News on China's scientific and technological development.

Equation

Lieutenant General
Looks like the US intelligence and some Pentagon officials are sweating their balls over China continuing advancement in both quantum technology and AI.;):D

U.S. intelligence sounds the alarm on the quantum gap with China



Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Getty Images.
WASHINGTON — For years, quantum computing, which leverages the difficult, and, to many, spooky science of quantum mechanics, has been a subject mostly of interest to the technical elite. Yet as scientists and now policymakers point to the rapid progress that China is making in the field, it’s the intelligence community that appears to be the most alarmed." data-reactid="22" style="margin-bottom: 1em;">WASHINGTON — For years, quantum computing, which leverages the difficult, and, to many, spooky science of quantum mechanics, has been a subject mostly of interest to the technical elite. Yet as scientists and now policymakers point to the rapid progress that China is making in the field, it’s the intelligence community that appears to be the most alarmed.

“Our folks in the intelligence community are completely worried about this,” said Will Hurd, a Republican congressman from Texas and a former CIA officer who has criticized President Trump for his failure to defend the nation’s spy agencies." data-reactid="23" style="margin-bottom: 1em;">“Our folks in the intelligence community are completely worried about this,” said Will Hurd, a Republican congressman from Texas and a former CIA officer who has criticized President Trump for his failure to defend the nation’s spy agencies.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration hosted an event focused on quantum science with major companies in attendance, and has demonstrated an appetite for confronting China on issues like trade and economic espionage. Yet researchers working in the field argue that much more needs to be done in advance of China’s progress. " data-reactid="24" style="margin-bottom: 1em;">Earlier this year, the Trump administration hosted an event focused on quantum science with major companies in attendance, and has demonstrated an appetite for confronting China on issues like trade and economic espionage. Yet researchers working in the field argue that much more needs to be done in advance of China’s progress.

For a great majority of the population, the science behind quantum computing is difficult to comprehend. A quantum computer, like a standard computer, encodes information as bits to process information, but it does so by manipulating the physical properties of the quantum bits, or qubits, allowing them to store and process an exponentially larger amount of data in a far shorter time period." data-reactid="25" style="margin-bottom: 1em;">For a great majority of the population, the science behind quantum computing is difficult to comprehend. A quantum computer, like a standard computer, encodes information as bits to process information, but it does so by manipulating the physical properties of the quantum bits, or qubits, allowing them to store and process an exponentially larger amount of data in a far shorter time period.

“Quantum computing is not only a new way to do computing, but is really a new transformation in technology,” said Alessandro Curioni, IBM’s vice president in Europe and the director of an IBM Research Lab in Zurich. “It will make problems that were previously unsolvable … practical.”" data-reactid="26" style="margin-bottom: 1em;">“Quantum computing is not only a new way to do computing, but is really a new transformation in technology,” said Alessandro Curioni, IBM’s vice president in Europe and the director of an IBM Research Lab in Zurich. “It will make problems that were previously unsolvable … practical.”

The most practical application, and the one of concern to the national security community, regards encryption. However, Curioni says it might take thousands or even a million qubits to break modern encryption keys, a development that could be “decades away.”" data-reactid="27" style="margin-bottom: 1em;">The most practical application, and the one of concern to the national security community, regards encryption. However, Curioni says it might take thousands or even a million qubits to break modern encryption keys, a development that could be “decades away.”


One of the biggest and most widely circulated concerns over China’s quantum computing work is that it could enable powerful new machines to break through the layer of security protecting online transactions around the world, thereby exposing highly sensitive information." data-reactid="30" style="margin-bottom: 1em;">One of the biggest and most widely circulated concerns over China’s quantum computing work is that it could enable powerful new machines to break through the layer of security protecting online transactions around the world, thereby exposing highly sensitive information.

