Class of '23 Brings Tech Chops to Workforce - No Matter Their Degree
More than 4 in 5 college graduates majoring in non-tech fields possess one or more technology proficiencies, such as data analytics capabilities and IT systems knowledge, according to a new Handshake report. Roughly three-quarters plan to develop additional proficiencies in the next few years, the employment marketplace found. The number of computer and information science bachelor's degrees conferred annually has more than doubled in the last decade, based on National Center for Educational Statistics data, to over 100,000 in 2021 from under 50,000 in 2011. Yet, demand has outpaced supply.
As this year's cohort plunges into the job market with resumés in hand, the challenge for business leadership is to look beyond college majors, as technical chops may lay hidden under a degree in literature, psychology or sociology. Data analysis, product management, IT and AI are the top areas in which respondents intend to cultivate additional skills over the next few years. Non-tech majors are gravitating to adjacent skill areas, such as business analytics and design thinking, as well, the report said. (https://www.ciodive.com/news/Class-of-2023-technology-skills-Handshake-workforce/649587/)
MEANWHILE, a recent Wall Street Journal article - Not a Tech Firm? Snaring Top Laid-Off Tech Talent Won't Be Easy - reports that "hotshot" developers from Big Tech firms don't really want to work in the IT department of a retailer or insurance company, recruiters say. But some companies are trying to draw them in with AI projects or bigger roles. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/not-a-tech-firm-snaring-top-laid-off-tech-talent-wont-be-easy-7a6fdb2c)
AI NEWS & TRENDS
OpenAI CEO & Government Officials Call on Lawmakers to Create Safety Standards for AI
The chief executive of ChatGPT creator OpenAI called on Congress to create licensing and safety standards for advanced artificial-intelligence systems, as lawmakers begin a bipartisan push toward regulating the powerful new tools available to consumers. "We understand that people are anxious about how it can change the way we live. We are, too," Sam Altman said of AI technology at a recent Senate subcommittee hearing, his first appearance before Congress. "If this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong." Mr. Altman called for "a new agency that licenses any effort above a certain scale of capabilities and could take that license away and ensure compliance with safety standards." (https://www.wsj.com/articles/chatgpts-sam-altman-faces-senate-panel-examining-artificial-intelligence-4bb6942a)
ALSO, industry watchers expect AI regulations and government focus on AI to increase throughout the year, especially as enterprise adoption and development of AI-powered models continue to spread. Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA, used ChatGPT to write legislation calling for Congress to increase its focus on AI. Lieu's proposal, which was touted as the first-ever piece of legislation written by AI, called for development and deployment of AI that is safe, ethical and respects the rights and privacy of all Americans. (https://www.ciodive.com/news/AI-ChatGPT-legal-scrutiny/641912/)
PLUS, the White House recently convened a group of senior officials and technology industry executives to discuss the rise and ethical use of AI. During the meeting, Vice President Kamala Harris emphasized the importance of fostering responsible, trustworthy and ethical innovation. CEOs from Alphabet, Microsoft, Anthropic and OpenAI joined Harris and other senior officials for a discussion. The White House also announced a public evaluation of AI systems, consistent with responsible disclosure principles, with commitments from several major AI companies. The evaluation will take place at DEFCON 31 in Las Vegas this summer. (https://www.ciodive.com/news/kamala-harris-google-microsoft-openAI/649489/)
ChatGPT, Bard, Bing AI: Which Gives the Best Health Advice?
Healthcare providers say ChatGPT gives better health advice than other generative artificial intelligence platforms, according to a report from health IT company Tebra. Here is which platform each of the 500 providers surveyed said gave the "best advice": 1. ChatGPT: 44%; 2. Google Bard: 42%; 3. Microsoft Bing AI: 14%.
