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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Automation
Posted: October 16, 2019 at 5:36 pm
[Watch the debate and follow our live analysis here.]
In the pivotal industrial state of Ohio, which has been devastated by the announced closure of a General Motors plant, the Democratic contenders railed against automation and the trade policies of the Trump administration during Tuesday nights debate.
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said the greed of multinational corporations has chipped away at the middle class, which she vowed to strengthen with her plan to extend the solvency of Social Security and a $200 monthly benefits increase that she claimed would elevate five million families above the poverty line.
The populist pitch of Senator Warren, who has made up ground on former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., came in a state that President Trump carried in 2016 and that is critical to his re-election prospects.
The data show that we have had a lot of problems with losing jobs, Senator Warren said.
The reason is bad trade policy. The reason has been a bunch of giant multinational corporations who have been calling the shots on trade. Giant multinational corporations that have no loyalty to America. They have no loyalty to American workers. They have no loyalty to American consumers. They have no loyalty to American communities. They are loyal only to their own bottom line.
Andrew Yang, the former tech executive and entrepreneur, used the issue of automation to promote his universal basic income payment plan, which he has called a freedom dividend.
Senator Warren, I have been talking to Americans around the country about automation, Mr. Yang said.
They are smart. They see whats happening around them. The stores are closing. They see a self-serve kiosk in every grocery store, every CVS. Driving a truck is the most common job in 29 states; 3.5 million truck drivers in this country. My friends are piloting self-driving trucks. What does that mean for the 3.5 million truckers or seven million Americans who work in truck stops, motels and diners that rely upon the truckers getting out and having a meal? Saying this is a rules problem is ignoring the reality that Americans see every day.
The former housing secretary Julin Castro said the Trump administration has not delivered on its populist message in states like Ohio, where a stalemate between G.M. and the United Auto Workers culminated with the closure of the automakers Lordstown plant and the loss of 14,000 jobs.
G.M. has said that Mr. Trumps tariffs on steel, aluminum and other goods have cost the company $1 billion in profits.
I believe that we need to address a community being impacted by automation, Mr. Castro said. We need to spark job opportunity. As I mentioned earlier, here in Ohio, in the latest jobs data, Ohio is losing jobs under Donald Trump.
Isabella Grulln Paz contributed reporting.
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Posted: at 5:35 pm
A recent report from the consulting giant McKinsey & Company paints a startling yet critically-important picture of how automation will impact the American workforce in 2030.
In this context, the term automation refers to equipment, technology and process innovations that make the effort from humans less necessary or entirely irrelevant.
When the firm conducted a deeper dive into how specific groups will be affected, one data point became clear: African Americans likely will have one of the highest rates of job displacement, compared to other groups.
Why is this happening and what interventions and solutions can we consider to make things better? Well investigate all those things below.
However, Ill preface by saying as a black man in the technology industry, its become clear to me that with all the excitement of innovation and bleeding-edge technology available to all consumers, we need to balance that with a healthy view of all the long-term risks and liabilities that may be at stake.
The recently published McKinsey article, titled The Future of Work in Black America, used proprietary data to study how automation could influence and disrupt Americans across 13 different archetypes, or groups of people with various similarities, across geographic, income and demographic segments.
For large portions of the black community, the findings may be concerning.
Key Summary Points From The Report
Reasons Behind This Worrisome Trend
Potential Solutions To Help Us Course-Correct
Fortunately, the report wasnt all doom-and-gloom. The researchers compiled a list of potential actions that could help curb the racial disparity of disruption felt from automation. While not exhaustive, the list provides a starting point of action for state and federal government, hiring employers and black employees who seek more stability.
McKinseys detailed look at the projected disparity in economic wealth and job stability provides us with a runway of time to begin addressing the underlying challenges and enact solutions to fix them. Like with any looming crisis, clear and collective action is needed to give everyone an equal shot at success in America.
Regardless of what role you play in society, you have an opportunity to help us get one step closer to a level playing field. Employers, hiring managers, investors, teachers, admissions officers, and local, state or federal workers can all contribute to a brighter tomorrow. What small step will you take to solve this problem?
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Posted: at 5:35 pm
The drive to digitize work tasks with software-based 'robots' could allow some people to work better.
