It all started with an odd pile of shells: a pile that, upon closer inspection, fell apart like a flower losing its petals, introducing a burned-out nature documentarian named Craig Foster--and, in time, the world--to the octopus hiding cleverly inside. Known simply as "her," she would become the star of My Octopus Teacher, the Oscar-nominated Netflix documentary and surprise pandemic hit that told the story of Foster's unlikely relationship with that eight-armed mollusk. Released in September 2020, it arrived at the perfect moment. Audiences exhausted by lockdowns and unrelenting 2020-ness were primed for escape into the undersea fantasia of South Africa's kelp forests, where Foster met her. Best-selling books like The Soul of an Octopus and Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness had whetted public curiosity about these uncannily intelligent creatures with whom humans last shared a common ancestor 600 million years ago. Yet while most writing about octopuses emphasizes their ostensibly alien, unknowable nature,1 and serious, science-minded nature documentaries elevate concern about biodiversity over sentiment for a single animal, My Octopus Teacher defied convention. It embraced Foster's feelings for the octopus, which over the course of a year evolved from curiosity to care--even to love. And though her own feelings were left for viewers to interpret, the film's indelible impression was of nature populated by species who are not only beautiful and exquisitely evolved and ecologically important, but highly sentient, too. Nautilus talked to Foster about his octopus teacher and how getting to know her changed the way he thinks about nature. I write a lot about nature and biology and ecology, but in the last few years I've focused on the minds of animals and how we think about them.
Despite only being early in the year, significant events have already taken place in 2021. Mass vaccinations for Covid-19 have begun around the world, and new strains of the disease have surfaced in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil. For companies, this news has had a direct impact on their ability to conduct business while further placing their pandemic response under the public microscope. How companies are being talked and written about is changing as the pandemic unfolds, and these nuances could reveal more than simply how effective an organization's marketing department is. What if shifts in sentiment could help traders make more informed financial decisions?
Transmetrics' demand forecasting and predictive optimization platform is powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. With four decades of experience and a strong operational presence in Egypt, KSA, UAE and Sudan, Transmar has built a solid reputation in the market, founded on family values that drive the company's ambition to offer the best in class service to its customers. Transmar owns and operates a large fleet of both dry and refrigerated containers, serves thousands of customers, and moves hundreds of commodities throughout the Middle East. "We strongly believe in the power of Data. Transmetrics' AI solution helps us leverage our 4 decades of operational experience, to make decisions both faster and smarter. As a regionally focused carrier we are more exposed to volatility. We're excited about the capabilities Transmetrics will provide by helping see up to 12 weeks into the future, ensuring we have optimum planning and repositioning plans" said Ahmed el Ahwal, Commercial Manager at Transmar.
T.A: If there's one thing the pandemic has demonstrated, it's the value of staying connected. We see connectivity as a basic human right. The collaboration with telecommunications service providers was key to developing the connectivity solutions we are relying on more than ever today, and it will be key for enabling future innovation to bring us even closer together. ICT standardization efforts are at the heart of creating network solutions that can keep our society running, even under pressure. Safeguarding and strengthening our key digital infrastructures – as well as enabling the continuous development of the underlying technology – will also be crucial as Africa emerges from the crisis – and has the potential to propel Africa into a steep and sustainable growth cycle.
If you are keen to watch more, the entire playlist for the 2020 event can be found here. The lectures include tutorials on the use of Python and R, statistics for machine learning, Gaussian processes, reinforcement learning. You can also find out about geospatial analysis, AI for social good, machine learning for industry users, and much more. You can find out more about Data Science Nigeria here.
Its widely accepted that artificial intelligence (AI) technologies will add trillions to global GDP in the next 20 years, making it the one of the world's most powerful technology trends on par with the disruption and opportunities being created by cloud computing and blockchain. So is Africa getting a slice of the lucrative artificial intelligence pie and what are the current AI adoption trends in the region? Although Africa's AI industry is still relatively small compared to the US, Europe and Asia, this has not stopped some of the continent's most innovative start-ups from developing solutions that demonstrate how promising the technology can be for the African economy. However, AI innovation in Africa is often ignored or overlooked because the number of patents applied for and the amount of research funding available is not well aligned with local contexts, data is missing, and the map still looks essentially bleak. That said, the prospects for AI in Africa are positive, as the potential for innovation and growth in artificial intelligence (AI) adoption is increasing.
Every day, militaristic and violent metaphors are used by journalists and political actors alike to communicate and mobilize action. These word choices may seem effective yet, these metaphors, imbued with violent imagery, can be dangerous. From a policy standpoint, they are also ineffective (and potentially harmful). One example is how the global "war on drugs" terminology victimized, stigmatized, and misplaced blame. As noted by others, as with any war, there are always civil rights abuses.
In our JournalismAI report, journalists around the world told researchers they are eager to collaborate and explore the benefits of AI, especially as it applies to newsgathering, production and distribution. To facilitate their collaboration, the Google News Initiative and Polis – the journalism think tank at the London School of Economics and Political Science – are launching the JournalismAI Collab Challenges, an opportunity for three groups of five newsrooms from the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific to experiment together. Each cohort – selected by Polis – will have six months to either cover global news stories using AI-powered storytelling techniques or to develop prototypes of new AI-based products and processes. Participants will receive support from the JournalismAI team and partner institutions in each region: in the Americas, the challenge will be co-hosted with the Knight Lab at Northwestern University; in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the challenge will be co-hosted with BBC News Labs and Clwstwr. JournalismAI's partner in Asia Pacific will be announced later this year.
Health challenges represent one of the long-standing issues in the Arab region that hinder its ability to develop. Prevalence of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, liver cirrhosis and cancer among many others has contributed to the deteriorated health status across the region leading to lower life expectancy compared to other regions. For instance, the average life expectancy in the Arab world is approximately 70 years, which is at least 10 years lower than most high-income countries.2 Among many directions of healthcare development across the region, biomedical computing research represents one main arm of tackling health challenges. Advances in computational technologies have enabled the emergence of biomedical computing as one of the most influential research areas worldwide.