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AFRICA GETS ITS OWN WEB ADDRESS WITH A LAUNCH OF.AFRICA

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People attend a computer training course, as part of the 'Afrique Innovation, reinventer les medias

Africa now has the unique web address .africa, equivalent to the more familiar .com, following its official launch by the African Union.

AU commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma hailed its creation as the moment when Africa “got [its] own digital identity”.

The AU says the .africa domain name will “bring the continent together as an internet community”.

Addresses can now reflect a company’s interest in the whole of Africa.

For example, a mobile phone company could create mobile.africa to show its Africa-wide presence, or a travel company could set up travel.africa.

Icann, the body that establishes these addresses known as generic Top-Level Domains, approved the move, after lobbying by the AU.

The campaign was spearheaded by a South African company ZA Central Registry (ZACR), which will now be responsible for registering .africa names.

ZACR’s boss Lucky Masilela said that .africa addresses could cost as little as $18 (£15), AFP news agency quotes him as saying, and registration will start in July.

Other domain names recently created by Icann, include .fun, .phone and .hair.

source:http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-39231709?ocid=socialflow_twitter

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Innovations

MOST OF AI’S BUSINESS USES WILL BE IN TWO AREAS

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While overall adoption of artificial intelligence remains low among businesses (about 20% upon our last study), senior executives know that AI isn’t just hype. Organizations across sectors are looking closely at the technology to see what it can do for their business. As they should—we estimate that 40% of all the potential value that can created by analytics today comes from the AI techniques that fall under the umbrella “deep learning,” (which utilize multiple layers of artificial neural networks, so-called because their structure and function are loosely inspired by that of the human brain). In total, we estimate deep learning could account for between $3.5 trillion and $5.8 trillion in annual value.

However, many business leaders are still not exactly sure where they should apply AI to reap the biggest rewards. After all, embedding AI across the business requires significant investment in talent and upgrades to the tech stack as well as sweeping change initiatives to ensure AI drives meaningful value, whether it be through powering better decision-making or enhancing consumer-facing applications.

Through an in-depth examination of more than 400 actual AI use cases across 19 industries and nine business functions, we’ve discovered an old adage proves most useful in answering the question of where to put AI to work, and that is: “Follow the money.”

The business areas that traditionally provide the most value to companies tend to be the areas where AI can have the biggest impact. In retail organizations, for example, marketing and sales has often provided significant value. Our research shows that using AI on customer data to personalize promotions can lead to a 1-2% increase in incremental sales for brick-and-mortar retailers alone. In advanced manufacturing, by contrast, operations often drive the most value. Here, AI can enable forecasting based on underlying causal drivers of demand rather than prior outcomes, improving forecasting accuracy by 10-20%. This translates into a potential 5% reduction in inventory costs and revenue increases of 2-3%.

While applications of AI cover a full range of functional areas, it is in fact in these two cross-cutting ones—supply-chain management/manufacturing and marketing and sales—where we believe AI can have the biggest impact, at least for now, in several industries. Combined, we estimate that these use cases make up more than two-thirds of the entire AI opportunity. AI can create $1.4-$2.6 trillion of value in marketing and sales across the world’s businesses and $1.2-$2 trillion in supply chain management and manufacturing (some of the value accrues to companies while some is captured by customers). In manufacturing, the greatest value from AI can be created by using it for predictive maintenance (about $0.5-$0.7 trillion across the world’s businesses). AI’s ability to process massive amounts of data including audio and video means it can quickly identify anomalies to prevent breakdowns, whether that be an odd sound in an aircraft engine or a malfunction on an assembly line detected by a sensor.

Another way business leaders can home in on where to apply AI is to simply look at the functions that are already taking advantage of traditional analytics techniques. We found that the greatest potential for AI to create value is in use cases where neural network techniques could either provide higher performance than established analytical techniques or generate additional insights and applications. This is true for 69% of the AI use cases identified in our study. In only 16% of use cases did we find a “greenfield” AI solution that was applicable where other analytics methods would not be effective. (While the number of use cases for deep learning will likely increase rapidly as algorithms become more versatile and the type and volume of data needed to make them viable become more available, the percentage of greenfield deep learning use cases might not increase significantly because more established machine learning techniques also have room to become better and more ubiquitous.)

We don’t want to come across as naïve cheerleaders. Even as we see economic potential in the use of AI techniques, we recognize the tangible obstacles and limitations to implementing AI.  Obtaining data sets that are sufficiently large and comprehensive enough to feed the voracious appetite that deep learning has for training data is a major challenge. So, too, is addressing the mounting concerns around the use of such data, including security, privacy, and the potential for passing human biases onto AI algorithms. In some sectors, such as health care and insurance, companies must also find ways to make the results explainable to regulators in human terms: why did the machine come up with this answer? The good news is that the technologies themselves are advancing and starting to address some of these limitations.

Beyond these limitations, there are the arguably more difficult organizational challenges companies face as they adopt AI. Mastering the technology requires new levels of expertise, and process can become a major impediment to successful adoption. Companies will have to develop robust data maintenance and governance processes, and focus on both the “first mile”—how to acquire data and organize data efforts—and the far more difficult “last mile,” how to integrate the output of AI models into work flows, ranging from those of clinical trial managers and sales force managers to procurement officers.

While businesses must remain vigilant and responsible as they deploy AI, the scale and beneficial impact of the technology on businesses, consumers, and society make pursuing AI opportunities worth a thorough investigation. The pursuit isn’t a simple prospect but it can be initiated by evoking a simple concept: follow the money.

