Why 2018 is the year of AI

Why 2018 is the year of AI

Why 2018 is the year of AI

Exclusive guest post by Thomas Rockmann, VP Connected Home at Deutsche Telekom.

We’ve been promised so much over the years, but now AI is ready to deliver. From connected cars and smart homes, through to improved ambient assisted living (AAL), AI is the common thread that unites them all.

This is the year of AI

Analysts predicted that worldwide revenues for cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI) systems will reach $ 12.5 billion in 2017, an increase of 59.3% over 2016, and that investment will continue that trajectory, achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54.4% through 2020 when revenues will be more than $ 46 billion.

The analysts might just be right this time too, as the supporting base of technology has caught up with the demands and opportunities offered by improved AI. A clear example was at CES 2018, one of the biggest annual showcases of technology, which lit up Las Vegas in early January, and much of the major noise this year was around AI and associated devices.

The trend in 2017 of big-brand-backed home speakers with baked in voice assistants has extended and diversified, with Apple and Google joining the chase, while market leader Amazon has diversified. At CES 2018, a wide range of smart home devices integrated with Amazon Alexa stole the show, including showers, mirrors, light switches, microwave ovens and cars, to name but a few. Meanwhile Samsung announced that all 2018 Smart TVs and future TVs would include the company’s AI voice assistant Bixby – not just connected entertainment, but voice enabled AI entertainment.

Of course, it is the smart companion that is at the heart of the overall concept, helping run your home, car and life whether you are at home or on the go. Most consumers find that there is a single-entry point into the smart home space, and in many cases the voice-enabled assistant is proving to be a comfortable starting point.

The market for in-home AI assistants is certainly accelerating – indeed, at Deutsche Telekom we have recently announced plans to speed up the transition to AI during 2018 with the launch of an own-brand assistant and AI-enabled consumer speaker product to control smart home devices and DT’s services such as EntertainTV.

The logistical barriers to entry are very low – unbox, plug in, connect to Wi-Fi – yet the possibilities are extensive, and the ability to connect to other smart home services enormous. From that starting point the possibility to add in smart lighting, or a connected camera or doorbell is clear, and a seamless integration to boot.

Artificial IntelligenceAn obvious area for consumers to extend this smart control into is the car, and the rise of the connected car is just beginning to demonstrate the appetite for intelligent assistants in the passenger seat. Indeed, at CES it was announced that Amazon Alexa will be embedded into Toyota and Lexus cars later this year. This announcement follows on from Volkswagen’s Car-Net App Connect, showcased last September, which allows car owners to conveniently control our Magenta SmartHome technology features while on the road. By linking an Android smartphone to the Volkswagen Car-Net App Connect, drivers will be able to control Deutsche Telekom’s Magenta SmartHome app via their vehicle entertainment system, carrying out tasks such as deactivating a security system, switching on exterior lights and controlling the home’s heating system to ensure a comfortable temperature on arrival.

It is easy to see how this wave of innovation will begin to impact on our homes and communities, allowing highly granular sharing of information to improve the quality of resident’s everyday lives. Soon the precise location of a homeowner will not impact on their awareness of – and crucially ability to respond to – a home-related event.

A neighbour can hear a smoke alarm alert, but the homeowner is still driving home? Perhaps a remote reset or battery test will do the trick – or a smart lock could be opened remotely, and manual checks made. The advent of community IoT networks will enable the sharing of key data to enable smoother, easier resolutions to a whole range of small but niggling issues, as well as more serious questions of community safety. The increased abilities of AI to personalise these, as well as recognise the differences between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ patterns will broaden adoption and remove bottlenecks and pain points, such as simplifying setup routines.

This combination of enhanced intelligence and broadening adoption will also begin to have an impact on a large but historically dormant market – the AAL market. The impact of AI on AAL will prompt a sea-change itself in the coming years, as rather than having to create a rules-based system (if I get up in the night, turn on the bathroom light), smart home and AAL systems will increasingly learn and apply context in specific situations, a key benefit in smoothing adoption.

