Category: Asia

Corpse-detecting robots will use AI to recover bodies from the Korean War


South Korea is developing autonomous robots to recover the remains of soldiers killed in the Korean War. The excavations will take place in Arrowhead Ridge, a former battlefield inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that bisects the Korean Peninsula. The droids will use AI to scan underground for bodies of soldiers still missing from the war, which began in 1950 when North Korean communist forces invaded the capitalist south. A 1953 armistice suspended hostilities, but the ceasefire never progressed into a peace treaty. Tensions still simmer on the peninsula to this day. The Forgotten War Just last Sunday, the two sides exchanged…

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Facebook-backed Reliance Jio pilots basic grocery ordering service on WhatsApp in India


Less than a week ago, Facebook announced it was investing $5.7 billion into India’s largest mobile carrier, Reliance Jio. We now have an idea of how the two giants plan to collaborate: The latter’s ecommerce arm, JioMart, is now testing a system for WhatsApp users to order goods via the messaging service. The pilot program currently allows for people in three cities in the state of Maharashtra — Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan — to browse and order groceries for pickup from neighborhood stores, all via WhatsApp. Here’s how it works: You’ll need to first text “Hi” to +91 8850008000 on…

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AI-penned manga Paidon to be published this week


A new manga designed by AI and drawn by a robotic hand will be published in this week’s edition of Japan‘s Morning magazine. The AI developed the characters and plot by studying the works of Osamu Tezuka, known as “the father of manga” and the “Walt Disney of Japan” for creating classics such as Astro Boy and Black Jack before his death in 1989. Humans helpers completed the work by adding details such as clothing and dialogue, the Japan Times reports. The results will be revealed in a story called “Paidon,” which revolves around a homeless philosopher who teams up with a…

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AI sent first coronavirus alert, but underestimated the danger


Research suggests that an AI beat humans to the punch in warning the world about the coronavirus. But it didn’t get all the credit, because it needed humans to recognize the danger. Earlier reports had suggested that a Canadian epidemiologist had raised the first warnings of the outbreak, using an algorithm called BlueDot that scanned news reports and airline ticketing to predict the spread of the disease. Associated Press reporters Christina Larson and Matt O’Brien were dubious about the claim, and decided to draw up a timeline of when global alert systems noticed the signals. They determined that the first warning outside China of the…

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Indian government orders mobile internet to be suspended in the capital, says Airtel


Amid protests across the nation over new and upcoming citizenship laws in India, a major carrier called Airtel said in a now-deleted tweet that the government has ordered mobile data, voice, and SMS services to be suspended in some parts of the country’s capital of New Delhi. This is alarming because it illustrates that the country’s government is clamping down on citizens‘ efforts to voice their opinions on numerous issues plaguing India right now, and restricting their ability to coordinate protests. The news follows the onset of protests in several cities and towns against the National Register of Citizens Bill…

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UberEats’ India business is reportedly being sold to its local rival


Uber is close to selling the India-based arm of its UberEats food delivery service to Zomato, a local competitor in the crowded space, reports TechCrunch’s Manish Singh. According to the outlet’s sources, Uber is in advanced stages of talks to close the deal; UberEats is said to be valued at roughly $400 million, and its parent company will invest between $150 million and $200 million for a stake in Zomato. The move is likely a measure for Uber to cut losses, as it’s bled billions of dollars each quarter this year, and aims to become profitable by 2021. UberEats has…

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Russia to pre-install its own apps on all phones, PCs, and TVs sold in the country


Russia has officially passed a law banning the sale of electronic equipment that doesn’t have Russian software pre-installed on it. The law — which is set to go into effect starting July 1, 2020 — will force electronic equipment sold in Russia — such as smartphones, computers, and smart TVs — to ship pre-installed with apps from Russian tech firms. The bill was tabled in the parliament earlier this month. The government is expected to publish for each device type a list of Russian software that manufacturers will need to include on devices sold in the country. “The bill provides Russian…

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265 Indian fake news sites caught pushing anti-Pakistan propaganda


Researchers have discovered a network of 265 fake local news sites — named after defunct newspaper and media outlets — across 65 countries that are being used to disseminate anti-Pakistan coverage and serve Indian governmental interests. Uncovered by the EU DisinfoLab, an EU-based NGO focused on researching sophisticated disinformation campaigns, the operations were traced back to a group of Indian companies, NGOs, and think tanks. The sites — such as 4newsagency.com, eptoday.com, and timesofgeneva.com — operated by serving syndicated news from Russia Today and Voice of America. But the researchers said they “unexpectedly” found a large number of articles related…

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