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Photo: Glenn Koenig/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

For a month, two disabled veterans in Texas labeled photos taken by drones, drawing lines around objects and identifying them. Their work will be used to train artificial intelligence systems.

Why it matters: Physical disabilities or a mental health condition like PTSD can make it difficult for a veteran to work in a traditional office or work site. But data labeling can be done on a computer from home.

What's happening: A software company, a defense contractor and two nonprofits are behind a project to provide AI training work for veterans.

  • Working hours are flexible, which benefits veterans whose disability status prevents them from working full time, says Lindsay Box, executive director of IAM23, a veterans’ services organization.
  • "It gives them a sense of meaning," says Box. "It gives them something to wake up for in the morning."

The drone-image project is for a large defense contractor. Machine vision systems need a lot of annotated data in order to learn to automatically identify objects.

  • Nathaniel Gates, CEO of Alegion — the company that created the software the veterans used — wouldn’t say which contractor was involved.
  • DEWIT, an Austin nonprofit that helped arrange the pilot program, hopes to sign on more than a dozen veterans for a second project.

Go deeper

46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Group of 20 bipartisan senators back $1.2T infrastructure framework

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) arrives for a meeting with Senate Budget Committee Democrats in the Mansfield Room at the U.S. Capitol building on June 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Majority Leader and Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee are meeting to discuss how to move forward with the Biden Administrations budget proposal. Photo: Samuel Corum / Getty Images

A group of 10 Democratic and 10 Republican senators (the "G20") tasked with negotiating an infrastructure deal with the White House has released a statement in support of a $1.2 trillion framework.

Why it matters: Details regarding the plan have not yet been released, but getting 10 Republicans on board means the bill could get the necessary 60 votes to pass.

DOJ drops criminal probe, civil lawsuit against John Bolton over Trump book

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The Justice Department has closed its criminal investigation into whether President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton disclosed classified information with his tell-all memoir, “The Room Where it Happened," according to a source with direct knowledge.

Why it matters: The move comes a year after the Trump administration tried to silence Bolton by suing him in federal court, claiming he breached his contract by failing to complete a pre-publication review for classified information. Prosecutors indicated they had reached a settlement with Bolton to drop the lawsuit in a filing on Wednesday.

Fed may raise rates sooner, as inflation is higher than expected

Feb chair Jerome Powell. Photo: Susan Walsh/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve kept rates unchanged at its latest policy meeting, but a shift in sentiment emerged as to how soon it should begin raising rates.

Why it matters: The Fed's rock-bottom rates policy and monthly asset purchases helped the U.S. markets avoid a meltdown during the COVID-19 crisis last year. But as the economy recovers, a chorus is growing for the Fed to at least consider a timeline for pulling back its support before things get overheated.

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