Сунак у розмові з Зеленським пообіцяв довгострокову підтримку Україні

У грудні 2022 року голова британського уряду закликав ігнорувати будь-які заклики Москви до переговорів, доки вона не залишить окуповані території в Україні

Drone Advances in Ukraine Could Bring Dawn of Killer Robots

Drone advances in Ukraine have accelerated a long-anticipated technology trend that could soon bring the world’s first fully autonomous fighting robots to the battlefield, inaugurating a new age of warfare.

The longer the war lasts, the more likely it becomes that drones will be used to identify, select and attack targets without help from humans, according to military analysts, combatants and artificial intelligence researchers.

That would mark a revolution in military technology as profound as the introduction of the machine gun. Ukraine already has semi-autonomous attack drones and counter-drone weapons endowed with AI. Russia also claims to possess AI weaponry, though the claims are unproven. But there are no confirmed instances of a nation putting into combat robots that have killed entirely on their own.

Experts say it may be only a matter of time before either Russia or Ukraine, or both, deploy them. The sense of inevitability extends to activists, who have tried for years to ban killer drones but now believe they must settle for trying to restrict the weapons’ offensive use.

Ukraine’s digital transformation minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, agrees that fully autonomous killer drones are “a logical and inevitable next step” in weapons development. He said Ukraine has been doing “a lot of R&D in this direction.”

“I think that the potential for this is great in the next six months,” Fedorov told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

Ukrainian Lt. Col. Yaroslav Honchar, co-founder of the combat drone innovation nonprofit Aerorozvidka, said in a recent interview near the front that human war fighters simply cannot process information and make decisions as quickly as machines.

Ukrainian military leaders currently prohibit the use of fully independent lethal weapons, although that could change, he said.

“We have not crossed this line yet – and I say ‘yet’ because I don’t know what will happen in the future,” said Honchar, whose group has spearheaded drone innovation in Ukraine, converting cheap commercial drones into lethal weapons.

Russia could obtain autonomous AI from Iran or elsewhere. The long-range Shahed-136 exploding drones supplied by Iran have crippled Ukrainian power plants and terrorized civilians but are not especially smart. Iran has other drones in its evolving arsenal that it says feature AI.

Without a great deal of trouble, Ukraine could make its semi-autonomous weaponized drones fully independent in order to better survive battlefield jamming, their Western manufacturers say.

Those drones include the U.S.-made Switchblade 600 and the Polish Warmate, which both currently require a human to choose targets over a live video feed. AI finishes the job. The drones, technically known as “loitering munitions,” can hover for minutes over a target, awaiting a clean shot.

“The technology to achieve a fully autonomous mission with Switchblade pretty much exists today,” said Wahid Nawabi, CEO of AeroVironment, its maker. That will require a policy change — to remove the human from the decision-making loop — that he estimates is three years away.

Drones can already recognize targets such as armored vehicles using cataloged images. But there is disagreement over whether the technology is reliable enough to ensure that the machines don’t err and take the lives of noncombatants.

The AP asked the defense ministries of Ukraine and Russia if they have used autonomous weapons offensively – and whether they would agree not to use them if the other side similarly agreed. Neither responded.

If either side were to go on the attack with full AI, it might not even be a first.

An inconclusive U.N. report last year suggested that killer robots debuted in Libya’s internecine conflict in 2020, when Turkish-made Kargu-2 drones in full-automatic mode killed an unspecified number of combatants.

A spokesman for STM, the manufacturer, said the report was based on “speculative, unverified” information and “should not be taken seriously.” He told the AP the Kargu-2 cannot attack a target until the operator tells it to do so.

Honchar thinks Russia, whose attacks on Ukrainian civilians have shown little regard for international law, would have used killer autonomous drones by now if the Kremlin had them.

“I don’t think they’d have any scruples,” agreed Adam Bartosiewicz, vice president of WB Group, which makes the Warmate.

AI is a priority for Russia. President Vladimir Putin said in 2017 that whoever dominates that technology will rule the world. In a December 21 speech, he expressed confidence in the Russian arms industry’s ability to embed AI in war machines, stressing that “the most effective weapons systems are those that operate quickly and practically in an automatic mode.” Russian officials already claim their Lancet drone can operate with full autonomy.

