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china


AI being used to grow tomatoes

#artificialintelligence

Five teams from the Netherlands, South Korea and China have advanced to the final stage of a competition to see who can grow fresh tomatoes in greenhouses remotely using artificial intelligence. The second Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge, which is organised by Dutch academic powerhouse Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and Chinese multinational conglomerate Tencent, began in September with a 24-hour hackathon involving 21 international teams and more than 200 participants from 26 countries. The five winning teams – Netherlands-based AiCU, The Automators and Automatoes, China'sIUA.CAAS and Korea'sDigilog – will each be given six months' access to a real greenhouse in the Dutch town of Bleiswijk, where from December onwards they will attempt to control and produce a tomato crop from afar by employing AI algorithms to keep inputs like water, nutrients and energy at sustainable levels. September's hackathon, held at WUR, saw an international jury award points to each team based on their composition and competence, their application of AI technology and the net profit they made during a virtual tomato production game. During their pitches, the teamswere given access to a climate model and a tomato crop growth model previously developed by researchers at WUR.


Use of algorithms, AI for hiring risks discriminating against disabled, Biden admin says

#artificialintelligence

The Biden administration announced Thursday that employers who use algorithms and artificial intelligence to make hiring decisions risk violating the Americans with Disabilities Act if applicants with disabilities are disadvantaged in the process. The majority of American employers now use the automated hiring technology -- tools such as resume scanners, chatbot interviewers, gamified personality tests, facial recognition and voice analysis. The ADA is supposed to protect people with disabilities from employment discrimination, but just 19 percent of disabled Americans were employed in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kristen Clarke, the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Department of Justice, which made the announcement jointly with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, told NBC News there is "no doubt" that increased use of the technologies is "fueling some of the persistent discrimination." "We hope this sends a strong message to employers that we are prepared to stand up for people with disabilities who are locked out of the job market because of increased reliance on these bias-fueled technologies," she said.


Synergies raises $12M to give factory managers an AI analytics assistant – TechCrunch

#artificialintelligence

There's no lack of startups around the world trying to make industrial activities more efficient with artificial intelligence. Some invent robots to assist or replace manual labor, while others use machine learning to help businesses discover insights. Synergies Intelligent Systems falls into the second category. Michael Chang founded Synergies in 2016 in Boston to provide easy-to-use AI-powered analytics tools to medium-sized manufacturers. Having worked at Foxconn in Shenzhen in the late 2000s helping the Apple supplier improve yield rate, or reduce the percentage of defective products, using data analysis, Chang realized that not every factory has the financial prowess to spend tens of thousands of dollars on digitization.


China's New AI-Powered Satellite Can Send Real Time Targeting Info On US Carrier: Report

International Business Times

China has developed a remote sensing satellite powered by the latest artificial intelligence technology that helps the People's Liberation Army (PLA) trace the movements of U.S. aircraft carriers. A new study by Chinese space scientists said the technology was put into use last year in June to detect the movements of the USS Harry S. Truman. The satellite, which has not been named in the study, is said to have alerted Beijing with the precise coordinates of the carrier as it headed to a strait transit drill off the coast of Long Island in New York, reported South China Morning Post. According to the study published by the domestic peer-reviewed journal Spacecraft Engineering last month, the drill held on June 17 involved a joint action of seven warships and planes beside the USS Harry S Truman. Before this satellite, the PLA had to go through a large amount of raw satellite data on the ground to get a clue about such drills happening in the U.S. home waters, and the results usually came after the event was over, the report added. But, with the AI-powered satellites, China could now "live stream" military activities or assets of interest on the other side of the planet, the report quoted the study by space scientist Yang Fang and her colleagues with DFH Satellite.


'An army of robots' and zero human workers will build a dam in China

#artificialintelligence

Artificial intelligence at the heart of the project on the Tibetan plateau will build the structure slice by slice, with no human workers.


