Orissa: Maoists free kidnapped Malkagiri collector

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Orissa: Maoists free kidnapped Malkagiri collector

first_imgJunior engineer Pabitra Majhi after his release The hostage crisis in Orissa ended on Thursday evening with the Maoists freeing Malkangiri collector R.V. Krishna, one of the mediators, Dandapani Mohanty, has said. Krishna, who had been abducted on February 16 along with junior engineer Pabitra Majhi, was released after nine days of captivity. Majhi, 22, was freed on Wednesday.Chitrakonda Tahsildar D. Gopalakrishna said Krishna was released by Maoists on Thursday evening and was on his way to his home in Malkangiri, which is about 90 km from the spot where the official was freed.The 30-year-old IIT graduate-turned IAS officer was released before a “people’s court” by his abductors in a forested area in Jantapai close to the area where he was abducted along with Majhi, eyewitnesses said.TV footage showed Krishna in a check shirt and a blue pant sitting on a boulder with folded hands appearing to be in good health listening as an unidentified man spoke about the problems faced by villagers. Malkangiri is about 650 km from the state capital. Krishna, who sported an occasional smile, was also seen eating out with his hand from a plate. Inspector in-charge of Chitrakonda Rajesh Chhatria said Krishna was released at Jantapai area.Meanwhile, social activist Swami Agnivesh, whose participation in the process was sought by the Maoists, said the collector had been handed over to the media before 6 PM. Meanwhile, Krishna’s father Rambabu said, “We have seen Krishna’s visuals.”Though Majhi was set free on Wednesday, the abductors had put forward new demands for the release of the 2005 batch IAS officer. They had demanded immediate release of five senior Maoist leaders apart from Ganti Prasadam, who has been granted bail by Orissa High Court.advertisementPrasadam was taken to Koraput on Thursday morning for his release on bail by the sub-divisional judicial magistrate there, but the process is likely to take more time.last_img read more

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Enjoy your honeymoon in Mauritius

