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Securing States: Modernizing to Attract & Retain Cyber Talent

This publication is a culmination of a partnership between the National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO) and the National Governors Association, which started in 2022, to assist states in identifying the concrete actions they can take now to bridge the cybersecurity workforce gap.

Read More: https://www.nascio.org/resource-cen...s-modernizing-to-attract-retain-cyber-talent/

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Every voice matters in the City of Seattle’s 2023 Technology Access Survey

The City of Seattle is gathering information from the community to better understand residents' access and use of technology and internet services, barriers to use, and the support needed to help ensure all residents have the same opportunities. The Technology Access and Adoption Study helps guide digital equity programs and funding for Seattle residents.

Read More: https://techtalk.seattle.gov/2023/0...ty-of-seattles-2023-technology-access-survey/

Cloud services: A cloudy forecast for state and local governments

Cloud services continues to grow exponentially making it flourish into a multi-billion-dollar industry. According to a survey by Synergy Research Group, the global cloud infrastructure services market grew by 35 percent in 2020, with the top five cloud providers (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google, Alibaba and IBM) capturing more than 70 percent of the market share. In a soon-to-be-published “2023 CompTIA Public Technology Institute (PTI) State of City and County IT National Survey,” 69 percent moved to on-premises infrastructure (storage, virtual machines, etc.) to a private cloud. Similarly, 71 percent shifted from using a local version of an application to a cloud application (SaaS). About 30 percent stated they are using a managed services provider, and another 25 percent are considering doing so this year. Outside of the survey, many local government IT leaders have expressed frustration toward many leading vendors who are no longer offering on-premises solutions thus forcing them into the cloud.

Read More: https://www.americancityandcounty.c...udy-forecast-for-state-and-local-governments/

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Inspecting high-rise buildings with drones in Chicago

From: https://www.heliosvisions.com/2023/02/21/inspecting-high-rise-buildings-with-drones/

How drone technology made a facade inspection of a 500 ft tall building in Chicago easy​

Chicago is home to over 1,000 high-rise buildings. Some of these high-rises are brand new; others were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Each skyscraper has its own style and character. For many of these structures, construction, and maintenance pose a real challenge. How can you see the side of a building in detail when it could be hundreds of feet above you? Enter: drones and digital twins.

Digital twins are virtual recreations of real objects. They are used in commercial real estate assets for inspections, or in construction to plan and track new buildings with Building Information Modeling (BIM). Digital twins have many benefits for areas of inspection such as facades and bridges, where a detailed 3D model can provide better access to the asset. Digital twins of high-rise buildings and construction sites provide data that can be used for inspection, maintenance, and documentation. When paired with drone inspection software, a digital twin can be achieved faster than a manual inspection with better safety and cost savings.

Inspecting high-rise buildings with drones
3D model of the building ready to inspect, analyze and share

Specialized infrastructure inspection with drones​

Helios Visions is a drone services company specializing in infrastructure inspections via drone for companies throughout the USA. Typical projects include inspections of buildings, facades, construction sites, bridges, and other infrastructure with drones. We were contracted by a local engineering firm to inspect a historic high-rise building in Chicago with drones. We collected the aerial data of the building’s facade and processed the drone imagery.

Inspecting the Union Carbide Building with drones​

The Union Carbide and Carbon Building, designed by the renowned Burnham Brothers firm, was completed in 1929 in an art-deco architectural style. Standing 503 feet tall, it stands at 37 stories. It was declared a landmark in the 1990s and saw some restorative work in 2004, totaling $106 million dollars. It’s an iconic part of Chicago architecture, with a facade including granite and terra cotta elements.

Inspecting high-rise buildings with drones

Union Carbide and Carbon Building

The new owners of the building decided it needed a condition assessment to check for any maintenance needs before the launch of the new renovation. This building assessment would include checking the facade for any damage or potential upkeep requirements. These inspections are important for ensuring high-rise buildings are safe – if an element becomes loose, or falls, it could pose a danger to people nearby.

