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CES 2016: Daily life drives Intel’s tech vision 

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The vast power of technology to deliver new and amazing experiences throughout daily life was the driving force behind Intel’s announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.

From the digitisation of sports, to advances in health and wellness, to unleashing human creativity through music, art, robotics and invention, the company announced a number of collaborations, products and innovative technologies that “make the amazing possible”.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced a series of collaborations with leading industry brandsthat will use technology and data analytics to benefit people’s overall health, fitness and athletic performance. Intel announced plans to work with ESPN and Red Bull Media House, New Balance and Oakley.

Krzanich also announced a multi-year partnership with The Recording Academy as part of its official “Next Generation of GRAMMY Moments” to use technological innovation for people to see and engage in the evolution of technology in music. The first artist to collaborate with Intel on the programme will be six-time GRAMMY-winning artist Lady Gaga.

These collaborations underscore the three trends that Krzanich said are shaping the future: the smart and connected world, technologies gaining human-like senses, and computing becoming ultra-personal.

“There is a rapidly growing role for technology that is at once transformative, unprecedented and accessible,” said Krzanich. “With people choosing experiences over products more than ever before, Intel technology is a catalyst to making amazing new experiences possible, and ultimately improving the world in which we live.”

He also stressed that Intel remains focused on addressing big societal challenges facing the technology industry and foreshadowed plans for a bold, new anti-online harassment effort with Vox Media, Re/code and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation to promote diversity and inclusion. And he confirmed that Intel is moving beyond just microprocessors to achieve its goal of validating its broader product base as “conflict-free” in 2016.

“When Intel started its work to address conflict minerals and gaps in diversity and inclusion, we were told by many people that our goals were unrealistic and would be impossible to achieve,” said Krzanich. “Our collective efforts show that we can influence entirely new and different ways of doing business that also improve the human experience.”

Below are more details from announcements featured during the Intel keynote at CES 2016, as supplied by Intel:

Digitising the Sports Experience:

Intel announced a collaboration with ESPN to showcase the latest technology set to add new levels of data-powered insights to the feats of athleticism at X Games Aspen 2016. The tiny, low power Intel Curie module will be integrated into the Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle and Men’s Snowboard Big Air competitions to provide real-time data on athlete performance such as in-air rotations, jump height, jump distance, speed, and force on landing. This access to new data will provide athletes with greater insights into their performance, provide additional metrics for on-air analysts, and change the fan experience both at home and in the stands. The competitions will be televised on ESPN and ABC.

Intel and Red Bull Media House announced a global partnership that will extend into multiple genres and platforms. Red Bull Media House CTO Andreas Gall joined Krzanich on stage to demonstrate how athletes and spectators can get information about the performance instantly with the help of Intel Curie technology, with the promise of more announcements to come in 2016 and beyond.

Intel is working with Replay Technologies to deliver completely new viewing experiences for sports fans on broadcast, in the stadium, and in the home. Using Replay’s freeD technology optimised for Intel platforms, sports fans will be able to re-watch key moments of sporting events from nearly every conceivable angle and share a custom created clip with the world. FreeD takes advantage of 6th Generation Intel Core processors and Intel server technology that has been optimised to deliver this immersive entertainment experience.

Changing the Landscape of Health and Wellness:

Intel and New Balance announced a strategic collaboration to develop wearable technologies that connect athletes with technology to improve their athletic performance as part of New Balance’s newly formed Digital Sport division. Krzanich and New Balance CEO, Rob DeMartini, wore running shoes featuring customised 3-D printed midsoles enabled by Intel  RealSens technology and disclosed plans to develop a smart sport watch available for the 2016 holiday season.

Oakley and Intel previewed the first look at “Radar Pace” – smart eyewear featuring a voice-activated, real-time coaching system. Oakley is the first Luxottica Group* brand that Intel is working with to fuse premium, luxury and sports eyewear with smart technology. Engineered with Intel Innovation and crafted with Oakley’s high-quality design and materials, the smart eyewear is designed to provide runners, cyclists and workout enthusiasts with in-the-moment feedback and analytics, helping to track progress and improve real-time performance.

Unleashing Creativity:

Six-time GRAMMY-winning global music icon Lady Gaga announced her first collaboration with Intel, in association with Intel’s announcement of a multiyear partnership with The Recording Academy as part of the official “Next Generation of GRAMMY Moments” programme that will launch during Grammy week in February 2016. Lady Gaga commented: “Intel has enlisted Haus of Gaga to work together on a project that will showcase technology through creativity at the highest level. The partnership culminates in a ground-breaking collaboration that inspires to remind the world of the seed of innovation.” While Lady Gaga will not perform new material as part of the programme, she promises to deliver an experience not to be forgotten.

