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Daily Archives: January 19, 2022

Charts: Global Sales of Electric Vehicles


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Chart: China’s Annual Crude Steel Output Fell for the First Time in Six Years

Output dipped 3% to 1.03 billion tons in 2021, as the country seeks to rein in the industry to cut carbon emissions and other pollution.

For the first half of 2021, output surged 12% year-on-year to 563 million tons, as China’s economic recovery drove up demand. In the second half, however, monthly output began to decline, in line with the government’s goal to reduce annual production. Several regional steelmakers have reduced capacity accordingly.

In the six months through December, China’s crude steel output fell 16% year-on-year to 470 million tons, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) figures showed.


Source : Caixin

Humour: News in Cartoons

Chart: China’s Net Population Growth Hits 60-year Low

The world’s most populous country had 10.62 million babies born last year, a birth rate of 7.52 per 1,000 people, according to data (link in Chinese) from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The birthrate was the lowest since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

The country’s total population grew by a net 480,000 last year to slightly over 1.41 billion, the mildest growth in 60 years, NBS data showed.

Source : Caixin

4th COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Less Effective Against Omicron, Israel Study Shows

Josef Federman wrote . . . . . . . . .

An Israeli hospital on Monday said preliminary research indicates a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine provides only limited defense against the Omicron variant that is raging around the world.

Sheba Hospital last month began administering a fourth vaccine to more than 270 medical workers – 154 who received a Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine and 120 others who received Moderna’s. All had previously been vaccinated three times with the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine.

The clinical trial found that both groups showed increases in antibodies “slightly higher” than following the third vaccine last year. But it said the increased antibodies did not prevent the spread of omicron.

“Despite increased antibody levels, the fourth vaccine only offers a partial defense against the virus,” said Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the hospital’s infection disease unit. “The vaccines, which were more effective against previous variants, offer less protection versus omicron.”

The preliminary results raised questions about Israel’s decision to offer a second booster shot – and fourth overall – to its over-60 population. The government says over 500,000 people have received the second booster in recent weeks.

Dr. Nahman Ash, director of Israel’s Health Ministry, said the research did not mean the fourth vaccine effort was a mistake. “It returns the level of antibodies to what it was at the beginning of the third booster. That has great importance, especially among the older population,” he told Channel 13 TV.

But he said the research would be taken into account as authorities debate whether to expand the additional booster campaign to the broader population.

Israel was one of the first countries last year to widely vaccinate its population and last summer became the first to offer a booster shot. The latest booster campaign for older Israelis also is believed to be the first of its kind in the world.

Israel’s aggressive vaccination efforts have not been able to stop an Omicron outbreak in recent weeks. The variant has caused record-setting infection levels and sent a growing number of people to the hospital, though the numbers of seriously ill remain below previous waves.

It has also forced large numbers of Israelis into quarantine, straining schools and businesses.

Omicron is already dominant in many countries and can also infect those who have been vaccinated or had previously been infected by prior versions of the virus. Early studies, however, show it is less likely to cause severe illness than the previous delta variant. Vaccination and a booster still offer strong protection from serious illness, hospitalization and death.

On Tuesday, the Israeli government said it was shortening the mandatory quarantine period from seven days to five days in order to help keep the economy running.

“This decision will enable us to continue safeguarding public health on the one hand and to keep the economy going at this time on the other, even though it is difficult, so that we can get through this wave safely,” said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.


Source: Global News

全球首个AI驱动视频直播电视产品上线

记者: 张弩 . . . . . . . . .

2021年12月20日,每日经济新闻举办了“第十届中国上市公司高峰论坛”。会上,每日经济新闻与小冰公司共同宣布,双方联手打造的全球首个全流程由人工智能技术驱动的视频直播电视栏目“每经AI电视”全网正式上线。这是每经与小冰在持续深耕AI金融资讯内容生成的基础上,在金融财经领域和财经媒体转型升级方面的又一全新实践,一场始于每经引领的人工智能视频行业的生产方式变革正在发生。

