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Drones With 'Most Advanced AI Ever' Coming Soon To Your Local Police Department

#artificialintelligence

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. That brings the total raised for Skydio to $340 million.


Cops across the U.S. are buying AI drones

#artificialintelligence

Skydio has been making headlines lately for being the first U.S.-based drone manufacturer to be valued at more than $1 billion in fundraising. The company has found a willing customer base in police forces across the United States, too, according to a report from Forbes. Nothing to be concerned about, surely, just flying artificial intelligence controlled by a group known for its abuses of power. At least 20 police agencies across the country own drones from Skydio, based on information Forbes obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and Skydio's own public announcements. Those agencies include major cities like Boston and Austin, according to the report.


Biden limits drone strikes outside war zones, rolling back Trump policy

FOX News

General Jack Keane, Fox News senior strategic analyst, reacts to the decision on'Fox & amp; Friends.' The Biden administration has ordered temporary limits on drone strikes outside war zones, rolling back a Trump-era policy, as President Biden reviews "legal and policy frameworks governing these matters," the National Security Council told Fox News. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne, in a statement to Fox News, said that at the beginning of the Biden administration the president "established new interim guidance concerning the United States' use of military force and related national security operations." "The purpose of the interim guidance is to ensure the President has full visibility on proposed significant actions into these areas while the National Security Council staff lead a thorough interagency review of the extant authorizations and delegations of Presidential authority with respect to these matters," Horne said. Horne told Fox News that Biden's review "is now underway and will include an examination of the legal and policy frameworks governing these matters."


Panel on artificial intelligence urges US to boost tech skills amid China's rise

#artificialintelligence

An artificial intelligence commission led by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is urging the U.S. to boost its AI skills to counter China, including by pursuing "AI-enabled" weapons – something that Google itself has shied away from on ethical grounds. Schmidt and current executives from Google, Microsoft, Oracle and Amazon are among the 15 members of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, which released its final report to Congress on Monday. "To win in AI we need more money, more talent, stronger leadership," Schmidt said Monday. The report says that machines that can "perceive, decide, and act more quickly" than humans and with more accuracy are going to be deployed for military purposes -- with or without the involvement of the U.S. and other democracies. It warns against unchecked use of autonomous weapons but expresses opposition to a global ban.


Biden Secretly Limits Counterterrorism Drone Strikes Away From War Zones

NYT > Middle East

The Biden administration has quietly imposed temporary limits on counterterrorism drone strikes and commando raids outside conventional battlefield zones like Afghanistan and Syria, and it has begun a broad review of whether to tighten Trump-era rules for such operations, according to officials. The military and the C.I.A. must now obtain White House permission to attack terrorism suspects in poorly governed places where there are scant American ground troops, like Somalia and Yemen. Under the Trump administration, they had been allowed to decide for themselves whether circumstances on the ground met certain conditions and an attack was justified. Officials characterized the tighter controls as a stopgap while the Biden administration reviewed how targeting worked -- both on paper and in practice -- under former President Donald J. Trump and developed its own policy and procedures for counterterrorism kill-or-capture operations outside war zones, including how to minimize the risk of civilian casualties. The Biden administration did not announce the new limits.


Drones With 'Most Advanced AI Ever' Coming Soon To Your Local Police Department

#artificialintelligence

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. That brings the total raised for Skydio to $340 million.


Drones With 'Most Advanced AI Ever' Coming Soon To Your Local Police Department

#artificialintelligence

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.


A dystopian robo-dog now patrols New York City. That's the last thing we need

#artificialintelligence

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.


US military invests in energy beam weapons to take down drones

ZDNet

The US military has invested in a prototype energy beam weapon designed to zap drones in the sky. This week, the US Air Force said the prototype, dubbed the Tactical High Power Operational Responder (THOR), is a "directed energy" weapon that could use both lasers and microwaves to take out unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and drone swarms. THOR, perhaps named in deference to the Norse god of thunder, is being developed to fire at multiple targets at the same time with what the military calls "rapid results." The weapon needs to be housed in a shipping container that is 20-foot-long, but this means it can also be transported, moved via cargo plane, and could be installed at different military bases. THOR has been developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate, located at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.


US Army is developing a the 'most powerful' laser in history which will vaporize targets

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The US Army is developing its most powerful laser yet that is a million times more powerful than current systems. Most laser weapons fire a continuous beam until a target melts or catches fire, but the Tactical Ultrashort Pulsed Laser (UPSL) for Army Platforms will emit short, pulse-like bursts. Its being designed to reach a terawatt for a brief 200 femtoseconds, which is one quadrillionth of a second, compared to the 150-kilowatt maximum of current systems. It's also thought such a burst would disrupt nearby electronics systems, making it a functional electromagnetic pulse (EMP). The US military group is aiming to have a working prototype by August 2022.