Foreign Policy


Augmenting human creativity

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Where things stand, per the Post: In early May, Sec of State Tillerson raised he possibility of returning the compounds if construction was allowed to move ahead on a new U.S. consulate in St Petersburg, but dropped the condition about the consulate days later after meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister and U.S. The Flynn connection: Michael Flynn, the former national security advisor, discussed the Obama administration's sanctions with Russia's ambassador and "indicated that U.S. policy would change" under Trump. Bonus anecdote: I spoke with locals in Centreville, Maryland the day after the compound there was closed about the espionage in their backyard, and what they thought would happen next. Smoky Sigler, then president of the town council, predicted that once Trump was in office he'd wait a few months, then let the Russians back in.


360 degree: Man versus Machine

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Some of those jobs include telemarketers, insurance underwriters, cargo and freight agents, photographic process workers and processing machine operators, brokerage clerks, packaging and filling machine operators and tenders, fitters, assembling staff, milling and planning machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic, credit analysts, accountants, telephone operators, real estate brokers, cashiers, farm labour contractors, paralegals and legal assistants. These include doctors, dentists, nurses, biochemists, biophysicists, engineers, except those relating software, jobs related to religion, mental health, and psychology, artists, architects, interior designers, directors, photographers, physical therapists, fashion designers, teachers, scientists, creative writers, public relations practitioners, computer research scientists, computer systems analysts, first-line supervisors, mechanics, fund-raisers, social workers, sales agents, and recreation therapists. Low-cost products manufactured by companies in developed countries could also threaten Indian companies, if the country has free trade agreement with them. Low-cost products manufactured by companies using robots in developed countries could threaten Indian companies, if india has a free trade agreement with them.


MIT researchers launch technology evaluations for global development in Mali, India

MIT News

CITE works closely with various partners -- including Mercy Corps, the World Vegetable Center, the Self Employed Women's Association, United Cerebral Palsy, and the Human Engineering Research Labs at the University of Pittsburgh -- to identify technologies that could benefit from rigorous evaluation. In partnership with MIT D-Lab, the World Vegetable Center, and Mercy Corps, CITE will evaluate vegetable storage technologies in Mali designed to function without the use of electricity where power is either not accessible or not affordable. CITE's role includes advising on research methodologies, assisting in developing a research plan, liaising with MIT faculty, staff, and students, as well as aiding in the purchase of packaging technologies and interviewing manufacturers. CITE's wheelchair evaluation, in coordination with the United Cerebral Palsy's Consolidating Logistics for Assistive Technology Supply and Provision (CLASP) Project, the International Society of Wheelchair Professionals, and the Human Engineering Research Labs at the University of Pittsburgh, is examining the technical performance of eight wheelchairs distributed in Indonesia, hoping to find the optimal and most cost-efficient solution toward a better quality of life for wheelchair users.


How Asia, digital tech and AI are reshaping the globalization debate

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Key Western markets are adopting protectionist trade policies, but the rise of Asia, automation, digital technologies and AI could make that difficult. New global finance services (FinTech) and the fourth industrial revolution are important parts of this development. Now the Trump administration is seeking to challenge China's position, while opening the door for China to lead economic policy in the region. This article is based on the Grow VC Group Research Report, "Machines, Asia And Fintech – Rise of Globalization and Protectionism as a Consequence."


Foreign Policy: A Predictable Future For Technology

AITopics Original Links

Where conventional wisdom of the era saw mass industrialization turning common citizens into straitjacketed "mass man," the Tofflers saw stratification and functional differentiation generating a superindustrial society with a "quilt-like" diversity. And where the public was either ignorant or complacent about the far-reaching effects of advanced communications technology, the Tofflers foresaw telephony and virtual worlds that would force us to devise ever more creative ways to avoid overstimulation and preserve our privacy. Five characteristics differentiate this Hybrid age from those that came before it: the ubiquitous presence of technology, its growing intelligence, its increasingly social dimensions, its ability to integrate and combine in new forms, and its growing power to disrupt, faster and on a larger scale than ever before in human history. The more we immerse in online and virtual environments, the more our online behavior shapes our "real" behavior rather than simply mirroring it.


Border Control Agencies May One Day Use AI to Detect Travelers' Lies

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Border control agencies are already using self-service kiosks to manage the crowds of international travelers entering their countries, but a high-tech type of kiosk in development can do more than just scan passports. The self-service kiosks, created by the National Center for Border Security and Immigration at the University of Arizona in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security [PDF], scan travelers' passports and ask the kinds of questions posed by human agents, such as "Do you have any fruits or vegetables?" Sensors can identify body cues like facial expression, vocal tics, pupil dilation--and even cues that human agents can't see, like cardiorespiratory data--which could indicate that the person is lying and should be subject to additional screening. "The system is fully ready for implementation to help stem the flow of contraband, thwart fleeing criminals, and detect potential terrorists and many other applications in the effort to secure international borders."


President Barack Obama on What Artificial Intelligence Means for National Security

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Century-old U.S. trade group vows to work with Trump, fight protectionism

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – A century-old U.S. trade group on Monday pledged to work with the incoming administration to improve access to overseas markets for American companies, but also to fight against protectionism. Rufus Yerxa, head of the 300-company National Foreign Trade Council, said his organization is prepared to work with President-elect Donald Trump to improve conditions for U.S. exporters. Yerxa presented the NFTC's newest policy brief, which favors many policies Trump has been pushing: better trade rules for U.S. exporters, reduced corporate taxes and big spending to improve infrastructure. Yerxa said if done right, with these programs coupled with lower taxes, free trade and improved infrastructure, "there will be a lot less need for politicians to be focusing on taking counterproductive trade actions as a way of solving our economic problems."


Our Automated Future

The New Yorker

Heading into the final "Final Jeopardy!," the humans were so far behind that, for all intents and purposes, they were finished. Martin Ford, a software developer, asks early on in "Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future" (Basic Books). Economic history suggests that this basic pattern will continue, and that the jobs eliminated by Watson and his ilk will be balanced by those created in enterprises yet to be imagined--but not without a good deal of suffering. It's worth noting that in 2012 Amazon acquired a robotics company, called Kiva, for three-quarters of a billion dollars.


#203: AI: Legal, Ethical, and Policy Challenges

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This episode brings two esteemed experts to discuss these issues and present guidance for both commercial companies and the public sector policymakers. Dr. David A. Bray began work in public service at age 15, later serving in the private sector before returning as IT Chief for the CDC's Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program during 9/11; volunteering to deploy to Afghanistan to "think differently" on military and humanitarian issues; and serving as a Senior Executive advocating for increased information interoperability, cybersecurity, and civil liberty protections. He serves as a Visiting Executive In-Residence at Harvard University, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a Visiting Associate at the University of Oxford. Kay co-founded the Consortium for Law and Policy of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the University of Texas and taught its first course: Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies: Law and Policy.