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Machine Learning:  The 3 Ways Modern Computing Is Helping Marketers

machine learning - Machine Learning:  The 3 Ways Modern Computing Is Helping Marketers

Machine learning has been the term on the tongues of every tech-savvy businessperson in recent years, especially as major tech players like Apple and Google have made major moves to implement it into their consumer-facing technologies.  Even with the excitement around the subject, like Apple’s announcement that the iPhone XS would include a devoted machine learning core, many people don’t yet know how machine learning will affect their life and business.

We think it’s important for businesspeople to understand the practical side of technologies that are rising to the forefront of modern business, so with that in mind, we’ll answer the questions “what is machine learning” and “how can it help marketers?

Machine Learning Can Hone Your Audience

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in marketing is missing your target audience.  Every year, thousands of products sell less than they should simply because a marketing professional missed some minute detail about the audience or demographic for their product.  Machine learning is helping to make that much less likely.

Because machine learning is centered around putting adaptive data to good use, marketing applications abound, particularly when coupled with the use of demographic data that already exists.  Social media sites have generated endless valuable information in recent years, but making sense of what is largely referred to as “big data” is a nearly impossible task for even large teams.  With machine learning tools, though, small teams can have intelligent algorithms parse massive stores of data, sussing out increasingly accurate details.

Machine Learning Can Save Time and Work

Technology exists to make life more efficient, safer, and, ultimately, better for all living creatures.  If people are asking “what is machine learning” and not finding out that it is helping humans live better lives, the connection has been missed somewhere along the line.

As time goes on, our work should become easier thanks to technology, not harder.  Smart applications of machine learning tools can do just that, allowing smaller teams to process marketing information that would have been impossible to analyze efficiently in the past.  Instead of countless overtime hours poured into the rote labor, marketing firms can instead rest easy knowing their professionals are making the most of their time – and talent.

Machine Learning Tools Help Maximize Human Talent

If there’s one thing humans will likely always have over AI, it’s that we’re creative beyond imagining.  If there’s one concept that isn’t the answer to the question “what is machine learning,” it’s “creative.”  Machine learning tools are fantastic at analyzing and highlighting patterns from massive collections of data, but they can’t tell us what to do with that data.

Utilizing effective machine learning tools means freeing up human talent to do what humans do best: create.  When most professionals pursue marketing, they don’t imagine doing countless hours of data analysis as the endpoint of their career.  Realistically, most people imagine working with other people, developing strategies, and helping good products reach the eyes of the people who want them.   Effective machine learning tools help humans work with humans, ensuring that marketing professionals don’t have to miss the forest for the trees.

How Does Mining Cryptocurrency Affect the Environment?

crypto

Energy use has been a hot topic in recent months, especially as more and more studies point to environmental conditions growing worse with each passing year.  At the same time, the general public has become increasingly aware of cryptocurrency, which has brought both praise and scrutiny to the methods used to mine, trade, and maintain cryptocurrencies.

However, while there’s been plenty of discussion on forums and in videos, it can be hard for newcomers to crypto to find simple-to-parse summaries of environmental and energy information concerning cryptocurrency mining.  So, to help make things easier for those looking to learn, we’ve created a quick informative article to help you gauge whether mining is something you want to participate in.

Energy Use

Most people don’t think of computers as particularly heavy energy-consuming devices.  In truth, however, that’s only true for most mid-level home and office computers.  Gaming computers, servers, and cryptocurrency mining computers all have significantly more power draw than the average device, with miners taking the lead in terms of power draw per user.  Large servers often have higher draw, but they’re able to service so many clients at a time that they are actually considerably more efficient on average.

The reasons mining computers draw so much energy boils down to the process required to “mine” a cryptocurrency.  Cryptocurrencies are largely powered by what is known as a “blockchain,” a massive series of encrypted data blocks which contain the data used to represent cryptocurrencies.  To earn cryptocurrencies, generally these data blocks must be decrypted, a process which requires an incredible amount of mathematical computation.

bitcoin2 - How Does Mining Cryptocurrency Affect the Environment?

Mathematical computations of such complexity usually require powerful processors, the most affordable of which are found in graphics processing cards (GPUs.)  While one GPU generally draws more power, most mining rigs utilize the processors of multiple GPUs resulting in incredibly high power draws to a single mining computer.

Environmental Impact

Because of the massive power draw that cryptocurrency mining rigs possess, much of the environmental impact is going to be tied to what sort of generators power companies local to each miner use.  A miner whose electricity is sourced from nuclear, for example, will have much less of an environmental impact than someone whose electricity is sourced from coal.

