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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
For six years, the U.S. and Europe have been fixated on Russia as their gravest geopolitical threat. All the while, China has been building up its massive global infrastructure project known as One Belt, One Road.
Driving the news: As of tomorrow, China will have the commercial equivalent of a beachhead in the heart of Europe, when Chinese President Xi Jinping and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte sign a Belt and Road accord in Rome.
"The EU has been so focused on Russia for so long that it’s now waking up to the reality that China poses a more serious challenge," says Jonathan Hillman, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "Part of the delay is that Russia has posed a military threat, while China is exercising economic power."
The U.S. has responded furiously in recent days, suggesting that Italy is a traitor to the West. Europe's largest countries, too, have expressed alarm.
Italy itself suggests that its allies are overreacting: While it may not seem so, the deal does not come out of nowhere — Italy has been negotiating it for months, and says Washington said nothing until now.
Illustration: Caresse Haaser/Axios
Big data got us here, but small data will get us the rest of the way. That's the mantra coming from AI researchers at the forefront of their field, who are casting about for the next big breakthrough.
Kaveh writes: Inspired by how children learn, they are experimenting with methods that will allow them to train up AI systems with a tiny fraction of the inputs required today — and then set the systems loose on a new problem that they've never seen before.
Background: The deafening fuss around AI is driven by deep learning, a technique that allows machines to pick out subtle patterns from enormous datasets.
The next frontier is AI that learns on its own, rather than being explicitly fed information, and algorithms that can take what they know in one arena and apply it to another — like kids learning how the world works.
Driving the news: A panel of leading AI scientists laid out the state of the art at Stanford on Monday, at the launch of the university's Institute for Human-Centered AI. Among the various stabs at solving the data problem:
Photo: Leon Neal/Getty
Couldn't even start to think about the outside world? Never mind — here is the top of Future for the week.
1. Reinventing GDP: Where is the internet?
2. A splendid age for autocrats: The new tech will rule geopolitics
3. Trouble with smart cities: Companies are exploiting them
4. AI’s uneasy coming of age: Avoiding the mistakes of tech's forefathers
Oliver, an Ankole-Watusi steer native to Africa. Photo: Nacer Talel/Anadolu Agency/Getty
Petco has an open-door policy for all leashed pets. So one Texas couple decided to put that to the test with their pet, Oliver, a 1,600-pound steer.
Erica writes: Victor Browning, Oliver's owner, wrote in a Facebook post that Petco policy checked out. The staff at the store welcomed him and came over to pet him.