Monday February 19, 2018

Robots to be deployed to calculate donations at Sabarimala temple

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Travancore Devasom Board authorities in Kerala are mulling the deployment of robots at the Sabarimala temple to calculate donations and for the preparing the sacrament.

C.P. Rama Raja Prema Prasad, the TDB commissioner, said that they have begun talks with a Bengaluru-based company to look into the issue of employing robots for easing work at the temple.

“During peak season, many people are employed for counting and separation of rupees and coins, which are packed in bags and then sent to the bank,” Prasad told IANS.

According to TDB, the temple has seen an increase in revenue collections of late and there has also been an increase in pilferage of money.

“Another thing that we are looking is the preparation of ‘prasadam — Unniappam’. We are looking forward to receive a clearance from the Kerala High Court and once we obtain it, we will float a tender,” said Prasad.

The Sabarimala temple is situated on the Western Ghat ranges, four kilometres uphill from Pamba river in Pathanamthitta district in central Kerala.

The temple is accessible only on foot from Pamba river.

Even though the temple is open on the first few days of every month of the Malayalam calendar, the peak pilgrimage season begins on the first day of the Malayalam month in November and closes on the first day of the Malayalam month in January — around 60 days.

TDB sources put the total collection by way of pilgrim donations and sale of sacrament in the just concluded season as having crossed Rs.300 crore. (IANS)

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Stephen Hawking believes Technology could end Poverty and Disease, says Artificial Intelligence could be the Worst or Best things for Humanity

Hawking said everyone has a role to play in making sure that this generation and the next are fully engaged with the study of science at an early level to create “a better world for the whole human race.”

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Stephen Hawking
Cosmologist Stephen Hawking delivers a video message during the inauguration of Web Summit, Europe's biggest tech conference, in Lisbon, Portugal, Nov. 6, 2017. (VOA)

Lisbon, November 7, 2017 : Technology can hopefully reverse some of the harm caused to the planet by industrialization and help end disease and poverty, but artificial intelligence (AI) needs to be controlled, physicist Stephen Hawking said on Monday.

Hawking, a British cosmologist who was diagnosed with motor neuron disease aged 21, said technology could transform every aspect of life but cautioned that artificial intelligence poses new challenges.

He said artificial intelligence and robots are already threatening millions of jobs — but this new revolution could be used to help society and for the good of the world such as alleviating poverty and disease.

“The rise of AI could be the worst or the best thing that has happened for humanity,” Stephen Hawking said via telepresence at opening night of the 2017 Web Summit in Lisbon that is attended by about 60,000 people.

“We simply need to be aware of the dangers, identify them, employ the best possible practice and management and prepare for its consequences well in advance.”

Hawking’s comments come during an escalating debate about the pro and cons of artificial intelligence, a term used to describe machines with a computer code that learns as it goes.

ALSO READ Humanity’s days are numbered, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will cause mass extinction, warns Stephen Hawking

Silicon Valley entrepreneur Elon Musk, who is chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Inc and rocket company SpaceX, has warned that AI is a threat to humankind’s existence.

But Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, in a rare interview recently, told the WSJ Magazine that there was nothing to panic about.

Stephen Hawking said everyone has a role to play in making sure that this generation and the next are fully engaged with the study of science at an early level to create “a better world for the whole human race.”

ALSO READ Indian Origin Scientist Part of the team that Developed Nanotechnology-based Test that quickly Detects Zika Virus

“We need to take learning beyond a theoretical discussion of how AI should be, and take action to make sure we plan for how it can be,” said Stephen Hawking, who communicates via a cheek muscle linked to a sensor and computerized voice system.

“You all have the potential to push the boundaries of what is accepted, or expected, and to think big. We stand on the threshold of a brave new world. It is an exciting — if precarious — place to be and you are the pioneers,” he said. (VOA)

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