Middle East


Using artificial intelligence to enrich digital maps

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A model invented by researchers at MIT and Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) that uses satellite imagery to tag road features in digital maps could help improve GPS navigation. Showing drivers more details about their routes can often help them navigate in unfamiliar locations. Lane counts, for instance, can enable a GPS system to warn drivers of diverging or merging lanes. Incorporating information about parking spots can help drivers plan ahead, while mapping bicycle lanes can help cyclists negotiate busy city streets. Providing updated information on road conditions can also improve planning for disaster relief.


AI acquisitions hit record numbers in 2019 as consolidation wave grows

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When SAP veteran Bill McDermott took over the CEO spot at digital workflow company ServiceNow in October, his mandate focused on growth. "Should we choose to do'tuck-ins' to compliment what our customers need, to get us somewhere faster, we'll do that very carefully," he told CNBC. ServiceNow kicked off 2020 with one such "tuck-in": the acquisition of Israeli company Loom Systems, an AIOps company that uses artificial intelligence to give enterprise users insights into digital operations and fix IT issues. The acquisition symbolizes a bigger trend in enterprise technology: Acquiring AI startups enables technology vendors to capitalize, enhance or expand their capabilities while bringing scarce talent aboard. Last year, consolidation in the AI market hit record numbers.


Revealed: how popular autonomous vehicles are in the UAE

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Nearly half of UAE residents are likely to own a self-driving car in the next five years if it are available to them, according to a new survey. The poll by YouGov also showed that close to a quarter (23 percent) are unlikely to do so and an equal proportion is unsure. It said men are more inclined to own an autonomous car in the future than women, with 53 percent of males expressing interest compared to 42 percent of females respondents. Among the various age-groups, people in their thirties (52 percent) are more likely than those under 30 (47 percent) and those aged 40 and above (48 percent) to possess one. When it comes to safety, YouGov's research showed that 43 percent feel driverless cars are safer than human-driven cars, 27 percent think they are less safe while 17 percent say they are just about the same.


GPS system upgrade utilizes AI to make sure you're in the right lane

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In-car satnav systems and mobile mapping apps have made it much easier to travel from one place to another without getting lost, but a new innovation promises to help fix a remaining pain point – getting in the right lane at intersections. Today's mapping apps aren't always much help if you're at an unfamiliar intersection and aren't sure exactly where on the road your car is supposed to be: the apps often don't have the detail or the knowledge to warn you in good time about changing lanes. The system developed by researchers at MIT and the Qatar Computing Research Institute uses satellite imagery to augment existing mapping data, but the smart part is applying artificial intelligence to work out the layout of roads hidden by trees and buildings. It's called RoadTagger, and by deploying machine learning on satellite imagery, the system is able to figure out with a high degree of accuracy some extra details on roads – including, for example, how many lanes they have. That could give drivers an early warning about diverging or merging lanes.


Sorbonne Center for Artificial Intelligence at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi Signs a collaboration agreement

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He praised the efforts of the academic and administrative staff, whose efforts were instrumental to the growth and development of the university; which is not only a testament to French-Emirati relations, but is also responsible for more than 2000 graduates who have entered the local workforce. He concluded, "We have collectively taken a giant leap in the direction of progress and development and hope to march on with the design of new programs and initiatives that are fully in line with the national strategy of the UAE." Professor Chambaz commented,"This agreement is the first of many educational and research programmes at Sorbonne Center for Artificial Intelligence and we welcome Total and Thales Group as the key stakeholders in this innovative venture. The aim of cooperating with partners from the UAE and France is to support research in the field, create knowledge, and to integrate artificial intelligence into the sustainable development initiatives of the UAE." Mr. Christophe Sassolas, President Total E&P UAE and Total Country Chair in the UAE added "By bringing the Sorbonne's best researchers and Total use cases in close vicinity with Abu Dhabi ecosystem of research institutions and industry, we are contributing to define the future of Artificial Intelligence in the energy sector. We are proud to bring this opportunity for the next generation of UAE talents!"


Using artificial intelligence to enrich digital maps

Robohub

A model invented by researchers at MIT and Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) that uses satellite imagery to tag road features in digital maps could help improve GPS navigation. Showing drivers more details about their routes can often help them navigate in unfamiliar locations. Lane counts, for instance, can enable a GPS system to warn drivers of diverging or merging lanes. Incorporating information about parking spots can help drivers plan ahead, while mapping bicycle lanes can help cyclists negotiate busy city streets. Providing updated information on road conditions can also improve planning for disaster relief.


Iran is still willing to negotiate with U.S., foreign minister says

The Japan Times

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Iran is not ruling out negotiations with the United States even after an American drone strike that killed a top Iranian general, the country's foreign minister said in an interview released Saturday. Mohammed Javad Zarif told Germany's Der Spiegel magazine that he would "never rule out the possibility that people will change their approach and recognize the realities," in an interview conducted Friday in Tehran. There has been growing tension between Washington and Tehran since in 2018, when President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran. The U.S. has since reimposed tough sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy. But Zarif suggested Iran was still willing to talk, though reiterated his country's previous demand that first the U.S. would have to lift sanctions.


FogHorn Augments Edge Computing With Machine Learning To Bring Intelligence To Industrial IoT

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FogHorn, a Silicon Valley-based startup, is one of the early movers in the IIoT and edge computing market. The company has raised a total of $47.5M in funding over four rounds. The latest funding came from a Series B round in October 2017 by Intel Capital and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures. Founded in 2014, FogHorn has been squarely focused on edge analytics and edge intelligence. According to the company, its solution enables high-performance edge processing, optimized analytics, and heterogeneous applications to be hosted as close as possible to the control systems and physical sensor infrastructure that pervade the industrial world.


Ingenious AI significantly improves navigation maps

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While Google and other technology giants have their own dynamics to keep the most detailed and up-to-date maps possible, it is an expensive and time-consuming process. And in some areas, the data is limited. To improve this, researchers at MIT and Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) have developed a new machine-learning model based on satellite images that could significantly improve digital maps for GPS navigation. The system, called "RoadTagger," recognizes the types of roads and the number of lanes in satellite images, even in spite of trees or buildings that obscure the view. In the future, the system should recognize even more details, such as bike paths and parking spaces.


Pentagon says 34 troops suffered traumatic brain injuries in Iran strike

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon disclosed on Friday that 34 U.S. service members suffered traumatic brain injury in Iran's missile strike this month on an Iraqi air base, and although half have returned to work, the casualty total belies President Donald Trump's initial claim that no Americans were harmed. He later characterized the injuries as "not very serious." Eight of the injured arrived in the United States on Friday from Germany, where they and nine others had been flown days after the Jan. 8 missile strike on Iraq's Ain al-Asad air base. The nine still in Germany are receiving treatment and evaluation at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the largest U.S. military hospital outside the continental United States. Jonathan Hoffman, the chief Pentagon spokesman, said the eight in the U.S. will be treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda, Maryland, or at their home bases.