Species evolve more than twice as fast at poles as in tropics: study

first_imgConsidering the swarming biodiversity at the equator, and the lack of diversity near the poles, scientists have long assumed that species evolve more rapidly in warm waters. But a new study of the evolutionary development of 30,000 fish species has turned that idea on its head.Biologists found that a fish species in the tropics split into a new species on average every 10 to 20 million years. But near the poles, that average rate is roughly every four million years – more than twice as fast.The reason may be the far more extreme and less stable climatic conditions found near the poles. This results in more frequent extinctions, which clears out species diversity and empties ecological niches, setting the stage for the next new burst of species formation in other groups of organisms.But if species form faster at the poles than in the tropics, why isn’t there greater biodiversity in the Arctic and Antarctic than at the equator? One possibility: while speciation is more rapid at the poles, extinctions may be more numerous too. But this still isn’t clear, and more research will be needed to find out. Coral reef ecosystem at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Species diversity in the tropics is far greater than that found at the poles, but scientists have found that the rate of speciation for fish is much faster in polar regions. Image by Jim Maragos / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.Picture a healthy, tropical coral reef. Lionfish, parrotfish, and clownfish dart through cerulean waters, swimming over a veritable rainbow of corals. Now picture the Arctic and Antarctic oceans. If you struggle to come up with anything besides a cold, dark abyss, where very little ever happens ecologically or evolutionarily, you’re not alone. But, you’d also be wrong.The tropics are home to a dazzling array of biodiversity, the temperate zones less so, with the poles often evoking words like “barren” and “desolate.” Biologists describe this continuum as the latitudinal diversity gradient, with species densities lowest in the Arctic and Antarctic, and highest around the equator. This concept has long guided our thinking about Earth’s biodiversity, informing widely held assumptions that the tropics have higher biodiversity because species form there faster.That’s why new research, published in the journal Nature, is so shocking to the scientific community.The clichéd image of the Arctic and Antarctic oceans is of evolutionarily starved ecosystems. Scientists have now shown this to be far from the truth, at least among fish species. Photo credit: JEROME LESSARD/PHOTOGRAPHER on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NCWhen researchers compared the evolutionary relationships of more than 30,000 fish species, they found that the rate of speciation – the time it takes for one species to split and become two separate species – was significantly higher at the poles than in the tropics. It’s a discovery that upends our preconceived notions about global biodiversity development.In their analysis, researchers found that a fish species in the tropics split into a new species on average every 10 to 20 million years. But near the poles, that average rate was more like every four million years – more than twice as fast.The reason why this is, says Daniel Rabosky, lead author of the study and evolutionary biologist at the University of Michigan, isn’t yet clear.A juvenile Onespot Demoiselle. The big question researchers are facing: if the rate of speciation is faster in polar regions, compared to the tropics, why is biodiversity so much greater at the equator than it is up north? Does the rate of species extinction play a major role? Image by zsispeo found on Flickr.It’s unlikely, says Rabosky, that anything about the physical environment itself, such as low surface temperatures, is leading to a faster rate of speciation at the poles. “Certainly, [speciation] should be faster due to temperature in the tropics,” he explains. “The accepted wisdom is that warmer places should have more things going on than cold places.” Rather, he thinks what’s ultimately driving this suped-up speciation has more to do with extinction.The fossil record shows that there is an explosion of species diversity right after a big extinction event, such as the asteroid impact 65 million years ago that put an end to the dinosaurs and gave mammals their big break. This same rapid rebound effect could also be happening at the poles, given their lack of climatic stability. Freshwater lakes in northern Canada, where ice sheets once sat, seem to backup Rabosky’s hypothesis; researchers there have witnessed rapid speciation among fish, occurring in a blink of an eye on a geologic time-scale.