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PolyU research finds improving AI large language models helps better align with human brain activity

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HONG KONG, May 27, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — With generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) transforming the social interaction landscape in recent years, large language models (LLMs), which use deep-learning algorithms to train GenAI platforms to process language, have been put in the spotlight. A recent study by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) found that LLMs perform more like the human brain when being trained in more similar ways as humans process language, which has brought important insights to brain studies and the development of AI models.

Current large language models (LLMs) mostly rely on a single type of pretraining – contextual word prediction. This simple learning strategy has achieved surprising success when combined with massive training data and model parameters, as shown by popular LLMs such as ChatGPT. Recent studies also suggest that word prediction in LLMs can serve as a plausible model for how humans process language. However, humans do not simply predict the next word but also integrate high-level information in natural language comprehension. 
A research team led by Prof. Li Ping, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Sin Wai Kin Foundation Professor in Humanities and Technology at PolyU, has investigated the next sentence prediction (NSP) task, which simulates one central process of discourse-level comprehension in the human brain to evaluate if a pair of sentences is coherent, into model pretraining and examined the correlation between the model’s data and brain activation. The study has been recently published in the academic journal Sciences Advances.
The research team trained two models, one with NSP enhancement and the other without, both also learned word prediction. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were collected from people reading connected sentences or disconnected sentences. The research team examined how closely the patterns from each model matched up with the brain patterns from the fMRI brain data.
It was clear that training with NSP provided benefits. The model with NSP matched human brain activity in multiple areas much better than the model trained only on word prediction. Its mechanism also nicely maps onto established neural models of human discourse comprehension. The results gave new insights into how our brains process full discourse such as conversations. For example, parts of the right side of the brain, not just the left, helped understand longer discourse. The model trained with NSP could also better predict how fast someone read – showing that simulating discourse comprehension through NSP helped AI understand humans better.
Recent LLMs, including ChatGPT, have relied on vastly increasing the training data and model size to achieve better performance. Prof. Li Ping said, “There are limitations in just relying on such scaling. Advances should also be aimed at making the models more efficient, relying on less rather than more data. Our findings suggest that diverse learning tasks such as NSP can improve LLMs to be more human-like and potentially closer to human intelligence.”
He added, “More importantly, the findings show how neurocognitive researchers can leverage LLMs to study higher-level language mechanisms of our brain. They also promote interaction and collaboration between researchers in the fields of AI and neurocognition, which will lead to future studies on AI-informed brain studies as well as brain-inspired AI.”
Media ContactMs Annie WongSenior Manager, Public AffairsTel: +852 3400 3853Email: [email protected] 

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Workers embrace AI and prioritise skills growth amid rising workloads and an accelerating pace of change: PwC 2024 Global Workforce Hopes & Fears Survey

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Almost half (45%) of workers say their workload has increased significantly in the past year, as almost two-thirds (62%) say the pace of change at work has increased over the same timeMore than one-quarter (28%) say they are very or extremely likely to switch employer in the next 12 months – a higher proportion than during the ‘Great Resignation’ (19%) in 2022Employees prioritise skills-growth: fewer than half (46%) strongly or moderately agree that their employer provides adequate opportunities to learn new skills. This is particularly important for workers considering leaving: two-thirds (67%) say opportunities to learn new skills are a key factor in any decision to job-switchMore than 80% of workers who use generative AI daily expect it to make their time at work more efficient in the next 12 months. Half (49%) of all users expect it to lead to higher salariesCost-of-living pressures ease slightly: the proportion of workers with money left over each month rises to 45% (compared to 38% in 2023). However, 52% say they are still financially stressedLONDON, June 25, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Among more than 56,000 workers across 50 countries and territories, many say they are prioritising long-term skills growth to accelerate their careers amid rising workloads and heightened workplace uncertainty, according to PwC’s 2024 Global Workforce Hopes & Fears Survey, published today.

