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Planned relocation: Pluralistic and integrated science and governance

Science

Although relocation of human populations is nothing new, global environmental changes such as climate change, sea level rise, and land use change are increasing the likelihood of relocation for potentially millions of people, especially in coastal regions. Globally, sea level rise alone could place 340 million people on land projected to be below annual flood levels by 2050 ([ 1 ][1]). The need for relocation will increase because of such risks, the lack of funding for protection and accommodation strategies, and/or the reality that sea walls and other measures will eventually be ineffective. Thus, current approaches to planned relocation such as buyouts for individual households are likely to be “woefully inadequate” in the future ([ 2 ][2]). We discuss how science, governance, and their interactions need to evolve to make planned relocation a strategic option that leaves people, communities, and the environment better off. The starting point is to acknowledge that relocation involves a physical transition away from locations exposed to global change hazards, as well as the need for transformation of institutions, social networks, cultural associations, economic relationships, and other aspects of a community's way of life. Given that relocation is a life-altering change, organizations such as the United Nations (UN) High Commission on Refugees mandate that it needs to be planned and implemented with meaningful engagement of affected parties and carried out to improve (or at least maintain) their quality of life. To ensure responsiveness to changing conditions and preferences, relocation should be part of a flexible, nested, and interconnected set of adaptation strategies that also include coping (reactive, short-term risk-reduction measures) and incremental adjustments (measures to increase resistance and/or resilience) ([ 3 ][3]). How to combine these different measures into a strategic portfolio of policies and actions places demands on science and governance to support open-ended adaptive planning processes that manage trade-offs across interests, uncertainties in knowledge, and institutional ambiguity created by overlapping jurisdictions, authorities, and expertise. Planned relocation is a complex social dilemma that involves many structural, perceptual, economic, and interpersonal dynamics that discourage collective action. It will involve resolving fraught questions such as what decision processes are used, who relocates (and when), how are they compensated, where will they move, what assistance is provided (and to whom) in receiving communities, how abandoned wastes and environmental legacies are remediated, and how agreements are monitored and enforced. There is no single best approach to move a community—stakeholders with conflicting objectives will see it differently even when they share basic world views. The interaction of social and environmental triggers and lack of a preferred pathway make planned retreat similar to other global change dilemmas. But the potential scope, existential character of needed transformations, and complexity of governance challenges make it especially demanding. Despite the immensity of the challenge, it is vital now to constructively engage science and governance to plan physical transitions and socioeconomic transformations that reduce risk and make people, communities, and the environment better off. Here, we offer several ideas for improving governance partnerships in developing strategies for planned relocation. ### Eliminate perverse incentives and establish inclusive governance Existing institutions and processes of governance will be stretched to address the challenges of planning and implementing relocation in a way that meets basic humanitarian principles and good practices. This is because current mixes of policies, institutions, and relationships are responsible for producing the prevailing distribution of privilege and vulnerability in society. Although climate change plays a role, it amplifies present challenges that are an amalgam of past governance, entrenched inequities, and norms. The sheer potential scale of relocation globally is beyond anything our modern global society has experienced. For example, the megacity Jakarta is actively considering relocation because of growing climate hazards, aquifer subsidence, and the density of a highly vulnerable low-income population. These challenges are not limited to the developing world, as evidenced by the mounting annual damages and recovery costs of climate extremes on populations in the United States. Improving governance will require addressing structural inequalities and many perverse incentives and behavioral dynamics that continue to drive people to settle in areas exposed to hazards. Innovations are needed to address organizational silos, poor planning and risk communication, psychological attachments to place, and dependence on continued occupation for tax revenues. These challenges can be exacerbated with well-intentioned coping strategies (e.g., the “levee effect” that reduces accurate perception of risk). In the United States, for