According to one recently retired national security official focused on emerging threats presented by advanced technology, China is on track to be 20 years ahead of the United States in the not-too-distant future. Another national security official said the United States is currently scrambling to defend itself, hoping to find foolproof ways to protect its everyday communications in the worst case." data-reactid="38" style="margin-bottom: 1em;">According to one recently retired national security official focused on emerging threats presented by advanced technology, China is on track to be 20 years ahead of the United States in the not-too-distant future. Another national security official said the United States is currently scrambling to defend itself, hoping to find foolproof ways to protect its everyday communications in the worst case.

Congress appears to be taking note. “China is eating our lunch on quantum,” said one congressional staffer. Lawmakers tasked with intelligence and national security issues will be focusing on China in coming months, hoping to inspire quicker progress on the U.S. side." data-reactid="39" style="margin-bottom: 1em;">Congress appears to be taking note. “China is eating our lunch on quantum,” said one congressional staffer. Lawmakers tasked with intelligence and national security issues will be focusing on China in coming months, hoping to inspire quicker progress on the U.S. side.

“A powerful quantum computer will be dangerous to our connected world,” said one senior national security official. “It’s not too early by any stretch to be thinking about quantum resistance,” or ways to defend ourselves. " data-reactid="40" style="margin-bottom: 1em;">“A powerful quantum computer will be dangerous to our connected world,” said one senior national security official. “It’s not too early by any stretch to be thinking about quantum resistance,” or ways to defend ourselves.

Yet sufficiently powerful quantum computer capable of solving unthinkably complex equations and shattering some forms of modern encryption may still be years or even decades away." data-reactid="41" style="margin-bottom: 1em;">Yet sufficiently powerful quantum computer capable of solving unthinkably complex equations and shattering some forms of modern encryption may still be years or even decades away.

And critics of the field argue there’s also quantum hype, since no one yet has been able to prove they’ve built a quantum computer with practical applications." data-reactid="42" style="margin-bottom: 1em;">And critics of the field argue there’s also quantum hype, since no one yet has been able to prove they’ve built a quantum computer with practical applications.


Even those who are more optimistic about the prospects of quantum computing warn that the issue is less about an arms race and more about long-term investment." data-reactid="46" style="margin-bottom: 1em;">Even those who are more optimistic about the prospects of quantum computing warn that the issue is less about an arms race and more about long-term investment.

“The race to quantum computing is more of a marathon,” said Elsa Kania, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security who specializes in China and advanced technology." data-reactid="47" style="margin-bottom: 1em;">“The race to quantum computing is more of a marathon,” said Elsa Kania, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security who specializes in China and advanced technology.

“I would say that China isn’t actually ahead in quantum computing, at least for now,” she said, pointing to progress made by American companies including IBM, Microsoft, Google and others. “I try to push back against the fear and the hype.”" data-reactid="48" style="margin-bottom: 1em;">“I would say that China isn’t actually ahead in quantum computing, at least for now,” she said, pointing to progress made by American companies including IBM, Microsoft, Google and others. “I try to push back against the fear and the hype.”
https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-s-intelligence-sounds-alarm-quantum-gap-china-100017743.html?.tsrc=jtc_news_index
 

Equation

Lieutenant General
China Leaving US Behind on Artificial Intelligence: Air Force General


U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. VeraLinn Jamieson, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Deputy Chief of Staff, talks about ISR’s future during an interview on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, April 13, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Laura R. McFarlane)
30 Jul 2018
Military.com | By Oriana Pawlyk
China's massive investment in artificial intelligence technologies may soon leave the U.S. at a major disadvantage, a top Air Force general said Thursday.

"Speed is of the essence in the digital age," said Lt. Gen. VeraLinn "Dash" Jamieson, deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance on the Air Staff at the Pentagon.


She painted a grim picture: While "great instigator" Russia has the desire to do ambitious experiments with A.I., China already has the means.

For example, China is building several digital artificial intelligence cities in a military-civilian partnership to understand how A.I. will be propagated as it strives to become the global leader in technology. The cities track human movement through artificial facial recognition software, watching citizens' every move as they go about their day.

