Facebook shuts down AI system after creating its own language

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Initially, AI agents used English to converse with each other but they later created a new language


LATEST NEWS : Days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that artificial intelligence (AI) was the biggest risk, Facebook has shut down one of its AI systems after chatbots started speaking in their own language defying the codes provided.


According to a report in Tech Times on Sunday, the social media giant had to pull the plug on the AI system that its researchers were working on “because things got out of hand”.



“The AI did not start shutting down computers worldwide or something of the sort, but it stopped using English and started using a language that it created,” the report noted.


Initially the AI agents used English to converse with each other but they later created a new language that only AI systems could understand, thus, defying their purpose.


This led Facebook researchers to shut down the AI systems and then force them to speak to each other only in English.


In June, researchers from the Facebook AI Research Lab (FAIR) found that while they were busy trying to improve chatbots, the “dialogue agents” were creating their own language.


Soon, the bots began to deviate from the scripted norms and started communicating in an entirely new language which they created without human input, media reports said.

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After merger talks with Flipkart fail, Snapdeal to cut 83% of its workforce


The firm decided to sack around 1,000 employees out of their present workforce of 1,200


LATEST NEWS  :  E-commerce major Snapdeal on Monday revealed that it is facilitating a major layoff in the company, with an agenda to cut down 80 per cent of its employee strength.


A senior official of the company told ANI that the management has given verbal instructions to their department heads to prepare the list.



Additionally, the official also revealed that the owners of the firm have reversed the merger which was to take place between Snapdeal and Flipkart. Rather, with the money from the sale of Freecharge received ($50 million), the firm has decided to sack around 1,000 employees out of their present workforce of 1200, and carry forward with the remaining.


In July last year, the company had over 9,000 employees. However, the management cut down the talent pool down to 1200, without any notice.


While the remaining employees are backing the Flipkart-Snapdeal merger, in an attempt to save their jobs, the frontrunners on the verge of losing power have decided to dissolve the same.


Flipkart has already offered $1,750 million split between two back-to-back offers, being one of the highest offers in the industry. However, the founders have postponed the merger for the last two months citing various reasons.

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SBI cuts interest rate on savings bank deposits. Will other banks follow?


Savings bank deposits with SBI since June 2011, as with most other banks, earned an interest of 4%

LATEST NEWS   :  State Bank of India (SBI) has introduced a two-tier interest rate structure on savings bank deposits. With effect from July 2017, a savings bank balance of over Rs 1 crore will earn an interest rate of 4% per annum (p.a.), while the ones with Rs 1 crore or less will earn an interest rate of Rs 3.5% p.a. The move sent the stock soaring 4% in intra-day deals to Rs 313 levels on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).


“The decline in the rate of inflation and high real interest rates are primary considerations warranting a revision in the rate of interest on saving bank deposits,” SBI said in a release.



“This is a step in the right direction and I expect more banks to cut savings bank interest rates going ahead. That apart, SBI will also save on the interest costs going ahead. This is getting reflected in the stock reaction post the development,” said says Kunj Bansal, ED & CIO at Centrum Wealth Management.


Savings bank deposits with SBI since June 2011, as with most other banks, earned an interest of 4%. For SBI, around 90% of the deposits came under less than Rs 1 crore category, SBI said in an analyst concall.

READ THIS: Confirmed: There’s no deal; Snapdeal, Flipkart call off merger talks

There’s no deal: Snapdeal-Flipkart merger talks just fell apart


Softbank would in all probability invest in Flipkart and not continue its association with Snapdeal


LATEST NEWS :  After five months, countless man hours of deliberation and numerous board meetings, the biggest consolidation in the Indian e-commerce history between Snapdeal and Flipkart has been called off, sources said.


Sources added that Softbank would in all probability invest in Flipkart on its own and not continue its association with Snapdeal. The Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, as well as early stage investor Nexus Venture Partner and smaller shareholders such as PremjiInvest, had  all along expressed reservations about the deal.


