Wednesday March 18, 2020

Worth Knowing

AI Organizations Aid in the Fight Against Coronavirus: Over the last few weeks, AI researchers and companies have attempted to use machine learning to combat the coronavirus, but so far, the results are mostly untested. Key areas of application include:
Amid the influx of interest, experts warn against overhyping AI’s role. In addition to the newness of the technology, researchers say it’s been difficult to get reliable data on COVID-19 due to restrictions on medical information, inconsistent accounts and lack of testing. To facilitate future AI use in helping cure diseases, the Defense Innovation Board called for digitizing the world’s largest collection of human pathological tissue samples.
TSMC Weighs Opening Foundry in the US: The world’s largest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., may build a state-of-the-art foundry in the United States, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. The discussions follow pressure from Washington and the growing possibility of the company being caught in the U.S.-China trade war. Currently, the United States lacks a foundry capable of manufacturing the most advanced chips, so many leading-edge AI chips designed by U.S. firms are fabricated at TSMC’s Taiwan-based foundries. TSMC is purportedly considering producing chips with 2 nanometer technology in the new factory, which could make it the world’s most cutting-edge foundry.
PAI Launches Project on Publication Norms: The Partnership on AI — a multi-stakeholder group of tech companies, academics and nonprofits — is developing publication practices for responsible AI. Despite norms of openness in the machine learning community, PAI’s project explores when and how researchers should publish novel results that could be misused. PAI’s research builds on their earlier work on this topic and will involve soliciting feedback from the machine learning community, organizing a workshop and ultimately publishing a set of community recommendations.
US Home to Majority of Top AI Startups: A majority of the most promising AI startups are based in the United States, according to a new report by CB Insights. Assessing factors such as patents, investor profiles, tech novelty, market potential and team strength, the researchers created a metric to select the top 100 startups from a pool of 5,000. According to their analysis, 65 of these leading startups are located in the United States, followed by eight in both Canada and the United Kingdom and six in China. Collectively, the 100 startups have raised more than $7.4B in funding from 600 investors.
Government Updates

National AI Initiative Act Introduced in House: House Science Committee Chairwoman Johnson, Ranking Member Lucas and Reps. McNerney, Olson, Lipinski and Weber introduced the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act of 2020 last week. The bipartisan legislation aims to accelerate and coordinate federal investments in AI through measures including formalizing interagency coordination, creating an advisory committee and establishing AI institutes to facilitate partnerships between academia, public and private sectors. The legislation would support standards development at NIST, as well as AI research at the NSF and DOE. Sens. Heinrich, Portman and Schatz introduced a bill with many of the same aims in May, although there are several significant differences.

IC Developing AI Ethical Principles: The intelligence community is developing principles for ethical use of AI, according to Ben Huebner, Chief of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Office of Civil Liberties, Privacy, and Transparency. The framework will focus on the aspects of machine learning that are new to the IC, particularly relating to transparency, privacy and accuracy. Hueber noted the ODNI has general “consensus” with the DOD’s Joint AI Center, and the guidelines will likely resemble those adopted by the DOD in late February.

Deepfakes In Federal Elections Prohibition Act Introduced in House: Reps. Lynch, DeSaulnier, Welch and Cooper introduced the Deepfakes in Federal Elections Prohibition Act, which would limit the distribution of materially deceptive audio or video prior to a federal election. The legislation would amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit the malicious distribution of manipulated media of a candidate within 60 days of a federal election. An exception would be made if the media is labeled as manipulated.

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

Foreign Expert Recruitment Plan: Notice of the Office of the Ministry of Science and Technology Declaring the 2019 High-End Foreign Expert Recruitment Plan. The Ministry of Science and Technology describes a plan to entice foreign scientists, professors and entrepreneurs to work in China. Chinese companies, universities and research institutes apply on behalf of their prospective foreign employees.

AI Pilot Zones: China Creates National New Generation Artificial Intelligence Innovation and Development Pilot Zones. The Ministry of Science and Technology announced the establishment of four new AI Pilot Zones in cities across China, which encourage the expansion of China’s AI industry in cities where it is already developing. The ministry created the first seven such zones in 2019 and plans to build 20 by 2023.

What We’re Reading

Project: AI Chips, MacroPolo (March 2020)

Report: A Quantitative History of AI Research in the United States and China, Daniel Ish, Andrew Lohn and Christian Curriden (September 2019)

Report: Allies and Artificial Intelligence: Obstacles to Operations and Decision-Making, Texas National Security Review (March 2020)

Response: National Science Foundation Response to the JASON Report “Fundamental Research Security” (February 2020)

What’s New at CSET

At the request of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, CSET coordinated the release of the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19), a machine-readable dataset of scholarly literature about the coronavirus, in coordination with the Allen Institute for AI, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Microsoft and the National Library of Medicine. CORD-19 was announced by the White House, and covered in FedScoop, NextGov, TechCrunch and Geekwire.


What else is going on?
Suggest stories, documents to translate & upcoming events here.

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