Alkesh Kumar Sharma to serve as new MeitY secretary
Alkesh Kumar Sharma, who previously worked at the Cabinet Secretariat, has been appointed as secretary under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). The IAS officer from Kerala was placed in charge of the Kochi Metro Rail and led the Cochin Smart City Mission between 2019 and 2021. At MeitY, Sharma will reportedly oversee the implementation of the ministry’s $10 billion semiconductor incentive scheme that’s meant to boost chip manufacturing and design facilities in the country.
Twitter to always be free, just not for everyone
The soon-to-be new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, said that the platform may start charging a slight fee for commercial and government users while adding that this won’t apply to casual users. “Ultimately, the downfall of the Freemasons was giving away their stonecutting services for nothing,” he reasoned. This is yet another addition to a growing list of changes that Musk has proposed, long before he made his bid to purchase Twitter.
Health stack is more challenging than Aadhaar: RS Sharma
India’s flagship health digitisation project, the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) is much “much more difficult” to build than Aadhaar, National Health Authority CEO RS Sharma remarked at a recent event organised by Mint. He also identified predictive analysis and fraud prevention as possible use cases for AI in the field of digital health.
UIDAI ordered to furnish Aadhaar details in CID probe
As per a Madras High Court order, the UIDAI has three weeks to share the ‘identity information’ related to 35 Aadhaar cards with the CID’s ‘Q’ Branch. These details were sought by the investigation agency to determine whether the Aadhaar cards in possession of some Sri Lankan nationals were genuine or fake, The Hindu said in its report.
“Furnishing these details have not been prohibited by the judgment of the honourable Supreme Court… It does not amount to disclosure of the privacy details of any individual but only to probe whether there is any such individual at all,” Justice G. Jayachandran observed in his order.
More than 200 in Spain on Pegasus target list
A data leak has revealed that over 200 Spanish mobile numbers were chosen as targets for potential surveillance by Pegasus spyware that is developed by the NSO Group, The Guardian reported. This list of possible targets also includes Spain’s Prime Minister and Defence Minister. While the nation’s government has refused to speculate on who may have been behind the hackings, Spain was reportedly engaged in a tense diplomatic stand-off with Morocco at the time when the targets were listed for surveillance.
Meta makes language model available to AI researchers
Facebook parent Meta Platforms is letting the AI research community access its 175-billion-parameter language model known as Open Pretrained Transformer (OPT-175B), according to a Reuters report. Such natural language processing systems are generally trained on massive volumes of text in order to be able to answer comprehension questions or generate new text. However, they are also prone to societal biases around issues like race and gender which researchers are trying to understand and mitigate.
Hackers stole crypto worth $1.3 billion from exchanges
The first three months of 2022 saw hackers run off with over $1.3 billion from exchanges, platforms, and private entities combined, The Hindu said citing a report released by a blockchain data platform called Chainalysis. The report also revealed that a whopping 97% of this stolen crypto came from Decentralised finance (DeFi) exchanges alone.
Infighting at Google over AI research on chip design
Google’s efforts to automate its chip design using AI have hit roadblocks after a senior engineering manager was accused of harassing colleagues working on the project, Reuters reported. The dispute could threaten the flow of millions of dollars in government grants for research into AI and chips, the report added.
EU to make health data more accessible to patients, medics
The European Commission has proposed a health data plan in order to improve the access that patients, medics, regulators, and researchers have to health data. Data generated from patients’ health records and wellness apps would be presented in compatible formats and made accessible to patients, regulators, and researchers under strict rules to protect privacy, a document seen by Reuters revealed.
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