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JOB REVOLUTION  In a race to be smarter  Meteoric rise of blockchain  Deep learning in biomedical science  Future of gene editing

Vol 4 / No. 1 / May 2018 / RM10.60

ISSN 2289-9308

KDN No PP18559/08/2014/(033967)

POWERED BY


/ C O N T E N T S / NEWS 4 • Top 5 Malaysian universities

FEATURES

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12 Jobs Revolution 16 The Race To Be Smarter 20 Subjecting Ai To

for AI research • More crypto attacks expected

• AI lawyer for hire • AI reconstructs what you see

by reading brain scans

6 • Coming soon: Hearts 3D-printed from patients’ own cells • China shames jaywalkers with some AI help • Boycott over AI weapons lab in South Korea 7 • Speedy genome sequencing benefit critically-ill kids • Possibly new human organ found 8

• Grocery store in refugee camp

running on blockchain • German doctors treat genetic disorder in utero

9 Stephen Hawking In KL 10 Be A Part Of Something Big At Itex 2018

Human Laws

22 Bringing Cells In Focus 24 What Makes You... You 26 Meteoric Rise Of Blockchain 28 Expect More From 3D Printing

PUBLISHERS Academician Tan Sri Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Augustine Ong Soon Hock, President of Malaysian Invention & Design Society (MINDS) Dato’ Vincent Lim, President of C.I.S Network Sdn Bhd SUPPORTED BY Asian Caucus of Invention Associations (ACIA) POWERED BY Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition Malaysia (ITEX) EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Academician Tan Sri Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Omar Abdul Rahman EDITORIAL ADVISOR Academician Tan Sri Emeritus Professor, Datuk Dr Augustine Ong Soon Hock EXECUTIVE EDITOR V.S. Ganesan EDITOR Khaw Chia Hui EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Dr Leo Ann Mean, Academician Datuk Hong Lee Pee, Janice Gan, Dr Stephen Poon, V. S. Ganesan, Yuhanis Latif Invention Asia is produced by

30 New Approach To

Graphene Production

32 Cloning: Of Mice, Sheep, Monkeys And Men

34 Sweet Taste Of Success 36 Nobel Laureates of 2017 38 Seeking Transformative

Culture: Why The Changing Economic Landscape Needs Design

BOOK REVIEW

40 Captivating Tales Of Intriguing Inventions

HMS Harini Management Services Sdn Bhd (609031-W) W-9-12, Menara Melawangi, Amcorp Trade Centre, 18, Persiaran Barat, 46050 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel: 603-7932 3259 Email: hello@harini.com.my PUBLISHER/CEO V.S. Ganesan CREATIVE ART DIRECTOR Goh Wei Lee ADVERTISING CONSULTANT Faridah Ismail Malaysian Invention And Design Society (MINDS) C-3A-10, 4th Floor, Block C, Damansara Intan, No. 1, Jalan SS20/27, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel: 603-7118 2062 Email: minds.invent@gmail.com Website: www.minds.com.my C.I.S Network Sdn Bhd 9-1-6, Jalan 3/109F, Danau Business Centre, Danau Desa Off Jalan Kelang Lama, 58100 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Tel: 603-7982 4668 Email: info@cisnetwork.com Printing United Mission Press Sdn Bhd (755329-X) No. 25 & 27, Jalan PBS 14/14, Taman Perindustrian Bukit Serdang, Seri Kembangan, 43300 Selangor. Tel: 603-8941 6618 Fax: 603-8945 5168

All authors automatically agree to indemnify C.I.S Network Sdn Bhd, MINDS and Harini Management Services Sdn Bhd against any loss, costs, expenses (including legal fees), damages and liabilities that might arise from their own incapacity, negligence, breach of contract or other civil misdeeds. We reserve the right to edit all articles. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2018 by C.I.S Network Sdn Bhd and Harini Management Services Sdn Bhd. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from the publisher. The views expressed in the articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of C.I.S Network Sdn Bhd, MINDS and Harini Management Services Sdn Bhd. C.I.S Network Sdn Bhd, MINDS and Harini Management Services Sdn Bhd accept no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photography, illustration and other editorial materials.

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FROM THE

EDITORS’ BOARD

Dear readers, You will have noted that Invention Asia was missing the November issue last year. Following an internal reorganisation, the publishers decided to make Invention Asia an annual publication, coming out every May to coincide with MINDS’ annual International Invention, Innovation & Technology Exhibition (ITEX). We apologise to our regular readers for any disappointment caused. Our current issue is devoted to news of the latest development both locally and internationally deemed of interest to the invention community. There are special features on aspects of artificial intelligence, gene editing and blockchain technology. Last year was the 20th anniversary of the first success in animal cloning and the birth of Dolly. To commemorate, we present the latest in the development of cloning technology. There are also articles updating us on topics we featured in previous issues, namely 3D printing and Graphene. This issue also features summaries of the winning 2017 Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry and physiology/medicine. We are pleased to report on a local success story in research and development carried to commercialisation. Dato’ Prof Dr Aileen Tan literally pioneered our edible oyster cultivation industry, from her laboratory in Universiti Sains Malaysia. Find out how oyster farming got started in Kedah. Happy reading

Where Invention Thrives, the Economy Flourishes

TAN SRI OMAR ABDUL RAHMAN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF tansriomar@gmail.com

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Remembering Professor Stephen Hawking

Invention Asia mourns the passing of the iconic Professor of the theory of everything, a man of great inventive and innovative mind. Prof Hawking visited Malaysia in 1994, brought here by the Tan Sri Augustine Ong Fellowship Trust, and negotiated by Datuk VL Kandan, both Tan Sri Ong and Datuk Kandan being founders of MINDS. I was fortunate to have met and interacted with Prof Hawking during that visit. The story about that memorable visit is included in this issue of Invention Asia.

Thinking Out Of The Box – The Invention Way How many times have we all been told to think out of the box? I often wonder how can we do that without knowing what is in the box. Let me share my view on this. Hawking surrounded by Case studies and best practices visitors during his time in are the staple diet of business Kuala Lumpur in 1994. courses. Case studies are the records of how successful enterprises conduct their businesses, while best practices are compilations of useful solutions to given problems. In a complex and fast changing environment, best practice is not good enough. In fact, it can be bad practice. For example, the propensity of international aid agencies to prescribe best practice in solving problems in developing countries regardless of the specifics of the local situation, has been likened to a disease which has been given the name of “best practisitis”. And case studies are like fossilised specimens of rapidly evolving species. To be ahead of competitors, one cannot be doing what others have already done or are also trying to do. One must be several steps ahead. That however does not mean case studies and best practices are not useful. They have an important role to play. I will explain. To be ahead of the pack, we are always told to think out of the box. How does one do that if one does not know what is inside the box? This is where case studies and best practices come in. Consider them as being what’s in the box. Knowing what’s inside the box, we can now think about how to do better than current practices. We can then put our creativity to work and be innovative. What has all the above got to do with invention, you might ask. Well the answer is that the invention community, not satisfied with status quo, with existing products and best practices, is always creating new things and improving current practices. That is the inventors’ way of thinking out of the box. So carry on being creative and innovative. Keep thinking out of the box.


DATO’ VINCENT LIM

Every year I see tremendous innovation and creativity at ITEX. Some bolstered by years of scientific research and some made possible by the technology we now have. This year, especially, there will be more than 1,000 inventions on display at ITEX 2018. Collectively as members of the invention community, we will need to continue to nurture our talents and see that the best inventions are commercialised to improve lives of countless people around the world.

DR LEO ANN MEAN

Not much is known about women who have made an impact in the field of invention. It is a fact that women inventors from across the globe, from early last century to the new millennium have made many significant contributions to improving our lives via their inventions. Our magazine has highlighted some of them in the past and shall continue to do so in our future issues.

DR STEPHEN POON

We believe it is important to try to understand intuition in design context. By looking at the actual practices used, we can learn how intuition already is trained in these disciplines and how it could be developed further. In this issue, I take one step toward this direction by discussing the place of intuition in design on industrialisation. I further explore design through the lens of multiple intelligences. We applied in the design context whether or not we are aware of this fact, and our practices are not worth very much. But the impact of our practices upon our actions and our lives is often devastating. This makes it necessary to try to improve our practices by criticism. Lastly, I argue for the benefits of interdisciplinary exchange in order to learn new ways of design intuition. Train your intuition, trust the small voice inside you which tells you exactly what to design, what to innovate.

V.S. GANESAN

It is amazing to experience how far technology has changed our lives. Just a few decades ago, we were barely connected digital-wise. Now, many of us can barely function a day without our smartphones. However, there are downsides living in a super interconnected world. There will need to be a balance of data security, human interactions and further advancements.

Industry 4.0 offers a multitude of possibilities for development. However, it is essential that these developments be human-centred and consideration should be taken in the context of local potential and advantage. The unique capability of humans in terms of creativity, innovation, EQ and social values should enhance our future achievements.

TAN SRI AUGUSTINE ONG

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NEWS Invention Asia offers a snapshot of the latest invention news around the world. Drop us an email at minds.invent@gmail.com if you would like us to feature your invention.

MORE CRYPTO ATTACKS EXPECTED

TOP 5 MALAYSIAN UNIVERSITIES FOR AI RESEARCH A recent report by Clarivate Analytics on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Southeast Asia identified five Malaysian universities as among the top 10 in the region, producing AI research papers with the most number of citations received from 2007 to 2016. Universiti Malaya is third while Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia are placed fourth and fifth. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, is at the seventh spot, and Universiti Sains Malaysia, eighth. Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University occupies the top spot followed by the National University of Singapore while Agency for Science, Technology and Research is number six. Thailand’s King Mongkut’s University of Technology and Mahidol University are placed ninth and tenth. Malaysia published 8,416 AI-related research papers ahead of Thailand (3,648). Singapore was most prolific with 10,274 publications. Subject matters include not just computer algorithms but also semiconductors, robotics, medicine and biochemistry.

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Last year saw a 50% increase in crypto-mining malware attacks, with some hacking groups earning millions, according to Kaspersky Lab. The Russian security firm said 2.7 million users were attacked with malicious miners in 2017, up from 1.9 million in 2016. The threat is typically spread via potentially unwanted application partner programmes, or scripts being executed in the browser. “A victim may have just wanted to download a legitimate application, but instead they downloaded one with a miner installer inside. This miner installer drops the legitimate Windows utility msiexec with a random name, which downloads and executes a malicious module from the remote server,” Kaspersky explained in a blog post. “In the next step, it installs a malicious scheduler task which drops the miner’s body. This body executes the legitimate system process and uses a process-hollowing technique (legitimate process code is changed to malicious). Also, a special flag, system critical flag, is set to this new process. If a victim tries to kill this process, the Windows system will reboot. So, it is a challenge for security solutions to deal with such malicious behaviour and detect the threat properly.” Crypto-mining botnets have earned cyber-criminals US$7 million in the second half of 2017 alone, with one group making US$5 million mining Electroneum coins, Kaspersky Lab said.


AI LAWYER FOR HIRE A recent document-analysing competition between lawyers and artificial intelligence ended with the AI as the winner. The competition, managed by legal AI platform LawGeex, pitted the AI against law professors from Stanford, Duke, and the University of Southern California in a competition to read and interpret a collection of five non-disclosure agreements. Humans and the AI were given four hours to read the contracts and were scored based on how accurate their assessments were. The human lawyers garnered a 85% success rate while the AI were way ahead with 95%. Impressively, the AI used only 26 seconds to analyse the contracts while humans needed an average of 92 minutes. “This research shows technology can help solve two problems – both making contract management faster and more reliable, and freeing up resources so legal departments can focus on building the quality of their human legal teams,” said Gillian K. Hadfield, one of the lawyers who participated in the competition.

AI RECONSTRUCTS WHAT YOU SEE BY READING BRAIN SCANS A team of scientists in Kyoto University, Japan developed a new method called “deep image reconstruction,” to decipher human brain scans. It uses a reconstruction algorithm capable of “decoding” a “hierarchy” of complex visual information from human brain activity, such as colours and shapes. The team’s algorithm also optimises the pixels of the decoded image so that it more closely resembles the actual object, in combination with a multiplelayered deep neural network to simulate the same processes that occur when a human brain perceives an image. In their paper published on Biorxiv, the researchers explain how their approach to this kind of AI-assisted translation of perceptual content better imitates the elaborate, hierarchical neural representations that are constructed in humans’ natural visual system. The team used fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) technology to gather brain activity data from subjects as they viewed real-life images animals and other objects, as well as images of geometric shapes and letters. This raw data was then filtered through a deep neural network so that the decoding process would occur in a way that more closely matched what happens in the human brain when it perceives something.

