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University of Tokyo: Artificial intelligence versus the brain


Our current era is now in the so-called third artificial intelligence (AI) boom. Professor Hirokazu Takahashi has been engaged in brain research using the techniques of reverse engineering, an approach that strives to shed light on the underlying structure of products by taking them apart. According to Takahashi, there are two types of intellectual cleverness, and fundamental differences distinguish our brains from artificial intelligence. In rat experiments, "futility" or "uselessness" is a key word that frequently comes into perspective. If we understand the features of the brain, is it not "futile" to be "uselessly" fearful of AI?

Sex Tape Satire 'Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn' Wins Berlinale Golden Bear

International Business Times

Romanian sex tape satire "Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn" by Radu Jude won the 71st Berlin film festival's Golden Bear top prize Friday. Israeli director Nadav Lapid announced the award, saying the movie had the "rare and essential quality of a lasting artwork". The festival, which was held entirely online, also awarded its first-ever "gender neutral" best acting prize to Germany's Maren Eggert for her performance in the sci-fi comedy "I'm Your Man". In the film by "Unorthodox" director Maria Schrader, Eggert is a museum researcher who signs up to test a humanoid robot, played by British actor Dan Stevens from "Downton Abbey", as a romantic partner. The runner-up best film gong went to Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi whose "Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy" is made up of three stories of women looking for connection in modern Japan.

Z Holdings leaders aim to boost Asia business

The Japan Times

Technology giant Z Holdings Corp. is aiming to boost its services in Asia, co-chief executive officers Kentaro Kawabe and Takeshi Idezawa said in a recent interview. Z Holdings, which brought messaging app provider Line Corp. under its wing for business integration Monday, will also make efforts to discuss ethical issues regarding the use of artificial intelligence, they said. Z Holdings, the parent of internet portal Yahoo Japan Corp., will mainly aim to expand Line's Asia operations. "It's difficult to win a market share with a messaging app," said Idezawa, also Line's president. He expressed interest in developing and releasing a "superapp" that covers interactions, shopping and other services familiar to people in Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan, where the Line app has already made inroads.

Honda will sell 100 of its level 3 self-driving Legend sedans in Japan


Late last year, Honda made a big pledge to become the first automaker to mass produce cars with level 3 self-driving. It's now making good on that promise by selling 100 of its Legend sedans that pack its Sensing Elite autonomous driving features, which allow the vehicle to take over the wheel to navigate congested highways, starting March 5 in Japan. But access to the latest tech won't come cheap: The limited-edition model will cost a cool 11 million yen ($103,000). With the car in control in heavy traffic, Honda says you'll be be able to kick back and watch TV or a DVD on the navigation screen, helping to ease the "stress" or "fatigue" that comes with navigating gridlock. The so called "level 3 Traffic Jam Pilot" option has the capabilities to control acceleration, braking and steering in certain conditions.

Honda to start offering world's first level-3 autonomous car on Friday

The Japan Times

Honda Motor Co. said Thursday it will start offering from Friday the revamped Legend sedan in Japan equipped with "level-3" autonomous technology as the auto industry faces intensifying competition to develop driverless vehicles and a collision-free society. It is the world's first vehicle to hit the market that allows the driver to engage in different tasks such as reading and watching TV when the car is in certain conditions such as congested traffic on expressways, the Japanese transport ministry said. But in the case of an emergency the driver needs to take full control of the vehicle. "Autonomous technology has the potential to reduce the driver's burden while eliminating human errors that cause traffic accidents," Yoichi Sugimoto, executive chief engineer of Honda R&D Co., said in an online press conference. Honda plans to offer 100 units domestically for a suggested retail price of ¥11 million ($103,000) that will only be available on a three-year lease.

Robot pets help ease virus isolation in Japan

The Japan Times

Nami Hamaura says she feels less lonely working from home thanks to her singing companion Charlie, one of a new generation of cute and clever Japanese robots whose sales are booming during the pandemic. Smart home assistants such as Amazon's Alexa have found success worldwide, but tech firms in Japan are reporting huge demand for more humanlike alternatives, as people seek solace during coronavirus isolation. "I felt my circle became very small," said 23-year-old Hamaura, a recent graduate who has worked almost entirely remotely since April 2020. With socializing limited, life in her first job at a Tokyo trading company was nothing like she had imagined. So she adopted Charlie, a mug-sized robot with a round head, red nose and flashing bow-tie, who converses with its owner in song.

Asia: Becoming a Powerhouse of Artificial Intelligence


There has been a rapid increase in the adoption and development of artificial intelligence across the globe. Business platforms are depending on AI for better growth, efficiency, and digital transformation. Cutting-edge technologies like 5G will escalate the use cases of AI across industries. According to McKinsey Global Survey 2020, 50% of respondents reported that their companies have adopted AI in at least one business function. The global leaders in AI adoption, research, and development include Asian countries like China, Singapore, and Japan.

Pets: Cats are 'too socially inept' to stand with their owners, study warns

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Unlike their canine counterparts, cats may be'too socially inept' to stand with their owners against someone treating their human poorly, a study has warned. Researchers from Japan found that our feline friends will as gladly take food from someone who hinders their owner as one who helps them or acts neutrally. However, this might not be a simple case of treachery, the team said -- instead, it is possible that cats cannot read human social interactions the same way dogs can. Domestic cats evolved from solitary hunters, meaning that they likely lacked the kind of original social skills dogs were able to build on during domestication. Unlike their canine counterparts, cats may be'too socially inept' to stand with their owners against someone treating their human poorly, a study has warned (stock image) In the study, animal behaviour scientist Hitomi Chijiiwa of Kyoto University and colleagues had cat owners try -- unsuccessfully -- to open a transparent container to take out an object while their cats watched.

Here's how opinions on the impact of artificial intelligence differ around the world


As with AI, Asian publics surveyed stand out for their relatively positive views of the impact of job automation. Many Asian publics have made major strides in the development of robotics and AI. The South Korean and Singaporean manufacturing industries, for instance, have the highest and second highest robot density of anywhere in the world. Singapore is also pursuing its goal of becoming the world's first "smart nation," and the government has identified AI as one of many key development areas necessary to reach that goal. Japan has also long been a world leader in robotics manufacturing and development, and robots and AI are increasingly integrated into everyday life there to help with tasks ranging from household chores to elder care.

Japanese companies ramping up use of artificial intelligence, report says


Fox Business Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on TOKYO - Japanese companies are ramping up the use of artificial intelligence and other advanced technology to reduce waste and cut costs in the pandemic, and looking to score some sustainability points along the way. Disposing of Japan's more than 6 million tonnes in food waste costs the world's No.3 economy some 2 trillion yen ($19 billion) a year, government data shows. With the highest food waste per capita in Asia, the Japanese government has enacted a new law to halve such costs from 2000 levels by 2030, pushing companies to find solutions.