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Intertrust Engages With Financial Services Clients To Anticipate Technology Disruptions and Provide Better and Value-Added Solutions

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: humanresourcesonline.net
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Intertrust understands that technology, mostly driven by artificial intelligence (88%), blockchain (47%), Internet of Things  (29%), robotics (18%) and Virtual Reality (15%), among others, will disrupt the financial services businesses, according to latest research carried out in April 2019.

Intertrust, a global leader in expert administrative services to clients operating and investing in the international business environment, recently hosted an event in New York with clients to discuss findings of its latest survey focused on disruptive technologies. In late 2018, the company surveyed more than 500 market participants, and found that technology is on pace to disrupt the financial services industry. They redistributed the survey to the industry in April 2019 where they gathered 54 responses to highlight more recent findings, specific to the US market.

Stephanie Miller, Intertrust’s CEO, and James Ferguson, Head of the Americas, gathered in New York with clients and friends from top banks, accounting and legal firms, fund managers and administrators to discuss how the sector is being impacted by new technologies. Intertrust has been launching surveys and conducting regular meetings with financial services clients to further identify industry opportunities as a result of new and disrupting technologies.

The overall consensus in the New York meeting is that technology is and will further impact the industry. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain are redefining the rules of engagement. Administrative processes at banks, funds, legal and accounting firms, will tend to embrace technology, if they haven’t already done so to some degree to stay relevant. Advancements will enable offices to automate and improve certain tasks, directly benefitting clients through faster processing time, accuracy and, to a certain extent, lower costs.

“We understand the changes in the industry. As enablers and gatekeepers to our clients, we provide all types of financial services solutions. We need to be the Uber alternative to the yellow medallions in New York, providing value added solutions driven by technology,” stated Stephanie Miller. Intertrust’s CEO, added: “My duty is to facilitate solutions to my clients so they, in turn, stay relevant, ahead of the learning curve and in front of their own clients.”

Other facts disclosed during the meeting was that AI will impact the industry through disintermediation as seen in predictive analysts, data processing, key searches and metadata. “The new technology supported by machine learning will only continue to get better,” commented Miller.

James Ferguson, Head of Americas at Intertrust, also added: “The pace of innovation can already be seen with chatbots, which are already impacting intermediation. Chatbots have come a long way, and due to recent AI advancements, are now able to deliver a higher level of sophistication and personalization during interactions with customers.”

Intertrust seeks to be ahead of a constantly changing industry. These changes are expected to bring more challenges to the financial services industry, such as investments to apply new technologies, additional training for current workforce, data security, industry regulations, cross-border and cross-industry agreements on custody to digital civil rights.

 

SOURCE Intertrust

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European Commission Press Releases

Code of Practice against disinformation: Commission recognises platforms’ efforts ahead of the European elections

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: avrupa.info.tr
Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

Today, the European Commission published the reports and analysis of the progress made in April 2019 by Facebook, Google and Twitter to fight disinformation. The three online platforms are signatories to the Code of Practice against disinformation and have committed to report monthly on measures taken ahead of the European Parliament elections in May 2019.

Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová, Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King, and Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel said in a joint statement:

We recognise the continued progress made by Facebook, Google and Twitter on their commitments to increase transparency and protect the integrity of the upcoming elections.

We welcome the robust measures that all three platforms have taken against manipulative behaviour on their services, including coordinated disinformation operations. They have also provided data on measures to improve the scrutiny of ad placements. However, more needs to be done to strengthen the integrity of their services, including advertising services. Moreover, the data provided still lacks the level of detail necessary to allow for an independent and accurate assessment of how the platforms’ policies have actually contributed to reducing the spread of disinformation in the EU.

All three signatories have now created publicly accessible political ad libraries and enabled searches through APIs, which is a clear improvement. We regret however that Google and Twitter were not able to develop and implement policies for the identification and public disclosure of issue-based ads, which can be sources of divisive public debate during elections, hence prone to disinformation.

Looking beyond the European elections, all signatories should now step up their efforts to broaden cooperation with fact checkers in all Member States as well as to empower users and the research community. In particular, online platforms need to put in practice their broader set of commitments under the Code of Practice, notably by engaging with traditional media to develop transparency and trustworthiness indicators for information sources so that users are offered a fair choice of relevant, verified information.

We also call upon platforms to cooperate closer with the research community to identify and access relevant datasets, which would enable better detection and analysis of disinformation campaigns, sound monitoring of the Code’s implementation and impact, and independent oversight of the functioning of algorithms, for the benefit of all citizens.