The problem, though, is in the scale.  Non-nuclear, green energy sources, such as solar and wind, do not produce enough energy to sustain many mining rigs, and green energy companies have reported that the popularity of mining rigs has led to more energy waste than they were able to produce.

With that in mind, environmentally-minded individuals should take caution to research their local energy sources before committing to cryptocurrency, especially for currencies like BitCoin, whose blockchain design makes the mining of coins continually more difficult on a computational level.

While one miner is unlikely to have a noticeable impact on anything but their own energy bill, if people keep jumping onto the cryptocurrency trend, many locations will see their energy production needs skyrocket.  With increased production comes increased pollution, and with increased pollution comes a further endangered environment.

Unfortunately, at least for the time being, cryptocurrency mining using existing structures is not particularly environmentally friendly.  Though there is potential for more efficient systems, individuals should take their time before investing in a crypto mining rig outright!

How Gaming Went From Couches and Gamepads to Worldwide Faceoffs

IT office

Video games have a much longer history than most gamers realize, and their relevance going forward into the future seems to grow greater by the day. When thinking on the history of video games, many people would imagine arcade machines of the 70s and 80s, the Atari, or the Nintendo Entertainment System.

In truth though, the first recognizable video game was invented in 1947.

Known as the “Cathode-ray tube amusement device,” the first video game was a simple simulation of an “artillery shell,” represented by a glowing line on the screen moving in an arc towards objects drawn on a plastic screen overlay. The movement of the artillery shell could be controlled by a player working a set of control knobs.

After the Cathode-ray tube amusement device came further intrepid devices. Throughout the 1950s, various simple games like chess were brought to an electronic format. The advancement of electronics technology allowed for basic multiplayer games to be created, though they were not simple or affordable enough for everyday people to have in their homes.

Many of the early video games were specifically designed for tech demos and exhibitions as opposed to personal use.

In the 1970s came arcade cabinets and the first recognizable video game consoles. These platforms encouraged multiplayer and spectator enjoyment of video games, making video games a considerably more personal and social event than ever before. The popularity of early consoles created space for an industry to grow, and, less than a decade later, a surge of gaming consoles like the Atari 2600 and then the NES.

zxc 1 - How Gaming Went From Couches and Gamepads to Worldwide Faceoffs

Consoles became the primary way that most people enjoyed video games, as they were relatively affordable, easy-to-set up, and didn’t require any sort of inside knowledge of tech like early PCs did. As PCs became more user-friendly, they would appear in homes all across the world, making the way for a boom in PC gaming that has never really abated.

One of the most incredible advancements of early PC gaming came with the invention and spread of the Internet and the World Wide Web.

As more computers were connected to the internet, doors opened for remote multiplayer of video games. At first, games like Sid Meier’s Civilization were played in a multiplayer format by emailing data back and forth as each player took their turn. The game would update each local copy as data was downloaded from each email, allowing players to have a contiguous game across multiple remote computers.

As internet tech grew and evolved so, too, did the games that utilized it. Soon enough, entire gaming platforms existed to facilitate easier, faster, and more in-depth multiplayer gaming. Servers hosted by companies or individual consumers allowed for numerous players to connect to the same game and play together at their own leisure.

Soon enough, gaming and electronics companies realized the value that could come from maintaining dedicated online services for the purposes of multiplayer. Services like Playstation Plus, Xbox Live, Gamespy, Steam, and Battle.Net all served as considerably more stable and easy-to-access frameworks for gaming companies to deliver their works to players who were excited to play together.
Now, multiplayer gaming has gone truly global, with matches of popular games even being televised on the same channels that broadcast professional sports!

Esports is a career that many skilled gamers pursue and succeed at. What’s more is that millions of people around the world carry gaming systems in their pocket in the form of smartphones, which allow multiplayer gaming during transit, in coffeeshops and libraries, and even in the great outdoors.

Even the sky doesn’t seem to be the limit for the evolution of gaming. Games are the subject of considerable psychological research, the purpose of which is to determine if gamification of our daily lives can be beneficial to us as a global society. After all, games are fun; they provide unprecedented efficacy at stimulating joy, motivation, and social interaction that might otherwise not be possible without them.

9 great computer inventions you need to know about

feat7 - 9 great computer inventions you need to know about

The computer itself is considered the best invention in history. Nowadays, computers offer us a range of benefits such as researching virtually any topic fast and easy, fostering global communities of people, allowing unlimited business potential, enabling us to communicate easily with anyone in the world, supporting creativity, ensuring access to education and medical knowledge, and serving as part of essential tools like cars or robots, to name just a few. But the road to what we have today was both long and fascinating. Let’s have a look at the greatest computer inventions ever:Vintage calculator

1. Charles Babbage’s computer

The first computer ever built dates back from 1821 and is called “The Difference Engine”. Its purpose was to output mathematical tables and it was commissioned by the British government. Charles Babbage started work on this computer but never managed to complete it due to its high production cost.