“Clearing out of species diversity sets the stage for a new burst of species formation in other groups of organisms,” Rabosky explains.Divers under Arctic ice find little of the startling biodiversity seen on tropical coral reefs. But nonetheless, evolution is fast at work in polar regions. Photo credit: bbcworldservice on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC.Brian Bowen, a researcher at the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Marine Biology, agrees. The Arctic and Antarctic see extreme variations in conditions not only from year to year, but in terms of glacial cycles, too. “Those places get locked up in ice and then they thaw; that opens up a lot of new habitat at the end of every ice age,” Bowen says. “If there’s one thing we understand about species flux and high levels of speciation, it’s that when you open up new habitat you tend to get rapid speciation.”Bowen points to similar rapid species development in the Galapagos and Hawaiian Islands which support this theory; both archipelagos formed from volcanic lava that welled up in the middle of the ocean, far from any continental land mass, and both areas have a high number of endemic species. “Something gets in there, where there are all kinds of unused niches, and they speciate rapidly.”But if species are forming faster at the poles than in the tropics, why isn’t there more biodiversity in the Arctic and Antarctic compared to near the equator? Possibly, while speciation is faster up north, then so is extinction. But that isn’t entirely clear, says Rabosky, and will require digging deeper into the fossil record.“There is no real understanding of what is regulating diversity on Earth… that’s one of the big frontiers here,” he says.Chaetodon fasciatus, Red Sea raccoon butterflyfish, and Diagonal butterflyfish. Scientists now possess an evolutionary snapshot of fish speciation rates globally, but they don’t have enough data to conclude how speciation might occur in the future near the poles and in the tropics among fish and other animal and plant species. Image by Artur Rydzewski found on Flickr.Though not his preferred take, Rabosky suggests the Arctic and Antarctic could currently be undergoing a sudden explosion of diversity, and that if we were to look 20 million years into the future, the latitudinal diversity gradient could have all but disappeared. However, our current lack of knowledge makes it too difficult to determine whether the rate of speciation at the poles has increased or decreased over time.Another unanswered question: is the rapid polar speciation seen in fish also occurring in other animals and plants? Does it apply to mollusks, algae, and crustaceans? And what about non-marine life? Birds, for example, don’t seem to show the same relationship between latitude and species formation, while mammals have never been studied in this way.“This is a fascinating wrinkle on the whole issue of the origins of biodiversity,” says Bowen.Atlantic cod can be found as far north as the Arctic Ocean. Polar regions have low fish diversity, but far northern waters are now thought to be the site of rapid fish speciation. Photo credit: Image by Joachim S. Müller found on Flickr. Article published by Glenn Scherer Animals, Arctic Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Hotspots, Biology, Climate Change And Biodiversity, Climate Change And Extreme Weather, Conservation, Ecology, Ecosystems, Environment, Evolution, Extinction, Extreme Weather, Fish, Green, Habitat, New Species, Polar Regions, Research, Tropics, Weather, Wildlife center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Carjack suspect caught in Torrance

first_imgBy Denise Nix STAFF WRITER A 19-year-old man who allegedly carjacked a woman outside the Target store in Redondo Beach was arrested a few minutes later in Torrance, police said Friday. Alexander Saveleyv is accused of approaching the 22-year-old Gardena woman’s 2006 Ford Explorer about 8:30p.m. Thursday just after she got inside, according to Redondo Beach police Sgt. Phil Keenan. He opened her door, pointed a hand gun at her and ordered her to leave the car, Keenan said. Saveleyv allegedly told the unidentified woman: “Don’t worry, I’m not going to hurt you if you do what I say,” according to Keenan. Then the carjacker told her to get out of the car and run in the opposite direction. He left the parking lot in the 1600 block of Kingsdale Avenue and headed south. Torrance officers spotted him driving the woman’s vehicle southbound on Hawthorne Boulevard near Del Amo Boulevard, Keenan said. The officers pulled him over without incident, and he was arrested. Inside the car, officers found a gun and a beanie, Keenan added. The woman identified Saveleyv as the carjacker, and he was taken to the Redondo Beach jail, where he is being held on $100,000 bail. Saveleyv told officers he was a Russian citizen, but gave an address to a residence in the San Fernando Valley, Keenan said. He will likely face charges of carjacking and using a gun, Keenan said. If he is not a U.S. citizen, he would face deportation if convicted. [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Clubs united in grief: “Words cannot express the sense of loss and devastation”

first_imgSports clubs in west Donegal have united in grief following the tragic death of four young men on Sunday night.Mícheál Roarty (24) from Dunlewey, John Harley (24) from Falcarragh, Sean Harkin (22) from Falcarragh and Daniel Scott, from Gortahork, also in his 20s, all friends, were killed instantly when the car in which they had been travelling went off the road just before 9pm last night.The four friends were all traveling in a Toyota Corolla, which crashed at Gleannhulaigh near Magheraroarty. Emergency services attended the scene, but all four men were pronounced dead a short time later.Mícheál Roarty was a member of the Gaoth Dobhair GAA club and has featured at senior and senior reserve level. In 2011, Roarty was on the Donegal Vocational Schools squad that won the All-Ireland, playing alongside the likes of Ryan McHugh and Patrick McBrearty.Michael Roarty RIPCLG Ghaoth Dobhair wrote: “Comhbhrón le Clann Uí Rabhartaigh, is le teaghlaigh na gasúraí a cailleadh go tragóideach aréir. Tá ar smaointe le nár gcairde i CLG Chloich Cheann Fhaola ag an am seo chomh maith.