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Expecting The Unexpected From AI - Liwaiwai


When we think of artificial intelligence (AI) going rogue, prime examples from the movies include HAL 9000 from 2001: Space Odyssey and Skynet from The Terminator, which were mainframe computers that reacted to the real-world problems in unexpected ways. From industrial manufacturing to autonomous vehicles, machine learning models are becoming increasingly embedded in our lives. Researchers are thus exploring pre-emptive ways to avoid harm from unexpected AI decisions when machine learning models are deployed to act in the real-world--an area of machine learning known as reinforcement learning (RL). "While deep RL has indeed been very successful in achieving state-of-the-art performance in curated academic environments, it has yet to be thoroughly tested in the presence of real-world complexities," said Abhishek Gupta, a Scientist at the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) and one of the study's senior authors. The work, which was principally conducted by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) graduate student Xinghua Qu and jointly overseen by Gupta and NTU professor Yew-Soon Ong, focused on the performance of vision-based AI, which is likely to be critical for the safe use of AI in applications such as autonomous vehicles.

Biotech startup Gero grabs €1.9M to hack ageing and COVID-19


Based out of Singapore, Gero develops new drugs for ageing and other complicated disorders using its proprietary developed artificial intelligence (AI) platform. Recently, the company has secured $2.2 million (€1.9 million) in Series A funding, bringing the total capital raised since Gero's founding to over $7.5 million (€6.4 million). Gero's founder Peter Fedichev, said, "We are happy with the recognition and support from these strategic investors who themselves are acknowledged leaders in the fields of AI and biotechnology. This will help us attain the necessary knowledge at the junction of biological sciences and AI/ML technologies that is necessary for the radical acceleration of drug discovery battling the toughest medical challenges of the 21st century. We hope that the technology will soon lead to a meaningful healthspan extension and quality of life improvements " The round was led by Bulba Ventures with participation from previous investors and serial entrepreneurs in the fields of pharmaceuticals, IT, and AI.

Scientists inspired by 'Star Wars' create artificial skin able to feel

The Japan Times

Singapore – Singapore researchers have developed "electronic skin" capable of recreating a sense of touch, an innovation they hope will allow people with prosthetic limbs to detect objects, as well as feel texture, or even temperature and pain. The device, dubbed ACES, or Asynchronous Coded Electronic Skin, is made up of 100 small sensors and is about 1 square cm (0.16 square inch) in size. The researchers at the National University of Singapore say it can process information faster than the human nervous system, is able to recognize 20 to 30 different textures and can read Braille letters with more than 90 percent accuracy. "So humans need to slide to feel texture, but in this case the skin, with just a single touch, is able to detect textures of different roughness," said research team leader Benjamin Tee, adding that AI algorithms let the device learn quickly. A demonstration showed the device could detect that a squishy stress ball was soft, and determine that a solid plastic ball was hard.

Local teams make it to global AI competition


TWO student teams are representing Malaysia in an ongoing international Artificial Intelligence (AI) competition. And one of them is from Curtin University Malaysia. The third annual Asia Pacific High Performance Computing – Artificial Intelligence (APAC HPC-AI) Competition is running from May 20 to Oct 15 and is co-organised by the HPC-AI Advisory Council and the Singapore National Supercomputing Centre. This year's edition of the competition encourages international teams in the Asia Pacific to showcase their mastery of high-performance computing and AI expertise in a friendly yet spirited competition that builds critical skills, professional relationships, competitive spirit and lifelong camaraderie. Held remotely, the competition is seeing a record number of teams – 30 in total – comprising undergraduate and graduate competitors from some of the region's leading academic institutions.

Impact Biomedical Initiates Quantum, a New Frontier in Pharmaceutical Development


Impact Biomedical, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SGX-listed Singapore eDevelopment, has announced the initiation of Quantum, a research program designed as a solution to the'patent cliff', the impending pharmaceutical threat. A patent cliff looms when patents for blockbuster drugs expire without being replaced with new drugs, and pharmaceutical companies experience an abrupt decrease in revenue, reducing overall pharmaceutical innovation globally, including crucial research into new methods to prevent and treat illnesses. Impact, through their strategic partner Global Research and Discovery Group Sciences (GRDG), has created a solution called Quantum, a new frontier in pharmaceutical development. Quantum is a new class of medicinal chemistry that uses advanced methods to boost efficacy and persistence of natural compounds and existing drugs while maintaining the safety profile of the original molecules. Instead of modifying functional groups, as is typically done presently in drug discovery, this new technique alters the behavior of molecules at the sub-molecular level.

