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New EU regulations on AI seek to ban mass and indiscriminate surveillance

#artificialintelligence

New EU regulations on AI seek to ban mass and indiscriminate surveillance. For many, that is the good news. The'not so good' news is that the proposed prohibitions are considered by some as being too vague, with serious loopholes. Most recently, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) and European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), called for a ban on the use of AI for the automated recognition of human features in "publicly accessible spaces" as well as other uses that might lead to "unfair discrimination". Broadly speaking, this reflects the response to the EU's attempt to set a standard on how tech is regulated around the world.


Coal country cleanup: U.S. plan sketches out possible future for former miners

The Japan Times

Now, with mining jobs hard to find, he's cleaning up the mess the industry left behind. The 68-year-old operates a bucket loader scraping away red, rocky waste dumped years ago by failed coal mine operators in a valley in the town of Clinchco, Virginia. The $17.50 an hour before overtime he makes cleaning up massive "gob piles," as the locals call them, is less than what he earned in decades as a miner. "If this work goes away, I don't know what I would do," Mullins said. Appalachia, long the heart of the U.S. coal-mining industry, may be set for a surge in jobs like Mullins' if President Joe Biden is successful in his ambitions to transition the United States to a cleaner energy economy to fight climate change.


NIST seeks input on guidance to pin down trustworthy AI

#artificialintelligence

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is seeking public input on what to include in forthcoming guidance that will set rules of the road for fielding trustworthy artificial intelligence in and out of government. NIST, following the recommendations of the National Security Commission on AI, is working on an AI Risk Management Framework that will set voluntary standards for agencies and industries to consider when adopting AI solutions. NIST, in a request for information posted Wednesday, said the upcoming framework will define trustworthy AI in terms of transparency, fairness and accountability. The agency plans to release the framework as a "living document" that adapts to changes in technology and practices. "Defining trustworthiness in meaningful, actionable, and testable ways remains a work in progress," the agency wrote in its RFI.


After em Jungle Cruise /em , Which Theme Park Attractions Should Disney Adapt Next?

Slate

This weekend, Jungle Cruise heads upriver towards the deep, dark heart of box office success, marking the eleventh feature film or TV movie based on an attraction at a Disney theme park. The studio's return on these projects has been, let's say, uneven: The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has been wildly successful, but the second-tier of Disney rides adapted for the big screen is a parade of embarrassments like The Haunted Mansion, oddities like Mission to Mars, and outright weirdness like the 1997 Tower of Terror TV movie starring Kirsten Dunst and Steve Gutenberg, a kid-friendly riff on The Shining that I promise actually exists: As Disney tries once again to create cinematic greatness out of amusement park rides, here are some of the Disney attractions that are most overdue for screen adaptations. Look, you can't create something as unholy and terrifying as the Donald Trump figure in the Hall of Presidents and not make a movie where it kills people, that's just mad science. The obvious choice for a Hall of Presidents movie would be a riff on Westworld or Five Nights at Freddy's, but this might work best as a Frankenstein-type story, as the audio-animatronic Trump cuts a bloody swath through the Imagineering department trying to find his creator and get him to admit he began life as Hillary Clinton. Maybe the Trump robot could team up with what's left of the original "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln" figure from the 1964 New York World's Fair, who looks like he'd like to have a word or two with whoever stole his clothes: Verhoeven would knock this out of the park.


The EU's Artificial Intelligence Act Could Become A Brake On Innovation

#artificialintelligence

Europe is lagging behind not only the US and Japan, but also China in terms of technological innovation. The world's 15 largest digital firms are not European! It is beyond question that Europe produces bright minds with amazing ideas and an entrepreneurial mindset. The problem is very simple: European companies do not make it beyond the start-up phase and if they do, their business is believed to be better off out of Europe. Skype is one famous example that was bought up by Microsoft.


FDA clears Synchron's brain-computer interface device for human trials

Engadget

A company that makes an implantable brain-computer interface (BCI) has been given the go-ahead by the Food and Drug Administration to run a clinical trial with human patients. Synchron plans to start an early feasibility study of its Stentrode implant later this year at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York with six subjects. The company said it will assess the device's "safety and efficacy in patients with severe paralysis." Before such companies can sell BCIs commercially in the US, they need to prove that the devices work and are safe. The FDA will provide guidance for trials of BCI devices for patients with paralysis or amputation during a webinar on Thursday.


Synthetic Data May Be The Solution to AI Privacy Concerns

#artificialintelligence

AI is hungry for data. Training and testing the machine-learning tools to perform desired tasks consumes huge lakes of data. More data often means better AI. Yet gathering this data, especially data concerning people's behavior and transactions, can be risky. For example, In January of this year, the US FTC reached a consent order with a company called Everalbum, a developer of photography apps.


New York company gets jump on Elon Musk's Neuralink with brain-computer interface in clinical trials

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Elon Musk might be well positioned in space travel and electric vehicles, but the world's second-richest person is taking a backseat when it comes to a brain-computer interface (BCI). New York-based Synchron announced Wednesday that it has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to begin clinical trials of its Stentrode motor neuroprosthesis - a brain implant it is hoped could ultimately be used to cure paralysis. The FDA approved Synchron's Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) application, according to a release, paving the way for an early feasibility study of Stentrode to begin later this year at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital. New York-based Synchron announced Wednesday that it has received FDA approval to begin clinical trials of Stentrode, its brain-computer interface, beating Elon Musk's Neuralink to a crucial benchmark. The study will analyze the safety and efficacy of the device, smaller than a matchstick, in six patients with severe paralysis. Meanwhile, Musk has been touting Neuralink, his brain-implant startup, for several years--most recently showing a video of a monkey with the chip playing Pong using only signals from its brain.


Panel Details Global Artificial Intelligence Arms Race

#artificialintelligence

Harnessing artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies has become the new arms race among the great powers, a Hudson Institute panel on handling big data in military operations said Monday. Speaking at the online forum, Richard Schultz, director of the international security program in the Fletcher School at Tufts University, said, "that's the way [Russian President Vladimir] Putin looks at it. I don't think we have a choice" but to view it the same way. He added in answer to a question that "the data in information space is enormous," so finding tools to filter out what's not necessary is critical. U.S. Special Operations Command is already using AI to do what in the old days was called political or psychological warfare, in addition to targeting, he added.


How Olympic Tracking Systems Capture Athletic Performances

#artificialintelligence

This year's Olympic Games may be closed to most spectators because of COVID-19, but the eyes of the world are still on the athletes thanks to dozens of cameras recording every leap, dive and flip. Among all that broadcasting equipment, track-and-field competitors might notice five extra cameras--the first step in a detailed 3-D tracking system that supplies spectators with near-instantaneous insights into each step of a race or handoff of a baton. And tracking is just the beginning. The technology on display in Tokyo suggests that the future of elite athletic training lies not merely in gathering data about the human body, but in using that data to create digital replicas of it. These avatars could one day run through hypothetical scenarios to help athletes decide which choices will produce the best outcomes.