Category Archives: Deep Mind
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Located at the edge of North Vancouver, Deep Cove is a stunning waterfront village thats popular with local residents and tourists alike. In addition to lush green trails and open views of Indian Arm, its also a popular destination for movie and TV shoots.
Before diving into everything that the Cove has to offer, its important to know how to get there. The small village offers few options for parking, so driving directly into the area isnt recommended especially during peak summer months.
(Alison Pudsey/Daily Hive)
A good option is public transit. Bus passengers can take the 211 or 212 from Phibbs Exchange directly into Deep Cove. For anyone that does opt to drive, the District of North Vancouver points drivers towards overflow parking lots that can be found before entering the main strip. From there, the heart of Deep Cove is a mere five to 10-minute walk.
As far as outdoor excursions go, Deep Coves claim to fame is Quarry Rock. The popular 3.8 km hike is beginner-friendly (with the right footwear). Sitting at the top of the trail is a stunning view that encompasses Deep Cove, Indian Arm, and the Belcarra mountains.
Quarry Rock, Deep Cove (Shutterstock)
Quarry Rock hike/Shutterstock
If youre an experienced hiker seeking something more challenging, look no further than the Baden Powell Trail. The entire trail spans 41 km from Deep Coves Burrard Inlet to West Vancouvers Horseshoe Bay but dont worry, there are shorter hikes to be found within the trail (Quarry Rock included).
The Cove also has no shortage of aquatic activities. Deep Cove Kayak offers rentals, lessons, and even tours on kayaks, standup paddleboard, and surf-ski and dont be surprised to see local residents pull up with their own, either. Keep in mind, walk-in rentals arent accepted at this time and reservations are required.
Its also worth noting that Deep Cove Kayak offers a guided nighttime kayak tour. The experience is held on Fridays between May and October and boasts a completely different experience of Deep Cove.
If youre looking for even more parks, green space, and beachfront, be sure to check out Cates Park. While it technically isnt in Deep Cove, the expansive park is just a short distance away and boasts forest trails, beach areas, and additional access to the water.
Deep Cove has no shortage of eateries and restaurants, with plenty of options at any time of day. The most popular spot, undoubtedly, is Honeys Doughnuts & Goodies. The longstanding institution is beloved for its doughnuts, which are often sought out by celebrities and film stars who frequent Vancouver.
Honey Doughnuts & Goodies/Facebook
There are also several different options for cafes. Cafe Orso is a European-style cafe that offers a selection of coffees, teas, and alcoholic beverages. Theyre also very popular for their Belgian waffles, which are baked in-house daily and can be served with Nutella, fresh berries, and other toppings.
Bluhouse Market & Cafe offers a wide variety of crepes, smoothies, and plant-forward salads, bowls, and wraps. And Covert Cafe & Market is well known for its cinnamon buns.
Another new, and welcome, addition to the neighbourhood is Dip Co. Delights, which offers Florentine-style sandwiches and a wide selection of European goods.
For more substantial meals, Osaka Sushi and Arms Reach Bistro have both served the Deep Cove community for a number of years. The owners of Arms Reach Bistro are also the same minds behind ingrain, a locally-owned pasta brand that can be found both in restaurants and grocery stores.
And while ittechnically isnt located inside the Cove, Deep Cove Brewery is a noteworthy stop for craft beer, cocktails, and small-batch spirits. There is an impressive selection of food and appetizers and often have local artists performing live during weekends.
If youre looking to get some shopping done, locally-owned and operated Ahoy is well worth the visit. Expect popular name brands such as Nike, Stussy, Patagonia, Reigning Champ, and Comme Des Garcons, as well as plenty of Cove-themed items.
Deep Cove Collective can be found right across the street from Ahoy. Visitors can find a quaint selection of apparel, gifts, and jewelry.
And if you have a sweet tooth, make sure to stop by Sweet as Treats, a candy and gift store with an impressive selection of confections, chocolates, and snacks.
