first_imgRelatedFunds allocated to complete Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre By ALPHEA SAUNDERS, JIS Reporter FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail KINGSTON — Some $294.2 million is to be used this fiscal year, to fully implement civil works, and officially hand over the Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre at North parade, downtown Kingston.        The project, which is provided for under the Venezuelan Investment Fund (BANDES), is being implemented by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC). It aims to expand and develop existing and new cultural and sports facilities; enhance the blossoming of creative talent; promote a cultural fraternity in the Caribbean; stimulate and deepen cultural exchanges with countries in the region; and design training programmes, and develop human resources. Included in the funds, which have been allocated in the 2011/2012 Estimates of Expenditure, is $155.4 million to cover Consolidated Fund payment for prior year expenditure. Government funding totals $155.4 million, while the BANDES loan is $138.8 million Thus far, the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) building approval has been granted; land acquired; contracts tendered; engineering consultancy contract finalised, and works on the structure 65 per cent complete. The project generally, also aims to: restore the Montego Bay old courthouse; construct a library and audiovisual centre; upgrade the swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts at G.C Foster College; and upgrade Independence Park complex, the Montego Bay Sports Complex, and the Frome Sports Complex. RelatedFunds allocated to complete Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre Funds allocated to complete Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre CultureApril 23, 2011 RelatedFunds allocated to complete Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre Advertisementslast_img read more

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first_imgNational firm Keoghs today confirmed it has completed its buyout of commercial firm Hill Dickinson’s insurance practice. Under the deal, 17 partners and 311 Hill Dickinson staff have moved to Keoghs. The buyout takes Keogh’s headcount to 1,740 people across 12 offices.As well as adding staff to existing offices in London and Manchester, Keoghs will sub-let premises from Hill Dickinson in Liverpool as part of the transaction.The sale excludes Hill Dickinson’s marine insurance and clinical negligence work, which has always been undertaken separately to its general insurance practice.Keoghs acts for insurers representing half of the UK general insurance market and is based in Bolton, Coventry, Glasgow, London, Manchester and Southampton. Last year, Peter Jackson, head of Hill Dickinson, told the Gazette that any potential transfer of its insurance business group to a rival firm will be good for those involved.last_img read more

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first_imgAt the Federal Communications Commission workshop on 5G wireless technology, pioneering researcher Theodore (Ted) Rappaport announced that New York University is making its channel model simulator and measurement data free and open to all—potentially short-circuiting years of millimeter wave (mmWave) development time for companies hoping to vastly increase the transfer of data through the air.The announcement has come just days after FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told a Senate committee that the United States will lead the fifth generation of wireless communication (5G) and quickly allocate high-frequency mmWave  radio-wave spectrum—a band of frequencies that NYU WIRELESS at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering first demonstrated can help fulfill the urgent need for faster and greater wireless data capability.The NYU WIRLESS simulator will provide the first open access to statistical spatial channel models that are based on the research group’s experiments from 2011 to 2014 that showed the world that mmWave frequencies will work for mobile communication.Many companies, including some corporate sponsors of NYU WIRELESS and French telecomm operator Orange, are already using it. Like other channel simulators that are being developed by private companies, the simulation software allows researchers to understand the behavior and capabilities of the mmWave radio spectrum that was originally widely believed to be suitable only for indoor communication until Rappaport and colleagues at NYU WIRELESS published their pioneering radio propagation measurements, radio channel modeling, system simulation, and antenna technology research in the 2012-2013 time frame.With the new simulator, developers of 5G cellular phones, base station infrastructure, and future Wi-Fi products will be able to use the results of four years of measurements made at new mmWave frequencies ranging from 28 to 73 gigahertz and taken in New York City and Austin, Texas. The open-source software includes real-world channel data measured throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, and allows users to generate channel impulse responses, calculate precise time delays, locate the angles of arrival of energy in urban channels, determine received power levels, and other key technical data needed to create reliable mmWave wireless equipment and systems.To download the NYU WIRLESS channel model simulator, and for a complete list of published resources on 5G mmWave wireless channel modeling and measurements, visit nyuwireless.com/5g-millimeter-wave-channel-modeling-software.Message to FCC: UrgencyThe race to 5G will enable driverless cars, breakthroughs in medical imaging technology, new wireless medical devices, a growing number of connected devices referred to as the Internet of Things—and it could make Wi-Fi widely available at