Meanwhile, the growth of voice-enabled or enhanced AI plays particularly well in the AAL context, where the ability to control devices with semantic speech is vital for several reasons. Not only does it remove the need to physically engage with small or hard-to-reach devices, but speech control also rescues the user from engaging with the hardware, the OS, the UI – these are all invisible to the speech controller, which negates many technical barriers.

Just one example is Deutsche Telekom’s Qivicon, which interoperates with Amazon Echo via an Alexa skill. The result is that customers can control their lights, blinds, alarm systems and much more with just their voice. Different users can add an additional layer of personalisation by creating ‘situations’, such as an “Off to bed” situation where the lights are switched off in the living room and dimmed in the hallway, the heating is turned down and the blinds lowered.

The power of AI to unify use cases and ‘level up’ human engagement with the nuts and bolts of technology will perhaps prove one of its most widely felt impacts. While 2018 may not see a complete sea change in the ability of the technology, it will certainly deliver a considerably enhanced base of integrated devices in the hands of consumers, which will in turn refine use cases as well as improve the underlying systems. Welcome to the future!

For more information, visit: https://smarthome.telekom.net/

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How IoT will evolve this year and why disposability and recyclability will determine the future

The year is shaping up to be one of the most innovative in history, and you may be wondering which trends will emerge to drive connected life forward. After we saw IoT become a household name in 2017, says Vivek Mohan, director of Wireless IoT Products at Semtech, here’s what I believe 2018 has in store.

As people try to find greener and more energy-efficient methods, energy harvesting will be important in the Internet of Things (IoT), especially for low-power technology. This will have particular relevance with solar power, thermal energy, wind energy, salinity gradients, and kinetic energy captured and then stored for small, wireless autonomous devices like those used in wearable electronics. Wireless sensor networks will take on added significance as these new cutting-edge IoT technologies are developed.

Field services

The field service industry is huge, encompassing 20 million field technicians spread across the world. These individuals are responsible for maintaining everything from hospital equipment, to office elevators and heavy manufacturing machines. Maintenance can be a daunting and costly task, so creating efficiencies and leveraging predictive maintenance is crucial. IoT technology such as sensors and real-time monitoring are becoming more crucial because organisations need to know exactly where and when equipment needs to be adjusted or replaced.

Keeping rodents and pests, such as rats, mice and termites, away is an age-old problem that has deep consequences when it comes to meeting food and building safety requirements.

Leveraging sensors with IoT devices and networks is becoming more prevalent, and in the year ahead we will see even more creative applications of this technology for monitoring of pests, so people and businesses can detect possible problems before they become serious.

Disposable IoT

However, by far the biggest trend that I believe we will see this year will be the rise of disposable IoT. As IoT become more mainstream, new types of use cases and applications appear that require low-cost and low-power solutions with the ease of one-time usage.

Disposable technologies are not a new concept (think disposable cameras), but disposable technologies for IoT is new. The concept of disposable IoT is in its infancy, yet we are starting to see innovation in this area from large industries.

For example, the U.S. Marine Corps is now testing single-use drones made of cardboard, powered by inexpensive motors, to deliver supplies to combat troops. Tech companies have also begun using low-cost, low-power, green tags that can track real-time feedback.

Various challenges needed to be met before truly disposable IoT could become reality. Firstly, the diversity of the types of application that exist within IoT and the subsequent need for multiple types of technology – and the adaptation of others – has posed perhaps the biggest hurdle.

A further challenge has been related to the battery. Indeed, a key issue with IoT stems from the fact that many devices require batteries, but these energy sources need to incorporate materials with much lower levels of toxicity than, for instance, lithium-ion batteries, which are difficult to recycle. I’ve seen this innovation up close, as Semtech recently invested […]

The post How IoT will evolve this year and why disposability and recyclability will determine the future appeared first on IoT Now – How to run an IoT enabled business.

