Goto

Collaborating Authors

Regional Government


California Activists Ramp Up Fight Against Facial-Recognition Technology

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

"This is a bill being sold as a privacy bill, but it's a wolf in sheep's clothing," Matt Cagle, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, said in an interview. The ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation and other civil liberties groups held a virtual rally Thursday night to rail against the bill, calling it vaguely worded and potentially dangerous for low-income communities hit hard by the coronavirus. Their remarks were the latest shots fired from a campaign to halt the legislation. The bill's fate in California--which has pushed for more aggressive privacy protections in recent years--could foreshadow how a potentially huge market for facial recognition technology is regulated by other states. The bill calls for companies and agencies that use facial recognition tools in areas accessible to the public to "provide a conspicuous and contextually appropriate notice" that faces may get scanned.


The Air Force's AI-Powered 'Skyborg' Drones Could Fly as Early as 2023

#artificialintelligence

The U.S. Air Force is finally pushing into the world of robot combat drones, vowing to fly the first of its "Skyborg" drones by 2023. The service envisions Skyborg as a merging of artificial intelligence with jet-powered drones. The result will be drones capable of flying alongside fighter jets, carrying out dangerous missions. Skyborg drones will be much cheaper than piloted aircraft, allowing the Air Force to grow its fleet at a lower cost. The Air Force, according to Defense News, will award a total of $400 million to one or more companies to develop different types of Skyborg drones.


Trump threatens to move RNC without assurances from North Carolina governor

PBS NewsHour

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.


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.


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.


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.


China's State News Agency Introduces New Artificial Intelligence Anchor

#artificialintelligence

The traditional method of training AI models involves setting up servers where models are trained on data, often through the use of a cloud-based computing platform. However, over the past few years an alternative form of model creation has arisen, called federated learning. Federated learning brings machine learning models to the data source, rather than bringing the data to the model. Federated learning links together multiple computational devices into a decentralized system that allows the individual devices that collect data to assist in training the model. In a federated learning system, the various devices that are part of the learning network each have a copy of the model on the device.


The Latest: Pasta factory in Spokane reports virus oubtreak

Associated Press

For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. The Spokesman-Review reported that Philadelphia Macaroni Company Inc. said in a statement Friday that 72 workers were tested for COVID-19 and 24 were positive. Health officials say there was an increase in Spokane County with 31 new positive cases between Thursday and Friday. Company officials say all of the factory employees have since been tested and the facility was disinfected. The company is working with the Spokane Regional Health District to conduct contact tracing and determine further prevention measures.