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Archive for the ‘policy’ category

Jan 20, 2024

NEJM Journal Watch: Summaries of and commentary on original medical and scientific articles from key medical journals

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, policy

Should all patients with COPD exacerbations receive oral steroids, or only those with eosinophilia?


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Jan 17, 2024

Measles Outbreak Should Be a Vaccine Wake-Up Call

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, policy

Given the value of the vaccine, it’s mindboggling that some in the US would choose not to protect their children. And yet, vaccine rates among US kindergartners fell for the second consecutive year in 2022, a situation the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said left some 250,000 kids vulnerable to measles. While some of those missed shots were potentially due to challenges accessing timely health care during the pandemic, there’s reason to worry that growing hesitancy about vaccination is also at play.

It does not help that some states are making it easier to forgo routine childhood vaccines. Mississippi, for example, previously led the nation in vaccination coverage for kindergarteners, with more than 98.6% of kids receiving both doses of their MMR shots in the 2021–2022 school year. But anti-vaccine activists succeeded in loosening the state’s childhood vaccination policy, and last year families could for the first time seek religious exemptions for basic shots like MMR, tetanus, polio and others. According to a report from NBC, the state granted more than 2,200 exemptions in the first five months they were allowed.

The shift seemingly reflects a new partisan divide. A recent Pew Research Center poll found a steep drop in the number of Republicans and people who lean Republican who don’t believe vaccines should be required for attending public school.

Jan 14, 2024

OpenAI’s policy update signals for the future of AI and military

Posted by in categories: government, military, policy, robotics/AI

From blanket bans to specific prohibitions

Previously, OpenAI had a strict ban on using its technology for any “activity that has high risk of physical harm, including” “weapons development” and “military and warfare.” This would prevent any government or military agency from using OpenAI’s services for defense or security purposes. However, the new policy has removed the general ban on “military and warfare” use. Instead, it has listed some specific examples of prohibited use cases, such as “develop or use weapons” or “harm yourself or others.”

Jan 13, 2024

Unpacking the modeling process for energy policy making

Posted by in categories: mathematics, neuroscience, policy

On top of this, the use of quantification has significantly increased over the last decades with the inflation of metrics, indicators, and scores to rank and benchmark options (Muller, 2018). The case of energy policy making in the European Union is again an effective example. The European Union’s recent energy strategy has been underpinned by the Clean Energy for all Europeans packages, which are in turn supported by a number of individual directives, each one characterized by a series of quantitative goals (European Commission, 2023). The quantification of the impact (impact assessment) is customarily required to successfully promote new political measures (European Commission, 2015a) and is in turn based on quantification, often from mathematical models (Saltelli et al., 2023). The emphasis on producing exact figures to assess the contribution of a new technology, political or economic measure has put many models and their users into contexts of decision-making that at times extends beyond their original intent (Saltelli, Bammer et al., 2020). At the same time, the efforts to retrospectively assess the performance of energy models have been extremely limited, one example being the Energy Modeling Forum in the United States (Huntington et al., 1982). In spite of this, retrospective assessments can be very helpful in understanding the sources of mismatch between a forecast and the actual figures reported a posteriori (Koomey et al., 2003). For example, long-range forecast models are typically based on the assumption of gradual structural changes, which are at stake with the disruptive events and discontinuities occurring in the real world (Craig et al., 2002). This dimension is especially important in terms of the nature and pace of technology change (Bistline et al., 2023 ; Weyant & Olavson, 1999). A further critical element in this approach is the cognitive bias in scenario analysis that naturally leads to overconfidence in the option being explored and results in an underestimate of the ranges of possible outcomes (Morgan & Keith, 2008).

Additionally, in their quest for capturing the features of the energy systems represented, models have increased their complicatedness and/or complexity. In this context, the need to appraise model uncertainty has become of paramount importance, especially considering the uncertainty due to propagation errors caused by model complexification (Puy et al., 2022). In ecology, this is known as the O’Neil conjecture, which posits a principle of decreasing returns for model complexity when uncertainties come to dominate the output (O’Neill, 1989 ; Turner & Gardner, 2015). Capturing and apportioning uncertainty is crucial for a healthy interaction at the science–policy interface, including energy policy making, because it promotes better informed decision-making. Yet Yue et al. (2018) found that only about 5% of the studies covering energy system optimization models have included some form of assessment of stochastic uncertainty, which is the part of uncertainty that can be fully quantified (Walker et al., 2003). When it comes to adequately apportioning this uncertainty onto the input parameters and hypotheses through sensitivity analysis, the situation is even more critical: Only very few papers in the energy field have made the use of state-of-the-art approaches (Lo Piano & Benini, 2022 ; Saltelli et al., 2019). Further to that, the epistemic part of uncertainty, the one that arises due to imperfect knowledge and problem framing, has been largely ignored in the energy modeling literature (Pye et al., 2018). For instance, important sources of uncertainties associated with regulatory lag and public acceptance have typically been overlooked. 1

In this contribution, we discuss three approaches to deal with the challenges of non-neutrality and uncertainty in models: The numerical unit spread assessment pedigree (NUSAP) method, diagnostic diagrams, and sensitivity auditing (SAUD). These challenges are especially critical when only one (set of) model(s) has been selected to contribute to decision-making. One practical case is used to showcase in retrospective the relevance of the issue and the associated problems: the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) global modeling in the 1980s.

