Technology Policy & Ethics: January 2020

The Faustian Bargain – The Promise of AI and the Destruction of Jobs, Part 1 

Frank Groom, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana

Programmed technology progresses in an irregular fashion, first promising great things, and delivering only a little, but gradually adjusting and delivering with second and third attempts. The failures and disappointments are magnified, and the successes are overlooked or diminished. But the progression continues. Programmed technology eliminates jobs as intended, but also creates new ones in different, frequently new areas.

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Cyber-Physical Forest Protection Systems, Part 1

Emad Roshandel, Research and Development Department, Eram Sanat Mooj Gostar Company, Shiraz, Iran and Mohammad Khosravi, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Shiraz University of Technology, Shiraz, Iran

The vast earth forests are burning in fire, and human beings cannot retard the fire in time. Therefore, a large area of the earth’s lungs is removed because of the inability of forest protectors in turning the fire off and stopping the fire growth in the center of forests. The forest fires can be categorized into two separate categories which are environmental and human-made causes. When there is no rain for several consecutive months, the dry trees foliage and branches are the available fuels to start a forest fire. In this condition, environmental events (e.g., lightning and volcanic activities) and human-made fires like traditional tribal fires or carelessness camp-fires can be the sources of the initial fire for such fuels1. Literature has tried to introduce different protection and preventing systems to stop forest fires. Unfortunately, it could be claimed that the proposed methods have not been adequately useful in the protection of the jungles.

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The following article, published in May 2019, is re-printed here as the highest viewed article of 2019:

Current State of API Security and Machine Learning

Fatima Hussain, Brett Noye, Salah Sharieh, and Wilf Tonsmann, Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto

The adaptation of application program interface (API)s in every enterprise is the emerging business trend, and at the same time it diversifies the threat domain for businesses. APIs are becoming the new and most important infrastructure layer on the Internet and are the most vulnerable point of attacks in modern systems. Each API adds new dimensions to security threats and attack vectors to corporate data and applications, therefore critically forfeiting the business systems. Traditional security features for APIs protection are provided through API gateways, and it had been nothing more than API keys and username/password combinations (HTTP authentication). On the other hand, intruders and hackers are getting smarter. Combining the proliferation of social engineering platforms with recent technological advancements, the ability to gain access to confidential data has become both easier and common. APIs funnel data among applications, a multitude of various API users, and cloud infrastructure, therefore sensitive / confidential information might get exposed to unauthorized users, if API security is not carefully crafted. Using a holistic approach to securing APIs not only addresses the vulnerability issues, but offers protection for all of the infrastructure, networks and information.

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