Elon Musk's Jet Leaves Shanghai as Tycoon Wraps up China Visit

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk gets in a Tesla car as he leaves a hotel in Beijing, China May 31, 2023. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk gets in a Tesla car as he leaves a hotel in Beijing, China May 31, 2023. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
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Elon Musk's Jet Leaves Shanghai as Tycoon Wraps up China Visit

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk gets in a Tesla car as he leaves a hotel in Beijing, China May 31, 2023. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk gets in a Tesla car as he leaves a hotel in Beijing, China May 31, 2023. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

A jet belonging to Tesla CEO Elon Musk departed Shanghai on Thursday, Chinese flight-tracking data showed, as the tycoon wraps up a visit to China that has seen him express hopes to expand business in the world's largest market for electric vehicles.

Musk's private jet took off from Shanghai's Hongqiao airport just after 11 am (0300 GMT), data from Umetrip, which is backed by China's major state-owned airlines, showed.

It was bound for Austin, Texas, where Tesla is headquartered, said AFP.

The mercurial tycoon, one of the world's richest men, is wrapping his first trip to China in more than three years.

On Wednesday night he visited Tesla's factory on the outskirts of Shanghai and met employees, a post on China's Weibo social media by the car company's global vice president Grace Tao showed.

Earlier in the day he met Commerce Minister Wang Wentao in Beijing, praising China's "vitality and promise" and expressing "full confidence in the China market", according to a readout.

Musk and Tesla have not released any statement on the trip, or responded to AFP requests for comment.

The billionaire has extensive business interests in the country and told Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Tuesday that his firm was "willing to continue to expand its business in China", according to the foreign ministry.

Musk's work in China has raised eyebrows in Washington, with President Joe Biden saying in November the Twitter owner's links to foreign countries were "worthy" of scrutiny.

The tycoon has also caused controversy by suggesting the self-ruled island of Taiwan should become part of China -- a stance welcomed by Chinese officials but which deeply angered Taipei.

Musk is one of a number of Western executives to visit China since the country ended strict Covid controls that saw it largely closed off from the world for almost three years.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said this week that Beijing welcomed visits by international executives "to better understand China and promote mutually beneficial cooperation".

In March, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Beijing, saying his company enjoyed a "symbiotic" relationship with China.



Saudi Communications, Space, and Technology Commission Joins Digital Sustainability Alliance with ITU

The Communications, Space and Technology Commission (CST) logo
The Communications, Space and Technology Commission (CST) logo
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Saudi Communications, Space, and Technology Commission Joins Digital Sustainability Alliance with ITU

The Communications, Space and Technology Commission (CST) logo
The Communications, Space and Technology Commission (CST) logo

The Saudi Communications, Space, and Technology Commission (CST) has joined the Digital Sustainability Alliance (DSA) with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The announcement was made in the presence of ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin on the sidelines of the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) held in Dubai.

The alliance of DSA and ITU aims to stimulate opportunities for partnerships and expand the scope of coordination with the communications and technology community to participate in finding and developing digital solutions to address climate challenges, through the transition to digital infrastructure that enables sustainable environmental solutions.

CST said in a statement that by joining the alliance, it seeks to come up with sustainable digital solutions to address climate challenges, develop and implement regulations that enable the circular economy to contribute to reducing carbon emissions and the effects of climate change, and move to an environment-friendly digital infrastructure through cooperation with partners in the government and private sectors and UN organizations.


