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Global Fifa fan parks for 2010

first_imgAn artist’s impression of Cape Town’s Grand Parade, where one of South Africa’s fan fests will be hosted during the 2010 Fifa World Cup. (Image: Fifa)With just months to go until South Africa hosts the world’s biggest football tournament, Fifa has launched a series of action-packed fan events that will connect lovers of the Beautiful Game everywhere.The Fifa Fan Fest – to be staged in the nine South African host cities as well as Berlin, London, Mexico City, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Rome and Sydney – will enable football enthusiasts to watch free, live screenings of all 64 matches in a secure and festive environment.Official public viewing events were first launched by Fifa in 2006 during the World Cup in Germany. In June and July of that year more than 18-million fans gathered at 12 designated fan parks around Germany, electrifying the nation on a scale never seen before during such a tournament.Building on this, Fifa has decided to extend its fan parks to include the host country as well as a series of iconic locations across the world, spanning all three key time zones for a truly global experience.A first for football fans“The Fifa Fan Fest was an important part of the success of the 2006 World Cup and we believe that the 2010 fan fests, both in South Africa and in the other seven international venues, will bring an unprecedented experience to millions of football fans in South Africa and around the world,” said Fifa President Sepp Blatter.“The first International Fifa Fan Fest is another milestone in bringing the excitement of the World Cup to an even greater audience.”In South Africa the fan fests will be organised by the host cities, Fifa and the Local Organising Committee (LOC). Fifa and the respective cities will take responsibility for the international events. At each site there will be a top-quality giant screen, performance stage and sound and lighting equipment.And they won’t just be about football: in addition to the match broadcast, each event will offer all-day entertainment with a distinct local flavour, thereby exporting the thrill of the first African World Cup to destinations worldwide.“We are communicating with ambassadors in each city to ensure a South African atmosphere, complete with food, dancing and music,” said Fifa marketing director Thierry Weil.In South Africa this will offer lucrative opportunities for small businesses and informal traders, who will be encouraged to sell traditional cuisine and arts and crafts at the events. Local musicians, dancers and artists will also be given the chance to perform. But host city authorities will require these people to consult with them first before setting up at a venue.Media, transport and safetyDuring the German World Cup 80% of non-football stories came from the fan fest sites, and Fifa is working hard to ensure the same happens during 2010.All media organisations will therefore be free to broadcast and report from all public viewing events. South African and international fan fest cities may choose to have an on-site media accreditation system, but this will be a simple process and unrestrictive. More information on this and the facilities for journalists at the venues will be made available in 2010.In South Africa all fan fests will be fenced off and incorporated into the wider host city security plans. Both private security and police will be deployed inside and outside the venues, and full disaster management and medical facilities will be available. There will also be special access for disabled fans.“Transport arrangements will differ from venue to venue, but there will be a park-and-ride system and public transport options, so South Africans won’t have to bring their own cars,” said LOC CEO Danny Jordaan.Selection processFifa considered a number of factors when selecting the overseas fan fest cities. They were analysed according to their popularity as tourist destinations, experience in hosting major international sporting events and demographic make-up.Fifa felt it important to choose cities that have a diverse population that supports a variety of teams, ensuring lively crowds even if the home country gets knocked out.The South African venues were chosen for their crowd capacity and proximity to the official 2010 stadiums. Cape Town’s fan fest will be at the Grand Parade in the city’s CBD; St Georges Park, which is 5km from the stadium, will be Port Elizabeth’s venue; and scenic New Beach will be the site in Durban.Bloemfontein’s fan fest will be at Mangaung Outdoor Sports Centre, which has a capacity for 20 000 people. Bergvlam High School will be Nelspruit’s facility as it’s only 5km from the stadium; Polokwane Cricket Club will be the venue in Polokwane; Rustenburg’s fan fest will be at Fields College School; while host city Pretoria/Tshwane’s venue is still to be confirmed.Johannesburg, which will host the World Cup’s opening and final matches at Soccer City, will have two sites: one at Elkah Stadium in Soweto – South Africa’s largest township home to 1-million people; and one at InnesFree Park in the commercial hub of Sandton.last_img read more

