ABL-Tech Member News & Industry Trendletter * December 20, 2023
    These upcoming ABL ZOOM Tables will discuss "Hybrid Workforce Dynamics: Current Metrics"

  • 1/04 - OC ZOOM Table - featuring Ken Neeld, Delphi/Toast
  • 1/12 - LA ZOOM Table - featuring Uri Blackman, GIDEON Informatics
  • 1/23 - Membership-wide IN-PERSON AI EVENT (in Orange County): Supercharging Your Company's AI Game
    - to Surf Instead of Sink in Today's AI Growth Wave - with AI and other related tools. You can listen, discuss, and meet with a great panel of speakers - and others who'll be with us for this special event; also featuring lunch and a Round Table. 9:30 am to 3 pm. ABL Members have already received an Event Invitation by Separate Email - with Event Location and RSVP Link - RSVP Today!
AI Wave Event Speakers

ALI PAYANI, founder of Payani Group, on using AI for growth marketing;
GREG LEBSACK, on Using AI for Exponential Business Growth;
THOMAS LEFFLER, President of Project Insight, on sharing his "AI-in-Healthtech" Project Management perspective;
SATNAM GAMBHIR, CEO of Envision Financial Systems, on AI for Initial Issues Management;
MARISA BRUTOCO, Sheppard Mullin Partner (formerly in-house counsel at Google, Amazon and Apple) and Member of SM's Technology Transactions Team, on how AI is transforming Content, Technology, and Related Legal Issues;
and ABL's BOB KELLEY making the Positioning Presentation and Panel Moderator.

Eckert & Ziegler (Frank Yeager) Establishes Joint Venture with DC Pharma of China

Eckert & Ziegler (EZ) has signed a 50/50 joint venture agreement with the Chinese pharmaceutical company DongCheng Pharma (DC Pharma). EZ will benefit from the cooperation between the two companies at its production site in Jintan near Shanghai, where the radioisotopes urgently needed for cancer diagnostics and therapy in the growing Chinese market will be produced and commercialized. (LA)

myKaarma's (Ujj Nath) Integration with Stella AI Elevates Customer-Dealer Experience

STELLA Automotive AI has completed an intelligent read-write integration with myKaarma that allows STELLA to operate seamlessly within a dealership's fixed ops platform. This empowers dealerships with the myKaarma product to provide an elevated level of customer service and operational efficiency. STELLA Service Booking, an AI Digital Voice Assistant, promptly answers every inbound call on the first ring, 24/7, eliminating hold times. This streamlined approach empowers customers to conveniently schedule appointments, reducing the booking process to under two minutes. (OC)

John Tanner's NuSci Announces Upcoming In-Person Events

On the evening of January 16, NuSci Nutrition Science Foundation will present a Movie and Dinner Night, featuring the film “The Game Changers,“ which tracks some of the world's most elite athletes. What are and aren't they eating to obtain their top performance? The evening will include a healthy, plant-based meal in an informal setting.
AND, on both February 15 and March 13, NuSci will present a Nutrition Science Workshop, in which John will share his nutrition journey after suffering a near-fatal cardiac arrest in 2009. The evenings will include dinner and a gift book. All of these events will be held at Tanner Research in Duarte. Click here to learn more and register for these events. (LA)

Parasoft (Elizabeth Kolawa, PhD) Releases C/C++test 2023.2 with Complete Support for MISRA

Parasoft has introduced the latest release of C/C++test 2023.2, a transformative tool in C++ development. This update enables developers with a suite of new features, enhancements, and compliance tools, reforming the software development life cycle. With this release, users have a solution that provides assurance that their C++17 code is compliant to MISRA C++ 2023. Parasoft continuously provides complete enforcement of safety and security coding standards, such as complete support for MISRA C++ 2023. (LA)

Payani Group's Ali Payani Named Among “Top 30 Entrepreneurs to Follow in 2024“

The USA Reporter has named Ali Payani, CEO of Payani Group, to its list of the Top 30 Entrepreneurs to Follow in 2024. “These individuals are not just successful; they are the architects of tomorrow. Their stories show that with passion, persistence, and a willingness to embrace change, anyone can make a mark in our rapidly evolving world,“ The USA Reporter said. The article includes three paragraphs detailing many of Ali's highlights.
ALSO, read Payani Group's recent articles, Navigating the Tech Landscape: Top Tech Insights and Trends for 2024, and ESG Integration in Private Equity: Investing with Environmental, Social, and Governance Goals. (LA)

