Microsoft and Team Gleason, the nonprofit organization founded by NFL player Steve Gleason, today launched Project Insight to create an open dataset of facial imagery of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The organizations hope to foster innovation in computer vision and broaden the potential for connectivity and communication for people with accessibility challenges.
Microsoft and Team Gleason assert that existing machine learning datasets don’t represent the diversity of people with ALS, a condition that affects as many as 30,000 people in the U.S. This results in issues accurately identifying people, due to breathing masks, droopy eyelids, watery eyes, and dry eyes from medications that control excessive saliva.
Project Insight will investigate how to use data and AI with the front-facing camera already present in many assistive devices to predict where a person is looking on a screen. Team Gleason will work with Microsoft’s Health Next Enable team to gather images of people with ALS looking at their computer so it can train AI models more inclusively. (Microsoft’s Health Next team, which is within its Health AI division, focuses on AI and cloud-based services to improve health outcomes.) Participants will be given a brief medical history questionnaire and be prompted through an app to submit images of themselves using their computer.
“ALS progression can be as diverse as the individuals themselves,” Team Gleason chief impact officer Blair Casey said. “So accessing computers and communication devices should not be a one-size-fits-all. We will capture as much information as possible from 100 people living with ALS so we can develop tools for all to effectively use.”
Microsoft and Team Gleason estimate that the project will collect and share 5TB of anonymized data with researchers on data science platforms like Kaggle and GitHub.
“There is a significant lack of disability-specific data that is
Step 1: Get to Know Each Other & Clarify Expectations
Part of building a good working relationship from the start has to do with clarifying expectations. Getting the internal and external teams together is a first step in creating a context where both the agency and the client can ask their questions and obtain alignment.
You probably have quite a lot of information from the sales process, but this is a great moment to review the client profile and add new data to it.
So think about a kick-off call with everyone involved – the client representatives, the account representative, maybe the Head of Client Service, the agency CEO, the SEO strategist, content writer, etc.
Decide on the roles based on their direct involvement with the audit, strategy, and the following SEO campaign and its specific.
Large meetings can sometimes mean that not everyone gets to have their voices heard, so the account manager should assume the role of the host and introduce each participant.
In an online-only setting, you could use break-out rooms, Zoom’s group feature, to foster even more direct contact. Also, you can use a camera-on policy to gather as much nonverbal input as possible and better facilitate the meeting.
This meeting is all about setting the project environment. Go ahead and clarify basic questions like:
- What are the expectations around communication (channels, frequency, reports, etc.)?
- When can I see the first results?
- What are the business challenges at the moment?
- Who do I ask for help and input (on both sides)?
- What other information do we need to better understand the business context?
Both teams will probably have questions regarding the onboarding/working process – apart from the ones in the discovery questionnaire – and regarding the project per se.
Regarding the latter, make sure that the
In early August, the Globe Independent launched a website filled with news stories plagiarized from NBC News, the Washington Post, and other outlets. By September, the impostor news site had amassed more than 30,000 likes on Facebook thanks to dozens of ads it purchased, some of which were critical of China.
During an election season in which Facebook has promised to stop manipulation of its platform, these unknown purveyors of copy-pasted news violated the social network’s policy against fake accounts, and may have evaded its rules for ads about political issues. The plagiarized site’s activity, which went unnoticed until BuzzFeed News alerted Facebook, follows other high-profile failures that question the social media company’s ability to enforce its policies less than a month before the US election.
The Globe Independent page also unwittingly revealed other, apparently unrelated, inauthentic pages, thanks to Facebook’s “Related Pages” feature. Visitors to the Globe Independent’s page were suggested pages with names “the Tide Hunter” and “the Star Lane.” Those are part of a network of over 120 pages, which have more than 1 million total likes and are running Facebook ads for what appears to be a cryptocurrency scam. A Facebook spokesperson told BuzzFeed News there was no connection between the Globe Independent page and the cryptocurrency pages but declined to comment further.
“Networks like this just show how profitable it can be to traffic in all kinds of online scams,” said Joan Donovan, the research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. “In the early phase of a disinformation campaign, it can be difficult to tell what the motives are, but this shows just how crucial it is to use Facebook ads to grow audiences and stage legitimacy before really turning into a full-blown influence operation.”
It’s unclear who was behind
SDA Director Derek Tournear said SpaceX “came in with an extremely credible proposal” that leverages the Starlink assembly line
WASHINGTON — The Space Development Agency awarded $193.5 million to L3Harris and $149 million to SpaceX to build four satellites each to detect and track ballistic and hypersonic missiles.
The contracts announced Oct. 5 are for the first eight satellites for a potentially much larger constellation of sensor satellites the Space Development Agency is calling Tracking Layer Tranche 0.
The awards mark the first time the U.S. military has announced an order of satellites from SpaceX, which opened a factory in Seattle several years ago to produce thousands of small satellites for its Starlink broadband megaconstellation.
Both SpaceX and L3Harris are required to deliver their satellites by September 2022, Space Development Agency Director Derek Tournear told SpaceNews.
Each satellite will have a “wide field of view” overhead persistent infrared (OPIR) sensor capable of detecting and tracking advanced missile threats from low Earth orbit. The satellites will also be equipped with optical crosslinks to pass data to relay satellites.
Tournear said the winners were selected based on technical merit and ability to deliver satellites quickly.
SpaceX’s missile-tracking satellite will be based on its Starlink bus with an OPIR sensor acquired from another supplier, Tournear said. He declined to name the payload provider and SpaceX has not disclosed subcontractors for the project.
L3Harris, according to Tournear, bid a complete satellite with the bus and payload produced in-house.
The optical crosslinks in the Tracking Layer must be compatible with the optical links used in the Transport Layer satellites that Lockheed Martin and York Space Systems are building for the Space Development Agency under contracts awarded in August.
The Transport Layer is the backbone that moves data collected by the sensors to anywhere in the
SpaceX is now in the business of building satellites that do more than beam broadband around the globe. Elon Musk’s space company is one of two companies awarded a contract from the Space Development Agency (part of the US Department of Defense) to build four satellites each that can track missile threats from low-Earth orbit.
SpaceX will receive over $149 million for the job, while major defense contractor L3 Harris will receive over $193 million, SDA announced on Monday.
The satellites will be developed around an infrared sensor with a wide field of view that can track even hypersonic missiles. The SpaceX satellite will be based around the guts of the Starlink satellite, but the sensor will come from another supplier, Space Development Agency Director Derek Tournear told SpaceNews.
L3 Harris will be producing the full satellites, including the sensor, in house.
SpaceX has already launched several hundredon its way to eventually producing tens of thousands if its broadband mega-constellation is to meet the company’s full ambitions.
The eight satellites will be part of the first generation of what the SDA calls “the tracking layer” and must be designed to interface with “transport layer” satellites being developed by Lockheed Martin and York Space Systems. Transport layer satellites communicate with tracking layer satellites and route the information they gather to where it’s needed on Earth.
The companies will be required to deliver the satellites by September 2022, and if all works well, the US military could order up to 30 more of the tracking satellites to add to the system in the coming years.