Helios Visions sent a drone inspection team to the building to gather data to assist in the building assessment. Our drone pilots collected high-resolution georeferenced imagery of the building’s facade and rooftop. The drone flight had to cover the entirety of the building and ensure enough overlap between images so the drone software could process an accurate 3D model. The whole building was inspected with drones in just one day. After data collection, the Helios Visions team uploaded the imagery to the cloud-based software and deliver the 3D digital twin to the client.

Creating a digital twin of a building with drones​

The digital twin showed all of the facades and rooftops of the building and was used for a detailed analysis of the condition of the building’s exterior. This included careful inspection of the status of the building’s facades, and rooftops, annotations of maintenance requirements, and measurements of architectural elements. We shared their digital twin with our engineering client, who highlighted areas where potential maintenance or repair work could be required. This immediately provided the building owners with valuable information about the condition of the building. The digital twin can also be used in the long term as a baseline to monitor the building’s conditions. We compiled the 3D digital twin, and high-resolution imagery, and shared them with a structural engineering company to complete a building maintenance report for the client.

The future of building inspections with drones​

After the digital twin was generated, the engineering company used the data to do the initial inspection of the building for the conditions assessment. The digital twin is hosted online and easy to share between the engineers and the client. The engineers commented on the ease of measuring the length and areas of elements on the model and crisp high-quality imagery. The straightforward user interface of the inspection software made collaboration easier for everyone.

Inspecting high-rise buildings with drones
Performing measurements on the digital twin

Once the annotations and measurements were completed by the structural engineers. The client used the digital twin model for historical records and documentation, as well as plans for any changes or maintenance to the building. With the annotations, detail, and accuracy all combined in the digital twin, the client now has a complete idea of the status of the entirety of the building – all thanks to a drone facade inspection and digital twins!

How the City of Spokane Uses LPR Technology for Parking

License Plate Recognition (LPR) technology, which utilizes cameras and software to read license plates, has been used since the late ’70s in the United Kingdom. Many municipalities began using it in the ’90s.

LPR technology is used by multiple departments at the City in varying ways. Parking Services originally tapped into the technology in 2015.

Starting in 2022, the department began using LPR to determine if motorists have paid for parking or stayed beyond the limit in the same parking space. LPR also identifies vehicles on the scofflaw list, which indicates who has unpaid parking tickets.

Each of the City’s three Parking Services vehicles has two LPR cameras and two tire cameras.

Read More: https://my.spokanecity.org/news/stories/2023/03/13/how-the-city-uses-lpr-technology-for-parking/

Mayor Duggan announces new Digital Equity Director to lead Detroit’s fight to close the Digital Divide

Mayor Mike Duggan today announced the appointment of Christine Burkette as the city’s new Digital Equity Director. Burkette, a Detroit native and IT company CEO, is excited to use her experience to continue the work of closing the digital divide in her hometown from the inside out.

“Detroit has continued to lead the way nationally on Digital Equity & Inclusion,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “We have no doubt that adding Christine as the leader of this team will continue to help Detroit close the Digital Divide, continuing the City’s path to become one of the most connected cities in America.”

Read More: https://detroitmi.gov/news/mayor-du...ctor-lead-detroits-fight-close-digital-divide

Toronto to remove, block TikTok on city-issued devices

The City of Toronto says it will be removing TikTok from approximately 350 City-issued devices that it has been downloaded onto.

In a statement issued Friday afternoon, the City said it will also be blocking the app from being downloaded on City-issued devices in the future.

The City said the decision to block and remove the application “is in line with the approach of federal, provincial and municipal partners, and was made in consultation with the City’s Technology Services Division, Office of the Chief Information Security Officer and Senior Leadership.”

Read More: https://globalnews.ca/news/9543624/toronto-to-remove-block-tiktok-on-city-issued-devices/

18 April, 2023 | CompTIA Partners and UK&I Community Meeting

This meeting is open to all training partners and technology professionals
The day is divided into two distinct parts, with the morning dedicated to training partners and the afternoon focuses on best practices and leadership within the CompTIA Community.
Throughout the day, attendees will have ample opportunities to network and connect with their peers and industry leaders.

Who should attend:

Join the morning session
if you are an IT organisation looking to learn more about nurturing and growing talent within your business. Bring along your future leaders, as they can get first-hand information on how to improve skills. Sessions will also benefit CompTIA Partners and Training Centres looking to elevate their training delivery. CompTIA Partners will get valuable advice on delivering top class training programs and any training centres looking to enhance their training delivery.

