TigerGraph Raises $105 Million to Accelerate Graph Analytics on the Cloud 

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Feb. 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TigerGraph, provider of the leading graph analytics platform, today announced it has raised $105 million in Series C funding, the largest funding round to date within the graph database and analytics market. The round was led by Tiger Global and brings TigerGraph's total funding raised to over $170 million.

The investment reflects TigerGraph's growth and the massive potential as businesses continue to move to the cloud. With the transactional and analytical workloads moving to the cloud made possible by companies like Snowflake, Confluent, and Databricks, TigerGraph is quickly becoming the graph database of choice to connect, analyze and learn new insights from the data. With its distributed native graph architecture, TigerGraph helps organizations scale fast and analyze many different aspects of data to be used with each other to form new models and generate new insights. These new patterns and insights enhance a company's analytics or machine learning capabilities and can be deployed anywhere with multi–cloud flexibility and support the data security requirements for regulatory compliance.

Over the last 12 months with the COVID–19 pandemic, companies have embraced digital transformation at a faster pace, driving an urgent need to find new insights about their customers, products, services, and suppliers. Graph technology connects these domains from the relational databases, offering the opportunity to shrink development cycles for data preparation, improve data quality, and identify new insights such as similarity patterns to deliver the next best action recommendation. Data–driven solutions require intelligent apps and connected data that leverage powerful graph engines to connect, analyze and learn from the data companies are storing in the cloud. These events helped TigerGraph experience massive growth, more than doubling revenues and customers over the past year. It has also continued building a very active and fast–growing developer community, receiving the highest marks in a recent analyst report — TigerGraph was named a leader for Graph Data Platforms in the analyst report.

"By 2023, graph technologies will facilitate rapid contextualization for decision making in 30 percent of organizations worldwide," according to Gartner.1 Mark Beyer, Distinguished VP Analyst with Gartner, shared the following in a Gartner report regarding the adoption of graph technology in the enterprises, "To Graph or Not to Graph? That Is Not the Question "" You Will Graph."2 Organizations of all sizes are adopting graph–based analytics and AI by leveraging the relationships in the connected data to drive better outcomes. TigerGraph is galvanizing the graph and AI community, organizing the first open industry Graph + AI Conference featuring presentations by innovators including UnitedHealth Group, Jaguar Land Rover, Intuit, Intel, Xilinx and Accenture. TigerGraph is deeply involved and on the steering committee for the development of the Graph Query Language standard, GQL, along with other database vendors such as Oracle and Neo4j, and will enthusiastically support the GQL standard immediately upon finalization.

"For over 40 years, businesses' #1 data management challenge has been how to easily ask business questions across all of their data in real–time to guide their operations. The human brain connects data to derive new insights and helps us decide what to do next. TigerGraph's mission is to power an enterprise brain with graph and AI that discovers these new insights within the enterprise data stored in the cloud and on–prem," said Dr. Yu Xu, founder and CEO of TigerGraph. "TigerGraph is leading the paradigm shift in connecting and analyzing data via scalable and native graph technology with pre–connected entities versus the traditional way of joining large tables with rows and columns. This funding will allow us to expand our offering and bring it to many more markets, enabling more customers to realize the benefits of graph analytics and AI."

TigerGraph's innovation has been recognized with several recent industry awards and accolades including:

The company will use the funding for product innovation and development to better support its customers, including TigerGraph Cloud on Google Cloud Platform (available March 2021), plus further multi–region support on AWS and Azure. It is also expanding its global reach with local support in Asia and Australia/New Zealand. Meanwhile, the company will scale up with additional hiring in the Americas, EMEA, and APAC to meet increased product demand. The company is hiring in every department – apply now at https://www.tigergraph.com/join–us/.

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1 Gartner Press Release, Gartner Identifies Top 10 Data and Analytics Technology Trends for 2020, 22 June 2020
2 Gartner, Graph Steps Onto the Main Stage of Data and Analytics: A Gartner Trend Insight Report, 14, December 2020

About TigerGraph
TigerGraph is a platform for advanced analytics and machine learning on connected data. Based on the industry's first and only distributed native graph database, TigerGraph's proven technology supports advanced analytics and machine learning applications such as fraud detection, anti–money laundering (AML), entity resolution, customer 360, recommendations, knowledge graph, cybersecurity, supply chain, IoT, and network analysis. The company is headquartered in Redwood City, California, USA. Start free with tigergraph.com/cloud.

