BEIRUT, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) — An exhibition on educational technologies (edtech) is being held in Lebanon’s capital Beirut to introduce educators to the latest innovative technologies that can be used to enhance students’ learning processes.
The three-day exhibition, which kicked off on Wednesday, is the first national educational technology exhibition and has seen the participation of dozens of edtech services providers.
Nour Malak, sales manager at Electro S Lab, an electronic engineering firm in Beirut, said her company has provided equipment for robotics education in three schools and four universities across the country.
“Lebanon improved a lot in the field of technology education as schools have been encouraging their students to be active in this area. And social media played a role in creating awareness about the importance of teaching robotics to children at a young age,” Malak said.
Krystel Yaacoub, CEO of another edtech company, also stated the enthusiasm of Lebanese schools to renovate their education methods is high.
“It is obvious that schools and universities are well aware that the world has advanced a lot technologically and they are showing great interest in our services. But they are a bit tight on budget as they prefer to use their money for teachers’ salaries amid the current crisis,” Yaacoub told Xinhua.
Malak said the educational institutions need more funds to spend on such courses, adding that schools and universities cannot force students to pay for such classes during the current economic crisis.
Small unknown asteroid accidentally detected by Webb telescope
European astronomers using the James Webb Space Telescope have detected a previously unknown asteroid about the size of Rome’s Colosseum in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
The asteroid measuring between 100 and 200 meters in length is suspected to be the smallest object observed to date using the telescope, the U.S. space agency NASA said Monday.
The European astronomers “serendipitously detected” the asteroid, NASA said in a statement, adding that more observations would be needed to better characterize its nature and properties.
“We – completely unexpectedly – detected a small asteroid,” said Thomas Muller, an astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany.
It was detected during calibration of the telescope’s Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI), which operates in mid-infrared wavelengths.
“Webb’s incredible sensitivity made it possible to see this roughly 100-meter object at a distance of more than 100 million kilometers,” Muller said.
Webb, which has been operational since July, is mainly built to study the life cycle of stars. Another main research focus is on exoplanets, planets outside Earth’s solar system.
Webb was not designed to look for small objects such as the newly discovered asteroid, but Muller said its discovery “suggests that many new objects will be detected with this instrument.”
Source(s): AFP & CGTN
U.S. and EU to launch first-of-its-kind AI agreement
The U.S. and European Union on Friday announced an agreement to speed up and enhance the use of artificial intelligence to improve agriculture, healthcare, emergency response, climate forecasting and the electric grid.
A senior U.S. administration official, discussing the initiative shortly before the official announcement, called it the first sweeping AI agreement between the U.S. and Europe. Previously, agreements on the issue had been limited to specific areas such as enhancing privacy, the official said.
AI modeling, which refers to machine-learning algorithms that use data to make logical decisions, could be used to improve the speed and efficiency of government operations and services.
“The magic here is in building joint models (while) leaving data where it is,” the senior administration official said. “The U.S. data stays in the U.S. and European data stays there, but we can build a model that talks to the European and the U.S. data because the more data and the more diverse data, the better the model.”
The initiative will give governments greater access to more detailed and data-rich AI models, leading to more efficient emergency responses and electric grid management, and other benefits, the administration official said.
Pointing to the electric grid, the official said the U.S. collects data on how electricity is being used, where it is generated, and how to balance the grid’s load so that weather changes do not knock it offline.
Many European countries have similar data points they gather relating to their own grids, the official said. Under the new partnership all of that data would be harnessed into a common AI model that would produce better results for emergency managers, grid operators and others relying on AI to improve systems.
The partnership is currently between just the White House and the European Commission, the executive arm of the 27-member European Union. The senior administration official said other countries will be invited to join in the coming months.
China’s Deep Space Exploration Lab eyes top global talents
China’s Deep Space Exploration Lab (DSEL) said Monday that it is inviting top global talents to apply for the 2023 Overseas Outstanding Young Talents Program, to promote the development of deep-space exploration.
According to the DSEL, the program, funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, aims to attract outstanding young scholars from overseas, who have made achievements in the natural sciences, engineering and technology, to come and work in China.
Applicants are invited to take part in research on aerospace science and technology, space science and technology, planetary science, physics, astronomy, nuclear science and technology, biology, chemistry and materials science, electronic information and technology, mechanical engineering, artificial intelligence and other fields related to deep-space exploration, said the DSEL.
Co-established by the China National Space Administration, Anhui Province, and the University of Science and Technology of China, the DSEL is headquartered in Hefei, the capital city of Anhui, and has a branch in Beijing. Since its establishment, the laboratory has conducted science and technology research focusing on major national projects in deep-space exploration.
The DSEL aims to promote the long-term development of deep-space exploration regarding the moon, planets, asteroids and the edge of the solar system.
Source(s): Xinhua & CGTN
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