2. The first computer program, created by Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace, Countess of Lovelace and English mathematician, was the first to observe that Babbage’s computer The Analytical Engine had more applications than just performing pure calculations. While translating Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea’s records on Babbage’s computer in 1841 she left notes with her translation, and one of the notes was the algorithm needed to compute Bernoulli numbers by the analytical engine – or the first computer program.

Old defect computer

3. First working programmable computer: Z3

Z3 was the third computer built by Konrad Zuse, and it was the world’s first programmable computer. The invention of this machine made Zuse to be regarded as the inventor of the modern computer. Completed in Berlin in 1941, Z3 was a fully automatic digital computer and its average calculation speed was 0.8 seconds for addition and 3 seconds for multiplication. Unfortunately the original Z3 was destroyed in the bombing of Berlin in 1943.

4. ENIAC – the first general purpose programmable electronic computer

ENIAC was developed in 1946 and it was able to solve a variety of numerical problems through reprogramming. This digital computer was huge – it weighed 27 tons, it occupied 167 square meters, and consumed 150 kW of electricity. Today, parts of the ENIAC are held a multiple institutions around the world. ENIAC is remembered for helping with computations to determine the feasibility of the world’s first hydrogen bomb.

5. The first personal computer, Simon

Dasher computer

A relay-based computer, Simon was sold for $600 and was built to demonstrate the concept of the digital computer. Its only use was an educational demonstration, and it could perform four operations: addition, negation, greater than, and selection. Simon was limited to a 2-bit memory and output through five lights.

6. The first real-time graphics display computer by IBM (1951)

AN/FSQ-7 is known for being the largest computer system ever built, with 24 installed machines, each weighing 250 tons, and using a total of 60,000 vacuum tubes. It was able to perform approximately 75,000 instructions per second for networking regional radars and it was used for Cold War ground-controlled interception. Stations were equipped with light guns to select targets on screen for further information.

7. First mouse

Wireless mice

The first mouse appeared in 1964 and it was one of the steps taken to make computers more user-friendly. The idea belonged to Douglas Engelbart, which created a device with a pair of small wheels (one turning horizontally and the other vertically) which could be used to move a cursor on a computer screen. The device evolved to perform multiple semantic gestures, such as drag and drop and selection, and to be updated to modern versions, such as optical mouse, laser mouse, wireless mouse, inertial mouse (which doesn’t need a surface to operate), the gaming mouse, and the ergonomic mouse, developed to provide optimum comfort and prevent repetitive strain injuries of the hand.

8. The first touchscreen

Touchscreens may seem like a recent invention, but you’ll be surprised to find out that the first touchscreen in the world was developed in 1965. Unlike modern touchscreens, this one had no pressure sensitivity (it was either contact or no contact) and it was able to register only a single point of contact (it wasn’t multitouch). This type of touchscreen was used by air traffic controllers in the UK until the 1990s.

9. The first portable computer – Compaq Portable

The first product of the Compaq Computer Corporation, this portable computer was launched in 1982. Its price was $2,994 (equivalent to approximately $7000 today), weighed 13 kg, and it could be folded into a case the size of a portable sewing machine. Two years later, IBM released a similar computer, more affordable and less sophisticated, though.

Modern laptop

As time went by, computer technology exploded and it would take thousands of pages to write an exhaustive history of computer inventions. Every day new inventions in the field are made, and a long way has been completed since Charles Babbage’s computer in the early 19th century. The question is – what will the future bring?

8 major contributions of computer science

feat6 - 8 major contributions of computer science

Making a complete list of computer science contributions would be a very difficult job, because almost every aspect of daily life has been influenced and transformed by computing. However, we can identify some major breakthroughs or innovations that have brought significant contributions to a variety of fields. Computer science has changed society in an unprecedented manner and has definitely shaped the world we know today.

Old computer

1. Determining the third major leap in human technological progress

The first leap was the Agricultural Revolution, estimated 8000-5000 BC, followed by the Industrial Revolution (1750-1850 CE). The period of time until the third leap was considerably shorter, and in the 20th century we witnessed the Information Revolution. And now, in the 21st century, we see 90s computers as retrograde and primitive – this is because computers have caused a massive acceleration in the rhythm of progress development.

