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HOW TECHNOLOGY WILL REVOLUTIONISE SAFETY IN CARS

Technology is rapidly changing the way we live our lives, and it’s no different when it comes to personal transport. In this article, Wasim Bux, Product Manager at car insurance provider iGO4, explains how technology is set to revolutionise car safety and provides some examples of innovations we are likely to see more of over the next decade.

 

Whether it’s the introduction of augmented reality, the integration of eye tracking technology, or voice interfacing, the way that we drive will change massively over the next ten years. In much the same way that seatbelts, anti-lock braking systems, and airbags revolutionised car safety in the 20th century, a new wave of modern technology is set to do the same thing this century, bringing huge implications for individuals and insurance companies alike. In this article, I’m going to look at some of the ways that technology could revolutionise car safety.

 

Augmented reality displays

The transition from the classic dashboard to fully integrated augmented windscreens is already well underway, and it’s likely to bring a huge boom in terms of vehicle safety. This technology has been used in the military for years, specifically in the cockpit of fighter pilots, and has now become affordable enough to make its way into consumer vehicles, bringing in a new wave of smart windscreens. The first use of this technology was seen in 2014 with the Land Rover Discovery Vision concept which introduced smart roof glass and windows that can display safety images and track the driver’s eyes.

 

Looking even further forward to the future, it’s likely that smart windscreens will be able to detect potential hazards on the road, including looking out for pedestrian safety. This could include warnings about people who the driver doesn’t see, as well as specific warnings for different types of external danger such as snowy, icy, or wet conditions.

 

Information that isn’t currently available to motorists could also be integrated, such as safe braking distances for vehicles in front, which could change dynamically depending on road conditions. This could be taken a step further, allowing traffic information to be downloaded to your windscreen directly from the cloud, offering suggested route changes and predicting possible problems ahead. Giving motorists as much information as possible without them ever having to take their eyes off the road will radically change car safety.

 

Eye tracking technology

As touched on above, it is likely that eye tracking technology will be integrated into our augmented windscreens. This technology will be able to monitor alertness levels and warn drivers of hazards that they may have missed. This could be taken a step further with a smart display that always shows information in the area that the driver is looking. This would have a profound effect on the way that collisions are judged by insurance companies, with crash recorder systems that will be able to determine who is at blame for an accident.

 

Car accidents caused by drivers failing to look properly are one of the most common, especially among young or new drivers, and this technology should reduce these kinds of accidents. The other major cause of accidents that this tech would help avoid is falling asleep at the wheel. According to an AA survey, a staggering one in eight people admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel. Eye tracking technology would allow the vehicle to either safely slow down and pull off the road or send out a loud alarm to wake up the driver, drastically reducing the injuries and fatalities associated with these accidents.

 

Touch and talk technology

Touch screen technology has come on leaps and bounds in the last decade and is becoming something that is almost expected by consumers. Voice control has seen slower adoption, but also seems to be becoming increasingly popular. Though touch technology is more prevalent in other areas of life such as phones and tablets, it doesn’t seem practical for cars, as anything that takes the driver’s hands away from the main controls is potentially hazardous.

 

Instead, it is likely to be our voices that we use to control our smart vehicles as it is far less disruptive and much safer. That said, the technology must be implemented in a way that doesn’t distract drivers. We already use our voices to control technology, but often we still must physically look at our screens to read and understand prompts. If these can be projected onto the windscreen, it will be possible to ensure that eyes are never taken off the road. Another potential method of interaction is through gestures, something which Toyota and Microsoft are already working on, although this technology is in its infancy.

 

I have barely scratched the surface of the huge advances in technology that can and are being applied to vehicles. As these technologies become cheaper and more reliable, it’s only a matter of time before they become as common and thoughtless as the seatbelt, anti-lock braking systems, and airbags of our current cars.

 

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Technology

DISPELLING BIOMETRIC MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS

By Lina Andolf-Orup, Head of Marketing at Fingerprints

Gangsters cutting off enemies’ fingers to access secret locations and spies lifting fingerprints from martini glasses – the imagination of the entertainment world has been running wild ever since biometrics entered the scene.

Couple that with the limitations of some early biometric solutions from fifteen years ago, still anchored in the minds of many consumers, and you have the perfect recipe for an apprehensive and uncertain public.

 

Thawing lukewarm attitudes with a biometric touch

The biometrics industry has made great strides in the last few years – something particularly true for smartphones. Fingerprint authentication has replaced PINs and passwords as the most popular way to authenticate on mobile, with 70% of shipped smartphones now featuring biometrics.

And it doesn’t end there. Many adjacent markets are now eager to benefit from the secure and convenient authentication solutions that biometrics offer. Take the payments industry, for example, where biometrics payment cards are currently gathering real momentum.

However, some consumers are still uneasy about accepting biometrics. A recent study found that 56% of US and EU consumers are concerned about the switch to biometrics as it’s not enough understood to be trusted.

Although attitudes are shifting for the better, stats like this demonstrate there is still some work to do to disprove common biometric myths and showcase just how smart today’s solutions really are.

 

Lina Andolf-Orup

Dispel, adopt, repeat

The evolution in consumer biometrics in the last two decades has been phenomenal. And today’s solutions are far more advanced and safe than many may think.

To help bring an end to the myths, let’s expose some of the most common misconceptions around biometrics.

Myth: Biometric data is stored as images in easy-to-hack databases.

