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A World Beguiled by ‘Techno-Voodooism’

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What happens when systems cross the threshold of peak complexity and can no longer be improved in their current forms? Decision-makers can commission competing models in order to pick a winner. This however calls for patience, prudence and sound oversight. Alternately, they can pounce on a fantastical blueprint that will supposedly gel via Artificial Intelligence and get to play monopoly at the same time. An all-in-one solution!

Such thinking was precisely what beleaguered the F-35 combat aircraft program with its estimated $1.7 trillion in lifetime costs. After 20 years of troubled development, the stealth fighter’s problems have become so insurmountable that the US Air Force is now considering a clean slate fighter jet program to replace its ageing F-16s.

The F-35 illustrates the other barely-analysed pandemic infecting our world – that of “technological voodooism” (coined by the author for want of a better term).

Returns on investments these days are no longer measured by healthy profits generated by proven products. The devotees of techno-voodooism are essentially totalitarians who believe that not just markets, but the world itself, must be reorganized and monopolized by an enlightened few in a smart era called the Great Reset. The prime agency promoting this technopia is the World Economic Forum (WEF) which has promised a wonderful world where we will “own nothing” and yet “be happy”.

The outcome thus far has been societal meltdowns, malfunctioning jets in the skies and iRobot Roomba vacuums that meander aimlessly on the floor. The modern adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” may have been lost on iRobot’s C-Suite executives. Roomba machines use “artificial intelligence to scan room size, identify obstacles and remember the most efficient routes for cleaning.” But the quest for greater efficiency and profits at lesser costs – a process which Buckminster Fuller called “ephemeralization” more than 80 years ago – has resulted in smart updates and berserk gadgets. Even after the vacuum is reset, IoT connectivity ensures that the robot is updated back to its state of regression. 

Now, imagine the consequences of similar systems breakdowns worldwide? For starters, consider the point of singularity when robot chefs are updated with a new definition of what constitutes “meat”?A berserk Roomba machine can at least be switched off and plopped down as a paperweight. That is not an option for Boeing 737 MAX 8planes which reportedly used artificial intelligence to bend aerodynamic laws on the cheap.

Thestring of Boeing disasters – as well as other failures mentioned thus far – has not deterred the merchants of techno-voodooism. Instead, every new crisis is seen as an opportunity for AI-mediated quick fixes and big profits.  Remember Big Tech’s apocalyptic COVID-19 projections of the previous year? Pseudosciences, based on the chimera of smart systems have been allowed to run amok, emboldening the WEF to claim that Covid-19 “lockdowns are quietly improving cities around the world”. Tell that to tens of millions of small businesses who have lost their livelihoods to multinational corporations. Just how did cities improve withits archipelago of trash that piled upduring lockdowns? What about the environmental impacts which happen to be a pet peeve of the WEF?

It is not just cities that have supposedly “improved” with COVID-19. Bill Gates is now the largest owner of farmland in the United States – coincidentally at a time when lockdowns have worsened food security and incomes among the poor. Logically, this great humanitarian could have matched his suite of predictive analytics software with owned farmland capacity to alleviate lockdown-induced hunger but Gates is reportedly too busy promoting synthetic beef and vaccines.

The global coronapsychosis has in fact accelerated wealth fractionation at the expense of the mid-to-low income classes. Just 655 people now own $4 trillion in wealth while 200 million can’t cover a $1000 expense in the United States alone. Imagine the sheer numbers of the impoverished worldwide, especially in nations bonded to the Anglo-American compact?

As for COVID-19 itself, inconvenient facts are routinely censored or shadow-banned by AI-powered social media platforms and search engines. Annual flu deaths in the US – which the British Medical Journal once questioned whether it was more PR than science – have surprisingly disappeared from official health statistics due to the pandemic.