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Suu Kyi Appears in Closed-Door Court Session Without Lawyer as Protests Continue

Protesters demand the release of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The protestors remain defiant in the face of the security forces tightening the screw. They are facing daily intimidation, threats and harassment at the hands of the police and soldiers strategically station to discourage and disperse the protests. CC BY-SA 4.0

Protesters demand the release of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The protestors remain defiant in the face of the security forces tightening the screw. They are facing daily intimidation, threats and harassment at the hands of the police and soldiers strategically station to discourage and disperse the protests. CC BY-SA 4.0

By Larry Jagan
BANGKOK, Feb 17 2021 – Myanmar’s top generals have begun the process to prevent Aung San Suu Kyi – the country’s popular civilian leader – from ever holding political power. Both she and president Win Myint were arraigned in a closed-door court session via video link Tuesday, Feb. 16. This is the beginning of a trial that is expected to take about six months to conclude. If convicted, it will prevent Suu Kyi from standing in future elections.

Suu Kyi is charged with violating import restrictions after walkie-talkies and other foreign equipment that were found in her villa compound. They were discovered during a search of her premises on Feb. 1, the day the military launched a coup, seizing all judicial, executive and legislative power, placing it in the hands of the commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

The Nobel laureate has also been charged with contravening a natural disaster management law by interacting with a crowd at an election rally during the coronavirus pandemic. A charge that was added after her original arrest and only publicly disclosed at her hearing. Win Myint is  charged with breaking COVID-19 restrictions. They reportedly appeared without legal representation.

The coup leaders have promised elections sometime next year after the state of emergency they have imposed is lifted. The authorities are still investigation more serious accusations related to receiving foreign funds – which could amount to charges of treason.

The military commanders also seem intent on preparing a case against her party – the National League for Democracy (NLD) — in order to ban it from politics and declare it an illegal organisation. The NLD, which overwhelmingly won last November’s poll, remains a thorn in the military’s side as for the past three weeks protestors have hit the street in their hundreds of thousands, to defend democracy and reject the coup.

“The civil disobedience movement is a non-violent campaign which was started by young doctors across the country: it was a spontaneous grassroots response to the coup,” Thinzar Shunlei Yi, a prominent activist involved with the protest in Yangon, told IPS. “It has grown daily as the civil servants have inspired others to defend our democracy,” she added.   

The protestors remain defiant in the face of the security forces tightening the screw. They are facing daily intimidation, threats and harassment at the hands of the police and soldiers strategically station to discourage and disperse the protests. But troops, tanks and water cannons have not deterred the protests, which are growing daily. But the strength of the movement is that it encompasses all generations, all walks of life, civil servant and workers. All of whom support democracy, though a large proportion also support the NLD.

“This is very different from the 1988 pro-democracy demonstrations when the student movement aspired to democracy but didn’t really know what it meant,” Nyein Chan Aung an 88-year-old veteran told IPS. “This time they know what they want, they know what they are losing, and they are very, very angry.”   

Meanwhile, the military are clearly on a mission to overhaul and restructure the country’s fledgling democracy, turning the clock back to the dark days of direct military rule.

For the past three weeks the new junta has rolled out a new administration: from national, provisional to district and wards. Removing the previous elected incumbents and putting in people close to the military.

The Supreme Court has been transformed, with the previous NLD appointments routed out and replaced with judges loyal to their military masters. The Union Election Commission has also been dismissed and swapped with military loyalists. Key ministries have also been targeted and military officers and personnel infiltrated, often at the highest level. This was the common practice during the previous military regime. But the public service has been largely transformed in the last ten years with comprehensive public reform.

“The militarisation of the bureaucracy is under way again I fear,” a former diplomat told IPS on condition of anonymity. “In the past it destroyed civil servant moral, civil service efficiency and expertise, and made the bureaucracy another arm of the military — stripped of initiative and think independently – making it powerless to do anything else but follow orders and recreating a truly authoritarian state.”