While Snapdeal board’s resolution is still to be out, sources said that Softbank, as well as Snapdeal, would come out with a statement announcing that the deal with Flipkart has been called. Sources close to the deal said that the board finally agreed that it would be better for Snapdeal to continue the operations alone.



“After months of deliberation Snapdeal founders, early stage investor Nexus Venture Partners and Softbank decided that it was better to not get into a deal with Flipkart,” said a source.


Snapdeal plans to now go ahead with it ‘Plan B’ and pivot its company into a Taobao kind of a open marketplace setup. The company just closed a $60 million deal to sell its online wallet Freecharge to Axis Bank. With this money as well as the cash it has in bank, the company hopes to have a running time of at least four years.


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Forget Karnataka’s flag, listen to Bihar’s own state anthem

Bihar, Bodh Gaya

Bihar is the only state in the Hindi belt with its own anthem



LATEST NEWS  :    The government of Bihar calls it the ‘state song and prayer’. Running two minutes and 41 seconds, titled ‘Bihar – The garland of India’, sung by Bollywood singers Udit Narayan and Sadhna Sargam, the song has catapulted Bihar into an exclusive league of Indian states with their own official songs- BIHAR  STATE ANTHEM


“Yes it is the official song of Bihar. It was written 5 years ago to mark the occasion of 100 years with Bihar Divas celebrated on March 22 every year,” confirmed Shailesh Kumar, JD(U) member of Bihar Assembly from Jamalpur. Bihar Divas marks the day when the state of Bihar was carved out of the Bengal Presidency in 1912. It is celebrated with fervour by residents of Bihar and people from Bihar settled across the globe. Nitish Kumar, who was the chief minister of Bihar when this song was penned, had personally supervised the grandiose year-long celebrations marking 100 years of Bihar in 2012.


While states like Karnataka have been trying to moot the idea of their own state flag, an official state song has been adopted by some states other than Bihar as well. Most of these are south of the Vindhyas. They include Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha and, of course, Karnataka. In addition, the northeastern state of Assam also has its own state anthem. But in the Hindi-belt, only Bihar stands out for having its own state anthem.

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Suresh Vaswani set to drive IBM’s global tech services

Suresh Vaswani

It looks like IBM is betting on Vaswani to replicate the success he had with Dell



LATEST NEWSSuresh Vaswani , who helped build Dell’s IT services arm and led the firm till its sale to Japanese NTT Data, is set to join IBM in August to drive the global technology delivery of the world’s largest computer services firm.


Vaswani will replace Peter Lynt, general manager of delivery, solutions and transformation of global technology services, who is set to retire later this month, according to an internal note viewed by Business Standard. He will be based in the US, driving the delivery of services for clients globally. An IBM spokesperson could not comment till the time of going to press while Vaswani was not reachable.


It looks like IBM is betting on Vaswani to replicate the success he had with Dell — by pushing higher-value services and offsetting the decline in traditional services. Vaswani had built the services business for Dell in India as its chairman, helping the company to turn around and be profitable within three years.



Last year, Japanese NTT Data acquired the firm for over $3 billion, helping Michael Dell exit the services business after the Dell EMC integration. Vaswani had quit NTT Data in January after the integration of Dell services with NTT Data.


Before joining Dell Services, Vaswani was a co-chief executive officer jointly with Girish Paranjpe, running the IT services arm of Wipro, before they were replaced by its founder and CEO Azim Premji.


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Revealed: PM Modi govt’s ‘special assistance’ to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar

Nitish Kumar alliance with BJP

RTI information shows details of money given to Bihar

LATEST NEWS   :   With the BJP and JD(U) joining hands in Bihar, the stage is finally set for implementing one of the foremost poll promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the run up to the Bihar elections in 2015. While Modi had announced a special package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore for Bihar at an election rally in Arrah in August 2015, it has released money to the state only for projects sanctioned under the 12th Five-Year Plan. The plan, which commenced in 2012, coincidentally, will end this year. This sets the stage for the BJP-JD(U) alliance in Bihar to go full steam ahead, with the special package for the backward state promised by Modi in his 2015 election rally.


