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Declaration of the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on Cooperation in Artificial Intelligence Research and Development

#artificialintelligence

Recommending priorities for future cooperation, particularly in R&D areas where each partner shares strong common interest (e.g., interdisciplinary research and intelligent systems) and brings complementary challenges, regulatory or cultural considerations, or expertise to the partnerships; Promoting research and development in AI, focusing on challenging technical issues, and protecting against efforts to adopt and apply these technologies in the service of authoritarianism and repression. We intend to establish a bilateral Government-to-Government dialogue on the areas identified in this vision and explore an AI R&D ecosystem that promotes the mutual wellbeing, prosperity, and security of present and future generations. Signed in London and Washington on 25 September 2020, in two originals, in the English language.


EU challenges for an AI human-centric approach: lessons learnt from ECAI 2020

AIHub

During this period of progressive development and deployment of artificial intelligence, discussions around the ethical, legal, socio-economic and cultural implications of its use are increasing. What are the challenges and the strategy, and what are the values that Europe can bring to this domain? During the European Conference on AI (ECAI 2020), two special events in the format of panels discussed the challenges of AI made in the European Union, the shape of future research and industry, and the strategy to retain talent and compete with other world powers. This article collects some of the main messages from these two sessions, which included the participation of AI experts from leading European organisations and networks. Since the publication of European directives and guidance, such as the EC White Paper on AI and the Trustworthy AI Guidelines, Europe has been laying the foundation for the future vision of AI. The European strategy for AI builds on the well-known and accepted principles found in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Commission and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to define a human-centric approach, whose primary purpose is to enhance human capabilities and societal well-being.


Artificial intelligence and intellectual property: call for views

#artificialintelligence

Intellectual Property rewards people for creativity and innovation. It is crucial to the proper functioning of an innovative economy. The UK is voted one of the best IP environments in the world. To keep it that way we are keen to look ahead to the challenges that new technologies bring. We need to make sure the UK's IP environment is adapted to accommodate them.


Life academy promotes ethical ways AI can with help food security

#artificialintelligence

As part of its ongoing collaboration with two of the world's leading developers of AI software, the Pontifical Academy for Life will launch a new joint project looking at ethical ways artificial intelligence can be used to guarantee food security. The academy, together with the heads of Microsoft, IBM and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, were to unveil details about the project at an online event Sept. 24. The goals of the event include presenting concrete solutions to the agri-food business with the ethical use of AI and looking at the "post COVID-19 route" to take, the academy said in a press release Sept. 15. "Concrete experiences of using artificial intelligence to ethically address global environmental challenges will be presented," it said. Titled, "AI, Food for All: Dialogue and Experiences," the conference was a follow-up to a Feb. 28 event held at the Vatican that included the signing of a "Call for AI Ethics" by the leaders of the papal academy, Microsoft, IBM, the FAO and a representative of the Italian government.


How computational modelling is transforming medicine – Physics World

Oxford Comp Sci

Computational modelling has been brought under the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic, with scientists trying to predict how the SARS-CoV-2 virus will spread. On 23 March 2020 UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced a lockdown to tackle the spread of coronavirus, following the example of other countries around the world who chose this strategy to halt the virus' progression. This decision came days after Johnson's government toyed with the idea of letting the virus spread and infect up to 70% of the population, in order to develop so-called "herd immunity". The stark policy shift left people wondering what had changed. They predicted that should no action be taken, the death toll in the UK could reach 500,000, and may exceed 2 million in the US.


Hitting the books: How China uses AI to influence its 1.4 billion citizens

Engadget

The battle for international hegemony didn't stop with the fall of the Reichstag in 1945, or of the Soviet Union in 1991 -- it has simply moved online. Today, states and their actors are waging a digital cold war with artificial intelligence systems at the heart of the fight. As Russian President Vladimir Putin said in 2017, "Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world." In T-Minus AI, the US Air Force's first Chairperson for Artificial Intelligence, Michael Kanaan examines the emergence of AI as a tool for maintaining and expanding State power. Russia, for example, is pushing for AI in every aspect of its military complex, while China, as you can see in the excerpt below, has taken a more holistic approach, with the technology infiltrating virtually all strata of Chinese society.


