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Artificial intelligence: Commission takes forward its work on ethics guidelines

Vlad Poptamas

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The Commission presents today next steps for building trust in artificial intelligence by taking forward the work of the High-Level Expert Group.

Building on the work of the group of independent experts appointed in June 2018, the Commission is today launching a pilot phase to ensure that the ethical guidelines for Artificial Intelligence (AI) development and use can be implemented in practice. The Commission invites industry, research institutes and public authorities to test the detailed assessment list drafted by the High-Level Expert Group, which complements the guidelines.

Today’s plans are a deliverable under the AI strategy of April 2018, which aims at increasing public and private investments to at least €20 billion annually over the next decade, making more data available, fostering talent and ensuring trust.

Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: “I welcome the work undertaken by our independent experts. The ethical dimension of AI is not a luxury feature or an add-on. It is only with trust that our society can fully benefit from technologies. Ethical AI is a win-win proposition that can become a competitive advantage for Europe: being a leader of human-centric AI that people can trust.”

Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel added: Today, we are taking an important step towards ethical and secure AI in the EU. We now have a solid foundation based on EU values and following an extensive and constructive engagement from many stakeholders including businesses, academia and civil society. We will now put these requirements to practice and at the same time foster an international discussion on human-centric AI.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can benefit a wide-range of sectors, such as healthcare, energy consumption, cars safety, farming, climate change and financial risk management. AI can also help to detect fraud and cybersecurity threats, and enables law enforcement authorities to fight crime more efficiently. However, AI also brings new challenges for the future of work, and raises legal and ethical questions.

The Commission is taking a three-step approach: setting-out the key requirements for trustworthy AI, launching a large scale pilot phase for feedback from stakeholders, and working on international consensus building for human-centric AI.

1.Seven essentials for achieving trustworthy AI

Trustworthy AI should respect all applicable laws and regulations, as well as a series of requirements; specific assessment lists aim to help verify the application of each of the key requirements:

  • Human agency and oversight: AI systems should enable equitable societies by supporting human agency and fundamental rights, and not decrease, limit or misguide human autonomy.
  • Robustness and safety: Trustworthy AI requires algorithms to be secure, reliable and robust enough to deal with errors or inconsistencies during all life cycle phases of AI systems.
  • Privacy and data governance: Citizens should have full control over their own data, while data concerning them will not be used to harm or discriminate against them.
  • Transparency: The traceability of AI systems should be ensured.
  • Diversity, non-discrimination and fairness: AI systems should consider the whole range of human abilities, skills and requirements, and ensure accessibility.
  • Societal and environmental well-being: AI systems should be used to enhance positive social change and enhance sustainability and ecological responsibility.
  • Accountability: Mechanisms should be put in place to ensure responsibility and accountability for AI systems and their outcomes.

2. Large-scale pilot with partners

In summer 2019, the Commission will launch a pilot phase involving a wide range of stakeholders. Already today, companies, public administrations and organisations can sign up to the European AI Alliance and receive a notification when the pilot starts. In addition, members of the AI high-level expert group will help present and explain the guidelines to relevant stakeholders in Member States.

3. Building international consensus for human-centric AI

The Commission wants to bring this approach to AI ethics to the global stage because technologies, data and algorithms know no borders. To this end, the Commission will strengthen cooperation with like-minded partners such as Japan, Canada or Singapore and continue to play an active role in international discussions and initiatives including the G7 and G20. The pilot phase will also involve companies from other countries and international organisations.

Next steps

Members of the AI expert group will present their work in detail during the third Digital Day in Brussels on 9 April. Following the pilot phase, in early 2020, the AI expert group will review the assessment lists for the key requirements, building on the feedback received. Building on this review, the Commission will evaluate the outcome and propose any next steps.

Furthermore, to ensure the ethical development of AI, the Commission will by the autumn 2019: launch a set of networks of AI research excellence centres; begin setting up networks of digital innovation hubs; and together with Member States and stakeholders, start discussions to develop and implement a model for data sharing and making best use of common data spaces.

