US Government


$1tn is just the start: why tech giants could double their market valuations

The Guardian

Alphabet, the tech giant formerly known as Google, on Thursday night became the fourth company in history to reach a trillion-dollar (£776bn) valuation. In less than 24 hours, some analysts were predicting that the company, founded in a messy Silicon Valley garage 21 years ago, could double in value again to become a $2tn firm "in the near future". The consensus among Wall Street bankers is nothing can stop the runaway share price rises of Alphabet or the other so-called "Faang" tech companies. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google have seen their combined market value increase by $1.3tn over the past year – that's the equivalent of adding half the value of all the companies in the FTSE 100, or the entire GDP of Mexico. "It's such a phenomenally large number that it's difficult for most of us even to quantify the value," said Paul Lee, the global head of technology research at Deloitte.


The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It

#artificialintelligence

Until recently, Hoan Ton-That's greatest hits included an obscure iPhone game and an app that let people put Donald Trump's distinctive yellow hair on their own photos. Then Mr. Ton-That -- an Australian techie and onetime model -- did something momentous: He invented a tool that could end your ability to walk down the street anonymously, and provided it to hundreds of law enforcement agencies, ranging from local cops in Florida to the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security. His tiny company, Clearview AI, devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app. You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system -- whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites -- goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants.


Rachel Bovard: Congress has a role to play in regulating Google

FOX News

A new Google artificial intelligence model appears capable of more accurately spotting breast cancer in mammograms than radiologists; Fox News contributor Dr. Manny Alvarez reacts. The Silicon Valley libertarians at Google are spending a lot of money these days to keep the government out of the company's business. But their sudden aversion to government regulation is a newfound religion for Google: the company has been profiting for years off of a sweetheart deal with the government struck in 1996 -- a government subsidy which Google no longer deserves. Blockbuster reporting from the Wall Street Journal reveals that Google is no longer the neutral search platform they have long led consumers to believe they were. "It is not possible for an individual employee or a group of employees to manipulate our search results," Google CEO Sundar Pichai told Congress.


Nations dawdle on agreeing rules to control 'killer robots' in future wars - Reuters

#artificialintelligence

NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Countries are rapidly developing "killer robots" - machines with artificial intelligence (AI) that independently kill - but are moving at a snail's pace on agreeing global rules over their use in future wars, warn technology and human rights experts. From drones and missiles to tanks and submarines, semi-autonomous weapons systems have been used for decades to eliminate targets in modern day warfare - but they all have human supervision. Nations such as the United States, Russia and Israel are now investing in developing lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) which can identify, target, and kill a person all on their own - but to date there are no international laws governing their use. "Some kind of human control is necessary ... Only humans can make context-specific judgements of distinction, proportionality and precautions in combat," said Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).


Iran Cracks Down as Protests Over Downing of Airliner Grow

NYT > Middle East

We first learned that it was a missile that took down a Ukrainian airliner over Iran because of this video showing the moment of impact. All 176 people on board were killed. To find out what happened to Flight 752 after it left Tehran airport on Jan. 8, we collected flight data, analyzed witness videos and images of the crash site, to paint the clearest picture yet of that disastrous seven-minute flight. We'll walk you through the evidence, minute by minute, from the plane's takeoff to the moment it crashed. Iran has just launched ballistic missiles at U.S. military targets in Iraq in retaliation for an American drone strike that killed Iranian military leader Qassim Suleimani.


Amazon Web Services enlists AI to help NASA get ahead of solar superstorms

#artificialintelligence

If the sun throws out a radiation blast of satellite-killing proportions someday, Amazon Web Services may well play a role in heading off a technological doomsday. That's the upshot of a project that has NASA working with AWS Professional Services and the Amazon Machine Learning Solutions Lab to learn more about the early warning signs of a solar superstorm, with the aid of artificial intelligence. Solar storms occur when disturbances on the sun's surface throw off a blasts of radiation and eruptions of electrically charged particles at speeds of millions of miles per hour. A sufficiently strong radiation blast can impact radio communications over half of the globe. And if the eruptions, known as coronal mass ejection or CMEs, are strong enough and sweep directly past Earth, they can damage satellites and bring down power grids.


202. Psychological Warfare in the Human Domain: Mixing AI-Powered Technology with Psychosocial Engagement

#artificialintelligence

A multifunctional special operations team infiltrates into the Ad Dali' Province of western Yemen as part of a coalition effort that supports the UN recognized government of President Mansour Hadi, based in the southern capital of Aden. The team is one of several that have begun to infiltrate the tribal areas within the span of control of the Houthi rebel army that is based in Sana'a. The purpose of these specialized teams is simple: foment rebellion within the Yemeni tribes against their Houthi oppressors and return control of their tribal areas to the legitimate government as directed by the UN. The team leader for the team that has infiltrated into Ad Dali' is Captain Adam MacDonald of the British Army, who is leading part of his team into the ruined home of Sheikh Abdul Jaleel al-Hudaifi, in the war torn village of Najd al-Mukalla, in the al-Harsha district, just outside of the Ad Dali' provincial capital. The previous Saturday, on February 12, 2025, militia fighters operating under the al-Houthi movement blew up the primary home of the tribal leader of the al-Harsha district using dynamite.


Artificial intelligence firm TheIncLab expands to Tampa

#artificialintelligence

A tech company that works to develop artificial intelligence-enabled systems that learn and collaborate with humans is expanding to Tampa. TheIncLab, based near Washington D.C., has opened an "AI X lab" -- that is, artificial intelligence plus experience -- at the Undercroft, a tech development center and membership guild for companies focused on cybersecurity. Along with TheIncLab, the Undercroft provides work space for local offices of BlackHorse Solutions, Sharp Decisions, @Risk Technologies and Bull Horn Communications. The Undercroft has offices in one of Ybor City's most historic structures, the El Pasaje building on E Ninth Avenue. Built in 1886, it originally housed the Cherokee Club, a private retreat for for wealthy cigar-makers.


Artificial Intelligence system can 'see' around corners

#artificialintelligence

An artificial intelligence system that allows self-driving cars to'see' around corners in real time could help prevent accidents, according to its developers. Researchers from Stanford University in the USA have created a system that bounces a laser beam off a wall to create an'image' of objects hidden from view. The'image' captured won't make sense to a human, but using artificial intelligence technology the system can create a visual reconstruction of the hidden view. The research was funded by US government agency DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency), and is one of a number of similar technology programmes being developed. It could also be used by soldiers to see around walls, rescue workers searching for people and even in space travel to examine the interior caves of an asteroid.


The Dark Side Of Deepfake Artificial Intelligence And Virtual Influencers

#artificialintelligence

There's an emerging technology that is starting to gain traction in the tech world. Already featured in most major media networks, the role of deepfake artificial intelligence and virtual influencer (VI) touches on a variety of legal and ethical concerns that the business community should take notice of. Deepfakes are videos manipulated by AI to overlay images of celebrities or public figures in order to deceive viewers into believing the content is authentic. Recently, deepfake videos of Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and Boris Johnson have all emerged and gone viral. In the state of California, recent legislation has made it "illegal to create or distribute videos, images or audio of politicians doctored to resemble real footage within 60 days of an election," according to The Guardian.