To create more realistic-looking images, the results were further enhanced with a deep generator network, an algorithm that better captures common dominant features (such as eyes, faces and textural patterns), which will then offer visual clues to what that particular object might be. While such mind-reading technology is still in the early stages of development, it could be one way for patients with speech disorders to communicate with people around them. Mind-reading machines could also become invaluable for developing brainmachine interfaces that allow users to communicate by merely thinking a thought.

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NEWS CHINA SHAMES JAYWALKERS WITH SOME AI HELP

COMING SOON: HEARTS 3D-PRINTED FROM PATIENTS’ OWN CELLS A biotech startup in Chicago has developed a process of 3D-printing human hearts that could eventually be used in transplants. “This is will make the organ patientspecific, that is viable for transplant, using the patient’s own cells,” said Steven Morris, founding partner and CEO of Biolife4D. The process combines several processes developed by various researchers in university labs. First, a patient’s heart will be scanned using an MRI machine to create a digital image of the heart’s shape and size. Next, doctors will take a blood sample. The blood cells will be converted into stem cells and converted a second time into heart cells. Those new heart cells will be combined with nutrients in a hydrogel to make a “bio-ink” that will be used in a specialised 3D printer. Printing one layer at a time, with a biodegradable scaffolding to keep everything in place, the cells can be formed into the exact shape of the patient’s original heart. The new heart will be moved to a bioreactor to strengthen it. When the heart is strong enough, technicians will raise the temperature to melt the scaffolding around the cells. The new heart can then be transplanted. The Biolife4D heart will not require patients to take immunosuppressant drugs while giving those on the transplant waiting list a chance at life. However, it is still the early days before it can be transplanted into humans.

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The Chinese city of Shenzhen is using artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology to deter jaywalkers. The technology is implemented by the city police in collaboration with Intellifusion. Jaywalkers will be publicly named and shamed, with their faces displayed on large LED screens for all to see. The system also registers how many times a pedestrian has been caught jaywalking. Once the offences reach a certain number, it will affect the jaywalker’s social credit score. Negative point scores could limit their ability to take out loans and even to travel within the country. Intellifusion will be working with mobile carriers and messaging platforms to notify jaywalkers of their offences on their phones. So far, the AI can only identify 10% of the city’s population but the number will improve after provincial governments merge their databases.

BOYCOTT OVER AI WEAPONS LAB IN SOUTH KOREA More than 50 leading AI researchers announced a boycott of South Korean university KAIST after it opened a lab with Hanwha Systems – one of two makers of cluster munitions. University president Shin Sung-chul said KAIST will not conduct any research activities counter to human dignity, including autonomous weapons lacking meaningful human control. The university said the new Research Centre for the Convergence of National Defence and Artificial Intelligence would focus on command and control systems, navigation for large unmanned undersea vehicles, smart aircraft training, and tracking and recognition of objects. In an open letter announcing the boycott, the researchers warned: “If developed, autonomous weapons will… permit war to be fought faster and at a scale great than ever before. They will have the potential to be weapons of terror.”


SPEEDY GENOME SEQUENCING BENEFITS CRITICALLY-ILL KIDS Using a technique called whole-genome sequencing to analyse patients’ DNA, clinicians at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, were able to diagnose and better treat rare conditions in days rather than weeks. It has helped doctors diagnose 10 infants, who are in intensive care, in as little as four days. Dr Hywel Williams, whose University College London team led the research, said diagnosis is valuable, even if a condition is fatal. “If you know there’s nothing you can do then you don’t have to keep doing biopsies and you can make them more comfortable. That’s a real godsend,” he said. His team’s work also proved cost-effective. The test is £5,600 per patient, only a little more than the cost of a day in intensive care.

POSSIBLY NEW HUMAN ORGAN FOUND Researchers recently found web-like tissue on the underside of skin, around the digestive tract, bladder, lungs, arteries, and within muscles. They speculate the tissues, called interstitium, may act as “shock absorbers,” allowing other organs to swell and compress as we breathe, eat, and live. The liquid could also act as a conduit for cellular signals or harmful molecules, play a role in the development of edema, and even help cancer cells spread. The finding may “necessitate reconsideration of many of the normal functional activities of different organs and of disordered fluid dynamics in the setting of disease.” The authors – led by gastroenterologist David Carr-Locke of Weill Cornell Medicine and pathologist Neil Theise of NYU Langone Health – lay out an explanation as to why this cushioning tissue has been missed in the past. They note that standard methods to slice and fix tissues for close-up exams end up draining the interconnected chambers. The collagen-based supports around those spaces then collapse and stick together, creating the appearance of a dense, supportive tissue. But the researchers were not using old-school methods to assess tissue when they made their discovery. They noticed the sodden layer fortuitously

while using a new imaging technique called Probebased Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy (pCLE) to assess bile duct tissue in patients. This technique allows researchers to image minute structures in living tissue with a camera and, generally, with a fluorescent tracer dye. With the pCLE, the researchers noticed an odd “reticular pattern” in the tissue around the bile duct they were examining. The patterned tissue had dark, branching bands surrounding large, dye-filled polygonal spaces. They also found evidence from some of their samples that cancer cells could get into the interstitium and spread.

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NEWS GERMAN DOCTORS TREAT GENETIC DISORDER IN UTERO

GROCERY STORE IN REFUGEE CAMP RUNNING ON BLOCKCHAIN In a pilot scheme by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Syrian refugees at the Azraq Refugee Camp in Jordan can use their vouchers to shop at the grocery stores within the camp, aided by a private blockchain. The transactions are recorded on a private Ethereum-based blockchain called Building Blocks that eliminates the need for banks to facilitate transactions. This method allows refugees to accumulate a history of transactions that can be used as a credit history when they are resettled permanently. Previously, it was impossible for refugees to even open a bank account because they are unable to prove their identities. Meanwhile, the stores are equipped iris scanners at the cash registers that can identify the customer and verify the data with UN databases. Since the start of the programme, WFP has transferred US$1.4 million in food vouchers to 10,500 Syrian refugees. It also helps save US$15,000 in bank fees monthly. With its success, the programme will be expanded throughout Jordan by the end of this year.

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A team of doctors in Germany successfully treat a rare genetic disease called X-Linked Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia (XLHED) in three unborn babies. Without treatment, this disease will see the children be born with fang-like teeth and without sweat glands. XLHED patients are unable to produce a specific protein that is required to develop sweat glands. This is the first time an unborn child is treated for the inherited disorder in the womb. The treatment involved injecting protein drug at the time when sweat glands begin to develop. The German clinic, at the University of ErlangenNürnberg, already participated in the protein replacement procedure in 2016. But the drug developed by Edimer Pharmaceutical didn’t work. The study was abandoned. However, a woman and her husband approached the researchers when they found out she was carrying twins that had the same disorder. They had asked for the treatment with Edimer’s drug, which failed in humans but worked when injected into pregnant animals. The doctors agreed to perform the clinical procedure and managed to grant permission from the university under a “compassionate use” exemption. His team injected the drug directly into the amniotic sacs of the twins, considering the missing protein is only required temporarily between 20 and 30 weeks of pregnancy. The twins now had their sweat glands although they have unusual facial features. Upon the success of this experiment, the team managed to treat the fetus of another woman.


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STEPHEN HAWKING IN KL The unexpected news of the passing of Stephen Hawking is a shock to us. by Dato V.L. Kandan, Chairman of the Tan Sri Augustine Ong Fellowship Trust

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Mahathir assured us there would be no n 1994 when Dr Augustine Ong, demonstration and encouraged us to go President of the Malaysian Invention ahead with the preparations. He also wanted and Design Society (MINDS) was to meet Hawking. conferred the PSM which carried Hawking arrived in KL in September the title “Tan Sri”, we established the 1994. His first engagement was with three Tan Sri Augustine Ong Fellowship Trust Malaysian Lou Gherig and motor neuron (TSAOFT) to provide fellowships and sufferers in Istana Hotel where he stayed. In conduct lectures through leading scientists an hour-long session, Hawking showed his of Nobel Prize repute. humane side. We wanted to start with a “Big Bang”. He counselled them to be courageous When Stephen Hawking’s name was and fight the disease as he was doing. He said proposed as the first Fellow, there was a to them in his metallic voice, sounding like lot of scepticism – the man is wheelchairC-3PO robot in Star Wars: “Look at me, I bound, physically incapacitated and cannot was given less than two years to live 25 years make the long journey to Malaysia. ago. I keep alive by keeping my mind alive.” With the help of the then Director of Later, Hawking paid a courtesy call to the British Council, I called Hawking in Dr Mahathir. Cambridge University. The response was positive. Hawking always wanted to visit Malaysia as he had heard glowing reports about the country from his Ipoh-born Malaysian Chinese nurse. There was just a question of getting relevant authorisation, and a fee of £10,000 due to Cambridge University. We were thrilled that this great physicist had agreed to come. With financial assistance from the public and MAS providing return first class air tickets for Hawking and his then wife Elaine Mason, we planned for the “Big Bang” Lecture. Three days before he was to arrive in Kuala Lumpur, we received information that Umno Youth were going to demonstrate and prevent Hawking from coming into the city. Reason being perceived negative views of Hawking on the existence of God. We approached then Prime Minister and Umno President, Dr Hawking with Dr Mahathir Mahathir Mohamad, who happened and Dr Ong. to be the Patron of MINDS. Dr

On 16 September 1994, was Hawking’s public lecture titled “Life in the Universe” in the Merdeka Hall in PWTC. There was a record attendance of nearly 5,000 people. The hall had a capacity of 3,000 and the spill-over crowd in the foyer had to be contented with watching him via CCTV. Hawking arrived 20 minutes late for the lecture, and when he did, he “danced” his way onto the stage in his special wheelchair. It was an enthralling lecture in simple language on the origin of the universe that was easily understood by any layperson. The next day he gave a more technical lecture at the National Planetarium, which was arranged by Dr Mazlan Othman. Dr Mahathir was present at this lecture. That evening, there was also a farewell dinner at the Carcosa Seri Negara, Hawking was very happy and “danced”, yes, he deftly manoeuvred his wheelchair and danced, first with Mason and then with whoever who wanted to dance with him. He was a very happy man as was evident by the glint in his eyes. After Hawking, in 1996 we had Dr James Watson lecture on the Human Genome Project. Since then TSAOFT has been unsuccessfully looking for speakers of similar calibre. Three years ago I went to Cambridge to invite Hawking for a second visit to Malaysia. I was informed he was too ill to travel and will not be able to make the long journey. When I saw video clips of him “swimming” in space in a simulator, getting ready to go into space, we tried again to invite him. It is in that situation we received the sad news of his sudden demise. u

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BE A PART OF SOMETHING BIG Plenty to experience, discover and learn at ITEX 2018 held in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

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s ITEX moves into its 29th year, visitors can satiate their curiosity with the display of more than 1,000 inventions from over 22 countries – Taiwan, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Poland, Bangladesh, Yemen, Turkey, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, South Korea, Russia, Sudan and Hong Kong. It is also the culmination of hard work by Malaysian students as they present more than 200 inventions in hopes of impressing the judges at the concurrent World Young Inventors Exhibition (WYIE). One of the most exciting times at ITEX 2018 is watching schoolchildren, from Malaysia and other countries, present their innovative inventions for judging during the World Young Inventors Exhibition.

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Their talent and creativity are impressive, and it is one of our aims to ensure these young inventors have a strong voice in the exhibition. WYIE has spurred a healthy participation from numerous schools in Malaysia and several countries around the world. The competition is divided into three categories – Primary (aged 12 and below), Secondary (aged 13-17), and Tertiary (aged 18-22). This lets judges and visitors see the level of invention in different age groups. The WYIE, AYIE and MYIE are the perfect breeding ground for parents who wish to stimulate their children’s ingenuity. It has been said the best time to inculcate the love for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is during childhood. By exposing young students to

STEM, they are offered opportunities to develop a passion for it and later go on to pursue a life-long career in a STEM field. The government has reinforced its commitment to focus on STEM education with the announcement of a RM250 million allocation for teacher training and RM190 million for the creation of 2,000 smart classes in schools. At the same time, the curriculum for coding in secondary schools will be extended to primary schools. Also for the first time, the Tan Sri Augustine Ong Award that will be presented to the most outstanding teacher. The award is open to all teachers who are Malaysian citizens teaching in Malaysian public and private, primary and secondary schools whose teams are participating in WYIE 2018.


Exciting times at last year’s ITEX.

The goal of this award is to recognise the contribution of teachers in inspiring, encouraging and guiding their students to invent and participate in invention exhibitions.

