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Short video app Chingari inks music licensing deal with T-Series

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Chingari
Chingari

Homegrown short video-sharing platform Chingari which shot into popularity following the TikTok ban in June said on Friday that it has signed a music licensing agreement with T-Series.

As a result of the partnership, all Chingari users in India, other Saarc nations, and in the Middle East will get access to the music collection of T-Series, the company said.

“Chingari users would now be able to choose from thousands of songs from the T-Series music library to make their creation more lively and fun,” Sumit Ghosh, Co-founder and CEO of Chingari App, said in a statement.

“From Bollywood to Indiepop and from melody to melancholy across all Indian languages, T-Series music library on Chingari has songs for every content genre and every emotion.”

Chingari allows its users to download and upload videos, chat with friends, interact with new people, share content, browse through feed, and much more.

The platform is available in 10 vernacular languages — Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil, Odia, and Telugu — and also two international languages — English and Spanish.

Chingari, which now claims to have a 30 million-strong user base, recently won the the Indian government’s “Aatma Nirbhar App Challenge” in the social media category.

“The licensing pact between T-Series and Chingari is a win-win for both sides as this mutually beneficial agreement amalgamates social media and music while promoting business ethics,” said Bhushan Kumar, Managing Director, T-Series.

“This sets the right precedent for social media platforms and music rights owners to work and evolve together.”

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Embracing AI vital for future of work in India: Intel (Lead)

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Intel.( photo:wikipedia.org)
Intel.( photo:wikipedia.org)

Chip giant Intel on Thursday said that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is essential to the future of work in the post-pandemic world, with over 90 per cent respondents in a survey considering AI to be essential or highly relevant to their businesses in India.

More than 40 per cent of small and micro revenue firms are using AI for decision support while in medium sized firms, nearly 50 per cent rely entirely on human decision-making as they still do not use AI, revealed the report by Intel India based on two surveys in the country.

Conducted by the Srini Raju Centre for Information Technology and the Networked Economy (SRITNE) at Indian School of Business (ISB), the Suitability of Machine Learning (SML) survey had 3,099 employees across 106 Indian occupations, and the ‘AI and Future of Work’ survey had 301 firms across sectors that have adopted AI/machine learning (ML) in their workflows.

Over 70 per cent of respondents across various firm categories expect their organisational headcount to increase in response to AI over the next two years while a similar number indicated the growth of all firm-level initiatives to support AI adoption.

“There is a need to better understand AI’s integration and impact at work in order to accelerate innovation and scale its benefits, especially in the context of emerging economies such as India,” said Nivruti Rai, Country Head, Intel India and Vice President, Data Platforms Group, Intel Corporation.

“This study by Intel India and ISB will help drive future research to meaningfully inform policymakers and the industry about the impact of AI and machine learning,” she added.

According to the report, an overwhelming 80 per cent of their workforce will undergo significant re-training due to AI implementation over the next two years.

Over 80 per cent of respondents from the survey indicated that either the organisation or more than one department in the organisation stood to benefit with AI deployment.

“An overwhelming 80 percent of the surveyed small, micro, medium and high-revenue firms have specific AI teams. Nearly 40 percent of all firms indicate that a designated programme manager is responsible to provide oversight to AI initiatives,” the findings showed.

A key finding is that firms that have projects with a high suitability for ML are expected to receive investments that are broader in scope and quantum.

These projects are also expected to see high growth in investments over the next five years.

The survey also indicated a growth in workforce hiring and re-training over the next two years.

“The pandemic has only accelerated this growth, thereby rendering the work forms systematic and pervasive. It is, therefore, important for policymakers and organisations to develop an acute understanding of this future of work as they frame policies for work and workers,” said Deepa Mani, Professor of Information Systems and Executive Director of SRITNE, ISB.

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Zoom to roll out end-to-end encryption starting next week

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Zoom app
Zoom app

Video meeting app Zoom is all set to roll out the first phase of its end-to-end encryption (E2EE) offering from next week, initially as a technical preview for a month during which the platform will solicit feedback from users.

Bot free and paid Zoom users around the world can host up to 200 participants in an end-to-end encryption meeting on the platform, Zoom said on Wednesday during its Zoomtopia 2020 event.

