US Government


Hillary Clinton issues warning on artificial intelligence

Daily Mail

Hillary Clinton spoke about the dangers of artificial intelligence in a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday. The failed presidential candidate was on Hewitt's show to promote her book, but the conversation steered towards recent advances in technology. Something that concerns Clinton is the potential for our society to become inundated with artificial intelligence - computers that mimic the human brain to complete tasks for us - such as home office assistants or even robot drones. Amazon's Alexa device, which allows users to shop, play music and look up questions online all by voice, is one example of AI Clinton says that AI can be a good thing, but she's worried that our society is rushing into a brave new world without thinking through the repercussions. 'Yeah, a lot of really smart people, you know, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, a lot of really smart people are sounding an alarm that we're not hearing.


Google's search algorithm struggles to rank information

Daily Mail

With millions of views published online every day, it can be difficult for Google to rank information correctly within its search engine. Speaking this week, Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google's parent firm, Alphabet, explained that it is'very difficult' for the search algorithm to weed out the truth in a sea of opposing articles. Thankfully, Schmidt believes the problem should be easy to address by tweaking the algorithm. Speaking this week, Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google's parent firm, Alphabet, explained that it is'very difficult' for the search algorithm to weed out the truth in a sea of opposing articles Inaccurate results are often down to "Google bombing" used by groups to be ranked highly. These include linking to a fake news site from several other sources and hiding text on a page that is invisible to humans but visible to the search engine's algorithms.


NASA Finds AI-Powered Drones May Be Safer Than Human-Flown Ones

International Business Times

Drones controlled by humans may soon give in to ones flown completely using artificial intelligence, a new experiment by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has demonstrated. In the demonstration, NASA researchers pitted a human-controlled drone against one controlled by AI. The findings were published on NASA's website and a video of the race was uploaded on its YouTube website Tuesday. "We pitted our algorithms against a human, who flies a lot more by feel. You can actually see that the A.I. flies the drone smoothly around the course, whereas human pilots tend to accelerate aggressively, so their path is jerkier," Rob Reid, the project's task manager, said in a press release.


The Silicon Valley Founder With a Pocket Full of Visas

WIRED

The immigrant entrepreneur's road to Silicon Valley is paved with visas. And every one tells a tale. In the case of Purva Gupta, who is now the 29-year-old founder of Lily, a Palo Alto-based startup that's building an AI-driven fashion app, the precious US government documents weave a kind of personal epic. In the short three years she has been in the United States, Gupta has had six separate visas, each marking a different phase of her startup quest. Gupta's first visa came in 2013, when she moved to the US with her husband, who was getting an MBA at Yale.


Q&A: Famed economist Henry Kaufman says robots are 'greatest challenge' to workers

USATODAY

The S&P 500 is up 21% since Election Day. Henry Kaufman, 90, the renowned economist, former managing director at Wall Street firm Salomon Brothers and author of Tectonic Shifts In Financial Markets, shared his views with USA TODAY on the future of the American worker, tax cuts and the middle class, the retirement savings crisis and the risks facing computer-driven markets. Kaufman is president of Henry Kaufman & Company, an economic and financial consulting firm established in 1988. USA TODAY: Robots are invading the workplace. Is technology a threat to middle-class workers? KAUFMAN: The greatest challenge that workers face and we as a society face is that labor over a longer period of time will become more and more obsolete.


DARPA Seeking AI That Learns All the Time

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Earlier this month a self-driving shuttle in Las Vegas patiently waited as a delivery truck backed up, then backed up some more, then backed right into it. Inconveniently for the roboshuttle's developer Navya, this happened within hours of the shuttle's inauguration ceremony. The real problem is that the shuttle can't learn from the incident the way a human would: immediately and without forgetting how to do everything else in the process. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking to change the way AI works through a program it calls L2M, or Lifelong Learning Machines. The agency is looking for systems that learn continuously, adapt to new tasks, and know what to learn and when.


la-na-pol-self-driving-politics-20171121-story.html

Los Angeles Times

In its race to embrace driverless vehicles, Washington has cleared away regulatory hurdles for auto companies and brushed aside consumer warnings about the risk of crashes and hacking. But at a recent hearing, lawmakers absorbed an economic argument that illustrated how the driverless revolution they are encouraging could backfire politically, particularly in Trump country. It was the tale of a successful, long-distance beer run. A robotic truck coasted driverless 120 miles down Interstate 25 in Colorado on its way to deliver 51,744 cans of Budweiser. Not everyone at the hearing was impressed by the milestone, particularly the secretary-treasurer of the Teamsters, whose nearly 600,000 unionized drivers played no small roll in President Trump's victory last year.


The Morning After: Tuesday, November 21st 2017

Engadget

This Tuesday, we're testing concrete speakers, blissful Dreamcast games reimagined in VR, and a robot that will copy your moves. The FCC's plan to undo net neutrality is about to be revealed According to reports, Ajit Pai will unveil the details of his plan to roll back Title II net neutrality protections later today. Timed during a short holiday week, the plan is expected to follow what we heard in April -- with rules preventing ISPs from blocking, slowing down or charging extra for different kinds of content removed, and responsibility for managing disputes pushed to the FTC. Concrete speakers are heavy on the wallet. Master & Dynamic's concrete speaker is equal parts sound and spectacle If you're a fan of well-designed headphones that have a unique aesthetic, Master & Dynamic should be at the top of your list.


Amazon announces AWS Secret Region for intelligence agencies

ZDNet

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced setting up a "secret" datacentre region targeted towards the US intelligence community and other government agencies working with secret-level datasets. AWS Secret Region is able to host software and data that are classified at the "secret" level, making it applicable to intelligence agencies that typically deal with sensitive information. Secret Region is an extension of the $600 million AWS-Central Intelligence Agency arrangement that led to the creation of Top Secret Region in 2014 specifically for the US intelligence community. The new region is immediately available to US intelligence agencies through their existing commercial cloud services contract with AWS and will meet certain government standards. But it will also be available to other types of government customers with sufficient secret-level network access and their own "contract vehicles".


Blow for Mars life as NASA says 'water streaks' are SAND

Daily Mail

They were hailed as evidence of water on the red planet, but strange'streaks' on the red planet's surface could actually be sand, a NASA study has found. The find was originally hailed as a'major scientific discovery' in 2011 as results seemed to confirm that'dark fingers' spotted in Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) images were likely made by liquid moving across, or beneath, the planet's surface. However, now NASA believes they could be'granular flows', where grains of sand and dust slip downhill to make dark streaks, rather than the ground being darkened by seeping water. This inner slope of a Martian crater has several of the seasonal dark streaks called'recurrent slope lineae,' or RSL, that a November 2017 report interprets as granular flows, rather than darkening due to flowing water. The image is from the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.