But the military junta has also dealt a death blow to developing democratic ideals and practices, with the worst being the wholesale changes in the laws and new edicts. Activists and human rights groups in Myanmar have condemned these measures as unacceptable and a gross erosion of basic civil and human rights, especially the changes to citizens protection and security laws.

These include prisoner’s right to a lawyer – Suu Kyi has been denied access to her lawyer since she was detained at the beginning of February.

It also includes the right to detain prisoners for an unlimited the right to arrest people without a warrant and search homes unimpeded by local administrators, carry out surveillance unconstrained, intercept any form of communications, and ask for users’ information from operators.

The government has also enacted a draconian Cyber Law which essentially allows them full access to digital information and all social media – with the right to prosecute anyone they deem has crossed the line.

“The changes in the laws amount to the removal of all rights of freedom of speech, association and liberty as well as the rights associated the rule of law and fair trial,” Stephen McNamara, a UK lawyer who has worked with lawyers in Myanmar since 2007, told IPS.

“These changes in the basic laws of Myanmar are wider than any amendments since the nineteenth century. It reflects a military that intends to stay in power for a very long time,” he told IPS.

The fact that the military launched the coup when it could not get its own way clearly reflects the army’s mentality and priorities. They could not accept the NLD’s crushing victory in the elections – and the second time in five years.

They were shocked by the extent of their electoral triumph victory and had been counting on being able to form some sort of coalition government with various parties, including their pro-military partners, ethnic political parties and even the NLD if they did not have an overwhelming victory. 

The military foresee a political future where the army is an integral part of the political setup — integrated into the power structure and administration much like the way they see Thailand.  In fact the Commander in Chief is very fond of what he sees as the model – an important role for the army, where their economic interests are protected, a self sufficient economy and ‘democratic’ outlook – which resists leftist, socialist or communist leanings. It is a concept of pluralist democracy with no interest group having the dominant role or power.

Of course the coup leaders also see former Senior General Than Shwe’s ‘roadmap to democracy’ — developed in 2003 by the then intelligence chief and prime minister — as the model to be followed. This projected the final stage before a more liberal form of democracy as a coalition government of national unity. But always the emphasis was on a ‘guided democracy’. So while they are trying to turn back the clock to when the first elections were held – they have in fact wound it back into the dark ages.

“The soldiers, police and their hired thugs come out at night and wage a war of terror against the people – targeting prominent leaders of the protest movement – and conducting their campaign of intimidation, harassment and arrests,” Nyein Chan Aung told IPS.

“But this is different from 1988, and the new generational tactics have armed the protestors with weapons that will help defeat the military in the long run. With mobile phones, the internet and social media the civil disobedience movement has a voice that’s being heard across the world. The military’s tactics are doomed to fail this time round.”

Suu Kyi’s trial is expected to proceed on Mar. 1.


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Bombardier Announces Full Repayment of Senior Secured Credit Facility

MONTRÉAL, Feb. 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bombardier (TSX: BBD.B) today announced that it has initiated the repayment of the total outstanding balance of $750 million drawn on its $1 billion senior secured term loan facility (the “Facility”) established on August 19, 2020. Payout of the Facility, including all accrued interest and associated fees, will be completed on February 19, 2021.

About Bombardier
Bombardier is a global leader in aviation, creating innovative and game–changing planes. Our products and services provide world–class experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montral, Canada, Bombardier is present in more than 12 countries including its production/engineering sites and its customer support network. The Corporation supports a worldwide fleet of approximately 4,900 aircraft in service with a wide variety of multinational corporations, charter and fractional ownership providers, governments and private individuals.

News and information is available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

Bombardier is a trademark of Bombardier Inc. and its subsidiaries.
All amounts in this press release are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated.

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Patrick Ghoche
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Bombardier Inc.
+1–514 861 5727

“Why Was I Ever Born”– Righting the Wrong

The US announcement revoking the previous administration’s terrorist designation of Yemen’s Houthi movement, formally known as Ansar Allah, will provide “profound relief” to millions in the country, who depend on international assistance and imports for their survival, the UN Spokesperson said on February 7, 2021. Credit: WFP/Reem Nada

By Alon Ben-Meir
NEW YORK, Feb 17 2021 – The bombing continues unabated. The explosions are heard in the distance. A family with seven children is cowering in fear in a corner of their shack, not daring to step out, dreading instant death from shrapnel or a sniper’s bullet.

