VIENTIANE – Southeast Asian nations are in unparalleled disarray over Beijing's saber-rattling in the South China Sea, analysts and insiders say, with the fractures set to deepen as staunch China ally Laos hosts top regional diplomats this weekend. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi are among the delegates due to fly in from Sunday for two days of meetings in Vientiane, the capital of the communist nation. The South China Sea is set to cast a long shadow over the summit that is hosted by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Earlier this month a U.N.-backed tribunal found there was no legal basis for China's claims to most of the strategic and resource-rich seas -- a ruling rejected as "waste paper" by Beijing. ASEAN prides itself on consensus diplomacy but divisions have never been starker with Beijing blamed for driving a wedge between members.
CHENNAI: Google DeepMind's AlphaGo, an artificial intelligence programme developed using deep neural networks and machine learning techniques, hit global headlines last year when it beat South Korean Go grandmaster Lee Sedol to win the series 4-1. However, not many know that AlphaGo has consumed a whopping 30,000 watts of power to complete the task, while the human brain consumes around 20 watts! What gives the human brain such efficiency has so far proven elusive to replicate in computers. Not surprisingly, man's most defining organ is also the least understood. Although an adult human brain weighing 1.4 kg is made up of close to 100 billion neurons, scientists do not know how many different kinds of human neurons exist.
On Jan. 15, FBI agents arrested Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a former CIA case officer, and charged him with unlawful retention of classified information. Lee is the sixth person charged by the Justice Department in the past two years for espionage-related offenses suspected to have been conducted on behalf of the People's Republic of China. By comparison, prior to 2015, only one or two people on average per year were arrested for such offenses. The increased frequency of arrests--coinciding with a public March 2016 announcement by the Chinese government that intelligence efforts would be more heavily resourced--may indicate that China is scaling up traditional human intelligence efforts against the United States government. Lee's arrest seemingly stemmed from FBI agents' discovery of classified information in his notebooks in 2012.