“End-to-end encryption is another stride toward making Zoom the most secure communications platform in the world,” said Zoom CEO Eric Yuan.

“This phase of our E2EE offering provides the same security as existing end-to-end-encrypted messaging platforms, but with the video quality and scale that has made Zoom the communications solution of choice for hundreds of millions of people and the world’s largest enterprises.”

Zoom first announced its plans to build an end-to-end-encrypted meeting option into its platform in May.

The US-based company had said that since releasing the draft design of the platform’s end-to-end encryption on May 22, it has engaged with civil liberties organisations, child safety advocates, encryption experts, government representatives, its own users, and others to gather their feedback on this feature.

Zoom was earlier sued by one of its shareholders who alleged in the complaint that the platform failed to disclose some vulnerabilities and that the services did not provide end-to-end encryption.

“We’re pleased to roll out Phase 1 of 4 of our E2EE offering, which provides robust protections to help prevent the interception of decryption keys that could be used to monitor meeting content,” Max Krohn, Zoom’s Head of Security Engineering, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

“To be clear, Zoom’s E2EE uses the same powerful GCM (Galois/Counter Mode) encryption you get now in a Zoom meeting. The only difference is where those encryption keys live,” Krohn said.

To use the new security feature, customers must enable E2EE meetings at the account level and opt-in to E2EE on a per-meeting basis.

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Modern workplaces for secure remote work need of the hour: HP CEO

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HP President and CEO Enrique Lores
HP President and CEO Enrique Lores

As large enterprises and small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India and elsewhere hit the refresh button in the pandemic times, the onus is on tech companies to keep their customers secure and provide them modern devices that make their lives easy as they work from home, HP President and CEO Enrique Lores said on Thursday.

Responding to an IANS question, Lores stressed on the fact that digital transformation has entered top gear as organisations realise the importance or remote learning with modern workplaces that can be set up right at home premises.

“I think the conversation we’re having with most of our clients is about acceleration and transformation. The digital transformation we have seen during the last few months is something we saw happening in the timeframe of two to three years in the pre-Covid era,” Lores told IANS during the virtual ‘HP Innovation Summit 2020′.

He said that the adoption to digital technologies is something not limited to large corporations only as more and more SMBs are on the path to realise their digital dreams and embrace state-of-the-art, secure workplaces.

“We tell our customers how they can work remotely in a secure way, to use the technology in ways that were not possible before. HP Inc is leading the digital transformation journey for enterprises of all sizes,” Lores emphasised.

SMBs account for 97 per cent of all businesses in Asia-Pacific and employ over half of the workforce.

“We are witnessing the dawn of a new age, where our cyber and physical worlds converge to create amazing new opportunities,” Lores said at the company’s ‘Reinvent 2020′ virtual conference last month.

“This is a defining moment for each of us, our companies and our industry,” he told partners.

The Covid-19 pandemic “has accelerated trends such as workforce mobility, digital education and the rise of the subscription economy. Even in our core PC and print businesses, people expect more personalized solutions,” Lores said.

To prepare enterprises of all sizes for the new normal, HP recently announced a slew of new innovations designed to meet the needs of businesses with hybrid workplaces and distributed workforces for making remote employees as productive, connected and secure as possible, while seeking cost-effective ways to buy and manage IT.

The company launched a number of new innovations of PC, printer, and services to support companies and SMBs continue to adapt and stay productive in the changing working landscape.

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Rapido launches auto services in 14 Indian cities

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Rapido ties up with essential suppliers to aid last-mile deliveries
Rapido ties up with essential suppliers to aid last-mile deliveries

Bike taxi service provider Rapido on Thursday launched its auto services in 14 cities across 10 states.

According to the company, the service will allow commuters to book autos for their everyday commute from the comfort and safety of their home.

Rapido said it to bring standardisation to the pricing of the services offered for the auto drivers and customers.

“Autos have emerged as a preferred way of commuting post the COVID-19 pandemic after bike taxis. While the auto service industry is highly penetrated, it has only 5 per cent of its existing market online,” Aravind Sanka, Co-Founder, Rapido, said in a statement.

The service will be available at the meter price with an additional minimal convenience fee.

The company plans to expand the auto services to 50 cities in India by the end of 2020.

