AI News, America Can Stop China from Dominating Artificial Intelligence
- On Sunday, August 18, 2019
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America Can Stop China from Dominating Artificial Intelligence--And Should
China, writes Amy Webb in Inc., has been 'building a global artificial intelligence empire, and seeding the tech ecosystem of the future.'
The People's Republic of China, nonetheless, is already an AI powerhouse, and for America to maintain its edge—and to prevent U.S. tech from being used for exceedingly disturbing purposes, Washington should force U.S. companies to end cooperative AI projects in China.
Artificial intelligence permits machines to mimic human functions such as driving vehicles, recognizing spoken words, and playing games of skill like chess and Go.
If China had an 'AI Sputnik moment,' it occurred in March 2016 when AlphaGo, developed by Alphabet Inc.'s DeepMind, took four out of five games from an 18-time champion in a challenge match in Seoul.
Beijing in 2017 supplemented the AI component of its Made in China 2025 initiative with its 'Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan, a three-part effort to lead global AI by 2030.
The West should be seriously concerned: whoever wins at AI will both dominate the global economy and field the most destructive conventional military force.
For instance, AI researchers from Microsoft, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Michigan State University gave keynote speeches at the Chinese Conference on Biometric Recognition in Xinjiang in August of last year on facial recognition, a social-control technology.
'I think it is unprecedented in the last 100 years, or ever, that a major U.S. company refused to work with the U.S. military and has worked with our geopolitical rival,' he said on Fox News Channel's 'Sunday Morning Futures' on August 11th.
Google has in various statements denied charges like the ones Thiel has been making, but its contentions, although technically true, appear disingenuous.
First, the company has said it works with the Pentagon, but it is nonetheless not renewing its Project Maven contract, an AI project analyzing drone footage.
'You're not going to be able to stop or slow down Chinese AI progress by stopping these labs,' Jeffrey Ding of Oxford's Center for the Governance of AI, told Vox, the popular American-based news site, while referring to foreign AI research facilities.
Although much AI research today is open-source—meaning it does not matter where researchers are based—it is becoming clear that in coming years AI work will not be published in open forums.
Of course, there is no question that closing American facilities in China will inhibit, in some fashion, American AI work, but that loss is not nearly as great as the benefits of walling off China.
- On Monday, August 19, 2019
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering.
It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength, making it one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the world.
The school also has a strong entrepreneurial culture, and the aggregated annual revenues of companies founded by MIT alumni ($1.9 trillion) would rank roughly as the tenth-largest economy in the world (2014).
The true and only practicable object of a polytechnic school is, as I conceive, the teaching, not of the minute details and manipulations of the arts, which can be done only in the workshop, but the inculcation of those scientific principles which form the basis and explanation of them, and along with this, a full and methodical review of all their leading processes and operations in connection with physical laws.
The Rogers Plan reflected the German research university model, emphasizing an independent faculty engaged in research, as well as instruction oriented around seminars and laboratories.
The new institute was founded as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to fund institutions 'to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes' and was a land-grant school.
In the 1930s, President Karl Taylor Compton and Vice-President (effectively Provost) Vannevar Bush emphasized the importance of pure sciences like physics and chemistry and reduced the vocational practice required in shops and drafting studios.
Still, as late as 1949, the Lewis Committee lamented in its report on the state of education at MIT that 'the Institute is widely conceived as basically a vocational school', a 'partly unjustified' perception the committee sought to change.
The report comprehensively reviewed the undergraduate curriculum, recommended offering a broader education, and warned against letting engineering and government-sponsored research detract from the sciences and humanities.
Previously marginalized faculties in the areas of economics, management, political science, and linguistics emerged into cohesive and assertive departments by attracting respected professors and launching competitive graduate programs.
A 1949 report noted the lack of 'any great slackening in the pace of life at the Institute' to match the return to peacetime, remembering the 'academic tranquility of the prewar years', though acknowledging the significant contributions of military research to the increased emphasis on graduate education and rapid growth of personnel and facilities.
