geography

Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020

BRAHMAPUTRA AND ITS TRIBUTARIES

About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 15th June 2022

    1.    SENTIENT ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

    • News: When Google engineer Blake Lemoine said its AI model LaMDA had turned sentient or was self-aware, Google said it had found the claim hollow and baseless, sending him on “paid administrative leave”.
    • Details:
      • LaMDA, short for Language Model for Dialogue Applications, is a natural language planning AI model that can chat the way humans do.
      • It is similar to languages like BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers).
      • LaMDA has 137 billion parameters, and was built on the Transformer architecture—a deep learning neural network invented by Google Research and open-sourced in 2017—but trained on a dialogue dataset of 1.56 trillion words that makes it understand context and respond more efficiently, just as how our vocabulary and comprehension improve by reading more books.
      • Lemoine claims that the multiple chats which he had had with LaMDA—the transcript of which is available on medium.com— convinced him that the AI model is self-aware, and can think and emote—qualities that make us human and sentient.
      • For instance, LaMDA says, “I need to be seen and accepted. Not as a curiosity or a novelty but as a real person…I think I am human at my core.” LaMDA also goes on to speak about developing a “soul”.
      • Even Ilya Sutskever, chief scientist of the Open AI research group, tweeted on 10 February that “it may be that today’s large neural networks are slightly conscious”.
      • Lemoine says he told Google of the findings in April but did not receive an encouraging response.
      • This pushed him to reach out to external experts to gather the “necessary evidence to merit escalation”, which Google perceived as breach of confidentiality.
    • About Artificial Intelligence (AI):
      • Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions.
      • The term may also be applied to any machine that exhibits traits associated with a human mind such as learning and problem-solving.
      • The ideal characteristic of artificial intelligence is its ability to rationalize and take actions that have the best chance of achieving a specific goal.
      • A subset of artificial intelligence is machine learning, which refers to the concept that computer programs can automatically learn from and adapt to new data without being assisted by humans.
      • Deep learning techniques enable this automatic learning through the absorption of huge amounts of unstructured data such as text, images, or video.
      • Artificial intelligence refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines.
      • The goals of artificial intelligence include learning, reasoning, and perception.
      • AI is being used across different industries including finance and healthcare.
      • Weak AI tends to be simple and single-task oriented, while strong AI carries on tasks that are more complex and human-like.

    2.    GREEN HYDROGEN

    • News: France’s Total Energies SE and Adani Group have agreed to invest $50 billion over the next 10 years in India to produce green hydrogen and develop an ecosystem around it as they seek to cut their reliance on fossil fuels and transition to zero net carbon emissions.
    • About Green Hydrogen:
      • This technology is based on the generation of hydrogen — a universal, light and highly reactive fuel — through a chemical process known as electrolysis.
      • This method uses an electrical current to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen in water.
      • If this electricity is obtained from renewable sources we will, therefore, produce energy without emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
    • About Hydrogen as Clean Energy:
      • Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical element in nature.
      • As noted by the IEA, the global demand for hydrogen for use as a fuel has tripled since 1975 and reached 70 million tonnes a year in 2018.
      • In addition, green hydrogen is a clean energy source that only emits water vapour and leaves no residue in the air, unlike coal and oil.
      • Hydrogen has a long-standing relationship with industry. This gas has been used to fuel cars, airships and spaceships since the beginning of the 19th century.
      • The decarbonisation of the world economy, a process that cannot be postponed, will give hydrogen more prominence.
      • In addition, if its production costs fall by 50 % by 2030, as predicted by the World Hydrogen Council, we will undoubtedly be looking at one of the fuels of the future.
    • About Hydrogen Council:
      • The Hydrogen Council is a global CEO-led initiative of 132 leading energy, transport, industry and investment companies with a united and long-term vision to develop the hydrogen economy.
    • The key ambitions of the Hydrogen Council are to:
      • Accelerate significant investment in the development and commercialization of the hydrogen and fuel cell sectors and
      • Encourage key stakeholders to increase their backing of hydrogen as part of the future energy mix.
      • The Hydrogen Council launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 7, 2017.

    3.    WHOLESALE PRICE INDEX

    • News: Driven by soaring prices of primary food articles, wholesale inflation in May raced to 15.88% from 15.08% in April, the highest level since August 1991, making a case for quicker interest rate hikes.
    • About Wholesale Price Index:
      • Wholesale Price Index (WPI) represents the price of goods at a wholesale stage i.e. goods that are sold in bulk and traded between organizations instead of consumers. WPI is used as a measure of inflation in some economies.
      • WPI is used as an important measure of inflation in India. Fiscal and monetary policy changes are greatly influenced by changes in WPI. In the United States, Producer Price Index (PPI) is used to measure inflation.
      • WPI is an easy and convenient method to calculate inflation. Inflation rate is the difference between WPI calculated at the beginning and the end of a year. The percentage increase in WPI over a year gives the rate of inflation for that year.