Top 10 FinTech trends that could influence the banking industry

Contributed by S. Sundararajan, Co-Founder and Executive Director, i-exceed technology solutions

S. Sundararajan, Co-Founder and Executive Director, i-exceed technology solutions

Through 2017, we have seen technological advancements, new regulatory policies, and ever demanding customers reshape the banking industry’s landscape.

For some time now, incumbents of the financial sector have been under pressure to address the demands of the well-informed millennial customer while staying relevant and profitable at the same time. Gone are the days when banks viewed FinTech companies as disruptors; today, they are partners that are pairing up to take on the challenges of a digital first world.

The Indian FinTech scene comes with an added extra; new initiatives by the government to boost financial inclusion and promote a cashless society have opened up windows of opportunities for FinTech companies where first mover advantages are tremendous. As a result of the government’s initiatives, there has been a sharp increase in consumer adoption of FinTech. EY, one of the big four consulting firms, in their FinTech Adoption Index for 2017 states that 52% of India’s digitally active consumers are adopting FinTech; a figure that is only second to China’s 69% which is the global highest.

In these times of uncertainty, only one thing is certain – change. Below are some of the FinTech trends that could become major game changers in 2018.

  1. Next-Gen Chatbots – 2017 saw several major banks in India such as HDFC, ICICI, and YES Bank, amongst others, adopting chatbots for supporting customer interactions. Currently, these chatbots are said to possess the intelligence of a 2-3-year old. However, as machines do not suffer from physical or learning fatigue, the evolution of a chatbot could be best described as more exponential than linear. So, in 2018, we could expect more chatbots to be deployed with improved quality of interactions, speed of responses, and accuracy in decision making.
  1. Machine Learning – Banks in 2018 will start adopting new regression models powered by Machine Learning to deliver better offerings. The brightest data scientists will be involved in this delivery and they will be aided by insights into customer behavior, expectations and responses. These insights will be gained by adopting big data tools and will enable banks to predict customer needs and meet them in a customized manner.
  2. Blockchain– As NITI Aayog is creating ‘IndiaChain’, India’s largest blockchain network, to reduce fraud, speed up contract enforcement, and increase transparency, it’s clear that blockchain is no more the elephant in the room that no one is willing to address. Several major players have already begun pilot projects to measure the feasibility of adopting blockchain into their ecosystems. As Blockchain is virtually unhackable due to time stamps that mark a data entry in a distributed ledger, banks will explore options to leverage the power of blockchain to transform backend operations.
  1. Smart Workflows – With the help of embedded AI aiding the backend operations of banks, they will be able to quickly identify bottlenecks in their operation workflows and bring in significant improvements in process efficiencies.
  2. Automated Personalization – Banks will leverage the power of FinTech to personalize the offerings that users see on all their devices. Banks will change the appearance of apps based on actual usage. This will make users feel more connected with banks and it will also set the stage for efficient self-service. There will also be advancements in providing pre-filled data to users based on their previous interaction history, preferences and banking habits.
  3. Open Banking– With initiatives such as UPI and AEPS, banking will become more ‘open’ in 2018. With more APIs exposed by banks, the process of carrying out payments and other banking transactions would be greatly quickened as well as simplified.
  1. Physical and Digital Merger– FinTech has made it possible for banks to reach customers who are data rich but credit poor. In a country like India, where so many people still don’t have access to banking facilities, FinTech works better by offering a ‘phygital’ (a combination of physical and digital) experience. The objective here is effective self-service that enables customers to walk into a branch and make use of basic automated services. Canara Bank has successfully implemented such a system with CANDI, and more banks will follow suit in 2018 to remove the boundaries between physical and digital banking.
  2. Extended Digital Coverage – Until now, most digital banking solutions have been primarily targeted at retail customers. In 2018, banks will extend digital coverage to other areas such as corporate banking and SME banking and also transform their internal operations to derive the best out of digital transformation initiatives.
  1. Agile Architecture – Digital solutions are here to stay and as timelines shrink, budgets tighten, and lifecycles shorten, banks will follow new architecture paradigms such as micro apps, micro services and more. These will enable banks to introduce changes significantly faster with minimal impact on existing deployments and services.
  1. Security – Data is the new oil and with so much data being generated every second, hackers are constantly devising ways to acquire it. As most cyber security measures up till now have been reactive rather than preventive in nature, banks will now begin to adopt additional measures to ensure data security at all stages using a combination of encryption, OTPs, biometric authentication and more.