MGM Television Group* and Digital President Mark Burnett joined Krzanich on stage to provide a sneak peek at the innovators vying to turn their ideas into reality – from improving health monitoring to communicating in new ways to testing the limits of our imagination – in the new competition series, America’s Greatest Makers. Premiering this spring on TBS, America’s Greatest Makers is part of a larger initiative that includes coverage on CNN.com, Bleacher Report and other Turner digital brands. They also launched the Digital Hub at http://www.americasgreatestmakers.com/, which spotlights inventors, new innovations and tech tutorials, as well as unique weekly digital content.

Intel’s leadership to integrate human-like senses into technology continues to gain momentum: In unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Krzanich demonstrated the Yuneec Typhoon H with Intel RealSense technology, which enables collision-avoidance capabilities and will be available 1H 2016. In robotics, Krzanich showcased a Segway personal transporter from Ninebot that can transform into a robot. The open platform uses the new Intel RealSense ZR300 Camera to navigate complex environments and intelligently interact with users and sensors in the home and is powered by an Intel Atom™ processor. Segway plans to make the robot commercially available and will initially introduce a developer kit in the second half of this year.

Improving the Human Experience:

Krzanich highlighted plans for a new anti-online harassment effort with Vox Media, Re/code and Born This Way Foundation. The initiative will be unveiled on 7 January and will help make our smart, connected world a safer, more inclusive place.

Third-party audits and direct validation by Intel’s supply chain organisation will confirm that the company’s broader product base – beyond just microprocessors – is “conflict free.” Maintaining accountability in the supply chain is an ongoing process for Intel.

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Prepare your cam to capture the Blood Moon

On 27 July 2018, South Africans can witness a total lunar eclipse, as the earth’s shadow completely covers the moon.

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Also known as a blood or red moon, a total lunar eclipse is the most dramatic of all lunar eclipses and presents an exciting photographic opportunity for any aspiring photographer or would-be astronomers.

“A lunar eclipse is a rare cosmic sight. For centuries these events have inspired wonder, interest and sometimes fear amongst observers. Of course, if you are lucky to be around when one occurs, you would want to capture it all on camera,” says Dana Eitzen, Corporate and Marketing Communications Executive at Canon South Africa.

Canon ambassador and acclaimed landscape photographer David Noton has provided his top tips to keep in mind when photographing this occasion.   In South Africa, the eclipse will be visible from about 19h14 on Friday, 27 July until 01h28 on the Saturday morning. The lunar eclipse will see the light from the sun blocked by the earth as it passes in front of the moon. The moon will turn red because of an effect known as Rayleigh Scattering, where bands of green and violet light become filtered through the atmosphere.

A partial eclipse will begin at 20h24 when the moon will start to turn red. The total eclipse begins at about 21h30 when the moon is completely red. The eclipse reaches its maximum at 22h21 when the moon is closest to the centre of the shadow.

David Noton advises:

  1. Download the right apps to be in-the-know

The sun’s position in the sky at any given time of day varies massively with latitude and season. That is not the case with the moon as its passage through the heavens is governed by its complex elliptical orbit of the earth. That orbit results in monthly, rather than seasonal variations, as the moon moves through its lunar cycle. The result is big differences in the timing of its appearance and its trajectory through the sky. Luckily, we no longer need to rely on weight tables to consult the behaviour of the moon, we can simply download an app on to our phone. The Photographer’s Ephemeris is useful for giving moonrise and moonset times, bearings and phases; while the Photopills app gives comprehensive information on the position of the moon in our sky.  Armed with these two apps, I’m planning to shoot the Blood Moon rising in Dorset, England. I’m aiming to capture the moon within the first fifteen minutes of moonrise so I can catch it low in the sky and juxtapose it against an object on the horizon line for scale – this could be as simple as a tree on a hill.

 

  1. Invest in a lens with optimal zoom  

On the 27th July, one of the key challenges we’ll face is shooting the moon large in the frame so we can see every crater on the asteroid pockmarked surface. It’s a task normally reserved for astronomers with super powerful telescopes, but if you’ve got a long telephoto lens on a full frame DSLR with around 600 mm of focal length, it can be done, depending on the composition. I will be using the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with an EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Ext. 1.4 x lens.

  1. Use a tripod to capture the intimate details

As you frame up your shot, one thing will become immediately apparent; lunar tracking is incredibly challenging as the moon moves through the sky surprisingly quickly. As you’ll be using a long lens for this shoot, it’s important to invest in a sturdy tripod to help capture the best possible image. Although it will be tempting to take the shot by hand, it’s important to remember that your subject is over 384,000km away from you and even with a high shutter speed, the slightest of movements will become exaggerated.

  1. Integrate the moon into your landscape

Whilst images of the moon large in the frame can be beautifully detailed, they are essentially astronomical in their appeal. Personally, I’m far more drawn to using the lunar allure as an element in my landscapes, or using the moonlight as a light source. The latter is difficult, as the amount of light the moon reflects is tiny, whilst the lunar surface is so bright by comparison. Up to now, night photography meant long, long exposures but with cameras such as the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV now capable of astonishing low light performance, a whole new nocturnal world of opportunities has been opened to photographers.

