属人的知見のデータ化に着手 三菱商事、三井物産


個人の能力と人脈で集める情報を武器にしてきた商社が、危機感を募らせている。「データ」が競争力を左右するAI(人工知能)時代に、伝統的な商社は生き残れるのか。ヘルプデスクでの活用から新規事業の立ち上げまで、全方位で次世代の成長モデルを模索し始めた。

 三菱商事と三井物産が、競うように全社的なAI(人工知能)の活用に動き出している。三菱商事は今年4月、最高意思決定機関である社長室会の下に「AI/IoT推進会議」を設置。三井物産は5月、「DT(デジタルトランスフォーメーション)チーム」を立ち上げ、同チームを管掌するCDO(最高デジタル責任者)を新設した。

背景には、商社ならではの危機感がある。商社は、優秀な人材と人脈から集まる情報が、競争力の源泉だと自ら考えてきた。だが、産業界にAIが普及すると、こうした商社の強みも、価値が低下するかもしれない。三井物産の北森信明・常務執行役員CDOは、「コンピューターの能力が急速に高まり、従来不可能だったことがどんどんできるようになっている。この流れに対応しないと競争力が失われる」と話す。三菱商事でAI/IoT推進会議を管掌する戸出巌・常務執行役員も、「変革しないと明日の三菱商事はない」と言う。

‘Radical and overreaching’: Bell wants Canadians blocked from piracy websites


Canada is a safe haven for internet pirates, Bell Canada says. The telecom giant wants the federal government to fight back by blocking Canadians’ access to piracy websites and stiffening the penalties for violations.

“People are actually leaving the regulated [TV] system, not just because they want to watch Netflix but because they want to watch free content,” Rob Malcolmson, Bell’s senior VP of regulatory affairs, told federal politicians last week. He was speaking at a government hearing in Ottawa on NAFTA negotiations.

According to Malcolmson, this is how the website-blocking plan would work: an independent agency, such as Canada’s broadcast regulator (the CRTC), would create a blacklist of sites that allow people to download or stream pirated content like movies and TV shows.

Internet service providers, like Bell, would then be required to prevent their customers from accessing the sites.

“So you would mandate all [internet providers] across the country to essentially block access to a blacklist of egregious piracy sites,” said Malcolmson. Canadians made 1.88 billion visits to piracy sites last year, according to Bell.

AI搭載「ハロ」’18年発売。ガンダムの話ができ、BTスピーカーにも


 バンダイは、「機動戦士ガンダム」に登場するマスコットロボット・ハロをコミュニケーションロボットとして製品化。AI対話機能やBluetoothスピーカー機能を搭載した「ガンシェルジュ ハロ」を2018年に発売する。価格は未定。3日から幕張メッセで開催されるCEATEC JAPAN 2017のバンダイナムコグループブースで参考展示する。

 バンダイナムコグループが取り組むITエンターテインメントサービスブランド「BN・Bot PROJECT」の第1弾商品。「ハロがもし現代に存在していたら」をテーマとし、ガンダムの知識を豊富に持ったAI(人工知能)搭載の対話型コミュニケーションロボットで、音声認識が可能。ユーザーの質問やガンダムのキーワードに反応し、データベースから最適な会話をハロの声で返す。「キャラクターや台詞、忘れられないシーンなど作品にまつわるさまざまな会話を楽しめる」という。

ハロから出される作品に関するクイズも楽しめ、わからなかったり不正解でも答えを教えてくれるという。日本アイ・ビー・エム(IBM)が会話AIを開発、ハロ本体の機構や回路設計、生産はVAIOが協力している。

Russia Set to Get New ‘Terminator’ Armored Vehicles


It’s difficult to stop and comes with an arsenal of weapons.

The Russian Federation is set to receive an unknown number of tank support vehicles dubbed “Terminators” in 2018. Designed to support tanks on the battlefield with a withering amount of firepower, Terminators carry a mix of missiles, light cannon, and machine guns that can engage everything from enemy tanks to ground troops.