Artificial Intelligence

Second Front Systems Raises $6 Million to Provide Immediate Impact to National Security, led by ARTIS Ventures

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San Francisco, CA, July 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Second Front Systems, a software company working to disrupt the traditional aerospace and defense industry by acting as a beachhead for cutting-edge startups, today announced an oversubscribed $6 million in seed funding led by ARTIS Ventures. Additional investors include Kleiner Perkins, 8VC, Gula Tech Adventures, and Abstract VenturesThe venture funding will be used to expand the capabilities of Second Front’s software platform, Atlas Fulcrum, which has recently received a major contract award from the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Air Force’s AFWERX. The U.S. military recognizes that commercially driven tech, such as autonomy, cyber, biotech, and AI, has surpassed the defense base in relevance to national security in the 21st century. Acting as a “digital prime,” the Atlas Fulcrum platform empowers the U.S. government to regain control from the traditional defense industry in scouting, vetting, and securely fielding cutting-edge technology at scale.Austin Walne, partner at ARTIS Ventures will join Second Front’s board with General Peter Pace, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Stanley McChrystal, former commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, and Alberto Yepez, co-founder and managing director of ForgePoint Capital.
“The U.S. Military is actively seeking advances in artificial intelligence and synthetic biology. This aligns with ARTIS Ventures’ focus on the convergence of computer science and life science,” said Austin Walne, partner at ARTIS Ventures, whose firm is also an investor in Palantir. “Second Front’s executive team comes with proven military backgrounds, giving them an insider’s perspective on vetting and integrating technologies that will have an immediate impact on national security.” 
Second Front was started by former Marine Corps Major Peter Dixon, a scout sniper platoon commander who worked with In-Q-Tel and DARPA to pioneer counter-cartel and counter-insurgency technologies, including early adoption of Palantir, at the State Department and Pentagon, and retired Marine Corps Colonel Mark Butler, a fighter and test pilot who helped form the Marines’ arm of Cyber Command.
“I came back from combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan where my men and I were hamstrung by outdated technology that negated what should have been an advantage against insurgent adversaries,” said Second Front CEO Peter Dixon. “Subsequently, at the Pentagon, I watched as billions of dollars were awarded to traditional defense companies, many of whom were unable to deliver usable technology to front-line troops. This venture financing and initial partnerships gives Second Front the velocity to build a new type of ‘lean systems integrator’ that can harness the innovations of the American entrepreneurial ecosystem where the traditional defense firms have failed.” Biotech and the Military 
As the U.S. military looks to reshape the national security and innovation base to respond to pandemics and embrace evolving technologies such as synthetic biology, biotech has become a crucial focus area for the government. 
As stated by Dr. Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics in Breaking Defense, “There are so many breakthroughs that are happening. We don’t typically think about biology as a core competency in the Air Force, but biology teaches us a ton.” 
Second Front Systems is a public benefit corporation operating in a new class of venture-backed defense companies that includes Palantir, Anduril, and Rebellion Defense.
About Second Front Systems
Second Front Systems is a veteran-owned small business that builds software so U.S. and allied governments can harness disruptive technology from venture capital-backed, commercially proven companies. For more information visit https://secondfront.com/
About ARTIS Ventures 
ARTIS Ventures (AV) partners with entrepreneurs who are driven to impact the world by reshaping and reinventing industries. The team supports its portfolio companies through their entire life-cycle, from initial venture investment to public offering and beyond. As an early leader in the emerging TechBio sector, ARTIS Ventures funds companies at the intersection of computer science and life science, applying engineering principles and data-enabled discovery to the healthcare space. Notable companies the firm has backed include YouTube, Modern Meadow, Nimble Storage, StemCentrx, Palantir, IDbyDNA, Versa Networks, Cohesity, Locus Biosciences, Eko, Excision BioTherapeutics, Aether, Unnatural Products, Inc., and more. For more information visit www.av.co or email contact@av.co.

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DIAGNOS Announces that its Client in California, the Chaparral Medical Group of Clinics, is Reopening the Screening Services for Diabetic Retinopathy after the COVID-19 Shutdown

