03 October 2018

Welcome to the sixth edition of AI Roundup - your fortnightly newsletter on AI from around the world - brought to you this week by our researcher Katie.

From Oxford Insights:

Maximillian Schuessler: AI Healthcare Roundup

Katie Passey: Actions speak louder than words: the role of technology in combating terrorist content online

Richard Stirling and Hannah Miller: Economic disruption and runaway AI: what can governments do?


A wakeup call for Europe (Washington Post)

In the 1950s, French President Charles de Gaulle understood that if France wanted to create its own space for sovereign action in a world dominated by the United States and the Soviet Union, it had to possess its own nuclear force. Today, in the emerging global order dominated by the United States and China, artificial intelligence (AI) has become the most powerful resource that will determine the fate of nations in the times ahead.

Beating the bloodsuckers: AI takes a swat at mosquitoes and malaria (Nvidia)

Oxford University entomologist, Marianne Sinka, has regularly sacrificed her flesh (and blood) as mosquito bait to further her research. Now she’s using AI to track the irksome insects and battle the deadly diseases they carry.

Safe AI requires cultural intelligence (Tech Crunch)

Any kind of AI clearly needs to possess great knowledge. But if we are going to deploy AI agents widely in society at large — on our highways, in our nursing homes and schools, in our businesses and governments — we will need machines to be wise as well as smart.

North America

Kai-Fu Lee, ex-Google China head: US should double AI funding (Gooruf)

As China becomes more active in AI, the US should double the amount it spends on research in the field, says investor and AI practitioner Kai-Fu Lee, who has worked for Google , Microsoft and Apple.

What happens when AI comes to Ottawa (Maclean’s)

There is a notion that the choices a computer algorithm makes on our behalf are neutral and somehow more reliable than our notoriously faulty human decision-making. But, as a new report presented on Parliament Hill points out, AI isn’t pristine, absolute wisdom downloaded from the clouds.

Facebook building a ‘war room’ to battle election meddling (Security Week)

Facebook said it will have a "war room" up and running on its Silicon Valley campus to quickly repel efforts to use the social network to meddle in upcoming elections.

South America

Banks in Latin America prepare for next cybercrime wave (The Daily Swig)

9 out of 10 banks in Latin America and the Caribbean suffered a cyber-attack last year - “Everyday a greater number of clients of the financial sector are users of electronic banking, they carry out transactions by internet or payments through mobile devices… this adaptation of business models and the exploitation of digital channels aim to make the most of the advantages of technologies – the flip side of which is the appearance of new risks that must be prevented in order to mitigate possible attacks”.

Automation in a low-wage country (D + C)

Evermore industrial robots are being used in Mexico, where the potential for automation is great. To what extent robots will really replace low-wage labour remains to be seen however.

Middle East and North Africa

Disruptive tech ‘to reshape Mideast construction sector’ (Trade Arabia)

Disruptive technologies such as Robotics, AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) will all play a crucial role in the region's construction industry in the coming years, compelling many companies to re-evaluate their investments, as well as their employee numbers, say leading experts.

Dubai offers lessons for AI in local government (Brookings)

Local governments are excellent laboratories for experiments for delivering public services to citizens. Few cities have taken to this role of experimenting with AI in service delivery more so than Dubai. Dubai is proving to be particularly adept at identifying opportunities to experiment and implement these artificial intelligence technologies.

AI could help halt health insurance fraud (The National)

AI applied by health insurers could help save millions of dirhams a year in fraud and abuse within the UAE healthcare system, claims Swiss software company Netcetera. The AI model built into an insurers claim system will recognise a usual pattern of prescriptions and raise a red flag when a doctor delivers an abnormal course of treatment.

Sub-Saharan Africa

AI transformation in Africa: Are you paying attention? (IT News Africa)

Across Africa, visionaries have started tackling major socio-economic challenges with AI with multi-sectoral focus and outcomes. South African business icon and chief supporter for AI initiatives in Africa, Andile Ngcaba, once remarked “the blank slates in many areas of Africa represent massive opportunities for the brightest entrepreneurs and innovators”.

The tech that excites South Africa’s banking industry (Business Tech)

The days of drowning in paperwork and facing long delays when implementing a wealth plan are set to become a distant memory as new age technology like blockchain relieves traditional pain points in the industry.


The hunger for data is Asia’s main threat to AI development (Analytics Insights)

The dependence on AI has made nations to go data hungry. For a majority of businesses in the Asia-Pacific, data dependence has become the main hurdle in adopting AI. Increased data dependency has led nations struggling to gather and integrate big data into their operations. With the technological revolution spreading its frontiers with each passing day, the volume of data generated grows by leaps and bounds and companies must find a way to leverage big data to reap the benefits of AI in the years to come.

What makes India rank among the top three countries in AI skills? (Silicon India)

In the past few years, AI has remained in the limelight with countries like China and the US leading the way. But, did you know that India too has joined the AI bandwagon? According to a latest LinkedIn report, India ranks third in the global front with respect to the penetration of AI skills (46%) just after China (48%) and the US (46%).


Law Council of Australia raises concerns about uberisation of profession by technology (ABC)

A director of the Law Council of Australia said AI and the internet are causing a seismic shift in the way law is practised. And like many other industries, the disruptions it faces can be likened to an uberisation - or tele-networking - of the profession.

SharkSpotter combines AI and drone technology to spot sharks and aid swimmers on Australian beaches (The Conversation)

Seeking a cost-effective way to monitor beach safety over large areas, a system called SharkSpotter has been developed. It combines AI, computing power, and drone technology to identify and alert lifesavers to sharks near swimmers.

Katie Passey