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Alabama's Artificial Intelligence Commission getting started


The state's new 25-member commission on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Associated Technologies picked its leadership and areas of focus in its first meeting. Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield was elected chairman and State Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) will serve as vice-chairman. Waggoner proposed a joint resolution creating the commission in the last legislative session, which Gov. Kay Ivey approved. The commission is expected to examine several areas of focus, such as how schools and universities can develop AI-educational programs and privacy issues for consumers. It will meet over the next seven months and deliver a report to Ivey in May 2020 on how AI can benefit the economy.

How State Politics Is Playing a Huge Role in Artificial Intelligence


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation in late July to create a temporary state commission that will examine how artificial intelligence impacts his state. In doing so, New York joined Vermont, Alabama, and Washington in establishing an A.I. task force that will examine the cutting-edge technology and then make recommendations about how it should be regulated. The groups vary in their mission, but the general message is the same: companies pushing A.I., the brains behind innovation like robotics and facial recognition software, can't necessarily be trusted to do what's in the best interest of state residents. Brandie Nonnecke, founding director of University of California's Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society Policy Lab, says that task forces could help keep state lawmakers up to date about the technology. The end result, she says, will be better-written bills that don't get stuck in legislative purgatory.

An AI expert's toughest project: writing code to save his son's life - STAT


Cristina Might drew close to her son. He was listless and groggy after weeks of battling a puzzling illness that had filled his lungs with fluid and, hours earlier, stopped his breathing entirely. A code team had rushed to Buddy's bedside and jolted him back to life, but now the 11-year-old with the broad smile was gray, his eyes unable to focus. His mom leaned nearer still. It was time to say goodbye. But Cristina's words to her son, a brown-eyed boy who loved dolphins and his aquarium, offered no hint of her desperation: "I was telling him it was all going to be OK, that his fishies couldn't wait to see him again and that he had to hurry up and come home." Somehow, Buddy made it through that night this past May, allowing doctors at Children's Hospital of Alabama to insert a tube to drain his lungs. His illness had caused a frightening cascade of symptoms: a yellowish substance in his bones and a bulging abdomen, on top of the deluge of fluid.

Florida Eases Self-Driving Car Rules: Are States And Cities On The Hook For Mishaps?


Jurisdictions might be on-the-hook for their self-driving car laws that allow autonomous cars and for which might get into mishaps or crashes. Florida just passed a law that widens the door for self-driving driverless cars to roam their public roadways and do so without any human back-up driver involved. Some see dangers afoot, others see progress and excitement. Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, declared that by approving the new bill it showed that "Florida officially has an open-door policy to autonomous vehicle companies." There are now 29 states that have various driverless laws on their books, per the National Conference of State Legislatures: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, plus Washington, D.C. Here's a question that some politicians and regulators are silently grappling with, albeit some think that they have the unarguably "right" answer and thusly have no need to lose sleep over the matter: Should states, counties, cities and townships be eagerly courting self-driving autonomous cars onto their public roadways, or should those jurisdictions be neutral about inviting them into their locales, or should they be highly questioning and require "proof until proven safe" before letting even one such autonomous car onto their turf?

Shark skin studied by US military to make faster, more agile aircraft

FOX News

The U.S. Army is funding research on the skin of the mako shark that was presented Monday and could impact how aircraft are built. The skin of the mako shark is being studied by the U.S. Army to help build faster aircraft, according to research presented on Monday. Makos, the world's fastest sharks, have rows of millions of tiny raised scales along their sides and fins that researchers at the University of Alabama (UA) believe could be the reason for that lightning speed. Dr. Amy Lang, a UA aeronautical engineer, is leading the research that she presented at a meeting of the American Physical Society Meeting on Monday, The Independent reported. The mako's scales, called denticles, are translucent, flexible and shaped like tiny shark teeth.

NASA is Developing its new GPS using Artificial Intelligence - Canadian Homesteading


No good space crew can work without a great astrogator. To chart a course through debris and stars fields is not as easy as driving through a city because of space's lack of infrastructure that could be used as a guide. NASA is working on that issue. What is NASA doing to fix this problem? Throughout the history of space travel, the astronauts would operate on a system with Point A to Point B.

AI & Regulation: Politics wakes up to the reality of AI


Many people are already using, perhaps without knowing it, tools based on artificial intelligence (AI). Almost everyone probably ignores the absence of laws that govern how it works. We are surrounded by absurd regulations (for example, in Alabama it is illegal to drive while blindfolded; in France, you can't name a pig "Napoleon," etc.), however, there are no guidelines that regulate the use of software for autonomous driving vehicles nor the algorithms that support decision making to prioritize care for hospital patients or that pre-select which job candidates should be interviewed. Fortunately, it seems that our political systems have finally understood the urgency with which we need to apply legislation to this area. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Representatives John K. Delaney (D-Md.) and Pete Olson (R-Texas)-- introduced a bill called The Fundamentally Understanding the Usability and Realistic Evolution of Artificial Intelligence Act of 2017, also known as the FUTURE of AI Act.

Reusable rocket-drone duo that takes off from a RUNWAY could launch satellites every 3 hours

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A space launch every three hours could soon be a reality. Alabama-based startup, Aevum, is testing a rocket-drone plane that can send small satellites into orbit from a normal runway. The firm claims that its fully autonomous system will drive down the cost of launches and make them as frequent as commercial flights. The rocket-drone plane will send small satellites into orbit from a normal runway. 'Ravn is designed to launch every 180 minutes,' Jay Skylus, Aevum's CEO and chief launch architect, told

Facebook is building a big new $750 million data center in Alabama


Facebook has got big plans for a new $750 million data center in Huntsville, Alabama. On Thursday, the social networking giant announced it was building a new 970,000 square foot facility in Huntsville, a city in the northern part of the US state. "As a growing tech hub, Huntsville seemed like a natural fit for Facebook," the company wrote on a new Facebook post dedicated to the planned data center. "It also provides reliable access to renewable energy, strong local infrastructure, a great set of community partners, and very importantly, an outstanding pool of talent." A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that it is investing $750 million in the project.

NASA funds unusual project to create bees with enormous wings to take samples from

Daily Mail - Science & tech

There is no life on Mars that we have been able to detect so far. But the red planet could be about to look a lot more like Earth, with a swarm of robotic bees sent to buzz through its atmosphere. Space agency NASA has funded an unusual project to create'Marsbees', which are the size of bumblebees with enormous wings, equipped to take samples from the planet. An artist's impression issued by the European Space Agency of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter in front of the red planet The inventor of the'Marsbee', Dr Chang-kwon Kang from the University of Alabama, believes they have sufficient lift to hover in the Martian atmosphere, which is around 100 times thinner than the Earth's. His report on the bees states: 'Marsbees are robotic flapping wing-flyers of a bumblebee size with cicada-sized wings.