Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Worth Knowing

OpenAI experiment tests how AI might “evolve” through competition: Researchers observed teams of AI agents playing billions of games of hide-and-seek in an attempt to understand emergent behavior. Over time, agents learned to use available tools in increasingly complex ways — including adopting strategies that programmers did not expect. The researchers hope this type of reinforcement learning will allow AI systems to solve increasingly complex problems in the future, but found the number of repetitions required makes it difficult to apply this technique to real-world settings.
California legislature bans facial recognition use by law enforcement: Both houses of the California legislature passed AB-1215, which prohibits law enforcement from “installing, activating, or using any biometric surveillance system in connection with an officer camera” for three years. The bill now goes to Gov. Gavin Newsom; if he signs it, California will become the largest state to ban specific uses of facial recognition.
Kalaris Conference convenes AI and national security experts: U.S. security interests will suffer if the United States doesn’t work with its allies to invest wisely in AI capabilities, leading figures from the intelligence and defense communities said at the Kalaris Intelligence Conference last week. CSET and Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies co-hosted the annual conference. Among the speakers were Sue Gordon, former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, director of the DoD’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.
France releases military AI strategy: The French Ministry of the Armies has published a comprehensive report on military use of AI, building on the strategy laid out by Minister of Armies Florence Parly in April. The document establishes a Coordination Unit for Defense AI and a ministerial AI ethics committee, and it commits 430 million euros ($470 million) to AI research by 2025. The strategy describes the United States and China as global leaders in AI, but outlines a possible role for France if it coordinates with other nations within and outside the EU.
Government Updates

JAIC and GSA announce partnership to expand Pentagon’s use of AI: The General Services Administration and the DoD’s Joint AI Center announced their new partnership through the GSA’s Center of Excellence initiative on September 25th. They aim to expand the Pentagon’s use of AI by accelerating the delivery of AI capabilities and modernizing programmatic and acquisition processes. GSA also hopes the partnership will spur greater AI adoption across government.

Office of Technology Assessment Improvement and Enhancement Act introduced in House and Senate: Reps. Takano and Foster and Sens. Tillis and Hirono introduced the bipartisan Office of Technology Assessment Improvement and Enhancement Act in both houses of Congress on September 19th. It would revamp, rename and improve the OTA — which was defunded in 1995 — to ensure nonpartisan technology assessment is available to Congress. The House FY20 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill includes $6 million to fund the OTA; the Senate bill defers the issue until an ongoing report is complete.

MQ-25, the Navy’s unmanned refueling drone, completes successful test flight: The U.S. Navy announced a successful first test flight for its autonomous refueling drone, the Boeing-developed MQ-25 Stingray. The two-hour flight included autonomous taxi and takeoff. The Navy plans to integrate the MQ-25 into its strike arm by 2024 as the first carrier-launched autonomous unmanned aircraft.

Additional $8 million for NIST AI research included in Senate appropriations bill: The Senate FY20 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill includes $1.04 billion for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a $52.5 million increase above the FY19 enacted level. Of the additional funds, $8 million would be allocated to expand NIST’s AI research and measurement efforts, including developing resources to model AI behavior and train, test and compare AI systems.

In Translation
CSET's translations of significant foreign language documents on AI

The emerging technologies of interest to China’s military: Guidelines for Basic Research and Cutting-Edge Technology Projects (2018): Issued by China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, this document identifies several emerging technologies of interest to the Chinese military. SASTIND circulated these guidelines to Chinese universities and research institutes in 2018 to encourage them to apply for grants to conduct basic research in PLA areas of interest.

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