Zoom Partners with Anthropic to Expand Federated Approach to AI

Zoom announces investment in Anthropic to support research roadmaps and build steerable AI systems; Anthropic’s AI model will help strengthen Zoom’s federated approach across its platform, including Zoom Contact Center integrations

SAN JOSE, Calif., May 16, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Zoom announced a strategic partnership with and investment in Anthropic, an AI safety and research company working to build reliable, interpretable, and steerable AI systems. The collaboration with Anthropic will further bolster Zoom’s federated approach to AI by allowing Anthropic’s AI assistant, Claude, to be integrated with Zoom’s platform (which includes Team Chat, Meetings, Phone, Whiteboard, Zoom IQ), starting with Zoom Contact Center.

“Anthropic’s Constitutional AI model is primed to provide safe and responsible integrations for our next-generation innovations, beginning with the Zoom Contact Center portfolio. With Claude guiding agents toward trustworthy resolutions and powering self-service for end-users, companies will be able to take customer relationships to another level,” said Smita Hashim, chief product officer for Zoom. “Partnering with Anthropic also furthers our commitment to providing customers with our federated approach to AI, optimized to deliver outstanding customer experience outcomes. Additionally, with our investment, we are advancing leading-edge companies like Anthropic and helping to drive innovation in the Zoom ecosystem and beyond.”

“Partnering with a leading collaboration platform like Zoom allows us to put robust, steerable AI into the hands of more people and unlock its potential to help streamline everyday processes,” said Dario Amodei, CEO and co-founder of Anthropic. “We look forward to working together to showcase Anthropic’s capabilities and our joint commitment to enhancing productivity through intelligent solutions.”

Zoom’s federated approach to AI leverages its own proprietary AI models, along with those from leading AI companies — such as Anthropic — and select customers’ models. With this flexibility to incorporate multiple types of models, Zoom can provide the most value for its customers’ diverse needs. Zoom will be able to customize these models to perform better for a customer, based on their specific business needs.

As the next step in evolving the Zoom Contact Center portfolio, (Zoom Virtual Agent, Zoom Contact Center, Zoom Workforce Management), Zoom plans to incorporate Anthropic AI throughout its suite, improving end-user outcomes and enabling superior agent experiences. The Zoom Contact Center suite of solutions elevates the quality of customer experiences through better self-service and the ability to accurately understand customer intent. It intelligently guides customers to the best resolution, surfaces actionable insights that managers can use to coach their agents, and improves productivity by providing a unified communications and contact center experience. In the near future, Zoom will also use AI to provide the right resources to agents, so customers receive exceptional service experiences regardless of their reason for calling.

Announced today, Zoom Ventures has made an investment in Anthropic, strengthening the relationship between both companies. Anthropic’s research and development aims to create steerable, trustworthy, and responsible large-scale AI systems. Zoom did not disclose the amount of the investment.

About Zoom
Zoom is an all-in-one intelligent collaboration platform that makes connecting easier, more immersive, and more dynamic for businesses and individuals. Zoom technology puts people at the center, enabling meaningful connections, facilitating modern collaboration, and driving human innovation through solutions like team chat, phone, meetings, omnichannel cloud contact center, smart recordings, whiteboard, and more, in one offering. Founded in 2011, Zoom is publicly traded (NASDAQ:ZM) and headquartered in San Jose, California. Get more info at zoom.com.

Zoom Public Relations
Lacretia Taylor

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8840480

Impulse Dynamics Announces 9,000th Patient Milestone Achieved With CCM® Therapy for Heart Failure

Momentum Continues as Depth of Clinical Experience Expands Worldwide

MARLTON, N.J., May 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Impulse Dynamics plc, a global medical device company dedicated to improving the lives of people with heart failure (HF), announced today a worldwide milestone achievement with the 9,000th patient receiving the Optimizer® system for the treatment of moderate HF. The Optimizer system is the only device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States to deliver CCM therapy. Dr. Steven Gubin, a cardiologist and the President of Stern Cardiovascular, is part of the care team that completed the procedure at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis, offering CCM therapy to a patient living with the debilitating effects of HF. This milestone highlights the momentum building globally for CCM therapy, using the Optimizer platform to improve quality of life in HF patients.

