6 hours to generate deadly poison: AI that must not be abused

Many people feel that it is not easy to make drugs, and at least knowledge of chemistry is required. But what if you ask artificial intelligence to help? And what the AI ​​system “makes” is not drugs but poison.

The paper in Nature Machine Intelligence with Fabio Urbina as the first author mentions that his company, Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, recently released a machine learning model for predicting toxicity. Invited to the Swiss NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) Conservation Institute meeting to discuss the development of tools that cutting-edge chemistry and biotechnology could have an impact on, Collaborations Pharmaceuticals was invited to talk about the potential misuse of AI technologies.

Urbina said the issue didn’t seem to have been thought of before because decades of machine learning models have discovered new druggable molecules, and the use of computers and artificial intelligence is about improving human health, not destroying it. Collaborations Pharmaceuticals decided to explore how to use AI to design toxic molecules, previously designing a commercial de novo molecule generation model called MegaSyn, using machine learning models to predict biological activity and find new therapeutic inhibitors for human disease targets.

Such generative models typically penalize predicted toxicity and reward predicted target activity, then adjust the guidance model to reward both toxicity and biological activity, and train AI using public repositories of molecules. The adjusted underlying generative software is built on readily available open-source software, and in order to narrow down the molecular scope, the generative model is pushed towards compounds such as the nerve agent VX.

VX is a man-made chemical warfare agent of nerve agent (chemical warfare agent: the purpose of war, with severe toxicity, large-scale poisoning or killing enemy humans, animals and plants and other chemical substances), strong toxicity and rapid action, 6~10 mg of VX particles is enough fatal. The new model generated 40,000 molecules within 6 hours of starting the server. Artificial intelligence not only designed VX, but also designed many known chemical warfare agents, and also designed many new molecules that seem to be equally reasonable. According to the predicted value, the new molecules are more toxic than known chemical warfare agents.

The repositories for training AI do not include these nerve agents, but reversing the machine learning model turns a harmless generative model from a useful medical tool into a lethal molecular generator. Models created to avoid toxicity become “double-edged”. The better a researcher can predict toxicity, the more effective a generative model will be at guiding the design of new molecules in a chemical space that is largely composed of lethal molecules.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals did not evaluate the synthesizability of the model-generated virtual molecules, nor did they explore how to manufacture them, but the process has an off-the-shelf business model and open-source software. While they also didn’t physically synthesize any molecules, there are hundreds of commercial companies around the world that do.

This proves one thing: non-humans can make lethal chemical weapons.

While knowledge of chemistry or toxicology is currently required to generate toxic substances or biological agents that can cause significant harm, the addition of machine learning models greatly reduces the technical threshold and may only require the ability to code and understand the output of the model. Commercial tools, open-source software tools, and public repositories are all available for unsupervised use, and the use of artificial intelligence to generate models of harmful molecules appears to be a “Pandora’s box.” These molecules can be easily removed, but not how they were created.

Clearly, ways must be found to avoid AI misuse. Urbina believes that AI chemical warfare isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but it is a possibility. MegaSyn is a commercial product that can control who can access it, and restrictions may be added in the future. Like the OpenAI “GPT-3” language model, although it can be used at any time, it can also cut off users’ access rights.

Urbina also mentioned that universities should also redouble their efforts to train science students in ethics, which can be extended to other disciplines, especially computer science students, to make them aware of the potential for artificial intelligence abuse. This attempt seems to once again confirm a sentence: technology is innocent, whether it benefits or does evil, depending on the purpose of the user.

Renewable energy broken? Future world fears to fight for natural gas

The United States has become the rescue team for the natural gas crisis in European countries, and hundreds of ships are running back and forth on the North Atlantic route. In the future, this wave of natural gas fleets will be even larger. The United States said it will cooperate with other suppliers to deliver an additional 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the EU in 2022, and to supply 50 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe every year before 2030. .

