Author Archives: Turtsevich Maksim

Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Security

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Cyberattacks are becoming more and more common nowadays. Almost every day we hear news, that huge private companies or government organizations were hacked or attacked by cybercriminals. Unfortunately, in most cases hackers are getting information that they need without any problems. The main reason for this is that intruders have already started to use some modern custom tools that help them to bypass sophisticated corporate security. Because of that, organizations suffering from cyberattacks must start thinking about someu-to-date solutions of this problem, like, for example, bringing Artificial Intelligence in this process. In next few paragraphs, I will explain how AI can help to protect the data of companies and also will try to figure out whether it is really efficient.

So, first of all, let’s start with an AI based tool that is able to monitor, analyze machine behavior in the company’s network and soon will be able to do the same with human behavior. Its name is “Behavior- based analysis tool”. Actually, this tool works in a pretty simple way, all you need to do is just to set a “behavior norm” of machines that operates in your company network and, when some small deviations appear, AI gadget will activate an alarm. However, like every AI-based invention nowadays, it also makes some errors that lead to false alarms. Because of that, companies are forced to spend big amounts of their time observing fake situations and fixing system errors. So, it makes me I think that this tool is not really that useful nowadays since it requires so many bug fixes and adding extra features like predicting human behavior. Users are the most complicated element of the Internet nowadays and gadgets still have to learn how to deal with the “human aspect” to be able to protect huge databases efficiently. Actually, I wouldn’t say that “behavior-based tool” is completely useless as it can quickly and easily track actions performed by machines, but this is just not enough.

The second security AI-based tool that most of all are already using nowadays is what’s known as Apple “Face ID” – feature that was released with a new Iphone X.  Actually, this one is a pretty useful invention, because it protects your device efficiently and allows to unblock it without spending an extra time on entering password or putting a finger on Touch ID detector. Now, let’s see how it works and what role AI plays in protecting a device from hackers. Iphone X has a specially equipped frontal camera system called “TrueDepth” that allows Face ID to analyze and remember special features of its owner’s face in different conditions. This system consists of two cameras and some sensors that work simultaneously when you try to access your mobile phone by using Face ID. So, the first and the main part of “TrueDepth” is Infrared camera that captures 30.000 dots, that were thrown by a dot projector, to create a 3D map of user’s face. When a 3D map is successfully created, a built-in AI will use it when the user will try to access the mobile phone. Moreover, it is not even necessary to take down any accessories from your face when you unlocking your device, because, according to Apple, the 3D map of your usual face will completely match your face with glasses. In my opinion, Face ID is the most effective security AI-based tool nowadays because it is so hard to get around. Usual photos and pictures won’t work anymore and to fool the system attackers will need an exact 3D mask of the user’s face or his twin brother.

 

In the end, I would like to say that cybersecurity is the sector that we need to develop more than others, because technology is rapidly developing and more hackers are trying to use new features to break systems and steal different kinds of information.

References:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/339509

https://venturebeat.com/2017/09/14/apple-is-using-machine-learning-for-face-id-is-that-a-good-thing/

https://www.iphonefaq.org/archives/976228

https://www.cisomag.com/the-future-of-ai-in-cybersecurity/

https://www.cpomagazine.com/cyber-security/the-impact-of-artificial-intelligence-on-cyber-security/

 

 

Lie-detecting computer kiosk (AVATAR)

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Nowadays, there are a lot of technologies and tools that protect our world and society from different kinds of danger. We already have AI-based gadgets that can predict and even prevent crimes by using the Internet, cameras and other tech equipment. So, today I want to introduce you an invention of Arizona State University researchers, that can prevent terrorist acts or just usual crimes by analyzing person’s face and voice, its name is AVATAR (Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real-time). In next few paragraphs I will try to explain how it works, where it can be used and what exactly it can do for our security.

Firstly, let’s start with the working principles and basic description of this amazing tool. AVATAR is an AI-based computer kiosk that was developed specially for airports and border checkpoints in order to ask travelers some standard questions and simultaneously analyze their reactions to them. By the word ‘standard’ I mean, that AVATAR will ask, if you transport with you some prohibited items such as weapons, drugs, bombs, etc. If, your reaction to the question is calm and usual, AI-based kiosk will let you through without any additional checks, but if it will ‘notice’ some strange face changes such as running gaze or not natural eyebrow twitching, it will ask some more questions in order to hear your voice and analyze if your speech is clear or not. If the voice also does not sound really natural, than it will ask you to go in the other section for passing a full check of your luggage and pockets. According to statistics, in 80%-85% of cases AVATAR was right. Those people, that were behaving restlessly, really were criminals, illegal immigrants, etc. Actually, it’s really impressive result, because some other ‘lie-detecting’ gadgets were showing much worse results.