They occasionally look up to the sky through a hole in the roof, hoping still for some rain drops collected in a bucket underneath. Drinking water is nowhere to be found, and only the rain drops keep the family alive.

The mother is careworn; she tries to breast-feed her baby boy, Mahmood, but her milk runs dry. The baby’s eyes are open still, gazing at nothing, perhaps wondering what’s happening to him and why.

Slowly he tries to raise his weakened hand to touch his mother’s breast, as if pleading for just one more drop of milk. His arm falls back, hanging; he can’t move, he can’t cry, his eyes run dry, he has no tears left to shed to ease his agonizing pain!

If you bent to ask him how he is feeling, and if he could only talk, he would say “why, why was I ever born?” Weeks of starvation finally took their turn. His body surrenders, and he dies in his mother’s arms.

How correct was James Baldwin when he said “A child cannot, thank Heaven, know how vast and how merciless is the nature of power, with what unbelievable cruelty people treat each other.”

Countless Yemeni children are dying from starvation and disease while the world shamelessly watches in silence, as if this was just a horror story from a different time and a distant place, where a country is ravaged by a senseless, unwinnable war while a whole generation perishes in front our eyes.

Those at the top who are fighting the war are destroying the very people they want to govern; they are the evil that flourishes on apathy and cannot endure without it.

What’s there left for them to rule? Twenty million Yemenis are famished, one million children are infected with cholera, and hundreds of thousands of little boys and girls are ravenous—dying, leaving no trace and no mark behind to tell the world they were ever here.

And the poorest country on this planet earth lies yet in ruin and utter despair.

The civilian casualties became a weapon of choice, and the victor will be the one who inflicts the heaviest fatalities. And as the higher the death toll of civilians continues to rise, climbing ever higher, the closer they believe they come to triumph. “People speak sometimes about the “bestial” cruelty of man,” Dostoyevsky said, “but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.”

When will the international community wake up? Evil humans can do much horrific harm, but those who watch them with deafening silence cause a greater disaster for failing to act. When will they try to bring the Yemeni calamity to a close? What will it take to bring the combatants to what’s left of their sanity?

There is nothing left to fight for, though however hopeless the conditions are, we can still be determined to change course. And if we succeed in saving even a single life, as the Abrahamic religions teach us, it is as though we have saved the whole world.

Cognizant of the Yemeni tragedy, President Biden – unlike Trump – took the first step by suspending the shipment of the killing machines. He could not allow himself to watch this human catastrophe to continue to take such a toll on the Yemeni people while degrading our morals and numbing our conscience.

It is time to warn Iran to end its support of the Houthis, as Tehran will never be permitted to establish a permanent foothold in the Arabian Peninsula. As an ally, Saudi Arabia should be encouraged to maintain the ceasefire and sue for a peace agreement.

The Houthis must remember that there will be no victors, only losers—losers, for they have already lost the country. The country they are fighting for is no longer there. They must now start at the beginning, and only together with the beleaguered government put an end to these unspeakable atrocities.

And maybe, just maybe, the community of nations will come together with the United States to right the wrong, not only for the sake of the Yemeni people but for the sake of humanity.

We are facing the test of time, and we will never be forgiven for failing to rise up and answer the silent call of that little boy, Mahmood, who died so cruelly so much before his prime.


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Successful Crop Innovation Is Mitigating Climate Crisis Impact in Africa

A woman farmer in Mozambique with DT maize harvest. Credit: CIMMYT / IITA

By Martin Kropff and Nteranya Sanginga
IBADAN and MEXICO CITY, Feb 17 2021 – 17 February – African smallholder farmers have no choice but to adapt to climate change: 2020 was the second hottest year on record, while prolonged droughts and explosive floods are directly threatening the livelihoods of millions. By the 2030s, lack of rainfall and rising temperatures could render 40 percent of Africa’s maize-growing area unsuitable for climate-vulnerable varieties grown by farmers, while maize remains the preferred and affordable staple food for millions of Africans who survive on less than a few dollars of income a day.