lower cost with greater capabilities than today. Yet wireless communication has not kept pace with other computing gains, Rappaport will tell the Spectrum Frontiers Workshop organized by the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and International Bureau.The demand for mobile data is forecast to continue rising over 50% each year into the foreseeable future. Over the last 40 years, computer clock speeds and memory sizes rose by as much as six orders of magnitude. Yet communications frequencies have barely moved. The only hope to meet mobile traffic demand is to utilize much more spectrum, and opening the mmWave band will do just that.Impact of the TechnologyThe mmWave spectrum could provide 200 times the capacity of all of today’s cellular spectrum allocations, and 5G is projected to become more than 1,000 times faster than 4G.Channel models are vital to the governing bodies setting standards, companies developing equipment that will test and manufacture the next generation of wireless communication, carriers, mobile device makers, and academic researchers.last_img read more

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first_img10 Steps to a Low-Carbon EconomyTaking action across 10 key areas can scale up the transition to a low-carbon economy, while producing significant economic benefits.Accelerate low-carbon development in the world’s citiesRestore and protect agricultural and forest landscapes and increase agricultural productivityInvest at least $1 trillion a year in clean energyRaise energy efficiency standards to the global bestImplement effective carbon pricingEnsure new infrastructure is climate-smartGalvanize low-carbon innovationDrive low-carbon growth through business and investor actionRaise ambition to reduce international aviation and maritime emissionsPhase down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) Momentum is building for a low-carbon economy. Evidence shows that businesses, investors and governments are realizing that strong climate action is a major opportunity for better growth. Construction of new clean power generation exceeded that of fossil fuels for the first time in 2013. The market for low-carbon and environmental goods and services is now worth more than $5.5 trillion globally, and is growing. And in 2014, for the first time in four decades, the world economy grew while emissions stayed flat.Still, we’ve got to go further. Science says that we’ll need to emit 85 percent less CO2 per dollar of GDP by 2050 than we do today in order to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius, and prevent the worst impacts of climate change. A new report shows us how we can get there while driving economic growth.Today, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate launches Seizing the Global Opportunity: Partnerships for Better Growth and a Better Climate, which outlines strategies to achieve growth and climate action together. It lays out 10 recommendations that, if fully implemented, could deliver 96 percent of the emissions reductions needed by 2030 to keep global warming to safe levels. These 10 recommendations could together reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 26 Gt CO2e, effectively bridging the gap between the “business-as-usual” level of emissions and what we need to keep global warming under 2°C, the internationally agreed limit.At the same time, each recommendation offers enormous economic benefits. For example, in cities, measures such as investing in mass transit and making new buildings energy-efficient could generate $17 trillion in savings by 2050. If accompanied by carbon pricing and support for low-carbon innovation, the savings that the investments would generate for cities could be as high as $22 trillion.The benefits of low-carbon development go on and on. Increasing energy efficiency standards in the world’s leading economies for appliances, lighting and vehicles could boost global GDP by $18 trillion by 2035. Low-carbon innovation can allow developing countries to leapfrog new technologies and expand energy access. In specific industries like shipping and aviation, taking full advantage of already available efficiency measures could save hundreds of billions in fuel costs each year. By seizing opportunities like these, we can expand our economies, make our cities more liveable, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.Partnerships Are KeyHowever, it’s not always easy for an individual country, business or city to seize these opportunities. International and multi-stakeholder partnerships – between national governments, and among businesses, investors, states and regions, cities and communities – can help, by scaling up technological change, expanding markets, reducing costs, spreading best practices, increasing the flows of finance, and addressing concerns about international competitiveness.Land use partnerships such as REDD+, the 20×20 Initiative in Latin America, and the Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance should be scaled up, bringing together forest countries, developed economies, and the private sector to halt deforestation and restore degraded land. Multilateral and national development banks should work together with governments and the private sector to reduce the cost of capital for clean energy. Industry associations like the Consumer Goods Forum can drive innovation and transform markets in key sectors and value chains.Such partnerships can support, enhance and complement the commitments by individual countries and their work collectively to negotiate a new international climate agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) this year.This year is a year of unprecedented opportunity. It is the year that the global community will decide on international sustainable development goals—including how to finance them—and create a new climate agreement. As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said, we are the first generation that can eradicate poverty, and the last generation to address climate change before it is too late. The Global Commission’s report shows us the right path forward to achieve a secure, prosperous and sustainable future. Let’s get it right.last_img read more

