Big Data Expo 2019 Comes to Guiyang

The Big Data Conference was another success and an eye opener. There were flashy displays, like the Pixmoving Autonimous Vehicle presentation and utilitarian displays such as bridge inspection and coordinated facial recognition software for China’s Skynet camera set.

The Big Data sign was very interesting.  It looke like it was made out of toy blocks and you really didn’t see the whole message unless you were standing right in front of it.  Seen from any other angle, you only got part of the picture.

More on the Big Data Conference can be found at: China Daily– Big Data

Also: E_Guiyang

 

Leaving the Big Data Conference was exhilarating:

Robo Cars of China is now on Youtube!

Here is a link to each module. The modules go from about three minutes to six. There is a little summary of the content with each link.

Robo Cars of China in 9 Episodes(Youtube):
1
Jack goes to China and learns about autonomous car R&D (Open Source). Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, this is the big push in China, and automated vehicles are data intensive.
https://youtu.be/kQBQtQj-RKg
2
Jack explains the organization of the video and gives some terminology.
https://youtu.be/BGOzcatJ9hk
3
Jack meets “Chase” for the first time and finds out about the “Hackathon” and creation of self-driving, open source software by the participants.
https://youtu.be/CAcAFtHxRzM4
4
How does Guiyang compare with other Chinese cities for technology? How did PIX  present itself in May at the Big Data Conference?
https://youtu.be/fqXTlncr8-g
5
Jack meets Nancy Lee. Nancy is the Marketing Manager for the Pixmoving Company. She told me a lot about PIX, driverless cars, and their open source (freely shared) software strategy.
https://youtu.be/KEvSAg7DA_c
6
Nancy explains how the Hackathon participants help to spread teh open source software around the world. She also introduces the Donkey Car competition.
https://youtu.be/yfkDfBpUwCs
7
The Donkey Car copention begins and the logic of the Donkey Car is explained.
https://youtu.be/uTNkVqp-AqM
8
The Donkey Car competition is in high gear with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Meet the Clark Brothers, the American team.
https://youtu.be/bZaPWaSt2U4
9
The Donkey Car competition concludes. Clark Brothers, the American Team tell how they came to China for this competition and a little more about the industry progress. https://youtu.be/VHoZwwVukKE

Autonimous Vehicles (AV) and Testing

The following article relates directly to the testing and implementation of AV in Guiyang. It is worth thinking about:
Link to Original Story

Forget Self-Driving Cars. Bring Back the Stick Shift.

Technology meant to save us from distraction is making us less attentive.
By Vatsal G. Thakkar
Dr. Thakkar is a psychiatrist.March 23, 2019

CreditPaulo Keller/EyeEm, via Getty Images
CreditCreditPaulo Keller/EyeEm, via Getty Images

I was backing my wife’s car out of our driveway when I realized I wasn’t watching the backup camera, nor was I looking out of the rear window. I was only listening for those “audible proximity alerts” — the high-pitched beeps that my car emits as I approach an object while in reverse. The problem was that my wife’s car, an older model, doesn’t offer such beeps.

I had become so reliant on this technology that I had stopped paying attention, a problem with potentially dangerous consequences.

Backup cameras, mandatory on all new cars as of last year, are intended to prevent accidents. Between 2008 and 2011, the percentage of new cars sold with backup cameras doubled, but the backup fatality rate declined by less than a third while backup injuries dropped only 8 percent.

Perhaps one reason is, as a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put it, “Many drivers are not aware of the limitations” of the technology. The report also found that one in five drivers were just like me — they had become so reliant on the backup aids that they had experienced a collision or near miss while driving other vehicles.

The fact that our brains so easily overdelegate this task to technology makes me worry about the tech industry’s aspirations — the fully autonomous everything. Could technology designed to save us from our lapses in attention actually make us even less attentive?

Uber’s march toward a self-driving car hit a major speed bump last year in Tempe, Ariz., when one of its self-driving Volvos struck and killed a pedestrian. While a lot of focus was on how a vehicle with cameras and radar sensors could completely miss a human being on the road, less has been said about the failure of the most intricately programmed system in the vehicle — the brain of the human in the driver’s seat.

