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Archive for the ‘policy’ category: Page 2

Aug 19, 2021

Maya Abi Chahine, Program Manager, University for Seniors, American University of Beirut

Posted by in categories: education, life extension, policy

“University Of The 3rd Age” — Seniors Staying Intellectually Challenged, Socially Engaged, And Physically And Mentally Healthy — Maya Abi Chahine, University for Seniors, American University of Beirut (AUB)


AUB (https://www.aub.edu.lb/seniors/Pages/default.aspx).

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Aug 17, 2021

Ashley Llorens — VP, Distinguished Scientist & Managing Director, Microsoft Research Outreach

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

Intelligent systems engineer, STEM advocate, hip-hop artist — ashley llorens, VP, distinguished scientist, managing director microsoft research, microsoft.


Ashley Llorens (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/allorens/) is Vice President, Distinguished Scientist & Managing Director, at Microsoft Research Outreach, where he leads a global team to amplify the impact of research at Microsoft and to advance the cause of science and technology research around the world. His team is responsible for driving strategy and execution for Microsoft Research engagement with the rest of Microsoft and with the broader science and technology community, and they invest in high-impact collaborative research projects on behalf of the company, create pipelines for diverse, world-class talent, and generate awareness of the current and envisioned future impact of science and technology research.

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Aug 11, 2021

Big Tech’s Stranglehold on Artificial Intelligence Must Be Regulated

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, economics, policy, robotics/AI

In other words, the mix of positives and negatives puts this potent new suite of technologies on a knife-edge. Do we have confidence that a handful of companies that have already lost public trust can take AI in the right direction? We should have ample reason for worry considering the business models driving their motivations. To advertising-driven companies like Google and Facebook, it’s clearly beneficial to elevate content that travels faster and draws more attention—and misinformation usually does —while micro-targeting that content by harvesting user data. Consumer product companies, such as Apple, will be motivated to prioritize AI applications that help differentiate and sell their most profitable products—hardly a way to maximize the beneficial impact of AI.

Yet another challenge is the prioritization of innovation resources. The shift online during the pandemic has led to outsized profits for these companies, and concentrated even more power in their hands. They can be expected to try to maintain that momentum by prioritizing those AI investments that are most aligned with their narrow commercial objectives while ignoring the myriad other possibilities. In addition, Big Tech operates in markets with economies of scale, so there is a tendency towards big bets that can waste tremendous resources. Who remembers IBM’s Watson initiative? It aspired to become the universal, go-to digital decision tool, especially in healthcare—and failed to live up to the hype, as did the trendy driverless car initiatives of Amazon and Google parent Alphabet. While failures, false starts, and pivots are a natural part of innovation, expensive big failures driven by a few enormously wealthy companies divert resources away from more diversified investments across a range of socially productive applications.

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Jul 26, 2021

Lisa Gable — Chief Executive Officer — Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, food, government, health, policy

Improving Quality Of Life & Health, For Hundreds Of Millions Globally, Suffering Food Allergies & Intolerances — Lisa Gable, Chief Executive Officer, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)


Lisa Gable is the Chief Executive Officer, of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE — https://www.foodallergy.org), an organization with a mission to improve the quality of life and the health of 85 million Americans with food allergies and food intolerances, including 32 million of those are at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments. To date FARE has turned over $100 million in donor gifts into ground-breaking research and has provided a voice for the community, advocating on its behalf and offering hope for a better tomorrow.

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Jul 25, 2021

With jobkeeper back on the table, it’s once again a good time to talk about how we should deal with welfare as a country

Posted by in categories: economics, policy, security

We hand out cash freely to some people, while we plague others with fraudulent debt notices that may cripple financially, with dire ultimate consequences.

There is a case to be made for a universal basic income (UBI) — an unconditional payment to everyone that ensures the basics of life are catered for. It may give people security to leave a bad situation, or freedom to pursue a new future. No conditions means no bureaucracy, which improves productivity and efficiency, and the universal nature of UBI means even conservatives can get on board.

But how to afford such a payment? Surely giving away free money would blow the budget?

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Jul 18, 2021

Where You Live Can Greatly Affect Your Heart and Brain Health

Posted by in categories: health, neuroscience, policy

Something to consider.

“The whole idea of lifestyle choices as something everyone can tap into is misleading, when in fact that choice is constrained by what is available to people,” he said. “This is where policy solutions or investments into these neighborhoods to make up for historical disinvestment becomes so important.”


Summary: The neighborhood you live in could have an impact on your brain and cardiovascular health, a new study reports.