By the 1950s, MIT no longer simply benefited the industries with which it had worked for three decades, and it had developed closer working relationships with new patrons, philanthropic foundations and the federal government.
In this period MIT's various departments were researching helicopters, smart bombs and counterinsurgency techniques for the war in Vietnam as well as guidance systems for nuclear missiles.
The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded on March 4, 1969 during a meeting of faculty members and students seeking to shift the emphasis on military research toward environmental and social problems.
six MIT students were sentenced to prison terms at this time and some former student leaders, such as Michael Albert and George Katsiaficas, are still indignant about MIT's role in military research and its suppression of these protests.
MIT was named a sea-grant college in 1976 to support its programs in oceanography and marine sciences and was named a space-grant college in 1989 to support its aeronautics and astronautics programs.
Despite diminishing government financial support over the past quarter century, MIT launched several successful development campaigns to significantly expand the campus: new dormitories and athletics buildings on west campus;
several buildings in the northeast corner of campus supporting research into biology, brain and cognitive sciences, genomics, biotechnology, and cancer research;
MIT launched OpenCourseWare to make the lecture notes, problem sets, syllabi, exams, and lectures from the great majority of its courses available online for no charge, though without any formal accreditation for coursework completed.
OCW expanded in 2005 to include other universities as a part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which currently includes more than 250 academic institutions with content available in at least six languages.
In 2011, MIT announced it would offer formal certification (but not credits or degrees) to online participants completing coursework in its 'MITx' program, for a modest fee.
Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013, MIT Police patrol officer Sean Collier was fatally shot by the suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, setting off a violent manhunt that shut down the campus and much of the Boston metropolitan area for a day.
One week later, Collier's memorial service was attended by more than 10,000 people, in a ceremony hosted by the MIT community with thousands of police officers from the New England region and Canada.
On November 25, 2013, MIT announced the creation of the Collier Medal, to be awarded annually to 'an individual or group that embodies the character and qualities that Officer Collier exhibited as a member of the MIT community and in all aspects of his life'.
The announcement further stated that 'Future recipients of the award will include those whose contributions exceed the boundaries of their profession, those who have contributed to building bridges across the community, and those who consistently and selflessly perform acts of kindness'.
In October 2018 MIT announced that in September 2019, it would open a new College of Computing dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence, to be named after lead donor and The Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman.
The Cambridge neighborhoods surrounding MIT are a mixture of high tech companies occupying both modern office and rehabilitated industrial buildings, as well as socio-economically diverse residential neighborhoods.
In early 2016, MIT presented its updated Kendall Square Initiative to the City of Cambridge, with plans for mixed-use educational, retail, residential, startup incubator, and office space in a dense high-rise transit-oriented development plan.
The organization of building numbers roughly corresponds to the order in which the buildings were built and their location relative (north, west, and east) to the original center cluster of Maclaurin buildings.
Many of the buildings are connected above ground as well as through an extensive network of underground tunnels, providing protection from the Cambridge weather as well as a venue for roof and tunnel hacking.
Its 100,000 square feet cleanroom and research space, visible through expansive glass facades, is the largest research facility of its kind in the nation.
The facility also provides state-of-the-art nanoimaging capabilities with vibration damped imaging and metrology suites sitting atop a 5-million-pound slab of concrete underground.
Other notable campus facilities include a pressurized wind tunnel for testing aerodynamic research, a towing tank for testing ship and ocean structure designs, and Alcator C-Mod, the largest fusion device operated by any university.
MIT's campus-wide wireless network was completed in the fall of 2005 and consists of nearly 3,000 access points covering 9,400,000 square feet (870,000 m2) of campus.
MIT has also taken steps to reduce its environmental impact by running alternative fuel campus shuttles, subsidizing public transportation passes, and building a low-emission cogeneration plant that serves most of the campus electricity, heating, and cooling requirements.
