Regional Government

How can universities compete with tech giants for AI talent?


Nations such as China, Finland, France, the UK and India, plus the European Union, have all released artificial intelligence strategies of sorts over the past year, hoping to ready their economies and societies for a wave of upheaval and opportunity afforded by increasingly smart machines. Researchers and universities are seen as key: announcing France's strategy in March, president Emmanuel Macron earmarked €400 million (£349 million) for AI research. The strategies include a wealth of suggestions – and dilemmas – as policymakers grapple with how best to support research into AI, link it with other disciplines and feed the results through into the economy. Perhaps the most pressing problem for AI research, particularly in Europe, is that universities cannot match the lucrative salaries on offer at tech giants in Silicon Valley. The French approach, set out in a report called For a Meaningful Artificial Intelligence, suggests doubling the salaries of AI graduates who work in public research institutions, otherwise the flow into universities could "dry up completely".

3 ways AI will shape the future of work Sage Advice US


Lost productivity costs United States businesses nearly $11,000 per second--or about $335 billion per year. One root cause of that productivity drain is the time employees devote to performing routine, manual administrative processes, particularly in accounting and HR. But there's good news for business leaders: emerging automation and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies promise to relieve the burden--and the lost productivity--these admin duties create. And employees, freed from time-consuming admin responsibilities, will gain more opportunities to do their best work and become true experts in their roles. I had the honor of addressing these topics with global leaders on a 2018 HOPE Global Forum panel, moderated by Forbes editor Loren Feldman.

U.S. lawmakers want Google to rethink links to China's Huawei, seen as security threat

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – A group of Republican and Democratic U.S. lawmakers asked Alphabet Inc.'s Google on Wednesday to reconsider its work with Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., which they described as a security threat. In a letter to Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai, the lawmakers said Google recently decided not to renew "Project Maven," an artificial intelligence research partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense. "While we regret that Google did not want to continue a long and fruitful tradition of collaboration between the military and technology companies, we are even more disappointed that Google apparently is more willing to support the Chinese Communist Party than the U.S. military," they wrote. The letter was signed by Republican Sens. Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio, Republican Reps. Alphabet did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Artificial Intelligence: Commission discusses ethical and social impact with philosophical and non-confessional organisations


Today, the European Commission hosted a high-level meeting with 12 representatives from philosophical and non-confessional organisations from across Europe, as part of the regular dialogue with churches, religions, philosophical and non-confessional organisations foreseen by Article 17 of the Lisbon Treaty. This ninth annual high-level meeting discussed the topic "Artificial Intelligence: addressing ethical and social challenges". First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for the Article 17 Dialogue said: "Our societies are in the midst of an unprecedented digital revolution which will impact every person living on the planet. This revolution brings new promises, and new risks of disruption. We have seen recently that the digital world moved faster than the ethical discussion about what could and should be allowed online.

Dust storm on Mars now covers entire planet


NASA's Curiosity Rover is living its best life through a massive dust storm on Mars, while Opportunity has been forced to hunker down. An artist's conception of a Martian dust storm, which might also crackle with electricity. A giant dust storm has enveloped the entire planet of Mars, with dust clouds reaching up to 40 miles high, NASA announced Wednesday. The dust storm has silenced NASA's solar-powered rover Opportunity since last week, by obscuring the sun. The robot rover has gone to sleep because its solar panels are unable to provide or recharge its batteries.

NASA's Curiosity rover took a badass Mars selfie during a huge dust storm


The dust storm on Mars continues to grow. On Wednesday, NASA announced the storm has progressed from a continent-sized tempest to an event that has engulfed the entire red planet. "The Martian dust storm has grown in size and is now officially a'planet-encircling' (or'global') dust event," NASA said in a statement. SEE ALSO: NASA's Opportunity rover braves huge dust storm on Mars as scientists keep watch But a storm can't keep the Curiosity rover down. The space robot, which has been exploring the Martian surface since 2012, took a pretty amazing selfie as the storm was heating up on June 15.

US lawmakers urge Google to reconsider Huawei partnership


In the wake of national security concerns over Huawei's interest in entering the US market, legislators from both the Senate and the House sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai urging him to reconsider working with the Chinese phone maker, who made Google's Nexus 6P. "Chinese telecommunications companies, such as Huawei, have extensive ties with the Chinese Communist Party," said the letter. "As a result, this partnership between Google and Huawei could pose a serious risk to U.S. national security and American consumers." The missive was signed by a bi-partisan group of lawmakers, including Senators Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio, along with Congress members Mike Conway, Liz Cheney and Dutch Ruppersberger. The legislators make the point that Google recently refused to renew its participation in Project Maven, an AI system that was created to improve US military drones.

Basic income could work--if you do it Canada-style

MIT Technology Review

Dana Bowman, 56, expresses gratitude for fresh produce at least 10 times in the hour and a half we're having coffee on a frigid spring day in Lindsay, Ontario. Over the many years she scraped by on government disability payments, she tended to stick to frozen vegetables. She'd also save by visiting a food bank or buying marked-down items near or past their sell-by date. But since December, Bowman has felt secure enough to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. She's freer, she says, to "do what nanas do" for her grandchildren, like having all four of them over for turkey on Easter.

The European Union cannot forget its values when developing artificial intelligence, say EU policy-makers


The first Stakeholder Summit on Artificial Intelligence, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the European Commission, stressed that the EU must ensure that artificial intelligence is safe, unbiased and in line with European values. The event, which aimed to discuss the next steps to advance the EU strategy on artificial intelligence, took place on 18 June in Brussels. The key EU policy-makers on artificial intelligence and European stakeholders who gathered for the first stakeholder summit agreed that artificial intelligence held great promise in terms of addressing societal issues, but also raised a number of challenges with regard to privacy, security, labour, education and ethics. "Artificial intelligence is a technology which does not have to overcome and overwhelm us," said Catelijne Muller, President of the EESC Thematic Study Group on Artificial Intelligence, adding that humans should stay in command of artificial intelligence and be able to determine "if, when and how we want to use these technologies in our daily lives." Artificial intelligence is one of the main political priorities of the EESC's current presidency.

Solar system's largest supervolcano could have created mysterious rock formation on Mars

Daily Mail

The mystery of a strange Martian rock formation that has baffled scientists for decades has now been solved. Since its discovery in the 1960s, researchres have been trying to work out exactly what causes the undulating hills and sharp ridges of the Medusae Fossae formation. The formation covers an area of about 2 million sq km (770,000 sq miles) around the Martian equator and is described by Nasa as an'enigmatic pile of eroding sediments'. In the absence of any scientific explanation, conspiracy theorists have said that at least some of the exotic shapes found in the area belong to a'crashed UFO'. But a new study claims the rocks in this area of Mars are in fact the remains of volcanic eruptions that would have changed the climate of the red planet 3 billion years ago.