The 10 Hottest AI Startups Of 2021 (So Far)


We're only halfway through 2021, but the current crop of hot startups dedicated to artificial intelligence shows how far AI has come in accessibility and use in the workplace and the field. And these startups prove that unlocking innovations in AI isn't a goal reserved for the largest tech giants. CRN has collected 10 of the hottest AI startups that use their technology to automate tasks in the office and improve interactions with employees and customers. While tech giants including IBM, Microsoft and Palo Alto Networks spend millions to develop AI offerings and acquire companies to boost their portfolios -- there appears to be plenty of venture capital and innovative work happening among startups. As CRN found, innovative work is happening not just in familiar startup ecosystems like Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv, but also in the suburbs of Detroit.

Senators introduce bill to create U.S-Israel Artificial Intelligence R&D Center - Homeland Preparedness News


U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) introduced legislation Thursday that would create a U.S.-Israel Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Center to further collaborate in AI and contribute to the field's advancement. Specifically, the bill directs the U.S. Secretary of State to establish a joint U.S.-Israel AI Center in the United States to serve as a hub for research and development in AI across the public, private, and education sectors in both nations. "America, and the world, benefit immensely when we engage in joint cooperation and partnerships with Israel, a global technology leader and our most important ally in the Middle East," said Rubio, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. "I'm proud to lead this legislation to build on current, highly successful bilateral research ties between the U.S. and Israel, as well as help both nations stay ahead of China's ever-growing technology threat." The Senators said the bill would enable America to maintain its technological edge and enhance its competitiveness while leveraging the innovation advantages of its allies.

Mandates as We Near Herd Immunity? AI and Machine Learning Have Answers


In spite of the debates and partisan politics that we can't seem to avoid no matter where we turn, everybody in the United States and the world genuinely wants the same thing: to return to our normal lives and avoid individual and global-scale financial crises without contracting or spreading COVID-19. But until a herd immunity is reached, which seems unlikely with the rate of current inoculation, we are faced with a seemingly unsolvable challenge in knowing exactly how to keep the recent variants from spreading while not hurting communities by shutting down schools, businesses, and cities unnecessarily. Who can we listen to? How do we know what is ok, and what types of activities are ok and what should be avoided? Countries such as England, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Belgium and Lebanon are extending national lockdowns.

10 Israeli Startups On CB Insights' AI 100 List For 2021 - Zenger News


CB Insights has unveiled its fifth annual "AI 100: The Artificial Intelligence Startups Redefining Industries," and the list includes 10 Israeli companies. The New York-based technology insights platform's research team picked these 100 private market vendors from a pool of over 6,000 applicants and nominees. Representing 12 countries and 18 industries, they were chosen based on factors including business relations, investor profile, R&D activity, market potential, team strength and tech novelty. Beekeepers can mind them through a mobile app.