Join the afternoon session if you want to network with technology professionals, hear from experts in the field about the best practices for businesses and leaders. Throughout the day, attendees will have the opportunity to network and connect with their peers and industry leaders. They will be able to share their experiences, ideas, and challenges and learn from one another. This is a unique opportunity for members to learn and grow in their professional careers and improve their business acumen.
The Auditorium in Baldoyle Training Centre
Baldoyle Industrial Estate, Dublin 13

Mayor Adams Celebrates 20 Years of NYC311 With Release of State of 311 Report

New York City Mayor Eric Adams today celebrated the 20th anniversary of the launch of New York City's 311 service, the platform that provides New Yorkers seeking information and assistance from the city agencies direct answers and support to their needs. Since it launched in March 2003, 311 has received more than 525 million contacts — through phone calls, texts, social media posts, website submissions, chat support, and a mobile app — from New Yorkers. As part of the celebration, Mayor Adams today released a State of 311 Report, detailing all-time contact statistics, peak moments of service, and some of the most popular service requests. Mayor Adams also released a video reciting a list of the most outrageous questions and comments New Yorkers have made to 311 over its 20-year span.

Read More: https://www.nyc.gov/office-of-the-m...ates-20-years-nyc311-release-state-311-report

Fact or Fallacy: Digital Workplaces Involve Far More Than Purchasing Solutions

A digital workplace is a virtual counterpart to the physical workplace, where employees can collaborate and use various tools to complete their day-to-day tasks. Digital workplaces have gained momentum since the start of the pandemic as organizations moved to remote and hybrid work. State and local governments can greatly benefit from digital workplaces to enhance both the citizen and the employee experience.

Still, many government agencies have been slow to accept the concept of the digital workplace due to some common misconceptions.

Read More: https://statetechmagazine.com/artic...kplaces-involve-far-more-purchasing-solutions

City council delays vote on LAPD robot dog to explore capabilities and criticisms

LOS ANGELES — After a lengthy debate, Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian postponed a contentious vote Tuesday on whether to accept the donation of a nearly $280,000 dog-like robot for the LAPD.

"I'd like when it comes back to have the policies that are currently in place before the council as a condition to acceptance of this gift," Krekorian said near the end of Tuesday's discussion.

Delaying the vote by 60 days, he said, "would also allow us the opportunity to exhaust every opportunity to have responses to the questions that have been raised about existing deployment capabilities and so forth."

Police officials say that the device, nicknamed Spot, would be deployed only in a limited set of circumstances that require a SWAT team response. Its presence, they argue, would allow authorities to avoid unnecessarily putting officers in harm's way and potentially avoid violent encounters.

Read More: https://www.police1.com/police-prod...capabilities-and-criticisms-rA22W412ChtWLgJN/

Canadian Security Intelligence Service warns 'smart city' technology can open door to attacks, foreign interference

OTTAWA - Canada's intelligence service warns that technological innovations adopted by municipalities could be exploited by adversaries such as the Chinese government to harvest sensitive data, target diaspora communities and interfere in elections.

A newly released report by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service urges policy-makers and the technology industry to consider steps that can be taken to address and ease the emerging security threat before “smart city” platforms are widely adopted.

Such systems feature electronically linked devices that gather, analyze, store and transmit information through centralized platforms. In turn, municipalities can use artificial intelligence to efficiently control operations and services, allowing them to change traffic lights at the optimal time, manage energy use or track the location of publicly rented bicycles.

Read More: https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/csi...oor-to-attacks-foreign-interference-1.6305755

Acting national cyber director offers new details on upcoming cyber workforce strategy

The forthcoming plan is meant to accompany an overarching cyber strategy released last week that industry groups and cybersecurity experts said would be challenging to implement given the nation’s cyber workforce woes.

Read More: https://gcn.com/cybersecurity/2023/...ils-upcoming-cyber-workforce-strategy/383729/

San Diego police bid to reinstate smart streetlights

Over two years since San Diego cut off access to data from its smart streetlights, the police department has announced that it is holding community meetings to gather feedback on a proposal to reinstate some streetlights. The department also wants to add automated licence plate recognition (ALPR) technology.

