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Albertsons Companies to Join Blockchain-based IBM Food Trust Network to Pilot Increased Transparency for Romaine Lettuce

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Albertsons Companies, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States, is joining the blockchain-based IBM Food Trust network and will begin piloting the technology to improve how food is traced from farm to store shelf. The addition of Albertsons Companies to the Food Trust ecosystem of more than 80 brands brings blockchain-based food traceability to more consumers and industry players – from producers to suppliers to retailers – by helping enable greater transparency and collaboration, and ultimately, a safer food supply.

Blockchain is a system of record that establishes a shared environment for food transactions in which all participants can collaborate in a highly secured and transparent way to build trust. Food Trust enables network members to share digital, distributed and immutable data, so that stakeholders across the supply chain can work together to trace and authenticate products or optimize supply chain processes. The solution creates a digital record of transactions or interactions – from a packaging date, to the temperature at which an item was shipped, to its arrival on a grocery shelf.

The growing number of participants using the technology helps address a broad range of food system issues, such as supply chain efficiency, freshness, waste reduction, sustainability and participants’ ability to verify certifications, such as fair trade and organic. It is being used to make the end-to-end food ecosystem more transparent and trustworthy, and has the potential to transform broad, nationwide food recalls into efficient, precise eliminations of recalled products. Already, more than five million food products digitized on the solution are on retail shelves.

Albertsons Companies, which operates nearly 2,300 stores across the U.S., will pilot Food Trust for tracing bulk romaine lettuce from one of its distribution centers, then will explore expanding to other food categories throughout its distribution network. Albertsons Companies plans to pilot the solution to help overcome the obstacles that have existed when a traceback is initiated for a product like romaine and is evaluating ways to use the technology to highlight the provenance of its extensive Own Brands portfolio.

“Blockchain technology has the potential to be transformational for us as we further build differentiation on our fresh brand,” said Anuj Dhanda, Chief Information Officer, Albertsons Companies. “Food safety is a very significant step. In addition, the provenance of the products enabled by blockchain — the ability to track every move from the farm to the customer’s basket — can be very empowering for our customers.”

“Multiple high-profile consumer advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration demonstrate the need to find more efficient ways of tracing products and identifying likely sources of contamination in a timely manner,” said Jerry Noland, VP of Food Safety & Quality Assurance, Albertsons Companies. “Consequently, retailers are exploring new technologies to improve the infrastructure that underpins the global food supply chain.”

A blockchain network is strongest when it includes multiple, diverse members that form a transacting ecosystem. That is why the solution can enable an ecosystem of companies from across the food industry to onboard and share data. Already, members are recommending or mandating that their supply chain partners, such as downstream suppliers, join the network. This is intended to bring a more complete view of the entire lifecycle of a food product.

“Establishing IBM Food Trust and opening it to the food ecosystem last year was a major milestone in making blockchain real for business,” said Raj Rao, General Manager, IBM Food Trust. “Today, we are focused on ensuring that the solution scales and is accessible to participants across the food ecosystem, such as Albertsons Companies. By bringing more members into the network and enabling them to share greater cross-sections of data in a secured environment, we believe our vision of a transformed food ecosystem using blockchain is closer than ever.”

By creating a transparent, secured information-sharing platform, the food ecosystem can benefit from greater efficiencies and lower barriers to critical information access to help make the food supply chain safer. Built on Hyperledger Fabric-based open source technology, the solution uses permissioning to ensure companies can set rules about who can see the data they upload to the solution and for how long, and that they maintain control of their data even after it has been uploaded to Food Trust.

Food Trust is one of the largest and most active non-crypto blockchain networks in production today. It is available as a subscription service for members of the food ecosystem to join. For more information on availability, please visit here.

 

SOURCE IBM

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IJCAI 2019 in the Spotlight: WeBank AI Group Shared Remarkable Academic Innovation

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The 28th International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) was held from August 10th – 16th, in Macao, SAR, China. WeBank, the first private and digital bank in China, contributed to the event with multiple academic research findings, and demonstrated great engagement in IJCAI by organizing a heavy-weight workshop FML’19 (the 1st International Workshop on Federated Machine Learning for User Privacy and Data Confidentiality).

