North America Government


Deep Dive: How a Health Tech Sprint Pioneered an AI Ecosystem

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When we began our 14-week tech health sprint in October 2018, we did not realize the profound lessons we would learn in just a few months. Together with federal agencies and private sector organizations, we demonstrated the power of applying artificial intelligence (AI) to open federal data. Through this collaborative process, we showed that federal data can be turned into products for real-world health applications with the potential to help millions of Americans have a better life. Joshua Di Frances, the executive director of the Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program, says that this collaboration across agencies and private companies represents a new way of approaching AI and federal open data. "Through incentivizing links between government and industry via a bidirectional AI ecosystem, we can help promote usable, actionable data that benefits the American people," Di Frances said.


How the NSA thinks about Artificial Intelligence today

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For now, the NSA is exploring the use of artificial intelligence to detect vulnerabilities. "We are experimenting and developing'self-healing networks,' where we see a vulnerability and the vulnerability is recognized rapidly and patched or mitigated," NSA Director Gen. Paul Nakasone explained in his Joint Forces Quarterly interview. Machine learning eventually could help ease the immense workload placed on each cyber staffer at the agency, Neal Ziring, NSA's Technical Director for Capabilities told CyberScoop. "We're going to need, at the very least, ML techniques to pull signal out of the noise so that the defenders, the operators can be informed [and] spend their time on the most critical events or anomalies rather than trying to make sense of this huge data space manually," Ziring said.


Artificial Intelligence: New Threats to International Psychological Security

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The scholars focused on combating the malicious use of AI by terrorists. Their findings were published in the journal Russia in Global Affairs. Much has been written on the threats that artificial intelligence (AI) can pose to humanity. Today, this topic is among the most discussed issues in scientific and technical development. Despite the fact that so-called Strong AI, characterised by independent systems thinking and possibly self-awareness and will power, is still far from reality, various upgraded versions of Narrow AI are now completing specific tasks that seemed impossible just a decade ago.


Do You Trust This Computer? (A Reaction Paper)

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This documentary projects the effects and dangers of Artificial Intelligence (AI) developments for next generations. The video addresses lots of examples in both negative and positive dimensions for using and developing Artificial Intelligence. In my opinion, one of the most important messages of this movie is that speakers in the movie believe that the development of AI is beneficial but it could misuse in lots of malicious areas. Example of that might be within war machines or development of mass destruction weapons which could seriously jeopardize our lives. The message of this movie is clearly states that machines can easily reproduce and duplicate themselves therefore development of full AI could spell the end of the human race.


Mike Pompeo in Mideast seeks to build coalition against Iran but faces hard sell

The Japan Times

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held talks Monday with the Saudi king and crown prince about countering the military threat from Iran by building a broad, global coalition that includes Asian and European countries. Pompeo is likely to face a tough sell in Europe and Asia, particularly from those nations still committed to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran that President Donald Trump repudiated last year. With tensions running high in the region after Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone on June 20 and Trump said he aborted a retaliatory strike, Iran's naval commander warned that his forces won't hesitate to down more U.S. drones that violate its airspace. The U.S. has been building up its military presence in the Persian Gulf. The U.S. announced additional sanctions Monday on Iran aimed at pressuring the Iranian leadership into talks.


Self-Driving Trucks Will Carry Mail in U.S. for the First Time

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The United States Postal Service is going to put mail on self-driving trucks. Starting this week, letters and packages moving between Phoenix and Dallas will travel on customized Peterbilt trucks run by TuSimple, an autonomous startup based in San Diego. There will be five round trips between the two cites, with the first haul leaving from Phoenix this morning. It's the first time that the Postal Service has contracted with an autonomous provider for long-haul service. "This pilot is just one of many ways the Postal Service is innovating and investing in its future," the USPS said in a press release that cited the possibility of using "a future class of vehicles" to improve service, reduce emissions and save money.


NASA's newest supersonic jet will NOT have a front window

Daily Mail - Science & tech

NASA is currently working on a supersonic plane shaped like a pencil which doesn't have a front-facing window for the pilot to look out of. This seemingly flawed concept will be mitigated by the installation of a 4K ultra high resolution TV screen showing a live feed from two cameras mounted on the front of the plane. The system is called the eXternal Visibility System (XVS) and will combine terrain data and visual input to create a comprehensive image of the plane's location. Known formally as the X-59 Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST), it has garnered the nickname'son of concord' and could be ready for test fights by 2021 and could one day fly from London to New York in just three hours. The pilot's lack of a window will be solved by the installation of a 4K ultra high resolution TV (artist's impression, pictured) screen showing a live feed from two cameras mounted on the front of the plane NASA is currently working on a supersonic plane shaped like a pencil which doesn't have a front-facing window for the pilot to look out of (pictured).


Deepfakes aren't a tech problem. They're a power problem Oscar Schwartz

The Guardian

In the lead-up to the 2016 election, very few predicted the degree to which online misinformation would disrupt the democratic process. Now, as we edge closer to 2020, there is a heightened sense of vigilance around new threats to truth in our already fragile information ecosystem. At the top of the list of concerns is no longer Russian bots, but deepfakes, the artifical intelligence-manipulated media that can make people appear to do or say things that they never did or said. The threat is being taken so seriously that last Thursday, the House intelligence committee held Congress's first hearing on the subject. In his opening remarks, Representative Adam Schiff, the committee chairman, talked of society being "on the cusp of a technological revolution" that will qualitatively transform how fake news is made.


Iran says 'spy drone' violated its airspace in May amid U.S. escalation

The Japan Times

TEHRAN - Iran said on Sunday a "spy drone" had encroached its airspace in May, about a month before it downed an American drone as part of a series of escalatory incidents between Tehran and Washington. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted a map saying the U.S.-made MQ9 Reaper drone -- also widely used for carrying out military strikes -- had entered his country's airspace on May 26. Iran shot down a U.S. Global Hawk drone Thursday, saying it had violated its airspace near the strategic Strait of Hormuz -- a claim the United States denies. U.S. President Donald Trump called off a planned retaliatory military strike Friday, saying the response would not have been "proportionate," with Tehran warning any attack would see Washington's interests across the Middle East go up in flames. On Sunday U.S. national security adviser John Bolton cautioned Iran against misinterpreting the last-minute cancellation.


Why Ed Tech Is Finally Reaching Its Potential

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Nisha Rataria remembers the moment that she understood the power of technology to significantly improve a child's learning and comprehension. As a teacher at the public Vidhya Nagar Primary School in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, Rataria teaches students from across the spectrum – bright, struggling, poor and middle class. A few years ago, her school implemented an artificial-intelligence based education program called EnglishHelper that provides a suite of tools to help children learn to speak, read and write English. Many of her students, who she says could not even recognize the alphabet, could now read English with some confidence. By the end of the 2019-2020 school year, EnglishHelper and ReadToMe could be used by nearly 20 million students worldwide.