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Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals
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Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals
Question: 71
A bank uses Power Platform apps and flows to support business processes.
The company would like to use historical client data to predict whether a clients loan application is likely to be
approved or rejected.
You need to use AI Builder to implement the solution.
Which four actions should you perform in sequence? To answer, move the appropriate actions from the list of actions
to the answer area and arrange them in the correct order.
Step 1: Import data into Common Data Service.
AI Builder requires the use of Common Data Service, which is the data platform for PowerApps and allows you to
store and manage business data. Common Data Service is the platform on which Dynamics 365 apps are built so if
youre a Dynamics 365 customer, your data is already in Common Data Service.
Step 2: Train the model
Step 3: Publish the model
The last step is to publish your model.
Step 4: Use the model in PowerApps or Microsoft Flow.
Question: 72
This question requires that you evaluate the BOLD text to determine if it is correct.
You have a Power BI report with a page named RevReceived. The page shows revenue received by your
company. You want to create an almost identical page that shows net revenue instead of gross revenue. To accomplish
this task, you modify the RevReceived page.
Review the underlined text. If it makes the statement correct, No change is needed. If the statement is
incorrect, select the answer choice that makes the statement correct.
A. No change is needed.
B. duplicate the RevReceived page.
C. import the RevReceived page.
D. copy the visuals from RevReceived to a new page.
Answer: B
Question: 73
You create a business rule on contact entity to enforce the requirement that users must enter either a
telephone number, fax number, or an email when creating a new record.
The company decides to remove fax number from the condition.
You need to update the business rule.
What are two ways of achieving the goal? Each correct answer presents a complete solution. NOTE: Each correct
selection is worth one point.
A. Save a copy of the rule and change the condition. Deactivate and delete the original rule.
B. Deactivate the business rule and change the condition.
C. Take a snapshot of the business rule and change the condition.
D. Change the condition and activate the change.
Answer: A,D
Question: 74
A company is evaluating ways that they can implement AI Builder.
For which two scenarios can you use AI Builder? Each correct selection presents a
complete solution. NOTE: Each correct selection is worth one point.
A. Send emails to all al users who subscribe to a service.
B. Synchronize data from an external database.
C. Collect data from several data sources and display a dashboard that shows trending data.
D. Interpret images and perform an action on the image.
Answer: B,D
Question: 75
You are creating a model-driven app to track requests for quotes.
The app must use the following navigation structure:
Sales Log
Request for Quotes
Product Lines
Sales Territories
User Admin
You need to create the app navigation.
Which sitemap component types should you use? To answer, drag the appropriate component types to the correct
navigation elements. Each component type may be used once, more than once, or not at all. You may need to drag the
split bar between panes or scroll to view content. NOTE: Each correct selection is worth one point.
Question: 76
A company plans to create an information portal that managers can use to view critical information about their teams.
You need to recommend the type of Power BI components that the company should use.
What should you recommend? To answer, drag the appropriate components to the correct requirements. Each
component may be used once, more than once, or not at all. You may need to drag the split bar between panes or
scroll to view content. NOTE. Each correct selection is worth one point.
Box 1: Report
Reports are more detailed data displayed in many formats like chart, graphs list and in tabular, etc.
Box 2: Dashboard
Dashboards are a business key performance indicator view where it displays key values that can change business
profits and can be glanced at one screen.
Box 3: Report
Power BI dashboards cannot slice and dice, but reports have many ways to filter and slice.
Note: Power BI dashboards are one placeholder to display the most important decision-making facts to run a business.
But reports are more detailed data displayed in many formats like chart, graphs list and in tabular, etc. Reports are
based on one dataset or one business unit data for example reports of a store belonging to California.
Question: 77
You are building Power Apps apps that use both Dynamics 365 Sales and Microsoft 365.
For each of the following statements, select Yes if the statement is true. Otherwise, select No. NOTE: Each correct
selection is worth one point.
Box 1: No
When you offer your application for use by other companies through a purchase or subscription, you make your
application available to customers within their own Azure tenants. This is known as creating a multi-tenant
Box 2: No
Question: 78
A company plans to create a Common Data Service environment.
For each of the following statements, select Yes if the statement is true. Otherwise, select No. NOTE: Each correct
selection is worth one point.
Question: 79
What is a benefit of deploying Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 apps in the same tenant?
A. Use Common Data Services to connect to application data.
B. You only need to set up groups in Microsoft 365 for permissions to all data.
C. Users can access both Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 by using Single Sign-on (SSO).
Answer: A
Question: 80
A company uses Microsoft Excel workbooks to store consolidated sales data. Workbooks are stored on OneDrive for
Match each Power Bl feature to its requirement. To answer, drag the appropriate features from the column on the left
to its requirement on the right. Each option may be used once, more than once, or not at all. NOTE: Each correct
match is worth one point.
Question: 81
A user is trying to understand the differences between the various ways apps can be built by using Power Apps.
For each of the following statements, select Yes if the statement is true. Otherwise, select No. NOTE: Each correct
selection is worth one point.
Box 1: Yes
You can create a canvas app and then embed that within a model driven app.
Box 2: No
With the capability to build a portal in PowerApps, you can create a website for external and internal users enabling
them to interact with data stored in Common Data Service.
Note: Common Data Service lets you securely store and manage data thats used by business applications. Data within
Common Data Service is stored within a set of entities. An entity is a set of records used to store data, similar to how
a table stores data within a database. Common Data Service includes a base set of standard entities that cover typical
scenarios, but you can also create custom entities specific to your organization and populate them with data using
Power Query. App makers can then use PowerApps to build rich applications using this data.
Box 3: Yes
To get started building a report youll need the latest version of Power BI Desktop and a PowerApps environment with
the latest version of the Common Data Service.
Question: 82
You are a district manager for a large retail organization. You train each store manager to use Power BI to track sales
and daily sales targets.
A store manager remembers learning about the Analyze in Excel option but cannot find the option in their Power BI
You need to help the user resolve the issue.
How should you advise the user?
A. Install the Power Bl Desktop app.
B. Navigate to the report used by the dashboard.
C. Select the Spotlight button on the dashboard tile.
D. Subscribe to the dashboard and follow the email link.
Answer: B
Question: 83
A company uses Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 Sales. The company does not have any developers on its staff.
You need to explain to the executives the benefits of using Power Platform apps.
What are two benefits? Each correct answer presents a complete solution. NOTE: Each correct selection is worth one
A. Users can send emails from Dynamics 365 Sales to their personal email addresses.
B. Users can create Power Apps to create apps for different departments.
C. Users can use Power Automate to share information between Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 Sales.
D. The company must unify all the mobile devices to one vendor.
Answer: B,C
Question: 84
A company is using Power BI to build visualizations.
The companys IT support team needs to know when to install Power BI Desktop on users computers and where the
Power BI Service will suffice to perform tasks.
You need to recommend solutions for the company.
What should you recommend? To answer, drag the appropriate components to the correct requirements. Each
component may be used once, more than once, or not at all. You may need to drag the split bar between panes or
scroll to view content. NOTE: Each correct selection is worth one point.
In a Venn diagram comparing Power BI Desktop and the Power BI service, the area in the middle shows how the two
overlap. Some tasks you can do in either Power BI Desktop or the service. The two sides of the Venn diagram show
the features that are unique to the application and the service.
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Microsoft Fundamentals reality - BingNews Search results Microsoft Fundamentals reality - BingNews Why Microsoft Is Betting on a 'Mixed Reality' Future No result found, try new keyword!Craig Cincotta from the mixed reality team at Microsoft told TheStreet that Windows ... with 3D environments and objects is something fundamental to humans, according to Cincotta. Tue, 27 Dec 2016 06:19:00 -0600 text/html Bill Gates Has Big Advice for College Graduates: 3 Things Investors Can Learn, Too