An effort to lay international ground rules for military drones has so far been fruitless. Nine years of informal United Nations talks in Geneva made little headway, with major powers including the United States and Russia opposing a ban. The last session, in December, ended with no new round scheduled.

Toby Walsh, an Australian academic who campaigns against killer robots, hopes to achieve a consensus on some limits, including a ban on systems that use facial recognition and other data to identify or attack individuals or categories of people.

“If we are not careful, they are going to proliferate much more easily than nuclear weapons,” said Walsh, author of Machines Behaving Badly. “If you can get a robot to kill one person, you can get it to kill a thousand.”

Multiple countries, and every branch of the U.S. military, are developing drones that can attack in deadly synchronized swarms, according to Zachary Kallenborn, a George Mason University weapons innovation analyst.

So will future wars become a fight to the last drone?

That’s what Putin predicted in a 2017 televised chat with engineering students: “When one party’s drones are destroyed by drones of another, it will have no other choice but to surrender.”

Путін доручив показати у кінотеатрах Росії фільми про війну проти України

Крім того, міністерства культури та освіти мають до 1 квітня 2023 року створити «громадські простори, арт-обʼєкти та шкільні музеї» про учасників «спецоперації» та провести у російських школах уроки з цієї теми

ЄС узгоджує скоординований підхід у зв’язку зі зміною ситуації з COVID-19

Комітет з безпеки охорони здоров’я Європейського Союзу заявив, що країни-члени ЄС узгоджують «скоординований підхід» до зміни ситуації з COVID-19, повідомляє агенція Reuters.

Голова охорони здоров’я ЄС Стелла Кіріакідес сказала, що комітет працює над цілеспрямованими заходами, включаючи тестування для мандрівників з Китаю, посилення моніторингу стічних вод.

Також, за даними британської газети Financial Times, Євросоюз запропонував Китаю безкоштовні вакцини від COVID-19, щоб допомогти Пекіну стримати масовий спалах захворювання після рішення скасувати суворі загальнонаціональні обмеження, пов’язані з пандемією.

Країни – члени ЄС мають надлишкові запаси вакцин через великі замовлення за довгостроковими контрактами з виробниками. Пекін наразі не відповів на цю пропозицію, зазначає видання.

У Китаї в ході кампанії з щеплення застосовували власні вакцини Sinovac і Sinopharm і не використовували РНК-препарати, вироблені за кордоном. Всесвітня організація охорони здоров’я (ВООЗ) 21 грудня 2022 року заявила, що нинішнє охоплення вакцинацією в Китаї недостатнє. Місцеві вакцини вимагають трьох доз для запобігання тяжкому перебігу захворювання, а їх, за даними ВООЗ, отримали лише 40% жителів Китаю віком від 80 років. У той же час у Євросоюзі повну вакцинацію пройшли 83% дорослого населення.

Через хвилю заражень COVID-19 у Китаї, ціла низка країн минулого тижня затвердила обов’язкове тестування для тих, хто приїжджає з КНР, у тому числі Італія, США, Японія, Індія та Малайзія.

У Німеччині закликають до обов’язкового загальноєвропейського експрес-тестування всіх, хто в’їжджає до ЄС з Китаю.

AI Infuses Everything on Show at CES Gadget Extravaganza

The latest leaps in artificial intelligence in everything from cars to robots to appliances will be on full display at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) opening Thursday in Las Vegas.

Forced by the pandemic to go virtual in 2021 and hybrid last year, tens of thousands of show-goers are hoping for a return to packed halls and rapid-fire deal-making that were long the hallmark of the annual gadget extravaganza.

“In 2022, it was a shadow of itself — empty halls, no meetings in hotel rooms,” Avi Greengart, an analyst at Techsponential told Agence France-Presse. “Now, [we expect] crowds, trouble getting around and meetings behind closed doors — which is what a trade show is all about.”

The CES show officially opens Thursday, but companies will begin to vie for the spotlight with the latest tech wizardry as early as Tuesday.

