28 May 2024

India-Iran Agreement On Chabahar Port: Boost For Global Supply Chain – Analysis

Vinod Rai

India and Iran signed a 10-year contract on 13 May 2024 for the operation of the Shahid Behesti terminal at the strategically important Chabahar port in Iran. Chabahar is a deep water port in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province. It is the Iranian port closest to India and is located in the open sea, providing easy and secure access for large cargo ships. Situated on the Gulf of Oman and initially proposed for development by New Delhi in 2003, it will serve as a crucial gateway for Indian goods to access landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Positioned as a hub for transit trade between India, Iran and Afghanistan, the port offers an alternative route to the traditional Silk Road through China. With its strategic location near the Strait of Hormuz and the Indian Ocean, the port provides a vantage point across various regions such as West Asia, Indian Ocean and Africa.

Map 1 is also part of the proposed International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a multi-modal transportation project, initiated by Russia, India and Iran, envisaged to link the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea via Iran, and onward to northern Europe via Saint Petersburg in Russia.

What’s Stopping India’s Semiconductor Mission

Mohit Pandey

Setting up a single semiconductor manufacturing foundry requires massive investments, usually running up to $3 to $4 billion. To compare it with current investments, Micron is pumping in $825 million to set up its packaging facility.

“Given our infrastructure and the lack of ecosystem for semiconductor supplies, companies hesitate to venture into this field in India. A semiconductor foundry also requires many auxiliary industries such as semiconductor grade gases and chemical supplies, which are not present in India” said BITS Pilani Campuses group vice-chancellor Professor V Ramgopal Rao, in an interview with AIM.

The Indian government has been very clear and focussed about its semiconductor mission, which was launched in 2021. Currently, India is the second largest importer of semiconductor chips globally after a 92% increase in chip imports in the last three years.

Rao said that investing so much in a country where the infrastructure is not up to the global standards is a challenge for big companies.

India Bought an Aircraft Carrier from Russia: Let the Disaster Begin

Brandon J. Weichert

Summary: Military experts are questioning the relevance of aircraft carriers in the face of advanced A2/AD systems that threaten their survivability. Despite this, China and India continue to develop carrier fleets. India's experience with the INS Vikramaditya, an upgraded Soviet-era aircraft carrier purchased from Russia, has informed its carrier program. Both nations see carriers as crucial for power projection, even under the threat of A2/AD systems. The Indian Navy is expanding its fleet in response to China's naval ambitions, highlighting a strategic competition between the two nations.

Military experts today are debating the usefulness of the aircraft carrier. With the creation of sophisticated anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) systems, the large surface warships that defined previous eras of naval warfare seem increasingly vulnerable and perhaps obsolete. Smaller, stealthier vessels, and possibly even unmanned underwater vehicles, appear to be the wave of the future.

China has spent considerable wealth to build comprehensive A2/AD networks throughout the South China Sea and along China’s coastline. These systems are meant for one thing: to stunt the ability of the U.S. Navy to project its power near Chinese shores, or in regions of the Indo-Pacific that Beijing covets. Despite these systems, though, China has invested heavily in developing indigenous carrier capabilities.

Sri Lanka: Economic Recolonisation Bill Tabled In Parliament – OpEd

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

A bill named the ‘Economic Transformation Bill’ (ETB) was tabled in parliament this month by President Ranil Wickremesinghe while the country is debating whether Parliamentary or Presidential elections should be held first. Both are due within the next 12 months.

In Parliament in August 2000, Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNP torched copies of President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s draft Constitution with its expansive autonomy provisions and tricky transitional arrangements. In 2024 the Opposition should do the same to Ranil’s Economic Transformation Bill, with far better reason.

The ETB is the line of decisive demarcation in Sri Lanka’s politics and contemporary history. It will impact the Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

National People’s Power (NPP) party Economic Council member Sunil Handunetti announced on 23 May that the party will take legal action against the Government’s proposed ETB, which the government has said is aimed at bolstering the country’s economy.

US Lawmakers Promise New Missiles & Radar to Taiwan


Just days after China ended wide-ranging military drills surrounding Taiwan, U.S. members of Congress underscored American support by meeting with Taiwan’s new leader and promising that long-promised weapons are on their way.

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael McCaul, told reporters after meeting with President Lai Ching-te in Taipei, “We are moving forward on those weapons systems. I’d like to see it faster, but they are forthcoming.”

