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Review: HYMR - 'Artificial Intelligence'

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Johannesburg-based producer HYMR's debut album, Artificial Intelligence is dripping in cinematic glory but for a handful of tracks that, while sounding good, don't add any weight to the piece. Fillers aside the record paints an intriguing portrait of the cyber-dystopia we are so rapidly heading towards where robots have the power to kill us and the environment has been tortured to within an inch of its life. 'Artificial Intelligence', a remix of a track that features, later on, sounds like the intro to a dystopian film. A young protagonist stands on the roof of a high-rise building dreaming of a better world as they look out on a 21st-century Hell-scape defined by monotonous grey buildings and never-ending rain. 'Cosmic Dreamer', an instrumental number that brings a world of tension to the album, continues this cinematic idea before'Polluted Planet' takes things in a more EDM-based direction.


Why You Should Do NLP Beyond English

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Natural language processing (NLP) research predominantly focuses on developing methods that work well for English despite the many positive benefits of working on other languages. These benefits range from an outsized societal impact to modelling a wealth of linguistic features to avoiding overfitting as well as interesting challenges for machine learning (ML). There are around 7,000 languages spoken around the world. The map above (see the interactive version at Langscape) gives an overview of languages spoken around the world, with each green circle representing a native language. Most of the world's languages are spoken in Asia, Africa, the Pacific region and the Americas.


The problems AI has today go back centuries

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In March of 2015, protests broke out at the University of Cape Town in South Africa over the campus statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes. Rhodes, a mining magnate who had gifted the land on which the university was built, had committed genocide against Africans and laid the foundations for apartheid. Under the rallying banner of "Rhodes Must Fall," students demanded that the statue be removed. Their protests sparked a global movement to eradicate the colonial legacies that endure in education. The events also provoked Shakir Mohamed, a South African AI researcher at DeepMind, to reflect on what colonial legacies might exist in his research as well.


Using Big Data Analytics for Transboundary Water Management

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Southern Africa has experienced drought-flood cycles for the past decade that strain the ability of any country to properly manage water resources. This dynamic is exacerbated by human drivers such as the heavy reliance of sectors such as mining and agriculture on groundwater and surface water, as well as subsistence agriculture in rural areas along rivers. These factors have progressively depleted natural freshwater systems and contributed to an accumulation of sediment in river systems. In a region where two or more countries share many of the groundwater and surface resources, water security cuts across the socioeconomic divide and is both a rural and urban issue. For example, the City of Cape Town had to heavily ration all water uses in 2017 and 2018, as its dams were drying up.


Cloud set to drive Africa's inclusive AI future

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Cloud computing offers unique opportunities to drive inclusive growth and economic transformation in Africa by developing the digital economy and supporting artificial intelligence (AI) opportunities. This was the message emerging from this week's HUAWEI CLOUD Summit Africa 2020, an online event to unpack the opportunities of cloud computing for African business under the theme "Building an Intelligent Africa". "AI and digitization offer untold benefits for almost every sector," said Marcus Tay Soon Guan, Chief Tech Director of HUAWEI CLOUD Africa Region at the Summit. "AI and the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) can help enterprises build relevant, game-changing offerings for their customers and society." Tay said that due to the enormous amounts of information being generated by people, equipment and connected devices in the emerging 4IR era, there were massive data storage and analysis needs, and Cloud was the most effective way to deliver this.


OPINIONISTA: Maths and Artificial Intelligence can help us decide when to lift the lockdown

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As there is no vaccine or specific treatment for Covid-19, countries have implemented physical distancing guidelines to spur collective action to prevent the spread of the virus. Physical distancing is not new in South Africa – it has long been an integral part of our way of life. In African societies, for example, people traditionally lived far apart and the clustering of people into densely populated areas is a new phenomenon. In addition, when African people greeted, traditionally there was no physical contact. In fact, there was a distance maintained between the people greeting.


FICO Appoints Louise Lunn to Lead Global Analytics Delivery

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As head of EMEA analytics, Lunn has led the team responsible for delivering analytics projects to customers throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and for bringing advances in analytics technology to customer projects. In her new role, she will oversee regional delivery teams in EMEA, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and North America, as well as the company's Global Analytic Delivery Center based in Bangalore, India, applying the latest breakthroughs in analytics to solve specific customers' challenges. "FICO has been a global leader in analytics for more than 60 years, ever since it brought the first credit scoring systems to market," said Louise Lunn, vice president of Global Analytics Delivery. "The explosion in data and the increasing use of AI and machine learning have brought the power of FICO analytics to more businesses worldwide, in every industry. I'm proud to be on the front lines of this effort, and to lead a global team of data scientists addressing the specific challenges of businesses worldwide."


A Journey To Emotional (and Artificial) Intelligence – IAM Network

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For many entrepreneurs, starting their startup is the most significant thing they do. For Rana el Kaliouby, it's one achievement in a series of unpredictable things that this self-described "nice Egyptian girl" has accomplished in her life. In her remarkable book Girl Decoded, el Kaliouby shares her inspiring academic and professional journey. Alongside this, it is an intimate meditation about what it took from her personally to accomplish all that she has. Born in Egypt to conservative Egyptian parents, the family spent several years in Kuwait and eventually fled back to Cairo when Iraq invaded Kuwait.


[The Future of Viewing] ④ Innovative Sound Technologies, Powered by AI

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – 24 June 2020 – Now is the age of home entertainment and high-quality audio provides the finishing touch to the best of these experiences. The concept of the modern'home' goes way beyond being merely a residential space; it has become a place for relaxation, for recreation and for quality time with others. At the recentre of this change is the near-three-dimensional content experiences granted by today's ultra-large, ultra-high-definition, ultra-fine pixel TVs. With its 2020 QLED 8K TVs and AI sound technologies, Samsung has raised the bar for TV audio experiences. Object Tracking Sound uses AI-based software to match the movement of audio with movement on-screen; Active Voice Amplifier (AVA) tracks the user's audio environment; and Q-Symphony creates a more realistic, three-dimensional sound.


AI model trained to distinguish between individual birds

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Distinguishing between individual animals is important for long-term monitoring of populations and protecting species from pressures such as climate change. However, it is also one of the most expensive, troublesome, and time-consuming aspects of animal behaviour research. While some creatures such as leopards have unique markings which allow humans to recognise individuals by eye, most species require additional visual identifiers such as coloured bands to be distinguished. Attaching bands to birds' legs can be stressful and disruptive to the animals, limiting the scope of research. Seeking an alternative method for distinguishing between individual birds, researchers from institutes in France, Germany, Portugal, and South Africa developed the first AI bird identification tool of its kind.