first_imgA view of the Pereybere beach, the smallest and one of the best in the islandRediscovered in the 16th century (though Arab and Malay sailors are known to have visited the island as early as the 10th century) by the Portuguese, Mauritius was uninhabited until 1598 when first the Dutch,,A view of the Pereybere beach, the smallest and one of the best in the islandRediscovered in the 16th century (though Arab and Malay sailors are known to have visited the island as early as the 10th century) by the Portuguese, Mauritius was uninhabited until 1598 when first the Dutch, then French and finally the British colonised the tiny island before it became independent in 1968.Even though the British rule lasted a relatively longer period, the French roots are more evident in the Mauritian lifestyle and people still prefer to speak Creole and French over the official English language.Right from the time when you set foot at the SSR International Airport at Plaisance, chances are that if you say you are from India, the locals, who proudly refer to the island as ‘Little India’-a moniker attributed to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, will give you a warmer welcome. Not surprising since over 68 per cent of Mauritians are of Indian origin whose forefathers migrated to Mauritius as indentured labourers during the British rule.Though India is seventh among top 10 nations in the Mauritius tourism pie, it contributes only a fraction to the market dominated by Europe till now. However, the Mauritian Tourism minister Nando Bodha plans to change that. He recently announced plans to attract over 100,000 Indian tourists within the next five years, more than doubling the number from the existing 49,779 (as per February 25, 2011 data). Says the minister, “Being initially frequented by honeymooners only, today we have different segment of travellers from India visiting the island.””Both Mauritius and India have a long standing historical and cultural connect. It offers the Indian travellers a perfect feel of home away from home while taking an international vacation with family, friends or spouse,” adds Bodha.Deputy director of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) Vijaye Haulder agrees. “We speak Hindi, our culture and food habits are similar, what’s not to like,” he says.Mauritian Sega dancers on the beachThis ‘rainbow’ nation offers a blend of cultures, Indian, African, Chinese, French and British. And there’s plenty to do, from various sporting activities to visiting leisure parks, undersea walks, submarine rides to watching hundreds of dolphins accompanying your catamaran, lazing on beaches or long drives on the ‘tea route’ lined by tea estates are just a few of the excellent options. For a sublime experience visit the Belle Mare beach before the first light to view the perfect sunrise and head to Flic en Flac at dusk for the most surreal sunset you are likely to see, ever. At Vieux Grand Port, the oldest settlement in southeast Mauritius, you can see the ruins of the first Dutch fortifications. Or visit a former sugar factory at Beau Plan’s Aventure du Sucre. The museum here tells the story of sugar, the original economy booster once upon a time, and along the way covers the history of Mauritius.Have you heard of the Talipot Palm which flowers once in 60 years and withers thereafter? If you are lucky you might just see one in full bloom at the SSR Botanical Garden in Pamplemousses which also houses 500 different species of plants. With rising spending power, the Indian tourist, who tends to spend over Rs 16,000 per person per day, is increasingly being wooed by the island which relies on tourism as one of its prime sources of income. “Mauritius is an extremely popular mid-haul destination especially among the honeymoon travellers,” agrees Amal Rakeshi, Thomas Cook’s associate vice president Leisure Travel Outbound.”In the past few years it has caught up with families also. Honeymooners and families looking for a relaxing holiday with a focus on water sports look at Mauritius as an ideal destination,” adds Rakeshi. Arrivals from India, the nation’s top source for Asian tourists, went up by 26.8 per cent in 2010 to 49,779 (39,252 in 2009).In response, the authorities in the island nation are looking at new ways to woo the Indian tourist too. “We organise international golf tournaments and aim to introduce polo to attract the top segment of travellers,” says MTPA’s Haulder.Exploring the undersea world is a popular choice among touristsBodha’s ministry is also promoting the island as a wedding destination for Indians on the lookout for innovative options for this most memorable day. In the last six months MTPA has helped in organising over five big Indian weddings. “You have to give us at least a three month prior notice, we’ll take care of the rest for you,” says Haulder adding that they had to turn down half a dozen requests due to lack of time recently. The MTPA has instituted a special committee to push the wedding tourism strategy.Travelling to the island can be comparatively expensive though. It has four direct entry points from India-Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore, though only the Mauritian national carrier flies on this route.Rakeshi attributes the sustained interest to special deals at popular resorts which more than make up for the airfare. “Direct flights, no crime and discrimination, people of Indian origin works with travellers. It’s a mix of activities and sightseeing to families who are looking for more than relaxation. It’s the safe, easy to get around, more exotic than the Far East destination image that sells,” he says.”Good resorts with private access to nice pristine beaches, lack of Thailand-like nightlife makes it more exotic than the other beach destinations closer home,” adds Rakeshi.Whether you are the gung-ho activity seeker or looking for a romantic interlude, Mauritius offers more than you can expect to pack in on your average three- to seven-day trip. So pack your swimsuits and head for this exotic island just about seven hours by flight from India. The writer is a journalist based in Mauritius.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

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BCCI may lose 2000 cr on Kochi termination: Modi

first_imgFormer IPL commissioner Lalit Modi has again fired a salvo at BCCI bigwigs Sashank Manohar and current president N. Srinivasan for the “mess” created due to termination of IPL franchise Kochi Tuskers Kerala.The BCCI on Monday decided to terminate the IPL contract of Kochi franchise due to non-payment of bank guarantee.”Kochi now being terminated – a further loss of 1500 crores to BCCI. Compounded by reduction in Media Rights. My estimate 2000 crores. Who is responsible for this mess now? Current President and outgoing President for sure. Who will they blame now for this. Where is the accountability and who will take responsibility,” Modi wrote on his twitter page.Terming himself as a self-proclaimed whistle blower about the shady dealing related to Kochi, Modi wrote in his blog: “Now, 18 months later, the BCCI has terminated the Kochi contract on the basis of an unpaid bank guarantee which, according to new President, N. Srinivasan, “….is not capable of being remedied.””As a consequence, the BCCI now stands to lose more than US 300 million by virtue of reduced commercial revenue because Kochi’s suspension means fewer teams and therefore games – not to mention a loss of credibility for the IPL itself,” he saaid.Modi stated that he now wants to know as to who will own the responsibility for this mess.”It is a situation that could have been avoided but what it shows is that the unsubstantiated accusations made against me suggesting I imposed ‘onerous’ conditions purely to try and manipulate the bidding process towards my preferred bidders has been shot to pieces.”advertisementlast_img read more

