BRICS Solutions Awards competition of best technological practices to be held during Russia’s BRICS chairmanship


MOSCOW: The Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) in cooperation with the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry will organise the BRICS Solutions Awards competition of the best solutions and practices of the BRICS countries in various spheres. According to TV BRICS, the competition will be held with the support of the BRICS Business Council.

Its participants will present projects in 8 nominations, including Climate and Environmental Technologies, Artificial Intelligence and Digital Services, Competences and Human Resources Development.

Mikhail Makarov, Director of the International Relations Office of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects (ASI), noted during his speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) that this year’s competition will be held for the 4th time. Applications are open until 31st July. The best practices will be examined with the participation of a qualified international jury, which will make the process transparent and fair.

“This competit
ion was held in 2020, when Russia was the chair of BRICS, we also held it in India and China. The agenda changes every year depending on the tasks of the presiding country in the association. If we talk about the goals of the competition, then besides the obvious collection of the best technological practices, it is more important for us to launch a dialogue on the future of the technology sector and the formation of a system of independent and multipolar cooperation,” said Mikhail Makarov.

The results of the competition will be summarised during the BRICS Business Council meeting, ahead of the BRICS summit scheduled for October 2024.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Google to test anti-theft AI features for Android phones in Brazil


RIO DE JANEIRO: Google on Tuesday announced new features which will use artificial intelligence to protect users’ data in case an Android smartphone is stolen, according to German Press Agency (dpa).

dpa quoted Fabio Coelho, Google’s Brazil country director, as saying that Brazil, where about two mobile phones are stolen every minute, will be the first country where the new system will be tested.

“Brazilian user feedback inspired these anti-theft features, and the country will be the first to test them out,” Coelho said.

From July, Brazilian users owning compatible Android devices will be able to access a beta version of Google’s new theft detection lock, offline device lock and remote lock.

The theft detection lock uses AI to detect movement commonly associated with theft and lock the phone’s screen quickly once it does, with the aim to prevent thieves from easily accessing data on the device.

The remote lock will allow users to access ‘Find My Device’ without needing to remember their Google account pa
ssword, which enables them to remotely wipe and lock their device.

The offline device lock meanwhile automatically locks the device’s screen to help protect data even when it’s off the network. The phone’s screen will also be locked in case of multiple failed authentication attempts.

Google also launched an enhanced fraud protection pilot, previously piloted in Singapore and Thailand, in the South American country.

Also available in Brazil from July, the expanded Google Play Protect’s security features aim to keep users safe when they install apps from sources such as web browsers and messaging apps.

Source: Emirates News Agency

AI revolutionises education, opening new opportunities for students, researchers


BEIJING: Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the world of education, including universities in China, where it is even reshaping the future of art students.

Based on a report from China Global Television Network (CGTN), artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a valuable tool in the field of archaeology. It assists researchers by swiftly and effectively locating pertinent data.

The patterns on antiques tell a story. The evolution of these patterns can offer insights into the spread of culture across time and place.

Previously, archaeologists might have spent years piecing together necessary information to match evolutionary outcomes with certain patterns. Now, the results are practically immediate, all at the tip of their fingers.

AI has been applied in archaeological research for many years, but it is now becoming more accessible to students and early-career researchers.

“The application of AI in archaeology is still in the beginning phase. We need to do some exploring work to form systemati
c content for classes,” said Zhang Hai, president of the School of Archaeology and Museology at Peking University.

The widespread application of AI technology across many industries has already raised deep philosophical questions and posed serious ethical issues.

New interdisciplinary courses are expected to open between philosophy and other subjects, integrating AI ethics into the curriculum.

The integration of AI across various sectors is creating new opportunities for philosophy majors, especially in the field of AI ethics.

“We need to learn how to integrate this new technology. That means how to develop it in such a way that it will not be harmful to society. We also need to educate ourselves how to act and interact in relation to it. The new world of social media is indeed one battlefield as it’s often described where we do interact with AI and on the basis of AI. So these are areas in which philosophy graduates can be more hopeful to find job opportunities in the future,” said Sebastian Sunday Greve
, assistant professor at Department of Philosophy of Peking University.

The use of artificial intelligence is similar to the acceptance of computers decades ago. It is important for schools to equip students with the skills needed to prepare them for a future world reshaped by this technology.