The BMPT armored vehicle is the result of Soviet and Russian experiences in Afghanistan and post-Cold War conflicts in Chechnya. Soviet and later Russian tanks such as the T-72 were optimized for engaging NATO tanks on the battlefield and were not as efficient at battling guerrillas and light infantry. Guerrillas and light infantry, however, with anti-tank weapons such as the RPG-16 and Kornet missiles, are very efficient at battling tanks. They are also difficult for Russian tankers, sealed up in their vehicles and only able to see out of their armored vision blocks, to identify before they become a threat.

The Terminator is designed to ride shotgun with Russian tanks and rake the battlefield with firepower, killing enemy anti-tank teams or suppressing them so they are unable to aim properly. The BMPT has two 30-millimeter 2A42 autocannons and two 7.62-millimeter PKTM machine guns and will use them to engage probable and identified anti-tank positions. This allows Russian tanks to focus on the job of engaging enemy tanks and achieving breakthroughs.

Natural (∆ 9 -THC) and synthetic (JWH-018) cannabinoids induce seizures by acting through the cannabinoid CB 1 receptor | Scientific Reports


Abstract

Natural cannabinoids and their synthetic substitutes are the most widely used recreational drugs. Numerous clinical cases describe acute toxic symptoms and neurological consequences following inhalation of the mixture of synthetic cannabinoids known as “Spice.” Here we report that an intraperitoneal administration of the natural cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (10 mg/kg), one of the main constituent of marijuana, or the synthetic cannabinoid JWH-018 (2.5 mg/kg) triggered electrographic seizures in mice, recorded by electroencephalography and videography. Administration of JWH-018 (1.5, 2.5 and 5 mg/kg) increased seizure spikes dose-dependently. Pretreatment of mice with AM-251 (5 mg/kg), a cannabinoid receptor 1-selective antagonist, completely prevented cannabinoid-induced seizures. These data imply that abuse of cannabinoids can be dangerous and represents an emerging public health threat. Additionally, our data strongly suggest that AM-251 could be used as a crucial prophylactic therapy for cannabinoid-induced seizures or similar life-threatening conditions.

Introduction

Marijuana (Cannabis sativa L.) is the most commonly abused drug in the United States1, with a similar tendency worldwide2. In the last few years its use for recreational and medical purposes has become legal in an increasing number of countries3. Particularly, in the United States marijuana use is illegal under federal law, nevertheless, it has been legalized by individual state laws for non-medical use in 8 states and is allowed for medical use by another 29 states4. A primary component of marijuana, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC)5, mediates a psychoactive effect on the nervous system via cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R), for which it has a low binding affinity (Ki = 39.5 nM)6. However, in recent years, strains of herbal cannabis with an increased CB1R potency have appeared: one example is sinsemilla, a female non-pollinated cannabis plant in which the content of ∆9-THC has been raised from 3.96% in 1995 to 12.3% in 20141. This recent shift in the generation of high-potency cannabis plant material has led to an increasing demand for cannabis-related treatments and emergency department admissions stemming from acute anxiety, psychosis or cognitive impairment.

10 businesses facing extinction in 10 years

Determining which industries aren’t long for this world may seem easy enough. But some types of businesses, such as telemarketing, are surprisingly hard to kill.
And then again, other industries, probably the ones you’re sad to see go, can’t find a way to survive.
So start setting up your office pool, because here are our picks for 10 businesses facing extinction in 10 years.
Record stores
Record stores are closing in, well, record numbers. One of the most prominent music retailers, Tower Records, shut down all 89 stores last year after concluding it couldn’t withstand the onslaught of online music stores and chains like Wal-Mart, which can offer lower prices and sell other items to offset the smaller number of CDs being sold.
Odds of survival in 10 years: Great, if you consider Wal-Mart a record store.
Camera film manufacturing
This probably isn’t the best business to get into right now. According to The Chicago Tribune, from May 2006 to May 2007, the volume of prints made from digital cameras grew by 34 percent. Film camera sales, meanwhile, fell by 49 percent, while digital cameras sales continued to grow — by 5 percent. Of American internet users, 70 percent own a digital camera; another survey shows that 70 percent of Canadians now use a digital camera.
Odds of survival in 10 years: Some entrepreneurs who specialize in making camera film for amateur photographers could possibly make a living.

Burger King Russia Wants ‘IT’ Banned Because Pennywise Looks Like Ronald McDonald


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IT’s titular clown Pennywise is continuing to terrify the world in the Stephen King novel’s movie adaptation. Russia’s branch of Burger King, however, wants to keep the popular film from airing in its region because of Pennywise’s similarity to a certain fast food mascot.

