Google I/O

On May 17th, Google announced their newest innovation to the technology world. This time around, Google has decided to put AI on the forefront of its latest devices. Follow along for the highlights of the conference!

  • Assistant interfaces – This new addition allows you to type into Google Assistant, or even plugs-in input straight from Google Lens such as images. For example, this makes it easier and much more helpful to translate it several different languages. Simply point your camera at a menu that is made in a different language, and Google Translate will translate it to your primary language.
  • Google Lens – Google Lens will have a set of services that are vision-based and will identity the object by a point of a camera. You are also able to point it at a Wi-Fi bar code, and it will automatically log you into the network.
  • Google Assistant – Google Assistant has made researching and quick references a joy for Google and Android users. However, with this new update, Google Assistant will now be available on the iPhone as an app.
  • AI-driven face recognition will now perform better in Google Photos at recognizing people.  With Google Lens, the form of image-recognition will be easy to use through your smartphone by using computer vision.
  • Google Home – The Google Home update provides proactive assistance that will give you info before you need it. In other words, users will be able call hands free to US and Canada lines for free, add Soundcloud and Deezer to already existing music services such as Spotify, HBONow, Hulu and others will be added to the TV casting partners. It will also allow you to send directions to your phone on a ‘let’s go’ command and send your calendar or weather report to your TV.

With these additional features, Google continues to make smartphone devices easier and more functional to use on a daily bases.


Google’s Latest Phishing Hack

Early last month, Google fell under attack in a huge phishing operation.

Many received an email that looked similar to an invitation to join a Google Doc from someone they knew on their mailing list. However, once they clicked the link to open the file, you were then directed to grant access to an app that looks like Google Docs. Instead, this was actually a program that sends spam emails to everyone you have previously mailed.

Specifically, this spam email included the following:

  • Used the name “Google Docs”
  • Used the existing Google login system
  • Bypassed any 2 factor authentication or login alerts
  • Only detectable as fake if you click “Google Docs’ while granting permission
  • Replicates itself by sending itself to all your contacts

This process of sending an email to trick someone into granting access into their personal information is called phishing. It is usually done for malicious reasons, just like stealing a credit card information or tricking someone into sharing their password.

Google released an official statement in which they mention they did indeed resolved the issue. They have removed the fake pages, updated all of their Safe Browsing preferences and system. As a result, they continue to encourage their uses to report phishing emails within their Gmail.

If you have or ever do receive an email like this, do not open it. Always remember to:

  • Change your password every three months
  • Make sure your passwords are long with lower and upper cases letters, as well as special characters such as several symbols and/or numbers
  • Make yourself familiar with the style and fonts and specific uses of Google Docs as it can be incredibly helpful when needed to detect a fake.

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

“Siri,  what time is it in London right now?”

“Alexa, access the audio of last nights conference.”

“Echo, shut the shades for the presentation.”

If you thought that artificial intelligence is not a trend in 2017, think again. AI is  all around us, on our smartphones, in our cars and in Amazon dots that sit on our countertops. Automation has been around for decades but slowly that automation has taken on more of a role in our business and home lives. Automation has made work easier, in some cases to the point of replacing the human factor. Automation has also become more intuitive and accurate. Where this trend is going has experts wondering just how far artificial intelligence will play a role in the business world.

Most expert in AI agree that the presence of artificial technology is not going anywhere and will in fact increase in its use. Here are just a two ways that AI may begin to impact the business world within this year.

  • Data Sorting – One area that artificial intelligence is thriving is sorting and organizing big data. AI can gather and analyze massive amounts of data in short periods of time. It can then deliver insights and recommendations based on what it learns, and act on those insights without relying on a human to intervene or guide it.
  • Supervising – While the idea of a machine supervising work may seem a little too “out there,” it is in the realm of possibility. Many automated processes in companies can be switched over to AI technology and leave employees to handle more subjective jobs. Human employees can then oversee the technology handling the software.

Keep an eye on AI in the workplace and return to our blog to find out more as the year unfolds.

Can Virtual Reality Help Your Company?

Virtual Reality seems more like the plot of a sci-fi movie that anything that could help you in the business world. Well, more and more businesses are coming up with new and different ways to integrate virtual reality into their businesses in ways that could benefit their customers, clients or even employees. Virtual Reality may be able to help your clients access content in a way that is not always possible in a two dimensional setting. The year 2017 may be the time that VR explodes in the business world. Let’s take a look at just a few of the ways that virtual reality may benefit your company.

  • Prototypes – For many businesses that have products that are in development, VR could allow clients or employees to create, use or rework a virtual model of your product and make necessary changes before actually paying for production.
  • Designing – If part of your service or product requires designing, VR may help save time and energy in engineering plans or designs. Replications of structures can make this work easy and allow a better viewpoint that can troubleshoot any design flaws.
  • Tours – For businesses that want to show off their showroom or workshop VR can allow for virtual tours even from a remote location. For example, in real estate, a buyer from another state could easily see a property hundreds of miles from home without leaving their home.
  • Training – Many businesses require training on equipment that may mean hiring a specialist. VR can allow employees to get their hands on equipment in the virtual world where there is no fear of breaking equipment.

Wondering how VR could be useful to your business? Give M&H a call.