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and one of the world's richest people, recently gave a commencement speech at Northern Arizona University. Gates, who now dedicates his life to philanthropy, has one of the smartest business minds in the world, so investors can learn a lot from him. Here are three takeaways from his latest address. 

1. "Your life isn't a one-act play"

Gates told graduates that while career decisions they make right after college might seem like a big deal, they are not permanent, and most people do not end up spending their entire career in one industry or position.

Investors should heed this as well. While we always recommend long-term investing at The Motley Fool, you cannot be glued to stocks and must be willing to change your position if there is a fundamental change to your initial investment thesis. The reality is that stocks you love today might no longer be good in five to 10 years.

Another lesson investors can glean from Gates is being open to investing in new companies and sectors. Just because you are a growth investor or try only to invest in utility stocks, you shouldn't turn down a great value opportunity or avoid other sectors at all costs.

You'll want to understand the investment if it's in a sector where you don't typically invest, but don't be afraid to buy something you never have before. It's going to require more work to get up to speed, but having that knowledge will pay off later because it broadens the number of opportunities you'll have.

2. "You are never too smart to be confused"

When you've succeeded in life, it's easy to be overconfident and embarrassed to ask for help when you aren't sure about something. But humility is a huge part of life -- and investing -- because there is an endless amount to learn.

A key to successful investing is acknowledging what you don't know or are unsure of, and then not being intimidated by it. Aggressively pursuing answers could mean reaching out to the investor relations department of a company, digging through regulatory filings, or asking another investor who might know.

Gates told graduates that finding smart people to learn from is crucial to success. They can be found on networking sites like LinkedIn -- or even Twitter, given the number of investors tweeting about stocks. The key, Gates says, is to not be afraid to ask for help.

3. "Don't underestimate the power of friendship"

Building on that last theme of not being afraid to ask for help, Gates recommended trying to make as many friends and contacts as possible because you never know when someone might be able to help you in your career and vice versa:

The people you've [socialized] with and sat next to in lectures are not just your classmates. They are your network. Your future co-founders and colleagues. Your best sources of support, information, and advice. The only thing more valuable than what you walk offstage with today is who you walk onstage with.

The same can be said of investing. You might not understand something a management team just said on its earnings call, or why the market is selling a stock when you thought quarterly earnings results looked pretty good. If you know a few people who follow the same stocks as you or are just really knowledgeable, then being able to talk to them will be essential.

It also helps to be able to bounce ideas off of others invested in similar stocks or sectors as you are -- which will make investing a much more enjoyable and social experience as well.


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Fri, 19 May 2023 21:48:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Hypocritical corporations should not force young workers back to the office

Microsoft boss Satya Nadella has spoken about the need for empathy and inclusivity in the workplace

As the post-pandemic dust settles, many companies are rolling back the remote or hybrid models they brought in and asking their employees to return to the office. Disney’s chief executive Bob Iger cited “the ability to connect, observe and create with peers that comes from being physically together” as a key motive when he emailed staff earlier this year asking them to come back four days a week.

Amazon, Apple, Twitter and KPMG are also among the corporations positioning this controversial call as a logical step towards normality, but in reality, these mandates are draconian, fraught with hypocrisy and are ultimately a step backwards.

Since more flexible working policies have taken shape, people with disabilities have been enjoying unprecedented rates of employment. So in a corporate world focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), how can reverting to the limits of office working possibly make sense?

Weeks after my 27th birthday, I experienced a breakdown. I was so unwell that even popping out for fresh air was an insurmountable challenge. Travelling anywhere would have been impossible, which would have spelled the end of my career, had it not been early 2020. The nation was in lockdown and I was working from home.