Assessing human habitability and migration


Habitability loss is increasingly recognized as an important dimension of climate risk assessment and one with complex linkages to migration. Most habitability assessments, like climate risk assessments more generally, are based on “top-down” approaches that apply quantitative models using uniform methodologies and generalizable assumptions at global and regional scales, privileging physical sciences over social science–informed understandings of local vulnerability and adaptive capacity. Many assessments have focused on a single climate hazard threshold (such as permanent inundation or the 1-in-100-year flood), and a subset have implied that outmigration may be one of the few viable adaptation responses ([ 1 ][1]). There is a risk that such climate determinism minimizes the potential for human agency to find creative, locally appropriate solutions. Although top-down modeling can serve a useful purpose in identifying potential future “hot spots” for habitability decline and potential outmigration, only by integrating “bottom-up” insights related to place-based physical systems and social contexts, including potential adaptive responses, will we arrive at a more nuanced understanding. This integrated framework would encourage development of policies that identify the most feasible and actionable local adaptation options across diverse geographies and groups, rather than options that are deterministic and one-size-fits-all and encourage binary “migrate or not” decisions. We propose a set of recommendations centered around building the research and assessment knowledge base most needed to inform policy responses around habitability loss and migration. We define habitability as the environmental conditions in a particular setting that support healthy human life, productive livelihoods, and sustainable intergenerational development. Climate change may undermine one or more of the following associated, interacting, dimensions of habitability: basic human survival ([ 2 ][2]), livelihood security ([ 3 ][3]), and societies' capacity to manage environmental risks ([ 4 ][4]). Rapid rates of climate change and departures from historical variability ranges can increase risks, especially when coupled with nonclimate stressors. In such instances, threats to habitability may be evident in changing flows of human migration, whether forced or voluntary ([ 5 ][5]). Most habitability assessments have relied on outputs from top-down models. This approach is conducive to system-level prediction, producing quantitative outputs that are globally comparable, such as single physical hazard thresholds that are either assumed or empirically based. Much recent work reflects a blend of long-term, high-resolution historical climate data where available, combined with projections across a large suite of global climate models driven by multiple representative concentration pathways (RCPs) representing trajectories of greenhouse gas concentrations. Another critical element is inclusion of extreme events, often expressed as a frequency of occurrence or a magnitude associated with a given recurrence period. In turn, top-down demographic and economic models, which form the basis for the shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) projecting global socioeconomic trajectories, provide a picture of future population and development that can also inform projections of people and assets at risk. Climate projections can also drive sectoral impact assessments—for example, empirically by extending historical statistical relationships between climate variability and the affected sector. More commonly, projections from standardized climate simulations drive sectoral impact models that dynamically simulate key features, such as crop growth. Top-down migration models use relative changes in sectoral impacts across regions along with other information as a means of projecting future population flows. Thus, these models project responses to habitability changes in regions where varying conditions may lead to outmigration, inmigration, or both. The standardized nature of top-down methods facilitates comparisons—for example, of regions most at risk of crossing habitability thresholds associated with a climate hazard, and when. The top-down perspective can also reveal large-scale trends and interconnected features of global systems. However, there are several limitations. First, local and regional geophysical and sector-specific factors can drive hazards and risks at scales missed by global analyses. Second, less-modeled, place-specific characteristics of populations, such as health and socioeconomic status, shape both exposure and vulnerability. Third, adaptation choices and activities are embedded in historical context and culturally specific individual and community values and objectives that cannot easily be incorporated in models. Fourth, high-impact outcomes—associated, for example, with compound extreme events and abrupt changes in climate, ecological, and social systems—may be underestimated because of top-down model limitations such as the inability to credibly resolve evolving correlation structures across variables, space, and time, and key system sensitivities and feedbacks within and across systems ([ 6 ][6]). For example, climate phenomena teleconnected across great distances may lead to “breadbasket” failures in key food-producing regions and price shocks that can seriously reduce food security among vulnerable populations far away from the regions experiencing the climate stress. Fortunately, top-down approaches are increasingly being paired with bottom-up approaches that offer a specificity that can help address these challenges. Bottom-up conceptual and/or computational modeling of complex adaptive systems can be designed to simulate the local experience of losing habitability over time. In the breadbasket case above, models of local responses can be paired with global models of international food trade that set boundary conditions. For example, agent-based models (ABMs) set up simulations with agents empirically calibrated to behaviorally respond to changing environmental conditions: the loss of assets and livelihood opportunities, threats to life, and changing structure of social networks. Modeling can be trained on local data to understand and predict important feedbacks at higher spatial and temporal resolution than is possible with global models. ABMs can be calibrated to examine a range of individual-actor preferences and test the effect of local decision-making to plausibly depict tradeoffs among adaptation options, including migration ([ 7 ][7]). As another bottom-up example, qualitative information can be coproduced with diverse stakeholders, including subject matter experts, to explore high-impact scenarios and local solutions that will be missed by top-down approaches. Of course, bottom-up approaches have their limitations as well. For example, their specificity makes it difficult to compare across geographies and groups, and individual methodological decisions can appear