example, federal programs including subsidization of beach nourishment, the National Flood Insurance Program, and the federalization of natural disaster recovery encourage settlement of risky areas. Planned relocation toolkits ([ 4 ][4]) are beginning to emerge that orient the challenge within domestic legal frameworks and international organizations (e.g., the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction) and the experiences garnered from existing national efforts (e.g., Fiji's efforts to move 46 villages). Making and implementing decisions in which communities voluntarily relocate will require inclusive, deliberative processes that emphasize transparency, engagement, trust building, accountability, and an interactive approach for engaging with science. Policy or legislative frameworks are critical to defining long-term targets and providing credible commitments to maintain the continuity of objectives across institutions and political mandates ([ 5 ][5]). Strategies will need to accommodate changing circumstances (new scientific evidence, technological change, new preferences) and the management of implementation tactics based on expert advice, monitoring and reporting, and accountability. In most countries, new institutions and funding are required to improve access to expert advice, coordination, and consultation. Governance frameworks for relocation will need to include periodic communication about future risks, engagement with private sector and civil society, and oversight mechanisms to monitor and enforce the implementation of agreed plans. ### Diverse perspectives in problem framing Defining the problem and its context is the central challenge posed by planned relocation. Framing a problem establishes what is prioritized (and what is treated as unimportant), what the objectives are, and what questions will be asked and answered. Framing is often contested, and to avoid marginalizing communities, it needs to incorporate diverse perspectives, start from the specific local context of ongoing systemic challenges, enhance stakeholders' agency, and bring together diverse sources of knowledge ([ 6 ][6], [ 7 ][7]). It is particularly challenging to carefully analyze the diverse stakeholders and the types of knowledge that are pivotal to understanding and framing planned relocation (e.g., capturing perspectives from the relocating, receiving, and remaining populations). Problem framing could consider the need for expertise, tactical engagement, and sustained advocacy to catalyze plans into transformative actions ([ 6 ][6], [ 8 ][8]). In addition, emerging innovations in computational social science and “coproduction” of research (in which stakeholder communities are involved in different aspects of the scientific process) offer opportunities for formalizing stakeholder analysis. Analyses could improve stakeholder identification, categorization, and relationship (power) mapping. ### Account for power dynamics Decades of research in planning, public administration, sustainability science, and science and technology studies have examined how to improve the relevance and effectiveness of science to inform planning and policy for a wide range of social, environmental, and sustainability challenges. Several prominent strands of this work focus on coproduction as being more than a means to produce science, providing a mechanism to generate public goods, services, and institutions ([ 7 ][7]). Accordingly, the design of coproduction processes is not just about how the interactions of policy-makers, stakeholders, and scientists affect the usability of science. It is also about the process of social change—how epistemologies, social and cultural norms, institutions and policies, and power relationships among communities and stakeholders interact to determine who is involved in the process, which types of knowledge are seen as legitimate, what is produced, and what outcomes result. For challenges as fraught as planned relocation, this more expansive approach provides a foundation for codeveloping knowledge and action. It requires engaging multiple perspectives on values and knowledge where the actors involved in coproduction of planned retreat must work together to explore normative and political differences inherent in their different visions of the future ([ 6 ][6]). A critique of coproduction processes is that they can depoliticize discourse by using scientific arguments to evoke universalized ideas of what is “best.” They can be structured as if all participants have an equal role when in fact governments, large nongovernmental organizations, and economic interests have disproportionate power and greater opportunities for participation ([ 7 ][7]). This is not just a process issue but can also affect the outcomes of coproduction—for example, favoring the use of narrow cost-benefit framings that conclude that protective measures such as beach nourishment or construction of sea walls are economically justified only for high-value assets. Empirically informed awareness of the diverse roles and dimensions of power in coproduction and social change offers an avenue for rebalancing problematic relationships that lead to inequality or exclusion, or at least avoiding their