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Refugee Communities Can Be Built By Tech Industries

Mikkelsen said the initiative was a win-win as it would also benefit companies by slashing costs.

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Refugees
Congolese families sit at the Kyangwali refugee settlement camp, Uganda, March 19, 2018. A California company is testing an app in Uganda that lets refugees earn money for AI training. VOA

Companies could help refugees rebuild their lives by paying them to boost artificial intelligence (AI) using their phones and giving them digital skills, a tech nonprofit said Thursday.

REFUNITE has developed an app, LevelApp, which is being piloted in Uganda to allow people who have been uprooted by conflict to earn instant money by “training” algorithms for AI.

Wars, persecution and other violence have uprooted a record 68.5 million people, according to the U.N. refugee agency.

People forced to flee their homes lose their livelihoods and struggle to create a source of income, REFUNITE co-chief executive Chris Mikkelsen told the Trust Conference in London.

Rohingya, Myanmar, refugees
Rohingya refugees cross floodwaters at Thangkhali refugee camp in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district. VOA

“This provides refugees with a foothold in the global gig economy,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s two-day event, which focuses on a host of human rights issues.

$20 a day for AI work

A refugee in Uganda currently earning $1.25 a day doing basic tasks or menial jobs could make up to $20 a day doing simple AI labeling work on their phones, Mikkelsen said.

REFUNITE says the app could be particularly beneficial for women as the work can be done from the home and is more lucrative than traditional sources of income such as crafts.

The cash could enable refugees to buy livestock, educate children and access health care, leaving them less dependant on aid and helping them recover faster, according to Mikkelsen.

Rohingya, Myanmar, refugees
Rohingya refugee women wait outside of a medical center at Jamtoli camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. VOA

The work would also allow them to build digital skills they could take with them when they returned home, REFUNITE says.

“This would give them the ability to rebuild a life … and the dignity of no longer having to rely solely on charity,” Mikkelsen told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Teaching the machines

AI is the development of computer systems that can perform tasks that normally require human intelligence.

It is being used in a vast array of products from driverless cars to agricultural robots that can identify and eradicate weeds and computers able to identify cancers.

Refugees
In this Aug. 27, 1994 file photo, U.S. Coast Guard crew from the cutter Staten Island are hindered by rough seas in the Florida Straits as they attempt to rescue Cuban refugees. VOA

In order to “teach” machines to mimic human intelligence, people must repeatedly label images and other data until the algorithm can detect patterns without human intervention.

REFUNITE, based in California, is testing the app in Uganda where it has launched a pilot project involving 5,000 refugees, mainly form South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. It hopes to scale up to 25,000 refugees within two years.

Also Read: Rohingyas Repatriation to Myanmar Scrapped by Bangladesh

Mikkelsen said the initiative was a win-win as it would also benefit companies by slashing costs.

Another tech company, DeepBrain Chain, has committed to paying 200 refugees for a test period of six months, he said. (VOA)

Next Story

Huawei Successfully Ships 20 cr Smartphones in 2019 within a Record Time

The Chinese technology giant shipped these 64 days earlier than the shipment milestone in 2018

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Huawei
According to the makers of Smartphones the newly Huawei Mate 30 Series, which has the flagship Kirin 990 5G system on chip (SoC) and DxOMark winning quad camera system, has received critical acclaim. Pixabay

Riding on the back of cutting-edge technology and design, Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG) on Wednesday announced it has shipped 20 crore smartphones in 2019 (handsets shipped till date), in a record time despite the US trade ban.

The Chinese technology giant shipped these 64 days earlier than the shipment milestone in 2018.

“India is an important and strategic market for Huawei and we continue to receive overwhelming response from our customers across all our product categories. In fact, many of our premium devices are specifically crafted to cater to Indian consumers’ need, wants and aspirations,” Tornado Pan, Country Manager, Consumer Business Group, Huawei India, said in a statement.

According to the smartphone maker, the newly Huawei Mate 30 Series, which has the flagship Kirin 990 5G system on chip (SoC) and DxOMark winning quad camera system, has received critical acclaim.

The year 2019 also saw the launch of a number of stand-out devices including the HUAWEI P30 Series.

Huawei
Many premium Smartphones of Huawei are specifically crafted to cater to Indian consumers’ need, wants and aspirations. Pixabay

Huawei has also announced the ‘Commemorative Edition’ of HUAWEI Mate 30 Pro 5G which is a limited edition version and will come with 8GB RAM+512GB storage.

ALSO READ: For 3X Growth, Paytm Becomes Redeemable at Stores

The device will be available in Forest Green and Orange with vegan leather on Huawei Vmall starting from November 1 in the Chinese market. (IANS)