Vietnam’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) under the Authority of Information Security, Ministry of Information and Communications announced the results of the implementation of its campaign on reviewing and removing malware nationwide for this year.
The results were released by Tran Quang Hung, director of the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC).
The initiative is a large-scale campaign aiming to ensure the safety and benefits of communities, businesses, individuals and families that use internet-connected devices that are networked in a cyber environment.
The goal of the campaign is to reduce the rate of malware infection by 50% and reduce the number of IP addresses of Vietnamese computer systems in globally popular computer networks infected with viruses by 50%overall.
Researches by a number of reputable security firms that conduct global surveys showed that although malware infection in Vietnam had decreased recently, it was still high compared to other countries in the world.
Statistics showed that Vietnam had about 16 million computer addresses following the 4th generation internet protocol (referred to as IPv4) in the middle of September 2020. Of these, about three million IP addresses were frequently blacklisted by many international organisations.
One of the key outcomes of the campaign implementation is to take Vietnam out of the top list of malware infection rates reported by major security and information technology firms in the world.
The campaign was hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communications and implemented by NCSC in co-ordination with corporations including VNPT, Viettel, BKAV, FPT and CMC.
Many individuals and organisations have joined forces to check and remove malware from thousands of infected computers of individuals and businesses free of charge. The number of individuals and organizations giving feedback to the campaign has reached over 17,000.
Of the 900,000+ computers involved in malware scanning, over 300,000 infected computers were pinpointed and attended to by units participating in the campaign.
Information technology units, participating in the campaign, provide tools to inspect, process, and remove malware to ensure user safety when using computers and internet-connected devices.
Good quality anti-malware software is updated and allowed for free use by the providers themselves on a dedicated website. There have been more than five million approaches to the campaign after three weeks of implementation.
The Vietnam government strongly believes that ensuring safety in cyberspace will accelerate the process of national digital transformation as it is the key to a successful and sustainable digital transformation.
Spam and fake calls are a global problem that has emerged in Vietnam in recent years, a representative of the Telecommunications Department said.
According to the Telecommunications Department under the Ministry of Information and Communications, mobile network operators in Vietnam locked 34,700 subscribers that made spam calls and prevented over 9 million fake calls in the last three months.
Since July this year, network operators have blocked outgoing calls of more than 34,700 subscribers who made spam calls, including 16,288 subscribers in September 2020 alone. Additionally, network operators blocked over 9 million fake calls since July of which and 3.3 million fake calls were in September.
After network operators sent messages warning subscribers about fake calls, the proportion of subscribers answering calls made by strange numbers decreased from about 40% in June and July 2020 to below 10% at present. Reports of fake calls to the police have also dropped by 70%.
To ensure better cooperation of mobile service users, the Telecommunications Department and network operators have appealed to the wider community to work with the government and operators.
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the creation of a US$ 20 million Artificial Intelligence (AI) research institute led by faculty from three top universities in the U.S. The new institute, the AI Institute for Dynamic Systems, will focus on developing new machine learning ideas and techniques, with the team exploring new ways to use AI to integrate physics-based modelling to accelerate scientific discovery.
For decades, scientists and engineers have toiled to accelerate AI development. Now AI will return the favour by helping accelerate scientific discovery itself. The AI Institute is one of 11 new NSF-funded centres that are part of a larger $220 million investment in AI and AI-enabled research.
The Institute’s goal is to integrate AI and machine learning with physics-based models to tackle some of the biggest challenges in science and engineering, such as materials discovery. The researchers want to use AI to help scientists and engineers speed up their work. Businesses use AI primarily for prediction; scientists use AI for gaining insight.
There is tremendous potential for AI within the scientific process: helping scientists to choose what and how to measure, discovering new relationships in measured data, and understanding and explaining these discoveries.
Scientific discovery is one part of the Institute’s mission; it will also focus on developing more powerful AI tools to do this work, including the use of AI to build better AI. Engineers like to invent systems to solve problems. They are now faced with the ultimate challenge to create a system that can itself invent solutions automatically.
The Institute will also focus on training future researchers in AI techniques. Examples include partnering with high school programs that focus on AI-related projects and recruiting and preparing recent college graduates from underrepresented groups, U.S. veterans and first-generation college students to go on for a graduate degree. The institute will provide massive open-source educational materials that include lectures, data and code packages for advancing and empowering AI.
The researchers are so excited to bring together a critical mass of amazing and innovative researchers from across the U.S. to really move the needle in developing machine learning technology for physical and engineering dynamic systems. They also have a deep connection with industry partners, which provides them with an incredible opportunity to make sure that we are focused on important and relevant problems and that their technology will actually be used.
