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Ghanaians celebrate Christmas too late –Independence Avenue decorator says

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Ghanaians are said to be commencing the celebrations of the Christmas festivities too late, this is according to Afi Amoro, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Jandel Limited, the name behind the decoration and lighting up of the Independence Avenue Street to the Children’s Park in Accra.The development, according to her gives a short window for the euphoria as well as prevents the country from maximising the potential economic value that the Christmas brand presents.She is therefore calling for the need to consider the social and economic value that the birth of Christ presents in addition to its religious significance in order to package that brand well to create wealth for all. The incorporation of the social, economic and religious values is expected to bring greater bonding and joy in the country, create job opportunities for people as well as a season to reflect on the deeds of the Saviour.Speaking exclusively to News Ghana late Thursday, Madam Amoro said, “Over the years, Christmas has changed in its format so to speak. Yes, it is about religion, but it is also about social celebration and also about economic value. I have been looking holistically at the three values and studying the whole concept in Ghana and discovered that people are not leveraging on this brand and they are starting celebrations of this a little too late in my opinion. For instance last year, the Christmas lighting of buildings and all that came up around 21st, 22nd that is a very short window for euphoria for people to pick up and go with that flow.”The Jandel CEO emphasized that certain non-religious and non-Christian countries are so much immersed into the celebration of Christmas because of the numerous economic benefits hence have packaged the festivities much better of which their various countries are deriving so much.“I have done case studies and surprisingly, non-religious countries or I will say people or countries that are not attached to that phenomenon of Christ birth are the ones celebrating Christmas the most. I have seen fantastic decorations all over the city of Moscow, I’ve seen in Dubai, I’ve seen in Amman in Jordan. These are Muslim countries, why are they into the celebration? They are not celebrating Christmas, they are lurching on for the economic value and this is where I am driving towards,” she said.Her outfit, she observed decided to take advantage of the opportunity that Christmas presents to decorate and light up the stretch at the Independence Avenue here in the capital all the way to the Children’s Park to provide a conducive environment where people can go with their families and have fun as well as create wealth for all to enjoy in the country.IMG 20191227 WA0007IMG 20191227 WA0009It must be emphasized that Jandel Limited, apart from their regular staff has engaged the services of a total of one hundred and twenty (120) artisans just this period –electricians, welders, carpenters, tailors, drivers among others who have had the opportunity of being trained in the creation of Christmas trees, lighting among others.What is fascinating about Jandel is that they resorted to the use of local materials in their work except the digital trees but even with that they used their welders to do the metal work.The CEO disclosed to News Ghana Jandel have had enquiries from other regions and was thinking of extending such decorations and street lighting to other parts of the country but urged others to come on board to change the way Christmas is celebrated in the country.IMG 20191227 WA0010She further hinted her outfit has already began preparations towards next year’s Christmas festivities.“I’m telling you I’ve already started building stuff for 2020 which is totally different from this. My imagination is just running because it is my passion and I feel more invigorated because of the joy that I see on the faces of the people who visit there,” Madam Amoro stated.She commended the Accra Mayor, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, the Managing Directors for Ecobank Ghana and Stanchart, as well as Group CEO and Co-founder of Databank, Mr. Keli Gadzekpo, Mrs Norkor Duah, CEO of Advantage Group, Rigworld and ECG for the various roles they played in seeing her dream become a reality. Enditem

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How to Be More Confident on Camera as a Youtuber

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CONFIDENCE is very important. The more confident you appear, the more viewers will listen to you. (more…)

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Graduate who went viral for begging for a job with a placard says he’s received 50 offers since

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Isaac Kwame Addae, a young unemployed graduate who took to the streets with a placard, looking for a job, says he  has been offered opportunities by at least  50 different firms. (more…)

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Meta’s AI AI machine translation research helps break language barriers

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Today, Meta announced that it has built and open sourced ‘No Language Left Behind’ NLLB-200, a single AI model that is the first to translate across 200 different languages, including 55 African languages with state-of-the-art results. Meta is using the modelling techniques and learnings from the project to improve and extend translations on Facebook, Instagram, and Wikipedia.

 

In an effort to develop high-quality machine translation capabilities for most of the world’s low-resource languages, this single AI model was designed with a focus on African languages. They are challenging from a machine translation perspective. AI models require lots and lots of data to help them learn, and there’s not a lot of human translated training data for these languages. For example, there’s more than 20M people who speak and write in Luganda but examples of this written language are extremely difficult to find on the internet.

