JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – 19 November, 2020 – Samsung has announced that it will hold the Samsung AI Forum 2020 online via its YouTube channel for two days from November 2nd to 3rd. Marking its fourth anniversary this year, the forum gathers world-renowned academics and industry experts on artificial intelligence (AI) and serves as a platform for exchanging ideas, insights and latest research findings, as well as a platform to discuss the future of AI. On Day 1, which will be hosted by Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), Samsung's R&D hub dedicated to cutting-edge future technologies, Dr. Kinam Kim, Vice Chairman & CEO of Device Solutions at Samsung Electronics will deliver opening remarks. Renowned AI experts will subsequently give presentations under the theme "AI Technologies for Changes in the Real World." This year, Dr. Inyup Kang, President of System LSI Business at Samsung Electronics will join the panel discussion with the presenters.
Joe Biden has defeated President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election and will become the 46th president of the United States. Although Trump has not conceded, Biden has been named the president-elect by multiple outlets, including AP News. The decision to name the 77-year-old the president-elect sent Twitter into a frenzy, which resulted in Biden's supporters using Alexa, Amazon's virtual assistant, to taunt Trump and celebrate the democrat's victory. On Saturday, "Alexa" began trending on Twitter as people began sharing the songs they wanted to play to celebrate the president-elect and say goodbye to Trump. In the song, Meek Mill raps, "See my dreams unfold, nightmares come true It was time to marry the game and I said, 'Yeah, I do' If you want it you gotta see it with a clear-eyed view."
The Department of Justice recently sued Google for allegedly monopolizing the market for search engines. The Department's complaint alleges that Google took numerous actions well before 2010 that formed part of the claimed antitrust violations. I have no comment about the merits. What I do want to call attention to, however, are the dates: a lawsuit beginning in 2020 to try to correct the market consequences of actions that began more than 10 years ago. The revolution that some scholars call "regulating by robot" is already underway.
This year's Nobel prize in physics has been awarded to Sir Roger Penrose (1/2), Reinhard Genzel (1/4), and Andrea Ghez (1/4) for their research on Blackhole. Even last year it was in astronomy and cosmology. These are exciting times for astronomy since the last one before that was in 2006. There is a common trait in astronomy and AI. The work started sometime in the 20th century and was not proved then due to the limitation of the technology. And now when the technologies are developed, we are able to provide pieces of evidence.
Eight technologies developed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory researchers, either wholly or in collaboration with researchers from other organizations, were among the winners of the 2020 R&D 100 Awards. Annually since 1963, these international R&D awards recognize 100 technologies that a panel of expert judges selects as the most revolutionary of the past year. Six of the laboratory's winning technologies are software systems, a number of which take advantage of artificial intelligence techniques. The software technologies are solutions to difficulties inherent in analyzing large volumes of data and to problems in maintaining cybersecurity. Another technology is a process designed to assure secure fabrication of integrated circuits, and the eighth winner is an optical communications technology that may enable future space missions to transmit error-free data to Earth at significantly higher rates than currently possible.
Before the Big Bang brought about the universe we know, there was another universe and black holes could be proof of its existence, claims Nobel prize winner. Sir Roger Penrose won the Nobel Prize for Physics for a paper that used Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity to prove black holes exist and explain how they form. He says there is evidence of'unexplained spots' of electromagnetic radiation dotted across the sky that are'the size of a full Moon' that he calls Hawking Points. Penrose says these warm spots are remnants of a previous universe that existed before the Big Bang and could be a clue to our future universe. The points are named after Professor Stephen Hawking who theorised Black holes leak radiation and over a long period of time they will evaporate to nothing. Penrose says these points are proof of the'conformal cyclic cosmology' theory of the universe that suggests the Big Bang merely marks the end of one universe and the start of another universe - also known as an'aeon'.
