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Google's ex-boss tells the US it's time to take the gloves off on autonomous weapons

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In brief US government should avoid hastily banning AI-powered autonomous weapons and instead step up its efforts in developing such systems to keep up with foreign enemies, according to the National Security Commission on AI. The independent group headed by ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt and funded by the Department of Defense has published its final report advising the White House on how best to advance AI and machine learning to stay ahead of its competitors. Stretching over 750 pages, the report covers a lot of areas, including retaining talent, the future of warfare, protecting IP, and US semiconductor supply chains. The most controversial point raised by Schmidt and the other advisors was that America should not turn its back on autonomous AI weapons. The US government should actually be building its own systems to deter other countries from wreaking havoc, it argued.


US government urged to 'jump start' smart cities - Cities Today - Connecting the world's urban leaders

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The US federal government should do more to fund research and facilitate collaboration which helps cities tap the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies, says a new report from non-profit thinktank the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). "Smart cities offer an important opportunity to address both infrastructure needs and strained state and local budgets at the same time," the report says, noting the large revenue shortfalls many cities face due to the pandemic. Cities can use AI in transport, the electrical grid, buildings, city operations and more. Similarly, a 2020 report from Microsoft and PwC found that AI-enabled decarbonisation technologies could reduce the carbon intensity of the global economy. ITIF's research outlines several key challenges to deployment.


Artificial Intelligence reveals current drugs may help combat Alzheimer's

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Researchers have developed a method based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) that rapidly identifies currently available medications that may treat Alzheimer's disease. The method could represent a rapid and inexpensive way to repurpose existing therapies into new treatments for this progressive, debilitating neurodegenerative condition. Importantly, it could also help reveal new, unexplored targets for therapy by pointing to mechanisms of drug action. "Repurposing FDA-approved drugs for Alzheimer's disease is an attractive idea that can help accelerate the arrival of effective treatment -- but unfortunately, even for previously approved drugs, clinical trials require substantial resources, making it impossible to evaluate every drug in patients with Alzheimer's disease," said researcher Artem Sokolov from Harvard Medical School. "We therefore built a framework for prioritising drugs, helping clinical studies to focus on the most promising ones," Sokolov added.


Game of drones: Chinese giant DJI hit by U.S. tensions and staff defections

The Japan Times

SHENZHEN – Chinese drone giant DJI Technology Co. built up such a successful U.S. business over the past decade that it almost drove all competitors out of the market. Yet its North American operations have been hit by internal disturbances in recent weeks and months, with a raft of staff cuts and departures, according to interviews with more than two dozen current and former employees. The loss of key managers, including some who have joined rivals, has compounded problems caused by U.S. government restrictions on Chinese companies, and raised the once-remote prospect of DJI's dominance being eroded, said four of the people, including two senior executives who were at the company until late 2020. About a third of DJI's 200-strong team in the region was laid off or resigned last year, from offices in Palo Alto, Burbank and New York, according to three former and one current employee. In February this year, DJI's head of U.S. R&D left and the company laid off the remaining R&D staff, numbering roughly 10 people, at its flagship U.S. research center in California's Palo Alto, four people said.


B-52s again fly over Mideast in US military warning to Iran

Boston Herald

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- A pair of B-52 bombers flew over the Mideast on Sunday, the latest such mission in the region aimed at warning Iran amid tensions between Washington and Tehran. The flight by the two heavy bombers came as a pro-Iran satellite channel based in Beirut broadcast Iranian military drone footage of an Israeli ship hit by a mysterious explosion only days earlier in the Mideast. While the channel sought to say Iran wasn't involved, Israel has blamed Tehran for what it described as an attack on the vessel. The U.S. military's Central Command said the two B-52s flew over the region accompanied by military aircraft from nations including Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It marked the fourth-such bomber deployment into the Mideast this year and the second under President Joe Biden.


Latest 2021 Stanford AI Study Gives Deep Look into the State of the Global AI Marketplace

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Despite major disruptions from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, global investment in AI technologies grew by 40 percent in 2020 to $67.9 billion, up from $48.8 billion in 2019, as AI research and use continues to boom across broad segments of bioscience, healthcare, manufacturing and more. The figures, compiled as part of Stanford University's Artificlal Intelligence Index Report 2021 on the state of AI research, development, implementation and use around the world, help illustrate the continually changing scope of the still-maturing technology. The 222-page AI Index 2021 report, touted as the school's fourth annual study of AI impact and progress, was released March 3 by Stanford's Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. The report provides a detailed portrait of the AI waterfront last year, including increasing AI investments and use in medicine and healthcare, China's growth in AI research, huge gains in AI capabilities across industries, concerns about diversity among AI researchers, ongoing debates about AI ethics and more. "The impact of AI this past year was both societal and economic, driven by the increasingly rapid progress of the technology itself," AI Index co-chair Jack Clark said in a statement.


AI reveals current drugs that may help combat Alzheimer's

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New York, March 7 (IANS) Researchers have developed a method based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) that rapidly identifies currently available medications that may treat Alzheimer's disease. The method could represent a rapid and inexpensive way to repurpose existing therapies into new treatments for this progressive, debilitating neurodegenerative condition. Importantly, it could also help reveal new, unexplored targets for therapy by pointing to mechanisms of drug action. "Repurposing FDA-approved drugs for Alzheimer's disease is an attractive idea that can help accelerate the arrival of effective treatment -- but unfortunately, even for previously approved drugs, clinical trials require substantial resources, making it impossible to evaluate every drug in patients with Alzheimer's disease," said researcher Artem Sokolov from Harvard Medical School. "We therefore built a framework for prioritising drugs, helping clinical studies to focus on the most promising ones," Sokolov added.


What Policies Should India Emulate From The US's AI Playbook?

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The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) recently published the Final Report for 2021 outlining an integrated national strategy to empower the US in the era of AI-accelerated competition and conflict. NSCAI worked with technologists, national security professionals, business executives and academic leaders to put out the report. According to the report, the US government is a long way from being "AI-ready." Based on the findings, the commission has proposed a set of policy recommendations. The US leads in almost all AI parameters than most countries, including India.


FDA authorizes new test to detect past Covid-19 infections

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The Food and Drug Administration on Friday issued an emergency authorization for a new test to detect Covid-19 infections -- one that stands apart from the hundreds already authorized. Unlike tests that detect bits of SARS-CoV-2 or antibodies to it, the new test, called T-Detect COVID, looks for signals of past infections in the body's adaptive immune system -- in particular, the T cells that help the body remember what its viral enemies look like. Developed by Seattle-based Adaptive Biotechnologies, it is the first test of its kind. Adaptive's approach involves mapping antigens to their matching receptors on the surface of T cells. They and other researchers had already shown that the cast of T cells floating around in an individual's blood reflects the diseases they've encountered, in many cases years later.


AI Tool Animates Old Photos, Takes Social Media By Storm - Zenger News

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When Krish Ashok, a technologist and food science enthusiast based out of Chennai, shared pictures of his father and great-grandmother, animated through a new artificial intelligence (AI) tool with the senior members in his family, they were deeply moved. "They were shaken by what they saw," Ashok told Zenger News. Deep Nostalgia, which animates old photos, is the latest AI tool that has taken the Internet by storm. But, it has also sparked a conversation about the ethical implications of such tools -- and not everyone is comfortable with it. The video reenactment technology's web-based version was overrun by eager users within a week of its launch on Feb. 25, and the site had to undergo maintenance to keep up.