unintended consequences ([ 7 ][7]). Modest steps such as providing funding to enable underserved communities to participate in coproduction, or formalizing the participation of Indigenous advisory councils, can also help level the playing field ([ 9 ][9]). ### Diversify knowledge sources and types To support planned relocation, science needs to deliver not just technical solutions but also knowledge of how to relocate and transform communities, including the willingness and capacities of different groups and institutions to support fundamental change over time ([ 6 ][6]). Providing this knowledge will require a transdisciplinary approach to research that broadens the array of scientific disciplines and other sources of knowledge engaged. Government bodies and stakeholders (e.g., real estate interests, businesses, community-based organizations) will need to be integrated into research not just as “users” but as knowledge holders and experts in community needs, preferences, norms, and evolving capacity to implement solutions. When relocation involves Indigenous communities, rather than integrating traditional knowledge into Western science, scientists involved in coproduction arrangements should foster mutual respect on the multiple ways of knowing, by engaging in tribal avenues, such as regional newsletters and talking circles at tribal meetings ([ 9 ][9], [ 10 ][10]). Informing social and economic transformation will require research into the capacities and values of different populations and institutions. This requires understanding issues such as what will motivate people to make changes, the capacity of individuals and institutions to act on their preferences, and how current conditions and path dependencies affect the viability of future options ([ 6 ][6]). It will be necessary to “think critically about outcomes as well as processes, about institutional and process designs, [and] about power and performance” ([ 11 ][11]). ### Sample from a range of plausible futures to evaluate decision options Science can better inform action if it stops trying to predict inherently unpredictable phenomena. Currently, many decision-makers frame their questions to scientists as “what will happen,” and scientists respond with “projections” (possibilities based on assumptions about future radiative forcing), which are often used as predictions. This framing, in addition to putting science in the dangerous position of speculating, is not necessarily as helpful to decision-makers as “what if” questions about the consequences of options under many plausible futures. Science can be more useful by changing the objective of collaboration from “predict then act” to the exploration of hypothetical questions about what short-term actions would be consistent with long-term objectives and perform well under a diverse range of plausible futures ([ 12 ][12]). As a specific example, the State of Louisiana has been confronting sea level rise, land subsidence, accelerating losses of coastal lands, and increasing risks from storm surge. The state has initiated an innovative and collaborative planning process that budgets $50 billion in a portfolio of projects to be adaptively implemented over the next 50 years ([ 13 ][13]). Unlike traditional cost-benefit–driven risk planning efforts based on a specific expected future (“what will happen”), the Louisiana master plan has engaged broad stakeholder participation to map what project investments hold immediate benefits while providing flexibility to confront a broad range of plausible future scenarios that could reshape their investment priorities as well as future stakeholder needs (“what if” planning). This approach recognizes that many types of uncertainty will impede judgment and decision-making ([ 12 ][12]). The natural stressors that can trigger the need for evacuation are uncertain because they are emergent, compounding, and cascading outcomes of complex human–environment interactions. But the implications of changes in future values and behaviors are also uncertain and arguably just as important for evaluating decision options. Even in well-documented historical instances of relocation, it is difficult to understand how outcomes emerged from the actions taken—let alone anticipate with any certainty how desired outcomes arise from future actions ([ 14 ][14]). One important opportunity is to more widely apply decision-making under deep uncertainty (DMDU) methods ([ 12 ][12]). These exploratory approaches draw on local-scale stakeholders' knowledge of the key factors and dynamics (human and natural) and provide a promising mechanism for informing planned relocation. Models and scenarios serve as focal points to build shared understanding about the potential implications of the different values and options preferred by stakeholders. ### Social learning to build local capacity Relocation is a complex process that will benefit from expanding the range of intermediaries and services available to facilitate production and application of knowledge. Those involved will need to know not only what scientifically robust sources of information are available for the hazards they face, but also how this information should be used to assess vulnerability, revise flood