January 18, 2020

UK to Increase Resources to Pakistan ,British Deputy High Commissioner Mike Nithavrianakis said

Jiddat Web Desk :: Good news for Pakistan the British Deputy High Commissioner Mike Nithavrianakis said that the British Department for International Trade (DIT) is raising its resources to Pakistan as it is an emerging frontier market that deserves more attention.

Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) said, “With more DIT resources, we will have a greater capacity to not only support British businesses who are keen to explore the Pakistani market but also assist the Pakistani companies looking forward to get engaged with UK companies.”

According to the British envoy 5000 British companies are operating in the UAE and very few of them are doing any business Pakistan. “We are encouraging these British companies to explore the Pakistani market, but bringing new British companies is a challenge because of Pakistan’s perception which needs to be changed.”

The former KCCI president Siraj Kassam Teli said that the British Deputy High Commission and Karachi Chamber need to form a special committee so that any issues can be reviewed there. After the UK’s exit from the European Union, there might be issues that would need to be resolved. Also, it is important to establish a special committee so that solutions can be recommended to make sure that there is smooth trade between the two countries.  In an earlier article, we informed our readers that the business sector in the UK has announced £100 million (Rs16.3 billion) investments in Pakistan including oil & gas and other sectors.

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January 18, 2020

Foreign investment in Pakistan has reached a record of $2.225 billion

Jiddat Web Desk ::The foreign investment in Pakistan has reached a record of $2.225 billion in treasury bills during the fiscal year 2019-20. The State Bank of Pakistan confirmed that the latest T-bills auction that was held on 15th January yielded $537.9 million that is the highest amount for a single auction.

Even though the speedy foreign investment has helped the government in improving the reserves, it has started a debate among economists and analysts as a few of them believe that the ‘hot money’ can leave the country in one go that can be disastrous for the economy. But others are supportive of this idea of increasing the foreign reserves by accepting foreign investment.

During the Jan 15th auction the government received Rs1.1 trillion however it raised Rs274bn in T-bills. State Bank of Pakistan issued data that showed that 95% of investment in T-Bills came from the UK and the U.S. $537.9m investment out of the total investment came from the UK while $80.2m came from the U.S.

In the current fiscal year, the investment from the UK and the US stood at $1.392bn and $758.3m respectively.  The inflows via T-bills helped the government in developing its reserves that pushed the reserves of State Bank to $11.568bn and the total reserves of Pakistan to $18.123bn.

The director research at Arif Habib Limited Samiullah Tariq said, “It is much better to borrow through T-bills rather than issue Eurobonds to raise foreign exchange. We saw that the government paid $1bn to retire the Eurobonds debt in December 2019 without issuing another Eurobonds.”

As per Mr. Tariq, the only risk that associated with T-bills investment or hot money is that it can leave the country in one go without any restriction.

 

January 17, 2020

Google parent Alphabet is now a $1 trillion company –

Jiddat Web Desk ::Google parent Alphabet is now a $1 trillion company -The parent company of Google, Alphabet is now a $1 trillion company. It is the fourth U.S company that has hit the trillion-dollar market. Just before the markets closed on Thursday, the day’s trading ended at $1,451.70 per share, up 0.87 percent.

Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google took over as the CEO of Alphabet in December. It wasn’t a smooth ride with allegations of sexual misconduct and a 20,000-person Google Walkout employee protest.Now Alphabet will report its fourth-quarter earnings on February 3rd and as per the Wall Street analysts they are expected to report revenue of $46.9 billion that is a year-over-year increase of almost 20%.

The first U.S company to hit a $1 trillion cap in 2018 was Apple. Later Amazon and Microsoft followed it and reached the trillion-dollar market. Amazon’s figure has dropped since then.Back in 2007, the first company to hit the $1 trillion market cap for a short period of time was PetroChina. Also, last year Saudi Aramco became the first company to hit the $2 trillion mark shortly after its debut on the Riyadh stock exchange in December.

Although this is a great thing for companies to reach the trillion-dollar mark, it does not fully depict the economic condition of a company. According to Fortune, the trillion-dollar companies were amongst the most profitable companies in the world last year but Saudi Aramco was at the top with Apple 2nd and Alphabet at the 7th position.It is expected that the next company that will hit the $1 trillion market cap would be Facebook.

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January 17, 2020

Researchers are getting inspirations from the human mind

Jiddat Web Desk ::Researchers are getting inspirations from the human mind when it comes to intelligence and Artificial Intelligence AI research also involves a deep connection with human brains, however, AI now teaches us about how human brains learn.

Researcher Will Dabney and his fellow researchers at Deepind found that recent development in machine learning called distributional reinforcement learning provides a new explanation of how the reward pathways within the brain work. The pathways govern our responses to pleasurable events and are mediated by neurons that release brain chemical dopamine.

According to the researchers, “Dopamine works as a surprise signal in the brain when events turn out to be better than expectations more dopamine is released in the brain.”However, it was noted previously that these dopamine neurons all respond identically, but the team of researchers found that dopamine neurons actually vary, each one is tuned to a different level of optimism.

The findings drew inspiration from a process “Distributional Reinforcement Learning (DRL)” it is one of the notable techniques in AI which is used to master games like Go and Starcraft II. In simple words, DRL is the idea that reward reinforces the behaviour that led to its acquisition. For instance, a dog may learn to follow the command sit because it receives the reward of pat from the owner to do so. Dabney says, “Previously, models of reinforcement learning in both AI and neuroscience focused on learning to predict an “average” future reward. “But this doesn’t reflect reality as we experience it.”

For example, if someone plays a lottery, he expects to win or lose but he does not expect this halfway average outcome that doesn’t necessarily occur. When the future is not certain, the possible outcomes can be represented as probability distribution instead of positives and negatives. AIs that use DRL algorithms can predict the full spectrum of possible rewards and outcomes.

To test whether the brain’s dopamine reward pathways also work via a distribution, the team recorded responses from individual dopamine neurons in mice. The mice were trained to perform a task and were given rewards of varying and unpredictable sizes.

The researchers found that different dopamine cells showed reliably different levels of surprise.“Associating rewards to certain stimuli or actions is of critical importance for survival,” says Raul Vicente at the University of Tartu, Estonia. “The brain cannot afford to throw away any valuable information about rewards.”

“At a large scale, the study is in line with the current view that to operate efficiently the brain has to represent not only the average value of a variable but also how often a variable takes different values,” says Vicente. “It is a good example of how computational algorithms can guide us in what to look for in neural responses.” But the researchers said more research is required to illustrate whether the findings apply to other species and the regions of the brain.

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