“I am excited to have a new therapy option for heart failure patients,” said Dr. Gubin, who has been practicing for 30 years. “One of my heart failure patients, Aubretta Bean, who is a cancer survivor, continued to have symptoms despite her compliance with guideline-directed medical therapy for heart failure. She let me know that she felt better almost immediately after receiving the implant and continues to improve daily. It has been extremely rewarding to see such improvement in her quality of life. Her lab work four weeks later showed her BNP (a common test to diagnose heart failure) decreased by 81%, which is consistent with improvement in her heart failure symptoms.”

“Before my CCM implant, I could not walk from one room to the other without gasping for air. It was like being underwater and trying to breathe through a straw,” said Aubretta Bean. “Heart failure changed my life so quickly. You might think housework is a chore, but when you can’t make your bed or do the dishes, you realize how quickly you would love to do that again. Now after my Optimizer implant, I can do all these things! I look forward to planning my days again and not just trying to get through them. I have eight grandkids and two great-grandkids that I can travel to see!”

Drs. Eric Johnson, David Lan, and Chris Ingelmo are all electrophysiologists at Stern Cardiovascular that have treated ten patients at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis with CCM therapy since March 2023. Dr. Chris Ingelmo completed the milestone procedure for the 9,000th patient treated with CCM therapy. The results have been encouraging, with significant improvement in patient symptoms.

“We are inspired by such stories highlighting the potential for clinicians to use CCM therapy to make a positive impact on HF patients’ lives,” said Simos Kedikoglou, MD, CEO of Impulse Dynamics. “The growing cadence of implants and the emergence of such inspiring stories reinforces our commitment to delivering meaningful advances in CCM technology and clinical data.”

CCM therapy is now available in 44 countries, and the technology has continued to advance based on the needs of patients and physicians. The latest generation of Impulse Dynamic’s proprietary Optimizer platform is the Optimizer Smart Mini, which offers a rechargeable battery with 20-year battery life and a smaller size designed to make the implant procedure faster and easier for patients and physicians.

About the Optimizer® and CCM® Therapy

The Optimizer Smart system delivers CCM therapy — the company’s proprietary technology — to the heart. CCM therapy has been designed by Impulse Dynamics to significantly improve the heart’s contraction, allowing more oxygen-rich blood to be pushed out through the body. CCM therapy is indicated to improve the 6-minute hall walk, quality of life, and functional status of NYHA Class III heart failure patients who remain symptomatic despite guideline-directed medical therapy, are not indicated for CRT, and have a left ventricular ejection fraction ranging from 25 to 45 percent.

CCM is the brand name for cardiac contractility modulation — the non-excitatory electrical pulses delivered by the implantable Optimizer device to improve heart contraction. CCM therapy sends unique electrical pulses to the heart cells during the absolute refractory period. In doing so, CCM helps the heart contract more forcibly. Impulse Dynamics has completed numerous clinical studies, including several randomized controlled trials, and CCM therapy has been published in more than 120 peer-reviewed journal articles.