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Southgate rallies England ahead of Nations League decider

first_imgEngland manager Gareth Southgate has told his team not to worry about permutations of the Nations League ahead of Sunday’s decider with Croatia.Both sides played out a goalless draw last month in the reverse fixture behind closed doors in Rijeka, but Croatia’s last-gasp win against Spain on Thursday means all three teams could still be promoted from Group 4 of League A going into the final match.A win for England or Croatia would guarantee promotion and a place in the finals of the new competition, while defeat or a draw could relegate both teams depending on the score. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! The Three Lions suffered a heartbreaking extra-time defeat to Croatia in the semi-finals of the World Cup and Southgate says he will not leave anything to chance at Wembley.”It’s dead simple, really, we just go for it,” he told reporters.”There’s no point in hedging our bets that we might do this, we might do that or we need a 0-0.”We have a chance to get through a really strong group, so for me we just focus on going for the win.”Southgate is pleased with the way his young side has progressed and believes the standard of the post-World Cup fixtures have aided their development.”We want to achieve consistent performances and continue to improve and learn as a team and these Nations League games have given us a really good test,” he said.”It is unprecedented that you come off the back of a major tournament and have so many strong tests in such a short period.”It’s been really good for us as a way of learning and improving with and without the ball and gaining some belief. We are pleased with progress and we want to finish well.”last_img read more

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2 days agoBurnley manager Dyche delighted with squad competition

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Burnley manager Dyche delighted with squad competitionby Paul Vegas2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBurnley manager Sean Dyche is delighted with the competition within his squad.The Clarets currently have intense battles in a variety of positions, including left-back, striker and central midfield.”There is real competition,” said Dyche.”We have lost very important players but it shows we have other players who are just as important.”I thought Jeff (Hendrick) did well in midfield alongside Westy which is not easy when you play two v three. There was a tactical understanding there of when to press and when not to.”Robbie came in and he is getting back to true fitness and match sharpness that it takes which is why he came off and Jay got a start as well.”I like that competitive element to the squad.” last_img read more

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Diana Shipping Secures Higher Rate for Panamax

first_imgzoom Greek dry bulk shipping company Diana Shipping has secured a charter contract for one of its Panamaxes at a higher charter rate.Under the agreement with Seoul-based Unico Logistics, Diana Shipping’s dry bulker m/v Maera was hired at a gross charter rate of USD 11,900 per day for a period of nine to eleven months.The 75,403 dwt ship’s charter is expected to commence on September 19, 2017.Diana Shipping informed that it expects to generate some USD 3.21 million of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the time charter.The 2013-built m/v Maera was previously chartered to Rotterdam’s Transgrain Shipping at a gross charter rate of USD 8,500 per day for a period of sixty-eight days.last_img read more

