Hashtag Trending Sep.13-U.S. Senators to meet AI CEOs; Study shows AI can create and run a software company in minutes; Cyberattack hits major children’s charity

Two events in Washington this week, one featuring AI giants and the other aiming to address the issues of security in Open Source code.  A study shows that AI can create and run a company that develops software in minutes and at a cost of less than a dollar.  And a cyber attack hits a major international children’s charity. 

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I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and Tech News Day in the US.

Two big things happening in Washington that affect the IT industry. 

There’s Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s upcoming forum on AI. This high-profile event will bring together tech industry giants, AI experts, senators and other stakeholders for a 6 hour meeting to foster a dialogue and discuss AI regulation with politicians who must then shape the future of AI rules and government-industry collaborations. 

The forum’s guest list is a who’s who of AI CEOs – Elon Musk from X, Mark Zuckerberg from Meta, Sundar Pichai from Google, and Sam Altman from OpenAI. 

The closed-door format and tech-centric guest list have drawn some criticism. 

While Senator Schumer has emphasized the inclusion of a wide range of stakeholders, advocacy groups have expressed concerns about the lack of representation from diverse human rights organizations. And while industry associations like the Motion Picture Association of America and the Writers Guild of America are invited, artists using generative AI feel left out. 

Source included: Axios

And 90 government officials and private sector executives are gathering in Washington this week to devise a long-term strategy for bolstering the security of publicly available open-source code. 

The fact is that in today’s world, most software incorporates some open-source code. However, many open-source project developers, often volunteers, struggle to keep pace with security updates. 

The Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) is spearheading a two-day summit to help address these security challenges. 

Attendees include representatives from the White House, Defense Department, and major companies like Amazon, Apple, and GitHub. This summit is a continuation of efforts initiated after the Log4j vulnerability surfaced, with tech companies previously committing $30 million to enhance open-source software security. The summit aims to evaluate the current state of open-source security, update on ongoing projects, and establish new task forces to tackle emerging challenges.

Given the rapid growth of AI generated code, maybe a few attendees should wander over to the White House and drag in some AI expertise. While AI may not be ready for prime time in writing code, I am hard pressed to believe that it’s not excellent at finding errors, especially security errors in code.  Just thinking out loud.  

Source included: Axios

And under the heading of, oh come on…The cybercrime group BianLian which focuses on healthcare and key infrastructure has hit a new low and is claiming responsibility for a significant breach into the IT systems of a major nonprofit, believed to be Save The Children International. 

The group alleges to have stolen almost 7 terabytes of data, including international HR files, personal data, and over 800GB of financial records, email communications, and health and medical data. 

The data theft appears to be part of an extortion attempt, with the group likely to leak or sell the information if their ransom demands aren’t met. Save The Children International, a leading nonprofit operating in 116 countries with revenues of $2.8 billion, has been assisting children since 1919. BianLian, notorious for targeting healthcare and critical infrastructure sectors, has been active since June 2022. The group has evolved its tactics, shifting from double-extortion to pure extortion, excluding data encryption.

An article in the Register quotes VX-Underground, as saying: “BianLian ransomware group needs to be punched in the face.” Breaking into and extorting a nonprofit whose focus is to make children “healthier, safer and better educated” seems beneath even the lowest rung of cyber-criminal ladder.

Source included: The Register

A new study showed how AI could accelerate software development, creating a company that was able to develop a major piece of software in 7 minutes at a cost of about 1 dollar. 

The study claims the generated software systems had an execution success rate of approximately 87 per cent.

In the study conducted by Brown University and several Chinese universities, AI bots were used to run a virtual software-development company named ChatDev with only minimal human intervention. The company was structured based on the waterfall model, encompassing designing, coding, testing, and documenting stages. AI bots were assigned specific roles and communicated with each other to complete the software development process. 

While the study showcased the potential of generative AI in software development, it also highlighted some limitations, including errors and biases in the language models. Thank god all the software humans generate is perfect the first time, or we might be in real trouble. 

And I’m thinking about starting my own venture capital firm to invest in real AI start-ups. I am willing to throw in ten bucks for start-up capital. 

Source included: Business Insider 

Okay, so yesterday I made some wisecrack about how we should maybe be using AI to solve some of our carbon footprint challenges.  

It turns out that Jensen Huang, NVIDIA’s chief, has been doing just that – engaging in extensive conversations with ChatGPT about the potential of generative AI in addressing real-world challenges, such as dissolving plastics and reducing carbon emissions. 

He believes AI can tackle environmental issues, including reducing oceanic plastic waste and capturing carbon emissions. 

It’s not a totally new idea. Before the rise of generative AI chatbots, the focus was on protein folding. NVIDIA sees immense potential in this area, especially after Google DeepMind’s AlphaFold addressed the protein folding challenge. Huang believes that understanding protein folding can lead to solutions like efficient biofuel production, carbon capture, and sustainable protein sources.

And just to get us one better, NVIDIA has also launched BioNeMo Cloud, a set of generative AI cloud services accelerating drug discovery. This service has been adopted by pharmaceutical giants like Amgen and startups like Evozyne. NVIDIA’s platform, NVIDIA Clara, further advances drug discovery, integrating AI, data analysis, and visualization. With its commitment to protein folding and drug discovery, NVIDIA is poised to make significant strides in leveraging AI for the betterment of us all.

Source included: Analytics India Mag

That’s the top tech news stories for today.  Hashtag Trending goes to air 5 days a week with a special weekend interview show we call “the Weekend Edition.”

You can get us anywhere you get audio podcasts and there is a copy of the show notes at itworldcanada.com/podcasts 

I’m your host, Jim Love. Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Jim Love
Jim Lovehttp://www.itworldcanada.com
I've been in IT and business for over 30 years. I worked my way up, literally from the mail room and I've done every job from mail clerk to CEO. Today I'm CIO of a great company - IT World Canada - Canada's leading ICT publisher.

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