People on escalator

2. Increasing information storage capabilities

It has been estimated that the world’s capacity to store information has reached 5 zettabytes in 2014 or the informational equivalent of 4,500 stacks of printed books from Earth to the Sun. Today, more pictures are taken every couple of minutes than the entire number of pictures taken in the 19th century. Having enough internal memory on your computer does not even matter anymore because you can store information on the cloud.

Enigma machine

3. Automation and productivity

The Information Age we live in today has swept the Industrial Age paradigm and made it possible to increase manufacturing value while around a third of manufacturing jobs fell. A good example is the one of the United States manufacturing industry, where in the period between 1972 and 2010, manufacturing value increased 270% while the number of people employed in the industry decreased from 17,500,000 to 11,500,000. This has happened because of automation and computerization, which were blamed by many for destroying jobs. However, data has shown that technology may destroy jobs in the short run but leads to creating others on the long term.

4. Breaking the Enigma Code in World War II

The western Allies were able to obtain the victory in World War II after they managed to read Morse-coded radio communications of the Axis powers which had been enciphered using Enigma machines. German armed forces and their allies were using a type of enciphering machine called Enigma to send messages securely. The Enigma code was broken by English mathematician Alan Turing who invented with a fellow scientist, Gordon Welchman, a device which reduced the work of code-brokers – a type of computer nicknamed as the Bombe. His work was so significant that it had made the single biggest contribution to Allied victory. So much so, that Hollywood even decided to make a movie about cracking the enigma code, ‘The Imitation Game’.

Trading software

5. Mapping the Human Genome

Natural processes and situations characterized by great complexity can be experimented entirely only by software, such as the biological project aimed at determining the sequence of nucleotide base pairs that compose human DNA, known as the Human Genome Project. The project started in 1990 and the last milestone was achieved in May 2006, when the sequence of the last chromosome was published in Nature. The mapping of the human genome has multiple benefits and applications such as genotyping viruses, identifying mutations that cause cancer, predicting medication effect, and developing the forensic applied sciences. The data could be analyzed only by developing dedicated computer programs.

6. Artificial intelligence

Many of us think of robots that could one day overturn humanity when we hear about artificial intelligence, but AI is completely different from that. AI for Good is used to describe those artificial intelligence applications that benefit society, such as aviation systems, speech recognition software, personal assistants, robo-advisors used in the investment management industry, healthcare robots and equipment, software creating news and writing pieces, telephone customer service, and robotic vacuum cleaners to mention just a few.

7. Computer graphics

Computer graphics can be used to create images and videos, which is called computer-generated imagery or CGI. Even films that do not contain CGI are created using digital cameras or post-processed using digital video editors – modern entertainment could not exist without computer tools.

Computer graphics

8. Algorithmic trading

The liquidity and efficiency of financial markets has been increased by using techniques such as algorithmic trading, machine learning, and high frequency algorithmic trading. Algorithmic trading eliminates the need of constantly watching stocks and manually sending small slices of the order or child orders out to the market all the time. This technique has made it possible to execute large orders in markets which don’t support the entire size at once and to minimize the cost and risk in the execution of an order.
These are just a few contributions of computer science in multiple fields; we’d say that it’s impossible not to come into contact with computer technology at this day and age, whether you are in a private or public space, in nature or in an office. Computer science has made our lives easier and safer, and in spite of the drawbacks, we owe a lot to scientists in this field.

9 differences between computer science and information technology

feat5 - 9 differences between computer science and information technology

Are you passionate about computers and don’t know which degree to choose between computer science and information technology? Or just wondering what the difference between these two terms is, since both of them are obviously related to computers? Understanding the difference is vital, because your career path can differ a lot if you choose one instead of the other. Here is what you should know:

Laptop close up - 9 differences between computer science and information technology

1. Computer science experts are scientists

The first difference between the two is obvious for any language-wise person. Science is not the same as technology. The first is “knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method”, while the latter is “the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area”. By training yourself in computer science you become a scientist, as you deal with the theory of computational applications. The main areas of concern for computer scientists are software, operating systems, and implementation, and computer scientists develop new ways to manipulate and transfer information by using advanced mathematics and algorithms.

2. IT professionals are the users of technology

While computer scientists develop the technology, it’s the information technology professionals who use it. These experts solve a variety of business problems by utilizing operating systems and software. A good metaphor to understand each role is the one of a house: computer engineers are construction workers who build the house. Computer scientists add systems and facilities to the house, such as plumbing, lights, running water, and so on. IT professionals are the inhabitants who employ these appliances in order to attain a desired effect.