The new NSF National AI Research Institutes are hubs for academia, industry and government to accelerate discovery and innovation in AI. Inspiring talent and ideas everywhere in this important area will lead to new capabilities that improve our lives from medicine to entertainment to transportation and cybersecurity and position us in the vanguard of competitiveness and prosperity.
AI is being integrated into every industry and every discipline, including journalism, nursing, or nutrition. From retail to real estate, AI is going to be a part of every industry’s future, and everyone needs to be prepared. As reported by OpenGov Asia, U.S. researchers have built a high-fidelity simulation environment that is designed for developing algorithms that improve causal discovery and counterfactual reasoning of AI.
The researchers illustrated a problem by making an analogy of AI in a different context. If a self-driving car were confined to the streets of a neighbourhood in Arizona with few pedestrians, wide, flat roads and street signs with English writing, and then they deployed the car on the narrow, busy streets of Delhi, where street signs are written in Hindi, pattern recognition would be insufficient to operate safely.
The recent paper took a closer look at this problem and the researchers proposed a new high-fidelity simulation environment. They designed a high-fidelity simulation with the ability to control causal structure. A more robust AI model does more than simply learning patterns. It captures the causal relationships between events.
To unleash the solid scientific research capability of Hong Kong and advance its development of the innovation and technology industry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and a China-based conglomerate enterprise signed a Cooperation Framework Agreement for establishing a company in Hong Kong, with an investment of HK$ 100 million contributed by each of party in a ratio of 50:50 on 2 August 2021.
The aim is to form a regenerative medicine innovation centre in Hong Kong, offering support to the construction of facilities, and to advance research and development, technology transfer and commercialisation in the fields of regenerative medicine and renewable energy.
The Agreement was signed by the Acting Vice-Chancellor of CUHK, and the Chief Executive Officer of CR Enterprise. The two parties will commence in-depth cooperation on various aspects to develop Hong Kong as an international hub for innovation and technology by fully utilising the scientific research advantages of CUHK and industrial resources from CR Enterprise.
The Agreement also sets out ideas to intensify cooperation in scientific research, investment, and incubation by applying their respective strengths to create a sustainable strategic partnership to the advantage of both, in terms of attracting talented people in science and technology to establish themselves in Hong Kong and creating a world-class platform for cooperation in technology and innovation.
CUHK and the company will concentrate their own talent, capital and industrial resources on facilitating the development of regenerative medicine and renewable energy fields by offering academia and industry infrastructure and supporting services of an international standard to receive greater technological breakthroughs and advanced industrial development in the fields of cell and gene therapy. They will also provide technical and industrial support to promote low-carbon transition.
In the area of regenerative medicine, the company will form a regenerative medicine centre in Hong Kong and build new or expanded Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) laboratories, production workshops, and related facilities and equipment, to provide academia and industry with infrastructure and supporting services of an international standard. Research resources will be offered for outstanding projects in regenerative medicine, while investment will be made in enterprises with wide market prospects specialising in cell or gene therapies.
In the area of renewable energy, the company will identify, invest in and incubate some promising and novel technologies and products, as well as provide technical and industrial support to the low-carbon transition. A part of the income from the company will be donated to support collaborative projects in relation to humanities by CUHK and CR Enterprise.
The Chief Executive Officer of the conglomerate noted that the partnership with CUHK will address regenerative medicine by making use of the upcoming CUHK world-class GMP laboratory for cell production, and investing capital to develop centres of regenerative medicine and gene therapy in Hong Kong.
They will together identify, incubate and accelerate the translation of potential and original research projects in the field of renewable energy from CUHK with financial and experiential support from the conglomerate.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor of CUHK stated that the 14th Five-Year Plan passed recently has indicated clear support for Hong Kong’s development into an international innovation and technology hub, while the CUHK Strategic Plan 2021-2025 highlights research and innovation as one of the key areas which cover regenerative medicine and renewable energy, to optimise opportunities to generate impactful outcomes across the world.
The two parties’ strategic partnership brings together the institutions’ respective strengths to amplify impact, support local research and develop the city into an international I&T hub, which will ultimately be the high ground for I&T in Asia.
Home broadband penetration in the Philippines has always been low, owing to the mobile platform’s dominance, which accounts for 97% of the total internet users in the country according to a report. The pandemic, on the other hand, prompted Filipinos to switch from mobile to home broadband for their internet needs, as demand for faster connectivity increased to support work, learning, and entertainment in the home increases.
Three months after an order issued by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) allowing telecom companies to construct infrastructure projects within the allowable right-of-way limits of national roads, the Philippines’ internet provider saw an improvement in its efforts to fibrise more homes and businesses.
