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Medicine Hat author honoured nationally for her Heroine Movement

A Medicine Hat woman was named one of the most inspiring people in the country this past weekend.

Medicine Hat author and business owner Blaise Hunter was named winner of a 2020 Women of Inspiration Award. This year she brought home the Influence Award for her work with her Heroine Movement.

“I have friends here locally and we held a small little party and celebrated with my family,” said Hunter. “Everything was different because of COVID this year, so I actually got mailed my award a few days before the ceremony.

“This was such a surprise for me and I’m glad it was able to happen.”

Hunter is the owner of Blaise the Trail Inc, which helps people make their dreams become reality. She can assist people with their voice, books and brands. She is the founder of the not-for-profit Footprints of Infertility and Pregnancy Loss Support Initiative.

“I’m so honoured – this is incredible,” she said. “It’s been a hard go to continue with everything going on this year, but I’ve stayed in the ring and this is extra rewarding.

“This is such a great feeling, but this isn’t about elevating me, it’s about elevating the message that I’m putting out there.

“Women should breathe fire.”

The gala was held over the weekend for the sixth time, celebrating more than 150 women around the county.

According to a press release from Hunter, the Influencer Award is presented to the woman who has a global vision coupled with a contagious message to share with the world.

Hunter says she plans on starting another book in the near future.

“The driver of my first book was to help me heal, and the story has resonated with so many people,” she said. “I definitely would like to write another book.”

More information on Hunter and her work can be found at http://www.blaisehunter.com

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Ex-Google AI chief Fei-Fei Li among Chinese honoured by US Academy of Medicine

The former head of Google’s artificial intelligence project in China is one of a number of ethnically Chinese scientists to be elected this year to the United States’ prestigious National Academy of Medicine.

Fei-Fei Li, a Beijing-born computer science professor at Stanford University and a Twitter board director, was among 90 new regular members announced by the academy on Tuesday as “individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service”.

Membership is considered one of the highest honours in the fields of health and medicine, according to the academy, which includes top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci among its ranks.

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Li was elected “for helping establish the field of vision-based artificial intelligence, engendering diverse high-yield medical applications, including her current innovative focus on health-critical clinician and patient behaviour recognition”.

She was a rising star at Google, where she worked as chief scientist for AI and machine learning (AI/ML) before leaving amid controversy surrounding the company’s contracts to develop AI tools for the Pentagon.

Twitter adds former Google AI chief Fei-Fei Li as board member

Leaked emails discussing the initiative, called Project Maven, prompted outrage among Google employees, who said they suggested Li – a frequent public advocate for the ethical use of AI – was more worried about the company’s public image than the ethical concerns of the technology.

Before that, she oversaw basic AI research, all of Google Cloud’s AI/ML products and engineering efforts, and a new Google AI lab in China.

Also elected to the academy was Harvard University physics professor Zhuang Xiaowei, who received her undergraduate degree at the University of Science and Technology before her postgraduate studies at UC Berkeley and Stanford.

She was recognised for “pioneering super-resolution imaging and imaging-based single-cell genomics” which helped uncover novel structures in cells, novel spatial and functional organisation of cells in tissues, and examples of how mis-regulation may cause disorders.

The Chinese researchers caught in a US academic no-man’s land

The academy also announced 10 new international members, including Wang Chen, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the country’s leading state research institution.

Wang, who also heads the state-backed Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College in Beijing, was selected for “his leadership of China’s three leading medical bodies and his impactful clinical research and medical reforms”.

Researchers in the US who are ethnically Chinese or from China have been increasingly caught in the crosshairs of deteriorating relations between Washington and Beijing, with the US government stepping up its crackdown on foreign influence in science and technology research.

In July this year, the US National Science Foundation revealed that most cases of alleged violations of American rules on foreign disclosures since 2018 had been related to China. US researchers with ties to China have also been investigated for potentially violating funding rules.

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