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This AI attorney claims that companies need a chief AI Officer — pronto

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This AI attorney claims that companies need a chief AI Officer — pronto

When Bradford Newman began advocating for more artificial intelligence expertise in the C-suite in 2015, “people were laughing at me,” he said.

Newman is the global leader of Baker McKenzie’s machine-learning and AI practice in Palo Alto. He said that when he mentioned that companies needed to appoint an AI chief, people often responded with “What’s that ?”

?”

But as the use of artificial intelligence proliferates across the enterprise, and as issues around AI ethics, bias, risk, regulation and legislation currently swirl throughout the business landscape, the importance of appointing a chief AI officer is clearer than ever, he said.

This recognition led to a new Baker McKenzie report, released in March, called “Risky Business: Identifying Blind Spots in Corporate Oversight of Artificial Intelligence.” The report surveyed 500 US-based, C-level executives who self-identified as part of the decision-making team responsible for their organization’s adoption, use and management of AI-enabled tools.

Newman stated in a press statement after the survey’s publication that: “Companies need to up their game when it come to AI oversight, governance, and ethics to ensure their AI ethical and protect themselves against liability by managing their risk appropriately.”

Corporate blind spots about AI risk

According to Newman, there were significant blind spots in corporate thinking around AI risk. One, C-level executives exaggerated the threat of AI cyber intrusions while downplaying AI risks related to algorithm bias or reputation. C-level executives overestimated the risk of AI cyber intrusions but downplayed AI risks related to algorithm bias and reputation.

The survey also found that organizations “lack a solid grasp on bias management once AI-enabled tools are in place.” When managing implicit bias in AI tools in-house, for example, just 61% have a team in place to up-rank or down-rank data, while 50% say they can override some – not all – AI-enabled outcomes.

The survey also found that nearly two-thirds (65%) of companies don’t have an AI chief, which means that AI oversight falls under the purview of the CTO and CIO. At the same time, only 41% of corporate boards have an expert in AI on them.

An AI regulation inflection point

Newman stressed the importance of AI in the C-suite and especially in the boardroom.

“We’re at an inflection point where Europe and the U.S. are going to be regulating AI,” he said. “I believe corporations will be woefully on the backfoot reacting because they don’t understand it – they have an false sense of security

While Newman is against regulation in many areas of life, he claims that AI is fundamentally different. He said that AI must be marked with an “asterisk” because of its potential impact. “It’s more than just computer science. It’s about human ethics. It goes to the essence who we are as people and the fact that Western liberal democratic societies have a strong view on individual rights.”

From a corporate governance perspective, AI is also different, he stated. “Unlike, say, the financial function which is the dollar and cents reported within the corporate structure and disclosed in our shareholders’ accounts, artificial intelligence and data sciences involve law, human resource and ethics.”

But, AI in an enterprise tends to fragmented and dispersed, he said.

“There is no omnibus regulation that a person who has a good understanding of the subject could say to the C-suite, “We must follow this.” Training is essential. We need to train.

Newman also said that there are many internal political constituencies around AI including data science and supply chains. He said, “They all say it’s mine.”

The need for a chief AI officer

Newman believes that appointing a chief AI officer, or CAIO, to the CEO will be beneficial. This executive reports to the CEO at the same level of a CIO (CISO), CFO, and CIO. The ultimate responsibility for all matters AI within the company would be held by the CAIO.

” Many people want to see how one person fits that role. However, we aren’t saying that the CFO is an expert on all financial calculations going on in the company – but she reports to her.” he stated.

A CAIO would report to shareholders as well as externally to regulators.

“Most importantly they would be responsible for corporate governance oversight, monitoring, and compliance with all things AI,” Newman said.

Newman acknowledges that installing a CAIO won’t solve all AI-related problems.

“Would that be possible? He said that while it is not perfect, it would be a significant step forward.

The chief AI officer should be well-versed in both computer science and some aspects of ethics.

While only a third of respondents to Baker McKenzie’s survey said that they have “something like” an artificial intelligence chief, Newman believes that this is a “generous statistic.”

” I think most boards are woefully inept, relying upon a patchwork chief information officers, chief secure officers or heads of HR sitting at the C-suite,” said he. “It’s very muddled and not a true job title held by one person with the kind of oversight and matrix responsibility that I’m referring to.”

The future of the chief AI officer

These days, Newman claims that people don’t ask the question “What’s a chief AI officer?” as often. Instead, companies claim that they are ethical and that their AI does not have implicit biases.

“There is a growing awareness of the need for oversight by corporations. There is also a false sense that the current oversight in most companies is sufficient. “It’s not going to suffice when the regulators and enforcers come – if you switch sides and start representing consumers and the Plaintiffs, I can poke huge holes in the majority corporate oversight and governance of AI.”

Organizations require a chief AI officer. He stressed that “the questions being asked by this technology far exceed the zeros and the ones, or the data sets.”

