GE and CSIRO’s Data61 partner to boost efficiency of Australian Navy’s vessel engines
GE, supplier of gas turbine engines for Australia’s Navy, has entered a partnership with CSIRO’s Data61 to develop and test technology which will help predict engine failure.
GE supplies the Royal Australian Navy with its LM2500 gas turbines that power the Anzac, Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart class vessels.
CSIRO’s Data61 has developed an application that will process data from GE engines captured from sensors and use advanced analytics to identify where improvements can be made.
Techniques such as machine learning and advanced algorithms will be used to predict future failures and reduce fuel burn. In addition, data visualisation tools will be used to represent the engine performance. The data analysis is expected to highlight areas where operational efficiencies can be achieved.
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Brien Bolsinger, Vice President, GE Marine, said: “With the expertise of CSIRO’s Data61, we aim to use the insights gained from data to support the Royal Australian Navy.
"This undertaking also contributes to the Australian Government’s defence industry innovation objective aimed at enhancing the digital capability of Australia’s innovative defence industry and workforce.
"This is the first Australian application of data collection from GE’s LM2500 engines for naval purposes. In the long-term there is enormous potential for further advanced data analytics tools to be developed here in Australia that can be applied to other GE-designed military and commercial marine engines,”
The technology will be piloted on two Australian vessels at the end of 2017, with a view to rolling it out across the fleet if successful.
GE’s engines are currently installed in 35 navies across the world, including those of the US, Japan and South Korea.
Chinese Firm Taigusys Launches Emotion-Recognition System
In a detailed investigative report, the Guardian reported that Chinese tech company Taigusys can now monitor facial expressions. The company claims that it can track fake smiles, chart genuine emotions, and help police curtail security threats. ‘Ordinary people here in China aren’t happy about this technology, but they have no choice. If the police say there have to be cameras in a community, people will just have to live with it’, said Chen Wei, company founder and chairman. ‘There’s always that demand, and we’re here to fulfil it’.
Who Will Use the Data?
As of right now, the emotion-recognition market is supposed to be worth US$36bn by 2023—which hints at rapid global adoption. Taigusys counts Huawei, China Mobile, China Unicom, and PetroChina among its 36 clients, but none of them has yet revealed if they’ve purchased the new AI. In addition, Taigusys will likely implement the technology in Chinese prisons, schools, and nursing homes.
It’s not likely that emotion-recognition AI will stay within the realm of private enterprise. President Xi Jinping has promoted ‘positive energy’ among citizens and intimated that negative expressions are no good for a healthy society. If the Chinese central government continues to gain control over private companies’ tech data, national officials could use emotional data for ideological purposes—and target ‘unhappy’ or ‘suspicious’ citizens.
How Does It Work?
Taigusys’s AI will track facial muscle movements, body motions, and other biometric data to infer how a person is feeling, collecting massive amounts of personal data for machine learning purposes. If an individual displays too much negative emotion, the platform can recommend him or her for what’s termed ‘emotional support’—and what may end up being much worse.
Can We Really Detect Human Emotions?
This is still up for debate, but many critics say no. Psychologists still debate whether human emotions can be separated into basic emotions such as fear, joy, and surprise across cultures or whether something more complex is at stake. Many claim that AI emotion-reading technology is not only unethical but inaccurate since facial expressions don’t necessarily indicate someone’s true emotional state.
In addition, Taigusys’s facial tracking system could promote racial bias. One of the company’s systems classes faces as ‘yellow, white, or black’; another distinguishes between Uyghur and Han Chinese; and sometimes, the technology picks up certain ethnic features better than others.
Is China the Only One?
Not a chance. Other countries have also tried to decode and use emotions. In 2007, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) launched a heavily contested training programme (SPOT) that taught airport personnel to monitor passengers for signs of stress, deception, and fear. But China as a nation rarely discusses bias, and as a result, its AI-based discrimination could be more dangerous.
‘That Chinese conceptions of race are going to be built into technology and exported to other parts of the world is troubling, particularly since there isn’t the kind of critical discourse [about racism and ethnicity in China] that we’re having in the United States’, said Shazeda Ahmed, an AI researcher at New York University (NYU).
Taigusys’s founder points out, on the other hand, that its system can help prevent tragic violence, citing a 2020 stabbing of 41 people in Guangxi Province. Yet top academics remain unconvinced. As Sandra Wachter, associate professor and senior research fellow at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute, said: ‘[If this continues], we will see a clash with fundamental human rights, such as free expression and the right to privacy’.