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Science & Technology

Data: Modern Times Weapon



As technology continues to grow in the world, the ways of wars are also changing. In the beginning, when there was no such advanced technology, the armies had to line up in columns and rows to fight with sword and some other tools. Now, the world has become modern, such technology has been created by human beings who can think like human and take decisions by own and understand the thinking pattern of human beings, this technology is known as artificial intelligence. Undoubtedly, this technology could prove to be dangerous in wars because of two reasons, firstly, it will not take decisions on humanitarian basis or morality, but will do what they are programmed to do using their artificial cognition and it would be more dangerous for world. Secondly, in future, these machines would be able to guess what’s in the mind of people and will target them accordingly. Artificial intelligence is now being used everywhere, as it is also used in social media to find out people thinking pattern like what are their likes and dislikes. And by using this data, security agencies and other companies are getting a lot of benefits and some are negatively using it.  
World is still working on AI technology to make it more advanced. Facebook is also using AI technology to find out the people thinking pattern.  When we like any post on Facebook, it is saved in their data base and they get to know that this specific person is interested in that specific thing, and in what things this person isn’t interested.  For example, if one person searches a terrorist organization on Facebook, it will be saved in their database that this person is interested in terrorist organization.  Moreover, data, which is gathered by AI technology on Facebook, is being used in many places without our permission. Such as country’s security agencies and business companies are accessing this data and are benefiting from using this data. Private business companies are benefiting from this data in a sense that they find out what kinds of products do the people of specific area like, they introduce such products in that area and use Facebook to advertise or promote their products in that area and by this they make a lot of money. Security agencies also use these data to achieve their goals. They find out the political thinking or interest of people of specific area, where they want to target, and create disinformation of their own ideology by using fake accounts, news, ads, or any other mean and successfully able to influence the thinking pattern of people of that specific area.

Yual Noah Harari says in his book “Home Dues” that the most important thing in the past was property. Whoever had the largest property, he was considered the most powerful. But now, in the modern times, data is the most important thing, whoever has “Data”, he is the ruler. Moreover, all security agencies are trying to obtain data and use it to target its enemies. For example, Indian agencies are working against Pakistan. They find out that what the fault lines of Pakistan with the help of analyzing online data are and target it and achieve their interest. As we know, the biggest fault line of Pakistan is sectarian conflict. The Shia-Sunni conflict in Pakistan is one of the issues that‘s enough to create instability in the country. And India always tries to take benefits from this controversial issue. One of India ex major “Gorav” in an interview also revealed that India can take a lot of benefits from Shia-Suni conflict. He further asserted that India would have to persuade at least one local religious person of each sect in each district of Pakistan to become India agent. The work of these agents would be only to make one video a week in which they will spread the hatred against other Muslim sect.  In addition to that, A few days ago, a group from Europe exposed a network of India. This network had made fake NGOs, local Medias, and think tanks to undermine Pakistan and serve India’s interests. And this network was spread to over 65 countries. This is how instability will be created in the Pakistan by India. India has also been involved in using other fault lines of Pakistan as a tool to create instability such as the Balochistan issue and civilian and military issues to spread negative propaganda in Pakistan to damage the interest of the country.

Now, we should understand that time has changed. In the modern times anything that give an advantage to enemy is weapon and data is one the best weapons that one can use against enemy.  In data warfare, we all are soldiers; we all have to fight for our country. Enemy countries armies now directly target us on social media by propagating fake news and many of us easily get trapped by them. We see posts on social media which are against the interest of country and we starting believing in it without doing any research on it. Moreover, in order to prevent the misuse of data, Europe is going to force “General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)”, this year which will deal with how data of locals is controlled, stored, accessed and used. Likewise, we should also sign a regional treaty dealing with the control of people’s data in order to protect the data. It would not be possible without the coordination of countries and social media companies. Moreover, at individual level we can start awareness campaign regarding misuse of data. In that we can aware people about it that how our data is misused by different security agencies and companies and how they are using it to influence our thinking and building our perception.

Science & Technology

Iran among five pioneers of nanotechnology



Prioritizing nanotechnology in Iran has led to this country’s steady placement among the five pioneers of the nanotechnology field in recent years, and approximately 20 percent of all articles provided by Iranian researchers in 2020 are relative to this area of technology.

Iran has been introduced as the 4th leading country in the world in the field of nanotechnology, publishing 11,546 scientific articles in 2020.

The country held a 6 percent share of the world’s total nanotechnology articles, according to StatNano’s monthly evaluation accomplished in WoS databases.

There are 227 companies in Iran registered in the WoS databases, manufacturing 419 products, mainly in the fields of construction, textile, medicine, home appliances, automotive, and food.

According to the data, 31 Iranian universities and research centers published more than 50 nano-articles in the last year. 

In line with China’s trend in the past few years, this country is placed in the first stage with 78,000 nano-articles (more than 40 percent of all nano-articles in 2020), and the U.S. is at the next stage with 24,425 papers. These countries have published nearly half of the whole world’s nano-articles.

In the following, India with 9 percent, Iran with 6 percent, and South Korea and Germany with 5 percent are the other head publishers, respectively.

Almost 9 percent of the whole scientific publications of 2020, indexed in the Web of Science database, have been relevant to nanotechnology.

There have been 191,304 nano-articles indexed in WoS that had to have a 9 percent growth compared to last year. The mentioned articles are 8.8 percent of the whole produced papers in 2020.

