Government


New technology isn't the cause of inequality – it's the solution

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Technology has been blamed for a lot recently. Automation and artificial intelligence have supposedly led to substantial job losses, reduced bargaining power for workers and increased discrimination. It is even blamed for growing income and wealth inequality and, as a result, the presidency of Donald Trump, Brexit, the rise of far-right populism in Europe and the spectre of climate change. In response, calls are being made for global oversight and regulation of technology and there are attempts to slow down its spread through protectionist trade policies and political lobbying. But perhaps we should be careful about so readily blaming technological innovation for these social problems.


Harry Kazianis: Trump wise to avoid a devastating war with Iran in wake of attack on Saudi Arabia

FOX News

There's an old saying that wars are easy to get into but hard to get out of. President Trump understands this, which is why he wisely resisted the temptation to launch a military strike against Iran after that nation launched a missile and drone attack last week against Saudi Arabian oil facilities. When he was running for president, Trump promised the American people he would not jump into endless conflicts in the greater Middle East, where thousands of members of the U.S. military have been killed and wounded in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fighting began in 2001 in Afghanistan and 2003 in Iraq and still continues in both countries. U.S. forces have also fought on a smaller scale in Syria to strike at terrorist targets.


AI will be the biggest disruptor in our lifetime: Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog - Microsoft News Center India

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By 2021, digital transformation will add an estimated USD 154 billion to India's GDP, and increase the growth rate by 1 percent annually, according to an IDC study commissioned by Microsoft. The study also predicts that approximately 60 percent of India's GDP will be derived from digital products or services by 2021. With the government's vision of becoming a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024, Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog believes technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) will propel India to achieve that target and even go beyond. "Our ambition should not just be to become a USD 5 trillion economy. Instead, we should aim to become a USD 10 trillion economy in the long run, growing at 9-10 percent year after year for three decades or more, to be able to lift our young population above the poverty line. All of this is not possible without using a large amount of data, AI and Machine Learning (ML) and bringing disruption in a vast range of areas," Kant said during a fireside chat with Anant Maheshwari, President Microsoft India at the Digital Governance Tech Summit 2019 in New Delhi.


How Experts Foresee Need for AI Ethics and Governance Across Asia? Analytics Insight

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As the AI technology marches ahead with significant innovations and transformation, people do raise concern what its future beholds. The futuristic implications of AI swings between two aspects – first the anticipated positive impact of AI on economies and societies and the second negative impact of its potential over humankind. Specifically, the governments in Asia and the civil society residing in the region are concerned about structuring regulatory frameworks to guard against the possible threats. However, business leaders in Asia are quite optimistic about AI's positive impact on businesses, societies, and the welfare of humanity. Some do believe that AI will be the major growth driver for the region in the coming years.


DOE Establishes Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office – tEDmag

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U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced the establishment of the DOE Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office (AITO). The Secretary has established the office to serve as the coordinating hub for the work being done across the DOE enterprise in Artificial Intelligence. This action has been taken as part of the President's call for a national AI strategy to ensure AI technologies are developed to positively impact the lives of Americans. DOE-fueled AI is already being used to strengthen our national security and cybersecurity, improve grid resilience, increase environmental sustainability, enable smarter cities, improve water resource management, as well as speed the discovery of new materials and compounds, and further the understanding, prediction, and treatment of disease. DOE's National Labs are home to four of the top ten fastest supercomputers in the world, and we're currently building three next-generation, exascale machines, which will be even faster and more AI-capable computers.


A.I. 101: What is artificial intelligence and where is it going?

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The phrase "artificial intelligence" in pop culture often conjures up dystopian images such as the sentient computer Hal 9000 from the 1968 film "2001: A Space Odyssey" that killed people for its self preservation; or the cyborg assassin with a metal endoskeleton in director James Cameron's "The Terminator." In recent years, our fascination with the potential of AI has taken a more starry-eyed turn, as shown in the 2013 sci-fi drama "Her," where the main character falls in love with a virtual assistant. In reality, artificial intelligence (AI) technology is quickly permeating every aspect of our lives. From Amazon's voice-activated Alexa to writing technology that helps managers craft job postings, AI is in our hearts, homes and workplaces. And it's only going to become a bigger part of our lives: Experts call the rise of AI the driving force behind the fourth industrial revolution.


Spanish Decision May Mean Tougher Video-Surveillance Rules

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An employer in Spain may not be able to fire a worker caught on a surveillance camera doing something prohibited if the company hasn't informed workers about the video system and its purpose, according to a recent trial court decision. In a case involving an employee fired after a security camera captured him in a parking-lot fight after work hours, a Pamplona labor court ruled that the video evidence was inadmissible under the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and case law from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). "The judgment is of great interest since it is the first ruling by a Spanish court on the validity that can be given to the evidence of video recordings after the publication of the new Spanish Data Protection Law and also an interpretation of the new European Data Protection Regulation," according to a blog post from Manuel Vargas of Barcelona's Marti & Associats law firm. Under Spain's own data-protection law, employers who record a worker doing something illegal are considered to have fulfilled their duty to inform so long as they have posted a sign identifying a video surveillance zone, Vargas wrote. He also noted that recent case law from the Spanish Supreme Court endorses the idea that employers aren't obligated to notify workers that they plan to use video cameras to monitor their activity for possible disciplinary purposes.


Data-Driven Shows in Action – Brought to You by NETFLIX!

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"Nobody, nobody – not now, not ever – knows the least goddam thing about what is or isn't going to work at the box office." Fast forward five years, a show based on real lives of women prisoners shook up the world of television. Dark humor, Sci-fi, Comedy, and a diverse cast – you got that right. A company that started off with a DVD rent-by-mail website is the 10th largest internet company by revenue across the globe today. Back in 1997, a man whose resume highlighted'software geek' and'movie'buff' rented Apollo 13 from Blockbuster (the biggest video-rental chain then).


Will Trump support HARPA the health-care AI equivalent of DARPA?

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As J.P. Morgan put it, "A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason." Such is the case with the potential rolling out of new gov backed high tech. There is the benevolent PR selling point behind which are concerns about to what real use such will be put, in the near or distant future. The PR front is "a way to identify early signs of changes in people with mental illness that could lead to violent behavior" premised upon "gun control following recent mass shootings…volunteer data to identify'neurobehavioral signs' of'someone headed toward a violent explosive act'…it would not collect sensitive health data about individuals without their permission"--about this last part, I will say "yeah, right": can you say "Snowden"? We are told that "there are plenty of researchers and mental health experts who believe that mental health and gun violence aren't necessarily linked. Mental illness can sometimes be a factor in such violent acts…no more than a quarter of mass shooters have a diagnosed mental illness."


Ahead of 2020, Beware the Deepfake

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"We are crossing over into an era where we have to be skeptical of what we see on video," says John Villasenor, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Villasenor is talking about deepfakes--videos that are digitally manipulated in imperceptible ways, often using a machine-learning technique that superimposes existing images or audio onto source material. The technology's verisimilitude is alarming, Villasenor argues, because it undermines our perception of truth and could have disastrous consequences for the upcoming U.S. presidential election. "I do think deepfakes are going to be a feature of the 2020 elections in some way," Villasenor says. "And their shadow will be long."