maps or zoning, evaluate financial risks to reset insurance rates and bond ratings, redesign infrastructure systems, update capital improvement and other plans, or establish thresholds and monitoring systems to trigger the next phase of agreed measures. Much attention has focused on providing climate scenarios and data, but to meet the needs of relocation, the range of services must be expanded. Needed services include not only identifying good practices in engineering, financial risk, and other technical analyses but also supporting transformation, capacity building, and establishment of standards for different types of deliberative and analytic processes. Research, case studies, and pilot projects are testing approaches to meet these challenges, and a useful next step is to organize evaluation and social learning to establish good practices and technical guidance. One option is to incorporate evaluation into assessments such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the US National Climate Assessment to establish a knowledge foundation for climate services. This would create standards for services delivered through international organizations, the private sector, academia, and public agencies (to ensure availability of services for underserved, low-income communities) ([ 15 ][15]). Another is an open-source wiki for climate solutions that would enable a more diverse range of knowledge holders to interact and curate guidance on good practices on an ongoing basis, emphasizing sources of credible information. Another opportunity is to expand the use of intermediaries—individuals and institutions that facilitate interactions between stakeholders and experts ([ 8 ][8]). Many intermediary skillsets are necessary for the different stages of deliberative planning, financing, tactical implementation, and ex-post monitoring of relocation actions. Given the potential for contested needs and values, it is important that intermediaries be aware of how they can unintentionally affect power relationships or outcomes—for example, by using types of knowledge, analysis metrics, or visualizations that favor the perspectives of one group or another. A “critical pragmatic approach” highlights the importance of this awareness and of designing and critically evaluating deliberative processes where conflicts between parties are not reduced to simple consensus-driven debates ([ 11 ][11]). A variety of measures are needed to increase the number and efficacy of intermediaries, including professional certification; greater recognition, including in promotion and tenure processes; and increased funding. ### Harness emerging innovations in community science and data analytics Innovations in community science, sensing, and data analytics hold great promise in providing insights for planned relocation if privacy, equity, and other concerns such as maladaptive applications of generic algorithmic or sensing tools are addressed ([ 15 ][15]). Combining these innovations with monitoring investments in socioeconomic data offers the potential to better capture the interdependent evolution of human and natural systems that shape the experiences and prospects of populations facing relocation. For example, high-resolution models of flooding magnitude and extent might be available for an area, but data are missing on how inequities in agency and justice interact with exposure to hazards to shape the prospects of using planned relocation to improve people's lives. These innovations will increase the utility of standard modes of multidisciplinary scientific research that combine hazard predictions, engineering, financial, and other analyses to inform technical solutions that contribute to physical transitions. Additional methodological advances that have not yet been fully exploited include improved projections of hazards at various spatial scales; research on coastal habitat loss and nature-based solutions; new data sources, indicator-based assessments, and demographic modeling to identify vulnerable populations; and practice standards for using global change risk analytics in engineering and other professions. This contextualized technical knowledge can provide insights for sequencing transitional risk reduction and protection measures. Revolutionizing the role of science to focus on conditions that will affect the ability of society to identify just relocation pathways, build agency, and implement strategies under uncertainty will require a “pluralistic and integrated approach to action-oriented knowledge” ([ 6 ][6]). Such an approach will increase confidence in the ability of communities to successfully navigate planned relocation on the massive scales at which it is likely to be required. It must build a more ethical and responsible approach that serves those affected. 1. [↵][16]1. S. A. Kulp, 2. B. H. Strauss , Nat. Commun. 10, 4844 (2019). [OpenUrl][17] 2. [↵][18]1. J. Carey , Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 117, 13182 (2020). [OpenUrl][19][FREE Full Text][20] 3. [↵][21]1. N. Chhetri, 2. M. Stuhlmacher, 3. A. Ishtiaque , Environ. Res. Commun. 1, 015001 (2019). [OpenUrl][22] 4. [↵][23]1. 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Senior Data Scientist - Demand Generation