Every technology company wants a slice of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) pie. More accurately, every tech company wants to show that it has a healthy AI development stream bringing the benefits of Machine Learning (ML) to bear across its software stack. A key part of that artificial (and real) intelligence quotient today is focused on so-called Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
As a practice, RPA is focused on being able to automate a users most repetitive computing tasks. At its most basic, RPA is little more than screen-scraping i.e. a computer program dedicated to watching a users interactions with icons and input fields on a screen in order to be able to emulate those steps as a pre-programmed single method, when instructed. At higher levels, RPA is more intelligent and more intuitive as it starts to also take on an appreciation for business logic and more complex levels of operational complexity. This is where RPA is headed and this is why its often now called iRPA, with the i standing for intelligent.
Where many technology vendors now feature extensive AI technology divisions, UiPath specializes in it. The company, as detailed by Forbes Alex Konrad here, is an RPA purist focused on supporting end-to-end automation processes inside organizations. From UiPaths perspective, effectively engineered RPA is the road to AI itself in business.
But as with so many technologies, implementing some is comparatively straightforward and implementing lots (i.e. at a wider enterprise scale) is challenging. This is because what works well on one (or just a few) computers doesnt always work well on many. When we scale up, we need more pipeline space for all the data to flow through, we need to be able to accommodate for user peaks and troughs cost effectively, we need to be able to shoulder interconnected computing tasks that require much higher degrees of networked analytics, we need to be able go one louder without blowing out the amplifier, basically. This is one of the key aspects of making RPA happen in the real world that UiPath has set out to tackle in its latest platform release.
Automation as an application
The latest RPA offerings from the company promise to provide an ability to scale automation initiatives at speed all from a single platform. In its latest software release, UiPath is delivering automation as the core application for users across the enterprise, enabling potentially every user, regardless of their technical proficiency, the option to automate part of their work without the need for developer resources or coding.
When people ask me why RPA has experienced such explosive growth, I say: because it works.
Automation as an application then? Yes. So when you need a word processor: your application is Microsoft Word, LibreOffice or Google Docs. When you need a database: your application is SAP, Oracle or the smorgasbord of open source offerings in this space. When you need a data visualization tool: your application is Tableau, Tibco Spotfire, or perhaps Sisense. When you need automation: well, you get the picture. That being said, UiPath obviously has its competitors and the company comes up against Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, Nice and EdgeVerge Systems as competitors on the quadrant.
"When people ask me why RPA has experienced such explosive growth, I say: because it works. When you look at some older applications such as VisiCalc, these technologies were complicated and often created more work. By contrast, RPA is designed from the start to make work easier. But if you look at our business and how we have grown and differentiated ourselves as a company, we are probably marked out because we did everything wrong as a startup. We had no direct vision for our RPA technology proposition when we started and we were just focused on creating Software Development Kits (SDKs) at the time. What we did was build our RPA technology because we were just interested in the product as software engineers, not because we had a formally identified go-to-market strategy. If I ever build another start up, I may follow a more traditional route to development and first identify a customer base and then fail-fast to refine and create the final product, said UiPath co-founder and CEO Daniel Dines.
The last mile of getting any product to the user in a form that they can truly benefit from is the hardest and Dines insists that the firm did get that part right from the start. He has further stated that in the automation first era, automation is the application and Dines thinks that were at the tipping point.
We are excited to now deliver on this potential, enabling continuous human-robot interaction, transforming complex processes that span multiple applications and multiple systems of record and delivering real business transformation, added Dines.
The UiPath RPA platform
The UiPath Platform has so far featured three key components: UiPath Studio (a designer tool), UiPath Orchestrator (software that acts as an overseeing control tower and helps implement security) and UiPath Robots (tools that work both attended and unattended software robot bots). Going forward, the company is looking to apply RPA and AI to more complex processes.
New products from the company include the UiPath Explorer product family. This is software designed to accelerate process (as in work processes) understanding and the creation of automation pipelines. The product is built on some of the new technologies that UiPath brought to bear when it acquired ProcessGold and StepShot. The technology here works to identify, document, analyze and prioritize work processes, with an ability to understand both front-line and back-end operations, through scientific and visual analysis.
Other new additions to the platform include UiPath StudioX for Citizen Developers. StudioX allows subject-matter experts to automate work without the need for developer resources or coding. Another new addition, UiPath Apps works to enable continuous human-robot interaction across entire processes. With the software, end-users can participate in real-time with robots executing unattended processes, allowing users to manage approvals and exceptions; a capability UiPath refers to as Human-in-the-Loop (HITL). Also here, UiPath Insights provides embedded analytics that measure, report and align RPA operations with strategic business outcomes.