During my time in the Bahamas, I bump up against the edges of this family. For example, while waiting for Alexey to wake up from a nap one afternoon, his housemate Arnaud Jerald (the new Constant Weight Bi-Fins world-record holder until Alexey breaks it five days later) insists on making me an omelette and salade. He is from Marseille, has been at this house near the blue hole for a month, training and taking pictures. He has grand designs for his life in the sport, a plan to excite more high-end sponsors into supporting freediving. He just signed with Richard Millemaking him one of the few freedivers to ink an endorsement deal with a luxury-watch company. He shows me some underwater photos that his partner, Charlotte, had just taken of him in a polo walking on the edge of the blue hole, like it was the surface of a distant planet. He wants would-be sponsors to see what's possible with divers in the picture.
At a waterfront restaurant one night, sitting at the bar and reading a book, I find myself surrounded by a third of the field of divers. There are groupings that I relish. Pods of nationalities. Clusters by age. A married couple. A couple that might like to be married. I count off the countries represented in my midst: Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Chile, Turkey, Italy, Slovenia, France, Tunisia, and Mexico. On the beach each day are competitors, of course, but there are also mothers and fathers and sons and daughters. While a Czech diver pursues records, her young daughter snorkels in the shallows. The son of an Italian national-record holder is well on his way to matching his father's tan. There are babies, too, like I've never seen in the water. Naked little infants squawking in the waves. You come this far for this long, everyone comes with.
Alexey was as talented as anyone alive at shrinking the focal length to practically zero. It was his great gift. The thing that made it possible for him to go deeper on one breath than anyone.
At the restaurant, I help Turkey's top female diver, Sahika Ercumen, find some fish on the menu that isn't fried. She's known Alexey since they were teenagers, since he had hair, she says, smiling. 2006, Tenerife. Natalia was there. We were kids, and now he has a baby. They came up together, live in their respective corners of the world, but then, a few times a year, there are events like this one, with this family, where, Ercumen says, it's just about making these memories together. Ercumen had COVID last year, was terrified about how it would react with her asthma, what it would do to her lungs. Over the course of her six dives, she set five new Turkish records.
All gratitude for the annual family reunion is owed to William Trubridge, the founder of Vertical Blue and one of freediving's all-timers. Alexey would ultimately break three of the four world records in the competitive depth disciplines at this year's Vertical Blue, but the fourth is still held by Trubridge, in his specialty discipline, Constant Weight No Fins. No Fins is considered the purest of the dives, as it most resembles the sort of purpose-driven plunges that humans have been taking for thousands of years, to spearfish, to scoop sponges and pearls, to explore the ocean.
Raised in New Zealand, Trubridge moved to Long Island, not far from Dean's Blue Hole, in 2006, to train. Since then, freediving and Vertical Blue have experienced a rapid evolution. By 2010, he had built a world-class competition. Then, in 2013, in just its sixth edition, tragedy struck. An American diver named Nicholas Mevoli experienced a pulmonary hemorrhage caused by barometric pressure and died at a medical center near the blue hole. Still nascent by the standards of most organized sports, freediving has a growing infrastructure in place for better education, better training, and safer competition. When I ask Trubridge what prior accounts of freediving tend to get wrong, he thinks for a moment, then says the sensationalism of it: Some people have only focused on the coughing up blood, the blacking out. That is part of it, sure, and that's a risk that is there. But it's like auto sports: If you were to just focus on the crashes, you wouldn't be telling the story in full.
Read the original:
The Secrets of The Worlds Greatest Freediver - GQ Magazine
Seek help from your primary care doctor or a crisis hotline if youre having intense feelings of depression, particularly suicidal thoughts.
Judith Overton| Guest columnist
Mental health a concern as children return to classrooms
Experts say returning to school in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic will require special care for a childs mental and social development needs.
STAFF VIDEO, USA TODAY
If the past few months have left you feeling stuck in a time warp, youre not alone.
There were a few hopeful weeks in early summer when it seemed that normal activities were resuming in our state and our country. Now we seem to be back where we were a year ago with the COVID-19 pandemic because of the surging delta variant. Were also facing a divisive vaccination debate, and many hospitals are approaching or even above patient capacity.
