Mobile transportation platform provider, Didi Chuxing (DiDi), has launched an initiative to fully understand the social impact on communities of artificial intelligence (AI). The company, which offers a range of app-based transportation options for 550 million users including taxi, carpooling and bike-share, made the announcement at its Tech Day in Beijing, where it also unveiled its latest developments in AI with industry partners, academia, students and engineers. At the event, DiDi's tech executives, led by Bob Zhang Bo, chief technology officer, shared details of breakthroughs in the company's popular Express Pool service, which aims to improve the user experience by using machine learning algorithms. Operating across more 100 cities in China, Express Pool now accounts for over 20 per cent of all trips in many core markets. It said the algorithms can help carpooling become the most effective mobility option for drivers to increase their income, for passengers to reduce costs, and for cities to enjoy a high level of efficiency in the transportation system.
As "great power competition" ramps up, signs of arms races in America's strategic relationships with both Russia and China are everywhere apparent. In this respect, Russian President Vladimir Putin's March 1 speech made a big splash in the press, but readers may not be aware of the late tests in May when the Russian Navy simultaneously test launched four new Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). These missiles were designed no doubt for nuclear strikes on the American heartland. Likewise, China recently announced the tenth test of its new road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), called the DF-41. Furthermore, this test was to be of a missile-defense evading hypersonic warhead with the same general purpose in mind.
Only a handful of countries and companies have any real hope of winning the race for artificial intelligence supremacy. China, Germany, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the US are among the national contenders and primarily Chinese and American companies lead the pack of commercial contenders, including Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, Amazon, Facebook, and Google. What distinguishes all of them is the resources they have already devoted and the achievements they have already made in the AI arena. They are poised to leap further and further ahead of those who are lagging behind or have not yet even entered the race. While Germany, Japan, and South Korea are focused primarily on commercial applications, Russia excels in military applications, and the US maintains its general lead (for the time being) in the space, but only China and these leading Chinese companies have positioned themselves to sprint ahead of all the others in the coming decade.
SenseTime announced a partnership with Rockchip to produce an AI facial recognition chip, according to the company's official WeChat platform on August 15th. Based on the announcement, the AI unicorn's acial recognition SDK will be preloaded on the AI chip on Rochchip's affiliate chip production platform. SenseTime, founded in 2014, is one of the best-funded AI unicorns in China. Previously in June, SenseTime partnered with Xiaomi [1810:HK] to apply its facial recognition technology in Xiaomi's flagship smartphone Mi 8 Explorer. As early as in December 2017, powered by SenseTime's facial recognition technology, the Vivo X20 could be unlocked within 0.1 seconds, featuring the world's leading facial recognition technology.
Kingsoft Corp. cloud's computing brand is the world's leading cloud computing service provider and China's Top 3 cloud computing company. Founded in 2012, it has established data centers and operations in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and North America. At present, Kingsoft has reached a valuation of 2.373 billion US dollars, becoming the independent cloud service provider in China with the highest market capitalization. Kingsoft cloud products include cloud service solutions for side industries such as games, video, government, healthcare, and finance. Kingsoft has been conducting research and practical applications of artificial intelligence, launching the four layered IaaS, Paas, SaaS industry solutions, which are applicable to various combined AI solutions and services in various industries. In 2018, Kingsoft launched the blockchain ecosystem plan, "Project-X", making full use of the advantages of the cloud to promote the development and application of blockchain technology. Bottos is an infrastructure that focuses on artificial intelligence. It possesses both an underlying public chain designed specifically for data property and a data flow platform for the entire artificial intelligence and its derivatives. A consensus-based, scalable, easy-to-develop, and collaborative one-stop application platform for data, models, computing power and storage of multi layered shared services through data mining and smart contracts.
Hundreds of Google employees have signed a protest letter over the company's reported work on a censor-friendly search engine to get back into China, The New York Times said Thursday. The employees are demanding more transparency so they can understand the moral implications of their work, said the Times, which obtained a copy of the letter. It has been signed by 1,400 employees and is circulating on the company's internal communications system, the newspaper said, quoting three people who are familiar with the document. While China is home to the world's largest number of internet users, a 2015 report by US think tank Freedom House found that the country had the most restrictive online use policies of 65 nations it studied, ranking below Iran and Syria. But China has maintained that its various forms of web censorship are necessary for protecting its national security.
Google executives on Thursday addressed the company's plans to reintroduce a search service in China, following an employee backlash over concerns about complying with Beijing's censorship laws, according to reports of an all-hands company meeting. Chief executive Sundar Pichai told staff that Google is in the "early stages" of considering a return to China, Bloomberg reported, but that the company is not close to finalizing a search product. Pichai pledged transparency as the development process advances and cast the potential for business in China as a boost to Google's mission. "I genuinely do believe we have a positive impact when we engage around the world, and I don't see any reason why that would be different in China," Pichai said, according to Bloomberg. Google did not respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post.
In the letter, which is an internal petition, the employees asked for more transparency and oversight of Project Dragonfly, the project's internal title. "We urgently need more transparency, a seat at the table and a commitment to clear and open processes: Google employees need to know what we're building," the letter, seen by the Reuters news agency, reads. The employees are reportedly worried about kowtowing to China by implementing the government's requests for censorship. China restricts internet users massively by blocking websites, censoring words and clamping down on free speech. In the letter, the employees say Google would be validating China's restrictions on freedom of expression and violating its own clause in the company's code of conduct, "don't be evil".
The internal dissent over Dragonfly comes on the heels of the employee protests over Google's involvement in the Pentagon project to use artificial intelligence. After Google said it would not renew its contract with the Pentagon, it unveiled a series of ethical principles governing its use of A.I. In those principles, Google publicly committed to use A.I. only in "socially beneficial" ways that would not cause harm and promised to develop its capabilities in accordance with human rights law. Some employees have raised concerns that helping China suppress the free flow of information would violate these new principles. In 2010, Google said it had discovered that Chinese hackers had attacked the company's corporate infrastructure in an attempt to access to the Gmail accounts of human rights activists.
Elon Musk repeatedly broke down in an interview in which he attempted to explain some of his recent strange behaviour. The Tesla boss has admitted to taking pills to sleep and that he has had a difficult year, alternating between laughter and crying as he did. And he revealed that the stress of the year appears to be undermining his physical health. "It's not been great, actually. I've had friends come by who are really concerned," he said.