arbitrary. Furthermore, bottom-up computational models such as ABMs are still limited by a lack of empirical data with which to calibrate model parameters. Here, we walk through the habitability challenges of two climate hazard examples, demonstrating the strengths and limitations of top-down approaches and how bottom-up perspectives lead to different policy-relevant insights. ### Sea level rise and extreme sea level events Recent years have seen growing complexity and nuance in assessments. Global assessments have supplemented climate model outputs by considering a broad range of sea level change components and including, for example, expert elicitation as a means of estimating low-probability, high-consequence outcomes ([ 8 ][8]). High-spatial-resolution digital elevation models and consideration of changes in the frequency and intensity of societally relevant metrics such as recurrence intervals and extreme values of coastal high water have been integrated into global products. Using many of the above advances, Kulp and Strauss estimated that the number of people exposed annually to coastal flooding under constant population could increase from 250 million people today to, by 2100, 310 million to 420 million under an intermediate scenario to 380 million to 630 million under a high-end scenario ([ 1 ][1]). Other studies have included changes in storms, hyper-local positive correlations between population density and subsidence, population projections consistent with SSP-RCP combinations, and assets at risk. Additional refinements have focused on specific coastal locations, adding critical context at the expense of global information. For example, Storlazzi et al. framed their assessment of tipping-point risks to atolls around two metrics—annual overwash events that threaten infrastructure, and salinization of groundwater—that are specifically relevant for atolls given their small size, uniformly low elevation, and relative isolation and found that habitability is threatened in most atoll islands by the middle of the 21st century, far sooner than permanent-inundation–based studies would suggest ([ 9 ][9]). Some local studies have included dynamic interaction between coastal waters and adjacent landforms. Other local and regional studies have considered social dimensions of human vulnerability, as well as in situ adaptation, using empirically calibrated agent-based livelihood decision models that span multiple climate, RCP, and SSP scenarios ([ 7 ][7]). The three dimensions of habitability demonstrate why no single coastal flood metric threshold can be determined in a top-down way. For the direct survivability dimension, key factors include future flood control, feasibility of evacuation, and the stochasticity of individual storms. For livelihood, saline intrusion, for example, could benefit some sectors such as specialized aquaculture, even as it harms most sectors and people. And for the societal resilience dimension, large-scale factors such as levels of inequity, strength of governance and social networks, and quality of infrastructure will be critical. As sea levels rise and coastal flooding becomes more common, social, economic, and political factors in some locations will conspire to induce sudden loss of habitability far sooner than physical hazard–based thresholds such as permanent inundation would suggest, as risk perception and long-term economic viability shift. For example, increases in insurance premiums could negatively affect asset values and tax revenues, leading to deteriorating infrastructure and services. The timing of such threshold-crossing cannot be predicted on the basis of top-down models alone. In some instances, shocks can lead to rapid learning, adjustment, and in situ adaptation, at least temporarily. ![Figure][10] Frequent exceedance by 2100 of historically rare climate thresholds Under the high-emissions scenario RCP8.5, at most coastal locations extreme sea level events historically defined as 1-in-100-year events are projected to range in frequency from once per year to more than 10 times per year due to the effects of sea level rise alone. Only point locations where historical event data are available are shown. Projected number of days per year by 2100 exceeding a 33°C wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) in a high-emissions scenario are also depicted. Under standard assumptions of wind and solar radiation, a WBGT of 33°C corresponds to a wet bulb temperature of roughly 31.5°C. [Sea level data are from figure 4.12 in ([ 8 ][8]); WBGT data are from fig ure 3 in ([ 12 ][11]).] GRAPHIC: N. DESAI/ SCIENCE BASED ON HORTON ETAL. ### Extreme heat Most assessments of future heat hazards have considered temperature only, although recent efforts are increasingly adopting a compound events framework—for example, considering how co-occurring extremes of high temperature and high humidity can modulate threats to habitability. Humid heat is particularly harmful to human health and the ability to engage in outdoor activities. Sherwood and Huber described a wet bulb temperature of 35°C as a threshold above which humans could not survive beyond approximately 6 hours owing to physiological and thermodynamic limits on the ability to cool through perspiration ([ 2 ][2]). Model-based studies have projected that this threshold could be crossed in the Persian Gulf and South Asia during the second half of the 21st Century under a high-emissions scenario ([ 10 ][12]). However, a finer-scale study found that this threshold has already been briefly crossed multiple times in populous cities. Although an absolute habitability threshold exists for the survivability dimension of extreme humid heat, some people will lose their ability to thermoregulate at much lower wet bulb temperatures. Mortality rates of the elderly, those with chronic health conditions, and those involved in strenuous activity rise dramatically well below the 35°C wet bulb threshold. In terms of the livelihood dimension, at ∼3.5°C of global warming above preindustrial levels, de Lima et al. project that in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia increases in humid heat may decrease agricultural labor productivity by 30 to 50%, leading to larger agricultural sector impacts than are associated with direct temperature and CO2 effects on crops ([ 11 ][13]). However, air conditioning and other adaptations will enable—indeed, have enabled—some people to continue to live in places that exceed the 35°C threshold. Such an outcome increases inequity because those with no option but to work outdoors, or no access to affordable air conditioning, would be forced to migrate. And even for those with air conditioning, the third dimension of habitability—society's capacity to manage environmental risks—will be tested in unforeseen ways because it will be critical that air conditioning not fail. Sea level rise and extreme humid heat are far from the only climate hazards that have been assessed in the literature for potential habitability thresholds. For example, changes in surface moisture fluxes as mean precipitation and temperature