The MIT Police with state and local authorities, in the 2009-2011 period, have investigated reports of 12 forcible sex offenses, 6 robberies, 3 aggravated assaults, 164 burglaries, 1 case of arson, and 4 cases of motor vehicle theft on campus;
MIT has substantial commercial real estate holdings in Cambridge on which it pays property taxes, plus an additional voluntary payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) on academic buildings which are legally tax-exempt.
More recent buildings like Frank Gehry's Stata Center (2004), Steven Holl's Simmons Hall (2002), Charles Correa's Building 46 (2005), and Fumihiko Maki's Media Lab Extension (2009) stand out among the Boston area's classical architecture and serve as examples of contemporary campus 'starchitecture'.
The Corporation approves the budget, new programs, degrees and faculty appointments, and elects the President to serve as the chief executive officer of the university and preside over the Institute's faculty.
MIT operates on a 4-1-4 academic calendar with the fall semester beginning after Labor Day and ending in mid-December, a 4-week 'Independent Activities Period' in the month of January, and the spring semester commencing in early February and ceasing in late May.
In the 2017–2018 academic year, 1,045 bachelor of science degrees (abbreviated 'SB') were granted, the only type of undergraduate degree MIT now awards.[needs update]
In the 2011 fall term, among students who had designated a major, the School of Engineering was the most popular division, enrolling 63% of students in its 19 degree programs, followed by the School of Science (29%), School of Humanities, Arts, &
The Science Requirement, generally completed during freshman year as prerequisites for classes in science and engineering majors, comprises two semesters of physics, two semesters of calculus, one semester of chemistry, and one semester of biology.
The Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Requirement consists of eight semesters of classes in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, including at least one semester from each division as well as the courses required for a designated concentration in a HASS division.
Most classes rely on a combination of lectures, recitations led by associate professors or graduate students, weekly problem sets ('p-sets'), and periodic quizzes or tests.
(Grading had previously been 'pass/no record' all freshman year, but was amended for the Class of 2006 to prevent students from gaming the system by completing required major classes in their freshman year.) Also, freshmen may choose to join alternative learning communities, such as Experimental Study Group, Concourse, or Terrascope.
Students join or initiate research projects ('UROPs') for academic credit, pay, or on a volunteer basis through postings on the UROP website or by contacting faculty members directly.
Snyder, published The Hidden Curriculum, arguing that education at MIT was often slighted in favor of following a set of unwritten expectations, and that graduating with good grades was more often the product of figuring out the system rather than a solid education.
For example, organized student groups had compiled 'course bibles'—collections of problem-set and examination questions and answers for later students to use as references.
In the 2011 fall term, the School of Engineering was the most popular academic division, enrolling 45.0% of graduate students, followed by the Sloan School of Management (19%), School of Science (16.9%), School of Architecture and Planning (9.2%), Whitaker College of Health Sciences (5.1%),[d]
In the same lists, MIT's strongest showings apart from in engineering are in computer science, the natural sciences, business, architecture, economics, linguistics, mathematics, and, to a lesser extent, political science and philosophy.
Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, American politicians and business leaders accused MIT and other universities of contributing to a declining economy by transferring taxpayer-funded research and technology to international – especially Japanese – firms that were competing with struggling American businesses.
On the other hand, MIT's extensive collaboration with the federal government on research projects has led to several MIT leaders serving as presidential scientific advisers since 1940.[e]
The US Justice Department began an investigation in 1989, and in 1991 filed an antitrust suit against MIT, the eight Ivy League colleges, and eleven other institutions for allegedly engaging in price-fixing during their annual 'Overlap Meetings', which were held to prevent bidding wars over promising prospective students from consuming funds for need-based scholarships.
The MIT Press is a major university press, publishing over 200 books and 30 journals annually, emphasizing science and technology as well as arts, architecture, new media, current events and social issues.
The libraries contain more than 2.9 million printed volumes, 2.4 million microforms, 49,000 print or electronic journal subscriptions, and 670 reference databases.
MIT allocates a percentage of the budget for all new construction and renovation to commission and support its extensive public art and outdoor sculpture collection.
