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Causal AI – machine learning for the real world

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By Darko Matovski, CEO and co-founder, causaLens

Many businesses use machine learning algorithms to automate operational processes, solve complex data-rich business problems, and inform data-driven decisions. Traditionally, businesses in the financial services sector have depended on analysis generated by quants or machine learning platforms that rely solely upon historical correlations in order to make predictions about the economy. Such approaches have severe limitations, however, often doing little more than fitting curves to data with no understanding of the real world. These businesses are effectively driving forward by looking in the rear-view mirror.

This need no longer be the case, though. With an understanding of cause and effect, machine learning platforms can unlock significant additional value in data. A necessary step toward developing true artificial intelligence, the application of causal inference can enable businesses to access more precise predictions than ever before. And its benefits aren’t just limited to financial services.

Cause and effect in action

We tend to think of things in terms of cause and effect. If we can ascertain why something happened, we can change our behaviour to change the outcome of a similar situation in the future. When used as a tool, causal inference can enable AI algorithms to reason in a similar way, thereby addressing one of the biggest challenges around machine learning.

Machine learning is unable to adapt to environmental changes. In the case of predictions, they will severely overfit to the historical data. This is particularly true in the world of finance – the ultimate dynamic system.

Ideally, machine learning algorithms should be able to generalise, and adapt to new and previously unseen data. Enabling algorithms to understand causality improves that generalisation. Causal AI makes more accurate predictions in complex systems such as those found in financial services.

Unlike traditional machine learning approaches

In practice, a causal AI platform will retain the advantages of comprehensive automation – one of the key benefits of machine learning – allowing thousands of datasets to be cleaned, sorted and monitored simultaneously. Unlike traditional approaches, however, it combines this data with causal models and truly explainable insights – traditionally the sole province of domain experts. To further enhance its capabilities, intuitive interfaces can be used to harness unique human knowledge.

Darko Matovski

Darko Matovski

By way of illustration, Foreign Exchange (FX) technology provider CLS recently implemented our causal AI platform. By helping the company to understand relationships between its data and other datasets, it enabled the rapid identification of significant and unexpected changes in key factors associated with the FX markets during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Masami Johnstone, head of information services at CLS, this was immensely valuable to its clients, enabling them to react quickly to market conditions, and enhance their investing strategies.

As well as this, many of our hedge fund clients have used the platform to evaluate datasets very rapidly and at scale. This helps them find profitable trading signals in hundreds of large datasets, leading to cost savings in data evaluation and increased profits from taking positions through listening to these signals. In the insurance industry, the technology can be used to predict claim developments, amount per claim, business defaults and macro-economic indicators leading to at least a 15 percent decrease in costs.

Causal AI represents significant benefits to other industries, too. By improving staff and bed allocation, for example, and predicting the spread of diseases in real-time, it could save healthcare providers up to 15 percent in operational costs. The oil and gas industry could enjoy savings of at least $200bn by optimising transportation and storage, and more accurately predicting supply and demand. And more than $500bn in food waste could be saved each year if we could better predict microclimate and demand.

A huge step forward

Causal AI is already being used to predict and optimise many businesses but, as the examples outlined above demonstrate, it has the potential to improve operations across a range of industries and, in time, could come to play a role across all of society.

Today’s world is changing faster than ever before. It’s vital that businesses are able to react quickly and adapt to unexpected circumstances and events – especially in times of political and economic uncertainty such as those we’re currently experiencing. But current state-of-the-art machine learning barely scratches the surface of what a business’s machines can do. A new category of machine learning, causal AI goes far beyond predictions, providing transparent causal insights and suggesting actions that can directly improve a business’s KPIs. By understanding – and acting upon – the importance of cause and effect, the advent of causal AI represents a huge step forward for businesses everywhere.

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First of a kind Virtual Coffee Machine app with social meeting moments to support workforce wellbeing in a remote workplace

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Powell Software’s first in a series of wellbeing technology innovations help remote employees socially connect with colleagues and keep the workplace culture alive

As the third UK lockdown continues and many countries worldwide face severe restrictions, Powell Software, a global organisation creating digital solutions and tools for the digital workplace, has launched the first of its kind Virtual Coffee Machine, an application within Microsoft Teams to ensure employees stay better connected, positively engaged and take regular breaks while working from home.

