Collaborating Authors

Cook County

Machine Learning and AI Can Now Create Plastics That Easily Degrade


Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing environmental issues, and the increase in the production of disposable plastics does not help at all. These plastics would often take many years before they degrade, which poisons the environment. This has prompted efforts from nations to create a global treaty to help reduce plastic pollution. A combination of machine learning and artificial intelligence has accelerated the design of making materials, including plastics, with properties that quickly degrade without harming the environment and super-strong lightweight plastics for aircraft and satellites that would one day replace the metals being used. The researchers from the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago published their study in Science Advances on October 21, which shows a way toward designing polymers using a combination of modeling and machine learning.

Don't worry, the earth is doomed

MIT Technology Review

These risk estimates are from the World Economic Forum, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Chicago Actuarial Association, the Global Challenges Foundation, Bethan Harris at the University of Reading, and David Morrison at NASA, with advice from Phil Torres at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, author of Human Extinction: A Short History. Fully autonomous weapons don't exist yet, but advances in drone technology and AI make them likely. Rogue code and irresponsible use could lead to mass violence on a scale and speed we don't understand today. Hacking the transport system or a central bank would wreak havoc and threaten public safety. Prevention relies on educating people about cybersecurity.

Weathering the storm


As president, Donald Trump has battered science. But increased spending by Congress and some supportive agency heads have provided relief. Disastrous. Damaging. Catastrophic. Those are just some of the more polite terms that many U.S. scientists use to describe the policies of President Donald Trump. His handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, his repeated public dismissals of scientific expertise, and his disdain for evidence have prompted many researchers to label him the most antiscience president in living memory. Last month, that sense of betrayal led two of the nation's preeminent scientific bodies, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, to issue an uncharacteristically harsh rebuke. Although the 24 September statement did not name Trump, it was clearly aimed at the president. “Policymaking must be informed by the best available evidence without it being distorted, concealed, or otherwise deliberately miscommunicated,” the leaders of the two academies wrote. “We find reports and incidents of the politicization of science, particularly the overriding of evidence and advice from public health officials and derision of government scientists, to be alarming.” Although many U.S. scientists share those sentiments, other aspects of the administration's overall record elicit a more positive response. Ask researchers how federal funding for their fields has fared since Trump took office in January 2017, and they might acknowledge sustained support and even mention new opportunities in some areas. Inquire about what they think of the appointees leading the federal agencies that fund their work, and they will offer some good—even glowing—reviews. Those seemingly contradictory responses reflect the complexity of an $80-billion-a-year system that remains the envy of the world. Any president trying to alter that behemoth has three levers to press—policies, budget requests, and leadership appointments. To analyze Trump's record in each area, Science has talked to dozens of researchers, administrators, and lobbyists. Many asked to remain anonymous because they have ongoing interactions with the administration. Most scientists give Trump exceedingly low marks in an arena where he has perhaps the greatest authority: foreign affairs. His unilateral decisions to pull out of the Paris climate treaty, the Iran nuclear deal, and the World Health Organization are widely seen as damaging not just to global scientific cooperation, but also to the continued health, safety, and prosperity of the planet. Similarly, most scientists think the administration's aggressive efforts to restrict immigration pose a serious threat to the nation's ability to attract scientific talent from around the world. In the domestic arena, Trump's efforts to impose new policies by executive order and rewrite regulations have also drawn sharp criticism from scientists. They say the administration has routinely ignored or suppressed evidence that doesn't support its efforts to roll back environmental regulations, including those aimed at limiting emissions of greenhouse gases. Trump has also threatened the reliability of key demographic data by interfering with the orderly completion of the 2020 census, and by telling the Department of Commerce to exclude undocumented residents from the final count. Biomedical researchers, meanwhile, have been appalled by what they say is a de facto ban on the use of tissue derived from elective abortions in research, as well as orders to cancel a grant that Trump disliked. Such moves, many researchers believe, are designed to advance the president's political agenda at the expense of national interests. Fewer scientists complain about the Trump administration's record on spending. But that's largely because Congress has ignored the deep cuts the White House has proposed in its annual budget requests to Congress (see graphic, p. 280). For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the biggest federal supporter of academic research, has seen its budget rise by 39% in