#artificialintelligence

About the Role As our Senior Data Scientist, you'll be an integral player in the Demand and Incentives Data Team based in Jakarta. With the latest cutting-edge data science tech at your disposal, you'll focus your efforts on bringing our incentive systems to the next level, employing various quantitative techniques such as Machine Learning, Optimization, Simulation, Bayesian Techniques to drive asymmetric values for our businesses at Gojek. You'll be heavily involved in ideation, research, and building prototypes, and the folks in the Data Science Platform will bring your models to production. Your efforts will directly influence the stability and scalability of Gojek's demand & incentives stream, and thus to company's top and bottom line as a whole. What You Will Do Drive the long term vision of the Machine Learning-based incentive systems and own its implementation end-to-end Enhance the technical excellence of the team and bring the data science products in your stream to the next level Work with other Data Scientists, Machine Learning Engineers, and Business users to build, deploy, and scale data science solutions for incentive systems Utilize your experience in data science, machine learning, software engineering, distributed systems to develop these systems; work with the platform team to take the systems to production Work with Business teams to continuously refine and improve the systems to cater to Gojek's ever-evolving needs What You Will Need At least 5 years of experience as a Data Scientist/ Machine Learning Engineer, with solid understanding of Data Science and Machine Learning fundamentals and experience taking Data Science models into production Experience in Python, R, Golang/Java, Unix; along with knowledge of good software design principles and TDD Working knowledge of Cloud-based solutions (GCP/ AWS), Stream Data Processing Frameworks (Beam) and mature Deep Learning frameworks (e.g.


Scientists discover Earth's core is growing 'lopsided' - and solve a 30 year-old mystery

The Independent - Tech

The Earth's core is growing lopsided, scientists have discovered, but it is unclear why. The solid-iron core in the middle of the planet has been growing faster under Indonesia's Banda Sea, seismologists at the University of California in Berkeley found. The growth on one side of the molten metal is the product of iron crystals that form as the molten iron cools, but something in the Earth's outer core or mantle under the south Asian country is removing heat at a faster rate than on the opposite side, under Brazil. The faster the cooling, the faster that iron crystallisation occurs – and the faster the growth increases. Such a disparity has significant implications for the Earth's magnetic field, and the convection currents in the core that generate the field are what protects us from dangerous solar particles.