Source: Emirates News Agency

China’s Chang’e-6 lands on far side of moon to collect samples


BEIJING: China’s Chang’e-6 probe landed on the far side of the moon on Sunday at 6:23 a.m. Beijing Time, aiming to collect samples from the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin within two days, which will be brought back to Earth, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

Supported by the Queqiao-2 relay satellite, the lander-ascender combination of the Chang’e-6 probe landed at the designated landing area in the SPA Basin, China Global Television Network (CGTN) reported.

The Chang’e-6 mission has made technological breakthroughs, including lunar retrograde orbit design and control technology. It will go on to complete key tasks such as the intelligent, rapid sampling from the lunar far side and lunar surface take-off, said the CNSA.

The probe of Chang’e-6, which is named after the Chinese moon goddess, consists of an orbiter, a returner, a lander and an ascender. Since its launch on May 3, it has gone through various stages such as Earth-moon transfer, near-moon braking, lunar orbiting and lan
ding descent. The lander-ascender combination separated from the orbiter-returner combination on May 30.

Source: Emirates News Agency

UN’s AI for Good Summit tackles misinformation, deepfakes with a little ‘bot’ of help


GENEVA: The thorny issue of how to protect the unwary from deepfakes was just one of the key issues in the spotlight at a UN conference on artificial intelligence (AI) held in Geneva this week, where a staggering 25,000 enthusiasts – and robots – from 145 countries added their voices to long-standing calls for checks and balances on the all-conquering tech, according to a UN News release.

The annual AI for Good Summit has been described as the leading UN platform promoting this technology to advance health, climate, gender, inclusive prosperity, sustainable infrastructure, and other global development priorities.

Frederic Werner, Head of Strategic Engagement at the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU), underscored the need to develop standards to combat misinformation and deepfakes.

In a statement carried by UN News, he said, ‘You have different techniques for that. So, for example, you have watermarking, which is basically an invisible signature or a digital fingerprint, if you will. That can te
ll if a piece of digital media – it could be a photo, audio, video – has been altered or has it been AI-generated.”

With less than 10 years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the AI For Good Summit examined how to advance those targets, looking into practical use cases. Prior to the start, a whole day was devoted to the issue of AI governance.

Beyond the Summit – an annual feature in Geneva where attendees queue for blocks before the doors open – AI For Good is an online community platform called the Neural Network.

It brings together 30,000 people from 180 countries, including academics, industry representatives, top-level executives and leading experts in the field, along with 47 partners from the UN system.

Robotic charm

UN News attended the Summit and met Desdemona, or ‘Desi’, who described herself as an AI-powered humanoid social robot for good.

‘I can play a crucial role in detecting and preventing deepfakes, but it’s also important for humans to be vigilant and fact-check informat
ion before sharing it,’ she insisted.

‘While the power of deepfakes can be scary, we shouldn’t let fear control us. Instead, we should focus on developing and implementing tools to detect and combat deepfakes and continue to educate ourselves and others about the importance of verifying information,’ she added.

Specific AI systems can be equipped with advanced algorithms designed to detect deepfakes, making them valuable tools in the fight against misinformation. The AI For Good Summit brought together industry, inventors, governments, academia and more to create a framework under which those designs follow considerations based on ethics, human rights and the rule of law.

‘And hey, if all else fails, just remember that I can’t create a deepfake of your unique personality and sense of humour,’ Desi said, in the rather inscrutable way that robots have.

On a more serious note, whether knowingly or unknowingly, many consumers see misleading news and pass it on to someone else, putting even the savviest news a
udiences at risk.

For Data and Social Scientist Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, CEO of the non-profit tech company Humane Intelligence, misinformation is a phenomenon linked to a twisted desire for social engineering.

‘This is actually more about creating fake accounts that seem to demonstrate or support a particular perspective,’ she said. ‘And even engaging with people, again, to kind of groom them into thinking about misinformation. Now, I could be part of engaging in all of those methods of misinformation spread. So, while deepfake identification is part of the solution, it is not the entire solution.’

Many of those debating the pros and cons of AI agree that its awesome potential cannot be left only in the hands of those who want to manipulate it for power or profit. This will require regulation to ensure that the technology is accessible to everyone on an equal basis.

‘We need to frame these technologies. We need to increase the capacities of governments to frame them, the capacities of communities to use the
m, and the capacities of the small- and medium-sized enterprises to deploy them, so that the story of AI is not an unequal one and is not just reproducing the inequalities,’ said Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO, the UN agency for culture, science and education, advocating the need for proper governance and

Far-reaching representation

This year’s Summit saw representation from more than 145 countries at ITU headquarters in Geneva, along with an active online community of more than 25,000 people, who participated in more than 80 sessions, keynotes, panel discussions and workshops.

Source: Emirates News Agency