Exciting Events PITCH4FUND is a pitching session by 15 startups and spin-off companies, presenting their disruptive solutions. Previews and evaluations of potential investments in these solutions will be carried out in collaboration with Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers. INVENTING WORKSHOP headed by Susan Casey will be available for primary schoolchildren. Casey is the author of Kids Inventing! A Handbook for Young Inventors. STARTUPS TALK is an open seminar and a goldmine of knowledge and motivation for startups. Entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs can benefit from the knowledge that will be shared by those in the most innovative of industries, covering various fields of interest. It will comprise industry specials that will feature relevant topics related to invention and commercialisation VC2E TALK (Venture Capital to Entrepreneur) is open to the public and presented by distinguished speakers in collaboration with MVCA (Malaysian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association). ARTS and CREATIVITY EXHIBITION (ACE) organised by the Malaysian Invention and Design Society (MINDS) was held for the first time in 2015. This annual event focuses on young

Malaysians, and was conceived with the following objectives – to actively encourage creative imagination, both in writing and in drawing and to improve English language skills. The programme takes the form of a competition Write and Illustrate, which culminates in an exhibition. The theme for ACE 2018 is “A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever”.

Spurred by Government Aid In the coming years, more inventions will be driven by technology evidenced by the increased participation in that area in ITEX over the years. This is also encouraged and supported by efforts promoting STEM by the government, which will enable students to venture into robotics and other engineering fields. Under Budget 2018, RM400 million will be provided to public universities, compared with RM235 million in the previous budgets. There is also a special allocation for Universiti Malaya to achieve the status of Top 100 Universities in the World. With the allocation, it will provide more opportunities for innovation and commercialisation by Malaysian researchers, putting the country’s researchers on par with those from top foreign universities. More allocations for research means there are areas that can be explored and discovered, making Malaysia a hub for local and international students to carry out research. Budget 2018 also mentioned the MyBrain Programme that aims to produce more postgraduates. About 10,600 individuals in the MyBrain Programme will

be sharing RM90 million to pursue the Masters and PhD programmes.

Much to See Each invention is unique in its own way, some 23 categories are available at ITEX and WYIE. To be able to stand out, the invention must be inventive, new, original, creative and unique. Visitors can see for themselves inventions that are useful to society, able to solve problems while contributing to the advancement of various industries. And most importantly, aspiring inventors can learn how to invent solutions that are marketable with potential market spread and high commercial value. ITEX has established itself as an important platform for giving recognition to inventors and inventions, and connecting inventors with investors. A number of inventions that were introduced to the world at ITEX exhibition have gone on to become products that can better everyday lives of people. An example of successful commercialisation is Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s Dr Mariani Abdul Hamid and her DERMAGS skincare range. Her research using mangosteen extract as a safe compound to encourage radiant skin won a Gold Medal in ITEX 2013. Now her invention is bought and used by women of all ages. Meanwhile, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia brought home a silver medal last year for its modular eco home that was inspired by flood victims in the east coast. It received support from the private sector and numerous families received free homes as a result. u

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C O V E R

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JOBS REVOLUTION As we dive headlong into the Fourth Industrial age, there have been conflicting opinions on whether humans will soon be replaced by machines. by Khaw Chia Hui

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istorically, the first industrial revolution refers to the shift from muscle to mechanical power that occurred between 1760 and 1840. The second revolution brought on mass production in the late 19th and 20th centuries, and the third gave us mainframes, PCs, and the internet through the 1990s. Currently, we are said to be in the Fourth Industrial Revolution – an idea first mooted by World Economic Forum founder Professor Klaus Schwab in his eponymous book. He outlined it as building on the third but is much broader and more significant. Machines are becoming smart and connected, contributing to a dynamic fusion of technologies in the physical,

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digital, and biological and leading to change “unlike anything humankind has experienced before”. Schwab also highlighted the megatrends of the ongoing revolution: artificial intelligence, robotics, the internet of things, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and so on. He stressed not the individual technologies but the overall sweep of change: the unprecedented diffusion of “disruptors” such as Airbnb, the iPhone, and now autonomous cars; and a reduced role for workers. The Big Three in Silicon Valley in 2014 had the same revenues as the big three Detroit car companies in 1990, three times the market capitalisation, and one-tenth the workers.

Future of Jobs Schwab had penned a report in 2016 detailing the shape and demands of the workforce in decades to come. He wrote that current technological advancement should not become a race between humans and machines but rather an opportunity for work to truly become a channel through which people recognise their full potential. To ensure that this could be achieved, people must become more specific and much faster in understanding the changes underway and cognisant of a collective responsibility to lead businesses and communities through this transformative moment. Well, easier said than done at the present time. While the impending change holds great promise, the patterns of consumption, production and employment created by


it also pose major challenges requiring proactive adaptation by corporations, governments and individuals. As entire industries adjust, most occupations are undergoing a fundamental transformation. While some jobs are threatened by redundancy and others grow rapidly, existing jobs are also going through a change in the skill sets required to do them. The debate on these transformations is often polarised between those who foresee limitless new opportunities and those that foresee massive dislocation of jobs. In fact, the reality is highly specific to the industry, region and occupation in question as well as the ability of various stakeholders to manage change. The question, then, is how business, government and individuals will react to these developments. To prevent a worst-case scenario–technological change accompanied by talent shortages, mass unemployment and growing inequality–reskilling and upskilling of today’s workers will be critical. While much has been said about the need for reform in basic education, it is simply not possible to weather the current technological revolution by waiting for the next generation’s workforce to become better prepared. Instead it is critical that businesses take an active role in supporting their current workforces through re-training, that individuals take a proactive approach to their own lifelong learning and that governments create the enabling environment, rapidly and creatively, to assist these efforts.

Preparing for the Future While these impending changes hold great promise for future prosperity and job creation, many of them also pose major challenges requiring proactive adaptation by corporations, governments, societies and individuals. As whole industries adjust and new ones are born, many occupations will undergo a fundamental transformation. Together, technological, socio-economic, geopolitical and demographic developments and the interactions between them will generate new categories of jobs and occupations while partly or wholly displacing others. They

INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION

will change the skill sets required in both old and new occupations in most industries and transform how and where people work, leading to new management and regulatory challenges. Given the rapid pace of change, business model disruptions are resulting in a near-simultaneous impact on employment and need for new skill sets, requiring an urgent and concerted effort for adjustment. So far, the debate on these transformations has been sharply polarized between those who foresee limitless new opportunities and those that foresee a massive dislocation of jobs. In fact, the reality is likely to be highly specific to the industry, region and occupation in question and the ability of various stakeholders to successfully manage change. Application of technology has already changed when and where work is done in practically every industry as workplaces of the industrial age give way to work practices of the digital age, including

remote work, flexible work and on-demand work. The rising middle class in emerging markets, the need to transition towards an environmentally sustainable economy and increased geopolitical volatility are all seen as major organisational drivers of change. Changing values and the growing ability of consumers to express these values are also transforming business models and employment. The rising role and importance of women in the economy is transforming not only the composition of the talent pool but also the nature of products catering to them specifically–and by extension the skills profiles of the jobs required. Longevity and population ageing in advanced economies– and the opportunities and challenges it presents–are also expected to have an impact on business models, and by extension talent needs, in addition to changing the composition of the talent pool in most developed economies in particular.

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C O V E R

S T O R Y

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TECHNOLOGY DRIVERS FOR CHANGE

Workforce Strategy

34%

26% 22% 14%

Mobile internet, cloud technology Processing power, Big Data

New Energy

Internet of Things

12% Sharing Economy 9% Robotics, Autonomous Transport 7% Artificial Intelligence 6% Advanced Manufacturing Source: Future of Jobs survey, WEF 6% Advanced Materials Timeframe To Impact Industries And Business Models Impact Felt  Rising geopolitical volatility  Mobile internet  Big Data  Sharing economy, P2P platform  Rise in middle class in emerging markets  Rapid urbanisation  Climate change  Green economy 2015-2018  New energy supplies & technologies  Internet of Things  Advanced manufacturing, 3D printing  Longevity & ageing societies  New ethical & privacy concerns  Women’s rising aspirations & economic power 2018-2020  Advanced robotics & autonomous transport  Artificial intelligence & machine learning  Advanced materials  Biotechnology  Genomics  Changing work environment

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The impact of technological, demographic and socio-economic disruptions on business models will be felt in transformations to the employment landscape and skills requirements, resulting in substantial challenges for recruiting, training and managing talent. Several industries may find themselves in a scenario of positive employment demand for hard-to-recruit specialist occupations with simultaneous skills instability across many existing roles. For example, the Mobility industries expect employment growth accompanied by a situation where nearly 40% of the skills required by key jobs in the industry are not yet part of the core skill set of these functions today. At the same time, workers in lower skilled roles, particularly in the Office and Administrative and Manufacturing and

INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

Transforming industries and Innovation

1784 INDUSTRY 1.0 Mechanization

Steam Power

Mass Production

Assembly Line

Automation

Electronics

Cyber Physical Systems

Networks

1870 INDUSTRY 2.0

1969 INDUSTRY 3.0

Today INDUSTRY 4.0


WHAT OTHERS SAY “AI revolution need not conjure gloom-and-doom scenarios about the future of work so long as governments rise to the challenge of equipping workers with the right skills to prepare them for future market needs. Job displacement from new technologies is nothing new, and often comes in waves. “Throughout that process, productivity gains have been reinvested to create new innovations, jobs, and industries, driving economic growth as older, less productive jobs are replaced with more advanced occupations.” – Nobel laureate economist Christopher Pissarides and Jacques Bughin of the McKinsey Global Institute

“Nothing to be gained from fearing a dystopian future that we have the power to prevent. Rather than rendering humans obsolete, AI applications can liberate millions of people from the dangerous and repetitive tasks often associated with manual labour.” “The introduction of collaborative robots will show that partnership, not rivalry will define our future relationship with AI across all sectors. Those leading the change must not lose sight of the human element, or the fact there are some things even the smartest machines will never do.” – SAP CEO Bill McDermott

Production job families, may find themselves caught up in a vicious cycle where low skills stability means they could face redundancy without significant re- and upskilling even while disruptive change may erode employers’ incentives and the business case for investing in such reskilling. The main perceived barriers to a more decisive approach include a lack of understanding of the disruptive changes ahead, resource constraints and short-term profitability pressures and lack of alignment between workforce strategies and firms’ innovation strategies. However, there are some significant differences between industries in this regard.

Emotional Labour Sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild in 1983 coined the term “emotional labour” to describe the processes involved in managing the emotional demands of work. As an example, she explored the techniques that flight attendants used to maintain the friendly demeanours their airline demanded in the face of abusive customers: taking deep breaths, silently reminding themselves to

stay cool, or building empathy for the nasty passenger. In 2015, the education economist David Deming at Harvard University found almost all jobs growth in the United States between 1980 and 2012 was in work requiring relatively high degrees of social skills. For example, in New York, police officers

“The design of new smart machines is less important than the policies surrounding them. Technological change has already been displacing workers for three decades, accounting for an estimated 80% of the job losses in US manufacturing. “We could be heading for a ‘goodjobless future,’ in which a growing number of workers can no longer earn a middle-class income, regardless of their education and skills. To minimise that risk, I call on policymakers in advanced economies to focus on measures that help those who are displaced, such as education and training programs, and income support and social safety nets, including wage insurance, lifetime retraining loans, and portable health and pension benefits.” – Laura Tyson of the University of California

spend 80 per cent of their time on servicerelated functions such as mediate disputes and respond to mental health escalations. Another great example of emotional labour is seen in healthcare. Autonomous robots will hardly replace the empathy needed to “read” a patient when delivering devastating diagnosis. As UK’s National Health Service puts it: “The NHS could employ hundreds of thousands of staff with the right technological skills, but without the compassion to care, then we will have failed to meet the needs of patients.” However, people with “emotional labour” jobs are often earning low wages, not to mention the long hours that come with it. These factors have to be addressed if society are to encourage more workers to join in. Policymakers need to put more resources into providing better staffing, higher pay and more time off for care workers who perform the most emotionally demanding work for the smallest wages. The jobs of the future can be opportunities for people to genuinely care for each other while leaving cognitive and efficiency work to the machines. u

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THE RACE TO BE SMARTER There is no turning back after the first artificial intelligence programme was “switched on�. Now the debate is centred on benefits versus risks of the relentless march of the machines. by Khaw Chia Hui

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ate December, researchers at Google’s DeepMind AI lab revealed their latest programme, AlphaZero, took only four hours to take down world champion chess programme, Stockfish. Before the train arrives in KL from Penang, AlphaZero absorbed all of humanity’s chess knowledge and beyond, after being programmed with only the rules of chess. In 100 games, AlphaZero won 25 games while playing as white and three as black. The rest were draws. Although the research paper hasn’t been peer-reviewed, chess grandmasters and computer scientists alike were astonished at the learning rate of the AI. Its latest iteration also mastered Chinese board game Go and Japanese chess (Shogi) in eight and two hours respectively. AI is not just used to play chess, but has permeated in many aspect of daily life, from tagging photos on Facebook, lawyering, writing breaking news and even considered for use in space exploration.