Europe Feels the Squeeze as Tech Competition Heats Up Between U.S. and China

#artificialintelligence

Lacking a powerful technology sector of its own, the European Union has instead tried to carve out a space in the digital economy as the world's regulatory superpower, leading the charge on privacy rights and data protection by leveraging its enormous single market against Goliaths like Google and Facebook. But a number of recent examples have made it clear that for Europe, increasingly, that is not enough. The rapid pace of technological change -- including artificial intelligence and facial recognition -- is mingling ever more with national security concerns that European leaders have been slow to grasp and respond to, analysts say. As global technology shapes up into a battleground between China and the United States, Europe is finding it harder to set the rules of the road while others in Beijing and Washington are in the diver's seat. "Europe needs to get its act together," said Marietje Schaake, international policy director at the Cyber Policy Center of Stanford University and a former member of the European Parliament. "I worry the tempo is too slow for the pace at which changes are forthcoming."


COCIR response on Artificial Intelligence – ethical and legal requirements (IIA)

#artificialintelligence

COCIR welcomes the inception impact assessment by the European Commission on ethical and legal requirements for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the opportunity to provide feedback. Continuing our engagement in this area, and following the earlier consultation on the AI White Paper, COCIR is pleased to share its experience and expertise on the use of AI within healthcare. COCIR and its members have recently published a comprehensive in-depth analysis of Artificial Intelligence in Medical Device Legislation. The document provides a thorough analysis of the legal requirements applicable to AI-based medical devices. Based on this analysis COCIR sees no need for novel regulatory frameworks for AI-based medical devices, because the requirements of the EU Medical Device Regulation4 (MDR) in combination with provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are adequate to ensure excellence and trust in AI in line with European values.


How Could AI Industry in Britain Be Impacted Post Brexit?

#artificialintelligence

The United Kingdom is already one of the leading countries for AI and is home to some of the world's most advanced AI companies, academics, and research centres. As being said, the nation has the opportunity to be a global leader in AI, but navigating Brexit might be a challenge. On January 31, 2020, the UK formally called off its EU membership in Brussels, with a deal called the withdrawal agreement. However, the deal only set out the process of how the UK would leave the EU. It covers areas, including citizens' rights, info about ways to stop checks along the Irish border, and the UK's financial settlement.


