being asked)

Instead of fearing that artificial intelligence (A.I.) will replace us, we should be excited about how A.I. will help us.

In a perfect future, our A.I. virtual assistant will know what we’re doing, where we’re going and — most importantly — what we’re saying. They’ll know lots of other things, too. And when they sense we need help, they’ll whisper suggestions, ideas or facts into our ears, essentially giving us real-time knowledge as we go about our day.

As you’re walking from a parking garage to your meeting, your virtual assistant should give you turn-by-turn walking directions without you having to ask. As you shake hands before the meeting, your virtual assistant should remind you (without anyone else hearing), that you met the person four years ago at a conference. During the meeting, it should listen for potential questions and supply the answer.

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The Essential phone that’s not that essential

Perhaps one of the most poorly named products in recent memory, the new Essential phone arrives just in time to make us wonder why it even exists.

Using a “modular” design, the idea is to add pieces like a 360-degree camera or maybe some sort of connected home gadget to the smartphone, which runs a stock version of Android. It also uses a slick black enclosure, something that might make you think of a recent Blackberry model. And, the screen runs all the way to the edge. Hmm.

Here’s my problem with it. While the modular design seems novel (Motorola does the same thing) and I’m impressed that any company would even try to go up against Apple and Samsung, there’s already some signs that this will be an uphill climb.

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BrandPost: The Biggest Access Security Challenges and How to Address Them

As companies’ global partner ecosystems expand, remote suppliers, contractors and other external parties are just as likely to require access to some key enterprise applications as are full-time staffers working from branch locations, home offices or the field.

With the lines continuing to blur between who is inside the enterprise and who’s outside it, and control over end points diminishing, the challenge for IT to deliver secure access to applications that reside behind firewalls and across multiple private and public clouds grows larger.  

Here are some of the application access security dilemmas your own IT team may confront, especially when relying on traditional access approaches:

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