As the Indian FinTech space grows to reach an expected $2.4 billion by 2020, 2018 will be a critical year in that journey. Customers are increasingly open to banking innovations driven by technology, government regulations are leading the charge, and private players are making major investments. This is leading to greater financial inclusion as everyone gets access to advanced banking services and a wide range of financial offerings. These trends are sure to play a key role in this transition.

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Students find industrial tech programs beneficial

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin’s Industrial and Petroleum Technology program has proven a boon to students with busy lives who want to earn a bachelor’s degree or get ahead in their careers.

Although she isn’t expected to graduate until August 2018, Ryan Cavazos will start an internship with Oncor in December. She will earn a bachelor of science in industrial technology with a minor in business.

A stay-at-home mom, Cavazos was going for a bachelor’s in management before, but wanted to go for something a little more technical with more math and science. Cavazos, like many other industrial and petroleum technology students, is taking all of her courses online.

Her internship at Oncor will be as an associate utility designer, which pertains to expanding the electrical grid and connecting new development to it.

“It’s allowing me to work full time and get experience,” Cavazos said. “I’ve really enjoyed going online.”

She added that the professors have all been “incredibly helpful.”

“They’re there when you need them. … They do get to know you. They do remember you. Even though it’s online, you still get a personal feel for the professors,” Cavazos said.

Robert Morrison, information systems assistant professor of business and technology and coordinator of Industrial and Petroleum Technology, said the Bachelor of Science in industrial technology and Bachelor of Arts and Science industrial technology track are the degrees offered.

Morrison said the program has 120 to 150 students.

Of those, 70 to 75 percent of the students are not in West Texas, since the course offering is fully online. There also are students from other parts of Texas, California, Nevada, Michigan, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Twenty to 30 percent are in the Odessa-Midland area. Those who don’t live in West Texas are residing in Houston, Dallas or San Antonio. In one case, there is a U.S. Coast Guard commander stationed in Saudi Arabia.

“I think we have fewer than 10 traditional students who came out of high school directly to our program,” Morrison said. “Currently, the vast majority are working adults who have either earned an associate degree or have accumulated a significant number of college hours.”

He added that it’s not unusual for students to have picked up credits from multiple colleges.

“We also have a good number of students who already have a … bachelor’s degree in some area that’s not business or industry related,” Morrison said.

Morrison said the degrees focus on management and it can translate to hospitals, universities, construction companies, trucking companies and the oil industry.

Supply chain management is a required course and logistics also is offered. A new course that Morrison developed is global logistics. The course, which will start in the fall, was requested by local industry.

One of the attractions of Morrison’s programs is that his students get jobs. He has students who are working in a variety of jobs while they’re studying, but they want to advance their careers.

Morrison said he can’t think of anyone during his two-year tenure that didn’t have a job or one lined up upon graduation.

Randy Losoya, who lives in Alvin, will graduate in December with a bachelor of science in industrial technology. He started his courses through UTPB in 2015 and has worked in chemical plants for a little more than 20 years and served in the Air Force.

Losoya said the courses have enhanced what he already doing in his job and would allow him to move up when he’s ready. He said it has already benefited him.

The nice thing about online courses, Losoya said, is that they allow you to pace yourself, but you do have to turn your assignments in on time.

Babie Switzer of Odessa has just started her courses after taking her basics and will finish with a bachelor of applied science in industrial technology. She hopes to graduate toward the end of 2018 or 2019.

An AutoCad drafter, Switzer has two associate degrees from Odessa College. One was in drafting technology and the other in surveying technology. She obtained an internship with a land surveying company that led to a job.

“It’s interesting. They’re all eight-week classes, so they’re very fast paced. You’ve got make to keep up with it and not get behind,” Switzer said.

Ruth Campbell covers education for the Odessa American. Reach her at 432-333-7765 or 432-333-7765 or rcampbell@oaoa.com

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NYUAD exhibition shows the global influence of the Gulf's cities

Last week, as the UAE ­recovered from the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi and braced itself for Dubai Design Week’s exhibitions, conferences, workshops, graduate shows, fairs, ­pop-up boutiques and the selfie-­inducing Prologue, a sculpture that features more than 8,000 topaz-coloured Swarovski crystals, a very different type of exhibition opened in Abu Dhabi.