Chinese web users get creative to dodge COVID censorship

The Japan Times

Beijing – From quoting the national anthem to referencing Hollywood blockbusters and George Orwell's dystopian novel "1984," Chinese web users are using creative methods to dodge censorship and voice discontent over COVID-19 measures. China maintains a tight grip over the internet, with legions of censors scrubbing out posts that cast the Communist Party's policies in a negative light. The censorship machine is now in overdrive to defend Beijing's stringent "COVID zero" policy as the business hub of Shanghai endures weeks of lockdown to tackle an outbreak. Stuck at home, many of the city's 25 million residents have taken to social media to vent fury over food shortages and spartan quarantine conditions. Charlie Smith, co-founder of censorship monitoring website GreatFire.org, said the Shanghai lockdown had become "too big of an issue to be able to completely censor."


Watch a swarm of drones autonomously track a human through a dense forest

#artificialintelligence

Scientists from China's Zhejiang University have unveiled a drone swarm capable of navigating through a dense bamboo forest without human guidance. The group of 10 palm-sized drones communicate with one another to stay in formation, sharing data collected by on-board depth-sensing cameras to map their surroundings. This method means that if the path in front of one drone is blocked, it can use information collected by its neighbors to plot a new route. The researchers note that this technique can also be used by the swarm to track a human walking through the same environment. If one drone loses sight of the target, others are able to pick up the trail.


How AI Would -- and Wouldn't -- Factor Into a U.S.-Chinese War - War on the Rocks

#artificialintelligence

In March, a largely overlooked, 90-page Government Accountability Office study revealed something interesting: This summer, the Pentagon is getting a new AI Strategy. Between shaping ethical norms for AI and establishing a new Chief Data and AI Officer, it's clear top brass have big plans for the technology, though the report is light on the details. Released in 2018, the last AI Strategy laid the scaffolding for the U.S. military's high-tech competition with China. But over the past four years one thing has become apparent: The United States needs a balanced approach to AI investment -- one that doesn't simply guard against threats, but also imposes costs on a Chinese force that sees AI as the key to victory. Undoubtedly, a military conflict between the United States and China would be catastrophic, and every effort must be taken to avoid such an outcome through diplomatic means.


Covid-19 news: Cognitive impairment equivalent to 20 years of ageing

New Scientist

Covid-19 can cause lasting cognitive and mental health issues, including brain fog, fatigue and even post-traumatic stress disorder. To better understand the scale of the problem, researchers at the University of Cambridge analysed 46 people who were hospitalised due to the infection between March and July 2020. The participants underwent cognitive tests on average six months after their initial illness. These results were compared against those of more than 66,000 people from the general population. Those hospitalised with covid-19 scored worse on verbal analogical reasoning tests, which assess an individual's ability to recognise relationships between ideas and think methodically. They also recorded slower processing speeds. Previous studies suggest glucose is less efficiently used by the part of the brain responsible for attention, complex problem-solving and working memory after covid-19. Scores and reaction speeds improved over time, however, any recovery was gradual at best, according to the researchers. This cognitive impairment probably has multiple causes, including inadequate blood supply to the brain, blood vessel blockage and microscopic bleeds caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as damage triggered by an overactive immune system, they added. "Around 40,000 people have been through intensive care with covid-19 in England alone and many more will have been very sick, but not admitted to hospital," Adam Hampshire at Imperial College London said in a statement. "This means there is a large number of people out there still experiencing problems with cognition many months later." The biological mechanism behind a rare and severe covid-19 response seen in some children may have been uncovered by researchers at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia. Doctors have so far been unable to identify why some children develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) in response to covid-19, which can cause symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain and heart disease.


China's COVID lockdowns are a symptom of deeper problems

FOX News

Gatestone Institute senior fellow Gordon Chang weighs in on Shanghai residents protesting COVID lockdowns on'Fox News Live.' In the spring of 2021, China was reporting only a few dozen COVID cases each day and celebrating a return to steady economic growth. The United States, meanwhile, reeled from its worst death wave of the pandemic. Media outlets around the world, from the Chinese Ministry of Propaganda to the New York Times, were quick to declare that China had "won" the pandemic, having decisively defeated the virus and demonstrated the virtues of unbridled autocracy. Xi Jinping was set to use China's apparent COVID success as a central argument for enshrining himself, at the upcoming Communist Party Congress in October 2022, as emperor-for-life.