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WeBank, IBM and Other Organizations Jointly Held the 1st International Workshop on Federated Machine Learning in conjunction with IJCAI 2019

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Once a concept, AI is now ushering in a key stage of application. What’s the solution to the data silos among businesses? Given the enhanced regulation on data at home and abroad, what’s the solution to data privacy and security concerns? What’s the status quo of Federated Machine Learning and how to establish an ecosystem for FML in the future?

WeBank, IBM and other organizations jointly held the 1st International Workshop on Federated Machine Learning for User Privacy and Data Confidentiality (FML’19) in conjunction with the 28th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-19) on Aug. 12, 2019, to further discussion on these issues.

President of IJCAI, Chair of FML Steering Committee, Chief AI Officer of WeBank Professor Qiang Yang delivered opening remarks at the workshop. Dr. Shahrokh Daijavad from IBM and Dr. Jakub Konečný from Google presented keynote addresses. In the panel discussion, top scholars from WeBank, Bar-Ilan University, IBM, Squirrel AI, Google, Huawei, Clustar, Sinovation Ventures and many other renowned enterprises and universities shared and discussed their findings and experience in FML as an emerging AI technology.

This workshop received 40 papers, of which 12 were presented during the workshop, 19 presented via poster. Awards include Best Theory Paper Award, Best Application Paper Award, Best Student Paper Award, Best Presentation Award. Selected high quality papers will be invited for publication in a special issue in the IEEE Intelligent Systems journal. All these attracted numerous scholars to engage in discussions and join efforts for building the FML ecosystem.

Experts from IBM and Google Share Groundbreaking Findings with a Focus on the Theory and Application of FML

Privacy and security are becoming a key concern in our digital age. On 25th May last year, the implementation of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the EU, the toughest Act on data privacy protection, stressed that user data collection must be open and transparent. A series of laws and regulations from China and overseas also pose new challenges to the traditional way of handling data and model for cooperation. Seeking ways for AI to adapt to this new reality became top priority, a demand that led to this workshop on FML.

A wealth of solutions and breakthroughs were shared by Dr. Shahrokh Daijavad from IBM and Dr. Jakub Konečný from Google in their speech on FML.

Besides how FML can help tackle challenges in the business world, Dr. Shahrokh Daijavad also shared the concept of Fusion AI, which means to train models on widely distributed data sets, but fuse them to produce one equivalent to what centralized training would yield. “Unlike traditional machine learning, in Fusion AI, model parameters are shared and data is not transferred, which makes Fusion AI model better than models that moving data centrally.” Given the widely distributed data, the development of Fusion AI and FML became ever important and imminent.

“FML enables machine learning engineers and data scientists to work productively with decentralized data with privacy by default,” said Dr. Jakub Konečný from Google. He also shared with us how FML works and its use cases at Google. In the case of Gboard, as on-device data is privacy sensitive or large or is more relevant than server-side proxy data, and labels can be inferred naturally via user interaction, the application of Federated RNN compared to prior n-gram model can increase the accuracy of next-word prediction by 24%, and the click rate of prediction strip by 10%.

Major Figure Panelists Discuss the Way Ahead for FML

The moderator of the panel discussion, AI Principal Scientist of WeBank Dr. Lixin Fan joined panelists including Professor Benny Pinkas from Bar-Ilan University, Dr. Shahrokh Daijavad of IBM Academy of Technology, Chief Architect of Squirrel AI Dr. Richard Tong, Research Scientist of Google Dr. Jakub Konečný, Dr. Baofeng Zhang from CTO Office of CBG Software in Huawei, Executive VP of Clustar Dr. Junxue Zhang, VP of AI Institute in Sinovation Ventures Dr. Ji Feng and other experts in a host of in-depth exchanges with attendees, to shed light on the way ahead for FML.

Experts shared thoughts in the panel discussion on questions including but not limited to: How to meet the security and compliance requirements? Is there a way to extend the value of data while observing user privacy and data security? Given the classic trade-off between data regulation and development of AI, how to achieve the long-term goal of establishing a stable and win-win business ecosystem?

List of Award-Winners

Best Theory Paper Award, Best Application Paper Award, Best Student Paper Award and Best Presentation Award selected by all attendees were announced at the closing of the workshop.

Best Theory Paper Award: 
Preserving User Privacy for Machine Learning: Local Differential Privacy or Federated Machine Learning? By Huadi Zheng, Haibo Hu & Ziyang Han;

Best Application Paper Award: 
FedHealth: A Federated Transfer Learning Framework for Wearable Healthcare. By Yiqiang ChenJindong WangChaohui YuWen Gao & Xin Qin;

Best Student Paper Award: 
Quantifying the Performance of Federated Transfer Learning. By Qinghe JingWeiyan Wang, Junxue Zhang, Han Tian & Kai Chen;

Best Presentation Award: 
Federated Generative Privacy. By Aleksei Triastcyn and Boi Faltings.

President of IJCAI, Chief AI Officer of WeBank Professor Qiang Yang, Chief Architect of Squirrel AI Dr. Richard TongandVP of AI Institute in Sinovation Ventures Dr. Ji Feng presented the awards.

“The mission of this International Federated Machine Learning Workshop is to facilitate further understanding in the academia, business community as well as legal and regulatory institutions by promoting the establishment of FML ecosystem in the hope that more businesses will join and build a platform for students aspired to work in FML to find research teams that suit them,” said Professor Qiang Yang.

Held Aug. 10-16, 2019 in Macao, China, IJCAI-19 is one of the leading International Academic Conference on AI, attracting over 3000 AI research personnel and experts. The 1st International Workshop on Federated Machine Learning (FML’19) was a highlight for experts joining this event. Visionaries in the academia and industrial sector expressed the willingness to be part of the effort for academic research, application of FML in the future, and the development and boom of AI ecosystem.

