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American, Chinese Execs and Scholars Discuss Digital Innovation at CEIBS US Forum

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About 80 high-level Chinese business executives and entrepreneurs joined scholars from the US and China in Boston on May 15 for a discussion on how both sides can work together to break new ground in today’s digital economy. They gathered for a half-day event co-hosted by China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) and Z-Park Innovation Center.

“The enthusiasm and openness with which participants shared their views during today’s event is an indicator of how important it is for us to keep engaging with each other. There is still a very strong interest in doing business with, and in, each other’s markets. This is why we were able to bring with us a team of high-level Chinese business executives who are eager to engage with the local business community in Boston,” CEIBS Assistant President Dr. Snow Zhou said on the sidelines of the forum. “We hosted today’s event to provide a platform for knowledge exchange on both sides, which we hope will be useful as we move forward.”

In addition to the forum, which included opportunities to network and explore potential opportunities for future collaboration, the Chinese business executives and entrepreneurs — all CEIBS alumni and/or students — will also benefit from visits to local companies. Over the next few days they will be hosted by their peers from a range of industries, including some related to the forum’s theme. “The digital economy is becoming increasingly important and it is imperative that we — as business executives — find a way to work together for mutual benefit,” said Allen Tang, an executive at JD Finance, the finance unit of China’s second biggest e-commerce player JD.com Inc. “The US market is an important one for us and I am pleased to be a part of the activities CEIBS has planned in Boston.”

This foray into Boston is also a signal of the importance with which CEIBS itself views the US market, which is a vital part of the school’s internationalization strategy. This is the third time CEIBS is hosting a forum in the US, but this event has the added significance of being a part of the school’s 25th Anniversary Celebration.

The forum included welcome addresses by CEIBS President (European) Professor Dipak Jain and CEO of ZGC Boston Innovation Management LLC, Mr. Ming Qiao. There were also keynote speeches by MIT Professor of Physics Max Tegmark and Northwestern University’s Director of CS Plus X Initiative, Prof. Kristian J. Hammond. An impressive list of names from the US and China participated in two panel discussions throughout the day that respectively looked at the topics of ‘Creating a New Space in the e-Commerce Market’ and ‘Reshaping the Future of Finance Through Innovation’.

In welcoming the audience of about 200, Prof. Jain spoke about the evolution of global business, and how management education has changed as a result. “The new ‘diet’ of the global economy consists of digital, innovation, entrepreneurship and technology,” he said. He also shared how CEIBS is evolving as well. Building on its growing reputation as Asia’s leading business school, CEIBS has now turned its attention to enhancing its international visibility, building a strong brand presence in the US, and strengthening its European and African initiatives. All of this is being done while retaining CEIBS’ competitive advantage, its focus on China knowledge. The Boston forum accomplishes two out of three of those goals.

In his welcome speech, Mr. Qiao told the audience that it was an honour for Z-Park Innovation Center — the Zhongguangcun Development Group’s second largest innovation centre outside of China — to co-host the forum with CEIBS. “We are committed to building a bridge for innovation and exchange between China and the US. We hope that, through this event, we can enhance communication and provide better resources for entrepreneurs from both countries,” he added.

In the day’s first keynote speech, Prof. Tegmark shared his views on the timely topic of “Getting empowered, not overpowered by artificial intelligence”. There is an opportunity, he said, for us all to take a collective journey into the future with artificial intelligence (AI), an area that has already seen significant growth and progress that has changed our lives and will be the source of many more life-altering changes ahead. The question, he told the audience, was how far we would go on this journey. Will we ever have machines that can match human intelligence at all tasks? “This is the definition of Artificial General Intelligence, AGI, which has been the holy grail of AI research since it’s inception,” he explained. If AGI were achieved he noted, AI (not humans) would drive further AI development. “This would mean that future AI improvement could be much faster than the typical human R&D cycle of years, and raises the controversial possibility of an intelligence explosion, where recursively self-improving AI rapidly leaves human intelligence far behind, creating what’s known as superintelligence,” he said. He told the audience that while there are conflicting views on how close we are to this scenario, most researchers think it will be “within decades”. Humans need to be ambitious enough to envision and steer towards “a truly inspiring high-tech future” instead of complacently building machines without any thought to the consequences of making humans obsolete. This, he said, will require a change in the old strategy of learning from mistakes to one where we get it right the first time.

