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Cops Take Down the 'World's Biggest' Video Game Cheat Ring

WIRED

This week, the Justice Department indicted a 22-year-old on charges of tampering with the water facility where he used to work. It's a stark reminder that while the power grid gets most of the attention, it's not the only piece of critical infrastructure that's vulnerable to potentially devastating attacks. We also took a look at YouTube's ongoing problems with moderating kid-focused content; a WIRED investigation found dozens of creepy thumbnails on videos for Minecraft and child-centric pursuits that were at or near the top of the platform's "Topic" pages. It's not quite as dire a situation as the so-called Elsagate controversy from a few years back, in which the YouTube Kids app was flooded with grotesque videos featuring popular children's characters performing unspeakable acts. But it still shows that YouTube has a lot of moderation work still ahead of it.


Suga urged to take up abduction issue at summit with Biden

The Japan Times

Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers have urged Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to take up the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea decades ago when he holds talks with U.S. President Joe Biden later this month. Eriko Yamatani, chairwoman of the LDP Headquarters for North Korean Abductions, met with Suga on Friday and handed him a resolution including the request. Suga said he will make efforts to gain U.S. cooperation on the abduction issue at the summit meeting, planned for April 16 at the White House. The resolution said a direct approach by Biden to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be effective in bringing abduction victims back to Japan. It urged Suga to ask Biden to put great value on North Korean issues, including the abduction problem, in his administration's strategy toward China, which has close ties with North Korea. The resolution also called for continued economic sanctions against North Korea and stricter crackdowns on ship-to-ship cargo transfers to smuggle supplies to the reclusive state.


Move over, Deep Nostalgia, this AI app can make Kim Jong-un sing I Will Survive

#artificialintelligence

If you've ever wanted to know what it might be like to see Kim Jong-un let loose at karaoke, your wish has been granted, thanks to an app that lets users turn photographs of anyone – or anything remotely resembling a face – into uncanny AI-powered videos of them lip syncing famous songs. The app is called Wombo AI, and while the future of artificial intelligence and the ability to make fake videos of real people strikes fear into the hearts of many experts, some say that Wombo could help by raising awareness of "deepfakes". Wombo CEO Ben-Zion Benkhin said he came up with the idea "while smoking a joint with my roommate on the roof". The app launched in Canada in February and has since been downloaded on Apple's App store and Google Play more than 2m times. There are 15 songs users can choose from, including Michael Jackson's Thriller and the more recent Gunther's Ding Dong Song.


Samsung Puts Intelligence into High-Bandwidth Memory

#artificialintelligence

Samsung, more widely known for making television monitors, smartphones and other popular consumer devices, also is a world leader in producing computer memory. The North Korean IT giant announced that it has developed the industry's first high-bandwidth memory (HBM) chip that's integrated with artificial intelligence processing power--the HBM-PIM. Like Intel, AMD, NVIDIA and others are baking security, networking and other functionality into processors, Samsung is doing the same, only with AI. The new processing-in-memory (PIM) architecture brings real-time AI computing capabilities inside high-performance memory so as to accelerate large-scale processing in data centers, high performance computing (HPC) systems and AI-enabled mobile applications. The pioneering HBM-PIM is the industry's first programmable PIM solution tailored for diverse AI-driven workloads such as HPC, training and inference, Samsung said.