A leading myth about biometrics is that when a fingerprint is registered to a device, it is stored as an image of the actual fingerprint. This image can then be stolen and used across applications. In reality, the biometric data is stored as a template in binary code – put simply, encrypted 0s and 1s. Storing a mathematical representation rather than an image makes hacking considerably more challenging. In most consumer applications, this template is also not stored in a cloud-based location, its securely hosted in hardware on the device itself for example in the smartphone, in the payment card. Thus, it stays privately with its owner.

Myth: Fingerprints can be easily replicated to ‘trick’ devices.

The internet is full of articles and videos that claim it is possible to use materials from cello tape to gummy bears to craft fingerprint spoofs and access biometric systems. Although there may have been a time where gummy bear spoofing was the go-to party trick, todays’ consumer biometric authentication solutions have too many technological defences, such as improved image quality and matching algorithms, to simply ‘trick’ devices. Plus, on top this, the criminal needs to have access to the person’s device where this fingerprint is enrolled e.g. smartphone, payment card, before he/she notices and blocks it. This is not scalable nor common, in comparison to gaining access to someone’s PIN code or skimming a contactless card.

Myth: Physical change will prohibit access to my device.

Although our irises don’t change as we age, our fingerprints can and our faces will. Does that mean we have to update our biometric devices every few months to capture these changes? Not quite! Unless there are drastic, sudden changes, the ‘self-learning’ algorithms in modern-day biometric systems are able to keep up with our developing looks.

 

Who you gonna call? Mythbusters!

These are just some of the common biometric myths and misunderstandings perpetuating in consumer mindsets. Thankfully, though, while we’re working hard to rid the world of the myths, belief in the value of biometrics is only expected to grow. But as solutions expand and diversify, the myth-busting fight will continue.

Fingerprints has been a leader of innovation in biometrics for the last two decades. We’re proud of the expertise and R&D we’ve been able to pour into our biometrics solutions to deliver stronger security and a better user-experience. To learn more about the most common biometric misconceptions and the modern-day technology that allows us to dispel them, download our eBook here.

 

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Technology

WHAT EVOLUTIONARY AI MEANS FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES

FINANCIAL SERVICES

by Babak Hodjat, VP of Evolutionary AI at Cognizant

 

Many banks and other financial services institutions (FIs) are beginning to recognise the benefits of AI-driven solutions as a way to get ahead in the market and challenge the competition. Amongst many other benefits, the technology enables organisations to offer hyper-personalised customer experience,  dramatically improve internal decision making, and drive operational efficiency. However, many businesses are struggling to move beyond the experimental phase and reach actual AI deployment. It is those organisations that are at risk of being left behind.

The financial world has already been transformed by AI, and this transformation is continuous. A new breed of AI, known as ‘evolutionary AI’ has begun to further accelerate innovation. It is capable of automatically designing itself with little need for explicit programming by humans – innovatively creating complex AI models, and optimising decisions considering multiple scenarios.

This technology is revolutionary for industries across the world, but in particular it is set to transform the financial services sector. Enabling businesses to spot novel strategies that would never have been identified by human data scientists, and, in turn, allowing companies to take full advantage of today’s massive data sets – evolutionary AI will soon be a vital tool in all FIs’ arsenals.

 

The nuts and bolts of evolutionary AI

Emerging technologies that enable AI algorithms to design themselves are allowing organisations to transcend human limitations. Evolutionary AI operates iteratively. Firstly, it randomly generates a set of potential solutions to form an initial population and assigns a score to each solution based on how well it performs relative to other solutions. In the second round, it retains the solutions that performed best, perhaps only 5% of the total, and recombines their components, sometimes “mutating” them to create a new population. This new population is then tested, and the process begins again. Over multiple generations, the appropriate components of the more successful solutions become increasingly prevalent in the population, and eventually a solution is discovered that yields the best outcomes.

 

Advantages and use cases

Compared to human design, evolutionary AI can be deployed far more quickly, avoids biases and preconceptions, and typically performs better. Furthermore, the chosen model will evolve and improve over time based on new data.

Evolutionary AI can be applied in a wide variety of areas at FIs. Some examples include designing quantitative trading strategies to maximise returns while minimising risk and loan underwriting. Rather than relying on human analysis, evolutionary AI solutions can quickly analyse all the combinations of relevant variables to create models that more accurately assess the risk of default by a potential borrower.

 

A recipe for success

In order to reap the benefits of the technology, FIs should focus on the following:

  • Responsible AI – Behave in ways that make customers and employees comfortable, i.e. not making decisions that are unethical or exhibit bias. Companies need to monitor them to ensure they continue to act appropriately, as they learn and evolve.
  • Viewing AI through a business lens – Having AI projects managed by cross-functional teams with business executives in the lead is a good place to start. Companies also need to look across their organisations to identify opportunities to generate concrete business value from AI — not only in reduced costs but also in boosting revenues by delivering enhanced customer experiences and through improved decision-making.
  • Enhance data management – AI applications depend on access to timely and accurate data, which is a challenge for many FIs that have fragmented data architectures with multiple legacy systems. Companies need to identify which types of data are required for each AI project and ensure they can be captured in an appropriate format.
  • Approach with speed and caution – AI projects need to be rolled out quickly, while at the same time be rigorously measured, so failures are terminated promptly while successes are moved into production.

The sophistication of AI technology is set to significantly improve over the coming years as it continues to design and test itself. As a result, it will become more critical to the productivity of FIs, and soon businesses will recognise it as a vital tool for consulting on important business decisions. It will not be long before humans and AI are working alongside each other, with robots handling routine tasks, enabling employees to focus on more complex and sensitive activities. Delivering more value together than either could on their own.

 

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