US Military hopes AI autopilot can replace flight crews

AFP Photo / Alexander Klein

AFP Photo / Alexander Klein

The US Defense Department is developing a method of autopilot that may allow the military to reduce air flight crews to a fraction of their current size. This announcement comes after officials worried that a reduced military would be less effective.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon’s research and development department said Tuesday that, over the next 50 years, it will work to introduce automated flight systems in aircraft.

While military planes and aviation vehicles would still be flown by a pilot, that soldier would serve as a high-level “mission supervisor” who issues commands through a touch screen. The technology could replace five members of a flight crew, according to a statement.

Our goal is to design and develop a full-time automated assistant that could be rapidly adapted to help operate diverse aircraft through an easy-to-use operator interface,” Daniel Pratt, a program manager at DARPA, said in the notice published this week. “These capabilities could help transform the role of pilot from a systems operator to a mission supervisor directing intermeshed trusted, reliable systems at a high level.”

The plan is officially known as the Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit automation System (ALIAS) and will act essentially as …read more

The Middle Class In Canada Is Now Doing Better Than The Middle Class In America Is

Canada - Photo by Ssolbergj

For most of Canada’s existence, it has been regarded as the weak neighbor to the north by most Americans.  Well, that has changed dramatically over the past decade or so.  Back in the year 2000, middle class Canadians were earning much less than middle class Americans, but since then there has been a dramatic shift.  At this point, middle class Canadians are actually earning more than middle class Americans are.  The Canadian economy has been booming thanks to a rapidly growing oil industry, and meanwhile the U.S. middle class has been steadily shrinking.  If current trends continue, a whole bunch of other countries are going to start passing us too.  The era of the “great U.S. middle class” is rapidly coming to a bitter end.

In recent years, I have been up to Canada frequently, and I am always amazed at how much nicer things are up there.  The stores and streets are cleaner, the people are more polite and it seems like almost everyone that wants to work has a job.

But despite knowing all this, I was still surprised when the New York Times reported this week that middle class incomes in Canada have now surpassed middle class incomes …read more

The Middle Class In Canada Is Now Doing Better Than The Middle Class In America Is

Canada - Photo by Ssolbergj

For most of Canada’s existence, it has been regarded as the weak neighbor to the north by most Americans.  Well, that has changed dramatically over the past decade or so.  Back in the year 2000, middle class Canadians were earning much less than middle class Americans, but since then there has been a dramatic shift.  At this point, middle class Canadians are actually earning more than middle class Americans are.  The Canadian economy has been booming thanks to a rapidly growing oil industry, and meanwhile the U.S. middle class has been steadily shrinking.  If current trends continue, a whole bunch of other countries are going to start passing us too.  The era of the “great U.S. middle class” is rapidly coming to a bitter end.

In recent years, I have been up to Canada frequently, and I am always amazed at how much nicer things are up there.  The stores and streets are cleaner, the people are more polite and it seems like almost everyone that wants to work has a job.

But despite knowing all this, I was still surprised when the New York Times reported this week that middle class incomes in Canada have now surpassed middle class incomes …read more

Biden slams Russia as Ukraine’s president calls for new crackdown in east

Vice President Joe Biden in 2012 (Image credit: Christopher Dilts for Obama for America/Flickr)

By End the Lie

Vice President Joe Biden in 2012 (Image credit: Christopher Dilts for Obama for America/Flickr)

Vice President Joe Biden has said that the U.S. will never recognize Russia’s “illegal occupation” of Crimea as Ukraine’s acting president called for a new crackdown in the restive eastern part of his country.

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Acting President Oleksander Turchynov accused Russia of aiding “terrorists” who he said were responsible for killing a politician from his Batkivshchyna party.

The politician was one of two “brutally tortured” bodies found near the city of Slaviansk, which is currently controlled by pro-Russian militants, according to Australia’s ABC News.

The killings were carried out with Russia’s full support and indulgence, according to Turchynov.

“I demand the resumption of effective counter-terrorism measures to protect Ukrainian citizens in the east from terrorism,” he said in a statement.

The crackdown “could hamper international efforts to defuse the crisis,” according to Reuters.

Part of the agreement reached between Ukraine, Russia, …read more