During the last 18 months, many of us have lost loved ones, jobs or opportunities, and daily routines we relied on. This reinforces that managing our mental health is just as important as our physical health long a fact, but one that the pandemic has brought to the forefront.
Its natural, and even automatic, to feel worry or fear as we navigate the ongoing pandemic. Taking a simple first step like pausing for a deep breath can prevent a domino effect of dread, and help manage your mental health.
I cant overstate the importance of seeking help from your primary care doctor or a crisis hotline if youre having intense feelings of depression, particularly suicidal thoughts. Its also possible to get help using telehealth resources, and many BlueCross BlueShield plans offer talk therapy through the PhysicianNow telehealth platform.
Its also worth noting that depression can look different for everyone. Are you sleeping poorly? Unable to do things that used to be easy?
Stress and anxiety likewise shouldnt be ignored, and adhering to the basics for overall health diet, exercise and rest is one way to help manage them. Focus on introducing one healthy habit at a time into your life. For example, make Tuesdays and Thursdays dedicated healthy meal nights. Or set an alarm on your phone to start your bedtime process at 8 p.m. to be in bed by 9.
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I know many caregivers with young children or senior relatives juggle ever-rotating schedules. Make the most of the time you know youre in control of. Also, dont feel guilty about some things plans with loved ones, folding laundry or unloading the dishwasher that you sometimes have to let go of.
Guilt can weigh more heavily during difficult times; one way I cope is by limiting negativity in my life. Turn off the news at home or on your drive, and park your phone in a different room at night to avoid doomscrolling.
Also, practice mindfulness, gratitude and doing things that refuel you. There are ways to find joy even in times like these. Seek out new experiences and give back to others, regardless of whether theyre in obvious need. The idea I often share is to write down or say one thing youre grateful for each day. This can be during a point in the day when you typically feel stress creeping in.
If you struggle to write for yourself, send a letter or postcard to a loved one. Think about those whove suffered a loss during this pandemic; perhaps theyre nearing an anniversary of the death of someone close. A letter doesnt have to acknowledge this explicitly; just reaching out to let someone know youre thinking about them can speak volumes. And it can help you feel better, too.
All things considered, were in a better place than a year ago. COVID-19 vaccinations are readily available and effective at preventing severe illness, and our shared experiences during this pandemic have moved us even closer to destigmatizing mental health.
If youre struggling or feel stuck when that time warp sensation resurfaces, remember youre not alone and theres no shame in asking for help.
Judith Overton, M.D., is a psychiatrist and medical director for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.
James Calderazzo| The Destin Log
I was sitting in my office when my phone rang. I answered to hear the stressed voice of one of my daughters. She had been in a car accident. Everyone involved was fine, but the car was not drivable, and the accident was her fault. How does a pastor respond in such a situation? Well, this one failed.
Almost immediately I was filled with anxiety. You might describe me as a man who was absent of peace. Going through my mind were thoughts along these lines: How much are the repairs going to cost? How are we going to get by with one car? How much is our insurance going to increase? You get the picture.
At that moment a friend walked in my door. This was someone whom I had ministered to for some years. He was a former convict who had struggled for over two decades with addiction issues. He could tell I was troubled and asked me what was going on. I told him about the accident, and he could hear the frustration and anxiety in my voice. I remember him looking at me with a smile and then asking me a series of questions:
Is God here?
Yes. I know He is, I responded.
Is God in control of this situation?
Being a pastor, I knew the answer, Of course He is.
Does God love you and promise to take care of you?
I hung my head now, Yes. God loves me and promises to care for me. It came slowly, but I began to see in all my thoughts about the accident, God was absent. My friend helped me to fix my mind back on the Lord. And what began to follow was peace. Real peace.
It was a living illustration of these wonderful verses found in Isaiah, You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock (Is 26:3-4).