the past 5 years despite deep cuts proposed by Trump. The budget of the National Science Foundation (NSF) has gone up by 17% over the past 3 years, reversing the downward direction that Trump has requested and rising more than twice as fast as it did under former President Barack Obama. Researchers working on artificial intelligence (AI) and in quantum information science are enjoying an even more rapid growth rate. In a rare embrace of large spending increases, the Trump administration has thrown its weight behind a 2-year doubling of those fields, which fuel what it calls “industries of the future.” And Congress seems amenable to the idea. Assessing the president's appointees is more complicated. Scientists have condemned some of Trump's choices at agencies involved in environmental regulation or climate science, citing their meager scientific credentials or views that are outside the mainstream. The appointees are clustered at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Department of the Interior. The list also includes three recently installed senior officials at the Census Bureau, which is embroiled in controversy over its plans for completing the 2020 census. At the same time, most scientists give high marks to the officials who lead agencies that hand out the bulk of federal research dollars (and are generally not involved in hot-button regulatory issues). That list includes the heads of NIH—Obama-era hold-over Francis Collins—and NSF, where Sethuraman Panchanathan succeeded Obama appointee France Córdova after her 6-year term ended in March. Physical scientists also give good reviews to Paul Dabbar and Chris Fall, who manage the science portfolio at the Department of Energy (DOE). A third group of Trump science appointees remains something of an enigma to the U.S. research community. They include the president's unofficial science adviser, Kelvin Droegemeier; Robert Redfield, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Stephen Hahn, head of the Food and Drug Administration. The trio are considered able scientists and are generally respected by their peers. But Droegemeier, who leads the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), has disappointed many science policy insiders by failing to make good on promises to better coordinate federal policies that affect universities. “I give him an A for effort, and an F for performance,” one observer says. And all three leaders have drawn complaints for their tepid responses when Trump has disputed settled science or attacked their agencies and the scientists who work for them. But such broad strokes paint only a partial picture of how Trump has influenced the U.S. research enterprise. In the following pages, Science looks at how federal science agencies have fared under a president who has repeatedly boasted of “draining the swamp” in the nation's capital. Trump's arrival brought fears of upheaval, but NIH watchers say the agency has managed to stay on course. Collins's warm relationship with congressional leaders has helped win generous budget increases. And Ned Sharpless, Trump's choice to lead its largest institute, the National Cancer Institute, has been “fantastic,” says Jon Retzlaff, chief policy officer for the American Association for Cancer Research. In contrast, researchers say White House pressure caused NIH to launch a damaging crackdown on scientists with foreign ties (p. 282). They also accuse Trump of political meddling in two important issues—fetal tissue research and pandemic research. In June 2019, the White House ended funding for NIH's in-house research using tissue from elective abortions and announced a new ethics review for extramural grants. This year, a 15-member ethics panel dominated by abortion opponents recommended approval of only one of 14 proposals that had passed review. And in April, NIH pulled a grant to the EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization working on bat viruses with the Chinese group that Trump accused—without evidence—of releasing the SARS-CoV-2 virus driving the pandemic. Those actions “have sent a chilling message to scientists,” says molecular biologist Keith Yamamoto of the University of California, San Francisco. “If problems that you have a real passion to dig into are deemed politically unsound, you could be out of luck. So watch out.” Arriving 2 years into Trump's 4-year term to head OSTP, Droegemeier promised to streamline and improve how the federal government manages academic research. But an interagency panel he created to take on the task—the Joint Committee on the Research Environment (JCORE)—has yet to reach consensus on any of the four areas Droegemeier has targeted. “He came in all fired up, promising to make things happen,” one lobbyist says. “But so far nothing has come out of JCORE, and the research community is very disappointed.” Research advocates do praise OSTP for helping focus more attention on AI and quantum information science. But science lobbyists say the real driver of that initiative has been Michael Kratsios, a scientific neophyte who was nominally in charge of OSTP before Droegemeier joined the administration. Kratsios “came into the job knowing less about science than any previous OSTP head,” one university lobbyist says. “But he was eager to learn, and he listens. He's also figured out how to use his connections to advance the administration's agenda.” ![Figure][1] CREDITS: (GRAPHIC) N. DESAI/ SCIENCE ; (DATA) AAAS/R&D BUDGET AND POLICY PROGRAM Trump's first energy secretary, Rick Perry, had vowed to eliminate DOE when he ran against Trump in 2016. But Perry surprised the community by becoming a champion of the department's science mission, and his successor, Dan Brouillette, has embraced that role since taking over in December 2019. Observers also credit undersecretary Dabbar for sustaining the political momentum