US Government


Amazon votes to keep selling its facial recognition software despite privacy concerns

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Amazon will continue to sell its controversial facial recognition software to law enforcement and other entities after its shareholders shot down a proposal to reel the technology in. The vote effectively kills two initiatives brought before Amazon's board. One proposal would have required board approval to sell the software to governments, with approval only being given if the client meets certain standards of civil liberties. Another proposal called for a study on the technology's implications on rights and privacy. The exact breakdown of the vote is unclear and according to an Amazon representative it will only be made available via SEC filings later this week.


42 Countries Agree to International Principles for Artificial Intelligence

#artificialintelligence

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development unveiled the first intergovernmental standard for artificial intelligence policies Wednesday--and the organization's 36 member countries including America have initially signed on along with Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and Romania. OECD, an international forum that unites stakeholders from many nations to work together to address challenges of globalization, released "Recommendations of the Council on Artificial Intelligence" to help foster a global policy ecosystem that leverages the evolving technology's benefits, while also protecting human rights and democratic values. OECD's Director of the Science, Technology and Innovation Directorate Andrew Wyckoff told reporters that the principles' creators hope they'll help shape a stable regulatory environment that promotes the tech's positive uses, while withstanding unethical abuses. "AI is what we would call a'general purpose technology.' It's going to change the way we do things in nearly every single sector of the economy--that's part of the reason we give so much importance to its development," he said.


US government is funding research into technology that will connect soldiers' brains to computers

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is funding research that could give a future generation of soldiers the power to control machines and weapons with their minds. The agency said it will fund six organizations through the Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program who will work to design and build interfaces for application in the U.S. military, that could be worn be soldiers and translate their brain signals into instructions. Those instructions could be used to control swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles, wield cyber defense systems, or facilitate military communications. Soldiers may be able to control vehicles and more by using only their minds under a new initiative from the U.S. Department of Defense. While the feat may sound firmly in the realm of science fiction, according to DARPA it is setting a completion date within four years.


Google's AI boosts accuracy of lung cancer diagnosis, study shows - STAT

#artificialintelligence

One of lung cancer's most lethal attributes is its ability to trick radiologists. Some nodules appear threatening but turn out to be false positives. Others escape notice entirely, and then spiral without symptoms into metastatic disease. On Monday, however, Google unveiled an artificial intelligence system that -- in early testing -- demonstrated a remarkable talent for seeing through lung cancer's disguises. A study published in Nature Medicine reported that the algorithm, trained on 42,000 patient CT scans taken during a National Institutes of Health clinical trial, outperformed six radiologists in determining whether patients had cancer.


U.S. Senators propose legislation to fund national AI strategy

#artificialintelligence

U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) today proposed the Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act, legislation to pump $2.2 billion into federal research and development and create a national AI strategy. The $2.2 billion would be doled out over the course of the next 5 years to federal agencies like the Department of Energy, Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and others. The legislation would establish a National AI Coordination Office to lead federal AI efforts, require the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the effects of AI on society and education, and allocate $40 million a year to NIST to create AI evaluation standards. The bill would also include $20 million a year from 2020-2024 to fund the creation of 5 multidisciplinary AI research centers, with one focused solely on K-12 education. Plans to open national AI centers in the bill closely resembles plans from the 20-year AI research program proposed by the Computing Consortium.



North Korea calls Biden 'fool of low IQ' over Kim criticism

FOX News

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea has labeled Joe Biden a "fool of low IQ" and an "imbecile bereft of elementary quality as a human being" after the Democratic presidential hopeful during a recent speech called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a tyrant. Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday accused Biden of insulting the country's supreme leadership and committing an "intolerable and serious politically-motivated provocation" against the North. Biden during a campaign launch in Philadelphia on Saturday accused President Donald Trump of cozying up to "dictators and tyrants" like Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Documents reveal NASA's moon mission will require 37 launches and plans to build a moon base by 2028

Daily Mail - Science & tech

NASA's next trip to the moon will entail 37 separate launches over a decade and culminate in the construction of a moon base by 2028, according to leaked documents that detail the agency's'Artemis' plan. Information on the nascent mission come from documents obtained by Ars Technica, and, for the first time, show a detailed glimpse of America's first human-led mission to the moon since 1972. In a graphic, NASA breaks down a year-by-year guide of the construction of the'Gateway' a space station and waypoint on the way to the moon, human test flights, and a lunar landing slated for 2024. Russia and the United States are cooperating on a NASA-led project to build the first lunar space station, codenamed the Lunar Gateway. The agreement, signed in September 2017, is part of a long-term project to send humans to Mars.


Lifelong Learning in Artificial Neural Networks

Communications of the ACM

Columbia University is learning how to build and train self-aware neural networks, systems that can adapt and improve by using internal simulations and knowledge of their own structures. The University of California, Irvine, is studying the dual memory architecture of the hippocampus and cortex to replay relevant memories in the background, allowing the systems to become more adaptable and predictive while retaining previous learning. Tufts University is examining an intercellular regeneration mechanism observed in lower animals such as salamanders to create flexible robots capable of adapting to changes in their environment by altering their structures and functions on the fly. SRI International is developing methods to use environmental signals and their relevant context to represent goals in a fluid way rather than as discrete tasks, enabling AI agents to adapt their behavior on the go.


U.S. Postal Service Is Testing Self-Driving Trucks

NPR Technology

A mail carrier for the United States Postal Service makes deliveries at a Florida apartment complex in June 2018. The USPS has partnered with TuSimple to launch a multi-state driverless semi-truck test program on Tuesday. It doesn't involve home deliveries. A mail carrier for the United States Postal Service makes deliveries at a Florida apartment complex in June 2018. The USPS has partnered with TuSimple to launch a multi-state driverless semi-truck test program on Tuesday.