Perfect peace. Maybe some of you who are reading this right now are in need of peace. We seem to live in a time defined by discord, anger, enmity, and conflict. Where can we truly find peace? Notice the promise in these verses: perfect peace. Interestingly, the word perfect is not found in the original Hebrew. What it actually reads is: you keep him in peace, peace. In Hebrew a word is often repeated for the purpose of intensification. So, the Lord does not just keep us in peace. He keeps us in peace, peace. Real peace, deep peace, lasting peace, peace that is not transitory or fleeting. But a peace that is durable, sturdy. A peace that can stand even amongst raging storms. Its a God-based peace, a supernatural peace a type of peace that the world cannot understand.
How do we get this deep peace? The verse tells us, from a mind that is stayed on God. Peace that is a condition of our hearts is dependent on the set, or focus, of our minds. Do you want peace in your heart? Then fix your thoughts on the God of the Bible. Keep God in all your thoughts about yourself, in all your thoughts about others, in all your thoughts about work, in all your thoughts about family. Let those thoughts be grounded in God.
It is never foolish to trust in God. It is never foolish to trust in infinite power and infinite goodness and infinite love and infinite wisdom. This is why God wants us to set our minds on Him not to become Bible-scholars but to become God-dependers, to learn to depend more and more on Him in all things at all times.
God is rock-solid reliable. Our verse says that he is the everlasting rock. Some have translated everlasting rock as the rock of ages. Trust in the Lord for He is the Rock of Ages. It is thought that this is the verse where the hymn writer, Augustus Toplady got the title for his hymn, Rock of Ages. Think of the first verse of that hymn, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee. Cleft is a word we dont use very often. It is the past tense of cleave which means to split. Rock of Ages, split for me. Who is Toplady referring to? Who is Isaiah ultimately telling us to place our trust in? Jesus. Jesus is the Rock who was literally split apart so that we could find shelter and peace in Him. Because Jesus body was broken on the cross, we can know that we are forgiven. We can know that we are loved. We can know that Jesus is with us and for us. We can know, no matter what, our future is secure.
Ultimately that is peace a mind fixed on the reigning, ruling, and steadfastly loving Jesus.
James Calderazzo is pastor of Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church in Destin.
On Monday, "America" happened at the Met Gala. Well, specifically, the theme was "American Independence" but considering the wide array of outfits, we're going to shorten it to "America" and hope that captures the general essence of the evening. The assignment, as it was loosely described, was supposed to be a nod to American fashion. If you wanted bonus points, you could highlight the political and social justice issues that have inspired designers in recent years. Or, perhaps, you could come to the Gala as a dementor.
But when you shorten the theme down to "America" and then use your imagination, everyone kind of nailed it. Lil Nas X's outfit (three layers deep, mind you) could have been honoring to famed golden boy, C3PO. Frank Ocean honored our love of aliens? Robots? Babies? ASAP Rocky highlighted the American maxim of staying warm on your way to the kitchen for some 3 a.m. water. Listen, I don't know if any of those comparisons are real, but that's half the fun of judging the Met Gala from home.
Maybe that is the real tradition here. As megawatt celebrities walk the red carpet in avant garde outfits by high-end designers, the good people of the internet are left with the task of making the best jokes about it. How are you going to wear a horse dress to the 2021 Met Gala and not expect a good ol' Ivermectin joke? Below are the best of the crop: from the complete confusion of how to execute the theme to a much beloved Snooki reference.
Stay fancy, America. And tax the rich.
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Intels AI division is one of the unsung heroes of the modern machine-learning movement. Its talented researchers have advanced the state of AI chips, neuromorphic computing, and deep learning. And now theyre turning their sights on the unholy grail of AI: the hive mind.
Okay, that might be a tad dramatic. But every great science fiction horror story has to start somewhere.
And Intels amazing advances in the area of multiagent evolutionary reinforcement learning (MERL) could make a great origin story for the Borg a sentient AI that assimilates organic species into its hive mind, from Star Trek.
MERL, aside from being a great name for a fiddle player, is Intels new method for teaching machines how to collaborate.
