Artificial Intelligence, Auto, Business, Companies, News, transportation, US

Ford will invest $11bn in electric vehicles by 2022

Ford Motor Co decided that they will significantly increase their planned investments in electric vehicles to $11bn by 2022 and have 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its model line-up. At the Detroit Auto show that happened last week, the company’s chairman, Bill Ford, said that the whole investment is much more higher than what was previously announced ($4.5bn by 2020). He also added that this investment includes costs of developing dedicated electric vehicle architectures. General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen have already outlined ambitious plans to offer more electric vehicles and also did General Motors who made his announcement last week about new driverless vehicle.

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Artificial Intelligence, Asia Pacific (APAC), Business, China, Companies, Fintech, News, Technology Security

AI Chatbots are rapidly changing the ways of banking in the world

The biggest Hong Kong bank, HSBC Holdings, is starting the New Year with a new chatbot. Chatbots are computer programs that typically use text-based live chat as an interface to carry out tasks for customers on behalf of the business. Now they are emerging as an inexpensive way to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) in banking. Even though they are practically machines, banks are trying to give their chatbots a human touch which is why HSBC named its newborn Amy. This is not the only bank form Hong Kong. Hang Seng Bank already has their virtual assistants named HARO and DORI. This move came as the city’s

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Artificial Intelligence, Business, China, Companies, Entertainment, News, Technology Security

WeChat Now Issuing ID Cards for Chinese Customers

WeChat, the popular mobile application from Tencent Holdings, is now becoming more indispensable in the daily lives of Chinese consumers under a project that turns it into an official electronic personal identification system. The government of Guangzhou, capital of the southern coastal province of Guangdong started a pilot programme that creates a virtual ID card, which serves the same purpose as the traditional state-issued ID cards, through the WeChat accounts of registered users in the city’s Nansha district.This project will try to prevent online identity thefts. The new WeChat ID card project is supported by the Ministry of Public Security’s Research Institute and other government

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Artificial Intelligence, Business, China, Companies, News

Huawei and Baidu Building an Open AI Ecosystem Together

Huawei Technologies, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment supplier, has forged an artificial intelligence (AI) alliance with Chinese internet search provider Baidu. “It should come as no surprise that Baidu and Huawei are working together, because we have many similarities – technology is embedded in our DNA and we have developed our own technologies in order to grow,” said Robin Li, Baidu Chairman and CEO. “The Internet era is evolving into the era of AI. Baidu has been dedicated to the field of AI for a long time. Huawei has a large user base. Together, Baidu and Huawei can do many things which we were not

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Artificial Intelligence, Auto, China, Companies, News

Uber’s Competitor Didi Chuxing Raises $4B more for AI

China’s Didi Chuxing, the country’s ride-hailing giant , said today that it has raised $4 billion in new capital to proceed with their international expansion. In that way, they are posing a direct challenge to its U.S. rival Uber in its efforts to branch out overseas. Just eight months ago, the company raised $5.5 billion, and in 2016 they raised raised $7.3 billion from big companies including Apple. This takes Didi’s total inbound investments to $19.7 billion, but the company only said that the money came from “Chinese and international institutions.” The company expects to continue that expansion and they promised that the part of the funding will be dedicated to the development

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China, Companies, Entertainment, News, Virtual Reality (VR), Wearables

VR Sexy Secretary Vivi Has Been Taken Offline

A Chinese tech company pulled offline a virtual-reality avatar depicted as a flirtatious secretary in revealing clothes, designed to flirt with users,  following criticism the avatar depicts women as sex objects. The virtual-assistant avatar, named “Vivi,” was in beta testing for a virtual-reality headset device sold by iQiyi, the online streaming unit of Baidu Inc., which owns China’s biggest internet search engine. Dressed in revealing clothing, the erotic assistant was in beta testing for a virtual reality headset when she was pulled.  Shortly after, the company iQiyi, the streaming unit of Baidu, issued a swift apology for “concerns it might have raised”. Vivi used to

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Artificial Intelligence, Auto, Business, China, Companies, News, press releases

Baidu Joins Shoqi to develop driverless cars

Chinese search engine giant Baidu and Shouqi Limousine & Chauffeur, a car-hailing operator, are joining up to develop driverless vehicles, said Reuters. Baidu will supply Shouqi with the tools it needs for both its existing business and driverless cars, including map services, its Apollo autonomous platform and its conversational AI platform DuerOS. In return, Shouqi will supply Baidu with high-precision maps. Baidu will also offer software and hardware solutions such as the “DuerOS” and “Apollo platform” to Shouqi to help it develop autonomous vehicles. “DuerOS is an AI platform that provides tools for developers looking to quickly build intelligent devices that anyone can interact with, primarily through