The Need to Understand AI Decisions However, there is a kicker in the system, so to speak. Programmers that built it are not entirely sure why AI makes one decision over another. The artificial neural network is built upon thousands to millions of tiny connections between clusters of mathematical computation. But the changes throughout those connections are so complex and minute, researchers are not able to exactly determine what is happening. At the Neural Information Processing Systems conference in California last year, most AI researchers say the time is now to act on making the decisions of machines understandable. “We don’t want to accept arbitrary decisions by entities, people or AIs, that we don’t understand,” said Uber AI researcher Jason Yosinkski at a workshop at the conference. “In order for machine learning models to be accepted by society, we’re going to need to know why they’re making the decisions they’re making.”

DID YOU KNOW?

A discovery that influenced much of the early development of AI was made by Norbert Wiener, one of the first to theorise that all intelligent behaviour was the result of feedback mechanisms. Mechanisms that could possibly be simulated by machines. A further step towards modern AI was the creation of The Logic Theorist by Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon in 1955. The person who finally coined the term “artificial intelligence” is John McCarthy. A major breakthrough in AI history was the creation of the Lisp (LISt Processing) language by McCarthy in 1958. It is still in use today. Source: World-Information.Org

AI versus Machine Learning Artificial Intelligence is the broader concept of machines being able to carry out tasks in a way that we would consider “smart”. Machine Learning is a current application of AI based around the idea that we should really just be able to give machines access to data and let them learn for themselves. Source: Forbes

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A superintelligent AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, and if those goals aren’t aligned with ours, we’re in trouble. ~ Hawking

Lifting the hood of an AI isn’t just to fend against bias but knowing how a system fails can help AI researchers build more accurate systems. Leave it to Google to try to figure it out. In a paper presented at the conference, Google researcher Maithra Raghu showed she was able to fix the unwanted association between dumbbells and arms, only this time with tree bark and birds. By looking at which neurons in the network were activated when the AI looked at images of birds, Raghu was able to determine which were focusing on the bird and which were focusing on the bark, and then turn the bark neurons off. The success is a sign that, for all its complexity, translating a neural network’s work into something a human understands isn’t impossible.

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AI Ethics What do Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking have in common? Issuing warnings about AI. Before you make up your mind, try out the “paperclip maximiser” thought experiment proposed by Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at Oxford University. The premise is imagine an artificial intelligence that decides to amass as many paperclips as possible. It devotes all its energy to acquiring paperclips, and to improving itself so that it can get paperclips in new ways, while resisting any attempt to divert it from this goal. Eventually it “starts transforming first all of Earth and then increasing portions of space into paperclip manufacturing facilities”. It is to drive home the point that AIs do not have human-like motives or psyches. Their fixation on end goals could prove dangerous.

Before Hawking’s death, he and Lord Rees (former head of Britain’s scientific body Royal Society) with Bostrom and others signed an open letter calling for research to ensure AI systems are “robust and beneficial”. Musk seems to think decentralisation is the key. In December 2015, he co-founded OpenAI, a new research institute with more than US$1 billion in funding where research results are made public. His view is AI should be as widely distributed as possible as “dangerous AIs” in dystopian science fiction are centralised machines. Bostrom disagrees. He said making AI technology as widely available as possible is necessarily a good thing. In a recent paper, he wrote multiple AIs “does not guarantee that they will act in the interests of humans or remain under human control”, and that proliferation could make the technology harder to regulate. Demis Hassabis of DeepMind considers the paperclip scenario to be “unrealistic”, but thinks Bostrom is right to question AI motivation. “To specify the right goals and values for AIs, and ensure they remain stable over time, are interesting research questions,” said Hassabis. Meanwhile, American software engineer


and influential investor Marc Andreessen said AI strikes at two deep-seated fears: the Luddite worry that machines will take all the jobs, and the Frankenstein scenario that AIs will “wake up” and do evil. The idea that machines will “one day wake up and change their minds about what they will do” is not realistic, said Francesca Rossi, who works on AI ethics at IBM. Intelligence explosion is also said to be unlikely, because it would require an AI to make each version of itself in less time than the previous version as its intelligence grows. Yet most computing problems, take much longer as they are scaled up.

STEPHEN HAWKING ON AI

Two years ago, Reddit hosted a Q&A with Hawking on artificial intelligence. Here are some of what he was asked, and his answers.

Regulatory Concerns For example, Google’s FaceNet and Facebook’s DeepFace are highly accurate facial recognition systems. However, Facebook got into privacy trouble in Europe when it launched an app called Moments – it automatically gathers together photos of the same person – as it was in violation of privacy laws. In Russia, an app called FindFace, which lets users take photos of strangers and then determines their identity from profile pictures on social networks, did not endear itself to users. Russian police started using it to identify suspects and witnesses. Well, an innovative Japanese company is selling Privacy Visor, weird-looking goggles designed to thwart facial recognition systems, if anyone is interested. There are multiple examples of authorities using deep learning to spy on people. Chinese authorities are analysing people’s social-media profiles to assess who might be a dissident while police in Fresno, California, have been testing “Beware” that works out how dangerous a suspect is likely to be, based on an analysis of police files, property records and social media posts. Another system, called COMPAS, provides guidance when sentencing criminals, by predicting how likely they will become reoffenders. Daniel Susskind, an economist at Oxford University, said, “We compare machines to perfection, not to humans doing the same tasks.” u

What are your beliefs about AI? The real risk with AI isn’t malice but competence. A superintelligent AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, and if those goals aren’t aligned with ours, we’re in trouble. You’re probably not an evil ant-hater who steps on ants out of malice, but if you’re in charge of a hydroelectric green energy project and there’s an anthill in the region to be flooded, too bad for the ants. Let’s not place humanity in the position of those ants. Do you foresee a world where people work less because so much work is automated? If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality. Biological organisms are optimised to “take over” as much as they can but not necessarily true of an AI. What do you think an AI would be “interested” in doing, and why that is necessarily a threat to humankind? You’re right that we need to avoid the temptation to anthropomorphise and assume that AI will have the sort of goals that evolved creatures to. An AI that has been designed rather than evolved can in principle have any drives or goals. However, as emphasised by Steve Omohundro (American computer scientist), an extremely intelligent future AI will probably develop a drive to survive and acquire more resources as a step toward accomplishing whatever goal it has, because surviving and having more resources will increase its chances of accomplishing that other goal. This can cause problems for humans whose resources get taken away.

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SUBJECTING AI TO HUMAN LAWS Will there be a future where countries draft legislation to govern emerging technologies? by Khaw Chia Hui

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nder the good news of what artificial intelligence (AI) will bring, there is a much more heated debate brewing about regulating the technology. That, however, has several roadblocks before any piece of legislation can really take shape. The argument began in earnest last year when the European Parliament proposed the creation of a specific legal status for robots. The parliament said “the law would apply to “smart robots” which it defined as robots having the capacity to learn through experience and interaction, the ability to acquire autonomy through its sensors, the capacity to adapt its behaviour and actions to the environment”. It is an attempt to address the actions of these machines which will be increasingly

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incomprehensible resulting in a “black box”. The EU proposed to treat electronic personhood similar to corporate personhood – an agreed upon legal fiction designed to smooth business processes by giving corporations rights typically afforded to actual persons. Under this provision, liability would reside with the robot itself. The EU said “electronic personhood is not about granting human-equivalent rights to smart robots and AI, but rather the introduction of a special legal designation that recognizes them as a special class of machines – but one requiring human backing”. This then resulted in more than 150 experts in AI, robotics, commerce, law, and ethics from 14 countries to sign an open letter denouncing the proposal. The

signatories of the letter included legal expert Nathalie Nevejans from the CNRS Ethics Committee, AI and robotics professor Noel Sharkey from the Foundation for Responsible Robotics, and Raja Chatila, the former president of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. “From a technical perspective, this statement offers many biases based on an overvaluation of the actual capabilities of even the most advanced robots, a superficial understanding of unpredictability and selflearning capacities and, a robot perception distorted by science-fiction and a few recent sensational press announcements,” writes the signatories in the letter. Closer to home, Singapore is responding with regulation on self-driving cars. In essence, the technology uses Lidar (light


FACEBOOK DATA SCANDAL As the US Congress continues to quibble and fumble through its hearings with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, industry watchers are faced with the prospect of tighter data privacy legislation. Zuckerberg was called into question after a whistleblower from Cambridge Analytica revealed how the company that worked on Donald Trump’s election campaign secured and use the data of 50 million Facebook users. The controversy had stemmed from evidence that Russia tried to influence US voters via Facebook. Facebook came under fire when it was revealed that the social media giant had known for years that Cambridge Analytica had collected data from millions of its users, but had relied on the company to self-certify that it had deleted the information. Whistleblower Christopher Wylie said data from 50 million was obtained but Zuckerberg said it was 30 million. The data came about when the company bought it from the creator of the This Is Your Digital Life app. The app was

detection and ranging) sensors, radar sensors, cameras and a computer unit to help it “read” its surroundings and respond accordingly. It is not without risk though. In a recent collision involving a Uber self-driving car, a woman was killed by the car, and the person who was behind the wheel of the driverless car was not looking at the road at the time of collision. Without any legislation, who takes responsibility? Singapore’s Research Programme on the Governance of Artificial Intelligence and Data Use is currently tasked with: 1. promoting cutting-edge thinking and practices, 2. informing AI and data policy regulation, and 3. establishing Singapore as a global thought leader in AI and data policies regulations.

developed by University of Cambridge academic Aleksandr Kogan and he has since apologised. The app was designed to harvest not only the data of the person taking part in the quiz, but also the data of their friends without explicit consent. Zuckerberg also announced an internal audit had uncovered malicious actors had been abusing a feature that let users search for one another by typing in email addresses or phone numbers into Facebook’s search box. As a result, many people’s public profile information had been “scraped” and matched to the contact details, which had been obtained from elsewhere. Facebook has now blocked the facility. So far, the head of the European Parliament said it would investigate to see if the data was misused. Meanwhile, Cambridge Analytica has suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix, saying his comments “do not represent the values or operations of the firm”. No Facebook users will be able to sue the company following this scandal, seeing that they had signed up for the social media platform voluntarily and subjected to the Terms & Conditions. What concrete legislation that will be created from this data scandal remains unclear.

Amendments to the Singaporean Road Traffic Act were made last year to recognise motor vehicles driven by a human driver. The legislation still provides room to accommodate the developing nature of the technology. According to Ng Chee Meng, Second Minister for Transport in Singapore, it will still be another 10 to 15 years before autonomous vehicle technology can be deployed widely in the country.

Definition Poser In drawing up legislation, how does a government define AI? There has been confusion about what it is exactly, and what it can and can’t do, as well as how to distinguish AI techniques from human intelligence. In order to answer some of these questions, the OECD held a conference

earlier this year. Government and industry representatives, AI academics and others met to review the state of AI and pose the question of what governments could, and should do. Most discussions centred on machine learning and deep learning. The speakers said deep learning works only because it uses a large amount of data that is processed on powerful computers. Naturally, the next conundrum would be where the data is collected, and what it is being used for. It raises privacy concerns and influence it has on the real world as seen in the case of Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and the US government. There was an implied agreement at the conference that governments should be enabling AI to be used for societal benefits while minimising risks of the increased data collection and how the data is used. u

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BRINGING CELLS IN FOCUS Using a branch of deep learning, biologists and Google open doors to further the field of biomedical science. by Khaw Chia Hui

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henever the topic of artificial intelligence pops up, the accompanying topic will be deep learning. Recognised as a branch of machine learning, it is essentially about feeding a computer system with huge datasets, which can later be used for data analysis, pattern recognition and predicting outcomes or behaviours. Deep Learning can be applied to data such as machine signals, audio, video, speech and written words. It attempts to mimic the activity in layers of neurons in a human neocortex where thinking takes place. For example, Google uses deep learning for voice and image recognition, Netflix and Amazon use it to suggest what you want to watch or buy next, and even physicists use it to understand the cosmos and more interestingly, biologists to further examine our cells.

features without human supervision. For example, when given many pictures of apples and oranges, CNN learns distinctive features for each class by itself. This benefitted director and senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes Steven Finkbeiner and his team as well as computer scientists at Google. Their work, published in scientific journal Cell, is one of the first applications of deep learning in biology. Some 10 years ago, Finkbeiner and his team invented a fully automated robotic microscope that tracks individual cells for hours, days, and even months – generating 3 to 5TB of data each day. The large size and the complex nature of the data require deep learning to enhance his research. He was later approached by Google as the tech giant needed a biomedical research project that generated sufficient amounts of data to be amenable to deep learning.

