Equality is IT

In march 2016 an artificial intelligence chatbot named Tay (Thinking About You) created by Microsoft and let loose on Twitter went from having good intentions in helping young people to becoming a Hitler loving, sexually-charged, racist within a matter of hours, so it’s strange to think that AI is not just being considered, but is already being used to combat inequality within the workplace. Stranger things have certainly happened!

In the majority of the cases where someone has been negatively affected online these have generally been caused by human interference, when AI algorithms are used as intended they, as we well know from our day to day use of technology, work perfectly well and with speed and ease. And unlike a human, AI in this form is programmed to be non-judgemental, so it’s no surprise that AI is paving the way forward for hiring and firing based purely upon an individual’s abilities and balanced performance.

However though AI is likely to take over traditional forms of recruitment in the years ahead it does pose many other ethical issues that only humans are currently able to determine.

TATA Terminates 800 IT Employees

Tata Technologies Limited, part of the Tata Group which provides such services as engineering and equipment manufacturing predominantly to the automotive and aerospace industries within 25 different territories worldwide, is currently under investigation by India’s Labour Party.

The Pune based employee union had filed a complaint after it was brought to its attention that between 800 to 1,000 of Tata Technologies IT employees had been wrongly and illegally laid off on 1st March 2020 due to the pandemic and in order to balance their books, as the pandemic took hold Tata placed a further 400 members of staff on furlough on 31st December.

The staff who had their contracts terminated and were placed on furlough have yet to received a penny of their salaries since the email correspondence from the company in March and December.

An employee for the company who wishes to remain anonymous said:
“The company has failed to pay the salary of these employees for the last eight months. Because of this illegal termination initiated on 01st March 2021 now jobs of more than 800 employees are at risk. The company has violated Maharashtra state Government’s directions, rules and regulations issued on 31st March 2020 and other statutory labour laws.”

iCame iSaw iGotMalware

It’s no secret that Apple products are prone to viruses and hackers just like Microsoft and Android, however unlike the other two, Apple generally does little to nothing in alerting its device/OS users of any system risks, viruses, malware vulnerabilities or attacks, even leaving it many months before creating a patch.

If you are a Mac or iPhone user and you are wondering why you keep getting pop-ups on your device unlike your friends using alternative operating systems, then it’s simply because of this lake of protection, you likely have adware installed on your device from having visited an infected website.

So it shouldn’t surprise you that only a couple of weeks ago a new malware named Silver Sparrow was found to be affecting at least 30,000 Apple Macs. The malware which went undetected for quite some time has left Apple’s security experts scratching their heads as to what the purpose of it is for, other than delivering a PayLoad and quite possibly at a time when a certain number of devices are connected, it certainly doesn’t instil one with confidence.

Tony Lambert a Researcher for Red Canary said:
“Though we haven’t observed Silver Sparrow delivering additional malicious payloads yet, its forward-looking M1 chip compatibility, global reach, relatively high infection rate, and operational maturity suggest Silver Sparrow is a reasonably serious threat, uniquely positioned to deliver a potentially impactful payload at a moment’s notice.”

Is Facebook’s Virtual World Still a Reality?

You certainly don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that Facebook is predominantly an entertainment tool from both a personal and business perspective, therefore it made sense for them to have gotten involved in VR.

You may well recollect that back in March 2014 Facebook bought the Kickstarter success Oculus from the then four Californian based founders. However though fairly popular a device it wasn’t thought to necessarily set the world alight and therefore you wouldn’t have thought it would become one of the fastest growing areas within Facebook’s business. Well did and it has! In fact as of last night (11 march 2021) it was reported that almost 1 in 5 of Facebook’s 58,604 employees are now working on VA and AR alone.

If the above speed in direction is anything to go by it won’t be too long before VR and AR form a very integral part of our everyday lives inside and outside the home as well as in the office.

As long as they’re not looking to insert a chip into the brain like with Elon Musk’s Neuralink, then I can safely say we shouldn’t have too much to worry about with this upcoming technology.

Photo by Cookie the Pom on Unsplash