Monday November 18, 2019
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U.S. Sues Chinese Tech Executive Over Business Dealings With Iran

Concerns about Huawei have been growing for some time.

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Huawei, U.S., China
A woman walks past an advertisement for Huawei at a subway station in Hong Kong. VOA

A top Chinese technology executive faces U.S. charges related to business dealings with Iran, a Canadian prosecutor said Friday, after the executive’s arrest rocked financial markets around the globe.

In a packed courtroom in Vancouver, a Canadian prosecutor argued that Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of tech giant Huawei, should be denied bail pending possible extradition to the United States because she was a flight risk. She has spent most of the past week at a women’s detention facility in a suburb of Vancouver.

The prosecutor disclosed that Meng was wanted by the United States for allegedly deceiving financial institutions about the relationship between Huawei and another tech company, SkyCom, based in Hong Kong, that is alleged to have sold U.S.-manufactured technology to Iran, in violation of U.S. trade sanctions.

In the first glimpse of the case against Meng, prosecutors alleged during the five-hour hearing that she was not truthful to U.S. banks who had asked her about links between the two firms.

Huawei, Honor 8x, U.S.
The U.S. and Canadian governments have so far said little about the Meng case.

An attorney representing Meng, David Martin, told the court “there is no evidence” that SkyCom was a subsidiary of Huawei during the period in question, in 2013 and 2014.

The bail hearing is set to resume on Monday.

If extradited to the United States, Meng would face charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions.

The arrest of Meng in Vancouver, at the request of the United States, surprised financial markets after Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a trade truce last weekend in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Stocks plummeted Thursday after news came out of Meng’s arrest, which followed months of already shaky markets affected by the U.S.-China trade war.

Trump sounded a note of optimism on Friday about the trade talks with China, tweeting that “China talks are going very well!”

Huawei, U.S.
The prosecutor disclosed that Meng was wanted by the United States. (IANS)

The U.S. and Canadian governments have so far said little about the Meng case. But China has demanded her release, saying she violated no laws in Canada or the United States.

Meng is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in China’s People’s Liberation Army. Chinese state media have argued that the United States is abusing the law to hurt the company’s international reputation.

Also Read: Chinese Tech Giant Huawei Announces to Bring Wireless Charging in India Next Month

However, concerns about Huawei have been growing for some time. Since 2012, the U.S. government has raised alarm about suspicions that Huawei’s hardware may have a technical back door that could be used by the Chinese government to gather intelligence.

Huawei has denied that its products pose any security risk and says it is a private company. (VOA)

Next Story

Chatbots Are More Sucessful Than Humans for Certain Interactions

In the study published in Nature Machine Intelligence, the team asked almost 700 participants in an online cooperation game to interact with a human or an artificial partner

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Chatbots
A previous research has shown that humans prefer not to cooperate with intelligent Chatbots. Pixabay

As we embrace Alexa or Siri in our lives, researchers report that Chatbots are more successful than humans in certain human-machine interactions — but only if they are allowed to hide their non-human identity.

The artificial voices of Siri, Alexa or Google, and their often awkward responses, leave no room for doubt that we are not talking to a real person.

An international team, including Iyad Rahwan, Director of the Center for Humans and Machines at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, sought to find out whether cooperation between humans and machines is different if the machine purports to be human.

In the study published in Nature Machine Intelligence, the team asked almost 700 participants in an online cooperation game to interact with a human or an artificial partner.

In the game, known as the Prisoner’s Dilemma, players can either act egotistically to exploit the other player, or act cooperatively with advantages for both sides.

The findings showed that bots impersonating humans were more successful in convincing their gaming partners to cooperate.

Chatbots
As we embrace Alexa or Siri in our lives, researchers report that Chatbots are more successful than humans in certain human-machine interactions — but only if they are allowed to hide their non-human identity. Pixabay

As soon as they divulged their true identity, however, cooperation rates decreased.

“Translating this to a more realistic scenario could mean that help desks run by bots, for example, may be able to provide assistance more rapidly and efficiently if they are allowed to masquerade as humans,” the researchers wrote.

The society will have to negotiate the distinctions between the cases of human-machine interaction that require transparency and those where efficiency is key.

ALSO READ: Income Tax Officers Quit Work For Mental Peace

A previous research has shown that humans prefer not to cooperate with intelligent bots. (IANS)