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PwC to hire 1 lakh, skill existing staff by 2026

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PricewaterhouseCoopers is all set to implement its plans to expand its global workforce. It will invest $12 billion to hire one lakh people in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity, by 2026. Currently, it has about 2.8 lakh employees in its workforce. The strength is expected to increase to over 3.8 lakh in the next five years.

The London-based professional services company, is working to improve its advising capability with focus on data privacy, diversity and sustainability. In 2020, the Company had taken on about 63,000 people worldwide. Of these, at least 8,000 were new positions, while the rest were existing vacancies. Back in 2019, the Company had reveals its intentions to spend about $3 billion on improving technology and training its employees over a period of four years. Part of that plan has become part of this latest move to hire a lakh and spend on skilling.

Since 2016, PwC has already invested over $7 billion on talent and other areas.

Bob Moritz, chairman, PwC, is confident that the Company will continue to evolve in terms of the way it works and expand its capabilities in the areas that will be of significance in the future world of work. At the same time, it will remain committed to quality as always as it wants its people “to be the most sought after in the market.”

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Source: https://www.hrkatha.com/uncategorized/pwc-to-hire-1-lakh-skill-existing-staff-by-2026/

Artificial Intelligence

OpenAI’s New Code Generator: GitHub Copilot (and Codex)

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Louis Bouchard Hacker Noon profile picture

@whatsaiLouis Bouchard

I explain Artificial Intelligence terms and news to non-experts.

You’ve probably heard of the recent Copilot tool by GitHub, which generates code for you. You can see this tool as an auto-complete++ for code. You give it the name of a function along with some additional info, and it generates the code for you quite accurately! But it won’t just autocomplete your function.

Rather, it will try to understand what you are trying to do to generate it. It is also able to generate much bigger and more complete functions than classical autocomplete tools. This is because it uses a similar model as GPT-3, an extremely powerful natural language model that you most certainly know.

But if you try to generate code with the primary GPT-3 model from the OpenAI’s API, it won’t work. In fact, in their new paper released for GitHub copilot, OpenAI tested GPT-3 without any further training on code, and it solved exactly 0 Python code-writing problems. So how did they took such a powerful language generation model that is completely useless for code generation and transformed it to fit this new task of generating code? Watch the video to learn more!

Watch the video

References:
►Read the full article: https://www.louisbouchard.ai/github-copilot/
►My Newsletter (A new AI application explained weekly to your emails!): https://www.louisbouchard.ai/newsletter/
►GitHub Copilot: https://copilot.github.com/
►Codex/copilot paper: https://arxiv.org/pdf/2107.03374.pdf
►Yannic’s video about GitHub Copilot: https://youtu.be/TrLrBL1U8z0

Video Transcript

00:00

You’ve probably heard of the recent Copilot tool by GitHub, which generates code for you.

00:05

You can see this tool as an auto-complete++ for code.

00:09

You give it the name of a function along with some additional info, and it generates the

00:13

code for you quite accurately!

00:15

But it won’t just autocomplete your function.

00:18

Rather, it will try to understand what you are trying to do to generate it.

00:21

It is also able to generate much bigger and more complete functions than classical autocomplete

00:27

tools.

00:28

This is because it uses a similar model as GPT-3, an extremely powerful natural language

00:33

model that you most certainly know.

00:36

If you’re not sure or do not remember how it works, you should watch the video I made

00:39

a year ago when GPT-3 came out.

00:42

Okay, so as you know, GPT-3 is a language model, so it wasn’t trained on code but natural

00:47

human language.

00:49

If you try to generate code with the primary GPT-3 model from the OpenAI’s API, it won’t

00:54

work.

00:55

In fact, in their new paper released for GitHub copilot, OpenAI tested GPT-3 without any further

01:01

training on code, and it solved exactly 0 Python code-writing problems.

01:06

So how did they took such a powerful language generation model that is completely useless

01:10

for code generation and transformed it to fit this new task of generating code?

01:16

The first part is easy.

01:17

It had to understand what the user wants, which GPT-3 is already pretty good at.

01:21

The second part is hard to achieve since GPT-3 never saw code before, well, not a lot.

01:27

As you know, to be such a powerful language model, GPT-3 was trained on pretty much the

01:32

text from the whole internet.

01:34

And now, OpenAI and GitHub are trying to build a similar model, but for code generation.

01:40

Without entering into all the privacy dilemmas spawned with the Copyright issues of the code

01:44

used for training on GitHub, you clearly cannot be at a better place to do that.

01:49

I will come back to these privacy issues at the end!

