Most major consumer tech companies that are focused on AI and machine learning now use federated learning — a form of machine learning that trains algorithms on devices distributed across a network, without the need for data to leave each device. Given increasing awareness of privacy issues, federated learning could become the preferred method of machine learning for use cases that use sensitive data (such as location, financial, or health data).

Federated Learning: A Decentralized Form of Machine Learning

Machine learning algorithms and the data sets that they are trained on are usually centralized. The data is brought from edge


A diagram indicating Starlink’s connectivity once the project is complete. Source Insider.com

Starlink, from SpaceX, is a satellite internet constellation that seeks to provide low-cost, high-performance internet around the world. Starlink will change global politics and business in many ways.

Political and Business Impact

40% of the world’s people have difficulty or is unable to access the internet. Many of these people are in less-developed regions of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa. Affordable access to high-speed internet could change the makeup of people participating in digital life, lead to a more inclusive internet and significantly increase online business opportunities.

Many countries limit their residents’ internet access in a variety of ways. While…


Biocomputing — a cutting-edge field of technology — operates at the intersection of biology, engineering, and computer science. It seeks to use cells or their sub-component molecules (such as DNA or RNA) to perform functions traditionally performed by an electronic computer.

The ultimate goal of biocomputing is to mimic some of the biological ‘hardware’ of bodies like ours — and to use it for our computing needs. From less to more complicated, this could include:

1. Using DNA or RNA as a medium of information storage and data processing

2. Connecting neurons to one another, similar to how they are…


Sensor fusion is the process of combining data from multiple physical sensors in real time, while also adding information from mathematical models, to create an accurate picture of the local environment. A system can then use this data to plan and act toward an objective or destination. Sensor fusion is an important part of the design of autonomous systems.

The cost of sensors has been declining for decades, while the quality of information collected by sensors has been increasing. Still, each type of sensor has its shortcomings. Even if a sensor provides a significant volume of high-quality data, the sensor…


Mark Weiser, CTO of Xerox Corp’s Palo Alto Research Center, said in 1991: “The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.” Weiser proved prescient: satellite-based cell phones and the internet are examples of profound, invisible technologies.

In the future, ambient intelligence will be similarly profound, yet invisible. Just as ambient music plays in the background to enhance an environment, ambient intelligence is embedded in a user’s immediate environment (or ambience). The ambience is embedded with a range of sensors, making the environment intelligent and ready…


We have long sought secure ways to exchange data. Some current methods include cryptography, hashing and requiring the solution of math problems that demand enormous computing power. Quantum computing could render some of our current methods insecure and obsolete, while enabling new methods.

Cryptography

Cryptography uses codes to protect information and communications. Data is encrypted using a secret key. The message as well as the secret key is given to the recipient. The recipient then uses the key to decrypt the message. …


In the 20 thcentury, scientists and thinkers predicted that technology would change our lives fundamentally. Despite our technological achievements, these changes have not materialized. As Peter Theil said, “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.”

Transformative new technologies rise, create new sectors and help us achieve phenomenal things. Then, at some point, they stop advancing. Output and productivity gains plateau, often for decades.

‘Tether Theory’ is my explanation for this phenomenon.

Tether Theory: The elements which help to create and establish a disruptive new technology eventually become the limitations on that technology’s further growth and innovation.

The ‘elements’…


Edge Computing uses local devices to compute, store and communicate data. Edge computing can therefore be thought of as an extension of cloud services (which allow compute, storage, analytics, and other functions to be executed remotely) to the user’s local devices, speeding up computation and making it more secure.

So, Cloud Computing + Edge Devices = Edge Computing.

Edge Devices

Edge Devices include routers, routing switches, integrated access devices (IADs) and multiplexers. Edge devices enable users to connect to and share data with an external network — such as a service provider, carrier, or enterprise primary network.

Factors Leading To Edge Computing

Edge computing was driven by…


What are Self Healing Systems & How Can You Develop One?

When people get injured, their bodies self-heal. What if technology could do the same?

Companies are racing to develop self-healing systems, which could improve quality, cut costs and boost customer trust. For example, IBM is experimenting with ‘self-managing’ products that configure, protect and heal themselves.

What Is A Self Healing System?

A self-healing system can discover errors in its functioning and make changes to itself without human intervention, thereby restoring itself to a better-functioning state. There are three levels of self-healing systems, each of which has its own size and resource requirements:

Application Level

In…


People know their banks, like Chase and CapitalOne, and their favorite fintech applications, such as Venmo and Mint. However, consumers are generally not aware of data aggregators like Plaid and Finicity, which collect consumer data from banks, crunch it and feed it to fintech applications. Blockchain technology can play a key role in helping data aggregators manage consumer financial data while complying with regulations and empowering consumers.

Data Aggregation

Data aggregators use two methods to access people’s financial information. The first (now largely outdated) method is screen scraping, in which a person provides their banking usernames and passwords in exchange for using…

Shaan Ray

Emerging Technology Blog | Twitter.com/ShaanRay

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