Big Tech will not allow us to question the efficacy of vaccines developed in the West. After all, Artificial Intelligence had seemingly accelerated the development of vaccines that what would have otherwise taken years or decades to research, test and deploy. We should not ask why dozens of people(as of early February)had contracted arare blood disorder after taking vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. Or why there is an alarming number of deaths from Norway to Spainto the Netherlands post-vaccination? Or even how thousands of Israelis could test positive for Covid-19 despite receiving Pfizer/BioNTech jabs?

The COVID-19 vaccination figures in Israel are so alarming that two researchers have even called the fiasco “a new Holocaust”. Yet, the Israeli government wants local authorities to maintain a database of its vaccine refuseniks. (The Nazis too once maintained a meticulous database of “undesirables” in localities they were about to occupy but that historical parallel is lost on today’s lamestream media).

Supine Governments

Techno-voodooism did not emerge in a vacuum. It thrived in tandem with “inclusivity” and “sustainability” programs which, in turn, handed the reins of power, scholarship and opinion-making to a horde of half-wits worldwide. This is a reason why governments, backed by spineless bureaucrats and academics, are increasingly surrendering national sovereignties to Big Tech. One can imagine the quid pro quo: a post-retirement sinecure; jobs for children and relatives; and coding opportunities for trolls who push the Big Tech agenda. No wonder planes are falling from the skies and a raft of disasters await humanity throughout this decade.

Europe is an exemplar in this regard. Its leaders are now worried that Apple and Google may end up issuing Covid-19 health certificates before the union can reach a consensus. Isn’t that the job of sovereign governments with taxpayer-funded healthcare systems? But this trend is getting more sordid by the day. Bureaucrats are falling over each other to gift vaccine roadmaps and distributions systems to Big Tech because their AI-driven systems can supposedly deliver optimal outcomes. They should just pick Bill Gates’ concept of using mosquitoes as airborne syringes. Call it a bang for the bite!

These shameless capitulations are not limited to the healthcare sector alone. Entire government machineries are gradually hived off to Big Tech. The trailblazing US state of Nevada may even allow tech giants to set up their own governments. These entities can impose taxes, form school districts and even run the judicial system. The first such “smart city” may break ground as early as 2022. What could possibly go wrong?

In the final analysis, while the author argues that Artificial Intelligence and smart systems have real, sectoral potentials; these have been hijacked by the techno-voodooism of Big Tech. We should therefore brace ourselves for a very turbulent decade!

Author’s note: This article was originally published in RT

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Development of Metaverse in China: Strategies, Potential, and Challenges Part II

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China’s metaverse market is anticipated to reach a value of US$12.6 billion in 2023, with a projected compound annual growth rate of 31.93% from 2023 to 2030 (data from China Briefing). The concept of the metaverse, previously confined to the realms of science fiction, has now become a crucial part of China’s economic vision. Traditionally reliant on the manufacturing and export sectors, China perceives the metaverse as a medium for economic diversification, reducing dependence on traditional sectors and creating new opportunities for economic growth.

In the pursuit of economic diversification through the metaverse, China is also focusing on job creation and skills development. The metaverse industry in China is expected to generate numerous new jobs, involving various roles such as software developers, content creators, hardware manufacturers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and virtual architects. This demonstrates the potential of the metaverse in transforming the employment landscape and providing access to new opportunities in various fields.

With its ambitious vision, China is striving to develop a metaverse focusing on the B2B and industrial sectors, aiming to become a global leader in industrial metaverse applications. However, to realize this vision and export metaverse technology as a global standard, China must overcome various challenges, including issues related to data protection and privacy, which will be key to China’s success in leading the industrial metaverse revolution.

Technology and Innovation

In the continually evolving technological era, China needs to innovate and develop metaverse technology that can compete globally. Sustained technological excellence is key to ensuring the relevance and superiority of China’s industrial metaverse applications in global competition.

China needs to focus its research and development (R&D) on key metaverse technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain. Investment in this R&D will enable China to produce proprietary technology and strengthen its domestic metaverse ecosystem. Additionally, collaboration with universities, research institutions, and other technology companies will accelerate the innovation and development of metaverse technology.

