5 new tech terms you need to know

posted on 19th Oct 2018 by Trish Brady

Get yourself up to speed with 5 of the newest tech terms

Crowdturfing

Most of us read reviews before buying products or making a booking online. But some unscrupulous firms are now paying people to write positive reviews or to post bad reviews on competitor products. This is known as “crowdturfing”.

Up to now the cost of hiring people has slowed the spread of fake reviews. But researchers have warned that artificial intelligence will change that. Scientists have shown it is possible to train an AI neural network to generate and post convincing reviews on sites like Tripadvisor. Automated crowdturfing algorithms could produce so many fake reviews it would quickly become impossible to know what to trust on any review websites!

mHealth

Wearable technology like the Apple Watch and FitBits collect large amounts of information about your health, activity and well-being. In the not to distant future the information that’s collected could start to feed into your patient records for doctors. This is known as ‘mobile health’ or mHealth. This information could help aid diagnosis and improve monitoring of illnesses and your overall health.

At the moment mHealth has already had an impact on life insurance. One of the oldest and largest North American life insurers will stop underwriting traditional life insurance and instead offer only interactive policies that track fitness and health data through wearable devices and smartphones.

Plane Li-Fi

Most people who travel on planes are familiar with the need to put their devices into “airplane mode”. But Airbus is working at installing a new technology that will make airplane mode redundant. Li-Fi is light-based technology which could allow people to remain online even during take-off and landing. Overhead LED bulbs that turn off and on millions of times every second, so fast you wont even see it, can send data 100 times faster than traditional Wi-Fi – and most importantly it doesn’t interfere with the safety systems on airplanes.

Brainjacking

Medical implants with wireless functionality are becoming increasingly common. They can be programmed, controlled and recharged without the need for surgery or wires. While more convenient, these wireless medical devices, like pacemakers and insulin pumps, can be breached and are far more vulnerable to hacking. For example former US Vice President Dick Cheney had the wireless function on his pacemaker turned off in case foreign powers tried to use it to assassinate him!

Machine Bias

Machine learning algorithms calculate our credit scores, assess insurance claims, make music recommendations along with many other random things. But they can be flawed – they are only as good as the data they are trained on and can pick up bias, while the code itself can also carry the unintentional prejudices of those who wrote the code in the first place. It’s used countrywide in the US to predict future criminals and it’s hugely biased against the black community.

Trish Brady, UI Designer

Trish looks after digital design here in Neworld, bringing a wealth of experience and insight to every project.