Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Jamaica, October 12, 2017 – Kingston – Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has lauded the Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ) for pioneering the development and maintenance of a national Geographic Information System (GIS) network over the past 25 years. He said that more than 50 State entities have implemented GIS in their operations, resulting in greater efficiency in the execution of their mandates.These include the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), National Works Agency (NWA), National Water Commission (NWC), and Social Development Commission (SDC).“Through the innovative use of GIS applications, we are becoming more effective and efficient in harnessing the power of our limited resources. We, however, acknowledge that there is still much more that can be done. We must think spatially to improve overall planning, monitoring, evaluation, information-sharing and communication,” Mr. Holness said.He was delivering the keynote address at Tuesday’s (October 10) opening of the inaugural two-day Jamaica GIS User Conference held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. The Prime Minister said geospatial technology is applicable in assisting the Government’s strategic objectives, noting that its use in providing data to inform policy and action is invaluable.“If we know how things are happening and why they are happening, then we can predict where they will happen, who will cause things to happen or who (they) will happen to…what will happen and when (they) will happen. In other words, geospatial information creates a predictive cycle,” he pointed out.The Prime Minster praised former LICJ Chairperson, Jacqueline daCosta, for her indelible contribution to advancing GIS in Jamaica and modernising and reforming the planning, land policy and land management sectors. He further commended the National Spatial Data Management Division (NSDMD) for staging the conference in tandem with the LICJ, and urged the participants to explore how best GIS technology can be utilised to expand economic growth and job creation.For his part, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, who has responsibility for the NSDMD, said he is encouraged by the number of public-sector agencies that have been utilising GIS technology. He noted that these entities have used GIS to create data sets and applications in health, land administration, national security, and natural resources management, which have assisted in strengthening their core business processes and functions.Mr. Vaz noted that the conference, under the theme ‘Geospatial Technologies: Mapping Our Way to Secure Communities’, is relevant and “synergises this Government’s commitment to ensuring the safety and protection of our people”.“I affirm that GIS in Jamaica is poised for great things. As we move forward, I wish to encourage us to continue the work that has begun. I am confident that at the end of these two days, we will have a greater understanding and deeper appreciation of GIS and its contribution to nation building and community development,” he added.The conference, which concludes on Wednesday (October 11) forms part of activities marking the LICJ’s 25th anniversary.Release: JIS Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:
A court in Jessore on Tuesday sentenced eight public representatives, including Narail Zila Parisahd chairman and municipality mayor, to seven years imprisonment in a graft case.Jessore special judge Nitai Chandra Saha handed down the verdict.The convicts are-Narail Zila Parishad chairman advocate Sohrab Hossain Biswas (then municipality mayor), Narail municipality mayor Jahangir Biswas (then commissioner, then commissioners of the municipality Sharful Alam Litu, Mushfiqur Rahman, Ahmed Ali Khan, Rafiqul Islam, Telayet Hossain and acting secretary (then chief assistant) Matiar Rahman.The court also fined them Tk 1.96 lakh each, in default, to suffer, six months more rigorous imprisonment.According to the prosecution, Sohrab (then municipality mayor) with the help of six municipality commissioners embezzled Tk 1.96 lakh after showing a haat as khas land for three years.Jessore ACC deputy director Wazed Ali Biswas filed a case with Narail Sadar police station in this connection on 7 August 2008.
It won’t be wrong to say that the first day of the ongoing Google I/O 2018 conference was largely dominated by Artificial Intelligence. CEO Sundar Pichai didn’t hide his excitement in giving us a sneak-peek of a whole host of features across various products driven by AI, which Google plan to roll out to the masses in the coming days. One of the biggest announcements was the unveiling of the next-gen silicon chip – the Tensor Processing Unit 3.0. The TPU has been central to Google’s AI market dominance strategy since its inception in 2016, and the latest iteration of this custom-made silicon chip promises to deliver faster and more powerful machine learning capabilities. What’s new in TPU 3.0? TPU is Google’s premium AI hardware offering for its cloud platform, with the objective of making it easier to run machine learning systems in a fast, cheap and easy manner. In his I/O 2018 keynote, Sundar Pichai declared that TPU 3.0 will be 8x more powerful than its predecessor. A TPU 3.0 pod is expected to crunch numbers at approximately 100 petaflops, as compared to 11.5 petaflops delivered by TPU 2.0. Pichai did not comment about the precision of the processing in these benchmarks – something which can make a lot of difference in real-world applications. Not a lot of other TPU 3.0 features were disclosed. The chip is still only for Google’s use for powering their applications. It also powers the Google Cloud Platform to handle customers’ workloads. High performance – but at a cost? An important takeaway from Pichai’s announcement is that TPU 3.0 is expected to be power-hungry – so much so that Google’s data centers deploying the chips now require liquid cooling to take care of the heat dissipation problem. This is not necessarily a good thing, as the need for dedicated cooling systems will only increase as Google scale up their infrastructure. A few analysts and experts, including Patrick Moorhead, tech analyst and founder of Moor Insights & Strategy, have raised concerns about this on twitter. The TPU is keeping up with Google’s growing AI needs The evolution of the Tensor Processing Unit has been rather interesting. When TPU was initially released way back in 2016, it was just a simple math accelerator used for training models, supporting barely close to 8 software instructions. However, Google needed more computing power to keep up with their neural networks to power their applications on the cloud. TPU 2.0 supported single-precision floating calculations and added 8GB of HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) for faster, more improved performance. With 3.0, TPU have stepped up another notch, delivering the power and performance needed to process data and run their AI models effectively. The significant increase in the processing capability from 11 petaflops to more than 100 petaflops is a clear step in this direction. Optimized for Tensorflow – the most popular machine learning framework out there – it is clear that TPU 3.0 will have an important role to play as Google look to infuse AI into all their major offerings. A proof of this is some of the smart features that were announced in the conference – the smart compose option in Gmail, improved Google Assistant, Gboard, Google Duplex, and more. TPU 3.0 was needed, with the competition getting serious It comes as no surprise to anyone that almost all the major tech giants are investing in cloud-ready AI technology. These companies are specifically investing in hardware to make machine learning faster and more efficient, to make sense of the data at scale, and give intelligent predictions which are used to improve their operations. There are quite a few examples to demonstrate this. Facebook’s infrastructure is being optimized for the Caffe2 and Pytorch frameworks, designed to process the massive information it handles on a day to day basis. Intel have come up with their neural network processors in a bid to redefine AI. It is also common knowledge that even the cloud giants like Amazon want to build an efficient cloud infrastructure powered by Artificial Intelligence. Just a few days back, Microsoft previewed their Project Brainwave in the Build 2018 conference, claiming super-fast Artificial Intelligence capabilities which rivaled Google’s very own TPU. We can safely infer that Google needed a TPU 3.0 like hardware to join the elite list of prime enablers of Artificial Intelligence in the cloud, empowering efficient data management and processing. Check out our coverage of Google I/O 2018, for some exciting announcements on other Google products in store for the developers and Android fans. Read also AI chip wars: Is Brainwave Microsoft’s Answer to Google’s TPU? How machine learning as a service is transforming cloud The Deep Learning Framework Showdown: TensorFlow vs CNTK