Little more than a series of photographs accompanied by statistics, infographics and brief texts displayed in the Project Space at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), Learning from Gulf Cities appears modest but its scope and implications could not be more profound.

“See the Gulf, See the World” proclaims a panel while setting out the show’s basic premise: that rather than being exceptional, the cities of the Arabian Gulf are actually extreme architectural laboratories and lenses through which broader international urban trends can be seen.

“Gulf cities are designed and engineered by actors near and far and then, in turn, replicated elsewhere. They are very much part of the global circulation of ideas, investments, designs, technologies, and people”, it continues.

“Rather than celebrate – or simply ridicule and deplore – we look for lessons that are relevant for other cities in the world”, the text concludes, aligning Learning from Gulf Cities with the project that not only provided the show with its inspiration but also with its name.

In 1972, the architects Robert Venturi, Denise Scott-Brown and Steven Izenour produced one of the most controversial texts of 20th century architectural history, Learning from Las Vegas, an urban study that dared to consider the Las Vegas strip on its own terms and without prejudice, looking for meaning in a place considered monstrous by architects and moralists alike.

“We are a part of the same scholarly tradition,” explains the veteran academic Harvey Molotch, who founded the current project alongside Davide Ponzini, a professor of urban planning at the Politecnico di Milano.

“There was a similarly dualistic reading of Las Vegas – the spectacle of the building and the shows and the suspicion,” he says, drawing parallels between historic and contemporary attitudes to Nevada, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

“The big thrust is to restrain yourself from the presumption that Gulf cities are the product of some diabolical plot and from the adulation of their spectacle and to pull back and to start to encourage people to look at Gulf cities in a different manner.”

Molotch, a professor of sociology and metropolitan studies at New York University, was inspired to find out more about Gulf cities following a brief teaching stint at NYUAD in 2014.

“Coming in from the outside, I became extremely curious about the mechanisms that hold this place together: politically, economically and culturally. I found the whole place puzzling, so I started trying to learn as much as I could about the region and Davide’s was one of the articles that captured my attention,” Molotch says of the colleague with whom he has since formed an “intellectual marriage”.

“There is a difficulty in interpreting so many things here because they do not match with any urban theory that we have encountered before and we both realised that we needed different intellectual tools,” Ponzini explains.

“We also wanted to reframe the work that so many Gulf scholars have been doing by saying that Gulf cities are extreme, but they are not exceptional and to try to connect what local area specialists know about Gulf cities to a more global understanding of urbanisation at large.”

It wasn’t long before Molotch and Ponzini were joined by the third member of their urban trifecta, Michele Nastasi, an Italian architectural photographer who has not only been researching the region for more than a decade, but who also worked with Ponzini on the publication that alerted the academics to each other in the first place, Starchitecture: Scenes, Actors, and Spectacles in Contemporary Cities (2016).

In its particular combination of Ponzini’s words with Nastasi’s images, not only did Starchitecture help to set a visual and methodological precedent for Learning From Gulf Cities but it also helped to identify many of the locations, companies and individuals who now feature in the NYUAD show, which compares ­carefully composed images of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha and Riyadh with pictures of London, New York, Barcelona, Baku and Milan.

A hugely experienced ­architectural photographer, Nastasi is at pains to contrast the kind of images he has made for Learning From Gulf Cities with the more usual photographs that depict architecture in the region.

“The idea of representation is crucial. Most architectural photography is paid for by the architects who have designed the buildings and with the crisis of editorial work in magazines and reviews most websites and blogs don’t have the budget to commission photographers,” the photographer says.

“They just publish whatever the architects send them and that’s a problem because the images are becoming more and more promotional, so this is an effort to separate myself from the market and the system and to develop the eye of a passer-by,” he adds.

In a series of images that contrast panoramas with street views and that record buildings in their social as well as their physical context, Nastasi not only attempts to illustrate the concepts and ideas developed by Ponzini and Molotch, but also develops a thesis about the role images can play in promoting a more critical approach to urban life.

