Academics agree to work together to ensure artificial intelligence serves the public interest

A new artificial intelligence organisation has been announced that is aiming to ensure that it is the public who benefits from AI technology.

ADA-AI has been formed by the all-female technology and science strategy team InspiredMinds to evaluate, develop and lobby policy and regulation concepts in AI.

“Our mission is to harness the positive potential outcomes of AI in society, the economy and everyday life in order to protect the interests of the public at large, particularly the groups who are underrepresented or at-risk,” said Sarah Porter, CEO of InspiredMinds.

“Nearly every day there is a new story on AI or advancements in the sector and this can sometimes be conflicting. The public need to be represented in an efficient way by the  same individuals who are working and understand the AI space, which is why we’ve decided to found ADA-AI.”

ADA-AI is to be comprised of 25 of the world’s most prolific AI advisers, most of whom will be announced at World Summit AI in Amsterdam.

What we do know so far is that the group’s first meeting will be chaired by Gary Marcus who is a professor at New York University, as well as the founder of Geometric Intelligence, which is the AI company recently acquired by Uber.

Other academics already known to be joining the organisation include: Amir Banifatemi of AI Lead and X Prize; Kathryn Myronuk, who is the synthesis and convergence faculty lead at Singularity University; the co-founder of WeRobotics Andrew Schroeder; Joel Mhyre of One Concern; Kate Devlin, who works on AI at Goldsmiths University and Virginia Dignum who already sits on the Foundation for Responsible Robotics committee.

ADA-AI isn’t the only artificial intelligence committee to be announced today.

Deepmind, Google’s London-based AI research team, has also announced that it will open a new unit that will focus on the ethical and societal questions raised by artificial intelligence.

“As scientists developing AI technologies, we have a responsibility to conduct and support open research and investigation into the wider implications of our work. At DeepMind, we start from the premise that all AI applications should remain under meaningful human control, and be used for socially beneficial purposes,” said the unit’s co-leads, Verity Harding and Sean Legassick, in a blogpost announcing its creation.

DeepMind’s Go-playing AI can learn the game for itself now

Google’s AI subsidiary DeepMind believes it is one step closer to creating AI with general intelligence because its Go-playing software, AlphaGo, has been updated and can now teach itself how to play. AlphaGo Zero was only programmed with Go's basic rules, and from there it learns everything else by itself.

Source: The Verge

UK spies monitoring social media in mass surveillance tactic

The privacy rights group Privacy International says it has obtained evidence for the first time that UK spy agencies are collecting social media information on potentially millions of people. The discovery raises concerns about whether effective oversight of the mass surveillance programs is in place.

Source: TechCrunch

Blue Origin passes hot-fire test

Blue Origin, the aerospace company fronted and largely funded by Jeff Bezos, has released footage of its BE-4 engine's first and successful completion of a hot-fire test. The successful hotfire supports the idea that Blue Origin could in the future be used for orbital and deep space missions.

Source: Ars Technica

5G to be used by 1 billion people in 2023 with China set to dominate

Analysts at CCS Insight have predicted that 5G technology will be in place by 2020, with China being the main beneficiary. "China will dominate 5G thanks to its political ambition to lead technology development," said Marina Koytcheva, VP Forecasting at CCS Insight.

Source: CNBC

Climate change makes it more likely to see hurricanes in Europe

Meteorologists from the University of Bristol have predicted that the likelihood of hurricane-force storms hitting the UK, much like Hurricane Ophelia did this week, will be enhanced in the future due to human-induced climate change.

Source: New Scientist

Russia to launch 'CryptoRuble’

According to local news sources, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the nation will issue its own cryptocurrency at a closed door meeting in Moscow. The news broke via minister of communications, Nikolay Nikiforov.

Source: Coin Telegraph

Human habitat located on the Moon that will shield us from its extreme elements

Researchers have discovered a potential habitat on the Moon, which may protect astronauts from hazardous conditions on the surface.

No one has ever been on the Moon for longer than three days, largely because space suits alone can’t shield astronauts from its elements: extreme temperature variation, radiation, and meteorite impacts. Unlike Earth, the Moon also has no atmosphere or magnetic field to protects its inhabitants.

However, in a study published in Geophysical Research Letters, researchers have claimed that the safest place for astronauts to seek shelter is inside an intact lava tube.

“It’s important to know where and how big lunar lava tubes are if we’re ever going to construct a lunar base,” said Junichi Haruyama, a senior researcher at JAXA, Japan’s space agency.

Image courtesy of Purdue University/David Blair. Featured image courtesy of NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

Lava tubes are naturally occurring channels formed when a lava flow develops a hard crust, which thickens and forms a roof above the still-flowing lava stream. Once the lava stops flowing, the tunnel sometimes drains, forming a hollow void.

The Lava tubes located by Purdue University researchers are said to be spacious enough to house one of the United States’ largest cities, and while their existence – and in particular their entrance near the Marius Hills Skylight – was previously known, their size was previously an unknown quantity.

“They knew about the skylight in the Marius Hills, but they didn’t have any idea how far that underground cavity might have gone,” said Jay Melosh, professor of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University.

“Our group at Purdue used the gravity data over that area to infer that the opening was part of a larger system. By using this complimentary technique of radar, they were able to figure out how deep and high the cavities are.”

At the first meeting of the US’ reintroduced National Space Council, vice president Mike Pence announced that the Trump administration will redirect America’s focus to travelling back to the Moon.

Pence’s declaration marks a fundamental change for NASA, which abandoned plans to send people to the moon in favour of Mars under President Barack Obama.

“We will return NASA astronauts to the moon – not only to leave behind footprints and flags, but to build the foundation we need to send Americans to Mars and beyond,” Pence said.