Toast (Ken Neeld) Chosen by Craveworthy to Power Growing Restaurant Portfolio

Toast, a digital platform for restaurants, announced that Craveworthy Brands is implementing Toast in an additional 50 locations across its growing portfolio of restaurants, for a total of 93 locations on Toast, with plans for further expansion. In addition to Toast point-of-sale terminals, Craveworthy is using Toast Go 2 handheld POS devices, Toast Kitchen Display Systems, and Toast Multi-Location Management. (OC)

ICYMI: The Video Recording of ABL's 26th Innovations in Healthcare Awards Is Now Available on the Password-Protected "MEMBERS ONLY" Section of the ABL Website, Under "Presentations"

There you'll find:
- The presentations by ABL's 2023 "Innovator in Healthcare" Awardees: Kendall Lockhart, Founder & CEO of Me+U; Joy Bhosai, MD MPH, Founder & CEO of Pluto Health; Dave Bell, PhD, Founder & CEO of io Health; and Neil Batlivala, Co-Founder & CEO of Pair Team.

- The Keynote presentation by Robert Ross, MD, President & CEO of The California Endowment, our "Leadership in Innovation" Awardee.

- And discussion among the event's attendees.

Alvaka on: Patch Management, Phishing Prevention & More

In Why is Patch Management Critical for your Business?, Alvaka shares that patch management is a critical practice to ensure the security, stability, and compliance of computer systems. It involves a systematic approach to identifying, evaluating, testing, and deploying patches while minimizing disruptions to business operations. However, relying solely on patch management may not be sufficient in today's dynamic threat landscape.
AND, in Are You Phish Bait? Unmasking the Tactics That Target You, Alvaka provides a link to the downloadable CISA Phishing Prevention Guide, a valuable resource for individuals and organizations of all sizes to learn about and defend against phishing attacks.
Click here to read other recent articles from Alvaka, including: “What are the Impacts of Generative AI on Cloud Security?“ and “Dual Ransomware Attacks and How to Protect Yourself." (LA)

Dave Berkus on: Equity & Stock Options

Dave has published two short videos - Be Careful About Equity and Options: Part 1 and Part 2.
MEANWHILE, in his recent blog post - Do employees value their options as ownership, Dave describes how to leverage an option program.
AND, in Stock options or more cash?, Dave notes that many an executive has made much more than any cash compensation from exercise of “in the money“ options after taking the leap to a smaller, fast-growing company, attracted by just this form of incentive compensation. (LA)

CuraeSoft (Mark Parinas) on: Challenges in Objectives, Strategy & Tactics Planning

In a recent release, CuraeSoft notes that organizational leaders often grapple with balancing objectives, strategy, and tactics (OST) for the upcoming business year, and while strategic blueprints are drafted with enthusiasm, maintaining focus and momentum as the year progresses can be challenging. Therefore, the company has created the Strategic Blueprint Module, a sophisticated component of its coAmplifi virtual headquarters platform, meticulously designed to empower leaders in navigating the complexities of OST planning. (LA)

Envision Financial Systems (Satnam Gambhir) on: Getting Data to Where It Needs to Be

In Getting investor data to where it needs to be, Envision Financial Systems looks at an example of populating an enterprise-level data lake and demonstrates how Envision's modern approach can help solve this challenge. (OC)

Get Visible (Jason Ciment) on: Moving Past Incremental Inertia + Boosting Thought Leadership

In Is Your Marketing Suffering from Incremental Inertia?, Get Visible dives into an all-too-common issue many business owners grapple with - being stuck in a loop of the same old marketing moves. AND, in Mastering LinkedIn: 21 Tips to Boost Thought Leadership, Get Visible provides 21 concrete, actionable strategies, precisely engineered for effectiveness and practicality. Get Visible goes beyond the basics, exploring LinkedIn's best practices and advanced tactics. (LA)

GIDEON Informatics (Uri Blackman) on: Health-Related Issues

GIDEON Informatics publishes a variety of health-related articles on its website, including recently: “Exploring Lyme Disease;“ “Norovirus, All you need to know;“ “Glanders, the rare infectious disease that's also a deadly biological weapon;“ “Why haven't we eliminated TB yet?;“ and “10 Bacterial Infections From Your Pets: How to Stay Safe.“ (LA)

