White House reportedly aims to double AI research budget to $2B

White House | February 08, 2020

The White House is pushing to dedicate an additional billion dollars to fund artificial intelligence research, effectively doubling the budget for that purpose outside of Defense Department spending, Reuters reported today, citing people briefed on the plan. Investment in quantum computing would also receive a major boost. The 2021 budget proposal would reportedly increase AI R&D funding to nearly $2 billion, and quantum to about $860 million, over the next two years. The U.S. is engaged in what some describe as a “race” with China in the field of AI, though unlike most races this one has no real finish line. Instead, any serious lead means opportunities in business and military applications that may grow to become the next globe-spanning monopoly, a la Google or Facebook — which themselves, as quasi-sovereign powers, invest heavily in the field for their own purposes.

Spotlight

Life Well Run. Catawba County. Life Well Run. Catawba County is proud to be part of an initiative by the International City and County Management Association created to show the value of having professional managers and staff providing local government services.

Spotlight

Life Well Run. Catawba County. Life Well Run. Catawba County is proud to be part of an initiative by the International City and County Management Association created to show the value of having professional managers and staff providing local government services.

Related News

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

State of Wisconsin Selects Unisys to Provide Cloud-Based Contact Center Solution

Unisys Corporation | September 23, 2021

Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) today announced that it has signed an agreement with the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), a new Unisys client, to provide a cloud-based contact center solution that will improve the experience of how citizens interact with government. Signed in the second quarter, the new platform provides the DWD with the scalability and flexibility to address the constantly-evolving needs of government programs. The solution better connects citizens to various government programs, including unemployment insurance, employment and training, and worker's compensation. It will further allow the DWD to enhance its existing communication channels, including chat and text, as well as provide the ability to better monitor interactions and enhance real-time reporting. It will also position the agency to advance its roadmap for the next generation of digital user experience and robotic process automation and artificial intelligence tools. DWD is working to systematically modernize and upgrade Wisconsin's unemployment insurance program with a laser focus on improving the customer experience. The Unisys web-based delivery system is one component of that effort, leveraging the benefits of the cloud to improve timeliness and effectiveness in connecting people with the services they need. DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek As part of the agreement, Unisys will provide the NICE CXone contact center solution, a leading global cloud customer experience platform. CXone is also integrated with Unisys' InteliServe™️ platform, which is powered by automation and AI and transforms the traditional workplace into an intelligent platform that delivers a frictionless employee experience. "Our extensive expertise in both cloud and digital workplace solutions has uniquely positioned us to understand and create a tailored approach for the DWD," said Shawn Kingsberry, vice president and global head of Public Sector at Unisys. "We are hyper-focused on providing the innovation and leading technologies that will deliver a better user experience for our clients. By doing so, we can help our clients adapt to the changing demands of the market and achieve the right outcomes for their organizations." Leading global analyst firm NelsonHall recently named Unisys a leader in cognitive and self-healing IT infrastructure management services and has also named Unisys a Leader in the vendor evaluation for Cloud Infrastructure Brokerage, Orchestration & Management. More than 200 government agencies worldwide use Unisys solutions. For more information on Unisys' Public Sector solutions, click here. About Unisys Unisys is a global IT solutions company that delivers successful outcomes for the most demanding businesses and governments. Unisys offerings include digital workplace solutions, cloud and infrastructure solutions, enterprise computing solutions, business process solutions and cybersecurity solutions.

Read More

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Planet Builds Business in State and Local Government Sector

Planet | November 24, 2021

Planet, a leading provider of daily data and insights about Earth, today announced a number of new contracts with state and local governments, including entities in the states of Alaska and Mississippi. Operating about 200 earth imaging satellites, Planet provides near-daily images of every terrestrial location on earth, enabling their customers to track environmental change, support regional enforcement efforts, and make informed decisions. Through their 7-month pilot program, Planet and the State of Alaska explored solutions for department managers that have historically been challenged by Alaska’s unique geography, marked by severe winter storms and remote landscapes. Notably, 82% of Alaskan communities are inaccessible by roads, and it is time consuming and costly to get boots on the ground for evaluations. Previously, employees would take small aircrafts to monitor approximately 50 weather stations across 90 million acres of land to determine when a station became snow-free. With daily PlanetScope images, their team was able to look back at satellite imagery day-by-day to determine the exact moment the station became snow-free, saving substantial time, costs, and energy, and increased the accuracy of the data collected. By decreasing the number of aircraft trips needed to these remote regions, Planet’s data also significantly increased employee safety. Using Planet’s SkySats, the State of Alaska was also able to support inspectors for mining operations. With more frequent visibility, managers tracked mining activity on a month-to-month basis to plan inspections and support regulatory enforcement. They further utilized PlanetScope and SkySat data to provide environmental situational awareness for wildfires and reveal final fire perimeters. Additionally, the state leveraged Planet imagery of forestland to determine enforcement policies prior to on-site evaluations. Using Planet’s datasets under a multi-department license, the State of Alaska ensures this data is shared through the State’s Imagery portal so that the imagery data can be used by various agencies. For example, the satellite data collected for mining inspection analysis by the Department of Mining Land and Water is also open and accessible to the State Department of Conservation, Fish and Game. By sharing this data across agencies, there is increased project transparency to support economic development and sustainability efforts. At the other end of the continental U.S., Planet’s satellite data also supports the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR). The Mississippi gulf coast is home to some of the nation’s most productive fin fish and shellfish waters. To ensure the sustainable use of these wetland ecosystems, the DMR works to regulate and restore these habitats yearly. Using PlanetScope imagery, the DMR was able to conduct necessary due diligence to protect wetlands and enforce accurate permitting programs. Wetland habitats are home to a variety of submerged aquatic vegetation, including seagrasses that are vital to the ecosystem. As part of their role, the DMR provides permits to allow clients to mitigate and transport sections of vegetation for coastal development. In one instance, a client reported that in their designated zone, the aquatic vegetation was no longer present and requested a permit modification. It was critical that the DMR was able to ensure that the movement of this growing vegetation was a natural phenomenon and not due to human interference, such as mechanical removal or obstruction of light from a barge. Using PlanetScope’s high-cadence imagery, the DMR team was able to go back day-by-day through the previous year to ensure that there was no man-made structure, barge, or interference to the vegetation on the site. They concluded that the species movement was indeed a natural phenomenon, and thanks to Planet’s high temporal resolution imagery, they were able to support the changing permit status with confidence. This case highlighted how daily transparency allowed the DMR to increase local enforcement and conduct their due diligence to keep the wetlands safe. As a new customer, the Mississippi DMR was able to see immediate results from Planet’s product; and they are now exploring further uses for the data. These explorations will dive into identifying point sources of wetlands sedimentation, monitoring seagrass movement, and evaluating tidal marsh health and water quality. By working with Planet’s high-cadence imagery, the DMR will be able to better gauge secondary and cumulative impacts when projects are implemented. Each year, more and more state and local governments are using Planet’s data to support their regional planning processes, manage their local industries, and protect their ecosystems. Their additional customers include the New Mexico State Land Office, the Port of Long Beach, Humboldt County, California, City and County of San Francisco, Autoridad Nacional de Licencias Ambientales in Colombia, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and the County of San Luis Obispo in California. Working with state and local governments aligns with Planet’s goals to support communities and protect the environment. Earlier this year, Planet entered into a definitive merger agreement with dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV (NYSE:DMYQ), a special purpose acquisition company, to become a publicly-traded company. As it joins the public market, Planet will become a public benefit corporation (PBC), in which its mission will be encoded into its corporate DNA, obligating Planet’s directors to stay true to their mission as part of their fiduciary duty to their stockholders. Planet’s public benefit purpose is: “To accelerate humanity to a more sustainable, secure and prosperous world by illuminating environmental and social change.” About Planet Planet is the leading provider of global, daily satellite imagery and geospatial solutions. Planet is driven by a mission to image the world every day, and make change visible, accessible and actionable. Founded in 2010 by three NASA scientists, Planet designs, builds, and operates the largest earth observation fleet of imaging satellites, capturing and compiling data from over 3 million images per day. Planet provides mission-critical data, advanced insights, and software solutions to over 700 customers, including the world’s leading agriculture, forestry, intelligence, education and finance companies and government agencies, enabling users to simply and effectively derive unique value from satellite imagery.

Read More

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

NOAA Partners with Google to Boost Weather Forecasts with AI

NOAA | October 27, 2020

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Google linked up to cooperatively steer artificial intelligence and machine learning-driven pilot projects that could advance the agency’s environmental monitoring, weather predicting, and climate research capabilities. Through a three-year deal unveiled Tuesday, the two will collectively study and develop small-scale AI systems and eventually wider-ranging prototypes that might be infused across NOAA’s broader enterprise. Such resources would be of good use to the water and climate-focused agency, which is responsible for providing raw data for weather forecasts nationwide, including those used to predict hurricanes and other natural disasters.

Read More