Coffee Briefing Nov. 14 – MISA Ontario launches new cybersecurity training; New “green” AI platform; Sage announces new Sage Intacct enhancements; and more

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IBM announces US$500 million Enterprise AI Venture Fund


Source: IBM

IBM Corp. has announced the launch of a US$500 million venture fund to invest in a range of AI companies – from early-stage to hyper-growth startups – focused on accelerating generative AI technology and research for the enterprise.

According to a release, the IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund “will invest in current and future AI leaders that are helping businesses around the world realize the potential of AI for business.”

It went on to say that the “fund will provide each startup with opportunities to develop meaningful partnerships with IBM, while gaining operational expertise on product and engineering and go-to-market strategies.

“With (it), the company will grow its ecosystem of AI partnerships – including working with companies leveraging and building on watsonx – and create long-term value for AI leaders as well as new and existing clients.”

Rob Thomas, senior vice president of software at IBM and the company’s chief commercial officer, said AI is slated to unlock nearly US$16 trillion in productivity by 2030.

“This fund is yet another way we’re doubling down on our commitment to responsible AI innovation through watsonx and helping organizations put this transformational technology to work.”

IBM is the sole investor in the Enterprise AI Venture Fund.

MISA Ontario launches new cybersecurity training for municipal IT staff


Source: MISA and Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst

The Ontario chapter of the Municipal Information Systems Association (MISA) and Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst at Toronto Metropolitan University recently announced a partnership to provide municipal IT professionals with hands-on cybersecurity training.

“Considering the rapidly changing digital landscape and increasing number of municipal cyber attacks, municipal IT professionals must understand their role in ensuring municipal cyber resilience,” a release stated. “The MISA-Catalyst Cyber Range training program combines MISA’s insights on the needs and challenges municipalities face with the Catalyst’s expertise in cybersecurity training. The program will use Catalyst’s unique Cyber Range platform to illustrate key cybersecurity concepts in the context of municipal security.”

Catalyst founding executive partner Charles Finlay described the partnership with MISA as an “important step in (its) efforts to support municipalities in addressing their cybersecurity challenges. We look forward to building on this foundation as we continue to contribute our expertise to strengthening the cyber resilience of municipalities.”

Additional information on the program can be found via this link.

Ubuntoo launches its own “green” AI platform


Source: Ubuntoo

Ubuntoo, a tech-enabled environmental solutions platform, has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) system for environmental practitioners.

Ubuntoo uses an expert database that provides users with curated solutions for sustainability challenges. It is already being used by teams at companies such as The Coca Cola Company, Target, and Subway, with plans to be rolled out to the wider market.

The software dissects corporate sustainability challenges and aims to provide action-based solutions on topics such as plastic reduction, recycling, energy transition, food & agriculture, and supply chain efficiencies. As a result, the founders, Peter Schelstraete and Venkatesh Kini, have dubbed their platform “the green ChatGPT”.” 

“As global environmental legislation tightens, and consumers grow more environmentally conscious, businesses are full of ambition to be part of the solution. However, even for the most ambitious companies, it remains very hard to implement an ESG strategy, says Schelstraete, Co-Founder of Ubuntoo. With Ubuntoo AI, we are leveraging AI and human expertise to provide better access to environmental solutions.”

Sage announces new Sage Intacct enhancements


Source: Sage

Sage, which provides accounting, financial, HR, and payroll technology for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), has announced several product updates to Sage Intacct in Canada to provide deeper business intelligence. The enhanced features, it said, allow businesses to increase productivity, leverage real-time data and streamline business processes. It also offers customizable language settings to benefit French-speaking customers.

Some of the latest updates include:

Customized French language setting: Expanded language options allow customers to customize Sage Intacct language settings. These features and French language settings are available to all Sage Intacct customers in Canada. 

Enhanced reconciliation: This feature simplifies the receive payments and reconciliation process with the Bank Transaction Assistant. Customers can receive multiple payments from bank transactions and automatically match them for reconciliation.

Improved AP/AR Aging Report: This feature processes the handling of diverse payments. Customers can receive one payment and allocate it to different customer accounts, giving more flexibility.

Other features announced this week are: Simplified inventory fulfilment, Sage Construction Management, and Sage Intacct Payroll powered by ADP

HEC Montréal Tech3Lab receives C$18 million in funding 


Source: tech3lab

HEC Montréal’s Tech3Lab, a university laboratory for user experience (UX) research, has been awarded C$18 million in funding over a span of five years. 

This financial support will help boost UX innovation and accelerate digital transformation in organizations while showcasing the laboratory’s influence on the economies of Quebec and Canada, a release stated.

The funding comes from two public granting agencies — the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and PROMPT — in addition to 13 partners including National Bank, D-BOX Technologies inc., Deloitte Digital, LRDG Inc., Desjardins Group and Radio-Canada.

“I am delighted with this historic funding. Our researchers in all areas of management sciences constantly strive for excellence and are driven by a deep desire to surpass themselves,” said Federico Pasin, director of HEC Montréal. “Our mission’s primary focus is on research and knowledge transfer to the business community and society, and this contribution will convert HEC Montréal’s high ambitions into reality.”

The support aims to help advance UX research, which uses tools from neuroscience to develop an understanding of the actual experiences of users. According to the company, this research is crucial for boosting digital economies. 

More to explore

BREAKING NEWS: Moneris says no ‘critical’ data affected in ransomware gang’s attack

The Medusa ransomware group has listed Canada’s Moneris Solutions Corp., a partnership of two of the country’s biggest banks which provides the point of sales IT network and terminals used by retailers across the country.

Wireless prices are down, consumers just cannot see it, say Rogers, Telus at telecom summit

Canada’s telecommunication companies gloated as StatsCan reported a 17 per cent drop in wireless services prices. But do our bills tell a different story? That was the key debate during a panel at the 22nd annual Canadian Telecom Summit.

Canadian Telecom Summit: AI taking phone fraud to new heights

At the 22nd Canadian Telecom Summit, Seattle-based Hiya unpacked the state of phone fraud in Canada, and how the rise of generative AI is exacerbating the issue.

CIOs must balance the environmental promises and risks of AI, says Gartner report

While there are many benefits and advancements that come from using artificial intelligence within organizations, Gartner says they need to be balanced against the environmental consequences that come from hardware, model training, and energy consumption.

OpenAI’s Game-Changer: Altman Unveils ChatGPT’s Next-Gen Features, Echoing Apple’s Iconic Launches

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, channelled the late Steve Jobs while unveiling the new capabilities of ChatGPT at OpenAI DevDay yesterday.

Channel Bytes November 10, 2023 – Register now for Analytics Unleashed; Zoho opens Canadian data centres; New rules for Android developers; and more

Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Hashtag Trending Nov.14-Intel ignores security vulnerability, faces class action lawsuit; Microsoft devises new way to improve LLM’s reasoning; HPE, Nvidia offer building blocks to a supercomputer

Listen to the latest episode of Cybersecurity Today

This episode reports on a cyber attack on the operator of ports in Australia, the hack of a reporter’s Experian account, the latest data breaches, and more

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances

If you live in Québec, or prefer to consume the latest technology news in French, our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered. Follow them on Twitter as well.

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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