Burger King Russia has asked the nation’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) to ban IT from theaters, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Their reasoning behind the proposal is that Pennywise looks too similar to Ronald McDonald. Thus, Burger King Russia feels that the child-devouring character could be confused with the fast food icon, and thus serves as an advertisement for their golden-arched rival.

To be fair, Burger King is not the first to make the comparison between the two clowns. A viral video from earlier this year featured Ronald McDonald in Pennywise’s shoes, showing just how similar the two can be. However, considering how terrifying Stephen King’s creation is in IT, the film could potentially take away business from McDonald’s as viewers become terrified of all clowns, including Ronald himself.

The FAS has confirmed that they are looking into Burger King’s request. A spokesperson for the FAS told the Hollywood Reporter that “we can’t be concerned with the content of the film because the writer and director have their own creative understanding of any character,”but the agency would have to determine if product placement or advertising did exist in the movie.

There’s no time frame as to when Burger King’s request would be processed and a result determined. For now, though, Pennywise is free to terrorize Russian theaters.

Bluetooth jackets you can only wash 10 times. Gee, thanks, Google


Phone-controlling Levi’s soft-wear for, presumably, non-sweaty nerds.

Blue pants maker Levi’s plans to begin selling its first cloth-ware with Google inside on Wednesday – and the tech should survive up to 10 washes.

The $350 Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard by Google has been designed to function as device controller through the incorporation of Project Jacquard, Google’s connected textile platform.

“With Jacquard technology, you can perform common digital tasks – like starting or stopping music, getting directions or reading incoming text messages – by simply swiping or tapping the jacket sleeve,” said Google engineering director Ivan Poupyrev in a blog post on Monday.

The jacket can read touch events on its cuff – the one part with conductive thread – and transmit them through its Jacquard snap tag, a removable Bluetooth dongle that plugs into to the jacket and occasionally requires USB charging. The transceiver tag, which can alert the wearer to mobile device notifications via light and haptic feedback, is water-resistant in the sense that it won’t be ruined by rain, but you’re not supposed to wash it.

Autonomous flying taxis take to Dubai’s skies in field tes


Dubai’s authorities on Monday announced that a successful ‘concept flight’ of an autonomous hover-taxi service had taken place. Details are scarce about the route taken, although (predictably) no passengers were taken along for the ride.

The prototype electric hover-vehicle was designed by Germany’s Volocopter. Specs wise, it can soar across the Dubai skyline for 30 minutes, with a maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph).

Should things go awry, the vehicle can deploy its emergency parachutes, or switch over to its nine independent battery systems, in order to make a safe landing.

Dubai’s transport authorities expect air-taxis to become a fundamental cornerstone of the city’s public transport; much like busses, subways, and ordinary taxis. Passengers will be able to book air-taxis through an app, and track its journey and arrival, much like Uber…

‘Sleep should be prescribed’: what those late nights out could be costing you


The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life.

Matthew Walker has learned to dread the question “What do you do?” At parties, it signals the end of his evening; thereafter, his new acquaintance will inevitably cling to him like ivy. On an aeroplane, it usually means that while everyone else watches movies or reads a thriller, he will find himself running an hours-long salon for the benefit of passengers and crew alike. “I’ve begun to lie,” he says. “Seriously. I just tell people I’m a dolphin trainer. It’s better for everyone.”

Walker is a sleep scientist. To be specific, he is the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley, a research institute whose goal – possibly unachievable – is to understand everything about sleep’s impact on us, from birth to death, in sickness and health. No wonder, then, that people long for his counsel. As the line between work and leisure grows ever more blurred, rare is the person who doesn’t worry about their sleep. But even as we contemplate the shadows beneath our eyes, most of us don’t know the half of it – and perhaps this is the real reason he has stopped telling strangers how he makes his living. When Walker talks about sleep he can’t, in all conscience, limit himself to whispering comforting nothings about camomile tea and warm baths. It’s his conviction that we are in the midst of a “catastrophic sleep-loss epidemic”, the consequences of which are far graver than any of us could imagine. This situation, he believes, is only likely to change if government gets involved.