Collaborating Authors


Covid: A wake-up call for many organisations to relook and revive their IT strategies


Companies that do not invest in digital technologies and reinvent will have to retire some of their businesses, an industry expert said. "Businesses that rely too heavily on manual work and resisted in investing in technology over the years, especially digital commerce, will be badly hit. If they haven't awakened yet to the call and continue as is, their survival is going to be a big challenge," Arup Roy, Research Vice-President at Gartner, said at the virtual Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo India. Organisations that were digitally sound in a pre-pandemic world could contain the impact on their business, he said and added that the pandemic situation was a wake-up call for many organisations to relook and revive their IT strategies and increase their spending on IT in 2021. "We have seen much of disruptions this year but the good news is that the businesses have responded quite well. The credit goes to the technology and CIOs offices. CIOs are leading their organisations through increasing turmoil," he said.

Robots aid rescue during Navy exercise - Australian Defence Magazine


Autonomous Warrior Genesis – the first of Navy's flagship events exercising Robotics, Autonomous Systems and Artificial Intelligence (RAS-AI) – saw unmanned vehicles deployed by air, land and water to respond to a fictional Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) scenario on the Brisbane River. Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the exercise demonstrated Defence working with industry to integrate emerging technologies with Navy platforms to rapidly respond in emergency situations. "Australia's commitment to maintaining a strong and secure region is predicated on ongoing modernisation of Defence capability as new and disruptive technologies emerge," Minister Reynolds said. "As announced in the 2020 Force Structure Plan, the Government recognises the exploration of autonomous and un-crewed systems will further safeguard Australia's capability and achieve expanded reach across the region. "Using autonomous systems to respond to disaster scenarios is a potential game changer for Defence by providing the agility and technological edge to rapidly support our region in times of crisis.

Global Artificial Intelligence (AI) Industry


BEGIN ARTICLE PREVIEW: NEW YORK, Nov. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Read the full report: The global market for Artificial Intelligence (AI) is projected to reach US$312.4 billion by the year 2027, trailing a post COVID-19 CAGR of 32.7% over the analysis period 2020 through 2027. Globally, over 567 AI start-up companies received investments in the first five months of the year 2020. Use of AI in myriad fields has skyrocketed during the pandemic, with the unpreceded crisis driving desperate search for new tools to manage and survive the pandemic. AI is being used for early detection, diagnosis of the infection; development of drugs, vaccines; and for reducing workload of healthcare workers. Artific

California allows companies to charge for autonomous car rides


One of the most common potential scenarios involving autonomous cars is using them as driverless taxis; both Uber and Lyft have made self-driving cars a big part of their future strategies. The possibility of hopping into a ride without a driver just got a little closer, at least in California -- as spotted by The Verge, California approved two new autonomous driving programs last week that let companies charge fares for autonomous rides. The two new programs are the "Drivered Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Program" and the "Driverless Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Program," both of which allow approved participants to offer "passenger service, shared rides, and accept monetary compensation for rides in autonomous vehicles." Naturally, interested companies need to get the necessary permits and show the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) that they're taking the proper safety measure. They'll need to get a AV Deployment Permit from California's DMV as well as one of two permits issued by CPUC.

Facebook using artificial intelligence to forecast COVID-19 spread in every U.S. county


State officials hope California's new 10 p.m. stay-at-home order will slow the spread of COVID-19, otherwise, another 10,000 San Diegans are projected to contract the virus in the next 10 days. That's according to a new county-by-county forecast from Facebook, which rolled out the prediction software last month. Facebook projects L.A. County will see the second-largest increase in cases in the country by November 30. San Diego County is projected to add the 15th most cases, reaching a total of 78,594 infections by Nov. 30. The two-week forecast was released before Governor Gavin Newsom announced enhanced restrictions.

Watch: Facial recognition at Dubai Metro stations to identify wanted criminals


He said the technology will be rolled out in the coming months across all Metro stations in the emirate. Dubai Police's smart glasses called Rokid T1, and the smart helmets that were used during the COVID-19 pandemic to scan commuters' temperatures, will have more advanced technology in the future like facial recognition to identify wanted people. "Usually, it takes at least five hours to identify a suspect, but with facial recognition technology, it takes less than a minute."

Congress Is Eyeing Face Recognition, and Companies Want a Say


Microsoft and IBM sent congratulatory public messages to president-elect Joe Biden this month. Both expressed hope that his administration would ease the nation's political divisions, and suggested it consider crafting the first federal rules governing face recognition. "When it comes to issues such as safeguards for facial recognition, we have no national law at all," Microsoft president Brad Smith wrote. "We need new laws fit for the future." IBM CEO Arvind Krishna told Biden his company was "ready to work with you" on prohibiting use of the technology for "mass surveillance, racial profiling, or violations of basic human rights and freedoms."

Gatik raises $22.5 million for autonomous short-haul delivery trucks


Gatik, a startup developing an autonomous vehicle stack for B2B short-haul logistics, today closed a $22.5 million series A financing round. The company also announced it will bring a fleet of self-driving vans to Canada as part of a deal with Loblaw, the country's largest retailer with over 200,000 employees. Some experts predict the pandemic will hasten the adoption of autonomous vehicles for delivery. Self-driving cars, vans, and trucks promise to minimize the risk of spreading disease because they inherently limit driver contact. This is particularly true with regard to short-haul freight, which is experiencing a spike in volume during the outbreak.

Briefly Noted Book Reviews

The New Yorker

Philosophers have long debated the nature of consciousness. This probing study takes an evolutionary approach, examining "experience in general" not only in humans but in much of the animal kingdom. Animals, it argues, developed consciousness gradually, through such biological innovations as centralized nervous systems and the ability to distinguish one's actions from external forces, which have given rise to "varieties of subjectivity." The author is crisp on a subject notorious for abstraction, dissecting fuzzy philosophical metaphors and weaving in lively descriptions of the octopuses, whale sharks, and banded shrimp he observes on scuba dives off the coasts of Australia. Born in 1797 in Düsseldorf, then under Napoleonic occupation, Heine remained a committed liberal even as Germany turned inward after the Congress of Vienna.

There Is No Such Thing as a Neutral Terminator


When I first processed the news that Ron Howard was directing a feature adaptation of Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance's 2016 memoir, I made it my personal mission to see the movie. Given the book's reputation, I was expecting a sensitive portrait of Appalachia that drew from Vance's childhood memories to offer insights into the lives of the white working class. Instead, I was faced with perhaps the most catastrophically misguided work of pop sociology ever committed to film. I didn't even make it to the hour mark before I had to shut everything down in disgust, because 49 minutes into the movie, Mamaw (Glenn Close), the fierce but tender matriarch of the Vance family, offers young J.D. the following advice: Everyone in this world is one of three kinds: a good Terminator, a bad Terminator, or neutral. I have always known that coastal elites like Howard look on some groups of Americans with incomprehension, fear, and even hatred.