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Info Advantage has been serving the Upstate New York area since 1993 , providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Job Automation: Robots Aren't Taking Over Quite Yet

Job Automation: Robots Aren't Taking Over Quite Yet

 

Companies are always looking to improve their operations by eliminating unnecessary costs. It’s a part of business, no matter how you look at it. However, as automation technologies grow more advanced, some of the more mundane (and even some professional) positions are at risk of getting replaced by cheaper, more efficient robotic systems.

We see this all the time in certain industries like manufacturing and retail, where there’s no longer a need for specific positions due to autonomous systems taking their place. While this trend is capable of increasing these organizations’ bottom lines, it simultaneously puts people out of work. Surprisingly, the quality of work by automated systems could be largely variable and unpredictable. So, until the details get sorted out, it’s likely that automated systems will have to be babysat, with humans jumping in to save the day should something go wrong.

This presents another possibility; rather than replacing workers, automated technology could be used to augment their capabilities. For example, there are writing programs that are capable of putting together articles much faster than the way the human mind can. However, these articles are often devoid of emotion and can’t connect on the same level as a human author can. So, for now, there are certain jobs that automation can’t touch, but how long will it take for automation technology to catch up?

Please keep in mind that we’re not insinuating that technological advancement is bad; we’re just trying to raise awareness for how it affects the worldwide economy and job market. It doesn’t matter if a specific technology can eliminate work for manufacturers and businesses if it puts hundreds of thousands of people out of work.

Yet, in many cases, technological advancement can be exceptionally beneficial. Consider, for a moment, how outsourcing can help your business. When you outsource to a third party, you’re essentially receiving a good or service from someone else. You’re purchasing their professional skills for the good of your business. So, in a manner of speaking, you’re augmenting your business’ IT with a valuable automated service in the form of our talented technology professionals.

At Info Advantage, we aren’t looking to replace your internal IT department. Rather, we want to work with them and help your business achieve its greatest potential. Regardless of your current IT’s role in management and maintenance, we can pick up the slack where they fall short. We’re firm believers in working together for the betterment of our clients. If your internal staff doesn’t have the time or skill necessary to perform regular IT maintenance, Info Advantage can step in and handle this responsibility for you. If the opposite is true, and your team doesn’t have time to implement new innovative solutions, we can perform this role for you.

Ultimately, our professional IT technicians are more potent and valuable than any robotic IT system can be. To learn more about co-managed IT, give us a call at (585) 254-8710.

 

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2,000 Year-Old “Computer” Discovered Off the Coast of Greece

2,000 Year-Old “Computer” Discovered Off the Coast of Greece

When you think of a computer, you think of a machine that makes your life easier. You can look up events, check facts, record data, and so much more. However, the first computer might be something extraordinarily unexpected; a submerged treasure off the coast of Greece called the Antikythera mechanism, which was used to predict and track astronomical events, like the movement of the planets or the occurrence of eclipses.


The Antikythera mechanism is thought to have been discovered at the turn of the 20th century, by sponge divers off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera. It’s dated at having existed sometime between 60BC and 200BC, which makes it well over 2,000 years old. It was found aboard a shipwreck, submerged in 45 meters of water, along with several other treasures, including statues, coins, and pottery.

At first, it seemed to be nothing but a pile of bronze and wood, but upon closer inspection, the machine turned out to be something quite extraordinary. Consisting of bronze gears, the Antikythera mechanism attempted to predict astronomical cycles. The device was originally found in one big clump, but the device was later split into three sections for study. It’s thought that the mechanism, in its prime, consisted of up to 30 bronze gears that operated like clockwork.

Click here to view a photo gallery of the Antikythera mechanism on display.

Now, the Antikythera mechanism is in about 82 different pieces, which were used in a study to determine what the cryptic text carved into it means. The inscription on the gears is so small that not even the human eye can truly decipher it - not after thousands of years of corrosion and weathering from the elements, at least. Researchers had to use x-ray and visualization technologies to make out what some of the Greek letters could mean.