Half Past Nine (Kenneth Shen) on: Consumerization of B2B SaaS & More

In The Consumerization of B2B SaaS; Why B2B is Becoming More Like B2C, Half Past Nine discusses how as B2B SaaS products become more mature and players become ubiquitous, the power is shifting from the enterprise buyer to the end users. Buying power is becoming democratized over organizations' user bases.
PLUS, click here to read Half Past Nine's newsletters where recent topics that include: “Demand creation and demand capture are two separate activities that require separate metrics to measure their success,“ and “While CAC:LTV remains a popular B2B growth governor, CAC Payback Period is more important, relevant, and actionable.“ (LA)

Instil (Adam Miller, JD) on: Tips for Major Donor Outreach

In Tips for Major Donor Outreach That Stands Out at Year-End, Instil points out that with so many organizations vying for donors' attention, it can be challenging to stand out. So here they discuss some tips for major donor outreach that makes an impact at year-end. (LA)

Marshall Toplansky on: Underlying Political & Economic Issues in the Middle East + More

Recent episodes of Marshall's and Joel Kotkin's podcast, The Feudal Future, include The Underlying Political & Economic Issues in the Middle East, with Walter Russell Mead, the Wall Street Journal's foreign policy columnist; as well as Navigating Cancel Culture and Free Expression in American Education, with Chapman University President Daniele Struppa and Sarah Lawrence College professor Sam Abrams.
MEANWHILE, Marshall shared that he has obtained the following new certifications from CITI Program: Conflicts of Interest; Social and Behavioral Research; and Investigators and Study Personnel - Revised Common Rule. (OC)

AlzWell (Nick Focil) Publishes Video of Its Award-Winning Presentation

AlzWell, which recently won the Society for Clinical Research Sites Global Summit Site Tank Award, has published an 8-minute video of its presentation at that event, showcasing the company's AI technology that works with Large Language Models to collect patient data and match them with clinical trials. (LA)

Angle Health (Andy Leeka) Featured in Forbes Article

A recent Forbes article - Bringing Personalization And Simplicity To Healthcare - spotlights how Angle Health is redefining expectations for healthcare coverage thanks to digitization, customization, and transparency. (LA)

Biospectal (Eliott Jones) OptiBP Receives First-Ever CE Mark for a Smartphone Blood Pressure Monitoring App

Biospectal has received European CE MDR Class IIa medical device certification for its optical fingertip blood pressure monitoring app, OptiBP - the first and only software app worldwide to receive the CE mark for measuring blood pressure on a smartphone. Biospectal now has access to 30+ countries worldwide. Biospectal OptiBP for Android will be available first in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France via Google Play starting in early 2024. (BA)

Eitan Medical's (Roger Massengale) Infusion Pump Receives Approval in Israel

Eitan Medical's Avoset infusion pump has been approved by the Medical Devices Division of the Israeli Ministry of Health in Israel. Connected Avoset technology brings simplicity and efficiency to specialty infusion, enabling remote visibility and data analysis. (OC)

MedWand's (Bob Rose) Partnership with AT&T Detailed in TeckNexus

MedWand is featured in the December issue of TeckNexus, in an article entitled, MedWand and AT&T to Improve Healthcare Access with 5G - on page 94. The collaboration, which also includes Oracle and HP, aims to bridge healthcare services between urban and rural areas, utilizing 5G and digital technologies to enhance healthcare deliveries, especially in underserved communities. (OC)

Providence Digital Innovation Group (Marcee Chmait) Deemed an "Innovation Program to Know" by Becker's

Providence DIG is among the "34 hospital and health system innovation programs to know | 2023" in a recent issue of Becker's Hospital Review.
AND, Becker's featured the DIG in a recent article - Providence's next step in 'consumer-centric vision' - which reports on the organization's incubated technologies. (LA)

The 5 States With Highest Tech Salaries This Year - Don't Include California!

IT workers in the U.S. earn an average annual salary of $124,931, according to Skillsoft's IT Skills and Salary report. The company surveyed 5,000+ IT workers and decision-makers. Montana, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Alaska topped the list of states where the highest-paid technology pros reside. Montana IT pros topped the list at an average annual salary of $283,750, though the state had a comparatively small group of respondents in the study, according to Skillsoft. New Jersey was next with an average annual salary of $170,020, remaining in second place from last year. Maryland IT pros brought in an average annual salary of $159,669. (https://www.ciodive.com/news/highest-tech-salaries-states/702329/)

