A warehouse in an industrial park about an hour's drive north of downtown Beijing offers a paradoxical picture of China's much-hyped, and increasingly controversial, artificial intelligence boom. Inside the building, a handful of squat cylindrical robots scuttle about, following an intricate and invisible pattern. Occasionally, one zips beneath a stack of shelves, raises it gently off the ground, then brings it to a station where a human worker can grab items for packing. A handful of engineers stare intently at code running on a bank of computers. The robots and the AI behind them were developed by Megvii, one of China's vaunted AI unicorns.
Tokyo stocks sank deeper Wednesday on rekindled anxiety about a prolonged U.S.-China trade war. The 225-issue Nikkei average dived 244.58 points, or 1.05 percent, to end at 23,135.23, after falling 149.69 points Tuesday. The Topix index of all TSE first section issues finished down 3.46 points, or 0.20 percent, at 1,703.27, following a 7.76-point drop the previous day. The Tokyo market went south from the outset after U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday that he thinks it better to wait until the 2020 presidential election to conclude a preliminary trade deal with China. Although stocks showed some resilience later in the morning, the yen's appreciation against the dollar also helped kept the Nikkei and Topix indexes in negative territory throughout the Wednesday session, brokers said.
Thank you for that introduction, Yll [ILL-ee] (Bajraktari, NSCAI Executive Director) [Bah-j-Rock-Tar-ee]. And let me also thank Representative Stefanik [Steff-ON-ick]…for her leadership and passion for AI's nexus with national security. It is truly an honor to address all of you at the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence Conference … on the future of AI and national security. Today's theme is strength through innovation … and that is exactly as it should be. For innovation is the lifeblood of our country… and a vital source for our security.
While some still consider AI to be beyond the grasp of developing countries, our South American neighbours have been shattering that stereotype. AI is being deployed in a number of their endeavours: to speed up artefact findings in Peru; to increase crop yields in Colombian rice fields through AI-powered platforms; to boost security and enhance customer service in Brazil's banking sector; to create vegan alternatives with the same taste and texture as animal-based foods in Chile's food industry; to predict school dropouts and teenage pregnancy in Argentina; and to forecast crimes in Uruguay. Some of the push in AI adoption in these countries has come from academics and researchers, like the ones at the University of Sao Paulo who are developing AI to determine the susceptibility of patients to disease outbreaks; or Peru's National Engineering University where robots are being used for mine exploration to detect gases; or Argentina's National Scientific and Technical Research Council where AI software is predicting early onset pluripotent stem cell differentiation. These and other truths were revealed to me at a Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Workshop on AI organized by Facebook and the Inter-American Development Bank in Montevideo, Uruguay, in November this year. I was the lone Caribbean participant in attendance, presenting my paper entitled: AI & The Caribbean: A Discussion on Potential Applications & Ethical Considerations, on behalf of the Shridath Ramphal Centre (UWI, Cave Hill).
It is becoming increasingly evident that China is not prepared to continue being second best in the world of technology. Their meteoric rise in many areas, including artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and smartphones, is making the world of technology sit up and take notice. Now the world sees how the ambitious plans of President Xi Jiping to overtake other technologically strong countries are nothing new. Indeed it has been a legacy handed down since the inception of the People's Republic of China. Even though the trade war between the first and second-largest economies of the world persists, China is continuing unabated in a race that they are determined to win.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies, although still relatively new concepts, are garnering a vast amount of interest in international development across sectors and geographies. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)'s Center for Digital Development (CDD)'s Strategy & Research (S&R) team published a report in 2018, "Reflecting the Past, Shaping the Future: Making AI work for International Development", based on extensive research on this rapidly growing field. USAID would like to translate the report's recommendations into an actionable format so the lessons and good practices are accessible to USAID program staff and implementing partners that may have limited familiarity with, nor time, to devote to the topic. Today, the Digital Frontiers team has released a request for proposals (RFP) for qualified firms to work with Digital Frontiers and USAID's S&R team to create a modular, field-ready guidance product that translates findings from the report into concise, practical guidance for USAID staff and partners. Photo courtesy: Save the Children.
Former U.S. secretary of state, Henry Kissinger has said that he's convinced of AI's potential to fundamentally alter human consciousness--including changes in our self-perception and to our strategic decision-making. Kissinger also slammed AI developers for insufficiently thinking through the implications of their creations. Now 96, he was speaking to an audience attending the "Strength Through Innovation" conference currently being held at the Liaison Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C. The conference is being run by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, which was set up by Congress to evaluate the future of AI in the U.S. as it pertains to national security. Moderator Nadia Schadlow, who in 2018 served in the Trump administration as the Assistant to the President and as Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy, asked Kissinger about his take on powerful, militarized artificial intelligence and how it might affect global security and strategic decision-making.
The worst foreign-policy decision by the United States of the last generation – and perhaps longer – was the "war of choice" that it launched in Iraq in 2003 for the stated purpose of eliminating weapons of mass destruction that did not, in fact, exist. Understanding the illogic behind that disastrous decision has never been more relevant, because it is being used to justify a similarly misguided US policy today. The decision to invade Iraq followed the illogic of then-US vice-president Richard Cheney, who declared that even if the risk of WMD falling into terrorist hands was tiny – say, 1% – we should act as if that scenario would certainly occur. Such reasoning is guaranteed to lead to wrong decisions more often than not. Yet the US and some of its allies are now using the Cheney Doctrine to attack Chinese technology.