We created technology to solve a problem; our lives were complicated. As a society, someone decided that there had to be a better way to take care of life’s tasks than what was available at the time. One genius gave us moveable type, while another developed the assembly-line and then Alan Turing entered the thunder dome. Turing, a young British wunderkind in his own rite, posited that if humans can use their own knowledge to solve problems and make decisions, why couldn’t a machine do the same?
In his 1950 paper, Computing Machinery and Intelligence, Turing suggested that if a computer could convince a reasonable percentage of people that interacted with it that it was human, and not a computer, it could be regarded as “intelligent.” As we’ve come to witness in recent years, computers are more than capable of passing the Turing test, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they can think and decide without being programmed to do so.
Artificial intelligence, or “A.I.” as it’s more commonly referred, has made its way into the hearts and minds of many a company in the tech industry. Through the use of “machine learning” which is a process through which an A.I. platform can be taught to understand, sort through, and analyze data at exponentially greater rates than that of a human. In the field of medicine, healthcare providers have looked to artificial intelligence to help bogged-down hospital administrators sort through “piles” of patient data. As we speak, the automative industry is investing an absurd amount of capital into improving autonomous vehicles that will transport humanity both figuratively and literally into the future.
But what if it were possible for someone to trick an AI program into harming an actual person? These programs simply follow what they are told to do, unless of course they are actually sentient, which is yet to be the case. According to a recent study conduced by Tencent’s Keen Security Lab, several engineers were able to takeover a Tesla Model S, which uses an autopilot system, and command it to switch lanes to drive right into oncoming traffic. Of course, this was purely a test and no one was harmed, but it’s terrifying when you think about it. Per the details of the report, Keen’s scientists need only place stickers on the road, resembling a line, and the Tesla’s Autopilot system detected the stickers and changed lanes.
The basic notion of machine learning, which we touched upon earlier, is based on feeding computers information over and over until they “learn” to use the info and act accordingly. Where AI gets tricky is if a hacker were to gain entrance into the backend of an AI program and instruct it to do something potentially lethal. When speaking to the Tesla example, a hacker could easily crash the car, which would presumably contain one to five passengers at any moment in time.
Following Keen’s release of their report findings, a Tesla spokesperson stated:
“We developed our bug-bounty program in 2014 in order to engage with the most tilted members of the security research community.…The primary vulnerability is not a realistic concern given that a driver can easily override Autopilot at ay time by using the steering wheel or brakes and should always be prepared to do so. The findings are all based on scenarios in which the physical environment around the vehicle is artificially altered to make the automatic windshield wipers or Autopilot system behave differently…”
The rise of AI as a means of improving how we interact with our technology has allowed for society to take several leaps forward. Having said that, the risk of adversarial attacks on our global infrastructure becomes increasingly more likely when machines are tasked with “knowing” what to do.
Biotech Stocks To Watch In June: Cara Therapeutics (CARA) & Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA)
Among biotech companies, the competition between Cara Therapeutics Inc (CARA) and Intellia Therapeutics Inc (NTLA) has been an intriguing one. The two companies had been on the same level as far as the market cap goes during most of the year so far.
But Cara has now pulled ahead by as much as $150 million following positive data from its lead product candidate. That being said, it is also important to keep in mind that if an investor is looking at a long term investment, then the disparity in market cap between the two companies is a minor. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of Cara and Intellia.
Cara Therapeutics (CARA)
Cara Therapeutics is currently on the rise. Its lead product candidate Korsuva injection delivered highly encouraging results in its Phase 3 trial. It’s now believed that it would not be long before Cara has its first product on the market.
It is meant for the treatment of moderate-to-severe chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus. According to reports, the results were great. Another late-stage test is going to be conducted soon. The results could be announced by the end of this year. If Korsuve is approved, then it will be marketed by Fresenius Medical Care and Vifor Pharma Group.
Cara has entered joint ventures with those companies to market the product in the United States, Japan, and South Korea. An oral version of Korsuva is also in the pipeline and could prove to be another important development.
Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA)
Intellia Therapeutics (INTA) is involved in creating CRISPR gene editing therapies. It is a segment that has a lot of promise in the future. Even though the company is some years away from having anything on the market, the promise of gene editing therapy is exciting. So much so that Intellia has already found partners in big-ticket firms like Regeneron and Novartis.
