Florida AG Wants a Threat-Reporting App for Students

(TNS) — WASHINGTON — Florida officials are teaming up with student software developers to create a new social media application aimed at thwarting the next Parkland-like shooting.

Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi told President Donald Trump Thursday that she is working with a group of Florida students on an app making it easy for kids on social media platforms like Snapchat to instantly report threats from dangerous classmates and others directly to the appropriate Florida law enforcement agency.

“Kids now are on social media,” Bondi said. “There were so many warning signs on Snapchat, on Twitter, on Instagram. They were sending them to all different sources.”

It’s one of several initiatives Bondi said Florida lawmakers are working on to protect students and citizens in the wake of last week’s high school shooting that killed 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They also include passing “red flag laws” that allow the seizure of guns before people can commit acts of violence.

Bondi shared the proposals during a meeting with Trump and other state and local officials who were at the White House discussing school safety and gun reform.

Bondi said the app would cost $100,000 to develop a half a million a year to maintain, all of which is already written into the state’s House and Senate budget. As Bondi spoke, Trump repeated “good” several times, adding that more attention had to be paid to what young people are consuming online.

“We have to look at the internet because a lot of bad things are happening to young kids and young minds and their minds are being formed, and we have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they’re seeing it,” Trump said. “And also video games. I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts. And you go one further step and that’s the movies … maybe they have to put a rating system for that.”

Bondi said she is also working to rewrite Florida’s Baker Act, which gives powers to the police to temporarily seize firearms from people with mental illness. She also wants to bring the Gun Violence Restraining Order to Florida. The law, which is in place in California, Washington, Oregon, Indiana and Connecticut, can be used to temporarily take guns away from people a judge deems a threat to themselves or others.

“So this would not have worked the way it’s currently constituted. This would not have worked with Cruz as it’s currently constituted,” Trump said, nodding. “So you’re going to make changes.”

©2018 McClatchy Washington Bureau Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Texas A&M building a Drone Program for Public Safety

Lost hikers found, swimmers rescued with a deployed floatation device, wildfires located from above. Headlines about emergency responders using small, unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) are increasingly common around the world, but the need for accurate, reliable information to inform the many decisions that must be made to implement this exciting new technology effectively can be hard to come by, and expensive.

Texas A&M now offers a five-hour, 0.5 CEU credit online course designed to enable emergency managers to make strategic decisions about starting a sUAS program. The course is unique in that it is not about flying, passing a Part 107 license, or using mapping software but rather about how to define missions for sUAS, train and equip for those missions, and understand the legal, regulatory, and community support ramifications. It specifically covers the types of missions that different small UAS have been used for, what are the practical considerations in buying a small UAS or working with a drone company, what kind of manpower and administrative impact sUAS will have, and best practices for training and deploying. The course distills lessons learned by the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue members’ deployments to more than 15 disasters, starting with Hurricane Katrina (2005) and including Fukushima Daiichi, as well as nearly 400 sorties at Hurricanes Harvey and Irma–all at the request of local agencies, and closely coordinated with existing assets.

While aimed at emergency professionals, the course offers valuable insights for independent operators looking to serve emergency responders. The course can be taken online, or in conjunction with hands-on classes that are also being offered. The course costs $200, and is the first in an online certificate program being co-developed by Texas A&M Humanitarian Robotics and AI Laboratory and Florida State University Center for Disaster Risk Policy in conjunction with the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue, a nonprofit organization created to study and implement robotic technology in disaster and emergency response.

To learn more or register, see http://teesedge.tamu.edu/modules/shop/index.html?action=section&OfferingID=81&SectionID=81  Contact [email protected] for more information about the course and online delivery mechanisms. Contact [email protected] for classroom versions of the class or to have a tailored, hands-on class.

The Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue is a nonprofit corporation 

from sUAS News – The Business of Drones http://ift.tt/2DGxoZr

Elon Musk: Mark Zuckerberg’s understanding of AI is “limited”

Bill Pugliano & Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

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There aren’t many people in the world who can justifiably call Mark Zuckerberg a dumb-ass, but Elon Musk is probably one of them.

Early on Tuesday morning, in the latest salvo of a tussle between the two tech billionaires over the dangers of advanced artificial intelligence, Musk said that Zuckerberg’s “understanding of the subject is limited.”

I won’t rehash the entire argument here, but basically Elon Musk has been warning society for the last few years that we need to be careful of advanced artificial intelligence. Musk is concerned that humans will either become second-class citizens under super-smart AIs, or alternatively that we’ll face a Skynet-like scenario against a robot uprising.

Zuckerberg, on the other hand, is weary of fear-mongering around futuristic technology. “I have pretty strong opinions on this. I am optimistic,” Zuckerberg said during a Facebook Live broadcast on Sunday. “And I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios… I just don’t understand it. It’s really negative and in some ways I think it is pretty irresponsible.”

Then, responding to Zuckerberg’s “pretty irresponsible” remark, Musk said on Twitter: “I’ve talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited.”

It’s a little unfair to call Zuckerberg’s understanding “limited”—Facebook has arguably put a lot more time, money, and research into AI than Musk’s companies. I suspect the real bone of contention between the two nerds has more to do with time scales: Zuckerberg’s stance on AI is that it will massively improve the human condition (and probably Facebook ad revenues) in the short term, but Musk is more concerned with what happens further down the line, when it’s too late to put the sentient robot cat back in the bag.

In reality, a balanced approach that takes a little from column M and a pinch from column Z, is probably the best way forward. There is already too much momentum in the twinned domains of automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence for Musk’s concerns to be taken too seriously—but that doesn’t mean we have to blindly accelerate into a future powered by initially helpful Zuckbots.

Now read about how the artificial intelligence Singularity isn’t just around the corner

This post originated on Ars Technica UK

from Ars Technica http://ift.tt/2tGAHe4