A New Look at Machine Learning

At the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, John Deere showcased how it is using Artificial Intelligence in its products. A large display of agricultural equipment is not what many attendees expect to find at the consumer electronics show, but a John Deere Sprayer was displayed prominently among the drones, games and other gadgets.

Listen to how Machine Learning is being used in agricultural equipment. https://www.investors.com/videos/ai-and-machine-learning-to-power-john-deeres-lineup-of-farm-equipment/

Blockchain in Accounting – Hype or not?

Not that long ago it seemed that blockchain was everywhere. The hype of blockchain as a cure-all was quite prevalent, including a commentary in the Wall Street Journal commenting how blockhain can end poverty. See article.

However, it seems that much of the hype has died for the moment as practitioners find ways to utilize blockchain when it makes the most sense, rather than implementing blockchain for the sake of using blockchain.

A recent podcast with the Journal of Accountancy discusses where the accounting industry is at this time for using blockchain. To view the article and associated podcast, go to: https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/podcast/blockchain-accounting.html

In my opinion, the use of blockchain was over hyped at first. Now that the dust has settled, accountants can find ways to use it to increase reliability of transactions and speed up some processing.

Think Cryptocurrency is safe? Think again.

“In 2019 alone, an estimated $4.26 billion in cryptocurrencies was lost due to hacks, cybertheft, scams, misappropriation or insider fraud, up about 250% from 2018.” Fraudsters have upped efforts to attack cryptocurrencies in recent years.

Fraudsters are using schemes such as: embezzlement, Ponzi schemes, phishing and ransomware.

Currency Exchange Rates

Unlike other frauds, if a person loses cryptocurrency, there is no recourse or way to recover it.

For how forensic accountants can help, go to: https://blog.aicpa.org/2020/05/cyber-criminals-are-finding-ways-to-steal-your-digital-dollars.html#sthash.Sv5ebunY.dpbs

Technology Trends 2020

Deloitte released its 11th annual report on Tech Trends in the accounting field. Note: this report was written before the COVID 19 pandemic, so it will be interesting to see how that may change things in the 2021 report.

Some of the trends highlighted in the report include:

  • Macro Technology Forces – firms need to find value and bring the recent technologies together
  • Ethical Technology and Trust – use the new technologies in an ethical manner while building trust with all stakeholders
  • Finance and the Future of IT – using technology to become more agile within the organization
  • Digital Twins – bridge the physical and the digital operations to help the other

For the entire executive summary, go to: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/focus/tech-trends.html

For the entire report, including videos, go to: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/focus/tech-trends.html

Improve your Digital Fitness

Thanks to a former student, I have been trying new Digital Fitness app from PWC. During the pandemic, they are making it free for anyone wanting to better understand the changing technologies and other issues in business.

Once you setup an account, the app guides you through a quiz to determine your digital aptitude. Then based on your score it puts you on a Fitness plan. You improve your score by reading short article or watching videos on various topics from environmental impacts, basics of the blockchain and project management. The articles I have read have been quite informative and interesting.

To sign-up, go to https://www.pwc.com/us/digitalfitness  . If you need a code to signup, use LRNALL.

Start improving your digital fitness 2 minutes at a time.

How watching cat videos is affecting the environment

The amount of streaming data as well as the large data storage centers are having an negative impact on the environment. Some experts believe the data technology industry rivals the airline industry on the environmental impact.

Photo by Manuel Geissinger from Pexels

With the number of new devices collecting data, the demands for electricity are set to increase significantly.

Tech companies are looking at how to curb the power usage from massive data centers. These centers not only expend large amounts of energy powering the data centers, but they also need significant air conditioning to cool the machines.

Read this article to find out how a Canadian company is looking to reduce the power usage while keeping us connected. https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/data-centres-energy-consumption-1.5391269

The algorithm made me do it!

The algorithm made me do it shows one of the primary reasons explainable artificial intelligence will be needed in the future. Many AI solutions seem to be a black box which few, if any, individuals can explain the particular output.

This Harvard Business Review article highlights why the black box approach to AI in the future won’t be feasible. The author notes that the “The algorithm told me to do it” defense won’t likely stand up in court.

To read the rest of the article, go to hbr.org/2019/11/why-business-leaders-need-to-understand-their-algorithms

Are you teaching Blockchain?

For those of us discussing blockchain in our accounting courses, it can sometimes be difficult for students to visualize how the blockchain works.

Visualization of blockchain

I recently used this game in my business analytics and emerging technologies course for upper level accounting students. The feedback was great! Students commented that it helped them visualize the blockchain even more.

https://www.instructables.com/id/The-Blockchain-Game/

The Downside of electric cars

Can their be a downside? When electric cars are running, they are virtually silent. This poses a danger to those that may be visually impaired, shorter, or even those that are distracted.

Electric car
Electric Car

The European Union has proposed that these cars be fitted with an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System that will vary the noise with the speed of the vehicle.

To read more about this feature, go to: https://sfmagazine.com/technotes/june-2019-quiet-streets-are-becoming-too-dangerous/