S3T July 31- Post quantum security, privacy, API3, Expertise-meshing, AI & the future of work, Baha wine, Humedales, Iceplants...

S3T July 31- Post quantum security, privacy, API3, Expertise-meshing, AI & the future of work, Baha wine, Humedales, Iceplants...

Crypto winter shows hints of spring. Down cycles make it easier to evaluate which projects are likely to be trustworthy over time; those taking the long view, building patiently in ways that protect personal ownership of privacy, data and financials...in strong contrast to the incumbents who have squandered trust.

🔐 Security and Privacy Tech Future

Security Tech Horizon Scan

Pitchbook recently released this helpful overview of the security industry, (Link below: Requires you to fill out a form for free download) and which emerging capabilities are seeing significant investments.

If pressed for time see the chart on pg4, and note the reference to Zero Knowledge Proofs - this has interesting implications for personal ownership and control of data - for healthcare and other industries.

Q2 2022 PitchBook Analyst Note: Hashing Out the Future of Encryption Algorithms | PitchBook
This analyst note forecasts the commercialization and mainstream adoption of emerging encryption protocols, highlighting FIDO2 authentication, quantum-safe cryptography and privacy-enhanced computing.

Post Quantum Security

Quantum computing - as note in previous editions of S3T - offers the potential to crack the encryption-based security that currently protects the world's transactions, data and systems. In theory, this suggests that a hacker armed with a quantum computer could break into any bank account, government system, or data resource. Couple factors shape the credibility of this threat in the future:

  • Someone's going to try: No doubt someone somewhere is going to try to use quantum computers to hack systems and steal data. Malicious actors from individual level to nation-state level will likely see the potential rewards as too great to ignore.
  • But it won't be easy because of some practical problems to be solved: how to get access to a viable quantum computer (and its full capacity not just slices of it), and once one has access, how to connect it to the desired workload without being detected or traced.
  • This threat is expected to evolve in the next 20 years - today's quantum computers do not have the capability or connectivity to pose this kind of threat.  
"If large-scale quantum computers are ever built, they will be able to break many of the public-key cryptosystems currently in use. This would seriously compromise the confidentiality and integrity of digital communications on the Internet and elsewhere." - NIST

That said, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has begun exploring what kind of security approaches could "secure against both quantum and classical computers, and can interoperate with existing communications protocols and networks." NIST notes the industry's increasing certainty and predictions that large scale quantum computers capable of breaking current encryption schemes will be built within the next 20 years.

This month NIST announced 4 candidate algorithms that promise to enable security against quantum powered hacking. Over time, one or more of these could emerge as new security standards. When that happens, organizations would need to migrate from today's existing standards to these new standards in order to be protected from quantum security threats.

It seems to me that governance of quantum computing might become  an important complement to these new standards. Some examples of policies that could be part of a governance framework for quantum:  

  • Controlling access to (and use of) quantum computers
  • Controlling how quantum computers are allowed to integrate with and connect to non-quantum computer networks
  • Controlling (where possible) access to materials and supplies required to create quantum computers.  

This governance seems similar to the cross functional governance that is required for ethical use of AI. The foundational principle is something like: The power (and potential harm) of this technology requires its development and use to reside within an accountability framework that ensures proper controls and desired outcomes.  

Implications for Personal Privacy

Security has been one of those unloved topics, but you realize how important it is when you see what is unfolding:

  • Currently the personal identity, health and financial data of individuals is held (held hostage some would say) primarily by incumbent healthcare and finance corporations. (Example: Oracle now has ambitions.)
  • The US government, thru mandates like Blue Button is trying to force corporations into sharing health data with the individuals that the data belongs to (in a bid to curb corporate data hoarding and profiteering of personal health data) and sharing data with the other partners in the healthcare ecosystem (ie data interoperability between payers and providers etc) in hopes of reducing costs.
  • Once that data is "out" of the corporate silos and into the hands of individual consumers then the question becomes, "Where will these individuals store this data? Who will they trust?

In anticipation of this, some early movers are racing to position themselves as the trustworthy "vaults" for storing that data (See Apple's long list of US healthcare orgs that will let you store your healthcare records on your iPhone).  

The immense value of this data is starting to become clearer now as some healthcare companies are now offering to buy personal healthcare data directly from consumers.

AI based insights, now a business as usual for healthcare companies, requires enormous amounts of data in order to provide accurate useful predictions. This drives AI providers to develop aggressive data acquisition strategies to feed the model training process. So the move to acquire data directly from consumers is no surprise.

Security capabilities aligned to the values of personal data ownership, control, and privacy, will be in high demand, especially where they allow consumers to hold, manage and deploy their personal health data to achieve their personal goals and purposes. These capabilities will need to become capable of preserving privacy against any threat including quantum based hacking.

Its tempting to think of 20 years as too far off into the future to matter. For brands who build trust over a customer's lifetime, and maintain inter-generational relationships with customers and their children, 20 years is a very pertinent time frame for issues central to trust, privacy, data and financial relationships.  

👾 AI and the future of Work

Artificial Intelligence. Few terms have been so grossly overhyped and misused. Researchers are starting to focus on what makes for a good working relationship between humans and AI based capabilities. Some findings so far:

  • People have a bias against trusting algorithms until they've had the opportunity to observe their performance over time. Detailed "reports" and explanations didn't help raise trust as much as being able to observe a track record over time.
  • People react more harshly to AI errors than human errors. When humans and AI make the same mistake, people will lose confidence more quickly in AI.

