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New technology propels efforts to fight Western wildfires

Boston Herald

As drought- and wind-driven wildfires have become more dangerous across the American West in recent years, firefighters have tried to become smarter in how they prepare. They're using new technology and better positioning of resources in a bid to keep small blazes from erupting into mega-fires like the ones that torched a record 4% of California last year, or the nation's biggest wildfire this year that has charred a section of Oregon half the size of Rhode Island. There have been 730 more wildfires in California so far this year than last, an increase of about 16%. But nearly triple the area has burned -- 470 square miles. Catching fires more quickly gives firefighters a better chance of keeping them small.

Bumble dating app led FBI to Capitol riot suspect: DOJ

FOX News

Fox News congressional correspondent Jacqui Heinrich has the latest from Capitol Hill on'America Reports' The FBI was tipped off to a Texas man arrested Friday for allegedly assaulting police officers during the Capitol riot after messaging with a woman he met on the dating app Bumble in January, the Justice Department announced. Andrew Quentin Taake, 32, was charged with assaulting an officer, obstructing an official proceeding, and other offenses for his actions during the riot, which allegedly included pepper-spraying several officers and assaulting others with a whip-like weapon. The FBI received a tip from a woman he met on the online dating app, Bumble, on Jan. 9. Screenshots of their messages show that Taake sent the woman a selfie that was taken "about 30 minutes after being sprayed," allegedly telling the potential suitor that he was at the riot "from the very beginning." A woman who Andrew Quentin Taake matched with on Bumble tipped off the FBI about his alleged Capitol riot involvement. Taake allegedly flew to Washington, D.C., from Houston the day before the riot and returned home a few days later.

Army tests HPC climate model in Azure cloud -- GCN


The Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is working with Microsoft to improve climate modeling and natural disaster resilience planning through the use of predictive analytics-powered, cloud-based tools and artificial intelligence services. Under a new agreement, ERDC will test the scalability of its coastal storm modeling system, CSTORM-MS -- which was previously run on high-performance computers -- inside Microsoft's Azure Government cloud. The CSTORM-MS models provide can give coastal communities a robust, standardized approach for determining the risk of future storm events and for evaluating flood risk reduction measures caused by tropical and extra-tropical storms, as well as wind, wave and water levels. Currently, CSTORM-MS models are run at ERDC's Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Center. In 2020, ERDC worked with DOD's High Performance Modernization Program's (HPCMP) on a feasibility study testing whether CSTORM-MS could be run in a commercial cloud.

Using satellites and AI, space-based technology is shaping the future of firefighting


Using satellites, drones and artificial intelligence, emerging technology is changing the way firefighting agencies and governments battle the ever-increasing threat of wildfires as hundreds of thousands of acres burn across the western United States. New programs are being developed by startups and research institutions to predict fire behavior, monitor drought and even detect fires when they first start. As climate change continues to increase the intensity and frequency of wildfires, these breakthroughs offer at least one tool in the growing arsenal of prevention and suppression strategies. "This is not to replace firefighting on the ground," said Ilkay Altintas, a computer scientist with the University of California, San Diego, who developed a fire map for the region. "The more science and data we can give firefighters and the public, the quicker we'll have solutions to combat and mitigate wildfires."

Artificial intelligence helps improve NASA's eyes on the Sun


A group of researchers is using artificial intelligence techniques to calibrate some of NASA's images of the Sun, helping improve the data that scientists use for solar research. The new technique was published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics on April 13, 2021. A solar telescope has a tough job. Staring at the Sun takes a harsh toll, with a constant bombardment by a never-ending stream of solar particles and intense sunlight. Over time, the sensitive lenses and sensors of solar telescopes begin to degrade.

Researchers call for bias-free artificial intelligence


Clinicians and surgeons are increasingly using medical devices based on artificial intelligence. These AI devices, which rely on data-driven algorithms to inform health care decisions, presently aid in diagnosing cancers, heart conditions and diseases of the eye, with many more applications on the way. In a new study, Stanford faculty discuss sex, gender and race bias in medical technologies. Pulse oximeters, for example, are more likely to incorrectly report blood gas levels in dark-skinned individuals and in women. Given this surge in AI, two Stanford University faculty members are calling for efforts to ensure that this technology does not exacerbate existing heath care disparities.

Video games playing on the minds of Amazon, Netflix, Peloton and Zoom

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

More technology companies want to get into the video game business. Just within the past week Netflix, Peloton, Zoom and Amazon have added games to their business plans. The potential promise of video games makes the medium attractive. The global video games market, estimated at $177.8 billion in 2020, is expected to surpass $200 billion by 2023, forecasts Tom Wijman at research firm Newzoo. But there's no guarantee these big names will succeed.

Artificial intelligence firms Shield AI, Heron Systems join forces


Shield AI announced on 22 July that it has acquired Heron Systems, bringing together two US software companies that are developing artificial intelligence (AI) pilots for military aviation. "Together, Shield AI and Heron will accelerate the deployment of advanced AI pilots to legacy and future military aircraft – an urgent and necessary step towards achieving national security priorities and remaining credible in the face of sophisticated peer countries," the announcement says. Heron Systems made headlines last year when its AI software defeated a human US Air Force F-16 pilot 5-0, and five other AI pilots, during the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA's) AlphaDogfight Trials. "Heron has developed the most advanced AI pilot for fighter aircraft in the United States," Shield AI co-founder and CEO Ryan Tseng said. Heron general manager Brett Darcey said that joining a larger company like Shield AI will provide "the opportunity and scale to accelerate the integration of our AI pilot on a next-generation fighter" and unmanned aircraft systems (UASs).

AI spots shipwrecks from the ocean surface – and even from the air


The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work. In collaboration with the United States Navy's Underwater Archaeology Branch, I taught a computer how to recognize shipwrecks on the ocean floor from scans taken by aircraft and ships on the surface. The computer model we created is 92% accurate in finding known shipwrecks. The project focused on the coasts of the mainland U.S. and Puerto Rico. It is now ready to be used to find unknown or unmapped shipwrecks.

Scientists finally understand Mars's crust after Nasa mission examines 'Marsquakes'

The Independent - Tech

Scientists have finally been able to understand the crust underneath the surface of Mars. The research represents the first time that humanity has been able to start mapping the interior of another planet beyond our own Earth. The new research relied on data taken from Nasa's InSight mission, which has been looking for Marsquakes that reverberate across its surface. Using information about those quakes, researchers are able to understand what might be lurking beneath the Martian surface. Beneath the InSight landing site, the crust is either approximately 20 kilometres or 39 kilometres thick, according to an international research team led by geophysicist Dr Brigitte Knapmeyer-Endrun at the University of Cologne's Institute of Geology and Mineralogy and Dr Mark Panning at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (Caltech).