• Needed: Ground Rules for the Age of AI Warfare

    The time has arrived form an international agreement on autonomous weapons. Lauren Kahn writes in Foreign Affairs that AI is at an inflection point: the technology is maturing and is increasingly suitable for military use, while the exact outlines of future AI military systems, and the degree of disruption they will cause, remain uncertain and, hence, can be, at least somewhat, shaped.

  • The Executive Order on Commercial Spyware: Implications and Prospects

    The growing national security threat from misuse of commercial spyware is increasingly being recognized. The US has been taking the lead in addressing the growing menace of unregulated spyware companies and the proliferation of intrusive tools. The Biden administration’s latest Executive Order will ensure that commercial spyware firms will be subjected to unprecedented scrutiny.

  • How AI Could Take Over Elections – and Undermine Democracy

    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?

  • AI 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.

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

    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.

  • Quantum 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.

  • 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.

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

    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.

  • Can 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.

  • New Nontoxic Powder Uses Sunlight to Disinfect Contaminated Drinking Water

    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 Model Aims to Plug Key Gap in Cybersecurity Readiness

    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.

  • Track 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.

  • Solar-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.  

  • Paving the Way for Electric Vehicle Adoption

    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.

  • U.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.”