behind several big projects at DOE's 17 national laboratories, including a new atom smasher to study nuclear physics at Brookhaven National Laboratory and a fast-neutron test reactor at Idaho National Laboratory. Despite the Trump administration's distaste for clean energy research and its conviction that private industry is the real engine of innovation, DOE's $7 billion Office of Science has fared well. It benefited handsomely from the administration's embrace of AI and quantum information science, where physicists and engineers try to leverage subtle quantum effects to develop more powerful supercomputers and secure communication systems. In July, for example, DOE announced it would build a prototype quantum network to connect Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the University of Chicago. Fall, who was already working for the government when he became head of DOE's basic science shop in May 2019, thinks his office has thrived by avoiding ideological battles over the proper role of government in creating new technologies. “What we don't do is policy,” he says. “I'm doing my level best to keep the Office of Science out of politics.” Given candidate Trump's rhetoric opposing government regulation, his affection for fossil fuels, and his denial of climate change, it's no surprise that EPA has often disregarded science in devising environmental policy. Its approach to regulating particulate air pollution—often called PM2.5 (particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter)—contains all the hallmarks of that approach, including appointing people tied to polluting industries to key posts, excluding experts from advisory roles, and using questionable methods to tip the scales when balancing benefits against costs. Soon after his appointment in 2017, then–EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt launched several major changes that would likely help ease regulations of PM2.5, which is linked to increased heart and lung diseases and premature deaths. He banned any EPA-funded scientist from serving on advisory boards that vet proposed regulations, but kept the door open to people associated with polluting industries. (A federal court overturned the ban earlier this year.) Pruitt also installed an industry consultant, Tony Cox, as chairman of the air pollution science committee and abolished an expert panel, led by Christopher Frey of North Carolina State University, that advised the committee on the science of particulate matter. Although Pruitt was forced out of the agency in mid-2018, his replacement, Andrew Wheeler, has followed a similar path. He declined a recommendation from agency scientists to tighten PM2.5 limits, citing a study by the reconstituted committee that found the science behind such a reduction was uncertain. The agency's recent actions “just made the whole thing a charade,” Frey says. EPA officials have also proposed barring the agency from considering certain scientific studies as it develops regulations if the underlying data cannot be made public because of concerns about patient privacy or trade secrets. That's the case for some large studies on how air pollution affects public health, and for many industry-funded reviews of toxic chemicals. Researchers say the rule fails to recognize the legitimate need to protect the confidentiality of some data and will undermine the quality of EPA's rulemaking. Home to some of the country's premier climate scientists, NOAA managed to operate mostly under the radar until August 2019, when Trump announced erroneously that Hurricane Dorian posed a threat to the state of Alabama and apparently used a marker to alter a National Weather Service forecast showing its path. The White House and Commerce Department pushed NOAA's acting administrator, Neil Jacobs, to reprimand weather forecasters for their correction of the president's map and tweets. That political flap, dubbed Sharpiegate, ultimately led to the arrival last month of two new senior political appointees, David Legates and Ryan Maue, who have been dismissive of climate science. “I have grave concerns around these appointments,” says Jonathan White, a retired Navy admiral and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. “NOAA has the best [climate] scientists in the government, and I'm very concerned these voices will be muzzled.” As custodian for more than 1.8 million square kilometers of federal land, the Department of the Interior has been a central player in the Trump administration's push for more oil and gas drilling. But critics say department officials have often overlooked, disregarded, or altered the relevant science, enabling them to dismiss the climate impacts of that drilling and discount potential harm to endangered species. One early target was calculations of the economic toll from greenhouse gas emissions. Shortly after Trump took office, the department drastically reduced estimates by the Obama administration of such costs. It did so by considering only direct impacts in the United States and by reducing the dollar value of impacts on future generations. The Trump administration has used the lower price tags to justify rolling back Obama-era limits on methane emissions from oil and gas wells, as well as carbon dioxide from cars and power plants, which fall under the authority of the Department of Transportation and EPA, respectively. But this year, a federal judge ruled the lower estimates were not defensible and that the Interior Department had tried “to erase the scientific and economic facts” used in the previous estimates. The plight of endangered species has received little attention during the Trump administration, with the number of new species being listed for federal protection at an all-time low. The Fish and Wildlife Service, the branch of the Interior Department that decides whether a species is endangered, “just doesn't have the institutional support to really push back when politics gets in the way of science,” says Brett Hartl of the Center for Biological Diversity, which frequently sues federal agencies over endangered species. “They're kind of a forgotten agency.” