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A glimpse of how China’s digital technology creates better life




HANGZHOU, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) — At an expo of the 2022 World Internet Conference Wuzhen Summit, visitors lined up to have a try on a smart piano. Beginners can play a complete song much more easily with the help of its embedded LED indicator lights, artificial intelligence for intonation recognition and learning software.

“By creating the product, we are determined to lower the consumption threshold of the piano, simplify learning, and help everyone learn to play musical instruments in a better way,” said Ye Bin, CEO of the ONE music group, which created the piano.

Addressing the problems of insufficient professional piano teachers and low teaching efficiency, the company also provides services of building offline classrooms installed with smart pianos and artificial intelligence teaching systems.

So far, more than 3,500 schools and training institutions in China have used the company’s piano classroom services, and there are over 5,000 such classrooms in and outside of China.

Like the ONE music group, innovators in various fields have demonstrated their products and services at the summit held from Nov. 9 to 11 in the river town of Wuzhen in east China’s Zhejiang Province.

Multiple breakthroughs have been displayed at the summit, ranging from smart charging piles and input devices controlled by eye movement to visual reality games and intelligent homes and communities, offering a glimpse of how digital technologies could help people live easier and happier lives.

The demonstration of application scenarios for digital projects at the summit has offered a broader view of the benefits brought by technology in daily life.

Besides education, digital technology has been applied in elderly care, a field with pressing demand in society.

In Tongxiang, east China’s Zhejiang Province, smart products and services have made the lives of senior citizens safer, easier and healthier.

Assisted with service machines at local community centers, the elderly can order meals online and pay through face recognition. They can also have a quick heart and breath check by sitting on an intelligent chair.

While at home, smart devices such as bracelets and gas and smoke detectors are also available to oversee their health conditions and detect safety risks.

“China has a sound environment for innovation in the internet industry, and competition in the field is very fierce,” said Alfonso Araujo, president of the Mexico-China Center. “It is impressive that Chinese people have many creative ideas and can adapt to new concepts and development quickly.”

This photo taken on Nov. 9, 2022 shows the release ceremony for world leading internet scientific and technological achievements at the 2022 World Internet Conference Wuzhen Summit in Wuzhen, east China’s Zhejiang Province. (Xinhua/Jiang Han)

In the field of cultural exchange, the application of digital technology has also played a role.

For instance, through the internet, visitors can view high-definition images and make a panoramic roaming tour of multiple grottoes of the Mogao Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage site in northwestern China.

So far, users from 78 countries, including China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, Russia, Canada and France, have made such virtual tours more than 16.8 million times, Su Bomin, director of the Dunhuang Academy, said at the summit.

Another eye-catching product is China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, which has provided services in more than half of the countries and regions globally.

Used in more than 30 countries in Africa, the system has offered support for agricultural production, helped shorten the time for hospital building, and facilitated expressway construction.

In Asia, it has assisted projects in various fields including dam management, crude oil transportation, freight train operation, wildlife protection and urban governance.

“With the system put to use, life is becoming safer and more convenient for many more people,” said Ran Chengqi, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office.

Source(s): Xinhua


European Space Agency launches Jupiter moons explorer





PARIS, April 14 (Xinhua) — The European Space Agency (ESA) launched on Friday an Ariane 5 rocket carrying its Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (Juice) from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

According to the ESA, the successful launch marks the beginning of an ambitious voyage to uncover the secrets of the ocean worlds on Jupiter’s three largest moons: Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, which hold quantities of water under their surfaces in volumes far greater than in Earth’s oceans.

“These planet-sized moons offer us tantalizing hints that conditions for life could exist other than here on our ‘pale blue dot’,” the ESA said in its press release.

Over the next two-and-half weeks, Juice will deploy its various antennas and instrument booms, including a 16-meter-long radar antenna, a 10.6-meter-long magnetometer boom, and various other instruments that will study the environment of Jupiter and the subsurface of the icy moons, the agency said.

Juice will also monitor Jupiter’s complex magnetic, radiation, and plasma environment in depth and its interplay with the moons, thus studying the Jupiter system as an archetype for gas giant systems across the Universe.

Juice has been designed for an eight-year cruise with flybys of Earth and Venus to slingshot it to Jupiter. It will make 35 flybys of the three large moons while orbiting Jupiter, before changing orbits to Ganymede, said the agency.

Source(s): Xinhua

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U.S. FDA rejects Elon Musk’s Neuralink to test brain chips in humans





Elon Musk once said his brain implant company, Neuralink, will make the paralyzed walk, the blind see and eventually turn people into cyborgs, however, the firm is still struggling to get clinical-trial approval to achieve such a goal.