Now, let’s figure out how AVATAR looks like and what equipment it has to check if human lying or telling the truth. So, before the flight, instead of staying in queue on passport control, you will be staying opposite one of various computer kiosks, that will ask your passport and ID. After you put your passport in special sections, it will thoroughly check all information about migrations and compare photo in passport with your face using HD video camera. If this procedure will be done successfully, you will move to the next verification step called ‘Questions’. As you already know from the paragraph above, computer will ask some basic questions and analyze your reaction to them by using usual HD camera and Near-infrared camera, that will monitor every movement of your face, pupil dilation and glance location. Also, AVATAR will switch on a microphone that will analyze your voice and the clearness of your speech. If kiosk will spot some strange behavior, instead of sending you on the extra check, it can also ask you to put your finger on a Fingerprint scanner to check if you are in the police database and if you are there, it will browse your criminal story and provide it to border guards.

 

 

AVATAR currently being tested on north and south USA boarders, also in some airports in Europe such as Henri Coanda’s in Bucharest and Sharl De Gol’s in Paris. Actually, AVATAR is really useful in places like international airports and heavily loaded borders, because it can perform registration tasks faster and more efficient than human workers.

In the end, I would like to say that AVATAR is a really useful and practical invention, which could be really useful nowadays, because borders and airports are overcrowded and staff members cannot provide the service quickly and effectively. AVATAR can help solve this problem.

References:

https://www.wired.com/2013/01/ff-lie-detector/

https://www.ft.com/content/c9997e24-b211-11e9-bec9-fdcab53d6959

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/15/lie-detectors-with-artificial-intelligence-are-future-of-border-security.html

https://thetechnologyheadlines.com/editors-picks/17-years-after-911-how-the-us-using-technology-to-prevent-terror-attacks/

 

 

Can AI clone the voice?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Nowadays, there are lots of startups and just single entrepreneurs trying to improve society by injecting AI systems in different spheres of our life. We are already getting AI based cars, loudspeakers, mixers, etc. But, can you imagine that one day you will come home and «Alexa» will start speaking with your mother’s voice, pitch and manner of speaking? Sounds quite creepy and unusual. Someone will even say that this invention is completely useless and only has disadvantages. Actually, I wouldn’t even argue, because everything in our world has its bad sides and good sides. In the next few paragraphs I will try to introduce both of them.

Firstly, let’s start with owners of this unusual project and its principle of working. Actually, not so long time ago, a company called «Baidu» and considered to be the Chinese Google, posted full documentation of their new AI-based tool called Deep Voice that is able to simulate a usual human voice by listening to a short fragment of their speech. As written in official Baidu’s documents, this tool was made by using a neural network that analyzes a spectrogram with human voice and then generates a similar audio. Also, with the help of this network, AI learned by itself how to pronounce some difficult words and names.

Advantages

When I was looking for some sources of information connected with this topic, I was thinking that this invention is strange, useless and wouldn’t find its place between other huge technology projects, but then I saw some examples of using Deep Voice and was really impressed, because it can be used in many spheres of our life. So, first and the main mission of this tool is to substitute a usual human voice. For example, person, that can’t speak for some reason, can buy such kind of technology and «regain speech» by using someone else’s natural voice, not the «Google Man». Also it can be used in various technology spheres as a voice of AI-based gadgets. Smart homes, smart cars and other AI-based inventions will be able to speak with natural voice, not specific robot sounds that often make us feel uncomfortable. Actually, you can even have some fun using Deep Voice, because this tool provides a possibility to listen to your own speech with different accents and communication manners.

Disadvantages

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, everything has its own disadvantages and Deep Voice is not an exception. Nowadays, hacking is becoming more frequent and a tool able to copy everyone’s voice without any difficulties can be used by cybercriminals. Actually, if they properly learn how to use this invention, they will be able to perform various hacking processes easily. For example, hackers will easily capture databases or systems that are protected by voice security or fool people by using the voice of their relatives, friends, etc. Also, other individuals may try to record some bad things with voices of famous actors, singers and upload it in the internet just for fun and laugh, but no one will even think about the fact that it can seriously damage the celebrity’s reputation or even ruin it. So, in my opinion, this program must have some restrictions or other things, that won’t allow to criminals or cybercriminals use it in a bad way.

In the end, I would like to say, that AI voice copying tool is a really interesting and potentially useful invention, but it shouldn’t be launched yet because it needs some serious improvements in the field of security.

