BUKIT LANJAN: Is 2018 the global race to rule new technologies and market share?


This AI machine, named AI-MATHS, took the math portion of China's annual university entrance exam, finishing it faster than young students, but its grade was no better than the average human. (Photo credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)
China's Rise In The Global AI Race Emerges As It Takes Over The Final ImageNet Competition
The Chinese government recently said it would invest heavily in artificial intelligence to ensure its companies, government and military dominate the field by 2030. Now there's growing evidence that China may not have that far to go to claim the AI crown. Perhaps there's no better place to note China's rise in AI than with this year's ImageNet competition, an influential AI contest where teams from across the world compete over which algorithms can best recognize images. Out of the 27 teams competing, more than half were Chinese-based research teams from universities or companies, and all the top performers were from China. The results were something of a repeat from last year, when Chinese scientists also dominated a field of 84 teams from around the world. To be sure, leading AI players like Google, who won top results in 2014, haven't participated in the last couple ImageNets. But China's dominance in the last two years of the competition shows just how much serious AI work is coming out of the country these days … for more, go to https://www.forbes.com/sites/aarontilley/2017/07/31/china-ai-imagenet/#53488216170a

BUKIT LANJAN: Is 2018 the global race to rule new technologies and market share?

We are still only in the first month of 2018 and the focus of international news seem to be on new technology and the race for new products and services.

Yes! Even services are innovating towards digital technology, focusing on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

“New technology can also be disruptive, rendering goods and services becoming obsolete. Even jobs become obsolete,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

It has therefore become imperative, Syed Razak said, for all businesses to really keep up with the times, especially new technology, to remain relevant and survive.

“It is no more just a dog eat dog world out there in both the domestic and international business arena. Businesses and investors have to watch out for disruptive technology to avoid being ‘buried’ by new and innovative products and services.

“In short, we must keep ourselves fully informed and in the know of global technology developments so that we can change and adapt fast in our business operations and core business,” he added.


Jan 01, 2018 05:29 AM


Tech Firms Race to Enable Machines to See – and Understand
By Qu Yunxu, Ye Zhanqi, Wang Xiaoqing and Han Wei
Chinese startups have catapulted to the top of the next battlefield of artificial intelligence – computer vision, which is challenging the human eye in recognizing faces and objects. The AI-powered technology uses deep-learning programs to enable machines to understand digital images and accurately recognize and analyze faces and objects. The cutting-edge AI niche has great potential for a wide range of applications, including in security surveillance, online financial services, health care, and self-driving vehicles. China is already a global leader in AI, reflecting the country’s emphasis on mathematics education. Now it’s building off that know-how to expand the possibilities of computer vision and create commercially successful applications. “If there are 100,000 people that can be called AI experts in the world, about 30,000 to 40,000 of them are Chinese,” said Huang Yan, a founding partner of CDH Investments, an investor in Chinese computer-vision developer SenseTime, one of the world's most valuable AI startups. China already has 146 computer-vision companies, more than any other sub-sector in the country’s AI industry, according to a report issued by Tencent Research Institute in August. Those companies have raised a total of 14.3 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) from investors, or 23% of the total funds raised by all AI startups … for more, go to https://www.caixinglobal.com/2018-01-01/tech-firms-race-to-enable-machines-to-see-and-understand-101191871.html


Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said the best way for Malaysians, or for that matter everyone in this world, to ensure that they are informed “is to read as much news on new global technology developments”.

“Seek the latest news and information daily! That’s the only way to keep oneself well informed for making informed business promotions and decisions,” he added.

Reproduced below are three such news and information for readers to digest, all posted by The Star Online:

"Top takeaways from Consumer Electronics Show
TECH NEWS
Tuesday, 16 Jan 2018
6:00 AM MYT


Fisker next to a Fisker EMotion all-electric vehicle that uses LiDAR technology at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada. — AFP


LAS VEGAS: The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, which concluded Friday in Las Vegas, drew some 4,000 exhibitors from dozens of countries and more than 170,000 attendees, showcased some of the latest from the technology world.

Here are highlights from the show:

Artificial intelligence battle

The duel between Amazon and Google for supremacy in artificial intelligence played out at the show. Amazon pushed its “Alexa Everywhere” strategy bringing its digital assistant to eyewear, wristwatches, televisions and even a toilet.