Google Pushes for Antitrust Action Against Microsoft in UK Cloud Market

(FILES) This illustration photograph taken on October 30, 2023 in Mulhouse, eastern France, shows figurines next to a screen displaying a logo of Google, a US multinational technology company. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP)
(FILES) This illustration photograph taken on October 30, 2023 in Mulhouse, eastern France, shows figurines next to a screen displaying a logo of Google, a US multinational technology company. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP)
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Google Pushes for Antitrust Action Against Microsoft in UK Cloud Market

(FILES) This illustration photograph taken on October 30, 2023 in Mulhouse, eastern France, shows figurines next to a screen displaying a logo of Google, a US multinational technology company. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP)
(FILES) This illustration photograph taken on October 30, 2023 in Mulhouse, eastern France, shows figurines next to a screen displaying a logo of Google, a US multinational technology company. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP)

Google has called on Britain’s antitrust regulator to take action against Microsoft, claiming its business practices had left rivals at a significant disadvantage, according to a letter seen by Reuters.
Microsoft and Amazon have faced mounting scrutiny around the world over their dominance of the cloud computing industry, with regulators in Britain, the European Union, and the US probing their market power.
The CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) launched an investigation into Britain’s cloud computing industry in October, following a referral from media regulator Ofcom which highlighted Amazon and Microsoft’s dominance of the market.
In 2022, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft's Azure had a combined 70-80% share of Britain's public cloud infrastructure services market, Ofcom said. Google’s cloud division was their closest competitor, at around 5-10%.
In a letter submitted to the CMA, Google said Microsoft’s licensing practices unfairly discouraged customers from using competitor services, even as a secondary provider alongside Azure.
“With Microsoft’s licensing restrictions in particular, UK customers are left with no economically reasonable alternative but to use Azure as their cloud services provider, even if they prefer the prices, quality, security, innovations, and features of rivals,” Google said in its letter to the CMA.
Such practices directly harmed customers, and were the only significant barrier to competition in Britain’s cloud computing market, the company said.
Microsoft last year updated its licensing rules to address such concerns and promote competition, though the changes did not satisfy rivals.
A Microsoft spokesperson said the company had worked with independent cloud providers to address concerns and provide opportunity and that more than 100 worldwide had taken advantage of the changes.
"As the latest independent data shows, competition between cloud hyperscalers remains healthy. In the second quarter of 2023 Microsoft and Google made equally small gains on AWS, which continues to remain the global market leader by a significant margin," the Microsoft spokesperson said.
Speaking to Reuters, Google Cloud Vice President Amit Zavery criticiced Microsoft’s practices, and said his company was committed to a multi-cloud approach, in which customers could easily move between providers depending on their needs.
"A lot of our software and cloud services interoperate, and can run on AWS or on Azure as well, so you're not restricted," he said. "If you don't fix this, eventually you will have fewer cloud providers, and then innovation will not really happen, and investments will start shrinking."
At issue was Microsoft's decision to update the terms for when customers wanted to use their Windows or other software licenses in the cloud, effectively resulting in higher costs if they used Google or AWS instead of Microsoft's Azure.
Asked why Amazon, which boasts a larger share of the cloud market than Microsoft, did not pose a similarly anticompetitive risk, Zavery said AWS consumers were not facing the same restrictions.
“There are some issues, in terms of cloud interoperability, but we can fix that. That's a discussion between providers, which is much understood, and customers are forcing that conversation,” he said.
“The problem we run into with Microsoft is that there's no technical issue, but you have licensing restrictions which means we are now being prevented from competing.”
Google made six recommendations to the CMA, including forcing Microsoft to improve interoperability for customers using Azure and alongside other cloud services, and banning it from withholding security updates from those that switch.
The CMA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


SDAIA, KAUST to Organize World AI Youth Competition in Jeddah

The Saudi Data and AI Authority (SDAIA) logo
The Saudi Data and AI Authority (SDAIA) logo
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SDAIA, KAUST to Organize World AI Youth Competition in Jeddah

The Saudi Data and AI Authority (SDAIA) logo
The Saudi Data and AI Authority (SDAIA) logo

The Saudi Data and AI Authority (SDAIA) and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will organize the World Artificial Intelligence Competition for Youth (WAICY) in Thuwal, Jeddah, on December 2-3.

The competition will be held simultaneously in 39 countries, with the participation of over 18,000 students from public schools, including the Kingdom.

The competition is taking place for the second consecutive year, featuring over 6,000 project submissions from participating students for remote and in-person discussions.