Per an Intel press release:
Weve developed MERL, a scalable, data-efficient method for training a team of agents to jointly solve a coordination task. A set of agents is represented as a multi-headed neural network with a common trunk. We split the learning objective into two optimization processes that operate simultaneously.
The new system is complex and involves novel machine-learning techniques, but the basic ideas behind it are actually fairly intuitive.
AI systems dont have what the French call une raison dexister. In order for a machine to do something, it needs to be told what to do.
But, often, we want AI systems to do things without being told what to do. The whole point of a machine learning paradigm is to get the machine to figure things out for itself.
However, you still need to make the AI learn the stuff you want it to and forget everything else.
For example, if youre trying to teach a robot to walk you want it to remember how to move its legs in tandem and forget about trying to solve the problem by hopping on one foot.
This is accomplished through reinforcement learning, the RL in MERL. Researchers tweak the AIs training paradigm to ensure its rewarded whenever it accomplishes a goal, thus keeping the machine on task.
If you think about AI in the traditional sense, it works a lot like a single agent (basically, one robot brain) trying to solve a giant problem on its own.
So, for an AI brain responsible for making a robot walk, the AI has to figure out balance, kinetic energy, resistance, and what the exact limits of its physical parts are. This is not only time-consuming often requiring hundreds of millions of iterative attempts but its also expensive.
Intels MERL system allows multiple agents (more than one AI brain) to attack a larger problem by breaking it down into individual tasks that can then be handled by individual agents. The agents collaborate in order to speed up learning across each task. Once the individual agents train up on their tasks, a control agent utilizes the sum of training to organize a method by which the entire goal is accomplished in our example, making a robot walk.
If this system was people instead of AI, itd be like the hit 1980s cartoon Voltron, where individual pilots fly individual vehicles but they come together to form a giant robot thats more powerful than the sum of its parts.
But since were talking about AI, its probably more helpful to view it more like the aforementioned Borg. Instead of a single AI brain controlling all the action, MERL gives AI the ability to form a sort of brain network.
One might even be tempted to call it a non-sentient hive mind.
Follow this link:
Researchers lay the groundwork for an AI hive mind - The Next Web
Infinite Memory Transformer: Attending to Arbitrarily Long Contexts Without Increasing Computation Burden – Synced
When reading a novel, humans naturally remember relevant plot information even if it was presented many chapters earlier. Although todays transformer-based language models have made impressive progress in natural language processing, they struggle in this regard, as the compute required for modelling long-term memories grows quadratically with the length of the text and will eventually exceed the models finite memory capacity.
To overcome this limitation, a research team from Instituto de Telecomunicaes, DeepMind, Institute of Systems and Robotics, Instituto Superior Tcnico and Unbabel has proposed -former (infinite former) a transformer model equipped with unbounded long-term memory (LTM) that enables it to attend to arbitrarily long contexts.
The team summarizes their studys contributions as:
The team extends the vanilla transformer with a continuous LTM to enable their proposed -former to access long-range context. The novel approach employs a continuous space attention framework to attend over the LTM signal, in which key matrix size depends on the number of basis functions instead of the length of the context being attended to. The models computation complexity is thus rendered independent of context length, enabling it to attend to arbitrarily long contexts without increasing memory requirements or computation burden.
To evaluate their proposed method, the researchers performed extensive experiments on synthetic task and language modelling tasks, using transformer-XL and the compressive transformer as their baselines.
In the synthetic task experiments, transformerXL achieved slightly better performance than the compressive transformer and -former for short memory length, but its accuracy degraded rapidly when the sequence length was increased. The accuracies for both the compressive transformer and -former meanwhile remained relatively stable. In the language modelling experiments, the -former slightly outperformed the compressive transformer.
The researchers also note -formers ability to reduce perplexity in a pretrained model such as GPT-2 by helping the model focus on relevant memories.
Overall, the study shows the proposed -former can scale up to long sequences while maintaining high accuracy, and demonstrates the versatility and benefits of unbounded long-term memory, both in model training from scratch and in the fine-tuning of pretrained language models.
The paper -former: Infinite Memory Transformer is on arXiv.