Farmers across the continent understand that the climate crisis is affecting their harvests and their “daily bread”. In sub-Saharan Africa, growing numbers of people are chronically undernourished, with over 21 percent of the population suffering from severe food insecurity.

The global battle against climate change and all its interconnected impacts requires a multisectoral approach to formulate comprehensive responses. For farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, especially smallholders, this involves producing improved crop varieties that are not only high-yielding but also tolerant to drought and heat, resistant to diseases and insect pests, and can contribute to minimizing the risk of farming under rainfed conditions.

CGIAR, a global partnership involving numerous organizations engaged in food systems transformation, has been at the forefront of technological innovation and deployment for many decades. The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) are the two CGIAR research centers undertaking innovative maize research and development work in the stress-prone environments of Africa. Successful development of improved climate-adaptive maize varieties for sub-Saharan Africa has been spearheaded by these two CGIAR centers that implemented joint projects such as the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) and Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) in partnership with an array of national and private sector partners in the major maize-producing countries in Eastern, Southern, and West Africa. Under the 10-year DTMA initiative, about 160 affordable and scalable maize varieties were released.

High-yielding, multiple stress-tolerant, maize varieties using CIMMYT/IITA maize germplasm released after 2007 (the year the DTMA project was started) are estimated to be grown on 5 million hectares in 2020 in sub-Saharan Africa. The adoption of drought-tolerant (DT) maize varieties helped lift millions of people above the poverty line across the continent. For example, in drought-prone southern Zimbabwe, farmers using DT varieties in dry years were able to harvest up to 600 kilograms more maize per hectare—enough for nine months for an average family of six—than farmers who sowed conventional varieties.

A smallholder woman farmer in northern Uganda with DT maize on her farm. Credit: CIMMYT / IITA

The STMA project that followed DTMA also operated in sub-Saharan Africa, where 176 million people depend on maize for nutrition and economic well-being. The project, which ended in 2020, and followed by a new project called Accelerating Genetic Gains for Maize and Wheat Improvement (AGG), developed new maize varieties that can be successfully grown under drought, sub-optimal soil fertility, heat stress, and diseases and pests. In 2020, CGIAR-related stress-tolerant maize varieties were estimated to be grown on over 5 million hectares, benefiting over 8.6 million smallholder farmers in 13 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

In Kenya, farmers with the new maize varieties are harvesting 20 to 30 percent more grain than farmers without drought-tolerant seeds. Prasanna Boddupalli, Director of CIMMYT’s Global Maize Program and the CGIAR Research Program on maize, says this has a cascading effect on livelihoods—improving the nutritional intake of the community, helping children return to school, and reducing poverty.

Martin Kropff, Director General, CIMMYT

In an interview with Gates Notes, Kenyan farmer Veronica Nduku, who has been growing CIMMYT’s drought-tolerant maize for 10 years, had said that she always harvests even when there is no rainfall.

In Zambia, a study by CIMMYT and the Center for Development Research has shown that adopting drought-tolerant maize can increase yields by 38 percent and reduce the risks of crop failure by 36 percent, even though three-quarters of the farmers in the study had experienced drought during the survey.

Besides climate-adaptive improved maize varieties, both CIMMYT and IITA have developed maize varieties biofortified with provitamin A; vitamin A deficiency is highly prevalent in populations across sub-Saharan Africa. These biofortified maize varieties, developed in partnership with HarvestPlus, are being deployed in targeted countries in sub-Saharan Africa in partnership with national programs and seed company partners.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding this year, CGIAR unveiled its roadmap for a new 10-year strategy at the online 2021 Climate Adaptation Summit, hosted by the Netherlands in January.

The new sustainable research strategy puts climate change at the heart of its mission, with an emphasis on the realignment of food systems worldwide, targeting five impact areas: nutrition, poverty, inclusivity, climate adaptation and mitigation, and environmental health.

Nteranya Sanginga, Director General, IITA

Through food system transformation, resilient agri-food systems, and genetic innovations CGIAR’s ambition is to meet and go beyond the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for a concerted global effort to radically realign food systems to achieve the 17 SDGs by 2030.

