Phil 10.18.18

7:00 – 9:00, 12:00 – ASRC PhD

  • Reading the New Yorker piece How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump, about Kathleen Hall Jamieson‘s book Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President—What We Don’t, Can’t, and Do Know. Some interesting points with respect to Adversarial Herding:
    • Jamieson’s Post article was grounded in years of scholarship on political persuasion. She noted that political messages are especially effective when they are sent by trusted sources, such as members of one’s own community. Russian operatives, it turned out, disguised themselves in precisely this way. As the Times first reported, on June 8, 2016, a Facebook user depicting himself as Melvin Redick, a genial family man from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, posted a link to DCLeaks.com, and wrote that users should check out “the hidden truth about Hillary Clinton, George Soros and other leaders of the US.” The profile photograph of “Redick” showed him in a backward baseball cap, alongside his young daughter—but Pennsylvania records showed no evidence of Redick’s existence, and the photograph matched an image of an unsuspecting man in Brazil. U.S. intelligence experts later announced, “with high confidence,” that DCLeaks was the creation of the G.R.U., Russia’s military-intelligence agency.
    • Jamieson argues that the impact of the Russian cyberwar was likely enhanced by its consistency with messaging from Trump’s campaign, and by its strategic alignment with the campaign’s geographic and demographic objectives. Had the Kremlin tried to push voters in a new direction, its effort might have failed. But, Jamieson concluded, the Russian saboteurs nimbly amplified Trump’s divisive rhetoric on immigrants, minorities, and Muslims, among other signature topics, and targeted constituencies that he needed to reach. 
  • Twitter released IRA dataset (announcement, archive), and Kate Starbird’s group has done some preliminary analysis
  • Need to do something about the NESTA Call for Ideas, which is due “11am on Friday 9th November
  • Continuing with Market-Oriented Programming
    • Some thoughts on what the “cost” for a trip can reference
      • Passenger
        • Ticket price
          • provider: Current price, refundability, includes taxes
            • carbon
            • congestion
            • other?
          • consumer: Acceptable range
        • Travel time
        • Departure time
        • Arrival time (plus arrival time confidence)
        • comfort (legroom, AC)
        • Number of stops (related to convenience)
        • Number of passengers
        • Time to wait
        • Externalities like airport security, which adds +/- 2 hours to air travel
      • Cargo
        • Divisibility (ship as one or more items)
        • Physical state for shipping (packaged, indivisible solid, fluid, gas)
          • Waste to food grade to living (is there a difference between algae and cattle? Pets? Show horses?
          • Refrigerated/heated
          • Danger
          • Stability/lifespan
          • weight
      • Aggregators provide simpler combinations of transportation options
    • Any exchange that supports this format should be able to participate. Additionally, each exchange should contain a list of other exchanges that a consumer can request, so we don’t need another level of hierarchy. Exchanges could rate other exchanges as a quality measure
      • It also occurs to me that there could be some kind of peer-to-peer or mesh network for degraded modes. A degraded mode implies a certain level of emergency, which would affect the (now small-scale) allocation of resources.
    • Some stuff about Mobility as a Service. Slide deck (from Canada Intelligent Transportation Service), and an app (Whim)
  • PSC AI/ML working group 9:00 – 12:00, plus writeup
    • PSC will convene a working group meeting on Thursday, Oct. 18 from 9am – 10am to identify actions and policy considerations related to advancing the use of AI solutions in government. Come prepared to share your ideas and experience. We would welcome your specific feedback on these questions:
      • How can PSC help make the government a “smarter buyer” when it comes to AI/ML?
      • How are agencies effectively using AI/ML today?
      • In what other areas could these technologies be deployed in government today?
        • Looking for bad sensors on NOAA satellites
      • What is the current federal market and potential future market for AI/ML?
      • Notes:
        • How to help our members – federal contracts. Help make the federal market frictionless
        • Kevin – SmartForm? What are the main gvt concerns? Is it worry about False positives?
          • Competitiveness – no national strategy
          • Appropriate use, particularly law enforcement
          • Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Security, Compliancy, and adoption. Compliancy testing.
          • Data trust. Humans make errors. When ML makes the same errors, it’s worse.
        • A system that takes time to get accurate watching people perform is not the kind of system that the government can buy.
          • This implies that there has to be immediate benefit, and can have the possibility of downstream benefit.
        • Dell would love to participate (in what?) Something about cloud
        • Replacing legacy processes with better approaches
        • Fedramp-like compliance mechanism for AI. It is a requirement if it is a cloud service.
        • Perceived, implicit bias is the dominant narrative on the government side. Specific applications like facial recognition
        • Take a look at all the laws that might affect AI, to see how the constraints are affecting adoption/use with an eye towards removing barriers
        • Chris ?? There isn’t a very good understanding or clear linkage between the the promise and the current problems, such as staffing, tagged data, etc
        • What does it mean to be reskilled and retrained in an AI context?
        • President’s Management Agenda
        • The killer app is cost savings, particularly when one part of government is getting a better price than another part.
        • Federal Data Strategy
        • Send a note to Kevin about data availability. The difference between NOAA sensor data (clean and abundant), vs financial data, constantly changing spreadsheets that are not standardized. Maybe the creation of tools that make it easier to standardize data than use artisanal (usually Excel-based) solutions. Wrote it up for Aaron to review. It turned out to be a page.

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