Finally, following statements from Microsoft that it also plans to subscribe to the Code, we encourage even wider take-up of the Code amongst the online platforms as well as advertisers and ad-network operators, so that the Code can reach its full potential.”

Main outcome of the reports:

  • Google reported on additional measures taken to improve scrutiny of ad placements in the EU, including a breakdown per Member State. It noted the availability of the EU Transparency Report on political advertising and its searchable ad library, including the possibility to use Google Cloud’s BigQuery application programming interface to run customised queries. Google reported on its ongoing efforts to provide transparency around issue-based advertising, but announced that a solution would not be in place before the European elections. Global data was again provided on the removal of a significant number of YouTube channels for violation of its policies on spam, deceptive practices and scams, and impersonation.
  • Facebook reported on measures taken in the EU against ads that violated its policies for containing low quality, disruptive, misleading or false content or trying to circumvent its systems. It started enforcing its policy on political and issue-based advertising mid-April and removing non-compliant ads from Facebook and Instagram. The April report also provided information on the opening of its elections operation centre in Dublin, which involves specialists covering all EU Member States and languages. Facebook reported of taking down a coordinated inauthentic behaviour network originating from Russia and focusing on Ukraine. The report did not state whether this network also affected users in the EU. Furthermore, Facebook reported on new access for researchers to its CrowdTangle application programming interface and its URLs Data Set.
  • Twitter reported on ads rejected for not complying with its policies on unacceptable business practices and quality ads. It provided information on ads not served because of uncompleted certification process that is obligatory for political campaign advertisers. Twitter reported on a new election integrity policy, prohibiting specific categories of manipulative behaviour and content, such as misleading information about how to participate in the elections and voter intimidation. Twitter provided figures on measures against spam and fake accounts, but did not provide further insights on these measures, i.e. how they relate to activity in the EU.

Next steps

Today’s reports cover measures taken by online companies in April 2019. They allow the Commission to verify that effective policies to ensure integrity of the electoral processes are in place before the European elections in May 2019.

The monthly reporting agreed under the Code of Practice lasts until the European elections. The last set of reports by the platforms will be published in June. As agreed in March, EU leaders will come back to the issue of disinformation at the June European Council. The Commission’s assessment will feed into these discussions.

By the end of 2019, the Commission will carry out a comprehensive assessment of the Code’s initial 12-month period. Should the results prove unsatisfactory, the Commission may propose further measures, including of a regulatory nature.

Background

The Code of Practice has been translated into all official EU languages, which will facilitate implementation at national level, make it more accessible to all citizens and further increase its uptake.

The monthly reporting cycle builds on the Code of Practice, and is part of the Action Plan against disinformation that the European Union adopted last December to build up capabilities and strengthen cooperation between Member States and EU institutions to proactively address the threats posed by disinformation.

The reporting signatories committed to the Code of Practice in October 2018 on a voluntary basis. The Code aims to reach the objectives set out by the Commission’s Communication presented in April 2018 by setting a wide range of commitments:

  • Disrupt advertising revenue for accounts and websites misrepresenting information and provide advertisers with adequate safety tools and information about websites purveying disinformation.
  • Enable public disclosure of political advertising and make effort towards disclosing issue-based advertising.
  • Have a clear and publicly available policy on identity and online bots and take measures to close fake accounts.
  • Offer information and tools to help people make informed decisions, and facilitate access to diverse perspectives about topics of public interest, while giving prominence to reliable sources.
  • Provide privacy-compliant access to data to researchers to track and better understand the spread and impact of disinformation.

Ahead of the European elections in May 2019, the Commission is monitoring the progress of the platforms towards meeting the commitments that are most relevant and urgent ahead of the election campaign: scrutiny of ad placements; political and issue-based advertising; and integrity of services. Such monitoring is conducted in cooperation with the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA).

The Code of Practice goes hand-in-hand with the Recommendation included in the election package announced by President Juncker in the 2018 State of the Union Address to ensure free, fair and secure European Parliament elections. The measures include greater transparency in online political advertisements and the possibility to impose sanctions for the illegal use of personal data to deliberately influence the outcome of the European elections. Member States were also advised to set up a national election cooperation network of relevant authorities – such as electoral, cybersecurity, data protection and law enforcement authorities – and to appoint a contact point to participate in a European-level election cooperation network. The first meeting at the European level took place on 21 January 2019, the second one on 27 February, and the third on 4 April.