Iran ranked 43rd among the 100 most vibrant clusters of science and technology (S&T) worldwide for the third consecutive year, according to the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020 report.

The country experienced a three-level improvement compared to 2019.

Iran’s share of the world’s top scientific articles is 3 percent, Gholam Hossein Rahimi She’erbaf, the deputy science minister, has announced.

The country’s share in the whole publications worldwide is 2 percent, he noted, highlighting, for the first three consecutive years, Iran has been ranked first in terms of quantity and quality of articles among Islamic countries.

Sourena Sattari, vice president for science and technology has said that Iran is playing the leading role in the region in the fields of fintech, ICT, stem cell, aerospace, and is unrivaled in artificial intelligence.

From our partner Tehran Times

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Science & Technology

Free And Equal Internet Access As A Human Right



Having internet access in a free and equal way is very important in contemporary world. Today, there are more than 4 billion people who are using internet all around the world. Internet has become a very important medium by which the right to freedom of speech and the right to reach information can be exercised. Internet has a central tool in commerce, education and culture.

Providing solutions to develop effective policies for both internet safety and equal Internet access must be the first priority of governments. The Internet offers individuals power to seek and impart information thus states and organizations like UN have important roles in promoting and protecting Internet safety. States and international organizations play a key role to ensure free and equal Internet access.

The concept of “network neutrality is significant while analyzing equal access to Internet and state policies regulating it. Network Neutrality (NN) can be defined as the rule meaning all electronic communications and platforms should be exercised in a non-discriminatory way regardless of their type, content or origin. The importance of NN has been evident in COVID-19 pandemic when millions of students in underdeveloped regions got victimized due to the lack of access to online education.

 Article 19/2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights notes the following:

“Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.”

Internet access and network neutrality directly affect human rights. The lack of NN undermines human rights and causes basic human right violations like violating freedom of speech and freedom to reach information. There must be effective policies to pursue NN. Both nation-states and international organizations have important roles in making Internet free, safe and equally reachable for the people worldwide. States should take steps for promoting equal opportunities, including gender equality, in the design and implementation of information and technology. The governments should create and maintain, in law and in practice, a safe and enabling online environment in accordance with human rights.

It is known that, the whole world has a reliance on internet that makes it easy to fullfill basic civil tasks but this is also threatened by increasing personal and societal cyber security threats. In this regard, states must fulfill their commitment to develop effective policies to attain universal access to the Internet in a safe way.

 As final remarks, it can be said that, Internet access should be free and equal for everyone. Creating effective tools to attain universal access to the Internet cannot be done only by states themselves. Actors like UN and EU have a major role in this process as well.

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Science & Technology

Future Energy Systems Need Clear AI Boundaries



Today, almost 60% of people worldwide have access to the Internet via an ever-increasing number of electronic devices. And as Internet usage grows, so does data generation.

Data keeps growing at unprecedented rates, increasingly exceeding the abilities of any human being to analyse it and discover its underlying structures.

Yet data is knowledge. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in. Today’s high-speed computing systems can “learn” from experience and, thus, effectively replicate human decision-making.

Besides holding its own among global chess champions, AI aids in converting unstructured data into actionable knowledge. At the same time, it enables the creation of even more insightful AI – a win-win for all. However, this doesn’t happen without challenges along the way.

Commercial uses of AI have expanded steadily in recent years across finance, healthcare, education and other sectors. Now, with COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions, many countries have turned to innovative technologies to halt the spread of the virus.

The pandemic, therefore, has further accelerated the global AI expansion trend.

Energy systems need AI, too.

Rapidly evolving smart technology is helping to make power generation and distribution more efficient and sustainable. AI and the Big Data that drives it have become an absolute necessity.  Beyond just facilitating and optimising, these are now the basic tools for fast, smart decision making.

With the accelerating shift to renewable power sources, AI can help to reduce operating costs and boost efficiency. Crucially, AI-driven “smart grids” can manage variable supply, helping to maximise the use of solar and wind power.

Read more in IRENA’s Innovation Toolbox.

Risks must be managed to maximise the benefits.

AI usage in the energy sector faces expertise-related and financial constraints.

Decision makers, lacking specialised knowledge, struggle to appreciate the wide-ranging benefits of smart system management. In this respect, energy leaders have proven more conservative than those in other sectors, such as healthcare.

Meanwhile, installing powerful AI tools without prior experience brings considerable risks. Data loss, poor customisation, system failures, unauthorised access – all these errors can bring enormous costs.

Yet like it or not, interconnected devices are on the rise.

What does this all mean for the average consumer?

Smart phones, smart meters and smart plugs, connected thermostats, boilers and smart charging stations have become familiar, everyday items. Together, such devices can form the modern “smart home”, ideally powered by rooftop solar panels.

AI can help all of us, the world’s energy consumers, become prosumers, producing and storing our own energy and interacting actively with the wider market. Our data-driven devices, in turn, will spawn more data, which helps to scale up renewables and maximise system efficiency.

But home data collection raises privacy concerns. Consumers must be clearly informed about how their data is used, and by whom. Data security must be guaranteed. Consumer privacy regulations must be defined and followed, with cybersecurity protocols in place to prevent data theft.

Is the future of AI applications in energy bright?

Indeed, the outlook is glowing, but only if policy makers and societies strike the right balance between innovation and risk to ensure a healthy, smart and sustainable future.

Much about AI remains to be learned. As its use inevitably expands in the energy sector, it cannot be allowed to work for the benefit of only a few. Clear strategies need to be put in place to manage the AI use for the good of all.


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