With employee wellbeing at the top of the global workforce agenda for 2021, Powell’s Virtual Coffee Machine app positively connects employees through virtual chats to maintain a culture of togetherness, even when apart.

Replacing the absence of the in-person coffee catch up, HR can swiftly set up a Virtual Coffee Machine break within any Teams channel, encouraging employees to take regular short breaks while inspiring networking and socialising between colleagues.

Matthieu Silbermann, Chief Product Officer at Powell Software said: “The effects of the Pandemic have reshaped the Digital Workplace and research has found that three quarters of employers intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently. However, with one in five remote employees naming loneliness as their top complaint regarding work from home, reinforcing togetherness needs to be a top priority.”

Take a virtual coffee

HR can set up a Virtual Coffee Machine meeting within any Teams channel defining time, frequency and date, and number of people. The app then uses an algorithm that collects data from employees registered in Powell Teams, automatically comparing outlook calendars and generating meeting invites based on the criteria of the meeting. For example, if the Virtual Coffee Machine meeting criteria was set at a maximum of five people and ten people are available to join then two meeting invitations would be sent.

Virtual Coffee Machine consciously avoids one to one or full team meetings, focusing on creating intimate, short social breaks where employees can take time out to engage with colleagues in a positive digital space.  Colleagues can also ‘travel’ to differently located virtual offices across their organisation to meet colleagues for a coffee break in different virtual buildings.

Employees are unaware of who else will join the group until the event, to encourage different team members to meet, chat and get to know each other. The app automatically books an agenda and also suggests ice breakers like ‘what was the last film you saw or book’?

If a team member does not want to or cannot join a Virtual Coffee Meeting, they simply decline the meeting invitation.

Silbermann continues: “Powell Software is passionate about connecting employees to their organisation and to each other, ensuring that they have a positive and stimulating experience at work, every day. Remote workers need to be connected, they need to feel part of the company, the culture and feel able to socialise in the hybrid or remote workplace.

“Powell’s new Virtual Coffee Machine app is all about the employee. We all miss the little social moments at the office, whether they be at the coffee machine or the cold water fountain. Coffee Machine allows us to progressively see our workplaces positively come to life again in a virtual way, promoting connectivity, collaboration and employee wellbeing. It’s part of a bigger goal and series of initiatives to bring the virtual building to life.”

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Top 5 Ways To Lose Your Video Files

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Most Video Content Created in the Summer Months, Finds Veritas Research

There are lots of reasons why you can lose video files in your system or device. While some of these problems are avoidable, others are inevitable. Simply put, it is only a matter of time before the latter problems will be experienced. The major challenge is that most people don’t understand why their video files are either missing, damaged or deleted.

Are you amongst those mentioned above? Do you always ask why a video file can get lost, deleted or damaged? Don’t waste time to rack your brain on a such topic/matter. This is because you have come to the right place. This well-researched blog will provide you all the top reasons why you are losing your video files. Before thinking about which video recovery software to start using, it is recommended you know why files are getting lost in your system.

Power outage

This is a common problem that is responsible for loss of data. However, most people are yet to discover it. Have you ever noticed any situation whereby there is sudden power outage in your system? Simply put, your system suddenly shuts down. In such case, applications and other files (photos, videos, audios and doc) will be closed without any prior warning. The implication of this is that your video files are likely to get damaged.

Top 5 Ways To Lose Your Video Files 3

You may want to argue that systems come with batteries. Therefore, there will not be a problem of power shut down. This is not true in any way as power shut down can happen due to some reasons. It could even be that your system is malfunctioning. Even when your video files are not damaged through such incident, there is every chance that your hard drive will be adversely affected.

Faulty hard drive

If your hard drive is damaged due to one reason or another, there is every chance that your video files will be lost, damaged or deleted. Most of the cases related to data losses can be traced to malfunctioning hard drive. In case you don’t know, hard drives are very fragile. They can easily become faulty because of poor handling. If your hard drive crashes, it is recommended you find out what must have led to such problem. Trying to use a data recovery tool without knowing the root cause of the problem won’t do any good.