Information obtained by Business Standard under the Right to Information (RTI) shows that the Modi government had issued a release order of almost Rs 1,888 crore to Bihar as ‘special assistance’ in 2015-16.


The financial resources division of NITI Aayog did not give details of the special assistance given to Bihar during 2016-17. The money given to Bihar as special assistance was to be used for one ongoing project of the 11th Five-Year Plan and nine projects approved during the 12th Five-Year Plan.



The Ministry of Finance in a letter dated 8 February, 2016 sanctioned the money after a recommendation was sent to it by NITI Aayog on 31 December, 2015. (see document at the end of the article). This letter was issued just a month after the Nitish Kumar government was sworn after the grand alliance with Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress managed to outflank  BJP in the state polls.

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Bihar: Nitish wins floor test with 131 votes, Tejashwi calls him shameless

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

Had earlier moved a confidence motion in the Bihar Assembly to prove the majority of his new govt



LATEST NEWS :    Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday won the trust vote in the Bihar Assembly, with 131 of the 243 legislators voting for him. Amid protests by Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD, Kumar said that that the new alliance of JD(U) and BJP has been built on political opportunism.


Speaker Vijay Kumar Chowdhury said the Opposition got 108 votes.


Kumar had earlier moved a confidence motion in the Bihar Assembly to prove the majority of his new government.



The NDA alliance had submitted a list of 132 MLAs to the governor. These include 71 of JD(U), BJP 53, RLSP two, LJP two, HAM one and three independents.


In the 243-member Bihar Assembly, the RJD has 80 MLAs, the Congress 27 and the CPI-ML has three.


Yesterday, Nitish and BJP leader Sushil Modi were sworn-in as Bihar Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively, and former was asked to prove his majority on the floor by Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi.


RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, the son of Lalu Prasad Yadav, spoke first on the confidence motion and launched a scathing attack against Kumar for dumping the Grand Alliance government.

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Amid price war, Idea posts third straight quarterly loss of Rs 815 cr in Q1

A man walks past a shop displaying Idea Cellular Ltd's logo on its shutters in Mumbai.

The telecom firm income fell by about 14% to Rs 81.82 billion


LATEST NEWS : Idea Cellular Ltd, India’s number 3 telecoms firm, reported a third straight quarterly loss on Thursday, reeling in the wake of a price war wrought by upstart entrant Reliance Jio.


The company reported a net loss of Rs 8.15 billion ($127.13 million) for the three months ended June 30 after posting a profit of Rs 2.20 billion a year earlier.


Analysts on average estimated a loss of Rs 6.71 billion, Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data showed.


Idea’s capital expenditure guidance for the full year 2018 is Rs 60 billion, it said.


Reliance Industries, led by India’s wealthiest man Mukesh Ambani, entered India’s telecoms industry last year, spending more than $30 billion on Jio and upending the sector with its low-cost data plans.


The ensuing price war has triggered consolidation in the world’s second biggest mobile phone market by users.


Idea and Vodafone Group Plc’s have agreed to merge their Indian operations in a $23 billion deal that is expected to close in 2018. Bharti Airtel is taking over operations of Norway’s Telenor in six Indian states.


This week, bigger rival Bharti Airtel reported its smallest profit in 18 quarters.

Read this : ICICI Bank Q1 net declines 8% to Rs 2,049 cr

ICICI Bank Q1 net declines 8% to Rs 2,049 cr


However, net interest income rises 8% to Rs 5,589 cr

LATEST NEWS :     Country’s largest private lender ICICI Bank reported 8% dip in net profit at Rs 2,049 crore for quarter ending June 2017 as against Rs 2,232 crore a year ago.


However, net interest income rose 8% to Rs 5,589 crore as compared to Rs 5,158 crore in June 2016.



Gross NPAs in Q1FY18 were 7.99% versus 7.89% in Q4FY17 and net NPAs were 4.86% in Q1FY18 versus 4.89% in Q4FY17.


Net loans to companies whose facilities have been restructured were Rs 2,370 crore as compared to Rs 4,265 crore in March 31, 2017.


On Thursday, the lender’s stock on BSE closed 1% lower at Rs 307.

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