Science & Technology

Pentagon Wants to Test A Space-Based Weapon in 2023

March 19, 2019

Defense officials want to test a neutral particle-beam in orbit in fiscal 2023 as part of a ramped-up effort to explore various types of space-based weaponry. They’ve asked for $304 million in the 2020 budget to develop such beams, more powerful lasers, and other new tech for next-generation missile defense.

How the U.S. and China can compete and cooperate on artificial intelligence

March 19, 2019

A PwC report estimates that by 2030, 70 percent of the profits generated by artificial intelligence (AI) technologies will be shared between the U.S. and China. While the two countries compete to develop the most advanced AI applications, there are also many opportunities for cooperation to mitigate the technology’s potential risks.

Kamala Harris's $15 Million Proposal to Fix Local Government Tech

March 19, 2019

The Digital Service Act of 2019, introduced Thursday, would allocate $15 million per year in grants to help states, cities, and Indian tribes establish their own team of tech experts and designers that will “update and rebuild” their digital services and online tools. Officials can apply for two-year grants of between $200,000 and $2.5 million, half of which is required to go toward paying the salaries of that team. The total amount awarded will depend on the size of a jurisdiction’s population.

FY 2020 Budget Request to Congress

March 19, 2019

Today, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released details of the President's Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Budget Request to Congress, which includes a proposed level of funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Revealed: First image of huge meteor explosion over Earth last year

March 19, 2019

It may not look like much, but this orangey brown puff of smoke high is the aftermath of the third largest meteor explosion to have impacted Earth in modern times. The huge meteor explosion hit Earth in December but was only spotted by researchers last week, and now we have visual evidence thanks to the camera of the geostationary Japanese Himawari-8 weather satellite.

Huge meteor explosion over Earth last year went unnoticed until now

March 19, 2019

A meteor caused a massive explosion over Earth last year, but nobody noticed until now. It is the second-largest recorded impact in the past century, after the meteor that exploded over the Russian region of Chelyabinsk in 2013. The giant fireball hit at 2350 GMT on 18 December over the Bering Sea, a part of the Pacific Ocean between Russia and Alaska.

It's Time for the U.S. to Lead on Data Privacy Law

March 18, 2019

Individuals are finally understanding just how much of their personal data has been mishandled and abused. Defeatism and angst seem to have set in following the steady stream of high-profile breaches and revelations of the vast monetization of personal data. Many even claim that privacy is dead and little can be done to stop this spigot of data leaks.

Don't Call It an 'Arms Race': US-China AI Competition Is Not Winner-Takes-All

March 18, 2019

To start with, the way some analysts--spanning government, industry, academia, journalism, think tanks--discuss an AI “arms race” makes it sound as if the development of these technologies is siloed within the United States and in China. But there are great interdependencies and interconnections between AI development in the two countries; artificial intelligence is not developed on isolated tracks.

Here's What One Tech Titan Thinks a National AI Strategy Should Be

March 18, 2019

The report urges the government to dictate specific funding commitments and resources to enable the innovation of AI systems. It calls for a study that demonstrates where the U.S. will get the most bang for its buck through research and development investments, and also encourages the administration to allocate AI funding to specific government agencies including the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Science Foundation.

New White House science director, reports: American S&T leadership increasingly through industry

March 17, 2019

In January, the U.S. Senate confirmed Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier as director of the White House Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and since the end of the partial federal government shutdown, the director and office have produced informative reports and speeches. Two common threads through these sources are emphases on continued American leadership in key tech sectors -- and that this leadership will increasingly occur in conjunction with, or under the direction of, private industry.

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