Immigration & Customs

AI pioneer will advise chatbot startup that provides free legal advice to immigrants


Dr. Yoshua Bengio, one of the key researchers credited with establishing the field of deep learning, announced today that he will serve as a strategy adviser for legal tech company Botler AI, a Montreal-based startup that runs a free chatbot to assist users as they navigate the legal procedures required for immigration. "Deep Learning could help provide affordable or even free legal services to people who might otherwise not be able to have access," he said. Moravej adds that his team will use deep learning "to empower Botler AI's natural language understanding, image recognition, and document classification," as well as "help us move towards a general chatbot in the legal field, and understand more languages." The startup partnered with a Canadian immigration law firm while producing the current iteration of Botler, and Moravej plans to continue collaborating with lawyers to provide the legal knowledge necessary for his company's services.

Three MIT alumni win 2017 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

MIT News

Three MIT alumni have been awarded The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, a graduate school fellowship for outstanding immigrants and children of immigrants in the United States. Continuing educational development work, Phong hopes to expand access to and improve the quality of science education in Vietnam and the U.S. Phong plans on pursuing a PhD in physics, and hopes to become a professor in condensed matter physics who also works to reform science education. While working on her undergraduate degree in biological engineering, Zekavat became interested in applying computational methods to improve mechanistic understanding of disease and to motivate new paths for disease prevention, diagnostics, and treatments. Daisy M. Soros and Paul Soros, both Hungarian immigrants, founded the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans in 1997.

Immigration chat bot can help you with the H1-B visa


When Visabot went live last November, the Facebook Messenger-based artificial intelligence attempted to simplify the US visa application process and help many people skip the fees associated with a visit to an immigration lawyer. Now, as promised, Visabot support is adding support for the H-1B visa transfers and applications that many Silicon Valley companies rely on for attracting talent. As Buzzfeed reports, the H-1B applications won't be supported by Visabot in time for this year's April 3 deadline, but they will be available soon. As Buzzfeed explains, it's a common problem for foreign born coders who get hired at major tech firms like Google or Microsoft, but can't afford to leave for a newer startup that doesn't have the time or legal resources to sponsor their visa transfer.

The Crazy, Amazing Life Of Immigrant Nikola Tesla


The guitarist of the band'Lightningfan' Wang Hongbin (C) creates lightning with a Tesla Coil in a village outside of Fuzhou in China's Fujian province in June 2013. The Tesla Coil invented by Nikola Tesla in 1891 is a transformer that produces vast amounts of voltage at high frequencies that creates long bolts of electricity like lightning. Before he became the name of a car company and a character in modern science fiction novels, Nikola Tesla immigrated to the United States and turned into an inventor extraordinaire. "After seeing a drawing or photograph of Niagara Falls, Tesla announced to his Uncle Josip that one day he would place a gigantic wheel under the falls and thereby harness it," writes Seifer.

More airports are rolling out facial recognition technology


TRAVELLERS sometimes have to show their travel documents five times when catching a flight: at check-in, at security, then occasionally at outbound immigration, before another check when boarding. Similar trials have also been announced in Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. In 2015, the government unveiled its "Seamless Traveller" initiative, which set a target of automating 90% of passenger processing by 2020, and offered A$93.7m ($71.9m) to help bring it about. The first is whether the introduction of face-recognition technology is more about cutting security jobs than creating a seamless passenger experience.

Security News This Week: An IoT Teddy Bear Leaked Millions of Parent and Child Voice Recordings


Oh, also, some rogue stuffed bears made a great case against the Internet of Toys. Motherboard reported this week that toy company Spiral Toys left two million messages recorded by its digital teddy bear brand Cloudpets exposed in a vulnerable online database, such that anyone could find the messages with the IoT search engine Shodan and listen to the messages. Not only did Google elite team of security researchers reveal a Cloudflare flaw that nearly broke the internet last week, but they've now dropped a zero day in Microsoft's Edge Browser and Internet Explorer--before Microsoft has had a chance to patch it. Google promises to give companies 90 days to fix the vulnerabilities its Project Zero team finds, but in both cases Microsoft failed to patch its bugs within that three-month window.

Is Trump Bad For The Economy? Tourism To US Declines Significantly After Inauguration, Immigration Ban

International Business Times

Tourism in the United States has taken a hit since Trump took office and implemented an executive order temporarily suspending immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, according to data released by travel search engine Kayak on Monday. The data was merely the latest from the tourism industry showing the decline worldwide following Trump's inauguration. The flight app Hopper released data earlier in February showing that flight searches from places around the world dropped 17 percent since Trump took office when compared with the final weeks of Barack Obama's administration. Some industry analysts have attributed the slump in tourism to Trump's immigration ban, comparing the post-ban industry to post-9/11 America.

Foliage-penetrating ladar technology may improve border surveillance

MIT News

Leveraging the laboratory's long experience in building imaging systems that exploit microchip lasers and Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes, the research team developed and tested two concepts of operations (CONOPS) for using airborne ladar systems to detect human activity in wooded regions. "For any new technology to be effectively used by CBP, an emerging sensor must bring with it a sensible deployment architecture and concept of operation," said John Aldridge, a technical staff member from the Laboratory's Homeland Protection Systems Group, who has been working with a multidisciplinary, cross-divisional team that includes Marius Albota, Brittany Baker, Daniel Dumanis, Rajan Gurjar, and Lily Lee. To make the ladar change detection data easier for analysts to search, the team looked to automated object detection, a well-established field in computer vision that has been applied to images and radar data. Trials of the SAD technique applied to simulated vehicles in a foliated environment demonstrated that the approach yielded high detection rates and has potential as an automated method for reducing the huge amount of ladar data analysts would have to scrutinize to discover objects of interest.

Machine Learning and Optimization - Now Also with UAVs - iHLS Israel Homeland Security


Microsoft's Aerial Informatics and Robotics platform has a solution for these two problems: It will provide realistic simulation tools for designers and developers to generate the training data needed and will also leverage recent innovations in physics to create accurate, real-world simulations. Its cross-platform (Linux and Windows), open-source architecture is easily extensible to accommodate diverse new types of autonomous vehicles, hardware platforms, and software protocols. According to Microsoft's site, the platform is also designed to integrate with existing machine learning frameworks to generate new algorithms for perception and control tasks. Methods such as reinforcement and imitation learning, learning-by-demonstration, and transfer learning can leverage simulations and synthetically generated experiences to build realistic models.

The Math Behind Trump's Deportation Plan Makes No Sense


President Trump claims his administration's new and expansive executive order on undocumented immigrants is "getting really bad dudes out of this country." "This is dumb policing," says Richard Berk, a University of Pennsylvania criminologist and statistician, of Trump's deportation plan. Adding all 11 million undocumented immigrants to Homeland Security's list means immigration enforcement officials now face a radically larger population to sift before they find truly dangerous people. Do undocumented immigrants commit violent crimes?