Examples of using Deep Voice: https://audiodemos.github.io/

References:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2019/05/06/artificial-intelligence-can-now-copy-your-voice-what-does-that-mean-for-humans/#d2bd3ac72a2a

https://digital.hbs.edu/platform-rctom/submission/baidu-using-machine-learning-for-voice-cloning-to-get-closer-to-consumers-all-in-just-3-7-seconds/

https://medium.com/syncedreview/baidu-ai-can-clone-your-voice-in-seconds-93558a7b984f

 

 

Can videogames help to solve real problems?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The world we are living in now is full of different kinds of gadgets, technologies, mechanized tools that help us to perform our daily tasks easier and better. In my opinion, one of the biggest part of technological progress is taken by videogames. Videogames are specific programs that allow us to imagine ourselves as professionals, chief commanders, special force soldiers, etc. The main aim of this miracle of technology is to help people to drop the stress off their shoulders after working or studying hours. But, what benefits instead of relaxing can person get and give by playing games?

Firstly, I would like to mention that most of the games require skills in performing different kinds of activities. For example, my favorite game DotA 2 requires fast making decision skill, developed hand agility and, most importantly, ability to work in team with your mates. If you are interested in this game, but you do not have such skills, I will confidently say that you will need to develop them – otherwise you will not be able to win.

So, my first point is that games are developing mental skills that are useful in real life. Now, I will try to convince you by using my personal example. I was playing DotA 2 since 2015 and every day I was spending an hour in average on my favorite game. Then, when my first 200 hours of playing DotA passed, I started to notice that I can easily perform some various that I had not been able to do before playing it. I started to communicate with people more tactfully and effectively; also I noticed that some kinds of activities like helping my father with repairing something were no more a problem for me because my hands could repeat everything that he was showing me. Thus, having analyzed this evidence, I can make a conclusion that games are really helpful and help develop skills that will make your life easier.

But, can gamers make a positive impact on our environment? Of course, they can! University of Washington already proved it in 2008 by uploading to the web an intellectual game called “Foldit”. Foldit is a game where players must predict the protein’s structure and then make a new one after that. The main goal of this game was to find the structure of the AIDs protein in monkeys to begin working on the treatment. Scientist were searching for solution of this problem for more than 10 years, but when the game was released, gamers solved it in just 10 days. Because of this example, it easy to say, that games sharpen gamer’s brains to such extent that they can solve the most complicated and challenging real-world problems easily without using special equipment or another tools. 

Most parents will not believe my words about a positive impact of videogames on us and the world, but who knows, maybe the child that is playing a videogame now, will save the world in the future.

References:

https://www.creativepixelmag.com/can-video-gaming-help-solve-world-problems/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foldit

Web Conferencing in business

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

WEB CONFERNCING

What a great age we are living in now! There are so many different kinds of technologies that make our life easier. Washing machine makes washing process easier and simple, so that everyone can do it without spending energy and time. The same in business, new apps and devices allow entrepreneurs to spend less amount of money and time on performing important tasks of the company. The best example of such technology is a web conferencing.

Web Conferencing – it’s a new way of organizing formal meetings using an internet and a computer.

The main benefit of a virtual conference is that company don’t need to pay almost anything to organize a perfect meeting. For example, to organize a usual conference you need to order a conference hall ( if your office doesn’t have one ), pay for tickets ( if you was invited on a meeting in another city or country ) and of course bring some materials with important information that are not really comfortable to carry sometimes. But in case of virtual conference, all you had to do is just setup a special software, get yourself a headset and some basic computer skills to be able to download important files.

Another not less important benefit of web conferencing is that its saves a big amount of business time. Time is the most irreplaceable resource and its plays a big role in completing a company mission, so entrepreneurs must save it as much as possible using all kinds of tools.

On the other hand, web conferencing has some disadvantages:

1)Сonnection problems with overseas conferences. If you are living in Ukraine and your partner living in USA most likely that lags will occur sometimes and it will interrupt your conversation.

2)Pretty modern hardware needed, because conference program system requirements are really high.

3) Basic computer skills required to deal with the files that conference members will be sending.

The best example of web conferencing tool can be Zoom. Zoom– cheap and pretty easy in usage, allows us to collaborate with coworkers and clients through using fast file sharing system, video chat and ability to stream your screen.

To sum up, I will say that Web Conferencing is a pretty attractive kind of making  formal meetings. But if your company has the ability to organize conference or fly on the conference to another country, I think you would better do it, because live communicating is much more effective than speaking through the webcam.

 

References:

https://arrowvoice.com.au/blog/the-pros-and-cons-of-web-conferencing/

https://blog.clickmeeting.com/videoconferencing-helps-business-communication

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/benefits-conferencing-businesses-165.html

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/benefits-using-conferencing-business-3093.html