China’s Digital Silk Road exports internet technology, controls

washington — China promotes its help to Southeast Asian countries in modernizing their digital landscapes through investments in infrastructure as part of its “Digital Silk Road.” But rights groups say Beijing is also exporting its model of authoritarian governance of the internet through censorship, surveillance and controls. China’s state media this week announced Chinese electrical appliance …

Attempts to regulate AI’s hidden hand in Americans’ lives flounder

DENVER — The first attempts to regulate artificial intelligence programs that play a hidden role in hiring, housing and medical decisions for millions of Americans are facing pressure from all sides and floundering in statehouses nationwide. Only one of seven bills aimed at preventing AI’s penchant to discriminate when making consequential decisions — including who gets …

IS turns to artificial intelligence for advanced propaganda amid territorial defeats

Washington — With major military setbacks in recent years, supporters of the Islamic State terror group are increasingly relying on artificial intelligence (AI) to generate online propaganda, experts said. A new form of propaganda developed by IS supporters is broadcasting news bulletins with AI-generated anchors in multiple languages. The Islamic State Khorasan (ISKP) group, an IS …

Australian researchers unveil device that harvests water from the air

SYDNEY — A device that absorbs water from air to produce drinkable water was officially launched in Australia Wednesday. Researchers say the so-called Hydro Harvester, capable of producing up to 1,000 liters of drinkable water a day, could be “lifesaving during drought or emergencies.” The device absorbs water from the atmosphere. Solar energy or heat that …

Researchers use artificial intelligence to classify brain tumors

SYDNEY — Researchers in Australia and the United States say that a new artificial intelligence tool has allowed them to classify brain tumors more quickly and accurately.   The current method for identifying different kinds of brain tumors, while accurate, can take several weeks to produce results.  The method, called DNA methylation-based profiling, is not available …

Companies trying to attract more smartphone users across Africa, but there are risks

Accra, Ghana — Anita Akpeere prepared fried rice in her kitchen in Ghana’s capital as a flurry of notifications for restaurant orders lit up apps on her phone. “I don’t think I could work without a phone in my line of business,” she said, as requests came in for her signature dish, a traditional fermented dumpling. …

Blue Origin flies thrill seekers to space, including oldest astronaut 

Washington — After a nearly two year hiatus, Blue Origin flew adventurers to space on Sunday including a former Air Force pilot who was denied the chance to be the United States’ first Black astronaut decades ago.    It was the first crewed launch for the enterprise owned and founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos since …

Musk, Indonesian health minister, launch Starlink for health sector 

DENPASAR, BALI, INDONESIA — Elon Musk and Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin launched SpaceX’s satellite internet service for the nation’s health sector on Sunday, aiming to improve access in remote parts of the sprawling archipelago.    Musk, the billionaire head of SpaceX and Tesla TSLA.O, arrived on the Indonesian resort island of Bali by private jet …

Illness took away her voice. AI created a replica she carries in her phone

PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND — The voice Alexis “Lexi” Bogan had before last summer was exuberant. She loved to belt out Taylor Swift and Zach Bryan ballads in the car. She laughed all the time — even while corralling misbehaving preschoolers or debating politics with friends over a backyard fire pit. In high school, she was a …

Changes from Visa mean Americans will carry fewer credit, debit cards

new york — Your wallet may soon be getting thinner. Visa on Wednesday announced major changes to how credit and debit cards will operate in the U.S. in the coming months and years. The new features could mean Americans will be carrying fewer physical cards in their wallets, and will make the 16-digit credit or debit …

Scholar called ‘Putin’s brain’ attacked on Chinese internet

Washington — Aleksander Dugin, a Russian nationalist ideologue and strong supporter of President Vladimir Putin, has been bombarded with attacks on Chinese social media, where netizens criticized and mocked his Russian expansionist views that had once included the dismembering of China. Two years after Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine, pro-Russia sentiment has been prevalent on …

US arrests American and Ukrainian in North Korea-linked IT infiltration scheme

WASHINGTON — U.S. prosecutors on Thursday announced the arrests of an American woman and a Ukrainian man they say helped North Korea-linked IT workers posing as Americans to obtain remote-work jobs at hundreds of U.S. companies. The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) said the elaborate scheme, aimed at generating revenue for North Korea in contravention of …

Kenya conference showcases technology to help people with disabilities

In Africa, about 15% of the population faces disability challenges despite advancements in technology. Limited infrastructure and high cost of assistive tech create barriers to digital access, leading to exclusion. A conference in Nairobi this week aims to help change that. Mohammed Yusuf reports. …

TSMC says no damage to its Arizona facilities after incident

TAIPAI, TAIWAN — Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC said Thursday there was no damage to its facilities after an incident at its Arizona factory construction site where a waste disposal truck driver was transported to a hospital. Firefighters responded to a reported explosion Wednesday afternoon at the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company plant in Phoenix, the Arizona Republic reported, …

New Zealand researchers say artificial intelligence could enhance surgery

SYDNEY — Researchers in New Zealand say that artificial intelligence, or AI, can help solve problems for patients and doctors.   A new study from the University of Auckland says that an emerging area is the use of AI during operations using so-called “computer vision.” The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, says that artificial …

Biden sharply hikes US tariffs on billions in Chinese chips, cars

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled a bundle of steep tariff increases on an array of Chinese imports including electric vehicles, computer chips and medical products, risking an election-year standoff with Beijing in a bid to woo voters who give his economic policies low marks. Biden will keep tariffs put in place by …