The order has bolstered the company’s bid to extend fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) lines to more households in strategic areas across the country. Since the third week of March this year, the internet provider has been able to install FTTH lines, which are supplemented by 96 DWPH permits. The right-of-way order also enabled fiberisation to support Mobile Builds from 39 DPWH permits.
“The support of DPWH, and the government in general, will really allow us to decongest demand for internet connectivity in the highly-urbanised areas in the country. This will help us fast-track laying out our fibre cables to more households that are now more dependent on having reliable, fast, and accessible internet,” said the company’s Vice President for Programme Delivery, Network Technical Group.
The new Department Order No. 29, also known as the “DPWH Policy on Telecommunications and Internet Infrastructure Pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 11494,” relaxes previous right-of-way prohibitions, particularly on the construction of posts, by allowing excavations and restoration work for ICT infrastructure projects along with allowable right-of-way limits of national roads and highways. With the removal of such a major bottleneck, the company anticipates that site inspection and approval will be completed in a matter of days, rather than several weeks or even months in the past.
“This will make it faster for the company to bring high-speed broadband services to more homes and businesses through Fibre-to-the-Homes (FTTH) this year. We are confident we will hit our target of making one million fibre lines available this year,” he then added.
The order issued by the DPWH is in accordance with Bayanihan Acts 1 and 2, which streamline the requirements for obtaining permits from local government units and national government agencies for the installation of new cell towers.
OpenGov Asia reported that the business conglomerate’s CEO for ICT asserted that the tower activated by the telecommunication company was a Rapid Deployment Station (RDS) Telecom Tower in Valenzuela City offering a faster set-up structure that incorporates the tower body, fencing and foundation all in one. These structures can be deployed and dismantled in a matter of days, eliminating the need for extensive excavation and foundation construction.
The company has spent the majority of its P70 billion capital expenditure budget on data network construction to provide Filipinos with world-class internet connectivity. Furthermore, the internet service provider strongly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), particularly UN SDG No. 9, which emphasises the importance of infrastructure and innovation as key drivers of economic growth and development.
As mobility restrictions are imposed to control the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), an increasing number of the OECD’s estimated 1.3 billion citizens are working and studying from home, and critical international policy coordination is now taking place online. Fixed and mobile broadband operators, content and cloud providers, and points where Internet networks connect to each other to exchange traffic, known as Internet exchange points (IXPs), are experiencing up to 60% more Internet traffic than before the outbreak. In this unprecedented situation, the resilience and capability of broadband networks have become even more critical.
China aims to improve the evaluation system for scientific and technological achievements and accelerate their transformation into real productive forces. The quality of scientific and technological innovation, their achievements in applied technology, and their contributions to economic and social development should be the core of the evaluation.
The scientific, technological, economic, social and cultural value of scientific and technological achievements should be evaluated comprehensively and accurately, especially their multiple applications. A classified evaluation system should be improved.
For basic research results, peer review should be the major evaluation method, while applied research results should mainly be evaluated by industry users and social forces, with high-quality intellectual property output, new technology, new materials, new processes, new products and performance of new equipment’s prototype as main evaluation indicators.
A national scientific and technological achievements library should be established so that scientific and technological achievements promotion lists can be formulated according to different application needs. Scientific and technological achievements that are not confidential or supported by financial funds will be made public in accordance with regulations.
Efforts should be made to improve the system for disclosing job-related scientific and technological achievements in colleges and universities, and scientific research institutions. A patent evaluation system should be established before an application is filed.
Market-oriented evaluation of scientific and technological achievements should be developed. Measures should be taken to improve the linkage mechanism between the evaluation of scientific and technological achievements and financial institutions and investment companies. Relevant financial institutions and investment companies should be guided to conduct a commercial evaluation for any potential economic value, market assessment and prospects for the development of scientific and technological achievements.
Industry associations, research societies, professional evaluation institutions and others should be guided to play their role in the evaluation of scientific and technological achievements. Related departments, local governments and industries should join to establish an information service platform for the evaluation of scientific and technological achievements.
Reward systems for scientific and technological achievements should be improved, with appropriate quantities and higher quality of rewards. National science and technology awards should be closely integrated with the country’s major strategies, and rewards for basic research and applied basic research results will be increased. Harmful trends in scientific and technological achievements evaluation, such as valuing quantity over quality and contributions, must be fully corrected.
Big data, Artificial Intelligence and other technical means should be adopted to develop information tools for evaluation and to enhance research on evaluation theory and methods of scientific and technological achievements. Also, a cross-industry, cross-department, cross-regional database collecting scientific and technological results, demand, cases, and evaluation tools and methods should be established.