The Code of Practice complements also a number of measures to support media literacy as well as the creation of a network of independent fact-checkers and researchers. In particular, the Commission is funding the project Social Observatory for Disinformation and Social Media Analysis (SOMA), which provides a collaborative platform for independent European fact-checkers. The ultimate objective of all these measures is to strengthen the role of independent civil society organisations and the users to flag disinformation threats and cooperate with the platforms for a better detection and analysis of disinformation patterns and trends.

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Artificial Intelligence

Acoustic Wells wins 2019 MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition

Vlad Poptamas

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The Acoustic Wells team beat out seven finalists to win the Robert P. Goldberg $100,000 grand prize at the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Launch Finale. Holding the check are, from left, Charles-Henri Clerget, Sebastien Mannai, and Louis Creteur.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Acoustic Wells, a startup born in a laboratory at MIT that has created a new internet of things (IoT) control solution for oil wells that optimizes production while drastically reducing methane emissions, beat out seven finalists to win the Robert P. Goldberg $100,000 grand prize at last night’s MIT $100KEntrepreneurship Launch Finale held on the MIT campus.

Now in its 30th year, the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition is an economic barometer for sectors of innovation that are receiving funding by venture capitalists. To date, the MIT $100K has facilitated the birth of more than 160 companies, which have gone on to raise $1.3 billion in venture capital and build $16 billion in market capitalization. More than 30 MIT $100K startups have been acquired by major companies, such as Oracle, Cisco, 3M, and Merck. Over 4,600 people are currently employed by MIT $100K companies. Recent IPOs include Akamai (AKAM) and Hubspot (HUBS).

A major challenge in the operation of oil and gas wells is the ability to monitor the operating conditions and health of pumping equipment without the need for prohibitively expensive equipment or daily inspections. To address this issue, Acoustic Wells has developed a patent-pending, acoustic-based control method that is capable of determining precisely down-hole conditions using a simple and affordable surface sensor. Acoustic Wells’ simple plug-and-play hardware processes the data at the edge and seamlessly connects to their cloud platform using long range IoT networks. Artificial intelligence algorithms automatically monitor the pump operation and optimize the production by adjusting the pumping rate while also predicting potential critical failures of the system.

Acoustic Wells’ founding team members are:

Dr. Sebastien Mannai, CEO, MIT PhD 2018 in Aerospace Engineering. He is currently engaged in postdoctoral work on AI signal processing in the Gas Turbine Laboratory of the Aerospace Department at MIT.

Dr. Charles-Henri Clerget, COO, who is currently engaged in postdoctoral work in the Earth Resources Laboratory with the Mathematics Department at MIT where he focuses on the big data analysis of drilling operations.

Louis Creteur, CTO and an industrial automation solution specialist who currently serves as IoT and Cloud Architect at Leanbox.

“We bring cutting edge technology in a simple package to help every oil and gas producer optimize their assets while reducing their emissions,” says Dr. Mannai.

A panel of judges chose Acoustic Wells based on value creation, value capture, and technological differentiation. Judges included: TJ Parker, Co-Founder & CEO, PillPackMira Wilczek, President & CEO, Cogo LabsThomas Collet, President, CEO & Director, Phrixus PharmaceuticalsTanguy Chau, Venture Investor; and Katie Rae, CEO & Managing Partner, The Engine.

$10,000 Audience Choice Award was presented to The Read Read, one of the finalist teams. The Read Read has created a patent pending physical device that allows blind and low-vision children to independently learn phonics and braille, and gain early literacy to keep pace with their sighted peers. Users simply touch the braille and large-print letter manipulatives, and get immediate audio feedback. It was developed at the Harvard Innovations Lab, and piloted at the Perkins School for the Blind and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Six additional finalists included:

AgroBeads® are biodegradable spheres made from natural ingredients that hydrate plants according to their needs and support their growth and healthy development. Plants not only grow, but they do it faster, and healthier. AgroBeads® does not pollute the environment, improves the chances of germination, and contributes to the development of technologies that impact public health.

Mechanodontics is a new method that can be used instead of braces or aligners that moves teeth independently. Placed behind teeth so they cannot be seen, this method considerably shortens treatment time, allows for easier cleaning than traditional braces, and is more comfortable. This technology, which employs state-of-the-art simulations, allows orthodontists to apply the optimal amount of force to each tooth, easily fixing even complicated mal-alignments that are not correctable with aligners.