News at a glance

Science

SCI COMMUN### COVID-19 Despite past safety concerns, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa) this week decided to allow the importation of 928,000 doses of Sputnik V, the Russian-made vaccine against the pandemic coronavirus. Brazil has one of the world's highest burdens of COVID-19, but only about 15% of its population has received a first dose of vaccine. In April, Anvisa had refused to allow the vaccine into the country, citing allegations that Sputnik V contained adenoviruses that could replicate and harm vaccinated people. But a Brazilian law enacted in March allows the country under certain conditions to selectively import vaccines that Anvisa has not yet authorized for emergency use. The agency will require the batches of vaccine to undergo a safety review by a Brazilian government lab. Anvisa lifted the import ban after pressure from 14 governors who had already made agreements to buy more than 67 million doses of Sputnik V, which more than 60 countries have approved for emergency use. > “It shows we are still fully on the wrong track.” > > Climate scientist Pieter Tans of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in The Washington Post, about May's atmospheric carbon dioxide reading of 419 parts per million, the highest in 63 years of modern recording despite pandemic lockdowns. ### Marine ecology Just 6 months into this year, an alarming 761 manatees have died on Florida's east coast—about 10% of the state's population of this unique vegetarian marine mammal. Most of this year's deaths, which already total more than all in 2020, occurred in the Indian River Lagoon, where about 2000 of these subtropical goliaths typically winter, basking in warm water discharged by a power plant. But increased concentrations of nutrient pollution have triggered algal blooms that block sunlight, decreasing the amount of seagrass, the manatees' main food there. They chose the warm water “even though they starved,” says Martine deWit, a veterinarian with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. In 2017, the administration of then-President Donald Trump downgraded the species from “endangered” to “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act, citing its growing population. But conservationists have called the move premature. ### Racial justice The National Football League (NFL) said last week that in awarding players compensation for brain injuries under a 2013 legal settlement, it will drop a practice that critics have assailed as racist. Under the “race-norming” policy, a scoring algorithm for dementia that physicians employed in assessing players assumed that Black men started their careers with cognitive skills inferior to those of their white counterparts, making it harder for them to show the same amount of injury-induced cognitive decline as white players and to qualify for monetary awards. A majority of the NFL's roughly 20,000 retirees are Black. In a statement, the NFL noted that race-norming has been used for decades by neuropsychologists, who compare patients' scores with averages for their age, gender, education, and race. The NFL says no “off-the-shelf” alternative exists, so it is convening a panel of eight neuropsychologists, three of them Black, to develop a new algorithm. It will be applied going forward and also retrospectively for Black players who would have received an award had they been white. Previously, the NFL appealed some Black players' claims if their cognitive scores had not been adjusted for race. To date, more than 2000 former players have filed for awards, but fewer than 600 have received them. ### Infectious diseases ![Figure][1] CREDITS: (GRAPHIC) N. DESAI/ SCIENCE ; (DATA) UNAIDS The world has made great progress against AIDS, but ambitious targets have been missed, says an analysis issued last week on the 40th anniversary of the emergence of the disease. The report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) notes that 27.4 million of the 37.6 million people now living with HIV are receiving lifesaving antiretroviral treatment. That's a tripling since 2010, but it falls short of a UNAIDS target, set in 2015, of 30 million in treatment by 2020. Because HIV-infected people who receive antiretrovirals rarely transmit the virus, hitting the treatment target would have averted 3.2 million infections and 1 million deaths over the past 5 years, the report says. And, it says, in 2020 the coronavirus pandemic disrupted treatments and supplies of antiretrovirals, with many countries reporting dips in new diagnoses. ### Publishing Days after publishing a letter alleging Israel's actions had threatened the health of Palestinians, The Lancet removed it from its website, fearing that supporters of Israel would boycott the journal, three of the letter's co-authors asserted last week. The letter, published in March 2020, is still accessible in the ScienceDirect database operated by The Lancet 's owner, publishing giant Elsevier. It argued that Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were ill prepared to confront the COVID-19 pandemic because Israel's security operations had damaged Gaza's public health system. In a commentary last week in The BMJ , three authors—all of whom have worked with Palestinian aid organizations, and two of whom are physicians—said The Lancet 's editor-in-chief, Richard Horton, told them last year that a similar letter it published in 2014 had drawn boycott threats and taken a “traumatic” personal toll on its employees. The prestigious medical journal also published a letter in September 2020 that criticizes the removed letter; it remains on The Lancet 's website. The authors of the March 2020 letter praised other Lancet articles that focused on poor health conditions in Gaza. But they also complained of a double standard and called the letter's removal censorship and “a dangerous new precedent.” The Lancet did not respond before Science 's deadline to a request for comment. ### Public health A strategy for fighting dengue fever using bacteria-armed mosquitoes has passed its most rigorous test yet: a randomized controlled trial in Indonesia. Infecting Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis renders them resistant to infection with the dengue virus and less likely to spread it