It feels strange to acknowledge having benefited from a terrible global event, but in truth, the pandemic normalised remote working. And for me and millions of others, that was a blessing. Zoom meetings became standard practice overnight, meaning I could engage with colleagues, clients or investors from the comfort of my home, before resuming my battle to make it through the day.

Three years on, as the world recovers from Covid-19, my health has also improved, but not everyone is that lucky. Approximately 135 million people in Europe and Central Asia are living with a mental or physical impairment, according to the World Health Organisation. Globally, it’s 1.3 billion - 16% of the world's population. My experience helped me see that flexible working is not a ‘perk’ or a ‘nice-to-have’. For huge numbers of people, access to remote work is synonymous with access to work - a fundamental human right.

The push for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the workplace dates back to the US Civil Rights Act of 1964, though it wasn’t until the nineties that corporations began to take an active role in promoting diversity in their workplaces. It’s been a work in progress ever since, with the Black Lives Matter protests bringing a renewed focus on equity in the workplace in latest years, leading many companies to publicly address systemic racism and commit to taking action.

Business leaders aren’t shying away on the subject of DEI. Salesforce co-founder, chief executive and chair Marc Benioff has been a vocal advocate for equal pay and gender equity, pledging to close the company's gender pay gap, while Microsoft boss Satya Nadella has spoken about the need for empathy and inclusivity and has launched initiatives to increase diversity within the company. The corporate world finally seems to care about social issues, suggesting we’ve entered a new era of work for historically marginalised groups.

But where is this compassion when it comes to people with mental or physical impairments? What about their needs - and those of future generations - if we roll back remote working options?

It’s an uncomplicated equation: more remote work means greater inclusion, while limiting flexibility will push people out of the workforce. How can corporations turn a blind eye to this reality one moment, while standing shoulder-to-shoulder with social activists the next? Anyone familiar with the trend of corporate greenwashing won’t be surprised by this hypocrisy, but we should still feel alarmed by it. Millions of lives will be made significantly worse by return-to-office mandates. So what could justify it?

The fear of decreased productivity is often cited as the main reason for companies insisting on a return-to-office mandate, but it’s a weak argument. There’s an abundance of research, including a comprehensive study of 16,000 workers by Stanford University, showing that remote workers tend to be more productive than their in-office counterparts. And in any case, it is unethical to justify blocking people with disabilities from employment for the sake of an unfounded concern over productivity.

Another common concern is loneliness, but this comes from an assumption that remote working equates to isolated, lockdown-imposed homeworking. There are many possibilities for remote work that can help combat social isolation and loneliness, including coworking spaces, which our research suggests can be more socially fulfilling than traditional offices.

Other factors are likely at play here, from companies struggling to know what to do with their buildings to a deeper psychological objective: the need for control. For decades, managers have used office spaces to reinforce the feeling of control, power, and productivity. The shift away from traditional office spaces requires employers to step outside their comfort zone and embrace a dynamic and ever-evolving present. Unless they let go of preconceptions and surrender to this new reality, it becomes everyone else's problem.

As the world continues to evolve and adapt to new technologies and ways of living, we need to consider whether a mandatory return to the office is a step back. When the first dedicated office buildings were created centuries ago, the most popular mode of transportation was the stagecoach. In 2023 and beyond, surely there is a more sophisticated approach to workspaces, too?

While it's true that some jobs may always require in-person collaboration and face-to-face interactions, the past three years have demonstrated that many companies can organise their workforce in a far more inclusive way through remote working.

This begs the question: why are some companies so insistent on bringing their employees back to the office? For bosses who claim to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, forcing their employees to return to a traditional 9-5 could be seen as hypocritical and ultimately contributing to a less inclusive culture.

On the other hand, companies that embrace remote work can play a tangible role in forging a fairer society. A new generation of workers and consumers is emerging, one that is free from the entrenched mentalities of their parents and increasingly focused on the social impact of flexible working. As public awareness continues to mature, there is a strong business case to be made for being on the right side of history.

Ben Marks is the founder and executive director of the #WorkAnywhere Campaign, the global advocacy movement representing remote and hybrid workers

Mon, 05 Jun 2023 02:46:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Opinion: Some of Microsoft's merger appeal arguments aren't very strong

Microsoft has filed an appeal with the Competition Appeals Tribunal that argues why the CMA's merger block decision should be overturned, but some of these points aren't very strong or compelling.


Note: This is an opinion piece that builds an argument based on market trends and video games industry data.

In a new appeal filing, Microsoft legal counsel has listed five key reasons why the CMA was wrong to prohibit its $68.7 billion merger with Activision Blizzard King. The UK's Competition Appeals Tribunal, who oversees appeals in competition cases, has published an application summary that outlines Microsoft's appeals arguments. While a portion of these could be sound, including assertions that the CMA made "fundamental errors" in determining Microsoft's cloud gaming market share, some of the arguments just don't have much weight behind them.

More specifically, grounds 3 and 4a do not seem entirely viable. Ground 3 makes the case that the CMA was "irrational" to conclude that Activision would bring its games to cloud streaming services if the merger didn't go through. This bears more examination.

The reality is that Activision offering its games to services like GeForce Now and Boosteroid wouldn't actually hurt the company in any other way except for potential reputational harm due to cloud gaming's range in gameplay performance. Cloud gaming relies heavily on internet connection speeds, which can often be in flux, so there's no ensure of specific higher-end performance during the entire gameplay experience.

Other than that, it actually makes good business sense to offer these games to these services. Remember that GeForce Now and Boosteroid are Bring-Your-Own-Game (BYOG) services that require subscribers to have already purchased the game they want to stream. So Activision-Blizzard would not miss out on sales of its games, if, of course, it was able to tie purchase licenses to the streaming services.

As evidenced by the Microsoft Cloud Remedy that was published by the CMA, Activision-Blizzard could probably also negotiate a deal where the publisher keeps 100% of all in-game purchase revenues made by consumers who are streaming the games.