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue upset scientists with his decision to move two of the agency's research centers—the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Economic Research Service (ERS)—from Washington, D.C., to Kansas City, Missouri. According to the Congressional Research Service, roughly 75% of the employees left the Department of Agriculture (USDA) rather than move, and many grants were delayed by several months. Perdue said the new location would bring NIFA and ERS closer to their constituencies and save on rent. But many observers—including congressional Democrats—saw the move as an excuse to shrink ERS and diminish its ability to provide objective monitoring of myriad agricultural trends through its surveys and reports. And they worried the departures of so many veteran staff would deprive USDA of institutional knowledge and expertise that would take years to replace. On the plus side, USDA's decision this year to exempt certain gene-edited crops from its biotechnology regulations, potentially easing research, has been well received, says Karl Anderson, director of government relations for the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America. Anderson also applauds the agency's first ever set of long-range goals, which aim to increase agricultural production by 40% by 2050 while cutting the industry's environmental footprint in half. “I think it's a terrific effort,” he says. The Trump administration's efforts to limit or prohibit scientific collaborations with China and other countries deemed to pose national security risks have set off alarms throughout the academic community. Although separate from the president's attempts to restrict immigration, both efforts run counter to the traditionally open environment that has propelled U.S. science since the end of World War II. Many researchers also regard them as exercises in racial and ethnic stereotyping. The Obama administration pursued a handful of investigations, some later dropped, involving scientists with ties to China. But in the summer of 2018, NIH began to send letters to dozens of universities flagging nearly 200 faculty members believed to have hidden research support from Chinese entities. At the same time, university leaders heard themselves being accused of unwittingly handing over the fruits of federally funded research to China, the United States's chief rival as a scientific and economic superpower. In November 2018, the Department of Justice announced its China Initiative, making it clear that NIH's investigations were part of a broader campaign. Several scientists have been indicted and some have pleaded guilty, although the charges typically involve making false statements to federal officials or covering up their foreign ties rather than passing along sensitive technologies. Several agencies have taken steps aimed at learning who else is funding research by their grantees and then deciding whether those other sources pose a threat to national security. But NIH's actions are widely regarded as the most aggressive and, thus, potentially the most harmful. NSF, for example, insists on full disclosure but only occasionally initiates an investigation, and DOE has told its own scientists they cannot participate in foreign talent recruitment programs but has not altered its rules for grantees. “Agencies are under tremendous pressure from the White House to find guilty people,” says Stanford University physicist Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize winner and former energy secretary under Obama (and a past president of AAAS, Science 's publisher). “NSF has tried to push back, but NIH has almost completely folded.” The country needs to defend itself against military and economic espionage, scientists say, but some worry the administration's actions to date have already damaged the U.S. research enterprise and that additional restrictions could be fatal. “The potential loss is hard to estimate,” Chu says. Noting the outsize contribution of foreign-born scientists to U.S. technical innovation in the past 30 years, he adds, “It's scary to think [what would happen] if you shut that off.” Looking ahead to such research-based challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, many scientists crave leadership that respects science. On 2 September, for example, 81 Nobel laureates announced their support for Trump's opponent, Democrat Joe Biden. (So far, Trump has not received such an endorsement, although there was a “Scientists for Trump” group during the 2016 contest.) In their letter, the laureates don't mention any specific policies that Biden has championed over nearly a half-century in public office, including his 8 years as vice president under Obama. But the statement makes clear that they think a Biden administration will do a better job of interacting with the scientific community. “At no time in our nation's history has there been a greater need for our leaders to appreciate the value of science in formulating public policy,” they write in a public letter. “Joe Biden has consistently demonstrated his willingness to listen to experts, his understanding of the value of international collaborations in research, and his respect for the contribution that immigrants make to the intellectual life of our country.” More than a political endorsement, the letter reflects a sense that the federal government has turned its back on science in the past 4 years and their hope that the next president will, in Obama's memorable phrase, “restore science to its rightful place.” [1]: pending:yes