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first_imgShareTweet Mayor Michaela Boyle gave spray painting a go as she helped with the final touches to @uvartscic’s artwork for REWIRE youth festivalAN exciting, new and action packed 12 day celebration of youth culture featuring hundreds of events across Derry and Strabane kicks off today.REWIRE is the city and district’s first ever youth arts festival that includes performances, exhibitions and discussion forums from today until Sunday, July 7. She said at a time when young people face a lot of negative publicity it is important to celebrate the excellent work they are doing.“What I love about REWIRE is the fact that it’s a youth festival that has been created and programmed by young people. “It really has something for everyone and is full to the brim of talent and opportunity. “REWIRE is a fantastic opportunity for the youth of our city and district to get involved and get creative in a wide range of cultural experiences,” she said.Aeidin McCarter is Head of Culture and Business at Derry City & Strabane District Council, she says: “The festival is one of the highlights of the Youth 19 programme and has been developed by young people for young people.“So I would encourage anyone aged 12-24 to take ownership of the festival by accessing the programme and getting involved. “There are hundreds of events to choose from and lots of great opportunities to learn new skills in a variety of disciplines and genres.”In Your Space Circus will host a ‘Take Back The Streets’ summer academy that will celebrate the genre of street art while the wide ranging music programme will feature a diverse range of genres including a tour of local schools and colleges by Derry’s 2018 NI Music Prize Winner, Roe.Radio 1 DJ, Phil Taggart will headline the Young Blood Summer edition and host a day of talks and advice on what it means to be a self-sufficient music artist in 2019. In its 19th year, as one of Youth 19’s Golden Events, Celtronic will round up the music programme at Rewire as one of the golden events for Youth 19.Award-winning and London-based Hip Hop dance company, Boy Blue, will host some exciting workshops where they will work with local young people and dance teachers, sharing skills and inspiring the next generation of dancers from the region.Movie lovers will be excited to learn that Rewire will host an exciting programme of film screenings including the Greatest Showman in The Big Top in Guildhall Square, where themed fancy dress is encouraged. Several other classics will play each day in the Nerve Centre cinema, partnering with Foyle Film Festival.Young people are also being encouraged to contribute to the Art element of the programme which includes a dedicated youth gallery in the Garden of Reflection in Bishops Street and the This Must Be The Place exhibition in the Void Gallery in Patrick Street.Chloe Harkin, is a member of the Youth 19 Young People’s Marketing & Events steering group and she is really looking forward to the festival.“We are delighted to have been able to develop a huge and diverse programme for Rewire Festival. “You can get involved by signing up for a workshop, contributing your own content or performance or simply by coming along to watch one of the wide variety of performances that will be taking place over the 12 days.”The full Rewire Festival programme and tickets will be accessible at www.youth19.com/rewire, while you can keep up to date with news by following the Youth 19 social media channels on Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter.REWIRE Festival of youth culture kicks off in Derry and Strabane was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: The event is the flagship event of Youth 19, Council’s year long programme of events and activities focussed and dedicated to young people aged 12 – 24.The celebration includes an eclectic range of activities and events including music gigs, a spoken word/hip-hop festival, film screenings, discussions, fashion masterclasses, street art and digital.The focal point of the festival will be The Big Top events tent in Guildhall Square while venues across the city and district will also play host to a wide range of youth culture events.Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Michaela Boyle described REWIRE as innovative and forward thinking and encouraged young people and their families from across the city and district to embrace it and be part of it. AEIDIN MCCARTERDerryDerry and Strabane CouncilHead of Culture and BusinessMayor Michaela BoyleREWIREREWIRE Festival of youth culture kicks off in Derry and StrabanestrabaneYouth19last_img read more

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Study investigates whether home eye tests could help patients and reduce burden

