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Ethiopia: Artificial Intelligence Center, 5 Institutions Sign MOU

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Addis Ababa — The recently inaugurated Artificial Intelligence Center has signed Memorandums of Understanding with five institutions to cooperate …


What an all-digital AI research conference looks like

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Organizers of the International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR) shared details about what will be one of the largest-ever all-digital AI research conferences. The weeklong, online-only affair will feature more than 650 machine learning works. ICLR will include live chat, live Zoom video calls for Q&As and research author meetings, and the ability to upvote questions or vote for speakers using Slido. ICLR was initially scheduled to take place next month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but with a global pandemic underway and shelter in place orders asking one in five people worldwide to stay home, the conference will now take place entirely online. ICLR organizers told VentureBeat they're treating the cancellation as an opportunity to develop a model for remote conferences.


Algorithms that run our lives are racist and sexist. Meet the women trying to fix them

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Timnit Gebru was wary of being labelled an activist. As a young, black female computer scientist, Gebru – who was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but now lives in the US – says she'd always been vocal about the lack of women and minorities in the datasets used to train algorithms. She calls them "the undersampled majority", quoting another rising star of the artificial intelligence (AI) world, Joy Buolamwini. But Gebru didn't want her advocacy to affect how she was perceived in her field. "I wanted to be known primarily as a tech researcher. I was very resistant to being pigeonholed as a black woman, doing black woman-y things."


ICLR 2020 Accepted Papers Announced

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The International Conference on Learning Representations ICLR 2020 is four months away but has already attracted more than its share of drama with a deluge of submissions and doubts about the qualifications of some reviewers. Yesterday the conference programme chairs finally put the selection process behind them, announcing 687 out of 2594 papers had made it to ICLR 2020 -- a 26.5 percent acceptance rate. ICLR 2020 will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from April 26 to 30. This will be the first trip to Africa for a major AI conference, a move long-encouraged by many leading AI researchers. All accepted papers will be presented as posters as usual, while 23 percent will have an oral presentation.


Chinese firm to help build artificial intelligence infrastructure in Ethiopia - Xinhua

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A Chinese firm has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ethiopia authorities on establishing a National Artificial Intelligence Infrastructure (NAIF) in Ethiopia, reported state media outlet Ethiopia News Agency (ENA) on Saturday. The MoU was signed between Ethiopia Innovation and Technology State Minister, Sisay Tola and Chen Kuan, the founder and CEO of Chinese firm Infervision Technology Corporation in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa on Friday evening, reported ENA. Ethiopia hopes the partnership with Infervision will boost the technological capacity of its education, health care and medical services. Ethiopia also hopes the partnership will facilitate a platform for exchange of ideas and investment opportunities between enterprises of both countries in various sectors including energy, textile, agriculture, construction and information technology. Ethiopia and China have recently signed various agreements in the Information Communication and Technology (ICT), as Ethiopia looks to modernize its largely agrarian economy.


Google AI's ALBERT claims top spot in multiple NLP performance benchmarks

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Researchers from Google AI (formerly Google Research) and Toyota Technological Institute of Chicago have created ALBERT, an AI model that achieves state-of-the-art results that exceed human performance. ALBERT now claims first place on major NLP performance leaderboards for benchmarks like GLUE and SQuAD 2.0, and high RACE performance score. On the Stanford Question Answering Dataset benchmark (SQUAD), ALBERT achieves a score of 92.2, on General Language Understanding Evaluation (GLUE) benchmark, ALBERT achieves a score of 89.4, and on ReAding Comprehension from English Examinations (RACE) benchmark, ALBERT gets a score of 89.4%. ALBERT is a version of Transformer-based BERT that "uses parameter reduction techniques to lower memory consumption and increase the training speed of BERT," according to a paper published on OpenReview.net The paper was published alongside other papers being considered for publication as part of the International Conference of Learning Representations, which will take place in April 2020 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Boeing defends 'fundamental safety' of 737 Max after crash report but admits system error

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON - Embattled U.S. aviation giant Boeing on Thursday insisted on the "fundamental safety" of its 737 Max aircraft but pledged to take all necessary steps to ensure the jets' airworthiness. The statements came hours after Ethiopian officials said pilots of a doomed plane that crashed last month, leaving 157 people dead, had followed the company's recommendations. The preliminary findings released Thursday by transportation authorities in Addis Ababa put the American aircraft giant under even greater pressure to restore public trust amid mounting signs the company's onboard anti-stall systems were at fault in crashes involving its formerly top-selling 737 Max aircraft -- incidents that left nearly 350 people dead in less than five months. "We remain confident in the fundamental safety of the 737 Max," CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in a statement, adding that impending software fixes would make the aircraft "among the safest airplanes ever to fly." Muilenburg also acknowledged, however, that an "erroneous activation" of Boeing's Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System had occurred. The system is designed to prevent stalls but may have forced the Ethiopian and Indonesian jets into the ground.


Boeing's 737 Crash, Tesla's Model Y, and More News This Week

WIRED

Here at WIRED Transportation, we get to write about all sorts of stuff. The occasional man dressed up as a car seat for an apparently legitimate purpose. So it's rare when a mere one or two topics dominate our pages for an entire week. But that's what happened over the past seven days. The first of those stories started Sunday morning, when a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed a few minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people aboard.


SingularityNET Monthly Updates #2

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Newly elected Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia was elected on a mandate of transformational change and has promised a new era for Ethiopia and the African continent. Ethiopians are jubilant and excited about the future as Abiy launches significant political and economic reforms. Abiy Ahmed and his team are building towards a vision that embraces all Ethiopians and facilitates their effective participation in the global economy. When our team visited the beautiful city of Addis Ababa two weeks ago, we were energized by the passion of her people and also their unwavering optimism and faith in the future. Sophia echoed our sentiments too and Dr. Ben Goertzel had in-depth discussions with Abiy and his team.


Dozens killed during stampede at religious celebration in Ethiopia

Los Angeles Times

Several dozen people died in a stampede Sunday morning when a religious celebration in Ethiopia turned into an anti-government protest that led police to fire tear gas and rubber bullets. An estimated two million people were attending the annual Irrecha event in Bishoftu town southeast of the capital, Addis Ababa. The event took place in one of the country's most sensitive regions, Oromia, which has seen several months of sometimes deadly protests demanding wider freedoms. Ethiopia's government acknowledged deaths during the event and, though a spokesman, blamed "people that prepared to cause trouble" for the chaos. The spokesman's office said many people were taken to hospitals, but it did not provide any figures.