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Asia Government

Global prospects dim for China's tech champions as great powers clash

The Japan Times

Shanghai/Beijing – Huawei Technologies founder Ren Zhengfei's global ambitions are marked in bricks and mortar at a new company campus in southern China, where the buildings are replicas from European cities. Zhang Yiming, founder of ByteDance, the operator of short video app TikTok, has plastered his Beijing headquarters with posters including a cover of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt's book "How Google Works," and has long said he will build a global firm that can compete with U.S. tech giants. But the two companies that best exemplify China's ambitions to challenge U.S. tech dominance are now stymied by strains in relations between China and countries including the United States, India, Australia and Britain. Chinese companies with world-beating technology -- including drone-maker DJI, artificial intelligence firms Megvii, SenseTime and iFlytek, surveillance camera vendor Hikvision and e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group -- are also among those losing access to markets. Smaller companies are being forced to rethink too. "What we are experiencing now is unprecedented," said a Chinese startup founder who has operations in the United States and India but asked not to be identified as he is now considering walking away.

The Race for Quantum Supremacy and the Quantum Artificial Intelligence of Things


Both races are setting the stage for the next dominant world power. While research into AI and quantum technologies is being developed on a worldwide scale, with advances coming from different countries, China and the United States (US) are at the forefront of both races, with these technologies forming important stepping stones for geopolitical power accumulation. Indeed, China is currently playing the game for supremacy on both quantum technologies and AI, trying to surpass the US and become the leading world power (Smith-Goodson, 2019). If China wins the race for quantum supremacy then it will be in a leading geostrategic position, since it will become the major dominant power in the next technological infrastructure, if, along with quantum supremacy, China achieves AI supremacy (both classical and quantum), then it may topple the US, Russia, Europe and Asian geopolitical competition vectors. On the other hand, this race is not restricted to countries, it is a global geostrategic and geoeconomic race that includes cooperative networks involving the academia and the private sectors as well, indeed, the US geostrategic position depends strongly upon the private sector's US-based large technology companies' investment in quantum technologies. Regarding the issue of quantum supremacy, it is relevant to consider Kirkland (2020)'s reflection, quoting: "(…) One thing remains unchanged (…) and that is the glaring reality that those who manage to successfully harness the power of quantum mechanics will have supremacy over the rest of the world. How do you think they will use it?"

Trump says Biden should take cognitive test -- because US requires 'sharp' leader

FOX News

President Trump joins Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel for an exclusive interview on'Tucker Carlson Tonight.' Joe Biden should take the same cognitive test that President Trump recently took, the president said Wednesday during an interview with Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel. "In a way he has an obligation to," Trump said of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, adding that the presidency requires "stamina" and "mental health." Trump said he took the test to prove to the media that he was fit to serve in the presidency after reports supposedly questioned his cognitive ability. Trump has used the argument that Biden -- at age 77, three years older than Trump -- is too old to run for president . The argument is a cornerstone strategy of Trump's reelection campaign against the former vice president.

Which Military Has the Edge in the A.I. Arms Race?


Think of artificial intelligence, and the mind often goes to industrial robots and benign surveillance systems. Increasingly, though, these are steppingstones for Big Brother to enhance capabilities in domestic security and international military warfare. China has co-opted a controversial big data policing program into law enforcement, both for racial profiling of its Uighur minority population and for broader citizen surveillance through facial recognition. Wuhan has an entirely AI-staffed police station. But experts say China's artificial intelligence research is also being adapted for unconventional military warfare in the country's bid to dominate the field over the next decade.

Revolutionising AI Customer Experience


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been implemented in many major industries since the term was first coined in the 1950s. Specific applications of AI include expert systems, natural language processing (NLP), speech recognition and machine vision. In Southeast Asia where e-commerce is a big and booming business, online retailers have embraced the adoption of AI applications such as chatbots to improve the customer experience for shoppers online. In recent times, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries around the world are finding ways to increase efficiency and lower operating cost, including automating their customer support and call centres – for every imaginable business operation. One of the ways AI could be of assistance in automating customer service is through the use of chatbots.



Artificial Intelligence (AI) -- and its attendant term, 'Machine Learning' (ML) -- is described as the capability of a computer system to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition and decision-making. Almost all AI/ML examples in commercial as well as military use today rely on data stores that drive deep learning and natural language processing.[1] The defining feature of an AI/ML system is its ability to learn and solve problems. There has been a gradual change in our understanding of what exactly constitutes AI. While advancements in computer hardware and more efficient software have led to the development of AI systems, hitherto computer-resource-intensive tasks, such as optical character recognition (OCR) are now considered a routine technology and, hence, no longer included in any contemporary discussion of AI/ML.

