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ScienceDaily

Future autonomous machines may build trust through emotion

Army research has extended the state-of-the-art in autonomy by providing a more complete picture of how actions and nonverbal signals contribute to promoting cooperation. Researchers suggested guidelines for designing autonomous machines such as robots, self-driving cars, drones and personal assistants that will effectively collaborate with Soldiers.

Dr. Celso de Melo, computer scientist with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory at CCDC ARL West in Playa Vista, California, in collaboration with Dr. Kazunori Teradafrom Gifu University in Japan, recently published a paper in Scientific Reports where they show that emotion expressions can shape cooperation.

Autonomous machines that act on people’s behalf are poised to become pervasive in society, de Melo said; however, for these machines to succeed and be adopted, it is essential that people are able to trust and cooperate with them.

“Human cooperation is paradoxical,” de Melo said. “An individual is better off being a free rider, while everyone else cooperates; however, if everyone thought like that, cooperation would never happen. Yet, humans often cooperate. This research aims to understand the mechanisms that promote cooperation with a particular focus on the influence of strategy and signaling.”

Strategy defines how individuals act in one-shot or repeated interaction. For instance, tit-for-tat is a simple strategy that specifies that the individual should act as his/her counterpart acted in the previous interaction.

Signaling refers to communication that may occur between individuals, which could be verbal (e.g., natural language conversation) and nonverbal (e.g., emotion expressions).

This research effort, which supports the Next Generation Combat Vehicle Army Modernization Priority and the Army Priority Research Area for Autonomy, aims to apply this insight in the development of intelligent autonomous systems that promote cooperation with Soldiers and successfully operate in hybrid teams to accomplish a mission.

“We show that emotion expressions can shape cooperation,” de Melo said. “For instance, smiling after mutual cooperation encourages more cooperation; however, smiling after exploiting others — which is the most profitable outcome for the self — hinders cooperation.”

The effect of emotion expressions is moderated by strategy, he said. People will only process and be influenced by emotion expressions if the counterpart’s actions are insufficient to reveal the counterpart’s intentions.

For example, when the counterpart acts very competitively, people simply ignore-and even mistrust-the counterpart’s emotion displays.

“Our research provides novel insight into the combined effects of strategy and emotion expressions on cooperation,” de Melo said. “It has important practical application for the design of autonomous systems, suggesting that a proper combination of action and emotion displays can maximize cooperation from Soldiers. Emotion expression in these systems could be implemented in a variety of ways, including via text, voice, and nonverbally through (virtual or robotic) bodies.”

According to de Melo, the team is very optimistic that future Soldiers will benefit from research such as this as it sheds light on the mechanisms of cooperation.

“This insight will be critical for the development of socially intelligent autonomous machines, capable of acting and communicating nonverbally with the Soldier,” he said. “As an Army researcher, I am excited to contribute to this research as I believe it has the potential to greatly enhance human-agent teaming in the Army of the future.”

The next steps for this research include pursuing further understanding of the role of nonverbal signaling and strategy in promoting cooperation and identifying creative ways to apply this insight on a variety of autonomous systems that have different affordances for acting and communicating with the Soldier.

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ProgrammableWeb

SmartStream Technologies Adds API for its Financial Transaction Lifecycle Management Solution

SmartStream Technologies, a financial Transaction Lifecycle Management solutions provider, today extended its Reference Data Utility Securities Financing Transactions Regulation service to include an API for firms requiring fast access to the technology and data needed to manage their reference data challenges – critical for meeting the ESMA SFTR reporting deadline of July 13th.

With the addition of the API, firms have quick access to new tools to manage their SFTR compliance needs. This enables them to reduce implementation time for deploying the key components for sourcing accurate, comprehensive and easy-to-access reference data. Importantly, a speedy onboarding process allows firms to be up and running with the service within 24 hours.

The RDU SFTR service can easily integrate as a value-added service to an established solution, or it can be the start of a control framework specifically targeted at reference data for SFTR obligations.

The technology assist firms to validate reference data content during the final weeks of testing before the regulatory deadline – whether that involves filling data gaps, resolving exceptions, not having full issuer to ISIN LEI coverage, or helping firms to avoid counterparty breaks and rejected reports.