The Antikythera mechanism was first thought to be a device that was purely scientific, but more recent innovations have discovered that its use might also be grounded in astrological meaning. It’s possible that the color of eclipses meant something on a spiritual level to the Ancient Greeks, and that the Antikythera mechanism was a way to further understand how the world far above the surface of the Earth worked. The Antikythera mechanism is currently on display in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, where it continues to be studied and theorized about.

The thought of such advanced technology existing so many years ago brings up several interesting points. Today’s society is often credited as being the most technologically advanced of its kind, but back in Ancient Greece, the Antikythera mechanism was considered high-tech. The ability to make an astronomical clock was hundreds, maybe even thousands, of years ahead of its time. Knowledge of how to make a contraption like this was lost and wasn’t recovered again until much later on, sometime during the 14th century. It makes you wonder what other civilizations before ours came up with, and how much of it was lost to the harsh ebb and flow of time.

So, what does this have to do with your business? We want to say that it presents an interesting take on innovation, but honestly, as tech geeks, we just wanted to share this cool tidbit with you. For more great technology news, tips, and tricks, be sure to subscribe to our blog.

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This Breakthrough By MIT Will Propel Artificial Intelligence to New Heights

This Breakthrough By MIT Will Propel Artificial Intelligence to New Heights

No security solution is perfect. Each one has its own set of pros and cons. For example, relying completely on an automated solution is thorough, but it will flag plenty of threats that aren’t really threats (aka, false positives). Meanwhile, a human overseeing security is great for spotting worrisome trends, but a human can’t possibly catch every single attack. With this dynamic in mind, a team of researchers from MIT has successfully blended the two.


The team, hailing from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, developed a security platform combining the strength of human involvement with the effectiveness of artificial intelligence. Given the name A.I.², this new platform is capable of detecting 85 percent of incoming attacks while reducing reported false positives by 20 percent.

How A.I.² combines AI and human involvement is actually quite genius. To begin, the “untrained” machine reports a sample set of results to a human expert. These results are informed by machine learning and are checked against the 200 most important problems. The human expert then checks over and corrects the machine’s work, with the intention of finding mistakes and false positives. Subsequently, the human-checked results are inputted to A.I.², the machine learns, and the next set of tests will have fewer errors. This process is then repeated with the security platform adapting each time to look for what its human teacher looks for.

In a paper presented at the IEEE International Conference on Big Data Security, research scientist Kalyan Veeramachianeni summarized, "You can think about the system as a virtual analyst. It continuously generates new models that it can refine in as little as a few hours, meaning it can improve its detection rates significantly and rapidly."

Of course, the precedent of effectiveness set here by combining human expertise and oversight with A.I. has far-reaching ramifications for other A.I. initiatives currently in development; initiatives that have both humanity’s best and worst interests in mind. Although, for now, those of us in the IT world are celebrating this A.I.-enabled technology for being one giant leap forward in security analysis accuracy.

It’s important to keep in mind that a platform like A.I.² is still years away from being available to the average business. Therefore, we recommend that you stay on top of your network security by following best practices, which combines automated software solutions and human vigilance in order to combat the latest threats. Info Advantage is standing by to assist you with all of your company’s network security needs. To equip your business with the most comprehensive IT security solutions on the market, call us today at (585) 254-8710.

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Wireless Retinal Implants Give Functionally Blind People a Second Lease on Sight

b2ap3_thumbnail_retinal_implants_400.jpgTechnology has unlocked some marvelous advancements for human civilization, and thanks to the Argus device by Second Sight, it can now provide a cure for blindness!

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Tip of the Week: 5 Tips From the 90s That are Useless Today

b2ap3_thumbnail_useless_90s_hacks_400.jpgThe 1990s were a golden time of technology with VHS, floppy disks, and beige computing hardware aplenty. Back then, learning of new technology shortcuts was totally rad. Although, looking back, many of these cool tech tips are now obsolete. Yet, they still hold a special place in our hearts. Here are some of our favorite technology tips from the ‘90s. Which ones do you remember?

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