Plus: Google trains 1.6-trillion-parameter AI model, popular software used for job screenings scraps facial-recognition feature In brief  Just days before President Trump is due to leave office, the White House created its National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office, which will sit under the Office of Science and Technology Policy.…
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The White House today announced the launch of its National AI Initiative Office, marking what should be President Trump‘s final manipulation of the country’s gutted Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). According to an OSTP press release: The Office is charged with overseeing and implementing the United States national AI strategy and will serve as the central hub for Federal coordination and collaboration in AI research and policymaking across the government, as well as with private sector, academia, and other stakeholders. Background: Over the course of the Trump presidency, the OSTP was whittled down from a record 135 staffers… This story continues at The Next Web
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A new National Strategy for Planetary Protection has been released by the White House, detailing some of the challenges that need to be addressed to avoid contamination of Earth from other planets, and vice-versa. The document, handiwork of a team assembled by the National Space Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy, sets out some of the questions to … Continue reading
He wanted to continue his education with a master's degree then look for a job at a local telecom company.But after an invitation to join a professor's lab, he developed a passion for research that prompted a rewrite.Burchfield's new path led to a PhD in computer engineering from the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science in 2011 and a job as a researcher at the Department of Defense Laboratory for Telecommunication Sciences, where he now leads a team dedicated to research into the secure operation of networked devices ranging from fitness trackers to internet routers.In July, Burchfield received the U.S. government's highest honor for "scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology": a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy coordinates the PECASE with participating federal departments and agencies.As part of their award, recipients may receive up to five years of funding to support their work.
Formed in September 2016 by a coalition of the largest tech companies in AI — Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM, and Microsoft — it is a nonprofit organization that advises corporations and governments on AI policy and seeks to answer big questions about the future, like how AI will influence the economy and society and how best to make safety-critical or transparent AI systems.Of the more than 100 notable organizations active on five continents that compose the Partnership, more than half are human rights groups like Amnesty International, Future of Life Institute, and GLAAD.From October to December, the Partnership will collect public input on ABOUT ML from groups typically underrepresented in technology, following the Diverse Voices method devised by the University of Washington’s Tech Policy Lab.Lyons was an architect of AI policy for the Obama Administration, working with the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy at a time when government began to more seriously consider unmanned aircraft in the sky; autonomous vehicles on roads; and a series of breakthroughs, like deep learning, that have led to the modern resurgence of machine learning.I still think there’s a lot of uncertainty and a lot of work to be done to provide a basis of knowledge for thoughtful standards to be developed, and that’s sort of part and parcel with what we’re here to do as an organization: It’s really to support government innovation and policy contributions on all the topics that we approach as an organization.This is my personal perspective, given my background: I think that almost no government is prepared to make policy in the right ways on a lot of the questions that are confronting us as a result of AI development, and I think that it’s mostly because government lacks the capacity — the technical capacity — to understand what’s happening in the field effectively and translate that into effective policy measures.
President Trump has named two George Washington University professors winners of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE): Chunlei Liang, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Volker J. Sorger, associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering."It's overwhelming and a true honor, and it underlines the STEM momentum of GW," Dr. Sorger said.According to the White House, the PECASE is "the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology."Federal agencies can nominate potential winners, who eventually are selected by the president and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.Dr. Liang's research on the fluid dynamics shaping the top third of the sun's radius is an important part of developing software that predicts "space weather": solar winds, flares and other astronomical phenomena.In a few decades, Dr. Liang said, such models might be as dependable as current models for predicting weather on Earth--useful because unpredictable space weather can interfere with the operation of spacecraft and satellites.
You can almost hear the gleam in Fred Kennedy’s eyes when he talks about the Space Development Agency, a new US Department of Defense organization.The Space Development Agency, which has only existed since March 12 (happy 2.36-month anniversary!The vision, right now, mostly involves hordes of small satellites keeping constant watch and shucking constant intel to Earth (be not afraid).Later, the agency could keep watch on spacecraft speeding beyond the usual orbits.Prior to that, he'd spent 23 years in the Air Force, including a three-year stint as a Darpa program manager, and then became a senior policy advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.Imitating the reaction, he adds, “‘Those are toys.’”