SCI COMMUN### Politics The U.S. presidential race was upended in the first days of October as President Donald Trump tested positive for the pandemic virus and spent 3 days in the hospital. He was aggressively treated with two experimental medicines—monoclonal antibodies and the repurposed antiviral remdesivir—and a steroid used in severe COVID-19 cases. Trump returned to the White House on 5 October saying people should not fear the disease. But public health specialists voiced astonishment when he re-entered the building maskless, trailed by questions about his medical condition and a lack of information about how staff members would be protected from infection. All that followed a rancorous first debate on 29 September between Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Trump mocked Biden for having worn a mask at other times, despite evidence that the precaution reduces transmission of the virus. The president also left scientists puzzled when he described as a “disaster” Biden's role in the response to the H1N1 swine flu outbreak in 2009. Then-President Barack Obama, whom Biden served under as vice president, declared it a public health emergency 6 weeks before the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. That flu killed an estimated 12,000 Americans—far fewer than the 210,000 U.S. deaths recorded so far from COVID-19. > “Very few don't have some sort of connection to Big Tech.” > > Doctoral student Mohamed Abdalla , in Wired , about a study he led of faculty members specializing in artificial intelligence at four leading research universities. He found 58% (48 of 83) had received a grant or fellowship from one of 14 large technology companies, which may distort research priorities. ### Conservation High-tech fake turtle eggs can spy on poachers and wildlife trafficking routes. The real eggs are a delicacy in Central America, and illicit trading of them adds to other hazards to the survival of turtle species that are threatened. Researchers slipped 101 decoy eggs with GPS trackers embedded (left) into nests on four Costa Rican beaches. The scientists tracked five eggs to learn where the poachers took them; the farthest ended up 137 kilometers inland, the multinational team reported on 5 October in Current Biology . The researchers did not share this information with authorities, noting ethical concerns; many poachers live in poverty, and in Costa Rica, buying the eggs is not illegal. But, the authors say, the study shows that law enforcement agencies could use the method. ### Public health Coronavirus guidelines issued last week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) again stirred controversy and concerns that undue political pressure had influenced some of its decisions. CDC announced that on 31 October it will lift an order barring cruise ships from sailing despite a recommendation by its director, Robert Redfield, to extend the ban until February 2021. The industry shut down in March after severe COVID-19 outbreaks occurred on multiple ships. Last week, CDC also drew fire for its updated guidelines on when colleges should test students and faculty and staff members for the pandemic virus. The agency recommended different frequencies of testing, including just a single, initial one, depending on circumstances such as whether students lived in residences with others who tested positive. Critics said the new guidelines should have recommended more regular testing of asymptomatic individuals. CDC addressed another uproar this week by acknowledging evidence that the virus can travel by air and infect people standing more than 2 meters apart in indoor spaces. The agency was faulted last month after it posted, and then withdrew, a draft suggesting otherwise. ### Infectious diseases An international program to reduce the risk of new zoonotic diseases, allowed to expire by the U.S. government in 2019 but extended until last month, will get a successor. On 30 September, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded a $100 million grant to help countries in Asia and Africa curb viruses jumping from animals to humans. The 5-year Strategies to Prevent Spillover program will have a different focus from its predecessor, PREDICT, whose termination was criticized by the scientific community: Rather than studying the drivers of spillover, it will seek interventions to reduce viral jumps, a USAID spokesperson says. A key goal is to “help partners at the country level build their expertise and ability to take action,” says veterinarian Deborah Kochevar of Tufts University, which leads a 13-institute consortium that won the grant. ### International affairs Yuri Orlov, the Russian physicist who championed human rights in the Soviet Union before being exiled in 1985, died on 27 September at age 96. Orlov helped organize the Soviet Union's branch of Amnesty International in 1973 and 3 years later co-founded the Moscow Helsinki Group, which monitored Soviet adherence to the civil rights provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords between the Soviet Union and the West. In 1977, Orlov was arrested and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor and exile in Siberia. After coming to the United States in a prisoner exchange, Orlov, an expert in particle accelerators, worked at Cornell University. He didn't think much of Russian President Vladimir Putin, writing in 2004 that “Russia is flying backward in time.” ### Governance Japan's new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has disrupted the process by which scientists are appointed to serve on the governing body of the country's leading academic society, the Science Council of Japan (SCJ). Researchers are criticizing the move as a threat to academic freedom. SCJ makes policy recommendations, promotes scientific literacy and international cooperation, and represents the interests of more than 800,000 scholars in virtually all academic disciplines. The prime minister customarily ratifies appointees recommended by SCJ for its governing body, the General Assembly. But according to an announcement last week, Suga withheld his blessing from six academics, in a list of 105 put forward, who work in the social sciences, law, and the humanities. All six had criticized legislation adopted by Japan's previous government, in which Suga was chief cabinet secretary. His failure to appoint them violated a law governing SCJ, said Satoshi Ihara, secretary general of the Japan Scientists' Association. ### Policy Mexican scientists this week blasted a move by the national legislature to eliminate 109 trust funds run by public research centers and government institutes, one-third of them devoted to science and technology. The government wants to use the money, some $3 billion in total, for the coronavirus pandemic. The funds support everything from student scholarships and emergency maintenance of equipment to major research projects at dozens of government centers. The money also helps pay for biosecurity and biotechnology research, fighting climate change, and disaster relief. On 6 October, Mexico's Chamber of Deputies approved a bill to terminate the funds, but with “reservations” that require further debate; it is expected to pass in the Senate. The plan is “a brutal blow” and the worst hit to Mexican science in 50 years, says Antonio Lazcano, an evolutionary biologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, University