每经AI电视上线 进入视频播放“无人化”时代

在此之前,每经AI电视已于2021年10月11日6点38分上线公测,在每经APP端、视频号、抖音号等多个平台的亿级用户连续直播约1700个小时的全球财经资讯。

在技术方面,每经AI电视综合运用了AI虚拟主播生成驱动、AI文本及视频生成、大数据金融知识图谱等多项人工智能技术,帮助用户实时获取金融市场信息,实现财经资讯内容产出的专业性、生产的持续性、传播的多样性。AI虚拟主播N小黑、N小白基于深度神经网络学习技术建模而成,支持多景别、多姿态、多场景的应用,高度还原人类主播场景,可进行汉语、英语等多语种的播报,确保准确及时地向每经的海内外用户输送最新的金融资讯。N小黑、N小白所播报的金融资讯内容,也由AI自动生成,并围绕用户最关心的信息类别进行了分析优化,内容涵盖A股公告、机构调研、券商研报等13个大类,222个子类,已实现对A股4000余家公司全覆盖。

每日经济新闻董事长、总编辑闻达今天在会上表示,每经AI电视,是改写传播史的革命性产品,它的诞生,宣布进入了视频播放“无人化”时代。

每经AI电视上线获得各界人士广泛关注

中国记协原党组成员、书记处书记顾勇华表示,党媒做大做强新闻舆论主阵地有“四力”标准,第一个力就是传播力。推出每经AI电视,大大提升了传播力。现有传播方式,在满足一定人群的同时,也在无形中排斥了其他人群。包括网络用语,有时会让网络原住民觉得自己老了。每经AI电视则在满足Z世代的同时,兼顾Y世代,甚至X世代也有兴趣。覆盖尽量多的人群,才谈得上传播力。

中国传媒大学电视学院教授、博导曾祥敏表示,每日经济新闻AI电视的推出,是探索人工智能、生产和传播的重要路径,充分发挥人工智能在数据搜集、分析、研判的作用。

中国新闻史学会应用新闻传播专业委员会主任、中山大学传播与设计学院教授张志安表示,每经AI电视的上线具有三重意义:一是实现了虚拟主播和财经新闻资讯结合以后的虚拟主播新闻直播“常态化”;二是实现了财经新闻的“视觉化”表现;三是通过多平台移动分发的场景,既实现了用户的不断“破圈”和增长,也实现了有价值用户的有效汇聚。

网友也在视频平台留言称,“AI电视上线后,已经是我家的背景音了”、“可不可以上架智能音箱?早上有时候来不及举手机,音响方便随时听”、“主播的动作总是能把我的注意力吸引回来,挺人性化的,不枯燥”。

从优势传媒到智媒科技公司的转型跨越

在新闻媒体与创新技术融合方面,每日经济新闻一直走在新技术运用互通的前沿,着力塑造财经媒体产业新生态,以更准确、更到位、更穿透的方式,生产有影响力的新闻,从更多维度实现媒体价值,并深度参与到各个经济领域当中。

每日经济新闻在2019年启动AI战略并在2020年开启技术转型元年,利用大数据、AI实现了资讯秒级生成,A股公司全覆盖。不到两年时间,每经AI快讯发布近30万余条,年均发稿量同比增长近3倍,实现上市公司全方位、多维度画像。

2020年,“每经AI战略项目”获评国家新闻出版署“2020年中国报业深度融合发展创新案例”。

2021年,每经结合专业财媒的采编经验,独立搭建完成 “每经智能采编发平台”,再造采编发流程,每经AI审核系统、AI智能制图、AI辅助写稿获得3项国家版权局计算机软件著作权登记证书。

2021年10月20日,也就是在每经AI电视上线测试后的第9天。国家广电总局发布了《广播电视和网络视听“十四五”科技发展规划》,明确指出要强化人工智能的应用,促进制播流程智能化;推动虚拟主播广泛应用于新闻播报、天气预报、综艺科教等节目生产,创新节目形态,提高制播效率和智能化水平。这就充分说明了每经在技术革新上的路径正确。

每经AI电视未来应用场景极为丰富

下一步,每经将与小冰持续深度合作,依托小冰全球领先的AI技术能力,结合每经专业的财经媒体经验,对每经AI电视进行多维度迭代升级。

闻达表示,AI电视的推出,让我们更加感受到原创内容的价值,我们将坚持内容为王,通过将每日经济新闻优质的内容AI电视化,真正实现专业、深度、故事、传播的媒体理念。同时,我们将持续技术迭代,不断在虚拟形象、虚拟声音、元宇宙应用场景、媒资数据库等多领域实现突破。

可以想象,AI电视应用场景将极为丰富,与微信、APP,相互赋能,共为生态;实现多平台、规模化的直播及视频覆盖;为包括媒体、政府、企业在内的客户带来传播、形象展示、系统视频的整体解决方案。

