Citizens' Issues
India still not ready for Artificial Intelligence
New Delhi : At a time when the global technology giants are set to leverage the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for your daily lives -- from taking care of businesses to fulfilling your personal needs -- India seems to be reluctant to get on to this bus.
 
When Amit Singhal -- an India-born techie who joined Google nearly 15 years ago practically reigning at Google Search since then -- decided to quit this month and hand the baton over to the head of the technology giant's artificial intelligence (AI) chief, the message was clear: AI was the future that had arrived.
 
Amid all the brouhaha over machines acquiring near-human intelligence, is India ready to embrace the change?
 
"For the Indian market, we might see some serious AI in action around 2020, and by 2025 there should be considerable advancements," Faisal Kawoosa, lead analyst, Telecoms Practice, at market research and consulting firm CyberMedia Research (CMR), told IANS.
 
According to Thomas George, SBU Head of CMR, there were several studies projecting AI becoming mainstream within five years. "However, this appears possible only in the high-end segments in the advanced and developed markets and not in India," he added.
 
According to a latest forecast by the research firm MarketsandMarkets, the AI market is estimated to reach $5 billion by 2020 globally. "The increasing use of machine learning technology in the advertising and media and finance sectors, and the growing demand for AI across diversified application areas are driving the growth of the AI market," the findings showed.
 
In India, the top-notch technology companies are yet to make a substantial progress into the business of AI.
 
While Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has Ignio -- a neural science-based automation platform that optimises IT operations, Infosys has recently launched AiKiDo project that will focus on AI, knowledge-based IT and design thinking to help enterprise clients.
 
Wipro, on the other hand, has an AI platform "Holmes" -- a rich set of cognitive computing services for the development of digital virtual agents, cognitive process automation, visual computing applications, robotics and drones. To fulfill its AI dreams, Wipro recently acquired a strategic stake in Vicarious -- an AI company based in San Francisco, California.
 
But this does not seem enough when it comes to the practical application of AI in the country on a large scale. "Although industry circles have been talking about AI for more than a decade, it is yet to make its mark in India," George said.
 
Globally, Microsoft, Google and Facebook are leading the way when it comes to incorporating AI into the workplace -- transforming the experience of "machine learning" via "deep neural networks" of hardware and software that nearly approximate neurons in the human brain.
 
"Machine intelligence is crucial to our search vision of building a truly intelligent assistant that connects our users to information and actions in the real world," Google said in a statement recently.
 
John Giannandrea, who led Google's machine learning efforts and is going to replace Singhal, is applying the technology to products such as image recognition for Google Photos search and the smart reply for Google Inbox.
 
In a cheer for the AI community, Google's AlphaGo, a programme of its artificial intelligence arm DeepMind, recently defeated the reigning human champion of Go - a complex Chinese board game that is considered the "quintessential unsolved problem" for machine intelligence.
 
At Facebook, its CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to focus on AI and is even thinking of a simple AI to run his home and workplace like the famous Jarvis character in the Hollywood movie "Iron Man".
 
According to Chris Bishop, managing director at Microsoft Research, 2016 will be the year of AI. "During 2016, we will see the emergence of new silicon architectures that are tuned to the intensive workloads of machine learning, offering a major performance boost over GPUs (Graphics Processing Units)," he posted.
 
In his first "Ask Me Anything" session on the social networking website Reddit last year, famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking said that we evolved to be smarter than our ape-like ancestors and scientist Albert Einstein was smarter than his parents.
 
"If they become that clever, then we may face an 'intelligence explosion', as machines develop the ability to engineer themselves to be far more intelligent," he said in reply to a question on the discussion board.
 
That might eventually result in "machines whose intelligence exceeds ours by more than ours exceeds that of snails", Hawking answered.
 
That may be a daunting task for people to absorb. But perhaps human intelligence will evolve to do just that.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Now, France asks Facebook to stop sending user data to US
London : In another setback to Facebook in Europe, the French data protection authority has ordered the social networking giant to stop sending user data to the US and comply with the European data protection law.
 
According to a report in technology website Tech Crunch, Facebook has been given three months to make the changes deemed necessary by the data protection authority CNIL and failing to do so will incur heavy fines.
 
Specifically, the data protection agency is unhappy that Facebook collects the browsing activity of internet users who do not have a Facebook account.
 
“The company does not inform Internet users that it sets a cookie on their terminal when they visit a Facebook public page (page of a public event or of a friend). This cookie transmits to Facebook information relating to third-party websites offering Facebook plug-ins (e.g. Like button) that are visited by Internet users,” the CNIL notice read.
 
According to the notice, Facebook collects user data concerning sexual orientation, religious and political views “without the explicit consent of account holders”. Nor does it inform users on the sign up form “with regard to their rights and the processing of their personal data”.
 
Facebook is also accused of using the now illegal “Safe Harbor” data transfer mechanism - a longstanding trans-Atlantic data transfer agreement that was invalidated by the European Court of Justice last year, the report added.
 
According to a Facebook spokesperson, “We are confident that we comply with European Data Protection law and look forward to engaging with the CNIL to respond to their concerns.”
 
According to CNIL, it has made its notice against Facebook public due to “the seriousness of the violations and the number of individuals concerned by the Facebook service”.
 
Facebook has more than 30 million users in France.
 
The social networking giant is facing several privacy-related probes in Europe.
 
In November, a Belgian court ordered the company to stop using cookies to track the web activity of its users.
 
As well as investigations by the French and Belgian authorities, Facebook is also being probed by Spanish, Dutch and German (Hamburg) data protection authorities.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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This tech could give you week's battery in single charge
London : With this new technology, your phone could get an entire week's battery life in a single charge.
 
"Give us more juice" was the cry from tech enthusiasts at this year's Consumer Electronics Show held in January in Las Vegas and the number one item on their tech wish list was better battery life, Fortune said in its survey report.
 
To this increasing demand, Intelligent Energy -- a 27-year-old British company working on clean power technology -- has an answer.
 
The company, in partnership with an "emerging" smartphone manufacturer, is working to bring hydrogen fuel cell technology to mobile devices that could give more life to batteries in a single charge.
 
"Hydrogen fuel cells do not work like conventional lithium-ion batteries, charging and re-charging electrodes every time a phone needs a boost," Fortune reported.
 
"Instead they generate electricity from a chemical reaction, combining hydrogen with oxygen to create an electrical current as well as a water by-product."
 
"This technology can also be used to make a hybrid fuel cell battery. By integrating the powerful fuel cells into a phone battery, the device continues to be wall-chargeable, but also packs a boost of backup power," the report noted.
 
But to power up a fuel cell, you need to literally gas it up, adding more hydrogen to the device.
 
The company had worked with Boeing to develop a fuel cell airplane in 2008 and in 2010 it helped put a fuel cell hybrid black cab on the streets of London.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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