to people. In previous studies, areas where Wolbachia -infected mosquitoes were released reported fewer cases of dengue than nearby untreated areas. In the new trial, conducted by the nonprofit World Mosquito Program, researchers divided a 26-kilometer area in Yogyakarta into 24 clusters and set out containers of Wolbachia -carrying mosquito eggs in 12 randomly selected clusters. Of people visiting primary care clinics with a fever, 2.3% of those living in the treated clusters tested positive for dengue virus, versus 9.4% of those from control areas—a 77% reduction in infections, the team reported this week in The New England Journal of Medicine . Researchers expect the bacterium will continue to reduce dengue incidence and may even eliminate it in the area: Infected insects pass Wolbachia to offspring, and it remains prevalent among the city's wild mosquitoes more than 3 years after the last egg release. ### Biodiversity An automated system that integrates robotics with machine learning, imaging, and a cutting-edge gene sequencer promises to help speed up the discovery of unknown species of insects, which make up an estimated 90% of all animal species yet to be cataloged. Scientists routinely collect thousands of animals in the field, then face long hours in the lab to identify the specimens. The new technology, called DiversityScanner, plucks individual insects from trays and compares their legs, antennae, and other features to known specimens to classify the insect into one of 14 types. An Oxford Nanopore Technologies sequencer then produces a species-identifying piece of DNA called a barcode. The data and an image of the insect are added to a database. Scientists still have to name and describe new species. Some researchers call the system, designed to be easy for labs to replicate with open-source technology and easily available parts, a potential game changer. The designers—Rudolf Meier, who is moving to Berlin's Museum of Natural History, and colleagues—described it in two preprints posted on bioRxiv in May. ### Anthropology Several people from Okinawa, Japan's southernmost prefecture, are stepping up pressure on Kyoto University to return the remains of 26 people from Okinawan burial caves and sites that were unearthed almost 100 years ago and taken to what was then Kyoto Imperial University for study. Some of the remains, a small portion of the 200 sets removed, are believed to be from the royal family of the Ryukyu Kingdom, which was absorbed into the Japanese empire in 1872. A 2018 lawsuit by a group of five Okinawans against Kyoto University is still pending; frustrated by its slow pace and the university's refusal to cooperate, plaintiffs held an online briefing last week to make their case to the international press. Holding the remains violates Japanese law and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, says Yasukatsu Matsushima, an economist at Ryukoku University who leads the legal challenge. Very little research about the remains has been published, and nothing recently, Matsushima says. Kyoto University “does not consider that the bones were obtained illegally,” the institution wrote in a statement. ### Racial justice A prominent Black chemist withdrew from consideration for a professorship at the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill, after its trustees did not endorse giving a tenured position to a high-profile journalist whose reporting on the United States's history of racism has raised controversy. UNC faculty informed its chancellor last week that the chemist, Lisa Jones of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, wrote them that the trustees' decision “does not seem in line with a school that says it is interested in diversity.” Her decision came after UNC proposed in January to give the tenured position in journalism to Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times , winner of a Pulitzer Prize for her essay in the “1619 Project,” a 2019 series about slavery that she conceived. The trustees did not act on the proposal; some questioned her academic qualifications. UNC instead offered Hannah-Jones (who is not related to Lisa Jones) a nontenured, 5-year position. Faculty members protested and accused the trustees of submitting to criticism of Hannah-Jones by conservative voices. ### Astronomy In its first year of observations, from 2018 to 2019, the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) radio telescope in British Columbia detected 535 fast radio bursts (FRBs)—powerful flashes of radio waves from deep space—more than three times as many as were previously known, researchers announced this week at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The bursts are just milliseconds long, which makes it challenging to pinpoint their source. But after CHIME helped trace a nearby FRB to its source in our Galaxy last year, highly magnetized stellar relics called magnetars have emerged as a prime suspect. CHIME catches many FRBs by sweeping the sky with a wide field of view as Earth rotates. Its deep catalog is already paying off: FRBs that flash more than once last slightly longer and have a narrower range of frequencies than one-offs, supporting the idea that the bursts are produced through different mechanisms. ### Planetary science NASA's InSight lander, a mission to study the interior of Mars, got a sorely needed energy boost last month after the agency dusted off its solar panels with a clever technique akin to sandblasting. After InSight's power declined, NASA tried knocking off the dust by jostling the panels with motors originally used to deploy them—without luck. Passing dust devils have also done nothing to clear off the material. So mission engineers had to get crafty. They had the lander's robotic arm scoop up sand and drizzle it above a panel as the wind swept past at up to 21 kilometers per hour. The falling grains bounced off the panel, picking up and carrying away the smaller dust particles, NASA said last week. Controllers noticed an immediate bump in power and a gain of about 30 watt-hours of energy per sol, or martian day. The extra power could help the lander survive aphelion in July, when Mars is farthest from the Sun, and extend the mission for a third full year of listening for tiny marsquakes. [1]: pending:yes


