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Robots in religion
I was sparked to lead this post based on footage that I watched about a priest in South India with regards a robotic elephant. Robots in religion have taken off in both Shinto and Hindu ceremonies.
Academics have widely talked about how the Shinto-based belief system have aided Japanese societal acceptance of robots, in comparison to western society. Secondly, Japanese authors have been exploring what it means to be human and what kind of dilemmas and opportunities do robots and AI bring in a future society. Robots in religion are a natural extension of robots in society.
Buddhism leads the way
What’s less commented on is that Japan’s buddhist temples have been leading robots in religion. The reality is that many Japanese see Shinto and Buddhism as complementary in nature and get involved in both beliefs.
Japan has some unique religious challenges that are interlinked. Temples are struggling as less people are active in their religious practice, the factors for this decline is multi-factorial in nature.
A second challenge that as the population shrinks roles need to be automated. What started in factories is now impacting the food and beverage sector (vending machines and restaurant robo-serving staff), so it was only a matter of time that robots in religion would supplement the clergy.
In India robots in religion is about kindness and de-risking religious ceremonies. In South India elephants take part in religious ceremonies. However the conditions that elephants are kept in can be cruel in nature and even result in death. Secondly, elephants can unintentionally kill or injure people involved in a religious celebration. This report on NHK World shows how robots in religion have been adapted to Hindu needs.
Finally, the elephant robot is used in celebrations over a large geographic area and is easily transported around. Robots in religion are likely to make even more sense as India urbanises even further, as the benefits are amplified in the denser environment.
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China is losing Eastern Europe – Atlantic Council – contrast this with George Yeo’s take on China.
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mainly macro: The campaign against Labour borrowing to invest
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Top Scandinavian companies are boycotting the maker of Oreo and Toblerone for its business in Russia | Quartz
China’s quantum leap — Made in Germany – DW – 06/13/2023 and EU funding Huawei in critical tech projects despite bans on Chinese group | Financial Times – this looks foolish. Why are EU countries supporting something China would financially support anyway and that’s before you even get into the security angles of it
Interesting video from NHK World on how temples are adapting to a lack of new attendees and priests. I am not sure whether this is down to demographic change or the secularisation of society
A Pokémon-Card Crime Spree Jolts Japan – WSJ – Japan has been staggered by a Pokémon crime spree. Stores are now paying for banklike security to ward off villains who go to extraordinary lengths, even rappelling down the side of buildings, to plunder Pokémon. Hosaka was working in senior care when he had the idea of opening a cozy card shop in the suburb of Machida where customers could mingle at tables. Instead, he says, the little cards, “have become like Rolex watches, gold, silver, platinum or used cars.” – It makes sense when you think of the cards being ‘real life NFTs’
Ex-Samsung Exec Charged with Stealing Chip Tech for China Factory – The Chosun Ilbo
Disney seems to be badly misjudging high growth foreign markets from China to Korea.
Huawei said to be putting the licensing squeeze on SMEs • The Register – demanding licence fees from Japanese companies that use wifi or wireless modules
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Bay Area Lawsuit Alleges Man Spent $220,000 To Get A Watch He Never Got – there’s also the added complexity of Shreve recently losing its status as a Patek AD. The lawsuit brings some ten causes of action against Shreve, including breach of contract, intentional and negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, false promise, and unfair business practices, pursuant to California’s Unfair Competition Law – this was only a matter of time. Its the same in the UK
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Cannes Contenders: Cheil’s Game-Changing Creative | LBBOnline
The wrong and the real of it – Magic Numbers
BE@Cannes: An obsession with efficiency and ROI is really dangerous in marketing, Les Binet
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This Year Next Year: 2023 Global Mid-Year Forecast – GroupM – calls the end of radio’s global growth story. Even taking into account streaming, WPP says that, globally, ad-supported audio has peaked. It will grow just 0.3% this year, says GroupM then “remain roughly flat over the next five years”. It’s about to join newspapers, magazines and broadcast television in a downward trajectory. GroupM also tackles the impact of AI on the industry. It reckons that within five years, the portion of “AI-enabled” advertising revenue globally will be worth $800bn. What is impossible to quantify is whether any of that is new money. Most likely, none of it. What is also impossible to quantify is just how dramatic the AI-driven reductions in cost of production will be. That sounds a relatively benign question until one realises that all those reduced costs are human jobs. GroupM identifies five key themes: Regulation (particularly around data privacy); connected TV (and an annualised 10%+ growth in the segment)’; AI “is likely to inform, or touch in some way, at least half of all advertising revenue by the end of 2023”; retail media to overtake TV by 2028; and “new business growth” (which sounds like the sort of thing an agency person would put in their predictions). Most importantly though, the GroupM outlook points to a more more significant factor. We’re at the end of a cycle that was defined by shifts between advertising channels, and then the disruption of Covid. “We are at an inflection point where the secular drivers of advertising growth above and beyond GDP growth are maturing, the pandemic upheaval is receding and the dynamic rise of digital advertising has slowed. This is the basis of our underlying forecast of mid-single-digit advertising growth over the next five years. However, the pervasive impact of AI on the world of advertising could change that.”
12ft | No One Knows Exactly What Social Media Is Doing to Teens – The Atlantic
Filipino fishermen in the UK live lives of peril and loneliness | FT
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Malaysia’s Grim Islamic Future – Asia Sentinel – move back towards 6th century Shariah law, which is very different to the tradition of Malay Islam
The Dynamics of the Ukrainian IT Army’s Campaign in Russia – Lawfare
Chinese spies behind Barracuda ESG data-stealing attacks • The Register
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Google warns its own employees: Do not use code generated by Bard | The Register
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What Is Micro-OLED? Apple Vision Pro’s Screen Tech Explained – CNET and Sony refuses to increase Vision Pro production capacity for Apple – this reluctance might be down to coopetition.
Microchip Cesium Atomic Clock Enables Autonomous Time Keeping for Months | EE Times Asia
Are We Reaching the Limits of Homegrown Silicon? | Digits to Dollars
Subsea cables: how the US is pushing China out of the internet’s plumbing | FT