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Survey XII: What Is the Future of Ethical AI Design? – Imagining the Internet

#artificialintelligence

Results released June 16, 2021 – Pew Research Center and Elon University's Imagining the Internet Center asked experts where they thought efforts aimed at ethical artificial intelligence design would stand in the year 2030. Some 602 technology innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers and activists responded to this specific question. The Question – Regarding the application of AI Ethics by 2030: In recent years, there have been scores of convenings and even more papers generated proposing ethical frameworks for the application of artificial intelligence (AI). They cover a host of issues including transparency, justice and fairness, privacy, freedom and human autonomy, beneficence and non-maleficence, freedom, trust, sustainability and dignity. Our questions here seek your predictions about the possibilities for such efforts. By 2030, will most of the AI systems being used by organizations of all sorts employ ethical principles focused primarily on the public ...


Oklahoma mom of 11 rescues members of Afghan all-girls robotics team

FOX News

Photojournalist documents the reality women face in Afghanistan on'America Reports' An Oklahoma mother of 11 flew to Qatar earlier this month to help rescue 10 members of Afghanistan's all-girls robotics team, and is hoping to save more as the Taliban takes power in Kabul. Allyson Reneau, a 60-year old-Harvard graduate with a Masters degree in international relations and U.S. space policy, took it upon herself to try and save members of the Afghan Girls Robotic Team, according to NBC. She flew into Qatar on Aug. 9 after making a "Hail Mary" call to a former roommate at the U.S. Embassy there to help get the girls from the advancing Taliban, known for their oppressive treatment of women. Reneau had been in contact with the team -- made of girls ages 16 to 18 -- since 2019, when she worked on the board of directors for Explore Mars and met the girls when they attended the organization's annual Humans to Mars conference. The team was hailed in Western media as the future of the war-ravaged country, as well as a shining example of how women's rights had improved after the U.S. invaded following 9/11.