This is the first phase of the launch and Rapido said it has already on-boarded 20,000 auto Captains (driver-partners) so far.

It has plans to onboard more than half a million in the next six months and interested auto drivers can self-onboard themselves by downloading Rapido Captain App or calling the Rapido helpline number.

Each Rapido auto will be powered with Rapido’s GPS technology ensuring access to continuous demand from customers around them. Through Rapido Auto, users will be able to track and share their ride in real-time, with their loved ones.

Rapido Auto, like Rapido Bike Taxi service, will have an in-app feedback mechanism to allow for and ensure a safe and consistent experience for commuters.

The captains will be expected to sanitize and clean the seats and all customer accessible areas, post every ride, along with mandatory usage of masks during the entire ride by the Captains and the passengers.

The company also introduced new policy support where the company provides free cancellation if Captains or customers are without a mask.

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Zoom launches new online events platform ‘OnZoom’

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OnZoom (Photo: @zoom_us/ Twitter)
OnZoom (Photo: @zoom_us/ Twitter)

Video meeting app Zoom has launched an online event platform and marketplace called OnZoom for paid users of the platform to create, host, and monetise events like fitness classes, concerts, stand-up or music lessons on the Zoom Meetings platform.

With this platform, hosts can grow their businesses, expand their reach into new audiences, and give back through native donation integration, Zoom said on Wednesday, while maing the announcement during its Zoomtopia 2020 event.

Zoom users can discover these events and sign up for new experiences with additional functionality like gifting tickets and an attendee dashboard to keep tabs on favourite events and brands.

“One thing we’ve learned in this challenging time is that remote work does work. The future will bring a hybrid of the best of in-person and virtual communications,” said Zoom Video Communications CEO Eric Yuan.

“The announcements we make today at Zoomtopia demonstrate that Zoom is built for this moment and beyond. We have the platform to support what the world needs — today, tomorrow, and well into the future.”

The OnZoom platform specifically helps businesses and entrepreneurs schedule and host one-time events, an event series, and drop-ins for up to 1,000 attendees (depending on your Zoom Meeting license), list and sell tickets, share and promote public events via email and social media and reach new audiences beyond a business geographical location.

Zoom made the service available starting Wednesday as a public beta for US users.

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Intel, CBSE deliver virtual lesson on AI to 13K students in 24 hrs

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Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)
Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)

Chip-making giant Intel and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Wednesday achieved a new Guinness World Records title for most users taking an online artificial intelligence (AI) lesson in 24 hours.

The record was set after delivering a virtual lesson focused on demystifying the impact of AI and key considerations around its use to 13,000 students from Class VIII and above between October 13 and 14.

The training was part of the ongoing ‘AI for Youth Virtual Symposium’ organised by Intel and CBSE.

“The ongoing ‘AI for Youth Virtual Symposium’ is yet another platform for students and teachers to be part of an exponential wave of innovation and learn from local and global experts,” Shweta Khurana, Director-APJ, Global Partnerships and Initiatives at Intel, said in a statement.

“The enthusiastic response to the virtual AI lesson from students across the country that helped set a record with Guinness World Records shows India’s youth is engaged and eager to explore and innovate,” Khurana added.

Intel and CBSE under the Ministry of Education have been working together to increase the pace of AI integration in India’s education system.

The AI for Youth Virtual Symposium being held from October 13 to 17 is a part of this continued effort to enable India’s youth to learn AI readiness skills, gain an immersive experience and witness AI social impact projects created by their peers.

The symposium launched over 200 multi-disciplinary AI integrated lesson plans in a digital format to enhance teaching and learning for classes VI to XII.

Each of these lesson plans has been written by teachers who are subject matter experts in their domain and forerunners in incorporating AI tools to help students gain holistic knowledge in an experiential and enjoyable manner, as per the guidance set out in the National Education Policy 2020.

These lesson plans will be hosted on DIKSHA, the Ministry of Education’s national digital platform for school education.

“I congratulate CBSE and Intel on their commitment to nurturing the right AI-related skillset and mindset among school students under the AI for Youth programme, and setting a world record along the way,” said Biswajit Saha, Director, Trainings and Skill Education, CBSE, Ministry of Education.

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