Network cable - 9 differences between computer science and information technology

3. One is more theory, the other is mostly practice

As a computer scientist, you will train in the theory of computation and the design of computer systems. This discipline is close to mathematics and there are three broad areas of work: designing and implementing software, finding new ways to use computers, and solving computing problems. Those who study information technology will deal with the daily computer needs of various organizations and make sure technology is integrated within the institution’s infrastructure and solving its business problems.

4. The two disciplines lead to different career paths

Computer scientists deal with how computers work and build operating systems that do what they want; their field is based on mathematics, which is the language of computers. Examples of careers in computer science are applications software developer, systems engineer, and web developer. On the other hand, IT professionals are responsible for using and troubleshooting programs and applications developed by computer scientists. Jobs in the IT field include information security analyst, network architect, computer support specialist, database administrator, and systems administrator.

5. Workplaces differ for the two professions

IT professionals are usually found in business environments where they install networks and computer systems, while computer scientists are found in a larger variety of environments; besides businesses they can also be found in universities and video game design companies.

Person using computertechnology - 9 differences between computer science and information technology

6. As a computer scientist, you need to enjoy mathematics

Since computer science is about programming computers using mathematical algorithms, you will study mathematics intensively in university. A lot of independent work is involved, with you writing code and applying complex algorithms. If you enjoy more installing computer systems and maintaining networks and databases, IT is a better degree and career option for you.

7. As an IT professional, you should be a good problem solver and be trained in customer service

If you work in the IT industry, you will interact on a daily basis with clients in order to help them solve technological problems. Aside from skills such as SQL and Linux, IT requires assets seen in other business fields, like customer service, technical support, and project management. And definitely a lot of patience with training and assisting end users.

Printed circuitboard - 9 differences between computer science and information technology

8. Different personality traits are required

IT professionals need to be comfortable interacting with others and have good communication skills. In order to develop and execute solutions you may need to work with cross-functional groups, and be a team player. On the other hand, computer science professionals are often independent and introvert personalities, who can focus in a solitary environment on writing code and developing complex algorithms. The typical computer scientists would probably not be so pleased to train the new company employee and answer to their questions.

9. Not exactly a difference, but remuneration is not the same for the two fields

Median salaries for IT workers range between $48,900 for Support Specialists to $79,680 for Systems Analyst. It’s a good annual salary, but working in the computer science field can be even more rewarding: median salaries range from $74,280 for Computer Programmers to $93,350 for Software Developers.

Modern office - 9 differences between computer science and information technology
So, if you are oscillating between the two fields, the obvious difference between computer science and information technology described above should make your decision very simple. As long as you know who you are and what you like, the choice is easy.

6 reasons why computer science is a science

feat4 - 6 reasons why computer science is a science

Have you ever thought that computer science could actually not be a science? There are plenty of voices who claim so, since the very beginnings of this discipline. The main argument for not considering computer science an actual science is that science deals with fundamental laws of nature. Since computers are manmade, computer science is considered an erroneous term, and information technology is preferred by the anti-computer science camp. The answer to this dilemma depends on how we understand science and what we consider as the object of study for computer science. Let’s see some points of view that support the pro computer science position:

Computer chip board - 6 reasons why computer science is a science

1. Computer science follows the scientific paradigm

As long as scientific paradigm is the process of developing hypotheses and testing them through experiments, computer science meets the criteria of a proper science. Moreover, successful hypotheses become models used to explain and predict world phenomena. What computer science does is to study information processes and computers are used to test hypotheses. Research in the field makes it possible to use models to build better programs with fewer defects.

2. Computer science does study naturally-occurring processes

Computing qualifies as an exact science because it studies information processes which occur naturally in the physical world; furthermore, computer science is used for prediction and verification. Computer science does not study computers, which indeed are manmade, but information processes, which can be both natural and artificial.

Binary system - 6 reasons why computer science is a science

3. All the generally accepted criteria that make a science are met by computer science

According to Peter Denning, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, who is advocating that computing is a science, says that computer science satisfies all the accepted criteria of being a science, and those criteria include: an organized body of science, an experimental method to test hypotheses, a track record of non-obvious discoveries, and an openness to any hypothesis being falsified.

4. Computers are not at the center of computer science

The definition of computer science being the study of phenomena surrounding computers is not correct. It has been discovered that computation is not performed only by computers – in 2001, Biology Nobel Laureate David Baltimore said that cellular mechanisms are natural computational means to read DNA and construct new living cells, which has determined Denning to realize that “Computation is the principle, the computer is simply the tool”. Ultimately, computers are tools to study information processes which already exist in nature.