“I wanted to try and see the architecture in its place with all of the contradictions of those places. It’s not so ­difficult, you just have to widen your view and concentrate on the multiplicity of elements that make up a city and to give you the sense of being there. It’s more than the building, it’s the environment, there are the people, the public space, the streets,” he says.

“We have to take care about what images are doing to us. Trying to deconstruct the rules of images and how they are used and circulated is an act of consciousness about our built environment and society.”

A photograph of Emaar Square in Istanbul is a case in point. Featuring a landmark tower designed by Foster and Partners, the development includes an Emaar Square Mall, the Address Hotel and residences and the kind of standard retail units, fountains and finishes that make it difficult to locate. A large outdoor screen dominates the square and carries an image of Downtown Dubai, which is proclaimed as “The Centre of Now”.

As well as Istanbul, the exhibition also includes other images of what Nastasi describes as a “placeless geography”.

“The idea is that there is a circulation of money, investments, ideas and designs but what I am trying to stress as a photographer, is that there is also a circulation of images and that these images also help to drive the transformation of cities,” the photographer insists.

“Sometimes you will hardly recognise where you are. This is something that is a consequence of only concentrating on images and the surface of things. If you see a skyline from afar, it is a spectacle that gives you the idea of a modern city but that is completely different from the impression you get when you enter the city and pass through the streets.”

Several micro-studies in Learning From Gulf Cities investigate the spread of these increasingly common urban features, an effective denial of unique notions of place that has been described by the architectural historian Nasser Rabbat as “Dubai Syndrome”.

In Similar Forms, Different Landings, the exhibition looks at the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that architectural designs appear and reappear around the world, belying the claims to sensitivity and specificity often made by contemporary architects.

Building on research they conducted for their Starchitect project, Ponzini and Nastasi compare Atelier Jean Nouvel’s 38-storey Torre Agbar in Barcelona, whose location they approve of, with the firm’s 46-storey Burj Doha, proposing that buildings travel, but landmarks cannot.

“Meaningful buildings and places need to be designed and developed and discussed and eventually redesigned for specific places and for the communities that exist in those places. That’s a meaningful way of making cities,” Ponzini insists, ignoring the fact that even when a building is developed, it still has to function as a piece of architecture to be a success.

In January, the Torre Agbar was sold for the second time in three years as it continues to be the focus of disappointed tenants who have complained of “dirty windows, an awkward donut-shaped floor plan and inoperable sun blinds”, just come of the gripes reported the online design publication, Dezeen.

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Another panel investigates three schemes by the architects Broadway Malyan, whose 2007 design for waterside apartment buildings at Al Bandar in Abu Dhabi, which was completed in 2011, then reappeared at Battersea Reach in London in 2014 at the same time as a similar scheme in Port Baku.

The UK scheme had actually been designed first but had taken 14 years to come to fruition, whereas the project in Azerbaijan, which was more than 10 times as large, took only five years from appointment to completion.

“Gulf cities act as urban ‘test beds’ for architectural, engineering and design experiments,” a panel in the exhibition states. “Encouragement comes from ‘fast-track governance’, ready capital, and low-cost labour; citizen opposition does not stand in the way.”

After two years of research, workshops in Abu Dhabi, New York and Milan and exhibitions at NYU and now NYUAD, the team behind Learning From Gulf Citiesis now on the verge of producing a book, published by New York University Press, that will draw on the work of some of the 50 or so academics and professionals who have contributed to the project thus far.

At its best, Learning From Gulf Cities combines research into issues such as the international real estate investment and development patterns of bodies such as the Qatar Investment Authority, Emaar and DP World and illustrates how these have tangible and increasingly international urban effects.

When these are combined with Nastasi’s images, the effect can be as alarming as it is revelatory.

“The exhibition is not here to celebrate Gulf cities and it’s not here to deplore them,” says Ponzini. “We want to suspend judgement in order to come back with more refined ideas.”

Unfortunately, despite all of the attempts at objectivity and nuance, the exhibition points to a number of incredibly hard and often unpalatable lessons that design professionals and developers will most likely want to forget.