"We estimate the total spending on artificial intelligence systems in China in 2017 was $12 billion. We also estimate that it will grow to at least $70 billion by 2020," Jamieson said during an Air Force Association breakfast Thursday.

"Go compare what we're spending to what China is spending," she added.

The Pentagon -- with each military service pursuing AI to varying degrees -- is still spending hundreds of millions on the effort.

According to independent research group Govini, the Pentagon spent roughly $7.4 billion on emerging technologies in fiscal 2017. While A.I. accounted for roughly 33 percent of that total, the spending also includes quantum computing and big data analysis, as well as other information technology.

Because the Air Force has been heavily entrenched in the counterterrorism effort for the past two decades, "We did not look across the entire spectrum to build and think and develop a high-end fight that we believe we are facing today," Jamieson said. "Our [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] enterprise today is not postured to meet these challenges with the intent laid out in the National Defense Strategy."

Jamieson is pushing the Air Force to think differently about how it should use autonomy while keeping the human in the loop. For example, the service is shifting from discussing a single, advanced weapon to discussing more broadly how emerging technologies must network going forward.

Reiterating similar comments she made last year, Jamieson said the goal is to use A.I. to sift through millions of intelligence and sensor-gathered data points -- visual, audible, etc. -- to give airmen the answers they need to make real-time decisions that will aid those in a physical or virtual battlespace.

"We do need our analysts to harmonize the data to decision quality at speed," she said, adding "We must build the next-generation ISR enterprise capable of possessing decision advantage across the entire spectrum of conflict."

Jamieson pushed a culture change the Air Force has been grappling with for some time: transition from a manpower-intensive approach to one that leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence. That journey will begin with data, to analytics to machine intel, to human and machine teaming, she said.

"Industry and airmen will be asked to increase the quality and quantity of ISR production while remaining competent across the range of military operations. We are going to do this as a team," she said.
https://www.military.com/defensetech/2018/07/30/china-leaving-us-behind-artificial-intelligence-air-force-general.html
 

hkbc

Junior Member
Looks like the US intelligence and some Pentagon officials are sweating their balls over China continuing advancement in both quantum technology and AI.;):D


https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-s-intelligence-sounds-alarm-quantum-gap-china-100017743.html?.tsrc=jtc_news_index
Again it's amazing how the Chinese can simultaneously steal IP on cutting edge technology and be ahead of US, that time machine they have must be doing some serious over time!

Moreover, every time China produces something novel or better it's theft or copied and a National Security Threat.

I guess it's no mystery why there's a lack of STEM graduates in the US, they're all off studying to be lawyers and shrinks because evidently there's a ready market for the skills associated with suing folks and rationalising crazy!
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
Again it's amazing how the Chinese can simultaneously steal IP on cutting edge technology and be ahead of US, that time machine they have must be doing some serious over time!

Moreover, every time China produces something novel or better it's theft or copied and a National Security Threat.

I guess it's no mystery why there's a lack of STEM graduates in the US, they're all off studying to be lawyers and shrinks because evidently there's a ready market for the skills associated with suing folks and rationalising crazy!
Exactly coupled with low pay and no job security, lack of recognition no wonder the best and the brightese shun STEM. In China 33% of all the high school graduate opt for STEM compare to 7% in the US
And China graduate almost 7 million university graduate last year. The sheer number will certainly broke the technical embargo. Anyway as I said many time AI will provide China with level playing field for the China future role in the world of semiconductor via mr Unknown

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612569/china-has-never-had-a-real-chip-industry-making-ai-chips-could-change-that/
China has never had a real chip industry. Making AI chips could change that.
The country has struggled for decades to build a competitive semiconductor industry. In making specialized AI chips, though, it’s got a head start.
by Will Knight December 14, 2018

Donald Trump is speaking Mandarin.