In September, 2022, the US agreed to sell $1.1 billion of weapons to Taiwan. The package includes a radar warning system and surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles.

Still, members of Congress have complained that there’s a backlog of weapons ordered by the Taiwanese that have not been delivered. According to Defense News, those include Harpoon and Stinger missiles, which have been sent to Ukraine instead.

Squad And The Rise Of Minilateralism In The Indo-Pacific – Analysis

Sayantan Haldar and Abhishek Sharma

The Indo-Pacific security landscape has emerged as a critical flashpoint for geopolitical contests. Growing Chinese naval aggression in the South China Sea (SCS) has long been a major concern for countries with strategic stakes in the region. The United States (US) and other like-minded countries have increasingly looked to bolster efforts to counter the imminent threats posed by China’s increased naval activities.

Much of the Chinese aggression in recent months has been targeted at the Philippines, a US treaty ally, which is confronting Beijing’s maritime misconduct in the SCS on a regular basis. Therefore to further strengthen the Philippines’ maritime security, the Defense Ministers of the US, Japan, Australia, and the Philippines met in Hawaii to discuss ways of advancing and continuing maritime cooperation. As per media reports, this grouping of four has been named ‘Squad’ by Pentagon officials.

Squad, security, and South China Sea

Beijing’s continued efforts to reclaim contested maritime spaces through aggressive naval posturing in the SCS have been instrumental in intensifying the geopolitical contest in the region. In recent times, tensions between China and the Philippines have been the focal point of conversations about the evolving geopolitics in the SCS. The West Philippine Sea, which Manila claims to have jurisdiction over, has emerged as the hotbed of the Sino-Filipino contest.

Sri Lanka Embraces Tourists But Confronts Illegal Ventures – Analysis

Amila Prasanga and Ganeshan Wignaraja

International tourism is again attracting controversy, this time due to visitors on tourist visas running businesses in developing Asian countries. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Sri Lanka has allowed Russians and Ukrainians to enter the country without paying visa fees in a bid to boost tourism. Desperate for foreign exchange following its sovereign debt default in 2022, Sri Lanka has turned a blind eye to some of these visitors running businesses.

As many as 197,498 Russians and 5082 Ukrainians visited Sri Lanka in 2023 — 13.6 per cent of total tourist inflows. But data is lacking on how many have stayed beyond a 60-day tourist visalimit. In February 2024, Sri Lanka abruptly terminated visas for long-staying Russians and Ukrainians.

This was in response to massive public outrage over a so-called ‘white-only party’ at a nightclub, leading the Russian business owner to apologise and cancel the event. This incident had little effect on Sri Lanka’s neutral foreign relations with Russia and Ukraine but has sparked a policy debate on the benefits of tourists running businesses in developing Asian countries.

Researchers Grapple With The Tightened Data Landscape In China – Analysis

Han Chen

Until two years ago, Peter Irwin, a Washington D.C.-based researcher, was able to access Chinese court data to track the number of Uyghurs being sentenced to prison. But amid the international outcry over Beijing’s oppressive policies in Xinjiang, the local court stopped publishing such data.

Irwin was undeterred and pivoted his focus. It was a gradual process, he said, but he and his organization, the Uyghur Human Rights Project, or UHRP, took the time to adapt to the tighter data landscape.

“I think we can, and we found ways,” he said.

The work can still be impactful. For example, last summer, UHRP uncovered international travel companies that were still offering tours to Xinjiang despite widespread human rights violations there. Shortly thereafter, several companies suspended these tours.

In the diverse field of China research, Irwin’s experience has become more common. As China puts up more barriers around data, researchers all over the world increasingly have to grapple with how to work with less, but they are also coming to terms with the restrictions by discovering new tools or new research areas, according to interviews with analysts, activists and scholars from various disciplines.

Yet many researchers say that the paucity of data will warp global understanding of what is really going on in China.

The battlegrounds that could decide a US-China war over Taiwan

Kathrin Hille, Demetri Sevastopulo

Three decades of investment means China’s military is now close to being able to fight a Taiwan war. In response, the US military is devising new warfighting strategies and strengthening military alliances.

The Financial Times has identified five key military contests that would help define the outcome of a war. Few analysts or officials believe a conflict is imminent, but any clash between the world’s top two powers would have global consequences, triggering the biggest international crisis since the second world war.

