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NSF Adds 11 New AI Research Institutes to Its Collaborative, Nationwide Network

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The National Science Foundation officially extended the reach of its National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes across more of the United States. On the heels of funding seven institutes in 2020, the agency last week unveiled its establishment of 11 new ones--where officials will strategically pursue AI research in complex realms like augmented learning, cybersecurity, precision agriculture and more. "The expertise of the researchers engaged in the AI Research Institutes spans a wide range of disciplines, providing an integrated effort to tackle the challenges society faces, drawing upon both foundational and use-inspired research," Director of NSF's Robust Intelligence Program Rebecca Hwa told Nextgov Tuesday. "NSF has long been able to bring together numerous fields of scientific inquiry, and in this program that includes such disciplines as computer and information science and engineering, cognitive science and psychology, economics and game theory, engineering and control theory, ethics, linguistics, mathematics, and philosophy--and that has positioned us to lead in efforts to expand the frontiers of AI." In all, the 18 institutes NSF is investing in so far underpin research spanning 40 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Hwa confirmed.


US Navy is developing a pilotlesss solar-powered plane that can fly for 90 days straight

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The US Navy is developing a pilotless solar-powered plane that can fly for 90 days at a time to help keep a watchful eye on naval ships below or act as a communications relay platform. The plane, dubbed'Skydweller' and developed by Skydweller Aero, builds on the manned Solar Impulse 2 aircraft that flew around the world in 2015 and 2016, but had to stop every five days. The upgraded version will eliminate the cockpit, allowing space for hardware that allows for autonomous abilities. Skydweller Aero CEO Robert Miller told New Scientist: 'When we remove the cockpit, we are enabling true persistence and providing the opportunity to install up to about 400 kilograms of payload capacity.' The pilotless craft will feature 236-foot long wings that are blanked in solar cells, but its makers may add hydrogen fuel cells for an additional boost.


US Eyes Iran Over Ship 'Hijacking' As Tensions Rise

International Business Times

The United States said Wednesday it suspected Iranian involvement in the alleged hijacking of a ship in the Gulf of Oman as it vowed to work with Britain to respond to an earlier deadly attack it blamed on Tehran. Oman said that the Asphalt Princess, an asphalt and bitumen tanker, was involved in "a hijacking incident in international waters" and that it deployed aircraft and naval ships. The United States and Britain said that the murky incident in the Gulf of Oman concluded after one day, with the alleged hijackers leaving the Panamanian-flagged vessel. "We believe that these personnel were Iranian, but we're not in a position to confirm this at this time," State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters in Washington. "Iran has undertaken a pattern of belligerence in terms of proxy attacks in the region and of course, these maritime attacks," Price said, while adding that circumstances in the latest incident were "still emerging".


Bipedal robot developed at Oregon State makes history by learning to run, completing 5K

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CORVALLIS, Ore. – Cassie the robot, invented at Oregon State University and produced by OSU spinout company Agility Robotics, has made history by traversing 5 kilometers, completing the route in just over 53 minutes. Cassie was developed under the direction of robotics professor Jonathan Hurst with a 16-month, $1 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. Since Cassie's introduction in 2017, in collaboration with artificial intelligence professor Alan Fern OSU students funded by the National Science Foundation and the DARPA Machine Common Sense program have been exploring machine learning options for the robot. Cassie, the first bipedal robot to use machine learning to control a running gait on outdoor terrain, completed the 5K on Oregon State's campus untethered and on a single battery charge. "The Dynamic Robotics Laboratory students in the OSU College of Engineering combined expertise from biomechanics and existing robot control approaches with new machine learning tools," said Hurst, who co-founded Agility in 2017.


Artificial Intelligence Is Key To Preserving America's Superpower Status

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Here's What You Need to Know: AI technology is fast evolving. The national security establishment is racing to adopt artificial intelligence in nearly every aspect of operations, from processing payroll to processing disparate battlefield information into a cohesive whole, such as in the Pentagon's Joint All Domain Command and Control effort to network otherwise separated operational "nodes" to one another in warfare to optimize and streamline attack. However, training AI systems to recognize the things they are meant to recognize requires vast, even seemingly limitless volumes of annotated data. As promising AI is, an AI system is only as effective as its training data. At the moment, there seem to be few barriers to AI and its promise for the future, yet an actual AI-system is only as effective as its database.


Scientists Could One Day Float an Aerial Robot Above Venus

WIRED

Venus is nearly the same size and mass as Earth. Its terrain is rocky and compacted, like ours. Once, it might have had oceans. NASA is eager to send a mission there. Unfortunately, its surface is 800 degrees Fahrenheit, with pressure so crushing it'd turn you into paste.


The Pentagon says its new AI can see events 'days in advance'

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GIDE was designed to increase access to real-time information that can help leaders prepare for enemy action and hopefully deter it, rather than react to conflict once it has started. The US military is testing the use of cutting-edge data gathering tools combined with artificial intelligence to predict enemies' next moves up to days in advance. Speaking at a press conference, the commander of the US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) Glen VanHerck revealed that trials have been ongoing to improve the military's use of data when making key strategic decisions, with the third part of an initiative called the Global Information Dominance Experiment (GIDE) showing promising results. GIDE was designed to increase access to real-time information that can help leaders prepare for enemy action and hopefully deter it, rather than react to conflict once it has started. SEE: Attacks on critical infrastructure are dangerous.


Pluralistic: 02 Aug 2021 – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow

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This work licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. That means you can use it any way you like, including commercially, provided that you attribute it to me, Cory Doctorow, and include a link to pluralistic.net.


NIST seeks input on guidance to pin down trustworthy AI

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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.


The Pentagon says its new AI can see events 'days in advance'

ZDNet

GIDE was designed to increase access to real-time information that can help leaders prepare for enemy action and hopefully deter it, rather than react to conflict once it has started. The US military is testing the use of cutting-edge data gathering tools combined with artificial intelligence to predict enemies' next moves with up to days of advance. Speaking at a press conference, the commander of the US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) Glen VanHerck revealed that trials have been on-going to improve the military's use of data when making key strategic decisions, with the third part of an initiative called the Global Information Dominance Experiment (GIDE) showing promising results. GIDE was designed to increase access to real-time information that can help leaders prepare for enemy action and hopefully deter it, rather than react to conflict once it has started. The latest experiment carried out by the Pentagon saw 11 US commands simulate the takeover of a crucial site such as the Panama Canal.