security-threats-croppedZoom CIO Focuses on Cyber Threat Challenge

My good friend Harry Moseley, the CIO at Zoom, was interviewed this week on CNBC’s Power Lunch, and his comments about cyber threats were spot on. “The threat landscape is just getting so incredibly difficult,” he said, adding that a “multi-faceted approach” is necessary for managing cyber risks. “There isn’t a single solution to the problem,” he said. 

He acknowledged that Europe is ahead of the U.S. in terms of data privacy regulations and reiterated that Zoom’s intense focus on cyber security is an essential part of its highly successful operating model. 

Formerly the CIO of KPMG, Blackstone, Credit Suisse, and UBS, Harry is responsible for creating business value at Zoom through technology innovation, strategic planning to support business growth objectives, and ensuring the company’s technology platforms and procedures lead to outcomes in line with business goals. 

Zoom Video shares have risen 170 percent since the company’s IPO in April.

currency-croppedWill Facebook’s New Cryptocurrency Become a Disruptive Force in the Financial Services Industry?

Facebook announced this week that it would soon join the ranks of cryptocurrency providers, setting off widespread speculation over the long-term impact of the company’s strategy. Not surprisingly, the backlash began almost immediately. 

“The social network detailed plans for its virtual currency, called Libra, earlier this week, a move that almost instantly provoked a reaction from politicians and regulators alike,” writes Ryan Browne of CNBC. “Now, several central bankers are also weighing in on the debate.”

From my perspective, Facebook’s entry into the cryptocurrency market will hugely disruptive. It’s especially worrying to players in the traditional financial services industry, since Facebook’s enormous scale and global reach would make it a formidable competitor.

“Facebook’s token will take the form of a stablecoin, a digital currency that’s asset-backed — usually by currencies like the dollar — to avoid the volatility seen in most cryptocurrencies. In Facebook’s case, the currency is backed by a basket of bank deposits and short-term government securities,” Browne writes

5G-network-croppedWill 5G Smart Phones Pose Hazards to Your Health? Scientific Answers Are ‘Complicated’

Thousands of studies have been conducted on the potential health effects of mobile phones. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Communications Commission, the studies have not shown links between cell phones and health issues.

But the anticipated rise of 5G networks has some experts re-examining the possible consequences of long-term exposure to cell phone signals, and the science of determining potential health risks is complicated.

 “There are concerns that the very high-frequency spectrum known as millimeter wavelengths used in early deployments to make 5G a reality could pose adverse health effects for the public,” writes Marguerite Reardon of C-NET

The advent of new technologies often sparks apprehension, since the plain truth is that that nobody can predict with absolute certainty if they will be 100-percent safe. So in a sense, the debate over the potential health hazards of 5G will be part of a long tradition of similar debates over the possible effects of microwave ovens, television sets and transistor radios.

“The deployment of new 5G networks, which requires many more small cell towers to be deployed much closer to where people live, work and go to school, is reigniting those fears,” Reardon writes

aiSaving the World Through AI

As technology leaders, we tend to see AI through the lens of business. That makes perfectly good sense, since a significant part of our role is advising the C-suite and executive boards on the best uses of new technologies.

In addition to its many potential business advantages, AI can also help the world deal with some of its most complex problems. I highly recommend reading Karen Hao’s excellent article in the MIT Technology Review in which she lists 10 ways AI can be used to fight climate change.

Her article is worth reading, and adds an extra dimension to the discussions we typically have when we talk about AI.