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first_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals April 22, 2019 10 min readcenter_img Tara Chklovski had the weight of her family on her shoulders.Growing up in India in what she calls a lower-middle-class family, it was difficult not to notice the poverty around her — especially the pivotal role chance plays in determining the family someone is born into, as well as their access to education, healthcare and opportunity.Chklovski’s parents encouraged her to pursue a subject that intrinsically advanced the world, hoping it would also advance their family’s situation. “That is definitely the mantra of the times in India,” says Chklovski. “The lower middle class has this drive to get a degree in engineering or medicine or technology so you can lift your family out of poverty.”  She came to the U.S. to study aerospace engineering and quickly found that that same drive to pursue tech didn’t apply — especially in the women she met. The U.S. may be a more developed country, she thought, but here, women actively kind of closed doors to their potential, making blanket statements like, “I’m not good at math.” Chklovski was stunned someone could say that with a straight face, but she was also intrigued. She did some digging and concluded that the “huge, transforming lever” that is education was at the root of the problem.Chklovski wanted to become a pioneer in the area, so she left her PhD program to start Iridescent, an educational nonprofit that says it’s helped train more than 114,000 people from 115 countries since its 2006 launch. The organization sets its sights on empowering young girls and mothers to become tech leaders in communities across the globe, partnering with the likes of Google, GM and Boeing in its mission to teach AI and entrepreneurship to people who have identified problems they’d like to solve in their own communities.It’s a man’s, man’s, man’s world — especially if you’re looking at the technology sector.At eight major tech companies, women make up between 27 percent (Microsoft) and 47 percent (Netflix) of the workforce, according to data recently compiled by Statista. But when it comes to tech jobs in tech — think developers, engineers and the like — the numbers are bleaker: At seven tech giants with data for that category, an average of eight in 10 jobs belonged to men.Research from longer-term studies backs that up. One report analyzing the number of women in selected STEM fields from 1990 to 2013 found that the number of women in computing fell from 35 percent to 26 percent over that time period. Break it down by race and ethnicity, and you’ll find that black women hold just three percent of jobs in computing, while the statistic is one percent for Hispanic women and a fraction of a percent for American Indian and Alaska Native women.In AI, the problem is no different. Just 18 percent of authors at leading AI conferences are women, and more than 80 percent of AI professors are men. Women make up 15 percent of AI research staff at Facebook and 10 percent at Google, according to a new report from the AI Now Institute, and there is no public data on trans workers or other gender minorities. Another key point the report makes: Focusing solely on improving the ratio of women in tech is “too narrow and likely to privilege white women over others.”“To date, the diversity problems of the AI industry and the issues of bias in the systems it builds have tended to be considered separately,” the report reads. “But we suggest that these are two versions of the same problem: Issues of discrimination in the workforce and in system building are deeply intertwined.”Indeed, the issue not only impacts women and girls who could be contributing to the field but also the broader public — the people the tools are being made for.“This is no longer about building a fun toy or some sort of technology that has tangential impact,” says Rumman Chowdhury, who leads Accenture’s Responsible AI initiative. “[These are] technologies that make decisions about our lives, that shape our very existence, and it’s very problematic not to have representation in the room — whether across gender, sexuality, even things like geography. You build better products when you have a diversity of people, a diversity of voices [in] what’s being made. One thing Silicon Valley is learning is we’re not just building toys for people in Silicon Valley now — we’re building things that impact all kinds of human beings, and for that you do need representation.” AI programs designed specifically for girls and women aim to make a change.One of these is Iridescent’s AI Family Challenge, a series of mentor-run workshops for families across the globe, centered around empowering mothers and young girls. Families identify a community-centric issue they’d like to help solve, then learn to use AI — specifically, a platform called “Machine Learning for Kids” that runs on IBM’s Watson — as a tool to help get there. It helps walk users through training a model to recognize patterns, such as specific types of images or even emotions. One example: After working with a psychologist to create training data, a mother-and-daughter team from Palestine created an image-recognition system analyzing children’s drawings to gauge whether a child is feeling depressed or experiencing domestic violence. In May, Iridescent will host the final round of its first AI Family Challenge World Championship, where families from Palestine, Pakistan, Spain, Bolivia, Uzbekistan and the U.S. will present their ideas to a panel of judges in Silicon Valley.