“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha.” Roarty also played soccer with Dunlewey Celtic in the Donegal Saturday League.Dunlewey Celtic said in a short tribute: “Words cannot express how devastated and heartbroken we are as a community at losing Micheal, four young lives taken too soon.“May all four lads rest in peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with all their families at this very sad time.”John Harley was Cloughaneely’s player of the year in 2017 and had served a time as captain of the Pairc Naomh Fionnan club. He was man of the match when Cloughaneely won the Donegal Comortas Peile na Gaeltachta title against Glenfin in 2017.He also played soccer with Glenea United in the Donegal League.John Harley RIPDaniel Scott played underage and senior football with Cloughaneely and was set to move to Denmark to begin a new job next week.Daniel Scott RIPShaun Harkin was a member of the Cloughanely golf club and had also played soccer and Gaelic football at school in Pobolscoil Chloich Cheannfhaola. Shaun Harkin RIPPrincipal of Pobolscoil Chloich Cheannfhaola, Ms Meave Sweeney told RTÉ: “They took those gifts and talents with them into the local community as well while they were here. It’s a huge devastating impact for the GAA and the local soccer team.”CLG Chloich Cheann Fhaola wrote in a moving post on Facebook: “We are deeply saddened to have to pay our deepest sympathies to the families of these four fine young men.“As the tragic news unfolded and we learned of the loss of life it was with a great sadness that we came together this morning as a club to support fellow players, club members and friends; to grieve together and to share our own stories and memories of our much loved friends.“As a club we will rally around the families and friends of the deceased at this difficult time. “Words cannot express the sense of loss and devastation being felt by all at CLG Chloich Cheann Fhaola; but we must be strong for one another and for the families of the boys who have so tragically passed on.”Cloughaneely held a special meeting of wellbeing for those who were affected by the crash. Among those who attended was Donegal senior player Jason McGee who lined out for his county against Clare in Ennis in the National League on Sunday and who was close to the four men.The Mayor of Donegal, Falcarragh-based Councillor Seamus Ó Domhnaill, paid tribute.“These men very active in their communities and deeply involved in all facets of sport in Cloughaneely and Gaoth Dobhair,” Cllr O’Domhnaill said.Cllr Seamus O Domhnaill“They were widely known in West Donegal, from Creeslough right through to the Rosses. They were four great young men that would epitomise everything you’d want to have in your county by way of young men.“It’s devastating for four young lives to be taken so quickly and so tragically. It will leave an awful dark, black cloud over West Donegal and one that won’t go away too easily.”Clubs united in grief: “Words cannot express the sense of loss and devastation” was last modified: January 28th, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Daniel ScottDonegal LeagueDunlewey CelticGaoth DobhairGlenea UnitedJohn HarleyMícheál RoartySeamus O DomhnaillShaun Harkinlast_img read more

“Dr. Strange” Beat “Trolls” and Mel Gibson at the Box Office

first_imgMarvel has another hit on its hands with “Dr. Strange”.  It opened at the top of the box office with $85 million, beating out the weekend’s other two new releases, “Trolls” and MEL GIBSON’s “Hacksaw Ridge”.  Here’s the Top 10 . . . 1.  NEW:  “Dr. Strange”, $85 million.2.  NEW:  “Trolls”, $45.6 million.3.  NEW:  “Hacksaw Ridge”, $14.8 million.4.  “Boo! A Madea Halloween”, $7.8 million.  Up to $65 million in its 3rd week.5.  “Inferno”, $6.3 million.  Up to $26.1 million in its 2nd week.6.  “The Accountant”, $6 million.  Up to $70.9 million in its 4th week.7.  “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back”, $5.6 million.  Up to $49.2 million in its 3rd week.8.  “Ouija: Origin of Evil”, $4 million.  Up to $31.4 million in its 3rd week.9.  “The Girl on the Train”, $2.8 million.  Up to $70.7 million in its 5th week.10.  “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”, $2.1 million.  Up to $83.3 million in its 6th week.last_img read more

Still Shiny: 23 Apps We’re Using One Month Later

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market 6. Drag and Drop ZonesI use lots of search engines throughout the day and the Drag and Drop Zones Firefox plug-in has made it super-easy to do. I love it.iPhone apps.7. FlickitRick reviewed the Flickit Flickr uploader for the iPhone here last month and I’ve been using it ever since. It goes a long way towards solving the lack of MMS on the phone. 