This is happening in the city of Tianjin, about an hour’s drive south of Beijing, within a gleaming office building that belongs to iFlytek, one of China’s rapidly rising artificial-intelligence companies. Beyond guarded gates, inside a glitzy showroom, the US president is on a large TV screen heaping praise on the Chinese company. It’s Trump’s voice and face, but the recording is, of course, fake—a cheeky demonstration of the cutting-edge AI technology iFlytek is developing.

Jiang Tao chuckles and leads the way to some other examples of iFlytek’s technology. Throughout the tour, Tao, one of the company’s cofounders, uses another remarkable innovation: a hand-held device that converts his words from Mandarin into English almost instantly. At one point he speaks into the machine, and then grins as it translates: “I find that my device solves the communication problem.”

iFlytek’s translator shows off AI capabilities that rival those found anywhere in the world. But it also highlights a big hole in China’s plan, unveiled in 2017, to be the world leader in AI by 2030. The algorithms inside were developed by iFlytek, but the hardware—the microchips that bring those algorithms to life—was designed and made elsewhere. While China manufactures most of the world’s electronic gadgets, it has failed, time and again, to master the production of these tiny, impossibly intricate silicon structures. Its dependence on foreign integrated circuits could potentially cripple its AI ambitions.

However, AI itself could change all that. New types of chips are being invented to fully exploit advances in AI, by training and running deep neural networks for tasks such as voice recognition and image processing. These chips handle data in a fundamentally different way from the silicon logic circuits that have defined the cutting edge of hardware for decades. It means reinventing microchips for the first time in ages.

A more advanced chip industry will help China realize its dream of becoming a true technology superpower.

China won’t be playing catch-up with these new chips, as it has done with more conventional chips for decades. Instead, its existing strength in AI and its unparalleled access to the quantities of data required to train AI algorithms could give it an edge in designing chips optimized to run them.

China’s chip ambitions have geopolitical implications, too. Advanced chips are key to new weapons systems, better cryptography, and more powerful supercomputers. They are also central to the increasing trade tensions between the US and China. A successful chip industry would make China more economically competitive and independent. To many, in both Washington and Beijing, national strength and security are at stake.

Silicon visions
On the outskirts of Wuhan, a sprawling city a few days’ cruise up the Yangtze from Shanghai, stands a factory that would span several football fields. It belongs to Tsinghua Unigroup, a state-backed microchip manufacturer. By the end of 2019, the factory will be producing silicon wafers that will then be cut into advanced memory chips.

Tsinghua Unigroup aims to expand the Wuhan facility to three times its current size, at a total cost of $24 billion. It’s developing two similar sites, one along the Yangtze in Nanjing and another further west in Chengdu, at similar cost. They will be the largest and most sophisticated chip factories ever built by a Chinese company.

It’s all part of an effort by China to drag its chipmaking industry forward. In 2014, the government established the National Integrated Circuits Industry Investment Fund, a subsidy program that plans to raise $180 billion from local-government-backed funds and state-owned enterprises. A year later, it released Made in China 2025, a sweeping blueprint for upgrading China’s entire manufacturing industry. This set the hugely ambitious goal of producing $305 billion worth of chips per year and meeting 80% of domestic demand for chips by 2030, up from $65 billion and 33%, respectively, in 2016. Today global production stands at $412 billion.

There is still a long way to go. China is the world’s largest and fastest-growing market for semiconductors, but no Chinese chipmaker has broken into the top 15 globally in terms of sales. Advanced chips are primarily made by companies from the US, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Western Europe. China’s big economic rival, the US, accounts for about half of global sales and half of China’s chip imports.

Beijing has been trying to build a powerful microchip industry for a long time. Researchers developed China’s first transistor not long after the device was invented in the US at the end of the 1950s. But the country fell behind as its universities and businesses went through the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution. In the 1960s, as the semiconductor industry began ramping up in Silicon Valley and Moore’s Law was articulated, China’s fledgling chip industry lay in ruins.

