Kyoto – Japan's Nintendo Co. has suspended domestic shipments of its popular Nintendo Switch video game console due to a production delay caused by the coronavirus outbreak, company officials said Wednesday. Nintendo has yet to decide when to resume shipments. The company will continue Nintendo Switch shipments for customers who had placed orders and European and U.S. markets, where sufficient inventories are available. It has also halted domestic shipments of the Switch Lite portable game machine. Nintendo outsources production of the game consoles to plants in China and Vietnam.
When DeepMind, the artificial intelligence company owned by Google parent Alphabet Inc., released its predictions about some of the building blocks of the virus that causes Covid-19 in early March, it gave medical researchers a small but potentially important clue that could help them develop a vaccine and treatments for the respiratory illness. The company's deep learning system, AlphaFold, which predicts the shapes of proteins when no similar structures are available, is just one example of the powerful role AI is playing in the fight against the novel coronavirus. The innovations that DeepMind and others are rapidly rolling out could be complicated by AI laws to be unveiled by the European Union this year. Even as the coronavirus upends business, economic, and legislative plans the world over, the EU is pushing ahead with its AI policy proposal, which would make it a global leader in regulating the sector. The European Commission, the bloc's executive body, released its plan in February, calling for public feedback by the end of May.
Erol Gelenbe PHD DSc D.h.c.m., was elected IFIP Fellow, Fellow of ACM, IEEE, National Academy of Technologies of France, the Science Academies of Belgium, Hungary, Poland, Turkey and Academia Europaea. Citizen of France and Turkey, he graduated from Ankara Koleji and Middle East Technical University, Ankara with High Honours. He received several science prizes including the ACM SIGMETRICS Life-Time Achievement Award, IET Oliver Lodge Medal, Grand Prix France-Telecom, In Memoriam Gabor Denes Prize, Mustafa Prize – Erol received his PhD in Electrical Engineering under Prof. Ed Smith at NYU on "Stochastic Automata with Structural Restrictions" by showing the mathematical links between state transition functions of probabilistic automata and the formal languages that they recognize, published in Information and Computation, and IEEE Transactions on Computers. At Orsay and University Paris-Descartes (1986-93), he invented G-Networks and Random Neural Networks, patented the first Voice-over-IP switch Sycomore (Thales), published seminal work on resequencing in codecs in Journal ACM, and other work in Journal of Applied Probability, Comm. He founded two PhD programs, developed the commercial FLEXSIM manufacturing simulator, served as Ministerial Adviser for Science (1983-86), and co-founded IFIP WG7.3 with Paul Green (IBM Yorktown Heights).
Throughout history, epidemics and chronic diseases have claimed the lives of many people and caused major crises that have taken a long time to overcome. The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic appeared in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and has become a serious public health problem worldwide. It is an acute resolved disease, but it can also be deadly, with a 2% case fatality rate. The early and automatic diagnosis of Covid-19 may be beneficial for timely referral of the patient to quarantine, and monitoring of the spread of the disease. Some tests requiring significant time to produce results (days), and a projected up to 30% false positive rate, other timely approaches to diagnosis are worthy of investigation.
Earth Observation data is valuable for journalist's reports to the public. An example are the maps released in little time during or after the tsunami in Indian Ocean in 2004 or the Fukushima disaster in 2011, accompanying the verbal or text reports of theirs. Taking advantage of the improved temporal frequency and spatial cover of the Sentinel satellite sensors SnapEarth aims to assimilate latest spaceborne retrieved information to support journalists in their work in near real time. In this context, a dedicated services' module aims to leverage on Copernicus monitoring services, like the EMS's (Emergency Management Service) EFAS (European Flood Awareness System) and EFFIS (European Forest Fire Information System). It will add in tandem to them the ability to exploit latest AI (Artificial Intelligence) techniques to automatically and unsupervised query through big data piles to deliver in minimum time required products.
It's too early to quantify the economic impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, but because of this outbreak compounded with the U.S.-China trade war, global supply chains and businesses linked to the world's second-biggest economy are being impacted. As I sit here in Singapore and monitoring the spread of the outbreak in Asia and beyond, the mounting human cost is also especially of deep concern to me. But even amid adversity comes the opportunity for innovation and invention. Chinese tech companies Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu have opened their artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing technologies to researchers to quicken the development of virus drugs and vaccines. U.S.-based medical startups are using AI to rapidly identify thousands of new molecules that could be turned into potential cures.
In China, doctors use artificial intelligence tools provided by Huawei Technologies Co. to detect signs of Covid-19 in CT scans. Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc. devised an algorithm that can analyze the biological structure of the new coronavirus and made it available to scientists working on a vaccine. AI is also behind biometric identification systems being rolled out by governments to track the virus and enforce lockdown efforts, including temperature screening systems deployed throughout Beijing and CCTV cameras hooked up to facial-recognition software in Moscow. "AI is being used to fight the virus on all fronts, from screening and diagnosis to containment and drug development," says Andy Chun, an adjunct professor at City University of Hong Kong and AI adviser at the Hong Kong Computer Science Society, a nonprofit industry group. The pandemic is opening up a massive opportunity for the tech industry, while it shines a light on calls for more scrutiny of AI innovations being developed faster than regulators are able to devise rules to protect citizens' rights.
As Japan faces a fresh wave of coronavirus infections and the government readies itself to declare a state of emergency, medical staff say a shortage of beds and a rise in cases linked to hospitals are pushing Tokyo's medical system to the brink of collapse. The crisis has already arrived at Eiju General Hospital, a pink, 10-story building in central Tokyo that has reported 140 cases of COVID-19 in the past two weeks. Of those, at least 44 are doctors, nurses and other medical staff. On a recent weekday, the glass doors of Eiju General were plastered with posters saying the hospital was closed until further notice. More than 60 patients with the virus are still being treated inside.
Huawei Cloud joins in the fight against COVID-19 using technology that includes cloud and artificial intelligence (AI). The company crafted an international action plan which will allow collaborators to use AI and cloud services for free. "Huawei Cloud has been working with partners in China to use innovative technologies such as cloud and AI to fight the pandemic and has accumulated practical experience with AI-assisted CT scan analysis, drug discovery, online education, and telecommuting technologies, " said Deng Tao, president of Huawei Cloud Global Market. "Now, we are launching this international action plan to share our practical experience with the international market. We will make every effort to leverage technology to help our customers around the world cope with the challenges faced in the midst of this crisis."
Colleges around the world have been forced to shut down due to the coronavirus, but a group of students in Japan are not letting the pandemic ruin their graduation. Using Newme telepresensence robots, students attending Business Breakthrough (BBT) University in Tokyo were able to walk across the stage and accept their diploma, all while self-isolating at home. The robots were dressed in a cap and gown and fitted with tablets on their heads, allowing students to show their face using Zoom. Students who attended the graduation remotely operated the robots in what is deemed the'world's first' online graduation ceremony. Four students virtually walked across the stage at the Hotel Grand Palace in Tokyo on March 28.