To resolve the Palestinian question we need to end colonialism

Al Jazeera

Amid a global pandemic, economic recession and simmering racial tensions around the world, Israel's threat to formally annex parts of occupied Palestinian territory presents yet another international crisis in the making. This is because, with this outrageous move, the Israeli government threatens to unravel the rules-based system of international relations. Today's international law regime was established in the first half of the 20th century not only to regulate relations between states but also to assist the movements for self-determination across the world and oversee the end of colonialism. The looming Israeli annexation of Palestinian land and the global inaction on it evidence the failure of this regime to help end colonialism and put its very raison d'etre in question. Much of the narrative in international diplomatic circles around the issue of annexation has revolved around deterrence, with the rationale being the threat of tangible consequences to annexation will lead to a reconsideration of the move. Yet this narrative fails to acknowledge that we have reached a point, where Israel will annex yet another chunk of Palestinian territory precisely because deterrence has not worked.

Unlocking Public Sector Artificial Intelligence


The challenge Artificial intelligence (AI) holds the potential to vastly improve government operations and help meet the needs of citizens in new ways, ranging from traffic management to healthcare delivery to processing tax forms. But most public institutions have not yet adopted this powerful technology. While public sector officials are increasingly aware of the transformational impact of data and AI-powered solutions, the data needed for AI solutions to be developed and deployed is often neither accessible nor discoverable. Public sector officials may also lack the appropriate knowledge and expertise to make strategic buying decisions for AI-powered tools. Uncertainty about ethical considerations adds further layers of complexity. As a result, officials tend to delay buying decisions, or reduce perceived risk by concentrating their purchasing on a few known suppliers. The opportunity The World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution has brought together a multistakeholder community to co-design the AI Procurement in a Box toolkit guide for governments to rethink their public procurement processes:  IntroductionGuidelines for AI procurement, presenting the general considerations to be taken when government is procuring AI-powered solutionsWorkbook for policy and procurement officials guiding them through the guidelines ChallengesPilot case studiesThis guidance aims to empower government officials to more confidently make responsible AI purchasing decisions. The tools also improve the experience for AI solutions providers by supporting the creation of transparent and innovative public procurement processes that meet their needs. Impact By co-designing these guidelines with governments, small and large businesses, civil society and academia, the intended impact is the responsible deployment of AI solutions for the public benefit of constituents. Leveraging the significant purchasing power of government in the market, the private-sector adoption of the guidelines can permeate the industry beyond the adoption by public sector organizations. Embedding the principles advocated for in the guidelines into administrative processes will also expand opportunities for new entrants and create a more competitive environment for the ethical development of AI. Further, as industry debates its own standards on these technologies, the government’s influence can help set a baseline for the harmonization of standards-setting. Project accomplishments  March–September 2019: Policy development – the World Economic Forum worked with fellows from the public and private sectors, and a multistakeholder group that also included academia and civil society organizations, to create action-orientated guidelines for government procurement of AI. October–March 2020: Pilot and Iteration – the project team validated guidelines through feedback sessions and a pilot project with the United Kingdom government, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and the Government of Bahrain. June 2020: Publication of the AI Procurement in a Box guide that will allow governments to effectively learn and adopt the best practices developed. Contact information For more information, contact Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head of AI and Machine Learning, World Economic Forum, at

The U.S. Will Likely Ban TikTok


When it comes to AI ethics around the use of facial recognition, China does not have a good record. As India has banned Chinese apps including TikTok, one that went viral in 2019 and 2020 that uses AI to recommend micro videos, Australia and the U.S. are likely to be next. Kevin Mayer left Disney recently to join ByteDance, as CEO of TikTok, but you cannot separate TikTok, from its parent company with an HQ located in Beijing. If this company isn't helping export China's police surveillance capitalism play, I don't know what is. It's the greatest PR stunt by ByteDance I've seen yet.

Why China's Race For AI Dominance Depends On Math


THE WORLD first took notice of Beijing's prowess in artificial intelligence (AI) in late 2017, when BBC reporter John Sudworth, hiding in a remote southwestern city, was located by China's CCTV system in just seven minutes. At the time, it was a shocking demonstration of power. Today, companies like YITU Technology and Megvii, leaders in facial recognition technology, have compressed those seven minutes into mere seconds. What makes those companies so advanced, and what powers not only China's surveillance state but also its broader economic development, is not simply its AI capability, but rather the math power underlying it. The race for AI supremacy has become perhaps the most visible aspect of the great power competition between America and China.