“The AI Family Challenge alumni are really mothers and women who are from low-income communities but have been… introduced to technology, and they are really, really ripe for being connected to accelerators and small business [or] startup enterprises,” says Chklovski. “These are extremely inventive uses of AI from the field right now, from all across the world, from very, very unlikely sources… That’s the power of education. We just need to give them the right tools.”In five years, Chklovski predicts industry-level AI tools will be accessible to the broader public, but she believes one vital ingredient will still need nurturing in women and girls: Courage to believe they can build something that will make a change in their communities.“That sense of empowerment still needs to be there — and that’s our goal,” she says.That idea is spotlighted by testimonials from mothers across the globe. Rustamkhuja, a mother from Uzbekistan who participated in Iridescent’s AI Family Challenge, said, “We gained knowledge on robotics [and] AI. We made new friends and brainstormed an idea of how to use AI to help improve our lives.” A mother in Nigeria, Laura, said, “Our analytical thinking has improved, and we now explore different ways of solving or arriving at a conclusion. We also realize that we should always keep trying with projects — not getting it right the first time does not mean we should give up.”Why is the tech industry, including the AI field, so short on women? One key reason, experts say, is that since many girls aren’t encouraged to pursue STEM, their interest in the field fades. In fact, a survey of young women in Europe commissioned by Microsoft found that their interest in STEM peaked around age 11 or 12 and dropped off sharply between ages 15 and 16. Another study of 6,000 girls and women in the U.S. found that about one-third of middle school girls thought they might pursue a career in coding, but just 27 percent of young women ages 18 to 30 said the same.There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, however: Things seem to change when young women have female role models in tech. Middle and high school girls who personally knew a woman in STEM were about 17 percent more likely to feel powerful working on STEM activities. And middle and high school girls who participate in STEM clubs or activities were 26 percent more likely to say they felt powerful doing STEM activities.The solution here isn’t just about encouraging girls receive to pursue STEM and AI; there’s also a conversation to be had about supporting women throughout their careers in the field. Almost half the women who enter the field of technology eventually depart — more than double the percentage of men who do the same, according to a report from the National Center for Women and Information Technology.“There is a lot of focus on girls getting interested in STEM, but we have a very immediate problem to address about women who are in STEM today being protected, promoted and retained by companies,” says Chowdhury. “While it is a noble endeavor to work on the people who will be in the workforce 10, 15 or 20 years in the future, look at the people who are there now. How are you protecting and serving them?”Iridescent isn’t alone in its mission to bring AI education to girls around the world.There’s iD Tech, a series of summer camps across the U.S. that currently offers an all-girls robotics course called AI Lab. GirlsComputingLeague, a nonprofit aiming to empower underrepresented groups in tech, hosts an annual AI Summit in Virginia for middle and high school students interested in the field. And in Singapore, the nonprofit 21C GIRLS offers AI education programs for local girls, including a three-month course on machine learning.Last year, Women in AI (WAI) offered its first summer camp to teach young girls about AI and robotics, and Microsoft offered an AI bootcamp for girls in STEM, including a hackathon day where girls worked in teams and used machine learning to predict chances of breast cancer and create a bot service with medical FAQs to support doctors. Girl 2.0, a California-based nonprofit that aims to close the tech gender gap by providing free computer science education, hosts regular AI workshops for girls, while GAITEway, an acronym for Girls’ Artificial Intelligence and Technology Education, provides AI workshops for middle school girls in the Bay Area.Then there’s AI4ALL, which offers summer camps at colleges across the country to teach key facets of AI to underrepresented high school students. At Stanford University, the program is specifically aimed at ninth-grade girls from a range of financial and cultural backgrounds, and the annual three-week residential summer program features lectures, field trips and meetings with potential mentors. Hands-on projects from past programs include applying natural-language processing to disaster aid, using machine-learning algorithms to comb the human genome for signs of cancer and exercises in programming autonomous vehicles.Amy Jin, an inaugural program participant in 2015, heard about AI4ALL through her high school’s Women in STEM club. “For my group project, I worked on a computer vision-based hand hygiene monitoring system to combat hospital-acquired infections,” she said through a program representative. “At Stanford AI4ALL, I wasn’t just exposed to the power of technology, but also to the idea that leveraging the power of technology for social good was at my fingertips.”Jin said she was also struck by the sheer variety of AI’s possible real-world applications — for example, how natural language processing can be used to mine tweets for disaster relief or how bioinformatics could lead to more information on cancer genetics.“AI will change the world,” the AI4ALL website reads. “Who will change AI?” Register Now »last_img read more

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