Intellia is expected to file for FDA approval for the clinical study into its lead product NLTA-2001 in 2020. It is meant for the treatment of transthyretin amyloidosis, an uncommon genetic disease. Studies into the products have proven to be promising so far. The company is also working on a product to treat myeloid leukemia.
Now when it comes to choosing between Cara and Intellia, experts believe that the former could a better company. It’s already on the verge of having an approved product on the market. Intellia, on the other hand, is likely to be some years away from winning approval.
4 Security Penny Stocks To Watch
As Threats Arise, Security Stocks Take Center Stage In 2019
With the Federal Reserve’s meeting coming, the general market is bracing for anything. Meanwhile, penny stocks are continuing to climb at absurd rates. Trading penny stocks as of late has brought many investors fruitful profits and they look to continue this trend. Here are some security penny stocks to watch for the remainder of June 2019:
Security Penny Stock #1
Liberty Defense Holdings (SCAN.V)
Market Cap: $46.404M
Liberty Defense Holdings Ltd. (SCAN.V) is a security company looking to take the industry into the next century. Liberty’s HEXWAVE product is a 3-dimensional scanning device that can detect weapons and threats of any kind. The product can do this both with speed and discretion ensuring privacy for citizens.
Liberty signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the soccer team FC Bayern München to beta test HEXWAVE in their arena. They join an ever-growing list of places that have signed MOU’s to beta test Liberty’s product. This MOU expands its ability to comply with and test the market requirements for their product internationally.
“The reception to our HEXWAVE product has been fantastic and we are excited about working alongside FC Bayern Munich, a team that is a household name in both Europe and North America, […] Our ability to deploy in both indoor and outdoor settings, with covert and overt applications, sets us apart and has also been driving increasing interest from the market.”Bill Riker, CEO of Liberty
Security Penny Stock #2
Magal Security Systems (MAGS)
Market Cap: $101.371M
Magal Security Systems Ltd. (MAGS) provides security solutions both online and physical. Some services provided include identifying potential security problems, integrating new systems, and custom designs for any type of security needs.
Recently, Magal received a $5.5 million contract for its advanced perimeter intrusion detection system. The system prevents people from illegally crossing border fences and walls.
Dror Sharon, CEO of Magal, stated, “Magal is a world leader in perimeter intrusion technologies. Our growing wins of orders such as this – providing sensors for active international borders, is due to the decades of experience that we have in providing systems that have more than proven themselves in-the-field.”
Security Penny Stock #3
Rekor Systems (REKR)
Market Cap: $27.502M
Rekor Systems Inc. (REKR) is a company that has developed surveillance technology to enhance public safety, banking, and traffic management. Primarily, the company takes their advanced software, which utilizes machine learning and upgrades IP cameras to the next level. This reduces the cost when collecting highway tolls and helps manage traffic congestion.
Throughout June, Rekor Systems has been gaining recognition and application across the US. On June 3rd Rekor obtained a contract to start deploying its Mobile LBR-2 vehicle recognition systems. After this deployment on the 3rd, the LPR-2 system North Carolina law enforcement placed an order. On June 12th, Colorado highway authorities chose Rekor’s cloud system called NUMERUS to read enhance their license plate reading.
Security Penny Stock #4
BIO-key International (BKYI)
Market Cap: $18.03M
BIO-key International Inc. (BKYI) is a security technologies company that is pushing past the limits of fingerprint scanning. BIO-key provides a plethora of finger scanning products that provide security for your computer, hard drive, and the government. They have a partnership with Microsoft to develop biometric sign-in for Windows 10.
The company recently announced that a foreign defense ministry ordered more BIO-key deployment for secure access to Microsoft applications.
“We were delighted that such a capable and prestigious technology team determined that BIO-key met their security and scalability requirements and have now made follow-on investments to grow their user base. Defense Ministries are constant targets of cyber-attacks, and we are glad to help them step up authentication to the highest assurance with NIST-verified accuracy and FIPS compliance.”Jim Sullivan, SVP of BIO
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