8. NYTimes iPhone App We reviewed the latest version of the NYTimes iPhone app at the top of this month and both Sarah and I have been using it regularly. I’ve been flying a lot lately and the off-line reading is great.9. InstapaperThe only thing better than offline reading of the NYTimes on an iPhone is offline reading of anything. Instapaper recently helped me find the time to read Alex Iskold’s last 10 blog posts while flying from Indianapolis to Portland. I landed feeling much smarter. Thanks Instapaper!10. YelpI used to use Google 411 a lot. Now I use Yelp on the iPhone and I love it. I’ve even discovered restaurants close to my house that I didn’t know existed.11. TweetieApparently Sarah and I both just discovered the best iPhone app for Twitter. I love seeing people innovate on top of Twitter, so hopefully other even cooler apps will come out soon.12. Kindle on the iPhoneFrederic reviewed the Kindle on the iPhone and liked it so much he’s kept it. Steve Jobs may think no one reads anymore, but he’s forgetting the people who study the foundational mythology of 11th -13th century British monasteries. That’s what Frederic does when he’s not writing for RWW and he loves the Kindle on the iPhone!13. QuickVoiceQuickVoice is a fully featured audio recorder for the iPhone. I’d never heard of it but Sarah Perez likes it and, after looking, I’m about ready to buy it too. It looks awesome!14. SnapDatSnapDat is an iPhone digital business card exchanging system. Sarah reviewed it while at DEMO and called it serviceable but not great. Apparently it’s good enough because she’s still using it.15. PixelPipeFrederic and Sarah are big fans of PixelPipe on the iPhone. It lets you post to multiple sites and is similar to Flickit above.Productivity16. Morning CoffeeThe Morning Coffee plug-in for Firefox lets you set up a list of tabs to open with a single click. It has helped me continue to use websites I might have forgotten about. I’m very thankful for it. Now that I think about it, I should add Basecamp there. Maybe then I could remember to use the darned thing.17. DoomiDoomi is a handly little Adobe AIR to-do list. It’s simple. I tried it and I like it.18. DestroyTwitterDestroyTwitter is an AIR Twitter client that Phil started using more than a month ago and is still using today. When I questioned his choice of clients he said: “Have you used Destroyflickr? It’s really amazing.. and DestroyTwitter is the same way.. something about the smooth transitions, the intuitive interface, and its unobtrusiveness appeals to me more than other products.”19. FriendFeed Notifier Frederic and Sarah are loyal users of this service and I just started using it today. We reviewed it 2 weeks ago but it looks like a keeper. (See picture on the right.) If you’re insane and want constant stimulus, which we all are and do here at RWW, give it a try.20. ClikBallPhil is still using ClikBall to find and share links. I wrote a very positive review of ClikBall here but found that I didn’t know very many people who were using it. It didn’t pass my test but it did pass Phil’s.21. PostBoxPostBox is a desktop email manager built by a team that includes the creator of Firefox’s Thunderbird. TechCrunch has the best review of the service.22. Alltop OPML and SearchLooking for the best blogs on a wide variety of topics? Alltop is a good place to start. This Greasemonkey script adds buttons to grab all the blogs in a section of the site as an OPML file and to search inside that section. It’s Phil Glockner-approved.23. Enjoysthin.gsEnjoysthin.gs is a very visual social sharing service. The user experience is fantastic. We called it a dazzling new way to share multimedia and I’ve been visiting it every day since then, thanks to the Morning Coffee plug-in described above. It’s great for research and inspiration! That’s Our List – What’s On Yours?We’d love to hear which apps, plug-ins, scripts, etc. our readers have tried for a little while and found to have some sticking power. 4. Google VoiceFrederic reviewed Google Voice earlier this month and he says he’s still using it happily!5. GCal PopUpThe GCal Popup plug-in was a month old for me in our last 30-day round up, but now Phil is a recent convert. This Firefox plug-in gives you super-easy access with a click to your Google Calendar and has increased our use of GCal many-fold. I’ve tried poking the code to create multiple buttons like it for other sites, Basecamp in particular, but the developer says just that is on the way soon. I hope so. Related Posts marshall kirkpatrick Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Features#Product Reviews#web Here at ReadWriteWeb we see hundreds of new apps, scripts, plug-ins and doo-das every week. We review some portion of those. Many we get excited about. But few stand the test of time for even 30 days. Here are 23 apps we’re still using a month or more after discovering them.We wrote a similar post last November (“30 Days Later: 22 Apps We’re Still Using 1 Month After Finding Them“) and can happily report that we’re still loving almost all the services we wrote about then. If a service can make it past the 30-day mark, it has a good chance of sticking around for a while. 22 or 23 in a month is a pretty impressive number really, so go web innovators go!Four members of our crew named services they have recently become real-life users of: Marshall Kirkpatrick, Sarah Perez, Frederic Lardinois and Phil Glockner (clockwise from top left in picture).Here’s this month’s list. It’s split into 3 categories: search-related services, iPhone apps and productivity tools.Search-related.1. Twitter Real-time Search in Google25 days ago we reviewed a simple Greasemonkey add-on that displays Twitter search results for your search query at the top of Google search results pages. The entire team is still using it and Frederic in particular calls it “the best thing since bread came sliced.” Sarah Perez says “that twitter google script is the invention of the year, can’t image life without it…not kidding.”2. Add Flickr, Wikipedia, YouTube and more to Google Search ResultsWe question whether Phil Glockner really saw this one a month ago, since we wrote about it two weeks ago, but it’s a keeper! 3. Google PreviewPhil added this one to the list as well; it adds thumbnails to Google search results. What does a Google search results page look like with all of the above turned on? Here’s a screenshot.last_img read more