In the last 12 months, workers say they have experienced rising workloads (45%) and an accelerating pace of workplace change. Nearly two-thirds (62%) say they have experienced more change at work in the past year than the 12 months prior, with two-fifths (40%) noting their daily responsibilities have changed to a large or very large extent. Almost half (44%) don’t understand the purpose of changes taking place.
In the midst of this growing mix of employee pressures, the findings suggest workers are alert to opportunities elsewhere, and are highly focused on skills growth and embracing AI.
More than one-quarter (28%) say they are likely to switch employer in the next 12 months, a percentage far higher than during the ‘Great Resignation’ (19%) of 2022. Two-thirds (67%) of those considering moving say skills is an important factor in their decision to stay with their current employer or switch to a new one.
Carol Stubbings, Global Markets and Tax & Legal Services (TLS) Leader, PwC UK, said:
“As workers face heightened uncertainty, rising workloads and continue to face financial stress, they are prioritising skills growth and embracing new and emerging technologies such as GenAI to turbocharge their growth and accelerate their careers. The findings suggest that job satisfaction is no longer enough. Employees are placing an increased premium on skills growth in a climate characterised by constant technological change. Employers must ensure they are investing in their employees and technological platforms to mitigate employee pressures and retain the brightest talent.”
Workers embrace AI to ease workplace pressures and unlock personal growth
As employees face heightened workplace pressures, they are also turning to new and emerging technologies such as generative AI (GenAI) to help. Among those employees who use GenAI daily, 82% expect it to make their time at work more efficient in the next 12 months.
Employees are also optimistic about opportunities for GenAI to support their growth. Half (49%) of all users expect GenAI to lead to higher salaries – an expectation that’s even higher (76%) among employees who use the technology daily. More than 70% of users agree that GenAI tools will create opportunities to be more creative at work (73%) and improve the quality of their work (72%).
The skills imperative
Workers are placing an increased premium on skills growth to mitigate their concerns and accelerate their careers. Employees who say they are likely to switch employers in the next 12 months are nearly twice as likely to strongly consider upskilling in that decision than workers planning to stay (67% vs. 36%). This comes as fewer than half (46%) of all employees moderately or strongly agree that their employer provides adequate opportunities to learn new skills that will be helpful to their careers.
Employees who are likely to leave in the next year may be more attuned to skills changes that are needed than the general workforce, with 51% moderately or strongly agreeing that the skills their job requires will change in the next five years (vs. 29% of those unlikely to change employer).
There is particular interest in the impact of AI on skills development, with 76% of all users expecting it to create opportunities to learn new skills at work. However, employers will need to invest heavily in new and emerging technology training and access. Among employees who have not used GenAI at work in the last 12 months, one-third (33%) don’t think there are opportunities to use the technology in their line of work, while 24% don’t have access to the tools at work, and 23% don’t know how to use the tools.
Despite the pace of change, there are also signs of optimism and engagement at work. 60% of workers expressed at least moderate job satisfaction (up from 56% in 2023) while more than half (57%) of employees who view fair pay as important agree that their job is fairly paid. Cost-of-living pressures have slightly eased since 2023 (the proportion of workers with money left over each month has risen to 45%, up from 38%). However,  more than half (52%) say they are still financially stressed to some degree.
Pete Brown, Global Workforce Leader, PwC UK, said:
“Technology is fundamentally transforming the way work gets done and the types of skills employers are looking for. Employees are therefore placing an increased premium on organisations that invest in their skills growth so that they can stay relevant and thrive in a digital world. Businesses in turn must be proactive in their upskilling programs – prioritising the employee experience and being transparent. Because when you meaningfully engage your workforce, they become an accelerant for successful transformation.”
Notes to Editors: 
About the Survey
In March 2024, PwC surveyed 56,600 individuals across 50 countries and territories who are in work or active in the labour market. The sample was designed to reflect a range of industries, demographic characteristics and working patterns. You can read the full report on pwc.com.
About PwC
© 2024 PwC. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.
Contact:  Imran Javaid, Global Corporate Affairs and Communications, PwC UK: [email protected] Dan Barabas, Global Corporate Affairs and Communications, PwC UK: [email protected]
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Amagi Showcases New Stream Technology With VIZIO

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Amagi’s new Zero Slate delivers personalized linear streaming, resulting in increased viewership on VIZIO FAST channels 
NEW YORK, June 24, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Amagi, the global leader in cloud-based SaaS technology for broadcast and Connected TV (CTV), today announced the first successful showcase of Amagi’s Zero Slate technology on VIZIO’s owned and operated WatchFree+ channels, part of Amagi’s broader Stream Personalization initiative. This innovative new offering enhances the streaming experience with its highly impactful, patent-pending technology that can dynamically adjust the length of ad breaks on a per-viewer basis, eliminating the need for slates or filler to round out linear ad breaks.

This new “viewer-first” personalized approach to digital streaming has already demonstrated a lift in viewership (Amagi ANALYTICS showing more than 20% increase) on VIZIO’s owned and operated channels utilizing the Zero Slate capabilities. This industry-first innovation from Amagi paves the path for a more engaging and profitable future for entertainment and enhanced viewer experiences.
Data from Amagi ANALYTICS indicates that slates, often used to fill the unsold portion of ad pods, may increase viewer churn by as much as 15% in today’s Free Ad-supported Streaming TV (FAST) ecosystem. Zero Slate’s early success demonstrates that personalizing pod length can boost viewer engagement, enabling more high-quality viewing experiences over time. This capability also represents an important first step for Amagi toward a broader suite of Stream Personalization capabilities that offer even more engaging linear viewing experiences.
“We are pleased to partner with Amagi on this showcase of their Zero Slate technology. This collaboration reinforces VIZIO’s commitment to enhancing user experiences and delivering personalized content as we expand Zero Slate across more channels,” said Katherine Pond, Group Vice President of Platform Content and Partnerships at VIZIO.
“We are grateful to have partnered with an industry leader like VIZIO to test the impact of our new Zero Slate capability and are excited about Stream Personalization’s ability to further transform the linear viewing experience,” said Srinivasan KA, Co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer, Amagi.
About VIZIOFounded and headquartered in Orange County, California, our mission at VIZIO Holding Corp. (NYSE: VZIO) is to deliver immersive entertainment and compelling lifestyle enhancements that make our products the center of the connected home. We are driving the future of televisions through our integrated platform of cutting-edge Smart TVs and powerful operating system. We also offer a portfolio of innovative sound bars that deliver consumers an elevated audio experience. Our platform gives content providers more ways to distribute their content and advertisers more tools to connect with the right audience.
For more information, visit VIZIO.com and follow VIZIO on Facebook, Twitter, and [email protected] 
About AmagiAmagi is a next-generation media technology company that provides cloud broadcast and targeted advertising solutions to broadcast TV and streaming TV platforms. Amagi enables content owners to launch, distribute, and monetize live linear channels on Free Ad-supported Streaming TV and video services platforms. Amagi also offers 24×7 cloud-managed services bringing simplicity, advanced automation, and transparency to the entire broadcast operations. Overall, Amagi supports 800+ content brands, 800+ playout chains, and over 5,000 channel deliveries on its platform in over 150 countries. Amagi has a presence in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Melbourne, Seoul, Singapore, and broadcast operations in New Delhi, and innovation centers in Bengaluru, Zagreb, and Łódź.
Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/Amagi/240624-Amagi-VIZIO_ZSlate.docx 
Agency Contact:Joseph LesieutreWall Street CommunicationsEmail: [email protected]
Amagi Contact:Aashish WashikarDirector – Corporate CommunicationsEmail: [email protected]: +91 9533390005

