Collaborating Authors


Passing The Torch


The events of the past year have left different marks on everyone's lives. For some of us in Texas, these marks are especially deep. We have not only experienced the heartache of the COVID-19 pandemic but also the worst winter storm in almost a century. To say the least, the 2020–21 academic year was a very memorable one for all of us. Both the pandemic and big freeze -- and its subsequent statewide power and water outages -- disrupted our lives, but we adapted, both on and off campus.

John Kennedy on 'Fox & Friends': Biden admin 'lies like they breathe' about illegal immigration

FOX News

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., joins'Fox & Friends' to provide insight into the growing migrant surge. Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., told "Fox & Friends" Friday, that the Biden administration "lies like they breathe" about illegal immigration. Kennedy made these comments after Fox News drones captured images of at least 8,000 migrants under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, -- which nearly doubled in one day. JOHN KENNEDY: When it comes to illegal immigration, the Biden administration lies like they breathe. The truth is that the Biden administration has an open border policy.

Drone footage shows thousands of migrants under bridge in Del Rio, Texas as local facilities overwhelmed

FOX News

Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin reports live from Del Rio, Texas, as border crisis intensifies and migrant facilities are overrun. Fox News drone footage over the International Bridge in Del Rio Texas shows thousands of migrants being kept there as they wait to be apprehended after crossing illegally into the United States -- as local facilities are overwhelmed and the crisis at the border continues. Border Patrol and law enforcement sources told Fox News that over 4,200 migrants are waiting to be apprehended under the bridge after crossing into the United States. The new footage shows how the migrant crisis that has rocked border states, with a knock-on effect in states across the country, appears to be far from over. Click here to see the footage.

Walmart announces driverless grocery delivery system with AI-powered Fords in Austin, Miami, and DC

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Walmart will begin testing an autonomous vehicle delivery service this year that will allow customers to place orders online and have their groceries delivered by a driverless car. The pilot program is being launched in Austin, Texas; Miami, Florida: and Washington D.C. It's a partnership between the $560-billion mega-retailer and Ford, which will provide Ford Escape hybrids outfitted with Argo AI technology to make the deliveries. Argo AI, a co-venture between Ford and Volkswagen, will provide the cloud-based infrastructure to schedule drop-offs and safely route orders. Focusing on those three metro areas will show'the potential for autonomous vehicle delivery services at scale,' said Argo AI founder Bryan Salesky. Initial integration testing is expected to begin later this year, the companies said, and the service initially will be limited to specific areas in each city before being expanded over time.

Walmart to Test Self-Driving Delivery Service With Ford and Argo AI WSJD - Technology

Walmart Inc. is working with Ford Motor Co. and Argo AI to start testing an autonomous-vehicle delivery service in three U.S. cities as the big-box retailer's consumers continue to favor deliveries within the same or next day. The companies on Wednesday said the service will start in Miami, Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C. The last-mile delivery service, or the leg of an item's journey to the ultimate destination, will take Walmart orders to customers using Ford self-driving test vehicles equipped with Argo AI's self-driving system.

Ford, Walmart and Argo AI to launch autonomous vehicle deliveries in three cities


Ford, Walmart and Argo AI plan to launch autonomous vehicle delivery services in Miami, Austin, Texas and Washington DC later this year, Ford has announced. The service will focus on last mile deliveries and use Ford vehicles equipped with Argo's AI self-driving system to deliver Walmart orders. Don't count on driverless ghost cars pulling up to your house with groceries, however, as Argo emphasized that the new venture is all about "testing" and "potential." "Our focus on the testing and development of self-driving technology that operates in urban areas where customer demand is high really comes to life with this collaboration," said Argo AI founder and CEO Bryan Salesky. Deliveries will be available in those cities "within defined service areas" and expand over time, Ford said.

ILA Says Union Will Not Service Automated Ships Without Crews


The International Longshoremen's Association warns against the use of crewless automated ships at its ports. In its ongoing efforts to resist all forms of automation in the maritime world, the powerful U.S. International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) has announced that its members would not service automated vessels operating without crews. Citing issues of safety and security, ILA, the largest union of maritime workers in North America, has long fought automation and even before that, resisted the move to containerization. Responding to various recent media reports about advancements in shipping automation and, specifically, efforts by Yara, NYK, and others developing automated container ships, ILA president Harold Daggett said, "Don't sail them into ILA ports from Maine to Texas, Puerto Rico, and Eastern Canada – they won't be unloaded or loaded by ILA members." The ILA staged fierce opposition to all forms of automation.

Report: US AI development is concentrated in 15 metro areas


Last week, the Brookings Institution published an examination of the "extent, location, and concentration" of AI activity in 400 US metro areas, hailing it as the "next great'general purpose technology,'" with the power to spur economic growth. Key takeaways: Although it already feels like AI is everywhere, the tech is still in its early days--and in the US, AI development and commercialization is mega-concentrated in a handful of mostly coastal locales. But, but, but: Brookings also identified 13 other metro areas with "above-average involvement" in AI, including hubs you may have seen coming--New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Austin, Texas, and Raleigh, North Carolina--as well as smaller metro areas like Boulder, Colorado, Lincoln, Nebraska, Santa Cruz, California, Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Zoom out: The above 15 metro areas account for two-thirds of AI activity nationwide--and for that matter, more than 50% of the areas Brookings looked at make up just 5% of AI activity, Wired reported.

Ethical Artificial Intelligence is Focus of New Robotics Program - UT News


Ethics will be at the forefront of robotics education thanks to a new University of Texas at Austin program that will train tomorrow's technologists to understand the positive -- and potentially negative -- implications of their creations. Today, much robotic technology is developed without considering its potentially harmful effects on society, including how these technologies can infringe on privacy or further economic inequity. The new UT Austin program will fill an important educational gap by prioritizing these issues in its curriculum. "In the next 10 years, we are going to live more closely alongside robots, and we want to be sure that those robots are fair, inclusive and free from bias," said Junfeng Jiao, associate professor in the School of Architecture and the program lead. "And because the robots we create are reflections of ourselves, it is imperative that technologists receive an excellent ethics education. We want our students to work directly with companies to create practices and technologies that are equitable and fair."

Best tasks humans have offloaded to robotic helpers


Robonaut2 positioned next to an astronaut spacesuit. Robots were once reserved for the pages of paperback pulp, but in recent decades, these bots have transformed from science fiction to everyday reality. Robotic interactions are a common part of the modern human experience as these increasingly nimble machines are designed with new skills and dexterity. During this time, robots have augmented human roles across industries from manufacturing to space exploration. From autonomous pizza delivery and bionic bartending to sports entertainment, here are some of the top tasks humans have offloaded onto our robotic assistants.