City. ### Virology There's been a new case of infection with Alaskapox virus, a recently discovered pathogen that's related to smallpox. Alaska state health authorities reported on 30 September that they had found the virus in a woman from the Fairbanks area with a mild, gray skin lesion on one arm, similar to one seen in 2015 in the first known patient, also a woman from Fairbanks. Human infections with pox-viruses are on the rise, presumably because vaccination against smallpox—which offers some protection against related viruses—was halted after that deadly disease was eradicated 40 years ago. But the Alaska cases are no cause for alarm: There is no evidence the virus can be transmitted between humans—scientists think it came from wild mammals—and the lesions went away by themselves. ### Medicine prize goes to discoverers of virus that destroys the liver The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded this week for the discovery of the hepatitis C virus, one of the most common causes of liver cancer. The prize went to Harvey Alter of the U.S. National Institutes of Health; Michael Houghton of the University of Alberta, Edmonton; and Charles Rice of Rockefeller University. The hepatitis C virus, transmitted via blood, can cause chronic inflammation of the liver that quietly destroys the organ over decades, ultimately leading to cirrhosis and cancer. The laureates did work over 3 decades to identify the virus and show it was responsible for unexplained cases of hepatitis in people who received blood transfusions. They also developed a test to screen blood donations for the virus, which has nearly eliminated the risk of hepatitis from blood transfusions. Their research ultimately led to a successful treatment for the disease, which has cured millions of people. But about 71 million people worldwide still have chronic hepatitis C, and transmission continues via contaminated medical equipment, sharing drug injection needles, and from infected mothers to newborns during birth. The disease causes few acute symptoms, and testing in many developing countries is limited. ### Black hole hunters receive physics prize The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded for pioneering discoveries regarding black holes—self-sustaining gravitational fields so intense that nothing, not even light, can escape. Roger Penrose, a mathematician at the University of Oxford, received half of the $1.1 million prize for his theoretical work, conducted in part with the late Stephen Hawking, that proved a black hole would be stable and thus could be a real astrophysical object and not a mere mathematical curiosity. Astronomers Reinhard Genzel of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and Andrea Ghez of the University of California, Los Angeles, share the other half of the prize for deducing the presence of the supermassive black hole that lies in the heart of our Galaxy. Since the 1990s, Genzel and Ghez have led rival research groups that observed stars there, 26,000 light-years from Earth. They found ones orbiting a heavy, unseen object, called Sagittarius A*, at incredible speeds—some of the most convincing evidence for a behemoth black hole, with the mass of millions of Suns. ### Fauci: ‘Skunk at the picnic’ On 23 September, in the relative calm before President Donald Trump's coronavirus infection was revealed, Anthony Fauci relaxed at home after tangling earlier that day with U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R–KY) during a hearing on COVID-19. Fauci still had 200 emails in his inbox to read that night, but the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who also serves on the White House's Coronavirus Task Force, sat down with Science to discuss the pandemic and research on vaccines. (Read the full interview at [scim.ag/FauciOctober].) Some excerpts: On his showdown with Paul: “I said to myself, you know, ‘I'm sorry, I'm not gonna disrespect him, but I'm not gonna let him get away with saying things that are cherry-picked data.’” (Paul had suggested that the United States follow Sweden's COVID-19 policies because it had a lower death rate from the disease.) On speaking bluntly at the White House: “I'm walking a fine line of being someone who is not hesitant to tell the president and the vice president what they may not want to hear. There are some people in the White House, who, even when I first started telling it like it was in the task force meetings, they were like, ‘Oh my goodness.’ That's when I got that nickname ‘the skunk at the picnic.’ … I say, ‘I'm sorry, I'm not trying to undermine the president. But there is something that's called reality.’” On the state of the pandemic: “Yes, there are parts of the country that are doing well. But this country is a big forest, and when you have fires in some parts of the forest, the entire forest is at risk.” : http://scim.ag/FauciOctober
Samsung Electronics announced today that it will hold the Samsung AI Forum 2020 online via its YouTube channel for two days from November 2nd to 3rd. Marking its fourth anniversary this year, the forum gathers world-renowned academics and industry experts on artificial intelligence (AI) and serves as a platform for exchanging ideas, insights and latest research findings, as well as a platform to discuss the future of AI. On Day 1, which will be hosted by Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), Samsung's R&D hub dedicated to cutting-edge future technologies, Dr. Kinam Kim, Vice Chairman & CEO of Device Solutions at Samsung Electronics will deliver opening remarks. Renowned AI experts will subsequently give presentations under the theme "AI Technologies for Changes in the Real World." This year, Dr. Inyup Kang, President of System LSI Business at Samsung Electronics will join the panel discussion with the presenters.
Three scientists won this year's Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for advancing our understanding of black holes, the all-consuming monsters that lurk in the darkest parts of the universe. Briton Roger Penrose received half of this year's prize "for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity," the Nobel Committee said. German Reinhard Genzel and American Andrea Ghez received the second half of the prize "for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the center of our galaxy." The prize celebrates "one of the most exotic objects in the universe," black holes, which have become a staple of science fact and science fiction and where time seems to stand still, according to the committee. Black holes are perhaps the most mysterious and powerful objects in astronomy.
You may have missed it, but the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) just announced its first annual Squirrel AI award winner: Regina Barzilay, a professor at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). In fact, if you're like me, you may have missed that there was a Squirrel AI award. But there is, and it's kind of a big deal, especially for healthcare -- as Professor Barzilay's work illustrates. The Squirrel AI Award for Artificial Intelligence for the Benefit of Humanity (Squirrel AI is a Chinese-based AI-powered "adaptive education provider") "recognizes positive impacts of artificial intelligence to protect, enhance, and improve human life in meaningful ways with long-lived effects." The award carries a prize of $1,000,000, which is about the same as a Nobel Prize.