Also in terms of products in this set, UiPath Connect Enterprise works to bring every employee into the process of uncovering automation opportunities. The company says that building a pipeline of automations should not always come from analyzing user activity or system logs, but from human judgement. With this tool, every employee can introduce ideas for automations or create a gamification capability, which is said to be ideal for creating Robotic Operations Centers of Excellence to collect opportunities. Finally then, UiPaths AI Fabric software claims to be able to break down the barriers between RPA and data science teams and helps customers operationalize and consume their machine learning models directly in RPA workflows.
We have essentially removed all barriers to scaling in the automation first era. Business leaders everywhere are augmenting their workforces with software robots freeing employees to spend time on more impactful work, said Param Kahlon, chief product officer at UiPath. With the addition of the UiPath Explorer, UiPath Apps and UiPath Insights families, we are making it easy for more business professionals across the enterprise to interact with robots, including [less technical] citizen developers, business analysts and end-users throughout both the front and back-office.
What RPA needs next
So RPA is truly fabulous and are all of our working lives now going to get so much easier really soon? Well yes and no. The technology is here, but humans have got to get used to human-robot interactions work processes inside real companies have got to shape to these new advantages and that wont happen overnight and we need to assess which elements of work we should still connect human-to-human rather than human-to-robot.
Humans have an endorphin boost when they do something different. Scientists recommend that we do something different every day, or drive home on a different route or simply put our watch (if we still wear one) on a different wrist. If we free ourselves from the mundane elements of work through automation then, in the theory at least, we can experience more positive endorphin rushes.
Human beings have got to want RPA for it to work and they have to want it not because theyre lazy, they need to want it because it improves job satisfaction and allows them to do other higher value work. Without that transparency and purity, automation isnt intelligence, its just robotics and machinery and were already past that part of the industrial revolution.
UiPath co-founder and CEO Daniel Dines: We built our RPA technology because we were just interested in the product as software engineers, not because we had a formally identified go-to-market strategy.
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Meghan McCain praises Yang for starting conversation on automation: ‘It’s incredibly impressive’ | TheHill – The Hill
Posted: at 5:35 pm
The View co-host Meghan McCainMeghan Marguerite McCainMeghan McCain praises Yang for starting conversation on automation: 'It's incredibly impressive' Meghan McCain: It's 'breaking my heart' Warren is leading Biden in the polls Meghan McCain rips Trump, Rand Paul: 'Blood' on their hands while Kurds are 'slaughtered' MORE praised entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Warren leads in speaking time during debate Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE for introducing the topic of mass automation during Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate in Westerville, Ohio.
This conversation about automation is all because of @AndrewYang - for a guy with absolutely no political background it's incredibly impressive, McCain tweeted.
This conversation about automation is all because of @AndrewYang - for a guy with absolutely no political background it's incredibly impressive. #DemDebates
Yang and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio New study: Full-scale 'Medicare for All' costs trillion over 10 years MORE (D-Mass.) sparred on the topic of automation and its effect on the U.S. job market in the debate.
Warren said that blaming automation for job losses is a good story, but the data show that we have a lot of problems with losing jobs, but the principle reason has been bad trade policy.
Yang responded by saying that automation is having a negative effect on jobs.
Sen. Warren, Ive been talking to Americans around the country about automation, and theyre smart, Yang responded.
They see whats happening around them, their main street stores are closing, they see a self-serve kiosk in every McDonalds, every grocery store, every CVS, he said.
Yang went on to note that 3.5 million truck drivers stood to lose their jobs due to automation in the form of self-driving vehicles.
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Posted: at 5:35 pm
What actually happens to workers when a company deploys automation? The common assumption seems to be that the employee simply disappears wholesale, replaced one-for-one with an AI interface or an array of mechanized arms.
Yet given the extensive punditeering, handwringing, and stump-speeching around the robots are coming for our jobs phenomenonwhich I will never miss an opportunity to point out is falsely representedresearch into what happens to the individual worker remains relatively thin. Studies have attempted to monitor the impact of automation on wages on aggregate or to correlate employment to levels of robotization.