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 20 2018Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast, in collaboration with the University of Bristol, are leading a cutting-edge project, named the “MONARCH” study, that could benefit eye disease patients whilst saving both time and money within the NHS.The MONARCH study aims to investigate if patients with an eye condition called wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) could test their vision at home, rather than attend a hospital appointment.The most serious type of AMD, known as wet AMD, develops when abnormal blood vessels form underneath the macula stops functioning as well as it used to. AMD patients experience blurred distorted vision, difficulty seeing in dim lighting and problems reading.Current treatment for wet AMD is a series of monthly injections which reduce the growth of new vessels which limit vision loss. Following treatment, patients attend regular hospital check-ups where clinical staff monitor the macula by taking photographs and doing vision tests, checking whether any follow-up treatment is needed.Most patients will not require follow-up treatment, but about 30% do. Hospital check-up appointments are important for preventing further loss of vision. However, these check-up appointments put a huge strain on already-stretched resources, and limit the capacity for seeing new patients who, if not seen urgently, are at high risk of losing their vision.Dr Ruth Hogg, from the Centre of Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast and Co-Chief Investigator of the MONARCH study explains: “Injections for AMD have been very successful, with about half of patients retaining vision sufficiently good for driving. However, the burden on the NHS and patients has been considerable due to the need for frequent injections and intensive monitoring throughout the follow-up period. In Belfast, evening and weekend clinics have been added, yet it’s still not enough.”We urgently need to rethink how services are offered as the current setup isn’t sustainable. AMD is a huge burden to the NHS through time spent by clinical staff monitoring patients of whom the majority do not require treatment.”The study aims to find out whether monitoring vision by patients themselves at home could potentially alleviate some of the burden of AMD on the NHS, as well as be more convenient for patients, without compromising their safety or wellbeing. If home eye tests can detect when treatment is needed, it would mean that patients might only need to attend hospital appointments to have treatment.Related StoriesEye research charity funds development of ‘organ-on-a-chip’ to fight glaucomaStudy reveals a revolutionary way to treat eye injuries, prevent blindnessAmerican Academy of Ophthalmology shares tips for staying safe around fireworksPatients participating in the study will be provided with three different eye tests for them to do at home, comprising a paper-based booklet of reading tests and two tests (“apps”) that run on an iPodtouch. Patients will be asked to do all three tests weekly at home. The results of the tests are sent automatically via the internet to the Study Management Centre in Bristol.Professor Reeves, from the Bristol Medical School and Co-Chief Investigator of the MONARCH study says: “We are excited to be collecting data from the apps automatically, via the internet. These kinds of methods, with data flowing directly from the data source to the study database, should increase both the accuracy of the data and the efficiency of their capture.”Throughout the study participants will attend their normal hospital check-up appointments and the results of the tests done at these appointments will be compared with the results from the home eye tests.Patricia Strong, an AMD patient added: “Since completing a course of treatment for wet AMD, I’ve had regular appointments to check my vision and get photographs taken and I’ve occasionally needed further injections. I spend quite a lot of time getting to the hospital and the cost of transport does add up so being able to check for myself at home would make a real difference for me, saving time and money.”The study aims to recruit 400 participants from five different hospitals around the UK, including Belfast. Patients will be provided with equipment and support to do the three home eye tests weekly over a period of one to two years. It is hoped that the data gathered will lead to a shift in services provided to AMD patients, so that only those who require treatment will be required to attend hospital appointments.Source: http://www.qub.ac.uk/News/Allnews/QueensdevelopneweyeteststhatcouldhelppatientsandreduceburdenonNHS.htmllast_img read more

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KU researcher studies how estrogen may protect menisci between thighbone and shinbone