Since 2005, its official mission has been, 'to engage the wider community with MIT's science, technology and other areas of scholarship in ways that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century'.
The federal government was the largest source of sponsored research, with the Department of Health and Human Services granting $255.9 million, Department of Defense $97.5 million, Department of Energy $65.8 million, National Science Foundation $61.4 million, and NASA $27.4 million.
In 2011, MIT faculty and researchers disclosed 632 inventions, were issued 153 patents, earned $85.4 million in cash income, and received $69.6 million in royalties.
In electronics, magnetic core memory, radar, single electron transistors, and inertial guidance controls were invented or substantially developed by MIT researchers.
In the domain of computer science, MIT faculty and researchers made fundamental contributions to cybernetics, artificial intelligence, computer languages, machine learning, robotics, and cryptography.
Professor Ted Postol has accused the MIT administration since 2000 of attempting to whitewash potential research misconduct at the Lincoln Lab facility involving a ballistic missile defense test, though a final investigation into the matter has not been completed.
The undergraduate ring design (a separate graduate student version exists as well) varies slightly from year to year to reflect the unique character of the MIT experience for that class, but always features a three-piece design, with the MIT seal and the class year each appearing on a separate face, flanking a large rectangular bezel bearing an image of a beaver.
The initialism IHTFP, representing the informal school motto 'I Hate This Fucking Place' and jocularly euphemized as 'I Have Truly Found Paradise', 'Institute Has The Finest Professors', 'Institute of Hacks, Tomfoolery and Pranks', 'It's Hard to Fondle Penguins', and other variations, has occasionally been featured on the ring given its historical prominence in student culture.
Less traditional activities include the 'world's largest open-shelf collection of science fiction' in English, a model railroad club, and a vibrant folk dance scene.
Many MIT students also engage in 'hacking', which encompasses both the physical exploration of areas that are generally off-limits (such as rooftops and steam tunnels), as well as elaborate practical jokes.
In April 2009, budget cuts led to MIT eliminating eight of its 41 sports, including the mixed men's and women's teams in alpine skiing and pistol;
MIT received 20,247 applications for admission to the undergraduate Class of 2021: it admitted 1,452 (7.1 percent) and enrolled 1,102 (76 percent).[needs update]
82 percent of the Class of 2007 graduated within 4 years, and 93 percent (91 percent of the men and 95 percent of the women) graduated within 6 years.
62 percent of students received need-based financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants from federal, state, institutional, and external sources averaging $38,964 per student.[needs update]
Between 1993 and 2009 the proportion of women rose from 34 percent to 45 percent of undergraduates and from 20 percent to 31 percent of graduate students.
number of student deaths in the late 1990s and early 2000s resulted in considerable media attention focussing on MIT's culture and student life.
freedom of speech after he published several books and papers critical of MIT's and other research universities' reliance upon financial support from corporations and the military.
Several years later, the lawsuit was settled with undisclosed payments and the establishment of a project to encourage women and minorities to seek faculty positions.
In 1997 the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination issued a probable-cause finding supporting UMass Boston Professor James Jennings' allegations of racial discrimination after a senior faculty search committee in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning did not offer him reciprocal tenure.
In 2006–2007, MIT's denial of tenure to African-American stem-cell scientist professor James Sherley reignited accusations of racism in the tenure process, eventually leading to a protracted public dispute with the administration, a brief hunger-strike, and the resignation of Professor Frank L.
After Sherley was initially denied tenure, his case was examined three times before the university established that neither racial discrimination nor conflict of interest affected the decision.
Eliot became president of Harvard University in 1869, a post he would hold for 40 years, during which he wielded considerable influence both on American higher education and on secondary education.
Surveys cited a 'smart', 'creative', 'friendly' environment, noting that the work-life balance tilts towards a 'strong work ethic' but complaining about 'low pay' compared to an industry position.
According to the British newspaper, The Guardian, 'a survey of living MIT alumni found that they have formed 25,800 companies, employing more than three million people including about a quarter of the workforce of Silicon Valley.