100+ World-leading Scholars Discussed Academic Frontier at the 1st International Workshop on Federated Machine Learning

The idea of adopting FML in AI for data confidentiality and user privacy was coined by WeBank in China. In a bid to promote this emerging AI technology, WeBank, IBM and other organizations jointly held the 1st International Workshop on Federated Machine Learning in conjunction with IJCAI 2019. 100+ leading scholars with insight in FML from home and abroad were invited to share cutting-edge academic findings and most advanced applications. President of IJCAI, Chief AI Officer of WeBank Professor Qiang Yang delivered opening remarks. Dr. Shahrokh Daijavad from IBM and Dr. Jakub Konečný from Google delivered keynote addresses. The moderator of panel discussion, AI Principal Scientist of WeBank Dr. Lixin Fan joined panelists including Professor Benny Pinkas from Bar-Ilan University, Dr. Shahrokh Daijavad of IBM Academy of Technology, Chief Architect of Squirrel AI Dr. Richard Tong, Research Scientist of Google Dr. Jakub Konečný, Dr. Baofeng Zhang from CTO Office of CBG Software in Huawei, Executive VP of Clustar Dr. Junxue Zhang, VP of AI Institute in Sinovation Ventures Dr. Ji Feng and other experts in exchanging thoughts on the way ahead for FML.

Take Stock on 40 Years’ Achievement of AI in China  Panel Discussion Featuring Chinese Characteristics

Elements of previous conferences including Traditional AI Session, Industry Day focused on industrial application and Best Paper Awards Session were inherited in this year’s IJCAI. IJCAI-19 also opened panels and workshops under the new agenda with a focus on most-discussed topics e.g., data privacy and AI universality. Chief AI Officer of WeBank Professor Qiang Yang engaged in multiple agendas as the President of IJCAI-19 and chair of two panel discussions namely AI in China, AI and User Privacy.

Panelists of “AI in China” include Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences Bo Zhang, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering Wen Gao, Dean of School of AI of Nanjing University Professor Zhihua Zhou, Professor Pascale Fung of Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering of HKUST, Professor Tong Zhang of HKUST, CEO of 4Paradigm Wenyuan Dai. These leading figures in China’s AI sector shared stories within the industry. This theme, with its unique historic significance, added weight to IJCAI-19.

IJCAI-19 also witnessed the founding of the GuangdongHong KongMacao Greater Bay Area on AI and Robotics Federation. Announced at “AI in China” Panel, the establishment of this new Federation requires the three academic societies to pool leading scholars and experts in AI and robotics within their localities. The merge was widely supported, acclaimed and recognized across the industrial sector and the government as it will further promote cohesion of talents, spawning of scientific innovation, R&D and application of key technologies in China.

“AI and User Privacy” Panel was joined by Director of IEEE Standards Association Victoria Wang, Professor Pedro Domingos of University of Washington, Director of Swiss Re Institute Jeffrey Bohn, Senior Research Scientist of WeBank AI Dr. Yang Liu and a host of experts and scholars to further discussions on how to promote technology development and legislation process simultaneously, which is helpful to addressing the user privacy issue in the current stage of AI development.

WeBank Shared New Insight on AI Safety Workshop

Besides user privacy as discussed in the panel discussions, data confidentiality also represents a common concern in the age of big data. At the AI Safety 2019 Workshop, Senior Research Scientist of WeBank AI Dr. Yang Liu delivered a speech themed Federated Machine Learning (FML), and shared in-depth insight on how to safeguard user privacy and AI safety as well as a number of technologies for privacy protection. She also elaborated on three categories of FML, namely Horizontal Federated Learning, Vertical Federated Learning, Federated Transfer Learning. According to Dr. Liu, data confidentiality and user privacy are the two major challenges in the age of big data, particularly challenging for financial, medical, legal and other data sensitive industries, whereas FML is a great solution to both challenges.

AI Enabling Contextualized Application in Finance  WeBank Shared Insight on Digital Innovative Transformation

While FML serves as the theoretical basis, the application of FML represents a common concern for all walks of life. Challenges before the highly digitalized financial sector manifest even greater complexity and risk. At Industry Day in IJCAI 2019, Deputy Managing Director of WeBank AI Tianjian Chen shared in-depth insight on digital banking business in the financial sector under the theme “AI in Digital Banking”, and elaborated on the important role that AI plays in digital banking. Given the challenges of AI application in the financial sector, he pointed the way ahead for the new generation of AI. “Safety, fairness, data protection are major challenges in the application of AI in the banking sector,” he said. “FML is potentially the new path to take for addressing these challenges.” So far, WeBank AI Group has developed a series of pioneering technologies including FML, which are proven to be contributive to joint modeling for credit risk control and anti-money laundering, etc.

Demonstration of FML Visualization  WeBank Introduced Best Practice

WeBank AI Group is dedicated to promoting widespread application of FML across the industry, sharing capabilities, enabling multi-win results. Videos submitted by WeBank AI Group, including Multi-Agent Visualization for Explaining Federated AI, Learning Federated Learning, were accepted by Demonstration Track and AI Video Competition of IJCAI-19, of which, the latter was awarded Most Educational Video. The videos provide straightforward illustration of cases to attendees on how FML and FedAI system works, all designed for more partners within the industry to enhance understanding of FML technologies and become promoters.