This seems to underscore what the CarePath AI for Care Management team has been learning and practicing. Close working relationships with lots of 2 way sharing between AI driven insights and clinicians makes for better results.

The end of the IT / Business Dichotomy

To my thinking this points the way to the "future" workforce model:

  • We leave behind the traditional IT vs. Business dichotomy (you know,  the Business brings the "What" and IT delivers the "How.")  
  • Instead we have multi-disciplinary teams focused on a business result: for example providing proactive care (as in the CarePath AI case above).

Why: The IT / Business dichotomy was fine when tech was still nibbling around the edges of the world's operating processes - now we're re-fundamentally rewriting how the world learns, decides, transacts and works. We use AI to extract business logic or decisions/actions from data histories or realtime feeds, but must carefully manage how it is applied, monitoring for impacts to safety, clinical needs, user experience, finance, compliance, legal, data, etc.  

This demands a level of expertise-meshing that a 'tech-people vs non tech-people' duality just can't even begin to provide. (If your organization or industry struggles with poor requirements, high cost low speed delivery, check whether this dichotomy issue might be in play).  

These multi-disciplinary teams include tech, finance, healthcare, legal, human centered design, diversity, compliance skillsets and more depending on the context. They innovate and learn together by interacting directly with the AI driven technologies. (Disclosure: I lead the Innovation Garage which originated the CarePath AI platform.)

Look for blockchain and AI to be increasingly used in combination with each other to achieve more efficient proactive insights and more efficient transactions and reporting. Swarm learning and AI-driven DAOs are two trends to watch.


Changing Sentiments

This week the Fed raised rates again amid historic highs for inflation, sparking sentiment that the worst is over and driving stocks and crypto higher. Whether or not the worst is actually over remains to be seen.

Investor positions have been in tatters (especially in crypto) but it appears to me most charts show some reassembling and rebuilding over the course of July. Perhaps the crypto winter is giving way to a hint of spring. Perhaps.

2022's Summer of Winter

But throughout this summer, the stalwarts have continued building capabilities and customer bases, often overlooked by those reacting to the headlines.

"The next cycle’s unicorns will get built during the doldrums of winter. It’s amazing how much success in crypto comes down to staying power.”  - Dec 2021 Messario's Crypto Thesis for 2022

Uniswap, API3 and others continued to make progress and others bucked the market tend or at least performing better than most. In the toughest of times these players continue building trust by focusing on creating long term value.

API3 is notable for how it crystalizes the Web3 API economy, and their white paper Decentralized APIs for Web 3.0 is worth a read. They strive to be more than a technology enabler, and actually solve for the financial sustainability. They correctly recognize that most interoperability plays misinterpret the problem to solve in ways that end up fostering what they call "An ecosystem that nurtures rent-seeking middlemen."

Down cycles are great times to evaluate which projects or ventures are likely to be trustworthy over time and yield lasting value. Questions to ask when sorting the wheat from the chaff:

  • How many people / companies are using this? Who are they? What are they using it for?
  • What is their thesis? How old is it and is it aging well? How informed was / is that thesis?
  • What is the health of the developer community and the user base?

There will always be overhyped schemes that thrive for a time based on the excitement of the crowd. You want to be able to look past that, and see if this is something that has durability and scale or is it basically a role playing game (Live Action Role Play...LARP) that’s going to disappoint and ultimately die?

Sensible Ideas

I am blessed to be part of a family that knows their way around the kitchen and the campfire. So I like to share what I call "sensible ideas" for good times and good food!

Last week we were able to visit and cook with family in Baha. Way too much fun (and food).

We had a great Sunday afternoon family gathering where we cooked on this venerated open firepit which sits in the backyard of one of my relatives. It brought back memories of similar cookouts of years past and memories of those who were with us then.

A big cookout is a team sport. Somone made seviche. Everyone took turns cooking different things. What the results look like:

Pictured above from our Sunday family cookout: Carne Asada on homemade flour tortilla with Roasted Anaheim Chili, Pepper Jack, and Haucheros hot sauce. Keep fresh limes handy.

🍷On a related note: the wine region of Baha is thriving. Known as Valle de Guadelupe or Guadalupe Valley, this region is home to over 150 wineries. Learn more about the Baha Wine Country here.

Wine Country - Baja California, México
Baja’s wine country is comprised of over 150 wineries over several valleys. Located in Ensenada where 90% of Mexican wine is produced

Nature Notes

Los Humedales de San Quintin is a nature preserve with a unique ecosystem that is a mix of volcanic, desert, wetlands and ocean habitats situated around the Bay of San Quintin, about 120 miles south of Ensenada on the Baha peninsula. This iNaturalist map of the area depicts the abundance of different species of flora and fauna observed here (with photos and observation details for each).

Iceplants like the one pictured below grow in the rocky desert soil.

A wide variety of birds spend time here at different times in the year. The photo below shows 3 different species of shorebirds. From left to right: 2 Greater Yellowlegs, 2 Marbled Godwits, and 2 Willets seen the afternoon we kayaked there. In addition to the ones pictured below, I saw Curlews, White Tailed Kites, Whimbrels and more.

Los Humedales
Hip, outdoor dining with daily fresh baked bread and the San Quintin Bay wetlands outside the front door with kayak rentals available.

Final Note

Thanks to CopyPasteCharacter.com for the cool emoticons!

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Thanks again for reading and sharing. Hope you are all S3T for success this week! Feel free to forward this to a friend and continue the conversation on the S3T Discord, Twitter or LinkedIn.


Opinions mine. Not financial advice. I may hold assets discussed.