Government


Time for a change? Japan wants international media to put family names first

The Japan Times

Foreign Minister Taro Kono plans to ask overseas media outlets to write the names of Japanese people with the family name first, as is customary in the Japanese language. If realized, the new policy would mark a major shift in the country's long-running practice for handling Japanese names in foreign languages -- which began in the 19th to early 20th centuries amid the growing influence of Western culture. At a news conference Tuesday, Kono said that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's name should be written as "Abe Shinzo," in line with other Asian leaders such as Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Now is the right time to make the change, given that the Reiwa Era has just begun and several major events -- including next month's Group of 20 summit and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics -- are approaching, Kono said. "I plan to ask international media organizations to do this. Domestic media outlets that have English services should consider it, too," he said, citing a report released in 2000 by the education ministry's National Language Council that said it was desirable to write Japanese names with the family name first in all instances.


Google's AI boosts accuracy of lung cancer diagnosis, study shows - STAT

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One of lung cancer's most lethal attributes is its ability to trick radiologists. Some nodules appear threatening but turn out to be false positives. Others escape notice entirely, and then spiral without symptoms into metastatic disease. On Monday, however, Google unveiled an artificial intelligence system that -- in early testing -- demonstrated a remarkable talent for seeing through lung cancer's disguises. A study published in Nature Medicine reported that the algorithm, trained on 42,000 patient CT scans taken during a National Institutes of Health clinical trial, outperformed six radiologists in determining whether patients had cancer.


U.S. Senators propose legislation to fund national AI strategy

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U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) today proposed the Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act, legislation to pump $2.2 billion into federal research and development and create a national AI strategy. The $2.2 billion would be doled out over the course of the next 5 years to federal agencies like the Department of Energy, Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and others. The legislation would establish a National AI Coordination Office to lead federal AI efforts, require the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the effects of AI on society and education, and allocate $40 million a year to NIST to create AI evaluation standards. The bill would also include $20 million a year from 2020-2024 to fund the creation of 5 multidisciplinary AI research centers, with one focused solely on K-12 education. Plans to open national AI centers in the bill closely resembles plans from the 20-year AI research program proposed by the Computing Consortium.


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Microsoft's latest breakthrough could make DNA-based data centers possible


Andy Haldane: 'We have allowed the voluntary sector to wither' Patrick Butler

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Much of the discussion of the fourth industrial revolution relates to the disruptive impact of artificial intelligence, robotics, biotech, and big data on the world of work and business. It could lead to huge gains in productivity, wealth creation and human happiness. Equally, it may kill millions of jobs, fuel social tensions, and widen inequality. Civil society's place in this massive societal shake-out, reckons Andy Haldane, is relatively unexplored – but it will be profound. Haldane, the Bank of England's chief economist, is regarded as a "maverick" thinker among central bankers on account not only of his views on banking and financial regulation, but society more widely: from poverty ("scarcity of money reshapes your brain and reshapes your decision-making") to the importance of trade unions.


IBM Welcomes OECD Principles for the Development and Use of AI

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BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – IBM today issued the following statement welcoming the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) release of new Principles on Artificial Intelligence: "The OECD's Principles on AI provide sound policy guidance for governments and stakeholders around the world that are working to advance responsible, human-centred AI. IBM is proud to have contributed our deep AI expertise to their development, and we fully agree in our own guidance to governments with the OECD's view that AI must be fair, explainable and secure. We also support their emphasis on the need for greater investment in AI skills and research. "In the 1980s, OECD guidelines on data protection and privacy provided the essential, international foundation for privacy legislation enacted by many countries. The organization is well-positioned to provide a similar global basis for balanced and consistent approaches to AI policies that prioritize trust and maximize the benefits to society while mitigating risks.


North Korea calls Biden 'fool of low IQ' over Kim criticism

FOX News

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea has labeled Joe Biden a "fool of low IQ" and an "imbecile bereft of elementary quality as a human being" after the Democratic presidential hopeful during a recent speech called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a tyrant. Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday accused Biden of insulting the country's supreme leadership and committing an "intolerable and serious politically-motivated provocation" against the North. Biden during a campaign launch in Philadelphia on Saturday accused President Donald Trump of cozying up to "dictators and tyrants" like Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Documents reveal NASA's moon mission will require 37 launches and plans to build a moon base by 2028

Daily Mail - Science & tech

NASA's next trip to the moon will entail 37 separate launches over a decade and culminate in the construction of a moon base by 2028, according to leaked documents that detail the agency's'Artemis' plan. Information on the nascent mission come from documents obtained by Ars Technica, and, for the first time, show a detailed glimpse of America's first human-led mission to the moon since 1972. In a graphic, NASA breaks down a year-by-year guide of the construction of the'Gateway' a space station and waypoint on the way to the moon, human test flights, and a lunar landing slated for 2024. Russia and the United States are cooperating on a NASA-led project to build the first lunar space station, codenamed the Lunar Gateway. The agreement, signed in September 2017, is part of a long-term project to send humans to Mars.


Lifelong Learning in Artificial Neural Networks

Communications of the ACM

Columbia University is learning how to build and train self-aware neural networks, systems that can adapt and improve by using internal simulations and knowledge of their own structures. The University of California, Irvine, is studying the dual memory architecture of the hippocampus and cortex to replay relevant memories in the background, allowing the systems to become more adaptable and predictive while retaining previous learning. Tufts University is examining an intercellular regeneration mechanism observed in lower animals such as salamanders to create flexible robots capable of adapting to changes in their environment by altering their structures and functions on the fly. SRI International is developing methods to use environmental signals and their relevant context to represent goals in a fluid way rather than as discrete tasks, enabling AI agents to adapt their behavior on the go.


U.S. Postal Service Is Testing Self-Driving Trucks

NPR Technology

A mail carrier for the United States Postal Service makes deliveries at a Florida apartment complex in June 2018. The USPS has partnered with TuSimple to launch a multi-state driverless semi-truck test program on Tuesday. It doesn't involve home deliveries. A mail carrier for the United States Postal Service makes deliveries at a Florida apartment complex in June 2018. The USPS has partnered with TuSimple to launch a multi-state driverless semi-truck test program on Tuesday.