On Biology and AI

Initial Challenge To ‘Read’ Cells

One of the most popular deep learning application is convolutional neural networks (CNN) – the go-to application for image related problems. Its main advantage is that it automatically detects the important

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Biologists have long struggled to detect elements within a cell due to the high water content in these cells. Typically, fluorescent labels are added to the cells so a human eye

can see what is there. However, this method is not the most helpful. It is extremely time-consuming and the labels might kill the cells. Finkbeiner’s team and Google invented a new deep learning approach called “in silico labelling”, in which a computer can find and predict features in images of unlabelled cells. The deep network is trained by showing it two sets of matching images of the same cells; one unlabelled and one with fluorescent labels. The process is repeated millions of times. Then, when the network is presented with an unlabelled image it had never seen, it could accurately predict where the fluorescent labels belong. It can also identify whether a cell is alive or dead, and get it right up to 98%, and able to pick out a single dead cell in a mass of live cells. Once the network is up to speed, it continues to increase the ability and speed with which it learns to perform new tasks. So, they trained it to accurately predict the location of the cell’s nucleus. It can even identify a neuron within a mix of cells. It can go one step further and predict whether an extension of that neuron is an axon or dendrite, two different but similar-looking elements.


DID YOU KNOW? Other areas where deep learning are used: • Speech recognition, specifically the conversion of audio-based samples of spoken language into digital text, where some systems, i.e. Microsoft’s conversational speech recognition system, now match human performance. Other companies to watch are Baidu, Google and IBM. • Machine translation, where leaps by industry leaders such as Google are now able to provide sentence-level translation capabilities. Watch out for Baidu, DeepL and Systran. • Lip-reading, where Google’s DeepMind currently performs better than professional lipreaders. • Speech synthesis/text-tospeech processing (Amazon Polly, Baidu Deep Voice and Samsung Innoetics) and voice as well as sentiment interpretation. • Fraud detection is used by Paypal to block fraudulent payments. • Recommender systems are used increasingly in the e-commerce industry. Source: Gartner

Applications That Follow With deep learning, Finkbeiner and team are trying to find new ways to diagnose and treat neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). “We still don’t understand the exact cause of the disease for 90 percent of these patients,” said Finkbeiner. “What’s more, we don’t even know if all patients have the same cause, or if we could classify the diseases into different types. Deep learning tools could help us find answers to these questions, which have huge implications on everything from how we study the disease to the way we conduct clinical trials.”

With induced pluripotent stem cell technology, scientists could match patients’ own cells with their clinical information, and the deep network could find relationships between the two datasets to predict connections. This could help identify a subgroup of patients with similar cell features and match them to the appropriate therapy.

Other Related Research The same team at Google is also using CNN to predict a person’s blood pressure, age and smoking status by analysing a photograph of his/her retina. It gleans clues from the arrangement of blood vessels and suggests it is a tool to predict whether someone is at risk of an impending heart attack. Google also lends its deep learning expertise to find mutations in genomes. Scientists had to convert strands of DNA letters into images that computers could recognise. Then they trained their network on DNA snippets that had been aligned

with a reference genome, and whose mutations were known. The end result was DeepVariant, a tool released in December that can find small variations in DNA sequences. Finkbeiner is not the only one to use CNN to look into cells. Biologists at the Allen Institute for Cell Science in Seattle, Washington, are using CNN to convert flat, grey images of cells captured with light microscopes into 3D images in which some of a cell’s organelles are labelled in colour. Last December, they published details of an advanced technique that can predict the shape and location of even more cell parts using just a few pieces of data. Meanwhile, Anne Carpenter, director of the Imaging Platform at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, in 2015, began to process cell images using CNN. Although the CNN only processes 15% of image data at her centre, she said it will become the centre’s main mode of processing in the coming few years. u

Predicting Earthquakes Earthquakes are notoriously hard to predict but a team of Harvard and MIT scientists developed a CNN method to overcome the problem. This method improved calculation time by 50,000%. Called ConvNetQuake, the research, based in Oklahoma, has been published in Science Advances in February where they detected 17 times more than were recorded by the Oklahoma Geological Survey. The team said this method is ideal to monitor geothermal systems, volcanoes and plate boundaries. Although still in early stages and requiring more datasets, researchers are optimistic about scaling up their method.

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WHAT MAKES YOU... YOU Gene editing no longer resides in the realm of science fiction but has been used to correct mutation in human embryos. by Khaw Chia Hui

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he field of genomics is not a particularly new one despite often demonised in dystopian literature and film. Techniques to modify DNA in the genome have existed for several decades, but they are expensive, inefficient and slow. The latest gene editing tool, called CRISPR, has reignited the debate of science and ethics in genomics, simply because it is relatively cheaper and more accurate. Main application of this technology has been in editing the genomes of yeast, bacteria, mice, zebrafish, and other commonly studied organisms that has led to discoveries about how the genome is connected to physical traits. In 2013, scientists first used CRISPRCas9 to edit living human cells and claims for using it to treat disease are endless. They are hoping to use CRISPR for onetime procedures to cure some of the most devastating inherited disorders and cancers, as well as to fix genetic errors in a person’s DNA.

What is CRISPR? CRISPR associated DNA sequences were first observed in bacteria in the early 1990s, but it was not until the 2000s that the scientific community understood its ability to recognise specific genome sequences and cut them via the Cas9 protein – a protein has DNA-cutting abilities. With CRISPR, researchers create a short RNA template that matches a target DNA sequence in the genome. The RNA portion of the CRISPR, called a guide RNA, directs Cas9 enzyme to the targeted DNA sequence. Cas9 cuts the genome at this location to make the edit. CRISPR can also make deletions in the genome and/or be engineered to insert new DNA sequences.

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Clinical Trials Permission for clinical trials is currently on a case by case basis. For example, beta thalassemia and sicklecell are genetic disorders caused by mutations in the genes that make haemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. Typically, both parents must pass on the abnormal gene in order for a child to develop the disease. A company called CRISPR Therapeutics are seeking approvals this year to carry out clinical trials, using the tool to make cells produce another protein, an infant version of haemoglobin and later infused that into patients. But not all trials are moving forward. University of Pennsylvania last year got permission to use CRISPR to treat melanoma, sarcoma, and multiple myeloma. The proposed trial would involve removing patients’ T cells, editing them in a lab, and infusing back into the patients. Also, a handful of companies are also trying to modify T cells with CRISPR to treat cancer. None have announced plans for clinical trials yet. Meanwhile, a team of researchers from UCLA MIT, Harvard and Microsoft are investigating the use of machine learning to improve the accuracy of CRISPR gene-editing. Although several CRISPR trials are under way in China, for different types of cancer, researchers there have yet to publish any early results.

Monkeys May Not Agree Before CRISPR can be on humans afflicted with sickle-cell and beta thalassemia, researchers need to ensure the procedures are safe for humans. So many trials are conducted on monkeys.


The study appeared in bioRxiv and yet to be peer-reviewed.

Possible Success

Cynthia Dunbar at the National Institutes of Health, in her study, found after three to four months, only about 5% of cells in the monkeys were able to edit themselves. To alleviate sickle-cell, one will need about 20%. Hans-Peter Kiem at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is also working on the problem of sickle-cell in monkeys. His team’s editing rate was 40%, and the effects lasted for more than six months. However, the catch is these monkeys did not have sickle-cell or beta thalassemia to begin with. Instead of looking for signs of improving symptoms, they measured the level of fetal hemoglobin in the monkeys.

Not Compatible For All A study from Stanford University found that some humans are likely already immune to CRISPR. It said the human body could treat Cas9 proteins as foreign bodies, triggering immune responses that would block gene therapy. According to the study, two of the most used versions of the CRISPR-Cas9 proteins are derived from two widespread bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes), to which we have already developed immune responses. Researchers found 79% of study participants produced antibodies against Cas9 derived from S. aureus and 65% from S. pyogenes.

It is not all doom and gloom for CRISPR proponents. Last August, scientists reported they had used CRISPR-Cas9 to correct a disease-causing mutation in dozens of viable human embryos. The researchers targeted a mutation in a gene called MYBPC3. Such mutations cause the heart muscle to thicken – a condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy that is the leading cause of sudden death in young athletes. In the experiment, published in Nature, the embryos were not destined for implantation. Led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a reproductive-biology specialist at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, his team instead injected the Cas9 protein itself, bound to its guide RNA, directly into the cells. In the experiment performed in 58 human embryos with sperm carrying the MYBPC3 mutation, 42 contained two normal copies of the MYBPC3 gene. Because the sperm donor contained one normal copy and one mutated copy of MYBPC3, some of those embryos simply inherited the normal copy and others were successfully edited to generate a normal gene. Mitalipov’s team also provided a strand of DNA to serve as a template for rewriting the disease-causing mutation. But, surprisingly, the embryos did not use the template the researchers provided. Instead, the embryos used the mother’s DNA as a guide to repair the MYBPC3 mutation carried by the father’s sperm. Looking ahead, CRISPR-Cas9 has the potential to drive truly personalised medicine, providing tools to repair the genome in diseases where patients do not have much treatment options. u

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METEORIC RISE OF BLOCKCHAIN Sunway Ventures’ entrepreneur-in-residence Chua Seng Teong shares his views on the new technology and how it can be applied in various industries.

How would you put in layman’s terms, the link between blockchain and cryptocurrency? Think of rail tracks as blockchain, the train as cryptocurrency and the most expansive train right now is Bitcoin. Blockchain is a decentralised, shared public ledger that keeps a record of all transactions that take place across a peer-to-peer network. All the records in blockchain are decentralised, immutable and non-removable. Some say this technology will form the new internet. Here’s another analogy someone once shared with me. Assume in a remote village there is a book-keeper to record all transactions of a community. If person A wants to pay person B, they have to inform the bookkeeper. As the population starts growing, transactions increase, the bookkeeper starts to charge transactions or favour certain transactions or can even seize an asset, simply because he has ultimate power. Now imagine, the villagers have an opposition party and they are unhappy with the powerful bookkeeper. They ganged up and decided that every person in the village maintain a ledger and effectively be

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a collective bookkeeper. Whenever there is a transaction, they announce to the whole village the transaction has taken place and everyone records that into their ledgers. This is a crude example but you can see in this new arrangement, there is no longer a centralised person/entity that could wield power over the rest. Are Malaysia and its regulators ready to face currency mining, the use of such complex technology and other related issues? As in any country, regulations generally lag behind technology. An open dialogue is required. I believe the current fintech sandbox set up by Bank Negara is in the right direction to spur further innovations in this space. However, I don’t see Malaysia being a big player in mining due to the lack of economies of scale compared to countries like China and Russia. How can Malaysians benefit from blockchain technology, especially those involved in the fintech industry? As a consumer, one can expect faster, more efficient and in some cases, cheaper service. For example, some banks are already testing out foreign bank transfers using blockchain

that can cut transaction time to a few minutes and at a fraction of the existing cost. A major benefit would be to bank the un-banked. Those people in rural areas with no access to ATMs or bank accounts, credit scores will benefit from being given the power to participate in the world economy as long as they have a smartphone and an internet connection. Though, exchanges especially in Malaysia do not primarily serve these people as it still requires a bank transfer in order to buy Bitcoin. Allowing these rural areas to buy cryptocurrencies using cash may unleash untapped opportunities for both. Blockchain is being experimented in various industries. Can you share with us some of the more successful applications? Personally, this is what I am most excited about. There is far too much focus on fintech and how blockchain can disrupt banks, but blockchain I believe is an efficient system that could be applied to many industries. One should utilise Blockchain in situations where there are many parties conducting many transactions of value. Some examples in different industries: 1. TRADE – Tracing the authenticity of a product such as diamonds or branded bags from the source all the way to the customer. For example in Malaysia, there is this company Luxtag that runs on the NEM