CES will be spread over more than seven hectares, from the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center to pavilions set up in parking lots. Ballrooms and banquet rooms across Sin City will be used to hustle up business.

With transportation now computing’s new frontier, next generation autos, trucks, boats, farm equipment, and even flying machines are expected to grab attention, according to analysts.

“It’s going to feel almost like you’re at an auto show,” said Kevan Yalowitz, head of platform strategy at Accenture.

More than ever, cars now come with operating systems so much like a smartphone or laptop computer, Accenture expects that by 2040 about 40% of vehicles on the road will need software updated remotely.

And with connected cars come apps and online entertainment as developers battle to grab passenger attention with streaming or shopping services on board.

Electric vehicles enhanced with artificial intelligence will also be on display “in a big way,” Greengart said.

“What has really been the buzz is personalized flying machines,” said independent tech analyst Rob Enderle. “Basically, they are human-carrying drones.”

Led by Zuckerberg’s Meta, immersive virtual worlds referred to as the metaverse are seen by some as the future of the ever-evolving internet, despite widespread criticism that the billionaire CEO is over-investing in an unproven sector.

After being a major theme at CES last year, virtual reality headgear aimed at transporting people to the metaverse is expected to again figure prominently. 

Formerly known as Facebook, Meta will be allowing selected guests to try its latest Oculus Quest virtual reality headset, trying to persuade doubters that the company’s pivot to the metaverse was the right one.

Web 3

Gadgets or services pitched as being part of the next-generation of the internet — or “Web 3” — are also expected to include mixed reality gear as well as blockchain technology and NFTs.

Web 3 promises a more decentralized internet where tech giants, big business or governments no longer hold all the keys to life online.

“The idea of how we are going to connect is going to be part of the big trend at CES,” said Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi.

Analysts had expected cryptocurrencies to be touted among Web 3 innovations at the show, but there “could be pullback” because of the implosion of cryptocurrency platform FTX and the arrest of its boss Sam Bankman-Fried, according to Milanesi.

CES offerings will likely show effects of the pandemic, since products designed during a time of lockdowns and remote work will now be heading for market even if lifestyles are returning to pre-COVID habits, noted Greengart.

Health, environment

Tech designed to better assess health and connect remotely with care providers will also be strong at CES.

And though the show is unabashedly devoted to consumerism, the environment will also be a theme from gadgets designed to scoop trash from waterways to apps that help people cut down on energy use.

A lot of companies are eliminating plastic from packaging and shifting to biodegradable materials, while also trying to reduce carbon emissions, according to analysts.

“If you are the kind of person who is off the grid growing vegetables, then CES is not for you,” Greengart said. “But I do commend companies that find ways to make their products and the supply chain more sustainable.” 


Президентка Європарламенту запускає процедуру зняття імунітету з двох депутатів

Президентка Європейського парламенту Роберта Мецола запустила термінову процедуру зняття імунітету з двох законодавців після запиту бельгійських судових органів.

Як повідомляє пресслужба Європарламенту, вона попросила всі служби та комітети надати процедурі пріоритет, щоб завершити її до 13 лютого.

«З самого першого моменту Європейський парламент зробив усе, що в його силах, щоб допомогти в розслідуванні, і ми продовжуватимемо гарантувати, що безкарності не буде», – сказала Мецола.

Пресслужба Європарламенту не назвала прізвища двох євродепутатів. Джерела агенції AFP повідомляють, що йдеться про Андреа Коццоліно та Марка Тарабеллу. Тарабелла, чий будинок обшукали минулого місяця, і Коццоліно заперечують свою провину.

У грудні бельгійська поліція провела серію рейдів у будинках і офісах діячів, повʼязаних із Європейським парламентом, і вилучила щонайменше 1,5 мільйона євро готівкою.

Організатор чемпіонату світу з футболу Катар заперечує будь-які правопорушення, але бельгійські слідчі звинуватили його в хабарях з метою поліпшення міжнародного іміджу і впливу на політику ЄС.

Байден: США не обговорюють із Південною Кореєю спільні ядерні навчання

Раніше президент Республіки Корея Юн Сок Йоль повідомив, що Вашингтон веде переговори про те, щоб проводити спільні навчання за участю американських ядерних сил