Blog

Archive for the ‘government’ category

Oct 10, 2019

France Set to Roll Out Nationwide Facial Recognition ID Program

Posted by in categories: finance, government, robotics/AI, security

With the move, France will join states around the world rushing to create “digital identities” to give citizens secure access to everything from their taxes and banks to social security and utility bills. Singapore uses facial recognition and has signed an accord to help the U.K. prepare its own ID system. India uses iris scans.


France is poised to become the first European country to use facial recognition technology to give citizens a secure digital identity — whether they want it or not.

Saying it wants to make the state more efficient, President Emmanuel Macron’s government is pushing through plans to roll out an ID program, dubbed Alicem, in November, earlier than an initial Christmas target. The country’s data regulator says the program breaches the European rule of consent and a privacy group is challenging it in France’s highest administrative court. It took a hacker just over an hour to break into a “secure” government messaging app this year, raising concerns about the state’s security standards.

Continue reading “France Set to Roll Out Nationwide Facial Recognition ID Program” »

Oct 9, 2019

Ambassador Juan José Gómez Camacho — Mexico’s Ambassador to Canada — Migrant Health, Pandemics, and Aging — IdeaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, geopolitics, governance, government, health, law, policy, science, strategy, sustainability

Oct 8, 2019

The US just blacklisted 8 Chinese AI firms. It could be what China’s AI industry needs

Posted by in categories: business, government, policy, robotics/AI

The US Commerce Department has said it is adding 28 Chinese government organizations and private businesses, including eight tech giants, to its so-called Entity List for acting against American foreign policy interests.

What does that mean? The move effectively bars any US companies from selling technology to the blacklisted firms and organizations without US government approval.

Why? The US says they have been involved in human rights violations against Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region.

Oct 8, 2019

Blue Origin is outpacing SpaceX in hiring as NASA contracts roll in, but not for long

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

When Elon Musk announced the launch of SpaceX ($SPACEX) in 2002, comparisons to Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin ($BLUEORIGIN) surfaced seemingly within seconds, and a private space war was born. As both companies engage in their own space race, and compete for private and government launch contracts, they’ve both been on hiring sprees virtually since the day they were born.

Blue Origin’s head start remains intact, and is manifested in its hiring patterns that have shown the company adding more people at any one time than SpaceX. But that lead, at least according to trends we’re now seeing with enough data, may end in the next year or two.

Oct 6, 2019

UPS wins approval to operate nationwide fleet of drones

Posted by in categories: drones, government

Delivery service UPS won the federal government’s first full approval to operate a fleet of drones. It marks a milestone in the race to commercial drone delivery.

Oct 6, 2019

Inside Dugway Proving Ground, the US government’s top-secret bioweapons lab

Posted by in category: government

Read more

Oct 4, 2019

This is how India can become the next Silicon Valley

Posted by in categories: government, transportation

If India can continue to develop its urban centres and promote a Silicon Valley spirit of entrepreneurship, it could be in a prime position to achieve global tech hub status. Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) in the south and Gurgaon in the north are two tech-savvy cities emblematic of India’s rapid urbanization. The country is set to become the largest contributor to the world’s urban population.


India has long branded itself as the world’s leading outsourcing destination for global companies, particularly for those in the technology sector — but in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the time is ripe for the world’s most populous country to reinvent itself.

There is a burgeoning start-up and innovation culture, as shown by the Global Innovation Index, where India has improved its ranking from 81 to 52 between 2015 and 2019. In addition, the country has improved its reputation in terms of the risk posed to foreign investments and, in 2019, ranked third in the world in terms of attracting investment for technology transactions.

Continue reading “This is how India can become the next Silicon Valley” »

Oct 2, 2019

Making the rules in space: When does careful become crushing?

Posted by in categories: engineering, government, space travel

Other approaches to space involve moving some or all the engineering activities out of government into the private sector, in the hopes that the private sector will be able to produce otherwise unavailable efficiencies. This sounds good in practice, but we must recognize that shifting some management responsibilities does not alleviate the government responsibility to regulate and look out after the public good.

But imprudent regulation impairs private sector efforts, simply because they may have a harder time getting relief from government rules than, let’s say, the DoD might. Unnecessarily stringent rules, requirements, and regulations discourage success. The precautionary principle has its appeal, but when the underlying activity itself is relatively new and uncertain, precautionary restrictions quickly turn into outright prohibition. Any arbitrary prohibition limits the diversity of our national spaceflight portfolio.

It may seem that this or that actor might benefit from favoritism, permissive oversight, or other unfair advantages. But while everybody trying to do something new in space benefits from distinct benefits and advantages, they also face unique obstacles and difficulties.

Oct 2, 2019

‘The next era of human progress’: what lies behind the global new cities epidemic?

Posted by in categories: business, economics, energy, government, sustainability, transportation

This new breed of city takes various different forms, from government initiatives, to public-private partnerships, to entirely private enterprises. Many are being used to jump-start economies in the developing world, with masterplans carefully calibrated to attract foreign investors and treasuries looking to sink their funds into something concrete. They provide a powerful means for wealthy countries to expand their strategic influence abroad, with the construction of new cities acting as a form of “debt-trap diplomacy”, tying host nations into impossibly burdensome deals. They are billed as a panacea for the world’s urban ills, solving overcrowding, congestion and pollution; yet, more often than not, they turn out to be catalysts for land dispossession, environmental degradation and social inequality.


The feature Kim enjoys most is a small touchscreen display on his kitchen wall that allows him to keep track of his and his wife’s consumption of electricity, water and gas and, most important, compare it against the average statistics for the building. Flicking between the screens of bar charts and graphs, a broad grin spreads across his face: for yet another day running, they are more energy-efficient than all their neighbours.

From their living room window at the top of one of the city’s new residential towers, a panorama of downtown Songdo unfolds. Across an eight-lane highway lies Central Park, a broad swath of trees surrounding an ornamental lake, flanked by rows of glass towers with vaguely jaunty silhouettes. Armies of identikit concrete apartment blocks march into the hazy distance beyond, terminating at a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. It looks a lot like many other modern Asian cities, a place of generic towers rising above a car-dominated grid. Public life is mostly confined to the air-conditioned environments of malls and private leisure clubs.

Continue reading “‘The next era of human progress’: what lies behind the global new cities epidemic?” »

Sep 28, 2019

Pope Francis Warns Companies to Use Artificial Intelligence for the ‘Common Good’

Posted by in categories: government, physics, robotics/AI

(VATICAN CITY) — Pope Francis on Friday warned tech company executives, diplomats and financiers that the race to create artificial intelligence and other forms of digital development pose the risk of increasing social inequality unless the work is accompanied by an ethical evaluation of the common good.

Francis addressed a Vatican conference that brought government envoys and Facebook and Google representatives together with philosophers, physicists and ethicists. A smattering of academics and Catholic bishops rounded out participants at “The Common Good in the Digital Age” conference.

The three-day gathering is the latest evidence of the Vatican wanting a place in the debate over the prospects and perils of artificial intelligence.

Page 1 of 8812345678Last