Tech Unemployment Fell in November, Lowest Level Since January

Tech unemployment reached 1.7% in November, falling to its lowest level since January, according to a CompTIA review of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. National unemployment fell to 3.7%, down from 3.9% in the previous month. Job postings associated with AI reached 12% of all tech roles posted last month, according to CompTIA, clearing the 10% threshold for the first time in the trade group's analysis. Roles in emerging technologies, or jobs that require emerging tech skills as part of their description, composed more than 25% of all tech job postings last month, CompTIA found. (https://www.ciodive.com/news/tech-unemployment-november-compTIA-AI/702073/)

OpenAI Launches $10M Grant Program to Keep AI from Going Rogue

OpenAI is continuing its focus on increasing human control over AI models in anticipation of superintelligent systems, the company announced last week. The leading AI startup plans to dole out $10 million in grants to support technical research around the topic. Academic labs, nonprofits and individual researchers can apply for grants between $100,000 to $2 million. OpenAI is “particularly interested“ in funding research related to the impact of human reviewers when an AI system is much smarter, understanding model interpretability, using AI systems to monitor other AI systems and adversarial robustness among other research areas. (https://www.ciodive.com/news/OpenAI-superalignment-superintelligent-steerability-AI-systems-grant-program/702713/)

OpenAI Says Board Can Overrule CEO on Safety of New AI Releases

OpenAI said its board can choose to hold back the release of an AI model even if the company's leadership has deemed it safe, another sign of the artificial intelligence startup empowering its directors to bolster safeguards for developing the cutting-edge technology. The arrangement was spelled out in a set of guidelines released this week explaining how the ChatGPT-maker plans to deal with what it may deem to be extreme risks from its most powerful AI systems. The release of the guidelines follows a period of turmoil at OpenAI after CEO Sam Altman was briefly ousted by the board, putting a spotlight on the balance of power between directors and the company's C-suite. OpenAI's recently announced “preparedness“ team said it will continuously evaluate its AI systems to figure out how they fare across four different categories - including potential cybersecurity issues as well as chemical, nuclear and biological threats - and work to lessen any hazards the technology appears to pose. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-12-18/openai-says-board-can-overrule-ceo-on-safety-of-new-ai-releases)

Workers Worry About Not Knowing How to Use AI Ethically, According to EY

A year after generative AI burst onto the market and into the workplace, employees with experience using the technology report new anxieties fueled by lack of guidance from leaders, according to survey results from Ernst & Young. About two-thirds (65%) of the 1,000 office/desk workers surveyed said they're anxious about not knowing how to use AI ethically. More than 3 in 4 employees are concerned about the legal risks, and a similar number are anxious about cybersecurity risks, the findings showed. Respondents said they would be more comfortable if workers from all levels were involved with their company's adoption of AI and if senior leadership promoted responsible and ethical use of the tech. Despite their concerns, employees are open to AI, the survey found: 4 in 5 see its value at work and believe it will make them more efficient, more productive and able to focus on higher value work. (https://www.ciodive.com/news/employee-AI-fears-EY/702604/)

EU Agrees on Landmark Artificial Intelligence Rules

European Union policymakers agreed last week to a sweeping new law to regulate artificial intelligence, one of the world's first comprehensive attempts to limit the use of a rapidly evolving technology that has wide-ranging societal and economic implications. The law, called the AI Act, sets a new global benchmark for countries seeking to harness the potential benefits of the technology, while trying to protect against its possible risks, like automating jobs, spreading misinformation online and endangering national security. The law still needs to go through a few final steps for approval, but the political agreement means its key outlines have been set. European policymakers focused on AI's riskiest uses by companies and governments, including those for law enforcement and the operation of crucial services like water and energy. Makers of the largest general-purpose AI systems, like those powering the ChatGPT chatbot, would face new transparency requirements. Chatbots and software that creates manipulated images such as “deepfakes“ would have to make clear that what people were seeing was generated by AI according to EU officials. Use of facial recognition software by police and governments would be restricted outside of certain safety and national security exemptions. Companies that violated the regulations could face fines of up to 7 percent of global sales. (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/08/technology/eu-ai-act-regulation.html)