About Impulse Dynamics

Impulse Dynamics is dedicated to advancing the treatment of heart failure for patients and the healthcare providers who care for them. The company pioneered its proprietary CCM therapy, which uses the Optimizer platform to improve quality of life in heart failure patients. CCM therapy is delivered through the Optimizer system, which includes an IPG implanted in a minimally invasive procedure and approved for commercial use in the United States and 44 countries worldwide. CCM therapy has proven safe and effective for heart failure patients with debilitating symptoms who otherwise have few effective options available to them. To learn more, visit www.ImpulseDynamics.com or follow the company on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as ‘‘may,’’ ‘‘will,’’ ‘‘should,’’ ‘‘expect,’’ ‘‘plan,’’ ‘‘anticipate,’’ ‘‘could,’’ ‘‘intend,’’ ‘‘target,’’ ‘‘project,’’ ‘‘contemplate,’’ ‘‘believe,’’ ‘‘estimate,’’ ‘‘predict,’’ ‘‘potential’’ or ‘‘continue’’ or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning potential benefits of CCM therapy, the continued momentum for the adoption of CCM therapy and use of the Optimizer Smart system globally; the ability for CCM therapy and our products and technology to fill a significant unmet medical need for patients with heart failure; and the short-term and long-term benefits of the Optimizer system and CCM therapy in patients with heart failure, as well as to the physicians treating those patients. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Other important factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those contemplated in this press release include, without limitation: the company’s future research and development costs, capital requirements and the company’s needs for additional financing; company’s ability to expand and grow its business into new geographic markets; commercial success and market acceptance of CCM therapy; the company’s ability to achieve and maintain adequate levels of coverage or reimbursement for its Optimizer systems or any future products the company may seek to commercialize; competitive companies and technologies in the industry; the company’s ability to expand its indications and develop and commercialize additional products and enhancements to its current products; the company’s business model and strategic plans for its products, technologies and business, including its implementation thereof; the company’s ability to expand, manage and maintain its direct sales and marketing organization; the company’s ability to commercialize or obtain regulatory approvals for CCM therapy and its products, or the effect of delays in commercializing or obtaining regulatory approvals; FDA or other U.S. or foreign regulatory actions affecting us or the healthcare industry generally, including healthcare reform measures in the United States and international markets; the timing or likelihood of regulatory filings and approvals; and the company’s ability to establish and maintain intellectual property protection for CCM therapy and products or avoid claims of infringement. The company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements and expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the company’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.

Rohan More, Global Vice President of Marketing
Impulse Dynamics

Harriss Currie, Chief Financial Officer
Impulse Dynamics

Ian Segal, Public Relations Manager
Impulse Dynamics

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8839792

Election petition tribunal begins sitting in Sokoto

The National and State Assembly elections petition tribunal Panel 1 has commenced sitting in Sokoto.

At the inaugural sitting on Monday in Sokoto, Chairman of the Panel, Justice Josephine Oyefeso said the court has 15 cases.

“Pending before this panel we have seven National Assembly petitions and eight State House of Assembly petitions bringing the total number to 15 petitions.

“By the provisions of Section 285 (6) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the tribunal has 180 days from the date of filling to determine these petitions,” she said.

According to her, the Panel has three pre-hearing sessions scheduled to commence after the inaugural sitting.

“We expect pre-hearing to be conducted efficiently and promptly. Pre-hearings shall take place from day-to-day unless otherwise scheduled by the tribunal.

“The objective is to conclude this stage expeditiously so that trial can begin in earnest.

“I must remind us all of the need to eschew technicalities as much as possible so that we can deal with the meat or the substance of the petitions within the time allowed by law”.

The Chairman sought for the cooperation of the Bar and litigants to enable it to expeditiously conclude and determine the petitions within the time frame allotted by law.

She assured counsels and litigants of the just, fair and speedy determination of all matters before the court.

The tribunal has Justice Josephine Oyefeso, a judge of the High Court of Lagos State, as Chairman, while Kadi Abdullahi Usman of the Sharia Court of Appeal, Federal Capital Territory and Justice Eze Eke of the High Court of Imo State as member 1 and 2, respectively.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

40,000 lives lost to road accidents annually – FRSC

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says that over 40,000 people die annually as a result of Road Traffic Crashes in Nigeria.

Dauda Biu, Corps Marshal FRSC, said this on Monday in Abuja, during activities marking the 7th United Nations Global Road Safety Week.

He said that these facts were the unholy statistics of Road Traffic Crashes and injuries which were a leading cause of death and disability.

He also said that 1.3 million people were killed and as many as 50 million people gets injured each year globally.

According to him, there is no greater threat to people, aged 5-29 years than Road Traffic Crashes, as one in every four deaths occurs among pedestrians and cyclists.

“In Nigeria, over 40,000 persons die annually as a result of this avoidable scourge,“ he said.

The FRSC boss said that the United Nations had developed global plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030.

He said that it eflected an ambitious target to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries, which would be by 50 per cent by 2030.

Biu said that the 2023 edition of the event with theme; ‘’Sustainable Transport‘’ is slated for Monday to Sunday.