blockchain platform for this purpose. 2. GOVERNMENT – An ideal first step is to put land deeds into a blockchain. It can make the process of buying, selling and tracking of land much more efficient. 3. EDUCATION – University certificates often get lost while there have been many cases of fraud. Blockchain can potentially solve this issue. 4. UNBANKED – Blockchain allows farmers to directly sell their crops to buyers and bypass the middleman. Large financial institutions seem to have issues adapting or setting parameters for technology risk taking. What is your opinion on this? I have personally visited some financial institutions in the region and there are varying degrees of risk taking and adoption of the blockchain technology. Some are far ahead where they even have internal developers who can code blockchains, led by former Google employees. For example, CIMB has set up a dedicated fintech division with some degree of freedom to take risk, work with startups and to test new products. I believe many other banks are following suit. What is important is the setting up of a structure that facilitates the testing of these new technologies, within the organisation. A sandbox within the financial organisation where the project being worked on is able to breathe and have a life of its own and not become stifled by the constraints and regulations in the financial sector. The prices surge for Bitcoin has been exponential. How does its price setting work? The prices of Bitcoin are based on market forces of demand and supply. There is probably a function of other external factors that affects the price too such as political stability (e.g. Venezuela), technological news (e.g. forks), comments by reputable people (e.g. Jamie Dimon), and government policies (e.g. China), which may be a good sign, because this means that like the trusted fiat currency, Bitcoin’s value is slowly becoming

more and more correlated to geopolitical factors. A point to note is that the creators of Bitcoin limit the supply of Bitcoin to only 21 million Bitcoins and that prevents a situation of “printing money”. Although Bitcoin takes the spotlight, do note that there are many more cryptocurrencies in the market such as Ethereum, Dash, Monero, NEM, etc. With the recent breach of Bitcoin Gold and the disappearance of a few cryptocurrencies, how can investors be better protected against fraudulent ICOs and cryptocurrencies? The breach is generally due to the exchange or the wallet and not the blockchain itself. In Malaysia, there is currently no regulated exchange, which means there is no protection to the investors besides the coverage given by the service provider. We have seen different countries taking different stands against ICOs where countries like China and South Korea have banned it whereas Singapore has just released a guideline on how tokens should be applied under securities laws. Do you think it is hypocritical to argue the issue of transparency when we still don’t know who created Bitcoin? Bitcoin was created for the very purpose of being decentralised where you bypass the middleman which at times is susceptible to manipulation and hacking. For this very fact, the creator stayed true to the very purpose of taking himself out of the equation. But generally there is a paradox of sorts in this field right now. For example, Dash and Monero coins are specifically made to be untraceable, and hence, the opposite of transparent. Blockchain allows great transparency to those who knows how to use it for good, and it is the hope that because it is decentralised, the power of information is distributed back to the people, and not a central entity such as the government or in the case of the US, the NSA. u

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain 101 No bills/coins/Not based on assets/Bypass banks.

Uses blockchain technology to track transactions.

Log in to Bitcoin wallet with private key for transactions.

Every transaction is shared on the Bitcoin network.

Every 10 minutes a block of transactions is added on/ chained to previous blocks = blockchain.

To ensure every block is verified, a subset of Bitcoin’s network joins a race to solve a very difficult maths puzzle.

Whoever solves it first, their block of transaction is the official record.

Rewarded with Bitcoin and network gets new block on the chain.

Whole process is called mining.

Puzzle becomes harder as more computers join in.

Mining ends when there are 21 million Bitcoins in existence.

Source: The New York Times

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EXPECT MORE FROM 3D PRINTING As more patents related to 3D printing expire, we can safely see more affordable machines and products as a result. by Khaw Chia Hui

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s John Hornick wrote in his book, 3D Printing Will Rock the World, 3D printing has been around for about 30 years, which means that some of the earliest patents in this space have expired. From 2002 to 2014, about 225 early 3D printing patents expired. About 16 key patents relating to 3D printing processes called Material Extrusion, Powder Bed Fusion, and Vat Photopolymerisation expired in 2013 and 2014. Although there is still a lot of hype surrounding 3D printing, the cost of printing will continue to drop while the quality of 3D prints continues to rise. This development can be traced to advanced

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3D printing technologies becoming accessible due to the expiration of key patents. For example, when the Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) printing process patent expired in 2009, prices for FDM printers dropped from more than US$10,000 to less than US$1,000, and a new crop of consumerfriendly 3D printer manufacturers paved the way for accessible 3D printing. The next generation of additive manufacturing technologies are making their way down from the industrial market to desktops of consumers and retailers much like FDM did. Among these include patents for three specific 3D printing technologies: liquid-based, powder-based and metal-based printing processes.

Metal-based Technology Metal 3D printing technologies – or more specifically, Selective Laser Melting (SLM) and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) – are already being used to create custom metal parts for a variety of manufacturing applications such as custom race car parts and parts used by SpaceX. While large manufacturers can easily pay for an industrial-grade machine, cost of ownership and maintenance is out of reach for the general public. Interestingly, a foundation patent for SLM expired in December 2016.

Industrial Applications With patents related to metal-based 3D


technology have expired, those in the additive manufacturing line should be able to see their operating costs reduce in time. One of its industrial use is manufacturing submarine parts. Engineering company, International Submarine Engineering are using 3D printing for a submarine that will be deployed in the Antarctic. It will be built to submerge 5,000 metres. The company designed and 3D printed a titanium ballast tank, a component which provides stability for the vessel in any waterbased vehicle. It holds water and helps the submarine dive and emerge. Using metal 3D printing for this element reduced both production time and costs. A more common metal 3D printing usage is in the prototyping and manufacturing of aeroplane parts, to reduce weight. If the plane is lighter, it needs less fuel. A scientist from Autodesk found a new metal 3D printing application: extremely light seats. It is more than 50% lighter, using magnesium, a metal that is lighter than aluminium, but harder to melt.

Healthcare Applications Swiss company Sonova, on the other hand, is using 3D printing to create custom-made hearing aids. First, they take an impression of the patient’s ear canal using silicon. The mould is then scanned and turned into a 3D model.

It recently unveiled its Virto B-Titanium devices, which are said to better fit the patient’s ear, and be more resistant to damage and use. Hearing aids made with this material are 15 times stronger than the usual acrylic ones. Moreover, the device is 26% smaller than most products on the market. Another field in medicine that is benefitting from innovations in 3D printing is facial reconstruction. Companies such as BioArchitects are utilising the technology to make patient-specific implants to replace hard tissues, 3D printed with a biocompatible titanium. Doctors take an MRI scan of the patient’s head, and the images they obtain are used to 3D print a titanium part using the EBM technology (Electron Beam Melting). It is then fixed to the patient’s head using self-tapping titanium screws. Other patient customisation is bone implants. Many medical companies are

using stainless steel and titanium to 3D print bone implants. Doctors are then able to treat degeneration, trauma, scoliosis and so on. Implant range, shape, and size are customised.

Other Consumer Use Interestingly 3D printing is also use for personal security. A Swiss company called UrbanAlps 3D print unique high-security cylinder locks and keys, so no two locks and keys will ever be the same. These keys are extremely hard to reproduce as most of the mechanical security features are hidden inside. Typically, you may not associate cycling and 3D printing. But Italian company Pinarello begs to differ. The company has used metal 3D printing to create unique handlebar designs for two cyclists – Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas – that they used during Tour de France. u

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NEW APPROACH TO GRAPHENE PRODUCTION National University of Singapore and Fudan University researchers designed a new method of graphene production that is cheaper and greener. by Khaw Chia Hui

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raphene has been hailed as a “miracle” material for more than a decade, and said to be extremely useful in materials science and in biological applications due to its structural properties. It was first observed in electron microscopes in 1962, but isolated, and characterised in 2004 by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester. Their work culminated in a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene”. Eight years on, graphene production is a growing industry as the material was unintentionally produced in small quantities – in graphite applications. Mass graphene production has its drawbacks, particularly for the environment.

Why Is Graphene So Prized? At its base level, graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal pattern – a million times thinner than paper and considered to be two dimensional. When you stack graphene sheets together, you will get graphite, something we use as pencil lead. The material is found to be a great conductor. Electrons can move 200 times faster on graphene compared to silicon. It also conducts heat very efficiently. Structurally, Columbia University’s Engineering Faculty described it as: “It would take an elephant balanced on a pencil to break through a sheet of graphene the thickness of Saran Wrap.” Since it is in 2D and very thin, it can be bent, twisted and

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stretched without breaking. It is also almost transparent. With these properties, researchers are looking to use it to create more efficient solar cells, smaller and faster electric circuits and microchips, transparent displays, and high density capacitors and batteries as well as upgrading current products that are in use.

Graphene Production Geim and Novoselov started by using adhesive tape to split one-atom-thin layers of graphene from graphite. Achieving single layers requires multiple exfoliation steps, each producing a sheet with fewer layers. After that, the layers are then dispersed in large amounts of organic solvent to prevent them from reforming graphite. This process requires at least one tonne of organic solvent to produce around just 1 kg of graphene. This method is among one of many

methods to separate graphene from graphite. However, most of them do not do much justice to the environment. It is also costly. Also for all that, its yield has not reached critical mass.

Green Method A research team led by the National University of Singapore have developed an economical and industrially viable strategy to produce graphene. The new technique addresses the long-standing challenge of an efficient process for large-scale production of graphene. The team found a way for graphene production to only use up to 50 times less solvent. This is achieved by exfoliating pre-treated graphite under a highly alkaline condition to trigger flocculation, a process in which the graphene layers continuously cluster together to form graphene slurry


without having to increase the volume of solvent. The method also introduces electrostatic repulsive forces between the graphene layers and prevents them from reattaching themselves. The resulting graphene slurry be easily separated into monolayers when required or stored away for months. The slurry can also be used directly to 3D-print conductive graphene aerogels, an ultra-lightweight sponge-like material that can be used to remove oil spill in the sea. Professor Loh Kian Ping from the Department of Chemistry at NUS Faculty of Science who is also the Head of 2D Materials Research at the NUS Centre for Advanced 2D Materials led the research. He said, “We have successfully demonstrated a unique exfoliation strategy for preparing high quality graphene and its composites. Our technique, which produces a high yield of crystalline graphene in the form of a concentrated slurry with a significantly smaller volume of solvent, is an attractive solution for industries to carry out large scale synthesis of this promising material in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.”

The research was conducted in collaboration with Fudan University and the findings were published in prestigious scientific journal, Nature Communications, earlier this year.

From Seaweed to Graphene Meanwhile, a team of Indian scientists has developed a graphene-based nano-material drawn from seaweed for effective treatment of toxic wastewater without using any chemicals. Membrane-based filtration processes used to treat industrial wastewater are unable to fully filter out heavy metal contaminants. To address this problem, processes that use activated carbon, graphene or carbon nano tubes are being developed as carbon-based processes can help remove dyes and heavy metals through adsorption. Researchers at the Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute, Bhavnagar, have developed a process by using seaweed as a starting material. They have synthesised a graphene-iron sulfide nanocomposite from an abundant seaweed Ulva fasciata through direct pyrolysis technique. Earlier studies have shown biomass

of Ulva fasciata can be directly used to absorbing copper and zinc ions from water but the uptake capacities were relatively low. This problem has been overcome by deriving thin carbon sheets from seaweed at very high temperature. These graphene sheets are doped with iron. The nanocomposite obtained from seaweed has shown very high absorption capacity for various cationic and anionic dyes as well as lead and chromium. A maximum absorption capacity of 645 mg per gramme for lead was achieved at neutral pH. This is said to be the highest ever reported for any biomass derived carbon material. It could also remove highly toxic hexavalent chromium from wastewater. “Presence of high concentration of salts had negligible effect on the absorption properties of the nanocomposite, making it a suitable candidate for the pre-treatment of highly contaminated wastewaters,” said Dr Ramavatar Meena, who led the team. The nanocomposite was also tested by depositing it on a commercial filter paper and using it in a customised flow cell in continuous filtration mode. Just five minutes of treatment could render highly toxic black dye solution into colourless water. u

Graphene’s Other Uses

Cool shoes

Brain implants

Planes

Developed by the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, BeDimensional and Tuscan shoemaker Fadel, graphene flakes are added to polyurethane, which then is used as shoe material. The shoe dissipates 50% more heat than a fully polyurethane one. It only needs 1% graphene.

ICN2’s ICREA research professor Professor Dr Jose A Garrido’s work at the ICN2 Speech Centre Stimulation and BrainCom is focused on providing a communication path using graphene brain implants to patients with severe speech disabilities by mapping the region of the brain correlated to pronouncing speech.

Virgin Airlines’ Richard Branson thinks all aircraft will be constructed from graphene within a decade. Lighter and much stronger than the carbon fibre composites presently used, graphene had attracted the attention of Airbus, which held a symposium on graphene innovations last year.