Read More: https://cities-today.com/san-diego-police-bid-to-reinstate-smart-streetlights/

‘Smart city’ leaders urged to weigh innovation against privacy risks

Smart city technologies have the potential to improve residents’ lives, but these benefits can only be reaped if public trust is maintained, says a new report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

The report, published by the nonprofit think tank on Monday, recommends that cities interested in “smart technologies” balance any potential benefits to society against privacy concerns. These include the collection of personally identifiable information that could be exposed in a cyberattack, sold to a third party or used in government surveillance efforts.

Read More: https://statescoop.com/itif-smart-city-privacy-report-2023/

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San Diego Regional Cyber Lab Launches to Bolster Cybersecurity Defenses Locally

With cybersecurity concerns on the rise following several major ransomware attacks nationwide, the City of San Diego has launched the San Diego Regional Cyber Lab to help local agencies prevent and protect against cyberattacks.

The Cyber Lab serves as a regional resource for small businesses, public agencies and educational institutions to utilize for specialized training with safe environments to simulate and defend against cyberattacks. The lab’s mission is to provide coordinated cybersecurity awareness for the greater San Diego region through collaborative access to the latest technology, intelligence and training tools.

Read More: https://www.sandiego.gov/insidesd/s...unches-bolster-cybersecurity-defenses-locally

Anchorage Assembly member wants to ban the city from using of facial recognition technology

An Anchorage Assembly member wants to ban the use of facial recognition technology by the city government.

East Anchorage Assembly member Joey Sweet is drafting the proposal. He said during a Public Safety Committee meeting Wednesday that while the city doesn’t use the technology yet — and Anchorage police say it’s not a priority to get it — he wants to be proactive.

“Policy is so often reactive,” he said. “I don’t want there to be an incident and then we respond to it. I want to do this now.”

Read More: https://alaskapublic.org/2023/03/01...-from-using-of-facial-recognition-technology/

Solano County launches emergency evacuation zone technology

The Solano County Office of Emergency Services has launched the “Know Your Zone” campaign to better prepare residents and businesses in all seven Solano County cities for emergencies and evacuations.

Residents can enter their address into an interactive map on Zonehaven AWARE, which will open a pop-up window that includes the address’ zone name and information about that zone.

“Residents and businesses should record the names of all the zones they frequent–such as home, work, school, or homes of loved ones–and keep them in a visible place,” officials said in a City of Vacaville press release.

Read More: https://www.thereporter.com/2023/03/02/solano-county-launches-emergency-evacuation-zone-technology/

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How Blockchain Technology Is Changing The World

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We see the stories every day. Feds charge 21 people in global crypto money laundering bust. FTX not only filed for bankruptcy, but hackers allegedly stole customer assets. Cryptocurrency investors have lost more than $2 trillion in the past year.

Given such headlines, one can be forgiven for viewing cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency trading negatively. Moreover, the tremendous amount of energy required for bitcoin mining also may add to one’s skepticism, given the very real impact of climate change. But one should remember that cryptocurrency represents just a small subset of distributed ledger technology (DLT). As such, people, businesses and governments must be extremely careful not to dismiss the vast potential blockchain offers humanity as a whole.

What Is Blockchain?​

At its most basic, blockchain is about how both digital and real assets get moved from one person or one place to the next without the need for a costly, intrusive third party to facilitate the process. While the creation of distributed ledger technologies that make blockchain work was applied first to the movement of money, giving rise to cryptocurrency, blockchain can be used for any asset by creating a digital replica of a real object and performing the necessary action in real time.

How Blockchain Benefits Society​

The world has already benefited heavily from the power and elegance of blockchain. For example, at the height of the pandemic, with millions of people in desperate need of effective Covid-19 vaccines, our company created an intelligent vaccine tracking system using blockchain to ensure frictionless distribution of life-saving immunizations around the globe under extreme temperature control. This not only ensured vaccines got to the people who needed them around the world in record time, but reduced costs that governments had to pay pharmaceutical companies to purchase them since the blockchain tracking system helped limit the number of spoiled vaccines that had to be thrown out due to exposure to too much heat or cold.

