Asia Government


Yemeni Houthis claim drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities

The Japan Times

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Yemen's Houthi movement launched drone attacks on oil facilities in a remote area of Saudi Arabia, the group's Al Masirah TV said Saturday, but there was no immediate confirmation from Saudi authorities or state oil giant Aramco. A Saudi-led coalition is battling the Iran-aligned Houthis to try to restore Yemen's government, which was ousted from power in the capital, Sanaa, by the group in late 2014. The war has been in military stalemate for years. The Houthis have stepped up cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia in recent months. "Ten drones targeted Aramco's Shaybah oilfield and refinery in the first Operation: Balance of Deterrence in the east of the kingdom," the Al Masirah channel reported, citing a Houthi military spokesman.


Magazine says Trump invited Iranian foreign minister to White House

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump invited Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to the White House last month at the height of tensions between the two countries, The New Yorker magazine reported. The invitation, extended by Sen. Rand Paul with permission from the president, was turned down for now, The New Yorker reported Friday. Zarif said it was up to Tehran to decide on accepting it. Neither the White House nor the State Department responded to requests for comment on the report, which quoted U.S. and Iranian sources and what the magazine called a well-placed diplomat. Zarif told the magazine he would not want a White House meeting that yielded just a photo op and a two page statement afterwards, The New Yorker said.


Speculative Data Futures: Karima

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I am Karima, which means the generous. It always reminds me of my home, Syria, a generous country destroyed by war. I was born and raised in a refugee camp populated by 5000 Syrians. It is not easy to be born Syrian in a refugee camp, especially if you are a woman. Hunger for a loaf of bread in the refugee camp is connected to a hunger for bodies.


SoftBank Group's $108 billion Vision Fund 2 draws in Microsoft, Apple

The Japan Times

SoftBank Group Corp. has secured pledges from Microsoft Corp. and other investors of around $108 billion for a second Vision Fund aimed at investing in technology firms. The Japanese conglomerate itself plans to invest $38 billion in the fund, it said in a statement. Others set to join include Apple Inc. and Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (Foxconn) -- both investors in the first fund. Notable for their absence on the list of state and corporate backers were the sovereign wealth funds of the two countries that formed the cornerstone of its first fund: Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, as well as investment bank Goldman Sachs. SoftBank said it is still talking to potential investors and that it expects the fund's anticipated capital to grow.


Academia's Facial Recognition Datasets Illustrate The Globalization Of Today's Data

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This week's furor over FaceApp has largely centered on concerns that its Russian developers might be compelled to share the app's data with the Russian government, much as the Snowden disclosures illustrated the myriad ways in which American companies were compelled to disclose their private user data to the US government. Yet the reality is that this represents a mistaken understanding of just how the modern data trade works today and the simple fact that American universities and companies routinely make their data available to companies all across the world, including in Russia and China. In today's globalized world, data is just as globalized, with national borders no longer restricting the flow of our personal information - trend made worse by the data-hungry world of deep learning. Data brokers have long bought and sold our personal data in a shadowy world of international trade involving our most intimate and private information. The digital era has upended this explicit trade through the interlocking world of passive exchange through analytics services.


Iran denies claim that US warship destroyed Iranian drone

FOX News

Iran's Revolutionary Guard claims the vessel was caught trying to smuggle Iranian oil to foreign ships; Trey Yingst reports. Iran on Friday denied President Trump's claim that a U.S. warship destroyed an Iranian drone near the Persian Gulf after it threatened the ship -- an incident that further escalated tensions between the countries. Trump said Thursday that the USS Boxer – which is among several U.S. Navy ships in the area – took defensive action after an Iranian drone came within 1,000 yards of the warship and ignored multiple calls to stand down. Trump blamed Iran for a "provocative and hostile" action and said the U.S. responded in self-defense. But Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, told reporters as he arrived for a meeting at the United Nations that "we have no information about losing a drone today."


A mind of its own: Russia unveils terrifying new AI 'superweapon'

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The race to incorporate artificial intelligence in modern weapons threatens to outstrip the technology's capabilities -- and the world's ability to control them. The Commander-in-Chief of Russia's air force, Viktor Bondarev, has told a gathering at the MAKS-2017 international airshow his aircraft would soon be getting cruise missiles with artificial intelligence capable of analysing their environment and opponents and make "decisions" about altitude, speed, course -- and targets. "Work in this area is under way," Russian news agency TASS reports Tactical Missiles Corporation CEO Boris Obnosov as adding. "As of today, certain successes are available, but we'll still have to work for several years to achieve specific results." While neither indicated which missiles were slated to get such enhanced artificial intelligence, there are two apparent contenders among the "super weapons" President Vladimir Putin bragged about last year: the "Avangard" hypersonic glide vehicle and the "Burevestnik" nuclear-powered cruise missile.


Peter Thiel says FBI, CIA should investigate if Chinese intelligence infiltrated Google: report

FOX News

Tucker examines Google's algorithms and how they benefit Democrat ahead of 2020. Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel on Sunday called for the FBI and CIA to investigate whether Chinese intelligence had infiltrated Google, according to a report. Thiel, who supported Trump in 2016 and Facebook board member, made the comments during a speech at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington. He said the FBI and CIA needed to ask Google three questions to determine if the tech giant had been compromised by Chinese intelligence, Axios reported. FILE: A Google Home Hub is displayed in New York.


Russia's terrifying new 'superweapon' revealed

#artificialintelligence

The Commander-in-Chief of Russia's air force Viktor Bondarev has told a gathering at the MAKS-2017 international airshow his aircraft would soon be getting cruise missiles with artificial intelligence capable of analysing its environment and opponents and make "decisions" about altitude, speed, course -- and targets. "Work in this area is underway," Russian news agency TASS reports Tactical Missiles Corporation CEO Boris Obnosov as adding. "As of today, certain successes are available, but we'll still have to work for several years to achieve specific results." While neither indicated which missiles were slated to get such enhanced artificial intelligence, there are two apparent contenders among the "super weapons" President Vladimir Putin bragged about last year: the "Avangard" hypersonic glide vehicle and the "Burevestnik" nuclear-powered cruise missile. RELATED: Why the world's most holy place sends people crazy RELATED: Earth's magnetic pole is on the move and we don't know why Much modern weaponry is already capable of making choices -- such as the automated Gatling guns designed to react and shoot-down incoming missiles in the blink of an eye.


The Geopolitics of Artificial Intelligence

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Something stood out of the ordinary during a speech by China's president, Xi Jinping, in January 2018. Behind Xi, on a bookshelf, were two books on artificial intelligence (AI). Why were those books there? Similar to 2015, when Russia "accidentally" aired designs for a new weapon, the placement of the books may not have been an accident. Was China sending a message?