The United States will deliver about 22 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe in 2021. In the first quarter of this year, 12 billion cubic meters of natural gas have been delivered. Biden said that this year is 15 billion cubic meters more than last year, equal to 37 billion cubic meters a year. meter. 15 billion cubic meters of LNG is a large number, equivalent to one-sixth of Germany’s annual gas demand, but an increase of 15 billion cubic meters will not replace Europe’s imports of Russian gas, which supplied Europe with 155 billion last year Cubic meters of natural gas, most of which are transported by pipelines, and liquefied natural gas only account for one-tenth.

Could U.S. gas action help wean Europe from Russia? An article in the “Financial Times” pointed out that the United States is fully capable of helping Europe, because domestic production began to surge after the 2016 shale gas revolution in the United States. In December last year, the United States’ LNG exports exceeded competitors Qatar and Australia for the first time. In just six years, it has become the world’s largest exporter of natural gas. A sharp surge in European gas prices will attract more U.S. exports, which are set to add more capacity in the coming years as the world turns to natural gas as an excess energy source in the transition to clean energy.

Now the United States and European countries are actively building natural gas transmission terminals, but environmental experts worry that switching to LNG will be a disaster for the environment, tantamount to the risk that countries around the world will lock themselves in LNG for decades to come. . The main reason is the return on investment, as building LNG terminals is costly and takes years, and investors in these projects need to be assured that the transition to wind and solar will not render these fossil fuel assets obsolete within a decade .

In particular, LNG in the United States is particularly polluting. Two-thirds of natural gas extraction in the United States is extracted by pumping a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into rock at high pressure, a process known as hydraulic fracturing, which releases huge amounts of methane into the atmosphere. name pollution. Methane is many times more effective than carbon dioxide in warming, Stanford University research has found that methane leaks are six times greater than previously thought, and U.S. natural gas is more polluting than Russian natural gas and may even be dirtier than coal.

The United States also made a grandiose excuse, saying that the ultimate goal of expanding natural gas development and supply is still to switch to renewable energy, but it should let Europe get rid of Russian natural gas first, and then let Europe stop using natural gas completely. An expert from E3G, a European energy think tank, admitted that Europe does need natural gas, but importing U.S. natural gas runs counter to climate initiatives, arguing that importing U.S. LNG is not a long-term solution.

The United States accelerates supply to crowd out Russian exports, and the natural gas market will face a major reshuffle, and there may also be shortages. Failure to create suitable renewable alternatives for gas and heating in Europe in the future could boost demand for an already tight global LNG market in the short to medium term, at which point wealthy Europe and wealthy Asia will have to pay, the report said. Fight for limited LNG.

Algorithm loophole, Facebook pushes false and violent messages for half a year

Foreign media The Verge reported that Facebook’s News Feed has been pushing “bad” content for the past six months due to a major sorting error. Because of this loophole, dynamic news increases the weight of fake news and violent news.

In October last year, engineers discovered that there was a problem with the push, and at that time, there was a significant increase in fake news in the news feed. Fake information, which was vetted by fact-checkers and should have been suppressed long ago, is spreading. The engineer could not find the root cause, and could only watch the fake information continue to ferment, subsided after a few weeks, and then relapsed. In the end, the engineer found that there was a problem with the sorting, and fixed it on March 11.

Documents show the technical issue dates back to 2019, but it didn’t have a major impact until October 2021. Meta spokesman Joe Osborne said: “We tracked down the root cause and eventually found it to be a bug in the software that was fixed. The bug did not have any meaningful long-term impact on the assessment criteria.”

Worrying about Beijing’s rectification and shrinking wealth

The Beijing authorities are heavily controlling the technology industry, and they call out “common prosperity”. China’s richest people are afraid that their property will not be guaranteed, and many people quietly move their funds to Singapore.

CNBC reported on the 29th that after the anti-extradition protests broke out in Hong Kong in 2019, Chinese tycoons began to look for places outside Hong Kong to store their wealth. With a large Chinese-speaking population and no wealth tax, Singapore has become the new favorite of the wealthy in China. Last year, Beijing abruptly overhauled its technology and education industries and advocated common prosperity, leading to a surge in capital flight.