Author: Hecate He |Editor: Michael Sarazen, Chain Zhang
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Building on its commitment to help customers improve their mental health through movement, Asics has partnered with mental health charity Mind to realize its ambition of lifting the mood of an entire town. As part of our Experienital Marketing Deep Dive, The Drum caught up with executive vice-president Gary Raucher to find out what he hopes the legacy of its attempt will be.
When the Covid-19 pandemic caused Asics to revisit its founding principle of healthy body, healthy mind, the sports brand turned to its customers to fuel its research into the power of movement on mental wellbeing.
Partnering with Mind UK, the brand will be hosting a unique day of activity in a small town in England in the hopes of getting the community moving and gaining insights into its impact through the use of its Mind Uplifter Tool.
To discern where its event would be most impactful, Asics commissioned a survey by BF Media to discern an area of the UK most motivated to improve its mental wellbeing through movement.
All surveys were conducted between May 10 and May 27 2021. The sample comprised 6,474 adults from 40 English counties, with a minimum of 150 respondents from each county. Participants were asked to score themselves out of 100 (0 being the lowest and 100 the highest) across 10 emotional (feeling composed, relaxed, positive, content, confident and resilient) and cognitive (feeling alert, calm, focused and energized) traits.
Following the research, the Asics State-of-Mind Index identified Nottinghamshire as the English county that most wanted a mental uplift (80%), with the small town of Retford being reported as one of the most motivated to improve their emotional and mental wellbeing.
We were looking for a willingness to participate alongside a desire for an uplift, explains Asics executive vice-president Gary Raucher.
On the day of the experiment, which will take place on September 25, residents of the town of Retford will be invited to partake in a series of movement initiatives and measure the collective impact on their mental wellbeing. Dr Brendon Stubbs a leading expert on movement and mental health is overseeing the experiment having helped design the events of the day.
Well be transforming the streets into a movement-inspired gym, says Raucher. People can register ahead of time in order to be assigned a time slot and go around the course in small groups.
The circuit itself is about a mile long, so its very accessible and all along the course there will be different stops where people can get involved in various exercises.
Raucher adds that alongside aiming to be accessible, the day also aims to line up with necessary Covid restrictions and concerns over the Delta variant of the virus.
What is critically important is the health and safety and well being of all participants and wed absolutely have protocols in place to ensure that were aligned with the latest governmental suggestions as well as regulations.
However, Raucher says that organizers have tried to make the event fun and memorable by incorporating the town as much as possible. The bus stop has become a bus start and the River Idle that runs through Retford has become the River Lively.
Asics sports ambassadors will also be present on the day and Raucher pledges there are plenty of surprises in store.
Not only do we hope that by participating in movement well be able to demonstrate the uplifting power of sport and the role that athletes can play in that, but were hoping that, in general, people will look back and say that theyve had a great experience, while perhaps most importantly we also want to make a lasting impact, so were in discussions with the council about sort of the legacy that we can leave behind.
Elaborating on the legacy Asics hopes for, Raucher explains it will leave behind an infrastructure both physically and mentally that will encourage the local community to keep moving, even after evening falls on the event.
We know that there are some tennis courts and also a running track that is in need of some repair, so were working with the council to really make sure that this isnt just a one off event, but that were making a commitment to helping people uplift their minds on an ongoing basis.
Back in July, to coincide with the launch of its Mind Uplifter Tool, Asics was already getting involved in local communities to encourage its uptake, such as setting up local running clubs near its store locations.
This allows us to have localized insights into what additional activities we could be setting up we have sports marketing assets, ambassadors, coaches and trainers that we can encourage to engage with local communities to encourage people to be active, Raucher said at the time.
Uptake of the Mind Uplifter Tool will be encouraged in Retford on September 25, as once a participant has registered a Mind Uplift via the tool their individual data will be combined with results across the town in order to demonstrate the uplift that movement can have on the mood of the whole town.
Every participant who captures a Mind Uplift on the day will raise funds for Minds work across the country, supporting the charitys commitment to fight for better mental health.