On at least four occasions since 2019, Musk has predicted that his medical device company, Neuralink, would soon start human trials of a revolutionary brain implant to treat intractable conditions such as paralysis and blindness.

Yet the company, founded in 2016, didn’t seek permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) until early 2022, and the agency rejected the application, Reuters reported citing seven current and former employees.

In explaining the decision to Neuralink, the agency outlined dozens of issues the company must address before human testing, a critical milestone on the path to final product approval, the staffers said.


Screenshot of a YouTube video posted by Neuralink in 2022 touting what Neuralink calls humane animal care.

Safety risks

The agency’s major safety concerns involved the device’s lithium battery; the potential for the implant’s tiny wires to migrate to other areas of the brain; and questions over whether, and how the device can be removed without damaging brain tissue, the employees said.

A year after the rejection, Neuralink is still working through the agency’s concerns. Three staffers said they were skeptical the company could quickly resolve the issues, despite Musk’s latest prediction at a November 30 presentation that the company would secure FDA human-trial approval this spring.

Such FDA rejections do not mean a company will ultimately fail to gain the agency’s human-testing approval. But the agency’s pushback signals substantial concerns, according to more than a dozen experts, in FDA device-approval processes.

Source(s): Xinhua

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Report: How the U.S. seeks to maintain its technological hegemony





The U.S., the world’s leading technology superpower, has been wielding monopoly power and taking suppression measures in high-tech fields to maintain its technological hegemony, said a report released on Monday.

Most recently, the U.S. has been lobbying its allies, including the Netherlands and Japan, to further restrict export of microchips and related equipment and technology to China.

ASML, the world’s top supplier of chip-making machines based in the Netherlands, has already been banned from selling its most advanced chip-making equipment to China since 2019, because of curbs imposed by the Dutch government under pressure from the U.S.

The company warned last week that “the drive for technological sovereignty” could lead to “long-term changes in global trade, competition and technology supply chains,” which could adversely affect its business and growth prospects.

This is only the latest move by the U.S. to further strangle China’s chip industry.

Last year, the Biden Administration proposed the so-called “Chip 4 Alliance,” which includes four of the world’s top producers of semiconductors: the U.S., Japan, Korea and China’s Taiwan region. It is widely seen as Washington’s effort to contain Beijing in the cutting-edge sector.

How the U.S. suppressed Japan’s chip industry 

Actually, China has not the only country targeted by the U.S. in the semiconductor sector.

In the 1980s, Japan, one of the U.S.’s closest allies, once produced about half of the world’s semiconductors. In the year 1990, six of the world’s top ten semiconductor manufacturers were Japanese companies.

In order to contain Japan’s semiconductor industry, the U.S. launched the “301” investigation, threatened to label Japan as conducting unfair trade, and imposed retaliatory tariffs, forcing Japan to sign the U.S.-Japan Semiconductor Agreement.

As a result, Japanese semiconductor enterprises were almost completely driven out of global competition, and their market share dropped from 50 percent to 10 percent.

In the same time, with the support of the U.S. government, a large number of U.S. semiconductor enterprises took the opportunity and grabbed larger market share.

U.S. put over 1,000 Chinese firms on sanction list

Now, facing competition from Chinese tech companies, the U.S. has been overstretching the concept of national security and mobilizing state power to suppress and sanction Chinese companies, like telecom giant Huawei – a leading company in 5G technologies.

Over the past years, the U.S. has restricted the entry of Huawei products into the American market, cut off its supply of chips and operating systems, and also coerced other countries to ban Huawei from undertaking local 5G network construction.

It even talked Canada into unwarrantedly detaining Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou for nearly three years.

As a matter of fact, the U.S. has fabricated a slew of excuses to clamp down on China’s high-tech enterprises with global competitiveness, and has put more than 1,000 Chinese enterprises on its sanction lists.

U.S. eavesdropping

The U.S. has also been abusing its technological hegemony and carrying out widespread cyber-attacks and eavesdropping, the report pointed out.

The world’s No.1 superpower, with the most advanced technologies, has long been notorious as an “empire of hackers,” blamed for its rampant acts of cyber theft around the world.

And U.S. surveillance is indiscriminate. All can be targets of its surveillance, be they rivals or allies, even leaders of allied countries such as former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and several French Presidents.

Cyber surveillance and attacks launched by the U.S. such as “Prism,” “Dirtbox,” “Irritant Horn” and “Telescreen Operation” are all proof that the U.S. is closely monitoring its allies and partners.

Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, a website that has exposed U.S. surveillance programs, said that “do not expect a global surveillance superpower to act with honor or respect. There is only one rule: there are no rules.”

Source(s): CGTN

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