Asia


Toyota group firms test out labor-saving prototype products at Gifu shopping mall

The Japan Times

Major component-makers of the Toyota group have launched an experiment of letting consumers and shop staff try their products under development at a shopping mall in the city of Gifu. Osaka-based Jtekt Corp. and Aisin Seiki Co., based in Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, introduced products designed to help reduce burdens on shoppers and staff at the Colorful Town Gifu commercial complex. After the experiment, which will run until the end of this month, user feedback will be reflected in the development of next-generation products. At a Nitori Co. outlet, a furniture and interior shop, a store staffer wore a Power Assist Suit while removing a large cardboard box from a push cart and putting it on a shelf. The suit is a Jtekt-developed wearable device that reduces the strain on the back when lifting heavy objects.


Toyota has plenty for robots to do during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

The Japan Times

When athletes and organizers descend on Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic Games, they'll be ferried around in autonomous cars, while torch relay runners will be accompanied by AI-equipped cars. Robots will ferry javelins and hammers. All told, Toyota Motor Corp. will provide 3,700 vehicles, including dozens of self-driving cars, about 500 fuel-cell vehicles and 850 battery-electric cars to the international sports competition. As a top sponsor of the Tokyo Olympics and an automaker facing a murky future when gasoline-powered engines will fade away, Toyota is doing everything it can to market its transition into an eventual provider of on-demand transportation for consumers and businesses, instead of being merely an industrial manufacturer. "We want to use the Olympics and Paralympics that happen every two years as a milestone," Masaaki Ito, general manager of Toyota's Olympic and Paralympic Division, said in an interview.


SATS, TUMCREATE join hands to develop robotic air cargo system

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August 23, 2019: SATS, a Singapore-based ground handler and Singaporean research platform TUMCREATE will be working together to explore commercialisation opportunities for their artificial intelligence (AI) powered robotic air cargo system, SPEEDCARGO. SPEEDCARGO is a system comprised of three of the companies' products – CARGO EYE, CARGO MIND, and CARGO ARM. CARGO EYE produces a digital fingerprint for incoming cargo by dimensioning accepted cargo in real-time using a 3D camera system. The companies are currently working to enhance CARGO MIND and CARGO ARM, which work to optimise cargo palletisation through intelligent unit load device (ULD) planning and automatic ULD packing, respectively, with the aim of commercialising each product in phases. The timeline for the completed project has not been released, but the integrated SPEEDCARGO system will run on an AI-powered operating system enabling them to connect data for end-to-end optimisation of cargo operations.


Artificial intelligence app helps banana farmers detect TR4 disease

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The app can detect Fusarium wilt, Xanthomonas wilt, bunchy top disease, black sigatoka, yellow sigatoka, and corm weevil. Fusarium Tropical race 4 fungus (TR4) has decimated banana plantations and smallholders' crops in Asia and Africa and has now spread to Latin America. Last week, Colombian officials officially confirmed the presence of TR4 in La Guajira province, declaring a state of national emergency as a result. Developed with support from Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the AI-powered tool is built into an app called Tumaini – Swahili for'hope' – that allows farmers to take action quickly, thus preventing a widespread outbreak. The information is also uploaded to a global system that allows for large-scale monitoring.


Face Recognition Lets Palestinians Cross Israeli Checkposts Fast, But Raises Concerns

NPR Technology

A Palestinian man uses a biometric gate as he crosses into Israel at the Qalandia crossing in Jerusalem in July. Israel's military has invested tens of millions of dollars to upgrade West Bank crossings and ease entry for Palestinian workers. But critics slam the military's use of facial recognition technology as problematic. A Palestinian man uses a biometric gate as he crosses into Israel at the Qalandia crossing in Jerusalem in July. Israel's military has invested tens of millions of dollars to upgrade West Bank crossings and ease entry for Palestinian workers.


The hottest startups in Tel Aviv

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Tel Aviv is the city with the highest number of startups per capita in the world, according to the 2018 Global Startup Ecosystem report -- more than 6,000, of which 18 are unicorns. The city's tech cluster, dubbed Silicon Wadi, is home to more than 100 venture capital funds, plus hundreds of accelerators and co-working places. "Tel Aviv is transitioning from startup nation to scale-up nation," says Eyal Gura, co-founder of Zebra Medical Vision. Amit Gilon, an investor at Kaedan Capital VC fund, agrees – adding that Israel is not just about successful B2B companies anymore, such as Checkpoint, Nice and Amdocs, but also about "big B2C success stories like Playtika, Wix, Fiverr and others". Founded in 2015, Arbe has built a 4D ultra-high-resolution imaging radar for cars.


International AI ethics panel must be independent

#artificialintelligence

Facial-recognition software is increasingly being used to track individuals without their permission.Credit: David McNew/AFP/Getty China wants to be the world's leader in artificial intelligence (AI) by 2030. The United States has a strategic plan to retain the top spot, and, by some measures, already leads in influential papers, hardware and AI talent. Other wealthy nations are also jockeying for a place in the world AI league. A kind of AI arms race is under way, and governments and corporations are pouring eye-watering sums into research and development. The prize, and it's a big one, is that AI is forecast to add around US$15 trillion to the world economy by 2030 -- more than four times the 2017 gross domestic product of Germany.


NewswireToday Leading Press Releases & Newswire Distribution Service

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Jio, the world's largest mobile data network service provider, and Guavus, a Thales company and the leader in AI-powered analytics for communications service providers, announced a partnership today centered on AI-driven analytics. Guavus' AI-based solutions will provide real-time customer experience analytics, predictive analytics to automate network troubleshooting, and key marketing insights to Jio. As a result, Jio will be able to offer superior service to its customers while addressing critical service operations with intelligent automation. Jio is one of the world's largest and fastest growing data service operators with more than 300 million subscribers. The Indian service provider, which has disrupted the market with its affordable data plans and unlimited calling benefits, has created a completely digital experience for its users ranging from data services on smartphones, to gigabit Internet at home, along with a portfolio of media offerings and IoT devices such as smart speakers and switches for the smart home.


Artificial Intelligence Beyond The Buzzword From Two Fintech CEOs

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AI seems to be well on its way to becoming the most overused buzzword of the tech industry, but don't be put off by the hype. Some fintech companies in Asia are actually making use of natural language processing or machine learning for detecting fraud and making investment decisions. I recently interviewed two CEOs--Simon Loong from the Hong Kong unicorn WeLab and Jianyu Tu from MioTech--to better understand some of the recent developments in AI in Asia's fintech industry. Philippe Branche: First, could you describe your company in a few words? Simon Loong: WeLab is a fintech company providing seamless digital financial services.


The 5 best Amazon deals you can get this Thursday

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA Today's newsroom and any business incentives. Cool, we're on the same page then. When it comes to shopping for stuff you maybe kind of need (but definitely want), Amazon is the best retailer for a reason: they literally have everything. But combing through all those countless pages, scrolling and searching for what feels like hours to find that stuff that's actually good and not just a hunk of junk from China?