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CLONING: OF MICE, SHEEP, MONKEYS AND MEN

Cloning does not necessarily mean making copies of you but rather applying its underlying technology to improve human life as evidenced in certain stem cell research. by Lim Yee Von

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ome 21 years ago, two researchers from Roslin Institute, the scientific arm collaboration between University of Edinburgh and biotechnology company PPL Therapeutics, made scientific history when they successfully cloned a sheep from an adult cell taken from a mammary gland. Cloning from adult cells is reportedly more challenging than doing it from an embryonic one, which was why Dolly, christened after American singer Dolly Parton as scientists Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell “couldn’t think of anyone with a more impressive set of glands”, became as famous as she was.

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Dolly was the world’s first successful attempt of its kind after 277 failed ones. Over the years, she went on to produce six healthy offspring naturally, proving cloned animals are able to reproduce normally, before developing severe arthritis and a virus-induced lung disease, especially common among sheep raised indoors. She was euthanised on 14 February 2003, having only lived half the full life span of a sheep. Although some have argued that a contributing factor may have been due to the fact she was developed from an adult cell, which led to her having shorter chromosomes (these shorten with age) than

other sheep her age, the Roslin Institute was certain that Dolly did not have abnormalities that could have come from advanced ageing as none was discovered in the intensive health screenings they conducted. As of July 2016, four identical clones of Dolly were reported to be healthy and thriving at nine years old.

The Dolly Method Cloning has continued to advance and there have been a number of animals successfully cloned since. The latest development into the field of reproductive cloning happened only as recently as January this year in China.


Dolly memorialised in a museum.

Two long-tailed macaques were born using the same technique that gave birth to Dolly. Fetal cells that carry the DNA of the donor, a monkey fetus that originally provided the cells, were first grown in a petri dish before being implanted into a surrogate, who gave birth to identical twins Zhongzhong and Huahua at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai. This success stands out from the rest because it marks the first successful cloning of primates, signifying improved methods. Which brings us to the inevitable question, how close are we to successfully producing human clones? While there have been a few unsubstantiated claims of human embryos being successfully cloned in the past, some having been proven false. Cloning technologies have progressed to a stage where they are now being used in the field of regenerative medicine to produce stem cells that are a genetic match to adult patients.

Regenerative Medicine In 2013, Shoukhrat Mitalopov and colleagues at Oregon Health & Science University published in the journal Cell, a study where cloned embryos and stem cell were produced using skin cells from a fetus and an eight-month-old infant. This groundbreaking research was then followed by a report by scientists in the April 2014 issue of Cell about a study where skin

cells from a 35-year-old man and a 75-yearold one were used to to successfully create stem cells from cloned embryos at the CHA Stem Cell Institute in Seoul, South Korea. Close at hand was a study with a similar approach by an independent group of scientists at the New York Stem Cell Foundation who published their results in Nature. Their study revolved around using skin cells of a 32-year-old woman with Type 1 diabetes to generate matching stem cells. In terms of human reproduction, however, research has now branched into a process called in vitro gametogenesis, or IVG. This process coaxes skin cells – other cell types would also work but skin cells are the easiest to harvest – into growing into eggs and sperm which would then be used to create embryos to implant into a womb. There are complicated layers of bioengineering required in the process, of course, but last year, a team or researchers in Japan led by Kyushu University’s Katsuhiko Hayashi were able to produce embryos from viable eggs created from the skin cells of adult female mice. These embryos were implanted into female mice and resulted in healthy babies. Only mice have been used so far but biologists claim that it will one day be applied to human reproduction, challenging the basic paradigm and opening up a whole new set of possibilities. Through this method, two men would be able to have a

Zhongzhong is one of the cloned monkeys.

baby that is biologically linked to both, and women who have difficulty conceiving could have eggs generated from their skin cells instead of having them retrieved from their ovaries. This may, of course, lead to new complexities. One such complexity would be “embryo farming” which, according to Brown’s Dr Eli Y. Adashi, Harvard Law’s I. Glenn Cohen, and Harvard Medical’s Dr George Q. Haley, exacerbate the already rising concerns about the devaluation of human life. Another complexity would be a baby having more than two biological parents. These are only two of the possible ethically or genetically dubious outcomes which have left more than a few unsettled, and raised the eternal moral question, “Even if we could, should we?” While questions such as these remain unanswered, and those that do get resolved would go on to produce even more questions, there is no question that the possibilities cloning research enable are entirely fascinating, to say in the least. For starters, it may very well hold the key to resurrecting extinct species. While de-extinction is still largely a non-empirical concept, and the wisdom of it unknown, it is hard to deny that the idea of longdead species like dodo birds and woolly mammoths walking back among us not being a desirable one. u

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SWEET TASTE OF SUCCESS As a result of Dato’ Prof Dr Aileen Tan’s work, several spots in Malaysia has been producing oysters as a healthy form of income for local communities.

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windling fish stocks off the coasts of Penang and Kedah have greatly affected the livelihoods of fishermen there. Fishing no longer is the most viable income creator for them. Many have turned to running fish farms and harvesting cockles. This was one of the issues discussed at a 2016 conference in Penang organised by Spain’s Unitas Malacologica, a 56-year-old scientific molluscs research organisation that was helmed by Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Dato’ Prof Dr Aileen Tan from 2013 to 2016 – the first woman to do so. In her presentation, before the oysters came about, she had successfully tested the artificial spawning of cockles at the university. Hardy strains were chosen and used as brood stock. These “stronger” cockles would be able to withstand pollution and diseases, making them suitable for farming.

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She said she had an idea to swap cockles with oysters as the fishing communities were faced with a depletion in cockles, a condition exacerbated by pollution. She felt that oyster farming was a better alternative aquaculture activity that would provide a sustainable income for fishermen. Meanwhile, in a Malay Mail report she said oyster breeding was a form of clean aquaculture as the shellfish feed from food available in the area without the need for farmers to put in extra feed or antibiotic treatment, unlike fish. She had already seen success working with villagers in Kedah for several years as her efforts had spurred entire communities towards oyster farms. With help from USM’s collaborative programme with the Ministry of Higher Education, there are six to eight oyster farms in Kedah. “USM came in and we taught them

how to culture the oysters and we linked them to the industry and we also ensure they’re selling it at a fair price and no one is taking advantage of them. We want them to earn a fair wage. “We started off at Merbok. Their monthly income about six years ago was between RM300 to RM400 but now after cultivating oysters, they’re earning over RM1,000. It’s so popular that some farms have become tourist sites for visitors to buy oysters directly,” she told Malay Mail. She added that the start-up cost for local fishermen had been low as the racks and cages required were made from reclaimed wood while the seeds needed to cultivate the shellfish was provided by USM. The local oysters, she said, were of a different species than those imported and matured faster, making it possible to harvest within one year while in Canada or


DID YOU KNOW? Australia, it takes three to four years.

How It Started

In a 2015 article Dr Tan wrote for the World Aquaculture Society, the Department of Fisheries Malaysia introduced oyster farming in Kedah, Perak, Langkawi, Johor, Kelantan and Terengganu under the auspices of the Bay of Bengal Programme (1988-1993). “There was no research and development component involved, inasmuch as Malaysia started research on oysters in 1989 and there are wellestablished methods for farming oysters on a commercial basis. What is needed is to refine the technology to suit the specific site, with an emphasis on producing a superior product that is better than or at least comparable to imported oysters,” she wrote. She also noted the expansion of oyster culture industry in Malaysia could be much faster if not for the limited seed supply. So far, hatcheries are providing the required supply of seed. Meanwhile, on 25 April 2017, the Malaysia Toray Science Foundation held a roadshow at USM in Penang to further

Last year, when she helped to discover a species of mangrove swamp slug, she did not think it would be named after her. Dato’ Prof Dr Aileen Tan now shares her name with Melayonchis aileenae, a small, air-breathing sea and land slugs. The mangrove swamp slug is found in high intertidal and mangrove forests. It lives on trunks and roots of mangrove trees, on dead logs and also on cemented walls at the margin of mangroves. The slug, 2cm long and 1.5cm in width, is a rare species. In the same year, she also received the Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri award, which carries the title Dato’, from Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas in conjunction with his 79th birthday. She dedicated it to the entire team in USM.

publicise its two programmes “Science & Technology Award and Science & Technology Research Grant – Dr Aileen Tan was a recipient of MTSF Science & Technology Award in 2015 and a MTSF research grant in 1999. The delegation were then taken for a visit to the Oyster Hatchery Farm at Balik Pulau, that was made possible through the first research grant extended by MTSF to Dr Tan for her pilot research study.

Challenges In her 2014 paper, Oyster Culture in Malaysia: Opportunities and Challenges, published by the Journal of Science and Technology in the Tropics, Dr Tan and her team outlined some of the challenges faced by the oyster farming industry. Initially, some oysters cultured at several sites in Malaysia experience low quality meat after spawning. Therefore, triploid oysters were introduced, where sterile triploids do not spawn and the meat quality remains good throughout the year. However, the technology used by some small-scale hatcheries but was found undesirable because the induction of triploids could never be 100% due to high mortality rate and the chemicals used are hazardous. Therefore, scientists are currently looking into the technology of producing tetraploids. Previously, oyster growers in Sabah experienced mass mortality in their culture. However, there was a lack of in-depth studies on the diseases affecting tropical oysters. u

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NOBEL LAUREATES OF 2017 Winning a Nobel prize is something great to aspire to for many inventors. Here are last year’s winners in physics, chemistry and physiology/medicine.

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LIGO – A GIGANTIC INTERFEROMETER

GRAVITATIONAL WAVE

BLACK HOLE

SPACETIME

3

MIRROR

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A “beam splitter” splits the light and sends out two identical beams along the 4 km long arms.

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Laser light is sent into the instrument to measure changes in the length of the two arms.

LASER

4 5

MIRROR

The light waves bounce and return.

A gravitational wave affects the interferometer’s arms differently; when one extends the other contracts as they are passed by the peaks and troughs of the gravitational waves.

Normally, the light returns unchanged to the beam splitter from both arms and the light waves cancel each other out. LIGHT WAVES CANCEL EACH OTHER OUT

BEAM SPLITTER LIGHT DETECTOR

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If the arms are disturbed by a gravitational wave, the light waves will have travelled different distances. Light then escapes through the splitter and hits the detector.

LIGHT WAVES HIT THE LIGHT DETECTOR BEAM SPLITTER LIGHT DETECTOR

Illustration: ©Johan Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Nobel Prize in Physics – Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne On 14 September 2015, the universe’s gravitational waves were observed for the first time. The waves, which were predicted by Albert Einstein 100 years ago, came from a collision between two black holes. It took 1.3 billion years for the waves to arrive at the LIGO detector in the US. The signal was extremely weak when it reached Earth, but is already promising a revolution in astrophysics. Gravitational waves are an entirely new way of observing the most violent events in space and testing the limits of our knowledge. LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, is a collaborative project with more than 1,000 researchers from over 20 countries. Pioneers Weiss and Thorne, with Barish ensured four decades of effort led to gravitational waves finally being observed. Einstein was convinced it would never be possible to measure them. The LIGO project’s achievement was using a pair of gigantic laser interferometers to measure a change thousands of times smaller than an atomic nucleus, as the gravitational wave passed the Earth. So far all sorts of electromagnetic radiation and particles, such as cosmic rays or neutrinos, have been used to explore the universe. However, gravitational waves are direct testimony to disruptions in spacetime itself. This is something completely new and different, opening up unseen worlds.

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FRANK’S IMAGE ANALYSIS FOR 3D STRUCTURES

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Randomly oriented proteins are hit by the electron beam, leaving a trace on the image.

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Lowest Body Temperature Deep Sleep

2 3

Using thousands of similar traces, the computer generates a high-resolution 2D image Using thousands of similar traces, the computer generates a high-resolution 2D image.

4

The computer calculates how the different 2D images relate to each other and generates a high-resolution structure in 3D.

Illustration: ©Johan Jarnestad/ The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Nobel Prize in Chemistry – Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson We may soon have detailed images of life’s complex machineries in atomic resolution. The prize was awarded for the development of cryo-electron microscopy, which both simplifies and improves the imaging of biomolecules. Biochemical maps have long been filled with blank spaces because the available technology has had difficulty generating images of much of life’s molecular machinery. Cryo-electron microscopy changes all of this. Researchers can now freeze biomolecules midmovement and visualise processes they have never previously seen, which is decisive for both the basic understanding of life’s chemistry and for the development of pharmaceuticals. The desired atomic resolution was reached in 2013, and researchers can now routinely produce three-dimensional structures of biomolecules. In the past few years, scientific literature has been filled with images of everything from proteins that cause antibiotic resistance, to the surface of the Zika virus.