AI for Enterprise: How to get started from concept to deployment

first_imgArtificial Intelligence (AI) is a hot IT topic today, producing new and exciting results in academic research areas and across real-world deployments. So how do enterprises create value by implementing AI solutions? Many organizations are struggling to take the first step because the journey seems long and complicated. It doesn’t have to be. With some forethought, planning and good practices, you can implement a solution that will help you stay ahead of your competition without draining your expense budget.Building production-ready AI models and solutions brings unique challenges during the development and operation lifecycles. The solutions need to run effectively and predictably for a long period of time, with simplified update procedures when new data becomes available. Additionally, they need to play well with your software stacks of other applications.There are many approaches to incorporating AI technology in your business, from choosing automation tools built on AI technology to building a Data Science practice within your organization, and any mix in-between.By incorporating customized AI solutions, leveraging Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) models in your applications and business processes, you can improve efficiencies and data driven decisions within your organization. We’ll take you through how many organizations today are getting started with AI by combing software development processes with ML and DL models in a consistent application platform.Like any other business endeavor, starting with a solid plan is key to success. To help you start building a plan, we’ll take a look at a typical AI lifecycle from managing the datasets and the multiple stages of training, to deployment and integration into the application environment.Before You Get StartedHere are some key questions to ask yourself:Have we implemented a big data solution in the past or do I have access to large amounts of structured or unstructured data?What skill sets do we have as it relates to AI? Take inventory of your internal skill sets and consider the scope of what you can manage with internal talent. You may consider contracting some technical skills to business partners or bringing on additional internal talent with the appropriate skills needed to be successful.Does your use case involve a specific business unit? If so, you will need subject matter experts (SMEs) from the business unit committed to the initiative, as well as AI experts to architect and develop your AI solutions.Need to know more about what skills you may need? A good AI partner should be able to provide guidance based on the scope of your projects. Do we have budget and buy-in? Every worthwhile investment will have some initial cost. Ensure the projected cost fits within your available budget. Having executive and stakeholder buy-in is key for any initiative to be successful, and AI is no different. If you’re working on an AI project that involves a specific business unit, you will need buy-in from all the stakeholders from the business unit as well.Typical Stages in the AI JourneyChoosing the Right Use CaseChoosing the right use case for an AI application is critical to quickly prove the value to your stakeholders. It’s important to choose a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) or project that can rapidly deliver business value and has few roadblocks to implementation. The three determining factors used to evaluate use cases for fastest business impact are:Data Availability. Any AI application will only be as good as data used for training it. In the enterprise environment, data can be more important than the algorithms. Gathering and organizing a new collection of data can be a long and labor-intensive task.  A project with readily available data, or easily collectable from existing processes, can save several months in the data preparation phase.Clean Data. After “Data Scientist”, “Clean Data” may be the second most common term that AI has added to the IT vernacular.  Clean data refers to the accuracy and completeness of the dataset you’re working with. Imagine a use case in which you’re using customer data to predict which customers will be interested in a specific product. For an accurate prediction, it will require that all of your customer information is complete and up-to-date. By spot checking a few accounts in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database, you may start to get a sense of the cleanliness of your dataset and, for most organizations, a better sense of the health of your data. Dirty data simply means that the data is too unstructured, contains too many errors, or is incomplete and will not produce accurate results when used in model training. “Data Wrangling” is the term used for the process of analyzing and evaluating which data stays, which data gets cleaned up, and which data gets tossed out .Existing Technology. In order to deliver value in a short period of