Regulation and Standards

The development of effective and consistent regulations and technical standards is a central challenge in realizing the industrial metaverse. To create internationally acceptable regulations, China needs to consider implementing international standards like GDPR and ensuring transparency and accountability in data processing. Adopting and adapting to international norms will build trust and ensure compliance with existing international norms and standards.

Multilateral dialogue and a participatory approach are also crucial in this process. Through dialogue with various countries and international institutions, and involving stakeholders from the industry, academia, and civil society, China can ensure that diverse perspectives and interests are represented in the development of metaverse regulations and standards. This will assist in agreeing on international norms and standards that are acceptable to the global community.

Additionally, strengthening cybersecurity, education and awareness about regulations, and developing technology ethics that respect human rights and privacy are other important steps. By implementing these measures, China can create a balanced and responsible regulatory framework, enabling sustainable development of the industrial metaverse that is acceptable to the international community.

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy

Cybersecurity and data privacy are crucial elements in the development and export of metaverse technology by China. To gain global trust, it is imperative for China to demonstrate unwavering commitment to protecting user data and privacy. Given the concerns that have arisen from cases like TikTok and Huawei, concrete measures and transparency in user data management are vital to address doubts and suspicions from the international community.

Implementing international data security standards such as ISO/IEC 27001 and independent security audits by trusted third parties are vital initial steps. These will not only strengthen the integrity of security systems but also provide concrete evidence to the international community about China’s seriousness in safeguarding data security and user privacy.

 Full transparency in data processing will also play a crucial role in building trust and clarifying data management procedures and practices. Additionally, international cooperation in cybersecurity and the development of cybersecurity education and awareness programs are initiatives that will enhance understanding and vigilance against potential security risks.

Cooperation and dialogue with international institutions and other countries will enable the exchange of knowledge and best practices, strengthening mutual understanding and cooperation on good security practices and standards. By implementing these measures, China can address global concerns about data security and privacy and position itself as a responsible leader in the development of metaverse technology.

Commitment to security and data privacy will be a solid foundation in building mutually beneficial relationships with international partners and expanding the influence of China’s metaverse technology on the global stage.

International Collaboration

To address geopolitical challenges and strengthen its position in the global metaverse community, international collaboration is a crucial strategy for China. Concrete forms of this collaboration can include active participation in international forums and dialogues on the metaverse, enabling knowledge and experience sharing and understanding the needs and concerns of various stakeholders. Additionally, undertaking joint research and development projects with international entities will accelerate innovation and provide access to complementary resources and expertise.

The formation of international metaverse consortiums and cooperation in cybersecurity and regulations with other countries and international institutions are also important steps. These will help establish international standards and promote interoperability between metaverse platforms, strengthening security and trust among nations within the metaverse ecosystem.

 Exchange programs and training with international institutions can also strengthen relationships between professional communities and enhance the understanding and skills of China’s human resources in the metaverse field. By adopting these international collaboration strategies, China can not only expand and enrich its industrial metaverse development but also significantly contribute to shaping and developing a more inclusive and sustainable global metaverse ecosystem. This will enable China to play a key role in the evolution of the metaverse and promote its vision on a global scale.


China aspires to be a leader in the industrial and B2B metaverse, but multidimensional challenges, including privacy and data protection issues, must be addressed to realize this vision and establish China’s metaverse technology as a global standard. Through an integrated and holistic approach to addressing these challenges, China has the potential to lead the industrial metaverse revolution, unlocking opportunities for innovation and economic growth, and enhancing the development of the industrial and B2B sectors globally.

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AI and Physics Advances in the Field of Gravitational Waves and the Alternative of Open Source Science

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The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) consists of ten subsystems, one of which is the Data and Computing Systems (DSC). The data obtained by LIGO not only include the findings from the laser interferometer’s gravitational wave detector, but also contain various independent detectors and recorders that monitor the detector’s environment and the state of its equipment, such as temperature, atmospheric pressure and wind; conditions such as heavy rain, hail, surface vibrations, sound, electric fields and magnetic fields, as well as data on the state of the detector itself such as the position of the plane mirror and lens inside the gravitational wave detector.

