US Government


Expert on why Saudi Arabia won't explicitly blame Iran for attacks: 'They would be toast'

FOX News

On Fox Nation's "Deep Dive," a panel of experts analyzed the world response to last weekend's crippling attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure and explained why the Saudi government seems hesitant to explicitly accuse Iran of carrying out the strikes. "If you look at the sophistication of the attack, the ranges of the weapons used, and how this was perpetrated, it can only be Iran really," said Lt. Col. Dakota Wood, who is a retired Marine and Senior Research Fellow for Defense Program at the Heritage Foundation. At a press conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, the Saudis displayed broken and burned drones and pieces of a cruise missile that military spokesman Col. Turki Al-Malki identified as Iranian weapons collected after the attack. Tehran has denied that it carried out the attacks and Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility. Speaking from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Iran is responsible for the attack, telling reporters that the strike was "an act of war."


Regional Tech Updates

#artificialintelligence

For over 300 years, the Alamo City has been a dynamic platform for technological innovation and global commerce. Tech Port SA, offered by Port San Antonio, rounds-up the latest stories chronicling the region's movers and shakers in advanced industries.


How this 11-year-old entrepreneur is helping kids learn AI concepts and coding with CoderBunnyz

#artificialintelligence

A Class 6 student, Samaira Mehta already seems to be on top of her game. Of Indian origin and based in California, this 11-year-old girl in tech is an inventor, and has invented CoderBunnyz, a STEM coding board game to teach coding to kids between the age group of four and 10. Samaira has taken Silicon Valley by storm and has been a part of more than 50 conferences. She has held 60 workshops that spotlight her board game, and taught over 2,000 kids, including over 50 "Google kids" at Googleplex, Google's headquarters in Mountain View. The young girl also received a letter from the White House, from then First Lady Michelle Obama, for her work.


Alabama's Artificial Intelligence Commission getting started

#artificialintelligence

The state's new 25-member commission on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Associated Technologies picked its leadership and areas of focus in its first meeting. Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield was elected chairman and State Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) will serve as vice-chairman. Waggoner proposed a joint resolution creating the commission in the last legislative session, which Gov. Kay Ivey approved. The commission is expected to examine several areas of focus, such as how schools and universities can develop AI-educational programs and privacy issues for consumers. It will meet over the next seven months and deliver a report to Ivey in May 2020 on how AI can benefit the economy.


AI 50: America's Most Promising Artificial Intelligence Companies

#artificialintelligence

Artificial intelligence is infiltrating every industry, allowing vehicles to navigate without drivers, assisting doctors with medical diagnoses, and mimicking the way humans speak. But for all the authentic and exciting ways it's transforming the tasks computers can perform, there's a lot of hype, too. As Jeremy Achin, CEO of newly minted unicorn DataRobot, puts it: "Everyone knows you have to have machine learning in your story or you're not sexy." The inherently broad term gets bandied about so often that it can start to feel meaningless and can be trotted out by companies to gussy up even simple data analysis. To help cut through the noise, Forbes and data partner Meritech Capital put together a list of private, U.S.-based companies that are wielding some subset of artificial intelligence in a meaningful way and demonstrating real business potential from doing so. One makes robots that can whir around shoppers to help workers restock shelves. Another scans recruiting pitches for unconscious bias. A third analyzes massive data sets to make street-by-street weather predictions. To be included on the list, companies needed to show that techniques like machine learning (where systems learn from data to improve on tasks), natural language processing (which enables programs to "understand" written or spoken language), or computer vision (which relates to how machines "see") are a core part of their business model and future success. Find all the details on our methodology here.


'The Alexa of chemistry': National Science Foundation puts VCU and partners on fast track to build open network

#artificialintelligence

D. Tyler McQuade, Ph.D., a professor in the Virginia Commonwealth University College of Engineering, is principal investigator of a multi-university project seeking to use artificial intelligence to help scientists come up with the perfect molecule for everything from a better shampoo to coatings on advanced microchips. The project is one of the first in the U.S. to be selected for $994,433 in funding as part of a new pilot project of the National Science Foundation called the Convergence Accelerator (C-Accel). McQuade and his collaborators will pitch their prototype in March 2020 in a bid for additional funding of up to $5 million over five years. Adam Luxon, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering who has been involved from the beginning, explained it this way: "We want to essentially make the Alexa of chemistry." Just as Amazon, Google and Netflix use data algorithms to suggest customized predictions, the team plans to build an open network that can combine and help users make sense of molecular sciences data pulled from a range of sources including academia, industry and government.


AIVI Act: Illinois Leading the Way on AI Regulation

#artificialintelligence

Illinois, known as a national test bed for regulation, has struck again in an unlikely area; the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in job interviews. On 11 August, Democratic Governor JB Pritzker signed the Illinois Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act (AIVI Act) into law. Illinois is now the first state to regulate the use of algorithms (interview bots) and other forms of AI to analyse applicants during video interviews from the beginning of 2020. AI in video interviews is a growing trend in hiring practices across the US. Companies rely on video interviews to reduce the stages of these processes to get a sense for candidates, who are asked to answer questions and present themselves just as they would in an in-person interview.


Three Major Opportunities For Entrepreneurs In Medicine

#artificialintelligence

From a business perspective, there may not be a more promising area in tech at the moment than health care, partially because of its significance -- Americans reportedly spent $3.65 trillion on health care in 2018 -- but also because of the incredible advances and opportunities arising from new developments like machine learning and genetic engineering. Artificial intelligence has multitudinous implications for medicine, and the demand is proof: According to a report from CB Insights (via Becker's Hospital Review), health care AI companies raised $846 million from venture capital firms in the second quarter of 2019, an increase of about 13% year-over-year. One sub-segment that fascinates me personally and professionally is "vision intelligence," which we're pursuing in my newest company. This is the ability to diagnose medical scans even more accurately and faster than the human eye. These programs generally use a method called deep neural networks to train computers to recognize images -- a technique many say is inspired by the biological processes of the brain.


Fury as viral 'ImageNet' app gives racist labels and calls people a 'rape suspect'

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A viral app which classifies selfies using its in-built artificial intelligence has been spewing out vile and racist labels and enraging users. Many took to social media to condemn the racist and offensive software but makers of the app, at Princeton University, say causing offence was exactly the intention. It was intended to be deliberately provocative to draw attention to the in-built prejudice and discrimination in many forms of machine learning. However, many users, it seems, didn't fully get the idea of the art project and were outraged at what their images were labelled as. One MailOnline staffer who tried the app was grotesquely dubbed a'rape suspect' from an innocuous picture.


AI can't protect us from deepfakes, argues new report

#artificialintelligence

A new report from Data and Society raises doubts about automated solutions to deceptively altered videos, including machine learning-altered videos called deepfakes. Authors Britt Paris and Joan Donovan argue that deepfakes, while new, are part of a long history of media manipulation -- one that requires both a social and a technical fix. Relying on AI could actually make things worse by concentrating more data and power in the hands of private corporations. "The panic around deepfakes justifies quick technical solutions that don't address structural inequality," says Paris. "It's a massive project, but we need to find solutions that are social as well as political so people without power aren't left out of the equation."