But few in-depth investigations have been made into what happens to each worker after their companies roll out automation initiatives. Earlier this year, though, a paper authored by economists James Bessen, Maarten Goos, Anna Salomons, and Wiljan Van den Berge set out to do exactly that.
Armed with a uniquely robust datasetthe researchers had access to employee and administrative data, as well as information about expenditures on automation for 36,490 Dutch companies, or around 5 million workersthe economists examined how automation events impacted employees in the Netherlands between 2000 and 2016. They measured daily and annual wages, employment rates, the collection of unemployment insurance and welfare receipts.
What emerges is a portrait of workplace automation that is ominous in a less dramatic manner than were typically made to understand. For one thing, there is no robot apocalypse, even after a major corporate automation event. Unlike mass layoffs, automation does not appear to immediately and directly send workers packing en masse.
Instead, automation increases the likelihood that workers will be driven away from their previous jobs at the companieswhether theyre fired, or moved to less rewarding tasks, or quitand causes a long-term loss of wages for the employee.
The report finds that firm-level automation increases the probability of workers separating from their employers and decreases days worked, leading to a 5-year cumulative wage income loss of 11 percent of one years earnings. Thats a pretty significant loss.
Worse still, the study found that even in the Netherlands, which has a comparatively generous social safety net to, say, the United States, workers were only able to offset a fraction of those losses with benefits provided by the state. Older workers, meanwhile, were more likely to retire earlydeprived of years of income they may have been counting on.
Interestingly, the effects of automation were felt similarly through all manner of companysmall, large, industrial, services-oriented, and so on. The study covered all non-finance sector firms, and found that worker separation and income loss were quite pervasive across worker types, firm sizes and sectors.
Automation, in other words, forces a more pervasive, slower-acting and much less visible phenomenon than the robots-are-eating-our-jobs talk is preparing us for.
People are focused on the damage of automation being mass unemployment, study author James Bessen, an economist at Boston University, tells me in an interview. And thats probably wrong. The real damage is, there are people who are being hurt by this right now.
According to Bessen, compared to firms that have not automated, the rate of workers leaving their jobs is simply higher, though from the outside, it can resemble more straightforward turnover. But its more than attrition, he says. A much greater percentage8 percent moreare leaving. And some never come back to work. Theres a certain percentage that drop out of the labor force. That five years later still havent gotten a job.
The result, Bessen says, is an added strain on the social safety net that it is currently woefully unprepared to handle. As more and more firms join the automation goldrusha 2018 McKinsey survey of 1,300 companies worldwide found that three-quarters of them had either begun to automate business processes or planned to do so next yearthe number of workers forced out of firms seems likely to tick up, or at least hold steady. What is unlikely to happen, per this research, is an automation-driven mass exodus of jobs.
This is a double-edged sword: While its obviously good that thousands of workers are unlikely to be fired in one fell swoop when a process is automated at a corporation, it also means the pain of automation is distributed in smaller, more personalized doses, and thus less likely to prompt any sort of urgent public response. If an entire Amazon warehouse were suddenly automated, it might spur policymakers to try to address the issue; if automation has been slowly hurting us for years, its harder to rally support for stemming the pain.
There is a serious social challenge, Bessen says. Even in a place like the Netherlands thats supposed to have a great social safety netits not working.
Bessen says we need to retune those social safety nets, think about how to improve job training and retraining programs so they fit with local needs and generally modernize our support systems for automation-vulnerable workers. We have this crazy system where healthcare is keyed to your job, he says, for instance, that is increasing the social friction and the pain thats keyed to your job. You have to have some support for people who are laid off.
That we dont, of course, is something of a travesty. All that automation is enhancing productivity and efficiency, it just so happens to be redirecting the bulk of the gains past the workers and up to executive management. Were making more goods with less labor, per unit of capital, he adds. Were making the pie bigger. Its the issue of whos getting the pieces of the pie.
(Bessen says he thinks the results of the study would roughly translate to the U.S., though the rates of income loss and unemployment may be a little higher.)
So automation continues to unfold, piecemeal, at companies of every size and stripe. After each micro-automation event within a company, employees are forced out. Some workers are terminated, some quit. Now imagine this happening tens of thousandseven millionsof times over the course of a decade, at varying intervals and varying times of economic stability. That, according to Bessen and companys research, is the social impact of automation on the workforce.