The entire world, said Prof. Tegmark has the responsibility for this mammoth task, with all of humanity sharing equally in the benefits and risks of having our lives changed by AI. “No country can address such unconventional and large-scale challenges alone,” he said. China, he added, is uniquely positioned to take a leading role in steering AI because the country is a “world-leading science and technology power and can therefore help lead research not only on how to make AI powerful, but also on how to make it robust and trustworthy.” He also pointed to China’s growing international influence, “together with its ability to inspire, and power to shape the global AI agenda.” He added, “China has both one of the oldest surviving civilizations and a successful tradition of long-term planning. It can therefore play a leading role in developing global AI governance.” He also spoke of global efforts and initiatives under way to ban or avoid an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons by using science to find new ways to help rather than harm; to use AI to figure out a way to make everyone better off from AI-generated wealth; and invest in AI safety research. These three parts make up the roadmap on how to win what he calls the “wisdom race” in order to create a high-tech future. And a large part of this involves building AI that empowers — not overpowers — us.

The day’s first panel discussion then focused on issues such as what would likely be the next big thing for US tech giants and Chinese e-commerce companies’ next foray. Panellists included Mr. Aravind Cherukuri, Vice President of Ocean Spray International Inc; Mr. James Lin, CEO of UNIS; Mr. Jie Tang, General Manager of Suning.com USA; Mr. Rob Weisberg, CEO of Invaluable; and Mr. Anders Zhang, Co-founder & CEO of Starluxe.

The stage was set by Xiande Zhao, CEIBS Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management, who is also JD.COM Chair in Operations and Supply Chain Management, and Director of CEIBS-GLP Centre of Innovations in Supply Chains and Services. His presentation looked at trends, opportunities and challenges within China’s e-commerce and new retail landscapes. Drawing on his extensive expertise and the latest data, Prof. Zhao pointed out that the percentage of e-commerce in total retail sales in China is increasing faster than in the U.S. with the gap between the two countries widening between 2013, when it was 8.1%, and 2017 when it was 23.6%. Meanwhile, China’s cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) is growing even faster. “The demand for buying foreign goods has increased at a 34% CAGR in the past five years, and will increase 4 times by 2022,” he said, adding “the percentage of CBEC in e-commerce will double by 2022.” He also provided insights into how Chinese consumers’ preferences have changed and the new challenges that have emerged for the supply chain as a result. Chinese consumers, said Prof. Zhao, are now focused on quality and the experience a product can provide, they have a growing demand for customised/personalised products, are prepared to spend more for convenience and efficiency and willing to buy products that contribute to health and wellness. Supply chains will therefore need to be able to sense customer demand, and let it drive the entire chain. They will need to be digital, providing end-to-end data integration with digital technology, and optimize supply chain decisions based on big data. They will also need to be agile, with enough flexibility at various stages of the process to respond quickly and accurately to customer demands.

During the discussion that followed, Prof. Zhao and panellists explored the major challenges and opportunities of doing e-commerce in their respective industries, how they use digital technology and big data to support their businesses, the role of supply chain integration and innovation, as well as how they use big data to analyse consumer behaviour and design, produce and deliver products and services to improve consumer experiences and create more value for them.