News at a glance

Science

SCI COMMUN### Astronomy Talk about a sharper image: A recently constructed imaging sensor array (above) that will be used when the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile opens in 2021 has captured a world-record 3200 megapixels in a single shot. It recorded a variety of objects, including a Romanesco broccoli, at that resolution, which is detailed enough to show a golf ball clearly from 24 kilometers away. The sensor array's focal plane is more than 60 centimeters wide, much larger than the 3.5-centimeter sensors on high-end consumer digital cameras, says the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, which built the array. When the telescope, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, begins operating next year, it will image the entire southern sky every few nights for 10 years, cataloguing billions of galaxies each time. The surveys will shed light on mysterious dark energy and dark matter, which make up most of the universe's mass. With its repeat coverage, the telescope will make the equivalent of an astronomical movie in order to discover objects that suddenly appear, move, or go bang. ### Biomedicine Corticosteroids given orally or intravenously should be the standard therapy for people with “severe and critical” COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in new guidelines issued last week—but they should not be given to patients with mild cases. In June, a large U.K. trial named Recovery first showed that the steroid dexamethasone cut deaths among ventilated COVID-19 patients by 35% after 28 days of treatment. That result was confirmed by a WHO-sponsored metaanalysis published in JAMA on 2 September that included Recovery and six other studies testing dexamethasone, as well as two other corticosteroids—hydrocortisone and methylprednisolone. Many countries, including the United States, had already included corticosteroids in their national treatment guidelines. But WHO's recommendations will be important as a signal to low- and middle-income countries, says Martin Landray, one of Recovery's principal investigators. ### Public health COVID-19 virus particles drifting through a Chinese apartment building's plumbing may have infected some residents, a study has found, raising fears of yet another way that the disease could spread. The case echoes a 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that spread through the pipes of a Hong Kong apartment building. Such transmission is difficult to prove. But scientists suspect that aerosolized coronavirus may have spread from the bathroom of a Guangzhou family of five through a floor drain and into the building's wastewater pipes. Two middle-aged couples living in apartments above the family later contracted COVID-19. The study appeared last week in Annals of Internal Medicine . ### Conservation A plan to reforest a cross-continental strip of Africa to hold back expansion of the Sahara Desert and the semi-arid Sahel has made little progress—even though the project is halfway toward its planned completion date in 2030, a report says. Participating countries have planted only 4 million hectares of trees and other vegetation for the Great Green Wall, well short of the 100 million planned to stretch 7000 kilometers from Senegal to Djibouti, says the report by the Climatekos consulting firm, presented on 7 September at a meeting of the countries' ministers. Supporters predicted the project would also create jobs and capture carbon dioxide. Scientists have said creating grasslands may be more effective than planting trees to resist desertification, The Guardian reported. ### Philanthropy Rice University last week received a $100 million gift for materials science. It is the largest to date in that discipline recorded in a database of gifts for engineering maintained by The Chronicle of Philanthropy . The funding will be used to pair materials science with artificial intelligence to advance the design and manufacturing of new materials, for applications that include sustainable water systems, energy, and telecommunications. The donor was the Robert A. Welch Foundation, which supports chemistry research in Texas. ### Conservation Scientists hailed a move last week by the European Union to ban the use of lead ammunition near wetlands and waterways. The European Chemicals Agency has estimated that as many as 1.5 million aquatic birds die annually from lead poisoning because they swallow some of the 5000 tons of lead shot that land in European wetlands each year. Its persistence in the environment is also considered a human health hazard. The EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) committee approved the ban after years of controversy. The German delegation, which had abstained in a July vote on the issue, changed its stance to support the measure after a letter from 75 scientists and petitions signed by more than 50,000 people called for it to do so. The European Commission and the European Parliament are expected to formally approve the ban, allowing it to go into effect in 2022. REACH may debate a complete ban on lead ammunition and fishing weights later this year. ### Chemical weapons Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition politician, was poisoned with a nerve agent “identified unequivocally in tests” as a Novichok, an exotic Sovietera chemical weapon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on 2 September. Navalny fell ill on 20 August after drinking a cup of tea at a Siberian airport. He was flown to Berlin and this week emerged from a coma. German military scientists at the Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology in Munich haven't released details of their tests, but they had clear targets to hunt for: Like other nerve agents, Novichoks bind to the enzymes acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase, creating a telltale conjugate compound. Novichok agents came to wide public notice in 2018 after one was used in an assassination attempt against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom. The attack prompted nations to push for a crackdown on Novichok agents, and last year they were added to the list of toxic chemicals regulated under the Chemical Weapons Convention. ### COVID-19 In one of the largest surveys of Americans since COVID-19 lockdowns began, a majority reported having some symptoms of depression, up from one-quarter in a prepandemic survey. The prevalence of symptoms graded as moderate to severe tripled, to 27.8% of respondents. A research team compared results from two surveys used to screen for depression: one administered to more than 5000 people in 2017 and 2018 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the other given to 1400 people in early April by NORC at the University of Chicago. Prevalence of depression symptoms rose in all demographic groups and especially among individuals facing financial problems, job loss, or family deaths. The increases in self-reported symptoms are larger than those recorded in previous surveys after large-scale traumatic events in other countries, including outbreaks of the severe acute respiratory syndrome, H1N1, and Ebola, the authors write in the 2 September issue of JAMA Network Open . ### A U.S. vaccine leader's vow: Politics stays out “I would immediately resign if there is undue interference in this process.” So said Moncef Slaoui, scientific director of Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. effort to quickly develop a vaccine for COVID-19, in an interview with Science . To date, Warp Speed has invested more than $10 billion in eight vaccine candidates. Three are now in large-scale efficacy trials, and interim reviews of their data by independent safety and monitoring boards could reveal evidence of protection as early as October. Slaoui, an immunologist who formerly headed vaccine development at GlaxoSmithKline, answered questions from Science last week about how Warp Speed operates and addressed concerns that political pressure before the 3 November U.S. presidential election may lead to an emergency use authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine before it is proven safe and effective. (On 8 September, nine companies developing vaccines for the pandemic coronavirus pledged not to seek a premature authorization.) “It needs to be absolutely shielded from the politics,” Slaoui says. “Trust me, there will be no [authorization request] filed if it's not right. … The science is what is going to guide us. … And at the end of the day, the facts and the data will be made available to everyone who wants to look at them and will be transparent.” Slaoui defended Warp Speed's decision to not consider vaccines made of whole, inactivated viruses, a time-tested approach. China has three such vaccines in efficacy trials, but he worries they could cause serious side effects in people who receive them. Slaoui also said if it had been his choice, the United States would have participated in COVAX, a mechanism for countries to invest collectively in vaccines and share them; the Trump administration declined to join. The full interview—one of Slaoui's most detailed since taking the job in May—is at .