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The blind woman developing tech for the good of others

Image copyright IBM Image caption Chieko Asakawa received Japan’s Medal of Honour for her contribution to accessibility research An accident in a swimming pool left Chieko Asakawa blind at the age of 14. For the past three decades she’s worked to create technology – now with a big focus on artificial intelligence (AI) – to transform life for the visually impaired. “When I started out there was no assistive technology,” Japanese-born Dr Asakawa says. “I couldn’t read any information by myself. I couldn’t go anywhere by myself.” Those “painful experiences”…

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Science 

Large hydropower dams ‘not sustainable’ in the developing world

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Problems at the Oroville dam in California in 2017 saw 10,000 people evacuated A new study says that many large scale hydropower projects in Europe and the US have been disastrous for the environment. Dozens of these dams are being removed every year, with many considered dangerous and uneconomic. But the authors fear that the unsustainable nature of these projects has not been recognised in the developing world. Thousands of new dams are now being planned for rivers in Africa and Asia. ‘They dammed…

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Technology 

Uber to stop developing self-driving trucks

(Reuters) – Uber [UBER.UL] will stop developing self-driving trucks that have been hauling cargo on U.S. highways, the ride-hailing company said on Monday, seeking to focus its autonomous-vehicle technology solely on cars. A partially self driving Uber semi truck at the Mcity autonomous vehicle testing facility in Ann Arbor Michigan, U.S., September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joseph White Through its acquisition of Otto in 2016, Uber had sought to disrupt freight hauling with self-driving trucks and Uber Freight, its smartphone app that connects truck drivers and shippers. Uber Freight, which has seen…

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Technology 

Can India become an AI hub for the developing world?

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption India is the latest country to join the race to lead in AI A recent report on artificial intelligence (AI) by an Indian government think tank foresees the country as an AI hub for the developing world. Research analyst Shashank Reddy writes about the possibility of that happening. India is the latest country to join the race to lead the AI revolution, which is still in the making. The world’s richest – and most powerful – countries have long been in this competition. It…

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Science 

UK developing options for satellite system to rival EU’s Galileo

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May has asked experts to look into options for a British satellite navigation system to rival the European Union’s Galileo project amid a row over attempts to restrict Britain’s access to sensitive information after Brexit. FILE PHOTO: A satellite for the Galileo satellite navigation network stands in a hangar at Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan December 15, 2005. REUTERS/Str/File Photo Galileo, a 10 billion euro (8.8 billion pound) satellite programme being developed by the EU as a rival to the U.S. Global Positioning System, has…

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