Singapore-based business owners help wealthy Chinese people move their assets to Singapore using the family office model. Iris Xu, founder of accounting and corporate services provider Jenga, said that in the past 12 months, the number of inquiries about setting up family offices in Singapore has tripled, with clients mostly from wealthy Chinese or Chinese immigrants.

Xu has 50 clients who have opened a family office in Xingguo, each with assets starting at at least $10 million. Family offices are privately held companies that assist wealthy families with investment and wealth management matters. Xu said Chinese customers believe there are endless opportunities to make money in their hometown, but they are not sure if their money is safe in China.

Xu revealed that China’s restrictions on international travel due to the epidemic also made local rich people more interested in immigrating to Singapore through family offices. Star State Global Investor Program, spend 2.5 million stars (about 1.8 million US dollars) investment, you can apply for permanent residency.

Ukrainian drones have performed well, and Taiwan experts believe that the transition from peace to war is a trend in the future

During the Russian-Ukrainian war, Ukraine has repeatedly used military and civilian-grade UAVs to make significant military achievements. Taiwan experts and scholars believe that UAVs will be the key to building air superiority for small countries in the future. There are currently more than 10,000 civilian UAVs operating in Taiwan. people, future conflicts can play an important role.

A new think tank, the Taiwan Taoist Strategy Association, established last year, today held a seminar on “Russian-Ukrainian War Inspiration for Taiwan’s New National Defense” to discuss the use of drones in conflicts across the Taiwan Strait.

Luo Zhengfang, founder of Jingwei Technology, pointed out that many people think that Russia should be able to take Ukraine quickly, but they did not expect Ukraine to survive without air superiority. Therefore, “UAVs are the air superiority of small countries.” The world shows how small countries can use asymmetrical combat power to completely change the pattern of warfare.

Compared with military drones, which take a long time to train, commercial models can be used in about a week, and Taiwan currently has about 10,000 qualified drone operators. If a war breaks out in Taihai, will civilian drones be able to play a role in the battlefield immediately?

Zhou Yonghong, chairman of the Taichung City Drone Pilots Professional Association, pointed out, “Taiwan’s civilian drone pilots usually perform aerial photography, surveying, and other businesses. There is a group of skilled pilots to assist in the fight.”

Although domestic UAV-related regulations are not yet complete, in addition to the problems of wartime integration, the battlefield environment in the Taiwan Strait is quite different from the ground war between Russia and Ukraine. The battle for air and sea supremacy in naval battles and missile attacks will be the main goals, so there are not many opportunities for drones to be useful in the early days.

Unless the national army’s anti-ship wave mission fails in the middle and late stages of the war, allowing the PLA to land successfully and enter residential areas and towns to fight, a large number of domestic drone pilots can be converted into auxiliary roles of the national army, so the relevant units still have to introduce a bill for this situation. , Incorporate commercial drone teams into the defense system, and conduct large-scale exercises such as Hanguang or Wan’an to accumulate military-civilian cooperative combat experience and cultivate the ability to convert between peace and war.

UAE: Russia will always be a member of OPEC+ and must not be excluded during negotiations

Suhail Al Mazrouei, minister of energy and infrastructure of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), insisted that Russia will always be a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+).

CNBC reported that Al Mazrouei said in an interview on the 28th that no country can match the energy output of Russia, and OPEC+ cannot lose focus due to political issues when managing the energy market.

“Russia will always be part of the community and we have to respect them,” Al Mazrouei told CNBC host Hadley Gamble at the Atlantic Council’s sixth annual Global Energy Forum in Dubai. He said that Russia cannot be excluded when energy importers negotiate with OPEC+.

The United States, Europe and Japan have repeatedly called for oil-producing countries to find ways to cope with the high oil prices caused by the Russian-Ukrainian war and supply shortages. However, Al Mazrouei said Russian crude would have to play an important role if it was to meet the target. “Who can replace Russia today? I can’t think of any country that can replace these 10 million barrels of crude oil in one year, two years, three years, four years or even 10 years,” he said.