An investigation revealed that the driver was watching Hulu until the moment of the crash. Because the human brain is impeccable in its ability to filter out extraneous information, thistype of behavior should have been predicted. During normal driving, our brains are in a near-constant state of vigilance. But let someone or something do the driving for us and this vigilance easily fades.

Something similar seems to have happened with a handful of fatalities involving Tesla’s Autopilot mode. It seems that the drivers made little to no effort to intervene.

The introduction of safety technology has resulted in unintended accidents in other contexts as well. In December 2017, a patient died at a major medical center when a nurse searched for an anti-anxiety medication in an automated dispensing cabinet by typing only its first two letters. She chose the first drug that appeared in the results — Vecuronium, instead of Versed. Vecuronium is a paralytic drug that is sometimes used in executions.When it was administered, the patient’s vitals crashed and she died within days.

Technology seems to have turned against us once again in the deadly crashes of two Boeing 737 Max 8 aircrafts. In October, pilots on Lion Air Flight 610 in Indonesia seem to have struggled against the plane’s supposedly lifesaving technology. Investigators suspect that sensors incorrectly interpreted the plane’s ascent as too steep, causing the plane’s “maneuvering characteristics augmentation system” to kick in. It brought the plane’s nose down, ultimately into the Java Sea at 450 miles per hour.

Boeing had begun to develop a software fix, but it wasn’t ready in time for Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which just this month crashed, possibly because of the same bug, killing all 157 people on board. In these cases, no one can criticize the pilots for failing to pay attention. Still, the crashes were a wake-up call, especially because pilots weren’t required to be trained on the new technology.

Though a supercomputer will always surpass the human brain in terms of pure speed, the brain is beyond complex in its ability to reprioritize salient data inputs from multiple sources. If one input becomes less relevant, our cognitive systems shift their attention to the next most relevant one (which these days is usually our mobile devices).

But there’s one feature available on some cars today that can increase a driver’s vigilance instead of diminishing it — the manual transmission.

A car with a stick shift and clutch pedal requires the use of all four limbs, making it difficult to use a cellphone or eat while driving. Lapses in attention are therefore rare, especially in city driving where a driver might shift gears a hundred times during a trip to the grocery store.

I’ve owned a stick-shift vehicle for the last 20 years. I bought my first upon graduating from med school — a used 1994 BMW 325i. Years later, my best man wrote “just married” on the back windshield, and the next year my wife and I drove our newborn son home from the hospital in it.

Sadly, sales of manual transmissions are falling, and many automakers, including Audi, are discontinuing the option in the United States. It appears that I’ll have to keep my 2013 S4 model until 2026 if I want to teach my kids to drive a stick.

When I bought that first five-speed BMW, my dad cautioned me about safety, thinking that driving a stick would be more distracting and less safe. He was wrong. Though research on the safety of manual transmissions is scant, one study on the driving performance of teenage boys with A.D.H.D. revealed that cars with manual transmissions resulted in safer, more attentive driving than automatics. This suggests that the cure for our attentional voids might be less technology, not more.

Tour Guizhou in the News

Recently I had a reporter talk to me about my web site and little robot car video. There were a lot of  quesitons and I had to kind of give up my life story.  So finally the article came out and I am told it is quite complimentary.  I don’t read Chinese much, so I  trust that is was a good article.

When I was talking to the reporter I tried to promote my video, “Robocars of China“. Apparently this is highly specialized interest film. That is filmspeak for boring.  It seems like everybody I talk to says  that they have seen part of it. So if you weren’t already interested in high tech startups, the Guiyang Big Data project,  driverless cars  (cars that drive themselves), or learning technology English, you might not be interested in this video.

Even more disappointing than months of work maybe down the drain, people don’t seem to even like my handwriting with the Chinese lettering brush (maobi). They say the music and handwriting is kind of a waste of time. Well, enough about the video, I was happy to be interviewed by the Guizhou Evening Newspaper.

10:00 PM Update:
I finally got a look at the article in the translation software. Obviously, machine translation has a ways to go . . . For better or worse, here it is:

###########

In the confession of Guizhou,
foreigners wrote thousands of “love letters”!