Its not an apocalyptic sort of scenario, the likes of which Andrew Yang has become notorious for proselytizing about, but a creeping malaise, still massive, that will add millions of workers to the unemployment rolls.
What Yang does get right, Bessen says, is the potential political import of companies automating jobs away. Yang likes to talk about how automation led to Donald Trumps presidencyand I guess I do tooby hollowing out jobs and leaving workers increasingly insecure and angry.
You can talk about how disruptive it is, Bessen says. The large section of working people who have been poorly affected over the last 10 to 20 years and how they have a potential to become a disruptive political force. Maybe thats the crisis.
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Posted: at 5:35 pm
Fast-paced technological developments like automation are becoming an everyday reality, transforming the workplace.
And a new report from recruitment firm Hays highlights how automation is not just putting jobs at risk, but also keeping a lid on salaries.
The stagnation in global wage growth is partly attributable to an uptick in technology adoption, Hays says, citing an academic report that found one extra robot per 1,000 workers could lower wages by as much as 5%.
And that pressure is likely to continue, the report argues, as more robots are installed around the world in the coming years.
Image: Hays, OECD
Many of these themes are explored in the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report 2018, including the notion that governments should help people prepare for the workplace of tomorrow by ensuring they have the right qualifications.
The Forum has called for more reskilling and upskilling, saying human skills" like creativity and critical thinking will become just as important as technological ones.
If we dont seek to address these issues in the near future, we risk further discouraging workers by failing to increase wages, provide full employment and account for technological progress in the workplace, says Hays Chief Executive Alistair Cox.
The skills and wage crises are ultimately linked, and to avoid either spiralling out of control employers must collectively reevaluate both wage growth and skills.
Underscoring a need to better match workers competencies with jobs, the Hays Talent Mismatch indicator which measures the gap between skills firms are looking for and those available climbed to the highest level since the company started compiling it in 2012. Year-on-year, the gauge rose to 6.7 in 2019, up from 6.6 a year prior.
Hays' research also echoed the Forums in illustrating how female and male workers are likely to be affected differently by these technological disruptions. Professions that are often dominated by women for example those in retail could be particularly hard-hit, the Hays report says, with large numbers of jobs being eradicated and not replaced.
Governments and businesses should ramp up programmes to help women enter traditionally male-dominated sectors, like technology, the report notes.
License and Republishing
The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.
Posted: at 5:35 pm
For generations of workers displacement has been a normal albeit unequal process, now technology is adding another layer to the mix. Workplace automation presents the larger society with a conundrum, as A.I. is set to upend companies, leaving African Americans especially vulnerable. Nearly 4.5 million African Americans in the next 10 years could lose their jobs due to automaton. Is it possible this business impediment will lead to more income inequality and is there anything that can be done about it?
The Breakdown You Need to Know: In a new report from McKinsey focused on the impact of automation and artificial intelligence on the Black workforce, they found that this ethnic group will be hit much harder than their counterparts. These workers are more likely to be living in geographic areas and working in jobs that are disproportionately more likely to be eliminated by automation. They are highly concentrated in support roles, specifically, 60% of this risk is lies in production, food prep, sales, transportation and administrative support.
Currently, 45% of work activities could be automated, which is around $2 trillion in wages and a major cost savings for businesses. However, CultureBanx reported that could result in accelerated unemployment rate for minorities, leading to a greatly diminished customer base and reduced profits.
Tech giant Google is one company that recognizes in a world full of algorithms, whats most needed is the generalist, a quarterback, someone able to look inside the black box'. Even though their workforce was only 3.3% black in 2018, the interview process gauges a candidates response to broad challenges that are harder to automate, rather than quizzing them on any specific area of knowledge.
Automating the Middle Class: Even though automation may be a solution to labor expenses or eliminate mindless tasks, the obverse in the words of Stephen Hawking will decimate the middle-class jobs and displace the working class.
When it comes to the racial wealth gap and the employment gap experienced by Black and white workers. African Americans are unemployed at twice the rate of white workers. There are other studies which indicate the median white family holds more than ten times the wealth of the median African American family in the U.S. McKinsey projected that closing the racial wealth gap could net the U.S. economy between $1.1 trillion and $1.5 trillion by 2028.
The report suggests African Americans will be geographically removed from future job growth centers, and if these trends are not addressed they could have a negative effect on the income generation, wealth, and stability of African American families.
