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Letter: Unfair Treatment To Airteltigo Workers Following The Merger

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airtel tigo 1200x600Once again, we the workers of AirtelTigo implore the Ministry of Communication, Labour Commission, NCA, various media houses and any concerned citizen of Ghana to come to our aid. After the attempt to cheat the initial wave of workers made redundant in the merger process by the merged entity was avoided by a hair’s breadth with your intervention, Millicom Ghana (Tigo) and Bharti Airtel (Airtel) are back at it again.   Workers who have gone through the interviews and were either not given positions or have refused positions assigned to them are being held to ransom. The agreement between the two aforementioned companies and its workers was that, any staff who goes through the interview and is unhappy with either the position given or salary could choose to leave the company. This however is in direct contrast with what is happening on the grounds now. Directors of the merged entity having refused to give out any documentation to staff explaining what the exact process is, and what the do’s and dont’s are, are treating staff however they want, claiming workers have no grounds to sue since there is no document guiding the process, it near impossible to go to court.   Some workers who went through interviews as far back as January have not been given appointment letters, those who have received letters of appointment have not been given any offer letters and have no idea how much their compensation will be. Even worse, staff who were made redundant as far back as last month have not received their redundancy payments. And now Disgruntled workers who have decided they cannot wait for the salary calibration anymore and no longer want to be a part of this merger and staff whose positions no longer exist or have been given roles they do not want and have asked to leave are being told to RESIGN or accept roles they are not interested in. This is in a bid to avoid paying such people their agreed redundancy packages or even annual bonuses for the year 2017. In the case of Tigo staff, bonuses have always been paid with salaries at the end of February, but this was not done this year. So should any workers resign, as they are being forced to, they loose out on such bonuses.   With unemployment at it’s peak, such big corporations assume the ordinary Ghanaian cannot afford to be on the labor market and hence treat staff like scum. A typical example (which thankfully was recorded by several staff) was when the Chief Technology Officer of AirtelTigo in a meeting with staff used various derogatory and swear words against staff and asked that anybody who does not want to work to leave there and then. Most employees in the department who felt were being treated like little children and decided to not be part of the merger anymore have been asked to either resign or continue to face the dictatorial and abusive regime of the CTO.   It is as if arm twisting is the specialty of these people. The question is, is it by force to sign a contract with AirtelTigo? Even if a worker has been given a position at par or even higher than their current role, if they feel it is not in line with their career objectives, should they be forced to stay? Especially when they have not signed any contract with the merger entity? Should a worker refuse to work in a given role would the directors and board have enough grounds to sack such workers for non-performance (again so they loose out on redundancy payments)? Is it right for workers whose last days have been communicated to the HR be forced to stay beyond the said day – whether or not such a worker has been able to secure employment somewhere else or started their own business? Is Millicom and Bharti Airtel right to say a redundant worker has received an employment letter from another company hence should not be paid their redundancy? Should people who have already left and thankfully found employment elsewhere not be paid the redundancy package?   Sadly we are here again and urgent help is needed from the NCA, MOC, Labour Commission, the media and good people of Ghana before this issue escalates beyond a point of no return and the company and it’s customers are made to suffer the wrath of disgruntled staff.   Most Sincerely, Workers of AitelTigo cc: Ministry of Communications National Communications Authority National Labour Commission, Ghana Investment Promotion Council All Media Houses]]>

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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.

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“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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