Jan 10, 2024

Steam :: Steamworks Development :: AI Content on Steam

Posted by in categories: entertainment, policy, robotics/AI

Valve has changed its policy and will now allow games made by AI, or that use AI generated content, to be sold on Steam.


Back in June, we shared that while our goal continues to be shipping as many games as possible on Steam, we needed some time to learn about the fast-moving and legally murky space of AI technology, especially given Steam’s worldwide reach. Today, after spending the last few months learning more about this space and talking with game developers, we are making changes to how we handle games that use AI technology. This will enable us to release the vast majority of games that use it.

Jan 5, 2024

What’s next for AI regulation in 2024?

Posted by in categories: policy, robotics/AI

The coming year is going to see the first sweeping AI laws enter into force, with global efforts to hold tech companies accountable.

In 2023, AI policy and regulation went from a niche, nerdy topic to front-page news.

Dec 31, 2023

A New Kind of AI Copy Can Fully Replicate Famous People. The Law Is Powerless

Posted by in categories: law, policy, robotics/AI

New AI-generated digital replicas of real experts expose an unnerving policy gray zone. Washington wants to fix it, but it’s not clear how.

Dec 23, 2023

SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches for a Recordbreaking 19th Time | Starlink 6–32

Posted by in categories: internet, policy, satellites

SpaceX is aiming to launch another batch of Starlink v2 Mini satellites from the Space Launch Complex 40 launchpad. This Booster, B1058, will try to launch and land for a record-breaking 19th time.\
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Window Opens: December 22nd at 11PM EST (04:00 UTC on the 23rd)\
Window Closes: December 23rd at 3:31AM EST (08:31 UTC)\
Primary T0: December 22nd at 11:00PM EST (04:00 UTC on the 23rd)\
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Mission: F9 launch of 23 Starlink v2 Mini satellites \
Target orbit: 285km perigee, 293km apogee, 43 degree inclination.\
Booster: B1058-19; 49d 3h 22min 40s turnaround\
Booster history: Demo-2, Anasis II, SL v1.0–12, CRS-21, Transporter-1, SL v1.0–20, SL v1.0–23, SL v1.0–26, SL 4–1, Transporter-3, SL 4–8, SL 4–17, SL 4–21, SL 4–2, SL 4–37, SL 6–5, SL 6–17, SL 6–26.\
Booster recovery: Droneship Just Read The Instructions (JRIT) located 629km downrange\
Fairing recovery: Bob\
Rocket trajectory: Southeast passing north of Bahamas\
Stubby nozzle: NO\
Stats: \
· SpaceX’s 95th launch of the year and the 6th launch of the month\
· 262nd Falcon orbital launch since Amos 6, F9’s 282nd orbital flight.\
· SpaceX’s 161st launch from SLC-40\
· 71st landing on JRTI out of 72 attempts\
· 181st successful landing since the last failed one\
· 55th launch dedicated to Starlink Gen 2 and 129th launch dedicated to Starlink overall.\
· First Falcon booster to fly for a 19th time\
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Forum: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/ind…\
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⚡ Become a member of NASASpaceflight’s channel for exclusive discord access, fast turnaround clips, and other exclusive benefits. Your support helps us continue our 24/7 coverage. ⚡\
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🔍 If you are interested in using footage captured by this stream, please review our content use policy: https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/conte

Dec 21, 2023

Space Force eyes a future of speed and agility in orbit

Posted by in categories: military, policy, robotics/AI, satellites, space

For its latest Hyperspace Challenge accelerator, the U.S. Space Force selected three startups specializing in satellite propulsion, picks reflecting the military’s growing interest in nimble satellites that can maneuver to outplay adversaries.

This marks a shift for the Pentagon, which traditionally has launched satellites into orbit and restricted their movements to conserve fuel. But with rivals fielding maneuverable spacecraft, U.S. officials are calling for a shift to “dynamic space operations,” enabled by autonomous refueling and other in-orbit services.

“Having the ability to refuel would really open new possibilities,” said John Plumb, assistant secretary of defense for space policy. He said the Pentagon is encouraged to see commercial companies developing technologies for in-orbit logistics that also have significant utility for the military.

Dec 20, 2023

Four trends that changed AI in 2023

Posted by in categories: information science, policy, robotics/AI

This story originally appeared in The Algorithm, our weekly newsletter on AI. To get stories like this in your inbox first, sign up here.

This has been one of the craziest years in AI in a long time: endless product launches, boardroom coups, intense policy debates about AI doom, and a race to find the next big thing. But we’ve also seen concrete tools and policies aimed at getting the AI sector to behave more responsibly and hold powerful players accountable. That gives me a lot of hope for the future of AI.

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