North Coast fisherman takes first at Clear Lake

first_imgThree North Coast fishermen enjoyed a successful weekend at the recent 31st annual Clear Lake Team Bass Tournament in Lake County.The two-day event, held on the weekend of March 17-18, was won by brothers Jeff Noga and Brian Noga, the former an Arcata resident.The winning duo had a total of 53.31 pounds, with their largest catch a 10.23 pounder, which was also the largest catch of the weekend.The Noga brothers took home a total purse of $6,000, which included a $5,000 paycheck for winning …last_img

Warriors, Klay ‘plan to reach’ five-year, $190-million max deal Sunday, report says

first_imgIt appears ever more clear that Klay Thompson will be back in the Bay in 2020.He and the Warriors “plan to reach” an agreement on a five-year, $190 million maximum deal Sunday when Golden State front office executives visit Thompson in Los Angeles, according to NBA insider Shams Charania.Warriors general manager Bob Myers said after Golden State’s NBA Finals defeat that the team would offer maximum contracts to both Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. Ever since that statement, reports have …last_img

Stem Cell Research Launches into the Ethical Unknown, Full Steam Ahead

first_imgNo one knows where stem cell research will lead.  Some hope for miracle cures.  Some fear horrendous abuses and ethical nightmares.  But states and nations, apparently more concerned over priority and prestige, are fighting to the head of the pack after the California Proposition 71 gun fired last fall.    With $3 billion in taxpayer loans at their disposal, the stealthily-named new California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is beginning to take shape, apparently unconcerned that “the debate has shifted from ethics and costs to how the enterprise will operate,” wrote Constance Holden in the 14 January issue of Science.1  In last week’s issue,2 she added that Prop. 71 has had a “seismic effect” on other states.  “Wait for me!” seems to be the attitude of Wisconsin, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois, while other states are trying to ban research on stem cells (Science Now reports that governor Mitt Romney is trying to stop the advance in Massachusetts).  The rivalry for stem cell funding is having a major shakeup on the role of the National Institutes of Health, comparable to the “breakup of the Roman Empire,” Holden writes.     Much of the hurry comes from a desire to beat the Asians, wrote Dennis Normile and Charles C. Mann in the same issue last week.3  “Less encumbered by societal restrictions on embryonic stem cells,” they remarked, “scientists in the developing countries of Asia are giving Western researchers a run for their money.”  In Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China – indeed, across all Asia – “there is little of the conflict with prevailing religious and ethical beliefs that has Western countries hesitating.”  No one seems to be asking whether to do it, but only how to do it.  The mood in Asia is described by Normile and Mann:Governments are ramping up funding for both basic and applied stem cell work, setting up new institutes, programs, and grant schemes, and providing incentives for private companies to join the effort.  Giving these efforts a further boost, the region also has legions of lab workers willing to log long hours, and increasing numbers of expatriate scientists are returning home to work in the flourishing environment.With that kind of money and competition driving stem cell research, the concerns of a few ethicists are unlikely to be given the time of day.  Although some of these enterprises specifically ban human cloning, the creator of Dolly the sheep, Ian Wilmut (Kings College, London) has been granted a license in the UK to clone early stage human embryos for medical research, reports the BBC News.  “Those opposed to the research said the work is unethical, unnecessary and a step toward full blown human cloning,” the article says, and the ProLife Alliance stated emphatically, “All human cloning is intrinsically wrong and should be outlawed.”  But it’s hard to beat the emotional appeal of proponents who argue that the procedure might help cure motor neuron disease.  Meanwhile, other possible nightmare scenarios with the new biotechnology make occasional headlines, like this debate over human-animal hybrids in National Geographic News.  The technology is outpacing any consensus on where to draw the line.    Ongoing successes with adult stem cells, which have no ethical problems, are getting drowned out in the fanfare over embryonic stem cells.  EurekAlert reported that a new source of stem cells in umbilical cord blood shows promise for bone marrow transplants and tissue repair, for instance, and Nature Science Update just reported that in heart tissue, long thought irreplaceable, certain “cardiac progenitor cells” are capable in fact of regrowing heart muscle, promising hope for heart-attack survivors.  A heart-warming yet heart-breaking report in World Magazine Feb. 5 describes near-miraculous cures being made with adult stem cells; trouble is, such proven advances are being passed over in the rush to fund embryonic stem cell research.  “The NIH, which bankrolls innovative medical research in the United States, has funded only 30 projects involving stem cells from umbilical cords,” reports Lynde Langdon.  “In contrast, it has funded 634 projects involving embryonic stem cells.”  This lopsided funding of embryonic stem cell research has yet to show one successful medical benefit.1Constance Holden, “California’s Bold $3 Billion Initiative Hits the Ground Running,” Science, Vol 307, Issue 5707, 195 , 14 January 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.307.5707.195].2Constance Holden, “U.S. States Offer Asia Stiff Competition,” Science, Vol 307, Issue 5710, 662-663 , 4 February 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.307.5710.662].3Dennis Normile and Charles C. Mann, “Asia Jockeys for Stem Cell Lead,” Science, Vol 307, Issue 5710, 660-664 , 4 February 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.307.5710.660].If you thought abortion was bad, and should have been stopped at the starting gate, wait till you see what the mad scientists might do with their latest tinker toys, genetically modified human embryos.  What started as moral compassion for poor women in the early debates over abortion has turned into a multibillion dollar industry, replete with lawyers and SIGs who fight any attempt to restrict their business, as concerned citizens gasp at bags full of unborn babies in trash bins, and senators investigate black markets for body parts.  How many of you believe that, this time, the proponents of this new crusade really have the interests of the suffering in mind?  Oh – and which religious tradition, did they say, is the only one “hesitating” at the sight of the leaking dike?How will we explain this to our children?  Will they even care?(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