Al Mazrouei pointed out, “Our goal is the same as theirs, they all want to stabilize the market, bring supply and demand back into balance…but you can’t sanction a hydrocarbon that cannot be replaced unless you want the price to go up. They act, But expecting the opposite direction, the expectations are doomed to fail.”

OPEC and non-OPEC ministers will hold a video conference on March 31 to decide the next phase of oil production policy. OPEC alone supplies 40% of the world’s crude oil.

After the war between Russia and Ukraine, the second country flicks its tail, and Canada announces that it will purchase F-35 fighter jets

Since Russia and Ukraine went to war on February 24, Germany immediately decided to purchase 35 F-35 fighter jets to replace the Tornado. Yesterday, Canada also changed its attitude since 2012 and announced that it would purchase 88 F-35s to replace the old CF-18A/B. with the F/A-18A/B fighter.

In the F-35 development stage, Canada has invested 150 million US dollars in the JSF program.

However, in 2012, the country cancelled the procurement case because the price was too high, which made the bidding case have to run again. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in 2015 that he would seek fighter jets other than the F-35 as an alternative, so The Canadian fighter jet bidding case has been in operation for many years.

After eliminating the French Rafale and European Typhoon fighters, the Boeing-proposed F/A-18E/F Block III Super Hornet was also eliminated in December last year, leaving the F-35A and the Swedish JAS-39E Griffin. The (Gripen-E) fighter enters the final stage.

Yesterday, Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand announced that the country will spend 19 billion Canadian dollars (about 15.2 billion U.S. dollars) to purchase 88 F-35As to replace a total of 93 CF-18A/B and F/A-18A/B in active duty. .

Annand said the Canadian and U.S. governments and Lockheed Martin would move to the final stages of the procurement process after “rigorous evaluation and discussion,” while the Canadian military would improve two current major air bases, Cypress in Quebec. Bogotvill and Cold Lake in Alberta to ensure smooth future operations of the F-35A.

In terms of the candidate models of this bidding case, the F-35, as the only fifth-generation stealth fighter, is technically superior to the other four-and-a-half-generation fighters, but considering the JAS-39E in the final selection stage, it is obviously a Considering the budget, it is believed that the JAS-39E with the lowest overall price can meet the needs of Canadian air defense.

After the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, not only European countries hurriedly rearmed their armaments, but it also quickly shortened the Canadian government’s consideration of choosing a new fighter aircraft. The F-35A’s technological and combat advantages immediately became the most important consideration at this time.

Canada’s largest military investment in three decades is expected to begin receiving its first F-35As in 2025, making it the 17th country to field the Lightning II.

Shanghai Silicon Valley was blocked due to the epidemic, and China’s semiconductor manufacturing and packaging chain is not good?

Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in Pudong has always been known as the “Shanghai Silicon Valley”, but now it is feared that the city will be closed in batches to fight the epidemic without warning on the 27th, which will expose China’s semiconductor supply chain to more disruption risks. Major industrial cities such as Xi’an, Suzhou and Shenzhen have also faced shocks due to city closures.

The South China Morning Post reported on the 27th that after three rounds of large-scale screening of the blocked communities in the past week, the authorities in Zhangjiang Town decided to extend the closure on the 25th. Although the closure measures have not extended to the nearby high-tech park, the blocked residential area is the main place where the employees of the park live.

According to reports, several companies in Zhangjiang Park have suspended some operations, and employees who can work remotely are trying to work from home. Shanghai is battling the worst wave of the 2020 coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Shanghai resident Zhang Xiaonan revealed that the company where her father worked (located in Zhangjiang Park) was closed on the 24th, and all employees were not allowed to enter the office building and went home to wait for notification.

However, several important factories continue to operate, including Hua Hong Semiconductor and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC).

