Collaborating Authors


US Navy's huge uncrewed robot ship has journeyed through Panama Canal

New Scientist - News

A robotic cargo vessel has passed through the Panama Canal for the first time. The uncrewed ship, an Overlord Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) of the US Navy, made a 4700 nautical mile (8700 kilometre) journey including passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific almost entirely without human assistance. Pentagon spokesman Josh Frey says the vessel was in autonomous mode for over 97 per cent of the trip's length. A remote crew assisted when needed.

The code-breakers who led the rise of computing


"Most professional scientists aim to be the first to publish their findings, because it is through dissemination that the work realises its value." So wrote mathematician James Ellis in 1987. By contrast, he went on, "the fullest value of cryptography is realised by minimising the information available to potential adversaries." Ellis, like Alan Turing, and so many of the driving forces in the development of computers and the Internet, worked in government signals intelligence, or SIGINT. Today, this covers COMINT (harvested from communications such as phone calls) and ELINT (from electronic emissions, such as radar and other electromagnetic radiation).

Scientists use big data to sway elections and predict riots -- welcome to the 1960s


Ignorance of history is a badge of honour in Silicon Valley. "The only thing that matters is the future," self-driving-car engineer Anthony Levandowski told The New Yorker in 20181. Levandowski, formerly of Google, Uber and Google's autonomous-vehicle subsidiary Waymo (and recently sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing trade secrets), is no outlier. The gospel of'disruptive innovation' depends on the abnegation of history2. 'Move fast and break things' was Facebook's motto. Another word for this is heedlessness. And here are a few more: negligence, foolishness and blindness.

Can the U.S. Military Combat the Coming Swarm of Weaponized Drones?

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

To counter the threats posed by small drones, the U.S. military may have to rapidly step up its R&D timeframes, according to a new report commissioned by the U.S. Army. Small unmanned aircraft systems (sUASs) have become increasingly affordable and sophisticated. With millions of these drones now available worldwide, "It's become very easy for an adversary to use them in nefarious ways," says Albert Sciarretta, chair of the committee behind the new study and president of CNS Technologies in Springfield, Virginia. The U.S. Army asked for a detailed report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that analyzes potential risks from these devices, especially to dismounted infantry (that is, foot soldiers) and lightly armored vehicles. For example, hobby drones could be fitted with lethal weapons such as explosive, chemical, biological, or radiological payloads--or modified to jam military radio signals, Sciarretta says.

Artificial intelligence doesn't require burdensome regulation


One of the most important issues that Congress will face in 2018 is how and when to regulate our growing dependence on artificial intelligence (AI). During the U.S. National Governors Association summer meetings, Elon Musk urged the group to push forward with regulation "before it's too late," stati...

'Sea Hunter,' a drone ship with no crew, just joined the U.S. Navy fleet


A prototype autonomous ship known as the Medium Displacement Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MDUSV) has officially been transferred to the U.S. Navy from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) after a two-year testing and evaluation program. Named "Sea Hunter," the Office of Naval Research will continue to develop the vessel from this point forward. Although there's no specific timetable for when the Sea Hunter would join active naval operations, the statement from DARPA indicated that it could happen as early as this year. The anti-submarine warfare vessel could be the first of an entirely new class of warship. "[Sea Hunter] represents a new vision of naval surface warfare that trades small numbers of very capable, high-value assets for large numbers of commoditized, simpler platforms that are more capable in the aggregate," said Fred Kennedy of DARPA.

U.S. and Pakistan Give Conflicting Accounts of Drone Strike

NYT > Asia Pacific

One day after an American drone strike killed a leader of the militant Haqqani network in northwestern Pakistan, United States officials on Thursday rejected a claim by Pakistan that the strike had targeted an Afghan refugee camp. There were also conflicting accounts of the location of the drone strike and the number of people killed. A statement by Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday condemned the strike and maintained that it had "targeted an Afghan refugee camp in Kurram Agency" -- an assertion that the United States rejected on Thursday. "The claim in an M.F.A. statement yesterday that U.S. forces struck an Afghan refugee camp in Kurram Agency yesterday is false," said Richard W. Snelsire, the United States Embassy spokesman in Islamabad, Pakistan's capital. American officials said that there were no Afghan refugee camps in Kurram, a remote tribal region straddling the border with Afghanistan, where they said Wednesday's drone strike had taken place.

Artificial intelligence proves major time savings for federal employees


The phrase "artificial intelligence" can stir up a lot of panic at some federal agencies, and can give rise to the idea of intelligent machines putting some employees out of work. However, some federal agencies are embracing the idea of artificial intelligence, and in those test cases, adopting machine learning comes down to a few key strategies like starting small and managing expectations. While AI isn't a panacea for every big-data problem in government, agency leaders say they see value in using machine learning to handle the most tedious aspects of handling data, which frees up human operators to address more mission-critical issues. Insight by Red Hat: Agency experts examine the DevSecOps mindset in government. "Artificial intelligence is an imperative.

Drones Invasion Of Pop Culture: Fact or Fiction?

Forbes Europe

Maybe you've read the statistics on how many drones are filling our skies: The FAA anticipates 7 million by 2020. Perhaps you've heard about how drones are revolutionizing commercial operations. It's possible you know someone who has a drone of their own, or seen a quadcopter hovering over your local park. The reality is there's no shortage of drones filling our homes, stores, skies, and seas. It should come as no surprise that the technology is steadily making its way into our media.


AI Magazine

The Jobs of the Future Are a Thing of the Past. "You may have read about the outsourcing issue, the great X-factor in American politics today, in cover articles in Time, Wired, Business Week.... In New Hampshire, John Kerry was asked about the problem. His answer: 'We have to create the next wave of those kinds of jobs that come from the fact that we're highly educated and deeply committed to science and technology education.' He mentioned artificial intelligence--and drew a laugh from a computer science professor who noted that artificial intelligence, the gleaming dream of the 1990s, has hardly created a single job in the world."