The rival virtual assistants were part of a larger trend to “smart” homes and cites where door locks, lights, security systems, traffic, and more are commanded or coordinated with the help of Internet connections and machine brains.

Compassionate robots

Tech developers began moving beyond artificial intelligence to “emotional intelligence” and empathy with robots that can recognize people and their feelings, and respond in a more human manner.

Those on display included a ping pong-playing robot from Japan’s Omron Automation which adapts its game to its opponent by reading body language. SoftBank robot Pepper entertained guests in a private suite adjacent to the show.

Revving up car tech

More players began gunning for Tesla with premium electric cars, including Chinese startup Byton and a revamped startup led by designer Henrik Fisker.

The show included a large presence from automakers and showed a commitment to advancing self-driving cars.

South Korea’s Hyundai showed its new Nexo vehicle, betting on fuel cell technology, while Toyota unveiled a concept of an autonomous box for ridesharing and retail service.

Beyond the car

Even as car tech was on display, industry players sought to showcase alternative transport options. These included a self-driving motorcycle from Yamaha, and a range of electric bicycles, scooters, and hoverboards.

“We are seeing with personal mobility that some people like to skate; some people like to scoot, and some people like to ride,” Swagtron chief operating officer Andrew Koven said as he unveiled a line of rideable gadgets.

Let’s get medical

The tech world took a deep dive into the medical field, using virtual reality and sensors for health and medical applications.

Exhibitors showed how tracking and sensors used in self-driving cars can help keep the elderly from wandering off or determining distress. Other devices offered new ways to deal with stress and pain, or predict the onset of disease.

Medical professionals at a CES conference discussed how new pain management techniques such as virtual reality could help address the opioid addiction crisis.

Virtual reality headsets have been used to take people’s minds off pain by immersing them in soothing environments. VR programs have also eased trauma by letting patients work through troubling experiences.

Sensors and the cloud


Sensors, cloud computing and artificial intelligence are becoming so ubiquitous and affordable that they are popping up in tech items tailored for pets, babies, seniors, new moms and other niche categories.

From wearable breast pumps to hip air bags triggered when people fall, and dog or cat doors that open automatically for pets, internet age innovations are reaching into the farthest corner of everyday life.

On the lighter side

Streaming television powerhouse Netflix played with people’s minds with a booth for a fictitious company named Psychasec that offered replacement bodies in a promise of immortality.

It turned out to be a promotion for a coming Netflix show titled Altered Carbon, set to debut in February.

Other offbeat items at the event included self-driving suitcases which follow its owners through airports and navigate around obstacles.

Outside the official show, robotic pole-dancers made their Las Vegas debut at a nightclub, with the artist who created the devices seeking to make a point about technology, surveillance and voyeurism in today’s society.

The show was marked by a rain and flooding in usually dry Las Vegas, and a power outage in the main convention hall. — AFP


Global carmakers to invest at least US$90bil in electric vehicles

Tuesday, 16 Jan 2018
6:07 AM MYT



Visitors look at cars in the Ford booth at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. January 15, 2018. - REUTERS

DETROIT: Ford Motor Co's plan to double its electrified vehicle spending is part of an investment tsunami in batteries and electric cars by global automakers that now totals $90 billion and is still growing, a Reuters analysis shows.

That money is pouring in to a tiny sector that amounts to less than 1 percent of the 90 million vehicles sold each year and where Elon Musk's Tesla Inc, with sales of only three models totaling just over 100,000 vehicles in 2017, was a dominant player.

With the world's top automakers poised to introduce dozens of new battery electric and hybrid gasoline-electric models over the next five years - many of them in China - executives continue to ask: Who will buy all those vehicles?

"We're all in," Ford Motor Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr said of the company's $11 billion investment, announced on Sunday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. "The only question is, will the customers be there with us?"

"Tesla faces real competition," said Mike Jackson, chief executive of AutoNation Inc, the largest U.S. auto retailing chain. By 2030, Jackson said he expects electric vehicles could account for 15-20 percent of New vehicle sales in the United States.

Investments in electrified vehicles announced to date include at least $19 billion by automakers in the United States, $21 billion in China and $52 billion in Germany.

But U.S. and German auto executives said in interviews on the sidelines of the Detroit auto show that the bulk of those investments are earmarked for China, where the government has enacted escalating electric-vehicle quotas starting in 2019.