In terms of data acquisition, e.g. the LIGO in Hanford (Washington State), and the H1 and H2 Data AcQuisition (DAQ) interferometers recorded a total of 12,733 channels, of which 1,279 were fast channels.

The upgraded LIGO is designed to record data acquisitions greater than 300,000 channels, including about three thousand fast channels. This is a typical problem in big data analysis and processing, which requires powerful computing resources and advanced algorithms to effectively process such a huge amount of data.

Adaptive filtering technology is used in the search for gravitational wave signals. This is a technology based on waveform analysis, which requires the creation of a reasonable physical model of the source of gravitational waves, and the generation of thousands of processing steps based on the use of these models to match signals in gravitational wave data to find relevant events.

Moreover, unlike telescopes, gravitational lenses distort objects into blurred rings and arcs and it is therefore quite difficult to understand them. Applying AI neural networks to the analysis of gravitational wave images will be ten million times faster than the original method. The AI neural network can discover new shots and determine the properties, mass distribution and magnification levels of background galaxies. Neural networks will help us identify interesting objects and analyse them quickly, which will provide more time to explore and ask questions about the universe.

As things stand, there are at least several aspects worthy of attention when applying Artificial Intelligence to the analysis and processing of gravitational wave big data.  

In “supervised learning” the matched filter method must know the waveform of the signal. This time, the analysis of the gravitational wave deformation data must match the waveforms in the huge library of shapes available. This is obviously a process with an enormous computational workload. How to improve efficiency and reduce the computational load? The consumption of resources is undoubtedly worthy of in-depth study.

In the “unsupervised learning” of gravitational wave detection, instead, the waveforms of a large number of events are unknown. For supernovae and rotating neutron stars, the current accumulation of astronomical observations cannot provide a theoretical estimate of the intensity of the gravitational waves they release, which requires the use of “unsupervised learning”, i.e. algorithms to discover unknown patterns in gravitational wave data.

In the “integrated learning” strategy, there are other types of gravitational waves, such as continuous and primordial ones, which are different from the gravitational waves detected as in the double black hole merger, mentioned in the previous article. They have not been detected yet, as in the case of continuous gravitational waves from rotating neutron stars: besides requiring a higher detector sensitivity, extremely high requirements are also placed on the data analysis capabilities.

Astronomical research is too far removed from ordinary people and, in the United States and in the rest of the world, people often complain that the costs are too high. Although research into gravitational wave data analysis technology has no direct commercial value, the migration of technology to the necessary algorithm can be considered in the future and technology is being developed for the proper analysis and processing of big data. The latter, however, can be applied to other commercial or purely academic fields to produce value through research.

Most gravitational wave data analysis uses one-dimensional signal processing technology, which can be transferred to spectral data analysis, sensing data analysis and general data analysis.

Indeed, as is well-known, AI technology has been used for a long time in space and non-space exploration, including computer vision, speech recognition, natural language processing, machine learning, etc. Detectors, however, also help us obtain images, information and data from the universe and then transmit them. As human beings improve their ability to understand the universe, Artificial Intelligence will play an increasingly important role in the future, and the space exploration science and the refinement of AI technology will eventually benefit human society as a whole.

Thinking of Newton, we would say: “If you look at the stars, you will see an apple. If you see an apple, you will study its origin. If you study its origin, you will have a law. If you have a law, you will want a conclusion”. It often happens, however, that a conclusion can end up in a contradiction, and if we get into a contradiction we will have to look at the stars again.

Space exploration, AI technology and human society are probably in this dialectical relationship of renewal – just think of the theory of relativity and quantum physics – that continues to stimulate the imagination and the power of development of the human mind and civilisations.