He said: “FRSC is partnering with the World Health Organisation (WHO), Federal Ministry of Health (FMH) and United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety and Injury Prevention (UNDARSIP) to mark the event with various activities.

According to him, the need to take action to ensure safe roads, vehicles and behaviours as well as to improve emergency care is paramount.

“The 7th UN Global Road Safety Week is focusing on sustainable transport with the slogan #RethinkMobility, which necessitates the urgent need to shift to walking, cycling and using public transport.

“The key messages of this year’s event centers on the need for governments and their partners to rethink mobility.

“Ensuring safety must be at the core of efforts to re-imagine mobility and thus road networks must be designed with the most-at-risk in mind, “he said.

The Corps Marshal, however, called on government at all levels and partners to rethink mobility with a mindset to providing access to safe and affordable mobility systems for all.

Biu stressed the need for government to make available accessible, resilient, low and sustainable mobility systems to create livable cities that would fulfil the mobility needs of all.

This, he said was to ensure safety at all cost, adding that the road network must be designed in consideration of the vulnerable road users who were the most at risk in mind.

He noted that this would ensure that they feel safe walking and cycling, adding that this would further promote good health, sustainable cities and equitable society.

Meanwhile, the Focal Person/Country representative, UN decade of Action for Road safety, Prof. Sydney Ibeanusi, said that government would continue to put the issue of road safety on the front burner.

Ibeanusi said that Nigeria had a better system, saying “what we want to show the world was that the system actually exists.

“Nigeria has been chosen as a country to improve cycling, and Abuja has been chosen as one of the five states globally.

”This is for a project implementation to encourage cycling and we will not relent in our efforts,“ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

FCTA tasks journalists on promoting patriotism

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has tasked journalists on promoting patriotism through their reports.

Ms Hadiza Kabir,the Mandate Secretary, Social Development Secretariat of FCTA, made the call at a workshop organised by the Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice in Africa on Monday in Abuja.

She said that media practioners can promote patriotism through reporting various developmental strides of government especially in key sectors.

She said that they can achieve the feat while also complying with professional ethics, saying that journalists were required to advance, educate and inform the public on government policies and benefits to them.

In her paper presentation on “Balancing Ethics and Patriotism: The Obligations of Journalists to their Country,” she stressed that media was too critical to be neglected by any nation.

Kabir said that the topic for discourse was apt and timely, saying that Nigerians are at a threshold in their political history.

”Patriotism demands that we seek to act and comport ourselves in such manners as to build and defend our nation and its territorial integrity at all times,”she said.

She said that in addition to setting public agenda, journalists should also engage critical stakeholders in governance to ensure accountability on the delivery of democratic dividends.

She expressed concern that the practice of journalism was becoming an all comers affairs which was affecting professionalism particularly accuracy of news for public consumption.

”Criticisms must and have to be constructive and not destructive, you must learn from the western media that will never do what will jeopardise the cohesion and survival of the corporate existence of their country,”.

She added that journalists should practice their profession in a manner that would not cause harm and social unrest, saying that protecting the integrity of the nation was paramount.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Arnold Classic: Angolan athlete defends African title

The Angolan bodybuilding athlete, Mário Faria, will revalidate the title of the international tournament “Arnold Classic” in the category of Body Building Open, in the amateur branch, which starts Thursday, in South Africa.

The information was confirmed to ANGOP Tuesday in Luanda by the president of the Angolan Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (FAFITNESS), Bráulio Martins, adding that the National Team is made up of male and female athletes.

According to the official, in addition to Mário Faria (BodyBuilding), in the amateur field, eight more athletes will compete, including two women, in the Bikini Fitness Open and Wellness Fitness Open categories.

According to the source, in the professional aspect of the “Arnold Classic” tournament, Angola will be represented with three athletes, with emphasis on the vice-champion of the bodybuilding world, Aquiles Epolua, in the Bodybuilding category up to 95 kg and – Elite pro.

Bráulio Martins clarified that it would be Aquiles Epolua to defend the title, but he was prevented because he became runner-up in the world in the Bodybuilding Elite Pro category up to 95 kg, in September 2022, in Seville (Spain) and moved to the professional category.

