If you follow VO discussion groups on social media, it's hard to miss the urgent and sometimes panicked tone among VOs when it comes to the subject of AI, or Artificial Intelligence voice overs. There seems to be a pervasive fear that we are all about to be replaced….sent Well, you may indeed go bald. There's nothing I can do about that. But, I can give you reassurance that the age of AI voiceover may in fact be to the benefit of serious professional voice actors.
Three years ago, Customs and Border Protection placed an order for self-flying aircraft that could launch on their own, rendezvous, locate and monitor multiple targets on the ground without any human intervention. In its reasoning for the order, CBP said the level of monitoring required to secure America's long land borders from the sky was too cumbersome for people alone. To research and build the drones, CBP handed $500,000 to Mitre Corp., a trusted nonprofit Skunk Works that was already furnishing border police with prototype rapid DNA testing and smartwatch hacking technology. They were "tested but not fielded operationally" as "the gap from simulation to reality turned out to be much larger than the research team originally envisioned," a CBP spokesperson says. This year, America's border police will test automated drones from Skydio, the Redwood City, Calif.-based startup that on Monday announced it had raised an additional $170 million in venture funding at a valuation of $1 billion.
If the United States is to keep ahead of a rapidly gaining China in the field of artificial intelligence, it needs a concrete and comprehensive plan for action. Such a plan is presented in the final report, released today, of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, or NSCAI. Critically, this report is about more than AI. It is the opening salvo of a much-needed effort to create an overarching national strategy for technology, a whole-of-government effort to safeguard American technological leadership. Congress created the NSCAI three years ago to determine how the United States could develop AI and machine learning systems to address U.S. national security and defense needs.
The New York police department has acquired a robotic police dog, known as Digidog, and has deployed it on the streets of Brooklyn, Queens and, most recently, the Bronx. At a time that activists in New York, and beyond, are calling for the defunding of police departments – for the sake of funding more vital services that address the root causes of crime and poverty – the NYPD's decision to pour money into a robot dog seems tone-deaf if not an outright provocation. As Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of Queens and the Bronx, put it on Twitter: "Shout out to everyone who fought against community advocates who demanded these resources go to investments like school counseling instead. Now robotic surveillance ground drones are being deployed for testing on low-income communities of color with underresourced schools." There is more than enough evidence that law enforcement is lethally racially biased, and adding an intimidating non-human layer to it seems cruel.
Artificial intelligence tools will soon become the "weapons of first resort," and will accelerate the damage caused by cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns, former Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said Monday. To stay top of this emerging threat, Work, speaking as the vice-chairman of the National Security Commission on AI, is calling on the federal government to add senior AI advisors to the top ranks of the White House, Defense Department and intelligence community. The commission, in its final report to Congress and President Joe Biden, recommended standing up a Technology Competitiveness Council within the White House, modeled after the National Security Council, that would prepare for the threats and opportunities of AI. The report also recommended creating a Digital Service Academy, modeled after the five current military service academies, that would "grow tech talent with the same seriousness of purpose that we grow military officers," and train current and future federal employees. Insight by Kodak Alaris: Practitioners provide insight into how states and the IT industry are dealing with Real ID in this exclusive executive briefing.
Artificial intelligence, which can generate astonishingly realistic false images and videos, is increasingly being used to detect them. Distinguishing between fact and fakery has become an everyday part of our online lives. During the U.S. election campaign, a manipulated video appearing to show Joe Biden forget which state he was in went viral, receiving more than a million views before it was debunked. The doctoring of visual material for political mischief-making is nothing new. Josef Stalin notoriously erased undesirable companions from photographs during the Great Purge in 1930s Russia.
We have covered a lot of ground within the two articles of the Exploring Artificial Intelligence series (January, February). We have understood that AI is already participating in our lives, overtly and covertly. AI is here and is not going away. To quote the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy: "Don't Panic!". This article has some good news.
Gatik, a startup developing an autonomous vehicle stack for B2B short-haul logistics, today announced it has raised $9 million, with $1 million coming from a partnership with Ontario's Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN). Gatik says the AVIN collaboration -- part of an Ontario government program providing R&D, business, technical, and talent support, as well as vehicle test tracks -- will help it understand how inclement weather affects its vehicles' movements Some experts predict the pandemic will hasten adoption of autonomous vehicles for delivery. Self-driving cars, vans, and trucks promise to minimize the risk of spreading disease by limiting driver contact. This is particularly true with regard to short-haul freight, an estimated 30% of which takes place in snowy and icy conditions. The producer price index for local truckload carriage jumped 20.4% from July to August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most likely propelled by demand for short-haul distribution from warehouses and distribution centers to ecommerce fulfillment centers and stores.
Cipher Skin, a startup developing a network of wraparound sensors that can deliver big data diagnostics, today announced it has raised $5 million in a series A round led by Boyett Group. The company says the funds, which bring Cipher's total raised to date to $7.8 million, will bolster development of the company's existing product line and new products in markets like oil, gas, and winemaking. After his career in the U.S. special operations forces, Cipher CEO Phillip Bogdanovich started training in the gym with Craig Weller, a physical coach he met when serving in Baghdad. Bogdanovich says that as soon as he was separated from Weller, he noticed his recovery began slowing. While back in the U.S., Bogdanovich and Weller began brainstorming how the training process could be scaled to allow people at home to experience the equivalent of a coach watching and providing feedback.
For decades, the US government has let the private sector and the free market do their thing, betting this is the surest way to spur innovation and conjure up the advances needed to keep the American economy on top of the world. Now, with China ascendant, the approach is starting to change. Washington is taking baby steps towards something closer to central planning--seeking to inspire, guide, and protect advances in key areas like artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and quantum computing. The latest evidence of a shift in thinking is the final report of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI). The commission was created by the Pentagon in 2018 to study the national security implications of AI and related technologies, and outline a plan to keep the US ahead.