Myco Diagnostics is creating low-cost, robust medical diagnostics, using thermostable binding proteins to capture disease biomarkers from patient samples. They are producing point-of-care assays for the detection of urine-based biomarkers of tuberculosis, allowing them to address patient groups ill-served by traditional TB tests.

Posh offers a bot-creation platform using patent-pending technology that makes it easy to tailor a custom chatbot to meet companies’ needs. Not only can Posh answer company FAQs, but it can also help a company’s customers manage their accounts and convert prospects into sales. Posh does this while interacting with customers via the channels they prefer: across text, voice, social media and the web.

Qtech The team’s MIT-educated scientists have invented 3D Nano structured air filters that provide 20x filtration performance, 10x lifetime, and are recyclable at an estimated similar cost of a traditional HEPA filter. Filters catch not only flower pollens, but also bacteria and even viruses, and there is no need for replacements in years.

Stratagen Bio develops oxygen sensors to enable personalized cancer therapies, addressing the unmet clinical need of identifying low-oxygen treatment resistant tumors. They are enabling physicians to identify which cancer patients require a customized treatment to overcome resistance and improve outcomes and survival.

John Harthorne, a founder and former CEO of MassChallenge, served as the keynote speaker. Harthorne’s team, Robopsy, won the MIT $100K in 2007. He and Akhil Nigam went on to co-found MassChallenge, a not-for-profit, in 2010. Based on the MIT $100K model, their zero-equity startup accelerator has since gone global and has accelerated 1,975 startups that have raised more than $4.3 billion in funding, generated more than $2.5 billion in revenue, and created more than 121,000 total jobs. Harthorne now serves on MassChallenge’s Global Board of Directors.

Since its debut as the MIT $10K Entrepreneurship Competition in 1989, it has grown to include three independent contests – PitchAccelerate, and Launch – from September through May. Each contest focuses on developing specific founding skills. For each semi-finalist contender, the MIT $100K brings together a network of resources that includes mentorship from venture capitalists, serial entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and attorneys; media exposure; prototyping funds; business plan feedback; and discounted services. Altogether, almost $1M in non-dilutive prize money and other financial resources are awarded to help these new ventures accelerate. For more on the MIT $100K, please visit: www.mit100k.org

SOURCE MIT Sloan School of Management

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Artificial Intelligence

Independent Research Firm Cites Trend Micro As A Leader In Enterprise Email Security

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: digitalguardian.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, today announced that it has been named a leader in enterprise email security in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Email Security, Q2 2019 report. Trend Micro earned the highest possible score in the “technology leadership” sub-criterion (under the product strategy criterion), “deployment options” and “cloud integration,” and received the highest score among all 12 appraised vendors in the strategy category.

Forrester describes Trend Micro with comments including, “Clients cite effectiveness, ease of deployment, and configurability as strengths.” Forrester additionally said, “Enterprises seeking a solution for defending against malicious and malware-laden emails should consider Trend Micro.”

“The number one threat vector continues to be email, which drives our commitment to continued innovation,” said Nilesh Jain, Vice President, Southeast Asia and India, Trend Micro. “Analyst evaluations are critical for solution assessment. In my view, this recent report takes into account our newer artificial intelligence (AI) features such as writing style analysis and computer vision, alongside solutions to protect cloud email platforms like Office 365 and Gmail that collectively helped us block over 41.5 billion threats in 2018.”

Nearly 86% of all threats blocked by Trend Micro last year came via email. Phishing, business email compromise (BEC), malicious URLs, malevolent attachments and accidental and deliberate data loss are all common challenges.

Enterprises that use Trend Micro get a winning formula of decades of email security expertise combined with the strategic vision to anticipate the next threats. This combination continues to position Trend Micro as a forefront of the industry.

A cross-generational blend of security techniques is the best agreed upon approach to achieve comprehensive protection against these and other threats. One of these techniques includes Writing Style DNA, an AI-powered tool which helps to spot BEC scammers by analysing email content. To date this has identified 5,400 attacks at 160 organizations, resulting in potential savings for customers of US$858m. Another leading feature from Trend Micro blends computer vision image analysis technology with machine learning to “see” fake log-in pages, the result of this protects against phishing and account takeover.

Trend Micro’s email security benefits from intelligence sharing across all layers of the IT infrastructure to offer connected threat defense. It is available in multiple deployment options — appliance (physical and virtual), on-premises software, SaaS service, and as a hybrid solution. Trend Micro is the only vendor to offer dual layer protection via a cloud-based API+SMTP solution for advanced threat protection.

 

SOURCE Trend Micro Incorporated

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