Credit: Antaranews

Indonesia’s National AI Strategy, now known as Stranas KA was launched in a live TV broadcast marking the country’s National Technology Awakening Day (via CarringtonMalin.com)

The Indonesia National AI Strategy, now known as Stranas KA (Strategi Nasional Kecerdasan Artifisial), has been published. The new strategy was announced by the Minister of Research and Technology and head of the BRIN (the National Research and Innovation Agency) Bambang PS Brodjonegoro in an television address made last Monday to mark the country’s 25th National Technology Awakening Day. The minister also launched an electronic innovation catalogue, helping Indonesian technology developers to market their offerings and sell to government procurement offices.

Transforming Indonesia into a Fourth Industrial Revolution economy has become focus for the government over the past few years…


Global blockchain network and open-source AI modeling platform launched to grow global ecosystems

We’ve seen one big technology announcement after another from China over the past few months, as the government and the technology sector strive to ramp-up the post-lockdown economy. In May, the government announced a multi-trillion dollar high-tech infrastructure plan and called on China’s tech giants to invest with it. Announcements of multi-billion dollar strategic investments soon followed from the likes of Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent.

However, whilst China tries to wrestle global technology leadership from the U.S., it is also investing in initiatives to grow global ecosystems. There were two key announcements made last week towards that goal: the Chinese…


It seems very unlikely that any U.S. technology company is breaking U.S. trade rules in doing business with China

PayPal co-founder and tech billionaire Peter Thiel published an opinion piece in the New York Times at the end of the week — ‘Good for Google, Bad for America’ — in a follow-up to his Washington DC speech a couple of weeks ago, during which he called for a probe into Google’s ‘seemingly treasonous acts’.

In the current atmosphere of ‘China fever’ and President Trump’s new trade tariffs, this has naturally gone down rather well in some circles and I’m sure Mr Thiel will be delighted with the publicity.

Thiel’s primary assertion seems to be that Google is fueling Beijing’s…


A Bengaluru-based start-up is developing India’s first attack swarm drone prototype in conjunction with state-owned contractors Hindustan Aeronautics

Credit: IAF

A report from NDTV last week confirmed that India’s military is developing weaponised autonomous swarm drones. It has been much publicised that these are being developed by China, Russia and the U.S., but not so India — until this year.

Earlier this year, the Indian Air Force (IAF) confirmed that state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd was developing a killer ‘Wingman’ drone. India also confirmed that it was working with the U.S. on the development of attack drones under the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).

There’s been talk about India’s military need for swarm drones for a couple of years now…


China’s five-year venture capital funding party is over, but it remains to be seen whether they’ll be a hangover

Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels

Yesterday’s Bloomberg story quoting new figures from UK market research firm Preqin, tells a similar story to those we’ve been reading during the past week. The stats show the same downward trend for venture capital activity in China, with the value of venture deals during the second quarter of 2019 falling far short of Q2 2018.

According to Preqin, VC investments in China dropped by 77% in the second quarter compared with last year’s figures, registering $9.4 billion. The firm also reported that the number of deals had halved to 692.

However, the first half of 2018 was extraordinary, by…


The first Modi 2.0 budget has been called cautious, incremental and lacking a blueprint; Will India be able to implement the right programmes at the speed required to remain competitive?

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with India’s Budget 2019 (credit: Press Trust of India)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Modi government’s budget for 2019/2020 to India’s parliament on Friday, in a statement full of vision for the future, drawing heavily on the themes from the national Economic Survey 2018–19 released last week. In a speech that aimed to garner popular appeal, Sitharaman prioritised infrastructure, digital economy and job creation. You can review the government’s online presentation here.

As expected, the new budget has received both praise and criticism, while inspiring some tough questions, depending on the economic and political leaning of the commentators. For the technology and outsourcing industries though, the messaging was…


Chinese AI venture investment deals fell 63 percent in value during the first half of 2019, but AI leaders remain upbeat

Image by moerschy from Pixabay

As mentioned in Wednesday’s post, investment in Chinese tech ventures has continued to slow down throughout the first half of 2019. As we leave H1 behind, more and more data is coming out to support this.

Yesterday, the South China Morning Post published figures from Beijing-based information source ITJUZI.com, reporting that ‘new economy’ investments in China continued their slide into the second quarter, dropping 62 per cent year -on-year to RMB 154.3 billion ($22.4 billion). The only bit of good news was that the overall rate of decline in investment may have slowed from Q1 to Q2.

Meanwhile, the number…


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Facial recognition appears more and more in headlines and this week is no exception. It’s one emerging technology that pushes lots of buttons at once: privacy, data protection, data permissions, personal freedoms, other legal and human rights. And it’s also worth a lot of money: one study forecasts that the global facial recognition technology market will reach annual revenues of $9.6 billion by the year 2022.

Human rights activists are currently up-in-arms over Thailand’s new telecom policy that all cellphone users in the south of the country must submit pictures for facial-recognition identification or be disconnected. …


Image credit: SK Telecom

According to a recent report by Canalys, South Korea’s smart speaker growth rate is second only to China with Canalys predicting 132% growth during 2019. It’s now well publicised that China’s own smart speaker manufacturers are driving China’s 166% market growth. So, what’s the catalyst for South Korea’s growth? It could well be home-grown innovation.

SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest wireless operator, introduced NUGU in 2016 — the first AI-virtual assistant for the Korean language (so, two years after the U.S. Amazon Alexa launch).

The operator launched its first NUGU Wi-Fi smart speaker in September 2016 and sold a reported…


The growth in China’s investment in artificial intelligence ventures over the past few years has been nothing less than explosive. China is now home to more ‘AI unicorns’ than anywhere else in the world (statistics differ greatly, but CB Insights counts six out of the top 11 unicorns in its top AI startups list, while some others put the count much higher).

According to ZDNet, China’s funding of AI startups grew from about $1 billion in 2016 to more than $8 billion in 2018, accounting for 44 percent of all global AI startup funding (with the U.S.’s accounting for 41%).

Asia AI News

Asia AI News is a daily email digest of curated news covering artificial intelligence across Asia. http://newsletter.asiaainews.com/

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