Ethics in AI – Responsibilities a business has to the consumer

#artificialintelligence

The positive effects that AI has on everyday life are well documented However, as this technology becomes more wide-spread, ethical questions are being raised over the influence that this has in society. In extreme cases you can look at the controls and legislation on autonomous unmanned weapons. UAVs are more common in warfare and it seems only a matter of time before the ability to fire without human input will be added. A South Korean turret made for the North Korean border was initially designed to be completely AI-controlled until demand forced them to change direction. At the moment the


Big data, machine learning shed light on Asian reforestation successes

#artificialintelligence

Since carbon sequestration is such an important factor for mitigating climate change, it's critical to understand the efficacy of reforestation efforts and develop solid estimates of forest carbon storage capacity. However, measuring forest properties can be difficult, especially in places that aren't easily reachable. Purdue University's Jingjing Liang, an assistant professor of quantitative forest ecology and co-chair of the Forest Advanced Computing and Artificial Intelligence (FACAI) Laboratory in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, led an international team to measure forest carbon capacity in northeast Asia. Their research, which blends remote sensing, field work and machine learning, offers the most up-to-date estimates of carbon capture potential in reclusive North Korea and details the benefits of reforestation efforts over the last two decades in China and South Korea. "Because there is historically scant data from North Korea, people know little about how much carbon is stored in this region," said Liang, whose findings were published in the journal Global Change Biology.


South Korea's Moon advocates regional virus initiative involving Japan, others

The Japan Times

Seoul – South Korean President Moon Jae-in called on Wednesday for a regional infectious disease control and public health initiative involving Japan, China, Mongolia, and North Korea to tackle health crises and lay the foundation for peace with Pyongyang. Moon unveiled the so-called Northeast Asia Cooperation Initiative for Infectious Disease Control and Public Health during a video address to the U.N. General Assembly. "In the face of the COVID-19 crisis that poses a greater threat to humanity than a war, we came to be acutely reminded that the safety of neighboring countries is directly linked to that of our own," Moon said, according to an English translation of his prepared remarks distributed by his office. Such an initiative would lead North Korea to "engage with the international community," according to Moon. "It is not only Korea's response to COVID-19 but also the invaluable lessons Korea will be gaining from institutionalizing peace that Korea wishes to share with the rest of the world," he said.


AI Helped Uncover Chinese Boats Hiding in North Korean Waters

WIRED

Huge fleets of Chinese fishing boats have been caught stealthily operating in North Korean waters--while having their tracking systems turned off. The potentially illegal fishing operation was revealed through a combination of artificial intelligence, radar and satellite data. This story originally appeared on WIRED UK. A study published today in the journal Science Advances details how more than 900 vessels of Chinese origin (over 900 in 2017 and over 700 in 2018) likely caught more than 160,000 metric tons--close to half a billion dollars' worth--of Pacific flying squid over two years. This may be in violation of United Nations sanctions, which began restricting North Korea from foreign fishing in September 2017 following the country's ballistic missile tests.


Huge fleets of Chinese boats have been hiding in North Korean waters

#artificialintelligence

Huge fleets of Chinese fishing boats have been caught stealthily operating in North Korean waters – while having their tracking systems turned off. The potentially illegal fishing operation was revealed through a combination of artificial intelligence, radar and satellite data. A study published today in the journal Science Advances details how more than 900 vessels of Chinese origin (over 900 in 2017 and over 700 in 2018) likely caught more than 160,000 metric tons --close to half a billion dollars' worth -- of Pacific flying squid over two years. This may be in violation of United Nations sanctions, which began restricting North Korea from foreign fishing in September 2017 following the country's ballistic missile tests. Illegal fishing threatens fish stocks and maritime ecosystem, and can also jeopardise food security for legitimate fishers.


Hundreds of illegal Chinese fishing vessels spotted near North Korea

New Scientist

Satellite imaging has revealed hundreds of vessels from China fishing off the coast of North Korea, violating UN resolutions prohibiting such activity in the largest known case of vessels from one country operating unlawfully in another country's waters. More than 800 vessels were seen in 2019, say researchers at the non-profit Global Fishing Watch, who traced the boats to Chinese ports and waters. A similar number were seen in 2017 and 2018. They estimate that the vessels, about a third of China's long-range fishing fleet, caught more than 160,000 tonnes of flying squid, rivalling the Japanese and South Korean total. Stocks of the squid, the main commercially fished species in the area, have declined dramatically in recent years.