Amnesty International, AI News, & Sri Lanka

The South & East Asian News Roundup 15/11/2018


This week we have some continuing stories, new stories, and weird stories. China rolled out their new technology last week with their “AI news anchor” as the state-run news announced being the world’s first news with AI generated anchors. In Myanmar, state Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi was stripped of the highest honors given by Amnesty International as a result of her actions involving the genocide that took place in Myanmar. In a continuing story we covered before, Sri Lanka parliament MPs passed a no-confidence vote against the new Prime Minister as the constitutional crisis continues in the island nation.

China Rolls Out New AI News Anchor

Last week in China, the state-run news Xinhua unveiled their new technology of an AI news anchor. So far it seems this is the world’s first AI generated news anchor. When unveiled Xinhua presented two virtual anchors, one speaking Chinese and the other speaking English. The news anchors have already been integrated into the news agency as their new 24 hours news anchors. The two anchors were modeled by actual news anchors at Xinhua they are technically not true AI, as they are constantly studying the movements and facial expressions of their human counterparts on previous live broadcasts. Their systems receive a constant stream of news to read and report on, 24 hours a day.

Sri Lanka Votes “No-Confidence” Against New Prime Minister

Sri Lanka’s parliament voted a “No-Confidence” motion against the newly appointed Prime Minister and declared his appointment “void and invalid”. With the rising tensions in Sri Lanka between those against the new PM and in support of the new appointee, the instability in the nation may spread further into civil unrest. Following the move by the president of Sri Lanka to sack the former PM and appoint another, the former PM remained in the official Prime Ministers residence in protest of the move by the president. Protests have been ongoing after they erupted in late October when the move by the president was made. Tensions rose only more so after bodyguards of the deposed petroleum minister open fired on the protestors because they “tried to kill him”. One protester was confirmed dead with many others injured.

Aung San Suu Kyi Stripped Of Highest Amnesty International Honors

Aung San Suu Kyi, the present state counselor for Myanmar who received the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award back in 2009 had her award revoked from Amnesty International. The once icon of standing for human rights had her multiple awards stripped after her government received many allegations of genocide and indifference to military atrocities and strong moves against freedom of expression from the people. The country’s minority known as the Rohingya Muslims suffered under Myanmar’s government with an allegation of genocide committed against the Muslims with many accounts of rape, “ethnic cleansing”, and arson committed against these people. Over 700,000 refugees of the genocide were driven to Bangladesh as a result of the military’s atrocities. Suu Kyi came under criticism as it was revealed that she was shielding the military from scrutiny and accountability from the international community. Two Reuters reporters who were looking into the matter were arrested and imprisoned by Myanmar’s government for 7 years under the charge of violating the “Official Secrets Act”.

With China flexing its technological muscles, Sri Lanka stretching its constitutional limbs, and Myanmar stretching it’s people’s rights towards violation Asia is never short of its fair share of “development”.

You can read more from Amos Joseph on Think Liberty here.


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