Organizations “play with live ammunition,” he stated. “AI is not an area that should be left solely to the data scientist.”

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Microsoft Teams is finally fixing this ear-splitting annoyance

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Microsoft Teams is finally fixing this ear-splitting annoyance
Four people in a meeting room video conferencing with four remote participants.



(Image credit: Microsoft)

One of the most irritating (and slightly painful) parts of joining a Microsoft Teams call could soon be fixed by a new update.

The video conferencing service is a popular choice for many companies, meaning calls with large numbers of participants joining at the same time, and from the same location (such as a meeting room) are a common occurrence. 

However, often when multiple people join a meeting in the same room, a feedback loop is created, which causes echo, which in most cases quickly escalates to howling – with Microsoft likening the noise to when a musician holds the mic too close to a loudspeaker.

Teams’ howling

Fortunately, a new fix is coming for Microsoft Teams users. In its entry in the official Microsoft 365 roadmap (opens in new tab), the new “Ultrasound Howling Detection” describes how it aims to prevent this noise for users on Windows and Mac across the world.

Microsoft says that the update should mean if multiple users on laptops join from the same location, it will share with the user that another Teams Device is detected in their vicinity and is already joined with audio to the current meeting. 

If a user has already joined with their audio on, Microsoft Teams will automatically mute the mic and speakers of any new the person who then joins the call, hopefully putting an end to the howling and screeching feedback.

Thankfully, the update is already listed as being in development, with an expected general availability date of March 2023, so users shouldn’t have to wait too long to enjoy.

The news follows a number of recent updates largely aimed around improving the audio quality on Microsoft Teams calls using AI and machine learning.

The new updates are the result of using a machine learning model trained on 30,000 hours of speech samples, and include echo cancellation, better adjusting audio in poor acoustic environments, and allowing users to speak and hear at the same time without interruptions.

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Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK’s leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he’s not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.

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Shazam! Fury of the Gods trailer breakdown: 6 thing you might have missed

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Shazam! Fury of the Gods trailer breakdown: 6 thing you might have missed
Shazam points at someone off camera in Shazam! Fury of the Gods



Shazam! Fury of the Gods lands in theaters on March 17.
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The final trailer for Shazam! Fury of the Gods has debuted online – and it looks even more charming, funnier, frenetic, and darker than its predecessor.

Shazam’s sequel flick arrives in theaters worldwide on March 17, so it’s about time we were given another look at the forthcoming DC Extended Universe movie (read our DC movies in order guide to find out where it’ll fit in that timeline). Luckily, Warner Bros. has duly obliged. Check it out below:

Okay, there’s some messy CGI and a slightly corny vibe about Shazam 2. But hey, the first problem can be ironed out before the superhero film takes flight, while the latter is part of what makes this movie series spellbinding (see what we did there?).

But we digress – you’re here because you want to find out what you missed from Shazam! Fury of the Gods‘ new trailer. Below, we’ve pointed out six things you might have overlooked. So, what are you waiting for? Shout “Shazam!” and let’s dive in.

1. Who are the Daughters of Atlas?

Kalypso hands Hespera the wizard's staff in Shazam! Fury of the Gods

New movie, new villains. (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

For a film centered around Shazam, we don’t actually see the titular superhero appear in the official trailer for the first 20 seconds.

Instead, we get another glimpse at Fury of the Gods‘ villains, aka the Daughters of Atlas. The powerful trio comprises the power-hungry Hespera (Helen Millen), dragon-riding Kalypso (Lucy Liu), and Athena (Rachel Zegler), the latter of whom seems particularly torn about how the sisters are going about their business.

So, why are they gunning for Shazam and his superpowered foster siblings? Essentially, when Billy Batson was gifted his abilities by Djimon Hounsou’s wizard in the film film (available now on HBO Max), one of those powers was the Stamina of Atlas. The Daughters of Atlas aren’t too happy about their father’s ability being passed down to a child, so they want to take back what is theirs – and they’ll do it so by any means necessary.

2. Mythological monsters

A dragon prepares to breathe fire at one of Shazam's fellow heroes in Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Shazam isn’t the only person taking flight in Fury of the Gods. (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Shazam’s first DCEU outing featured some horror-imbued creatures in the form of the Seven Deadly Sins. How, then, do you go about topping (or, at the very least) matching what came before? Throw in a bunch of myth-based monsters, of course.

Kalypso’s imposing dragon is the most notable inclusion. It feature prominently throughout the trailer, and we even get an amusing Game of Thrones reference from Shazam – “Hey, Khaleesi!” – in the movie. Hey, Warner Bros. loves to mention its suite of IPs in as many of its films as possible.

But Kalypso’s wyvern isn’t the only fairy-tale-based beast we see. Minotaurs, griffons, and demonic unicorns are just three of the other monsters who’ll turn up in Fury of the Gods. Basically, don’t expect this to be an easy fight for Shazam and company to save the world.