shift are projected to have large impacts on dryland agriculture, fire regimes in forests, and water availability downstream from snow and glacier reservoirs. These and other hazards and impacts may overlap and interact across scales to affect habitability in complex ways, such as by potentially increasing the risk of conflict. Areas where current-day rare extreme sea level and humid heat events will occur with high frequency by the end of the century under a high emissions scenario of sea level rise and warming are identified in the figure ([ 8 ][8], [ 12 ][11]). The two metrics, corresponding to the current 1-in-100-year extreme sea level event and a wet bulb globe temperature of 33°C, respectively, are emblematic of top-down approaches. They thus represent an important point of entry for engagement with the bottom-up insights described above, as a step toward more nuanced habitability and migration assessments. Migration may result from threats to survival, upended livelihoods, or the breakdown in the collective capacity to adapt ([ 5 ][5]). However, research on climate change and migration makes clear that an even broader set of factors undergird migration decision-making. A decision to move is ultimately a personal or household judgment on factors that include local habitability. Involuntary migration occurs when people lack agency about the key dimensions of mobility, including the timing, destination, or duration of mobility or whether to migrate at all. Where agency is extremely low, involuntary migration may take different forms, including temporary or permanent displacement and distress migration. Distress migration—mass migration or displacement related to rapid deterioration in local circumstances—is a humanitarian concern because of the need for emergency interventions to avoid poor outcomes. Distress migration has been a common phenomenon throughout history but has risen and fallen on the global policy agenda largely as a function of whether or not wealthy industrialized countries are destinations. Also of humanitarian concern is the phenomenon of involuntary immobility, in which people are unable to move without help—the population most likely to require assistance relocating under managed retreat programs. Avoiding distress migration and involuntary immobility in favor of safe and orderly migration, as advanced by the Global Compact on Migration, is now a global policy priority, and the Compact calls on governments to “strengthen joint analysis and sharing of information to better map, understand, predict, and address migration movements” as a result of climate change impacts—all of which are essential aspects of habitability assessment. Many assessments posit some form of forced migration as an inevitable outcome of declining habitability. Yet, environmental stress rarely directly results in migration but works through a complex array of economic, demographic, social, and political proximate determinants that both initiate and sustain or modify flows. In any given population exposed to climate risks, different segments of the population respond to hazards differently and at different points in time, and as such, migration evolves with habitability through time. Whereas some may be able to migrate from deteriorating conditions without assistance, others may become immobile owing to limited options and insufficient resources, suffering progressive impoverishment and vulnerability unless social protection or planned relocation efforts are implemented ([ 5 ][5]). In situ adaptation, facilitated migration, and improving reception of migrants in (largely urban) destination areas are often more appropriate policies in these regions. Managed retreat has been proposed as a strategy for regions with declining habitability, but as a largely technical package of responses that includes buyouts, incentives, and planned relocation, among others, it does not currently translate well to most developing-world circumstances. The relationship between habitability and migration may be counterintuitive, as illustrated by the lack of evidence for migration away from low-lying delta areas despite acute risks ([ 7 ][7]). Migration itself affects habitability for those who are unable or unwilling to leave increasingly vulnerable circumstances, either positively, such as through incoming remittances, or negatively, such as through outmigration of the working-age demographic stratum and subsequent changes in economic dynamism and livelihood options. Flows may begin owing to entrenched poverty and environmental risks and then be sustained as migrant social networks lower barriers for those who initially remained behind. Although migration offers possibilities for advancing human well-being, as multiple dimensions of habitability are compromised, resulting forced migration will negatively affect human well-being. Migrants risk new constraints in urban informal settlements, and displaced persons may become permanently disconnected from their original communities and livelihoods in resettlement communities or refugee camps ([ 13 ][14]). Although top-down assessments oversimplify likely migratory responses to habitability declines, this does not necessarily imply that migration flows are overestimated. Multiple factors are driving migration in developing regions to varying degrees, including poor governance, perceived lack of opportunities, conflict, individual extreme events, and in some cases, climate-catastrophic discourses that add to a sense of hopelessness ([ 14 ][15]). Deeper and more contextualized understandings of migration dynamics aid in policy design, but the threats that result from declining habitability in combination with other drivers are real and may lead to substantial displacement of populations across a range of spatial scales. Top-down, threshold-based habitability assessments can serve a critical role in helping to identify priority regions and groups for integrated bottom-up work while revealing interactions in global systems that cannot be gleaned from the bottom-up work alone. Integration not only leads to better predictions of when and where habitability may diminish but also can be used to inform adaptation responses that themselves help preserve or restore habitability. Bottom-up assessments by definition provide finer, local resolution, and their richness of detail means that they require diverse participation and methods. To date, most locales have not been subject to such integrated habitability assessment. We thus encourage transdisciplinary, long-term coupled top-down and bottom-up habitability assessment [for example, ([ 15 ][16])] to complement and augment efforts such as the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP), which has contributed so much to our understanding of potential future climate impacts on sectors such as agriculture, water, ecosystems, and health. Initial model intercomparison could focus on what regions and groups face diminishing habitability under different model configurations. Particularly where models agree on potential habitability hot spots, bottom-up modeling experiments could be conducted and compared on specified challenges to human survival, livelihoods, and capacity to manage risk, although standardization would be needed. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and national efforts can also help to develop this still inchoate middle space between top-down and bottom-up approaches to habitability and migration. Migration is emerging as a cross-cutting theme throughout the current IPCC assessment, and a special report on habitability and migration would both advance the knowledge base and showcase emerging methodologies. As one example, a climate change detection and attribution dimension would help inform dialogues about loss and damage under the Paris Agreement. Likewise, a discussion on migration across the Reasons for Concern commonly used in IPCC assessments ([ 5 ][5]) would allow us to distinguish how climate-induced migration, distress or otherwise, is distinct from other forms of migration. The complexity of the assessment challenge calls for a holistic, people-centric approach in which models, data aggregation, and ethnographic work are all advanced. Sectors such as engineering, hydrology, and reinsurance, that have historically been overreliant on physical models and hazard thresholds, operate at a scale that is ripe for habitability-relevant innovations at the interface between top down and bottom up. In this middle space, models could be used to examine policy scenarios instead of learning occurring exclusively from costly, time-consuming, real-world policy interventions that may put vulnerable people at risk. Greater communication among modelers will be key, and models must be validated with on-the-ground local research. To support migration and habitability modeling specifically, this would include data on when, where, and why people have moved or considered moving, how they define habitability, and the policy conditions that determine mobility outcomes ([ 14 ][15]). Furthermore, bottom-up research must account for the place-specific characteristics of populations—such as assets, livelihood opportunities, and social networks—that shape both exposure and adaptation. Investments in place-based social science thus help address data gaps, providing ground-truthing that will strengthen simulations of the outcomes of interventions. Investments in early-warning systems could help to anticipate where distress migration may happen, a key step in informing policy. The shortcomings of adaptation planning and policy at current risk levels in wealthy countries hint at the global challenges ahead in a changing climate. In the United States, for example, federal and local risk assessments—let alone policies—are not presently centrally coordinated or comparable. There is woefully insufficient funding available for bottom-up adaptation efforts from the better-financed federal level. Policies toward population mobility—whether planned, internal responses or immigration from other countries—vary from inconsistent over time to incoherent and sometimes inhumane. Coproduction of knowledge across diverse groups will be a precondition for any breakthroughs. In some instances, a starting point may be to bring preexisting top-down habitability and migration assessments to communities, provided that community feedback is collected and integrated iteratively and before key policy decisions are made. In other instances, stakeholder engagement may begin with fewer top-down, nonprobabilistic approaches that can be developed with communities, such as storylines and scenarios. Storylines and scenarios lend themselves to exploration of the uncertainties that most influence habitability locally (for example, the potential for changing correlation structures in models) and which adaptation strategies should be explored for which groups. Deeper stakeholder engagement, coupled with the other recommendations above, thus provides a foundation for colearning, iteration, and developing flexible approaches to the challenge of diminishing habitability. To the extent that top-down, threshold-based approaches are used to define habitability universally, there is a risk of assuming a high likelihood of uniform outmigration or concluding with blanket policy recommendations around managed retreat. Basing assessments on nuanced definitions of habitability and integrating top-down with bottom-up approaches could encourage a broader range of policies tailored to specific locations and groups, including regions that have been put forth as likely receiving areas. A focus on the dimensions of habitability presented here, and bottom-up approaches, will invariably alter top-down projections of migration. Under wetbulb temperatures exceeding 35°C, high levels of outmigration from the Persian Gulf may be avoided if air conditioning is widely available and alternative livelihood options develop for those who would otherwise work outdoors. However, there will be regions where social tipping points and a sense of prevailing pessimism about the future—for example, owing to evolving risk perception or disinvestment by the private or public sectors—could contribute to outmigration far sooner and more suddenly than top-down habitability threshold–based methods would suggest. Global, regional, and national migration policies themselves will also play an important role in facilitating or impeding migration. What is already clear is that climate change will result in shifting population distributions and that this process will overall be harmful to the most vulnerable, including those who may be “trapped” in deteriorating circumstances. For the reasons described here, and as a matter of climate justice, many semi-arid regions, much of the tropics, and some low-lying deltas and islands should be high priorities for integrated transdisciplinary work on habitability risks and major investments in adaptation. But only by taking into account the complexities described here will we avoid climate determinism and instead implement proactive policies on adaptation and migration that in particular will address the needs of the most vulnerable. 1. [↵][17]1. S. A. Kulp, 2. B. H. Strauss , Nat. Commun. 10, 4844 (2019). [OpenUrl][18] 2. [↵][19]1. S. C. Sherwood, 2. M. Huber , Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 107, 9552 (2010). [OpenUrl][20][Abstract/FREE Full Text][21] 3. [↵][22]1. T. Tanner et al ., Nat. Clim. Chang. 5, 23 (2015). [OpenUrl][23] 4. [↵][24]1. J. Barnett, 2. W. N. Adger , Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour. 43, 245 (2018). [OpenUrl][25] 5. [↵][26]1. R. McLeman et al ., Clim. Change 165, 24 (2021). [OpenUrl][27] 6. [↵][28]1. N. 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Food 2, 1 (2021). [OpenUrl][47] Acknowledgments: The authors thank four anonymous reviewers and C. Lesk for comments and K. MacManus for assistance with the map figure. R.M.H. and A.d.S. were supported by the Columbia Climate School and its Earth Institute, and A.d.S. received funding from NSF award 1934978. 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News at a glance