Continue reading: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes...nology-is-changing-the-world/?sh=79604b291397

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How to hire a blockchain developer in 5 easy steps

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Blockchain developer jobs involve designing, developing and deploying decentralized applications, creating smart contracts and more.

It might be difficult to find a blockchain developer, particularly if one is unfamiliar with the technology and its range of uses. Employing knowledgeable developers who can assist organizations in creating and deploying blockchain-based solutions that match their objectives is becoming more and more crucial due to the growing demand for blockchain solutions across industries. In this article, we will outline five easy steps to hire a blockchain developer.

Step 1: Understand your business needs​

Understanding a company’s needs and the kind of blockchain solution it wants to construct is crucial before recruiters or hiring managers start looking for a blockchain developer. There are several uses for blockchain technology, including voting systems, supply chain management and decentralized finance (DeFi). Talent management specialists can focus their search on finding developers with experience creating solutions that are pertinent to their sector by being aware of their business needs.

Step 2: Look for experienced developers​

It’s time to start looking for blockchain developers who have the knowledge and experience necessary to create the solution an organization needs once hiring managers have a firm grasp of their company’s requirements.

Searching online job boards, such as LinkedIn, Upwork and Freelancer.com as well as posting job advertisements in pertinent forums and social media groups are various ways to discover skilled developers. Alternatively, attending trade shows and conferences where recruiters can meet blockchain entrepreneurs and businesses may also be helpful.

When assessing possible candidates, recruiters should look for developers with experience working with blockchains like Ethereum, Hyperledger and Corda as well as coding languages, such as Solidity, Go and JavaScript when assessing possible candidates. Additionally, check their portfolio and references to ensure they have a track record of building successful blockchain solutions.

Continue reading: https://cointelegraph.com/news/how-to-hire-a-blockchain-developer-in-5-easy-steps

  • Article
5 ways for women to get a really good mentor in tech


The benefits of having a mentor in tech are tremendous​

We hear people talk about the benefits of getting a mentor all the time, especially if you are a woman in tech. And it’s true having all the tools at your disposal to advance in this male-dominated space is critical.
But while the talk of mentors and mentorship is rife, it’s not always clear why. Here is a list of the benefits.
  • Guidance and Support: A mentor can provide guidance and support to help women navigate the challenges they may face in the tech industry. This can include advice on career development, dealing with workplace issues, and navigating the industry culture.
  • Networking: A mentor can also provide opportunities for women to expand their network and connect with other professionals in the industry. This can help them find new job opportunities, build relationships with potential clients or collaborators, and gain exposure to new ideas and perspectives.
  • Role Models: Having a mentor who is a successful woman in the tech industry can be a powerful role model for women who are just starting out or who may be facing obstacles in their careers. Seeing someone who has successfully navigated the industry and overcome similar challenges can be inspiring and motivating.
  • Confidence Building: A mentor can help build women’s confidence in tech by providing positive feedback, highlighting their strengths, and encouraging them to take on new challenges. This can help women overcome imposter syndrome and other forms of self-doubt that can hold them back from reaching their full potential.
Continue reading: https://diversityq.com/5-ways-for-women-to-get-a-really-good-mentor-in-tech/

  • Article
To Attract More Women In Tech, The Industry Needs To Change

Incredible advancements in tech are rapidly reshaping our world and evolving working practices and environments. During, and since, the Covid-19 pandemic, technology has positively permeated and transformed our daily lives at an astonishing rate—for businesses, streamlining customer interactions, facilitating new experiences, and enhancing processes.

Undoubtedly, it is a hugely exciting time to work within the tech industry. Great strides are being made to encourage diverse perspectives in the workplace. Yet in today’s much more progressive and democratized corporate landscape, we’re still not giving women enough opportunities, or the space needed to truly lead within the sector.

Inspiring tomorrow’s tech leaders, today

It’s anticipated that by 2030, less than 25% of ICT specialists will be female. That’s only a small rise from the 19% that seen in positions globally today—and in many countries, the share is falling. To plug the digital skills gap and create a more diverse workforce, leaders must unite to encourage more girls and young women to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math; in Europe today, only one in three STEM graduates are female.