‘It’s all about the missiles’

Once mocked by its own troops for having “short arms and slow legs”, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has spent decades transforming itself into a world-class fighting force.

At the heart of this modernisation has been the country’s investment in missiles in a bid to close the gap with the US. “It’s all about missiles,” says Eric Heginbotham, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology security expert and co-author of a Taiwan war game.

Putin’s Visit To Harbin Speaks Volumes About Growing Chinese Self-Confidence – OpEd

Paul Goble

During his time in China, Vladimir Putin for the first time visited Harbin, a city in northeastern China near the Russian border that was founded by the Russian Empire in 1898 to house the headquarters of the Russian-owned Chinese Eastern Railroad and became an important center of the Russian emigration after the Bolshevik revolution.

Because of these Russian ties and because the Russians in the city enjoyed extraterritorial status until 1920, Ivan Zuyenko, a China specialist at Moscow’s MGIMO says, Beijing did not like recalling let alone highlighting this past (profile.ru/abroad/kakoe-simvolicheskoe-znachenie-imelo-poseshhenie-putinym-harbina-1514585/).

“But in recent years, the situation has sharply changed,” the Russian scholar says. And now, “Harbin considers itself to be a cosmopolitan city for which the interrelationship of Russian and Chinese civilizations serves as a key element of identity” and even plays up its Russian past to attract tourists and visitors like Putin.

The Criterion Of True Alternatives To Iran’s Regime – OpEd

Matin Karim

On the internet, we witness a lively and dynamic scene of political, social, professional, and cultural activities by Iranians. A considerable portion of these diverse activities is devoted to the struggle against the mullahs’ dictatorship and sheds light on the regime’s crimes and corruption.

When we consider many of these valuable activities together, we arrive at a collection that is happening in parallel but lacks the characteristics of an alternative. For example, many articles, speeches, interviews, and podcasts are published with the theme of exposing and shedding light on the crimes, but their totality does not possess the character and features of an alternative that would pose a real challenge to the regime.

History of uprisings and revolutions has shown that an alternative carries clear signs and concerns from the dominant dictator.

An alternative is always at the center of the issue, the nightmare, and its activities pose challenges to the dictator at home and across the globe.

Precision over power: How Iran’s ‘obsolete’ missiles penetrated Israel’s air defenses

Iran’s 13 April retaliatory missile strike on Israel, dubbed Operation True Promise, managed to overcome the occupation state’s integrated air defense systems and external foreign support.

The strike, intended to deter future actions by Israel against Iranian personnel and facilities, was notably executed to avoid casualties and serious damage. The operation was especially bold as it targeted Israel, an undeclared nuclear power.

Open-source intelligence from videos and photographs identified multiple warheads striking Ramon airbase in the Negev, not Nevatim, as previously reported, although the occupation army confirmed strikes on Nevatim and released images showing minor damage. This suggests a systematic failure of Israel’s lauded air defenses against those five missiles that hit their target, one after the other.

Germany’s Zeitenwende: Turning Toward Central Asia?

Timon Ostermeier and Eldaniz Gusseinov

Much has changed for European governments and businesses alike since Russia decided to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Since then, attention has shifted to Central Asia, to the delight of Central Asian leaders, who have received invitations to European capitals, Brussels, and welcomed to the region high-ranking Western officials seeking to strengthen and explore new economic or political ties.

These Western officials barely conceal that they do not come for horse milk or yurts – but to reap low-hanging geopolitical fruits while planting geoeconomic seeds for the future. The office of Frank-Walter Steinmeier, president of Germany, distributed a press release ahead of his visit to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan last summer that read: “The President’s travels underline the geopolitical significance of Central Asia. In this difficult neighborhood to Russia and China, he signals Germany’s partnership to the Central Asian states.”

After Vladimir Putin decided to send troops toward Kyiv in 2022, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz held a speech in the German Bundestag where he described the impact with a term that stuck with political analysts at home and abroad. The word “Zeitenwende,” German for “change of times” or “watershed moment,” has since been associated with high expectations that Germany will change its foreign and security policy drastically, and the German government has come under strong criticism for not living up to these expectations.

A Reset for America and Mexico?