SCI COMMUN### COVID-19 Despite past safety concerns, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa) this week decided to allow the importation of 928,000 doses of Sputnik V, the Russian-made vaccine against the pandemic coronavirus. Brazil has one of the world's highest burdens of COVID-19, but only about 15% of its population has received a first dose of vaccine. In April, Anvisa had refused to allow the vaccine into the country, citing allegations that Sputnik V contained adenoviruses that could replicate and harm vaccinated people. But a Brazilian law enacted in March allows the country under certain conditions to selectively import vaccines that Anvisa has not yet authorized for emergency use. The agency will require the batches of vaccine to undergo a safety review by a Brazilian government lab. Anvisa lifted the import ban after pressure from 14 governors who had already made agreements to buy more than 67 million doses of Sputnik V, which more than 60 countries have approved for emergency use. > “It shows we are still fully on the wrong track.” > > Climate scientist Pieter Tans of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in The Washington Post, about May's atmospheric carbon dioxide reading of 419 parts per million, the highest in 63 years of modern recording despite pandemic lockdowns. ### Marine ecology Just 6 months into this year, an alarming 761 manatees have died on Florida's east coast—about 10% of the state's population of this unique vegetarian marine mammal. Most of this year's deaths, which already total more than all in 2020, occurred in the Indian River Lagoon, where about 2000 of these subtropical goliaths typically winter, basking in warm water discharged by a power plant. But increased concentrations of nutrient pollution have triggered algal blooms that block sunlight, decreasing the amount of seagrass, the manatees' main food there. They chose the warm water “even though they starved,” says Martine deWit, a veterinarian with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. In 2017, the administration of then-President Donald Trump downgraded the species from “endangered” to “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act, citing its growing population. But conservationists have called the move premature. ### Racial justice The National Football League (NFL) said last week that in awarding players compensation for brain injuries under a 2013 legal settlement, it will drop a practice that critics have assailed as racist. Under the “race-norming” policy, a scoring algorithm for dementia that physicians employed in assessing players assumed that Black men started their careers with cognitive skills inferior to those of their white counterparts, making it harder for them to show the same amount of injury-induced cognitive decline as white players and to qualify for monetary awards. A majority of the NFL's roughly 20,000 retirees are Black. In a statement, the NFL noted that race-norming has been used for decades by neuropsychologists, who compare patients' scores with averages for their age, gender, education, and race. The NFL says no “off-the-shelf” alternative exists, so it is convening a panel of eight neuropsychologists, three of them Black, to develop a new algorithm. It will be applied going forward and also retrospectively for Black players who would have received an award had they been white. Previously, the NFL appealed some Black players' claims if their cognitive scores had not been adjusted for race. To date, more than 2000 former players have filed for awards, but fewer than 600 have received them. ### Infectious diseases ![Figure][1] CREDITS: (GRAPHIC) N. DESAI/ SCIENCE ; (DATA) UNAIDS The world has made great progress against AIDS, but ambitious targets have been missed, says an analysis issued last week on the 40th anniversary of the emergence of the disease. The report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) notes that 27.4 million of the 37.6 million people now living with HIV are receiving lifesaving antiretroviral treatment. That's a tripling since 2010, but it falls short of a UNAIDS target, set in 2015, of 30 million in treatment by 2020. Because HIV-infected people who receive antiretrovirals rarely transmit the virus, hitting the treatment target would have averted 3.2 million infections and 1 million deaths over the past 5 years, the report says. And, it says, in 2020 the coronavirus pandemic disrupted treatments and supplies of antiretrovirals, with many countries reporting dips in new diagnoses. ### Publishing Days after publishing a letter alleging Israel's actions had threatened the health of Palestinians, The Lancet removed it from its website, fearing that supporters of Israel would boycott the journal, three of the letter's co-authors asserted last week. The letter, published in March 2020, is still accessible in the ScienceDirect database operated by The Lancet 's owner, publishing giant Elsevier. It argued that Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were ill prepared to confront the COVID-19 pandemic because Israel's security operations had damaged Gaza's public health system. In a commentary last week in The BMJ , three authors—all of whom have worked with Palestinian aid organizations, and two of whom are physicians—said The Lancet 's editor-in-chief, Richard Horton, told them last year that a similar letter it published in 2014 had drawn boycott threats and taken a “traumatic” personal toll on its employees. The prestigious medical journal also published a letter in September 2020 that criticizes the removed letter; it remains on The Lancet 's website. The authors of the March 2020 letter praised other Lancet articles that focused on poor health conditions in Gaza. But they also complained of a double standard and called the letter's removal censorship and “a dangerous new precedent.” The Lancet did not respond before Science 's deadline to a request for comment. ### Public health A strategy for fighting dengue fever using bacteria-armed mosquitoes has passed its most rigorous test yet: a randomized controlled trial in Indonesia. Infecting Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis renders them resistant to infection with the dengue virus and less likely to spread it to people. In