Mainstream automakers also are reacting in part to pressure from regulators in Europe and California to slash carbon emissions from fossil fuels. They are under pressure as well from Tesla's success in creating electric sedans and SUVs that inspire would-be owners to flood the company with orders.

While Tesla is the most prominent electric car maker, "soon it will be everybody and his brother," Daimler AG Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche told reporters on Monday at the Detroit show.

Daimler has said it will spend at least $11.7 billion to introduce 10 pure electric and 40 hybrid models, and that it intends to electrify its full range of vehicles, from minicompact commuters to heavy-duty trucks.

"We will see whether demand will drive our (electric vehicle) sales or whether we will all be trying to catch the last customer out there," Zetsche said. "Ultimately, the customer will decide."

For now, Nissan Motor Co Ltd's 7-year-old Leaf remains the world's top-selling electric vehicle and the company's sole battery-only car - an offering soon to be swamped by new rivals bringing tougher competition that could add pressure to pricing.

"Everybody will find out that if you push you will have a lot of bad news on residual values," Nissan Chief Performance Officer Jose Munoz told Reuters.

Jim Lentz, chief executive of Toyota Motor Corp's North American operations, said it took Toyota 18 years for sales of hybrid vehicles to reach 3 percent share of the total market. And hybrids are less costly, do not require new charging infrastructure and are not burdened by the range limits of battery electric vehicles, he said.

"What's it going to take to get to 4 to 5 percent" share for electric cars, Lentz said. "It's going to be longer."

The largest single investment is coming from Volkswagen AG <VOWG_p.DE>, which plans to spend $40 billion by 2030 to build electrified versions of its 300-plus global models.

In the United States, General Motors Co has outlined plans to introduce 20 new battery and fuel cell electric vehicles by 2023, most of them built on a new dedicated, modular platform that will be introduced in 2021.

GM Chief Executive Mary Barra has not said how much the automaker will spend on electric vehicles. Much of the investment will be made in China, where GM's Cadillac brand will help spearhead the company's more aggressive move into electric vehicles, according to Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen.

In an interview on Monday at the Detroit show, de Nysschen said Cadillac would "play a central role" in GM's electric vehicle strategy in China, and will introduce an unspecified number of models based on GM's future electric-vehicle platform. Some of those Cadillacs could be assembled in China, de Nysschen said.

Chinese automakers, including local partners of Ford, VW and GM, all have publicized aggressive investment plans.

Not every multinational automaker is moving so aggressively into electric vehicles.

In Detroit on Monday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said it did not make sense to announce a specific number of new electric vehicles – and he said the company was not under pressure, but working to meet emissions requirements. “We do not have a gun to our head,” Marchionne said. He said EVs will likely become mandatory in Europe because of emissions rules. - Reuters

Virtual reality, interactive avatars among cruise trends of 2018

TECH NEWS
Tuesday, 16 Jan 2018
10:00 AM MYT



Cruising in 2018 will be high-tech. — AFP Relaxnews

From interactive avatars to on-board Go-Kart race tracks and facial recognition technology, bigger and smarter cruise ships will be making major waves in 2018.

Experts at Cruise Critic have come up with a list of the top trends they expect will up the ante in cruising next year, thanks to innovations in technology and evolving traveller interests.

Here are the top five trends from the list:

Augmented technology
Innovations in technology will change the way guests cruise in 2018, from virtual reality dining experiences, to interactive avatars that follow cruisers around the ship. Wearable technology will also facilitate the cruising life, enabling passengers to open doors with the wave of a hand, or order food and drinks without leaving the pool. WiFi will also reach land speeds out on sea.

New firsts
This year will see a slew of behemoth new ships hit the high seas, boasting game-changing features designed to up the ante in cruising. Think Go-Kart race tracks, laser tag, and mobile check-in services that use facial recognition technology.

Port renovations
It’s not just cruise ships that are being redesigned. Terminals in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Tampa Bay are undergoing multi-million dollar upgrades to improve the passenger experience, from embarkation to offloading.

Culinary cruising
Cruise lines will expand their culinary offerings in response to insatiable interest among cruisers. Along with gourmet buffet lines and restaurants, collaborations with celebrity and Michelin-starred chefs, expect the next-generation cruise ships to debut test kitchens, cooking demo centres and on-shore excursions like market tours. — AFP Relaxnews"

N.37 LET BUKIT LANJAN SOAR WITH SYED ABDUL RAZAK ALSAGOFF

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