Army partners with University of Illinois on autonomous drone swarm technology

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Army researchers are working with the University of Illinois Chicago on unmanned technology for recharging drone swarms. The university has been awarded a four-year, $8 million cooperative agreement "to develop foundational science in two critical propulsion and power technology areas for powering future families of unmanned aircraft systems," according to a statement released by the Army Research Laboratory. "This collaborative program will help small battery-powered drones autonomously return from military missions to unmanned ground vehicles for recharging," the Army added.

Episode #41: Brand Management, How You Should Use AI with the Beard, Curphy Smith by #BIZ with the Beard • A podcast on Anchor


Nov 1st, 2019 will mark the 20th anniversary of the death of the greatest football player of all time, #34, Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears. The #BIZ with Beard & Bald Podcast was blessed to spend time with Walter's son, Jarrett Payton, this week to discuss his dad as a player, father, friend, and the impact he had on the world. Jarrett shares with us the motivational wisdom of his father, living with the Payton name, being there for his dad at the end of his life, and what it meant to induct his dad into the NFL Hall of Fame. Jarret reveals Walter's true feelings about not getting the ball to score in the Super Bowl, his impact on racial boundaries, who is the GOAT, and some touching and private moments that have never been shared before. Jarrett discusses his own success and journey and how his father's encouragement and guidance, even in death, have helped mold him into the successful entrepreneur, father, husband, and man he is today.

Caterpillar bets on self-driving machines impervious to pandemics


CHICAGO (Reuters) - Question: How can a company like Caterpillar CAT.N try to counter a slump in sales of bulldozers and trucks during a pandemic that has made every human a potential disease vector? Caterpillar's autonomous driving technology, which can be bolted on to existing machines, is helping the U.S. heavy equipment maker mitigate the heavy impact of the coronavirus crisis on sales of its traditional workhorses. With both small and large customers looking to protect their operations from future disruptions, demand has surged for machines that don't require human operators on board. Sales of Caterpillar's autonomous technology for mining operations have been growing at a double-digit percentage clip this year compared with 2019, according to previously unreported internal company data shared with Reuters. By contrast, sales of its yellow bulldozers, mining trucks and other equipment have been falling for the past nine months, a trend that's also hit its main rivals including Japan's Komatsu Ltd 6301.T and American player Deere & Co DE.N .

With to-do list checked off, U.S. physicists ask, 'What's next?


As U.S. particle physicists contemplate their future, they find themselves victims of their own surprising success. Seven years ago, the often fractious community hammered out its current research road map and rallied around it. Thanks to that unity—and generous budgets—the Department of Energy (DOE), the field's main U.S. sponsor, has already started on almost every project on the list. So this week, as U.S. particle physicists start to drum up new ideas for the next decade in a yearlong Snowmass process—named for the Colorado ski resort where such planning exercises once took place—they have no single big project to push for (or against). And in some subfields, the next steps seem far less obvious than they were 10 years ago. “We have to be much more open minded about what particle physics and fundamental physics are,” says Young-Kee Kim of the University of Chicago, chair of the American Physical Society's division of particles and fields, which is sponsoring the planning exercise. Ten years ago, the U.S. particle physics community was in disarray. The high-energy frontier had passed to CERN, the European particle physics laboratory near Geneva, where in 2012 the world's biggest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), blasted out the long-sought Higgs boson, the last piece in particle physicists' standard model. Some physicists wanted the United States to build a huge experiment to fire elusive particles called neutrinos long distances through Earth to study how they “oscillate”—morph from one of their three types to another—as they zip along. Others wanted the country to help push for the next big collider. Those tensions came to a head during the last Snowmass effort in 2013, and the subsequent deliberations of the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5), which wrote the road map. U.S. researchers agreed to build the neutrino experiment, but make it bigger and better by inviting international partners. They also decided to continue to participate fully in the LHC, and to pursue a variety of smaller projects at home (see table, below). The next collider would have to wait. Most important, DOE officials warned, the squabbling and backstabbing had to stop. In fact, physicists recall, the 2013 process had an informal motto: “Bickering scientists get nothing.” ![Figure][1] CREDIT: PARTICLE PHYSICS PROJECT PRIORITIZATION PANEL REPORT (2014) Physicists have just started to build the current plan's centerpiece. The Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Illinois will shoot the particles through 1300 kilometers of rock to the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) in South Dakota, a detector filled with 40,000 tons of frigid liquid argon. LBNF/DUNE, which should come online in 2026, aims to be the definitive study of neutrino oscillations and whether they differ between neutrinos and antineutrinos, which could help explain how the universe generated more matter than antimatter. “The angst in the neutrino community is a lot lower than it was last time,” says Kate Scholberg, a neutrino physicist at Duke University. “The DUNE program will be going on at least into the 2030s.” However, researchers are already thinking of upgrades to the $2.6 billion experiment, she notes. In other areas, the future looks less certain. The last time around, for example, scientists had a pretty clear path forward in their search for particles of dark matter—the so-far-unidentified stuff that appears to pervade the galaxies and bind them with its gravity. Researchers had built small underground detectors that searched for the signal of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), the leading dark matter candidate, bumping into atomic nuclei. The obvious plan was to expand the detectors to the ton scale. Now, two multi-ton WIMP detectors are under construction. But so far WIMPs haven't shown up, and scaling up that technology further “is probably not going to work very well anymore,” says Marcelle Soares-Santos, a physicist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. “So we need to think a little bit more out of the box.” Researchers are now contemplating a hunt for other types of dark matter particles, using new detectors that exploit quantum mechanical effects to achieve exquisite levels of sensitivity. A perennial question for the field is what the next great particle collider will be. The obvious need is for one that fires electrons into positrons to crank out copious Higgs bosons and study their properties in detail, says Meenakshi Narain, a physicist at Brown University. But possible designs vary. Physicists in Japan are discussing such a Higgs factory in the form of a 30-kilometer-long linear electron-positron collider. Meanwhile, CERN has begun a study of an 80- to 100-kilometer circular collider. China has plans for a similar circular collider. However, Vladimir Shiltsev, an accelerator physicist at Fermilab, says those aren't the only potential options. “The real picture is much murkier.” Snowmass organizers have received at least 16 different proposals for colliders, including one that would smash together muons—heavier, unstable cousins of electrons—and another that would use photons. Snowmass participants should consider all options, Shiltsev says. Joe Lykken, Fermilab's deputy director for research, suggests physicists could even push for DOE to support a massive experiment that has nothing to do with particles: a next-generation detector of gravitational waves, spacetime ripples set off when massive objects such as black holes collide. Their discovery in 2015 by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) opened a new window on the universe. LIGO consists of two L-shaped optical instruments with arms 4 kilometers long in Louisiana and Washington; it was built by the National Science Foundation. The next generation of ground-based detectors could be 10 times as big, and might better fit DOE, which specializes in scientific megaprojects, Lykken says. “It starts to sound like the kind of thing that the DOE would be interested in and maybe required for,” he says. During the coming year, Snowmass participants will air the more than 2000 ideas researchers have already proffered in two-page summaries. Then, a new P5 will formulate a new plan. Whatever ideas scientists come up with, to execute their new plan they'll have to maintain the harmony that in recent years has made their planning process an exemplar to other fields. “Being unified is the new norm for us,” quips Jim Siegrist, DOE's associate director for high energy physics. “So we have to continue to keep a lid on divisiveness and that'll be a challenge.” [1]: pending:yes

