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Published Tuesday August 8, 2017
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MONITOR

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Technology - AI

How AI can enhance our memory, work and social lives

How smart can our machines make us? Tom Gruber, co-creator of Siri, wants to make "humanistic AI" that augments and collaborates with us instead of competing with (or replacing) us. He shares his vision for a future where AI helps us achieve superhuman performance in perception, creativity and cognitive function -- from turbocharging our design skills to helping us remember everything we've ever read and the name of everyone we've ever met. "We are in the middle of a renaissance in AI," Gruber says. "Every time a machine gets smarter, we get smarter."

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Age Structure

Labour force participation of seniors in Canada

Like many other industrialized countries, the age structure of the Canadian population has changed dramatically in the last century. The proportion of seniors aged 65 and older who participate in the labour market has also changed substantially over this time.

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Sampling

U of G Conducts First-Ever Sausage Mislabelling Study

by Deirdre Healey

Using cutting-edge DNA-based technology, University of Guelph researchers have conducted the first-ever Canadian study examining sausage mislabelling. The researchers found mislabelling and cross-species contamination of meat ingredients in 20 per cent of the sausage samples selected from grocery stores across the country.

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Wages

Wages dropping while costs and unemployment rise in Ontario says NDP

Kitchener/Waterloo - New data shows that wages for Ontarians are dropping while the cost of living goes up, with full-time working women and young workers taking the hardest hit on their paycheques.

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Labour

Ontario Adds 25,500 Jobs in July

Ontario's economy continues to perform strongly, adding 25,500 jobs in July. There was an increase of 17,600 full-time jobs and 7,900 part-time jobs.

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Study

DNA Testing Finds Quality Lacking in Natural Health Products

Nearly 80 per cent of Chinese patent medicines (CPM) are mislabelled, according to results of a DNA barcoding technique developed at the University of Guelph. The methods developed in this new Nature – Scientific Reports study will extend the use of DNA barcoding to quality testing of natural health products, the researchers say.

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Trade

The EU-Canada Agreement on Passenger Name Records (PNR): Turbulence Ahead!

By Antoine Guilmain, Antoine Aylwin and Karl Delwaide

Since 2014, the European Union and Canada have been moving forward with an Agreement concerning the transfer and use of Passenger Name Record (“PNR”) data. Last week, on July 26, 2017, the European Union Court of Justice stated that the envisaged Agreement could not be concluded because it would be “incompatible” with the respect for private life and the protection of personal data within the meaning of the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights. This does not mean, however, that the Agreement is condemned to remain ad vitam aeternam on the “black list”. While the Opinion questions several rules under the PNR system, it does not question its raison d’être. In other words, the EU-Canada Agreement is currently on the “gray list”, but could still take off…

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Future Casting

The Global Search for Education: “Jobsolescence”

Does Charles Fadel Have the Answers? “We need courageous cathedral builders! We also need to address traditional experts’ biases clinging to their narrow domains, parents’ old personal experiences biasing their views, and teachers’ and administrators’ lack of training and leadership, respectively.” — Charles Fadel

All around us we are witnessing disruptive automation that is changing lives and taking away the jobs many have relied on to make a living. According to a recent report by PwC, within 15 years, artificial intelligence will take over 38% of U.S. jobs. But will this trend continue even further, and to what extent does AI pose a threat to most of our jobs?

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Immigration

Final grants announced for groups supporting refugee newcomers

Waterloo Region – The Immigration Partnership Council is pleased to announce nine new grants to private sponsorships groups and agencies supporting refugee newcomers in Waterloo Region. In this final round of granting, new grants totaling $119,961 have been approved under the Immigration Partnership Fund for Syrian Newcomers. New grants include:

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Right to Choice

Abortion Pill Available Across Ontario at No Cost

Province Providing More Reproductive Choice for Women with Access to Mifegymiso

Ontario is giving women more choice over their reproductive health by making Mifegymiso, a safe and effective medical alternative to surgical abortion, available at no cost.

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R&D

By the end of the century extreme weather events may affect two in three Europeans every year

By 2100, two in three people living in Europe may be affected by weather-related disasters, according to a study published in The Lancet Planetary Health which sheds light on the expected burden of climate change on societies across Europe.