"After examining the medical guidance provided by ChatGPT, 46% of healthcare providers reported feeling more optimistic about the use of AI in healthcare," the April 27 report found. "This represents a significant shift in perspective, with 95% of those surveyed indicating a more positive attitude towards AI technology in healthcare." (https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/disruptors/chatgpt-bard-bing-ai-which-gives-the-best-health-advice.html
Google Builds on Tech's Latest Craze with Its Own AI Products
At its recent annual conference in Mountain View, Google demonstrated some of what it has been working on. The company said its search engine will begin incorporating responses generated by AI at the top of query results pages and allow users to ask follow-up questions. It was a notable step toward Google's embrace of AI, which many experts believe could remake the tech industry. Google was a pioneer in the technology, but had been reluctant to do too much with it because AI comes with risks, like spreading false information. But Google, along with the rest of Silicon Valley, was surprised by the success of ChatGPT. In December, Google declared a "code red" to find ways to incorporate the technology behind ChatGPT, called generative AI, into its own products. Google said at its conference that it has now embedded its latest AI technology into 25 products, including the search updates and a feature to help users write emails in Gmail. (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/10/technology/google-ai-products.html) ALSO, read Everything Google Announced at I/O 2023. (https://www.wired.com/story/google-io-2023-everything-announced/)S
Microsoft Opens Up its AI-powered Bing to All Users
Microsoft is rolling out the new AI-powered version of its Bing search engine to anyone who wants to use it. Nearly three months after the company debuted a limited preview version of its new Bing, powered by the viral AI chatbot ChatGPT, Microsoft is opening it up to all users without a waitlist - as long as they're signed into the search engine via Microsoft's Edge browser. Beyond adding AI features to search, Microsoft has said it plans to bring ChatGPT technology to its core productivity tools, including Word, Excel and Outlook, with the potential to change the way we work. The decision to add generative AI features to Bing could be particularly risky, however, given how much people rely on search engines for accurate and reliable information. (https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/04/tech/microsoft-bing-updates/index.html)
CYBERSECURITY NEWS & TRENDS
Google Announces New Cybersecurity Certificate Program
As part of its ongoing career training initiative - and reflecting ongoing need in the industry - Google has launched a new Cybersecurity Certificate to fill entry-level jobs such as cybersecurity analyst and information security analyst. The certificate can be completed online in less than six months through part-time study, with no experience or degree required, according to the May 4 announcement. (https://www.hrdive.com/news/google-announces-new-cybersecurity-certificate-program/649916/)
Google Rolls Out Alternative to the Password
Google recently began rolling out support for passkeys, an alternative sign-in method for apps and websites that the company says is meant to serve as an "easier to use and more secure" alternative to the password. With passkeys, Google said users can access their various accounts the same way they might unlock their phone: with a fingerprint, face scan or screen lock PIN. The FIDO Alliance, a security consortium that counts many tech firms as members, previously developed standards for passkeys. Microsoft, Apple and Google have since been working to make passkeys a reality.
Apple rolled out its passkey option with the release of iOS 16, allowing people to use the technology across apps, including Apple Wallet. Passkey support was rolled out on Chrome and Android devices in October 2022, but now the option is available across Google accounts, from Gmail to Drive. Google will continue to support passwords and two-factor authentication as other account access options. (https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/03/tech/google-passkeys/index.html)
MORE TECH INDUSTRY NEWS & TRENDS
Metaverse Could Contribute Up to 2.4% of US GDP by 2035, Study Shows
The metaverse could contribute as much as $760 billion or about 2.4% to U.S. annual GDP by 2035, according to a study by Deloitte, commissioned by Facebook owner Meta Platforms. The concept of the metaverse includes augmented and virtual reality technologies that allow users to immerse themselves in a virtual world or overlay information digitally on images of the real world. Economic gains may come from the use of the technologies in the defense, medical and manufacturing sectors, plus entertainment use cases such as video games and communication, the report said. (https://www.reuters.com/technology/metaverse-could-contribute-up-24-us-gdp-by-2035-study-2023-05-09/)
Mushroom-based Chips Could Power Your Devices & Help Save Our Planet
Researchers in Austria are developing chip substrates out of mushroom skin, which can handle high temperatures and act as an insulator and conductor. The biodegradable material brings flexibility to chip design and is being touted as an alternative to unrecyclable plastic. (https://www.zdnet.com/home-and-office/sustainability/these-mushroom-based-chips-could-power-your-devices-and-help-save-our-planet/)