This is the case for Microsoft's 10-year licensing deals with GeForce Now and Boosteroid, so Activision may be able to make a similar deal.

Given these points, it's entirely feasible to think that Activision could one day offer its games on cloud streaming services because A) users still have to buy the games, so there's no cannibalization effects that Activision-Blizzard will literally face if the merger goes through and these titles are offered day-and-date on Game Pass; and B) Activision could negotiate a deal so that it keeps all monetization revenues from purchases made in streamed games.

There seems to be very little downside unless, of course, Activision were to launch its own multi-game subscription platform with some form of game streaming, like a publisher-specific Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offering.

Ground 4a, on the other hand, is much more apparent in its weakness.

Microsoft legal counsel makes a point that goes against basic market sense and counters everything we know about entertainment subscription services, especially multi-game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation Plus, and Nintendo Switch Online, but also cloud streaming services that are similarly reliant on value.

In ground 4a, Microsoft legal counsel says that the CMA "wrongly relied on evidence that so-called AAA games would be important to cloud gaming services to find that Activision games, in particular, would hold such importance."

This seems to imply that cloud gaming services do not need to rely on AAA hits in order to attain subscribers. This is not the case. Cloud gaming services are value-oriented services, and therefore must rely on value in order to effectively compete in order to be successful.

We've seen this play out in dramatic fashion with multi-game subscription services.

The first MGS was Xbox Game Pass, a subscription that was so powerful that it disrupted the entire video games industry and ushered in a new wave of value-oriented subscription content. Nintendo broke the mold by combining its Virtual Console into a subscription-based format with Nintendo Switch Online, and Sony followed Microsoft to combine PlayStation Plus with PlayStation Now, and offer a new innovative 3-tier PS Plus model.

The MGS services that incorporate cloud game streaming, PS Plus and Xbox Game Pass Ultimately, rely heavily on big high-quality AAA games for a large part of their value. Users are much more likely to subscribe if there are big games offered on the service--this is also true for other entertainment subscriptions like Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max.

In the cloud gaming services front, more specifically with non-MGS services like Boosteroid and NVIDIA's GeForce Now, this reliance on value is still true.

While these services do not host games or make available the games for commercial purchase, they still must attain a license for the games in order to stream them, and these high-quality games are still extremely important to attract consumers and subscribers.

The entire ethos of the value-oriented business model is a reliance on value. This is most often presented with a content mix of quantity and quality, and AAA games belong to the latter group. PS Plus and Game Pass offer access to hundreds of games that vary in terms of quality, genre, scope, features, etc.

The same is true for NVIDIA GeForce Now, which offers streaming of over 1,500 games, and Boosteroid likewise offers access to dozens upon dozens of titles. It's just the method of access is different because these services require users to already own the games before they can stream them.

On the other hand, the full claim is that the CMA used evidence that AAA games "would be important" to cloud gaming services in order to argue that Activision games would summarily be just as important.

Here at TweakTown, I've tried to reiterate just how big Activision-Blizzard is and how gigantic its titles have become. Call of Duty, for example, has sold over 425 million copies and generated over $31 billion in revenues. For the AAA gaming market, there are few titles that are bigger than Call of Duty. If AAA games are important to cloud gaming, then Activision games could indeed be important for cloud gaming by virtue of their size.

It's not just Call of Duty, though. Activision Blizzard King has 8 separate video game franchises that have all made over $1 billion in revenues. The three top contributing games to ABK's earnings are Call of Duty, Warcraft, and Candy Crush. The company weighs its performance metrics based on the strengths of these three franchises.

Currently, it is argued that these games are not important to cloud gaming because they are not available via cloud gaming. The idea is that cloud gaming service providers are still making money even without the inclusion of Activision games. This is true. Even with a plethora of AAA games, the cloud gaming sector does not need Activision titles in order to operate.

However, the implied value proposition is still there, and the size of these games remains one of the biggest reasons why the European Commission accepted Microsoft's remedies; the games are just too big to be exclusive to any one service. The remedial actions suggest that if the games are to be made available to one service, they need to be made available to all services.

It's also worth mentioning that the cloud gaming sector is currently a very small portion of the overall global games market. According to the European Commission's VP Margrethe Vestager, cloud gaming makes up 1-3% of games industry earnings. But the inclusion of Activision games could certainly change that.

While it is arguably hard to effectively present clear instances of subscription growth based around the content offered on these subscriptions, largely because the companies themselves do not present this kind of data or information, the basic core principles of a value-oriented subscription model still remain.

And this model would not exist if it were not successful to a large degree--the market would demand its eradication if that were the case, and everyone involved, from Microsoft and Sony to NVIDIA and Nintendo would be happy to oblige if it meant reducing losses.

Sat, 27 May 2023 09:38:00 -0500 en-US text/html
What will stop AI from flooding the internet with fake images? © CSA Archive / Getty Images

On May 22, a fake photo of an explosion at the Pentagon caused chaos online.

Within a matter of minutes of being posted, the realistic-looking image spread on Twitter and other social media networks after being retweeted by some popular accounts. Reporters asked government officials all the way up to the White House press office what was going on.

The photo was quickly determined to be a hoax, likely generated by AI. But in the short amount of time it circulated, the fake image had a real impact and even briefly moved financial markets.

This isn’t an entirely new problem. Online misinformation has existed since the dawn of the internet, and crudely photoshopped images fooled people long before generative AI became mainstream. But recently, tools like ChatGPT, DALL-E, Midjourney, and even new AI feature updates to Photoshop have supercharged the issue by making it easier and cheaper to create hyperrealistic fake images, video, and text, at scale. Experts say we can expect to see more fake images like the Pentagon one, especially when they can cause political disruption.

