Nearly 1,500 US police departments operate drones but only about a dozen routinely dispatch them in response to 911 calls, according to ACLU research. Drone maker Skydio aims to see that change, with a new model launched last week called the X10. The goal, cofounder and CEO Adam Bry said during a launch event last week in San Francisco, is to "get drones everywhere they can be useful in public safety." The new drone is capable of flying at speeds of 45 miles per hour and is small enough to fit into the trunk of a police car. It has infrared sensors that can be used to track people and fly autonomously in the dark.
Researchers and futurists have been talking for decades about the day when intelligent software agents will act as personal assistants, tutors, and advisers. Apple produced its famous Knowledge Navigator video in 1987. I seem to remember attending an MIT Media Lab event in the 1990s about software agents, where the moderator appeared as a butler, in a bowler hat. With the advent of generative AI, that gauzy vision of software as aide-de-camp has suddenly come into focus. WIRED's Will Knight provided an overview this week of what's available now and what's imminent.
It may look like something out of the classic science-fiction series Thunderbirds. But this spaceship-like flying vehicle could well be an ambulance of the future. That's because it has been designed to speed to emergencies at 288mph (250 knots), with the target of arriving at the scene within just eight minutes. Although it is currently just a concept, the JA1 Pulse will be built to carry emergency equipment and one trained medical professional to remote and difficult to access areas of the countryside. The crew member will be both the pilot and first responder.
Having spent many years working on AI research and building AI products, I'm fortunate to have participated in a few innovations that made an impact, like using reinforcement learning to fly helicopter drones at Stanford, starting and leading Google Brain to drive large-scale deep learning, and creating online courses that led to the founding of Coursera. I'd like to share some thoughts about how to do it well, sidestep some of the pitfalls, and avoid building things that lead to serious harm along the way. As I have said before, I believe AI is the new electricity. Electricity revolutionized all industries and changed our way of life, and AI is doing the same. It's reaching into every industry and discipline, and it's yielding advances that help multitudes of people.
TL;DR: As of Sept. 11, the Ninja Dragon Phantom Eagle Pro 4K Optical Flow Drone and Alpha Z Pro 4K Bundle is on sale for just $189.99 instead of $369.99. Fall camping trips are a great chance to see the leaves changing, but there's another way to get up close and personal with nature. If you want a dynamic view of nature, fly above it with a pair of drones that have high-definition cameras and intuitive controls. The Ninja Dragon Phantom Eagle PRO and the Alpha Z PRO 4K Bundle gives you two awesome drones for 48% off, just $189.99 instead of $369.99. If you're looking for something fun to do outdoors, the Ninja Dragon Phantom Eagle Pro is a fast, fun drone with a 4K adjustable camera that supports vertical and horizontal shooting.
Lenore Skenazy's'free-range' parenting style is the basis of a new Utah law; she shares insight on'The Next Revolution.' Is there a "simple fix" to help quell kids' anxieties in an increasingly fast-paced and interconnected world? With the rise of the electronic world – social media, cable TV, 24-hour news – parents have adopted ways to protect children from unsafe spaces or disturbing content that makes kids more afraid or grow up too fast. But parents may have overcompensated, some argue. Perhaps parents led kids to their gradual decline in independence in recent decades, leading psychologist Dr. Camilo Ortiz and "Let Grow" nonprofit director Lenore Skenazy to ask "what if the problem was simply that kids are growing up so overprotected that they're scared of the world?" "If so, the solution would be simple, too," the duo wrote in a recent New York Times guest essay. "Start letting them do more things on their own."
"We are engaged in a race against time to protect the children of our country from the dangers of AI," the attorneys general wrote in an open letter to Congress, asking for increased protective measures against AI-enhanced child sexual abuse images. Using image generators like Dall-E and Midjourney to create child sexual abuse materials isn't a problem, as the software has guardrails to stop those prompts. However, when open-source versions of the software and similar tools without guardrails or oversight arrive, it could be a major issue. Even OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has stated that AI tools would benefit from government intervention to mitigate their risk. You can get these reports delivered daily direct to your inbox.
The New York Police department has been using drones in a limited capacity for years -- deploying unmanned aircraft systems for search and rescue missions, to document crime scenes, or to monitor large public events like New Years Eve in Times Square. Soon, you might see one in your backyard as well: NYPD officials have announced plans to use drones to follow up on noise complaints during the long Labor Day weekend. "If a caller states there is a large crowd, a large party in a backyard, we're going to be utilizing our assets to go up and check on the party," Assistant NYPD Commissioner Kaz Daughtry said during a press conference Thursday. Privacy advocates have been quick to respond, with a representative from the New York Civil Liberties Union telling the Associated Press that the announcement "flies in the face of the POST Act" that requires police to publish its use policies for surveillance technology. And indeed, the plan could represent a stark departure from those policies.
In what can only bode poorly for our species' survival during the inevitable robot uprisings, an AI system has once again outperformed the people who trained it. This time, researchers at the University of Zurich in partnership with Intel, pitted their "Swift" AI piloting system against a trio of world champion drone racers -- none of whom could best its top time. Swift is the culmination of years of AI and machine learning research by the University of Zurich. In 2021, the team set an earlier iteration of the flight control algorithm that used a series of external cameras to validate its position in space in real-time, against amateur human pilots, all of whom were easily overmatched in every lap of every race during the test. That result was a milestone in its own right as, previously, self-guided drones relied on simplified physics models to continually calculate their optimum trajectory, which severely lowered their top speed.
Having trounced humans at everything from chess and Go, to StarCraft and Gran Turismo, artificial intelligence (AI) has raised its game and laid waste world champions at a physical sport. The latest mortals to feel the sting of AI-induced defeat are three expert drone racers who were beaten by an algorithm that learned to fly a drone around a 3D race course at breakneck speeds without crashing. Developed by researchers at the University of Zurich, the Swift AI won 15 out of 25 races against world champions and clocked the fastest lap on a course where drones reach speeds of 50mph (80km/h) and endure accelerations up to 5g, enough to make many people black out. "Our result marks the first time that a robot powered by AI has beaten a human champion in a real physical sport designed for and by humans," said Elia Kaufmann, a researcher who helped to develop Swift. First-person view drone racing involves flying a drone around a course dotted with gates that must be passed through cleanly to avoid a crash.