Helping South Africa’s endangered toads

first_img The buckets will be lowered into the ground at areas of the road where toads usually cross. As they approach, the toads will fall into the buckets, and at intervals volunteers will carry them across the road. “This will hopefully help to save even more toads. It is a good start,” Faraday says. Even though the buckets will delay the frogs for a short while, at least they will be protected and reach their breeding sites safely. Education initiatives and creating awareness about the plight of the toads, particularly as the breeding season approaches, is another important part of Faraday and her conservation colleagues’ work. “It is absolutely essential to get kids aware and we also have bumper stickers that volunteers stick on their cars,” Faraday says. She regularly presents talks at schools to inform children about the toads and how they can help to protect them. Every year they run an awareness campaign to appeal to local motorists to drive more slowly in the affected areas at night and early in the morning, while the migration is underway. First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service. During the breeding season toads have to navigate road traffic, walls, embankments, swimming pools, drains and storm water canals, and often many don’t survive. Breeding usually takes place during August, but has also been recorded in late July, September, and some breeding calls have even been heard in early October. The start of the season depends largely on rainfall and temperature and sometimes occurs during warmer weather followed by periods of rain. These variables make the work of volunteers even more difficult as only the toads know exactly when the breeding migration will take place. While breeding generally takes place in larger, more secure water bodies, urban development has caused changes to traditional breeding sites, restricting the foraging area and movement of toads. This reduces population size and interrupts gene flow between populations. Faraday says July and August are the most dangerous months for the toads. “This is when most of the mortalities happen, when they are hit by cars and killed,” she says. “Busy roads in the urban areas where they live are death traps, and this animal needs all the help it can get to survive. What we do is pick up as many of these little guys as we can.”Committed volunteers For a number of years committed volunteers and supportive communities in the Cape Town area have been working hard to ensure Western Leopard toads have a chance of survival in the wild. “This is something that untrained volunteers can do something about. It is incredibly rewarding,” Faraday says. “We have amazing volunteers.” About 18 suburbs and 100 volunteers are currently involved in the initiative. Ahead of each breeding season, volunteers receive training and they are rostered for four- hour shifts at a time to drive up and down the busiest roads, picking up toads. An important part of their work is also to keep records of the number of toads they see and rescue, noting whether they are dead, alive, male or female and their approximate age. This helps the toad conservation organisations assess the success of their work, and where they can improve. Noordhoek volunteers have gathered six years of records for the area, and neighbouring suburbs have been collecting data for three years. “We need at least 10 years of statistics to clearly determine the increase or decrease in Western Leopard toad numbers as well as to confirm suspected theories on breeding patterns,” says J’Kul.Rehabilitating breeding areas Recently the City of Cape Town’s Environmental Resource Management Department successfully rehabilitated a breeding site for the toads in Kommetjie, a suburb of Cape Town. The site, known as Skilpadsvlei, is a historic wetland area in Kommetjie that was drained and filled during the 1940s. It was the only known breeding site for the toad in the area. The City of Cape Town provided phased funding to revive the wetland, which included improving the open space around the area for public enjoyment, as well as restoring the ecological functioning of the system. Part of the project also ensured that the water quality was of a high standard and continuously monitored. The restoration of the wetland is an important step forward in the conservation of the endangered toads, and it seems the amphibians are taking to the rehabilitated area. In June 2012, Western Leopard toads were seen at the new site during the very first breeding season and in November toadlets were recorded. Unfortunately, two of the three adult toads that selected Skilpadsvlei as their preferred breeding site were later killed on the roads adjacent to the wetland, and this is why the work of volunteers patrolling roads is so important.Permanent solutions and creating awareness The Noordhoek Unpaid Toad Savers and Spots organisations are always in need of more volunteers to go out at night when the migration period begins. They also invite the public in all areas where the animals are found to inform them of any activity around the time when the breeding season is expected to start. However, Faraday says that they are looking into finding a more sustainable, long- term solution to protect the toads. “Ultimately we need something that is permanent,” she says. This year the Noordhoek volunteer organisation plans to test a small barrier system, involving sunken buckets that are to be installed on one of Noordhoek’s busiest roads. 21 January 2013 Conservation efforts by a group of dedicated volunteers and the City of Cape Town’s Environmental Resource Management Department are helping to protect South Africa’s endangered Western Leopard toads. Every year around August, when the Western Leopard toads’ breeding season begins, volunteers from the greater Cape Town area spend many hours ensuring that the little creatures survive their annual migration to breeding sites.center_img Saving as many toads as possible is a labour of love for the volunteers, who brave dangerous roads and cold, wet nights to help hundreds of these beautiful amphibians reach their watery breeding sites, and find their way home safely once the breeding season is over. Suzie J’Kul, a founder of Noordhoek Unpaid Toad Savers and its subsidiary, South Peninsula Outstanding Toad Savers (Spots), says volunteers and members of the public are contributing to citizen science to ensure the species survives. “Through volunteering we are saving an endangered species from becoming extinct, as well as ensuring that our children’s children will inherit this biodiversity that they very much deserve to be a part of,” J’Kul says. Every night, at 18h15 when it gets dark, the first team of volunteers heads out onto the roads, armed with flashlights and reflective gear, to look for toads. The first group works a four-hour shift until 22h15, and then the next team takes over. “It is hard work, but worth it,” says Spots coordinator Alison Faraday.Threats to survival Western Leopard toads (Amietophrynus Pantherinus) are classified as threatened on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List. They are endemic to a small area of the South Western Cape region, Cape Peninsula and Agulhas Plain. Also known as the August frog, they are easily identified by their beautiful markings of chocolate to reddish-brown patches with a bright yellow or black edging on a pink or grey background. Faraday says urban development, habitat degradation and road traffic are some of the biggest threats to the long-term survival of local populations.last_img read more

