Immigration & Customs


The U.S. leads in artificial intelligence, but for how long?

#artificialintelligence

Even as the world's top artificial-intelligence researchers gathered in Los Angeles this week, many are beginning to wonder just how much longer the U.S. will remain the epicenter of AI. The Neural Information Processing System (NIPS) conference in Long Beach is the number one place for presenting breakthroughs in AI. But U.S. government policies threaten to put a dampener on the recent boom in the field. The U.S. Congress's tax plan is the latest challenge, threatening to raise costs for graduate students significantly. This follows reduced funding for fields including AI and tightening of rules on immigration for international researchers.


The U.S. leads in artificial intelligence, but for how long?

#artificialintelligence

Even as the world's top artificial-intelligence researchers gathered in Los Angeles this week, many are beginning to wonder just how much longer the U.S. will remain the epicenter of AI. The Neural Information Processing System (NIPS) conference in Long Beach is the number one place for presenting breakthroughs in AI. But U.S. government policies threaten to put a dampener on the recent boom in the field. The U.S. Congress's tax plan is the latest challenge, threatening to raise costs for graduate students significantly. This follows reduced funding for fields including AI and tightening of rules on immigration for international researchers.


IBM urged to avoid working on 'extreme vetting' of U.S. immigrants

@machinelearnbot

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A coalition of rights groups launched an online petition on Thursday urging IBM Corp to declare that it will not develop technology to help the Trump administration carry out a proposal to identify people for visa denial and deportation from the United States. IBM and several other technology companies and contractors, including Booz Allen Hamilton, LexisNexis and Deloitte [DLTE.UL], attended a July informational session hosted by immigration enforcement officials that discussed developing technology for vetting immigrants, said Steven Renderos, organizing director at petitioner the Center for Media Justice. President Donald Trump has pledged to harden screening procedures for people looking to enter the country, and also called for "extreme vetting" of certain immigrants to ensure they are contributing to society, saying such steps are necessary to protect national security and curtail illegal immigration. The rights group said the proposals run counter to IBM's stated goals of protecting so-called "Dreamer" immigrants from deportation. Asked about the petition and whether it planned to work to help vet and deport immigrants, an IBM spokeswoman said the company "would not work on any project that runs counter to our company's values, including our long-standing opposition to discrimination against anyone on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation or religion."


The Silicon Valley Founder With a Pocket Full of Visas

WIRED

The immigrant entrepreneur's road to Silicon Valley is paved with visas. And every one tells a tale. In the case of Purva Gupta, who is now the 29-year-old founder of Lily, a Palo Alto-based startup that's building an AI-driven fashion app, the precious US government documents weave a kind of personal epic. In the short three years she has been in the United States, Gupta has had six separate visas, each marking a different phase of her startup quest. Gupta's first visa came in 2013, when she moved to the US with her husband, who was getting an MBA at Yale.


Groups urge IBM not to use AI to help Trump deport immigrants

#artificialintelligence

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is reportedly looking into ways to use machine learning technology and social media monitoring to identify people for visa denial–and to select people for deportation from the United States. After IBM attended the informational meeting, rights groups are concerned that the company might be considering getting involved with the program. While Reuters obtained an email from Christopher Padilla, IBM's vice president of government affairs, saying that IBM "would not work on any project that runs counter to our company's values, including our long-standing opposition to discrimination against anyone on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion," he also noted that it was "premature to speculate" whether IBM would pursue this business. To hopefully sway IBM from getting in bed with ICE, a coalition of rights groups, including 18 Million Rising and Center for Media Justice launched an online petition on Thursday urging IBM Corp to renounce the proposal entirely. If you sign it, you won't be alone.


Groups urge IBM not to use AI to help Trump deport immigrants

#artificialintelligence

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is reportedly looking into ways to use machine learning technology and social media monitoring to identify people for visa denial–and to select people for deportation from the United States. After IBM attended the informational meeting, rights groups are concerned that the company might be considering getting involved with the program. While Reuters obtained an email from Christopher Padilla, IBM's vice president of government affairs, saying that IBM "would not work on any project that runs counter to our company's values, including our long-standing opposition to discrimination against anyone on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion," he also noted that it was "premature to speculate" whether IBM would pursue this business. To hopefully sway IBM from getting in bed with ICE, a coalition of rights groups, including 18 Million Rising and Center for Media Justice launched an online petition on Thursday urging IBM Corp to renounce the proposal entirely. If you sign it, you won't be alone.


China Will Surpass US in AI Around 2025, Says Google's Eric Schmidt

#artificialintelligence

In April, as Eric Schmidt watched a computer program defeat China's top go player in a ground-breaking match in the Chinese city of Wuzhen, the executive chairman of Google's parent company was struck less by the considerable innovations displayed by human and machine than by the audience: "To me the more interesting thing [was that] all the top computer science people in China had shown up." It showed, Schmidt said, the importance placed on AI development by both the Chinese government and its people, and was a postcard from the future competition for AI dominance. "I'm assuming our [U.S.] lead will continue over the next five years and then that China will catch up extremely quickly," the Google leader told the Center for New American Security's Paul Scharre at the Artificial Intelligence & Global Security Summit on Wednesday. Schmidt doesn't like the term "arms race" to describe the U.S.-Chinese rivalry in artificial intelligence, in part because defining AI as a weapon is limiting at best and flatly inaccurate at worst. But it is a tool that can make one military, company, economy, and even nation much more effective than another.


Google's former CEO says US could fail in the AI competition with China

#artificialintelligence

Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt says the US is at risk of falling behind in the race to develop cutting-edge artificial intelligence. Speaking at a tech summit organized by national security think tank CNAS, Schmidt predicted that America's lead in the field would continue "over the next five years" before China catches up "extremely quickly." "They are going to use this technology for both commercial and military objectives, with all sorts of implications," said Schmidt, referencing a Chinese policy document by outlining the country's ambition to become the global leader in AI by 2030. Schmidt reiterated several familiar talking points in this debate: that the US is failing to invest in basic research, and that a restrictive immigration policy hobbles the country's ability to attract AI talent from overseas. "Some of the very best people are in countries that we won't let into America.


The most profound technologies are those that disappear

Popular Science

JetBlue passengers flying from Boston to Aruba can now present a new kind of boarding pass, one impossible to misplace: their faces. In lieu of handing over a paper ticket or summoning up a smartphone version, beach-bound commuters simply walk up to the gate and pause in front of a camera. There, biometric software compares it against databases of passport, visa, and immigration images. If the computer finds a match, a screen at the gate flashes a green check mark--the universal "go" sign meaning you're cleared to drag your wheelie bag and stuffed-animal pillow down the gangway. Biometric boarding probably wasn't what Xerox PARC chief technologist Mark Weiser had in mind when he coined the term "ubiquitous computing" in 1988.


The Morning After: Friday, October 13th 2017

Engadget

Yesterday, we got a date for a giant robot battle, the chance to win tickets (and gadgets) for the Engadget Experience, and Virgin joined the Hyperloop... hype. Reviews Editor Cherlynn Low discusses the Department of Homeland Security's modified system of records, and how it would allow the DHS, Border Patrol and other immigration authorities to collect social media handles as part of an individual's official record. Malicious code spotted on Equifax's website As if the company didn't have enough problems, a malicious Flash pop-up appeared on its customer site. Epic giant robot battle scheduled for October 17th The MegaBots vs. Suidobashi fight will be streamed live on Twitch Are you ready for the world's first giant robot fight?