WAICY is one of the largest international competitions focusing on artificial intelligence (AI), generating interest from countries around the world. SDAIA has taken the lead in adopting this competition to equip the future generation with the skills to learn and apply AI technology for solving real-world problems.

The competition will be conducted through an integrated approach, where students will present their projects online, accompanied by explanatory videos. Selected projects will be assigned specific times and dates for presentation during the competition. The competition encompasses three tracks: AI Showcase, AI Generated Art, and AI LLM.

This competition contributes to achieving the highest levels of human development in the Kingdom by fostering human capital and sustainably enhancing the capabilities of both male and female youth in the field of modern technology.

Furthermore, the competition will prepare the youth in Saudi Arabia for success in advanced technological fields, positioning the Kingdom as a global hub for cutting-edge technologies and AI-related advancements.


Meta Platforms' Paid Ad-free Service is Targeted in EU Consumer Groups' Complaint

FILE - The Meta logo is seen at the Vivatech show in Paris, France, on June 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
FILE - The Meta logo is seen at the Vivatech show in Paris, France, on June 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
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Meta Platforms' Paid Ad-free Service is Targeted in EU Consumer Groups' Complaint

FILE - The Meta logo is seen at the Vivatech show in Paris, France, on June 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
FILE - The Meta logo is seen at the Vivatech show in Paris, France, on June 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

Meta Platforms' paid no-ads subscription service, which it rolled out in Europe this month, breaches EU consumer laws, Europe's largest consumer group said on Thursday as it took its grievance to consumer protection authorities.
The joint complaint from the European Consumer Organization (BEUC) and 18 of its members to the network of consumer protection authorities (CPC) came two days after advocacy group NOYB filed a complaint with the Austrian privacy watchdog, saying Meta's new service amounted to paying a fee to ensure privacy.
Meta has said it launched the paid no-ads subscription service, which applies to Facebook and Instagram, to comply with EU rules requiring companies to give users a choice on whether their data can be collected and used for targeted ads.
BEUC singled out several issues.
"Meta is breaching EU consumer law by using unfair, deceptive and aggressive practices, including partially blocking consumers from using the services to force them to take a decision quickly, and providing misleading and incomplete information in the process," BEUC Deputy Director General Ursula Pachl said in a statement.
BEUC said it was likely that users' data would continue to be collected and used for other purposes even if they select the new service. It also took issue with the "very high subscription fee for ad-free services" which could deter users.
"At this price, consumers are simply going to consent to Meta's profiling and tracking, which is exactly what the tech giant wants. People should not be asked to pay for protecting their privacy," Pachl said.
The ad-free service cost 9.99 euros ($10.96) monthly for Web users and 12.99 euros for iOS and Android users. Meta has said these prices are in line with Google's YouTube and Spotify's premium services and with Netflix.


Google DeepMind AI Reveals Potential for Thousands of New Materials

16 August 2022, North Rhine-Westphalia, Cologne: The lettering and logo of Google pictured on a glass pane in the press center of Koelnmesse. (dpa)
16 August 2022, North Rhine-Westphalia, Cologne: The lettering and logo of Google pictured on a glass pane in the press center of Koelnmesse. (dpa)
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Google DeepMind AI Reveals Potential for Thousands of New Materials

16 August 2022, North Rhine-Westphalia, Cologne: The lettering and logo of Google pictured on a glass pane in the press center of Koelnmesse. (dpa)
16 August 2022, North Rhine-Westphalia, Cologne: The lettering and logo of Google pictured on a glass pane in the press center of Koelnmesse. (dpa)

Google DeepMind has used artificial intelligence (AI) to predict the structure of more than 2 million new materials, a breakthrough it said could soon be used to improve real-world technologies.

In a research paper published in science journal Nature on Wednesday, the Alphabet-owned AI firm said almost 400,000 of its hypothetical material designs could soon be produced in lab conditions.

