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When Hongzhi Gao was young, he lived with his family in Gansu, a province located in the center of northern China by the Tengger Desert. Thinking back to his childhood, he recalls the constant, steady wind of dirt outside their house, and that during most months of the year it didn’t take more than a minute after stepping outside before sand would fill any empty space and creep into his pockets, boots, and his mouth. The monotony of the desert stuck in his head for years, and at university he turned that memory into an idea to build a machine that can bring plant life to the desert landscape.

Efforts to stop desertification—the process by which fertile land becomes desert—have been primarily focused on expensive manual solutions. Hongzhi designed a robot with deep learning technology to automate the process of tree planting: from identifying optimal spots to planting tree seedlings to watering. Despite having no experience with AI, as an undergraduate student Hongzhi used Baidu’s deep learning platform PaddlePaddle to stitch together different modules to build a robot with better object detection capability than similar machines already available in the market. It took less than one year for Hongzhi and his friends to spin up the final product and put it to work.

Hongzhi’s desert robot serves as a telling example of the increasing accessibility of artificial intelligence.

Today, more than four million developers are using Baidu’s open source AI technology to build solutions that can improve the lives of people in their communities, and many of them have little to no technical expertise in the field. “Within the next decade, AI will be the source of changes taking place across every fabric of our society, transforming how industries and businesses operate. The technology will expand the human experience by taking us on a deeper dive into the digital world,” said Baidu CEO Robin Li at Baidu Create 2021, an AI developer conference.

As we enter a new chapter in the evolution of AI, Haifeng Wang, CTO of Baidu, identified two key trends that underpin the industry’s path forward: AI will continue to mature and increase its technical complexity. And at the same time, the cost of deployment and barrier to entry will decrease—benefiting both enterprises building AI-powered solutions at scale and software developers exploring the world of AI.

Merging of knowledge and data with deep learning

The integration of knowledge and data with deep learning has significantly improved the efficiency and accuracy of AI models. Since 2011, Baidu’s AI infrastructure has been acquiring and integrating new information into a large-scale knowledge graph. Currently, this knowledge graph has more than 550 billion facts, covering all aspects of everyday life, as well as industry-specific topics, including manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, law, financial services, technology, and media and entertainment.

This knowledge graph and the massive data points together make up the building blocks of Baidu’s newly released pre-trained language model PCL-BAIDU Wenxin (version ERINIE 3.0 Titan). The model outperforms other language models without knowledge graphs on 60 natural language processing (NLP) tasks, including reading comprehension, text classification, and semantic similarity.

Learnings across modalities

Cross-modal learning is a new area of AI research that seeks to improve machines’ cognitive understanding and to better mimic the adaptive behavior of humans. Examples of research efforts in this area include automatic text-to-image synthesis, where a model is trained to generate images from text descriptions alone, as well as algorithms built to understand visual content and express that understanding with words. The challenge with these tasks is for the machines to build semantic connections across different types of datasets (e.g., images, text) and understand the interdependencies between them.

The next step for AI is merging AI technologies like computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing to create a multi-modal system.

On this front, Baidu has rolled out a variant of its NLP models that ties together language and visual semantic understanding. Examples of real-world applications for this type of model include digital avatars that can perceive their surroundings like human beings

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By: Baidu
Title: A desert robot depicts AI’s vast opportunities
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2021/12/27/1043030/a-desert-robot-depicts-ais-vast-opportunities/
Published Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2021 15:00:00 +0000

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LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys

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Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.

This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.

bitsonftjeysey
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.

The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.

“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México

Jersey NFTs

Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.

The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000

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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth

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EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.

Some new developments underway at EXMO:

Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.

EXMO’s new logo

The rationale for the re-brand:

“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding

The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000

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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens

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The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country. 

The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already. 

Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). 

It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.

The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines. 

If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.  

The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.

The case of Texas

The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.

One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more. 

These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.

Map USA grid
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
legend

ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.

The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created  demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts.  Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.

Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures

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By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000

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