5. Computer science has a set of principles

According to the same before mentioned author, the principles of computer science can be organized in seven categories: computation, communication, coordination, recollection, automation, evaluation, and design. The seven categories are not principles in itself, but groups of principles.

Computer scientists - 6 reasons why computer science is a science

6. “Computers have as much to do with computer science as telescopes have to do with astronomy”

This quote is attributed to Edsger W. Dijkstra, a Dutch computer scientist, and its full version is: “[Computer science] is not really about computers — and it’s not about computers in the same sense that physics is not really about particle accelerators, and biology is not about microscopes and Petri dishes…and geometry isn’t really about using surveying instruments. Now the reason that we think computer science is about computers is pretty much the same reason that the Egyptians thought geometry was about surveying instruments: when some field is just getting started and you don’t really understand it very well, it’s very easy to confuse the essence of what you’re doing with the tools that you use.” – it is a famous quote which supports Denning’s point of view by using some very accomplished figures of speech.
Does this all mean that computer science is not such a fortunate term and computational science should be used instead, since the science in debate deals with computing processes? Apparently, computer science and computational science are two different things, and computational science is “the application of mathematical models to computations for scientific disciplines.” The latter is closer to engineering, while computer science sticks more to the scientific part.

Computer keyboard - 6 reasons why computer science is a science
To conclude with, computer science is indeed a misleading name, and could better be named computing science, since computing is the application of systematic treatment to information. The name of computer science though continues to be preferred because the term is too familiar and has been used since 1956. However, the term computing science is being used by multiple departments of major universities, which like to emphasize the difference. Another term which is in use in Scandinavian countries is datalogy, which suggests that the discipline is about data and data treatment. Yet another alternative term is data science, proposed by Peter Naur – who was the first professor in datalogy at the Department of Datalogy at the University of Copenhagen, founded in 1969.

Printed circuit board - 6 reasons why computer science is a science
So, those who say that computer science is not a science are somewhat right – computing science is the real term in question, and computing science really is a science.

9 ways computer science has had a positive impact on society

feat3 - 9 ways computer science has had a positive impact on society

Computers have definitely had a huge impact on society and the world will never be again the way it was before computers had transformed it. Unfortunately, many of us tend to look at the negative effects of computer technology, such as video game addiction or using social media to present only those positive aspects about your life and thus making others feel unhappy. Nevertheless, computer science has had a positive impact on humankind and society in more ways than you can think of. Here are just a few:

1. Improving communication

Apple smartphone

Just a few luxuries that computer science has offered to us are the ability to send an email from our phones, being able to see our friends and families at great distances with minimum delay, and celebrities and philanthropists making their thoughts known to followers with a Facebook post or a 140-character tweet. Without these tools we would find it more difficult to connect to each other by using phone and mail correspondence and information would propagate more slowly.

2. Immediate access to information

Computers have made it possible to have almost instantaneous access to information that is constantly being updated. This benefits education but it also has a positive impact on everyday life – just think how many of your questions have been answered by Google today.

3. Leveraging philanthropy

Non-profit organizations have flourished and known a fast development like never before after online communication and giving tools were created. Charitable initiatives, no matter how small, are being powered by digital tools – nonprofits causes manage to raise more awareness, it is easier to keep in touch with donors and supporters, and giving online is extremely simple and more attractive than traditional fundraising methods.

4. Developing education

Couple taking selfie 300x200 - 9 ways computer science has had a positive impact on society

These days it is hard to imagine education without computer software and the Internet. Common education applications can be seen in every student’s life: taking classes online, looking for library items on electronic catalogues, researching for papers, and sharing work with your team on the cloud. Language learning is one of the education fields that have benefited greatly from computer science, from finding free online resources to speaking with a native on Skype or Messenger to improve your language skills.

5. Saving money and time

Everyday life aspects, such as shopping for various items, are easier and simpler with computer technology. Let’s imagine you need to buy diapers for your baby – instead of driving to the supermarket and spending money on transportation while also wasting time, you can order online and have the desired items at your home the next day.

6. Improving solutions

Binary code 300x212 - 9 ways computer science has had a positive impact on society

Computer science allows our society to follow its tendency of doing things faster and better. Many things that have a positive impact on our lives did not even exist five or ten years ago, and this is particularly obvious in the service industry. Services like Airbnb and Uber have been made possible through computer software and once you try these, it’s difficult to imagine transportation and accommodation without them.

7. Working remotely

Why should your zip code prevent you from having an excellent career unless you relocate? Many jobs these days can be performed on a computer, without workers needing to be present at a physical location. Freelance work has become increasingly popular in the last years, and the most prominent fields engaging self-employed experts are web development, content writing, marketing, and photography, just to mention a few.

