Weekly Digest #23: Is It Time to Fear Robots and Internet of Things?

September 15th, 2016

Internet of Things / Big Data / IT News // Zee

Will robots steal our jobs and other IT news

In the news this week: it turns out that WhatsApp developers don’t really like Apple and robots might take away many people’s jobs. Internet of Things also is in the news because Samsung unveiled its version of JavaScript for the IOT, there is a new real-time IOT-platform, and there’s a virus that attacks IOT-devices. Read our digest for more information.


  • Americans spend over 50% of the online time using mobile applications. The study was done in July 2016 and points out that smartphones are becoming the main method of Internet surfing for many.

  • In WhatsApp’s Android app, a line of code has been found that says “F*** Apple.” One of the Reddit users found it when he was trying to install the app. One of the possible reasons for such emotion could be the strict requirements for mobile applications that App Store imposes on developers.

  • 32% of users around the world block online advertising according to Blockmetry report. In May, this figure was only 28%. In addition, about 5% of users prohibit the sites to track their data.

  • DeepMind’s division Google’s Artificial Intelligence has learned to generate voice in such a way that it is almost indistinguishable from normal human speech sound.

  • Ovum analysts estimate that the number of M2M-connections (machine-to-machine) will reach 733 million devices by 2021. The total profit from M2M-services will exceed $67 billion and most will operate using LTE technology. Right now, M2M-connections constitute only 8% of the total number of mobile connections in the world.

Viruses for IoT: they exist

Mirai is a new virus that appeared on the web a few days ago and affects IoT devices and servers running on Linux. If the device/server gets infected, it becomes a part of the botnet and participates in DDoS attacks on other sites. The virus targets mainly the IoT-devices that are running Busybox kit. Experts say that Mirai is an heir to the DDoS-Trojan - virus known under a variety of names such as Gafgyt, Lizkebab, BASHLITE, Bash0day, Bashdoor, and Torlus. Particularly in the recent months, Gafgyt virus has infected over 1 million web-cameras. Therefore, it looks like Mirai is an enhanced virus that has passed the “battle testing” and is very successful. It uses Telnet port and default administrator’s account to do its evil deeds.

Big Data is a successful business

The phrase "big data" became fashionable a few years ago. Today, however, the trend is gaining tangible metrics. According to expert estimates, the market for large data in the current year will reach up to $46 billion in goods and services suppliers’ revenue. At the same time, the era of big data is at its very beginning and real growth lies ahead.

A new report by SNS Research says that by the end of 2020, the business will spend over $72 billion on hardware and software for processing big data and associated services and facilities. Currently, a large proportion of profits in this segment accounts for equipment and professional services sales. However, the software sales will exceed investments into equipment by more than $7 billion by 2021.

Online Trust Alliance reports about the Privacy Vulnerability

Online Trust Alliance, a nonprofit organization that develops data protection and privacy for the Internet of Things technologies in consumer and industrial applications, recently reported a vulnerability in system security and privacy. It threatens smart home systems and all kinds of portable devices. The observations were made during the period from November 2015 to July 2016 and led experts to conclude that the vulnerability can be avoided if the product developers follow basic data protection principles.

The three main errors identified by researchers are in insecure data management (due to which hackers were able to easily identify and intercept administrative control), failure to properly and accurately formulate policies and practices of consumer data collection and exchange, and finally, absence or insufficient device security testing, including penetration testing and threat modeling.

Robots threaten labor market

According to a recent report from Forrester research firm, robots and AI assistants will take upon themselves the jobs of 6% of people by 2021. This news should worry those who are in services and transportation sectors. The conclusions were made by analyzing a large number of statistical data. For example, at the moment 45% of Americans use at least one digital assistant already - Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Google Now. Chatbots have been increasing in popularity as well. In the coming years, these tools, as well as new ones, will learn to understand natural language queries better as well as managing email, calendar, shopping history, and even travel planning. By 2025, 16% of jobs will be given away to robots. At the same time, 9% of new jobs will appear in related fields and industries related to robots’ maintenance.

Similar studies have been conducted in other countries as well. For example, in Finland, robots can replace a portion of the medical staff, especially younger staff that are involved in patients’ transportation. At the same time, there is no fear of “robotic” unemployment due to natural aging of the population and the increasing number of people employed in the field of elderly care.  

Japanese researchers have found that in their country artificial intelligence is a threat to HR-specialists. Some applications are much better at analyzing, selecting, and interviewing candidates and even making recommendations in regards to whether or not they should be employed. These AI skills are the development of NEC company and the software, besides the standard HR functions, can analyze body language and draw conclusions about candidate’s hidden qualities.

Real-time platform for IoT-devices

Real-time Operating Systems (RTOS) developed an operating system for Internet of Things devices that work in real-time. The platform can manage devices, store applications, and process data. It also can monitor the level of equipment’s reliability. The main difference from the other RTOS is the speed of processing the received signals and commands.

RTOS can be used for such industries as manufacturing, healthcare, telecommunication, as well as for smart home management.

Such a system would be interesting not only for IoT-devices developers, but also those who develop mobile and wireless gadgets of various types, application developers, and even mobile operators.

JavaScript a la Samsung for Internet of Things

Samsung has introduced a light version of the JavaScript engine for IoT called JerryScript. This software is designed for devices with limited resources, such as microcontrollers. The engine supports compilation within devices, having received access to data via JavaScript.

Thanks to JerryScript solution, JavaScript engine can be made versatile and used anywhere, on any device. Given the popularity of the JavaScript engine, its variations for the IoT will be in high demand, according to many experts. In addition, JavaScript for IoT would also affect the growth of Internet of Things industry and the number of connected gadgets.

Author: Zee

Zee is in charge of the Marketing at the APP Solutions/Grossum. Her areas of interest include quantum physics, astronomy, new trends in the web & mobile development (especially in the areas of AI and machine learning) and digital marketing instruments.

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