Thanks, Steve. Good morning, everyone. My name is Sandy Bombyx, state broadband Director here at Arizona commerce authority. I wanted to introduce parla Lopez to you all. She's my colleague at our broadband team. And recently, one and a half months ago, she joined the team as a broadband program manager. So going forward, Paula or I will be attending sbsm call every single week and update you all about our progress on the planning and digital equity planning. So having saying that, let's welcome Karla and Paula, please introduce yourself. And she has some quick update for you all. And we'll be happy to take any question after that.
Sounds great. And then Michelle will get to you as quickly as possible.
Awesome. Thank you, Sandy. Hi, everybody. My name is Perla Lopez. I'm with the Arizona commerce authority. As Cindy mentioned, I'm the Broadband Program Manager. Firstly, no in my role, and a few updates that we have, like Sandeep said, next week, we are posting for public comment our initial proposal Volume One, we will share a link with Steve so that he can share it with all of you. We are also working on the digital equity for public comments that will be posted in January, the digital equity plan. We're currently also advertising for a digital equity position. And then as well, we have a BDG. We're currently meeting with contractors on and getting together with them to put together a compliance requirements for our sub recipients. And on November 16, Krystal and I who is our GIS analyst will be speaking at a venture cafe. That will be announcements for that will be posted later on in the month of October on where the location is, and at what time everything will start. So I'll keep everybody posted on the next meeting with that one. But we'll be speaking about the broadband and the history of rock band in the state of Arizona as well as what we're doing currently with the bead program. And as well, Candace will be joining us soon, who is our tribal liaison in the future, who will speak up on tribal engagement that we're having in the state as well. And that's all the speed that I have. Thank you so much.
Thank you. So just quickly, can you explain exactly what your job is, versus other people in the office. But uh, the broadband manager position is, which is, of course different than the Sandy's job. So could you explain that just real briefly,
of course, I work very closely with our contractors, I make sure that there's a project flow, and that we're all collaborating effectively to move all the ongoing requirements for the big plan. And I work alongside with Sandeep and very closely with Sandeep, when it comes to making sure that all of our tests are moving forward with the beat plan, and we are following all the requirements as well.
Right, thank you very much. Glad you could join us this morning. And we look forward to your continued continued participation with us. So with that, I want to move on quickly because it's very great. Oops, this is the wrong screen. me get rid of this stop, share. And go back to shares great. This is the one that's better. Oops, that's not it either. What is going on here?
Hey, sorry, give me just a second here. And then I will get back to you.
Are you this shouldn't be there we go. Okay, so I'm gonna jump into our next we're pleased to have Michelle Simon here again, Michelle did a brief introduction last time and wanted to give her more more time to give us a brief update. I know, but she's got to be out of here pretty soon. But Michelle is with the Pima County Library and I'll let her introduce herself, and also a new Pima county department that's been formed and she is the executive director. And so with that, Michelle, I'm going to just turn it over to you. You need to share. Yes, I do. Please stop them.
All right, welcome. Good morning, everybody. Usually when I'm participating in this meeting, I'm on my telephone as I'm driving to work, so you usually don't see my face. So here I am, shall Simon. I am currently serving in two roles. I am the Deputy Director of support services for the Pima County Public Library. And I oversee collection development and technical services and technology and Budget and Finance and just facilities I see a lot I oversee a lot of things. And now as a result of all the work with Kinect Pima which I know many of you have heard on and board participated with. Over the last few years, I have been designated the very first director of our newly formed Office of Digital Inclusion in Pima County. So I'm very excited about that role. It fits well with everything that I do at the library and how the library helps our community as it relates to digital literacy, and access to tools and resources. So it is really the next logical steps to making things better in our community. So I want to present you just real quickly some information about connects FEMA, and the federal grant that we received from NTIA as part of the enabling middle mile broadband infrastructure program.
Michelle, if I can interrupt for one second, a yeoman's job in providing the leadership to getting to this plan and this new office and all that kind of stuff. So again, Michelle, good job, and congratulations. Oh, thank you.
I appreciate that. Well, let us do a slideshow here. Let me make sure it comes up that way.
All right. Well, we don't want to start at the end doing. We want to start at the beginning.
