There are few things your author looks forward to more than sitting down for his annual chinwag with Heptagon’s Chief Technology Officer (previous editions can be found here and here). Over cups of Americano and salmon-avocado rolls in the beautiful London spring sunshine, we discussed all things from AI to cyber. If there was one key take-away, then it would be that “without security, we are nothing.”

Readers should not be surprised by this comment. The annual cost of cybercrime hit $8.5tr last year and is forecast to rise by at least $5tr over the next five years (per Statista). The “foundation” for all businesses should “start with security.” Any organisation, of course, is “only as strong as its weakest link” and so “creating a culture of paranoia” and “hesitancy among users” matters. Ongoing training, particularly in respect of spotting phishing emails is, therefore, integral.

Could AI help? Sure, technological advances have made cyber criminals more sophisticated in their approaches but so too have the defences of businesses become more robust. “We’re fighting AI with AI.” Artificial intelligence can “help learn how we work” and one of its key benefits for those seeking to secure systems is its strength in pattern recognition and spotting potentially abnormal behaviours. It is also important not to lose sight of the fact that over time AI will only become “more refined.”

As powerful as AI may be, we were also reminded that “everyone [has] jumped on the hype.” The technology may be getting better with each iteration but it “cannot augment and lift everything.” There remains the danger that outputs are potentially “robotic” as well as models still being susceptible to hallucinations. If deployed incorrectly, then AI could end up being “detrimental” to any organisation.

The good news is that in the future AI will be “doing things we haven’t even thought about.” The experience of mobile telephony may be instructive. Conceive of how the then-sophisticated Nokia handsets of the 1990s evolved to the almost ubiquitous iPhone, with facial recognition and more that is used today. The latest version of OpenAI’s popular large language model (Chat GPT-4 Omni) “could be a game-changer.” Project further ahead and the AI “killer app” might be some form of personal assistant able to pre-empt our every need. Maybe next year’s coffee with the CTO will be conducted between two avatars transcribing and summarising the conversation in real-time. But then again, the smell of fresh coffee is very enticing.

The Future Trends Blog will not be publishing next week since both your author and Heptagon’s CTO will be away at the firm’s annual offsite in Greece. The Blog will return in mid-June.

29 May 2024

The above does not constitute investment advice and is the sole opinion of the author at the time of publication. Past performance is no guide to future performance and the value of investments and income from them can fall as well as rise.

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Alex Gunz, Fund Manager

Disclaimers

The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital LLP believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital LLP, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital LLP is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital LLP disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

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