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Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

LG EXPANDS INVESTMENTS IN ROBOT INNOVATORS

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

With Robots Playing a Key Role in Company’s ThinQ Strategy, Company Looks at Home and Abroad for Technology Partners

Karachi / Seoul, July 3, 2018 — LG Electronics’ recent investment in US-based Bossa Nova Robotics marks the first overseas investment in a robotics partner by LG following a number of deals with Korean startups over the past year. In total, LG has committed over USD 90 million to robotics startups in the first 12 months of its investment initiative.

Bossa Nova Robotics is the leading provider of real-time, on-shelf product data for the global retail industry which helps run large-scale retail stores efficiently by automating collection and analysis of on-shelf inventory data. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has been testing Bossa Nova’s shelf-scanning robots in a number of stores since last year.

LG - ROBOTISLG CONCEPT ROBOTS

The funding of Bossa Nova follows LG’s investments in four other Korea-based robot-ics companies: Acryl, SG ROBOTICS, Robotis and Robostar:

• Acryl Inc., founded by a team of academics from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), is a 7-year-old cognitive computing company providing the integrated artificial intelligence (AI) platform called “Jonathan” which can recognize human emotions and meanings from text, speech and image based on big data and deep learning to realize real-life AI.

• SG ROBOTICS is a start-up company that develops wearable robots to assist people with mobility challenges, including paraplegics and neuromuscular disease patients. The company was founded in 2017 to deliver “Robots For Better Life” and is work-ing on commercializing a wearable robot for children. SG ROBOTICS’ WalkON Suit won a bronze medal in the first Cybathlon in 2016 and was the first torch bearer at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics.

• Robotis specializes in robotic solutions and educational robots. It is recognized for its proprietary smart actuators used in multi-jointed robots and produces hardware such as controllers and sensor modules to robot programming software.

• Robostar is a manufacturer of industry robots. Its mission is to be a one-stop solution provider for companies involved in industries such as mobile, display, automobile and semiconductor.

These investments complement LG’s own efforts to bring service robots to market in the very near future to become a core growth engine for the company. LG has already deployed a number of robots in Korea for trial service, with its Guide Robot and Clean-ing Robot dispatched to assist travelers at South Korea’s largest airport during the win-ter games in PyeongChang. Earlier this year at CES, LG introduced three new CLOi concept robots specifically developed for commercial use in high-traffic locations such as hotels and supermarkets. LG’s CLOi robots are being developed in parallel to ThinQ products, LG’s AI brand for consumer electronics and home appliances.

“Robotics, as a key component of our ThinQ AI strategy, is a critical future growth op-portunity for LG,” said Kim Sungwook, vice president of the global open innovation division at LG Electronics. “LG is committed to expanding its robotics capabilities through investments in innovative partners as well as intense R and D efforts from with-in.”

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Emirates announces one-off A380 service into Islamabad, Pakistan

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Karachi / Dubai, July 03, 2018: Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, announced today that it will deploy a one-off A380 service to Islamabad on 8 July 2018. The airline’s iconic double-decker will make its inaugural arrival in Islamabad on a special flight EK2524/EK2525.

An Emirates Airbus A380

The A380 flight will depart Dubai on 8 July 2018 at 0800hrs and arrive in Islamabad at 1210hrs. The flight will depart Islamabad at 1540hrs arriving in Dubai at 1745hrs on the same day.

“We are proud to bring our flagship A380 aircraft to Islamabad, and we look forward to showcasing our innovative products on-board this iconic aircraft with the signature Emirates service.

While this is a special flight, we are very keen to launch a scheduled A380 service to Pakistan and will continue to work with authorities to realise these plans,” said Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice President Commercial Operations Centre, Emirates.

The Emirates A380 aircraft on this special one-off service will be in a two-class configuration offering spacious seats in Economy Class and fully flat-bed seats in Business Class as well as Emirates’ popular Onboard Lounge. Passengers in all classes enjoy free Wi-Fi to stay in touch with family and friends and Emirates’ multi-award winning ‘ice’ inflight entertainment with up to 3,500 channels of movies, TV programmes, music and podcasts on the industry’s biggest personal screens in each class of travel.

Emirates and Pakistan have a shared history tracing back over 30 years when the airline’s flight landed in Karachi on 25 October 1985. In the last three decades, Emirates has progressively expanded its operations and offering global connectivity and world-class services to Pakistan’s major cities including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Sialkot and Multan.

Emirates Skywards, the award-winning loyalty programme, offers its more than 400,000 Pakistani members’ exclusive privileges, including earning Skywards Miles when they fly on Emirates or partner airlines, or when they use the programme’s designated hotels, car rentals, financial, leisure and lifestyle partners.

Emirates currently has 104 A380s in service and 58 pending delivery, more than any airline globally. The airline also recently announced a US$ 16 billion (AED 58.7 billion) deal for 36 additional Airbus A380 aircraft.

