National Academies Framework for Equitable Allocation of a COVID-19 Vaccine 

A roll-out of a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is possibly less than a month away.  In this light, a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released in October is especially pertinent.  It is a final report of a consensus study recommending a four-phased equitable allocation framework that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and state, tribal, local, and territorial (STLT) authorities should adopt in the development of national and local guidelines for COVID-19 vaccine allocation.

To read more, see: National Academies Release Framework for Equitable Allocation of a COVID-19 Vaccine

2020 State Science & Technology Index Released

Investments in science and technology are critical for job and wealth creation as well as broader economic growth across all regions of the United States. The biennial State Technology and Science Index (STSI) developed by the Miliken Institute provides a benchmark for evaluating the knowledge economies of all 50 US states. The index compares each state’s capacity for achieving prosperity through scientific discovery and technological innovation.

The index uses 105 metrics in five areas (research and development inputs, risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure, human capital investment, technology and science workforce, and technology concentration and dynamism) to evaluate states.

Massachusetts, Colorado, California, Maryland, Washington and Utah top the list.

Air Force to Host Trusted AI Challenge series 

The Air Force Research Laboratory is teaming up with academia, industry and government agencies to ensure the trustworthiness of future Artificial Intelligence.

The series is designed to cultivate, define and fund creative solutions to a set of challenge problems in trustworthy AI and will focus on dynamic, autonomous systems that learn and adapt behaviors.   The series will kick off Oct. 14, 2020 with a half-day webinar at 12 Noon EDT.  Click here to register.

CRISPR Developers Win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 for their discovery of a method of editing genetic code known as CRISPR/Cas9.

In just eight short years, this discovery has had a profound impact on science and on humanity. Using CRISPR, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision. This technology has revolutionized the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true.

AFRL announces new STTR program round

On August 27, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) released the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Commercial Solutions Opening. Responses are due by 12:00 p.m. Eastern on October 22.

The DoD STTR Program objectives include stimulating technological innovation, strengthening small businesses’ role in meeting DoD R&D needs, fostering and encouraging minority and disadvantaged persons’ participation in technological innovation, and increasing commercial application of DoD-supported R/R&D results.

Webinar: Human-Centered AI Research and and Policy

The Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR) will host a webinar to discuss the emerging challenges and opportunities of human-centered artificial intelligence. Fei-Fei Li, the Co-Director of Stanford’s Human-Centered AI Institute, and Timothy Persons, the Chief Scientist of the U.S. Government Accountability Office will present and take questions from the audience.

Registration is required but free.

Intelligence Community Releases Artificial Intelligence Principles and Framework

Will help guide the IC’s ethical development and use of AI.

The U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) released the Principles of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ethics for the Intelligence Community and the related Artificial Intelligence Ethics Framework for the Intelligence Community. These principles and framework, which the director of national intelligence (DNI) recently approved, will guide the IC’s ethical development and use of AI.

The IC leads in developing and using technology crucial to our national security mission, and we cannot do so without recognizing and acting on its ethical implications,” said DNI John Ratcliffe. “These principles and their accompanying framework will help guide our mission leads and data scientists as they implement technology to solve intelligence problems.”

According to a recent statement by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Principles represent the IC’s commitment to ensuring its use and implementation of AI respect the law, protect privacy and civil liberties, are transparent and accountable, remain objective and equitable, appropriately incorporate human judgment, are secure and resilient by design, and incorporate the best practices of the science and technology communities.

IC data scientists, privacy and civil liberties officers and other key stakeholders collaboratively developed the AI Ethics Framework to ensure the IC incorporates the Principles of AI Ethics into both the design and use of the technology. The Framework provides public insight into the factors the IC considers when deciding whether and how to use this technology to counter national security threats.