By 2030 McKinsey predicts the employment outlook for African American men, workers 1835 and those without a college degree may worsen dramatically. Education and lifelong learning becomes more important to how one can navigate the inevitable changes being wrought by A.I., and critical thinking becomes our defense against the rise of the machine.
Posted: at 5:35 pm
Security automation has become a top concern for many organizations as they struggle with a growing number of cyber threats fueled by new attack vectors in the cloud, and with proliferating endpoints created by the Internet of Things.
That trend was revealed in a recent survey of 300 CISOs, CIOs, CTOs, architects, engineers, and analysts across a variety of industries by the threat detection and hunting company Fidelis Cybersecurity.
More than half the professionals surveyed (57%) said that a lack of automation is their top concern for their organizations.
Here's how to improve your overall security operations with automation.
[ Explore the challenges and opportunities facing SOCs in TechBeacon's new guide. Plus: Getthe 2019 State of Security Operations report. ]
Automation is rising on the priority list because organizations arerealizing it's a way to reduce risks, gain greater visibility into their networks, and get the most from their security stacks.
One of the biggest risks automation can address is human error. When an engineer is asked to repeat the same task every day, looking for needles in the same haystacks, eventually they will make a mistake,said Laurence Pitt,strategic security director at security and performance company Juniper Networks. "Computers will not do this. Once set to a task, they will get it right every single time without failure."
Automated and orchestrated processes can also reduce risks by allowing threats to be detected and addressed faster, said Joseph Blankenship,vice president and research director for security and risk atForrester Research.
"Automated policy orchestration also helps reduce risk by ensuringthat policies exist and are effective, reducing the risk that systems and the data in those systems can be breached."Joseph Blankenship
There's an opportunity to incorporate automation to reduce risk at all stages of security, saidRani Osnat,vice president for strategy atAqua Security, acloud application security provider.
This can startwith automated scanning for vulnerabilities, flaws, malware, and configuration mistakes, and includeautomated profiling of allocation behavior for whitelisting and anomaly detection. Other security areas ripe for automation aredetection of and response tobreaches and attacks.
As good as automation is atreducing human error, it can't eliminate humans entirely.
"Computers can spot patterns, alerts, and bad actions on the network or on connected devices. Humans can spot the unexpected."Laurence Pitt
That's why security automation is so important,he added. "It gives time back to the engineers to do what they are good at."
Integration of security solutions is another area where automation falls short and can actually create risk, said Joseph Carson, the chief security scientist at security tools vendor Thycotic. "For many organizations, this tends to be time-consuming and complicated and can introduce risks when done incorrectly."
[ Effective SecOps requires staying one step ahead.Get up to speed with thisWebinar coveringUEBA and MITREATT&CK]
Automation can help security engineers by noticing patterns inside the millions of alerts sent to them daily. Automation can "spot the ones that actually need to be of concern and either act on them, or flag them for an engineer," Juniper'sPitt explained.
Automation using machine learning can give system defenders greater insight into network operations, too,saidShreyans Mehta,co-founder and CTO ofCequence Security, amaker of automated digital security systems.
"By observing network and application traffic, machine learning can help model how good users behave on a web application. The same models can then be used to identify bad actors with malicious behaviors and intent."Shreyans Mehta
Automation can also help organizations get more from their security stacks. Organizations are "overwhelmed"by the volume and velocity of alerts generated by their security systems,saidRaphael Reich, vice president of product marketing at CyCognito, maker of an attack surface analysis platform.
"By leveraging automated, intelligent prioritization of risks. Organizations can ensure their security resources are focused on addressing the risks that, when eliminated, provide the greatest ROI."Raphael Reich
A majority of organizations surveyed in the Fidelis report admitted they are not using their stack to its full potential. Just 6.54%of all organizations surveyed believe they are using their security stack to its full capability.
The good news, the report said, is that most organizations realize that this is a problem, with 78% of respondents replying that they already have, or are planning to, consolidate their security stack.
One approach to maximizing stack utilization is to create a standardized data ontology that represents the structure and flow of information between the components of the security ecosystem.
"This creates a common language that facilitates communicationnot just between human stakeholders but also between the systems that comprise the security stack," said Syed Abdur,senior director of products at therisk analytics firm Brinqa.