Thus, Mário Faria, as amateur national champion, now has the mission of defending Angola’s first place, which Aquiles Epolua won in the tournament in honor of Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor and sport icon.

The president pointed out that some athletes and members of the Federation will be received the day before the departure to South Africa (Wednesday) by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Palmira Barbosa, for farewell greetings.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Angola preparing official visit by Brazil’s president Lula da Silva

Brazilian ambassador to Angola Rafael Vidal Monday in Luanda announced the coming soon of the President of Brazil Lula da Silva to Angola.

The diplomat announced the president Lula’s official visit to Angola during an audience granted by the Angolan Foreign Affairs minister, Teté António.

Rafael Vidal told the press that presidential visit will discuss the new projects and investments.

At the meeting, the Angolan minister said the country intends to negotiate a new credit line with the Brazilian government and replicate part of the agreements signed during the first term of President Lula da Silva.

The meeting served to discuss the need to increase bilateral cooperation and exchange visits between the delegations of the two countries, particularly at the highest level.

In January this year, President Lula da Silva said that Angola would be the first country in Africa to benefit from his visit due to the nature of the bilateral relationship and the role of Angola, which is the gateway to Brazil’s policy on Africa and the historical and economic weight of that relationship.

Available data shows that, in 2022, bilateral trade between the Southern African nation and the South America country totaled 700 million US dollars.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Minister backs collaboration with partners for greater inclusion

Angolan minister of Social Action Family and Promotion of Women (MASFAMU), Ana Paula do Sacramento Neto, Tuesday in Lubango, southern Huila Province, called for a better alignment and permanent collaboration among various sectors and partners to ensure more inclusion and social protection of vulnerable people.

The minister was addressing an opening ceremony of the 5th Ordinary Consultative Council of MASFAMU held in Lubango for two days.

Delivering her speech delivered in the two-day event, under the slogan “Social Action, a Commitment from All”, the minister mentioned the children, youths, women, the people with disabilities, the elderly and minority communities as being part of the target group.

Ana Paula do Sacramento Neto said that the policies, programmes and actions of social inclusion currently conceived give guarantees that they are on the right track, calling for more work on the basis of a robust alignment with the sectors and partners.

She said that the council is the “opportune moment” to discuss and study the bottlenecks observed during the implementation and execution of the various programmes and actions aimed at reducing the levels of poverty, discrimination, social exclusion and protection of the most vulnerable populations.

Ana Paula do Sacramento Neto reinforced that it is up to the sector to conceive, propose, promote and execute the social policy regarding people and population in vulnerable situation, as well as to promote the development of the communities, including the actions to fight poverty and to defend the family welfare.

“Although our tasks are distributed among the different areas, we are called upon to work in an articulated manner, based on the spirit of mutual help and institutional solidarity, because only in this way will it be possible to achieve the recommended objectives”, she added.

In turn, the governor of Huíla, Nuno Mahapi, noted that the focus is on the expansion of knowledge about vulnerability, with a view to improving the Social Protection System, with primacy for the municipal level.

He stressed that in order to achieve this, social protection is fundamental to mitigate people’s vulnerability, which is why the province has conducted ongoing studies with various social actors on vulnerability.

The 5th Ordinary Consultative Council brings to analysis and discussion the approach on the organisation and functioning of the Ministry, its programmes and projects.

It also addresses topics such as the strengthening of monitoring methodologies and data processing, adjustment of the strategy to achieve the established goals and identification of the challenges of the sector, as well as the proposal of the sector’s Legislative package.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

US, Angola launch “Ecosystems, Community and Climate project

Angola and the United States on Wednesday will launch the “Ecosystems, Communities and Climate” project.

The move is meant to supporting the communities in the upper Cubango-Okavango region to sustainably improve livelihoods and natural resources for their wellbeing

Estimated at US$17 million, the project is financed by US with US$7.5 million, while the partners are taking on US$10 million

A press note reached ANGOP Tuesday states that the project is also focused on increasing the capacity of those living in those regions to face climate change in a sustainable way.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)