Data Science and Cities: A Critical Approach · Harvard Data Science Review


Sensors increasingly permeate our lives and generate a plethora of data, which has transformed the way we live in cities. Planners have been using data-science to improve our understanding of urban issues. While other domains have highlighted concerns with big data collection, aggregation, and analytical methods to understand different phenomena, urban planning has an additional aspiration: not only to understand, but to transform society through planning. Thus, on top of critically approaching data collection and analytical methods, for the emergent field of urban science to become a distinctively unique body of knowledge, it must examine the ontological and epistemological boundaries of the big data paradigm and how it affects urban decision-making processes and their short- and long-term consequences in cities. Data-driven approaches have transformed the way we analyze, design and make policy decisions in cities. This has been true during the COVID-19 pandemic, where countries have used self-reported information and tracing apps to map infected people. South Korea Corona Map, for example provides the addresses of all infected residents, and Singapore COVID19 maps each case and their social networks, to help other people identify if they had contact with an infected person, took the same flight or used the same urban facilities to be aware of their risk of contagion.

Wanted: A robot with a gentle touch


Human-machine collaboration and accessibility have defined the first years of the robot revolution. If I'm placing bets, the hallmark of the next phase of robotic adoption will be dexterity, and a company that's just exited stealth is my Exhibit A. You probably know that robots are now prolific across a variety of industries that are relatively new to automation (materials handling, energy, logistics, biotech). But most robots are still designed to operate within carefully structured spaces where tasks are repeatable and variation limited. There are plenty of use cases that fit that bill, but for robots to become truly disruptive -- to say nothing of a potential threat to skilled labor -- they will need to be endowed with dexterity that allows for complex manipulation in unpredictable environments. Just this month my colleague covered research out of the National University of Singapore directed at giving robots artificial skin to help them feel, a crucial step in enabling robots to manipulate objects they may never have encountered before. Soft robots have long been a leading area of study for just this reason, relying on compliant materials to emulate the soft touch a human has by nature.

How AI is democratizing innovation in esports and beyond


It's no secret now that esports are taking over both real and virtual worlds with a global audience nearing half a billion spectators. And esports industry statistics are earth-shattering, with annual growth rates as high as 20 per cent and revenues exceeding 1 billion USD per year. But what about the technology that makes the esports multiverse so compelling? This was the question explored by a recent AI for Good webinar as part of the Global Dialogue on Esports. Featuring expert panellists hailing from Singapore, Toronto, Manchester and more, the diversity of speakers and attendees demonstrated how esports is truly a global phenomenon.

Robot drone inspired by world's fastest bird can act as 'paraglider, aeroplane and helicopter'

The Independent - Tech

A wing-flapping drone inspired by the world's fastest bird has been developed that could one day find use in everything from surveillance operations to flower pollination. An international team of researchers designed the 26-gram ornithopter drone to hover, dart, glide, and dive just like a swift, making it far more versatile than a traditional quadcopter drone. "Unlike common quadcopters that are quite intrusive and not very agile, biologically-inspired drones could be used very successfully in a range of environments," said Dr Yao-Wei Chin, a research scientist from the National University of Singapore who led the project. "The light weight and the slow beating wings of the ornithopter poses less danger to the public that quadcopter drones in the event of a crash and given sufficient thrust and power banks it could be modified to carry different payloads depending on what is required." The researchers expect the first commercial use of the drone could be in monitoring large crowds or inspecting crops in fields.

Asean firms stick to familiar security tools, with growing interest in newer options


When it comes to cybersecurity, most enterprises in Asean are opting to stick with the tried-and-tested and familiar. There is, however, growing interest in comparatively newer tools such as software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) security systems. Antivirus or antimalware tools remained the most popular cybersecurity choice for enterprises in the region, with 71% deploying these applications, revealed a Palo Alto Networks study released Thursday. The online survey was conducted in February 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, before safe distancing measures were rolled out, with 100 respondents each from four Asean markets: Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. With cybercriminals taking less and less time to break into corporate systems, enterprises will have to tap artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to bolster their ability to defend against attacks and beef up their network resilience.