Machine Learning Engineer - Merchant Platform

#artificialintelligence

About the Role Fasten your helmet and climb on board if you're ready to be our Machine Learning Engineer. In this role, you'll be a crucial player within the Merchant Platform, using and building machine learning as a microservice, integrating it with the core service, and establishing data pipelines for structured & unstructured data. In close collaboration with the Data Science, Data Engineering, and Product Engineering teams, you'll get your hands dirty in complex ML, data pipeline, and service product tech stacks. By automating processes and integrating ML models into our products & services, your efforts will help ensure a robust and efficient Merchant Platform for Gojek. What You Will Do Collaborate with Data Science team to gather the requirement for model parameter Build the feature extraction script to automate the process for the ML model Collaborate with product engineer to integrate ML model into product/service Process data from streaming/raw data based on user needs Collaborate with other Data Engineers to develop data and model pipelines Design distributed systems to apply machine learning and data science techniques What You Will Need At least 2 years of experience as a Software Engineer or ML Engineer, with fluency and experience in Clojure, Elixir, Python, or Java Basic knowledge in data science, and familiarity with ML libraries such as Pandas, Scikit, or Tensorflow Proven track-record in building large-scale, high-throughput, low-latency production systems Experience building data stream processes Familiarity with SQL and NoSQL Database Ability to implement CI/CD and TDDAbout the Team Our Merchant Platform team is a big family of around 60 people based across Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and India.


Indonesia says 53 crew of lost sub are dead, wreckage found

Boston Herald

Indonesia's military on Sunday officially said all 53 crew members from a submarine that sank and broke apart last week are dead, and that search teams had located the vessel's wreckage on the ocean floor. Officials previously said the KRI Nanggala 402's oxygen supply would have run out early Saturday, three days after the vessel went missing off the resort island of Bali. "We received underwater pictures that are confirmed as parts of the submarine, including its rear vertical rudder, anchors, outer pressure body, embossed dive rudder and other ship parts," military chief Hadi Tjahjanto told reporters in Bali on Sunday. "With this authentic evidence, we can declare that KRI Nanggala 402 has sunk and all the crew members are dead," Tjahjanto said. An underwater robot equipped with cameras documented the lost submarine lying in at least three pieces on the ocean floor at a depth of 2,750 feet, said Adm. Yudo Margono, the navy's chief of staff.


Z Holdings leaders aim to boost Asia business

The Japan Times

Technology giant Z Holdings Corp. is aiming to boost its services in Asia, co-chief executive officers Kentaro Kawabe and Takeshi Idezawa said in a recent interview. Z Holdings, which brought messaging app provider Line Corp. under its wing for business integration Monday, will also make efforts to discuss ethical issues regarding the use of artificial intelligence, they said. Z Holdings, the parent of internet portal Yahoo Japan Corp., will mainly aim to expand Line's Asia operations. "It's difficult to win a market share with a messaging app," said Idezawa, also Line's president. He expressed interest in developing and releasing a "superapp" that covers interactions, shopping and other services familiar to people in Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan, where the Line app has already made inroads.


Surge Pricing, Artificial Intelligence, and Responsibility

#artificialintelligence

On my first work trip to Jakarta 14 January 2016 for Grab, multiple terrorist bombs exploded a couple of miles from the GrabBike office where I had just arrived. People were fleeing cafes and restaurants around the attack site. My new colleagues were shaken, glad to be safe, looking to help. There was news of crowds on the streets trying to get away, confirmed by a spike in booking requests from the blocks around the explosion. My colleagues remembered the 2002 Bali bombings, and knew we should get people to spread out.


Training its multi-lingual voicebot in India, Vernacular.ai gears up to make inroads into US and multilingual countries like Indonesia & Malaysia

#artificialintelligence

Amidst all the fast-paced technological innovations, contact centres continue to be at the frontline of delivering customer experience. "Even though businesses have identified different mechanisms to reach out to users such as mobile applications, notifications etc, users still reach out to the call center. Case in point, even when you are able to book a cab in under two minutes through the app, you will want to reach out to customer care if there is a problem," shares Sourabh Gupta, Co-Founder & CEO, Vernacular.ai, an AI-first SaaS business enhancing customer experience through intelligent voice conversations. However, Sourabh points out that innovation for contact centres has been overlooked and that's why today they are unable to offer the same convenience that the business provides digitally through other mediums. This gap has come to the fore amidst the pandemic.


Facebook moves to scale down political content

Washington Post - Technology News

For the purposes of this initial set of tests in Canada, Brazil, Indonesia, and the United States, we'll be reducing the distribution of political content in News Feed for a small percentage of users by using a machine learning model that is trained to look for signals of political content and predict whether a post is related to politics,