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 9 2019More than 30 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The degenerative joint disease, often caused by wear and tear, is a leading cause of disability in the U.S. Partly triggered by a breakdown in the fibrocartilage between the bones of the knee joint such as the meniscus, osteoarthritis results in pain, stiffness and less range of motion.Now, University of Kansas researcher Jenny Robinson is studying how estrogen may protect the menisci, the crescent-shaped pieces of fibrocartilage that absorb shock between the thighbone and shinbone. Her work is enabled by a one-year, $125,000 grant from the Center for Molecular Analysis of Disease Pathways, an NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence based at KU.”In general, osteoarthritis has a predisposition for women to experience it more than men, but it’s unknown why,” said Robinson, assistant professor of chemical & petroleum engineering. “Our hypothesis is that estrogen may be playing a role in the health of the meniscus and we can use estrogen potentially as a regenerative therapy. The easiest way to think about it is if you lose estrogen postmenopause — that’s when you have enhanced chances of osteoarthritis.” Robinson said the meniscus has a complex mechanical structure, with some regions that are hard and others that are more like soft tissue. She dubbed these areas of the meniscus “microenvironments.””The meniscus is composed of fibrous cartilage known as fibrocartilage — an intermediate tissue between hard tissue like bone and soft tissue like cartilage,” she said. “It has regional properties throughout the disc including changes in the types of cell and the environment the cells live in. Some regions are closer to bone, and some are closer to soft cartilage.”The KU researcher said chances of recovery from an injury to the meniscus depend on which region sustains damage. “There are different ways to tear the meniscus,” Robinson said. “Depending on the location and severity of the tear, repair is limited. The part of the tissue that is like cartilage is avascular. Most tissue that is avascular doesn’t get the nutrients and oxygen needed to regenerate. Typically, if you get a tear in the avascular region you don’t heal. So, we’re trying to find out how to promote regeneration in this region.”Related StoriesCommon traits keep many patients with knee cartilage issues from participating in clinical trialsYoung players may need one-year rehab time after knee surgeryNew technology to harvest energy from the human kneeUsing both in vitro and in vivo studies, Robinson and her collaborators hope to determine how estrogen acts on meniscal fibrochondrocyte transcriptional changes, cell type, extracellular matrix production and response to mechanical signals.”We’re looking at what estrogen does to human cells in a cell culture dish — how do we change the genes being transcribed, and which genetic material is being increased or decreased due to estrogen?” Robinson said. “What are the changes to proteins and sugars these cells are making — that’s what these cells do to create a healthy environment.”Robinson plans to test estrogen treatments alone and in combination with changes to the mechanical microenvironment in 2D and 3D models.She said the aim of the basic science is eventually to develop targeted, estrogen-based therapies to treat people who otherwise would cope with osteoarthritis for the rest of their lives.”The goal here is to make an off-the-shelf material, specific for sex and age, that a surgeon could implant into the knee instead of or after performing a meniscectomy,” Robinson said. “I’ve talked with orthopedic surgeons who hope for something we could inject into the knee and it would interreact with tissue, provide support and give off signals for repair. The hope is that you’d get full regeneration. Depending on your status when you got this treatment, this therapy could inhibit osteoarthritis when you’re young or, if you already have osteoarthritis, reduce the rate of further degeneration.”According to Robinson, the results of her study on the meniscus could influence future treatments for parts of the body beyond the knee joint.”What we find in the meniscus will likely be analogous to fibrocartilages in other joints including the shoulder, spinal discs and jaw,” she said. Source:https://news.ku.edu/2019/01/04/researcher-evaluates-estrogen-therapy-knee-osteoarthritislast_img read more

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How artificial intelligence is reshaping our lives