Incentive and exemption mechanisms for evaluating scientific and technological achievements will also be improved, according to the guideline. The reform of scientific and technological achievements evaluation will be led by the Ministry of Science and Technology and piloted in units and regions of different types.
The guideline also stressed administration streamlining in the reform, and urged related departments to pay attention to social supervision and strengthen academic self-discipline and industry self-discipline during evaluation.
As reported by OpenGov Asia, China facilitates major technological transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing sector, attaching importance to fostering the intelligent, green, service-oriented development of traditional sectors such as the coal, construction and steel industries.
The guideline underscores accelerating the construction of national logistics hubs in Zhengzhou, Changsha, Taiyuan, Yichang and Ganzhou, and increasing the listed products of the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange.
Regarding promoting advanced manufacturing, the guideline urges the building of industrial bases focused on sectors including intelligent manufacturing, new materials, new-energy vehicles and electronic information.
As New Zealand and Australia’s economies recover from the COVID-19 health and financial crises, businesses in the region are rethinking their approach to attracting, retaining, and developing talent as a key asset for business recovery.
The adoption of innovative HR software solutions that respond to the changing needs of the workforce in the aftermath of the recession is at the heart of this strategic shift. The lessons learnt over the last year have prompted HR and business leaders to reconsider not only their crisis response strategies but also their recovery plans for 2021. An important aspect of this is their investment in HR technology (89%), which is a key decision that has an impact at various stages of the recovery cycle.
Organisations that invest in HR technology stay ahead of a potential brain drain in the region by keeping an eye on talent trends and preparing for these shifts within their own teams even before they occur. The most recent HR software solutions capture the entire employee life cycle, providing HR and business leaders with visibility into their talent pool as they enter the next phase of growth.
Driving business impact with AI
Machine learning, a subset of artificial intelligence, emerged as one of the top technology investments driving the most impact in HR in the wake of COVID-19. Employers in the past year have turned to tools, such as predictive analytics, that are built into a number of human capital management software systems today. These tools can purportedly make predictions about talent activity – or “at least suggest where there might be potential issues”, says the chief operating officer at the Software company.
With an integrated AI analytics platform, modern software solutions enable organisations to intervene before concerns become actual risks. “This has definitely brought the need for AI forward,” he says. “To have the data accessible to be able to make those decisions in an educated way is certainly an important part for people management to move that to the next level.”
Organisations that invest in HR technology stay ahead of a potential brain drain in the region by monitoring talent trends and preparing their own teams for these shifts even before they occur. The most recent HR software solutions capture the entire employee life cycle, giving HR and business leaders visibility into their talent pool as they enter the next stage of expansion.
Keeping teams connected to the mission
For the chief operating officer at the Software company, the challenge for HR software vendors is to make sure they can “cover all bases and really bring people together, irrespective of where and how they’re working”.
“We’ve seen a really big shift in terms of HR software being potentially seen as just the automation of the process, but, in this new digital and remote world, it’s also playing a big role in terms of the employee experience [EX] and employer brand,” he says.
HR software solutions facilitate cross-functional communication within their environment, particularly when managers are tracking, reviewing, and approving documents or facilitating performance reviews, promotions, and succession planning. This technologically driven approach to strategic HR functions contributes to a better overall employee experience.
Innovative HR solutions enable organisations to keep employees up to date via automated emails and real-time push notifications on their desktops or mobile devices. They can conduct daily, weekly, and monthly pulse surveys, communicate the company’s employee value proposition across channels and drive engagement with employees even when they are unable to interact with them face-to-face.
Without a doubt, technology has brought about the necessary positive change in most HR Departments. However, it should be noted that technological advancements are still far from human decision-making abilities.
To enable the development of wearable devices that possess advanced ultraviolet (UV) detection functions, Singaporean scientists have created a new type of light sensor that is both flexible and highly sensitive.
While invisible to the human eye, UV rays in the environment, and excessive exposure can cause health issues including skin cancer and premature skin ageing. The intensity of UV rays is typically reported through an index during weather reports. A wearable device, such as a T-shirt or watch that monitors the actual personal UV exposure throughout the day, would be a useful and more accurate guide for people seeking to avoid sun damage.
In their study, which was featured on the front cover of the peer-reviewed journal, the researchers reported that their flexible UV light sensors were 25 times more responsive, and 330 times more sensitive, than existing sensors, exceeding the performance level required for optoelectronic applications – or light-based electronics.