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Jul 12, 2021

The argument for a permanent Olympic City

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, entertainment, finance, internet, policy

Olympic stadiums can be costly and wasteful. Some have argued for a single, more sustainable, location that can be used year after year.


The summer Olympics have been a quadrennial tradition ever since the late 1800s—when modern sports and rivalries freshened up the ancient tradition. Since COVID-19 crashed the schedule for last years’ events, now the world is gearing up again for another round of competition in Tokyo.

Transporting athletes and fans from all over the world and to cities hosting the Olympic games comes with a gigantic carbon footprint, for example, the 2021 London Olympics had an estimated footprint of over 400 thousand tons of CO2 emissions. Constantly building brand-new stadiums every few years that often go unused after the games, with very few exceptions, is also extremely wasteful. The 2016 Rio Olympics whipped up a whopping 3.6 million tonnes of carbon when including all that went into infrastructure. Eerie listicles of decaying stadiums, including Rio’s, litter the internet with costly examples of the wasted hundreds of millions of dollars worth of labor and materials that go into just one site.

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Jul 9, 2021

Stumble-proof robot adapts to challenging terrain in real time

Posted by in categories: policy, robotics/AI

Robots have a hard time improvising, and encountering an unusual surface or obstacle usually means an abrupt stop or hard fall. But researchers have created a new model for robotic locomotion that adapts in real time to any terrain it encounters, changing its gait on the fly to keep trucking when it hits sand, rocks, stairs and other sudden changes.

Although robotic movement can be versatile and exact, and robots can “learn” to climb steps, cross broken terrain and so on, these behaviors are more like individual trained skills that the robot switches between. Although robots like Spot famously can spring back from being pushed or kicked, the system is really just working to correct a physical anomaly while pursuing an unchanged policy of walking. There are some adaptive movement models, but some are very specific (for instance this one based on real insect movements) and others take long enough to work that the robot will certainly have fallen by the time they take effect.

The team, from Facebook AI, UC Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon University, call it Rapid Motor Adaptation. It came from the fact that humans and other animals are able to quickly, effectively and unconsciously change the way they walk to fit different circumstances.

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Jul 2, 2021

Stimers Issues Warning Regarding China and Russia Advances in Outer Space

Posted by in categories: policy, space

Portland, Oregon – June 21, 2021 – World-acclaimed space policy and law expert, who advises the U.S. House, Senate and White House, Paul Stimers, issued a stern warning regarding the U.S. space program on The Costa Report today. “Don’t try to do what China is doing. It’s a trap,” cautioned Stimers.

According to the Washington DC insider, as China’s state-sponsored space program accelerates and challenges U.S. leadership, the U.S. may be tempted to change course. Stimers reminds leaders this is a temptation which has historically produced dismal results. Instead, Stimers claims the best way to protect the U.S. lead in space is for the government to clear the path for “commercial space operations to scale.”

As an example, today the FAA treats every U.S. space flight as a one-off event, causing applications, clearances, etc., to be tedious, slow and costly. By making it possible to process ten, twenty, thirty of the same types of space flights at one time, commercial companies will be able to grow the industry much faster. Stimers urges U.S. leaders to streamline current regulations and procedures so space transportation becomes as routine as conventional airline travel. When leaders begin treating outer space as “a place, rather than a mission,” Stimers believes policies and regulations will fall in line with what U.S. commercial ventures need to stay in front.

Stimers also expressed concerns over China and Russia’s rejection of the Artemis Accords. NASA’s Artemis Accords spell out basic principles on how nations can peacefully operate in space — including fundamentals such as providing emergency mutual aid, sharing scientific knowledge, allowing access to newly discovered resources, etc. China and Russia’s refusal to join the agreement is one of many indications they intend to abide by a different set of rules in space – rules which include claiming ownership and exclusive use. Host of The Costa Report, Rebecca Costa, concurs, “He who establishes beachheads on the Moon, Mars and other celestial bodies first, makes the rules. We can’t afford to let China or Russia get there and carve everything into private property. What then? We go to war in space?”

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Jun 11, 2021

The coming productivity boom

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, policy, robotics/AI

When you put these three factors together—the bounty of technological advances, the compressed restructuring timetable due to covid-19, and an economy finally running at full capacity—the ingredients are in place for a productivity boom. This will not only boost living standards directly, but also frees up resources for a more ambitious policy agenda.


AI and other digital technologies have been surprisingly slow to improve economic growth. But that could be about to change.

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