There are numerous factors responsible for a faulty hard drive. These could be hot system, frequent crashing, constant freezing, slow processing speed, booting up issues. The longer you ignore these problems; that is how your hard drive will be further damaged. This will in turn lead to loss of video files.

Human error

The truth is that as humans, we are always bound to make mistakes. These could sometimes prove very costly since they can bring about loss of video files. There are cases when important business files have been deleted mistakenly in the past. Human errors are very common. They can bring about formatting of hard drive, data loss and repair of system.

The only way to avoid this problem is to ensure you understand files to be deleted or retained. Most people don’t read messages displayed in dialogue boxes before clicking on “Delete” buttons. This is an easy way to delete important video files without knowing.

Computer viruses

Computer virus is one of the major reasons why people lose video files. Just as the digital world is becoming increasingly popular, viruses and malware are also waxing stronger. One of the most notable causes is when you begin to explore unsecured websites. It can also happen when corrupt files are downloaded and installed in your system.

When your system has been compromised by viruses and malware, there is a very high chance of losing vital files like doc, videos, audios and photos. You will try to open these files but they won’t respond. The best way to overcome this problem is using anti-virus software. This will help to monitor your browsing habit online.

Hard drive formatting

This happens to be another major cause of data loss. Most people format their hard drive without backing up vital files. In the end, these files are lost. Without the help of a paid or free recovery software, you may struggle to get back such data.

It is recommended that you backup important video files before initiating such a process. There are lots of ways to do this. For instance, you can use an external hard drive or even store such files online. This will save you the stress of spending unnecessarily on a data recovery software.

Final words

When it comes to losing your video files, there are lots of reasons which could be responsible for such problem. The tips shared above can help you to a great extent. All you have to do is ensure they are avoided.

 

This is a Sponsored Feature.

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BNP Paribas joins forces with Orange Business Services to deploy SD-WAN for 1,800 retail sites in France

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  • Co-construction approach ensures business continuity during deployment

BNP Paribas has chosen Orange Business Services to deploy an SD-WAN solution in more than 1,800 bank branches across France. Focused on developing and integrating new digital solutions, BNP Paribas continues to provide the highest standards to improve user experience for customers and employees alike.

By integrating Flexible SD-WAN from Orange Business Services, BNP Paribas benefits from a modern and agile technological platform to accelerate its digital transformation. This enables quick and easy deployment of multiple services, such as dynamic routing and path selection, with scalability and flexibility. It also empowers administrators to monitor infrastructure performance and resolve potential network congestion through simple software modifications, thereby optimizing application performance. By deploying SD-WAN, BNP Paribas can take advantage of a fully secure hybrid network that is natively multi-cloud, multi-access and multi-application. The Bank will also benefit from optimized and centralized management and intelligent routing for its new infrastructure.

Close collaboration between business and IT for greater agility

From the start of the project, experts from Orange Business Services and BNP Paribas built the solution design together and prioritized the features to be deployed. More than 3,600 access lines—two per branch, including one Internet access line – are currently being rolled out with a focus on maintaining business continuity for each site during the migration. In addition to the SD-WAN overlay, firewalls for enhanced security are also part of this deployment.

“It was paramount for us to choose a partner who already had proven experience implementing and operating SD-WAN solutions. Orange Business Services stood out as this trusted partner. In addition to their IT expertise, the Orange teams demonstrated a great ability to understand our business challenges, and they knew what needed to be done to support our end-to-end digital transformation. This close collaboration between our teams from the very beginning of the project was one of the keys to its success and to a smooth roll out,” said Bernard Gavgani, Chief Information Officer at BNP Paribas Group.

“We are delighted to support BNP Paribas in their transformation program and deploy the first large-scale SD-WAN project in the retail banking industry for the French market. An indepth understanding of our customers’ business needs is essential to co-develop customized and innovative solutions. Orange Business Services will continue to accompany BNP Paribas’ central and local teams to learn and develop their SD-WAN skills,” said Nadine Foulon-Belkacémi, Executive Vice President, French Major Clients at Orange Business Services.

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