Asia


Railway operators in final phase of preparing for Tokyo Games

The Japan Times

Railway operators in the Tokyo area are in the final stages of preparations for the Olympics and Paralympics this summer. East Japan Railway Co., or JR East, is scheduled to open a new station on its Yamanote Line for the first time in 49 years in March. Takanawa Gateway Station, located close to a public viewing event site for the Olympics, is expected to be used by many passengers during the quadrennial sports event. JR East touts Takanawa Gateway as a "future station" that showcases cutting-edge Japanese technologies such as an autonomous security robot and a convenience store without shop assistants. By the end of this month, all train cars for the Yamanote Line will have space available for wheelchair users.


Miko 2 and robots like it want to be friends

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It was almost ten years ago when Sherry Turkle warned that the world was headed for a place where humans would be interacting socially with machines, like robots. Turkle is a MIT professor and social scientist who has been working on human-technology interaction and what it will mean for the human race. She is the author of several books including Alone Together and Reclaiming Conversation which explore the impact of technology on some of the aspects that actually make humans humans. Over the years, through her books and numerous talks, Sherry Turkle has explained the dangers of people trying to replace each other with machines including the smartphone and robots, but the world seems to have taken little heed as today we see companies inventing robots for all sorts of tasks and even for human relationships. Remember the Chinese inventor of a female robot whom he married in 2017?


From AI to 5G connectivity to big data; Can technology help tackle climate emergency?

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The raging Australian and Amazon wildfires have raised a burning question for all of us - why the very technology, that has been a major facilitator to human evolution and growth could not predict, manage or control its destruction? To those of us who are in the business of technology, it is time to ask a few tough questions in our boardroom meetings and take ownership of solving the problem. After all, what is growth worth if the planet itself is in peril? As someone who has witnessed the digital revolution unfold, I may not have a full-proof plan to address the climate emergency, in fact, we don't even have the visibility of all evolving technologies that may be required to solve the climate emergency. But, I am clear and convinced that we have to start now and start with the available technologies which in their own right are very powerful and transformational.


Nintendo no longer repairing Wii video game consoles

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

If you have a Nintendo Wii in need of repair, it may be game over for the video game system. Nintendo is no longer offering repairs for Wii systems in the U.S., the game maker says online. However, many issues can be resolved by following the troubleshooting steps on our support site," the company says on its customer support site. The video game company said Monday it is ending repairs for the game console in Japan as of March 31 because it has had trouble getting parts to repair the console. Several tech news websites including Engadget reported the announcement from Japan.


Johnson says U.K. can square Huawei 5G role with security concerns

The Japan Times

LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday insisted the U.K. can have technological progress while preserving national security, as he prepared to approve a role for Chinese telecom giant Huawei in developing its 5G telecom network despite strong U.S. opposition. Johnson spoke after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday tweeted: "The UK has a momentous decision ahead on 5G." The United States has banned Huawei from the rollout of its next generation 5G mobile networks because of concerns -- strongly denied -- that the firm could be under the control of Beijing. With Washington heaping pressure on Johnson to sideline Huawei totally, the Financial Times reported that Britain was Tuesday "expected to approve a restricted role" for the group. It comes after a senior U.K. official last week strongly hinted at a green light for Huawei.


Traveloka: Using Data to Build a Universal Search Engine Lionbridge AI

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Traveloka is an online travel company that provides a one-stop platform for a range of ticketing services, including flights, accommodation, and attractions. As one of Southeast Asia's "unicorn" startups valued at over $1 billion, Traveloka is constantly searching for ways to improve their user experience. As part of this initiative, Traveloka has invested heavily in a number of artificial intelligence and machine learning projects. With an expanding list of 19 core product offerings, improving search capabilities was key to their continued growth. To do this, Traveloka built a search function to make it easy for users to browse the full range of products from a single search bar.


Using artificial intelligence to enrich digital maps

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A model invented by researchers at MIT and Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) that uses satellite imagery to tag road features in digital maps could help improve GPS navigation. Showing drivers more details about their routes can often help them navigate in unfamiliar locations. Lane counts, for instance, can enable a GPS system to warn drivers of diverging or merging lanes. Incorporating information about parking spots can help drivers plan ahead, while mapping bicycle lanes can help cyclists negotiate busy city streets. Providing updated information on road conditions can also improve planning for disaster relief.


Technology, data and digital solutions, main keys for the construction sector

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Construtech magazine has published detailed information on the trends that will star in the construction sector over the coming months. It will be difficult to get it right, but they point out that technology, data analysis and digital solutions, together with the aging of the workforce, will be decisive in construction. I highlight below a summary of the short-term future. And then I invite you to watch a video about the most ambitious projects that will be culminated in this exercise. According to its analysts, the construction industry is in the middle of a move toward new business models that are technology-driven and data-driven, provide better collaboration between stakeholders, and result in higher productivity.


AI acquisitions hit record numbers in 2019 as consolidation wave grows

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When SAP veteran Bill McDermott took over the CEO spot at digital workflow company ServiceNow in October, his mandate focused on growth. "Should we choose to do'tuck-ins' to compliment what our customers need, to get us somewhere faster, we'll do that very carefully," he told CNBC. ServiceNow kicked off 2020 with one such "tuck-in": the acquisition of Israeli company Loom Systems, an AIOps company that uses artificial intelligence to give enterprise users insights into digital operations and fix IT issues. The acquisition symbolizes a bigger trend in enterprise technology: Acquiring AI startups enables technology vendors to capitalize, enhance or expand their capabilities while bringing scarce talent aboard. Last year, consolidation in the AI market hit record numbers.


Incredible moment a British Paralympian swimmer takes her first steps wearing a robotic exoskeleton

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Incredible footage shows the moment a British Paralympian swimmer with cerebral palsy stands up and takes her first steps wearing a robotic exoskeleton. Grace Harvey, 21, was able to take the special walk with the help of state-of-the-art technology developed in Japan -- giving her a day she will never forget. In the video, the swimmer from Ware, Hertfordshire, smiled nervously as she took her'first' tentative steps. She went on to giggle when a bystander said'You're running, Grace.' Swimmer Ms Harvey holds the European record for the 200 metre (656 feet) Individual Medley and is presently the British number one in the 100 metre (328 feet) backstroke event. She is currently training in the city of Suzuka, Japan, ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics in August.