Collaborating Authors

White House, University of Washington Co-host Artificial Intelligence Workshop


Artificial intelligence has come a long way since the term was coined in the 1950s, but computers still don't think and feel in quite the same way humans do. Yet rapid progress has the federal government, and others, thinking about new legal and policy issues. Artificial intelligence has been around for decades. Think airplanes that fly on auto-pilot. Today, that technology is developing quickly, thanks to breakthroughs in computer science.

Volkswagen plans big changes, betting on electric cars and other new technology

Los Angeles Times

Volkswagen Group's namesake brand hopes to bounce back from its diesel emissions scandal with a broad restructuring that will mean more battery-powered cars, digital services such as ride sharing, and more SUVs for the U.S. market. Herbert Diess, head of the Volkswagen division, unveiled the German automaker's Transform 2025 plan at a news conference Tuesday, saying that "in the coming years, we will fundamentally change Volkswagen. Only a few things will remain as they are." The plan foresees a major shift in focus toward investments in electric-car technology and in software to enable new ways of using and sharing cars. The Volkswagen division alone expects to sell a million electric vehicles a year by 2025.

At MIT, Mass. AG talks dangers, opportunities of big data - Boston Business Journal


At a data privacy forum held Thursday at MIT, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey talked about the dangers and opportunities of big data. Healey, at the morning event, said big data can both enable unfair business practices and perpetuate and facilitate abuse, while also helping legitimate business users. The goal of the forum, which featured data privacy experts and technologists ranging from Google and Facebook to Harvard and MIT, was to discuss the risks of big data to consumer privacy and what role state officials like Healey should have in addressing those problems, without hampering innovation. "We're concerned that big data can be used to engage in price discrimination and price steering, and ... the use of consumer data including location and Web browsing habits have been used to steer or even charge consumers more for the same product," Healey said. Healey said Massachusetts should be a leader in the big data sector, though she added she's advocating for policies and practices to "reflect and support that leadership."

Virtualitics Launches as First Platform to Merge Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Virtual/Augmented Reality


WIRE)--Virtualitics, LLC, a data analytics in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) startup, today announced the launch of its new tool that combines powerful data visualization in VR/AR and artificial intelligence to provide insights and discover actionable knowledge hidden in big and complex data. The company also announced they closed a $3 million investment seed round from angel investors. Virtualitics combines VR/AR with machine learning and natural language in a data exploration, collaborative environment suitable for both data scientists and non-expert users. The technology is the only one of its kind that can provide a simultaneous rendering of up to 10 dimensions, revealing multidimensional relationships present in the data, which may not be discoverable in any other way. The company is based on over a decade of research at Caltech and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and was founded by: professor George Djorgovski, the founding director of Caltech's Center for Data-Driven Discovery; Michael Amori, former Deutsche Bank managing director, Harvard MBA and Caltech alumnus; Dr. Ciro Donalek, computational scientist at Caltech; and Dr. Scott Davidoff, manager of the Human Interfaces Group at NASA's JPL.

Half of U.S. adults are profiled in police facial recognition databases


Photographs of nearly half of all U.S. adults--117 million people--are collected in police facial recognition databases across the country with little regulation over how the networks are searched and used, according to a new study. Along with a lack of regulation, critics question the accuracy of facial recognition algorithms. Meanwhile, state, city, and federal facial recognition databases include 48 percent of U.S. adults, said the report from the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law. The search of facial recognition databases is largely unregulated, the report said. "A few agencies have instituted meaningful protections to prevent the misuse of the technology," its authors wrote.