Shannon K. O’Neil

On June 2, Mexican voters will head to the polls to elect a new president, congress, nine governors, and tens of thousands of local officials. Competing for the top job are Claudia Sheinbaum—the chosen candidate of Morena, the ruling party, and former Mexico City mayor, who commands a significant lead in the polls—and Xóchitl Gálvez, a successful businesswoman and former senator supported by a coalition of opposition parties. Six months later, north of the border, the United States will follow suit, with U.S. President Joe Biden and Donald Trump each seeking a second presidential term.

Over the past six years, the tenor of U.S.-Mexican relations has been set by Mexico’s current president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, also known as AMLO, who has wielded his domestic popularity and influence over migration to the United States to shape bilateral relations in his favor. This has allowed him often to ignore commercial disputes with the United States, domestic security issues, and U.S. concerns over governance in Mexico—a dynamic that has not always sat well with leaders in Washington.

Mexico’s next president, however, will not have the domestic political leeway AMLO enjoys. Whether in or out of office, AMLO has been a fixture of Mexican politics for decades. He commands the personal loyalty of a broad and ideologically diverse set of politicians, is enormously popular throughout the country, and has consolidated a personalist brand of power. His successor will have to navigate the country’s messy political landscape without these advantages.

Why The B-21 Raider Stealth Bomber May Be the Stealthiest Plane to Ever Exist


The recently revealed Northrop Grumman photo of the sleek, stealthy airborne B-21 Raider bomber presents a new and significant view of the mysterious and largely “black” aircraft, a next-generation platform reported by Pentagon weapons developers containing paradigm-changing technologies in the realm stealth, sensing, computing and high-altitude, high-risk bombing attack.

Clearly many of its stealth properties and advanced technologies will not be available for public discussion given the secret nature of the program, yet the recent photo does offer an as-of-yet unprecedented side-view of the new aircraft. A quick look at the external configuration would seem to suggest that indeed the aircraft may contain massive “leaps-forward” in the realm of stealth technology.

A key element of the aircraft might jump out at observers, as its “inlets” are smoothly woven into the rounded fuselage-wing-body structure in a way that is flatter, more horizontal, less angular and more seamless than its B-2 predecessor. Simply put it is less vertical and flatter in its integration with the body of the aircraft, something of great significance because any kind of protruding or vertical structure, however rounded or “blended” into the fuselage of the aircraft, introduces the prospect of an increased radar signature. 

Ukrainian M1 Abrams Tanks Get Elaborate ‘Cope Cages,’ Soviet Explosive Reactive Armor


Ukraine's U.S.-supplied M1A1 Abrams tanks are getting new production-standard anti-drone armor screens, also commonly known as "cope cages," on their turrets. Pictures of one of the modified Abrams show it has also received additional explosive reactive armor (ERA), modifications that have also been appearing elsewhere in the field.

This all comes roughly a month after U.S. officials reportedly said Ukrainian forces had pulled the M1A1s from the front lines, particularly due to concerns about their vulnerability to first-person view (FPV) kamikaze drones and other uncrewed aerial threats. The extent to which Ukraine's Abrams tanks have returned to service since then is unclear, but they may well be back in action.

Ukraine-headquartered Metinvest Group, a steel and mining conglomerate, put out a press release about the new armor screens earlier today. The company said that it is also making factory-standard anti-drone armor for Soviet-designed T-64 and T-72 families of tanks (which include the T-80 and T-90 series, respectively), but only showed an example of the design for the Abrams. This is a part of the firm's broader "Steel Front" wartime production initiative, which has also been churning out pre-fabricated protected shelters, body armor, and other kinds of materiel for the Ukrainian armed forces.

Malicious Use of AI and Challenges to Psychological Security: Future Risks

Evgeny Pashentsev

In April 2024, the International Center for Social and Political Studies and Consulting International Center for Social and Political Studies and Consulting published the report “Malicious Use of AI and Challenges to Psychological Security of BRICS Countries” co-authored with the International Research Group on Threats to International Psychological Security through Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence (Research MUAI) and prepared by 10 researchers from three countries. It focuses on the threats of malicious AI influence on the human psyche, and through this it offers an overview of political, economic, social processes and the activities of state and non-state institutions in ten BRICS countries. The report contains an introduction, ten chapters on the state with MUAI in each of the BRICS member countries and concludes with an analysis of future MUAI threats on a global level. This report does not present the response of the BRICS countries to these new threats, it is at the stage of formation at the national level (from an initial and fragmentary understanding of the severity of these threats in some countries to the adoption of the first legal and technical countermeasures in others) and requires independent consideration.