IBSA unites for global job creation

first_img25 November 2010 India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) have joined forces to help boost job creation worldwide, launching a South-South cooperation programme at the International Labour Organisation in Geneva to help the global economy rebound after the recession. The programme aims to promote a job-intensive recovery from the global economic downturn, create a framework for sustainable growth and support for the International Labour Organisation’s Global Jobs Pact. “It reflects the view of the IBSA governments that through a spirit of solidarity and non-conditionality, developing countries can provide sustainable solutions to their own problems, can change people’s lives and make a positive impact,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said on Wednesday. “The purpose … is to promote national ownership of the project, strengthen local capacity, and ensure sustainable development.” Earlier this year, the United Nations honoured IBSA for their efforts in the fight against poverty using innovative approaches to share, replicate and scale up successful development paradigms. Each IBSA country contributes US$1-million annually to a fund which is managed by the UN Development Programme Special Unit for South-South Cooperation. Projects are executed by various UN agencies and partners across the globe, with a strong emphasis on national ownership. These projects focus on the sharing of best practices and proven experiences, and include initiatives as diverse as improving agricultural techniques in remote villages, reducing urban violence in slums, and delivering safe drinking water. Current IBSA initiatives include projects in Haiti, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde, Burundi, Palestine, Cambodia and Lao PDR. IBSA is a trilateral developmental initiative between the three countries aimed at promoting South-South cooperation and exchange. The group, which was established in 2003 to boost South-South ties, has a combined population of about 1.4-billion people and total gross domestic product of over US$3.2-trillion. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