Potential applications for the research include the production of better-performing batteries, solar panels and computer chips.

The discovery and synthesis of new materials can be a costly and time-consuming process. For example, it took around two decades of research before lithium-ion batteries – today used to power everything from phones and laptops to electric vehicles – were made commercially available.

“We're hoping that big improvements in experimentation, autonomous synthesis, and machine learning models will significantly shorten that 10 to 20-year timeline to something that's much more manageable,” said Ekin Dogus Cubuk, a research scientist at DeepMind.

DeepMind’s AI was trained on data from the Materials Project, an international research group founded at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2011, made up of existing research of around 50,000 already-known materials.

The company said it would now share its data with the research community, in the hopes of accelerating further breakthroughs in material discovery.

"Industry tends to be a little risk-averse when it comes to cost increases, and new materials typically take a bit of time before they become cost-effective," said Kristin Persson, director of the Materials Project.

"If we can shrink that even a bit more, it would be considered a real breakthrough."

Having used AI to predict the stability of these new materials, DeepMind said it would now turn its focus to predicting how easily they can be synthesized in the lab.


SDAIA, NTP Launch Saudi Arabia’s 1st National Data Index

The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) and the National Transformation Program (NTP) launched on Monday the first National Data Index (Nudei).
The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) and the National Transformation Program (NTP) launched on Monday the first National Data Index (Nudei).
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SDAIA, NTP Launch Saudi Arabia’s 1st National Data Index

The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) and the National Transformation Program (NTP) launched on Monday the first National Data Index (Nudei).
The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) and the National Transformation Program (NTP) launched on Monday the first National Data Index (Nudei).

The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) and the National Transformation Program (NTP) launched on Monday the first National Data Index (Nudei), the developed version of the Open Data Platform, as well as the Data Governance Platform, in a first for the Kingdom.

The move is a bid to achieve the objectives of promoting transparency, creating a national data-based economy, and contributing to the assessment of data maturity in government entities, specified in the Saudi Vision 2030.

The launch was made during the Saudi Data Forum, organized by the SDAIA and NTP, which kicked off in Riyadh on Monday.

Attending the event were Assistant Minister of Interior for Technology Affairs Prince Bandar bin Abdullah bin Mishari, SDAIA President Dr. Abdullah bin Sharaf Al-Ghamdi, several ministers and senior officials dealing with data from public departments, major local and international institutions and companies.

The National Data Index is the result of the collaboration between SDAIA and NTP. It is a dynamic results-based indicator for follow-up and evaluation that was developed with the aim of assessing and tracking the progress of government agencies in data management, and compliance and operational indicators.

The indicator provides government entities with enabling tools that effectively help measure data management practices and achieve advanced evaluation levels. It covers 14 areas of data management through three key components: data management maturity measurement questionnaire, measurement of compliance with national data management controls and specifications, and measurement of operational indicators.

The indicator aims to establish a robust data governance framework and policies, with the aim of controlling data management practices, measuring data management maturity and ensuring compliance, improving the effectiveness of data management operational processes, and developing compliance and investigation-reporting mechanisms.

It also aims at tracking and controlling compliance with regulations, as well as improving data life cycle management processes to ensure accurate, complete and coordinated data and implement data life cycle management processes to deal with data from creation to disposal in a standard-compliant manner.

It will promote a culture of data management through training programs for government employees and help carry out awareness campaigns for beneficiary groups.

The indicator enhances transparency in all government agencies and tracks their progress in implementing data management practices. The results and recommendations help improve data quality, credibility, and integrity.

SDAIA conducted 15 training workshops for 189 participants from 52 government agencies, followed by 12 virtual workshops that benefited 436 participants. They were aimed at raising awareness about the measurement entities.

An upgraded version of the open data platform was launched during the ceremony. It allows individuals, government, and non-government agencies to publish their open data and make it available to beneficiaries, such as entrepreneurs.

This initiative contributes to building a digital economy in the Kingdom. The platform has so far achieved more than 7,000 open data sets, more than 190 open data publishers, and more than 35 use cases.