MUAI and Three Levels of Threats to Psychological Security

The report proceeds from the three-level classification of MUAI threats to psychological security.

At the first level, these threats are associated with deliberately distorted interpretations of the circumstances and consequences of AI development for the benefit of antisocial groups. In this case, AI itself at this level is not directly involved in the destabilization of psychological security. The destructive (open or hidden) impact imparts a false image of AI in the minds of people. Excessive, artificially created negative reaction to AI development (for example, horror stories that robots and AI will soon force all people out of work, workers will become slaves of AI etc.) has certain political and economic goals and is not as harmless as it may seem.

Cybercom looking to speed up capability development for digital warriors


One of the biggest priorities for the new commander of U.S. Cyber Command is developing new capabilities faster.

“The area that we need to be able to accelerate is capability development and how we use our budget control and our authorities to generate an acquisition. We should be able to develop things faster than anybody else in the [Defense] Department,” Gen. Timothy Haugh told the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems during a hearing on Wednesday.

Cybercom has finally received greater control over its budget and capabilities with the passage of the fiscal 2024 appropriations bill at the end of March. That enabled changes, years in the making, to advance the command’s acquisition authority, among others, and begin to provide the organization unique service-like authorities that had previously only been bestowed upon one other U.S. military combatant command — Special Operations Command.

So-called enhanced budget authority means Cybercom will be in direct control and management of planning, programming, budgeting and execution of the resources to maintain the cyber mission force.

Pennsylvania poses problems for ‘Scranton Joe’


President Biden goes by “Scranton Joe,” he references Pennsylvania often in speeches and his campaigns have spent millions of dollars there in political ads.

In 2020, the president set up his campaign headquarters in Philadelphia — before the COVID-19 pandemic — and he visited the state more than any other battleground that cycle.

It was also the state that catapulted him to the White House, after he won the state and clinched the electoral college.

But now, some Democrats say it’s a state that could cause Biden’s blue wall to rupture.

They point to a pair of recent polls that show former President Trump with a narrow lead — in what amounts to a near tie.

But what’s concerning to them isn’t the top-line numbers, but the erosion happening within the Democratic base.

A New York Times/Siena College/Philadelphia Inquirer poll out earlier this month showed Biden’s support among young voters in the state has slipped since 2020 from 62 percent to 47 percent. And his backing from Black and Hispanic voters has also waned from 71 percent to 57 percent.

Don’t Go to War With the ICC

Oona A. Hathaway

For weeks now, Israeli government officials have taken aim at the International Criminal Court, which they expected would issue arrest warrants against Israeli leaders for alleged war crimes. It is now clear they were right to be concerned. On May 20, ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan announced that he has applied for arrest warrants for three leaders of Hamas—including its chief, Yahya Sinwar—as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yoav Gallant, the country’s minister of defense. He is charging the Hamas leaders with war crimes and crimes against humanity stemming from the group’s October 7 attack on Israel, when it killed and assaulted over 1,100 people, and its continued holding and mistreatment of hostages inside the Gaza Strip. The alleged Israeli crimes include using starvation as a weapon and withholding humanitarian aid from the civilian population in Gaza. It is now up to the court’s pre-trial chamber whether to issue the warrants, a decision that could take several months to consider.

Israel has made clear that it intends to attack the court, not cooperate with it. Many have argued the United States should join the Israelis in this effort. Indeed, earlier this month, 12 Republican senators signed a letter promising to retaliate against the court if the cases proceed. “Target Israel and we will target you,” they warned, threatening to sanction ICC employees and associates, and even their family members. U.S. President Joe Biden denounced the ICC’s decision to pursue Israeli leaders for war crimes, calling the application for arrest warrants “outrageous.” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 21 that the administration would consider Republican proposals to retaliate against the court and “take it from there.”

Biden: Range Of Missions Increasing As Pace Of World Change Accelerates

David Vergun

The world is not only changing rapidly, the pace of change is also accelerating. The range of missions that service members are carrying out is also increasing, said President Joe Biden.

Biden, who spoke at the commencement address to the graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York, today, provided some examples of change.

U.S. forces are supporting Ukraine in its fight for freedom, not on the ground in Ukraine, but by keeping munitions and equipment flowing into the country, he said. “We are standing strong with Ukraine, and we will stand with them.”

