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CES: Teens to wow Vegas

Five apps that solve societal challenges – and built by teenagers – will be showcased at CES next week.

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Five innovative apps developed by teenagers will be showcased at CES in Las Vegas next week, at The Young Innovators to Watch (YITW) awards ceremony.

The event recognises children aged 13-18 who have developed innovative ideas tackling health, societal, computer science, and educational challenges.

In the five years since the event was launched, its winners have continued their commitment to the sciences, going on to Ivy League schools, launching projects, obtaining patents, and starting companies. The 2019 YITW winners were selected by judges from academia, venture capital, and product development.  The teens who win are flown to CES in Las Vegas to “see their future,” accept their awards, tour CES in a curated way, and speak at Living in Digital Times’ Digital Health Dinner.

The awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday, 10 January 2019 at the Las Vegas Convention Centre.

These are the apps that have been selected for the Young Innovators to Watch awards for 2019:

Backen:  Jerry Qu, 17, (Ontario, Canada) created Backen using Tensorflow, Microsoft Azure, and various APIs, all connected in Python. The system uses machine learning to automatically tag keywords in research papers, and recommends and suggests relevant articles, the first step towards a universal knowledge bank.

HICCUPLyron Co Ting Keh, 17, (La Crescenta, CA), is already hard at work in one of the most prestigious cancer labs, the Alizadeh Lab (Stanford Medicine, Division of Oncology). He works on algorithms to help research in “Cancer of Unknown Primary” (CUP) where he designed and trained a robust and cost-effective machine learning model to carry out non-invasive CUP classifications from cell-free DNA.

HotSpot: HotSpot is a peer-to-peer Wifi network created on the blockchain that allows you to make money from sharing your hotspot. Born out of a Wifi-challenged visit in Berlin, 17-year olds Vishanth Thangavelautham and Tahla Atta (Toronto, Canada) didn’t want to waste $20 on an Uber and took the train, but they didn’t have Wifi and didn’t know how to navigate. They only needed Wifi for 10 minutes so why buy a different SIM card? Should they not be able to just pay to use someone else’s network for five or ten minutes?

Lumen: Kumaran Akilan, 18, and Archishman Sravankumar, 17, (Cupertino, CA) have devised a promising algorithm for detecting early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease via retinal scan. They’ve been working with data sets supplied from a Belfast University, creating a completely autonomous algorithm. Along with a team of mentors in the fields of ophthalmology and computer science, they hope to fulfil the promise of a low-cost, non-invasive early detection test.

Quantum Vector:  Tanisha Bassan, 17, (Ontario, Canada) is leveraging quantum machine learning using IBM’s Qiskit software to run a quantum support vector machine kernel algorithm. Support vector machines, she says, help computers classify different types of objects (cats & dogs) and can project complex data structures into higher dimensions for accurate classification.

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Notre Dame, Scoop Makhathini, GoT, top week in search

From fire disaster to social media disaster, the top Google searches this week covered a wide gamut of themes.

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Paris and the whole world looked on in shock as the 856-year-old medieval Catholic cathedral crumbled into ash. The tragic infernal destruction of this tourist attraction of historical and religious significance led South Africans to generate more than 200 000 search queries for “Notre Dame Cathedral” on Monday. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire that razed the architectural icon.

In other top trending searches on Google this week, radio presenter Siyabonga Ngwekazi, AKA Scoop Makhathini, went viral when it appeared he had taken to Twitter to expose his girlfriend, Akhona Carpede, for cheating on him. Scoop has since come out to say that he was not responsible for the bitter rant and that his account was hacked. “Scoop Makhathini” generated more than 20 000 search queries on Wednesday.

Fans generated more than 20 000 search queries for “Sam Smith” on Tuesday ahead of the the British superstar’s Cape Town performance at the Grand West Casino. Smith ended up cutting his performance short that night due to vocal strain.

Local Game of Thrones superfans were beside themselves on Sunday, searching the internet high and low for the first episode of the American fantasy drama’s eighth season. “Game of Thrones, season 8, episode 1” generated more than 100 000 queries on Google Search on the weekend.

As the festivities kicked off in California with headliners such as Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande, South Africans generated more than 2 000 search queries for “Coachella” on Saturday.

South Africans generated more than 5 000 search queries for “Wendy Williams” on Friday  as it emerged that the American talk show host had filed for divorce from her husband Kevin Hunter after 21 years of marriage. Hunter has long been rumored to have been cheating on Williams, which reportedly finally led to the divorce.

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40

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5G smartphones to hit 5M sales in 2019

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According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Early 5G smartphone models will be expensive and available in limited volumes. Samsung, LG and Huawei will be the early 5G smartphone leaders this year, followed by Apple next year.

Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “We forecast global 5G smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Less than 1 percent of all smartphones shipped worldwide will be 5G-enabled this year. Global 5G smartphone shipments are tiny for now, due to expensive device pricing, component bottlenecks, and restricted availability of active 5G networks.”

Ville Petteri-Ukonaho, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Samsung will be the early 5G smartphone leader in the first half of 2019, due to initial launches across South Korea and the United States. We predict LG, Huawei, Xiaomi, Motorola and others will follow later in the year, followed by Apple iPhone with its first 5G model during the second half of 2020. The iPhone looks set to be at least a year behind Samsung in the 5G smartphone race and Apple must be careful not to fall too far behind.”

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The short-term outlook for 5G smartphones is weak, but the long-term opportunity remains huge. We forecast 1 billion 5G smartphones to ship worldwide per year by 2025. The introduction of 5G networks, by carriers like Verizon or China Mobile, opens up high-speed, ultra-low-latency services such as 8K video, streaming games, and augmented reality for business. The next big question for the mobile industry is how much extra consumers are really willing to pay, if anything, for those emerging 5G smartphones and services.”

Strategy Analytics provides a snapshot analyses for the outlook for 5G smartphone market in this Insight report: 5G Smartphones : From Zero to a Billion

Strategy Analytics provides a deep-dive into the air-interface technologies that will power phones through 2024 across 88 countries here: Global Handset Sales Forecast by 88 Countries and 19 Technologies : 2003 to 2024

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