Linda Coffman, EVP, SmartStream RDU, commented; “In response to the adverse developments resulting from the Coronavirus outbreak, ESMA made the bold decision to postpone the original deadline for the SFTR reporting obligations. Despite having an additional three-month window to prepare, we have found that many firms need extra help to get them across the finish line. We understand the pressures of meeting regulatory obligations, and we are providing easily accessible technology which focusses on key SFTR reference data attributes.” She continued; “Clients who have implemented the RDU SFTR solution are confident in the strength and accuracy of the data returned, and can be confident that it aligns with regulatory requirements. In addition, they appreciate the subject matter expertise we provide in monitoring the regulation and delivering insights into data trends.”

The reference data used by the SFTR service is acquired by the SmartStream RDU from a broad range of industry sources, before being normalized, enriched and mapped, on a single platform, into the format required by the regulator

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ProgrammableWeb

SmartStream Technologies Expands Breadth of Public API

SmartStream Technologies, a financial Transaction Lifecycle Management (TLM) solutions provider, has extended its Public API for collateral management, to enable its clients with faster access technology to better service their individual business needs.

The approach has been taken to deliver a Public API which allows clients to have direct programmatic access to SmartStream’s TLM Collateral Management solution. This helps to lower the total cost of ownership, provides backward compatibility and future-proofs the solution for new operational requirements, with minimal disruption to the clients’ business.

TLM Collateral Management has extended the rich functionality of its Public API to include collateral movements notifications. The technology has been designed to provide collateral movement and settlement views for the early indication of collateral fails. Other functionality includes, but are not limited to, workflow automation and agreement uploads. SmartStream’s Public API provides a flexible approach to enhance the deployment and integration of the TLM Collateral Management platform to rapidly build nuanced functional extensions and integration with other applications as well as its clients’ own internal systems.
 
Jason Ang, Program Manager, TLM Collateral Management, SmartStream, explains the need for more accessible technologies: “Expectations have evolved, and our clients now want to find new ways to reduce cost and maintenance by offering their developers programming opportunities for richer integration into their business processes.

“I’m confident that we have a well-versioned Public API which meets our clients’ requirements, whilst mitigating the risk of the upgrade process on SmartStream’s TLM Collateral Management platform.”

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ProgrammableWeb

TagVault.org Announces Software Identification (SWID) Tag Repository and API

TagVault.org today announces the establishment of an extended Software Identification (SWID) Tag repository and API that fully integrates with the Unified Compliance Framework and will be accessible via APIs.

With this, Tagvault.org expands its mission to provide direction and governance of Asset APIs to include certification of contributors, content, access to content, and further development of SWID and other asset tags with related tagging related standards, service publications, professional events and technology development.

Software Identification Tags (SWID tags) are intended to record unique information about an installed software application, including its name, edition, version, and supports software inventory and asset management initiatives.

For organizations to benefit from their use, configuration guidance can be provided by vendors to support the implementation of regulations and standards such as HIPAA, GDPR, PCI, NIST 800-53, and others.

Unified Compliance, the worldwide leader in regulatory mapping and Tagvault.org Chair, has contributed the basic structures and rules for the API and mapping to this project. Going forward, TagVault.org and its members have agreed to undertake the responsibility of governing the further development of this suite of APIs. They will make their use available via APIs to the public.

Members of TagVault.org will participate in the further development of APIs to:

  • Certify extended SWID Tag authoring organizations
  • Certify both basic and extended SWID tags
  • Map configuration guidance to the UCF’s Common Controls as product-specific implementation guidance
  • Lead the development and customization of the API to market standard and adoption

Dorian Cougias, Tagvault.org chair, states, “The creation of this API is a huge step not only for the next level of SWID tags but for making SWID tags accessible to the general public. TagVault’s direction of the API will not only lead to streamlined SWID production but worldwide access to a central repository of SWID-related information.”