As an endeavor to explore “AI + Art” fusion, the man-computer car racing game demo developed by WeBank AI Group based on FML technology will be displayed under the invitation of China Central Academy of Fine Arts, and is expected to be showcased in the Shenzhen and Shanghai Art Exhibition scheduled in late October and early November respectively.

Among 35 papers submitted in Demonstration Track, the research paper on AI empowering flexible staffing by WeBank, HKUST, NTU and BBK Group, titled Fair and Explainable Dynamic Engagement of Crowd Workers, won the Innovation Award.

WeBank “AI+X” Innovation Debut  Exploration of Future AI Ecosystem

In addition to academic research findings, WeBank AI Group also exhibited industry-leading innovations in four main areas namely “AI + Service”, “AI + Marketing”, “AI + Big Data”, “AI + Asset Management”, which drew the attention of government officials from Macao SAR, professors and scholars of universities and research institutions in China and abroad.

In the area of “AI + Big Data”, WeBank established FedAI ecosystem for cooperation, the world’s first industrial-grade framework for Federated Learning (FATE), AI scenario-based rapid modeling platform (QML). In “AI + Service”, WeBank explored new approaches and scenarios for human-computer interaction, developed ubiquitous robots focused on financial services, integrated core technologies such as NLP, TTS, OCR with scenarios, and expanded to a series of business contextualized applications. The robot developed independently by WeBank became a spotlight in the exhibition. In “AI + Marketing”, WeBank AI Group played a leading role in trust marketing development, aimed to promote long-link and long-term effective marketing conversion of high-value products. In “AI + Asset Management”, WeBank used new alternative big data and machine learning technology helped forge a new generation of AI-driven intelligent asset management system.

China’s scientific research capability is among the top in the world thanks to advances in big data, AI and other frontier technologies. As an internet bank dedicated to innovation in fintech, WeBank AI Group demonstrates its commitment in global collaboration for scientific research and sparks technological advances by coupling theory and application. Looking ahead, WeBank will further leverage its strength in AI technology and platform, integrate top-notch resource worldwide, forge high-level network for knowledge and research, and lead the way for global tech innovation.

 

SOURCE WeBank

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Galaxy Digital to Host a Shareholder Update Conference Call on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 9:00AM EDT

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Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd. (TSXV: GLXY; Frankfurt: 7LX) (“Galaxy Digital” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it will report second quarter 2019 financial results before the opening of the TSX-Venture Exchange on Wednesday, August 28, 2019.

Michael Novogratz, CEO and Founder of Galaxy Digital, and members of management will host a conference call to provide a general update to shareholders on the Company’s activities and results on the same day at 9:00 am Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

The dial-in number for callers in the United States or Canada is 800-289-0459. The dial-in number for callers in Germanyis 0800-589-4608. Callers who reside outside of the United StatesCanada or Germany should dial +1-323-794-2558. The passcode for all participants is 877692. For those unable to participate, an audio recording of the call will be available on the Company’s website until at least 5:00 pm EDT on September 17, 2019.

 

SOURCE Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd

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Crypto Earn: Now Earn 8% p.a. on DAI & MKR Deposits

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Crypto.com, the pioneering payments and cryptocurrency platform, announced today that it has listed Maker (MKR) and added DAI & MKR to Crypto Earn, allowing users to enjoy up to 8% p.a. on their deposits.

Dai (DAI) DAI is a USD-pegged stablecoin running on the Ethereum developed by the MakerDAO team. Its $1 USDequivalent is maintained through a dynamic system of Collateralized Debt Positions (CDPs), autonomous feedback mechanisms, and appropriately incentivized external actors. DAI can be used in the same manner as any other cryptocurrency: It can be freely sent to others, used as payments for goods and services, or held as long term savings.

Maker (MKR) is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain that backs and stabilizes the value of stablecoin DAI through automatic pricing mechanisms built into smart contracts. MKR tokens are created or destroyed in accordance with price fluctuations of the DAI coin in order to keep it as close to $1 USD as possible and is part of a fully inspectable system on the Ethereum blockchain. MKR tokens are also used to pay transaction fees on the Maker system, and provide holders with voting rights within Maker’s continuous approval voting system.

Crypto Earn now supports 13 coins for holders to maximize their returns, including BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, BNB, TUSD, PAX, USDC, MCO, BAT, LINK with the addition of DAI and MKR. Interest is paid out weekly in the coin deposited with flexible, 1-month or 3-month terms available. Users earn more by staking at least 50 MCO.

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