US Government

It's time for Washington to start working on artificial intelligence


Congressman John K. Delaney is the founder of the House AI Caucus and represents Maryland's Sixth District. One of the more unexpected sights within the United States Capitol lies just outside the Old Supreme Court Chamber. There you can find a plaque marking the first ever long-distance communication by electronic telegraph, which took place inside the Capitol in 1844, when Samuel Morse sent and received messages from Baltimore. Morse's first experimental line was made possible thanks to a grant from the federal government. The telegraph would go on to transform American life, allowing instant communication across vast distances.

How Automation Could Worsen Racial Inequality

The Atlantic

All across the world, small projects demonstrating driverless buses and shuttles are cropping up: Las Vegas, Minnesota, Austin, Bavaria, Henan Province in China, Victoria in Australia. City governments are studying their implementation, too, from Toronto to Orlando to Ohio. And last week, the Federal Transit Administration of the Department of Transportation issued a "request for comments" on the topic of "Removing Barriers to Transit-Bus Automation." The document is fully in line with the approach that federal and state regulators have taken, which has promoted the adoption of autonomous vehicle technology as quickly as possible. Because most crashes are caused by human mistakes--and those crashes kill more than 30,000 Americans per year--self-driving-car proponents believe that the machines will eventually create much, much safer roads.

Eagles Are Out and Registration Is Back In a Not-Fun-Week for Drones

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Remember back when you could fly drones without having to pay the government money first, and when the only thing you had to worry about was a midair takedown by an anti-drone hit squad made up of highly-trained Dutch eagles? We're sad to have to report that we probably won't be seeing compelling videos of eagles handling rogue drones anymore, and also that the United States government has flexed its muscles and mandatory drone registration is now back on. You probably remember how the FAA finalized its mandatory drone registration rules just in time for the holiday season in 2015. Any drone that weighed more than 0.55 pounds was required to be registered before being flown outdoors, a process that involved providing your complete name, physical address, mailing address, email address, and a credit card that was charged a one-time fee of US $5. In exchange, you got a unique registration number that had to be visible on all of your drones.

Artificial Intelligence to Sort Through ISR Data Glut


Inundated with more data than humans can analyze, the U.S. military and intelligence community are banking on machine learning and advanced computing technologies to separate the wheat from the chaff. The Defense Department operates more than 11,000 drones that collect hundreds of thousands of hours of video footage every year. "When it comes to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, we have more platforms and sensors than at any time in Department of Defense history," said Air Force Lt. Gen. John N.T. "Jack" Shanahan, director for defense intelligence (warfighter support) in the office of the undersecretary of defense for intelligence. "It's an avalanche of data that we are not capable of fully exploiting," he said at a technology conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by Nvidia, a Santa Clara, California-based artificial intelligence computing company. For example, the Pentagon has deployed a wide-area motion imagery sensor that can look at an entire city.

The Morning After: Tuesday, January 16th 2018


The net neutrality battle ain't over, and Google's latest machine learning toy matches your selfie with famous works of art. There's still an uphill battle.Democrats are just one vote shy of restoring net neutrality Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer now says Democrats in the Senate are a single vote away from restoring net neutrality. According to the senator from New York, they now have a total of 50 votes for a Senate resolution of disapproval that would restore the Open Internet Order of 2015 and deliver a stiff rebuke to Ajit Pai and other Republican members of the FCC. For best results, grow a beard.Google's museum app finds your fine-art doppelgänger If you've ever wondered if there's a museum portrait somewhere that looks like you, and you're ready to have your ego crushed, there's now an app for that. Google Arts & Culture's latest update now lets you take a selfie, and using image recognition, finds someone in its vast art collection that most resembles you.

How the CIA predicts future risk of terrorism GovInsider


When the safety and security of an entire nation is at stake, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the US needs to be "ahead of the curve", said Teresa Smetzer, Director of Digital Futures. It needs to go beyond just reporting on events to actually anticipating the next crisis. The agency's anticipatory intelligence cell uses machine learning and data science to draw insights from events that had happened in the past, and "report to our policymakers any issues of instability that they might have to deal with". "Rather than responding, they are proactively able to understand what they can do to change the situation," Smetzer said at the recent AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Data is the "lifeblood" of many organisations, whether public and private, said Smetzer.

New Center Headquartered at Carnegie Mellon Will Build Smarter Networks To Connect Edge Devices to the Cloud - News - Carnegie Mellon University


Carnegie Mellon University will lead a $27.5 million Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) initiative to build more intelligence into computer networks. Researchers from six U.S. universities will collaborate in the CONIX Research Center headquartered at Carnegie Mellon. For the next five years, CONIX will create the architecture for networked computing that lies between edge devices and the cloud. The challenge is to build this substrate so that future applications that are crucial to IoT can be hosted with performance, security, robustness, and privacy guarantees. "The extent to which IoT will disrupt our future will depend on how well we build scalable and secure networks that connect us to a very large number of systems that can orchestrate our lives and communities.

NASA-funded research will let unmanned spacecraft "think" using AI and blockchain


As mankind expands outwards into the universe, unmanned spacecraft will face a growing problem: as Earth becomes more distant, the transmission time for information and instructions to reach these craft becomes longer and longer. This time lag could make it difficult or even impossible for satellites to respond to fast-moving threats, like space debris, or quickly take opportunities to collect data from unexpected sources, like a passing meteorite. A new grant from NASA to the University of Akron in Ohio will fund research to overcome this issue by helping such spacecraft "think" for themselves using deep-learning artificial intelligence (AI) that works over an Ethereum blockchain network. "I hope to develop technology that can recognize environmental threats and avoid them, as well as complete a number of tasks automatically," Akron Assistant Professor Jin Wei Kocsis, who will lead the research, said in a press release. "I am honored that NASA recognized my work, and I am excited to continue challenging technology's ability to think and do on its own."

Artificial Intelligence is Trade Policy's New Frontier


People are increasingly reliant on artificial intelligence (AI) -- that is, the machines, systems or applications that are capable of performing tasks that, until recently, could only be performed by a human. Think of your morning routine: maybe a Google Assistant checks your calendar and reminds you of your meetings. Then you survey Twitter, which uses algorithms to curate what you see -- the latest about Trump, trade and technology rise to the top. And at the end of it all, when you settle in for some Netflix, your profile suggests a few thrillers you're likely to binge-watch. Marketing statistics reveal that some 57 percent of consumers expect voice-activated smart assistants to have a major or moderate impact on their daily lives by 2020.

First Asteroid Ever Discovered Is Actually A Dwarf Planet

International Business Times

The first asteroid discovered in the solar system took an entire year to nail down. It was Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt. When it was first spotted shortly into 1801, scientists didn't know what to make of the object or how to track it in the night sky, TED-Ed explains in a video (below). Astronomers were stumped for months and could not find Ceres once they lost sight of it. It took a new mathematical model for predicting orbits before they were able to pinpoint it again, with its re-discovery taking place on the last day of the year.