Why Extortion is the New Ransomware Threat

Cybercriminals are becoming more aggressive in their effort to maximize disruption and compel the payment of ransom demands, and now there's a new extortion tactic in play. In early November, the notorious ALPHV ransomware gang, also known as BlackCat, attempted a first-of-its-kind extortion tactic: weaponizing the U.S. government's new data breach disclosure rules against one of the gang's own victims. ALPHV filed a complaint with the SEC, alleging that digital lending provider MeridianLink failed to disclose what the gang called “a significant breach compromising customer data and operational information,“ for which the gang took credit. ALPHV's latest extortion effort is the first example of what is expected to be a trend in the coming months now that the rules have taken effect. While novel, this isn't the only aggressive tactic used by ransomware and extortion gangs. Hackers typically known for deploying ransomware have increasingly shifted to “double extortion“ tactics, whereby in addition to encrypting a victim's data, the gangs threaten to publish the stolen files unless a ransom demand is paid. Some are going further with “triple extortion“ attacks, through which - as the name suggests - hackers use a three-pronged approach to extort money from their victims by extending threats and ransom demands to customers, suppliers and associates of the original victim. (https://techcrunch.com/2023/12/18/why-extortion-is-the-new-ransomware-threat/)
ABL Member Oli Thordarson, CEO of Alvaka, commented to us: “The creative brazenness of these threat actors is never-ending. BlackCat/AlphaV is one of the most technically competent threat actors and they show a lot of operational maturity, too. It is a good thing the FBI was able to seize some of their server operations last week. But that will only slow them down temporarily. Or they will disband and reform as a new group(s). Previously a fierce group called Revil disbanded voluntarily. They are believed to have reformed as AlphaV.“

Wireless Broadband Alliance Sees More OpenRoaming, AI & Wi-Fi 7 in 2024

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has outlined its ten predictions for 2024 and beyond. In summary, they include: 10Gbps will be commonplace; Wi-Fi 7 to drive immersive experience and online gaming; OpenRoaming to integrate with private 5G and IoT networks in 2024; Convergence will enable access to private and/or public 5G services over Wi-Fi; Network as a Service adoption to rise driven by cloud use; Adaptive AI is coming; Outdoor automated frequency coordination is also coming; Standards to unify connectivity; TIP Open Wi-Fi tests underway; and Deeper adoption of AR and VR. (https://futureiot.tech/wba-unveils-wi-fi-predictions-for-2024/)

Computers Will Soon Read Your Mind - Helping Patients with ALS, Strokes & Brain Trauma

It's been almost a century since psychiatrist Hans Berger made the first electroencephalogram, providing a glimpse into the electric nature of the human brain. EEG readings have helped countless people struggling to recover from ailments ranging from epilepsy and sleep disorders to head injuries and brain tumors. Technology has come a long way since then, and artificial intelligence may soon give us a new brain technology revolution, with advances in the treatment of ALS, strokes and other conditions. While the discovery of EEG signals was revolutionary, they can be noisy and difficult to interpret, requiring expensive equipment and controlled environments. With recent advances in sensor materials, we are approaching the point at which brain signals can be read throughout the day with comfortable and discreet wearable devices. Advances in computing and AI mean we could interpret these brain signals in real time. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/computers-will-soon-read-your-mind-eeg-als-parkinson-brainwaves-560e5951?mod=opinion_lead_pos12)

Democrats Urge Biden to Follow Europe's Lead on Strict Tech Regulations

Democrats urged President Biden to pursue trade policy that supports the European Union's new regulations targeting the market power of tech giants, and to reject claims that the rules create barriers to trade, according to a letter sent last Wednesday. The letter is based around support for the EU's Digital Markets ACT (DMA), which adds additional regulations for large tech companies and went into effect in May. “We urge you to continue to reject claims that the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA) constitutes an illegal barrier to trade. The DMA will protect consumers and spur competition in the tech industry. The United States' trade policy must support the European Union's efforts to rein in Big Tech and facilitate similar American policies, rather than impair them,“ the Democrats wrote. In September, the European Commission identified the companies that would be considered “gatekeepers“ and subject to the DMA guidelines. Five of the six companies are based in the U.S. - Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta and Microsoft - and the sixth, TikTok owner ByteDance, is based in China. (https://thehill.com/business/4358437-democrats-urge-biden-to-follow-europes-lead-on-strict-tech-regulations/)

Car Connectivity Consortium Creates New Certification for Digital Keys - So People Can Trust the Technology

The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) is an industry group that includes most major car companies as well as phone makers like Apple, Samsung, and Xiaomi. The consortium has announced a new certification program for digital keys that use near-field communication (NFC). NFC-equipped phones must be tapped against the car's door handle to unlock it, rather than using a key or key fob. Car and device makers submit their products for testing to the CCC to ensure that it meets all its criteria for safety, security, and interoperability. If they pass, they receive a certificate and the group's logo can be used in marketing materials to ensure consumers that the device meets all of CCC's digital key standards. (https://www.theverge.com/2023/12/11/23994023/digital-key-nfc-certification-car-connectivity-consortium)

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