Alliances in the Indo-Pacific region are also being bolstered with nations that include Japan, South Korea, Australia and the Philippines, Biden said.

The president touted the strength of the NATO alliance, applauding the newest members Finland and Sweden.

“No country has allies like ours,” he said.

The U.S. is standing up for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, he said.

Life, Death, And A Dilemma On Ukraine’s New Front Line: Stay Or Go – Analysis

A three-kilometer shell shot from the Russian border, the boom of artillery fire rumbled over the village of Kozacha Lopan from both north and south every 10 minutes or less on a day in mid-May.

The central buildings were crumbling, many of them razed to the ground. Most of the homes bore obvious scars from shelling, and almost all had been abandoned in the face of an impending Russian advance across the northern edge of the Kharkiv region.

One of them, still occupied, was surrounded by two gardens of almost surreal loveliness against the backdrop of war and destruction. Sprigs of lavender and the broad leaves of hostas cropped up amid neat little hedges and statuettes.

But the flowers are in a bad way, said Tetyana, who lives there with her husband and adult daughter.

“All the rockets, they’ve thrown the atmosphere out of balance,” she said: A late frost took the cherry buds and the grape vines. And despite a continuous overcast sky, there hasn’t been a real rain.

Tough Times For The Voices Of Freedom In Georgia – OpEd

Randall G. Holcombe

The voices of freedom in the Republic of Georgia (the former Soviet republic, not the home of the Bulldogs) will be substantially less audible thanks to a new law passed by Parliament. Organizations receiving more than 20% of their funding from foreign sources must be designated as “agents of foreign influence.”

Nonprofits in Georgia that have advocated for freedom and free markets receive a substantial share of their funding through grants from foreign foundations. That is likely to come to an end.

This article offers some details on the new law, which is similar to a law in Russia that brands organizations that receive foreign funding as foreign agents. Most Georgians appear opposed to the law, and the real foreign influence here is Russia. As the article notes, Georgia has been trying to move away from the sphere of Russian influence and toward the EU, but that move is proving difficult.

Some readers may know that after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Georgia was one of the more corrupt former Soviet republics. That changed in the mid-2000s when new leadership brought free-market reforms, more freedom on all fronts, and, as a result, growing prosperity.

‘That’ll cost you, ChatGPT’ — copyright needs an update for the age of AI


In the internet age, copyright infringement lawsuits concentrate public attention on the speed at which technology races ahead of longstanding legal precedent.

The web crossed the artificial intelligence threshold in November 2022, when OpenAI launched ChatGPT, a free-to-the-public “generative AI” tool that answers questions in human language. The latest AI-related copyright infringement lawsuits allege that chatbots, robots, and other learning machines are getting their education from commercially produced works, which are used without permission or compensation.

Large Language Models like ChatGPT “learn” to create images and texts after “training” the systems on enormous amounts of existing works converted to data — the famous “ones and zeroes” of computer code. BBC has reported that training sources for ChatGPT amounted to 570 GB of data, or approximately 300 billion words.

Beyond commercially published books, journals, and newspapers, AI databases derive from a vast online trove of publicly available social media and Wikipedia entries, as well as digitized library and museum collections, court proceedings, and government legislation and regulation.

Humanoid Robots To Turn The World Upside Down – OpEd

N. S. Venkataraman

Humanoid robots are now being rapidly developed by several research institutions around the world. It is reported that there are more than 22 humanoid robots in the world right now, some of which are in the prototype development stage . Researchers in several countries including USA, Japan, China, Israel, Iran, Singapore are actively involved in research and development work, causing high expectations. Several funding agencies are too joining the fray by extending financial support to the humanoid robots projects, thus reserving their place to exploit the business potentials in the coming decades.

Certainly, humanoid robots will, sooner or later and perhaps sooner than later, make big impact on the life style of human beings, work culture, value systems and productivity in various spheres of life. It is widely believed that in the coming years, humanoid robots will find use in several sectors such as hospitality, educational institutions by creating content and teaching programmes, health care by vital signs measurements, industrial operations, day-to-day routine activities of individuals and perhaps even in crowd control and wars.
Prototypes and development

Human robots are developed with an array of sensors, cameras , microchips, image processing and natural language processing techniques and so on, aided by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies.