Top Democrat threatens to hold U.S. Attorney General Barr in contempt

Reuters | May 02, 2019

A senior U.S. congressional Democrat on Thursday threatened to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena to provide Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full report on the Russia inquiry, and accused President Donald Trump’s administration of a growing attack on democracy. Barr canceled his scheduled appearance on Thursday before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee after clashing with Democratic Chairman Jerrold Nadler over the hearing’s format. Barr testified on Wednesday to the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee, stoutly defending the Republican president in the wake of the release of Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Spotlight

Our nation relies on a modern, highly skilled workforce to remain competitive and innovative in today’s global economy. Yet current policies are inhibiting our ability to find and retain top talent as well as cultivate a sustainable long-term talent pipeline that is required to achieve a strong 21st-century workforce. According to Cyberstates 2017, the U.S. tech sector employment grew by nearly 3 percent in 2016, approaching seven million workers. Without much needed reform, the United States will not be able to sustain this growth.

Spotlight

Our nation relies on a modern, highly skilled workforce to remain competitive and innovative in today’s global economy. Yet current policies are inhibiting our ability to find and retain top talent as well as cultivate a sustainable long-term talent pipeline that is required to achieve a strong 21st-century workforce. According to Cyberstates 2017, the U.S. tech sector employment grew by nearly 3 percent in 2016, approaching seven million workers. Without much needed reform, the United States will not be able to sustain this growth.

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Phone2Action Acquires GovPredict to Provide Solutions for Government Affairs

Phone2Action | November 03, 2020

Phone2Action, the leading digital advocacy and civic engagement platform, has acquired GovPredict, a hyper-growth, Y-Combinator-backed technology company that provides legislative, regulatory and issue monitoring, as well as campaign finance intelligence. Emil Pitkin, CEO of GovPredict, will join the Phone2Action management team. This combination of industry leading solutions places Phone2Action at the helm of the fast-paced and rapidly growing market for civic and government affairs software. Phone2Action, the world’s leading provider of grassroots advocacy software, contributing nearly 25% of all advocacy messages to Congress, will now become a category-defining solution where public affairs and government relations professionals can collaborate on projects, gain insight into key bills and policies, galvanize people to act and influence public policy.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

CalypsoAI Announces Partnership with ECS to Develop Solutions for Trustworthy AI

CalypsoAI | September 07, 2021

Today, CalypsoAI and ECS announced a partnership to support the advancement of safe and secure artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure across the U.S. federal government. The partnership will see CalypsoAI, a Silicon Valley start-up and AI security industry leader, leverage it's AI safety and security software to expand ECS' testing capabilities for government customers. CalypsoAI is providing ECS with proprietary capabilities for trustworthy model development, and cutting-edge novel testing and evaluation (T&E). This collaboration will accelerate the deployment of trusted and responsible AI across federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "As demand for AI-enabled capabilities increases across the federal government, ensuring trust and transparency of these systems will be essential to ensuring the widespread adoption of game-changing AI technology by civil servants, intelligence professionals, and warfighters," said Neil Serebryany, CEO and Founder of CalypsoAI. "We look forward to deploying our industry-leading AI security technology across ECS' AI platforms to ensure federal agency missions are supported responsibly, from technology development through deployment." AI safety and security is a priority issue for senior government leaders, such as Deputy Secretary of Defense, Dr. Kathleen Hicks. In May, she released a memo articulating the imperative for the U.S. Department of Defense to create a responsible AI framework to support safe and secure AI development and deployment. CalypsoAI's partnership with ECS supports this framework by further expanding access to AI T&E capabilities to federal customers, which will give them the tools they need to develop and field safe AI capabilities. "We have built the critical open ecosystem for assured AI for the speed, security, and scale of government needs," said Aaron Burciaga, vice president of data & artificial intelligence at ECS. "From real-time edge analytics for the warfighter to massive data operations for commerce, we have engineered the future with CalypsoAI. Together we ensure adaptive solutions, responsible data operations, explainable algorithms, and secure environments for the ongoing digital revolution centered on information technology and intelligence technology." About CalypsoAI CalypsoAI was founded in 2018 by DoD and DARPA veterans seeking to accelerate AI applications for national security. While building AI inside the government, CalypsoAI's founders were challenged by the inability to validate trust. Without model validation and security, AI projects stalled or were abandoned prior to use. Viewing trust as a hurdle between mission owners and data science teams, CalypsoAI's founders departed government service to build a scalable solution for the delivery of trusted AI across an enterprise. CalypsoAI's software is relied upon to provide the ground truth on AI performance, reliability, and security. We serve customers in national security, finance, and other highly regulated industries. About ECS ECS delivers advanced solutions in cloud, cybersecurity, data and artificial intelligence (AI), application and IT modernization, science, and engineering. The company solves critical, complex challenges for customers across the U.S. public sector, defense, intelligence, and commercial industries. ECS maintains partnerships with leading cloud, cybersecurity, and AI/ML providers and holds specialized certifications in their technologies. Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, ECS has more than 3,500 employees throughout the United States.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Defined.ai to Play Significant Role in Accelerat.ai, the Government of Portugal-Approved AI Initiative

Defined.ai | June 21, 2022

Defined.ai (formerly DefinedCrowd), the leading provider of data, models and tools for Artificial Intelligence, announced its role in Accelerat.ai, which the Portuguese government fully approved it. Portugal is one of the first European Union countries to implement the Covid 2019 Recovery and Resilience Plan and the Digital Transformation Mandate by the European Union, which Accelerat.ai is a part of. Accelerat.ai is a consortium of Portuguese companies backed by the government, with an investment of €48 million (~$51 million) to speed up the digital transformation of Portugal's public and private sectors. The project, born from the EU Digital Compass 2030 initiative, is financed partly through a €16 billion ($17 billion) award granted to Portugal as part of the initiative. It is also the first of many projects from Portugal's Center of Excellence for AI. The mandate of the consortium is to make it easier to develop trustworthy AI apps and use unbiased data in European Portuguese. Accelerat.ai works on the European Portuguese language problem, which has yet to be effectively addressed well in the field of Conversational AI, especially in the public sector and industry-specific domains as the big tech companies usually focus on other markets. If a developer wants to use voice interfaces in the Portuguese market, they have to use APIs in English or Brazilian Portuguese, which is not what the Portuguese people prefer. Today, António Costa Silva, Minister of Economy and Sea, Sir John O'Reilly, President of the Jury, Thierry Breton, European Commissioner, and António Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal, will officially announce the winners of the public audit and contest, including Accelerat.ai as the winner of a process that began exactly one year ago. Defined.ai will play a leading role in Accelerat.ai, a consortium of companies that includes Talkdesk, Devscope, Instituto Superior Tecnico de Lisboa (Inesc id), Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, Clarin, NOS, IBM, Microsoft, and KPMG. Interested clients include Caixa Geral de Depositos, Novo Banco, Santander, SPMS/SNS (Healthcare Ministry), AMA (Digital Transformation), Social Security Ministry, EDP (electricity and gas), the Telco NOS, the popular Retail provider Worten, and the Insurance company Fidelidade. Dr. Daniela Braga, Founder and CEO of Defined.ai, was a key player in proposing the creation of a Center of Excellence in AI in Europe and starting the Accelerat.ai consortium and project. (Defined.ai gives AI builders the data they need to train their models.) This ambitious project is aimed at dramatically improving private and public customer service through virtual assistants paired with contact centers as a service in European Portuguese. In its early stages, Accelerat.ai’s goal is to improve customer service in Portugal's private and public sectors and speed up the country's digital transformation. It will develop proprietary technology that can easily scale up to other EU markets since what changes after that is the data. Accelerat.ai will work on a conversational AI framework for modern contact centers that can handle multiple languages. This will improve customer service and cut costs by automating 80 percent of customer support resolutions. It will give customers access to the latest technology in a way that doesn't depend on the cloud provider, infrastructure, or technology. Customers will be able to choose which ASR, NLU, or TTS works best for them. The business model will be based on subscriptions that are flexible and easy to set up. This will make it possible to create 200 highly skilled AI jobs in Portugal. Some of the applications will have a voice and video-enabled avatars that will speak to people when they call the Portuguese Healthcare system to schedule a Covid booster or call Social Security to check on the status of a maternity leave pension. Customer service in the top European languages will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and at a lower cost. Initially designed to help the Portuguese, it will impact all EU citizens in the future because of its multi-language modularity. About Defined.ai Defined.ai is on a mission to enable the creators of the future. At Defined.ai, we believe AI should be created as we raise our children, with the responsibility to make it the best version possible, to be fair, kind, inclusive and to strive for a better world. That’s why we provide high-quality AI training data, tools, and models to the creators of the future. We offer data scientists the solutions to get it just right, from datasets to bootstrap their models which keep their projects moving, to the final tuning in domains and perfection in accents and phonetics. We host the leading AI marketplace, where data scientists can buy and sell off-the-shelf datasets, tools and models, and we provide customizable workflows that can be used to generate datasets tuned to their needs. And, because the future of AI is complicated, Defined.ai can also offer professional services to help deliver success in complex machine learning projects. Defined.ai has offices in Seattle, USA, Lisbon and Porto, Portugal, and Tokyo, Japan, and has raised more than $80 million in investment.

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