3 civilians injured in Kulgam blast

first_imgMilitants triggered a grenade blast in south Kashmir’s Kulgam on Wednesday morning, leaving three civilians injured.The police said militants made an abortive bid to throw a grenade towards the Police Station Dhamhal Hanjpora in Kulgam. “It missed the target and exploded on the roadside. Three civilians were injured,” said the police.The police said the injured, who suffered splinter wounds, were shifted to a hospital. The injured were identified as Ayaz Ahmad Bhat, Sabzar Ahmad Hajam and Bilal Ahmad Khatana.Meanwhile, the area was cordoned off after the attack. However, no militant was nabbed till last reports came in.last_img read more

Infogr.am wants you to work as a team on beautiful infographics

first_imgIf you’ve seen interactive infographics on the web recently, there’s a large chance they’re made using Infogr.am, a web based infographic making tool that allows you to simply put in data and generate beautiful graphical representations of boring numbers. Pies, charts, bars, galore!Even mainstream news sources like AlJazeera and The Guardian have used infogr.am and the best part is that the tool is completely free for all, with Pro and White Label accounts for added resources that can be purchased should you need be. Infogr.am has now incorporated a team based feature called “Infogr.am For Teams” where teammates can collaborate on their infographics and share resources on their Pro and White Label accounts. The feature has not been extended to the Free version of the tool yet.With Infogr.am For Teams, users who’ve signed up as a team will have a detailed history of all the changes made to the graphic file. The ability to have multiple members on the same account also means cost reductions for companies or cash strapped indie teams who need access to a well laid out and effective infographic generator.Even if you can’t use the Infogr.am For Teams feature due to cost or other limitations, the free web tool is still something that can be used irrespective of who you are, in schools, for projects, as a publishing tool and anywhere data needs some visual elements to spice it up. And who wouldn’t want that!last_img read more