01:52

Since GPT-3 is the most powerful language model that currently exists, they started

01:56

from there.

01:58

Using a very similar model, they attacked the second part of the problem, generating

02:02

code, by training this GPT model on billions of lines of publicly available GitHub code

02:08

instead of random text from the internet.

02:11

The power of GPT-3 is pretty much the amount of information it can learn from, so doing

02:15

the same thing but specialized on code would certainly yield some amazing results.

02:20

More precisely, they trained this adapted GPT model on 54 million public software repositories

02:27

hosted on GitHub!

02:28

Now, we have a huge model trained on a lot of code examples.

02:32

The problem is, as you know, a model can only be as good as the data it was trained on.

02:37

So if the data is randomly sampled from GitHub, how can you be sure it works and is well-written?

02:43

You can’t really know for sure, and it may cause a lot of issues,

02:46

but a great way they found to improve the coding skills of the model further was to

02:50

fine-tune it on code from competitive programming websites and from repositories with continuous

02:56

integration.

02:57

This means that the code is most likely good and well written but in smaller quantity.

03:01

They fine-tuned the model with this new training dataset in a supervised way.

03:05

This means that they trained the same model a second time on a smaller and more specific

03:09

dataset of curated examples.

03:12

Fine-tuning is a powerful technique often used to improve the results for our specific

03:17

needs instead of starting from nothing.

03:19

A model is often much more powerful when trained with more data even if it is not useful for

03:24

our task and further adapted for our task, instead of training a new model from nothing

03:29

with little curated data.

03:31

When it comes to data and deep learning, it’s most often the more, the better.

03:36

The descendants of this model are what’s used in GitHub Copilot and the Codex models in

03:41

the OpenAI API.

03:43

Of course, Copilot is not perfect yet and has many limitations.

03:46

It won’t replace programmers anytime soon, but it showed amazing results and can speed

03:51

up the work of many programmers for coding simple but tedious functions and classes.

03:57

As I mentioned, they trained the copilot’s model on billions of lines of public code,

04:01

but from any licenses, and since it was made in collaboration with OpenAI, they will, of

04:06

course, sell this product.

04:08

It’s perfectly cool that they want to make money out of a powerful tool they built, but

04:12

it may have some complications when it was made using your code with restrictive licenses.

04:17

If you would like to hear more about this issue in relation to copyright law, the GPL

04:22

license, and terms of service, I’d strongly recommend you watch the great video Yannic

04:26

Kilcher made a few days ago.

04:28

It is linked in the description.

04:29

Thank you for watching!

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Source: https://hackernoon.com/openais-new-code-generator-github-copilot-and-codex-bb143773?source=rss

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Is Your Phone Compatible With Android 12?

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Android 12, Google’s latest version of its mobile OS, is waiting in the wings to become the next big thing. Google expects this version to be a faster, smoother version than all of its predecessors. So, when can you expect to get your hands on this latest version of Android 12? Currently, it is in the last stages of beta development. Although an official release date hasn’t been announced by Google, it is expected that Android 12 will hit the market in August or September this year. The big question is whether your phone will receive a major update. On its launch, only a few models will receive the Android 12 update. To qualify for this update, each handset must meet a minimum hardware requirement. So, if you wish to enjoy Android 12 on your phone, scroll down to know more.

Is Your Phone Eligible?

According to Google, to get the most out of Android 12 the device should be eligible as a “performance class.” When we talk about the performance class, we refer to a set of device capabilities beyond Android’s minimal requirements. Android Performance class 11 users can also install Android 12. Also, Google has confirmed that when it releases Android 12, the requirements will be published for performance class 11.

What Happens if You Have a Google Pixel Phone?

Perhaps the biggest advantage of buying a Google Pixel phone is receiving timely updates. Google has promised to provide three years of Android OS updates on each Pixel handset. This implies that the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, released in 2018, are the oldest Pixel phones to get Android 12 updates. All new Google phones are also eligible, including Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 4a (5G), and Pixel 5.

What Should Samsung Users Expect?

The details of the release of Android 12 on Samsung handsets are not clear. Android 11 was introduced on Samsung phones in December as part of the UI 3 update. Samsung phones that are currently using UI 3 include Galaxy S21 line, Galaxy S20 line, Galaxy Note 20 line, Z Fold2, Z Flip, and Series10, Fold, and S10.

We can expect UI 4 (and Android 12) to hit the Galaxy Notes by December 2021.

What’s in Store for Other High-End Android Phones?