By the time the Chinese economy opened up in the 1980s, it was too late. Chipmakers partnered with foreign firms, but the manufacturing equipment they imported became outdated quickly, and they failed to produce even basic chips reliably or in sufficient volume. And even as China’s electronics manufacturing took off in the 1990s, bureaucratic missteps and the ready availability of high-quality imported chips stymied further government pushes. No Chinese company could match the decades of expertise at foreign firms like Intel, Samsung, and Taiwan Semiconductor.

Mark Li, an analyst at Bernstein who tracks the chip industry in Asia, estimates that China’s most advanced chipmakers are still at least five years behind. Since Moore’s Law describes a doubling of chip performance every two years or so, that’s a sizable gap. China does have numerous low-end fabs making the relatively simple chips used in smart cards, SIM cards, and even basic phones, but not the kinds of factories needed to produce advanced processors.

Why does China still struggle to make advanced chips when it has become so good at so much else? Basically, because it’s incredibly hard. The latest chips have billions of transistors, each with features only a few nanometers in size, crafted at the scale of individual atoms. They are so complex that it isn’t possible to take one apart and copy its design, as Chinese entrepreneurs have done with many foreign products. And even if it were possible, it wouldn’t provide the expertise required to design and fabricate the next generation.

“Manufacturing involves hundreds, even thousands, of technical challenges,” says Yungang Bao, director of the Center for Advanced Computer Systems at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and an expert in microprocessor design. “It will take a long time to catch up.”

Network effects
Artificial intelligence may change the game.
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
(cont)

Network effects
Artificial intelligence may change the game.

Deep learning is an AI technique that has proved its power in recent years to do useful things like spotting disease in medical images, teaching self-driving cars to stay on the road, and parsing spoken commands. It works in a fundamentally different way from most software.

Deep learning uses large networks that roughly resemble the multiple layers of neurons in a biological brain. As a network learns a task, a cascade of computations occur in successive layers. The results of each computation alter the connections between each layer and the next; essentially, the network reprograms itself as it runs. Its ability to recognize objects in images isn’t the result of step-by-step logic operations, as in conventional programming, but gradually emerges as countless parameters inside the network are tweaked and re-tweaked through exhaustive training.

Researchers realized early on that the chips in game consoles, originally designed to be fast at rendering 3D imagery, are better for deep learning than general-purpose chips. And deep-learning algorithms are still mostly trained using scores of these graphics processing units (GPUs). One of the market leaders for GPUs is Nvidia, which built its business supplying hardware for gamers. But now Intel and others have designed powerful new chips for training deep learning. Even cloud software businesses like Google’s and Amazon’s are developing bespoke chips designed for their best algorithms.

Similar Chinese initiatives have been announced over the past year. In July, search giant Baidu revealed that it is working on a chip called Kunlun for running deep-learning algorithms in its data centers. And in September, the e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba said it would spin out a new company dedicated to making AI chips. Tellingly, the new company’s name is Pingtouge, a nickname for the honey badger, an African animal famed for fearlessness and tenacity.

The timing of the AI boom is fortuitous for China’s chipmakers. The deep-learning revolution was gaining speed just as the government’s latest chip push got under way. AI chip design is still in its early days, and in this technology—unlike memory and logic circuits—the country is not hopelessly behind.

Specialized hardware
Kai Yu has already played a significant role in China’s AI revolution. A cheerful, bespectacled man who studied neural networks at college in China and Germany in the late 1990s and early 2000s, he founded Baidu’s Institute of Deep Learning in 2013, as the company became one of the first to bet heavily on AI.

Navigating Beijing’s morning traffic in the backseat of a Didi, Yu says the importance of chip hardware quickly became apparent when Baidu started pouring resources into deep learning. In 2015, he says, he suggested that Baidu make a specialized AI chip. But it seemed costly and far outside of the company’s expertise. So later that year, Yu left to found his own company, Horizon Robotics.

Cambricon, one of the country’s most valuable startups, is selling new chips specially designed for artificial-intelligence cloud applications.