Sure, I'm not doing this the best way. So hey, it's me. There I am. Okay, connect FEMA is the county's de it's actually the county's digital infrastructure and inclusion action plan. And so we have a mission, that pie in the sky mission to make sure every single person in Pima County has affordable, reliable, high speed internet, and the tools they need, so that they can participate in our you know, I mean, it says society and economy, of course, because this is your, your high level mission statement. But really our our more and more virtual world this the simple things that we have to do that, that are all online, that as someone who can afford internet or someone who has a computer. It's easy to take to think about, oh, well, can't everyone do that? No, not everyone in our community has the ability to do this. And it's not just because they have they live in areas of you know, low socio economic standards. We have places in our county, where the most affluent communities don't have reliable internet access due to geography, mountains, valleys, and lack of infrastructure in our county because it is extremely rural. We use a three pronged approach to digital inclusion. So by developing broadband infrastructure, really fortifying and pushing forward digital literacy initiatives, and increasing access to devices and tools for connectivity. And the NTIA shows large swaths of Pima County and Metro Tucson with broadband rates below the FCC minimum standard. Now, the FCC minimum standard is 25. Three, as part of this grant opportunity that I will speak to you about, we're actually focused on 100 megabits download and 25 megabits upload. And if we, if we're able to accomplish what we are, the middle mile ring that we will be building will have the capacity to allow final mile providers to give one gig simultaneous or even two gigs, simultaneous because there will be that much bandwidth available to them. I will provide this link. I'll provide the report to Steve. So you all can look at the information that is in the report here. Basically, 85% of the households in Pima County have broadband of some type 12% have no access to internet and 8% are lacking the device that they mean. Additionally, we have made sure I want to make sure you can see this before I talk Do you guys see the screen that says Connect Pima dashboard. Somebody say yes. No, no. Okay. So we're going to just close that and go back to the PowerPoint. If you can't see it, usually in in this for whatever reason, the links don't want to show up. Again, I'll provide this to Steve so that he can, you guys can click on the link. That dashboard provides all the data and demographics for the entirety of Pima County, including information that is important to the plan with the community anchor or solutions, as well as an overlay of FCC maps digital inclusion, we're referring to all the activities necessary to ensure that all people have access to and use of information and communication technologies. And so we want to make sure that there we have affordable rope, robust Broadway and all over that people have the computers and tools that they need, in the format that they need. So this is a focus on accessibility as well. And then digital literacy training, and digital literacy training, not just in English and the languages that individuals need, and making sure that those accessibility tools are available when trying to learn how to use a computer quality technical support, I have to give credit to the State Library for the digital navigators and the technology support line that they've put forward. All libraries provide technology support, in some way, shape, or form. But the State Library really has stepped up the game by providing that kind of support. And we will hope help to kind of further that effort here in Pima County, and then also helping people to fill out applications for ACP or whatever subsidies that they qualify for, so that they can get affordable access in their home. That's what the point of all of this is, is helping people to be self sufficient. So we have a division, a digital divide issue. We are trying to create equity, but digital inclusion is the work that makes all of this go. So one of the things that has happened for Pima County is that we applied for the enabling middle mile broadband infrastructure Infrastructure Grant, I have to say thank you to community broadband advocates and Karen Ziegler for helping us make this a reality. The project is a $43.3 million fiber optic ring that will go a route out around the outskirts of Pima County's urban core, it is 134 miles in length, and the Feds gave us $30.3 million to make this happen. So about $13 million of that is coming from local funds, or in kind contributions either from Pima County itself, or other local municipalities. The project is five years in length, and it started on July one, the majority of our upfront work has to do with compliance as it relates to the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. Literally, we have to create a plan of action as it as it adheres to these policies, and make sure it's approved before we can put one shovel in the ground to dig anything. So we are right now in the stages of doing procurement for companies to establish to confirm our right of way for the ring and to make sure that our our route is set. So then we can do the procurement for someone to to design and build the ring itself. We will be starting to send out those proposals probably in the next four to six weeks. So if you know anybody that's interested in that kind of thing, they should be on the lookout for it and they should register as a vendor with Pima County because if they register as a vendor and their information is in there, then the commodity code will trigger a notice for them. Okay. The fiber optic ring 134 Miles starts I'll just start up here it goes Miranda over to Oro Valley all the way down over here to the east side of town and out into the into the Vale area down into Saudi then back up and over to three points and back up to Miranda so it is quite large. This ring will allow for if you pick a point and draw a circle a radius of 25 miles. At any point it will serve ISPs to provide that final mile connection to homes in those areas. So literally, this rain will reach out, even down into Santa Cruz County and parts of Cochise County allowing for additional Internet access to homes.