Raucher concludes: The last 18 months have been tough on peoples mental wellbeing, but we know exercise can be a positive source of energy. Asics has always believed that exercise is not only good for the body, but also for the mind. Now, we aim to demonstrate our brand belief in action by seeing if movement can uplift the mood of a whole town. We hope residents of Retford will lace up and be part of this unique experiment to raise spirits and raise funds for Mind.
From festivals to retail installations to unmissable activations, we examine the avenues open to marketers to reach consumers enjoying their newfound freedom in The Drums Experiential Deep Dive.
Financial vulnerability and health-related concerns are more prevalent among young consumers in emerging market countries, spurring an increased desire for insurance protection, according to the EY Global Insurance Consumer Survey. The survey polled 4,200 consumers in seven countries across Africa, Asia, North America and South America.
The research explores the growing protection gap between consumers in emerging markets and consumers in developed markets. It also offers insights into how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted consumers financial risks, vulnerabilities and needs regarding insurance preferences.
The survey found that consumers in emerging markets experienced more financial impact from the pandemic than those in developed markets. Seventy-eight per cent (78%) of emerging-market consumers had to dip into their savings, 61% lost income and 54% had to skip some bills or payments, compared to 33%, 30% and 22%, respectively, in developed markets. In addition, vaccination rates in emerging markets are considerably lower, and concerns about losing a loved one and financial wellbeing are considerably higher.
The demographic breakdown of consumers in each market plays a role in how the pandemic impacts financial stability, EY said. Consumers in emerging markets are younger (75% are under the age of 44, and only 3% are retired) and often lack a comfortable financial cushion and certain insurance coverages. For example, only 10% have $100,000 or more in investable assets, compared to 37% in developed markets. Only 56% of emerging-market consumers have coverage for their home, compared to 88% in developed markets.
Insurers have an important role to play in protecting those that need it most, said Fayez Jaffer, EY Americas insurance product innovation leader. They must start by building trust through personal connection and empathy to deeply understand their clients personal and financial goals. Connecting with customers on a human level especially across digital channels, which younger consumers prefer is imperative to meet the evolving needs of their clients, improve financial wellbeing and build sustainable relationships long-term.
Emerging-market consumers have a strong appetite for purchasing insurance products, EY found. Consumers in both emerging and developed markets expressed interest in short-term products like insurance that funds college education plans or pays for credit card bills in the event of a job loss. However, among all eight products proposed in EYs survey, the appetite for purchasing a product was nearly twice as high among emerging-market consumers.
The survey also found that corporate social responsibility (CSR) plays a significant role in purchasing decisions in emerging markets. The pandemic, along with other events in the last year, has increased consumer interest in CSR and raised expectations about how corporations contribute to society. Fifty-nine per cent (59%) of consumers overall know their insurers CSR stance at least somewhat well, EY found and consumers in emerging markets are more aware of social commitments. A quarter of survey respondents said they had chosen one insurance brand over another due to its CSR reputation.
Social responsibility and purpose continue to remain top of mind for consumers, so its important for insurers to demonstrate their commitment to these issues, said Bernhard Klein Wassink, global insurance customer and growth offering leader at EY. Now more than ever, insurers should focus on bringing these issues to the forefront of their products and services to help with financial and social recovery efforts, especially for those who are most vulnerable in the uncertain environment.
Read this article:
EY study deep dives into financial protection gap - Insurance Business
Peptone: Putting molecular physics at the heart of UK’s next billion-pound pharma company – Yahoo Money
Peptone is using science to build the worlds first protein engineering operating system, combining AI with computational molecular physics. Above, a 3D illustration of proteins. Photo: Getty
Life comes at you fast. At one point Peptone, a computational biophysics company, had been rejected by more than 150 investors. Now, it regularly receives approaches and buyout offers from big, institutional names.
The aim of founders Dr Kamil Tamiola and Dr Matthew Heberling is to build better drugs and change the standard of healthcare through translating the physics of complex proteins that dictate how the human body and other materials function.
This idea a new theory of making drugs has led them to be tipped by others in the market as the UK's next potential billion pound company.