On Tuesday morning, President Trump lobbed another attack against Twitter on its own platform, calling the company “very discriminatory,” and saying “they don’t treat me well as a Republican.” He then accused the company of “playing political games,” and called on Congress to “get involved.” It wasn’t the first time Trump complained about a supposed anti-conservative bias on Twitter, but it was noteworthy for another reason: It turns out, the president was scheduled to meet Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey later that day.Twitter policy head Vijaya Gadde notified employees Tuesday that their boss was supposed to meet with Trump in a 30-minute closed-door meeting later that afternoon, according to a company-wide email reviewed by WIRED.According to the email sent Tuesday morning Pacific Time, Dorsey would be joined by both Colin Crowell, Twitter’s VP of public policy, and Lauren Culbertson, a public policy manager at Twitter.“There is no set agenda, but we expect for discussion to cover the health of the public conversation on Twitter,” Gadde wrote.Neither Twitter nor a spokesperson for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy immediately returned requests for comment.“Some of you will be very supportive of our meeting the president, and some of you might feel we shouldn’t take this meeting at all,” Dorsey wrote in a follow-up message to Gadde’s email, which was also sent to all Twitter staff.
President Donald Trump plans to nominate Michael Kratsios as the US' chief technology officer, filling a role that's been vacant since the beginning of the Trump administration, the White House said Thursday.The nomination would be a promotion for Kratsios, who's served as deputy US CTO and deputy assistant to the president at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy since January 2017.Before joining the Trump administration, Kratsios was a principal at Thiel Capital, an investment management firm.Kratsios has played a key role in directing government action to develop technologies such as artificial intelligence and 5G wireless networks.The CTO is part of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and advises the administration on topics such as technology and innovation.The position was created by the Obama administration in 2009, but it's been vacant since Megan Smith's departure when Trump was sworn in as president in January 2017.
More than two years into the Trump administration, the long vacant post of U.S. Chief Technology Officer will be filled.Bloomberg first reported that today Trump is elevating Michael Kratsios, current deputy U.S. CTO, to the nation’s top tech position.Prior to his experience within the Trump administration, Kratsios served as chief of staff at Peter Thiel’s investment firm Thiel Capital and as chief financial officer at another Thiel project, the hedge fund Clarium Capital.The U.S. CTO role was created during the Obama years and three CTOs have served to date, the last of which was former Googler Megan Smith, known for leading early acquisitions at Google before her move to Google.org.The CTO position advises the president on tech issues, works to shape tech policy and importantly serves as a link to the private sector.In contrast with his predecessors, Kratsios brings a distinct venture capital-colored perspective to the role, which sits within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
President Donald Trump on Monday directed federal agencies to improve the nation's artificial intelligence abilities -- and help people whose jobs are displaced by the automation it enables."Maintaining American leadership in AI requires a concerted effort to promote advancements in technology and innovation, while protecting American technology, economic and national security, civil liberties, privacy, and American values and enhancing international and industry collaboration with foreign partners and allies," Trump said in an executive order signed Monday.The order created the American AI Initiative, which will focus on five areas, according to a statement from the White House:Research and development: Federal funding agencies will be asked to "prioritize AI investments" in their allocations.Resources: AI researchers should have access to federal data, algorithms and computer processing.Standards: Standards to push the development of "reliable, robust, trustworthy, secure, portable and interoperable AI systems" will be set out by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
While nations around the world have launched programs to stimulate AI development, the Trump administration has practically ignored the topic.That will change later today, when President Tump is expected to sign an executive order creating the “American AI Initiative” — a high-level strategy guiding AI development within the US.The initiative will redirect federal funding and resources towards AI research, as well as call for the creation of US-led international standards in AI, and new research into the retraining of American workers.But the program includes no new funding for AI development, and is thin on details.Federal agencies will be asked to “prioritize AI investments” in their R budgets, and report how this money is spent to create a more comprehensive overview of government investment in artificial intelligence.Government bodies like the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will be asked to create standards that will guide the development of “reliable, robust, trustworthy, secure, portable, and interoperable AI systems.”
According to several outlets briefed over the weekend on the White House’s plans, President Trump will today sign an executive order establishing a program — the American AI Initiative — that’ll task federal agencies with devoting more resources to artificial intelligence (AI) research, training, and promotion.“AI is something that touches every aspect of people’s lives,” a White House official told Reuters.Rather, it merely directs federal agencies to increase access to government data, hardware infrastructure, and models and calls for better reporting and tracking of spending on AI-related research in areas like health care and transportation.Some have been proactive in this regard — the Defense Department set aside $75 million of its annual budget for a new fund devoted to developing AI technologies, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) says it has committed $2 billion to AI research.AI infrastructure: Federal data, computing resources, and models will be made available to AI researchers, which might result in partnerships like that between the Veterans Administration and Alphabet, Google’s parent company.AI governance: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Department of Transportation, the Food and Drug Administration, and other agencies will be asked to draft standards that guide the development of “reliable, robust, trustworthy, secure, portable, and interoperable AI systems,” like driverless cars and software that can diagnose disease.