 

We worked with professional translators for each of these languages to develop a reliable benchmark which can automatically assess translation quality for many low-resource languages. We also work with professional translators to do human evaluation too, meaning people who speak the languages natively evaluate what the AI produced. The reality is that a handful of languages dominate the web, so only a fraction of the world can access content and contribute to the web in their own language. We want to change this by creating more inclusive machine translations systems – ones that unlock access to the web for the more than 4B people around the world that are currently excluded because they do not speak one of the few languages content is available in.

Read Also: Impressive! Ghanaian Rapper Dr. Pushkin Releases New App & Book ahead of “Outlandish” Album

“It’s impressive how much AI is improving all of our services. We just open-sourced an AI model we built that can translate across 200 different languages — many of which aren’t supported by current translation systems. We call this project No Language Left Behind, and the AI modelling techniques we used are helping make high quality translations for languages spoken by billions of people around the world. To give a sense of the scale, the 200-language model has over 50 billion parameters, and we trained it using our new Research SuperCluster, which is one of the world’s fastest AI supercomputers. The advances here will enable more than 25 billion translations every day across our apps. Communicating across languages is one superpower that AI provides, but as we keep advancing our AI work it’s improving everything we do — from showing the most interesting content on Facebook and Instagram, to recommending more relevant ads, to keeping our services safe for everyone,” said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post on his Facebook profile.

 

Language is our culture, identity, and lifeline to the world. However, as high-quality translation tools don’t exist for hundreds of languages, billions of people today can’t access digital content or participate fully in conversations and communities online in their preferred or native languages. This is especially true for hundreds of millions of people who speak the many languages of Africa.

 

“Africa is a continent with very high linguistic diversity, and language barriers exist day to day. We are pleased to announce that 55 African languages will be included in this machine translation research, making it a major breakthrough for our continent,” Balkissa Ide Siddo, Public Policy Director for Africa said while speaking about the launch of the AI model. “In the future, imagine visiting your favourite Facebook group, coming across a post in Igbo or Luganda, and being able to understand it in your own language with just a click of a button – that’s where we hope research like this leads us. Highly accurate translations in more languages could also help to spot harmful content and misinformation, protect election integrity, and curb instances of online sexual exploitation and human trafficking.”

 

While commenting on accessibility and inclusion in the pursuit of building an equitable metaverse, Ide Siddo added “At Meta, we are working today to ensure that as many people as possible will be able to access the new educational, social and economic opportunities that the next evolution of the internet will bring to future technology and an everyday living experience tomorrow.”

 

To confirm that the translations are high quality, Meta also created a new evaluation dataset, FLORES-200, and measured NLLB-200’s performance in each language. Results revealed that NLLB-200 exceeds the previous state of the art by an average of 44 percent.

 

Meta is also open-sourcing the NLLB-200 model and publishing a slew of research tools to enable other researchers to extend this work to more languages and build more inclusive technologies. Meta AI is also providing up to $200,000 of grants to non-profit organizations for real world applications for NLLB-200.

 

There are versions of Wikipedia in more than 300 languages, but most have far fewer articles than the 6+ million available in English. Following Meta’s partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that hosts Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects, modelling  techniques and learnings from the NLLB research are now also being applied to translation systems used by Wikipedia editors. Using the Wikimedia Foundation’s Content Translation Tool, articles can now be easily translated in more than 20 low-resource languages (those that don’t have extensive datasets to train AI systems), including 10 that previously were not supported by any machine translation tools on the platform.

 

To explore a demo of NLLB-200 showing how the model can translate stories from around the world, visit here. You can also read the research paper here.

 

 

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I single-handedly popularized Shea Butter in the United States – Margaret Andega

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According to Margaret Andega, a Kenyan entrepreneur in Atlanta, she was the driving force behind the commercialization of Shea Butter in the US during the late 90s. (more…)

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Ludwig Nii Jr urges information sharing in the creative space

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Ludwig Nii Jr urges information sharing in the creative space. (more…)

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How are CBD Flowers and CBG Flowers Different?

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CBG flower and CBD flower are two types of flowers that are used for their respective health benefits. CBD flowers are known for their calming and relaxing effects, while CBG flowers are known for relieving pain and inflammation.  (more…)

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