time, try to leverage already tested approaches that run well on your current technology. In many cases, you may have existing infrastructure to leverage for your PoC, but if you’re lacking the infrastructure to get started, there are plenty of options for you. Your hardware vendor may even provide access to infrastructure at no cost for an initial PoC. Everybody wants to work with cutting-edge technology and use the latest and greatest solutions, but wait for a later iteration when you have more resources and buy-in. You’ll save time and effort that can be used elsewhere.What criteria should be used to select an initial AI PoC?Time Saving Potential: The best candidate is a simple task that is executed multiple times across the organization. For example, answering simple questions in a call center, filling expense reports for internal employees, etc….Data Intensive Tasks: Look for tasks which rely more on data versus experience or intuition. AI can better execute tasks which have clearly specified data inputs.Monotonous Tasks: There are tasks which are not possible due to costs or diminishing effectiveness of people doing it. A common example is a worker visually inspecting every part entering a factory for flaws. AI will never grow tired of monotonous tasks and will deliver consistent results, improving the overall quality and consistency of the end product.Scalability: The AI application is usually high initial investment, with low operational cost. The best task to start with is the one which can be implemented once, and run multiple times to spread the initial investment across multiple tasks or departments.The right use case is critical to the success of the PoC. Remember to pick one that will deliver results quickly. In order to do that, the project must have readily available, clean data that requires little data wrangling and can run on your existing infrastructure. Try to target tasks that are repetitive, require only data to accomplish, not experience, and are difficult for people to do for any length of time. If the task is repeated across multiple departments, spreading the initial cost becomes easier.Collect Your DataMany AI algorithms being developed today are based on supervised learning and require a significant amount of data wrangling and pre-processing to ensure model accuracy. In supervised learning , the model is trained with labeled data, mapping a specific input with the expected output. For example, if you take a dataset of images of various vehicles, label all car images in your training, and, with proper tuning and enough data, you should be able to predict whether a new image is of a car or not. This of course requires clean and properly labeled data, which can be the most time-consuming stages in developing an AI model. For unsupervised learning, we do not have the data labeled for an expected outcome and the model is tasked to find patterns in the data.Once you have selected your use case and collected your data, you will need to organize, clean, and process your data. For supervised learning models, your training data will need to be labeled, which can be a time consuming task for your data wranglersProving Your Use Case (Pilot)Next, you will work through model development where your data scientist will build and test multiple models to identify the appropriate data science methodology that provides the highest level of accuracy. Once your data scientist has identified the appropriate model, they will perform hyper-parameter tuning to achieve the highest level of accuracy possible.There are a broad range of tools supporting this process, spanning from open-source machine and deep learning frameworks like Spark* ML, sk-learn*, Keras*, TensorFlow*, CNTK*, or BigDL to specialized training platforms like LICO* from Lenovo.Typically, it’s best to start with small chunks of data for initial model development. Once the accuracy of the model reaches an acceptable level, you can increase the amount of data you’re working with which will, in turn, increase the accuracy of the model. Of course, these larger iterations will require greater processing power, storage, and run times.ImplementImplementing AI into a production environment can be as challenging as the development process. AI inference may require changing business processes or modifying existing applications. The scope of operationalizing an AI model can be affected by the complexity of the use-case.To implement the inference of your AI model, it could be as simple as incorporating it into your BI tool for predictive or prescriptive use cases, or as complex as modifying your DevOps process to incorporate it into your business applications. With your first PoC, start small with a light application or plugin to an existing tool.OperationalizeThe work is not over after the solution is implemented and running in a production environment. To improve the accuracy of your AI application, you may need to re-train your model. AI applications generate new data which can be used for additional training to improve accuracy. Also, changes in your environment (new customers, new products, etc…) may require modifications of the model to ensure accuracy.In an ideal lifecycle, a fully automated pipeline, from data generation to deployment, is ideal, but may not be feasible. It’s important to find the right level of automation in your AI deployment that ensures the best accuracy for your model, without being cost prohibitive. This