We expect a collection of high-end phones to receive Android 12 updates similar to the beta release of Android 12. The names on the trial list include devices from Motorola, LG, Nokia, Oppo, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Realme, Sony, Vivo, and Asus.

At present, the Android 12 beta system is available in several high-end phones such as Asus Zenfone 8, OnePlus 9, OnePlus 9 Pro, Oppo Discover X3 Pro, and TCL 20 Pro 5G.

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Source: https://1reddrop.com/2021/07/25/is-your-phone-compatible-with-android-12/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=is-your-phone-compatible-with-android-12

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What is the Freedom Phone and Should You Buy It?

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If you haven’t yet heard of it, the Freedom Phone is a much-hyped new device that promises “free speech and privacy” to its users. Funded by Erik Finman, the self-made Bitcoin millionaire who bought $1,000 worth of the cryptocurrency when it was just $12 a coin. That investment was made when Finman was 12; by the time he turned 18, he was a millionaire. Now 22, Finman is promoting the Freedom Phone as “a free speech and privacy first focused phone. With features like tracking blockers and an uncensorable app store.”

Critics (mostly security experts) say that the phone is little more than a re-vamped budget phone from China but priced like an iPhone XR. Very little is known about the features or even the OS at this point but the phone is clearly being marketing to ‘conservative America’ as a device that is all about “Not just making America great. But also making a great phone.”

The Freedom Phone website offers very little information but is loaded with Buy buttons. The site promotes high-level features such as tracking blockers, an “uncensored App Store”, “Pre-loaded Apps”, a mobile OS based on free speech, “Large Storage”, a 6-inch screen, easy phone switching, etc. but fails to go any deeper into the actual specs of the phone or the operating system.

Although the site claims that the device ships in August, it’s surprising that not much information is available about the device or its performance so close to its release.

Some speculate that the phone is merely a bid by a newfound millionaire to take advantage of conservatives who are irked by ex-President Donald Trump being blocked from social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Although Trump is slowly losing support within the party, millions of Americans are still behind him:

According to a new NBC News poll, 44% of Republicans say they support the former president more than they support the Republican Party. That is a decline from 50% and the first time since July 2019 that party supporters outnumbered Trump supporters.

We don’t know what the pre-order levels look like with the Freedom Phone, but we suspect that it’s not entirely an unpopular device among conservatives who still expect Trump to make another bid for the White House. Even celebrities like Caitlyn Jenner, ex-Olympian and gubernatorial candidate for California, have pledged their support should he decide to run in 2024.

As for the Freedom Phone itself, there are too many questions left unanswered, such as whether or not it works with 5G networks, what kind of internal specs it offers, and what the specific privacy implementations are. Should you buy it? Well, if you have $500 to burn, go for it. However, since none of the critical information we typically use to assess the worth and value of a phone is available, we don’t recommend it.

From the image, it looks like any other budget Android phone. Is there more to it than that? Follow this story on 1redDrop as we track the story around the Freedom Phone.

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Source: https://1reddrop.com/2021/07/24/what-is-the-freedom-phone-and-should-you-buy-it/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-is-the-freedom-phone-and-should-you-buy-it

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Manu Smadja: CEO at MPOWER Financing, a Fintech Firm Facilitating Educational Loans, Shares Business Strategy

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MPOWER Financing, a global education loan provider, recently secured an equity investment of $100 million. The new funding is in addition to the $60 million MPOWER raised earlier this year from Tilden Park Capital Management that also participated in the current round along with ETS Strategic Capital.

Other investors were King Street Capital Management, Drakes Landing Associates, and Pennington Alternative Income Management.

We recently connected with Manu Smadja, CEO at MPOWER Financing, which is a Public Benefit Corporation whose stated mission is “to reduce the financial barriers to international education.” The company is based in Washington, DC, with business offices in New York and Bangalore, India.

The firm was established by Manu Smadja and Michael Davis back in 2014, both of whom attended INSEAD Paris where they first met each other. Our conversation with Manu Smadja is shared below.


Crowdfund Insider: You’ve mentioned that you use your cross-border lending platform, Big Data, and global infrastructure to finance international and DACA students in North America.

How did you identify this as a key requirement, and what are some of the long-term benefits that your organization has been able to provide?

Manu Smadja: MPOWER Financing’s mission is to remove the financial barriers that many high-promise students from around the world encounter attending school overseas. International and DACA students simply do not have access to the types of programs that American students can take advantage of, including federal student loan subsidies, grants, national scholarships, etc. Additionally, they are often excluded from many private loan options available due to a lack of domestic credit history.