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ScienceDaily

Long spaceflights affect astronaut brain volume

Extended periods in space have long been known to cause vision problems in astronauts. Now a new study in the journal Radiology suggests that the impact of long-duration space travel is more far-reaching, potentially causing brain volume changes and pituitary gland deformation.

More than half of the crew members on the International Space Station (ISS) have reported changes to their vision following long-duration exposure to the microgravity of space. Postflight evaluation has revealed swelling of the optic nerve, retinal hemorrhage and other ocular structural changes.

Scientists have hypothesized that chronic exposure to elevated intracranial pressure, or pressure inside the head, during spaceflight is a contributing factor to these changes. On Earth, the gravitational field creates a hydrostatic gradient, a pressure of fluid that progressively increases from your head down to your feet while standing or sitting. This pressure gradient is not present in space.

“When you’re in microgravity, fluid such as your venous blood no longer pools toward your lower extremities but redistributes headward,” said study lead author Larry A. Kramer, M.D., from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Dr. Kramer further explained, “That movement of fluid toward your head may be one of the mechanisms causing changes we are observing in the eye and intracranial compartment.”

To find out more, Dr. Kramer and colleagues performed brain MRI on 11 astronauts, including 10 men and one woman, before they traveled to the ISS. The researchers followed up with MRI studies a day after the astronauts returned, and then at several intervals throughout the ensuing year.

MRI results showed that the long-duration microgravity exposure caused expansions in the astronauts’ combined brain and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volumes. CSF is the fluid that flows in and around the hollow spaces of the brain and spinal cord. The combined volumes remained elevated at one-year postflight, suggesting permanent alteration.

“What we identified that no one has really identified before is that there is a significant increase of volume in the brain’s white matter from preflight to postflight,” Dr. Kramer said. “White matter expansion in fact is responsible for the largest increase in combined brain and cerebrospinal fluid volumes postflight.”

MRI also showed alterations to the pituitary gland, a pea-sized structure at the base of the skull often referred to as the “master gland” because it governs the function of many other glands in the body. Most of the astronauts had MRI evidence of pituitary gland deformation suggesting elevated intracranial pressure during spaceflight.

“We found that the pituitary gland loses height and is smaller postflight than it was preflight,” Dr. Kramer said. “In addition, the dome of the pituitary gland is predominantly convex in astronauts without prior exposure to microgravity but showed evidence of flattening or concavity postflight. This type of deformation is consistent with exposure to elevated intracranial pressures.”

The researchers also observed a postflight increase in volume, on average, in the astronauts’ lateral ventricles, spaces in the brain that contain CSF. However, the overall resulting volume would not be considered outside the range of healthy adults. The changes were similar to those that occur in people who have spent long periods of bed rest with their heads tilted slightly downward in research studies simulating headward fluid shift in microgravity.

Additionally, there was increased velocity of CSF flow through the cerebral aqueduct, a narrow channel that connects the ventricles in the brain. A similar phenomenon has been seen in normal pressure hydrocephalus, a condition in which the ventricles in the brain are abnormally enlarged. Symptoms of this condition include difficulty walking, bladder control problems and dementia. To date, these symptoms have not been reported in astronauts after space travel.

The researchers are studying ways to counter the effects of microgravity. One option under consideration is the creation of artificial gravity using a large centrifuge that can spin people in either a sitting or prone position. Also under investigation is the use of negative pressure on the lower extremities as a way to counteract the headward fluid shift due to microgravity.

Dr. Kramer said the research could also have applications for non-astronauts.

“If we can better understand the mechanisms that cause ventricles to enlarge in astronauts and develop suitable countermeasures, then maybe some of these discoveries could benefit patients with normal pressure hydrocephalus and other related conditions,” he said.

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IEEE Spectrum

First Blue LED Emission From a Perovskite

Researchers in California have extended the spectral range of perovskite light-emitting diodes into the blues. How did they do it? By cracking the mystery of why the optical and electronic properties of the materials change when current flows through them.

Painstaking measurements revealed that current-induced heating deformed cells in the semiconductor crystals. That observation enabled the team to make the first single-crystal perovskite diodes, says group leader Peidong Yang, a chemistry professor at the University of California at Berkeley.