Cannabis

Sunniva Announces Closing Of Third Tranche Of Short Term Bridge Financing For Proceeds Of Cad $325,000

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Sunniva Inc. (“Sunniva”, the “Company”, “we”, “our” or “us”) (CSE:SNN) (OTCQB:SNNVF), a North American provider of cannabis products and services, is pleased to announce that it has closed the third tranche of the Company’s non-brokered private placement (the “Offering“), previously announced on August 1, 2019 of CAD $325,000 for a total of 325,000 units of the Company (“Units“). In aggregate the total gross proceeds raised by the Offering was CAD $7.57 million and 7.57 million Units issued. Each Unit consists of a principal amount of unsecured promissory notes of the Company (“Promissory Notes“) and common share purchase warrants of the Company (“Warrants“).

As previously disclosed, proceeds of the Offering will be used to provide short term working capital for operations in California, capital costs at the Sunniva California Campus and general corporate purposes.

The Units issued under the Offering have the following terms:

Promissory Notes  

     Maturity: 

6 months from the closing date.

     Interest Rate:

10% (annual rate).

Warrants 

     Number of Warrants:   

0.40 Warrants per Unit (each Warrant entitles the holder to acquire one common

share of the Company at the Warrant Exercise Price).

     Warrant Exercise Price:  

CAD $2.50 per Warrant.

     Warrant Term:         

24 months from closing.

A finder’s fee of 5% payable in cash will be paid to certain investment advisors for introducing certain purchasers of Units to the Company.

The Promissory Notes and Warrants have not been registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of the Promissory Notes or Warrants in the United States or in any other jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

For more information please visit: www.sunniva.com.

To be added to the Sunniva email distribution list please register at www.sunniva.com/email-alerts.mailto:

Neither the Canadian Securities Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

 

SOURCE Sunniva Inc.

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Prairie Records Tops the Charts: Named Top Cannabis Retailer in Canada at Grow UP

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Westleaf Inc. (the “Company” or “Westleaf“) (TSX-V:WL) (OTCQB:WSLFF) is proud to announce its Prairie Records retail stores have been named top cannabis retailer in Canada at the GrowUP Conference & Expo. Singing a different tune in cannabis retail, the award win is a testament to how Prairie Records is offering Canadian’s a truly unprecedented purchasing experience.

“It is extremely gratifying to have Prairie Records be recognized at one of the industry’s largest events and to be able to stand out amongst a field of very worthy retail competitors,” says Adam Coates, Chief Commercial Officer at Westleaf and Retail Brand Strategist for Prairie Records. “We set out to make waves in a sea of sameness by creating an immersive experience like no other in the marketplace, and we are pleased and honoured to receive this, the first Grow UP Conference retail award.”

Ten companies were nominated in the Grow UP retail category at this year’s event, the first for the industry. Among the nominees were independent stores and well-known national chains. Prairie Records was recognized based on delivering an unparalleled consumer purchasing experience and creating a welcoming brand for cannabis consumers.

Westleaf has four Prairie Records stores open, three in the Saskatoon region and one in Calgary, which is hosting its grand opening tomorrow, September 14. The concept combines the tactile and immersive feel of a vinyl record store with a cannabis purchasing experience. Information about the cannabis strains and strengths are presented on album covers and the customer is enveloped in a warm and welcoming retail experience. The staff are well versed on the product offering and provide educational opportunities for both the experienced cannabis connoisseur as well as the novice consumer.

 

SOURCE Westleaf Inc.

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INTERCURE: CANNDOC signs strategic distribution agreement with S.L.E. of TEVA Pharmaceuticals

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InterCure (TASE: INCR), announced that subsidiary Canndoc has entered into a strategic distribution agreement with Salomon, Levin, Elstein (S.L.E.,) which is owned by Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries (NYSE: and TASE: TEVA).

Under terms of the agreement, S.L.E. will distribute Canndoc’s GMP products to pharma clients, including hospitals, health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and all pharmacies in Israel, including pharmacy chains. In the future, as regulatory approvals allow, S.L.E. will provide logistics capability for exporting Canndoc’s products to countries that support regulations for the sale and distribution of cannabis products for medical use.

S.L.E. is one of Israel’s leading companies for providing health logistics services and distributes products from dozens of local and international companies. S.L.E. is licensed by the Israeli Ministry of Health, and also holds a GDP distribution license.

“Our agreement with S.L.E., Israel’s leading company in distributing medical products, creates a complete supporting platform for supplying Canndoc’s GMP products to any location in Israel and for countries with similar regulations,” said Canndoc’s Chairman Ehud BarakThrough its S.L.E. partnership, Canndoc has aligned itself with one of the most prominent pharmaceutical companies in the world, for the distribution of cannabis-based medical treatments to countries that recognize the value of these medicines for people in need.”

S.L.E. CEO Aviad Bossi adds, “The agreement brings together our well-established pharmaceutical distribution network with Canndoc’s high quality medical cannabis industry presence and market leadership. Beyond the operations in Israel, this agreement will provide Canndoc significant logistical capabilities that can support Canndoc’s exporting operations from Israel.”

The distribution agreement is set for a 3-year term and includes a mechanism for automatic extension periods of two years each.

Canndoc is one of the first licensed producers, with its GMP-approved medical cannabis Rx products being sold in pharmacies. The engagement in this distribution agreement will broaden Canndoc’s ability to distribute GMP products to its patients within the S.L.E. pharmacy network throughout Israel. In addition, S.L.E. will provide Canndoc significant logistical capabilities in the future supporting Canndoc’s ability to export its products to countries with consistent regulation for the sale and distribution of cannabis products for medical use.

 

SOURCE Canndoc

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