The data governance platform that was launched aims to register entities covered by the Personal Data Protection Law. It is bound to raise the level of these entities' commitment to the system's provisions by providing support and advice on preserving the privacy of personal data holders and protecting their rights.

The platform aims to create a unified national registry and enable entities to comply with their obligations stipulated in the system. It develops measurement indicators that reflect the results of the extent of compliance with laws and regulations.

Government agencies can benefit from the platform in easy steps: fill out the registration form, log in through the national unified access platform, complete the entity's profile, and submit data for evaluation. Once the entity obtains the official registration certificate, it can benefit from the various services offered on the platform.

The data governance platform provides government agencies with several services, including notification about a possible data leak, privacy impact assessment, legal support, and a self-assessment tool for compliance with the Personal Data Protection Law and its regulations. It also offers compliance assessment, thus helping promote correct practices and identify and address areas of non-compliance.

The platform provides corrective action follow-up services to ensure that issues do not recur and to achieve the highest levels of responsibility and transparency.

In January 2022, SDAIA and NTP signed a memorandum of understanding to launch new strategic partnerships and smart business solutions, which support the strategic objectives of Saudi Vision 2030 assigned to NTP. SDAIA will also come up with quality digital initiatives related to data and intelligence. Artificial technology will be employed to achieve the NTP goals and enable digital transformation in the Kingdom.


Australia to Amend Law to Regulate Digital Payments Like Apple, Google Pay 

An illuminated Google logo is seen inside an office building in Zurich, Switzerland December 5, 2018. (Reuters)
An illuminated Google logo is seen inside an office building in Zurich, Switzerland December 5, 2018. (Reuters)
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Australia to Amend Law to Regulate Digital Payments Like Apple, Google Pay 

An illuminated Google logo is seen inside an office building in Zurich, Switzerland December 5, 2018. (Reuters)
An illuminated Google logo is seen inside an office building in Zurich, Switzerland December 5, 2018. (Reuters)

Australia's government said on Monday it would bring Apple Pay, Google Pay and other digital payment services under the same regulatory umbrella as credit cards and other payments as part of legislation set to be introduced to parliament this week.

Digital wallets from the likes of Apple, Google and WeChat developer Tencent have exploded in popularity but are not captured by Australian payments law.

The legislation, first flagged last month, will broaden the legislation that empowers the Reserve Bank of Australia to regulate payments so that it applies to new and emerging technology.

"We are modernizing Australia's payments system to ensure it meets the needs of our economy now and into the future," Treasurer Jim Chalmers said in a statement.

"We want to make sure the increasing use of digital payments occurs in a way that helps promote greater competition, innovation and productivity across our entire economy."

Legislation is set to be introduced on Wednesday or Thursday, according to Chalmers' office.

Regulators are responding to the rapid growth of digital wallets, especially among the young. Transactions from a digital wallet hit 35% of all card transactions in the June quarter, up from 10% in early 2020.

Two-thirds of Australians aged between 18 and 29 use mobile payments. Before the pandemic it was less than 20%.

The amendments will also give a relevant minister power to subject a system or platform to special oversight in the event it presents a risk of "national significance."


Israel Hosts Wartime Visit by Elon Musk, Eyes Starlink for Gaza 

Tesla and SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk pauses during an in-conversation event with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London, Britain, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. (Reuters)
Tesla and SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk pauses during an in-conversation event with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London, Britain, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. (Reuters)
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Israel Hosts Wartime Visit by Elon Musk, Eyes Starlink for Gaza 

Tesla and SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk pauses during an in-conversation event with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London, Britain, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. (Reuters)
Tesla and SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk pauses during an in-conversation event with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London, Britain, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. (Reuters)

Israel hosted Elon Musk on Monday, saying it had reached an agreement in principle for using his SpaceX company's Starlink communications in the Gaza Strip, where a pause to the war against Hamas coincided with the tech entrepreneur's visit.

