Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence

News articles, analyses and commentary about machines that mimic human cognitive functions such as learning and problem solving. This also covers chatbots, algorithms, consumer products and Big Data a

nalysis that make use of AI.

I took a self-driving robotaxi in China
From Batman to Transformers, self-driving cars have long captured the popular imagination. And China, where the pervasive use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies extends from sorting rubbish to traffic control, is a natural testing ground for companies jostling to make this sci-fi fantasy a reality. They are part of a global move towards autonomous vehicles, which are quickly becoming the world's first major AI revolution. The sector has drawn billions of dollars of investment over the past few years, with the global autonomous vehicles market projected to be worth $65.3 billion by 2027, according to a report by Market Research Future. Major US players such as Google, Tesla and Gene
I took a self-driving robotaxi in China
Chinese artificial intelligence hopes still rely on America
Engineer Kuang Kaiming was assigned to a team developing artificial intelligence (AI) technology for a Shanghai start-up. The company went with two leading open-source software libraries, Google’s TensorFlow and Facebook’s Pytorch. The decision to adopt US core technology over Chinese alternatives was telling of China’s weakness in basic AI infrastructure.  Despite the country’s success in producing commercially successful AI companies, the open-source coding repositories used to build the technology tend to be American.  Kuang’s company, whose AI product detects abnormalities in X-rays, is by no means alone.  Nearly all small- to medium-sized Chinese AI companies rely on the US-originated o
Chinese artificial intelligence hopes still rely on America
This AI bot scans social media to help prevent suicides
Wang Le’s bedroom is dim and silent, the curtains tightly drawn. The only sounds come from mouse clicks and a clattering keyboard. Wang has a social phobia that has made it challenging to live and work like a normal person for nearly a decade. The internet has been his only connection to the outside world.  It even saved his life. Wang’s phobia was so severe that, to feed himself, he had to rely on his relatives to leave food at his front gate. Even ordering takeout by phone was overwhelming.  In the spring, he contemplated suicide but hesitated. Afraid of death, but also afraid of life, he shared his despair on Weibo, a popular Twitter-like social platform in China. “Are you OK?” a stranger
This AI bot scans social media to help prevent suicides
Chinese scientists use AI to diagnose genetic disorders in babies
Chinese scientists say they've developed an AI-powered software to help screen newborns for genetic disorders through facial scans. Researchers from the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center and the Shanghai Pediatric Center said their new assistive diagnosis tool, which they described as the first of its kind, was designed to detect more than 100 disorders with distinctive facial features, according to a report by state-owned China News Service. They said their AI-enabled tool would be used for initial screening, helping to avoid missed or wrong diagnosis of newborns. Prominent facial features of children with Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS), for example, include thin eyebrows that often me
Chinese scientists use AI to diagnose genetic disorders in babies
How AI and human rights get tangled up in the US-China tech rivalry
When Trump administration officials announced on October 7 that they were banning some of China’s most feted artificial intelligence and surveillance companies from buying US technology, the move caught Chinese policymakers off guard. Back in May, the US Commerce Department cited national security concerns when it barred Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from buying US technology. In its latest move, the Trump administration banned eight companies, including China’s AI national champions SenseTime, Megvii and iFlyTek, and 20 police departments for their purported roles in the suppression of Uygur minorities in Xinjiang. It was the first time that human rights were cited as a reason fo
How AI and human rights get tangled up in the US-China tech rivalry
Self-driving cabs launched in southern China
People in Changsha, the capital of the southern province of Hunan, can now have a taste of the future by hopping into a self-driving taxi. Launched by tech giant Baidu, trial passenger services started in the city on Thursday, about two years after Google’s self-driving unit Waymo started its pilot project in Phoenix, Arizona. The taxi services, involving an initial fleet of 45 autonomous cars, are expected to run initially on 31-mile-long open roads before gradually expanding to cover the entire Changsha pilot zone of 27 square miles, making it the largest trial of its kind, according to the company. “The trial operations in Changsha demonstrate that the Apollo robotaxi is progressing from
Self-driving cabs launched in southern China
School surveillance questioned: ‘Why do we need to monitor them?’
Almost every second of Betty Li’s school life is monitored. The 22-year-old student at a university in northwestern China must get through facial scanners to enter her classes and her dormitory, while cameras above the blackboards in classrooms keep an eye on her attentiveness. Like many other educational institutions across the country, the university in Xian, Shaanxi province, deployed AI-powered gates and facial recognition cameras several years ago as a part of the “smart campuses” campaign promoted by the Ministry of Education. The universities are at the forefront of a national effort to lead the world in emerging technologies and move China’s economy up the value chain. But the monito
School surveillance questioned: ‘Why do we need to monitor them?’
This startup is reading the brains of Chinese schoolkids
A Chinese-American start-up specializing in brain-reading tech has come under fire in China, after a post to the Twitter-like Weibo showed its headbands being worn by Chinese pupils at an undisclosed primary school. The company, BrainCo, describes its Focus headband as featuring “real-time brainwave feedback and visualization,” targeted at the education, fitness and wellness sectors. Now it’s been caught in a social media controversy amid concerns in China that the wide use of tech such as facial recognition and big data could trigger the creation of a surveillance society. The headbands from BrainCo use sensors to detect brain signals and use an AI algorithm to translate the signals into fo
This startup is reading the brains of Chinese schoolkids
AI tech, drone pilot and gamer are now official professions in China
China has officially recognized 13 new job titles – including drone pilot and eSports player – in order to keep up with the fast-changing face of the country’s workforce. The majority of the newly added job titles apply to the high-tech sector, underscoring the Chinese job market’s shift toward advanced technology as China seeks to move away from its reliance on export and manufacturing for growth. The new job titles include “artificial intelligence engineering technician” and “Internet of Things engineering technician,” according to an occupation list released on Monday by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, which is responsible for China’s labor policy standards and regula
AI tech, drone pilot and gamer are now official professions in China
Chinese AI tech tells police who you are by how you walk
You can tell a lot of things from the way someone walks. Just ask Chinese artificial intelligence start-up Watrix, which says that its software can identify a person from 165 feet away – even if they have covered their face or have their back to a camera. Police on the streets of Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing have already run trials of the technology, said Huang Yongzhen, co-founder and chief executive of Watrix, in an interview with the South China Morning Post. “We are currently working with police on criminal investigations, such as tracking suspects from a robbery scene,” said Huang. Known as gait recognition, the technology works by analyzing thousands of metrics about a person’s wal
Chinese AI tech tells police who you are by how you walk