Asia Government



Artificial Intelligence Innovations in APAC Future of Work Cognizant

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These days, the words artificial intelligence (AI) and China are almost synonymous. In fact, any media or business circle discussions regarding AI would seem incomplete without a mention of China, and it's no secret that the Chinese government and Chinese tech companies continue to invest heavily in building AI-related capabilities as part of their goal to make China a global AI leader. China is undeniably well on its way to becoming a world leader of the AI age. However, in the midst of their excitement over China, many global leaders are underestimating the potential for AI adoption that the rest of the Asia Pacific has to offer. In my recent report, I noted that almost every country and every industry in the Asia Pacific region is interested in becoming AI-first.


Is it worth investing in artificial intelligence?

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Although AIs are entering new areas every day, a handful of AI laboratories that still focus on artificial intelligence are still consuming large amounts of cash and have made not much progress on AI. According to the documents submitted to the UK Companies Registry in August, only the Alphabet-owned AGI Lab DeepMind lost $570 million in 2018 alone. Another AI Lab, OpenAI, which aims to create AGI, had to abandon its non-profit organisation to find investors in its expensive research. Both labs have achieved extraordinary success, including the creation of robots that can play complex board games and video games. But they are still far from creating artificial intelligence.


Uber C.E.O. Backtracks After Comparing Khashoggi's Killing to an Accident

NYT > Middle East

Mr. Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government who wrote for The Washington Post and was a resident of Virginia, was brutally murdered in October 2018 after he entered a Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The C.I.A. has concluded that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered the journalist's killing. As Axios journalists noted in their interview with Mr. Khosrowshahi, Saudi Arabia is Uber's fifth-largest shareholder, and Yasir al-Rumayyan, the governor of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and the recently named chairman of the state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco, sits on Uber's board. In the interview, Mr. Khosrowshahi compared the death of Mr. Khashoggi to the death of a woman who was struck by one of Uber's autonomous vehicles last year. Karen Attiah, an opinions editor for The Washington Post who worked with Mr. Khashoggi, said in a series of tweets on Monday that Mr. Khosrowshahi was "running cover for the Saudi government" and comparing the murder to a technology glitch.


Fukushima farmland that became unusable in 2011 is being converted into wind and solar power plants

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Farmland in Fukushima that was rendered unusable after the disastrous 2011 nuclear meltdown is getting a second chance at productivity. A group of Japanese investors have created a new plan to use the abandoned land to build wind and solar power plants, to be used to send electricity to Tokyo. The plan calls for the construction of eleven solar power plants and ten wind power plants, at an estimated cost of $2.75 billion. Fukushima has been aggressively converting land damaged by the 2011 meltdown, such as this golf course (pictured above) into a source of renewable energy. A new $2.75 billion plan will add eleven new solar plants and ten wind power plants to former farmland The project is expected to be completed in March of 2024 and is backed by a group of investors, including Development Bank of Japan and Mizuho Bank.


Vladimir Putin calls for set of 'moral rules' to guide interaction between humans and AI

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Vladimir Putin has called for'moral rules' on the development of artificial intelligence - urging companies'technology must not be invented for the sake of technology'. Speaking at an event on AI technology in Moscow, Russia, on Saturday, the Russian president called for safeguards, setting out rules for how humans should interact with the robots. President Putin said: 'Discussion is currently underway on social aspects and implications of the use of artificial intelligence. It is a very important issue. 'I suggest that the professional community and companies should contemplate drawing up a set of moral rules for interaction between humans and artificial intelligence.


Uber chief tries to backpedal after calling Khashoggi murder 'a mistake'

The Guardian

Dara Khosrowshahi, the chief executive of Uber, has attempted to limit the damage after calling the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi "a mistake" similar to a fatal accident that occurred during tests of his company's self-driving car. Khashoggi, a Saudi national resident in the US, and a severe critic of the Saudi regime who wrote for the Washington Post, was murdered in Istanbul last year after visiting the Saudi Arabian consulate there. His body was dismembered and disposed of. His death has been described by Agnès Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, as a "deliberate, premeditated execution" that warrants further investigation into the responsibility of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. The prince is a key US ally close to Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law and chief adviser.


Putin suggests drafting moral standards for human interaction with artificial intelligence

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Moral standards of human interaction with artificial intelligence should be drawn up, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the AI Journey conference in Moscow on Saturday. "Discussion is currently underway on social aspects and implications of the use of artificial intelligence. It is a very important issue," the Russian president said. "I suggest that the professional community and companies should contemplate drawing up a set of moral rules for interaction between humans and artificial intelligence," he said recalling that "human beings are the highest value." "Technology must not be invented for the sake of technology," he stressed.


An artificial intelligence company backed by Microsoft is helping Israel surveil Palestinians

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An Israeli startup invested in heavily by American companies, including Microsoft, produces facial recognition software used to conduct biometric surveillance on Palestinians, investigations by NBC and Haaretz revealed. In June, Microsoft -- which has touted its framework for ethical use of facial recognition -- joined a group investment of $78 million to AnyVision, an international tech company based in Israel. One of AnyVision's flagship products is Better Tomorrow, a program that allows the tracking of objects and people on live video feeds, even tracking between independent camera feeds. AnyVision's facial recognition software is at the heart of a military mass surveillance project in the West Bank, according to the NBC and Haaretz reporting. An Israeli Defense Forces statement in February acknowledged the addition of facial recognition verification technology to at least 27 checkpoints between Israel and the West Bank to "upgrade the crossings" and, in an effort to "deter terror attacks," rapidly installed a network of over 1,700 cameras across the occupied territories.


Why Are American Companies Helping China Build an Artificial Intelligence Authoritarian State?

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President Xi Jinping wants China to dominate artificial intelligence by 2030. But all it seems the Middle Kingdom's new AI entrepreneurs want to talk about ancient history. Take Kai-Fu Lee, for example. The founder of Face was born in Taiwan and emigrated to America when he was eleven. After earning a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon in the 1980s, he worked his way up at Apple, Microsoft, and eventually, Google.