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14,000 Incidents: a 2017 Routing Security Year in Review

How was the state of the Internet’s routing system in 2017? Let’s take a look back using data from BGPStream. Some highlights:

  • 13,935 total incidents (either outages or attacks like route leaks and hijacks)
  • Over 10% of all Autonomous Systems on the Internet were affected
  • 3,106 Autonomous Systems were a victim of at least one routing incident
  • 1,546 networks caused at least one incident

An ‘incident’ is a suspicious change in the state of the routing system that can be attributed to an outage or a routing attack, like a route leak or hijack (either intentional or due to a configuration mistake).[i] Let’s look at just a few examples of incidents picked up by the media.

March 2017. SECW Telecom in Brazil hijacked prefixes of Cloudflare, Google, and BancoBrazil causing some outage for these services in the region.

April 2017. Large chunks of network traffic belonging to MasterCard, Visa, and more than two dozen other financial services companies were briefly routed through a Russian telecom. For several minutes, Rostelecom was originating 50 prefixes for numerous other Autonomous Systems, hijacking their traffic.

August 2017. Google accidentally leaked BGP prefixes it learned from peering relationships, essentially becoming a transit provider instead of simply exchanging traffic between two networks and their customers, causing large-scale internet disruption. It hit Japanese users the hardest, slowing or blocking access to websites and online services for dozens of Japanese companies.

October 2017. Another BGP mishap caused reachability and performance problems for networks such as Twitter, Google, and others. For almost 20 minutes, traffic for many large CDNs was rerouted through Brazil, caused by a BGP leak.BGP mishap caused reachability and performance problems for networks such as Twitter, Google, and others. For almost 20 minutes, traffic for many large CDNs was rerouted through Brazil, caused by a BGP leak.

November 2017. BGP routing issues between Level3 and Comcast caused large scale network service degradation in North America for slightly more than 90 minutes. Another route leak.

December 2017. Several high-profile sites (Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitch, NTT Communications and Riot Games) were rerouted to a previously unused Russian AS. Two BGP routing incidents only lasted about three minutes each.

Not a single day passed without an incident. While none of the incidents was catastrophic, all of them continue to demonstrate the lack of routing controls like those called for in MANRS that could have prevented them from happening.

This is just a small fraction of what happened in the routing system in 2017. Rather than measure routing security by anecdotal evidence, let’s look at the data.

Routing Incidents

Of the 13,935 total incidents, 62% were classified as outages and 28% were considered routing attacks like route leaks and hijacks.

6,128 Autonomous Systems were involved, which is more that 10% of all announced ASNs on the Internet. If we look at the outages, almost half of them happened to Brazilian operators.[ii]

Let us look to incidents that represent a potential attack, be it malice or a configuration mistake. It is interesting to analyze such routing incidents by the roles a network played – whether it was a victim, a culprit, or an accomplice.

The U.S. ranks first among countries where networks became a victim of an incident, for example when a network’s prefix is hijacked. Last year, that happened 1,193 times in the U.S. It is followed by Brazil (450), India (299), and Russia (242).

Unsurprisingly, the majority of the networks victimized by the most incidents are based in the U.S. In total 3,106 Autonomous Systems were victims of at least one routing incident in 2017.

U.S. and Brazil, followed by Russia and China, lead the list of countries in which networks caused incidents. They are responsible for more that 75% of all incidents. Overall, 1,546 networks caused at least one incident during 2017.

The ranking is different when it comes to the top 10 guilty networks. An interesting case is AS198949 – SecurityDAM, responsible for 54 incidents, mostly prefix hijacks. This is a security provider, offering DDoS attack mitigation among other services. Most probably these incidents were part of attack mitigation actions. Since the BGPStream only registers suspicious routing changes, without knowing intent in some cases it is impossible to distinguish an attack from a legitimate (or consented) routing change.

The U.S. also leads the list of countries with networks that could have prevented an attack, but didn’t, such as not filtering false routing announcements from their customers (one of MANRS Actions). The usual suspects – Russia, Brazil, and China – follow.

In the end, I’d like to note that absolute numbers tell only part of the story. They need to be put into perspective. Countries and networks differ significantly in terms of connected users, announced prefixes, etc. The numbers in this report are not normalized by any of these metrics, but to give an idea, look at a possible one – number of active networks in a country. For example, perhaps the U.S. leads many of these lists simply because there are more networks where incidents could happen. (The “AS’s advertised” chart below comes from data available at http://resources.potaroo.net/iso3166/regiontablecc.html.)

