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SoftBank Leads $500 Million Fundraising for Didi's Self-Driving Unit

U.S. News

The ridehailing giant said in a statement the round marked the first time Didi's autonomous driving business had brought in external funding since it became a standalone unit last year and was also the single largest fundraising round in China's self-driving sector.


Europe must act fast if it wants to compete in the AI 'arms race' - teiss

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In 2017, China laid out a three-step roadmap to become the world leader in AI by 2030. It hopes to make the industry worth 1 trillion yuan, or $147.7 billion, within the next decade. Already, it has announced billions in funding for innovative startups and launched programmes to entice researchers. It might not be long before it gains an edge over the US. That said, the US continues to pave the way, as is the case with many new fields of technology.


Japan passes bill to build AI-powered 'super cities' addressing societal issues

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Japan has passed a bill to build "super cities" which address societal issues using emerging technologies such as AI. The bill, passed on Wednesday, aims to accelerate the sweeping change of regulations across various fields to support the creation of such futuristic cities. Addressing issues such as depopulation and an aging society will be the focus of the super cities. Technologies including big data and AI will be key to successfully tackling the challenging problems. Large amounts of data will be collected and organised from across administrative organisations. Local governments will be selected for the ambitious projects which will launch forums with the national government and private companies to take forward the plans. Draft plans will be created from this deep public-private collaboration that will subsequently be submitted to the state government if approved by local residents.


IIT-Ropar and TSW Launch a PG Programme in Artificial Intelligence

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IIT-Ropar, one of the eight new IITs established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, and TSW, the executive education division of Times Professional Learning (a part of The Times of India Group), have launched a Post Graduate Certificate Programme in Artificial Intelligence & Deep Learning. The programme will be coordinated by The Indo-Taiwan Joint Research Centre (ITJRC) on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), at IIT-Ropar. Supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, ITJRC is a bilateral centre for collaborative research in disruptive technologies like AI and ML. The programme, with its focus on Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning, has an eligibility criterion of a minimum of 2 years of work experience in the IT industry. Though an engineering degree is a desirable prerequisite for this programme, one does not need a coding or mathematics background to be eligible.


New application of machine learning and image analysis to help distinguish a rare subtype of kidney cancer: US researchers collaborate with scientist quarantined in China during COVID-19 outbreak

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Despite those obstacles, Indiana University School of Medicine faculty and Regenstrief Institute research scientists had their research published in Nature Communications on April 14, which is an even more significant feat considering one of the leading authors has been quarantined in Wuhan, China for the last two months of their work. The team consists of Affiliated Scientist Jie Zhang, PhD, Regenstrief Institute Research Scientist Kun Huang, PhD, both Indiana University School of Medicine faculty members, Jun Cheng, PhD, of Shenzhen University and colleagues including Liang Cheng, M.D. of IU School of Medicine. The study was led by Dr. Zhang, an assistant professor of medical and molecular genetics at IU School of Medicine. The work focuses on the application of machine learning and image analysis to help researchers distinguish a rare subtype of kidney cancer (translocational renal cell carcinoma, or tRCC) from other subtypes by examining the features of cells and tissues on a microscopic level. Dr. Zhang said the structural similarities have caused a high rate of misdiagnosis.


How virtual schools are engaging 100,000 students at EuroKids International - Express Computer

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EuroKids International, India's leading early childhood education company, has a portfolio of six brands – EuroKids Pre-School, Kangaroo Kids Pre-School, EuroKids DayCare, EuroSchool and Billabong High International. Major investments in technology, has enabled the company to continue engagement with its 100,000 students across the chain of schools, during the lockdowns. "As a responsible educational organisation, we are mindful of our duties towards the next generation at all times, and particularly during times like these. We use technology and digital platforms to enable and enhance the learning experience for our students. Even during the lockdown, our virtual schools are engaging with students," says Prajodh Rajan, Cofounder & CEO, EuroKids International, further stating that in addition to academic and non-academic learning engagements, they have rolled out programmes to help children stay positive during the lockdown phase.


Wild cockatoos excel in intelligence tests, countering theory living with humans makes birds smarter

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A longheld theory that animals raised in captivity perform better in cognitive testing may need to be rethought. A new study organized by the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna found evidence that wild animals perform just as well at intelligence tests as their lab-raised counterparts. To test the theory, researchers compared two groups of Goffin's cockatoos, a species often found in the tropical jungles of Singapore, Indonesia, and Puerto Rico. The team compared a lab-raised'colony' of 11 cockatoos at their lab in Vienna to eight wild cockatoos recently taken into captivity at a field laboratory in Indonesia. The researchers compared the performance of both groups in a series of simple problem solving tests and found the wild cockatoos were just as clever as the lab-raised ones.


Singapore to establish AI framework for 'fairness' credit scoring metrics

ZDNet

Singapore has kicked off efforts to develop a framework to ensure the "responsible" adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics in credit risk scoring and customer marketing. Two teams comprising banks and industry players have been tasked to establish metrics that can assist financial institutions in ensuring the "fairness" of their AI and data analytics tools in these instances. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said a whitepaper detailing the metrics would be published by year-end along with an open source code to enable financial institutions to adopt the metrics. These organisations then would be able to integrate the open source code into their own IT systems to assess the fairness of their AI applications, the industry regulator said in a statement Friday. It added that the open source code would be deployed on the online global marketplace and sandbox, API Exchange (APIX), which enabled fintech and FSI companies to integrate and test applications via a cloud-based platform.


The Future for Contactless Delivery

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The future for contactless product delivery is already here, and a pandemic seems to already be moving this trend forward. It just needs companies to implement and customers to accept the new delivery and tracking methods, along with other innovations, that will make this so. When this happens, we may one day look back and quietly thank the lowly coronavirus for catapulting us into a brighter future. One of the more iconic images from the early days of this disease comes from late March 2020, during San Francisco's citywide coronavirus lockdown, when "aspiring drone racing pilot" David Chen delivered a single roll of much-needed toilet paper to his friend Ian Chan in another part of the city. Chan captured the delivery on video and posted it to his Twitter feed, which ironically went viral.


Abu Dhabi forms R&D council; Robot rental service opens in Dubai

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With Dark Matter founder Faisal Abdulaziz Al Bannai appointed as its Secretary General, the ATRC will be responsible for setting the technological priorities and driving R&D, reporting to the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.