CIO SA tech news round-up: Google to launch first-ever foldable device, human intelligence in the driver’s seat, and IT industry bids a final farewell to Gijima’s Hamilton Ratshefola


Google enters the foldable device race, LLMs still have a long way to go, says Hanno Brink Synthesis lead engineer, and a huge loss for IT as inspirational leader Hamilton Ratshefola passes away.

IT industry loses a stalwart

The IT industry was hit hard last week with the news of the sudden passing of Gijima’s group chief executive Hamilton Ratshefola.

Hamilton Ratshefola, also known as “Mr H,” passed away at the age of 56 after a short illness, surrounded by his loved ones, a Gijima statement read.

“Gijima, its shareholders, board, executive, staff and the information communications and technology industry have undoubtedly lost a par-excellence leader, a friend, a mentor and an innovator, passionate about all things in ICT, and the turnaround and sustainability of Gijima,” said Gijima executive chairperson Robert Gumede.

Hamilton previously worked for IBM as the general manager for Sub-Saharan Africa. He was the creator of both Auxilium Capital and the Cornastone Group of enterprises. He was also a teacher and leader, who contributed to practical training and continuing to make ICT education accessible to aspiring young ICT workers.

Google’s first-ever foldable device

According to internal conversations obtained by CNBC, Google will release its first foldable smartphone sometime in June, taking on Samsung's market-leading foldable phone company. The tablet will be unveiled on 10 May at Google I/O, the company's annual developer conference.

According to the docs, the Pixel Fold, internally known as "Felix," will boast the "most durable hinge on a foldable" phone. It will cost around $1,700 (R31,000) and will compete with Samsung's $1,799 (R33,000) Galaxy Z Fold 4 model.

It has been reported that the Alphabet-owned company will incentivise people to convert to the Pixel Fold, like offering trade-in options and a free Pixel Watch.

Human intelligence still in the driver’s seat

Human intelligence, according to PBT Group, will always be an important component in data analysis and the development of breakthrough technology.

Human resource management is one area where the interaction between technology and humans has been highlighted. According to Nicky Pantland, data analyst at PBT Group, ChatGPT is a technology that might potentially help firms with staff monitoring, management, and skill assessments.

“Because ChatGPT can analyse enormous amounts of data quickly, it can assist with identifying trends, patterns, and insights related to employees. But the need for human oversight and understanding remain important. Ultimately, the human workers must ensure that the information received from the AI is suitable and accurate for use,” she says.

This requires companies to balance the benefits of AI with the need to preserve human autonomy and creativity. Because ChatGPT relies on data to learn and generate responses, a human must still make sure that the data consumed by the model is diverse and complete.

“Should any bias or omission become evident, the human operator is needed to identify and address this. Different cultures have different considerations in terms of what is important or considered to be ‘normal.’ Only a member of that culture would be able to appropriately train the model on the social norms and the expectations of its people,” Nicky adds.

Aspects of ChatGPT may have a legal impact on corporate operations. One of the most important of these are the policies and laws that regulate data collection, storage, and use. There is also the possibility of legal implications if the usage of ChatGPT creates an underlying gender or racial bias that affects customers and causes reputational risk or damage to the firm.

ChatGPT's technology is what has propelled it to the forefront of the industry. ChatGPT, unlike other AI chatbots that are rule and script-based, use a generative model. This means that it can generate new text based on the information provided.

“This feature allows ChatGPT to be useful in areas like customer support, where the output needs to be customised to the specific need of the user. Another key differentiator is that ChatGPT is a transformer model, which means it uses a mathematical technique called self-attention to process the input and generate the output. This allows it to handle longer sequences of text and generate more natural and coherent responses,” says Nathi Dube, director of PBT innovation at PBT Group.

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