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Ireland’s new National Land Cover Map
The new National Land Cover Map was produced by the National Mapping Division of Tailte Éireann (formerly Ordnance Survey of Ireland) in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It was released on 21 March 2023. The aim of a land cover map is to map what is physically present on the Earth’s surface, for example forests, grasslands, and artificial areas. This Map was produced based on 2018 data and is known as NLC 2018. It includes detailed information on land cover types in Ireland and marks a significant improvement in land evidence. It will have many uses in environmental assessments on water, climate, air, noise, and biodiversity and will be an important resource into the future. www.epa.ie
Descartes Labs partners with Comtech
Descartes Labs will become Comtech’s third publicly revealed EVOKE technology partner. It will work with Comtech to infuse the power of artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), predictive intelligence, and monitoring insights across Comtech’s business verticals. www.comtech.com
NOAA, communities to map heat inequities
This summer, NOAA and citizen scientists will map the hottest parts of 18 communities in 14 states across the USA and in one international city. Identifying these hotspots, called urban heat islands, helps local decision-makers take actions to reduce the health impacts of extreme heat, which often target the most vulnerable.
Now in its seventh year, the NOAA Urban Heat Island (UHI) mapping campaign addresses extreme heat, the number one weather-related cause of death in the U.S. for the last three decades. Urban heat islands— areas with few trees and more pavement that absorbs heat — can be up to 20 degrees fahrenheit hotter than nearby neighborhoods with more trees, grass and less black asphalt.
The cities and counties selected this year have a range of experiences with extreme heat, but each is looking for equitable ways to implement cooling solutions in their communities. For example, Chicago experienced one of the nation’s most deadly heat waves in 1995. www.noaa.go
Cupix adds CupixWorks to Bentley’s iTwin program
Cupix has announced the addition of its leading product, CupixWorks, to Bentley Systems’ powered by iTwin program. CupixWorks is a state-of-theart 3D digital twin platform that enables decision-making and collaboration through all stages of a building’s life cycle. Project Managers, General Contractors, Architects, and Owners can remotely view, track, and manage onsite progress via 3D spatial contexts and life-like 3D navigation. www.cupix.com
AI: UNESCO calls on all Governments to implement Global Ethical Framework without delay
Following calls by over 1000 tech workers for a pause in the training of the most powerful AI systems, including Chat GPT, UNESCO calls on countries to fully implement its Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence immediately. This global normative framework, adopted unanimously by the 193 Member States of the Organization, provides all the necessary safeguards.
UNESCO’s Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence is the first global framework for the ethical use of artificial intelligence. It guides countries on how to maximize the benefits of AI and reduce the risks it entails. To this end, it contains values and principles, but also detailed policy recommendations in all relevant areas.
UNESCO is concerned by many of the ethical issues raised by these innovations, in particular discrimination and stereotyping, including the issue of gender inequality, but also the fight against disinformation, the right to privacy, the protection of personal data, and human and environmental rights.
Industry self-regulation is clearly not sufficient to avoid these ethical harms, which is why the Recommendation provides the tools to ensure that AI developments abide by the rule of law, avoiding harm, and ensuring that when harm is done, accountability and redressal mechanisms are at hand for those affected.
UNESCO’s Recommendation places a Readiness Assessment tool at the core of its guidance to Member States. This tool enables countries to ascertain the competencies and skills required in the workforce to ensure robust regulation of the artificial intelligence sector. It also provides that the States report regularly on their progress and their practices in the field of artificial intelligence, in particular by submitting a periodic report every four years.
To this date, more than 40 countries in all regions of the world are already working with UNESCO to develop AI checks and balances at the national level, building on the Recommendation. UNESCO calls on all countries to join the movement it is leading to build an ethical AI. A progress report will be presented at the UNESCO Global Forum on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in Slovenia in December 2023. unesco.org
FNT Software releases GeoMaps 4.1
FNT Software released a new version of FNT GeoMaps, a Geo-Intelligent component within its Cable and Outside Plant Management solution.
Powered by Esri ArcGIS, FNT GeoMaps provides advanced geographic features that enhance the planning, operation, and management of passive inside and outside plant infrastructure with spatial intelligence. www.fntsoftware.com
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