The federal government continues its halting effort to field an enterprise cloud strategy, with Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, who leads the Defense Department's Joint AI Center (JAIC), commenting recently that not having an enterprise cloud platform has made the government's efforts to pursue AI more challenging. "The lack of an enterprise solution has slowed us down," stated Shanahan during an AFCEA DC virtual event held on May 21, according to an account in FCW. However, "the gears are in motion" with the JAIC using an "alternate platform" for example to host a newer anti-COVID effort. This platform is called Project Salus, and is a data aggregation that is able to employ predictive modeling to help supply equipment needed by front-line workers. The Salus platform was used for the ill-fated Project Maven, a DOD effort that was to employ AI image recognition to improve drone strike accuracy.
Each Fourth of July for the past five years I've written about AI with the potential to positively impact democratic societies. I return to this question with the hope of shining a light on technology that can strengthen communities, protect privacy and freedoms, or otherwise support the public good. This series is grounded in the principle that artificial intelligence can is capable of not just value extraction, but individual and societal empowerment. While AI solutions often propagate bias, they can also be used to detect that bias. As Dr. Safiya Noble has pointed out, artificial intelligence is one of the critical human rights issues of our lifetimes.
China announced in 2017 its ambition to become the world leader in artificial intelligence (AI) by 2030. While the US still leads in absolute terms, China appears to be making more rapid progress than either the US or the EU, and central and local government spending on AI in China is estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars. The move has led--at least in the West--to warnings of a global AI arms race and concerns about the growing reach of China's authoritarian surveillance state. But treating China as a "villain" in this way is both overly simplistic and potentially costly. While there are undoubtedly aspects of the Chinese government's approach to AI that are highly concerning and rightly should be condemned, it's important that this does not cloud all analysis of China's AI innovation.
The Sisense analytics platform is known for its augmented analytics capabilities and ease of use, and as it moves forward it will do so with a new leader in charge of its product development. Just over a year after its acquisition of Periscope Data, a purchase that added capabilities aimed at data scientists to the features geared toward business users Sisense was already know for, the New York-based vendor is focused on third-generation analytics in which AI and business intelligence embedded throughout the workflow will be prominent. Most recently, Sisense updated its analytics platform with new natural language query capabilities and introduced Knowledge Graph, a graph analytics engine the vendor developed that was trained on more than 650 billion past analytic events and informs the machine learning capabilities of the query tool. Now, to help shape its vision, Sisense has added Ashley Kramer as its first chief product officer. Kramer began her career as a software engineering manager at NASA.
The Trump administration has reportedly awarded a contract to a California-based tech startup to set up hundreds of "autonomous surveillance towers" along the U.S.-Mexico border to aid its immigration enforcement efforts. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced on Thursday that the towers, which use artificial intelligence and imagery to identify people and vehicles, were now a "program of record" for the agency and that 200 would be deployed along the southern border by 2022. CBP did not mention the contract in its announcement, though the Washington Post reported that the effort includes a five-year agreement with Anduril Industries, a tech startup backed by investors such as Peter Thiel. Anduril executives told the Post that the deal is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The company, which specializes in AI and other technologies, is valued at $1.9 billion, according to Bloomberg News.
The growth potential of the data economy is mind-blowing. In Europe alone, the figures and forecasts are eye-catching, to say the least. The European Commission expects the value of the data economy to rise to €829 billion by 2025, up from €301 billion in 2018. Focusing on the headline economic figures alone overlooks the enormous potential to use data to create lasting social change and improve the personal and professional lives of millions of European citizens. The term digital economy is a catch-all for a wide range of digital transformation activities.
CV is a nascent market but it contains a plethora of both big technology companies and disruptors. Technology players with large sets of visual data are leading the pack in CV, with Chinese and US tech giants dominating each segment of the value chain. Google has been at the forefront of CV applications since 2012. Over the years the company has hired several ML experts. In 2014 it acquired the deep learning start-up DeepMind. Google's biggest asset is its wealth of customer data provided by their search business and YouTube.
Software has never played a more critical role in spaceflight. It has made it safer and more efficient, allowing a spacecraft to automatically adjust to changing conditions. According to Darrel Raines, a NASA engineer leading software development for the Orion deep space capsule, autonomy is particularly key for areas of "critical response time"--like the ascent of a rocket after liftoff, when a problem might require initiating an abort sequence in just a matter of seconds. Or in instances where the crew might be incapacitated for some reason. And increased autonomy is practically essential to making some forms of spaceflight even work.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seized on a U.N. report confirming Iranian weapons were used to attack Saudi Arabia in September and were part of an arms shipment seized months ago off Yemen's coast; State Department correspondent Rich Edson reports. A fire and an explosion struck a centrifuge production plant above Iran's underground Natanz nuclear enrichment facility early Thursday, analysts said, one of the most-tightly guarded sites in all of the Islamic Republic after earlier acts of sabotage there. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran sought to downplay the fire, calling it an "incident" that only affected an under-construction "industrial shed," spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said. However, both Kamalvandi and Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi rushed after the fire to Natanz, a facility earlier targeted by the Stuxnet computer virus and built underground to withstand enemy airstrikes. The fire threatened to rekindle wider tensions across the Middle East, similar to the escalation in January after a U.S. drone strike killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad and Tehran launched a retaliatory ballistic missile attack targeting American forces in Iraq. While offering no cause for Thursday's blaze, Iran's state-run IRNA news agency published a commentary addressing the possibility of sabotage by enemy nations such as Israel and the U.S. following other recent explosions in the country.
Companies are making more use of algorithmic hiring tools to screen a flood of job applicants during the coronavirus pandemic amid questions about whether they introduce new forms of bias into the early vetting process. The tools are designed to more efficiently filter out candidates that don't meet certain job-related criteria, like prior work experience, and to recruit potential hires via their online profiles. Businesses like HireVue offer biometric scanning tools that give applicant feedback based on facial expressions, while others like Pymetrics use behavioral tests to home in on ideal candidates. Companies including Colgate-Palmolive Co., McDonald's Corp., Boston Consulting Group Inc., PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Kraft Heinz Co. are using them at a time when 21 million people in the U.S. were without jobs and seeking employment in May, according to the Labor Department. Job candidates might be unable or unwilling to apply and interview in person because of rules limiting social gatherings, said Monica Snyder, a workplace privacy attorney at Fisher Phillips in Boston.