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Citi and PPAF organise 12thCiti-PPAF Microentrepreneurship Awards Ceremony

Monday, July 9th, 2018

Islamabad, July 09, 2018: The Citi – PPAF Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA), delivered in partnership by the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and Citi Foundation the philanthropic arm of Citibank N.A., Pakistan, announced the national winners of the 12th Citi – PPAF Microentrepreneurship Awards.

The Honourable Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Mr. Tariq Bajwa, was the chief guest at the event.

NaseemMaseeh from Karachi and Sanobar from Hyderabad were the national winners for the 12th CMA.

Naseemis the owner of a stitching center, earns PKR 50,000- 60,000 per month, and has trained more than 5,000 girls in his center. Naseem is physically disabled but he never lost hope and was encouraged by The First Microfinance Bank Ltd. to start his own business. Starting his business with only2-3 stitching machines and now runs a center with more than 100 machines, Naseem’s journey has been inspirational. He plans to expand his business by opening other stitching centers on large scale in other areas. Naseem says, “Disabled people generally have a hard time gaining people’s trust and acceptance. I have suffered a lot but now my life has totally changed after I was given the opportunity by The First Microfinance Bank Ltd.”

Based in a small remote community, Sanobar contributes to the local economy. Today, she is the owner of a poultry shop but she started her business from a simple cart selling chickens. She earns more than PKR 5,000 per day and plans to invest more in her business to expand it. In the beginning, Sanober was discouraged by her family members but today she supports her family and employs 6 people in her shop. She says, “I never thought that I could reach this level but this was made possible by the Khushhali Microfinance Bank Ltd. If not for this opportunity, my life would have been very different now.”

Qazi Azmat Isa, CEO of PPAF, said: “Since 2005, we have recognised 450 outstanding microentrepreneurs through the Citi-PPAF Microentrepreneurship Awards. These microentrepreneurs are chosen for their exceptional perseverance and hard work. With microcredit, they have changed their own lives and contributed to the development of their communities. The Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards programme is a fantastic way to highlight best practices in microentrepreneurship and to raise awareness about microfinance and its importance for a thriving economy.”

Nadeem Lodhi, Citi Country Officer & Managing Director of Citi Pakistan, said: “Like any vibrant industry, microfinance has been evolving in Pakistan going from simple small loans to provision of complex financial products. The enabling environment created by the regulator has provided this traction and the industry has grown by reaching previously unbanked clients, new places, new management structures, and new attitudes. Over the last 12 years, Citi Foundation, along with PPAF, has identified and supported high impact entrepreneurs whose inspiring stories can serve to motivate other people to achieve their dreams. We are proud to share that the awards have gradually expanded to include more categories than previous years to better recognise the diversity across Pakistan and the significance of financial inclusion for the marginalised.”

Tariq Bajwa, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan was the chief guest at the event and he applauded the endeavour saying that, “I am honored to be speaking at this forum that has a legacy of recognizing the microentrepreneurs who have transformed their lives and are role models in their communities. The CMAs stands as an excellent example of long-standing and successful public-private collaboration. I would like to congratulate PPAF and the Citi Foundation for their continued support to address the multidimensional issues of poverty in the marginalized segments of the society. The SBP has been working with PPAF to lead the sustainable development of microfinance industry in the country. This is based on a shared vision to promote inclusive growth by creating livelihood opportunities for low income segments thus enabling them to contribute effectively towards socioeconomic development of their households, communities and of course of Pakistan.”

To be eligible for the Awards, a business must have benefited from an affordable loan from responsible finance providers, and must have contributed to the local economic growth in the community, province or city they operate in.Other winners include Naimat from Badin in overcoming adversity; Razia Samuel from Lahore in positive impact on community and Naseem Bibi from Kot Abdul Malik in positive impact on community category. The Young Entrepreneur Award went to Sania Bibi, who drives a rickshaw to establish a regular livelihood and support her family.

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Facebook protecting Pakistan’s elections from abuse

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

Karachi, July 10, 2018: Facebook is increasing the number of people working on safety and security issues around the world to 20,000 people by the end of the year, as it employed dedicated teams working on all of the world’s upcoming elections – including Pakistan – to help detect and prevent malicious actors or abuse on Facebook.

Ahead of Pakistan’s elections, Facebook has ramped up its efforts to ensure they doing everything they can to prevent abuse, working in collaboration with the Election Commission of Pakistan to better understand and address the specific challenges faced here.

Facebook has incredible potential to be a positive force for democracy around the world. Facebook gives a voice to people of all ages and political beliefs, it encourages debate and the healthy exchange of ideas, and it makes leaders more accountable to their constituents.

There are people who want to abuse the platform to harm the democratic process. This is something Facebook is absolutely committed to preventing, and is taking a number of steps to protect and preserve the integrity of the upcoming elections around the world. Pakistan is no exception.

Here is a look at the specific steps Facebook has taken in Pakistan ahead of the July 25th election.

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Infographic Fact checker

We know that people want to see accurate information on Facebook – and so do we.