may require changes in your DevOps process to ensure you’re getting the best value from your AI models.Is it Time to Get Started with AI?Once you have completed a successful PoC, it’s time to get serious about your AI strategy. Keep in mind, your competitors are looking at AI technology today to increase efficiency, reduce cost, and, ultimately, become more competitive in the marketplace.Things to ConsiderConsider working with a technology partner that can provide end-to-end solutions from the edge to the data center, providing hardware, software and (most importantly) expertise to help you get started.At Lenovo, we’re taking a prescriptive approach to AI and working with clients to build solutions that address their unique business goals. We have expertise in Big Data, AI, and IoT, realizing the dependencies of AI technology within the data center. We provide access to AI Innovation Centers for our clients to experience the power of AI and build initial PoCs prior to investing in new infrastructure. We have made significant investments in developing new software platforms to accelerate AI development and provide AI consultants to assist customers along the journey. By partnering with leading technology providers, such as Intel and select business partners that have deep industry and AI expertise, we’re providing holistic solutions for our clients. Learn more at lenovo.com/AI.Intel technologies’ features and benefits depend on system configuration and may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. Performance varies depending on system configuration. No computer system can be absolutely secure. Check with your system manufacturer or retailer.last_img read more

7 Targeted Social Networks Niche Marketers Should Try

first_imgHow Marketers Can Use This NetworkIdentify relevant industry events to attend. Not only will you be able to see all the industry’s events in one place, but you’ll also be able to find networking opportunities before the event even starts.Publicize your own events and attract more attendees by industry or geography.Find inspiration! Get cool event ideas from other cities, and bring them to life in your own area.3) Care2The trend toward “going green” isn’t exactly breaking, but it has caused an uptick in many marketers making sure their marketing campaigns use environmentally friendly processes. The social network, Care2, popped up as people came together to discuss this eco-friendly type of lifestyle and educate others about it. And more and more, marketers need to use these practices in everything they do to cater to this growing audience. By participating in this social network, marketers can educate themselves about the ways they can implement eco-friendly tactics into their marketing strategies. How Marketers Can Use This NetworkResearch, research, research! Implementing green strategies into your marketing isn’t easy. Learn what others are doing.Talk to people in this community, and see what they really care about. What topics matter most? Is your marketing aligned?Does your company sell products/services that cater to eco-friendly users? Then you’re golden! Research what eco-friendly issues are prevalent among your audience to inform your content creation, marketing, product decisions.4) GentlemintWhen the popularity of Pinterest began to rise, we noticed the emergence of another social network catered to men’s needs and interests: Gentlemint. Often called the “Pinterest for men,” Gentlemint has a similar layout to Pinterest with a layout of images that can be commented on and re-shared. But instead of pictures of fashion, food, and babies, there are pictures of guns, cars, and alcohol — a community perfect for businesses selling products/services that appeal to the male demographic. Topics: How Marketers Can Use This NetworkBlog about and share information that is useful to mothers, and share it in the network. Give advice about parenting, and recommend products or services that might be useful to them.Research the articles and videos this audience is posting to get a sense of the topics that garner the most clicks and views. Figure out how to incorporate these topics into your content creation strategy.Make connections with other mothers to learn about the problems, challenges, and interest. Ask questions/survey them to learn how to better market to them.6) ThirdAgeThe fastest growing age group on the internet is senior citizens. More than ever, Baby Boomers and seniors are connecting online with each other and their families. As a result, the internet has become a resource for seniors to get advice from each other on health, aging, and retirement. This is where ThirdAge comes in. ThirdAge boasts newsletters, groups, discussion boards, videos, articles, classes, games, and more designed to help females ages 50+ connect and get advice — perfect for marketers whose products/services appeal to an older generation. Originally published Oct 12, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Social Media Strategy How Marketers Can Use This NetworkAsk questions about your industry to collect direct insights into what your audience is thinking.Answer questions about your company, industry, or even competitors. This will help you position yourself and your company as a thought leader. (Note: Disclose what company you’re from for the sake of transparency — and credibility!)When possible, provide links to resources such as blog articles that help to answer