Immigration & Customs

Artificial Intelligence, Qualcomm Fine: CEO Daily for January 24, 2018


If Trump is the top topic of conversation in Davos this year, artificial intelligence is a close second. There are literally dozens of panels on the topic scattered around this snow-buried village, as my colleague Adam Lashinsky reported yesterday. There seems to be no-one here who questions the not...

Salesforce Investing $2 Billion in Canada, in Northward U.S. Tech Growth


U.S. business software developer Inc will pump $2 billion into its Canadian business over the next five years, it said on Thursday, the latest major U.S. high technology investment across the border since early 2017. Toronto is a hub for artificial intelligence research and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is visiting California this week in part to speak with U.S. technology CEOs. Canadian leaders have promoted their country's immigration policies as an alternative to the Trump Administration's ban on travelers from some Muslim countries and restrictions on work permits for some foreigners. A Canadian program allows businesses to get work permits for foreign workers in about two weeks. Salesforce said it would increase its Canadian office space, data center capacity and 1,000-strong workforce, without giving details. Several other U.S. technology companies are expanding into their northern neighbor. In May, Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] said it would open a new artificial intelligence research hub in Toronto. Alphabet Inc's DeepMind unit in July announced plans to open a research office in Edmonton, and Inc put Toronto on a short list of contenders for its $5 billion second headquarters. Facebook Inc in September said it would expand its artificial intelligence research lab in Montreal, where Microsoft Corp also plans to double the size of its research lab.

The Japan AI Experience and Why Japan is the Fastest Growing Adopter of AI


According to IDC Research, Japan has the highest projected growth of artificial intelligence (AI) at 74% (5-year CAGR). DataRobot, pioneers of automated machine learning and a visionary principle of the 4th Industrial Revolution, saw this firsthand at last week's AI Experience conference in Tokyo. Attended by some 800 business executives and data scientists, the event delivered a deep dive on automated machine learning both from the technology's authors and its users. It is evident that this technology has come of age and offers a practical business solution to organizations looking to innovate through big data. Pop culture may have a big role to play in the high level of interest in AI in Japan. Unlike western pop culture, in which machines often rise up and kill their human creators, Japanese pop culture gives robots a more positive spin. In manga and anime for example, robots are more frequently depicted helping humans. This blog from MIT Technology Review offers more insight: Why Japanese Love Robots (and Americans Fear Them). Of course, this is a very simplistic take when it comes to machine learning -- a strand of AI that has nothing to do with robots but everything to do with automation. DataRobot Japan's Chief Data Scientist Akira Shibata offers this insightful explanation into the need for this more nuanced type of AI: "AI is an obvious way to compensate for the missing workforce in an aging, shrinking population of Japan with lack of policy for immigration. Unfortunately, there's a severe shortage of Data Scientists in Japan to make AI available to those in need. Compounding this, technical people don't reside in business departments. Instead, they live in R&D, which immediately creates a barrier since it's hard for external entities to make a real business impact. Manufacturing is also facing increased competition from countries like China and Korea, and so comes a greater need to look for new sources of innovation. If you look at Panasonic, they are making surprisingly fast and bold moves. Sony recently open sourced its deep learning library out of the urgency to adapt." Clearly, Japanese companies are wholeheartedly embracing automated machine learning rather than sitting on the sidelines testing it. The AI Experience conference provided real insight into the possibilities of automated machine learning as a means of creating business value: It was exciting to hear from users of automated machine learning how they are opening up new business opportunities using the big data that's been around for some time now. On this occasion, the machines didn't kill anyone, and everyone left very much alive and kicking.

Q&A: Max Bittker's Twitter Bot Tracks New Words in The New York Times

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

On 11 January, U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly used a choice word during an Oval Office meeting about immigration. Just like that, a term that's usually not part of respectable public vernacular had been splashed on the front pages of newspapers and media websites. That evening, a twitter bot called New New York Times, running under the handle @NYT_first_said, tweeted the word: "shithole." The bot scans The New York Times for words that the esteemed newspaper uses for the first time. That tweet went viral and the Twitter account gained a bunch of new followers.

Is artificial intelligence the future of immigration in Canada?


A new program is being introduced into the world of artificial intelligence (AI) that claims that when it launches, it will be the "best artificially and emotionally intelligent virtual immigration advisor in Canada," according to its website. Founded in July of 2017 by CEO Nargiz Mammadova, Destin AI is primed to be the first AI-based chatbot created to guide immigrant applicants through the Canadian immigration process. Destin AI is one of six start up technology companies chosen to compete for a four-month residency with Ryerson University's Legal Innovation Zone (LIZ). The challenge is sponsored by LIZ and the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, and aims to encourage and support Ontario-based technology companies that want to integrate AI into legal applications. Destin AI offers a self-assessment eligibility checker, helps to prepare necessary documents, and leads users through the steps of their application.

What's The Best Way To Help Refugees Land A Job?


Syrian Kurds take cover from the rain after crossing the border between Syria and Turkey. Syrian Kurds take cover from the rain after crossing the border between Syria and Turkey. It wouldn't make any sense to send a French-speaking refugee to a German-speaking town in Switzerland. But under Switzerland's current system of placing refugees, that's a situation that can easily happen. This problem isn't unique to Switzerland, and it's not the only kind of mismatch that might happen.

Google's AI Center in China: Poaching Talent New Eastern Outlook


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already fundamentally changing information technology and stands poised to permeate and transform technology both online and off ranging from manufacturing and transportation to medicine and military applications. The US, Russia and China have all noted that dominance in this field of technology will be an essential ingredient to holding global primacy in the near future. What resembles a sort of arms race has emerged between prominent nations around the globe. Perhaps in an effort to provide the US with an edge, or perhaps in an effort to mitigate the impact of such an arms race, Google has opened an AI center in China. CNN in its article, "Google is opening an artificial intelligence center in China," would announce: Despite many of its services being blocked in China, Google has chosen Beijing as the location for its first artificial intelligence research center in Asia.


AI Magazine

"As if the debate over immigration and guest worker programs wasn't complicated enough, now a couple of robots are rolling into the middle of it. Vision Robotics, a San Diego company, is working on a pair of robots that would trundle through orchards plucking oranges, apples or other fruit from the trees. In a few years, troops of these machines could perform the tedious and labor-intensive task of fruit picking that currently employs thousands of migrant workers each season. The robotic work has been funded entirely by agricultural associations, and pushed forward by the uncertainty surrounding the migrant labor force. Farmers are'very, very nervous about the availability and cost of labor in the near future,' says Vision Robotics CEO Derek Morikawa."

Drug cartels using drones to smuggle drugs at border

FOX News

AUGUST 2008: Border agents recovered this 2-foot-high drone that was seen swooping over the border fence in southern California. Drug cartels are using unmanned drones to carry drugs across the southern border, challenging the U.S. technological ability to stop the advance. Brandon Judd, an agent and president of the National Border Patrol Council, warned that the border patrol does not have the technology to contain drones. "The number is just astronomical," Judd told The Washington Times. At least 13 drones believed to be carrying drugs were spotted in November alone, agents said, according to the Times.

U.S. airport immigration computers go down for two hours amid year-end crush

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – Immigration desk computers at various airports went down for about two hours on Monday, causing long lines for travelers entering the United States after year-end holidays, according to Customs and Border Protection and posts on social media. The processing system outage began at about 7:30 p.m. EST and was resolved about 9:30, the customs agency said in a statement. All airports were back on line after wait times for travelers that were longer than usual, it said. "At this time, there is no indication the service disruption was malicious in nature," the agency said. It gave no explanation for the disruption and said travelers were processed using alternative procedures.