The U.S. Air Force Looks To Advanced Manufacturing To Keep Existing Aircraft Flying And Develop Next-Gen Capabilities

What if there were Olympic events that weren’t physical, but were focused instead on completely geeking out on super-cool breakthrough technologies for real-world aerospace and defense challenges? Even better, what if they offered prize money totaling nearly a million dollars?

Now there are just such events, thanks to the U.S. Air Force’s Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO). In fact, participants in five such Olympic “sports” (or Technical Challenges, as the RSO calls them) have already been competing over the past few months. Those competitions will culminate when the winners are announced during next week’s four-day Advanced Manufacturing Olympics. This virtual conference runs from October 20-23, and features technology demonstrations, expert speakers from both industry and the military, virtual networking opportunities, and the awarding of prized for those Technical Challenges mentioned above.

“RSO is working to revolutionize sustainment, while building an agile supply chain for the future,” said Nathan Parker, Deputy Program Executive Officer at the RSO. “Originally, we were planning to hold this inaugural event outside Salt Lake City, Utah. But then Covid hit, so we’ve taken the whole thing virtual.”

Event speakers will include military officials such as Barbara M. Barrett, Secretary of the Air Force; General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., Chief of Staff of the Air Force; and General John W. Raymond, Chief of Space Operations of the U.S. Space Force. Other speakers featured are Sebastian Thrun, founder of Google X; Dr. Mae Jemison, NASA astronaut; and Brad Kesolowski, NASCAR Cup Series driver and founder of Kesolowski Advanced Manufacturing.

The five Technical Challenges began with an

Elon Musk has ‘seen no evidence of an advanced civilization visiting Earth’

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Elon Musk tweeted this scenic view of the Starship SN5 prototype in mid-air in August. This is an identified flying object.


Elon Musk/SpaceX

The truth is out there, and Elon Musk is sure it has nothing to do with aliens visiting Earth. 

The SpaceX founder chimed in on the idea of UFO sightings through a couple of tweets on Sunday. “I have seen no evidence of an advanced civilization visiting Earth,” he tweeted. “Fuzzy pics that are worse than a 7/11 security cam frame grab don’t count!”

Musk was responding to a tweet from Fox television anchor Maria Bartiromo. She shared a clip from Sunday in which she asked President Donald Trump why earlier this year the Department of Defense set up a UFO group called the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force.

Bartiromo asked whether UFOs exist. Trump told the anchor he would “have to check on that” and would “take a good strong look at that.”

Musk followed up with a strong piece of anecdotal evidence for his UFO doubt, tweeting: “There are literally >1000% more cameras than 10 years ago, but still zero clear photos.” (That’s what I’ve been saying for years.)  

It’s no wonder people care what Musk has to say about aliens and UFOs. He’s one of the most prominent space proponents on the planet. There was a minor kerfuffle back in July when he cryptically tweeted: “Aliens built the pyramids obv.” This prompted a response from Egypt inviting him to learn more

IBM advanced Project Debater effort with Key Point Analysis

IBM has developed a natural language processing advance via its Project Debater effort called Key Point Analysis that aims to use artificial intelligence to sum up crowd-sourced arguments.

The technology, led by IBM Research, is being showcased on Bloomberg TV’s “That’s Debatable” show. The show aired Friday and featured a debate on wealth distribution with US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, former Greece finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Manhattan Institute’s Allison Schrager.

Noam Slonim, lead researcher for IBM’s Project Debater effort, said the goal of Key Point Analysis is to “enable AI systems to manage the human language.” “There’s a significant opportunity for using national language processing,” he said.

Primers: What is AI? | What is machine learning? | What is deep learning? | What is artificial general intelligence?    

In the debut episode of “That’s Debatable,” IBM used Key Point Analysis to distill points for a debate on wealth redistribution. About 3,500 arguments were submitted on whether it is time to redistribute wealth and IBM is collecting thoughts on future debates, IBM’s technology found that 56% of the arguments were for redistribution, but 44% were against. Of that 44% against redistribution, 15% cited the moral hazards of discouraging hard work. Without the AI distilling those arguments, it’s unlikely that point would have been surfaced in a debate.