"Of course, when you automate, it means that the resources you have can do so much more, and you can get more value out of your solutions."Joseph Carson
While automation can address some of the concerns organizations have about risk, visibility, and utilization, it needs data to work effectively, said Blankenship. "Automation is only as good as the analytics technologies that exist. Automation can't do anything without good data."
One reason for the lack of automationthus far is that the legacy systems in many organizations depend on signatures to function. These systems, unlike machine-learning-based systems, require constant writing and updating of manual rules and require manual feedback, which does not support automation,said Cequence's Mehta.
That's especially true in security operations centers (SOCs). Most organizations have very manual processes in their SOCs due to the wide range of technologies analysts work with, the need for human intelligence to identify threats, and the lack of automated tools until about four years ago,said Forrester's Blankenship. "Automation is still relatively new to security operations professionals."
Brinqa'sAbdurexplained that a lack of standardization within security programs themselves can also be a barrier to automation.
"There can be significant differences in how the same cybersecurity program may be designed and implemented across different organizations. As a result, a 'one size fits all' approach to cybersecurity process automation does not work."Syed Abdur
In addition, he said, while it's possible to automate large parts of the vulnerability management process, to do that an organization needs an authoritative, accurate, and complete asset inventory.
A surprisingly large percentage of organizations lag behind in implementing foundational controls like asset management effectively, which makes it difficult to incorporate automation further downstream,Abdur said.
While security professionals say they'reconcerned about thelack of automation, some of that sentimentmay be a bit hypocritical. "At least in part, lack of automation is due to resistance to relinquishing control to automated systems," saidAqua Security'sOsnat.
That's especially true when it comes to preventive controls or response to threats thatcan block processes or applications. In those situations, practitioners can be overly concerned about automation creating false positives that can be a time suck on the development process.
"Unfortunately, sometimes the speed of attacks, which themselves are often automated, requires an automated response if they are to be thwarted or contained in time," Osnat said.
Juniper Networks' Pittagreed that the accuracy of existing automated systems can make security pros nervous. "This leads to solutions being deployed in the 'least automated' mode," he said.
A classic example of that is information intrusion, Pitt said.
"Everyone has the technology, but many run it in detect-only mode rather than risk falsepositives," he said. "So what we have is a lack of fully deployed automation."Laurence Pitt
That's typically the situation in SOCs. The tools are available from vendors,Blankenship said, but many SOCs dont have them implemented or fully implemented.
"Many SOCs lack automated tools to do the grunt workof security, like running searches and collecting data. They also lack the ability to take automated action on identified threats."Joseph Blankenship
Organizations also lack automated tools to do things such as patching and policy management,Blankenship added. But as environments grow increasingly complex, the ability to automatically push out and enforce policies in multiple environmentsincludingon-premises, cloud, multi-cloud, and hybrid"becomes critical."
[ Find out how to take control of credentials privilege in your organization in this Oct. 31 Webinar. You'll learn best practices, more.]
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Posted: at 5:35 pm
African Americans stand to lose thousands jobs to automation in some of the nation's largest cities over the next decade, according to new research from McKinsey & Co.
The management consultancyfound that blacks in the fast-food, retail and customer-service industries especially those in "support roles" like cashiers, office clerks, stockroom laborers and call-center representatives are most vulnerable to their jobs disappearing as companies invest more in labor-replacing technologies. In all, African-Americans are projected to lose a total of 132,000 jobs between now and 2030 due to automation, researchers said.
Of course, other groups are also under threat. Latinos could see roughly a quarter of their jobs automated out of existence, according to McKinsey, while Asians, whites and others will also be affected.
While automation often conjures up visions of factory floors full of robots, as is now common among automakers and other manufacturers, tech is displacing workers in less obvious ways. Automated services have already taken over such tasks as ordering a meal at McDonald's, paying a credit card balance by phone or checking in at the airport.
That is only the beginning. In 2016 alone, tech companies around the world spent upwards of $30 billion on artificial intelligence focused on automating work, McKinsey previously estimated.
"We think it's good for productivity that companies are looking into this, but the other side is to understand how it impacts workers," said Shelley Stewart III, a McKinsey partner who co-authored the most recent study. "Both the private and public sector have that obligation."
To estimate the future impact of automation on different groups of employees, McKinsey combined data from the U.S. Census, Labor Department and the Internal Revenue Service. Around the country, blacks in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit and Washington, D.C., are likely to see the biggest job losses due to automation, according to the firm. That's because these cities have the highest concentration of African-American workers and the lowest expected rates of job growth for blacks.
