Tuesday, September 13, 2016
DO YOU WANT ANSWERS?
Credit to Common Sense
The password-cracking techniques among hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated, thus the rise in security breaches is constantly increasing. Like never before this has called for a stronger demand of SSO (Single Sign On) methods.
As a result the efficiencies and advantages of biometric authentication are being heavily considered by everyone, and it’s slowly but surely replacing passwords. This provides reliability and stronger security, especially if you have accounts with very sensitive information or money. This is why gambling sites are some of the enterprises that are very much interested in these methods, for example, Prism Casino Australia is considering the alternative.
Biometrics have proven to be more effective in helping enterprises and businesses achieve realized cost savings, convenience and increase security. Why Single Sign On will replace passwords and become the mainstream? Passwords can be easily stolen, hacked or guessed, and they are the only barrier between the thief and your valuable information like financial transactions, email accounts, access to offices, e-commerce etc. They are simply obsolete.
The recent rise of data breaches has shown that the current authentication technologies and weak password protocols fail to evolve in parallel with data breaches. So, enterprises are looking for methods to replace passwords, which has led to biometric authentication replacing passwords, or becoming a part of a two factor Single Sign On authentication.
There is no doubt that biometrics will eventually lead to a Single Sign On, it’s just a matter of question when. Biometrics are unique behavioral characteristics and traits that can be captured through voice, facial, iris, palm vein, finger vein or fingerprint recognition. Even twins have individual biometrics. Biometrics are not a password that can get stolen or forgotten, so it’s perfect for a Single Sign On method. It can even be used in combination with passwords.
The biometric technology is already available for enterprises and is more sophisticated than ever. The benefits of using biometrics for Single Sign On methods are beneficial both for the enterprises and end users. Users can conveniently authenticate themselves and stop fearing that their password can be hacked, while enterprises can easily reduce the difficulties that come from password management.
Secure Authentication – Biometrics are unique and can’t be shared, forged or duplicated.
Higher Accuracy – The right person has access to the right information.
Two-Factor Authentication – A Biometrics Single Sign On can be combined with a password.
No Need for Password Reset– Passwords can be a burden to remember, while biometrics are unique.
Ease of Use – Automated and fast identification recognition.
Cost Effective – Corporate data and assets are better protected.
The biometrics technology is very promising, and can easily lead to Single Sign On authentication methods much earlier than expected. That way users can be authenticated by their workstations or even personal computers to open a door, access control systems or even confirm bank transactions. All of these cases can become typical cases for biometric Single Sign On technology and replace weak and easily breached security protocols.
Credit to virtual-strategy.com
Whatever you may think of the robotic voices foisted upon the world thanks to Google Voice Search and Siri, you’re unlikely to mistake them for human voices. For years, the state of the art in computer speech synthesis has been stuck at a fairly low level. However, new software called WaveNet, from the brainiacs at DeepMind, is setting a high watermark in the field of speech synthesis and giving AI a voice eerily similar to that of a human.
For years robotics have spoken about something called the uncanny valley – the creepy feeling one gets when observing a robot that is too mechanistic to be mistaken for a human, but not quite mechanical enough to be distinctly robotic, either.
Perhaps one reason there has been no parallel concept for robotic speech is that to date, no speech synthesizer was capable of attaining a quality that came close enough to a human as to be disturbingly similar. With DeepMind’s WaveNet, we may be witnessing the emergence of something like an uncanny waveform, a robotic voice close enough to our own as to be distinctly creepy. Or like me, you may just rejoice that finally there’s hope for an ebook reader that doesn’t sound like the re-animated corpse of a 1980’s Commodore computer.
The secret sauce behind this new standard in robotic speech, ironically enough, is artificial intelligence — albeit with a little help from some smart software engineers along the way.
Side by side comparison of text to speech methods as rated by human listeners. Image Source: DeepMind www.deepmind.com
We may as well get used to this state of affairs, as it looks increasingly that advancements made in things like robotics and AI will be realized with the help of artificial intelligence itself. While this virtuous feedback loop still includes human intermediaries, a trend towards self-improving AI may be in the offing — along with all the concomitant existential risks this betokens. Regardless, let’s take a closer look at WaveNet and see how artificial intelligence has enabled and is, indeed, the backbone behind DeepMind’s new speech synthesizer.
To date, most speech synthesizers were of two types — concatenative text to speech and parametric text to speech. Concatenative text to speech is the method behind the so-called “high quality” speech synthesizers used by Google Voice and Siri. It provides a more realistic sound by using large audio files of real people’s voices, chopped up and reorganized to form whatever word the computer is enunciating. The downside is that it is difficult to color the speech with changes of emotion or emphasis.
The alternative method, parametric speech, uses a rule-based system discovered by applying statistical models to speech patterns. The stilted and robotic-sounding speech synthesizers are mostly of this latter type, since they rely upon the computer to generate the audio signal rather than recordings of real human voices.
The WaveNet system can be thought of as an improvement upon concatenative text to speech, in that it still employs recordings of real human voices.
Credit to extremetech.com
Just like during the last economic crisis, homeless encampments are popping up all over the nation as poverty grows at a very alarming rate. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than half a million people are homeless in America right now, but that figure is increasing by the day. And it isn’t just adults that we are talking about. It has been reported that that the number of homeless children in this country has risen by 60 percent since the last recession, and Poverty USA says that a total of 1.6 million children slept either in a homeless shelter or in some other form of emergency housing at some point last year. Yes, the stock market may have been experiencing a temporary boom for the last couple of years, but for those on the low end of the economic scale things have just continued to deteriorate.