未来,每经与小冰将结合AI写稿、算法推荐、虚拟主播等技术,利用AI数据库、AI电视台展开财经内容全媒体、全媒介矩阵式覆盖战略,探索“财经内容元宇宙”的边界。还将通过在海量的拟真虚拟场景中构建声音多样、形象丰富的虚拟人,将新闻播报的严谨性、专业度与生动的“财经故事”演绎进行融合,最终以文字、音频、视频全媒介方式向用户提供内容生动、千人千面的的个性化、沉浸式内容定制服务。


Source : Sohu

Newer Hormone Treatments for Prostate Cancer May Raise Risk of Depression

Dennis Thompson wrote . . . . . . . . .

Advanced forms of hormone therapy are very effective at keeping prostate cancer in check, but they also can double a man’s risk of falling into depression, researchers have found.

Prostate cancer patients treated with the latest forms of hormone blockers were twice as likely to develop depression compared with men treated with older forms of hormone therapy or those who received no such medication at all, results from a new study show.

It’s a risk that cancer doctors will need to keep in mind when prescribing these drugs to patients, said lead researcher Dr. Kevin Nead, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

“Our study does not suggest that any men who are eligible for these medications should not be on them because of the risk of depression,” he said. “What it does reinforce is that we have people who we know, because they have cancer, are already at increased risk for depression.”

Putting them on these medications is potentially doubling their risk, and Nead said, depression in cancer patients is associated with worse survival.

“These are patients we need to pay a lot of attention to and try to have early interventions to prevent or treat their depression, because it will impact their overall outcomes,” he said.

Prostate cancer feeds on male hormones like testosterone, which are also known as androgens. Doctors have long treated prostate cancer in part by blocking androgen, depriving cancer cells of their fuel.

They now have second-generation anti-androgen drugs like abiraterone and apalutamide that are even better at blocking testosterone than earlier medications, researchers said.

But a lack of testosterone increases a man’s overall risk of depression, whether or not he has prostate cancer.

“Men with low testosterone are at an increased risk of depression,” Nead said. “In men who have low testosterone, if you give them testosterone back, it actually improves their mood and decreases the risk of depression.”

Cancer patients are at increased risk of depression anyway, given their battle with a deadly disease. Worse, depression tends to profoundly impact the outlook for cancer patients.

“We know depression in cancer patients is particularly bad in that it’s associated with patients having worse cancer outcomes, including worse overall survival,” Nead said.

Depression “might impact people’s interest in being aggressive” with their cancer treatment, he added. “It might affect their overall health and how they can tolerate different therapies. It might affect their decisions on how they pursue their cancer care or how often they see their doctor.”

To see how much additional risk of depression comes with the newer androgen blockers, Nead’s team analyzed data from nearly 30,100 prostate cancer patients.

They broke the men into three groups — those who received no hormone therapy, those who got the more established medications, and those treated with second-generation anti-androgen drugs.

“If you look across all three of these groups, the men that received second-generation anti-androgens had an increased risk of depression,” Nead said.

The risk likely increases so dramatically because the second-generation drugs are so much more better at their job, said Dr. Bobby Liaw, clinical director of genitourinary oncology for the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.

The older drugs “do very well in bringing your testosterone levels down, but they only stop testosterone production at the main factory of testosterone, which is the testes,” Liaw explained.

“In reality, you do have some small amounts of androgen production from other places in the body that traditional hormone therapy would not shut down,” he added. For example, the adrenal gland produces a small amount of male hormone, as do fat cells.

“You come along with a much more potent androgen receptor antagonist, it will further deprive cells already kind of starved for testosterone of even more of it,” Liaw said. “It’s not a big surprise it could worsen moods and depression.”

Neither Nead nor Liaw felt that the depression risk from the newer drugs outweighs their benefits for prostate cancer patients, however.

“It’s not to say that just because there’s that risk of depression that we should entirely shy away from an otherwise very efficacious treatment, but I think it definitely warrants us being a little bit more cognizant,” Liaw said. “We do need to be much more cognizant of these long-term side effects. We need to be more prepared to catch early signs of depression.”

Family members and friends of prostate cancer patients can help by watching their loved ones as they undergo hormone therapy for signs of depression, the doctors said.

“Often times the patient themselves may not always be the best judge of it. From day to day, if it’s a small change, they might not notice it,” Liaw said.

The new study was recently published in JAMA Network Open.


Source: HealthDay