Never have we reached a stage of digital evolution where the focus on technology is at its sharpest. It is no longer just about technology disrupting the marketplace or digital transformation providing better products and services to customers. Instead, it is about the digital revolution and how we can exploit digital assets to ensure the long-term sustainability of our business as it evolves with these technologies. As the impact of AI, 5G, Autonomous X, cognitive devices, and the virtualization of things advances across all sectors, businesses are at a crucial turning point on how to optimize the returns from their existing resources while embracing new business models to create greater value for customers. Frost & Sullivan presented its annual Asia-Pacific ICT Outlook in Singapore on 14 January. Attended by over 60 senior management and C-suite executives, the event marks the start of an exciting year ahead for the industry.
China has pledged to collaborate in global efforts to drive digital development and build a "shared cyberspace" community. It has underscored the importance of the internet and international cooperation, as economies worldwide look to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Chinese President Xi Jinping said China was "ready to work with other countries" to tap the opportunities "presented by the information revolution" and drive growth through innovation as well as open up new grounds in digital cooperation. Efforts also would be made to create a new paradigm for cybersecurity and to build a community with a "shared future in cyberspace", creating a brighter future for humanity, Xi said in a letter he sent and was read at the 2020 World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China. With China-US trade relations still tense, efforts to cut out Chinese vendors such as Huawei from 5G implementations may create separate ecosystems and consumers could lose out on benefits from the wide adoption of global standards, as demonstrated with 4G.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, analysts and members of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) expect that the presidency of Joe Biden will continue to make research and development for AI and quantum computing technologies a priority, although aspects of Biden's approach to regulation and spending are expected to differ. While federal investments in R&D for the Information Technology sector have fallen over the course of the last few decades, in February the White House announced a plan to increasing spending on AI and quantum technologies, and the Biden presidency is expected to continue the commitment. At the moment, total federal research and development funding sits at around $134.1 billion, while the Trump administration had proposed an increase to $142.4 billion for total federal R&D funding. In February the Trump administration announced a plan to increase annual spending on AI by more than $2 billion dollars over the course of the next two years. This was to be accompanied by an increase in funding for quantum information science to the tune of $860 million dollars over the same period.
Works on the use of algorithms, based on artificial intelligence, has been predicting the possibility of a pandemic for many years, whilst models developed by researchers have been used effectively in the fight against infectious diseases, thus limiting their development. An example of such activity are the achievements of AIME company (Artificial Intelligence and Medical Epidemiology), which since 2012 has been conducting research on the possibilities of using AI to predict the course of infectious disease epidemics. In 2017, the models, trained on a huge amount of data, reached 86% effectiveness in predicting the locations where the Zika and dengue virus outbreaks occurred within the following three months. Bill Gates TED Talk in 2015 is known primarily among people who consider the COVID-19 a global conspiracy. In fact, it is impossible not to notice similarities between the course of the current epidemic and the hypothetical super-virus pandemic described by Gates in his speech.
This idea could be interpreted as being rather bleak; are we doomed to repeat the errors of the past until we correct them? We certainly do need to learn and re-learn life lessons--whether in our work, relationships, finances, health, or other areas--in order to grow as people. Zooming out, the same phenomenon exists on a much bigger scale--that of our collective human history. We like to think we're improving as a species, but haven't yet come close to doing away with the conflicts and injustices that plagued our ancestors. What might happen over the course of this year, and what information would we use to make educated guesses about it? The editorial team at The Economist took a unique approach to answering these questions.
Chinese technicians were making final preparations Monday for a mission to bring back material from the moon's surface for the first time in more than four decades – an undertaking that could boost human understanding of the moon and of the solar system more generally. Chang'e 5 – named for the Chinese moon goddess – is the country's most ambitious lunar mission yet. If successful, it would be a major advance for China's space program, and some experts say it could pave the way for bringing samples back from Mars or even a crewed lunar mission. The China National Space Administration said in a statement that the Long March-5Y rocket began fueling up on Monday, ahead of a launch scheduled for between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. EST Monday at the Wenchang launch center on the southern island province of Hainan. The typically secretive administration had previously only confirmed the launch would be in late November.
The artificial intelligence applied research startup Abzu identifies false news with its proprietary QLattice. In the latest Reuters Institute Digital News Report, less than four in ten people said that they trust most news most of the time (that's 38% surveyed in January 2020, a fall of four percentage points from 2019)¹. Today's global crises make it all too obvious the necessity for dependable and factual journalism, yet we are exposed to a continuum of information authored by innumerable sources with debatable credentials. Slaves to our most basic emotions -- fear, disgust, and surprise² -- we are inflamed by an addictive negative feedback loop of our own creation. We crave the truth, but data shows we force-feed ourselves lies.
Corruption grows when accountability is low -- it is hard to imagine a politician abusing their power for personal gain if they knew for certain that they would get caught and punished. This is why improving accountability is a wining strategy for fighting corruption, and Artificial Intelligence technology can help us do that. Whether we realize it or not, AI technologies that spot wrongdoing are already all around us. Credit card companies, for example, have been using it for years -- if your card is used in strange countries, to buy strange products, in a price range that is strange to your normal behavior, the company's AI models are likely to flag it as suspicious. And it does so incredibly fast for millions and millions of transactions everyday.
President-elect Joe Biden named John Kerry to the newly created role of climate czar, a move that underscores the incoming administration's commitment to an international-focused approach to the issue and recognition of its strategic importance. Kerry, the former secretary of state, is a diplomatic heavyweight who helped piece together the landmark Paris climate agreement during the Obama administration and pushed hard for domestic climate policies as a US senator. "I've asked him to return to government to get America back on track to address one of the most urgent national security threats we face--the climate crisis," Biden said in a statement released on Monday. "This role is the first of its kind: the first cabinet-level climate position, and the first time climate change has had a seat at the table on the National Security Council." Kerry's appointment as "special presidential envoy for climate" is among the first of six cabinet-level nominations that the Biden team announced on Monday, as it works to form a government in spite of President Donald Trump's refusal to accept the results of the election.
Physician turnover in the United States, due to burnout and related factors, was conservatively estimated to cost the US healthcare system some $4.6 billion annually, according to a 2019 Annals of Internal Medicine study. The results reflect a familiar dynamic, where too many doctors are crushed in paperwork, which takes time away from being with patients. Just five months after this study was publicized, Harvard Business Review published "How AI in the Exam Room Could Reduce Physician Burnout," examining multiple artificial intelligence initiatives that may streamline providers' administrative tasks, thus reducing burnout. Still, barriers to trust in AI solutions remain, highlighted by 2020 KPMG International survey findings that note only 35% of leaders have a high degree of trust in data analytics powered by AI within their own organizations. This lack of confidence even in their own AI-driven solutions underscores the significant trust gap that exists between decision-makers and technology in the current digital era.