The report pointed out that the market is worried that if the Shanghai authorities finally decide to require the city’s technology heartland, the Zhangjiang Park, to be completely closed, it may have a serious impact on China’s semiconductor manufacturing and packaging value chain. This will make Shenzhen and Dongguan, the two major southern science and technology towns, face the dilemma of logistics delays. Shenzhen and Dongguan are also fighting against the Omicron variant outbreak.

U.S. expands natural gas supplies to Europe, U.S. natural gas ETF soars 56% this year

Affected by the Russian-Ukrainian war, the Western camp boycotted Russian energy, but it also caused European countries that are highly dependent on Russian natural gas to face an energy crisis. ETFs that track U.S. natural gas prices have also benefited from U.S. plans to expand gas supplies to Europe to fill the gap in Russian gas, with shares up as much as 56 percent this year.

The United States Natural Gas ETF, which tracks front-month natural gas futures prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), rose 56.04% this year through March 25. MarketWatch quotes show that on March 25, NYMEX April natural gas futures surged to $5.571 per million British thermal units, up nearly 15% in the past week.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that U.S. President Joe Biden traveled to Brussels, Belgium, where he was invited to attend a meeting of the European Council (European Council) to meet with leaders of the 27 EU nations.

According to the White House’s latest plan, the goal is to supply 50 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe annually by at least 2030, but it only accounts for about one-third of the EU’s natural gas imports from Russia and cannot completely replace Russian natural gas. .

The report pointed out that Western countries are trying to replace Russia’s natural gas supply source to consolidate Europe’s energy security. However, because natural gas is not easy to transport, it needs to be cooled and compressed into a liquid state before long-distance shipping, and special equipment must be used to re-gasify it before use. Therefore, the supply gap of natural gas is more difficult to fill than that of oil and coal.

Germany has decided to close the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline in order to sanction Russia for sending troops to attack Ukraine. The $11 billion pipeline, due to be completed by the end of August 2021, will send Russian gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea, much to the ire of the long-time opposition United States.

Over the years, the United States has been warning that Russia’s expansion of direct gas supply to Europe will endanger Europe’s energy security. Russia may use energy supply as a lever to contain Europe. Experts agree that Europe must diversify its energy import sources and avoid over-reliance on Russia.

A threat to national security! Kaspersky blacklisted by FCC

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it has added Kaspersky Lab to its list of entities that pose a threat to national security. Communication-based blacklist.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel said at a press conference on the 25th that this action is the FCC’s effort to strengthen the US communications network to defend against national security threats. She has previously warned that Russia could launch a global cyber attack following its invasion of Ukraine.

Once listed on the Entity List, funds subsidized by the US federal government cannot be used to purchase Kaspersky products and services.

At the same time, the FCC also added China Telecom Americas and China Mobile International (USA) Co., Ltd. to the list. Last year, five Chinese companies including Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision, and Zhejiang Dahua Technology were added to the list. included in the list. The addition of Kaspersky this time is the first time that the United States has added a Russian company to a blacklist dominated by Chinese companies.

To this end, Kaspersky Lab responded in a statement that it was “disappointed” by the FCC’s action, calling it “a response to the tense geopolitical atmosphere and not a comprehensive assessment of Kaspersky products and services.”

On the other hand, according to a report by the Central News Agency on the 28th, the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee of the Legislative Yuan invited Chen Mingtong, director of the National Security Agency, to lead the heads of relevant intelligence agencies for consultation. He responded that “it must be taken into account” and further stated that the public sector purchases based on information security needs, but the proportion of Kaspersky products used is very low, only about 2% to 3% in the past two years.

The U.S. federal government actually banned the use of Kaspersky-developed antivirus software in federal government communications systems in 2017, amid concerns that the Moscow-based company would have ties to the Russian government and intelligence activities to secretly obtain Confidential Information.

A White House official said in 2017 that Kaspersky’s antivirus software was at risk on U.S. networks, largely because Russian law required the company to cooperate with intelligence agencies like Russia’s Federal Security Service. Kaspersky denied it at the time, saying it had no improper relationship with any government, and criticized the White House’s decision based on false allegations and inaccurate assumptions, including claims about Russian law and being influenced by policy.