Tuesday November 19, 2019
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Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day so he doesn’t miss class

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Serving humanity is considered to be equivalent to serving God. People who help others without any intention of gaining anything in return, restore everyone’s faith in humanity in these times of greed, and deceit. They are the precious gems of humanity, and just like the things that are precious, they are rare too.

One such person is 18-year-old Xie Xu from China. The boy has, for the last three years, been taking his differently-abled friend and classmate, Zhang Chi to school on his back. Zhang is neither Xie’s relative nor does Xie share any connection with his classmate other than that of friendship and humanity. Yet, the level of empathy shown by Xie demands respect and gives inspiration.

Xie-Xu-and-Zhang-Chi

Zhang Chi suffers from muscular dystrophy and is unable to walk. It is a hereditary condition, which leads to progressive weakening and wasting of the muscles. Also, the disease is incurable. The patient is limited only to his bed or wheelchair as the weakened muscles are unable to bear the weight of the body.

To help his friend continue studying, Xie Xu decided to take Zhang Chi to school himself. His efforts have helped Zhang to attend school every day. According to Guo Chunxi, the deputy headmaster at Daxu High School, where the boys study, Zhang has not missed a single class because of his friend. He called their friendship ‘touching’ and ‘inspiring.’

The story of the two friends has gone viral on Chinese social media website, Sina Weibo, and Xie Xu is being called ‘the most beautiful student in China.’

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The lack of any formal assistance for differently-abled students in educational institutions in China makes it very difficult for them to attain formal education. Those, who do not have friends like Xie Xu with them, are forced to spend their life in a wheelchair, and are never able to realize their dreams.  A recent Human Rights report on China by US Department of State estimated that as many as 243,000 school-age children in China do not go to school due to disabilities.

However, the boys will soon part ways to enter different colleges. And, in the absence of laws protecting differently-abled people from discrimination, the future of Zhang Chi without his friend won’t be very easy.

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This AI System Can Evade Censorship In India, China and Kazakhstan

Researchers develop an AI tool that evades censorship in India, China and Kazakhstan

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censorship
(AI)-based system automatically learns to evade censorship in India, China and Kazakhstan. Pixabay

Researchers have developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based system that automatically learns to evade censorship in India, China and Kazakhstan.

The tool, called Geneva (short for Genetic Evasion), found dozens of ways to circumvent censorship by exploiting gaps in censors’ logic and finding bugs that the researchers said would have been virtually impossible for humans to find manually.

The researchers are scheduled to introduce Geneva during a peer-reviewed talk at the Association for Computing Machinery’s 26th Conference on Computer and Communications Security in London on Thursday.

“With Geneva, we are, for the first time, at a major advantage in the censorship arms race,” said Dave Levin, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Maryland in the US and senior author of the paper.

“Geneva represents the first step toward a whole new arms race in which artificial intelligence systems of censors and evaders compete with one another. Ultimately, winning this race means bringing free speech and open communication to millions of users around the world who currently don’t have them,” Levin said.\

censorship, AI
This AI system that evades censorship is called ‘Geneva’. Pixabay

To demonstrate that Geneva worked in the real world against undiscovered censorship strategies, the team ran Geneva on a computer in China with an unmodified Google Chrome browser installed.

By deploying strategies identified by Geneva, the user was able to browse free of keyword censorship.

The researchers also successfully evaded censorship in India, which blocks forbidden URLs, and Kazakhstan, which was eavesdropping on certain social media sites at the time, said a statement from the University of Maryland.

All information on the Internet is broken into data packets by the sender’s computer and reassembled by the receiving computer.

One prevalent form of Internet censorship works by monitoring the data packets sent during an Internet search.

The censor blocks requests that either contain flagged keywords (such as “Tiananmen Square” in China) or prohibited domain names (such as “Wikipedia” in many countries).

When Geneva is running on a computer that is sending out web requests through a censor, it modifies how data is broken up and sent, so that the censor does not recognise forbidden content or is unable to censor the connection.

Known as a genetic algorithm, Geneva is a biologically inspired type of AI that Levin and his team developed to work in the background as a user browses the web from a standard Internet browser.

Like biological systems, Geneva forms sets of instructions from genetic building blocks. But rather than using DNA as building blocks, Geneva uses small pieces of code.

Censorship
By deploying strategies identified by Geneva, the user is able to browse free of keyword censorship. Pixabay

Individually, the bits of code do very little, but when composed into instructions, they can perform sophisticated evasion strategies for breaking up, arranging or sending data packets.

The tool evolves its genetic code through successive attempts (or generations). With each generation, Geneva keeps the instructions that work best at evading censorship and kicks out the rest.

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Geneva mutates and cross breeds its strategies by randomly removing instructions, adding new instructions, or combining successful instructions and testing the strategy again.

Through this evolutionary process, Geneva is able to identify multiple evasion strategies very quickly, said the study. (IANS)