15 days agoGenk president Croonen reveals Napoli made Sander Berge attempt

first_imgGenk president Croonen reveals Napoli made Sander Berge attemptby Carlos Volcano15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveGenk president Peter Croonen has revealed Napoli made an attempt for Sander Berge.The 21-year-old played in the 0-0 Champions League draw with Napoli a fortnight ago and is under contract until June 2021.“Napoli have very good directors who really appreciate our players and asked for information on our Norwegian midfielder Sander Berge,” Croonen told Radio Kiss Kiss.“I think the figures that have been mentioned in the media, around €20-25m, represents a fair valuation.” Berge was signed from Valerenga in January 2017 for just €2m. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Deaf Students to Benefit from Literacy Project

first_img Keynote speaker at the event, State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, commended the initiative, which, he said, will ensure greater inclusiveness for the deaf community. Story Highlights More than 400 deaf students in primary and secondary schools are to benefit from a US$2.7-million project aimed at increasing their literacy levels. More than 400 deaf students in primary and secondary schools are to benefit from a US$2.7-million project aimed at increasing their literacy levels.The three-year Partnership for Literacy Enhancement for the Deaf Project is being implemented by the Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).Launched on Wednesday (September 13) at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston, the three-year initiative is being rolled out in nine schools operated by the major service providers of deaf education in Jamaica.These are the Danny Williams School for the Deaf; Lister Mair/Gilby High School for the Deaf; and Excelsior Primary School Integrated Unit for the Deaf in Kingston; Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf – Kingston and Mandeville campuses; Jamaica Christian School for the Deaf, St. James; May Pen Unit for the Deaf, Clarendon; Port Antonio Unit for the Deaf, Portland; and St.Christopher’s School for the Deaf, St. Ann.A key objective is to facilitate the development of a Jamaican Sign Language (JSL) curriculum that will be incorporated in schools for the deaf by 2020.Keynote speaker at the event, State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, commended the initiative, which, he said, will ensure greater inclusiveness for the deaf community.He hailed the effort to have JSL as a subject in schools across the deaf community by 2020.“To achieve that means that you will have developed a curriculum that can be used in our schools for our hearing-impaired children and can be shared across all our schools. From our perspective at the Ministry, that is critical if we are to ensure that no child is left behind,” he said.Acting Mission Director for USAID, Rebecca Robinson, who brought greetings at the event, noted that the project will assist in developing the capacity of the hearing-impaired community, thereby enabling them to make a meaningful contribution to national development.“The evidence suggests that the deaf has been an underserved population with limited educational opportunities. The timing of this project is impeccable, as it seeks to address the factors that affect language development of deaf students and build a strong foundation for literacy and academic success. Also, it helps to enhance the skills of students, parents and teachers in JSL,” she said.The Partnership for Literacy Enhancement for the Deaf Project got under way in April 2017 and will run until April 2020.In addition to increasing the literacy levels of students and establishing a JSL curriculum, the project will also build the capacity of teachers and empower parents to effectively communicate with their children.One hundred educators of the deaf and 27 deaf culture facilitators/teacher aides serving the deaf community will receive support, and the project will also provide employment opportunities for deaf persons as tutors.The USAID provided a US$2.4-million grant for the undertaking with the remaining US$300,000 contributed by the JAD and its stakeholders.Operating since 1938, the JAD is a non-governmental organisation, which empowers deaf Jamaicans to become effective nation builders.Persons interested in learning JSL can contact the JAD at 970-1778/9, or visit www.jamdeaf.org.jm for more information. Launched on Wednesday (September 13) at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston, the three-year initiative is being rolled out in nine schools operated by the major service providers of deaf education in Jamaica.last_img read more

