Welcome to MeriTalk News Briefs, where we bring you all the day’s action that didn’t quite make the headlines. No need to shout about ‘em, but we do feel that they merit talk.

DoE Launches World’s Fastest Supercomputer

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on Friday unveiled Summit, which it is calling the world’s most powerful and smartest scientific supercomputer. The new system is eight times more powerful than Titan, the United States’ previously top-ranked supercomputer, which is also housed at ORNL.“Today’s launch of the Summit supercomputer demonstrates the strength of American leadership in scientific innovation and technology development. It’s going to have a profound impact in energy research, scientific discovery, economic competitiveness, and national security,” said DoE Secretary Rick Perry. Summit also will aid in the integration of AI and scientific discovery, and enable breakthroughs in human health, high-energy physics, and materials discovery, the department said.

DHS Announces Second Leg of Small Business Road Tour

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Small Business Innovation Research program on Friday announced the second leg of its National Road Tour, where DHS will engage with small businesses looking to partner on new technology initiatives to advance the DHS mission. “By participating in this road tour and engaging with small businesses, we facilitate the development of new technologies for the homeland security enterprise and support small business as a driving force for the U.S. economy,” said William N. Bryan, a DHS Senior Official performing the duties of under secretary for science and technology. The second leg of the tour begins June 18 in Rochester, N.Y., with four stops in Pittsburgh; Columbus, Ohio; Huntington, W.V.; and Durham, N.C. in consecutive days. Upcoming legs of the National Road Tour include Pacific Northwest and New England states. Additional details on the SBIR Road Tour, including a schedule of stops and participating agencies can be found here.

Google Announces Altruistic AI Principles

Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday published a blog post detailing the company’s core principles on artificial intelligence (AI). The principles stress that any AI products created by Google will be: socially beneficial, unbiased, tested for safety, accountable to people, attuned to privacy concerns, of a high scientific standard, and made for use only when in line with these principles. Google also said it will not create any AI products that cause harm – such as those intended to be used as weapons – or products that violate human rights, privacy rights, or international law.

Washington Capitals Win Stanley Cup

The Washington Capitals have won the Stanley Cup and secured their place at the top of the National Hockey League for 2018. The team secured a 4-3 victory over the Las Vegas Golden Knights Thursday evening in order to hoist the Cup. This is the Capitals’ first Stanley Cup trophy, and the first major sports championship since 1992 for the city that houses Federal agencies and lawmakers alike. Please forgive us, as this is the closest we could get to tying hockey to government, but it seems certain that the excitement will continue to envelop the nation’s capital through the weekend. Go Caps!


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Joe Franco
Joe Franco
Joe Franco is a Program Manager, covering IT modernization, cyber, and government IT policy for MeriTalk.com.