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Japan's key electronics fair opens with spotlight on low-carbon tech

The Japan Times

Japan's major annual electronics show involving more than 300 companies opened Tuesday, with the spotlight on cutting-edge technologies designed to achieve carbon neutrality. As was the case last year, organizers decided to hold the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies online as a precaution against the coronavirus. The event through Friday, under the theme of "Toward Society 5.0 with the New Normal," is accessible by the public with pre-registration. Rechargeable batteries to store renewable energy and carbon recycling technologies are among exhibited products that may help Japan and other countries reach the goal of net zero carbon emissions in the next several decades. The concept of Society 5.0 to incorporate innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence and robots into society has been promoted by Japanese industries and the government.

Getting To Net-Zero


To reach the Paris climate targets, global emission levels will need to be cut in half by 2030, reach net-zero by 2050 and stay net negative throughout the second half of the century. Yet, a just released BCG survey of 1,300 companies around the globe found that only 11% reduced their emissions in line with their stated ambitions over the past five years. "Measurement is a key roadblock with 91% of companies failing to measure the full scope of their emissions," Sylvain Duranton, the global leader of BCG GAMMA, a division dedicated to AI, data science and advanced analytics applied to business, said during an October 13 press conference. In a new study BCG maintains that artificial intelligence can help companies not only more accurately measure but also reduce carbon emissions. But using technology to measure carbon footprints and develop mitigation strategies is not enough.

Robots for kids: Best STEM kits and other tech gifts for hackers of all ages


CanaKit and Vilros are dominating the Raspberry Pi kit market. All the signs were there. If my parents knew then what parents know now, they would have been prepared. But back in the 1960s and 1970s, the maker movement was still far in the future. Robots were something you only saw in movies and awesome TV shows (or as my Mom would often put it, "What in the world are you watching?").

Scientists want to use artificial intelligence to save Maine's coast


A new center at Bigelow Laboratory is using cutting-edge artificial intelligence algorithms to forecast ocean activity, from toxic algal blooms to right whale migration, with the hopes of benefitting both coastal industries and the environment. People are expecting forecasts of all different kinds now, from COVID forecasts to political forecasts," said Nick Record, a senior research scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay. "We're trying to tap into this societal need and demand for forecasts and apply it to ocean systems that we live in and rely on." The ability to accurately forecast complex ocean dynamics alone, such as temperature and salinity, is useful for the industries that use the coastline and the scientists that study it. With artificial intelligence, though, these forecasts will be constantly improving in accuracy even as the climate changes -- and, with it, Maine's ability to adapt to the changing coastline will improve as well.

Airbus' solar-powered aircraft Zephyr completes two 18-day flights

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Aerospace firm Airbus has completed two 18-day stratospheric flights of its solar-powered aircraft, called Zephyr, 76,100 feet above the Earth. Zephyr's solar powered test flights in the stratosphere – the second layer of the Earth's atmosphere – set a new world record for altitude this summer, Airbus says. The firm now wants to deploy the'high altitude pseudo-satellite' (HAPS) for surveillance and beaming broadband down to remote areas that don't have internet. Zephyr, an UAV with two small propellers, is powered exclusively by the Sun, thanks to solar panels lining its whole 82-foot wingspan. It's typically hand-launched by four to five ground crew, fast-walking or jogging into a light wind, but it features on-board software for remote navigation.

How Artificial Intelligence can accelerate the energy transition


A new white paper published by the World Economic Forum explains in detail the immense of potential of Artificial Intelligence in the energy transition. The scenario it describes is exciting, but a lot of work needs to be done. Last month saw the publication of a white paper by the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with BloombergNEF ("New Energy Finance") and Deutsche Agenzie-Agenture (dena): "Harnessing Artificial Intelligence to Accelerate the Energy Transition." As a global leader in renewable energy, the Enel Group was also involved, and Giuseppe Amoroso, Head of Digital Strategy and Governance in Enel, was a member of the Paper's editorial team. The White Paper explains that "The global energy system is currently undergoing a massive transformation, and in the decades ahead, it will continue to become more decentralized, digitalized and decarbonized."

A Big Bet on Nanotechnology Has Paid Off


We're now more than two decades out from the initial announcement of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), a federal program from President Bill Clinton founded in 2000 to support nanotechnology research and development in universities, government agencies and industry laboratories across the United States. It was a significant financial bet on a field that was better known among the general public for science fiction than scientific achievement. Today it's clear that the NNI did more than influence the direction of research in the U.S. It catalyzed a worldwide effort and spurred an explosion of creativity in the scientific community. And we're reaping the rewards not just in medicine, but also clean energy, environmental remediation and beyond. Before the NNI, there were people who thought nanotechnology was a gimmick. I began my research career in chemistry, but it seemed to me that nanotechnology was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: the opening of a new field that crossed scientific disciplines.

Google Is Using Artificial Intelligence To Control Traffic Lights - AI Summary


Pichai said the company was expanding the pilot program to intersections in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and beyond. The effort is part of a series of initiatives Google is launching to give consumers "more sustainable choices." The company will also show "authoritative information" panels from the United Nations and other sources when users search on Google for information related to climate change, Pichai said. Today we're sharing new ways people can use our products to make sustainable choices, including tools to book flights or purchase appliances with lower carbon footprints, a Nest program to support clean energy from home, eco-friendly routes on Maps & more. The company is also introducing a new feature in Google Maps beginning in 2022 that will allow users to pick the most fuel-efficient driving route when navigating.

Google wants to use AI to time traffic lights more efficiently


Oct 6 (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google cut fuel use and traffic delays by 10% to 20% at four locations in Israel by using artificial intelligence to optimize signal lights and it next plans to test the software in Rio de Janeiro, the company said on Wednesday. The early-phase research project is among new software initiatives inside Google to combat climate change. Some employees as well as advocacy groups have called on the company, the world's third-most valuable, to more urgently use its influence to combat the crisis. While Google has not addressed critics' calls to stop selling technology to oil companies or funding lawmakers who deny global warming, it has prioritized sustainability features. Google plans in the coming weeks to allow its Nest thermostat users to buy renewable energy credits for $10 a month to offset emissions from heating and cooling.

The 5 Biggest Technology Trends In 2022


In 2022 the covid-19 pandemic will continue to impact our lives in many ways. This means that we will continue to see an accelerated rate of digitization and virtualization of business and society. However, as we move into a new year, the need for sustainability, ever-increasing data volumes, and increasing compute and network speeds will begin to regain their status as the most important drivers of digital transformation. For many individuals and organizations, the most important lesson of the last two years or so has been that truly transformative change isn't as difficult to implement as might have once been thought, if the motivation is there! As a society, we will undoubtedly continue to harness this newfound openness to flexibility, agility, and innovative thinking, as the focus shifts from merely attempting to survive in a changing world to thriving in it.