Another point is that it is hard to say whether these numbers are OK, or really bad. Is the system improving or getting worse? The statistics in this report will be a good basis for a trend analysis in years to come.

What You Can Do – Join MANRS

MANRS is a community-driven initiative coordinated by the Internet Society that provides a minimum set of low-cost and low-risk actions that, taken together, can help improve the resilience and security of the routing infrastructure. The more service providers apply these minimum actions, the fewer incidents there will be, and the less damage they can do.

There are four MANRS Actions:

  • Filtering – Ensure the correctness of your own announcements and of announcements from your customers to adjacent networks with prefix and AS-path granularity
  • Anti-spoofing – Enable source address validation for at least single-homed stub customer networks, your own end-users, and infrastructure
  • Coordination – Maintain globally accessible up-to-date contact information
  • Global Validation – Publish your data, so others can validate routing information on a global scale

Maintaining up-to-date filters for customer announcements could mitigate many route leaks. Preventing address squatting could help ward off things like spam and malware. Keeping complete and accurate routing policy data in Internet Routing Registry (IRR) or Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI) repositories is essential for global validation that helps prevent BGP prefix hijacking. Having updated contact information is vital to solving network emergencies quickly.

Let us hope we will see more network operators joining MANRS, and improvements in routing security in 2018. Happy New Year!


[i] BGPStream is an operational tool that tries to minimize false positives, so this number of total incidents may be on the low side.

[ii] This is only counting the number of incidents and not factoring in duration or number of prefixes affected, which may indicate the impact of these incidents.

[Editor’s Note: This was originally published on the MANRS blog.]

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A list of things that made me smarter (and happier) last year

When 2017 got me down, I turned to Topi the Corgi for some sanity.

Like many of you, I spent last week resting up, reading, relaxing and playing so I could head into 2018 with new ideas, fresh goals and maybe an organized office. So in the spirit of sharing, I thought I’d share with y’all some of the newsletters, books and services that I feel have made me think or have simply cheered me up after a long day.

Connected Rights: This is a weekly newsletter written by my former colleague David Meyer. He’s based in Berlin, so the stories have a European slant in both their origin and his viewpoint. However, since privacy is such a huge issue for the internet of things, I read it religiously to get a sense of court cases and regulations that offer new models for privacy.

The Prepared: This newsletter focuses on making things, technology and anything else that catches the creators’ eyes. Sometimes I even find links for this newsletter in that one. The collection of stories and videos can range from digital law to how a submarine cable is laid. It appeals to most of my nerd love.

Import AI: This newsletter, by former reporter Jack Clark, is the deepest dive into machine learning you can find. My reporter side loves the links to interesting AI papers and research, but my creative side loves his short stories from the future.

Flash Forward:  I love this podcast for its production values and its format that starts with a trip to an imagined future and then interviews experts about the topic imagined. I also love Rose Eveleth’s perspective on the future. She is grounded in science and extrapolates the future with an eye towards both positive and negative developments.

Lab Girl: I loved biology and I love stories. This book adeptly combines the two as a memoir of the writer’s journey toward becoming a scientist. It really conveys the passion that can drive scientists through what can be tedious and frustrating work. It also exposes a lack of support for the people who are trying to understand how the world works.

The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions: My mom was a geophysicist, so this book was a favorite because it made me think of her and all the things she tried to teach me about rocks and the earth’s development. It also includes a view of the future under climate change that seems accurate, although absolutely dreadful. But the writing is top notch and it makes a dry subject compelling.

Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission: I received this book for Christmas and am not quite finished, but it’s a scary read on our future surveillance state and how it will affect everyone, but especially those who don’t have wealth and power. As we expand the digital dragnet, we are missing essential conversations about what we want from police and their role in a democratic society.

