AI and blockchain – enterprise ready?
Emerging technologies have flourished throughout the course of 2017, with artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain at the forefront of this, having been implemented across a diverse range of applications and solutions within numerous industries.
With this in mind, Carl Austin, Chief Technology Officer at BJSS, an award-winning, delivery focused IT consultancy, gives his insight into how companies can take advantage of these disruptive technologies as they are further developed throughout 2018 and beyond:
When it comes to blockchain, I fear that the industry is adding to the hype that is causing over application and technology envy.
There is no denying that a small number of enterprise organisations have production blockchain implementations, but this is not to suggest it is ‘enterprise ready’. Currently, enterprise ready technologies feature an advanced ecosystem of third-party tools and have withstood numerous production implementations – areas that blockchain has not yet successfully navigated.
Nevertheless, blockchain is certainly one to watch out for. Public cloud vendors are taking complexity out of creating and running nodes and networks with PaaS offerings and quick-starts and the tooling ecosystem is being developed.
It is important that enterprises also duly consider less complex technologies for implementation of production solutions. Businesses should be investing in experimentation, upskilling and proof of concepts to validate the applicability of blockchain to specific use cases they may have.
I believe that machine learning and cognitive computing will be the most widely applicable and adopted technological movements we have ever seen. It will drive the 4th industrial revolution and has the potential to be the cause of a social revolution. But when it comes to artificial intelligence businesses still have a long way to go and it doesn’t always start with jumping straight in at the deep end.
Firstly, enterprises need to truly understand the applications machine learning and cognitive computing can offer, so they can identify the areas to apply them to. Those that are already experimenting with AI are progressing into production, but often haven’t thought about the process of industrialisation or how to realise the benefits of implementation.
Companies who are moving from experiment to production need to be more forward thinking about how they create a 'factory line' – greater experimentation and a repeatable route to production. Cloud providers are starting to create valuable offerings in this space, including Amazon SageMaker and Azure ML Workbench.
Carl Austin, Chief Technology Officer at BJSS
Discord buys Sentropy to fight against hate and abuse online
Discord, a popular chat app, has acquired the software company Sentropy to bolster its efforts to combat online abuse and harassment. Sentropy, monitors online networks for abuse and harassment, then offers users a way to block problematic people and filter out messages they don’t want to see.
First launched in 2015 and currently boasting 150 million monthly active users, Discord plans to integrate Sentropy’s own products into its existing toolkit and the company will also bring the smaller company’s leadership group aboard. Discord currently uses a “multilevel” approach to moderation, and a Trust and Safety (T&S) team dedicated to protecting users and shaping content moderation policies comprised 15% of Discord’s workforce as of May 2020.
“T&S tech and processes should not be used as a competitive advantage,” Sentropy CEO John Redgrave said in a blog post on the announcement. “We all deserve digital and physical safety, and moderators deserve better tooling to help them do one of the hardest jobs online more effectively and with fewer harmful impacts.”
Cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse
Redgrave elaborated on the company’s natural connection with Discord: “Discord represents the next generation of social companies — a generation where users are not the product to be sold, but the engine of connectivity, creativity, and growth. In this model, user privacy and user safety are essential product features, not an afterthought. The success of this model depends upon building next-generation Trust and Safety into every product. We don’t take this responsibility lightly and are humbled to work at the scale of Discord and with Discord’s resources to increase the depth of our impact.”
Sentropy launched out of stealth last summer with an AI system designed to detect, track and cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse. The company emerged then with $13 million in funding from notable backers including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and his VC firm Initialized Capital, King River Capital, Horizons Ventures and Playground Global.
“We are excited to help Discord decide how we can most effectively share with the rest of the Internet the best practices, technology, and tools that we’ve developed to protect our own communities,” Redgrave said.