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ResourceWise Brings Its Cross-Commodity Data and Analytics Expertise to New Oleochemicals Service

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ResourceWise has met a key milestone in providing cross-commodity price benchmarks, data, and analysis on chemicals, forest products, and decarbonization markets. 
CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 24, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — ResourceWise has met a key milestone in providing cross-commodity price benchmarks, data, and analysis on chemicals, forest products, and decarbonization markets. 

For the first time, one digital product encompasses expertise that spans all the key commodity sectors that ResourceWise covers. Dedicated to renewable feedstock, the new platform-based oleochemicals analysis and insight tools draw on decades of experience within each distinct business sector. 
Dwight Lynch, Biomaterials Business Manager at ResourceWise, is leading the transition towards data and insight on renewable intermediates and biobased and biodegradable polymer inputs. 
“Navigating oleochemicals markets at a time when regulation, legislation, and competition from renewable fuels markets are the key drivers is a challenge. Our new service offers pricing and analysis that informs decision-makers and allows sustainable business to thrive.” 
The new oleochemicals portal in ResourceWise’s flagship chemicals market intelligence platform, OrbiChem360, has evolved beyond its legacy biomaterials insights to focus on the fats and oils markets that are key to sustainability.  
It presents pricing data and analysis that ResourceWise biomaterials experts have furnished within OrbiChem360 this past decade and includes a crude tall oil (CTO) price index. The inclusion of a forest-based output introduces the ResourceWise platform FisherSolve’s pulp and paper industry insight to our portfolio. 
Pete Stewart, the CEO of ResourceWise, is focused on the future. “From raw material converters to end-use consumer goods producers, manufacturing value chain participants are increasingly seeking cross-commodity insights to meet low-carbon targets. We are building and providing the data and analytics businesses need to achieve environmental, social, and governance (ESG) targets and market products competitively worldwide.  
“The ResourceWise mission is to use the intelligence within the increasingly inter-related business sectors we have harnessed to guide customers in their journey toward a net-zero future. This new offering is the first of many milestones in our endeavor to do just that,” adds Stewart.  
A Streamlined Renewable Chemicals Service  
The new product leverages oleochemical pricing and commentary gathered by ResourceWise legacy brands since 2014 and insight collected since the 1990s. It extends our regional reach with additional price points and streamlines the data and analytics provided.  
The new portal is designed with personal care, cosmetics, detergents, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, flavor and fragrance, and food and beverage market participants in mind. However, it provides pricing data and insights for producers, intermediaries, and consumer product manufacturers in broader industries. 
More Than Forty Current and Historical Prices          
International price indexes for oleochemicals include the feedstocks soybean, coconut, tall, rapeseed, and palm oils, as well as tallow and glycerine grades Dozens of spot and contract prices for fatty acids and fatty alcohols plus comprehensive commentary based on intelligence from a worldwide contact base       Low-carbon price benchmarks and commentary in our oleochemicals offering will increasingly leverage intelligence on the biofuels sector within the Prima CarbonZero platform      Global Trade Flow graphics for all oils and tallow to help customers understand how key plant and animal-based feedstocks are traded globally to identify new markets and sources   Industry experts contextualize data, making it actionable, and respond personally to customer inquiries By bridging information gaps in the chemicals market, OrbiChem360 subscribers gain a competitive edge in volatile markets. The platform provides decision makers with robust, data-driven insight that unravels market trends so they can harness growth opportunities. For more information on the OrbiChem360 platform, visit the ResourceWise OrbiChem360 page. 
CONTACT:
Contact:Suz-Anne Kinney          Vice President, Marketing & Communications at [email protected]  +1 (980) 233-4021
This information was brought to you by Cision http://news.cision.com
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