Musk's office has yet to comment on the trip.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has scheduled an afternoon meeting with Musk. They will be joined by relatives of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza and will also discuss "the need to act to combat rising antisemitism online", Herzog's office said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also due to meet Musk on Monday to discuss the security aspects of artificial intelligence and hold a live online discussion, Netanyahu's office said.

When they last met, in California on Sept. 18, Netanyahu urged Musk to strike a balance between protecting free expression and fighting hate speech after weeks of controversy over antisemitism on X - the former Twitter.

Last month, as the war raged following a Hamas killing and kidnapping spree in southern Israel, Musk proposed using Starlink to support communication links in the blackout-hit Gaza enclave with "internationally recognized aid organizations".

At the time, Israeli Communications Shlomo Karhi objected, saying "Hamas will use it (Starlink) for terrorist activities".

But in a new tack, Karhi said on Monday that Israel and Musk had reached an agreement in principle whereby "Starlink satellite units can only be operated in Israel with the approval of the Israeli Ministry of Communications, including the Gaza Strip".

In an X post addressed to Musk, Karhi said he hoped the visit to Israel "will serve as a springboard for future endeavors, as well as enhance your relationship with the Jewish people and values we share with the entire world".

Musk has said he is against antisemitism and anything that "promotes hate and conflict" - including on X.

Antisemitism and Islamophobia have risen worldwide, including during the seven-week-old Gaza war. Israel and Hamas are now in a temporary truce, with some Gaza hostages and Palestinians held by Israel for security offences going free.

On Nov. 15, Musk agreed with a post on X that falsely claimed Jewish people were stoking hatred against white people, saying the user who referenced the "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory was speaking "the actual truth".

The White House condemned what it called an "abhorrent promotion of antisemitic and racist hate" that "runs against our core values as Americans".

Major US companies including Walt Disney, Warner Bros Discovery and NBCUniversal parent Comcast paused their advertisements on his social media site.

The "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory holds that Jewish people and leftists are engineering the ethnic and cultural replacement of white populations with non-white immigrants that will lead to a "white genocide."

Following the outbreak of the Gaza war, antisemitic incidents in the United States rose by nearly 400% from the year-earlier period, according to the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit organization that fights antisemitism.

Musk has said X should be a platform for people to post diverse viewpoints, but the company will limit the distribution of certain posts that may violate its policies, calling the approach "freedom of speech, not reach".


Putin to Boost AI Work in Russia to Fight ‘Dangerous’ Western Monopoly

This pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik shows Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C), accompanied by Russia's top lender Sberbank CEO German Gref (L), touring an exhibition on the sidelines of an AI (artificial intelligence) conference in Moscow on November 24, 2023. (AFP)
This pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik shows Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C), accompanied by Russia's top lender Sberbank CEO German Gref (L), touring an exhibition on the sidelines of an AI (artificial intelligence) conference in Moscow on November 24, 2023. (AFP)
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Putin to Boost AI Work in Russia to Fight ‘Dangerous’ Western Monopoly

This pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik shows Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C), accompanied by Russia's top lender Sberbank CEO German Gref (L), touring an exhibition on the sidelines of an AI (artificial intelligence) conference in Moscow on November 24, 2023. (AFP)
This pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik shows Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C), accompanied by Russia's top lender Sberbank CEO German Gref (L), touring an exhibition on the sidelines of an AI (artificial intelligence) conference in Moscow on November 24, 2023. (AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday announced a plan to endorse a national strategy for the development of artificial intelligence, emphasizing that it's essential to prevent a Western monopoly.

Speaking at an AI conference in Moscow, Putin noted that “it’s imperative to use Russian solutions in the field of creating reliable and transparent artificial intelligence systems that are also safe for humans.”

“Monopolistic dominance of such foreign technology in Russia is unacceptable, dangerous and inadmissible,” Putin said.

He noted that “many modern systems, trained on Western data are intended for the Western market” and “reflect that part of Western ethics, norms of behavior, public policy to which we object.”

