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Covid-19 Makes the Case for More Meatpacking Robots

WIRED

On Memorial Day weekends past, you might have joined in the All-American ritual of firing up the grill, cracking a cold one, and feuding with your family over which hot dog condiment is correct. But this holiday, you might not have as many wieners to argue about. Across the US, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 has rampaged through cold, cramped, meat processing facilities, sickening thousands of workers and killing at least 30 of them. With dozens of plants closed or cutting back operations, meat shortages have been forcing some grocery stores to ration grilling staples like ground beef and chicken breasts. At least one sausage factory, in Milwaukee, has had to hit pause on its hot dog production line.


Trump threatens to move RNC without assurances from governor

Boston Herald

President Donald Trump threatened Monday to pull the Republican National Convention out of North Carolina if the state's Democratic governor doesn't immediately sign off on allowing a full-capacity gathering in August despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Trump's tweets about the RNC, planned for Charlotte, come just two days after North Carolina recorded its largest daily increase in positive cases yet. On Friday, Gov. Roy Cooper moved the state into a second phase of gradual reopening by loosening restrictions on hair salons, barbers and restaurants. But he said the state must continue to closely watch virus trends and has ordered indoor entertainment venues, gyms and bars to remain closed for several more weeks. "Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, @RoyCooperNC is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed… full attendance in the Arena," Trump tweeted Monday.


NASA seeks participants for eight-month isolation study

Daily Mail - Science & tech

NASA is on the hunt for volunteers for a'social isolation' mission that simulates the psychological effects of confinement. In a nod to the current virus pandemic, the space agency is after healthy participants to live together in isolation for eight months in Moscow, Russia. The ground based'SIRIUS-20' mission will help NASA learn more about'the physiological and psychological effects of isolation and confinement on humans'. The chosen participants – who have to be'US citizens, between the ages of 30 to 55 and'highly motivated' – will experience'environmental aspects' similar to those astronauts will experience on future missions to the Moon and Mars. SIRIUS is an international mission conducted in the NEK, a ground-based analog facility in Moscow.


The Morning After: Texas Instruments makes it harder to cheat on its calculators

Engadget

Graphing calculators have clung on to school lives despite us all carrying around smartphones that are several magnitudes more powerful. In a bid to reduce cheating in exam settings, Texas Instruments is pulling support for assembly- and C-based programs. If you install the latest firmware update, those kinds of programs won't work, and you won't be able to roll-back the device. While this could please teachers worried that students will use apps on their calculator to cheat during exams, enthusiasts are, unsurprisingly, mad. It reduces the control programmers have over their calculator apps.


BlackBerry, CGI, and Kinaxis Among High Potential Canadian AI Stocks Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

#artificialintelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the fast-growing industries in the world today, and there are several Canadian AI stocks already making a name for themselves in the sector. The industry has attracted attention from all sectors, and most companies are investing significantly in AI owing to the promise of bug returns going forward. Almost every company is now adopting AI, with over 80% of enterprises believing that AI will help them in sustaining or obtaining a competitive advantage. AI is becoming the tech everybody wants to adopt to help them grow profits and compete. Some Canadian AI stocks have already shown potential and taken the lead.


Meltdown

Communications of the ACM

Moritz Lipp is a Ph.D. candidate at Graz University of Technology, Flanders, Austria. Michael Schwarz is a postdoctoral researcher at Graz University of Technology, Flanders, Austria. Daniel Gruss is an assistant professor at Graz University of Technology, Flanders, Austria. Thomas Prescher is a chief architect at Cyberus Technology GmbH, Dresden, Germany. Werner Haas is the Chief Technology Officer at Cyberus Technology GmbH, Dresden, Germany.


The 'Invisible' Materiality of Information Technology

Communications of the ACM

Such a disappearance is a fundamental consequence not of technology but of human psychology. Whenever people learn something sufficiently well, they cease to be aware of it. Thus, Weiser's vision is even broader: as this technology becomes truly embedded in human activity we won't be aware of it at all. As the field of ubiquitous computing has evolved, with computation embedded in walls, clothes, and so forth, the materiality to support it is often physically and intentionally hidden from the user. Indeed, this material disappearance is often considered evidence of good design. The "agent" metaphor, in particular in its early presentations such as the Knowledge Navigator and Starfire, is also another utopian vision. These virtual agents are typically accessible via peripherals such as screens or phones, doing the bidding of those they serve.


Trump Doubles up With Maryland, Virginia Memorial Day Events

U.S. News

Trump will visit Baltimore just over a week after Maryland began to lift some of the restrictions it had put in place for the coronavirus, though they remain in effect in Baltimore. Baltimore and the Washington, D.C., area have the nation's highest percentages of positive cases, according to Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force.


Marshaling artificial intelligence in the fight against Covid-19

#artificialintelligence

Artificial intelligence could play a decisive role in stopping the Covid-19 pandemic. To give the technology a push, the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab is funding 10 projects at MIT aimed at advancing AI's transformative potential for society. The research will target the immediate public health and economic challenges of this moment. But it could have a lasting impact on how we evaluate and respond to risk long after the crisis has passed. The 10 research projects are highlighted below.


State of Artificial Intelligence in US: Becoming Technology Superpower

#artificialintelligence

Not long ago US President Donald Trump quoted that, "Continued American leadership in AI is of paramount importance to maintaining the economic and national security of the United States and to shaping the global evolution of AI in a manner consistent with our Nation's values, policies, and priorities." President Donald J. Trump launched the American Artificial Intelligence Initiative, the Nation's strategy for promoting American leadership in AI, by signing Executive Order 13859 in February 2019. Reportedly, the American AI Initiative focuses the resources of the Federal Government to support AI innovation that will increase prosperity, enhance national security, and improve quality of life for the American people. The United States has decided to promote Federal investment in AI R&D in collaboration with industry, academia, international partners and allies, and other non-Federal entities to generate technological breakthroughs in AI. President Trump called for a 2-year doubling of non-defense AI R&D in his fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget proposal, and in 2019 the Administration updated its AI R&D strategic plan, developed the first progress report describing the impact of Federal R&D investments, and published the first-ever reporting of government-wide non-defense AI R&D spending.