Horizon is focused on “application-specific” microchips that run pre-trained deep-learning algorithms. It’s developing them for self-driving cars and smarter robots. But Yu thinks these chips will be everywhere before long. “If we look back in 10 years,” he says, “more than half of the computations on a device will be AI related.”

In August, Huawei, China’s biggest telecommunications and smartphone company, unveiled a mobile chip, the Kirin 980, that includes a “neural processing unit”—a section of logic designed for deep-learning tasks like image and voice recognition.

In one sense, the chip illustrates a lingering limitation of China’s capabilities—it was manufactured by Taiwan’s TSMC. But in another, it reflects China’s striking progress and ambition. The chip is one of the country’s first to include features as small as 7 nanometers. Smaller components make chips faster and more capable, but also a lot harder to design and manufacture, so this a significant coup for Huawei. Designs for the part of the chip optimized for deep learning come from a startup called Cambricon, founded in 2016 by researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Today Cambricon is valued at $2.5 billion, making it the industry’s most valuable startup. In October, Huawei announced another AI chip, called Ascend, that is designed in-house.

Chip on the shoulder
China’s chip ambitions have rattled other countries, especially the US. Partly that’s because its efforts to gain access to technology have sometimes involved aggressive acquisitions, forced technology transfer, and, allegedly, industrial espionage. Chipmaking is key to military prowess, and the Obama administration sought to block Chinese attempts to acquire US chip technology long before Donald Trump arrived in the White House. It’s one of the few issues that unite US politicians.

人工智能正在改变世界
“Artificial intelligence is transforming the world.”

In April 2018 the US banned one of China’s leading tech companies, ZTE, from using US chips because it had broken a ban on selling equipment containing US technology to Iran and North Korea. In October, the US said the memory-chip maker Fujian Jinhau, a company accused of stealing trade secrets, would need a special license to buy US-made components. These restrictions may partly be a response to property theft and unfair trade, but they also look like an effort to slow China’s chipmaking progress.

Yet a trade war may only hasten China’s ascent. “People in China realized that the US can easily stop their progress,” says Bao at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. “It will probably speed things up.”

However fast it happens, China’s march to advanced chipmaking is all but unstoppable. No true superpower can afford to outsource technology that is so critical to both its economic growth and its military security. And after decades of playing catch-up, the country is finally seeing opportunities to establish mastery of the field.

In Tianjin, Tao is explaining that iFlytek is thinking about designing its own chips, to improve the performance of its electronic translators. Just then, the AI-generated version of Trump speaks up. 人工智能正在改变世界 (Réngōng zhìnéng zhèngzài gǎibiàn shìjiè), he says: “Artificial intelligence is transforming the world.”
 

Jura

General
now I read
China to boost geroscience research
Xinhua| 2018-12-15 20:09:44 http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-12/15/c_137676778.htm

China will boost its geroscience research and develop more geroscience-related academic disciplines to respond to its ageing population, according to a symposium Saturday.

The country will explore the establishment of a new discipline cluster of geroscience, as announced at the symposium on geroscience discipline development, which was jointly held by the China Research Center on Aging (CRCA) and a research department under the Development Research Center of the State Council.

"The Ministry of Education will encourage appropriate universities and colleges to set up majors and courses on elderly care such as in the psychology of aging, gerontological nursing and palliative care," said Liu Ying, an official with the ministry.

The ministry will provide assistance to vocational colleges to train elderly care service personnel that are in short supply, Liu added.

China has world's largest aged population, also growing at the fastest speed. By 2050, it is estimated that one in every three Chinese will be a senior aged over 60.

The CRCA is working with other institutions to establish exchange platforms for geroscience research and a system for research result releasing.

"Our current research on ageing lacks concrete and specific data," said Wang Jianjun, an official with the National Health Commission, who stressed that an information network should be set up quickly.

The symposium also announced that a national gerosciene congress was scheduled for next year.
 
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