Verlisa Leonard, a customer service representative who works just outside of Detroit, expressed concern that her job could vanish in the near future, especially since her company already uses an automated system to screen incoming calls.
"Right now, I feel like they need us, but they will find a way to get rid of us if there's something that costs less," said Leonard, 26. "And I'm not happy with that because I believe we, as a society, need customer service reps."
She hopes to enroll in college soon and study to become a registered nurse. Landing a nursing job in a hospital or clinic is a more stable job, Leonard said, "because they can't get rid of doctors."
Blacks losing jobs to automation could exacerbate the nation's racial income gap, researchers said. In 2018, the median household income for whites was $70,642, compared to $51,450 for Latinos and $41,361 for blacks, Census data show. Closing that gap could boost the U.S. economy by $1.5 trillion by 2028, researchers said.
Automation may have the most deleterious impact on black men 35 and younger with only a high school diploma, McKinsey said. Black women are better positioned to stave off job loss because they have a strong presence in the education and health care sectors, according to the firm.
"Occupations such as nursing assistants and home health aides have a lower automation potential due to the need for dynamic, physical motions and deep interpersonal connections," researchers wrote.
Black workers in jobs slated for automation should talk to their employer and see if there are opportunities to move into a different role, Stewart said.
"This is not about painting a dismal picture of 'our fate is our fate'," Stewart said. "We want to frame up in a real, fact-based way what the situation is, and we really want people to focus on what the solutions are."
Black workers could curb the impact of automation by getting a college education, transitioning into a role that's harder to automate or moving to communities where economists have predicted job growth, the report said. Researchers said Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston and Orlando are likely to see stronger job growth despite the trend toward automation.
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Posted: at 5:35 pm
StackTeck Systems Ltd. (Brampton, ON), which has made a name for itself in the in-mold labeling (IML) space, will showcase its latest developments in four booths at the K show starting this week in Dsseldorf, Germany.
StackTeck will have a 2-x-8 thin recess injection molding (TRIM) cell running at the Arburg stand (A 13 in hall 13), where a 600-ton high-speed machine equipped with a side-entry robot will mold a TRIM 16-oz. container bottom with a sidewall thickness of 0.37 mm.
Running in a hybrid machine from BMB S.p.A. (Brescia, Italy) with a Machines Pages robot at stand A 33 in hall 13 will be an IML system featuring both MuCell and TRIM technologies molding a 1-x-4 TRIM 500-gram, three-sided rectangular container. The mold has been optimized with KoolTrack conformal cooling in gate pad/insert and core cap. This is StackTecks newest show mold with TRIM panel thickness of 0.25 mm, which is 20% lighter than a conventional thin-wall container.
Haitian International (booth A 57, hall 15) will feature StackTecks 1-x-4 IML 115-mm round lid mold running with clarified PP and a two-sided IML label running in Haitians Zafir 240-ton machine with IML automation.
Featured in StackTecks booth (C 29 in Hall 1) will be static displays of the latest technologies with plastic parts and steel components. These include PET preform molds highlighting cooling and post-mold cooling technologies; servo driven technology for different applications; co-injection, multi-material, specialty coatings, KoolTrack, TRIM, IML and closure technologies.
StackTeck is also announcing its new initiative for automation with a team to facilitate customer projects for IML and other packaging applications in a new facility near Toronto International Airport. The facility will be dedicated to robotics engineering, assembly, test and injection molding systems integration.
StackTeck has an existing IML pilot cell that uses a dedicated IML robot with a 300-ton injection molding machine for prototyping and sampling new IML projects.
The new initiative for IML robots is based on a proven design that is assembled in Canada as of mid-2019, which will be offered with short lead times and competitive pricing. Initial efforts for this new business will be focused on IML applications for the Americas; however, long term plans are to serve a broad range of automation systems on a global scale.
John Pocock, who is leading the new team as General Manager, commented: Ive been supplying IML robots for StackTeck molds over the past couple of years. In a short time period, for one customer, were now up to seven IML systems, including stack mold systems for both containers and lids.
According to Jordan Robertson, StackTecks Vice President of Business Development and Market, We see a niche in North America, where customers are looking not just for system integration, but to have the moldmaking and automation design teams meeting face-to-face and working closely together to tackle specialty technical challenges.