Peptone is using science to build the worlds first protein engineering operating system, combining AI with computational molecular physics.
The "protein drug discovery engine" enables an automated search for non-obvious protein variants with desirable therapeutic properties and cost-effective manufacturability. The technology is already being used in a variety of pre-clinical and late-stage protein therapeutics programmes.
Instead of going after all of these typical things that pharmaceutical companies do, we can go upstream with these molecules and target the very beginning of a cascade of terrible things that cause your body to react to something. That is the superpower we have, says Tamiola.
For the last 50 years, scientists have believed that for proteins to have a function in human cells they need to have a structure and to be folded. Google DeepMind's AI tool AlphaFold, was considered to be a giant leap towards determining a proteins 3D shape from its amino-acid sequence.
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Peptone is coming at this problem from a different angle.
There are a large portion of proteins in your body that have no structure, but are still biologically relevant, says Tamiola.
These have, so far, been very difficult to study. The companys mission is to make this process easier and understand how these types of proteins behave in life-changing diseases and drugs, not just their structure.
Proteins without a structure are particularly interesting in terms of how inflammatory diseases, such as asthma or an allergic reaction, affect the body, says Tamiola.
Combining physics, supercomputing and AI, Peptone's systems can comb through data from drug trials and work out exactly where something went wrong mistakes are often the result of an anomaly in a protein. Doing this can help stop pharmaceutical companies from making the same mistake twice or even resurrect a drug that had been discounted as not working.
Our dream is to build a sustainable company that brings a product to the market as an approved drug, says Tamiola.
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Peptone raised $2.5m (1.8m) from venture capitalists Hoxton Ventures seven months ago, from Hoxton's second fund. Four weeks after the initial fundraise the company produced data that showed their product actually works. Months on, the supercomputers are producing even more accurate data than the previous developments suggested.
It has become evident that we have a fair chance of becoming a pharma company on our own, says Tamiola.
The money raised so far is being used to build a lab in Switzerland, hire staff and eventually will buy new computers to develop proprietary experimental techniques. Peptone's long-term aim is to be able to conduct clinical trials off its own back.
Peptone co-founders Dr Kamil Tamiola and Dr Matthew Heberling. Photo: Peptone
We are professional daydreamers. We think, conceive of things in our head and are patient. People think we are nuts, but you build something and wait 25 years and you discover something like the Higgs boson, or you send someone to the moon, says Tamiola.
This is a very different approach from the rest of the people in the market. Were not looking for instant gratification.
Another thing Tamiola also does differently to other company founders if you're lucky he might play you a Bach prelude on the piano during a business development meeting. He has used time at home during the pandemic both to build the company and hone his performance of Baroque music, a skill he has used to woo potential funders alongside pitching supercomputers and drug development methods.
Peptone is wading into a market with a lot of cash up for grabs. According to Statista, as of end-2020, the total global pharmaceutical market was valued at about $1.27tn. This is a significant increase from 2001 when the market was valued at just $390bn.
As for competition, another company in this field, going after what Tamiola calls intrinsically disordered proteins, is New Equilibrium Biosciences. This company is run by Dr Virginia Burger and was founded in 2019 to discover drugs to fight cancers and neurodegenerative disorders.
Since the first fundraising round, Peptone has opened a series A fundraising round, which is currently oversubscribed.
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The startup has also already announced a collaboration with Nvidia (NVDA) to scale in order to meet increasing demand from the protein therapeutics market and has multiple other collaborations in the pipeline.
The founders say that to complete its mission to bring new, innovative drugs to the market, it is open to many different paths be that through an IPO or SPAC deal or a merger.
And its not just the world of pharma this new technology could help to change. The application of the problem that we are addressing goes far beyond just making drugs, says Tamiola.
Peptone could potentially use the technology to make a product that helps heal wounds, create a novel form of a detergent or washing powder that is biodegradable or use it in diagnostic blood testing.
Tamiola says that the general theme of the collaborations the company has been approached about so far concern the sustainability of goods.