Make Me: A Jack Reacher Novel: Yes, I am a fan of Jack Reacher, and this book puts our hero in the world of the dark web, which is far removed from Reacher’s typical bar fights and gun battles in empty fields or abandoned warehouses. Not to say that those elements aren’t there as well. I also enjoy how Reacher ignores technology but is inevitably sucked into it as the world changes.

Topi the Corgi: These YouTube videos are the ones I turn to when the world is a bit too much. I can’t get over the editing, the facial expressions this dog makes and the fact that corgis are adorable.

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

3 important reasons to be thankful for EAM this year

It’s hard to believe two of my favorite ‘T’ events are happening in the next couple of weeks: Thanksgiving & TRIMax. In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S., and in anticipation of TRIMax, I wanted to talk about three things I have to be thankful for this year: customers, community, and partnerships.

Customers: when they succeed, we succeed

We’re seeing some very exciting trends when it comes to how our customers are exploring the use of enterprise asset management (EAM), IoT and beyond to improve their business operations. Bringing the physical and digital worlds closer together, and exploring the pervasiveness of IoT in asset-intensive industries, is exciting to them.  In particular, we are seeing four key trends:

1) Using IoT beyond the Maximo implementation

2) Taking their asset maintenance strategy to the next level

3) Looking for opportunities for quick wins in their digital transformations

4) The relationship between maintenance and technicians is becoming more engaged

We will see and hear about these trends in more detail at TRIMax, the annual TRIRIGA and Maximo user conference. It’s great to see our customers taking advantage of the new innovations surrounding Maximo.

Speaking of award-winning clients,  earlier this month it was announced that our client, Skookum Contract Services, won a 2017 Uptime Award for Best Work Execution Program. Presented annually by ReliabilityWeb’s Uptime Magazine, the award goes to companies that demonstrate high levels of performance in asset management and maintenance reliability, ultimately providing bottom-line benefits to their organization. We’re proud to have partnered with Skookum for the first implementation of IBM Maximo at one of their client sites.

A true sense of community with Maximo

We often hear about the robust community that surrounds Maximo. Over the last 30 years, people have dedicated all or large parts of their career to working with this technology. Maximo runs businesses and those who rely on it love to learn more about it. User groups are held multiple times each year and everyone always walks away with new friends and new ideas. In fact, it’s rare to see anyone leaving early from a user group meeting. Even on the last day of MaximoWorld down in Orlando this year, the room was still packed for the last session on the last day to hear about the future roadmap. With other solutions, this is typically not a topic you often see turning into standing-room only seating!

Why I’m thankful for the Maximo community

I personally have been working with Maximo for 20 years. Attending and presenting at Maximo user groups is always a great experience. It is amazing to see the different ways that customers manage to leverage the Maximo platform. I’m looking forward to my session at TRIMax where I will be discussing data management. My hope is to get customers involved in sharing data horror stories to have an interactive (and probably entertaining) discussion. As you know, bad data can not only have financial implications on your inventory but also prevent you from taking advantage of all the new analytic tools like Watson Analytics.

Me doing some asset management health checkups at MaximoWorld this year.

One of our Principal Consultants, Gina Leonard, will also be leading a hands-on training session. This session will focus on “Inventory Costing for Rotating Assets”. Gina is the former IBM Maximo Supply Chain Offering Manager and brings over 20 years Maximo experience. Her straightforward and entertaining delivery style will guarantee you leave with something you can take back and apply to your organization. Between myself and Gina, we probably know or have worked with thousands of Maximo customers!

Doing more together with great partnerships

I believe in the importance of great partnerships. In addition to partnering with great clients, we have also worked closely with IBM in our mutual efforts to accelerate clients’ business value through EAM & IoT. In fact, last month we were named one of IBM’s top Watson IoT Business Partners globally! Announced at the new global IoT headquarters in Munich, Germany, it is a symbol of our commitment to helping our clients bring digital transformation to their business.

Bringing it all together

Clients, communities and partnerships enable all of us to do better work….together. We work with each other, learn from each other, and support a common cause. For all these reasons,  I am thankful for EAM this year and very much looking forward to TRIMax next week.

There is still limited space available to attend TRIMax, for more details, please check out http://www.trimaxusergroup.com.

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