Provided by University of Alberta Can artificial intelligence be used to study gut microbes in patients? The many faces of AIFor some, it can be hard not to see artificial intelligence as a science so advanced and complicated that it exists only in the realm of movies.For Patrick Pilarski, artificial intelligence exists on the same technological continuum as a stick.At one time, a stick was an essential tool to poke things, to lean on, and so forth. In the same way, he says, artificial intelligence is a tool that can be used to amplify a person’s abilities and allow them to accomplish tasks needed for day-to-day living.”We’ve been slowly improving our ability to interact with the world through technology since the early days of our species. We might be doing it faster than we used to … but interacting with machines remains something prominent in our daily lives,” says Pilarski, an assistant professor at the university, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Machine Intelligence for Rehabilitation.”Those machines make us smarter, they make us better able to see the world, they make us better able to interact with or change the world, and they make us better able to think about the world.”Artificial intelligence is the branch of computing science that develops machines that can act with the intelligence we normally associate with humans. It allows machines to sift through massive amounts of data to find patterns and even develop intuition through trial and error.The discipline has been developing since the 1950s, but its popularity and promise—in scientific circles and beyond—has ebbed and flowed through the years.”I’ve been working on machine learning since the 1980s,” says Russ Greiner, a computing science professor at the university. “We’d work on problems that we made up and, deservedly, the rest of the world said, ‘Who cares?’ But when we started deploying it, people paid attention.”People might pay even more attention if they understood the extent to which AI influences their lives already. In the past eight years, the capacity for computation has increased exponentially, allowing researchers to apply the research in more practical ways. At the same time, the world’s biggest technology companies have started investing heavily in the field.The result is changing how we live our lives.Artificial intelligence allows for credit card fraud detection (computer programs know when a purchase appears to be out of the normal range for a particular client); it’s the basis for our familiar friend, Siri (voice recognition and natural language processing are major branches of AI); it powers your smartphone’s ability to identify faces on your camera roll (likewise, image recognition is a common use); and it’s used to encourage people to make Internet purchases, based on their past purchasing and browsing habits.”We’re a data-rich society and we have been for years,” says Schaeffer. “What AI does is allow us to take data and turn it into knowledge. To have a billion pieces of information is useless unless you can distil it into something meaningful.”Teaching machines to learnIf artificial intelligence allows machines to act like humans, there’s no more explicit example of that than reinforcement learning.U of A professor Rich Sutton is the world-leading pioneer on the subject. More than 20 years ago, he used his psychology background to take a learning approach to artificial intelligence—but his work is perhaps having its biggest impact today.Reinforcement learning is behind the Internet advertisements that automatically appear on your computer screen, and it powers stock market trading. The basic tenets of reinforcement learning likely fuel billions of dollars in economic activity every year.At its core, the approach mimics how humans learn through trial and error.”If good things happen, you keep doing those things. If bad things happen, you stop and go on to something else. It’s that simple, that obvious, that plain,” says Sutton.”If you’re on your bike and you’re about to fall over, you turn your steering wheel and you recover … you should learn three things from that. One, that at first you thought you were fine. Two, that you hit the stone and you weren’t as safe. And three, that you did some moves and you felt safe again.”Similarly, a reinforcement learning program must decide what’s “good” or “bad” based on a final, desired outcome. It will run through millions or tens of millions of scenarios to figure out for itself what puts it in a “good” position or a “bad” position, vis-à-vis its desired outcome. It will then adjust its actions to achieve that outcome.Sutton’s work is about as close as we get to having machines that think like humans. But computers still have limitations.Schaeffer, the computing scientist and dean, describes a person’s brain as being “general purpose.” We might not know how to fix a burst pipe in our home, but we know how to deal with the problem. A computer, on the other and, will only do what a person tells it to do.”We’re building lots of idiot savants. The driverless car knows how to drive but it doesn’t know how to spell-check a document,” he says. “We’re sentient. There’s independence of thought. We do what we want. Computers only do what I tell them to do.” It’s late and probably time for bed, but—without prompting—your Netflix screen fills with promotional shots for more shows. There’s one about a female detective in Denmark and another about a British inspector who weaves between both sides of the law.It’s a familiar scenario to any Netflix watcher—when the service seems to magically suggest programs that fit your latest pop-culture craze.And it’s an instance of artificial intelligence at work.These days, the computer algorithms that allow Netflix or Amazon to make purchasing suggestions are a normal part of life. But sometimes, it’s hard not to feel a sense of awe when a machine – that square and immobile box in the room—connects with you on an intimate level. A nagging question lingers: “How did it KNOW that?”In the coming years, people will be asking that question of their cars, phones, banking systems, and virtually every piece of technology with which they interact every day. Artificial intelligence is expected to reshape all of those facets of life, and untold others.Companies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook are spending billions of dollars to develop the AI capabilities of their products and services. Meanwhile, some of the biggest breakthroughs and most consistent research in the field have been happening at a public university in Edmonton.The University of Alberta has been growing its AI team with some of the discipline’s best minds for more than a decade. Its bona fides as a top-tier school were cemented last year when Google’s DeepMind announced its first satellite campus outside of London in partnership with the U of A.It was a huge coup for the university, but not entirely surprising for the faculty who have spent years building, testing and proving concepts. Those research findings are already transforming fields from health-care research to investment banking. And the ripple effects are just starting.”Artificial intelligence has the potential to impact any industry,” says Jonathan Schaeffer, a computing scientist and dean of the university’s Faculty of Science.”Within 10 years, artificial intelligence will be extremely disruptive.” Explore further It’s Saturday night and you’ve just finished watching the last episode of a Swedish crime drama that you somehow stumbled upon, although you can’t quite remember how. Netflix’s movie recommendations, Amazon’s uncanny ability to anticipate your next shopping purchase, and the voice assistant on your tablet that understands your natural speech are all examples of how ingrained AI systems have already become in modern life. Credit: University of Alberta This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: How artificial intelligence is reshaping our lives (2018, April 17) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-artificial-intelligence-reshaping.html read more

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