Science & Technology

Is America's AI strategy sufficient to keep up with rivals?

June 11, 2018

This new focus on AI is part of the US’s renewed drive to advance its at-home capabilities, to keep up with competitors, such as China and Russia. The news is somewhat of a change of heart from the Trump administration. Some members of the government had previously shown initial skepticism about the technology, which contrasted starkly with China’s full-throttle approach.

Does It Matter If China Beats the US to Build a 5G Network?

June 11, 2018

"The United States will not get a second chance to win the global 5G race," Meredith Attwell Baker, president and CEO of the wireless industry group CTIA, warned in April, when the group released a report concluding that the US trails China and South Korea in preparing for 5G (fifth generation) networks. If that doesn’t change, the report warns, the US economy will suffer.

This Is the Week that the Drone Surveillance State Became Real

June 11, 2018

Affordable consumer technology has made surveillance cheap and commoditized AI software has made it automatic. Those two trends merged this week, when drone manufacturer DJI partnered June 5 with Axon, the company that makes Taser weapons and police body cameras, to sell drones to local police departments around the United States. Now, not only do local police have access to drones, but footage from those flying cameras will be automatically analyzed by AI systems not disclosed to the public.

The US Again Has the World's Most Powerful Supercomputer

June 10, 2018

Plenty of people around the world got new gadgets Friday, but one in Eastern Tennessee stands out. Summit, a new supercomputer unveiled at Oak Ridge National Lab is, unofficially for now, the most powerful calculating machine on the planet. It was designed in part to scale up the artificial intelligence techniques that power some of the recent tricks in your smartphone.

Curiosity Rover Discovers Ancient 'Building Blocks for Life' on Mars

June 08, 2018

Organic molecules are considered one of the basic building blocks of life. The compounds discovered on Mars could have been produced by living things, or they could have been food for those living things. This doesn’t constitute proof that life existed on Mars, though. Other processes that have nothing to do with living organisms can create organic compounds as well. Still, this discovery is very encouraging in the context of what we know about Mars in the distant past.

This chart shows how China is dominating fintech

June 08, 2018

Even at a European conference about fintech, one country dominated the conversation: China. This week, hundreds of fintech companies, from startups to tech giants, gathered at the Money 20/20 conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands. One key theme at the gathering was China's leading role in the fintech industry.

U.S. lawmakers press Facebook over Chinese data sharing

June 07, 2018

Facebook Inc faced criticism on Wednesday from Republican and Democratic U.S. lawmakers who demanded that the social media company be more forthcoming about data it has shared with four Chinese firms.

NOAA's New Weather Satellite Delivers Amazing First Images Despite Defect

June 06, 2018

The 1990s era hardware wasn’t up to the task of gathering the data scientists want, but the agency deployed the first of its new generation GOES-R satellites in 2016. Earlier this year, a second GOES satellite went into orbit. It has just sent back its first stunning images of Earth, but there are some glitches that keep the system for working at full capacity.

The US Navy Is Developing Mothership Drones for Coastal Defense

June 06, 2018

The U.S. Navy and researchers from Florida Atlantic University are developing robotic boats that can launch aerial and sub drones to protect U.S. coastal waters. "Our focus will be on developing a multi-vehicle system that can safely and reliably navigate coastal waters with a high level of autonomy while performing assigned tasks...

The greatest risk from artificial intelligence

June 06, 2018

Among the most important lessons in human history is that those who adopt innovation in the most advantageous manner often triumph over competitors. This has never been truer than in the rapidly evolving artificial intelligence revolution underway, where we face great risk from a tripartite of totalitarian nations, corporate oligopolies and complacent democracies.

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