On Wednesday, October 13 at 8:30am CT, William Shatner, who starred as Captain Kirk in Star Trek: The Original Series, will be going where no Hollywood star has gone before -- a suborbital sojourn that will take him 66 miles to the edge of space where he will be able to marvel at the curvature of earth and enjoy zero gravity weightlessness with his Blue Origin crew members. The entire experience is expected to last about 10 minutes and will be similar to the ride that Blue Origin and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos took this past summer with his brother and crew. Shatner might be the oldest person to rocket to space at 90 years old, but he's not the first actor to go. Feature filmmakers from Russia landed on the International Space Station last week beating Tom Cruise to bragging rights. The actor has been working on a $200 million Universal Studios film with SpaceX founder Elon Musk which NASA tweeted last year is expected to be shot on the space station.
The moon's polar regions are home to craters and other depressions that never receive sunlight. Today, a group of researchers led by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany present the highest-resolution images to date covering 17 such craters. Craters of this type could contain frozen water, making them attractive targets for future lunar missions, and the researchers focused further on relatively small and accessible craters surrounded by gentle slopes. In fact, three of the craters have turned out to lie within the just-announced mission area of NASA's Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER), which is scheduled to touch down on the moon in 2023. Imaging the interior of permanently shadowed craters is difficult, and efforts so far have relied on long exposure times resulting in smearing and lower resolution. By taking advantage of reflected sunlight from nearby hills and a novel image processing method, the researchers have now produced images at 1–2 meters per pixel, which is at or very close to the best capability of the cameras.
The Transform Technology Summits start October 13th with Low-Code/No Code: Enabling Enterprise Agility. Artificial intelligence is already making its mark on the global economy, and private businesses are not the only ones putting it to good use. Government agencies of all types are adopting AI as well, and in some ways, exceeding the private sector's ability to leverage AI for massive data analysis and cutting-edge applications. Whether this sounds like innocent adoption of new technology or a nefarious plot to control the citizenry depends on your political perspective, of course. However, there is no denying that the same technology that is currently powering the likes of giants like Facebook and Amazon to leverage user information in pursuit of profits, is also available to all aspects of government, including taxation, defense, intelligence agencies, and other key entities like agriculture and labor.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) recently announced the names of 83 scientists who have been selected for their 2021 Early Career Research Program. The list includes four faculty members from MIT: Riccardo Comin of the Department of Physics; Netta Engelhardt of the Department of Physics and Center for Theoretical Physics; Philip Harris of the Department of Physics and Laboratory for Nuclear Science; and Mingda Li of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. Each year, the DoE selects researchers for significant funding the "nation's scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work." The quantum technologies of tomorrow –– more powerful computing, better navigation systems, and more precise imaging and magnetic sensing devices –– rely on understanding the properties of quantum materials. Quantum materials contain unique physical characteristics, and can lead to phenomena like superconductivity.
Right now, the focus is on Spot, the versatile quadruped first made commercially available in June 2020. 'The next big industry for Spot is really in this market that we're calling industrial sensing or dynamics sensing,' Zack Jackowski, chief engineer of the Spot product, told told CNBC over the weekend. '[That's] where we have robots walking around places like manufacturing plants, chemical plants, utilities [and] installations, and using the robots to collect data on what's happening in these facilities in an automated way,' he said. Being able to get repeatable, high quality data from Spot, Jackowski added, could enable companies to boost safety and efficiency in ways they never considered before. While Boston Dynamics likes to play up Spot's softer side -- releasing videos of it playing fetch and dancing to bops by K-pop sensation BTS and other acts -- it's already employed by Hyundai to patrol assembly lines at a Kia factory in Gwangmyeong, Korea. Hyundai has equipped the robot with a thermal camera and three-dimensional LiDAR sensing technology that allows it to see humans, determine whether doors are open or closed, monitor high-temperature systems, and detect fire hazards.
A senior cybersecurity official at the Pentagon said he resigned in protest because the slow pace of technological development has made it impossible for the United States to compete with China. Nicolas Chaillan, who spent three years as the first chief software officer for the Air Force, said Beijing has a clear advantage in the technological space because of its fast advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and general capabilities in cybersecurity. "We have no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years. Right now, it's already a done deal; it is already over in my opinion," Chaillan told the Financial Times in his first interview since he left his Pentagon job earlier this month. "Whether it takes a war or not is kind of anecdotal."
You may never have heard the term "synthetic media"-- more commonly known as "deepfakes"-- but our military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies certainly have. They are hyper-realistic video and audio recordings that use artificial intelligence and "deep" learning to create "fake" content or "deepfakes." The U.S. government has grown increasingly concerned about their potential to be used to spread disinformation and commit crimes. That's because the creators of deepfakes have the power to make people say or do anything, at least on our screens. Most Americans have no idea how far the technology has come in just the last four years or the danger, disruption and opportunities that come with it.
In this special guest feature, Dave DeCaprio, CTO and Co-founder, ClosedLoop.ai, discusses what it really takes to make AI that physicians trust. Dave has more than 20 years of experience transitioning advanced technology from academic research labs into successful businesses. His experience includes genome research, pharmaceutical development, health insurance, computer vision, sports analytics, speech recognition, transportation logistics, operations research, real time collaboration, robotics, and financial markets. Dave has been involved in several successful startups as well as consulting and advising both small and large organizations on how to innovate using technology with maximum impact. Dave graduated from MIT with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and currently lives in Austin, TX.
As I have written here, there is widespread bipartisan support for radically improving the nation's ability to take advantage of artificial intelligence (AI). For the Intelligence Community (IC), that means using AI to more quickly, easily, and accurately analyze increasing volumes of data to produce critical foreign intelligence that can warn of and help defuse national security threats, among other things. To do that, the IC will have to partner closely with the private sector, where significant AI development occurs. But despite the billions of dollars that may ultimately flow toward this goal, there are basic hurdles the IC still must overcome to successfully transition and integrate AI into the community at speed and scale. Among the top hurdles are the U.S. government's slow, inflexible, and complex budget and acquisition processes.
No amount of selfies will ever come close to the stunning ones these intrepid space explorers capture. Ever since NASA's Buzz Aldrin took the first ever selfie in space in 1966, astronauts photographing themselves on spacewalks hundreds of miles above the Earth has become a rich tradition. Scroll through to see these amazing photographs that capture the harmonious mix of humans' technological sophistication and the natural beauty of space... Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency flight engineer Akihiko Hoshide takes a selfie with a digital still camera during a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk for repair work on September 5, 2012 - three months into the 32nd long-duration expedition to the satellite. The Earth and the International Space Station (ISS) can be seen reflected in Hoshide's helmet visor, along with fellow astronaut Sunita Williams of NASA, while the Sun shines brightly over his right shoulder.