Artificial intelligence is the major buzzword in federal IT these days, the way that cloud once was. It's easy to see why. There is booming investment in AI in the private sector, and various agencies across the government are experimenting with AI to achieve their missions. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is working with Microsoft to use AI and cloud technology to more easily and accurately identify animals and population counts of endangered species. NASA is ramping up the use of AI throughout its operations, from conducting basic financial operations to finding extra radio frequencies aboard the International Space Station.
The term'covidiot' is a coronavirus-era slang term for someone who ignores recommendations to limit the spread of the deadly disease – and a new study reveals what makes these people dismiss the warnings. Researchers found that whether or not an individual decides to follow social distancing depends on how much information their working memory can store, which determines mental abilities such as intelligence. Following a survey of 850 Americans, the team discovered that those with more working memory capacity were more likely to comply with recommendations during the early stage of the outbreak. The findings suggest that policy makers need promote compliance behaviors, such as wearing a mask, based on individuals' general cognitive abilities to avoid effortful decisions. The coronavirus began spread across the US earlier this year and when it gained more traction, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a list of recommendations aimed at limiting the spread of the virus.
How do planetary systems--like our solar system or multi-planet systems around other stars--organize themselves? Of all of the possible ways planets could orbit, how many configurations will remain stable over the billions of years of a star's life cycle? Rejecting the large range of unstable possibilities--all the configurations that would lead to collisions--would leave behind a sharper view of planetary systems around other stars, but it's not as easy as it sounds. "Separating the stable from the unstable configurations turns out to be a fascinating and brutally hard problem," said Daniel Tamayo, a NASA Hubble Fellowship Program Sagan Fellow in astrophysical sciences at Princeton. To make sure a planetary system is stable, astronomers need to calculate the motions of multiple interacting planets over billions of years and check each possible configuration for stability--a computationally prohibitive undertaking.
These being pandemic times, a recent visit to the Silicon Valley offices of drone startup Skydio involved slipping past dumpsters into the deserted yard behind the company's loading dock. Moments later, a black quadcopter eased out of the large open door sounding like a large and determined wasp. Skydio is best known for its "selfie drones," which use onboard artificial intelligence to automatically follow and film a person, whether they're running through a forest or backcountry skiing. The most recent model, released last fall, costs $999. The larger and more severe-looking machine that greeted WIRED has similar autonomous flying skills but aims to expand the startup's technology beyond selfies into business and government work, including the military.
Robotic process automation startup UiPath today announced it has closed a $225 million funding round, bringing its total raised to over $1.2 billion. While the new round is roughly half the $568 million UiPath raised last April, it catapults the New York-based company's post-money valuation to $10.2 billion, up from $7 billion in 2019 and $3 billion in 2018. CEO Daniel Dines says the funding will be used to scale UiPath's platform and deepen its investments in "AI-powered innovation" as it expands its cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings. The round will also likely lay the groundwork for future strategic deals, following UiPath's acquisition of startups StepShot and ProcessGold last October. RPA -- technology that automates monotonous, repetitive chores traditionally performed by human workers -- is big business.
Researchers at NASA have been hard at work on a pilot AI system intended to help future exploration missions find evidence of life on other planets in our solar system. Machine learning algorithms will help exploration devices analyze soil samples on Mars and return the most relevant data to NASA. The pilot program is currently slated for a test run during the ExoMars mission that will see its launch in mid-2022. As IEEE Spectrum reports, the decision to use machine learning and artificial intelligence to aid the search for life on other planets was driven largely by Erice Lyness, the head of the Goddard Planetary Environments Lab at NASA. Lyness needed to come up with ways of automating aspects of geochemical analyses of samples taken in other parts of our solar system.
AI has become the buzzword of the world, and an integral part of almost every company's digital transformation agenda. AI users have become producers of AI tools and services. Corporate leaders and even the White House have come with forward with a directive on promotion, promulgation, and advancement of artificial intelligence. On February 11, 2019, President Trump signed Executive Order 13859 announcing the American AI Initiative. Executive Order 13859 is the United States' national strategy on artificial intelligence.
Testing for pathogens is a critical component of maintaining public health and safety. Having a method to rapidly and reliably test for harmful germs is essential for diagnosing diseases, maintaining clean drinking water, regulating food safety, conducting scientific research, and other important functions of modern society. In recent research, scientists from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), have demonstrated that artificial intelligence (AI) can detect harmful bacteria from a water sample up to 12 hours faster than the current gold-standard Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) methods. In a new study published yesterday in Light: Science and Applications, the researchers created a time-lapse imaging platform that uses two separate deep neural networks (DNNs) for the detection and classification of bacteria. The team tested the high-throughput bacterial colony growth detection and classification system using water suspensions with added coliform bacteria of E. coli (including chlorine-stressed E. coli), K. pneumoniae and K. aerogenes, grown on chromogenic agar as the culture medium.
Let's get our James Bond swag on shall we? Defense departments worldwide are betting on AI to deliver the next generation advanced military technology, and the US is no different. In the US of A, this strategy is being orchestrated by the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), a department under the umbrella of the Department of Defense (DoD) led by Acting Director Nand Mulchandani. And he recently gave his first press conference. NLP will play a bigger role in the future of JAIC strategy .
NASA-funded researchers applied artificial intelligence to Facebook user location data captured as two fires wrecked northern California in 2018 and gained new insight into people's evacuation movements and behaviors when disaster strikes, which could strengthen future response. The Defense Innovation Unit and Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute are collectively crafting datasets to teach AI tools to assess buildings and structures after natural crises occur, and ultimately augment and increase the accuracy of damage estimates. These are two of many examples detailed in a new report from the Partnership for Public Service and Microsoft that explores how the maturing technology can improve disaster resilience and response, and considerations and actions governments should pursue when adopting AI to boost preparedness, recovery and relief. The report suggests agencies improve data collection and access, make proactive instead of reactive moves, collaborate with other organizations--and more. "While some governments, companies and universities have already used AI in this field, most are still in the early stages of use," officials wrote in the report.