8. Offering well-paid jobs

Laptop on table top 300x200 - 9 ways computer science has had a positive impact on society

Computer science is a field preferred by many students due to the excellent earnings IT jobs offer, even to fresh graduates. Soon after graduating from a computer science field, beginner employees can expect an average salary of $30,000 each year, while those in senior management roles earn between $60,000 and $90,000 a year. Moreover, modern computer technology has paved the way towards new career paths and has created new occupations, such as network administrator or virtual assistant.

9. Increased productivity and business growth

Electronic board 300x204 - 9 ways computer science has had a positive impact on society

Computers have been shown to increase output per hour and have transformed the workplace more than any other innovation. This change, called the “Information Revolution”, has obliged companies to rethink their management procedures and organizational structures, but has also enabled them to become more productive, more profitable, and to expand their operations in new places. Employees are also benefiting from this change as they are being better paid, and companies now recruit better-educated workers in order to face current demands for labor. The growth was so fast that official statistics failed to reflect it properly, but everyone in the business field with some past experience will be able to see the difference between the times before the Information Revolution and what we are experiencing today.
The entire pallet of computer science advantages is hard to grasp, but one thing is for sure: computers have made everything faster and more accessible. Just like any other tool, computers can be used for doing good or for causing harm, and the choice is entirely ours.

7 highly lucrative computer science jobs

feat2 - 7 highly lucrative computer science jobs

Ever heard of those computer geeks who were marginalized in high school and ended up millionaires or at least having multiple-zero annual earnings? Maybe you are a young person thinking about which career to choose or you have already been in the field of work for multiple years and you would like to reconvert – in both cases, having a better idea about the top 10 computer science jobs will help.

Programming expert

1. Software applications developer

Person using computer technology

This job is in high demand and it’s easy to understand why when you see how many new apps are being launched every day. Aside from mobile phone applications, these experts are also the minds behind accounting software, graphics software, and office suites and need to master at least one computer language. The not-so-good part is that you will be working long hours in order to meet project deadlines, but many employers offer flexible working hours and career breaks are also possible.
Salaries range between $45,000 and $65,000 for senior developers.

2. Computer systems analyst

Computer microchip

Computer systems analysts help organizations leverage the power of technology and are in charge for implementing new technology into a company’s system. You will need to determine whether the solutions you are trying to adopt will serve the organization well or not and perform cost-benefit analyses. You can work either directly for the organization or as a consultant on the payroll of an IT firm.
Median annual salary – $85,800 as of 2015.

3. Network systems administrator

Server room 300x105 - 7 highly lucrative computer science jobs

Organizations could not function nowadays without a reliable computers network, and this is where network systems administrators set in and administer the physical computer networks also making sure they reach their full potential. Besides making sure systems run efficiently, you may also be required to train end users. The job outlook for 2014-2024 for this role is 8% or as fast as average, which makes it a good option if you are studying computer science.
As a network systems administrator, you will be earning approximately $38.32 per hour.

4. Database administrators

Where is all this huge amount of data stored? Database administrators surely have the answer to this question and their main responsibilities are making sure data is clearly defined, ensuring data consistency across the database, helping users to access data in an effective manner, and managing recovery control, so no data is lost in case of emergency. Overnight and weekend work can be required because maintenance and development of databases is completed in periods of low usage.
On the other hand, if you become a senior database administrator your earnings may reach up to $60,000 every year or even more.

5. Web developers

Not to be mistaken for web designers, web developers use programming languages to build websites and web applications. They are responsible for the well functioning of websites rather than their aesthetics and need to monitor all kinds of technical aspects. Web developers also use various programming languages to write code that will present the data. If you want to become a developer, you will need to create a portfolio first, where you showcase your skillset and experience to potential employers and clients. This is vital especially when you are self-employed, because your past performance will immediately convince clients you can also provide value in the future.
Median annual pay ranges between $56,000 and $80,000, depending on the cited source.

6. Computer programmer

IT office

Computer software has not lost its place, even if web and mobile apps seem to have been taken over. Your job will be to write and test code enabling computer applications to function properly. Most programmers specialize in a few programming languages and the job can also be done remotely. Apparently, this occupation is on decline, and the job outlook is negative for 2014-2024 (-8%), but the good pay still makes it worth becoming a computer programmer.
The 2016 median annual pay for a computer programmer was $79,840.

