Up Times · February 2022

Up Times

by Bryley · May 2023

Kristin Pryor

Kristin Pryor Named Vice President of IT Operations

She loves what she’s doing
–VP Anna Darlagiannis-Livingstone describing Kristin Pryor

Kristin Pryor was recently named Vice President of IT Operations. Kristin joined Bryley Systems in 2019 as Director of Technical Services. An early sign of her executive aptitude was watching that whenever there was any kind of a break from dealing with the day-to-day demands of an IT department, Kristin would move into strategic mode, President Garin Livingstone said … [4 min. read]

Delta animation

Six Questions to Help You Make a Successful Technology Change

It’s an achievement to bring in a new technology solution that will help your employees do their jobs better or that will keep your business more secure.

It’s an achievement also because many companies look the other way when the time comes to review and update processes, legacy applications and machines. Are they trying to delay the inevitable?

But if you have decided to review and upgrade your tech processes, there are some things you should bear in mind to make the change as easy as possible … [6 min. read]

Business Continuity Mixtape – Bryley-curated stories from around the internet:

What are the psychological effects of ransomware?

The psychological and behavioral effects of ransomware are not often spoken about. It’s much more common to hear about the financial costs of data restoration and getting up and running again. But Joseph Cheng has begun to assemble data, which was published last year by security non-profit ISACA:

Following ransomware attacks, people may feel fear, worry, disappointment, frustration, distrust and helplessness. This can lead to long-term psychological consequences such as depression, panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder. Guilt and shame are also compounded when victims are blamed by their organization, family members or society for falling victim to the attack … [5 min. read] isaca.org

Digital Librarian SimulationWe have this tendency to think we can relate to something that’s other, like a big-eyed panda or an electrical outlet.

The test from the Washington Post, linked below, of the reliability of good-sounding answers given by a chatbot reminded me of the Houston “Library” scene in 1975’s Rollerball (and who doesn’t know the movie for its library scene?):

Clerk: The books you ordered are classified and have been transcribed and summarized.

Jonathan E: Who summarized them?

Clerk: I suppose the computer summarized them … you could go to the computer center where the real librarians transcribe the books. We have all the [computer-]edited versions in our catalog, anything I think you’d want.

Jonathan E: Well, I see then, this is really not a library and you’re not really a librarian.

Clerk: I’m only a clerk, that’s right. I’m sorry about it, really.

Here’s the test of a chatbot’s reliability … [5 min. read] washingtonpost.com

Robot with false mustache
It’s easy, when it all looks so magical, to stop trusting our own senses and start delegating everything to the algorithm, Lior Zalmanson of Tel Aviv University said in response to a recent study by researchers from MIT and Columbia University.

One of the perceived attributes of chatbots is self-assuredness. And we seem caveman-wired to go with the confident versus the right voice – (like on the BBC’s 2000’s-era Hustle, how the character Ash assumes a persona and talks his way into securing someone else’s plush office to pull off a con). Being duped by the superficial is a well-known human frailty.

In the MIT/Columbia study about 200 participants were given a set of statements generated by GPT-3. The participants were asked to determine whether the statements made logical sense. The participants were split into three groups:

  • The first group’s statements came with no explanation.
  • The second group’s statements each came with an explanation about why it was or wasn’t logical.
  • The third group’s statements each came with a question that prompted readers to check the logic themselves.

The little bit of friction introduced in the third group’s scenario, substantially improved the participants’ ability to notice when the AI stopped making sense.

Do you think we can handle slowing our instant-answer machines like that? [5 min. read; paywall with an allowance for complimentary reading] technlogyreview.com

St Bernard with a Brandy Barrel
Chatbots quickly went from being cool and funny to freaking us out by their potential for misuse – all in a tiny window of time, according to Georgetown Math Professor Cal Newport. In his podcast, he explains to non-computer scientists what these chatbots are actually doing when we interact with them.

By giving us a breakdown of what’s going on on the backend, Prof. Newport shows the chatbot technology is far less capable than our perceptions trick us into believing.

He sees the real future for chatbot technology is that they become better assistants: I don’t need you to write a Seinfeld episode about Bubble Sort [Algorithm], I need you to understand me when I say get me all the email addresses for the students in the first section of my class. I need you just to understand what that means and be able to interface with the student database, and get those emails out and format it properly … [90 min. video] youtube.com

Note: The Mixtape section is Bryley’s curated list of external stories. Bryley does not take credit for the content of these stories, nor does it endorse or imply an affiliation with the authors or publications in which they appear.

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