North America Government


Use of Artificial Intelligence: Comparing Croatia with Other Countries' Strategies

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January 25, 2020 - The AI revolution is upon us. How much is Croatia lagging behind, and are we going to do something about it? But even if we start those processes, where would we be in comparison to the rest of the world? What are other countries already doing and what should we be aware of? Fortunately, a fear of missing out is spreading around the globe or at least among some countries.


U.S. Space Force logo draws comparisons to 'Star Trek'

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump unveiled the logo for the U.S. Space Force on Friday, attracting critics who said America's newest military branch had boldly gone where "Star Trek" went before. With a central symbol resembling an arrowhead, ringed by an orbiting object and set to a starry backdrop, many people argued the design was pilfered from the famous science fiction franchise. But a spokesman for the branch hit back, arguing that the "Delta" emblem had been used by U.S. Air Force space organizations as early as 1961, before the first Star Trek show aired. The emblem also closely resembles the "widget" logo adopted by Delta Air Lines in 1959. "After consultation with our Great Military Leaders, designers, and others, I am pleased to present the new logo for the United States Space Force, the Sixth Branch of our Magnificent Military!" wrote Trump of the branch he championed and which came into being in December 2019.


Pentagon says 34 troops suffered traumatic brain injuries in Iran strike

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon disclosed on Friday that 34 U.S. service members suffered traumatic brain injury in Iran's missile strike this month on an Iraqi air base, and although half have returned to work, the casualty total belies President Donald Trump's initial claim that no Americans were harmed. He later characterized the injuries as "not very serious." Eight of the injured arrived in the United States on Friday from Germany, where they and nine others had been flown days after the Jan. 8 missile strike on Iraq's Ain al-Asad air base. The nine still in Germany are receiving treatment and evaluation at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the largest U.S. military hospital outside the continental United States. Jonathan Hoffman, the chief Pentagon spokesman, said the eight in the U.S. will be treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda, Maryland, or at their home bases.


China a '21st century surveillance state,' U.S. defense chief says

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that China's Communist Party had created a surveillance state that uses artificial intelligence to repress Muslim minorities and pro-democracy demonstrators. China has faced an outcry from activists, scholars, foreign governments and U.N. rights experts over what they call mass detentions and strict surveillance of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority and other Muslim groups who call Xinjiang home. "As we speak, the Communist Party of China is using artificial intelligence to repress Muslin minority communities and pro-democracy demonstrators," Esper said during a speech in Washington. "In fact, the party has constructed a 21st century surveillance state with unprecedented abilities to censor speech and infringe upon basic human rights," Esper added. "George Orwell would be proud."


MIT professors sound alarm on US falling behind on AI

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The U.S. is locked in a race when it comes to advanced technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning – chiefly against China. Speaking about technological progress from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, MIT Sloan's Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee pointed out how inextricably linked the AI race is with immigration policies and government investment – and particularly the red tape that hinders smart people from coming to the U.S. AI and machine learning are thought of technologies that will fundamentally reshape productivity and growth. Companies from around the world from Amazon to Google as well as more mundane companies in manufacturing are employing these technologies. According to Accenture, within five years AI will drive "significant innovation" and "unleash new levels of human productivity and creativity." Brynjolfsson said the U.S. is still the leader in developing these modern technologies -- and commercializing them.


This accessibility tech promises to make it safer than ever to live independently

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

This accessibility tech promises to make it safer than ever to live independently (Photo: Reviewed.com) Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Technology may be entertaining, but at its essence, its primary function is to make our lives easier. When we want to find answers to our questions, communicate with friends, secure our homes, or hundreds of other scenarios, we turn to technology. At CES 2020, technology took on another role: helping us care for ourselves and loved ones.


34 Troops Have Brain Injuries From Iranian Missile Strike, Pentagon Says

NYT > Middle East

The comments of the president, who avoided the Vietnam War draft thanks to a diagnosis of bone spurs, drew swift criticism from veterans groups. "Don't just be outraged by #PresidentMayhem's latest asinine comments," Paul Rieckhoff, the founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, wrote in a Twitter post that day. "Take action to help vets facing TBIs," meaning traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries result from the powerful changes in atmospheric pressure that accompany an explosion like that from a missile warhead. The missiles were launched by Iran in retaliation for the killing of a top Iranian general, Qassim Suleimani, by an American drone strike in Baghdad on Jan. 3.


Reflecting the Past, Shaping the Future: Making AI Work for International Development Digital Development U.S. Agency for International Development

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We are in the midst of an unprecedented surge of interest in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. These tools, which allow computers to make data-derived predictions and automate decisions, have become part of daily life for billions of people. Ubiquitous digital services such as interactive maps, tailored advertisements, and voice-activated personal assistants are likely only the beginning. Some AI advocates even claim that AI's impact will be as profound as "electricity or fire" that it will revolutionize nearly every field of human activity. This enthusiasm has reached international development as well.


VA's AI Tech Sprint yields a tool for matching patients with clinical trials, and more - FedScoop

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A group of high school students was one of the top teams to emerge from the recent AI Tech Sprint by the Department of Veterans Affairs, delivering a web application that could help match cancer patients to clinical trials. The three students from Northern Virginia entered their work in a competition that included software companies like Oracle Healthcare and MyCancerDB. Digital consulting company Composite App took the $20,000 first place prize for its solution -- a tool for helping patients stay on track with their care plan -- but the clinical trials team got an honorable mention. The tech sprint was organized by the VA's new AI institute, and it focused on partnering with outside organizations and companies interested in applying artificial intelligence tools and techniques to VA data. The high school team's members -- Shreeja Kikkisetti, Ethan Ocasio and Neeyanth Kopparapu -- met as part of the Northern Virginia-based nonprofit Girls Computing League.


Guiding the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

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This blog post is adapted from our June 10 response to the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) request for information (RFI) 2019-08818: Developing a Federal AI Standards Engagement Plan. This RFI was released in response to an Executive Order directing NIST to create a plan for the development of a set of standards for the acceptable use of AI technologies. Given the wide adoption of AI technologies and the lag in commensurate laws and regulations, this post aims to help NIST by highlighting the current state, plans, challenges, and opportunities in ethics and AI. In 2016 the European Union (EU) created the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that would expand protections around EU citizens' personal data beginning in 2018. Meanwhile, China has extensively integrated AI technologies into their government and social structure via the China Social Credit System.