We apply the latest technology and processes to fulfill this mission, ensuring we’re able to help as many students as we can as seamlessly as possible. This includes looking at a variety of different data sources along with projecting future earning potential to determine an applicant’s credit risk long-term.

We also understand that funding is only part of the equation. We provide additional career guidance and resources through our Path2Success program, which helps our students prepare for the unique challenges they may face when it comes to entering the workforce. This, in turn, yields significantly better credit outcomes and lower-than-average loan default rates.

We are constantly rethinking how we use technology to transform our business. We’re currently exploring machine learning to help identify trends and patterns in customer support, which will help us better address students’ questions and challenges.

Crowdfund Insider: Your website states that people can “fund their dreams on their own.” Candidates can apply for your co-signer loans and scholarships to study in the U.S. and Canada. How does your Fintech platform make this possible?

Manu Smadja: Unlike traditional financing options available to international and DACA students (usually brick and mortar banks in the student’s home country), MPOWER loans do not require a cosigner or collateral for approval. Our approval process is also not based on credit history alone. Instead, we have built a proprietary algorithm that factors in future earning potential and analyzes disparate data sources, such as employment history and credit history domestically and abroad.

This model ensures that high-promise students have access to education without putting an undue financial burden on their families. MPOWER’s loans are approved instantly and are granted at competitive interest rates.

By amalgamating and evaluating the many factors that will contribute to their success and solvency, we make it possible for high-promise students who are left out of the traditional lending process to fund their endeavors in higher education in the U.S. and Canada.

Crowdfund Insider: You’ve noted that you’re a social benefit corporation founded by international students for international students, and you’re on a mission “to make socioeconomic mobility borderless.”

We’re now living in a world with rapid globalization and advancements in telecommunications technology, yet some processes like acquiring loans are still  being done in an inefficient manner with legacy platforms.

How can Fintech enhance this process from the perspective of learners and the organizations that provide education?

Manu Smadja: Our global financial systems have largely not kept up with the pace of innovation seen in other sectors of the consumer economy. While online applications and accessibility may be more commonplace, particularly due to the pandemic, the back-end systems that support these technologies are cumbersome and often outdated. Typically, the first option for many international students to fund their education is through traditional brick and mortar banks in their home countries. Not only can the lending process take longer, the majority of these loan providers are also still using conventional credit mechanisms to determine eligibility.

Since our founding, we have been committed to rethinking and overhauling how international students fund their education. This includes removing prohibitive barriers, such as requiring collateral or having a cosigner. Thanks to data and our proprietary algorithm, we gain a more detailed and comprehensive financial picture of each applicant to determine if they’re a good candidate for a loan.

Naturally, our model breaks down barriers to funding, while ensuring that each transaction is financially sound and does not present a credit risk to our business.

Crowdfund Insider: You’ve processed over $2 billion in loan applications. You’ve also been supporting 190+ countries of citizenship along with 350+ U.S. and Canadian schools.

How can financial technology be leveraged to expedite the loan application review process? Does your software use any A.I. or machine learning algorithms to improve the overall process?

Manu Smadja: A faster approval and processing pathway is something we strive for, but the process must be anchored by accuracy. We recently launched our Instant Offer product, enabling a student to check their eligibility in 30 seconds and apply online in less than 30 minutes. Based on the information we collect; we are able to provide a conditional loan offer in real-time.

Crowdfund Insider: What are your plans for this year and beyond? What technological improvements do you plan to incorporate into your existing platform?

Manu Smadja: In 2021, MPOWER has raised a total of $160 million including the $100 million in equity on July 13. These funds are being used to scale and automate our operations, enabling us to help more students.

While many companies would use an investment like this to expand product offerings, we want to stay true to our core offering: lending for high-promise students and tools and education to help prepare students to enter the workforce. This means investing in our team and technology.

Crowdfund Insider: Earlier this year, MPOWER partnered with Sallie Mae to expand higher education access, specifically for international and DACA students.

Please tell us about your aim to leverage these strategic partnerships to offer better services.

Manu Smadja: We are always looking for organizations to partner with, particularly when it builds the bridge between funding and a students’ dreams to pursue higher education. The partnership with Sallie Mae helps fill the gaps found in traditional lending services, offering credit-based private loan products that students can apply for with an eligible U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer. When a co-signer is unavailable, MPOWER works with Sallie Mae and leverages its proprietary data and technology to underwrite high-promise international students.

We look forward to partnering with more lenders so that we can help more students fulfill their educational goals.

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/07/178141-manu-smadja-ceo-at-mpower-financing-a-fintech-firm-facilitating-educational-loans-shares-business-strategy/

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