previous studies, areas where Wolbachia -infected mosquitoes were released reported fewer cases of dengue than nearby untreated areas. In the new trial, conducted by the nonprofit World Mosquito Program, researchers divided a 26-kilometer area in Yogyakarta into 24 clusters and set out containers of Wolbachia -carrying mosquito eggs in 12 randomly selected clusters. Of people visiting primary care clinics with a fever, 2.3% of those living in the treated clusters tested positive for dengue virus, versus 9.4% of those from control areas—a 77% reduction in infections, the team reported this week in The New England Journal of Medicine . Researchers expect the bacterium will continue to reduce dengue incidence and may even eliminate it in the area: Infected insects pass Wolbachia to offspring, and it remains prevalent among the city's wild mosquitoes more than 3 years after the last egg release. ### Biodiversity An automated system that integrates robotics with machine learning, imaging, and a cutting-edge gene sequencer promises to help speed up the discovery of unknown species of insects, which make up an estimated 90% of all animal species yet to be cataloged. Scientists routinely collect thousands of animals in the field, then face long hours in the lab to identify the specimens. The new technology, called DiversityScanner, plucks individual insects from trays and compares their legs, antennae, and other features to known specimens to classify the insect into one of 14 types. An Oxford Nanopore Technologies sequencer then produces a species-identifying piece of DNA called a barcode. The data and an image of the insect are added to a database. Scientists still have to name and describe new species. Some researchers call the system, designed to be easy for labs to replicate with open-source technology and easily available parts, a potential game changer. The designers—Rudolf Meier, who is moving to Berlin's Museum of Natural History, and colleagues—described it in two preprints posted on bioRxiv in May. ### Anthropology Several people from Okinawa, Japan's southernmost prefecture, are stepping up pressure on Kyoto University to return the remains of 26 people from Okinawan burial caves and sites that were unearthed almost 100 years ago and taken to what was then Kyoto Imperial University for study. Some of the remains, a small portion of the 200 sets removed, are believed to be from the royal family of the Ryukyu Kingdom, which was absorbed into the Japanese empire in 1872. A 2018 lawsuit by a group of five Okinawans against Kyoto University is still pending; frustrated by its slow pace and the university's refusal to cooperate, plaintiffs held an online briefing last week to make their case to the international press. Holding the remains violates Japanese law and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, says Yasukatsu Matsushima, an economist at Ryukoku University who leads the legal challenge. Very little research about the remains has been published, and nothing recently, Matsushima says. Kyoto University “does not consider that the bones were obtained illegally,” the institution wrote in a statement. ### Racial justice A prominent Black chemist withdrew from consideration for a professorship at the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill, after its trustees did not endorse giving a tenured position to a high-profile journalist whose reporting on the United States's history of racism has raised controversy. UNC faculty informed its chancellor last week that the chemist, Lisa Jones of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, wrote them that the trustees' decision “does not seem in line with a school that says it is interested in diversity.” Her decision came after UNC proposed in January to give the tenured position in journalism to Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times , winner of a Pulitzer Prize for her essay in the “1619 Project,” a 2019 series about slavery that she conceived. The trustees did not act on the proposal; some questioned her academic qualifications. UNC instead offered Hannah-Jones (who is not related to Lisa Jones) a nontenured, 5-year position. Faculty members protested and accused the trustees of submitting to criticism of Hannah-Jones by conservative voices. ### Astronomy In its first year of observations, from 2018 to 2019, the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) radio telescope in British Columbia detected 535 fast radio bursts (FRBs)—powerful flashes of radio waves from deep space—more than three times as many as were previously known, researchers announced this week at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The bursts are just milliseconds long, which makes it challenging to pinpoint their source. But after CHIME helped trace a nearby FRB to its source in our Galaxy last year, highly magnetized stellar relics called magnetars have emerged as a prime suspect. CHIME catches many FRBs by sweeping the sky with a wide field of view as Earth rotates. Its deep catalog is already paying off: FRBs that flash more than once last slightly longer and have a narrower range of frequencies than one-offs, supporting the idea that the bursts are produced through different mechanisms. ### Planetary science NASA's InSight lander, a mission to study the interior of Mars, got a sorely needed energy boost last month after the agency dusted off its solar panels with a clever technique akin to sandblasting. After InSight's power declined, NASA tried knocking off the dust by jostling the panels with motors originally used to deploy them—without luck. Passing dust devils have also done nothing to clear off the material. So mission engineers had to get crafty. They had the lander's robotic arm scoop up sand and drizzle it above a panel as the wind swept past at up to 21 kilometers per hour. The falling grains bounced off the panel, picking up and carrying away the smaller dust particles, NASA said last week. Controllers noticed an immediate bump in power and a gain of about 30 watt-hours of energy per sol, or martian day. The extra power could help the lander survive aphelion in July, when Mars is farthest from the Sun, and extend the mission for a third full year of listening for tiny marsquakes. [1]: pending:yes

