Collaborating Authors


How We Learned To Break Down Barriers To Machine Learning - AI Summary


This article is the first in a short series of pieces that will recap each of the day's talks for the benefit of those who weren't able to travel to DC for our first conference. Dr. Sephus came to AWS via a roundabout path, growing up in Mississippi before eventually joining a tech startup called Partpic. When asked, she identified access as the biggest barrier to the greater use of AI/ML--in a lot of ways, it's another wrinkle in the old problem of the digital divide. A core component of being able to utilize most common AI/ML tools is having reliable and fast Internet access, and drawing on experience from her background, Dr. Sephus pointed out that a lack of access to technology in primary schools in poorer areas of the country sets kids on a path away from being able to use the kinds of tools we're talking about. Dr. Sephus said that AWS has been hiring sociologists and psychologists to join its tech teams to figure out ways to tackle the digital divide by meeting people where they are rather than forcing them to come to the technology.

Lightning bolt extending across 3 US states sets global record

Al Jazeera

A lightning bolt that stretched for 768 kilometres (477.2 miles) across the southern United States in 2020 is the new world record holder for the longest single flash, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The mega flash extended across the states of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi on April 29, 2020, beating the previous record set on October 31, 2018, in Brazil of 709km (440.6 miles), the United Nations agency said on Tuesday. Reporting a separate record, the WMO said a single lightning flash over Uruguay and northern Argentina on June 18, 2020, lasted 17.1 seconds, eclipsing the old-time record of 16.7 seconds. WMO has verified 2 new world records for a lightning #megaflash Longest distance single flash of 768 km (477.2 miles) across southern #USA – 60 kilometres MORE than old record Greatest duration of 17.102 seconds over #Uruguay and northern #Argentina The findings by WMO's Committee on Weather and Climate Extremes were published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

See the Mississippi River's hidden history, uncovered by lasers

National Geographic

For cartographers and cartophiles, Harold Fisk's 1944 maps of the lower Mississippi River are a seminal work. The centerpiece of his report was 15 maps showing the meandering Mississippi and its historical floodplains stretching from Missouri to southern Louisiana. More than seven decades later, Daniel Coe, a cartographer for the Washington Geological Survey, wanted to re-create Fisk's maps with greater accuracy and a new aesthetic. Coe had the advantage of hyperprecise U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data collected using lidar, a system of laser pulses sent from aircraft to measure topography. The lasers detect the river's shape along with everything around it--every house, tree, and road.

In Mississippi, Back to School and the Delta Variant Are a "Recipe for Disaster"


Right about now, a whole lot of parents are looking around and asking themselves: What is school going to look like this year? Here in New York, this is the time of year when I get letters telling me who my kids' teachers are going to be and how to track down school supplies. In other parts of the country, kids are already back in classrooms. And after more than a year of disrupted and hybrid learning, everyone has had this hope that this year will be different. You just have to press play on a couple of videos from school board meetings across the country to realize how elusive "normal" still is. A lot of the meetings I've been watching recently are about masks--who should be wearing them and who shouldn't.

I SEE U, Episode 10: Black A I = Artificial Inclusion


A young computer scientist who grew up in Mississippi is focusing her efforts on fairness and identifying biases in technology. Though she's working in Atlanta as an artificial intelligence researcher for Amazon, she's reinvesting much of her earnings towards the development of a multi-million dollar innovation center that's set to transform her native downtown Jackson. Dr. Nashlie Sephus is also CEO of The Bean Path -- a non-profit that works to bridge the "tech gap" in communities where access to technical expertise, computer coding and other resources are limited. She speaks candidly with host Eddie Robinson about her experiences in closing commercial real estate deals in the Deep South and how she's worked in a field of study where there's not many Black women with PhDs. Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

Let's Meet MISSI! She's Mississippi's First Artificial Chatbot.


Before introducing MISSI (Government of Mississippi State Chatbot), let me give you a brief background on AI Chatbots so that you can understand the importance of her better. Chatbots are not toys as they sound. Instead, they are used by business and government organizations for important client and citizen services. In another Gartner report, by 2022, $3.9 trillion projected AI-derived business value growth could occur. In addition, a Juniper Research report expects $8 billion projected business cost savings from chatbots by 2022.

King County ban on police use of facial recognition software spotlights local movements across US


Facial recognition opponents rejoiced this week after the local government of King County, Washington voted to ban local police from using the technology. The move was notable for a number of reasons. The ACLU of Washington said in a statement that the new King County ban on police use of facial recognition software was the first in the country to be county-wide and cover multiple cities. Electronic Frontier Foundation senior staff attorney Adam Schwartz added that it was the most populous government body to institute a ban, with more than two million residents within its borders. The ban was also hailed among privacy advocates as a direct shot at Microsoft and Amazon, both of which have headquarters in King County's biggest city: Seattle.

Network and Physical Layer Attacks and countermeasures to AI-Enabled 6G O-RAN Artificial Intelligence

Abstract--Artificial intelligence (AI) will play an increasing role in cellular network deployment, configuration and management. This paper examines the security implications of AI-driven 6G radio access networks (RANs). While the expected timeline for 6G standardization is still several years out, pre-standardization efforts related to 6G security are already ongoing and will benefit from fundamental and experimental research. The Open RAN (O-RAN) describes an industry-driven open architecture and interfaces for building next generation RANs with AI control. Considering this architecture, we identify the critical threats to data driven network and physical layer elements, the corresponding countermeasures, and the research directions. The steady increase in the number of connected devices and the heterogeneous types of communications performance demands have driven the wireless business and research and development (R&D) efforts.

How Face Recognition Can Destroy Anonymity


Stepping out in public used to make a person largely anonymous. Unless you met someone you knew, nobody would know your identity. Cheap and widely available face recognition software means that's no longer true in some parts of the world. Police in China run face algorithms on public security cameras in real time, providing notifications whenever a person of interest walks by. China provides an extreme example of the possibilities stemming from recent improvements in face recognition technology.

Local entrepreneur: Artificial intelligence could define future warfare


With increased speed, enhanced force and lower cost, the application of artificial intelligence (AI) on weapons will define the next generation of warfare, Gary Butler, founder of Starkville-based tech company Camgian Microsystems, told Starkville Rotary Club members Monday afternoon. Butler, a Mississippi native, has been working on advanced technology for roughly 20 years, with a focus on sensor systems and AI-based technologies, according to his LinkedIn page. Over the years, he has worked on system development with the U.S. military and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Camgian, which he founded in 2006, has provided research and development service to several government and financial agencies. With years of experience researching AI technology and its military use, Butler said the application of the technology in weaponry seems the natural step.