In the day’s second keynote speech, Northwestern University’s Prof. Kristian J. Hammond shared his views on Leading the New Future of Digital Economy. Sharing his long-standing fascination with “the promise of machine intelligence”, he spoke of the importance of studying intelligence and the even greater pleasure he gets from building intelligence. Humans are smart because of their ability to learn from the past, Prof. Hammond noted, then using that information to shape the present and predict the future. “This link to learning holds for machine intelligence as well. Nearly all of the work in AI we see today is based on successes in machine learning,” he said. The advances we have made have opened up a mountain of opportunities, he noted, and the key to leveraging these is starting with a task. “Once you have the task, you have to understand it and link it to the data that drives it,” he said. He told the audience that new AI technologies are driven by data and analytics, with machine learning at the forefront of most of them. He stressed, though, that problems are not solved with machine learning but with the knowledge and rules that it brings. “With intelligence, the machine becomes our partner,” he said.

This was followed by the second panel discussion, which looked at fintech from the perspective of how US firms have — or have not — breathed new life into traditional financial products, how their Chinese counterparts have tried to use technology to reshape the financial industry and what the future holds for the sector in both countries. Panellists included Mr. David Fragale, Chief Operating Officer of Arwen; Mr. Eo Hao, Founder of Future Money; Mr. Jack Klinck, Managing Partner for Hyperplane Venture Capitaland Mr. Leo Zhao, Co-founder & Chairman of Mintech. Their discussion was moderated by Prof. Yan Gong, Programme Director of CEIBS Entrepreneurial Leadership Camp who is also Programme Co-Director of CEIBS Venture Capital Camp, and Professor of Entrepreneurial Management Practice. Unlike the earlier sessions and speakers, this final part of the event focused largely on blockchain and other digital currency. The discussion revolved around issues including how to evaluate crypto-currencies’ impact on the society from a broader historical perspective; predictions on which players may grow to become the future Amazon, Microsoft, or China’s BAT in the field of blockchain; and how the strengths of traditional financial talent can be leveraged to benefit the fintech industry.

The forum ended with a closing address by CEIBS Vice President and Co-Dean Prof. Zhang Weijiong who gave a brief recap of event highlights and then thanked all those who made the event possible, especially Z-Park Innovation Center, led by Ming Qiao. He also thanked the CEIBS alumni and students, including many who flew in from China to attend the forum as well as those based in the US. He also made the point that the US Forum is the first of five major events being organised around the world by CEIBS as part of the school’s 25th anniversary celebration. It comes two days before a forum in Zurich where thought leaders from Europe and China will share their views on the evolution of innovation in both regions. The next two forums will be in Munich on July 1 and Brussels on July 12. These are just some of the activities planned to mark the CEIBS 25th Anniversary Celebration in AsiaEuropeAfrica, and North America, before culminating in a closing ceremony at CEIBS’ flagship Shanghai campus in November. The activities will span 11 cities across four continents. The theme of the eight-month-long celebration is China Essence, Global Significance. For more details about CEIBS 25th Anniversary Celebration visit http://www.ceibs.edu/special/25/en/index.html

 

SOURCE China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)

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Synopsys and Kudan Collaborate to Accelerate Development of Intelligent Computer Vision Processing SoCs

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Synopsys, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS) and Kudan, a leading simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) software algorithms licensor, today announced a collaboration to optimize Kudan’s SLAM computer software algorithms for Synopsys’ DesignWare® ARC® EV6x Embedded Vision Processor IP. Kudan’s KudanSLAM software algorithms create and expand a map of an environment while simultaneously keeping track of the camera’s location within it. SLAM is used in autonomous vehicles, drones, robots, and augmented reality applications for concurrent scene mapping and device localization.

Kudan is optimizing its software to offload and accelerate algorithms by taking advantage of the Synopsys DesignWare ARC EV6x Embedded Vision Processors’ scalable hardware architecture, which includes up to four 512-bit vector DSPs and a fully programmable convolutional neural network (CNN) engine. The combined hardware-software solution enables designers to accelerate the SLAM tasks of tracking and mapping that take input from LiDAR, Time of Flight (TOF) cameras, inertial measurement units (IMUs), or odometry data while consuming significantly less power and memory resources than alternative implementations.