When Guiyang meets Michigan, what sparks will it shine? In recent years, with the development of social economy, Guizhou’s beautiful landscapes and humanities have frequently entered the international arena. American Jack walked Guizhou for 20 years, built websites, wrote articles, made videos… with more than 1,000 special “love letters”, “confession” Guizhou, also promoted Guizhou to the world.

Love at first sight

“I came to Guiyang in 2000. I didn’t want to leave when I came.” The 68-year-old Jack came from Michigan, USA. In 2000, Jack came to Guizhou Normal University as an English teacher as a volunteer, and spent his free time with his friends. Jack said that Guiyang is beautiful and mysterious, and it immediately attracted him.

Before coming to Guizhou, Jack thought that the place he taught was an occluded place, but he did not expect that Guizhou was so beautiful, everywhere was beautiful, people lived slowly. He said that he likes to see Guiyang people rolling their trousers and rolling their sleeves to eat barbecue. After eating, they pick up their clothes and pat their stomachs. This is completely different from the rhythm of life in the United States.

In the past few years in Guizhou, Jack walked through thousands of Miao Village, Qingyan Ancient Town, Huangguoshu Waterfall, and Liupanshui Small Village. Jack, who was deeply influenced by Chinese culture, also gave himself a Chinese name, Tang Zhihu. In addition to traveling, Jack also has a big hobby – write an email, and occasionally write a message to a friend. He will use his Guizhou dialect to say hello to his friend in the mail. “Are you eating?”

▲ Jack gave himself the Chinese name, on the left is the handwriting of Jack’s friend, and on the right is Jack’s own handwriting.

Persevering love

In the past 20 years in Guizhou, Jack can be regarded as an “old Guiyang person”. He likes to eat Bean Rice Hot Pot, Huaxi Beef Powder, Intestines, and the degree of spicy eating can already beat many foreigners. Except for the spicy chickens, the others are not in the air. He also likes to take the bus. He said that different people can be observed on the bus.

On one occasion, Jack waited for the bus in Taiyingpo. As a result, there was a bird on the tree. The bird pulled a sputum and put it on his suit. Jack was very excited. “That is the biggest and darkest bird dropping I have ever seen.” . Jack said that he later got on the bus, someone gave him a tissue, and someone gave him money to buy clothes. He thought it was very interesting and very moving.

Until now, Jack has spoken English with friends every week, learning Chinese and English from each other. He can speak some Chinese, and whenever someone asks him to speak Guiyang, he says “tooth”, “a lost”, “I know”…

Jack said that Guizhou is not only attracted to the human landscape, but also fascinated by the development of science and technology. “Guiyang’s university is developing and Guizhou’s development is also very fast”. Jack saw the establishment of Guiyang North Station, Metro Line 1 and Big Data, and witnessed the rise of the city. I don’t know how much to witness in Guiyang in the future. miracle.

He wants to live in Guiyang

Before leaving the United States, Jack was the chairman of the US Sea Transportation Authority, so he was particularly interested in Guizhou’s big data and traffic. Jack himself is also a computer programmer. In 2012, Jack created his own foreign language website – visiting Guizhou, his website.

(Note on translation: Besides the obvious differences in language and machine translation, I have one correction: I was Chairman of the Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA) of Traverse City, Michigan, USA.

 

 

 

New York City Science Teachers and Tourguizhou

The techy RoboCars of China  video was invited to the Science Council of New York City Annual Meeting, but we coudln’t go. Instead we sent our business cards, specially designed for the Annual Meeting event coming this April 6. It is particularly exciting for fans of Guiyang because there are potentially thousands of New York City young people that can be exposed to the technology of China’s Big Data Valley as featured in the video. Further, through the www.tourguizhou.com website, the full range of the Guizhou portfolio will be featured.

For information about the event and the Science Council, visit:SCoNYC .

