IBM Showcases A.I. That Can Parse Arguments In Cambridge Union Debate | Fortune


IBM’s “Project Debater” artificial intelligence software was used to assist two teams of humans as they squared off over the proposition that artificial intelligence will do more harm than good.

“Project Debater” is a software system designed by IBM that can extract and categorize arguments from either text or audio, and then summarize those positions, presenting them through synthesized speech.

Source: IBM Showcases A.I. That Can Parse Arguments In Cambridge Union Debate | Fortune

Aung San Suu Kyi Will Go to the Mat for Myanmar’s Military in The Hague


One of the enduring mysteries in recent years is what happened to Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi. Somehow, some way, the woman known as “the Lady of Burma”—who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 after she spent 15 years under house arrest in Myanmar for her democratic activism—seems to have lost her soul. Her drive to the top of Myanmar’s political hierarchy and quest to burnish her political legacy have been relentless, but also devastating for all those who once hailed her commitment to democracy and nonviolence.

Since she became the de facto civilian head of Myanmar’s government following landmark elections in 2015, assuming the newly created position of state counselor, equivalent to prime minister, Aung San Suu Kyi has emerged as one of the most virulent defenders of the military junta that separated her from her family for years and ruled Myanmar for decades—and whose generals still wield most of the power in the country.

Source: Aung San Suu Kyi Will Go to the Mat for Myanmar’s Military in The Hague

‘Some of You on this Committee Appear to Believe’ That Russia Didn’t Meddle in 2016 | Defense One


Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country—and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did.

This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.

Source: ‘Some of You on this Committee Appear to Believe’ That Russia Didn’t Meddle in 2016 – Defense One

What is the ‘fictional narrative’ a White House ex-adviser warns against? | Reuters


U.S. President Donald Trump’s former Russia adviser, Fiona Hill, warned lawmakers in the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry on Thursday against promoting what she called a “fictional narrative here” that minimizes Russia’s attempts to interfere in U.S. elections.

“The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 2016,” Hill told lawmakers on Thursday.

Source: What is the ‘fictional narrative’ a White House ex-adviser warns against? – Reuters

A Proposed Innovation Center in Downtown Detroit Sparks Debate | US News


Michigan officials have announced plans for a new research and academic center in Detroit that they hope will be the latest boost to the city’s economic fortunes, though some critics are raising concerns about its ability to reach those beyond the city’s booming downtown.

Local officials predict the center will make Detroit more competitive in major tech industries, including cybersecurity and transportation. But not everyone is excited about the project.

Some University of Michigan students created a petition opposing the center, arguing that it isn’t beneficial for the community and promotes gentrification. Executive Evans has also expressed concern about the center’s ability to help those beyond the city’s rapidly developing downtown, where it will be located, but thinks a solution is possible.

Source: A Proposed Innovation Center in Downtown Detroit Sparks Debate | Cities | US News

California Wildfires, Power Shut-Offs Highlight Climate Change Inequality | US News


PG&E says the so-called “public safety power shut-offs” that began last month could continue for another 10 years as the company updates its infrastructure to be more resilient to strong winds, leaving stakeholders concerned that the approach could end up exacerbating economic inequalities as the state faces the effects of climate change.

The power outages, they worry, could drive people to adopt an “everyone for themselves” mentality. Those who are able and willing to relocate or adapt, will. Those who can’t, won’t.

Wealthy communities could choose to ditch PG&E in favor of going off the grid and creating their own more reliable power source. Those with money can fire-proof their homes or hire private firefighters to protect their belongings.

Leftover customers living far from city centers in less-wealthy neighborhoods would shoulder any financial burden PG&E passes down to them while it tries to pay for expensive upgrades to its infrastructure

Source: California Wildfires, Power Shut-Offs Highlight Climate Change Inequality | National News | US News

Bombshell Impeachment Testimony Is Not Moving Republicans | US News


Democrats this week finally got the courtroom drama-worthy disclosures to support a vote for impeachment. The damning evidence came from a Purple Heart honoree, career diplomats and even a Trump political appointee, Gordon Sondland, who delivered the most gasp-provoking testimony of the inquiry.

“Was there a quid pro quo? … With regard to the requested White House call and the White House meeting, the answer is yes,” Sondland on Wednesday told the House Intelligence Committee investigating Trump.

Source: Bombshell Impeachment Testimony Is Not Moving Republicans | The Civic Report | US News

Study reveals music’s universal patterns across societies worldwide | Reuters


From love songs to dance tunes to lullabies, music made in disparate cultures worldwide displays certain universal patterns, according to a study by researchers who suggest a commonality in the way human minds create music.

Music was broadly found to be associated with behaviors including infant care, dance, love, healing, weddings, funerals, warfare, processions and religious rituals.

Source: Study reveals music’s universal patterns across societies worldwide – Reuters

Hong Kong hospitals find themselves on protest frontlines | Reuters


Hong Kong’s public hospitals, long known for professionalism, have become a new front in the anti-government protests that have engulfed the city for more than five months.

An incident in which riot police armed with shields and batons interrogated a pregnant woman at her bedside in a hospital labor ward has become a rallying cry for medical professionals who fear that patient confidentiality and high standards of treatment are under threat.

Source: Hong Kong hospitals find themselves on protest frontlines – Reuters

How jihadists struck gold in Africa’s Sahel


Researchers and the United Nations have warned of the risks of armed extremists reaching the region’s gold mines; Reuters’ analysis of data from Burkina Faso, and testimony from people who have fled mining areas, show this is happening at scale. For the Islamists, the mines are both a hideout and a treasure trove: of funds with which to recruit new members and buy arms, and of explosives and detonators to stage the attacks that extend their power.

A poor country of mainly subsistence farmers, Burkina Faso has in recent years become the focus of a campaign by local insurgents and regional jihadi groups. The violence has killed hundreds of people, including at least 39 gold mine workers ambushed on a road earlier this month.

Dozens of robberies and kidnappings have been reported that target mining.

Source: How jihadists struck gold in Africa’s Sahel