users’ questions.When appropriate, sprinkle in links to some of your educational lead-gen content such as ebooks and webinars to capture Quora users as business leads.Connect with other marketers on the network to see what is or isn’t working for them.2) Meetup Attending and planning events is an important part of any marketer’s job. Meetup makes this responsibility easier for almost every industry. Whether you’re hosting or looking to attend an event that focuses on marketing, health, lifestyle, literature, or even family, pets, sci-fi, or photography, Meetup provides a centralized network with information on the events happening in your area. Marketers who want to reach a particular industry can immediately identify the right events and connect with attendees even before they attend.center_img How Marketers Can Use This NetworkUsing the event feature, find out and attend events that are popular among the types of athletes you cater to. This could be a great opportunity to chat with your buyer personas and even publicize some of your products and services in person.If you’re a local business, search for and connect with members of the different clubs your audience may be a part of by location. Share a relevant article or participate in the ‘Action Spy’ section of the website to participate in the conversation.What other niche social networks have you found handy?Image Credit: mateoutah How Marketers Can Use This NetworkIf your target audience is comprised mostly of men, use Gentlemint to do some research about what the male demographic is interested in. See what they’re sharing, and identify what’s popular (and what’s not).Host Pinterest-like contests to drive traffic from Gentlemint to your website and engage your audience with your brand.Apply Pinterest best practices and set up a board (or a few) through which you can connect with Gentlemint. Here are 28 creative pinboard ideas you can adapt to cater to the Gentlemint audience.5) CafeMomMommy bloggers have become a very popular resource for promoting products and services to other mothers looking for parenting advice. CafeMom is a popular network that gathers these mommy bloggers on one platform to share on childcare through blogs, videos, and games. This audience is becoming an increasingly valuable asset to marketers who are trying to get the attention of mothers. You’re probably always hearing about the most popular, mainstream social networks — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ — and how you can use them for business. That’s because these networks attract such a wide range of users, that it’s easy for the majority of marketers to have success connecting with their audiences there. But you must know that those “top” social networks aren’t the only ones out there, right?Truth be told, there are hundreds of other, niche social networks on the web that, depending on your particular audience or your goals, can also be well worth it for you to participate in.Why Niche Social Networks Are ValuableA social network can be considered “niche” if either A) the focus of the social network is much more specific (e.g. a social network just for events), or B) the users it attracts are much more targeted than those of social networks that cater to a wide range of users (e.g. a social network just for animal lovers).The beauty of niche social networks is that they take the step of targeting and segmentation out of the marketer’s job. So for example, if your business sells yarn and you’re a marketer participating in a social network for knitters, you already have a much more targeted audience at your disposal than you would on a social network like Facebook. And we all know how much more effective your marketing can be when segmentation is involved, right? So before you devote all your social media marketing time to just the top networks, it behooves you to do some research into whether there are any niche social networks populated by your audience.Not sure what kinds of niche social networks have popped up on the web? Here are 7 of some of the more targeted social networks to open your eyes to what’s out there. Have you heard of or used any of these before? Go ahead — try ’em out!1) QuoraQuora is often a forgotten social network, but it’s also one of the most valuable. Quora aims to provide answers to almost any question you can think of. From questions about marketing to questions about coding, Quora provides a great resource to both users looking for answers, and marketers seeking to position themselves as thought leaders. Think of it as a much broader version of LinkedIn Answers! How Marketers Can Use This NetworkResearch to discover better ways to reach this audience. How do they like being marketed to? What do they like or dislike?Peruse the forums to learn what issues this demographic struggles with. Can you create and share content that helps address these issues and provides solutions?7) AthlinksAthlinks is a social network for athletes to compare statistics and network with each other. With over 266,000 members, it allows athletes to provide information about themselves such as the sports they’re interested in and lists local races and events athletes can attend to meet up with other like-minded athletes. It also includes an athlete directory to search by person or location. This network is great for marketers whose products/services cater to the athletically inclined. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more