9 Critical Questions to Consider When Assessing a Conversational AI Solution

first_imgRyan Ayers Ryan Ayers is a researcher and consultant within multiple industries including information technology, blockchain and business development. Always up for a challenge, Ayers enjoys working with startups as well as Fortune 500 companies. When not at work, Ayers loves reading science fiction novels and watching the LA Clippers. Decision-makers should reflect on several key points when assessing a conversational artificial intelligence (AI) solution. As an example, many millennials favor connecting with brands through live chat. Why does this matter? Here’s why.The millennial population could be worth up to $24 trillion by 2020, making them one of the largest expected consumer groups over the next decade.  What’s more, 59-percent of those consumers will leave a review about their experience – either positive or negative – with a majority of judgment based on quick responses when they reach out to brands for help or information.Although a challenge, C-suite executives and companies need not worry as conversational AI has proven to be a reliable and quick solution for appeasing millennial consumers. But is it a smart decision for all businesses?The following are nine questions that business leaders should consider when assessing a conversational AI solution.1. Are you guaranteed an ROI (and can they commit to it)?Without consistency, the most cutting edge technology will fail to deliver results. A competent conversational AI solution vendor can tell you exactly what level of automation their offering can achieve, allowing you to determine a precise return-on-investment. Only with this benchmark can you establish your expectations.2. How smart is the language understanding –really?Text-based Q&A chatbots are useful for answering common consumer inquiries. However, this entry-level utility falters when customer questions become more complex.Conversational AI leverages advanced neural networks and natural language processing (NLP) technology, enabling it to respond to a broader range of consumer questions. These technology resources enable sophisticated digital chatbots to understand what customers are asking as well as the context of their queries.3. What is the security/privacy features offered?Cybersecurity is a top priority for any commercial undertaking. Conversational AI customer service is no exception to this standard.It’s a new age for privacy and data security. Emerging conventions such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set a new standard for cybersecurity.A conversational AI solution that meets GDPR standards empowers enterprises to control privacy. For example, the right solution allows consumers to download or delete conversations as desired.4. Is the solution purpose-built for enterprise deployment?Your conversational AI chatbot will represent your brand. Accordingly, it must incorporate enterprise-grade features to deliver satisfying customer experiences consistently, says Henry Vaage Iversen, co-founder, and chief commercial officer at Boost.ai.“Enterprise companies, particularly customer-centric institutions like banks and financial services providers, need to think about the bigger picture when automating customer interactions.”“The important consideration for achieving the cost-saving benefits of conversational AI isn’t the automation itself. It is the ability to deliver delightful customer experiences that strike a precise balance between highly intelligent virtual-agent support that is both fast and accurate, and seamless hand-off to exactly the right human agent in every escalation.”Companies that don’t take a high-level approach when implementing conversational AI may actually harm the customer experience instead of improving it.5. Can it do more than answer basic questions?Have you considered that your customers may want answers to questions that aren’t available without passing through a gate on your website? An advanced conversational AI solution can deliver answers about sensitive information.This capability goes far beyond the function of an entry-level chatbot. A highly advanced conversational AI solution can deliver service behind encrypted paywalls and exclusive membership websites.6. Is there a proven project plan for implementation?Technology is wondrous. With it, enterprises can achieve remarkable feats. However, enterprise leaders need more than technology. They need technology that works.To achieve this outcome, a competent conversational AI service provider should have the ability to provide you with a tried-and-true project plan for deployment. What’s more, the provider should offer reliable support, either internally or through third-party suppliers, and have the track record to prove it.7. How well does it scale?Even for a conversational AI, it’s a tough job to deliver 24-7 support. What’s more, not all solutions can hold up to a high volume, and at scale. Duly, the solution that you select should have a track record of handling thousands of complex daily interactions with lightning fast response times.8. What industry-specific expertise and content is available at launch?Some conversational AI providers require your industry expertise to function as desired. What’s worse, you’ll never own your data. Lesser solutions just aren’t set up to manage the ownership of information at the service level.In this regard, look for a conversational AI provider who can deliver pre-built content for your industry. An effective conversational AI solution will make customer service more manageable rather than create yet another complex and resource intensive project. Also, the data generated by your customers will remain proprietary.9. Can it seamlessly integrate with customer support staff?Remember, chatbots aren’t intended to replace human operators fully. Conversational AI is a refined solution for providing superior customer service. With it, brands can save consumers from the “I do not understand” dead-end.The right conversational AI solution can effectively shore up the front lines of customer service across a range of channels, from landing pages to social media assets. When warranted, however, an effective conversational AI resource can quickly and seamlessly hand complex queries over to live agents.The advanced retrieval and linguistic capabilities of conversational AI enhances the customer experience. These questions represent a critical starting point for evaluating your conversational AI solution. The right conversational AI solution is about more than technology – it’s about quality of service. Tags:#AI#conversational AI China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Them AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more