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Technology - AI

How computers learn to recognize objects instantly

Ten years ago, researchers thought that getting a computer to tell the difference between a cat and a dog would be almost impossible. Today, computer vision systems do it with greater than 99 percent accuracy. How? Joseph Redmon works on the YOLO (You Only Look Once) system, an open-source method of object detection that can identify objects in images and video -- from zebras to stop signs -- with lightning-quick speed. In a remarkable live demo, Redmon shows off this important step forward for applications like self-driving cars, robotics and even cancer detection.

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XQuaterly

OpenText Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Results

Q4 Fiscal 2017 - Total revenue of $664 million, up 37% Y/Y; $675 million in CC; Fiscal 2017 - Total revenue of $2.29 billion, up 26% Y/Y; $2.32 billion in CC

Waterloo - Open Text Corporation announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended June 30, 2017.

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Technology/Recognition

Kitchener - Waterloo Company Recognized with C anada Wide Technology Leader Award

Toronto - Advocate Insurance Group of Kitchener received a Technology Leader Award from the Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO) making it the only insurance broker in Kitchener-Waterloo to be recognized with this award. CSIO, a non-profit Canadian association, is a champion for data integrity and is committed to improving efficiency within the insurance industry by overseeing the development, implementation and maintenance of technology standards and solutions. They are pleased to recognize companies across Canada and present their Technology Leader Award to those who have achieve d excellence.

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Science

Physics with a side of summer friendships

by Stephanie Keating

High-schoolers from across the globe dive deeply into science together at Perimeter’s International Summer School for Young Physicists.

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Labour

Statistics Canada Releases Labour Force Survey for July 2017

Following two months of notable increases, employment was little changed in July (+11,000 or +0.1%). As the number of people searching for work edged down, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points to 6.3%. This is the lowest rate since October 2008, just prior to the onset of the 2008-2009 labour market downturn.



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COLUMNS

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Chart of the Week

Canada: When Is It Our Turn Again?

by Michael Hayhoe

Below is an interesting chart showing the relative return of the US markets vs. the Canadian markets.

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Change

Mistakes to Avoid When Communicating Change

By Henry DeVries

Gulp. Suppose the time has come to communicate a major change for your organization. Maybe it is a downsizing, a restructuring, or a switch to total quality management. The change is so important the future of the company depends on it.

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Leadership

7 Secrets That Increase Your Leadership Impact

By Brian Braudis

A major concern for senior executives is “bench strength”—that is, the quantity and quality of up-and-coming, potential leaders who are in the pipeline. The problem is that too often these would-be leaders “hold back, shrink and play small.” One CEO recently said, “The potential leaders in our pipeline need to show up, step up, and increase their leadership impact.”




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EVENTS

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September 13-15

Waterloo Innovation Summit hosts forward-thinking conversations on disruptive trends

Some of the world’s foremost thinkers on disruptive technologies will gather at the University of Waterloo this September to discuss Canada’s role in the world’s next economy. Joining Canadian business, government and academic leaders at this year’s Waterloo Innovation Summit will be influential speakers from some of the world’s most cutting-edge companies and innovative schools of thought.

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Vote for Your Oktoberfest Beer

Craft Beers at Bingemans Oktoberfest

Online craft beer contest launches Bingemans’ 49th annual Bavarian celebration!

Kitchener — Summer may be just beginning, but planning is well underway for the most exciting Oktoberfest festhalle experience in Waterloo Region. With the launch of a brand new Oktoberfest website and a call out to have the people choose the beer that will be poured, Bingemans is putting together its most exciting Oktoberfest program in the 49 years it has been celebrating Bavarian culture in Waterloo Region.

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Ontario Food Festivals

Top 12 Food and Food Themed Summer Festivals

Pack up the family and your appetite and savour the season’s culinary delights

Festivals & Events Ontario (FEO) is thrilled to announce this year’s mouth-watering top 100 festivals that will delight your taste buds! Tickle your taste buds at any one of the delicious award-wining festivals and events this year!






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