Learning From Gulf Cities runs at the Project Space at NYUAD until December 6

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Elodie Boutique provides warmth, security

John Kennettjkennett@mdn.net

Published 2:03 am, Wednesday, November 22, 2017

  • Christina Schumacher, owner of Elodie Boutique, poses at the storefront, which is located in the Bell Plaza at 219 E. Wackerly St. (Photo provided/kdphotostudio)
  • Christina Schumacher, owner of Elodie Boutique, poses at the storefront, which is located in the Bell Plaza at 219 E. Wackerly St. (Photo provided/kdphotostudio)

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Christina Schumacher, owner of Elodie Boutique, poses at the storefront, which is located in the Bell Plaza at 219 E. Wackerly St. (Photo provided/kdphotostudio)

Christina Schumacher, owner of Elodie Boutique, poses at the storefront, which is located in the Bell Plaza at 219 E. Wackerly St. (Photo provided/kdphotostudio)

Elodie Boutique provides warmth, security  

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Christina Schumacher has been to some of the top fashion centers in the world — Paris, London and New York — in her pursuit of a career in the fashion industry. However, the Midland native decided that her hometown was the place to be and has taken that worldwide experience and opened Elodie Boutique, 219 E. Wackerly St., in the Bell Plaza.

“Paris has always inspired me, just the fashion and architecture,” Schumacher said. “I got to go the year after I graduated from college and it inspired me that much more.”

While thinking of a name for the boutique, Schumacher took some additional inspiration from the French. In French, Elodie means “foreign riches.”

“When it came to finally opening the store, I wanted to tie into the French and make people in Midland feel like they’ve stepped into something else,” Schumacher said.

As customers enter Elodie, they will find handpicked and unique styles at affordable prices, including women’s clothing, accessories, shoes and home décor.

“I like hitting on trends. But, I’ve also learned that you need to be more timeless with some of your pieces. So, we have the staples, trends and timeless,” Schumacher said.

The open floor plan and displays provide a beautiful shopping experience, including a play area for children.

“I couldn’t have done it without God, my husband, Jared Schumacher, my family and close friends,” she said. “Being a team, my husband and I have said, ‘Teamwork makes the dream work.'”

Besides deriving her inspiration from top fashion centers around the world, Schumacher has also relied upon her faith.

“I have a scripture in the store, ‘She is clothed in strength and dignity she laughs without fear of the future,’ from Proverbs 31:25,” Schumacher said.

That scripture is a huge piece of what motivates the Northwood University graduate, who holds a degree in fashion merchandising and marketing.

“I do everything with laughter and try to always live out the adventure and not let fear hold me back. I want all women to feel when they step into Elodie that they aren’t in Midland anymore, but a safe and warm place where they can be clothed with confidence,” Schumacher said.

Any woman from high school into the 70s can experience the warmth and security of the boutique.

“When people hear the word, ’boutique,’ they immediately think it’s going to be pricey,” Schumacher said. “You can walk out of here with a whole outfit under $100. I wanted it where people could come in and get a whole look, or get a whole outfit and not break the bank.”

Hours for the store are: Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and closed on Sunday.

To contact the store, call 989-486-9050 or email elodie.boutique219@gmail.com. People may also follow Elodie on Facebook at

www.facebook.com/elodieboutique or Instagram: elodieboutique

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Hotel Bühelwirt / Pedevilla Architects

The green color shade of the blackened wooden facade is influenced by the dark-green, or often black forest tinge, which seem to blend nature and topography with the building. All rooms are reduced on the essential, their view is orientated to the mountains. Characteristic elements of the local building typology were translated and interpreted.

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The global construction toys market estimated valuation is US$6694.7 Mn by the end of 2017

NEW YORK, Nov. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

Global Construction Toys Market: Overview

The report on the global construction toys market offers in-depth insights into key market dynamics, detailed raw material sourcing strategy, supply chain dynamics and cost structure, and recent product innovations. The study provides a critical evaluation of various trends affecting the demand among children of different ages and evaluates the factors expected to open up exciting avenues in the coming years. The research presents a detailed analysis of trends affecting the share and size of regional markets and highlights the key factors driving various product types. In addition, the study takes a closer look at the market demand in various sales channel and explores the competitive scenario for these channels in major regions. The evidence-based insights help market participants to ascertain the competitive intensity over the forecast period (2017–2022)

Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05210082

The global construction toys market estimated valuation is US$6,694.7 Mn by the end of 2017. The market is projected to clock a CAGR of 6.3% during 2017–2022 and reach US$9,089.7 by the end of the forecast period.