CBSA LOOKS FOR STUNT ACTORS TO PLAY SMUGGLERS BE STRUCK FOR RECRUIT

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Facebook Advertisement The Canada Border Services Agency is looking for a handful of stunt actors to be thrown down, handcuffed, searched and beaten to help train new recruits. – JONATHAN HAYWARD , THE CANADIAN PRESS file photo The Canada Border Services Agency is looking for a handful of stunt actors to be thrown down, handcuffed, searched and beaten to help train new recruits.The agency has posted bid documents online looking for a company to supply actors for the training centre in Rigaud, Que., between Ottawa and Montreal.The documents outline how the stunt actors will act out up to 15 situations a day, such as trying to smuggle drugs across the border in a car, to help the agency assess the skills of new border guards.center_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: The people hired can expect to be handcuffed, thrown, held down using “pain compliance techniques,” and hit by trainees’ fists, feet or batons.They also must avoid any personal relationships with the recruits or CBSA staff “in order to keep it at a professional level only.”Bidding for the one-year contract closes in early September, but the documents don’t list an expected price.The CBSA has yet to respond to questions posed to the agency this morning.It’s the second time this year that the agency has gone out looking for a company to supply it with actors, and it appears that some of the feedback from that earlier work has been incorporated into the new contract offer.For instance, the bidding company has to have at least 12 months experience over 10 years finding professional stunt actors, instead of the 36 months over five years after the CBSA was told the latter target would be difficult to hit.The government’s procurement website doesn’t list a contract awarded for the last offer, which closed in early April.JOB NOTICE LINKBY THE CANADIAN PRESS Twitterlast_img read more

Time is tight Indigenous child welfare legislation stalled due to complaints from

first_imgFormer Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott announces Canada’s plan to co-develop new child welfare legislation, as national Indigenous leaders look on. APTN file photo.Kenneth JacksonAPTN NewsThe Trudeau government is facing opposition from First Nations across the country on a draft of its child welfare legislation according to the grand chief of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians.Joel Abram said a draft of the proposed legislation was shared with a working group of First Nations about a week and a half ago.The next day the Trudeau government was told it wasn’t good enough and Abram said it looks to be more of a “feel good” bill.“We are all pretty clear on two parts,” said Abram Wednesday morning. “One is the jurisdiction and the other is having the funding fully legislated in there.”He couldn’t discuss details of the draft bill, however its intent is to hand over jurisdiction to First Nations and Abram said it falls short of that.“We are encouraging the government to let go of the wheel,” said Abram. “There’s nothing in there that is going to compel the government to fund (First Nations).”But since offering its complaints, Abram said they haven’t seen another draft and don’t expect to until it’s tabled in the House of Commons.They’ve been given a drop dead date of Feb. 18 for the bill to be tabled and still have time to reach royal assent. News of the complaints from First Nations was first reported by CBC Wednesday morning.“I hope it is not dead,” said Cindy Blackstock, who also got to see a draft of the bill based on her Canadian Human Rights Tribunal action that continues to fight for equal rights for First Nations children.“I hope it has the affirmation of self-determination and statutory base for substantively equitable funding included when it is released. We will have to see but I agree time is tight.”Talks between the government and leadership continues said Abram.Abram was trying to reach the Prime Minister’s Office Wednesday and Minister Seamus O’Regan was supposed to be talking to Ontario regional chief RoseAnne Archibald.He also said they thought the bill was going to be announced yesterday with the Indigenous Languages Act.A spokesperson with Indigenous Services Canada says the bill will be tabled shortly.“We are working diligently so that we can introduce Indigenous child and family services legislation shortly. However, we must also ensure that critical feedback from partners is incorporated.“This is important, and we want to make sure we get it right.”The legislation was first announced at a media conference in late November. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau then said in December to expect it in late January.It’s not known when the bill will be tabled.kjackson@aptn.calast_img read more