One report by Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, predicted that as much as 90 percent of content on the internet could be created or edited by AI by 2026. Already, spammy news sites seemingly generated entirely by AI are popping up. The anti-misinformation platform NewsGuard started tracking such sites and found nearly three times as many as they did a few weeks prior.

“We already saw what happened in 2016 when we had the first election with a flooding of disinformation,” said Joshua Tucker, a professor and co-director of NYU’s Center for Social Media and Politics. “Now we’re going to see the other end of this equation.”

So what, if anything, should the tech companies that are rapidly developing AI be doing to prevent their tools from being used to bombard the internet with hyperrealistic misinformation?

“We all have a fundamental right to establish a common objective reality”

One novel approach — that some experts say could actually work — is to use metadata, watermarks, and other technical systems to distinguish fake from real. Companies like Google, Adobe, and Microsoft are all supporting some form of labeling of AI in their products. Google, for example, said at its latest I/O conference that, in the coming months, it will attach a written disclosure, similar to a copyright notice, underneath AI-generated results on Google Images. OpenAI’s popular image generation technology DALL-E already adds a colorful stripe watermark to the bottom of all images it creates.

“We all have a fundamental right to establish a common objective reality,” said Andy Parsons, senior director of Adobe’s content authenticity initiative group. “And that starts with knowing what something is and, in cases where it makes sense, who made it or where it came from.”

In order to reduce confusion between fake and real images, the content authenticity initiative group developed a tool Adobe is now using called content credentials that tracks when images are edited by AI. The company describes it as a nutrition label: information for digital content that stays with the file wherever it’s published or stored. For example, Photoshop’s latest feature, Generative Fill, uses AI to quickly create new content in an existing image, and content credentials can keep track of those changes.

AI-labeling tools like Adobe’s are still in their early stages, and by no means should they be considered a silver bullet to the problem of misinformation. It’s technically possible to manipulate a watermark or metadata. Plus, not every AI generation system will want to disclose that it’s made that way. And as we’ve learned with the rise of online conspiracy theories in latest years, people will often ignore facts in favor of believing falsehoods that confirm their personal beliefs. But if implemented well — and especially if these labels are seen as more neutral than traditional social media fact-checking — AI disclosures could be one of our only hopes for navigating the increasingly blurry distinction between fake and real media online.

Here is how some of these early AI markup systems could work, what the limitations are, and what users can do to navigate our confusing post-truth internet reality in the meantime.

The devil is in the metadata

When you look at an image on social media or a search engine today, odds are you don’t know where the photo came from — let alone if it was created by AI. But underneath the hood, there’s often a form of metadata, or information associated with the digital image file, that tells you basic details, like when and where the photo was taken. Some tech companies are now starting to add specific metadata about AI to their products at the moment of creation, and they’re making that information more public in an effort to help users determine the authenticity of what they’re looking at.

Google recently said it will start marking up images made by its own new AI systems in the original image files. And when you see an image in Google Search that’s made by Google’s AI systems, it will say something like “AI-generated with Google” underneath the image. Going a step further, the company announced it’s partnering with publishers like Midjourney and stock photography site Shutterstock to let them self-tag their images as AI-generated in Google Search. This way, if you come across a Midjourney image in Google Search, it will say something like “Image self-labeled as AI-generated”

Google Search public liaison Danny Sullivan said that this kind of AI labeling is part of a broader effort to give people more context about images they’re seeing.

”If we can show you a helpful label, we’re going to want to do that,” said Sullivan, “but we’re also going to want to try to give you background information that we can determine independent of the label.”

That’s why Google is also adding an “About this image” feature next to image search results — whether they are AI labeled or not — that you can click and see when the image was first indexed by Google, where it may have first appeared, and where else it’s been seen online. The idea is, if you searched for, say, “Pentagon explosion” and saw a bunch of images in the results, you would be able to see a fact-checked news article debunking the piece.

“These tools are really designed to help people understand information literacy more and bake it into the search product itself,” said Sullivan.

Other major industry players have also been working on the issue of how to label AI-generated content. In 2021, a group of major companies including Microsoft, Adobe, the BBC, and Intel created a coalition called the C2PA. The group is tasked with helping to create an interoperable open standard for companies to share the provenance, or history of ownership, of a piece of media. C2PA created its first open standard last January, and since then, Adobe and Microsoft have released features using that standard.

For example, if you’re a photographer at a news outlet, you can mark when a specific picture was taken, who took it, and have that be digitally signed by your publisher. Later, your editor could make changes to the photo, signing it again with a seal of authenticity that it’s been Verified by the C2PA standard. This way, you know that the photo was taken by a person — not generated by AI— and know who has made edits to it and when. The system uses cryptography to preserve the privacy of sensitive information.

“Now you can read the entire lineage of the history of a piece of digital content,” said Mounir Ibrahim, EVP of public affairs and impact at Truepic, a visual authenticity app that is a member of C2PA. “The purpose of us is to help content consumers ... decipher the difference between synthetic and authentic.”

However flawed these early AI flagging and identification systems are, they’re a first step

Knowing the history and provenance of an image could potentially help users verify the legitimacy of anything from a headshot on a dating app to a breaking news photo. But for this to work, companies need to adopt the standard.

Right now, it’s up to companies to adopt the C2PA standard and label Verified content as they wish. The organization is also discussing potentially standardizing the look of the C2PA content credential when it shows up on images, Ibrahim said. In the future, the C2PA credential could be similar to the little padlock icon next to the URL in your browser window that signifies your connection is secure. When you see the proposed C2PA icon, you would know that the image you’re seeing has had its origins verified.

So far, two big C2PA members, Adobe and Microsoft, have announced tools that integrate C2PA standards into their products to mark up AI-generated content. Microsoft is labeling all AI-generated content in Bing Image Generator and Microsoft Designer, and Adobe is using C2PA standards in its new AI Firefly product’s content credentials.