“Solutions that increase the efficiency and accuracy of computer vision devices will form the foundation of mass-market SLAM applications,” said Tomo Ohno, founder and managing director at Kudan. “The combination of the ARC EV6x Embedded Vision Processor and KudanSLAM will deliver the best performance and power efficiencies in the market and provide the software infrastructures by which product builders can develop revolutionary applications for automotive ADAS, robotics, and AR/VR.”

The fully programmable and configurable DesignWare ARC EV6x Embedded Vision Processor IP cores are optimized for embedded vision applications, combining the flexibility of software solutions with the low cost and low power consumption of hardware. The ARC EV6x Embedded Vision Processor family is supported by Synopsys’ MetaWare EV Development Toolkit, a comprehensive software programming environment based on common embedded vision standards including OpenCV, OpenVX™, and OpenCL™ C.

“Performance, power consumption, and high accuracy are critical requirements for computer vision applications,” said John Koeter, vice president of marketing for IP at Synopsys. “By collaborating with Kudan to optimize their software for Synopsys’ ARC EV6x Embedded Vision Processor, we are providing designers with a highly efficient and accurate hardware-software solution to accelerate the development of SoCs implementing SLAM functionality.”

 

SOURCE Synopsys, Inc.

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RSM’s Industry Eminence Program Announces Class of 2019

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RSM US LLP (“RSM”) – the nation’s leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market – is pleased to announce the second class of the firm’s Industry Eminence Program. The new eminence class joined the 10 members of the firm’s inaugural class in New York City this month to kick off their participation in the three-year program.

“It’s incredibly exciting to see how the Industry Eminence Program has flourished in just one year,” said Joe Adams, managing partner and chief executive officer with RSM US LLP. “We now have 22 bright, highly accomplished people in the program who will be developing and sharing valuable information that will help drive thoughtful client conversations and further advance RSM’s vision to be the first-choice advisor to middle market leaders globally. We predicted this program would be a game changer for the firm – we were right.”

Created and led by Joe Brusuelas, RSM US LLP chief economist, and Kevin Depew, RSM US LLP deputy chief economist, the cutting-edge program will position this new class of senior analysts during their first year to understand, forecast and communicate business, economic and technology trends shaping the industries RSM serves.

Senior analysts will focus 50 percent of their time on the eminence program and 50 percent on continuing to serve clients. Over the three years of the program, participants will concentrate on learning the foundations of industry analysis and thought leadership development, and they will bring that knowledge to current and prospective clients, the marketplace and their peers within the firm.

The program is an intensive immersion into data analytics, trend analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning designed for experienced managers through partners. Senior analysts will leave the program with the ability to analyze and interpret economic and industry trends and data, and will serve as internal and external thought leaders for clients. They will also become regular contributors to The Real Economy, RSM’s monthly publication focused on economic issues impacting the middle market, and will produce other thought leadership for their industries.

“In this rapidly evolving economy, it’s imperative that we stay attuned to economic indicators so that we can forecast the potential impact on our clients and the industries in which they operate,” said Brusuelas. “Through this program, our senior analysts are trained to anticipate trends and provide actionable insights to help RSM advise clients on the conditions impacting middle market leaders and beyond. We’re excited to expand the program and look forward to the added value that the new class will bring to our clients, our industry teams and the marketplace.”

“The first year of the program has exceeded our expectations due to the commitment of our inaugural class of senior analysts,” said Depew. “We are confident that this impressive new class will apply the knowledge they gain through this intensive curriculum to better serve our clients and our people. I have no doubt that we are in for another great year, and I’m looking forward to it.”

The 2019 class of RSM Industry Eminence Program senior analysts includes:

Name

Focus Industry

Peter Cadigan

Consumer Products

Kennedy Chinyamutangira

Financial Services

Karen Galivan

Consumer Products

Jessika Garis

Health Care

Michael Gerlach

Business and Professional Services

Shruti Gupta

Industrial Products

Scott Helberg

Real Estate

Megan Hicks

Industrial Products

Brandon Koeser

Financial Services

Adam Lohr

Technology

David Mamane

Financial Services

Davis Nordell

Technology

“These 12 talented individuals are passionate about how industry expertise takes client experience to the next level,” said Don Lipari, national industry leader with RSM US LLP. “Each one brings an innovative mindset that will contribute to the continued success of the program. The overall enthusiasm for the program has been rewarding to see, and we are thrilled with how quickly our inaugural class has been able to translate insights into opportunities for our clients. We are sure this class will do the same.”