Chinese students fight back against visa rejections

Science

When Chen Siyu met a consular official at the U.S. embassy in Beijing in March to review her qualifications for a student visa, “Everything was going well,” she says—or so it seemed. Chen, who has a master's in public health from the University of Hong Kong, had won a fully funded slot in an epidemiology Ph.D. program at the University of Florida. When the consular officer asked about her current employment, Chen explained that she had worked as an epidemiology research assistant at a major hospital for 5 years. She mentioned that the hospital is affiliated with a military medical university. The consular officer thanked Chen for the information and moments later handed her a rejection form letter with “Other: 212(f)” ticked off from among a selection of reasons. The interview was over, as were her dreams of earning a Ph.D. in the United States. Chen is one of a growing group of Chinese students barred from the United States based on 212(f), a clause in the decades-old Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that allows the U.S. president to identify aliens whose entry would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” In May 2020, then-President Donald Trump signed a proclamation that invoked the clause to bar Chinese graduate students and postgraduate researchers with ties to an entity in China “that implements or supports China's ‘military-civil fusion strategy.’” The proclamation exempts those working in fields that don't contribute to that strategy—but apparently epidemiology is not among them. Now, Chen is one of 2500 activists—Chinese students with visa problems and their supporters—who are fighting back against what they see as an arbitrary and discriminatory policy. Armed with a website and a Twitter account, the students have written to more than 50 top U.S. research universities to focus attention on their plight. They are getting a sympathetic hearing in the U.S. academic world: A 10 June letter from the American Council on Education to the Department of State warned of “delays in students' academic careers and critical projects.” The group is also discussing legal action with a U.S. immigration lawyer and recently launched a fundraising campaign to try to cover the costs. “We think this is a policy of discrimination based on nationality,” says Hu Desheng, a doctoral candidate in computer science at Northeastern University who got stuck in China because of pandemic-related travel restrictions in early 2020, and whose visa application is now backlogged. Trump's proclamation initially had little impact because the pandemic disrupted academic travel globally. But after more than a year, the U.S. embassy and consulates in China resumed processing routine visa applications on 4 May. Between then and mid-June, more than 500 visa applications have been rejected, according to the students' tally. More than 1000 Chinese scholars already in the United States reportedly had their visas revoked by September 2020. Many others hesitate to leave the United States, fearing they won't get back in. How many students will be affected annually is unclear, in part because the U.S. government has not said which Chinese entities are deemed to be supporting the military-civil fusion strategy and which fields of study are considered sensitive or exempt. A study of the measure's potential impact published in February by Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) assumed the designated entities include 11 universities subject to stringent export control restrictions by the U.S. Department of Commerce, including the so-called Seven Sons of National Defence—schools with historical ties to China's defense establishment. The study also assumed the sensitive fields mentioned in the proclamation will cover all areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). If so, it could block 3000 to 5000 of the roughly 19,000 Chinese students who start graduate programs each year, CSET estimated. The report did not cover postdoctoral and visiting researchers, graduates of other universities, or those in non-STEM fields. (The proclamation exempts undergraduate students from scrutiny.) A spokesperson for the State Department declined to name which institutions are blacklisted, but said the sensitive technologies include quantum computing, big data, semiconductors, biotechnology, 5G, advanced nuclear technology, aerospace technology, and artificial intelligence. “By design, the policy is narrowly targeted,” the spokesperson says. But the Chinese students say rejections are broad. Even those intending to study finance, obstetrics and gynecology, water conservation, medicine, agronomy, and other seemingly nonmilitary topics have had visas rejected under clause 212(f), they say. Li Xiang, for example, earned a master's in linguistics from the Harbin Institute of Technology, one of the schools with historical defense ties, then studied at an art school to prepare for a master's program in game development at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. “To be an artist in the game and film industry is my dream,” she says. Her application was rejected and she was told she is not even eligible for a visa to visit her husband, who is working in the United States. The visa of another student, Xue Shilue, was revoked in the summer of 2020 after she had completed the first year of a master's program in “user experience design” at the University of Texas, Austin. She happened to be in China at the time and can't go back to Austin to complete her degree or even collect her personal belongings. The proclamation also appears to target students supported by the China Scholarship Council (CSC), which falls under China's Ministry of Education but has been under scrutiny for supposed links to the defense establishment, according to a separate CSET study. Blacklisting CSC could have dramatic implications. CSET estimates that during the 2017–18 academic year, the council supported 26,000 Chinese scholars in all disciplines in the United States. Huang Yunan, who last year started a Ph.D. program in food science at Cornell University remotely because of the pandemic, was denied a visa after telling a consular officer about her CSC support during a May interview. More than 100 of some 500 CSC-supported members of a chat group she belongs to have recently had visa applications rejected, she says. The students object to the absence of any individual assessment. “There is a presumption of guilt on the part of every Chinese student who has studied at a targeted university,” Hu says. As to the Seven Sons, “We go to those schools because they are top-ranked universities,” Hu says, not because of their military ties. Wendy Wolford, vice provost for International Affairs at Cornell University, asked U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a 26 May letter to rectify the “capricious, unclear, and excessive” interpretations of the proclamation that are “creating tremendous uncertainty and confusion for international students and their U.S. universities.” (Wolford did not respond to an email asking whether she had heard back from Blinken.) A lawsuit, however, is a long shot, says Charles Kuck, a U.S. immigration lawyer who has advised the students. “The Supreme Court has given a literal carte blanche to the president to use INA 212(f), along with a ‘reasonable’ explanation, for whatever entry ban the president wants to put into place,” Kuck says. The problems are driving some students to pursue advanced degrees elsewhere; Chen, for one, will now get her Ph.D. at the University of Hong Kong. Moves like hers should be a bigger worry than the possibility that graduate students are stealing U.S. technology, says Denis Simon, an expert in innovation at Duke University who studies China's research efforts. “The notion of there being a conspiratorial effort [to acquire advanced technology] is just far beyond the reality.” In contrast, he says, slowing the flow of Chinese students will harm the United States, where they help sustain many research programs. “It's a pipeline that has been built over 40 years, and by deconstructing it, we will do some very serious damage to our ability to have the kind of talent needed to drive our innovation system forward.”


EU challenges partners to keep up with new ambitious climate measures

The Japan Times

Brussels – The European Union is using its strength as a wealthy trade bloc of half a billion consumers to set the global pace of climate change action, challenging others to match the ambitions of its latest carbon cutting plans. In its most ambitious bid yet to hit a goal of cutting net greenhouse gas emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030, the EU on Wednesday laid out proposals that would consign the internal combustion engine to history and raise the cost of emitting carbon for heating, transport and factories. The question now is whether the EU gambit becomes an established benchmark upon which investors and sectors like the auto industry set transition strategies, and how big emitters like the United States and China respond ahead of U.N. climate talks later this year. "Amongst G7 and G20 nations, the EU position is now the explicit global benchmark," said Julian Poulter, Head of Investor Relations at Inevitable Policy Response, a consultancy on environmental economics. "It will exert a new influence on that basis, in other industrialized nations and their financial sectors, and increase pressure on those nations that remain as climate outliers and spoilers," he added.