“The biggest challenge is we need more platforms to adopt this,” said Ibrahim.

While the C2PA-style metadata labels work behind the scenes, another approach is for AI systems to add visible watermarks, as OpenAI has done with the rainbow bar at the bottom of DALL-E images. The company says it’s also working on a version of watermarking for its text app, ChatGPT. The challenge with watermarks, though, is that they can be removed. A quick Google search turns up forms of people discussing how to circumvent the imprint.

Another imperfect option is technology that can detect AI-generated content after the fact. In January, OpenAI released a tool that lets you cross-check a block of text to determine whether it’s likely written by AI. The problem, though, is that by OpenAI’s own assessment, the tool is not fully reliable. It correctly identified only 26 percent of AI-written texts in OpenAI’s evaluations, although it’s notably more accurate with longer than shorter text.

“We don’t want any of our models to be used for misleading purposes anywhere,” said a spokesperson for OpenAI in a statement. “Our usage policies also require automated systems, including conversational AI and chatbots, to disclose to users that they are interacting with our models.”

At the end of the day, even if these early AI flagging and identification systems are flawed, they’re a first step.

What comes next

It’s still early days for tech platforms trying to automate the identification of AI-generated content. Until they identify a dependable solution, however, fact-checkers are left manually filling in the gaps, debunking images like the Pope in a puffy jacket or fake audio of politicians.

Sam Gregory, executive director of human rights and civic journalism network Witness, who works with fact-checkers largely outside of the US, said that while he thinks technical solutions to AI identification like watermarking are promising, many fact-checkers are panic about the onslaught of misinformation that could come their way with AI in the meantime. Already, many professional fact-checkers are dealing with far more content to check than humanly possible.

“Is an individual going to be blamed because they couldn’t identify an AI-generated image? Or is a fact-checker going to be the one to take the strain because they’re overwhelmed by this volume?” said Gregory. The responsibility to address AI misinformation “needs to lie on the people who are designing these tools, building these models, and distributing them,” he added.

In many cases, Gregory says, it’s unclear exactly what social media platforms’ rules are about allowing AI-generated content.

There is an urgency to figure out these problems as AI-generated content floods the internet

TikTok has one of the more updated policies around “synthetic media,” or media that is created or manipulated by AI. The policy, which was revised in March 2023, allows synthetic media but requires that, if it shows realistic scenes, the image must be clearly disclosed with a caption, sticker, or otherwise. The company also doesn’t allow synthetic media that contains the likeness of any private figure or anyone under 18. TikTok says it worked with outside partners like the industry nonprofit Partnership on AI for feedback on adhering to a framework for responsible AI practices.

“While we are excited by the creative opportunities that AI opens up for creators, we are also firmly committed to developing guardrails, such as policies, for its safe and transparent use,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement. “Like most of our industry, we continue to work with experts, monitor the progression of this technology, and evolve our approach.”

But many other platforms have policies that might need some updating. Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, and YouTube both have general rules against manipulated media that misleads users, but those could be clarified regarding what uses are acceptable or not, according to Gregory. Meta’s fact-checking policies state that manipulated media containing misinformation is eligible for fact-checking by its third-party partners, as it did with the fake Pentagon AI explosion claims.

“AI is bigger than any single person, company, or country, and requires cooperation between all relevant stakeholders,” Meta said in a statement. “We are actively monitoring new trends and working to be purposeful and evidence-based in our approach to AI-generated content.”

Technological solutions to help people fact-check content themselves, like AI detection systems and watermarks, couldn’t come sooner.

But NYU’s Tucker says we need to test these solutions to see whether they’re effective in changing people’s minds when they encounter misleading AI content, and what the disclosures need to look to be impactful. For example, if the disclosures that an image or video is AI-generated are too subtle, people could miss it entirely. And sometimes, labels don’t work as expected. For example, Tucker co-authored a study last year showing that high- or low-quality news credibility labels had limited effects on people’s news consumption habits and failed to change people’s perceptions.

Still, there’s hope that if AI disclosures are seen not as politicized fact-checks but as neutral context about the origins of an image, they could be more effective. To know whether these labels are resonating with people and changing their minds will require more research.

There is an urgency to figure out these problems as AI-generated content floods the internet. In the past, tech companies had time to debate the hypothetical risks of AI misinformation because mainstream generative AI products weren’t yet out in the wild. But those threats are now very real.

These new tools that label AI-generated content, while far from perfect, could help mitigate some of that risk. Let’s hope tech companies move forward with the necessary speed to fix problems that come with AI as quickly as they’re being created.

Fri, 02 Jun 2023 23:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Five fundamentals for creating successful augmented reality campaigns

Looks at augmented reality – which combines the virtual with the real world – and how it can best be used on behalf of brands.

As we entered 2021, analysts were already predicting this to be “the year of Augmented Reality” based on the upward trend in adoption from 2020 of this technology that merges the real word with the virtual one. In the US alone, there were 85 million active...

Mon, 08 Nov 2021 11:09:00 -0600 en-GB text/html
It’s not just about bringing workers back to the office: 10 indicators of a downtown resurgence Downtown Seattle and Amazon’s headquarters campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser) © Provided by Geekwire Downtown Seattle and Amazon’s headquarters campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about significant transformations to cities worldwide. The road to recovery is complex and not always predictable. 

Some cities such as Salt Lake City or Bakersfield, Calif., are now seeing more downtown activity than before the pandemic.

Seattle has a different reality. Fewer than half of downtown workers have returned to the office here, one of the slowest rates of return in the U.S. And according to data from the Downtown Seattle Association, worker foot traffic is declining this year after hitting a peak in February, a trend also seen elsewhere.

City leaders praised Amazon for forcing its workers back to the office. The new mandate appeared to boost business for the bars and restaurants and doggy daycares around the company’s headquarters when it went into effect earlier this month.