Global Construction Toys Market: Dynamics

The global construction toys market report offers a detailed assessment of notable drivers and restraining factors, prominent trends, and competitive landscape. It provides an insight into the share and size of various product segments and material types across different age-groups and the factors influencing their demand in various regional markets. The study offers a comparative analysis of the changing share of these segments by capturing year-over-year (YoY) growth statistics during the historical period of 2012–2017.

The demand for construction toys is mainly driven by their vast cognitive and intellectual benefits among kids of various age groups. Parents and teachers recognize the importance of these for fostering spatial and creative skills among pre-school kids. In addition, the rising use of construction toys among adult kids for boosting their formal learning capabilities is a key factor accentuating the market. In recent years, a number of toy manufacturers have focused on bringing new shapes and design options that allow kids to create an array of innovative constructions. This is expected to open a number of exciting avenues for market players to capitalize on during the forecast period.

Global Construction Toys Market: Segmentation

The report segments the global construction toys market on the basis of product type, age group, sales channel, material, and region.

Based on product type, the report segments the market into architecture, traditional blocks and plates, educational, tinker toys, and motors and trains. Of these, the traditional blocks and plates segment dominates the market and is expected to retain its lead throughout the forecast period. The segment is expected to rise at the leading absolute growth annually over the assessment period. The growth of the segment is mainly fueled by the vastly rising demand of construction toys based on traditional blocks and plates for toddlers.

On the basis of age group, the report segments the market into 2-3, 3-4, 5-8, 8-10, 11-14, and above 14 years. Based on sales channel, the report divides the overall market into hyper/super market, e-commerce, franchised outlets, departmental stores, and others.

Based on type of material used to make toys, the report segments the market into plastic, metal, wood, and others.

Based on region, the report segments the global market into Latin America, North America, the Middle East and Africa (MEA), Europe, Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ), and Japan. Of these, the APEJ holds the leading revenue share of the global market and is projected to retain its lead throughout the assessment period. The growth is primarily driven by the burgeoning demand for construction toys among kids of all age groups.

Companies profiled in the report are:

The report offers an elaborate profiling of key players, the strategies adopted by them to consolidate their shares, and revenue share and size along the forecast period. Some of the key players profiled in the study are LEGO, Vtech, Mattel, Inc., Hasbro, Bandai Co., Ltd., Mega Bloks, Knex, Melissa & Doug, Meccano, and Gebr. Märklin & Cie. GmbH.

Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05210082

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InfiniBand Accelerates the World's Fastest Supercomputers

BEAVERTON, Ore., Nov. 21, 2017 — The InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA), a global organization dedicated to maintaining and furthering the InfiniBand specification, today highlighted the latest TOP500 List, which reports the world’s first and fourth fastest supercomputers are accelerated by InfiniBand. The results also show that InfiniBand continues to be the most used high-speed interconnect on the TOP500 List, reinforcing its status as the industry’s leading high performance interconnect technology. The updated list reflects continued demand for InfiniBand’s unparalleled combination of network bandwidth, low latency, scalability and efficiency.

InfiniBand connects 77 percent of the new High Performance Computing (HPC) systems added since the June 2017 list, eclipsing the 55 percent gain from the previous six month period. This upward trend indicates increasing InfiniBand usage by HPC system architects designing new clusters to solve larger, more complex issues. Additionally, InfiniBand is the preferred fabric of the leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deep Learning systems currently featured on the list. As HPC demands continue to evolve, especially in the case of AI and Deep Learning applications, the industry can rely on InfiniBand to meet their rigorous network performance requirements and scalability needs.

The latest TOP500 List also featured positive developments for RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) technology. All 23 systems running Ethernet at 25Gb/s or higher are RoCE capable. We expect the number of RoCE enabled systems on the TOP500 List to rise as more systems look to take advantage of advanced high-speed Ethernet interconnects for further performance and efficiency gains.

“InfiniBand being the preferred interconnect for new HPC systems shows the increasing demand for the performance it can deliver.  Its place at #1 and #4 are excellent examples of that performance,” said Bill Lee, IBTA Marketing Working Group Co-Chair. “Besides of delivering world-leading performance and scalability, InfiniBand guarantees backward and forward compatibility, ensuring users highest return on investment and future proofing their data centers.”