7. Business intelligence analyst

Would you like your work to have an impact on other fields aside from IT? A good role for you could be business intelligence analyst – responsibilities include mining computer data, tracking competitor data, analyzing past trends, and making forecasts. Afterwards, you’ll be communicating those trends to the company and helping it to make informed decisions in fields such as finance, corporate government, marketing, or sales. The job is on the rise because companies are always looking to increase profits and reduce costs, and computer tools can help them achieve this goal in a highly effective manner.
Media income per year of a business intelligence analyst was $78,160 in 2010.
Which computer science job has attracted your attention? Even if you are not sure yet, following this career path is a good idea if you have an interest in computers, given the excellent compensation and multiple benefits in the field. So, will you be shaping tomorrow’s digital world?

7 reasons why artificial intelligence will not destroy humanity

feat1 - 7 reasons why artificial intelligence will not destroy humanity

Those who are afraid of artificial intelligence are in large numbers and vary greatly, from your average SF enthusiast with little theoretical knowledge to science experts or entrepreneurs like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk. Panic is a good seller, so it’s no wonder the idea that sinister and malevolent androids could one day obliterate humanity has been used in so many media productions.

Cyborg girlThe general public has taken the idea for granted, while technology is actually having a different kind of impact on their lives, taking over their existence in a manner people accept without too much resistance. And that can easily be seen in both public and private places nowadays, where people prefer to spend time wired to their mobile devices or computers instead of interacting to each other.
But let’s go back to the problem of humanity obliteration by artificial intelligence and see why you should not be afraid it could happen any time soon:

1. Intellectuals fearing the end of human race may not have a solid understanding of the topic

Artificial intelligence research and development are extremely complex and represent more than creating smartphone assistants like Siri. Even if big names talk about the risk of AI becoming dangerous, their opinions may not necessarily be backed up by sufficient knowledge in the field. This is not the strongest con, for sure, but ceasing to believe in any verdict provided by a solemn voice will prevent you from being afraid without a good reason.

Robotic worm

2. Human-level artificial intelligence does not exist yet

And it will not be developed either in the foreseeable future. Researchers committed to educating the general public about the difference between Hollywood and reality stress that AI, although complex, is far from reaching that level that makes it equal or more powerful that humans. Machine superintelligence is a very difficult goal to achieve, if not impossible – or at least this is what experts in the field declare.

3. The lack of media filters these days makes any opinion viable

The emergence of digital communication has made it possible to express your opinion publicly without being bothered by gatekeepers such as journalists or expert reviewers. And since fear captivates the public, dystopian ideas have caught ground without such hypotheses being verified by professionals. Reading an article online can mislead you, even if it mentions studies (who knows if they have not been invented?) or it includes quotes from brilliant minds (many times taken out of the context). And when some geniuses also publicly fear the end of humankind, the whole idea has caught deep roots and combatting it has become almost impossible.

4. Researchers fearing artificial intelligence are in the extreme minority

Cyborg

Maybe you’ll be less impressed by the hysteria that journalists and social media influencers have instilled in the general public when you hear that just a very small number of scientists who are actually computer science experts consider that AI could overturn humanity one day. Who would you trust – the 99 who say AI is beneficial or the only one in 100 who talks about a SF-like scenario?

5. People are confusing principle with execution

Many things are possible in theory, with reality though coming to contradict them. Scientists such as Bart Selman, who is a professor of computer science at Cornell, say that the fear of evil-minded robots destroying humanity is based on a simple mistake. He says that allocating more resources at a given system does not mean that the system will increase in capability accordingly. You may have unlimited resources, but you cannot scale up to no end. For instance, drinking more energizer to have more energy works until one point, until you get sick instead of becoming superhuman, and the same thing happens with AI – you can’t fuel it up to no end. Selman speaks about computational barriers, which could actually be “fundamental barriers”.

Wall-E

6. The evolution of AI will be accompanies by ways to control it

The AI community admits that finding funds is a major impediment against development in the field, since there are not so many people who are willing to invest in artificial intelligence. So, if AI will become one day so strong as to endanger humanity, this will take very long, and in the meanwhile scientists will have plenty of time available to create ways to control it,

7. AI is becoming a part of us

Rather than being a separate entity, artificial intelligence is becoming a part of humanity and some consider that one day human biology and technology will become one. This may sound scary, but if technology does something detrimental for humanity, it also does something detrimental for itself, because it is a part of humanity, and self-destructive technology could not persist.

Current technology
Just two last thoughts, to end with:
The biggest disasters that have happened so far have been caused by humanity, while no computer has ever committed genocide in the name of an idea and,
Something greater and better than we can comprehend could arrive, so why not welcome it?

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