I believe China and the West can learn a lot from each other. Perhaps the Science Program in NYC can learn something from Guizhou! Here’s the card:

(Click Thumbnail for Full Sized View)

This conference is hosted at the famous Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan .  More about Stuyvesant can be found at: More about Stuyvesant

A Message from the Publisher

March 2, 2019
To:          Whom it may concern
From:    John S. Porter, Publisher of WWW.TOURGUIZHOU.COM

Re:         Support for www.tourguizhou.com and the video: “Robo Cars of China”

The Tour Guizhou system of web blogs and chats is intended to create space online information about Guizhou people (including foreigners) our shared culture, food, education, natural beauty, technology, doing business, wine, minorities, and many other things. I have been coming to Guizhou, helping teach English and sharing the culture of Guizhou. I like informing western, English speaking, peoples about Guizhou. I have been coming to Guizhou for nineteen years (first visiting Guizhou to teach in the year 2000) and  I have actively promoted Guizhou online through the www.tourguizhou.com web site for the last seven years. There is also a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tourguizhou/

My background in the USA has included data processing, community leadership, and, as a community leader, I helped create a transportation authority which provides bus transportation to the Grand Traverse Bay (GTBay) region. GTBay is in Northern Michigan of the USA. For a period of time, I was Chairman of the Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA).  That is why I am so excited about the Big Data and transportation innovation in Guizhou.  I recognize its potential in bring us all closer together by advancing the quality of our lives, not just in Guizhou, but also the world.

The video “Robo Cars of China” is an attempt to merge many of my ideas about China and the West into a coherent concept of cooperation, friendly competition, and inspiring young people to engage the new technologies. I want the young people to prepare themselves in an enthusiastic and collaborative way. A key element to this cooperation is “Technology English”. As engineers work together, they soon discover that their English teachers didn’t prepare them for collaborations on technical issues using English. English teachers are typically not engineers. For almost a year I have worked on this video about Guiyang and its robotic car basic research.

The video is staged in Guiyang, promoting Guiyang to the tech community, but also it teaches “Technology” English.  It blends technology English with an interesting cooperation and competition, all taking place in Guiyang. It is an English teaching document, a technical document, and an effort to inspire the young. It is also a promotion of Guiyang, China, and  the cooperation that is growing between and among different countries.

The Tourguizhou web site stresses the lifestyle in Guiyang which is geared to young professionals who want to live in an interesting and progressive culture. Guiyang combines tourist attractions with a progressive technology culture. I have enjoyed telling this story on the web, and the video is my most ambitious effort yet. Unfortunately, I have been forced into retirement by operation of law. At age 68 I am faced with returning to my home country to find work in order to sustain myself. My work in promoting technology and Guizhou will draw to a close unless I find support from the Chinese government and the Chinese businesses that value collaboration with the West. I think Westerners should also have an interest in promoting this kind of cooperation as well. Any thoughts on grant ideas or other support are requested and appreciated.

usainfo@yahoo.com

usainfo@yahoo.com

Robo Cars of China

This video ties together many years of my activity here in China. I have multiple objectives in the creation of this video:

  1. Inspire young people to get involved in technology.
  2. Teach “Technology English” in a relevant format.
  3. Allow English learners to listen and “catch” informal English conversation.
  4. Introduce Guiyang/Guizhou as a legitimate technology center in China. It is also known as China’s “Big Data Valley”
  5. Introduce the “Pixmoving” company as a small research company with big ideas for Autonomous Vehicles (AV).
  6. Demonstrate how innovative competition can take place between people of countries from all over the world, making the world a better place through technology. Vigorous competition and friendships between countries is good.Please contact me at USAInfo@yahoo.com with your comments.

Long Li Ancient City and Jin Ping Countryside

Long Li is located about four hours southeast of Guiyang in an area of Miao and Dong minority people. The walls around the city, the water system and the fortress are all intact.  It doesn’t have the tourist pressure like some old cities closer to Guiyang. It is surrounded by the beautiful countryside of Jinping County.

San Cha You Farming

Jinping County has a new product called San Cha You, which is a cooking oil. The mountains of Jinping County are covered with these oil bearing plants. It is an incredibly beautiful sight. You can also directly drink the oil.  It is still expensive, but has been shown to be very good for high blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar diabetes conditions. It has also been shown to raise immunity to some cancers.San Cha berry trees are in great supply. The locals have actively planted and cultivated these crops for many years.

There is a new factory under construction and it is hoped that as production increases, that the price will come down and the product will be more widely known and distributed.

Jin Ping County is also famous for blueberries. There are blueberry farms in many places with very attractive prices in season, around August of each year.