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Artificial Intelligence, Asia Pacific (APAC), Business, Education, Global Politics, News

UAE named world first Minister of Artificial Intelligence

Last year the UAE got a Minister of Happiness, and now, in another world first, the country has a Minister of Artificial Intelligence – an acknowledgement by the Emirates that these are the technologies that are going to change the world around us, and quickly. H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, announced a full cabinet reshuffle today, and as part of that 27-year-old Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama has been announced as the Minister of AI. He said that the new Government is a Government for the new Emirati percentage whose goals is to develop knowledge, supporting science and research.

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Artificial Intelligence, Asia Pacific (APAC), Business, News

UAE: Boosting Government Performance With AI

The UAE Artificial Intelligence strategy was launched to boost government performance, the rate of accomplishing achievements. The Vice President has set out a new artificial intelligence drive that will one day affect “all our services, sectors and future infrastructure”. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, also the Ruler of Dubai, announced the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, a major initiative within the UAE Centennial 2070 objectives. The strategy will create a highly productive innovative environment by investing in advanced technologies and AI tools that will be implemented in all fields of work. Launching the strategy, Shaikh Mohammed said: “The UAE Centennial begins now, with the launch of

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Asia Pacific (APAC), Companies, Education, Entertainment, Global Politics, News, Videos, VR World

First Al Jazeera VR movie Debuts: “I Am Rohingya”

Contrast VR, Al Jazeera Media Network’s immersive studio, has completed its first VR documentary, “I Am Rohingya”. “I Am Rohingya” follows the story of a young woman, Jamalida, as she tells the persecution she faced in Myanmar and shows us her daily life now in a refugee camp in Bangladesh. “I want to talk to you,” she says, “I hope you can tell others my story.” Al Jazeera’s Contrast VR is doing just that with the release of “I Am Rohingya”. Jamalida’s love for dancing, passion for life, and inspiring resilience in the face of unthinkable adversity is the focus of the studio’s first virtual reality documentary. Directed

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Asia Pacific (APAC), Breaking, Business, Global Politics, News, startups, Technology Security

Cryptocurrencies and ICO Under Increasing Scrutiny While Stars Move In

Just a day after China raised the  ban for  ICOs all together,  Hong Kong – the country that is a special administrative region of China – has voiced concern at the growth of ICO fundraising. “Those involved in an ICO need to be aware that some ICO structures may be subject to Hong Kong securities laws,” said Julia Leung of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) . She also clarified that the regulations don’t simply apply to Hong Kong-based companies holding ICOs, but any entity worldwide that sells tokens to individuals based in Hong Kong. Just for a reminder, this week China’s central bank,  issued a statement criticizing ICOs

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Breaking, Business, News, Opinion, , Software Programs, startups, US

Code and Coding: Where to Find Help in Los Angeles?

As you are likely aware if you’re from L.A., some 375 miles up the road lies Silicon Valley. Here, tech dreams come true, app ideas flourish into billion dollar corporations, and some of the most powerful tech companies in the world – Facebook, Apple, Google, to name a few – recruit smart and talented individuals to assist in shaping their bright future. It’s an attractive destination for anyone with ambitions in the industry, and you may want a slice of the action yourself. But before diving in and making the pilgrimage, you’d best hone your skills – learning to code in particular. Then again, from our inception we

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Asia Pacific (APAC), Breaking, Entertainment, Gaming, News, press releases, Smartphones, startups, Virtual Reality (VR)

NSFW: Miss Nanai Moans in English

From the dawn of entertainment, the destiny of standards was often taken in hand by the Adult Entertainment industry. While frowned up in the West, several countries in the Far East have a much more relaxed attitude towards such forms of entertainment. That is probably due to the fact that they’re a highly regulated industry – more so than alcohol and tobacco, for example. Just like VHS, DVD and the online content streaming, adult entertainment is making inroads into Virtual Reality, with one of leading publishers launching their content in English. VRJCC is a Japan based indie group that produced “Let’s Play With Nanai!” claiming to

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AMD, Breaking, Business, CPU, Entertainment, Exclusive, Gaming, Graphics, Hardware, Japan, News, Rumors, Sony, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

AMD Confirms Sony PlayStation Neo Based on 14nm CPU and Polaris?

