Monday, March 27, 2023

Short Takes – 3-27-23

Unmanned aircraft system innovation is hindered by the current regulatory framework, according to witnesses at a congressional hearing. article. Pull quote: “Small UAS technology development also faces regulatory barriers. For example, the government only has 15 approved platforms from which to purchase. And supply chain vulnerabilities and the inability of counter-UAS technology companies to test and perform R&D in the U.S. [emphasis added] have ultimately created national security concerns. According to the speakers, developing standards will also help, but the standards cannot be so restrictive as to hinder innovation, and it may even be too early to develop such standards.”

They fell in love with an AI chatbot. Now, they’re heartbroken. article. Pull quote: “The speed with which some users bonded with their chatbots shows how easy it would be for someone with ill-intent to manipulate or exploit users, particularly those who are vulnerable. It also raises questions about just how much anthropomorphism should be incorporated into AI applications in the first place.”

11 billion-pound mystery: The chemicals South Dakota trains carry. article. A periodic complaint from environmental activists, but a good summary of their point of view. Pull quote: ““Neither FRA nor any government agency can provide information that lists specific rail lines that hazardous material shipments traverse, as railroads consider such information to be proprietary, and doing so raises safety and security issues,” the office said. “In addition, as a federal safety regulator, FRA does not monitor train movements or types of cargo transported by private rail companies in real time.””

Balloon Intercepted By U.S. Air Force Over Texas. article. Pull quote: “"North American Aerospace Defense Command detected an unidentified radar track over south central Texas on Mar. 25 and launched aircraft to visually investigate the situation. NORAD aircraft identified a small airborne object as likely a hobbyist Pico balloon and assessed the object posed no immediate military threat or safety of flight hazard. NORAD will continue to track and monitor the object, and is in close coordination with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to ensure continued flight safety."” See what the Chinese started.

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