The second class of industry senior analysts was selected in January 2019. Applications for the next class will be accepted this fall.

 

SOURCE RSM US LLP

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Blue Prism Enables Easier Access and Greater Collaboration to Advance Intelligent Automation Capabilities

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Looking to provide greater flexibility and access to its digital workforce, Blue Prism (AIM: PRSM) today launched its new online user community while also adding ecommerce capabilities to its Digital Exchange (DX), making it easier for organizations to deploy and scale their intelligent automation solutions. These advances build on Blue Prism’s connected-RPA vision of collaborative innovation, by creating a growing community that shares best practices and provides greater access to the latest artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, intelligent document processing and cloud capabilities.

“Our motto of automating together, better and more, is definitely highlighted with these new capabilities,” says Dave Moss, Co-Founder and CTO for Blue Prism. “We are listening and responding by supporting a self-service model, which makes it easier for our customers to share, innovate and deploy intelligent automation solutions. These new capabilities help unify customer experiences and best practices for sharing, while providing the necessary community support to make automation the cornerstone of any digital transformation.”

Enhancements to DX
By way of the ecommerce capabilities, Blue Prism’s Digital Exchange, an intelligent automation marketplace comprising of customers, technology and channel partners, now enables customers or prospects to quickly buy and download software licenses directly from the exchange. This introductory package, which consists of a single software license along with one-year standard support, makes it easy for people to get started, learn more and explore what’s possible with an intelligent digital workforce. In the next 90 days, the ecommerce functionality will also allow other Blue Prism partners to offer their assets and integrations for sale via the DX.

Anyone can now purchase and download this introductory Blue Prism v6.5 package, which includes work queue trends and analytics, full Japanese and simplified Chinese language capabilities, IPv6 support, and data gateways, offering more data control while reducing the amount of storage being used.

Private Assets is another new key feature on the DX. Users control who can view assets outside of a customer or partner’s organization. They can only be seen by the employees of said company and then only after they are logged in. This feature gives enterprise customers more security and control over the assets used by their employees, only those that they approve, license and test are made available.

Since being launched back in November 2018, DX adoption continues to skyrocket with more than 4,120 registered users from nearly 714 registered companies who can download over 110 assets to accelerate the time to market for their intelligent automation projects. It provides business leaders drag and drop access to AI, machine learning, cognitive and disruptive technologies from companies they know and trust. Other new key enhancements to DX include integration with Google Analytics to provide more visibility into how assets are being downloaded and used. Support for open sourced Blue Prism assets being shared via GitHub as well as the ability for partners and customers to securely share proprietary assets has also been added.

According to Forrester Research, the partner of the future will likely not be a pure transacting one. “It doesn’t make sense to the new generation of tech buyers who make two-thirds of all new tech decisions today. As mentioned above, 73 percent of business buyers find the web more convenient to make purchases, and we forecast that 17 percent of all B2B transactions will happen through ecommerce by 2023″.¹

Blue Prism Community Now Live 
The Blue Prism Community is a new online experience where users can share, learn and create. The Blue Prism Community provides a new and exciting platform where users can engage with others who share common interests, goals and objectives. The Blue Prism Community provides:

  • An online space open to everyone that is easy to navigate, and where users can get up to speed on important announcements and industry news.
  • Participation in a growing ecosystem of digital entrepreneurs and innovative companies redefining the nature of work.
  • Access to an innovation corner for new Blue Prism product ideas and features, including DX.
  • A home for regional and industry-specific user groups.
  • Discussion communities and in-person meet-ups for practitioners, professionals and innovators.
  • Latest content and information on upcoming events, learning tools, demos, etc.

 

SOURCE Blue Prism

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