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Citizen crime app releases Protect, an on-demand subscription security feature

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

After months of testing, Citizen, the crime and neighborhood watch app, is releasing Protect, a subscription-based feature that lets users contact virtual agents for help if they feel they're in danger. According to Citizen, the feature can connect users with a Protect agent either through video, audio, or text available around the clock. The company said audio and text-only communication allows users to discreetly call for help "in difficult situations" where they might not be able to or are scared to be seen calling 911. Protect began beta testing earlier this year as the feature has been available to 100,000 users, Citizen said. The new feature comes as Citizen currently has more than 8 million users who have sent out more than billion alerts in major U.S. cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Interesting Books to Read on Artificial Intelligence for Tech Enthusiasts


Artificial intelligence has made its place in all our lives, from correcting our bad grammar, personalizing our music on apps, to automating work in several industries. AI holds a massive potential to transform the future of work. But to understand this disruptive technology, the general public needs to have a working knowledge of the capabilities. To start slow and avoid the feeling of being overwhelming, here are 10 books that will help you grasp the concept. This book is beginner-friendly and gives a less technical overview of several AI topics.

Council Post: How Conversational AI Can Help Digital Transformation Succeed


Pat Calhoun, a visionary leader focused on UX and adoption, is the CEO and Founder of Espressive, transforming enterprise self-help with AI. One of the most dramatic workplace shifts caused by the pandemic is the escalation of digital transformation initiatives. The numbers say it all. According to research by Twilio, 79% of digital transformation budgets grew in response to the pandemic -- and 26% grew "dramatically." Gartner, Inc. also found that over 80% of CEOs have a digital transformation program underway, and 69% are using Covid-19 as a catalyst to focus on resigning their businesses.

An autonomous system to assemble reconfigurable robotic structures in space


Large space structures, such as telescopes and spacecraft, should ideally be assembled directly in space, as they are difficult or impossible to launch from Earth as a single piece. In several cases, however, assembling these technologies manually in space is either highly expensive or unfeasible. In recent years, roboticists have thus been trying to develop systems that could be used to automatically assemble structures in space. To simplify this assembly process, space structures could have a modular design, which essentially means that they are comprised of different building blocks or modules that can be shifted to create different shapes or forms. Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Technische Universität München (TUM) have recently developed an autonomous planner that could be used to assemble reconfigurable structures directly in space.

Generally capable agents emerge from open-ended play


In recent years, artificial intelligence agents have succeeded in a range of complex game environments. For instance, AlphaZero beat world-champion programs in chess, shogi, and Go after starting out with knowing no more than the basic rules of how to play. But AlphaZero still trained separately on each game -- unable to simply learn another game or task without repeating the RL process from scratch. The same is true for other successes of RL, such as Atari, Capture the Flag, StarCraft II, Dota 2, and Hide-and-Seek. DeepMind's mission of solving intelligence to advance science and humanity led us to explore how we could overcome this limitation to create AI agents with more general and adaptive behaviour.

Using Microsoft Teams and ServiceNow to enhance end-user support


Microsoft Digital, the organization that is powering, protecting, and transforming Microsoft, is improving the support experience by partnering with ServiceNow to incorporate modern support-agent functionality into the Microsoft Digital environment by using ServiceNow Virtual Agent and Microsoft Teams. As a result, the support team, and the employees they assist have a more complete tool set, a simpler view into the support environment, and a more streamlined method for executing tasks and solving issues quickly. Microsoft Digital runs the systems that support more than 135,000 employees. Our Global Helpdesk supplies support to these employees throughout more than 120 countries and regions worldwide. Global Helpdesk receives approximately 3,000 requests for support every day, and the ability to efficiently assess what help our users need and how we can provide that help are critical to the effectiveness of Global Helpdesk and our Employee Experience organization at Microsoft.

DTRA Seeks Info on AI, Machine Learning, Data Science Tech Capabilities


The Defense Threat Reduction Agency wants information on companies, universities and other organizations working on artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science technologies that could help counter weapons of mass destruction and other emerging threats. DTRA intends to use AI, ML and data science tools to improve decision-making and situational awareness for countering WMD and supporting deterrence missions, automate the identification of CWMD and deterrence objects and activities and facilitate information delivery to meet warfighter operational needs, according to a request for information posted Friday. The technology interest areas outlined in the RFI include AI-enhanced modeling and simulation, natural language processing, computer vision, high performance computing and multiagent systems. The agency is seeking information on data analytics, cloud platforms for data transfer and harmonization, data storage and accessibility, automated data labeling and other data-related capabilities. DTRA has asked interested stakeholders to share information on other specific interest areas, including the detection of spectral emissions, sensor data integration, human/computer interface and extraction of actionable information from noisy data.

Ethics and AI: tackling biases hidden in big data


This work involved development of a model of an autonomous agent that allows researchers to distinguish various types of control that intelligent software agents can exert on users. The framework of this model allows different types of interaction (i.e.

ABS Verifies SBM Offshore's AI-Powered Mooring Solution


ABS has issued New Technology Qualification (NTQ) to SBM Offshore's artificial intelligence (AI) powered Intelligent Agent Mooring Line Integrity Tool, allowing the technology to be integrated into offshore systems for the first time. The novel tool collects data such as wind speed, FPSO heading, and GPS information and couples this with machine learning approaches to provide the asset owner with continuous feedback on the integrity of their mooring system. The tool has the ability to detect potential mooring line failure and location without reliance on a traditional tension monitoring system, thanks to the potential for deeper insight offered by AI techniques. "This technology enables the continuous monitoring of the integrity of mooring lines and has significant potential to advance safety in the offshore industry. This is just the latest example of how ABS is supporting the application of advanced technology to drive forward safety outcomes in the marine and offshore industries. Our industry leadership in offshore, as well as smart and artificial intelligence applications at sea means we are uniquely placed to support SBM Offshore with the development of this tool," said Matt Tremblay, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Offshore.

Sniffy Bug: a fully autonomous swarm of gas-seeking nano quadcopters in cluttered environments


Tiny drones are ideal candidates for fully autonomous jobs that are too dangerous or time-consuming for humans. A commonly shared dream by engineers and fire & rescue services, would be to have swarms of such drones help in search-and-rescue scenarios [1], for instance to localize gas leaks without endangering human lives. Tiny drones are ideal for such tasks, since they are small enough to navigate in narrow spaces, safe, agile, and very inexpensive. However, their small footprint also makes the design of an autonomous swarm extremely challenging, both from a software and hardware perspective. From a software perspective, it is really challenging to come up with an algorithm capable of autonomous and collaborative navigation within such tight resource constraints.