But there is more to recovery than the “Amazon Great Return.”

There must be a holistic and practical approach, anchored in local context and community-driven initiatives, that promotes livability, safety, and sustainability. This is how cities can set inspirational goals beyond the necessary, yet often pessimistic discussions of empty offices, business receipts and attention to drug addiction.

RELATED: ‘Huge news for downtown’: Cinerama reopening in Seattle follows Amazon’s office return

Some envision a traditional return to the commute-based office-residence split. Others say downtowns must rethink their purpose and redesign underused spaces to attract more people.

“If people do not need to go downtown for wages, they must instead desire to go there,” Harvard and MIT academics wrote in the The New York Times. “A place to live and play rather than work: This is the dream of the Playground City.”

Below I list ten signs of ongoing processes that indicates a city’s ongoing recovery and regeneration. These guideposts, backed by real-world examples, might offer a roadmap to inspire resurgence.

Innovative interventions. Many would claim the first indicator, and perhaps the most important one, is government interventions in critical areas such public transportation, and affordable housing, or the range of services assured by the recently renewed and expanded Metropolitan Improvement District in Seattle. But there are other forms of market interventions that can make a dramatic difference in a recovering downtown, such as SIFF’s purchase of the iconic Cinerama theater, which sat vacant throughout the pandemic.

Mixed-use spaces. The second indicator is to create temporary and permanent mixed-use spaces. The government and private sector can collaborate to amplify parks and privately-owned public spaces with community gardens, bike lanes, or renovated old buildings for mixed-use purposes. Such designs provide opportunities for social interaction and can reinvigorate the public realm. The crown jewel reference is usually the High Line in New York City, a former railway that now serves as a public park and walkway, attracting both tourists and locals alike. But Seattle has its own examples.

Encouragement of artistic expression. The third indicator emphasizes the importance of artistic expression and its impact on a city’s interdisciplinary character. City stakeholders should prioritize artistic expression and fund public art installations, cultural festivals, and events, and provide resources for artists and performers. Such initiatives create opportunities for communities to express themselves creatively, fostering social connection and engagement. Seattle is blessed with the Olympic Sculpture Park as well as a variety of public art. The Art in Public Places Program in Miami, Fort Collins, Greenville and many other cities allows artists to transform everyday spaces into artworks.

Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park. (Chuck Wolfe Photo) © Provided by Geekwire Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park. (Chuck Wolfe Photo)

Community subsidies. The fourth indicator is for businesses, nonprofits, and the public sector to fund community-building initiatives. These initiatives may include investments in small businesses, additional funding for community centers and programs for youth and seniors, and public infrastructure such as schools and parks. Such investments help rebuild trust and Strengthen a city’s social fabric while creating opportunities for economic growth. In Detroit, Greening Detroit provides funding and resources for community-led greening initiatives, generating urban green spaces and improving the city’s air quality.

Safety assurance. The fifth indicator focuses on ensuring safety through police presence, environmental design, and “eyes on the street.” Furthermore, cities must include citizen feedback mechanisms in their safety assurance frameworks to monitor residents’ perceptions of their safety. Perception of safety is not limited to crime avoidance but results from pedestrian safety mechanisms now common in Seattle, Atlanta, and other cities, such as signalized crosswalks and bike lanes to Strengthen pedestrian and cyclist well-being.

Embracing creativity and color. The sixth indicator emphasizes the importance of embracing creativity to repurpose and add color to spaces and buildings. City officials and urban designers must repurpose abandoned buildings as canvases for street art or host community street art events. In Los Angeles, the LA Mural Ordinance is a citywide initiative that encourages artists to transform buildings into urban mega-canvases, not unlike the ornately illustrated building walls of Lisbon and Berlin.

Street sounds and scents. The seventh indicator aims to enhance streets’ sound and smell to Strengthen the city’s quality of life. Cities can hold live music performances, outdoor food markets, public fountains, and water features. In New Orleans, street musicians contribute significantly to the city’s vibrant culture, drawing tourists and locals to the streets. In Grasse, France, the home of three famous perfumeries, Fragonard releases scents as people stroll through one section of the town.

Colorful street art lines the streets of Lisbon, Portugal. (Chuck Wolfe Photo) © Provided by Geekwire Colorful street art lines the streets of Lisbon, Portugal. (Chuck Wolfe Photo)

Encouraging children’s participation. The eighth indicator emphasizes the importance of children’s active engagement in building resilient urban areas. Children should be an active part of street life and engage in public playgrounds, after-school programs, and community-led events like parades or seasonal celebrations. In New York, the Summer Streets program closes the central business district for seven miles on three consecutive Saturdays in August, allowing children and families to play and explore car-free streets. Mayor Harrell has proposed similar efforts in Seattle. Internationally, there is a growing movement around children’s roles and opportunities in urbanism.

Highlighting scenic views. The ninth indicator is to incorporate and highlight scenic views wherever possible by options such as rooftop gardens, scenic byways, or public lookout points to accentuate a city’s beauty. In San Francisco, the Lands End Lookout is a public viewing point, with information panels that provide a comprehensive view of the city. Views can serve as major downtown assets, and their enhancement and celebration can help fuel a sense of recovery.

Places worth visiting. The tenth indicator follows from the ninth. Cities need a “places worth visiting” mindset, with a map designed to entice both residents and visitors alike. These may include wayfaring systems, historical landmarks, scenic vistas, locally owned businesses, or cultural centers. With the Cinerama purchase and the ongoing waterfront redevelopments, Seattle will soon have many worthy additions to such a list.

Mon, 22 May 2023 07:56:00 -0500 en-US text/html
We might all get replaced by robots one day. If you can’t beat them, buy them

Will you be a winner or a loser in the economic war between new technology and the eternal human need to make a living? Big employers including BT, Rolls-Royce and Sky have announced plans to cut thousands of jobs, and many more people are at risk of being replaced by artificial intelligence (AI) in future. That includes journalists, like me. Gulp!