Fastest Reaction Times

Fastest Increase in Blood Pressure

Cortisol Release

The computer discriminates between the traces and the fuzzy background, placing similar ones in the same group.

Best Coordination

High Alertness

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Highest Body Temperature

Highest Blood Pressure

24 Melatonin Secretion

Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine – Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young Their discoveries explain how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronised with the Earth’s revolutions. Using fruit flies as a model organism, this year’s Nobel laureates isolated a gene that controls the normal daily biological rhythm. They showed that this gene encodes a protein that accumulates in the cell during the night, and is then degraded during the day. Subsequently, they identified additional protein components of this machinery, exposing the mechanism governing the selfsustaining clockwork inside the cell. We now recognise that biological clocks function by the same principles in cells of other multicellular organisms, including humans. The clock regulates critical functions such as behaviour, hormone levels, sleep, body temperature and metabolism. Our wellbeing is affected when there is a temporary mismatch between our external environment and this internal biological clock, for example when we travel across several time zones and experience jet lag. There are also indications that chronic misalignment between our lifestyle and the rhythm dictated by our inner timekeeper is associated with increased risk for various diseases. In 1984, the trio succeeded in isolating the period gene. Hall and Rosbash went on to discover that PER, the protein encoded by period, accumulated during the night and was degraded during the day. Thus, PER protein levels oscillate over a 24-hour cycle, in synchrony with the circadian rhythm. In 1994 Young discovered a second clock gene, timeless, encoding the TIM protein that was required for a normal circadian rhythm. He showed that when TIM bound to PER, the two proteins were able to enter the cell nucleus where they blocked period gene activity to close the inhibitory feedback loop. Young also identified yet another gene, doubletime, encoding the DBT protein that delayed the accumulation of the PER protein. This provided insight into how an oscillation is adjusted to more closely match a 24-hour cycle. We now know a large proportion of our genes are regulated by the biological clock and, consequently, a carefully calibrated circadian rhythm adapts our physiology to the different phases of the day. u

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F E A T U R E

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SEEKING TRANSFORMATIVE CULTURE:

WHY THE CHANGING ECONOMIC LANDSCAPE NEEDS DESIGN by Dr Stephen Poon

D

esigning for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) has emerged as an exciting practice. As with every new model of industrial progress, it has caused a split between those who hold notions of guilt-free capitalism and those who see wider possibilities under dual umbrella terms of “social innovation” and “disruptive technology”. Initial forays into Industry 4.0 have created a renewed sense of possibility, energy and creativity, but the process of bringing creativity and commercial prospects together is understandably painful. Design for the industrial revolution is the core of the Internet of Things (IoT) on a large scale, with complex levels of engagement, through both invisible and visible dynamics. In other words, it’s the

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design of new concepts about organisations that meet social needs. According to Marina Krakovsky (2011), as an emerging discipline, the reality of innovation culture today drives experiential opportunities for new and start-up businesses to methodically manage their strategic growth processes while delivering consistent customer value in conditions of extreme uncertainties. Designing for industrial applications was once defined predominantly by individual creators, who purport singular vision and attendant expertise. Jony Ive, Dieter Rams, David Mellor, Aleksandr Rodchenko and Philippe Starck envisioned how things should be, and what the world needed. Cheryl Heller (2014) mentioned, yet the social design revolution necessitates giving up their “idiosyncratic expert” portfolio, a

process that means relinquishing learned authority and enlarging their cooperative tents to engender other stakeholders and community partners. Designing for Industry 4.0 applies the sum of collective creativity for the transformation of complex systems at a great scale, not merely affecting product development to address problems, but to materially change the dynamics of individuals and their social relationships by rearranging resources and in participatory systems to co-create solutions. Designing processes applied to entrepreneurship involve predictions, prototyping and iteration. Scott Nelson and Paul Metaxatos (2016) stated, for IoT, the process is based on building, testing, learning, and to implement experiences through observing customer behaviour. The results of these steps provide a new reality for users and advocates of IoT. Entrepreneurs seeking partners to inspire start-up efforts need look no further than designers, whose innate insights of unexpected connections and relationships enable emotional and physical connections to be established. Industrialisation extends the designer’s purview to human and ecological relationships at a scale and complexity that impacts companies, countries, species and ecosystems. One way to envision collective change for social good is through identities. Identities are dialogues internalised and externalised; as self-fulfilling prophecies for communities, they mark our conformity to societal expectations, assumptions and beliefs. Margaret Wheatley (1999) specified in


Management and Planning

Production Engineering

Markering and Sales

Production Engineering

Markering and Sales

Logistics Factory Logistics

Production Designer

Customers Engineering

our shared intention and self-determination to create, individuals must also be “astutely aware of their [neighbours] and local environmental conditions”. Identity is how we see ourselves, the tribes we belong to, who we determine as “other”, how we estimate, and relate to, these “others”, and measure the contribution we make (or not) to the common good. Used as a lever, identities are a powerful way to start social change. In the new science of leadership, symbolic language forms such as logos, brands and icons are adopted as beloved trust marks aimed at recognition, loyalty a nd purchasing behaviour. Brands, built on past experiences, projects expectations of similar future experiences. Case studies of American and European educational institutions by MIT Technology Review (2014) suggest that social and technological innovation policies would stumble through spiralling income inequality and lack of affordable and quality educational access, as sheer human “hard-heartedness” and survival sentiments ride above social evolutionary sentiments, and this effectively lowers the scale of innovation. This human inability to perceive real future threats has also be linked to neuroscience studies in Psychology Today (2009). Unfortunately, far from the illusion of control and fair distribution of benefits that corporate businesses and national protocols seek, social innovation are altogether messy, elusive and imperfect.

Markering and Sales

The reduction of uncertainty, while referenced to approved and tested ways, are simply mechanisms of coping with anxieties rather than creative solutions for social benefits. For designers, the forward planning, forecasting and predictability of interactions that are preferred by rational-minded business owners is precisely the ingredients many would shun as it is complexities of unfamiliarity, risks and ambiguity of responses they desire to know. Francis Bacon spoke about the moment when religion stopped being the inspiration for art; from when artists had to necessitate commercial purpose for their work, but face the bigger challenge to pursue social good. Could design make innovation their

“new religion”? In Paul Tillich’s sense of the ultimate concern, Industry 4.0 design has its work cut out, not merely to enable quick profit or savvy marketing of products or services to make a living, but to make a change. And so, industrialisation marches on. IoT is so numbingly vast we may not notice the obvious landmark events as we lose ourselves in daily living. Aspects of modernity needing redesign include our interactions with the environment, and with each other; and to realise the soul of creativity within organisations and communities. To ignite creative potential, designing for Industry 4.0 necessitates Malaysian enterprises to energise its organisational (people) culture and to evolve innovation (technological) culture. Some of these changes are not customary, hence designers’ role is to inspire ideas about the emerging future, by undertaking projects beyond abstract immersion to embrace social empowerment. As George Bernard says, “Progress is impossible without change. Those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything”. Designing for Industry 4.0 would posit on fair and proper methodologies to intelligently measure design’s capacity to work for both business and social progress. u

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B O O K

R E V I E W

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Captivating Tales Of Intriguing Inventions by Chng Bee Ee

T

his newly published book is a compendium of invention. It is an interesting and informative book for anyone interested in the field of invention. It tells many fascinating stories of inventions that we are very familiar with today. It encompasses a comprehensive coverage of things ranging from simple everyday items such as the paper clip to more complex gadgets like the modern cellular phone. Written as a sequel to the author’s earlier book, On Creativity: Awakening the Creative Mind, this book begins by differentiating inventions from discoveries, followed by descriptions of many inventions that play an important part in our lives today. The 22 chapters are organised in the author’s own worldview of inventions and inventors, categorising the inventions under headings such as Once Upon A Time, Moving In Air, Office Stuff, Crazy Inventions, and Name It After Me!. Each chapter starts off with a delightful short poem or an anecdote that introduces the content that follows. It reads easily with a touch of humour at appropriate places. While each invention is succinctly described, a few more pictures may make the book more appealing to the visual literate readers of today. Would-be inventors will find the appendices most informative. They range from practical advice on inventing and patenting to descriptions of invention associations and related organisations both local and overseas. The appendices also provide much useful information such as annotations of books on invention, online magazines as well as links and contacts. Every inventor and everyone interested in how things are invented should get hold of this inspiring book and read it from cover to cover. u

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• This is the only magazine wholly BRINGING YOUNG INVENTORS TO THE FORE

10

MALAYSIAN INVENTIONS THAT HAVE IMPACTED SOCIETY

Young inventors share their ideas & thought process

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

MyIPO Director General Shamsiah Kamaruddin talks about the importance of IP protection

RM10

Design process in the invention of Embrace Infant Warmer

ITEX 2015

CONNECTING INVENTIVE MINDS

Spotlight on 5 award-winning women inventors

POWERED BY

The year that was

‘MAGIC’ WATER

A look at some inventions that shape our daily life

Where sea and freshwater fish swim together in the same tank

Vol 1 No.1 / 2015 / RM10.60 ISSN 2289-9308

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Vol 1 No. 2 / 2015 / RM10.60 ISSN 2289-9308

POWERED BY

ISBN 978-967-12619-0-3

9 789671 261903

MALAYSIAN WOMEN INVENTORS IMPRESS

ITEX MALAYSIA 2014

INVENTIONS THAT CONTINUE TO CHANGE OUR WORLD

ITEX’S SILVER JUBILEE

EMBRACING DESIGN THINKING

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Invention Asia

1

• 3D PRINTED FOOD

Newest kitchen appliance prints healthy meals using fresh ingredients

MAKE IT A REALITY

ALSO INSIDE:

• Self-lacing shoes • Re-engineered silk • Transparent wood • Smart sutures

A look into funding resources in Malaysia

BENDABLE BATTERY

New aluminiumion battery may replace lithiumion & alkaline batteries in the near future

MALAYSIA’S STEP INTO THE FUTURE

• Big data drives next-gen solutions • Internet of Things come to play in Cyberjaya • What’s in store at ITEX 2017

ITEX 2016 RETURNS WITH A FRESH APPEAL Vol 2 / No.1 / 2016 / RM10.60 ISSN 2289-9308

Vol 2 / No.2 / Dec 2016 / RM10.60

Vol 3 / No. 1 / April 2017 / RM10.60

ISSN 2289-9308

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Invention Asia

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KDN No PP18559/08/2014/(033967)

ISSN 2289-9308

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UNVEILING AN ALL-NEW DESIGN

Invention Asia

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KDN No PP18559/08/2014/(033967)

PUBLICATION DATE Annual (May 2019)

JOB REVOLUTION

CIRCULATION

 In a race to be smarter  Meteoric rise of blockchain  Deep learning in biomedical science  Future of gene editing

15,000 copies

AD BOOKING DEADLINE 31st March 2019

Vol 4 / No. 1 / May 2018 / RM10.60

ISSN 2289-9308

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Publishers:

HMS HARINI MANAGEMENT SERVICES SDN BHD

POWERED BY

Invention Asia

1

devoted to Invention and Innovation in Malaysia. Publication of CIS Network Sdn Bhd and Malaysian Invention & Design Society (MINDS) INVENTION ASIA is the official publication of the International Invention & Innovation Exhibition (ITEX), organised by MINDS and managed by CIS Network. ITEX is currently 18 years old in Malaysia. ITEX is the official event of Asia Caucus of Invention Association (ACIA) and is recognised by the International Federation of Inventors Association (IFIA). Supported by MOSTI, Ministry of Education Malaysia and Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia and MyIPO. The Patron is the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation. The inaugural issue was launched in May 2014 by the Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation.

DISTRIBUTION • Distributed during the ITEX exhibition. • Copies distributed to all Ministries in Malaysia & relevant agencies/ departments in the country. • Embassies & Consulate Offices in Malaysia. • National and International Business Councils/Chambers. • Business Organisation Networks. • Sold in all major bookshops nationwide.

For Advertising Enquiries HARINI MANAGEMENT SERVICES SDN BHD (609031-W) W-9-12, Menara Melawangi, Amcorp Trade Centre, 18, Jalan Persiaran Barat, 46050 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel: 603-7932 3259 Email: harini.mservices@gmail.com / ganesanvs.03@gmail.com Mobile: Ganesan: 012-373 9422 / Faridah: 013-345 5107


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Invention Asia|Vol 4|No 1|2018|Job Revolution  

Invention Asia is the only magazine wholly devoted to Invention and Innovation in Malaysia, and is also the official publication of the Inte...

Invention Asia|Vol 4|No 1|2018|Job Revolution  

Invention Asia is the only magazine wholly devoted to Invention and Innovation in Malaysia, and is also the official publication of the Inte...

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