CGIAR warns that without more science-based interventions to align agriculture with climate targets, the number of undernourished people around the world could exceed 840 million by 2030.

To shift its focus and investment into agricultural research that responds to the climate crisis, CGIAR is undergoing an institutional reform. Now named ‘One CGIAR’ the dynamic reformulation of CGIAR’s partnerships, knowledge, assets, and global presence, aims for greater integration and impact in the face of the interdependent challenges facing today’s world.

Scientific innovations in food, land, and water systems will be deployed faster, at a larger scale, and at reduced cost, having greater impact where they are needed the most.

Ground-breaking progress to date would not have been possible without the generous funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Yet Bill Gates, who recognizes the essential role of CGIAR in “feeding our future”, also acknowledges that current levels of investment do not even amount to half of what is needed.

Investments in maize breeding and seed system innovations must expand to keep up with the capacity to withstand climate variability in sub-Saharan Africa, the world’s most chronically undernourished region, and provide food and nutritional security to millions of maize-dependent and resource-constrained smallholders and consumers.

At CIMMYT and IITA, we have invested on long-term breeding to increase genetic gains using many new tools and technologies. These efforts need to be further intensified.

More funding is also needed to reach out to smallholders with quality seed of climate-resilient maize varieties. While 77 percent of Zambian households interviewed said they experienced drought in 2015, only 44 percent knew about drought-tolerant maize.

Mindful that adopting new technologies and practices can be risky for resource-poor farmers who do not enjoy the protection of social welfare safety nets in rich countries, CIMMYT encourages farmers, seed companies, and other end users to be involved in the development process.

It is not enough to lower carbon emissions. African farmers need to adapt quickly to rising temperatures, drawn-out droughts and sharp, devastating floods. With higher-yielding, multiple stress tolerant maize varieties, smallholder farmers have the opportunity to not only combat climatic variabilities, diseases and pests, but can also effectively diversify their farms. This will enable them in turn to have better adaptation to the changing climates and access to well-balanced and affordable diets. As climate change intensifies, so should agricultural innovations. It is time for a “business unusual” approach.


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Leveraging AI to Fight Climate Change

Experts say artificial intelligence (AI) and big data are critical to combat climate change. One project uses AI to visualise the consequences of a changing climate by ‘bringing the future closer.’ It visually projects how houses and streets will look following the impact of climate related events. A file photo of Haiti shows impact on the country after Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. Credit: Kenton X. Chance/IPS

Experts say artificial intelligence (AI) and big data are critical to combat climate change. One project uses AI to visualise the consequences of a changing climate by ‘bringing the future closer.’ It visually projects how houses and streets will look following the impact of climate related events. A file photo of Haiti shows impact on the country after Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. Credit: Kenton X. Chance/IPS

By Alison Kentish
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 17 2021 – International organisations, researchers and data scientists say artificial intelligence (AI) and big data are critical to combat years of promises but inadequate action on the climate, biodiversity and pollution crises.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the UN Environment Programme, Microsoft and StartUp inside, a corporation which works with Fortune 500 companies in digital transformation held the virtual ‘AI for the Planet’ conference this week.

As vaccines bring hope of an end to a brutal pandemic, the partners warn that digital technologies and machine learning can no longer be left out of the conversation on building a more sustainable and equitable planet. They say the technology can be used to assist the public in embracing more sustainable practices and making better consumption choices.

Postdoctoral Researcher in AI for humanity at the Mila Institute Sasha Luccioni is working on a project that uses AI to visualise the consequences of a changing climate by ‘bringing the future closer.’ It visually projects how houses and streets will look following the impact of climate related events, hoping that the images will move people into action to protect the planet.

“We are creating a website where someone can enter an address, find their house, school or workplace and we provide them with AI generated images of what it would look like if climate change had an impact on this location, whether it be through flooding, smog or wildfires,” said Luccioni.

The images are accompanied by information on climate change, extreme weather events, local and global changes, as well as personal and collective action to save the planet and prevent the virtual images from becoming reality.