Nevertheless, we must be careful not to stray into the grotesque, and I think we must deal with the topic without coming to the conclusion that one day Artificial Intelligence will confine humans into a zoo for protected species, as – hopefully – all this will always be created and managed by humans, who are still the sole solvers of the problems overriding standards and are the real constituents of the world in which we live.

With the right tools, AI methods can be applied to scientists’ workflows. As mentioned above, the aim is not to replace human intelligence, but to significantly improve it and reduce the workload. This research verified part of Einstein’s theory of relativity and the connection between time and space. To date it is also the starting point for research into gravitational wave astronomy. Even the uninitiated will be able to begin to understand the universe in depth and at a faster speed, including dark energy, gravity and neutron stars.

The contribution of this research is that, by combining the power of Artificial Intelligence and supercomputers, huge data experiments can be solved instantaneously, and all of this can be reproduced, rather than just limited to testing whether Artificial Intelligence can only be used to face and solve other important challenges.

Among other things, a solution to step up progress is the open source (open code) model, which is used by other research groups without any preclusion. In a nutshell, open source is the source code made freely available for possible changes and redistribution. Products include permission to use the source code, design documents or product content freely available to the public.

Open source is a decentralised software development model that encourages open collaboration. One of the fundamental principles of open source software development is peer production. The use of the term originated with software, but has expanded beyond the field of software to cover other content and forms of open collaboration. The open source movement in software began as a response to the limitations of proprietary code. (end)

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The AI Wars Between Nations: A New Arms Race or a Catalyst for Collaboration?

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In the 20th century, the nuclear arms race defined the global power struggle. Today, the race to develop the most advanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities is driving the narrative of international competition. Nations are investing billions into R&D, striving to have the superior AI technology. This ‘AI war’ evokes a range of emotions: from fear of robotic armies to concerns over subtle, deep-fake propagandas. But is this war only about outdoing each other, or can it spur collaborative breakthroughs?

The Nature of the AI Wars

Unlike traditional arms races, the AI race isn’t just about the creation of lethal machinery. It encompasses economic, technological, ethical, and military dimensions. From improving healthcare diagnostics to forecasting economic shifts and enhancing national security, the potential applications of AI are boundless.

However, as nations rush to outpace each other, concerns arise. There’s the risk of under-regulated AI technologies causing unintentional harm, be it through biased algorithms or intrusive surveillance. On the military front, the emergence of autonomous lethal weapons can redefine the rules of warfare, making conflicts more impersonal and potentially more devastating.

Economic and Strategic Implications

Nations that lead in AI will undeniably hold significant geopolitical leverage. AI has the potential to reshape economies, making certain industries obsolete while giving rise to new ones. A dominant position in AI can mean economic prosperity, more jobs, and greater influence in international decisions.

Moreover, the strategic advantages are evident. AI can enhance cybersecurity, predict and mitigate threats, and offer a strategic edge in negotiations and diplomacy by providing real-time insights.

Collaboration Over Competition?

Despite the competitive undertones, the AI race holds enormous potential for collaborative growth. Just as the Space Race of the Cold War era eventually led to joint space missions and international space stations, the AI race can pave the way for shared research, ethical standards, and mutual growth.

Collaborative efforts can help address some of AI’s biggest challenges, including:

1. Ethical Guidelines: By working together, nations can create universal standards and ethics for AI development, ensuring technologies respect human rights and democratic values.
2. Shared Research: Pooling resources can accelerate breakthroughs in areas like healthcare, climate change, and energy, benefiting humanity at large.

3. Global Security: Jointly developed frameworks can regulate the deployment of AI in warfare, preventing uncontrolled escalation.


The AI wars between nations, while driven by a desire for supremacy, don’t have to end in zero-sum outcomes. The very nature of AI – its reliance on vast amounts of data, the benefits of diverse perspectives, and its global applications – makes collaboration not only advantageous but also essential.

As the world treads this new frontier, the hope is that nations recognize the transformative power of AI not just as a tool of dominion but as a means to forge a more interconnected, prosperous, and harmonious future.

From our partner RIAC

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