Asia Government


China on mind, Modi goes all out on AI to bolster India's hunt for high tech

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NEW DELHI: In a concerted effort towards making India a leading nation in the field of artificial intelligence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked Niti Aayog to familiarise all ministries with the high-end technology and explain how it can be leveraged to address the country's socio-economic problems. Central ministries will be required to set up dedicated artificial intelligence cells and eventually they will all be integrated to help scale up the performance of all social indicators. Following this directive from the PM, the government's think-tank is likely to periodically review the progress made on AI across ministries. The Aayog has already initiated pilot projects on adoption of AI across health, education and agriculture. By May end, it will formulate a national strategy/policy on AI, outlining the scope of research, adoption and commercialisation of the technology.


Xiaomi, Aramco Will Likely List in Hong Kong, Exchange Chief Says

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

The proposed changes include permitting IPOs that restrict shareholders' voting rights, secondary listings by Chinese and international companies already listed elsewhere and primary listings by unprofitable biotech firms. The reforms are set to become effective April 30. The exchange will begin taking listing applications in early May, Mr. Li said. "This probably is the largest reform we've ever had in the last 25 years," he said, adding that it's "only a matter of time" before the likes of Alibaba and Xiaomi list in Hong Kong. Mr. Li is one of several speakers who are discussing some of the most compelling ideas emerging globally.


Artificial intelligence and robotics will save the Trump economy

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In January, Wall Street investors were optimistic tax cuts would sustain economic growth and the Trump bull market. As spring arrives, the world has proven decidedly more uncertain. The administration has not articulated end game goals for the trade standoff with China. President Xi Jinping is offering some concessions but his commitment to industrial policies that target vital American industries remains clear and menacing. An all-out trade war could disrupt global supply chains, nix planned investment spending, stall both economies and tank stocks.


#CNILux Day 1: Sophie Hackford: Luxury and Artificial Intelligence

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Futurist Sophie Hackford returned to the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference for the fourth consecutive year this morning to share the key technology developments that will help shape tomorrow's luxury landscape. In her previous talks, Hackford encouraged delegates - many of whom are the world's top luxury CEOs and designers - to get on board with the internet's new future and not repeat what she saw as the collective mistake of the early Noughties, when the industry did not get online and on-board with e-commerce quickly enough. Today, she expanded her theory that the world is becoming a computer, and delved into the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The language of the future, Hackford explained, is the language of machines. But after 60 years of disappointments, in which a lot was promised by AI but not much of it seen, how will it actually transform our lives?


This AI expert found it "both exciting and scary" that Xi Jinping reads his book

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Xi Jinping's bookshelf includes not only classics on communism but also works on artificial intelligence, as TV viewers spotted during his new year's speech this year. One of the books that helps the Chinese president understand AI is The Master Algorithm, a 2015 bestseller by Pedro Domingos. In a recent interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, Domingos, who teaches computer science at the University of Washington, said that when he saw his book on Xi's bookshelf, he found it "both exciting and scary." Exciting because China is developing rapidly, and there are all sorts of ways the Chinese and the rest of the world can benefit from AI. Scary because this is an authoritarian government, going full tilt on using AI to control their population. In fact, what we are seeing now is just the beginning.


Israel hints it could hit Iran's 'air force' in Syria

The Japan Times

JERUSALEM – Israel released details on Tuesday about what it described as an Iranian "air force" deployed in neighboring Syria, including civilian planes suspected of transferring arms, a signal that these could be attacked should tensions with Tehran escalate. Iran, along with Damascus and its big-power backer Russia, blamed Israel for an April 9 airstrike on a Syrian air base, T-4, that killed seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) members. Iranian officials have promised unspecified reprisals. Israeli media ran satellite images and a map of five Syrian air bases allegedly used to field Iranian drones or cargo aircraft, as well as the names of three senior IRGC officers suspected of commanding related projects, such as missile units. The information came from the Israeli military, according to a wide range of television and radio stations and news websites.


The Power of the Algorithms: Pedro Domingos on the Arms Race in Artificial Intelligence

Der Spiegel International

To the right, young software engineers sit in front of their laptops in the windowless, artificially lit rooms. To the left, computer science professor Pedro Domingos opens the door to his office, which has a view of the massive trees on campus. Domingos' book "The Master Algorithm," about the technology of artificial intelligence (AI), made him famous and is also considered a standard reference work. The best-selling book, published in 2015, describes how machines that can learn are changing our everyday lives -- from the social networks and science to business and politics and right up to the way modern wars are waged. The book drew praise from Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Recently, a third prominent figure noted that he'd read the book: Chinese President Xi Jinping. When state television broadcast his new year's speech this year, viewers discovered that next to Marx's "Capital" and "Selected Works" by Mao Zedong, he also has a copy of "The Master Algorithm" on his bookshelf. "The book is much read in China," says Domingos. "That's probably why Xi and his people became aware of it.


A Chinese surveillance company may have just become the most valuable AI startup in the world

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Chinese facial recognition technology developer SenseTime Group Ltd may be worth as much as $US4.5 billion. SenseTime says investors including Chinese e-commerce company Suning.Com and Singapore state fund Temasek Holdings helped close its series-C fundraising round. But the biggest pile-in came from Alibaba, which topped the round up to $US600 million. The company would not disclose its total valuation, but "two people with knowledge of the matter" told Reuters it brought SenseTime's value up to around $US4.5 billion. The company has claimed it "set a world record" for the amount raised in a single funding round by an AI firm.


Chinese authorities nab fugitive in a crowd of 50k thanks to facial recognition AI

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A Chinese fugitive was arrested after an AI-powered facial recognition system alerted authorities to his presence in a crowd of 60,000 people attending a pop concert. Welcome to the age of robot snitches. Wanted for "economic crimes," the 31 year-old man was reportedly surprised when police apprehended him. He'd traveled nearly 100 km (about 60 miles) with his wife and friends to attend the event, a concert headlined by Cantopop star Jacky Cheung, before authorities nabbed him on a tip from a venue camera. Chinese authorities have entirely embraced facial recognition systems and AI-powered surveillance monitoring.


Yemen's Houthis Say Launched Drone Attack on Southern Saudi Aramco Facility

U.S. News

"The air force announced the execution of air strikes with the Qasif 1 aircraft on Aramco in Jizan (province)," the channel said on its official Twitter account, referring to a drone the Houthis had previously unveiled.