There is not much many of us can do about the rise of the robots, as algorithms get smarter and quicker. Technology is turning science fiction into commercial fact, such as the latest innovation from the digital giant, Apple (stock market ticker: AAPL), which is expected to launch “mixed reality” headsets tomorrow.

In truth, technology has been rendering some human effort redundant for millennia; even Archimedes’ screw was bad news for water-carriers. Unfortunately, tech tends to kill jobs before creating new ones in what the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter called “creative destruction” during the Second World War.

Here and now, anyone who can afford to set some risk money aside for stock market investment can gain exposure to the economic benefits of AI in particular and digital disruption in general. The idea is to buy shares in businesses that will sell tomorrow’s products and services.

For example, in January I wrote here about the software group, Microsoft (MSFT), and its big move into AI. Hopes that this might reboot the business prompted me to invest 2 per cent of my life savings in MSFT at $233 and $241 per share.

Less than six months later, those shares cost $335 each at close of trade on Friday and there might be further to go. ChatGPT, the AI bot that MSFT backed via an unlisted business called OpenAI, is part of a wider trend, which is more likely to run for years than months.

Never mind what I think. Here’s what Bill Gates, the co-founder of MSFT, said: “The development of AI is as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the internet and the mobile phone.

“It will change the way people work, learn, travel, get health care, and communicate. Entire industries will reorient around it. Businesses will distinguish themselves by how well they use it.”

Cynics may accuse Gates of talking his own book, but he isn’t the only billionaire backing AI.

Elon Musk, the Twitter owner, who initially called for a six-month moratorium on the development of AI because “human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity”, is now said to be investing in his own app.

Alphabet (GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN) are also seeking ways to monetise AI. Probably the simplest way to participate in this high risk, high tech struggle for supremacy is via a globally-diversified fund.

I have been a shareholder in Polar Capital Technology (PCT) for more than a decade and transferred this holding from a paper-based broker in September 2013, when the shares cost £4.33 each. They fell from favour last year, when rising inflation and interest rates soured Mr Market’s taste for “jam tomorrow” stories.

Even so, PCT traded at £22.55 on Friday and I am happy to pay annual charges of 0.84 per cent for professional stock selection. This £2.8 billion fund’s top three holdings, in descending order, are MSFT, AAPL and the microchip-maker Nvidia (NVDA).

I can’t tell you much about tomorrow’s launch of “mixed reality” headsets from AAPL. But they are expected to combine fully-imaginary virtual reality (VR) with the ability to simultaneously view the real world via augmented reality (AR) and will be the first completely new products from the world’s most valuable technology company since 2014.

Back then, many people predicted rotten returns from AAPL, arguing it had lost its creative core. But I am glad I ignored the pessimists and paid the equivalent of $23.75 in February 2016, to allow for a subsequent four-for-one share split.

They cost $181 on Friday and AAPL is my most valuable holding. Even after substantial profit-taking, it still accounts for more than 8 per cent of my life savings.

Against all that, technology is no ensure against terrible losses. Please don’t laugh but my 1 per cent punt on the Gloucestershire-based graphene-maker, Versarien (VRS) is a virtual wipe-out. Shares I bought for £1.77 currently fetch 3p. Ouch.

Schroders Capital Global Innovation (INOV) is not much better, after the same size punt shrunk from £1 in 2015 to 14p now. The former “star fund manager” who launched this investment trust, Neil Woodford, is gone but not forgotten. So much for trusting the professionals.

Most recently, I turned paper losses into real ones at Digital 9 Infrastructure (DGI9), where I paid 86p last December but have sold the lot at 63p. For all I know, the shares may bounce back soon but I wasn’t expecting this income option to deteriorate as it did.

So losing money is a real risk in this sector. Against all that, you could argue there are much bigger worries for society as a whole, in the shape of mass redundancies, if robots replace too many people. That is a risk for everyone; including your humble correspondent.

Unfortunately, this economic war allows no conscientious objectors or “pause” button; win or lose. Either way, diversified exposure to tomorrow’s businesses should provide some shelter from the shock of the new.

Why it pays not to follow fashion

Dreams of capital gains can disappear in a puff of smoke, or a bit of bad news from the other side of the world, but dividends can pay us to be patient. So, while all eyes are on explosive growth potential elsewhere, it makes sense to hang on to assets that yield income.

This is particularly important for anyone investing to pay for an enjoyable retirement. That’s the main aim of my “forever fund” and I am pleased to report that no fewer than ten shares — a fifth of the total portfolio — paid dividends last month.

These included the investment trusts BlackRock Latin American (BRLA) and Tufton Oceanic Assets (SHIP), plus the consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser (RKT) and the medical equipment maker Smith & Nephew (SN). Yielders rarely produce the most growth, however, and the price of a high income today is often low or no capital gains tomorrow.

For example, the maritime leasing specialist SHIP pays dividends equal to 7.9 per cent of its share price, according to the independent statisticians Morningstar, but its price has fallen from the $1.21 I paid in August 2021 to $1.09 now. BRLA yields 5.9 per cent but shares I moved into the forever fund at £3.10 in January 2010, currently cost only £3.92.

Similarly, returns from RKT and SN have been modest. But I remember grim years for stock markets when most share prices were shrinking and dividends remained one reason to be cheerful. So, even though these four yielders are the opposite of today’s fashionable funds and shares, they continue to earn a place in a diversified portfolio.

Read a breakdown of Ian Cowie’s “forever fund”

Sat, 03 Jun 2023 11:01:00 -0500 en text/html
BNY Mellon launches new ETF focused on women's opportunities

Wed, 17 May 2023 01:30:00 -0500 en text/html

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