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Innovations

FONTS TO FIT YOUR AUGMENTED AND VIRTUAL REALITY DESIGNS

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Setting text in augmented and virtual reality presents new design challenges that are dramatically different from practically any other existing medium. Steve Matteson, Creative Type Director at Monotype, has selected fonts that are both highly legible and represent multiple genres, offering reliable choices for AR/VR games, apps or user interfaces.

Avenir

The word Avenir means ‘future’ in French and hints that the typeface owes some of its interpretation to Futura. But unlike Futura, Avenir is not purely geometric; it has vertical strokes that are thicker than the horizontals, an “o” that is not a perfect circle, and shortened ascenders. Avenir represents the most legible of designs within the geometric sans serif genre. The challenges posed by fully geometric typefaces are reduced in Avenir, putting the emphasis on legible shapes, open forms and ample letter spacing. Avenir would work well for extended text in AR/VR or lend modern flair to interfaces for home appliances or IoT.

Daytona™

The Daytona typeface family grew out of Jim Wasco’s desire to design a readable typeface for video and on-screen use. Because of its exceptional legibility, it’s also an ideal choice for digital user interfaces and a wide range of print applications. Daytona softens an otherwise modern engineered style, with rounded forms lending an air of informality. This makes it the perfect font for a children’s AR/VR game or app. Originally designed for navigation and wayfinding, the font would also work well for heads-up displays. Daytona can offer the user a friendlier appearance – even in a potentially intimidating futuristic VR experience.

Slate™

The Slate typeface melds superb functionality and aesthetic elegance into a remarkable communications tool. Slate is the work of Rod McDonald, an award-winning typeface designer and lettering artist. At one point in his forty-year career, McDonald participated in a typeface legibility and readability research project conducted by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind during which he learned the design traits that maximize character legibility and text readability. Slate offers a comfortable reading experience even in challenging technical environments like AR or VR. Slate’s contemporary flair would work well in an app interface, experiential walkthroughs or AR app filters.

Halesworth™

Designing a virtual experience that needs to evoke a historical or academic theme? Halesworth is a Venetian Old Style book typeface designed by Carl Crossgrove, crafted specifically for comfortable reading on screen. Halesworth preserves the beautiful, generous proportions of the Venetian genre and optimizes the details for best performance, making it an excellent choice for long-form text in a VR environment. The typeface has reduced contrast in hairline strokes, generously open counters, ample curves and sturdy serifs. Halesworth has an elegant, antique flavor but can be read comfortably on screen at any angle making it ideal for AR/VR.

Akko™

Need to design a UI for the future? Look no further than the Akko typeface. Akko’s contemporary and open design aids in reading from severe angles that can be found in VR situations. Akko was designed with very open counters and a tall x-height following market research indicating the need for a new sans serif with a “tech” look. The resulting letters are characterized by their simplicity and compactness and can be employed to save space within a layout. Akko’s tech-forward appearance combined with its space-saving qualities also make it a reliable choice for futuristic AR/VR games or experiences.

Helvetica eText™

Helvetica™ is the ubiquitous flagship of the Swiss Grotesque genre. The ‘e-text’ adaptation reduces hindrances to legibility commonly found in the style by offering advanced font hinting, expanded characters and modified line thickness and x-height to optimize legibility across smartphones, tablets or e-readers. Helvetica eText aids the reader while delivering style, and is particularly well suited to anything on a grid, for example to display scores or health metrics in games or for virtual eCommerce experiences.

Get the fonts

Get Avenir, Daytona, and thousands of other fonts in Mosaic, Monotype’s Enterprise font solution.

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Innovations

INNOVATION HUB: EDO YOUTHS HAIL OSINBAJO, OBASEKI FOR FACILITIES, TRAINING

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Youths in Edo State have hailed Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for the initiative in setting up the South-South Innovation Hub and Edo Innovates, the two facilities launched recently at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE), in Benin City, as a platform for youths to get trained and proffer digital solutions to everyday problem.

Cross section of youths at one of the labs in Edo Innovates, which houses the South South Innovation Hub, at Institute of Continuing Education (ICE), Benin City, Edo State, during the launch of the hub by Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

Recall that the Vice President during his two-day visit to the state, launched the South-South Innovation Hub and performed groundbreaking of the 1800-Emotan Gardens project.

A number of the youths at the launch expressed appreciation to the governor and the Vice President for setting up the hub, noting that it was gratifying to know that youths in the state would now have equal opportunity as their colleagues elsewhere to get trained and be engaged in a vibrant digital ecosystem that is supported by the state and federal government.

Mr. Sunday Olufemi, from Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the state, said that he was most excited about the one-stop shop for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) clinic, where young people can now have access to relevant federal government agencies to ease business registration, product certification, and access to finance and mentoring.

According to him, “I can confidently say that this is the best thing to have happened to youths in Edo State. Now, we no longer have to go to Lagos before we get training to become full-fledged start-ups. The expertise and support structures are now available for us in Edo State.”

Mr. Fred Omoregie, an undergraduate at the University of Benin (UNIBEN), said the hub is a dream come true to many tech-savvy young residents in the state, noting that they now have a viable, well-structured facility to express themselves.

He said, “I believe this will revolutionalise this state. Young people have been looking for where to express themselves for years but didn’t have such a facility that can give them a sense of direction. With this, Engineering, Computer Science graduates and others from different disciplines can now have a go at tech solutions to problems.”

 

 

 

Source:  Vanguard

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