The obvious starting point is showcasing tech careers to girls and young women. Programs aimed at inspiring the next generation of tech leaders, such as AWS GetIT, can help schools and educators bring tech role models to their classrooms. Through app-building competitions, girls learn practical digital and IT skills, experience working as a team, and gain self-confidence by presenting ideas to wider audiences, all while being exposed to STEM careers. It’s a small but important step towards inspiring young females to become tomorrow’s tech leaders.

Continue reading: https://www.forbes.com/sites/commit...the-industry-needs-to-change/?sh=280b11383628

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Five Artificial Intelligence Predictions For The Near Future

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When it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), the advances we saw in 2021 pale in comparison to those that occurred last year, and AI shows no signs of slowing down. Industries from financial services to healthcare to manufacturing are adopting AI-enabled solutions to restructure how they operate as well as to solve previously intractable problems. Building on my AI predictions from last year, in this article I will explore five ways in which AI is poised to transform our society in the near future.

1. Generative AI will keep ramping.​

Generative AI had an explosive year in 2022. Popular systems like DALL-E 2, Stable Diffusion and Midjourney can produce incredibly detailed images from a text prompt in a matter of seconds, irrevocably altering the landscape of graphic design. Tools like ChatGPT allow users to converse with a highly capable chatbot capable of answering questions, composing emails, creating code and even writing entire essays from scratch. The changes from previous iterations of Generative AI have been staggering—DALL-E 2’s picture-perfect generations are leaps and bounds above its predecessor, despite less than a two-year gap between the release of the models.

I expect the technology to continue improving at a parabolic pace. Google recently showcased its text-to-video AI model, which is likely to increase output quality at least as (if not more) quickly as DALL-E 2 has done. GPT-4 has already been announced by OpenAI, and there have been increasing hints that the technology will have multimodal capabilities, able to function across images, texts and sounds all at once. A multimodal AI would be capable of building new business models that could open the door for jobs and opportunities that we couldn’t even imagine a year ago.

2. Companies will embrace AI across creative workflows.​

Generative AI is also on track to become much more widely adopted for commercial purposes and as a part of creative workflows and practices. Companies could soon routinely leverage generative text and imagery to create entirely new content and marketing displays. Instead of spending hours churning out drafts, you could create hyper-personalized content rapidly, reducing your marketing budget and improving effectiveness in the process.

AI generative music could also contribute to this evolution in marketing, becoming a staple in commercial jingles, background video music and other online media. Furthermore, generative imagery has the potential to help create logos, social media posts and other high-quality visuals. I see these capabilities as revolutionizing the marketing industry by switching the focus to AI-assisted content that can resonate with individual user needs.

Continue reading: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes...dictions-for-the-near-future/?sh=298d979c5f18

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How AI Could Transform Email

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WHAT IF YOUR inbox were jam-packed with AI-generated emails? You may already be on the receiving end of emails written by artificial intelligence, with the help of a human prompter. Austin Distel, a senior director of marketing at Jasper, is one of those humans.

Austin smiles as he demonstrates Japer’s knack for email composition. “These are tools in my tool belt that helped me perform faster, but also better,” he says before sharing that he often uses generative AI to rewrite work emails so they sound like Jerry Seinfeld.

What’s the Deal With Autocomplete?
Email is one the least authentic forms of communication. The stock phrases and courtesy replies are comically robotic. Like, why do you hope this email finds me well? Google has used machine learning in Gmail for the past few years to generate one sentence replies and predict what you’re likely to type next. Newer companies, like Compose AI, might enable people to further rely on autocomplete functions while sending emails.

“Autocomplete is not going to sway you away from what you already want to type. It’s just going to accelerate it,” says Michael Shuffett, a founder and CEO of Compose AI. Although large blocks of AI-generated text from models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT are quite popular, smaller snippets crafted by autocomplete are easier to control at the present moment. It’s akin to riding a tandem bike with a robot versus letting it ride your bike alone at night after giving a one-sentence command. The first option requires more effort, but you're more likely to reach your intended destination together.

Continue reading: https://www.wired.com/story/how-to-use-ai-for-email-artificial-intelligence-tips-advice/