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Archive for the ‘policy’ category

Nov 13, 2017

Seven minutes of terror: AI activists turn concerns about killer robots into a movie

Posted by in categories: drones, policy, robotics/AI

As if the mere phrase “killer robots” weren’t scary enough, AI researchers and policy advocates have put together a video that combines present-tense AI and drone technologies with future-tense nightmares.

The disturbing seven-minute movie is being released to coincide with a pitch being made on Monday in Geneva during talks relating to the U.N. Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, or CCW.

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Nov 8, 2017

U.S. officials are having a ‘Sputnik moment’ over AI innovation in China

Posted by in categories: climatology, economics, policy, quantum physics, robotics/AI, security, sustainability

Today’s Sputnik moment is China’s rapid growth as an economic and technological superpower. In 2017 alone, China has outpaced the United States in renewable energy efforts and has become the standard-bearer in combating climate change and advocacy for globalization. Similarly, China is rapidly moving towards taking the lead in technology from the United States and is looking at quantum computing and artificial intelligence as areas for growth to do so.

The Verge recently published an article citing Alphabet chief executive officer Eric Schmidt’s perspective that the United States is falling behind when it comes to research and development in artificial intelligence, particularly compared to the rapid pace of innovation that China has set in the field. Schmidt, who is also the chair of the Defense Innovation Advisory Board, gave those remarks as part of a discussion at The Artificial Intelligence and Global Security Summit held by The Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a nonprofit think tank dedicated to research and analysis on how the United States can make informed policy-making decisions on national security and defense.

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Nov 2, 2017

Google’s former CEO says US could fail in the AI competition with China

Posted by in categories: military, policy, robotics/AI

Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt says the US is at risk of falling behind in the race to develop cutting-edge artificial intelligence. Speaking at a tech summit organized by national security think tank CNAS, Schmidt predicted that America’s lead in the field would continue “over the next five years” before China catches up “extremely quickly.”

“They are going to use this technology for both commercial and military objectives, with all sorts of implications,” said Schmidt, referencing a Chinese policy document outlining the country’s ambition to become the global leader in AI by 2030. Schmidt reiterated several familiar talking points in this debate, primarily that the US is failing to invest in basic research, and that a restrictive immigration policy hobbles the country’s ability to attract AI talent from overseas.

“Some of the very best people are in countries that we won’t let into America. Would you rather have them building AI somewhere else, or rather have them here?” said Schmidt. “Iran produces some of the top computer scientists in the world, and I want them here. To be clear, I want them working for Alphabet and Google!”

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Oct 5, 2017

Pence Pledges the U.S. Will Go to the Moon, Mars and Beyond

Posted by in categories: government, military, policy, satellites, space

Washington (AP) — Seated before the grounded space shuttle Discovery, a constellation of Trump administration officials used soaring rhetoric to vow to send Americans back to the moon and then on to Mars.

After voicing celestial aspirations, top officials moved to what National Intelligence Director Dan Coats called “a dark side” to space policy. Coats, Vice President Mike Pence, other top officials and outside space experts said the United States has to counter and perhaps match potential enemies’ ability to target U.S. satellites.

Pence, several cabinet secretaries and White House advisers gathered in the shadow of the shuttle at the Smithsonian Institution’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center to chart a new path in space — government, commercial and military — for the country. It was the first meeting of the National Space Council, revived after it was disbanded in 1993.

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Oct 5, 2017

New space race to Mars pits NASA vs. SpaceX

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, policy, space, space travel

Entrepreneur Elon Musk’s announcement last week accelerating plans for manned flights to Mars ratchets up political and public relations pressure on NASA’s efforts to reach the same goal.

With Musk publicly laying out a much faster schedule than NASA — while contending his vision is less expensive and could be financed primarily with private funds — a debate unlike any before is shaping up over the direction of U.S. space policy.

Read: Before Elon Musk can get SpaceX to Mars, he must overcome these nontechnical hurdles.

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Sep 28, 2017

Open Consultation of the WHO on Research Priorities for Healthy Aging

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, policy

Very recently, the World Health Organization, which is essentially the United Nations’ agency for coordinating international health-related efforts, has launched The Global Online Consultation on Research Priority Setting for Healthy Aging. A corresponding survey is available on the WHO website and can be filled until September 30. As WHO is the main source of policy recommendations for the UN member states, its position can significantly influence the allocation of state funding to different areas of scientific research.

This is why we at LEAF urge you to step in and fill out the WHO survey; our community needs to demand more focused efforts to understand the basic mechanisms of aging, to develop innovative therapies to address these mechanisms, and to remove the barriers delaying the implementation of rejuvenation technologies into clinical practice.

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Sep 24, 2017

Letting teens sleep in would save the country roughly $9 billion a year

Posted by in categories: economics, education, policy

The United States would realize roughly $9 billion a year in economic gains by instituting a simple, nationwide policy change: starting public school classes no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

That’s according to an exhaustive new study by the Rand Corporation, the first of its kind to model the nationwide costs and benefits of later school start times.

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Sep 24, 2017

100 Million Passengers Every Year

Posted by in categories: economics, food, government, health, policy, sustainability

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Sep 22, 2017

Too few antibiotics in pipeline to tackle global drug-resistance crisis, WHO warns

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, policy

Ed Whiting, director of policy at the Wellcome Trust agreed and said: “There is no doubt of the urgency – the world is running out of effective antibiotics and drug-resistant infections already kill 700,000 people a year globally. We’ve made good progress in getting this on the political agenda. But now, a year on from a major UN agreement, we must see concerted action – to reinvigorate the antibiotic pipeline, ensure responsible use of existing antibiotics, and address this threat across human, animal and environmental health.”

The report’s authors have found 51 new antibiotics and biologicals currently in development that may be able to treat the diseases caused by these resistant bugs. But that will not be anywhere near enough because of the length of time it takes to get drugs approved and onto the market, and because inevitably some of the drugs will not work.

“Given the average success rates and development times in the past, the current pipeline of antibiotics and biologicals could lead to around 10 new approvals over the next five years,” says the report. “However, these new treatments will add little to the already existing arsenal and will not be sufficient to tackle the impending antimicrobial resistance threat.”

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Sep 15, 2017

Keith Comito on the SCIQ on TYT show talking about why policy needs science to make wise and accurate decisions regarding how society is managed

Posted by in categories: policy, science

It is critical that those responsible for running our nations have scientific knowledge in order to make the right decisions instead of making them based on misunderstandings of what the real science is.

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