During his more than two decades in power, Putin has overseen a multi-pronged crackdown on the opposition and civil society groups, and promoted “traditional values” to counter purported Western influence — policies that have become even more oppressive after he sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022.

Putin warned that algorithms developed by Western platforms could lead to a digital “cancellation” of Russia and its culture.

“An artificial intelligence created in line with Western standards and patterns could be xenophobic,” Putin said.

“Western search engines and generative models often work in a very selective, biased manner, do not take into account, and sometimes simply ignore and cancel Russian culture,” he said.

“Simply put, the machine is given some kind of creative task, and it solves it using only English-language data, which is convenient and beneficial to the system developers. And so an algorithm, for example, can indicate to a machine that Russia, our culture, science, music, literature simply do not exist.”

He pledged to pour additional resources into the development of supercomputers and other technologies to help intensify national AI research.

“We are talking about expanding fundamental and applied research in the field of generative artificial intelligence and large language models,” Putin said.

“In the era of technological revolution, it is the cultural and spiritual heritage that is the key factor in preserving national identity, and therefore the diversity of our world, and the stability of international relations,” Putin said. “Our traditional values, the richness and beauty of the Russian languages and languages of other peoples of Russia must form the basis of our developments,” helping create “reliable, transparent and secure AI systems.”

Putin emphasized that trying to ban AI development would be impossible, but noted the importance of ensuring necessary safeguards.

“I am convinced that the future does not lie in bans on the development of technology, it is simply impossible,” he said. “If we ban something, it will develop elsewhere, and we will only fall behind, that's all.”

Putin added that the global community will be able to work out the security guidelines for AI once it fully realizes the risks.

“When they feel the threat of its uncontrolled spread, uncontrolled activities in this sphere, a desire to reach agreement will come immediately,” he said.


OpenAI Researchers Warned Board of AI Breakthrough ahead of CEO Ouster, Sources Say

FILE PHOTO: A keyboard is placed in front of a displayed OpenAI logo in this illustration taken February 21, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A keyboard is placed in front of a displayed OpenAI logo in this illustration taken February 21, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo/File Photo
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OpenAI Researchers Warned Board of AI Breakthrough ahead of CEO Ouster, Sources Say

FILE PHOTO: A keyboard is placed in front of a displayed OpenAI logo in this illustration taken February 21, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A keyboard is placed in front of a displayed OpenAI logo in this illustration taken February 21, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo/File Photo

Ahead of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s four days in exile, several staff researchers wrote a letter to the board of directors warning of a powerful artificial intelligence discovery that they said could threaten humanity, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The previously unreported letter and AI algorithm were key developments before the board's ouster of Altman, the poster child of generative AI, the two sources said. Prior to his triumphant return late Tuesday, more than 700 employees had threatened to quit and join backer Microsoft (MSFT.O) in solidarity with their fired leader.
The sources cited the letter as one factor among a longer list of grievances by the board leading to Altman's firing, among which were concerns over commercializing advances before understanding the consequences. Reuters was unable to review a copy of the letter. The staff who wrote the letter did not respond to requests for comment.
After being contacted by Reuters, OpenAI, which declined to comment, acknowledged in an internal message to staffers a project called Q* and a letter to the board before the weekend's events, one of the people said. An OpenAI spokesperson said that the message, sent by long-time executive Mira Murati, alerted staff to certain media stories without commenting on their accuracy.
Some at OpenAI believe Q* (pronounced Q-Star) could be a breakthrough in the startup's search for what's known as artificial general intelligence (AGI), one of the people told Reuters. OpenAI defines AGI as autonomous systems that surpass humans in most economically valuable tasks.
Given vast computing resources, the new model was able to solve certain mathematical problems, the person said on condition of anonymity because the individual was not authorized to speak on behalf of the company. Though only performing math on the level of grade-school students, acing such tests made researchers very optimistic about Q*’s future success, the source said.