You go to war with the data you have: next-generation AI for national security

#artificialintelligence

Artificial intelligence is the most powerful technology in generations with the potential to impact U.S. security, welfare and global leadership. U.S. national security agencies must develop and integrate AI-enabled capabilities to compete and defend in the AI era. However, standard methods and AI technologies fall short for the high-consequence and specialized missions of national security. The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and National Laboratories are developing the Next-Generation of AI -- innovative methods and technologies designed for national security challenges and operational concepts. National security agencies should leverage NNSA's Next-Generation AI research and development to accelerate AI innovation and enable an AI-ready force.


American 'woke' companies blamed for fueling China's rise, Paypal co-founder says

FOX News

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and former National Security advisor Robert C. O'Brien weigh in on facing the Chinese Communist Party Paypal co-founder and Facebook board member Peter Thiel spared no punches in who he cites for helping China's rapid economic and military expansion. He says that U.S. technology companies bear some of the blame for helping fuel Beijing's global achievements. "There's something about the woke politics inside these companies, the way they think of themselves as not really American companies. And it's somehow very, very difficult for them to have a sharp anti-China edge whatsoever," he says. Theil named Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple in his assessment that American corporate culture has turned a blind eye to the communist country's human rights abuses, trade infractions and threat at the expense of the U.S. "If China is able to just catch up, there is a way in which it will become a more powerful country," warned Thiel.


What's Ahead for a Cooperative Regulatory Agenda on Artificial Intelligence?

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In her first major speech to a U.S. audience after the U.S. presidential election, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen laid out priority areas for transatlantic cooperation. She proposed building a new relationship between Europe and the United States, one that would encompass transatlantic coordination on digital technology issues, including working together on global standards for regulating artificial intelligence (AI) aligned with EU values. A reference to cooperation on standards for AI was included in the New Transatlantic Agenda for Global Change issued by the Commission on December 2, 2020. In remarks to Parliament on January 22, 2021, President von der Leyen called for "creating a digital economy rule book" with the United States that is "valid worldwide." Some would say Europe's new outreach on issues of tech governance and the suggestion of establishing an "EU-U.S. Trade and Technology Council" is incongruous to the current regulatory war being waged against ...


Blinken says Trump-era Israel peace deals were a 'very good thing'

FOX News

Security Studies president Jim Hanson provides analysis on'Fox & amp; Friends First.' Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday paid a compliment to the Trump administration for the Abraham Accords struck between Arab nations and Israel in the Middle East. Blinken was testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the Biden administration's foreign policy agenda. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., asked Blinken what his predecessor, Secretary Mike Pompeo, did right. He pointed to tech advances and Middle East peace deals. "Trying to help bring the State Department into the 21st century, the use of technology and empowering, some of our people, with technology, something we really want to follow through," Blinken said.


4 Artificial Intelligence Use Cases for Global Health from USAID - ICTworks

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Artificial intelligence (AI) has potential to drive game-changing improvements for underserved communities in global health. In response, The Rockefeller Foundation and USAID partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop AI in Global Health: Defining a Collective Path Forward. Research began with a broad scan of instances where artificial intelligence is being used, tested, or considered in healthcare, resulting in a catalogue of over 240 examples. This grouping involves tools that leverage AI to monitor and assess population health, and select and target public health interventions based on AI-enabled predictive analytics. It includes AI-driven data processing methods that map the spread and burden of disease while AI predictive analytics are then used to project future disease spread of existing and possible outbreaks.


The AI Index 2021 Annual Report

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Welcome to the fourth edition of the AI Index Report. This year we significantly expanded the amount of data available in the report, worked with a broader set of external organizations to calibrate our data, and deepened our connections with the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI). The AI Index Report tracks, collates, distills, and visualizes data related to artificial intelligence. Its mission is to provide unbiased, rigorously vetted, and globally sourced data for policymakers, researchers, executives, journalists, and the general public to develop intuitions about the complex field of AI. The report aims to be the most credible and authoritative source for data and insights about AI in the world.