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MY TAKE: GenAI revolution — the transformative power of ordinary people conversing with AI

By Byron V. Acohido

San Francisco, Calif. — The amazing digital services we have today wouldn’t have come to fruition without the leading technology and telecom giants investing heavily in R&D.

Related: GenAi empowers business

I had the chance to attend NTT Research’s Upgrade Reality 2024 conference here  last week to get a glimpse at some of what’s coming next.

My big takeaway: GenAI is hyper-accelerating advancements in upcoming digital systems – and current ones too. This is about to become very apparent as the software tools and services we’re familiar with become GenAI-enabled in the weeks and months ahead.

And by the same token, GenAI, or more specifically Large Language Model (LLM,) has added a turbo boost to the pet projects that R&D teams across the technology and telecom sectors have in the works.

The ramifications are staggering. The ability for any human to extract value from a large cache of data – using conversational language opens up a whole new universe of possibilities.

News alert: Silence Laboratories raises $4.1M for new privacy-preserving cryptography platform

SINGAPORE – Feb. 29, 2024.  In the modern age, large companies are wrestling to leverage their customers’ data to provide ever-better AI-enhanced experiences.

But a key barrier to leveraging this opportunity is mounting public concern around data privacy, as ever-greater data processing poses risks of data leaks by hackers and malicious insiders.

Silence Laboratories is on a mission to create infrastructure to enable complex data collaborations between enterprises and entities, without any sensitive information being exposed to the other engaging parties. Silence Laboratories today announces it has raised an additional $4.1 million funding round led by Pi Ventures and Kira Studio, along with several prominent angel investors.

Leveraging modern cryptography, the company already has one of the fastest distributed signature (authorization) libraries in production (Silent Shard), which has been audited by some of the best security auditing companies like Trail of Bits. These libraries have led to the establishment of strong partnerships with leading digital asset infrastructure and protocol companies like BitGo, MetaMaskEigenLayer, Biconomy, and EasyCrypto.

News alert: Chiral announces $3.8m funding round to advance nanomaterial chip manufacturing

Zurich, Switzerland, Feb. 27, 2024 — Chipmaking has become one of the world’s most critical technologies in the last two decades. The main driver of this explosive growth has been the continuous scaling of silicon technology (widely known as the Moore’s Law).

But these advances in silicon technology are slowing down, as we reach the physical limits of silicon. For this reason, the industry has been investing heavily in nanomaterials like carbon nanotube, graphene and TMDs, which are expected to enable chips with unprecedented functionality. However, making electronic devices with these extremely small materials at speed, with precision, and without compromising on quality has been a long-standing obstacle.

Nanotechnology company Chiral is today announcing a $3.8m funding round to address this challenge head on, innovating the way nanomaterials are integrated into devices. Its expertise in nanotechnology, automation, and high-precision robotics will be pivotal in the industry’s move beyond silicon to the next generation of electronics.

DEEP TECH NEWS: Respecting individual rights by using ‘privacy preserving aggregate statistics’

By Byron V. Acohido

To sell us more goods and services, the algorithms of Google, Facebook and Amazon exhaustively parse our digital footprints.

Related: The role of ‘attribute based encryption’

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with companies seeking to better understand their customers. However, over the past 20 years the practice of analyzing user data hasn’t advanced much beyond serving the business models of these tech giants.

That could be about to change. Scientists at NTT Research are working on an advanced type of cryptography that enables businesses to perform aggregate data analysis on user data — without infringing upon individual privacy rights.

I had the chance to visit with , senior scientist at NTT Research’s Cryptography & Information Security (CIS) Lab, to learn more about the progress being made on a promising concept called “privacy preserving aggregate statistics.”

DEEP TECH NEWS: How ‘attribute-based encryption’ preserves privacy at a fined-grained level

By Byron V. Acohido

The ubiquity of smart surveillance systems has contributed greatly to public safety.

Related: Monetizing data lakes

Image capture devices embedded far and wide in public spaces help deter crime as well as aid first responders — but they also stir rising concerns about an individual’s right to privacy.

Enter attribute-based encryption (ABE) an advanced type of cryptography that’s now ready for prime time. I’ve had several discussions with scientists who’ve led the development of ABE over the past two decades.

Most recently, I had the chance to visit with Takashi Goto, Vice President, Strategy, and Fang Wu, Consultant, at NTT Research. We discussed how ABE is ready to help resolve some rather sticky privacy issues stemming from widespread digital surveillance – and also do much more.

For a full drill down on this leading-edge form of agile cryptography, please view the accompanying videocast. Here are my takeaways.

Black Hat Fireside Chat: Flexxon introduces hardened SSD drives as a last line defense

By Byron V. Acohido

Creating ever smarter security software to defend embattled company networks pretty much sums up the cybersecurity industry.

Related: The security role of semiconductors

Cutting against the grain, Flexxon, a Singapore-based supplier of NAND memory drives and storage devices, arrived at Black Hat USA 2023 calling for a distinctive hardware approach to repelling cyber attacks.

Flexxon recently introduced its X-PHY SSD drive which now comes embedded in certain laptop models from Lenovo, ASUS and HP. This innovation derives from security-hardened AI-powered memory and storage drives Flexxon supplies that go into medical equipment and industrial machinery.

I had the chance to get briefed about all of this by Flexxon’s founder and CEO Camellia Chan. For a full drill down

News Alert: Reflectiz declares war on Magecart web-skimming attacks as holidays approach

Tel Aviv, Israel, Sept. 5, 2023 — Reflectiz, a cybersecurity company specializing in continuous web threat management offers an exclusive, fully remote solution to battle Magecart web-skimming attacks, a popular type of cyberattacks involving injecting malicious code into the checkout pages.

As the Holiday Season approaches, online retailers face the challenge of protecting their websites against the growing threat of malicious attacks, such as Magecart. However, they struggle to add new security layers due to restrictions on modifying their website code to avoid impacting website performance during the peak shopping season.

Reflectiz, a unique web security tool, ensures 100% readiness for Magecart attacks before and during the Holiday Season. This is made possible by Reflectiz’s external, non-intrusive solution, requiring