• DEMOCRACY WATCHHow AI Could Take Over Elections – and Undermine Democracy

    By Archon Fung and Lawrence Lessig

    Could organizations use artificial intelligence language models such as ChatGPT to induce voters to behave in specific ways? In his 16 May 2023 testimony in a Senate hearings on artificial intelligence OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said that he was concerned that some people might use language models to manipulate, persuade and engage in one-on-one interactions with voters. What would an AI-manipulated election look like?

  • INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTIONAI Can Identify Patterns in Surface Cracking to Assess Damage in Reinforced Concrete Structures

    Recent structural collapses, including tragedies in Surfside, Florida, Pittsburgh, New York City and Davenport. Iowa, have centered the need for more frequent and thorough inspections of aging buildings and infrastructure across the country.AI, combined with a classic mathematical method for quantifying web-like networks, help determine how damaged a concrete structure is, based solely on its pattern of cracking.

  • PLANETARY SECURITYSpace Tractor Beams May Not Be the Stuff of Sci-fi for Long

    By Daniel Strain

    Researchers are drawing on one of the oldest tropes in science fiction: tractor beams like the ones the Starship Enterprise uses to safely move asteroids out of the way. Using devices called “electron beams,” these space dumpster trucks would slowly haul that debris to safety without ever having to touch it—all by tapping into the same kind of physics that make your socks stick to your pants in the dryer.

  • ENCRYPTIONQuantum Technology for Mobile Phone Encryption Nears

    In a few years, protection of communication with quantum encryption may become a permanent fixture in mobile phones and thus protect communication from hacking. The technology has already been demonstrated in large data transfers in the financial sector.

  • INFRATRUCTURE Wireless Sensor System for Continuous Monitoring of Bridge Deformation

    More than 46,000 bridges across the United States are considered to be in poor condition and in need of close monitoring. Researchers have developed a solar-powered, wireless sensor system that can continually monitor bridge deformation and could be used to alert authorities when the bridge performance deteriorates significantly.

  • AIHow Can Congress Regulate AI? Erect Guardrails, Ensure Accountability and Address Monopolistic Power

    By Anjana Susarla

    A new federal agency to regulate AI sounds helpful but could become unduly influenced by the tech industry — instead, Congress can legislate accountability.Instead of licensing companies to release advanced AI technologies, the government could license auditors and push for companies to set up institutional review boards. The government hasn’t had great success in curbing technology monopolies, but disclosure requirements and data privacy laws could help check corporate power.

  • AI & CYBERSECURITYCan Quantum Computing Protect AI from Cyberattacks?

    AI algorithms are everywhere. They underpin nearly all autonomous and robotic systems deployed in security applications. This includes facial recognition, biometrics, drones and autonomous vehicles used in combat surveillance and military targeting applications. Can we prevent malicious attacks and improve the cybersecurity of algorithms powered by artificial intelligence (AI)? Quantum machine learning may hold the key.

  • WATER SECURITYNew Nontoxic Powder Uses Sunlight to Disinfect Contaminated Drinking Water

    By Mark Shwartz

    A low-cost, recyclable powder can kill thousands of waterborne bacteria per second when exposed to sunlight. Scientists say the ultrafast disinfectant could be a revolutionary advance for 2 billion people worldwide without access to safe drinking water.

  • AI & CYBERSECURITYAI Model Aims to Plug Key Gap in Cybersecurity Readiness

    By Tom Rickey

    There are more than 213,800 available known “keys”—unofficial entry points into computer systems, better known as vulnerabilities or bugs—and they’re already in the hands of criminals. There are likely many more that are not known. How can all the threats and attacks be tracked, prioritized and prevented? Scientists link resources to improve prioritization, spot attacks more quickly.

  • REMOTE IDENTIFICATIONTrack 2 of the Remote Identity Validation Tech Demo Challenge

    DHS S&T announces the launch of Track 2 of the Remote Identity Validation Technology Demonstration (RIVTD). RIVTD is a series of technology challenges to evaluate the ability of systems to authenticate identity documents, assess the “liveness” of selfie photos, and evaluate identity verification using images taken with smartphones and similar devices.

  • AIRSHIPSSolar-Powered Airships Could Make Air Travel Climate-Friendly

    Flying is the most damaging mode of transportation for our climate. At least, up until now. Researchers are investigating technical alternatives to conventional aircraft, and one such alternative is the old-fashioned airship, equipped with solar panels.  

  • EVsPaving the Way for Electric Vehicle Adoption

    By Alex Kinsella

    For many car owners, their next purchase will be an EV. But as many current EV owners know, the environmental benefits of battery-powered cars come with a tradeoff and that tradeoff is the driving distance existing battery technology can support. The problem is the battery, specifically how much energy they can store, their longevity, and how long they take to charge.

  • ARGUMENT: CHINESE DRONESU.S. Reliance on Chinese Drones: A Sector for the Next CHIPS Act?

    More and more lawmakers from both parties are beginning to pay attention to the issue of drones and national security. Different bills seek to regulate federal agency procurement and use of certain foreign-made unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), or drones. Annie I. Antón and Olivia C. Mauger write that “Building on the bipartisan consensus to enact the 2022 Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science (CHIPS) Act, there is a compelling case that UASs should be a next sector for similar action.”

  • EVsWill the Charging Networks Arrive in Time?

    By Peter Dizikes

    MIT Mobility Forum considers whether startups can provide the infrastructure for electric vehicles, or if more automakers must step in.

  • CYBERSECURITYBolstering Cybersecurity in Navigation Systems

    Interference such as jamming and spoofing that targets critical infrastructure has the potential to cause widespread delays and cascading failures across multiple modes of transportation including ships, trains, trucks, and cars—and the problem is only getting worse. New project aims to enhance resilience of transportation infrastructure against cyber threats, developing advanced countermeasures for GPS spoofing and jamming.