The US Army wants to build an autonomous drone charging system


The US Army is looking to build an autonomous charging system that can support hundreds of drones. It has funded a four-year research project with the ultimate aim of kitting out ground-based vehicles with charging stations that swarms of drones can fly to by themselves. The University of Illinois Chicago landed an $8 million contract from the Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory. Researchers will work on a system that will enable small drones to determine the location of the closest charging station, travel there and juice up before returning to their mission. The university is working on algorithms to help the drones determine the best route to a charging port.

New artificial intelligence models show potential for predicting outcomes


CHICAGO: New applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in health care settings have shown early success in improving survival and outcomes in traffic accident victims transported by ambulance and in predicting survival after liver transplantation, according to two research studies presented at the virtual American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress 2020. Both studies evaluated how AI can crunch massive amounts of data to support decision-making by surgeons and other care providers at the point of care. In one study, researchers at the University of Minnesota applied a previously published AI approach known as natural language processing (NLP)1 to categorize treatment needs and medical interventions for 22,529 motor vehicle crash patients that emergency medical service (EMS) personnel transported to ACS-verified Level I trauma centers in Minnesota. According to a 2016 study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 20 percent of medical injury deaths are potentially preventable2 representing a quality gap the researchers sought to address. Reviewing the performance of EMS teams to profile potentially preventable deaths can enable quality improvement efforts to reduce these deaths.

How Cloud-Based AI Will Help Transform CRE


Ryan Letzeiser is the Co-Founder and CEO of Obie, a portfolio management platform for commercial and multi-family real estate recently named a Top 100 Finalist for the 2019 Chicago Innovation Awards. Obie also offers tailored and competitive property insurance products. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a newer technology being applied to commercial real estate (CRE). But implementing the technology can be expensive and require a strong IT team with knowledge of how to properly use it. Cloud-based AI is giving CRE companies easier access to technology without having to overcome the hurdles of expense, expertise, and information.