That Raptors Meltdown Was MindBoggling

Just when the Toronto Raptors finally looked like they’d exorcised their playoff demons against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Cavs once again found a way to haunt them. Despite not leading for a single second during regulation time, LeBron James and the Cavaliers beat Toronto 113-112 in overtime of Tuesday night’s Eastern Conference semifinal Game 1, handing the Raptors their ninth loss in 11 playoff games against Cleveland over the past three seasons.Much of the focus in the wake of Game 1 will be on Toronto’s blown opportunities to put the Cavs away — and rightly so. The Raptors led by as many as 14 points early in the game, and according to ESPN’s NBA win probability model, they had a 94 percent chance of winning when they held a 10-point edge with 9:58 to go in the fourth quarter. It was a prime moment for Toronto to prove that its Game 1 issues were really a thing of the past. (Before beating Washington in their first-round opener, the Raptors had lost 10 consecutive postseason Game 1s.) But the Raptors’ fourth-quarter meltdown only renewed doubts about Toronto’s true playoff potential.Toronto shot 5-for-25 (20 percent) from the field during the final period of regulation, including an agonizing 3-for-17 on shots in the restricted area. According to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, those 14 restricted-area misses were the most by any team in any quarter in the last 20 postseasons. The Raptors had eight second-chance opportunities during the last five minutes of regulation and failed to score on any of them, including missing four shots in the final seconds. After that, they needed James to miss a buzzer-beater just to force overtime.One of the saddest parts for Toronto was that it had spent the game’s first three quarters playing the type of offensive basketball that had made it look like a contender all season. The Raptors were the league’s third-best offensive team during the regular season (according to NBA Advanced Stats), averaging 111.0 points per 100 possessions. Through three quarters Tuesday night, they’d scorched Cleveland for 120.6 points per 100 possessions, with DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and even a renewed Jonas Valanciunas generating high-quality chances. But in the fourth quarter and overtime, Toronto’s offense cratered to 79.3 points per 100 possessions, time and again preventing them from putting the game away.And on the Cleveland side of the ball, there were signs that the Cavs are starting to rediscover the shooting touch that’s led to so much postseason success against the Raptors over the years. After knocking down only 32 percent of their three-pointers1Making 10 threes per game. in the first round against Indiana, Cleveland shooters hit 14, at a 40 percent clip, against Toronto on Tuesday. And that was with James going a paltry 1-for-8 from beyond the arc; Cavs not named LeBron made 48 percent of their threes. It was a big reversal from the first round, when we were wondering if James’s teammates would ever step up and make some of the shots he was creating for them. It was also a long-awaited return to the form that saw Cleveland hit 42 percent of its threes while burying the Raptors in the 2016 and 2017 playoffs.No doubt the Cavs looked bad against Indiana — at times, really bad. Outscored by a total of 40, they had the third-worst point margin for any postseason series winner in NBA history. But maybe Cleveland’s shooting just needed to reawaken itself: According to Second Spectrum’s quantified shot quality metric, on passes from James in Round 1, his teammates collectively shot for an effective field goal percentage that was 10.3 points below what we would expect based on their track records. That couldn’t last. (Although it should also be noted that, in Game 1 against Toronto, the Cavs shot 11.1 percentage points above expectations on that metric.)Of course, by the same token, the Raptors are probably not going to miss so, so many chippies around the basket again after Game 1. According to Second Spectrum, they “should” have shot for an effective field goal percentage 35.5 points higher than they actually did during the fourth quarter Tuesday night. Second Spectrum’s numbers also indicate that, on Toronto’s three missed tip-in chances near the end of regulation, there was a 95 percent chance at least one of them would go in — any of which would likely have been enough to secure the victory.Maybe that means these teams should settle in for a long series, once the luck evens out on each side. But Toronto has to be kicking itself about the missed opportunity to take early control of the series in Game 1. After working all season to get home-court advantage in a hypothetical series against Cleveland, Toronto threw it away in an astonishing flurry of fourth-quarter misses. Bad luck or not, that could end up helping the Cavs haunt the Raptors’ postseason dreams yet again.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