The US Senate late Wednesday confirmed Kelvin Droegemeier, an extreme-weather expert, as President Donald Trump's top science and technology adviser after a lengthy vacancy.Droegemeier will be in the head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, advising the president on science matters that affect the country's economy, national security, environment, health and foreign relations.The role had been vacant for nearly two years, the office's longest stretch without a leader.The OSTP staffing level has plummeted under the Trump administration, which has alienated many scientists, in particular over the issue of global climate change.Former OSTP director John Holdren, who served during the presidency of Barack Obama, told the journal Science in 2017 that the office had peaked at 135 employees but dropped to 35.Droegemeier previously served as vice president of research and professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma.
Data breaches at hotels, banks, rideshare companies, and hospitals.We're living through the data privacy apocalypse, and it's time to figure out what happens next.Recently, Soltani testified before the US and UK governments about Facebook's privacy practices and how they make user data available to third parties.Soltani also authored the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, which regulates large companies that make more than 50 percent of their revenues from selling California residents' personal information.Soltani will be in conversation with Ars Technica editors Cyrus Farivar and Annalee Newitz.Soltani previously served a brief stint as a senior advisor to the US chief technology officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and as the chief technologist for the Federal Trade Commission, advising the commission on its technology-related policy as well as helping to create its new Office of Technology Research and Investigation.
US President Donald Trump has unveiled plans to create a National Spectrum Strategy to prepare the country prepare for the introduction of 5G wireless networks.The presidential memorandum, which was signed last week, directs the Secretary of Commerce to work with agencies and policy makers on all levels to develop a National Spectrum Strategy.As part of the strategy, the Secretary of the department will report annually to the President on efforts to repurpose spectrum, while a Spectrum Strategy Task Force will also be created which, including representatives from the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the National Security Council, the National Space Council, and the Council of Economic Advisers.“American companies and institutions rely heavily on high-speed wireless connections, with increasing demands on both speed and capacity,” the memorandum states.“Wireless technologies are helping to bring broadband to rural, unserved, and underserved parts of America.And as a Nation, our dependence on these airwaves is likely to continue to grow.”
The White House issued a memorandum today asking for a strategy around 5G deployment.The memorandum asks the relevant authorities to submit a report on the “status of existing efforts” to work on the technology.Executive branch departments would need to inform the White House within 180 days about their “future spectrum requirements.” The Office of Science and Technology Policy should report about how emerging tech, such as smart home gadgets, could affect demand for spectrum and how the government should allocate research and development spending to improve 5G efforts.Within 270 days, these branches and agencies would have to deliver a “long-term National Spectrum Strategy” to the White House that outlines some of these 5G systems and how they will improve the US’s global competitiveness compared to other countries.It’s essentially a very broad request you might find in a college student’s thesis paper.The FCC meanwhile has been working on 5G all this time, so it’s pretty late in the game for the White House to be coming in with questions.
The White House has issued a memorandum outlining the need for a new national wireless connectivity strategy; the document doesn’t really establish anything new, but does request lots of reports on how things are going.Strangely, what it proposes sounds a lot like what the FCC already does.The memorandum, heralded by a separate post announcing that “America Will Win the Global Race to 5G,” is not exactly a statement of policy, though it does put a few things out there.It’s actually more of a request for information on which to base a future policy — apparently one that will win us a global race that began years ago.In fact, the U.S. has been pursuing a broad 5G policy for quite a while now, and under President Obama we were the first country to allocate spectrum to the nascent standard.The Office of Science and Technology Policy is asked to report in the same time period on how emerging tech (smart homes and grids, for instance) could affect spectrum demand, and how research and development spending should be guided to improve spectrum access.
President Donald Trump intends to nominate an extreme-weather expert as his top science and technology adviser, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.Trump has chosen Kelvin Droegemeier, vice president of research and professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, to run the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the newspaper reported, citing an unidentified administration official.If the Senate approves Droegemeier's nomination, it would end a 19-month-long vacancy in the office.The OSTP's job is to advise the president on science matters that affect the country's economy, national security, environment, health and foreign relations.But the Trump administration has alienated many scientists, in particular over the issue of global climate change.The OSTP staffing level has plummeted since the Obama administration was in power, according to CBS News.
It turns out quantum computing is one of the few things US politicians can agree on.A bipartisan effort over the past few months has led to the formation of an Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) subcommittee focused on quantum technology.The big idea: Bills introduced in the House and Senate, by both Republicans and Democrats, last month seek to establish government support and funding for quantum computing research.The OSTP subcommittee will oversee these efforts.Government spending on quantum computing research has been budgeted in excess of $1.2 billion, not counting Department of Defense and DARPA projects.Why should we care: The government didn’t move this quickly to approve budgetary line items last year when a similar bipartisan effort to form an artificial intelligence subcommittee played out, but there’s a clear and present danger to national security when it comes to quantum computing.
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