  1. Master the shutter speed for your subject 

The most evocative and genuine use of the moon in landscape portraits results from situations when the light on the moon balances with the twilight in the surrounding sky. Such images have a subtle appeal, mood and believability.  By definition, any scene incorporating a medium or wide-angle view is going to render the moon as a tiny pin prick of light, but its presence will still be felt. Our eyes naturally gravitate to it, however insignificant it may seem. Of course, the issue of shutter speed is always there; too slow an exposure and all we’ll see is an unsightly lunar streak, even with a wide-angle lens.

 

On a clear night, mastering the shutter speed of your camera is integral to capturing the moon – exposing at 1/250 sec @ f8 ISO 100 (depending on focal length) is what you’ll need to stop the motion from blurring and if you are to get the technique right, with the high quality of cameras such as the Canon EOS 5DS R, you might even be able to see the twelve cameras that were left up there by NASA in the 60’s!

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How Africa can embrace AI

Currently, no African country is among the top 10 countries expected to benefit most from AI and automation. But, the continent has the potential to catch up with the rest of world if we act fast, says ZOAIB HOOSEN, Microsoft Managing Director.

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To play catch up, we must take advantage of our best and most powerful resource – our human capital. According to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), more than 60 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa is under the age of 25.

These are the people who are poised to create a future where humans and AI can work together for the good of society. In fact, the most recent WEF Global Shapers survey found that almost 80 percent of youth believe technology like AI is creating jobs rather than destroying them.

Staying ahead of the trends to stay employed

AI developments are expected to impact existing jobs, as AI can replicate certain activities at greater speed and scale. In some areas, AI could learn faster than humans, if not yet as deeply.

According to Gartner, while AI will improve the productivity of many jobs and create millions more new positions, it could impact many others. The simpler and less creative the job, the earlier, a bot for example, could replace it.

It’s important to stay ahead of the trends and find opportunities to expand our knowledge and skills while learning how to work more closely and symbiotically with technology.

Another global study by Accenture, found that the adoption of AI will create several new job categories requiring important and yet surprising skills. These include trainers, who are tasked with teaching AI systems how to perform; explainers, who bridge the gap between technologist and business leader; and sustainers, who ensure that AI systems are operating as designed.

It’s clear that successfully integrating human intelligence with AI, so they co-exist in a two-way learning relationship, will become more critical than ever.

Combining STEM with the arts

Young people have a leg up on those already in the working world because they can easily develop the necessary skills for these new roles. It’s therefore essential that our education system constantly evolves to equip youth with the right skills and way of thinking to be successful in jobs that may not even exist yet.

As the division of tasks between man and machine changes, we must re-evaluate the type of knowledge and skills imparted to future generations.

For example, technical skills will be required to design and implement AI systems, but interpersonal skills, creativity and emotional intelligence will also become crucial in giving humans an advantage over machines.

“At one level, AI will require that even more people specialise in digital skills and data science. But skilling-up for an AI-powered world involves more than science, technology, engineering and math. As computers behave more like humans, the social sciences and humanities will become even more important. Languages, art, history, economics, ethics, philosophy, psychology and human development courses can teach critical, philosophical and ethics-based skills that will be instrumental in the development and management of AI solutions.” This is according to Microsoft president, Brad Smith, and EVP of AI and research, Harry Shum, who recently authored the book “The Future Computed”, which primarily deals with AI and its role in society.

Interestingly, institutions like Stanford University are already implementing this forward-thinking approach. The university offers a programme called CS+X, which integrates its computer science degree with humanities degrees, resulting in a Bachelor of Arts and Science qualification.

Revisiting laws and regulation

For this type of evolution to happen, the onus is on policy makers to revisit current laws and even bring in new regulations. Policy makers need to identify the groups most at risk of losing their jobs and create strategies to reintegrate them into the economy.

Simultaneously, though AI could be hugely beneficial in areas such as curbing poor access to healthcare and improving diagnoses for example, physicians may avoid using this technology for fear of malpractice. To avoid this, we need regulation that closes the gap between the pace of technological change and that of regulatory response. It will also become essential to develop a code of ethics for this new ecosystem.

Preparing for the future

With the recent convergence of a transformative set of technologies, economies are entering a period in which AI has the potential overcome physical limitations and open up new sources of value and growth.

To avoid missing out on this opportunity, policy makers and business leaders must prepare for, and work toward, a future with AI. We must do so not with the idea that AI is simply another productivity enhancer. Rather, we must see AI as the tool that can transform our thinking about how growth is created.

It comes down to a choice of our people and economies being part of the technological disruption, or being left behind.

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