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BROSSARD, Quebec, July 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Diagnos Inc. (“DIAGNOS” or the “Corporation”) (TSX Venture: ADK) (OTCQB: DGNOF), a leader in early detection of critical health issues using advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI), is pleased to announce that its client, Chaparral Medical Group (“Chaparral”), is reopening amid additional safety extra measures being implemented to address the COVID-19 situation.
Dr. Prasad Jeereddi, MD, Diabetes Specialist, President, and Medical Director of Chaparral stated: “The remote screenings are conducted using a telemedicine application which temporarily replaces the requirement for patients to be seen in person by a specialist. It only takes 5 minutes to perform the screening test. It prevents the need for the diabetic patient to get their eyes tested in a different location. Chaparral operates 33 clinics across the state of California. Diabetic patients are vulnerable to COVID-19 and the convenience of the test in our clinic reduces the risk for COVID-19 exposure.”Telemedicine refers to the practice of caring for patients remotely when the provider and patient are not physically present with each other.Mr. Yves-Stephane Couture, vice-president of sales at DIAGNOS added: “We are pleased to provide extra service at the point of care (POC) for Chaparral’s patients. While the patient is in the clinic, it’s an excellent opportunity to check their eyes for diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes is the most common cause of vision impairment and blindness among working-age adults in the United States as per the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
About Chaparral Medical Group

Chaparral Medical Group is a multi-specialty healthcare group serving the communities of Claremont, La Verne, San Dimas, Fontana, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Chino Hills and Diamond Bar in Southern California. Over 20 primary care physicians serve as the group’s clinical core, and work together with their medical and surgical specialists to provide outstanding care to the patient population of Southern California. They have been serving the community since 1978 and their unwavering commitment to patient care and physician work satisfaction are what have driven them to become the most trusted and relied-upon group of physicians in their area.

About DIAGNOS

DIAGNOS is a publicly-traded Canadian corporation with a mission of early detection of critical health issues through the use of its Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) tool CARA (Computer Assisted Retina Analysis). CARA is a tele-ophthalmology platform that integrates with existing equipment (hardware and software) and processes at the point of care. CARA’s Artificial Intelligence image enhancement algorithms make standard retinal images sharper, clearer and easier to read. CARA is accessible securely over the internet and is compatible with all recognized image formats and brands of fundus cameras and is EMR compatible. CARA is a cost-effective tool for screening large numbers of patients in real-time. CARA complies with local regulations, is FDA cleared for commercialization in the United States of America is Health Canada licensed for commercialization in Canada and is CE marking compliant in Europe.
Additional information is available at www.diagnos.com and www.sedar.comThis news release contains forward-looking information. There can be no assurance that forward-looking information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in these statements. DIAGNOS disclaims any intention or obligation to publically update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The forward-looking information contained in this news release is expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.For further information, please contact: Mr. André Larente, President
DIAGNOS Inc.
Tel: 450-678-8882 ext. 224

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Fluent.ai Named a Cool Vendor by Gartner

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MONTREAL, July 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Fluent.ai, a leading provider of offline, small footprint and multilingual speech understanding solutions for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) looking to deliver lightweight solutions for consumer devices, announces it has been recognized in the Cool Vendors in Natural Language Technology1 report by Gartner.Fluent.ai’s groundbreaking speech-to-intent technology uses neural networks to directly map a user’s speech to intended action based on acoustic sounds alone, completely bypassing the need for speech-to-text transcription and reliance on a Cloud connection. This acoustic-only approach enables Fluent.ai to create small footprint, low power speech understanding systems that work fully offline on edge devices. Fluent.ai technology also works well in noisy environments and offers industry-leading multilingual capabilities.Fluent’s WakeWord and Automatic Intent Recognition (“Air”) software solutions provide fast-response voice activation and control capabilities that are ideal for consumer devices such as smart home appliances, wearable fitness trackers and wireless headphones. By working fully offline on device, Fluent.ai protects consumer privacy and has the flexibility to be used in any environment. Fluent’s solutions are tailor-made and can be built to support any language, any accent, and even multiple languages and accents in a single small-footprint system.“To us, our recognition in the Cool Vendors in Natural Language Technology report by Gartner is confirmation that Fluent.ai is well on its way to fulfilling our company mission to voice enable the world’s devices,” said Probal Lala, CEO of Fluent.ai. “We aim to provide a voice solution that works for everyone regardless of their language, accent or environment. It’s this focus along with our small footprint and low power requirements that we believe will make our OEM customers successful in offering voice control capabilities to their end users. In this era of COVID-19, we anticipate these capabilities will only grow in importance as touchless user interfaces become more and more of a necessity.”1 Gartner, “Cool Vendors in Natural Language Technology,” Bern Elliot, Anthony Mullen, Afraz Jaffri, Jessica Ekholm, Tracy Tsai, 16 April 2020.

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