The breakdown of submissions went like this:

  • 3508 submissions
  • 1600 usable arguments
  • 20 final key points
  • 2 coherent narratives for each side.

Slonim explained that IBM’s Key Point Analysis is designed to reveal key points, generate a bullet summary and create quantitative numbers to review and a narrative. “It puts short comments into a summary that can guide decisionmakers and establish a communication channel between decisionmakers and those impacted,” he said.

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IBM

IBM Watson Chief Architect Dakshi

Cycling’s BMC And F1’s Red Bull Advanced Technologies Hint At Cycling Revolution

Swiss cycling brand BMC and U.K.-based Formula One motor racing team Red Bull Advanced Technologies have released a teaser video promising a “cycling revolution.”

In the video, former professional sprint cyclist Fabian Cancellara rides—fast—on an obscured road racing bicycle and ends by claiming that “if this works it’s going to change everything.”

BMC has been working with Aston Martin Red Bull Advanced Technologies for two years and the teaser video released on October 6 is the first communication about the collaboration since it was announced in 2018.

“After almost two years of intense research and development, Red Bull Advanced Technologies and innovative Swiss bike brand BMC have moved into the prototyping phase of their technology partnership,” said a joint announcement.

Red Bull Advanced Technologies’ Vehicle Science team has been helping BMC technicians with simulations of bike behavior based on data from Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models.

The companies are enlisted Cancellara—an Olympic and World Champion—to validate and evaluate some of the first hardware developments produced by the partnership.

“It’s been fascinating to see what Formula 1 development techniques can bring to the field of bike design,” said Christian Horner, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team Principal.

“We have developed some hugely innovative concepts and now it’s time to step up the pace of our collaboration and take those enormously exciting ideas to the next level in pursuit of the next generation of performance cycling.”

David Zurcher, CEO of BMC, agreed: “The ideas we’re working on truly have the capacity to significantly improve the entire experience of performance cycling.”

It’s unlikely the collaboration will see any actual products for some time but, interestingly, the UCI, the world governing body for cycling, has recently admitted it will be loosening some of its restrictive design rules next year.

Confirming parts

Ping Identity Launches New Cloud Services Enabling Advanced Risk Management and Authentication for the Enterprise

PingOne Services provide multi-factor authentication and real-time threat detection for stronger overall customer and workforce security

Ping Identity (NYSE: PING), the intelligent identity solution for the enterprise, today unveiled PingOne Services, a suite of stand-alone cloud services that provide advanced identity and access management capabilities with flexible integration options and rapid implementation. The first two cloud solutions being announced today, PingOne MFA and PingOne Risk Management, address enterprises’ needs to balance security and convenience in the digital experience for an organization’s workforce and customers. Alongside these services, Ping is launching a unified cloud administration experience that provides a single location for administrators to view and manage their identity solutions deployed on-premises and in the cloud.

Ping Identity is expanding its identity and access management solutions with new, stand-alone cloud services that can be deployed together or individually to meet an organization’s unique needs. PingOne Services offerings can be easily integrated with existing IAM infrastructure, including Ping Identity solutions as well as third-party products, so that enterprises can pick and choose which advanced capabilities they need and how they want them deployed.

PingOne MFA Balances User Convenience with Security

PingOne MFA is a multi-factor authentication cloud service that protects from account takeover attacks, compromised credentials, fraud and other malicious activities, while delivering a smooth and frictionless user experience. The solution uses adaptive authentication policies so that organizations only prompt customers for authentication when needed. Users can also utilize PingOne MFA for custom transaction approvals, such as approving the transfer of funds or other high-value transactions. PingOne MFA can be seamlessly embedded into web and mobile applications, allowing enterprises to brand the end-user experience and provide a choice of easy-to-use authentication methods, including SMS, email and push notifications from a mobile device.

PingOne Risk Management Detects and Prevents Threats in