UV light sensors, also known as photodetectors, are used in a wide range of systems, from smartphones to biomedical imaging. Over the past decades, gallium nitride (GaN) has gained prominence as the ideal material to fabricate UV light sensors, largely due to its superior properties in emitting, regulating, transmitting, and sensing light. However, most GaN-based UV sensors today are built on rigid layers, limiting their use in flexible and wearable products.
While researchers elsewhere have developed flexible GaN-based UV sensors, they have not attained the level of performance required for state-of-the-art use. Two of their biggest challenges are low responsivity and low sensitivity.
The NTU team overcame these constraints by creating their flexible UV light sensors on a semiconductor wafer 8 inches in diameter, using free-standing single-crystalline layers of GaN and aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN), arranged using membranes that consist of two different thin semiconductor layers (heterostructure membranes).
This type of semiconductor structure, which can be fabricated using existing industrial compatible methods, allows the material to be easily bent, making it ideal for use in flexible sensors. At the same time, the chemical composition of the material changes with depth, meaning that high performance is maintained even when it comes under strain.
Lead researcher said that the high performance of the team’s flexible UV light sensors proves that it would be feasible to manufacture large-scale lightweight and flexible electronics for use in future relevant light-based applications. The team’s achievement could lead to significant advances in UV optoelectronic devices and circuits, as product engineers could now look forward to developing UV-enabled wearable systems.
While the performance of the rigid form of GaN-based UV light sensors has been greatly improved with various structural innovations over the past years, a flexible version remains in its infancy and their performance is far behind that of the rigid counterparts. Their high-performance flexible UV light sensors pave the way forward for a wide range of future wearable applications, such as in personal smart health monitoring, where people can accurately measure their UV exposure levels throughout the day to reduce their risk of skin cancer.
Skin cancer can be prevented by protecting the skin from excessive sun exposure. In this context, a reliable wearable device that could track UV exposure may be a handy tool to help monitor one’s recommended exposure, particularly for those who spend a lot of time outdoors.
This demonstration on a flexible platform opens vast opportunities not only in UV photodetectors but also in other optoelectronic and electronic device applications. The project to develop the flexible UV light sensors took the team two years of design, fabrication, and testing. Moving forward, the researchers are looking to devise eye-type UV imagers and other applications using their innovation.
The Ministry of Education is collaborating with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and a private chip manufacturing giant to launch an artificial intelligence (AI) skilling programme, AI for All. It aims to provide a basic understanding of AI for all Indian citizens.
According to a news report, the private player has launched a special, four-hour-long self-paced learning module that explains AI in a way that is suitable for a novice audience. The course is available in 11 Indian languages and is open to the general public. The course has two parts – AI awareness and AI appreciation. At the end of each stage, participants will be given personalised digital badges that can be shared on social media, the company said. The programme will build a digital-first mindset and expand access to the AI skills needed for current and future jobs.
The programme is in line with the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog’s National Strategy for AI, which focuses on leveraging the technology for inclusive growth and developing large-scale solutions for societal needs. NITI Aayog is the country’s think tank.
Further, the programme is also aligned with the National Education Policy 2020, which emphasises creating ways to prepare students for an AI-driven economy. An official from the Ministry of Education noted that the policy acknowledges the importance of AI. AI For All is one of the largest AI public awareness programmes worldwide and will help “demystify AI in an inclusive manner strengthening India’s position as a global leader for emerging technologies”.
A recent report on AI patents in India showed that from a vertical perspective, consumer electronics, personal computing devices, and healthcare are on the top of the AI patent filings list. With a 93% share, machine learning is the most popular AI technique while computer vision is the leading functional area with a share of 36%. More than 70% of the technology patents filed in India relate to one or more emerging technology domains. At an international level, patent filing grew by 4% in the year 2020. AI accounts for 6% of all emerging tech patents in India. Over 5,000 AI patents were filed over the last decade in India, out of which 94% of them were filed in the last five years.
AI patent filing in India will maintain an upward trajectory as the country is emerging as a key destination for AI innovation. Currently, the country is ranked 8th in the world for AI patent filing and 4th in terms of AI research papers.
It is estimated that AI has the potential to add over 500 billion dollars and 20 million jobs to the Indian economy by 2025. India has a diverse pool of talent working on innovative ideas in the space of AI to solve real-world problems. The AI domain attracted the highest investment in 2020 at US$ 443.8 million. It was followed by the analytics domain with a cumulative investment of US$214.8 million. The automation field received total financing of US$ 91.7 million, followed by the conversational AI and NLP domain with US$ 38.6 million. Robotics and IoT received 0.8% and 0.6% of the total funding, respectively.