Military Applications Of AI Around The World


The Israel Defense Forces' (IDF) operation against Hamas is called the world's first artificial intelligence (AI) war. Register for AWS ML Fridays and learn how to make a career in data science. "For the first time, artificial intelligence was a key component and power multiplier in fighting the enemy," an IDF Intelligence Corps senior officer said. He said this is a first-of-its-kind campaign for the IDF. In 2020, an Iranian nuclear scientist was killed using a satellite controlled weapon.

Artificial Intelligence in Platform as a Service (PaaS) Market Worth Observing Growth


There are 15 Chapters to display the Global Artificial Intelligence in Platform as a Service (PaaS) Market Chapter 1, Overview to describe Definition, Specifications and Classification of Global Artificial Intelligence in Platform as a Service (PaaS) market, Applications [SME & Large Enterprises], Market Segment by Types, Machine Learning Platform, Natural Language Processing Service, Visual Analysis Service, Language Processing Service & Data Insight Service; Chapter 2, objective of the study.

Cybersecurity Tools Gaining an Edge from AI


In 2021, more firms will employ AI to battle cyberattacks, trying to gain an edge in a game of one-upmanship with hackers and attackers. A survey of 20 cybersecurity experts recently surveyed by Forbes showed some patterns. For example, open source software can be an easy way into organizations. Gaining more visibility into open source contributions is possible with the use of AI and machine learning, according to Maty Siman, CTO of Checkmarx, a software security company based in Ramat Gan, Israel. "Rarely does a week go by without the discovery of malicious open source packages," Siman stated.

Israel shared Iranian General Soleimani's cell phones with US intelligence before drone strike: report

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Israel shared three cell phone numbers used by Qasem Soleimani with U.S. intelligence in the hours before American drones unleashed Hellfire missiles on the Iranian general last year, Yahoo News reported Saturday. The revelation sheds new light on the role that Israel played in the killing of Soleimani, who the State Department says was responsible for hundreds of U.S. troop deaths as the head of the Revolutionary Guard's elite Quds Force. The drone strike occurred shortly after midnight on Jan. 2, 2020, as Soleimani and his entourage were leaving Baghdad's international airport.