We also know that misinformation is harmful to our community and makes the world less informed, particularly in the context of elections. We can’t combat false news alone – we believe it requires a concerted effort across industry, academics, civil society and government, but we are absolutely committed to playing our part. That’s why we are working hard to fight the spread of false news on Facebook through a combination of technology and human review, and through arming our community with ability to recognise what might be false. Our efforts are focused on the following key areas:

Third-party fact-checking: As of this week, we will begin a pilot of our Third Party Fact Checking to our community in Pakistan, in partnership with AFP. Third Party Fact Checking is one of the ways we are fighting misinformation and our partners are well-respected fact-checkers who have been certified by Poynter’s non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network. Here’s how we work with our fact-checking partners, using a combination of technology and human review to detect and demote false news on Facebook:

We use signals, including feedback from people on Facebook and clickbait sensationalist headlines, to predict potentially false stories for fact-checkers like AFP to review.

When fact-checkers rate a story as false, we significantly reduce its distribution in News Feed — dropping future views on average by more than 80%. Pages and domains that repeatedly share false news will also see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetize and advertise removed.

We also want to empower people to decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share. When third-party fact-checkers write articles about the accuracy of a news story, we show these articles in Related Articles immediately below the story in News Feed. We also send people and Page Admins notifications if they try to share a story or have shared one in the past that’s been determined to be false.

We want to empower people to decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share, and we do this by promoting news literacy and providing people with more context. In Pakistan, we’ve partnered with Media Matters for Democracy and EngagePakistan to develop and distribute localized versions of our false news tips in Pakistan, with the aim of helping our community here learn how to recognise and avoid false news and misinformation. This week, we will be posting a Public Service Announcement at the top of News Feed – visible to our entire Facebook community in Pakistan – with a link to these false news tips.

Fake accounts can be a major distributor of harmful and misleading content, and we work hard to keep them off the platform. We block millions of fake accounts at registration every day, and we continuously build and update our technical systems to make it easier to respond to reports of abuse, detect and remove spam, identify and eliminate fake accounts, and prevent accounts from being compromised. We’ve made recent improvements to recognize these inauthentic accounts more easily by identifying patterns of activity — without assessing account contents themselves. For example, our systems may detect repeated posting of the same content, or aberrations in the volume of content creation. In Q1 of this year, we removed nearly 6 million fake accounts globally, 98.5% of which we detected before anyone reported them to us.

We’re taking significant steps to bring more transparency to ads and Pages on Facebook. Anyone can now view active ads from Pages on Facebook. The feature will allow our community in Pakistan – and around the world – to see ads across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and our partner network, even if those ads aren’t shown to you. People can also learn more about Pages, even if they don’t advertise. For example, you can see any recent name changes and the date the Page was created.

We require our community on Facebook to respect our Community Standards, and we hold advertisers to even stricter guidelines. We use both automated and human review, and we’re taking aggressive steps to strengthen both. Reviewing ads means assessing not just the ad’s content, but the context in which it was bought and the intended audience, and we’re changing our ads review system to pay more attention to these signals. This year, we’ve added more people to our global ads review teams and we’re investing more in machine learning to better understand when to flag and take down ads. Also, last year, we stated that we will no longer allow Pages that repeatedly share false news to advertise on Facebook.

We believe Facebook has an important part to play in creating an informed community, and helping people access all the information they need to take part in the democratic process. Ahead of Election Day, we will serve the community with a vote reminder, which will appear as a megaphone at the top of their News Feed. In addition, we are also working to secure candidate and party Pages to protect them from hacking and impersonation, and will be sending out security emails to admins of such pages, as well as launching an election integrity website (www.facebookpakistanelectionintegrityinitiative.com) for candidates and parties in Pakistan. This website will offer tips and best practices in English and Urdu for politicians and political parties on how to engage their followers and keep their Facebook Pages and accounts safe.

We recognize the importance of working closely with local authorities to encourage civic participation in local elections. We have been working proactively with Election Commission of Pakistan to help support their effort to maintain the integrity of the election. Facebook has helped educate Election Commission officials on how our platform works with the goal of increasing transparency, improving security, and promoting civic engagement. We are also exploring new ways of working with the Election Commission of Pakistan to share a reminder about the ECP’s 8300 Voter SMS service, which is designed to give Pakistanis easy access to their voter record and polling station.

Asad Baig, Executive Director at Media Matters for Democracy, said: ‘We’re committed to defending freedom of expression, media and the internet in Pakistan. With Facebook’s role in giving people in Pakistan a voice, the ability to connect and access to vital information, they are a natural and important partner as we look to ensure that Pakistanis have the opportunity to participate in free and fair elections.”

Arafat Mazhar, Director of Shehri Pakistan added: “We’re excited to be working with Facebook to promote civic engagement and democracy in Pakistan. Preventing the spread of false news is a critical part of ensuring the integrity of our elections and we hope that, through this collaboration, we will make a positive step towards equipping Pakistanis with the tools they need to discern fact from fiction.”

Protecting elections from abuse on our platform is one of the most important things we’re working on at Facebook at the moment. We know there’s more to do, and we will continue to work hard to ensure that Facebook can play a positive and constructive role in Pakistan’s democratic process, both in 2018 and in the long-term.

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