While Luccioni’s project uses AI to impact behaviour change, Weathernews Incorporated of Japan is using the technology in a UNESCO-supported disaster prevention programme. The chatbot system will be rolled out in East Africa this year. Used by local governments in Japan, it uses AI technology over a messaging app to send information such river swells to citizens before a disaster and communicate with them during and post-disaster. The project underscores the need for technology to save lives in an area beset with flooding, landslides, droughts and earthquakes.

“We would like to contribute to the creation of a society and a planet where many lives can be saved through information, by consolidating our knowledge of disaster prevention, together with AI technology for the planet,” said Shoichi Tateno, Private Public Partnership Section Leader at Weathernews.

UNEP officials say the world has 10 years to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals but cannot adequately measure its progress against 68 percent of their environmental indicators. Executive Director Inger Anderson says AI, big data and technology can help to fill that gap.

“How do we use digital solutions to drive sustainability and to create a world that is circulator, regenerative and inclusive and where we know how we are tracking and measuring where we are falling behind?” asked Anderson, adding that, “UNEP is just beginning to support and scale environmental change through the digital architecture.”

The summit partners say that applying big data, AI and digital technology in areas like mobility, manufacturing, agriculture, energy and buildings can result in a 10 to 20 percent reduction in global carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.

Watt Time, an environmental non-profit founded by UC Berkley researchers and Silicon Valley software engineers, has been developing technology to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Executive Director Gavin McCormick says the process starts by using AI to produce high quality data on greenhouse gas emissions.

“We teamed up with other tech savvy non-profits including Carbon Tracker and the World Resources Institute to AI to begin continuously monitoring the emissions from every power plant in the world and to make those data available to the general public the way the United States government makes its own data available to the public,” he said.

The virtual summit explored the role of AI in helping nations achieve the goal of limiting the increase in global average temperatures to well below 2°C pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. From providing real-time, reliable data on emissions to focusing on disaster prevention, the partners say AI is a critical yet underused tool in protecting the planet and securing a more sustainable future.

GreenBox POS Announces Nasdaq Listing and Pricing of an Upsized $43.6 Million Public Offering

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — GreenBox POS (NASDAQ:GBOX) (the "Company") previously (OTCQB:GRBX), an emerging financial technology company leveraging proprietary blockchain security to build customized payment solutions today announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 4,150,000 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $10.50 per share for aggregate gross proceeds of $43,575,000 prior to deducting underwriting discounts, commissions, and other offering expenses. In addition, the Company has granted the underwriters a 45–day option to purchase up to an additional 622,500 shares at the public offering price less the underwriting discounts and commissions. The offering is expected to close on February 19, 2021, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

The Company has received approval to list its common stock on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol "GBOX", with trading expected to begin on February 17, 2021.

Kingswood Capital Markets, division of Benchmark Investments, Inc., is acting as sole bookrunning manager for the offering.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) declared effective a registration statement on Form S–1 relating to these securities on February 12, 2021. A final prospectus relating to this offering will be filed with the SEC. When available, copies of the final prospectus relating to this offering can be obtained at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov or from Kingswood Capital Markets, division of Benchmark Investments Inc., 17 Battery Place, Suite 625, New York, NY 10004, Attention: Syndicate Department, or via email at syndicate@kingswoodcm.com or telephone at (212) 404–7002. Before investing in this offering, interested parties should read in their entirety the prospectus, which provides more information about the Company and such offering.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any of the securities described herein, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

About GreenBox POS

GreenBox POS is an emerging financial technology company leveraging proprietary blockchain security to build customized payment solutions. The Company's applications enable an end–to–end suite of turnkey financial products, helping to reduce fraud and improve the efficiency of handling large–scale commercial processing volumes for its merchant clients globally. For more information, please visit the Company's website at www.greenboxpos.com.

Forward–Looking Statements

This press release contains forward–looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements other than statements of historical facts included in this press release may constitute forward–looking statements and are not guarantees of future performance, condition or results and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those in the forward–looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including those described from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and elsewhere. The Company undertakes no duty to update any forward–looking statement made herein. All forward–looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release.

Investor Relations Contact:

Mark Schwalenberg
MZ Group – MZ North America