The TOP500 List (www.top500.org) is published twice per year and ranks the top supercomputers worldwide based on the LINPACK benchmark rating system, providing valuable statistics for tracking trends in system performance and architecture.

About the InfiniBand Trade Association

The InfiniBand Trade Association was founded in 1999 and is chartered with maintaining and furthering the InfiniBand and the RoCE specifications. The IBTA is led by a distinguished steering committee that includes Broadcom, Cray, HPE, IBM, Intel, Mellanox Technologies, Microsoft, Oracle and QLogic. Other members of the IBTA represent leading enterprise IT vendors who are actively contributing to the advancement of the InfiniBand and RoCE specifications. The IBTA markets and promotes InfiniBand and RoCE from an industry perspective through online, marketing and public relations engagements, and unites the industry through IBTA-sponsored technical events and resources. For more information on the IBTA, visit www.infinibandta.org.


Source: InfiniBand Trade Association

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13-year-old Indian AI developer vows to train 100000 coders

The youth must be equipped with coding and algorithm skills to operate Artificial Intelligence technologies that already occupy big part of modern lives, urged 13-year-old AI Developer.

Tanmay Bakshi, the youngest IBM Watson Developer and neural network architect made it his mission to reach 100,000 aspiring coders to help them innovate and learn along their journey of coding. 

Speaking during the first day of the Knowledge Summit, the Indian teenager said to meet expectations and demand of AI that plays critical part of our lives, more young people are needed to work on the backend and fill up thousands of jobs that remain vacant.

“There’s a lack of resources for beginners who want to elevate knowledge of coding to next level of AI and Deep Learning. While knowledge and technology itself is everywhere, the resources to use that technology isn’t, so this gap needs to be filled,” said Bakshi

The teenager, based in Canada, is a coach at the Fourth Industrial Revolution Organization whose goal is to teach youth specific skills identified by institute of the future for effective participation in future workplaces. So far, he has reached 5,200 young aspiring coders.

“These skills are critical to our future and we are trying to get these skills out for everyone,” said Bakshi, author of textbook on the programming language called “Swift” for beginners. With hundreds of data science jobs and neural network architecture available, Bakshi said the appropriate training and skills are required to fill these vacancies.

Important of collaboration between humans and robots

On the contrary, he said, AI will actually help open up hundreds of new jobs.

“AI will never overpower humans due to its ability to make naïve mistakes that humans cannot make. Since AI isn’t biological and doesn’t have hundreds of trillions of connections that humans have, it doesn’t own enough abstract or deep enough thinking to replace humans,” noted Bakshi.

At the same time, humans are also capable of making mistakes that AI would never make. “These machines have the ability to make unbiased decisions based on information it is given, which tends to be more accurate that our decisions as humans. On the long run, this will prevent massive mistakes from happening in medicine and healthcare, for example, which can impact someone’s life,” said Bakshi.

AI, in fact, must be used as a tool to make our lives easier. Bakshi emphasized on bringing powerful collaboration of man and machine to the workplaces worldwide, which is what “Computational Thinking” is about.

“The reason we are afraid of AI is because we aren’t in the backend yet to take a look at how it works. If we are controlling it, we will be much more comfortable when we see what it’s capable of doing in making our lives easier,” said Bakshi. “We will have many jobs controlling and training AI because machines cannot speak for themselves.”

Currently working on a book about simple beginning to Deep Learning with IBM Watson, the young author is proving his point strong by developing AI projects to improve security, business and healthcare field.

His upcoming AI projects include facial recognition systems for security, a crisis-detecting system in businesses and developing cognitive technologies to help communication among people with special needs.

sherouk@khaleejtimes.com

 

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Ananda House / IBUKU

A simple stone gateway marks the entrance to the house. The gateway frames three young block palms surrounded by a corridor of green that cascades down the land. Sunlight pours into this east-facing slope in the morning when there is still a touch of dew on the leaves, and in late afternoon the lost fingers of golden light angle down through the fronds. A stone pathway winds along the contours of this terraced garden. Pathways branch off the main stone path to left and right at intervals along the contours, leading to two delicate multi-level structures, perched like birds that have nestling into the slope. The curving leaf-shape roofs sweep low around the sides, and under them you can see a glimpse of glass which reflects the green of the garden, and white curtains flowing. These are the private bedrooms, and at the front of each is a private balcony pointing east towards the valley.

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