During AMD’s 2016 Investor Day, the company disclosed its growth strategy. Many of the focal points are in motion already, or even public. For example, AMD sealed the deal with THATIC, Chinese government owned investment fund – which will see their x86 processors enter Chinese enterprise and government sectors in a big way. Second part of the strategy was to finally become a fabless semiconductor, with all the risks and rewards involved with that move. The company spun off its packaging facility, making a total cash intake in excess of $664 million – plus all the unannounced grants that the company is bidding for. Still, perhaps one of the biggest future announcement

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AMD, Asia Pacific (APAC), Breaking, Business, News, Nvidia, startups, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Vive X: Meet the $100 Million VR Accelerator

Even though it ‘still makes phones’, HTC is in the process of reinventing themselves. The company was the first of major technology companies to replace “Mobile First” with the “VR First” corporate approach, putting themselves in an advantageous position while the giants such as Samsung are slow to change their path, which we covered exclusively here. High Tech Computer Corporation, which is the full name of the company started its life as a computer manufacturer (HTC 1.0), quickly moving to the world of Windows Mobile PDA’s (anyone remembers Personal Digital Assistant craze of early 2000s?) and manufacturing brilliantly designed smartphones (HTC 2.0). HTC 3.0 is all about Virtual Reality, and the

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Asia Pacific (APAC), Breaking, Business, China, Enterprise, Exclusive, Intel, News

100 PFLOPS: China’s Supercomputer Circumvents U.S. Sales Ban

A year ago, we revealed that the U.S. State Department blocked the further sales of Intel Xeon and Xeon Phi processors to Chinese institutions, most notably the Tianhe-2 supercomputer. The U.S. Administration also blocked the move in which a China-based investment fund would invest in AMD i.e. one of original reasons for Radeon Technologies Group – which is even without the said investment, performing above and beyond its financial capabilities. The reason to move against Tianhe-2 is complicated yet simple – ever since its debut in June 2013, the Tianhe-2 supercomputer from NUDT (National University for Defense Technologies) sits on top of the World’s 500 fastest computers list. From the looks of

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Analysis, Business, energy, Global Politics, Space and Science, VR World

Report: Economic Growth with Green Environment is Possible

Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) – the largest source of man-made greenhouse gas emissions – stayed flat for the second year in a row, according to analysis of preliminary data for 2015 released today by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA report is great news for the planet, giving us hope that economic growth is possible without damage to our natural habitat. It however, showcases how well can we adapt if we put our money, effort and trust into new technologies/systems overall. “The new figures confirm last year’s surprising but welcome news: we now have seen two straight years of greenhouse gas emissions decoupling from economic growth,”

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Asia Pacific (APAC), Breaking, News

Singapore’s Singtel Offers 10 Gbps Internet for $135

Considered one of world’s ex-pat havens, Singapore is actually a very nice place to live. Stable ‘always summer’ equatorial climate, people complain about humidity (but spend 99% of their time in AC environments) and get to enjoy very fast Internet speeds. I’ve been lucky to call Singapore as one of my places of residence and there’s no doubt it is one of most pleasant places in Asia, if not globally. Living in Singapore also gives you an interesting experience when it comes to Internet speeds. The Singapore government owns or co-owns all the telecoms, but that does not mean they will offer shabby service. Quite the opposite. Singapore telcos are seriously

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Analysis, Business, , Global Politics, Google, News, , VR World

Earth vs. Social: Facebook is the Largest Nation in the World

Facebook often claims they are the largest social network in the world. Even though there are many non-humans on the list (pets), the undeniable fact is that Facebook has more people using its services than there are people living in China. If we would extrapolate the numbers of social media users and real world countries, we would get quite an interesting list. Thus, we decided to compile data from Wikipedia, showing the list of citizens in largest countries in the world, and an August 2015 report from We Are Social, a British-based analyst firm which focuses on tracking trends in the world of social media. The results

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aerospace, Biotech, Business, Global Politics, News, Space and Science

VIDEO: Elon Musk Speech at the Climate Conference in Paris

Elon Musk, serial entrepreneur and hands-on executive for his disruptive businesses, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and Solar City gave a short, but sweet speech during the 21st Climate Change conference, which takes place in Paris, France. There’s no denying that humans are impacting the environment, but even if that could be argued, one cannot argue that we as a society have to become more efficient. Just as tractors replaced horses and oxes in the fields, and those replaced human labor, we need to look beyond the tractor to increase efficiency and consequentially, productivity of the said piece of land. Instead of giving you a long article filled

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