Regional Government


Facial recognition scanners are already at some US airports. Here's what to know

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Many airports hope to start using biometric scanners in lieu of passports to identify travelers. Buzz60's Tony Spitz has the details. The next time you go to the airport you might notice something different as part of the security process: A machine scanning your face to verify your identity. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been working with airlines to implement biometric face scanners in domestic airports to better streamline security. But how does the process work?


Yemeni Houthis claim drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities

The Japan Times

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Yemen's Houthi movement launched drone attacks on oil facilities in a remote area of Saudi Arabia, the group's Al Masirah TV said Saturday, but there was no immediate confirmation from Saudi authorities or state oil giant Aramco. A Saudi-led coalition is battling the Iran-aligned Houthis to try to restore Yemen's government, which was ousted from power in the capital, Sanaa, by the group in late 2014. The war has been in military stalemate for years. The Houthis have stepped up cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia in recent months. "Ten drones targeted Aramco's Shaybah oilfield and refinery in the first Operation: Balance of Deterrence in the east of the kingdom," the Al Masirah channel reported, citing a Houthi military spokesman.


Self-Driving Vehicles a Reality Today With Optimus Ride's Autonomous System

#artificialintelligence

Optimus Ride has already deployed its autonomous transportation systems in the Seaport area of Boston, in a mixed-use development in South Weymouth, Massachusetts, and in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a 300-acre industrial park. Some of the biggest companies in the world are spending billions in the race to develop self-driving vehicles that can go anywhere. Meanwhile, Optimus Ride, a startup out of MIT, is already helping people get around by taking a different approach. The company's autonomous vehicles only drive in areas it comprehensively maps, or geofences. Self-driving vehicles can safely move through these areas at about 25 miles per hour with today's technology.


Hundreds of Google employees urge company to resist support for Ice

The Guardian

Tech giant Google is facing a demand from hundreds of employees for an assurance that it will not bid on a government cloud computing contract that could be used to enforce US immigration policies on the southern border. A group of employees called Googlers for Human Rights posted a public petition overnight Thursday urging the company to resist tendering for a US Customs and Border Protection or Immigration and Customs Enforcement contract. It is not clear if Google or its parent Alphabet has already applied – the application deadline was 1 August – but the tech giant has previously drawn employee protests after signing cloud-computing or data storage deals with the government. The company confirmed in March 2018 that it was involved with Project Maven, a $250m Department of Defense artificial intelligence initiative designed to provide 3D mapping that could be used for improved drone-strike battlefield accuracy. Over 3,000 Google employees signed a petition in protest against the company's involvement.


Privacy campaigners warn of UK facial recognition 'epidemic'

The Guardian

Privacy campaigners have warned of an "epidemic" of facial recognition use in shopping centres, museums, conference centres and other private spaces around the UK. An investigation by Big Brother Watch (BBW), which tracks the use of surveillance, has found that private companies are spearheading a rollout of the controversial technology. The group published its findings a day after the information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, announced she was opening an investigation into the use of facial recognition in a major new shopping development in central London. Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has already raised questions about the legality of the use of facial recognition at the 27-hectare (67-acre) Granary Square site in King's Cross after its owners admitted using the technology "in the interests of public safety". BBW said it had uncovered that sites across the country were using facial recognition, often without warning visitors.


US Army is working on AI-guided missiles that 'pick their OWN targets'

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The U.S. government is spending millions of dollars on creating intelligent missiles - which will determine for targets for themselves. The Cannon-Delivered Area Effects Munition (C-DAEM) system will use GPS to identify enemy tanks and armoured shells, which will be scanned in advance from the skies. According to sources, the Pentagon will invest vast sums into the AI-guided munitions, which could be ready by 2021. They will replace the Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM) artillery rounds, which were introduced in the 1980s. Cannon-Delivered Area Effects Munition system: The U.S. government is spending millions of dollars on creating intelligent missiles - which will determine for targets for themselves C-DAEM is a 155-millimeter artillery shell, and will be available for the M777 towed howitzer, the M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer, and the new XM1299 self-propelled howitzer, which has a range of up to 43 miles.


Siri and Alexa are NOT making adults ruder because we don't need to say please or thank you to them

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Barking off orders to Alexa and Siri without so much as a please or thank you likely isn't going to become a habit you carry over into the rest of your life. This is because adults have already formed their behaviours for interacting with others -- and, in their current form, we don't see smart assistants as people. Researchers came to this conclusion after talking with over 200 people and seeing how they interacted with digital assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. However, children may be more susceptible to forming impolite habits from talking to smart assistants -- partly because they are more likely to personify them. Adults may begin to be more influenced by their interactions with smart machines as their designs more more human-like or relatable, however, the researchers added.


Hundreds of Google employees call for company to avoid work with ICE and CBP

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

After 9/11, the U.S. enforced stricter control on immigration. This enforcement led to the birth of Homeland Security and ICE, but what is ICE exactly? SAN FRANCISCO – Hundreds of Google employees are calling on the company to pledge it won't work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection or Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A group of employees called Googlers for Human Rights posted a public petition urging the company not to bid on a cloud computing contract for CBP, the federal agency that oversees law enforcement for the country's borders. Bids for the contract were due Aug. 1.


AI Algorithms Need FDA-Style Drug Trials

#artificialintelligence

Imagine a couple of caffeine-addled biochemistry majors late at night in their dorm kitchen cooking up a new medicine that proves remarkably effective at soothing colds but inadvertently causes permanent behavioral changes. Those who ingest it become radically politicized and shout uncontrollably in casual conversation. Still, the concoction sells to billions of people. This sounds preposterous, because the FDA would never let such a drug reach the market. Olaf J. Groth is founding CEO of Cambrian Labs and a professor at Hult Business School.


ICO opens investigation into use of facial recognition in King's Cross

#artificialintelligence

The UK's privacy watchdog has opened an investigation into the use of facial recognition cameras in a busy part of central London. The information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, announced she would look into the technology being used in Granary Square, close to King's Cross station. Two days ago the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, wrote to the development's owner demanding to know whether the company believed its use of facial recognition software in its CCTV systems was legal. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said it was "deeply concerned about the growing use of facial recognition technology in public spaces" and was seeking detailed information about how it is used. "Scanning people's faces as they lawfully go about their daily lives in order to identify them is a potential threat to privacy that should concern us all," Denham said.