Rina Chandran profile background image
Rina Chandran profile image

Rina Chandran

Asia Tech Correspondent

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Rina Chandran was Tech Correspondent for the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Prior to joining the foundation in 2016, Rina was a business journalist for more than a dozen years in India, Singapore and New York, with Reuters News, Bloomberg and the Financial Times. Rina has an MFA in Writing from the Johns Hopkins University and an MA in Business & Economics Reporting from New York University.

April 03, 2024

In towering glasshouses at a tomato farm in South Australia, everything from the temperature to the ultraviolet radiation levels is tightly controlled.

But despite the farm's scientific approach, pollinating the crops can still be hit or miss.

March 11, 2024

Gail Puruntatameri has to provide proof of her Aboriginal identity to access government services - along with work and healthcare - and is always worried she might lose it.

"It's very hard for me, for the children, when we lose our IDs," she said. "It's very hard to access jobs and everything."

March 04, 2024

Two years after he delivered a speech to the United Nations climate conference standing knee-deep in seawater to highlight the threat to the nation of Tuvalu, minister Simon Kofe said they were on their way to becoming a digital nation.

The Pacific island nation, halfway between Australia and Hawaii, had completed a detailed 3D scan of its 124 islands and islets, which will be the basis for creating a digital clone of itself, he said in a message in December.

February 27, 2024

Dozens of accounts on social media platform X have been suspended in India for backing farmers' protests, with rights groups and those affected calling the step a worrying crackdown on dissent that could fan communal hatred as an election nears. 

The platform, formerly known as Twitter, did not provide details, but said in a statement last week it had to "act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties including significant fines and imprisonment".

February 26, 2024

Booking a badminton court at one of Singapore's 100-odd community centres can be a workout in itself, with residents forced to type in times and venues repeatedly on a website until they find a free slot. Thanks to AI, it could soon be easier.

The People's Association, which runs the community centres, worked with a government tech agency to build a chatbot powered by generative artificial intelligence to help residents find free courts in the city-state's four official languages.

February 16, 2024

As a university student in Canberra, Eilis Fitt and her two housemates set rules to keep their electricity bill down - no heater in the living room unless everyone was home, and no turning on the washing machine or dishwasher during peak hours.

So she was delighted - and surprised - when their landlord installed solar panels about a year after she moved in. After some initial hiccups, the effect was startling: their electricity bills "went down significantly," she said.

February 08, 2024

Like millions worldwide, Southeast Asians have been trying out large language models such as Meta's Llama 2 and Mistral AI - but in their native Bahasa Indonesia or Thai. The result has usually been gibberish in English.

This leaves them at a disadvantage, tech experts warn, as generative artificial intelligence transforms education, work and governance worldwide.

January 11, 2024

From deepfake videos of Indonesia's presidential contenders to online hate speech directed at India's Muslims, social media misinformation has been rising ahead of a bumper election year, and experts say tech platforms are not ready for the challenge.

Voters in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and India go to the polls this year as more than 50 nations hold elections, including the United States where former president Donald Trump is looking to make a comeback.

January 03, 2024

Divyendra Singh Jadoun was busy making artificial intelligence-based visual effects and voice clones for film and television in India, when he began getting calls from politicians: could he create AI videos, or deepfakes, for their election campaign?

With a hotly-contested local election in his home state of Rajasthan last November, and a national election due by May this year, the opportunity for his company, The Indian Deepfaker, is tremendous. But Jadoun was reluctant.

December 19, 2023

In a classroom in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru, half a dozen young students sit at a desk, listening intently to a small black device as a woman's voice calls out simple sentences in English, that they then repeat carefully.

The device, an Amazon Echo Dot speaker, uses artificial intelligence-enabled voice recognition technology to help the students improve their reading, listening and speaking in English - for some their second language, for others their third.