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Editors' picks from ETO Scout: volume 8 (2/9/24-2/22/24)

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Mini edition for Lunar New Year - with a massive tech startup contest, Chinese ministries' key "future industries," and a CSET expert take on new Chinese bioethics guidelines

Scout is ETO's discovery tool for Chinese-language news and commentary on technology issues. See the latest editors’ picks, browse the feed by topic, or sign up for customized e-mail alerts at 🔭

  • China's largest and most influential entrepreneurship competition recently concluded, with 37,000 companies competing for funding and awards in Chengdu. (S&T Daily, 02/08/24)
  • A China Academy of Information and Communications Technology report explores the trends and risks of applying large models in government affairs. (CAICT Research, 02/04/24)
CSET Expert View

Each week, a CSET expert offers insight into recent news from Scout. Today's viewpoint is from Research Analyst Vikram Venkatram.

“Medical researchers often need to test potential therapeutics, model disease outcomes, or perform other trials in animals to avoid experiments involving human patients. However, animals are different from humans, which can lead to misleading results. One solution to this problem is to create a “chimera,” an organism with cells, tissues, or organs from both animals and humans. This past month, Scout featured a set of guidelines released by China’s National Science and Technology Ethics Committee (“Institutions engaged in research on human-non-human animal chimeras should establish an ethical review committee,” 02/11/2024) that shines a light on China’s approach to the use of human-non-human animal chimeras. The new guidelines require that institutions involved in chimera research establish their own ethics review committees and respect the decision-making, privacy, and informed consent of those who donate human biological material. They also emphasize five ethical principles—benefit, risk control, respect for autonomy, scientific necessity, and fairness—posing an interesting contrast to the four commonly cited bioethical principles of beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice. These guidelines broadly track mainstream bioethical perspectives, but enforcement and implementation will be key to watch.”

  • Despite rapid industry growth, workers in China's robotics industry are having trouble finding and keeping good jobs. (36kr, 02/02/24)
  • Chinese AI startup ModelBest launched MiniCPM, which it claims outperforms Mistral 7-B and is the most powerful high-efficiency LLM released to date. (Zhidx, 02/02/24)
  • A new Chinese policy document identifies key "future industries" for policy support, emphasizing quantum computing and brain-inspired technology. (CSET curation, 01/29/24)