The Future of Productivity AI and Machine Learning

first_imgJuly 5, 2017 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The productivity and project management market is booming, and it’s continuing to evolve in new and exciting ways. I wanted to know what the future of artificial intelligence in project management would look like, so I reached out to founders, productivity experts and futurists who work in this space every day to ask what their predictions are for the next five and 10 years. Their answers were enlightening.We’ll use AI for decision support, not decision making.David Allen, the inventor of Getting Things Done, believes, ”Systems will get better at presenting the relevant data to optimize our experience in every situation — at the right place, at the right time. We need to think of productivity systems as supporting systems for our decision process.”Related: How to Prepare Employees to Work With AISo, we won’t yet be using AI to eliminate our decisions and automate them, but to enhance the ability to make a decision in any situation. I also think this is the next likely step for AI. Most people wouldn’t trust a computer to make decisions for them, but they do look for information to help make those decisions.Allen goes on to say, “Neither these new presentation forms nor trends like A.I. will make a decision for you. That won’t work. I see that A.I. can support your decisions but we still will use our heads to make decisions.”It’s not robots . . .When most people think of AI, they think of robots doing manual labor to get things done for us, whether it’s Rosie from The Jetsons or a robot on the assembly line at Ford. The issue I have with this is that this view is too limiting. Sure, robots will become intelligent, but so will everything else. The team behind the online video series In a Nutshell released a great explainer video about this.Right now, an app that will be able to recognize your motivation level and give you tasks that fit that level is not out of the question. Bots that can answer simple service questions and learn from the responses are already around, working with some success and some big failures.Related: Rethinking Chatbots: They’re Not Just for CustomersMark Mader, CEO at Smartsheet, thinks that thinking of AI as roving robots is missing the point, saying, “Looking further out, there’s no doubt that automation — don’t think robots, think removing mundane and unproductive work steps from your day — will increase. Machine learning will be able to predict what workers are trying to do and make their work easier. How? By automatically gathering the information they need to complete a task, populating forms and sharing them with the appropriate people.”I see a combination of both. Specifically in project management, I see a future where machines will be able to predict a change using real-time data and make changes accordingly. It’s the combination of bots and machine learning that holds the key: Think of an assembly line system pushing out barbecue equipment. The system will be able to predict that demand will increase due to an upcoming holiday and automatically tell the bots on the line to increase production. I’m not sure if there will be a human decision between them, but I think as we become more comfortable with the machines’ decisions, we’ll give them more control of the process.It’s my decision to make.AI is far from being human, let alone superhuman. As I pointed out, we’ve released machine learning bots with some pretty terrible results. Machines are not yet good at understanding context or sarcasm, so when we let them learn, they usually miss the mark.Using machines to help with a decision, however, seems like the only way forward for the moment. As a form of decision support, productivity expert Carl Pullein thinks that “machine learning and artificial intelligence [will move] towards creating productivity tools that can schedule your meetings and tasks for you and to be able to know what needs to be done based on your context, where you are and what needs to be done.”Related: Why Small Business Should Be Paying Attention to Artificial IntelligenceMachine learning enabled tools like Grammarly are already on the market, but as these decision-making aides become more well-known, they are moving into more complex areas. Think of it as your Facebook timeline algorithm or your spam filter, but for your to-do list.Just like education, access is the key to machine learning.To get a sense of where we are now, think of systems that are on and learning all of the time. Your computer browser talks to Google and Facebook and any number of companies, where what you’re doing, clicking, buying and beyond, is stored. Now with the recent trend of IoT, these things are moving away from our computers and cellphones and becoming part of our everyday lives. And gaining access to data along the way. Your smart fridge might be able to tell the local supermarket how much water you drink per week. If everyone in the local area has a smart fridge, that same supermarket would be able to make a better decision about how much water to keep stocked.Productivity psychologist Melissa Gratias sees this system working for us in our workplaces too. “Most apps and programs require the user to purposefully interface with the tool in order to use it. We will see more smart homes, smart cars and voice-activated entry points that allow the tool to be always available to the user, no matter where she is. She won’t have to stop what she’s doing to, for example, add something to her task list.”Related: Will a Robot Take My Job?So, not only will the supermarket know what to stock, but your fridge will know what to add to your shopping list for the next week. Automatically, through learned behavior.All the experts I spoke with agreed that decision support is likely the only way forward in the short term. Machines are being taught the decision preferences of humans, because they can’t discern context on their own. So, we need to educate machines on what it’s like to think like a human. Companies like Alphabet are already working on it, with projects like DeepMind at the forefront of AI and machine learning technologies. Others, like Elon Musk’s OpenAI, are working to make sure that humanity’s fears of a malevolent AI will never be realized. As we learn to trust these systems, adoption will quickly follow. And since they’re so universal, they will surely touch all industries. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Free 6 min readlast_img read more