3. You can’t get the staff these days

Hespera uses the wizard's staff as Kalypso looks on in Shazam! Fury of the Gods

“So I just point it and then what?” (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Saving earth from a new titanic threat will be even harder when Shazam’s adoptive family are stripped of their powers, too. And it seems that the staff, which was wielded by Hounsou’s wizard in the first movie, is the key to giving and taking those abilities away.

In 2019’s Shazam!, the titular hero gave powers to his foster siblings to help him combat the Seven Deadly Sins and Doctor Sivana. They’ve still got those power in Fury of the Gods, too, but they won’t have them for long, based by what the trailer suggests.

The footage shows Freddy Freeman and Mary Bromfield being drained of their abilities by the Daughters of Atlas at various points. The trio are using the wizard’s staff to rob the teens of their powers, so it’s clearly of major importance to the movie’s main players. 

Later, we see Shazam wielding it – not before he asks the wizard to take his powers back, mind you, when he becomes convinced he can’t defeat the Daughters of Atlas. Anyway, Shazam’s brandishing of the staff suggests he needs it to boost his own abilities if he’s going to defeat the movie’s antagonists and give his siblings their powers back. Expect the staff to play a vital role in Fury of the Gods‘ plot, then.

4. Prison break

Djimon Hounsou's wizard blows som magic dust out of a prison window in Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Time to break out, Mr. Wizard. (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

In order to get the wizard’s staff, it seems the Daughters of Atlas go after Hounsou’s magic wielder to obtain it.

We see Hounsou’s character imprisoned at various points, including a shot of Hespera chastising him for giving the power of the gods to Billy, Freddy, and company. “You ripped it from our father’s core,” she tells him, which implies Hounsou’s wizard might not be as mighty and heroic as we were led to believe.

Anyway, Hounsou’s wizard interacts with Shazam later in the trailer, so he clearly escapes captivity. Whether he does so alone, or he enlists Shazam’s help – does that magic-infused dust, which he sends through his prison cell window, have something to do with it? – is unclear. Regardless, we’ll see Hounsou’s character break out at some stage.

5. Is that you, Doctor Strange?

Shazam flies past some rotating buildings in Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Where have we seen this kind of aesthetic before? (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Remember when we said Zegler’s Athena doesn’t seem as keen to destroy earth as her sisters? That’s because, at the 1: 14 mark, we see her use her powers with a uncertain look on her face. You wouldn’t look like that if you were convinced you were doing the right thing, would you? 

Based on the fact she’s pushed away by Kalypso (using the staff no less), seconds later, it seems she’ll be swapping sides at some stage.

Interestingly, it seems the wizard’s staff can do more than give or take a person’s powers away. One perceived ability certainly has an air of the Doctor Strange/Marvel-based mystic arts about them. Just look at the Escher-style nature of how the scenery bends and folds in on itself when Athena is pushed back, and when Shazam evades numerous buildings at the 1: 44 mark. We’d be very surprised if DC and Warner Bros. didn’t take a leaf out of the MCU’s book with such an aesthetic.

6. Light the way

Shazam prepares to fight Kalypso and her dragon in Shazam! Fury of the Gods

A yellow bolt out of the blue. (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Shazam and his fellow superheroes get a costume upgrade in Fury of the Gods. The group’s threads are more streamlined and less plastic-looking this time around, which is pleasing to see.

Fans had been worried, though, that these suits wouldn’t feature one of the first movie’s most underrated (if somewhat tacky) aspects: the glowing lightning bolt on Shazam’s chest. Shazam’s costume in the 2019 movie was manufactured in a way that allowed the bolt to physically light up, avoiding the problem of having to add awkward lighting effects during the post-production phase.

Thankfully, Shazam! Fury of the Gods‘ official trailer confirms that Shazam’s lightning bolt will glow. However, given the sleeker look of the costumes this time around, it appears that the illumination effect has been added in post. Regardless of how it’s been implemented, we’re just glad it’s a feature that’s been retained.

For more DCEU-based coverage, find out where we placed 2019’s Shazam! in our DC movies ranked article. Additionally, read up on the best superhero films of all-time or check out how to watch the Batman movies in order.

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As TechRadar’s entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You’ll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot (opens in new tab).

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.

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You can lock Chrome incognito tabs on Android now. Bring it to the PC!

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You can lock Chrome incognito tabs on Android now. Bring it to the PC!

Chrome logo on a phone with a lock image over it

Image: Deepanker Verma / Pexels


Author: Alaina Yee
, Senior Editor

Alaina Yee is PCWorld’s resident bargain hunter—when she’s not covering PC building, computer components, mini-PCs, and more, she’s scouring for the best tech deals. Previously her work has appeared in PC Gamer, IGN, Maximum PC, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can find her on Twitter at @morphingball.

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