North America Government


Florida could use drones to fight pythons and invasive species

The Japan Times

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Florida could turn to the sky to fight Burmese pythons on the ground under a bill a Senate committee unanimously approved Monday to allow two state agencies to use drones in the effort to eradicate invasive plants and animals. The bill would create an exception to a current law that prohibits law enforcement from using drones to gather information and bans state agencies from using drones to gather images on private land. It would allow the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Forest Service to fly drones to manage and eradicate invasion species on public lands. Sen. Ben Albritton said he has been told that drones equipped with lidar, which stands for "light detection and ranging," might be able to identify pythons. "As you know, chasing those nasty critters down there in the Everglades is a difficult task," Albritton said.


VUMC study to use artificial intelligence to explore suicide risk

#artificialintelligence

With the help of a five-year, $2.7 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center will use computational methods to shed light on suicidal ideation and its relationship to attempted suicide, predict suicidal ideation and suicide attempt using routine electronic health records (EHRs) and explore the genetic underpinnings of both. From 1999 to 2017, the all-ages suicide rate in the United States increased 33%, from 10.5 to 14.0 per 100,000 population. In 2017 there were 47,173 recorded suicides, making it the nation's 10th leading cause of death. The principal investigators for the study are internist and clinical informatician Colin Walsh, MD, MA, assistant professor of Biomedical Informatics, Medicine, and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and geneticist and computational biologist Douglas Ruderfer, PhD, MS, assistant professor of Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Biomedical Informatics. In previous work Walsh and colleagues used EHR data and machine learning techniques to develop predictive algorithms for attempted suicide.


Does Artificial Intelligence Technology Foreshadow a New Arms Race?

#artificialintelligence

Many developments show that states have turned AI technology into a part of the arms race. The "Summary of the 2018 Department of Defense Artificial Intelligence Strategy" report prepared by the U.S. Department of Defense highlighted Chinese and Russian investments in AI weapons technologies and stated the steps to be taken within the framework of such competition. Moreover, the Pentagon's budget for AI arming, worth $2 billion, and the "Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in AI" published by U.S. President Donald Trump reveal the importance of arming in AI technology. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper recently said that the growing threats posed by great power competitors such as China and Russia warrant refocusing on high-intensity conflict across all of the military services. Esper also stressed the necessity of modernizing the military in AI, robotics, directed energy and hypersonic technologies.


Senator Wants Tesla to Make Safety Fixes to Autopilot

#artificialintelligence

Tesla is facing calls from a U.S. Senator to make safety fixes to its autopilot system. In a press release, Democrat Senator Edward Markey of Massachuttes took issues with certain areas of its autopilot feature that enable a Tesla vehicle to center itself in a lane, provide speed changing cruise control and self-park among other things. Markey sits on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Markey said that by calling it Autopilot it encourages users to "over-rely" on the technology and think they can take their hands off the steering wheel. To get around that the Senator is calling on Tesla to rebrand and remarket Autopilot to make it clear that its a driver's assistance system not a fully autonomous capability.


New Jersey state attorney general prohibits police from using facial recognition software

Daily Mail - Science & tech

New Jersey's attorney general, Gurbir S. Grewal, has instructed prosecutors across the state to stop using Clearview AI, a private facial recognition software. Clearview AI's tools allow law enforcement officials to upload a photo of an unknown person they'd like to identify, and see a list of matches culled from a database of over 3 billion photos. The photos are taken from a variety of controversial sources, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and even Venmo. New Jersey attorney general Gurbir S. Grewal told the state's prosecutor's to stop using Clearview AI, private facial recognition software that he worried might compromise the integrity of the state's investigations Clearview says that anyone can submit a request to the company to have a photo of them removed from its databases, but they must first present proof they own copyright to the photo. Grewal decided to issue the ban after seeing Clearview had used footage from a 2019 sting operation in New Jersey promoting its own services, something even he hadn't been aware of at the time.


40 groups call for US moratorium on facial recognition technology

#artificialintelligence

The news: US government use of facial recognition technology should be banned "pending further review," according to 40 organizations that signed a letter calling for a recommendation to be made to the president. The letter, drafted by the privacy advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, cites the recent New York Times investigation of a facial recognition service used by more than 600 law enforcement agencies in the US. The company, Clearview AI, scraped public photographs from Facebook, YouTube, and other websites to create a database of more than three billion images. Such technology, the letter argues, not only risks being inaccurate for people of color but could be used to "control minority populations and limit dissent." The letter was signed by organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Color of Change, Fight for the Future, and the Consumer Federation of America, and sent to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Board, an agency within the executive branch.


40 groups call for US moratorium on facial recognition technology

#artificialintelligence

The news: US government use of facial recognition technology should be banned "pending further review," according to 40 organizations that signed a letter calling for a recommendation to be made to the president. The letter, drafted by the privacy advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, cites the recent New York Times investigation of a facial recognition service used by more than 600 law enforcement agencies in the US. The company, Clearview AI, scraped public photographs from Facebook, YouTube, and other websites to create a database of more than three billion images. Such technology, the letter argues, not only risks being inaccurate for people of color but could be used to "control minority populations and limit dissent." The letter was signed by organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Color of Change, Fight for the Future, and the Consumer Federation of America, and sent to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Board, an agency within the executive branch.


Paging Dr. Robot: How Robotics Is Changing The Face Of Medicine 7wData

#artificialintelligence

Several industries are seeing the impact of robotics -- and medicine is no exception. While the progress of these applications has been slow compared to other industries, the impact could be huge: robotics in medicine can help to reduce human error, improve recovery time, and reduce hospital stays, ultimately enhancing patients' quality of life. The first medical robotic application appeared in 1985, when an early robotic surgical arm assisted in a neurosurgical biopsy surgery. Fifteen years later, the first fully FDA-approved system (known as the da Vinci surgery system) for laparoscopic surgery emerged, giving surgeons the ability to control surgical instruments indirectly via a console. Today, companies are leveraging advances in the tech to develop new robotic applications to explore the future of medicine -- including those related to bionics, disease discovery, and rehabilitation.


Evolutionary AI inspires IU student to shoot for the moon

#artificialintelligence

Derek speaks in voiceover: After I returned back from the Navy and getting my undergraduate degree coming back to Indiana and working here at Crane. Derek speaks in voiceover: I've seen that there is an enormous amount of talent in Indiana. Derek speaks in voiceover: There's a whole lot of potential to create technology, to create business, to grow Indiana in a very positive way. Derek speaks in voiceover: cognitive science is going to fill the gap of how do I make cerebral systems. Mike speaks in voiceover: We are a systems and software engineering company.


Snow day spurs Missouri father to make plea: 'Kids Home Send Help'

FOX News

Parents get creative in snow day plea. A winter storm that brought several inches of snow to the Midwest last week and caused schools to be closed was too much for one father, who put out a call for help. The National Weather Service said that some areas of central Missouri got up to seven inches of snow over a two-day period, due to the "complex" system with the highest totals in the Columbia area. Schools across the region were closed due to the snow, which spurred Eric Morfeld to take to Facebook. These kids sure know how to drive Ashlee and me crazy!