It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, all the federal funding that is coming our way is going to make a significant difference. For Pima County, our digital infrastructure and inclusion action plan is formatted in such a way that it ties to the states. I'm going to stop sharing it ties to the state's current broadband plan looks at best practices as you will find on the National Digital Inclusion Alliance website. As well as I don't know if any of you have taken a look at the State Equity scorecards looking at what we should be paying attention to as a state, and the best practices for the National Association of Counties as it relates to how counties should be providing broadband. So we have a robust strategic plan with goals objectives. And we've had great committees that have worked on these efforts for the last two years. And those committees will continue to do so I want to look as community like a community advisory committee to how we will continue to move things forward. So just because we've established an Office of Digital Inclusion doesn't mean okay, we don't need anybody's help. No, now more than ever, we need everyone's input, we need to engage and have those conversations. So we will after the first of the year, start doing community listening sessions and and really going to all different parts of Pima County and doing those both in English and in Spanish. I encourage everyone to take a look at our website, because we have updated it and it looks fabulous. And you will see lots of information about Pima County and what we're doing, as well as projects like our hotspots around town project. And there's a there's a whole app where you can find out where are those hotspots are in the community. We will be promoting that heavily during Digital Inclusion week. So plug for digital inclusion week, October 2 through the sixth. If you have stuff going on, please let NDIA know that you have stuff going on. And we will also be having a proclamation from the board of supervisors on October the third at their October the third meeting, declaring the week National Digital Inclusion week Digital Inclusion weekend. So very excited about all the things happening. If anybody has any questions, I'm happy to answer or, you know, or Collins and people that I see in this this meeting that can actually talk about some of the work that they've been doing as part of Kinect payment.
Great, Michelle, any questions or comments for Michelle? going once going twice. I'm sorry. Was that you?
I think so. I'm driving so I apologize.
I was gonna say Steve, this is Lucy Howell. I was curious. How many counties in Arizona kind of have this full, you know, coverage, mile capability in the next four years? Like, are we one? Are we the only one are there other counties that have this similar type of grant to show full coverage like this?
This type of grant Pima County is the only one in the state of Arizona that got this this grant. Now that doesn't mean that there aren't projects that are happening in other counties. For example, Mesa has a project where they're doing a ring around the city of Mesa. Yuma County is doing a project actually using funds from the ACA to make that happen. So there are projects happening all over the state a DOD is focusing on i 40, i 17 and 19. So it's going to help connect the entirety of the state. I think the thing that is important about Pima County's ring, is that it will actually provide opportunity to both Santa Cruz County and Cochise County to connect and it will provide kind of a robust network for internet service providers as a result.
Interesting so then in five years, when we're all covered because of this beautiful ring that will then be maintained. And then do residents and citizens still have to pay for like their out of pocket Wi Fi? Or is it kind of like this magic forcefield that now Pima County will give you.
I wish the ring is middle mile. Okay. So it is from the internet all the way around. So now the internet service providers, really, they don't have to spend a significant amount of money to build that middle mile to get to some of our neighborhoods. Okay. So you know, it's a return on investment thing.
you have one house per three to five acres, were in the center of Tucson, you have 10 houses in one acre. Right. And so it is beneficial for them to build in the more populous areas? Well, this Wi Fi, this Internet, what am I trying to say this infrastructure ring will actually take away the excuse of it costs us a lot to get there. Right. And because it will be owned by Pima County, that cost for using the ring will stay static, it will not go up. So if it's owned by an Internet service provider, potentially they can raise the costs and pass that on to customers. The costs for building this ring will not be passed on to customers, we will basically contract with a a company to do the operations, maintenance and commercialization of the ring. And what will happen is internet service providers or municipalities will pay to lease the fiber that's available through rain.
Awesome explanation. Thank you, I now know the difference. And that was the missing part for me. So perfect.
So Lucy, I have told Michelle on many occasions in this group on many occasions, that Pima County is really a great example of looking at addressing both the broadband connectivity issues, as well as digital equity. And the fact that they have created this new office is really a testament to that commitment to deal with both digital equity as well as, as well as broadband. And they've included that in part of their planning from the get go.
And they'll be you know me I'm always wanting to know where Pima County sits comparatively in the state and then in the country. And so for a leadership role, you know, go Arizona go Tucson.
So JT, you have your hand up.
I do. Congratulations, Pima County. And congratulations, Michelle. I just I heard you talk about middle mile and how you are going to build your ring. And I feel the need to share with not just you. But other grant recipients be recipients are ARPA and other NTIA sources of funding, that this, again, is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the state for the nation. Right. And so it's incumbent upon those of us that have been entrusted with these funds to get from it the most that we can. And why do I say that? Well, the ring that you talk about is a as a perfect example of an asset that will benefit Pima County, and as you said, surrounding counties. So therefore that ring needs to be designed in a particular way. Right. So when you put out your your RFCs, or RFI eyes, it is my hope that you will have expert guidance in determining what the requirements of your ring are. Right? And the folks that are doing that are qualified to do it. So for example, there's going to be a determination, you need to make a determination of for it. And I'm gonna get a little technical. How many fibers are in your ring? What's the architecture of your ring? How many dots through which you pull fibers, what type of fiber, what kind of optics are in the network, because you could build a network today that will serve you today. But with the money that you have and the opportunity that we have. We need to build networks that will serve us today, tomorrow and beyond. Because there may not become there may not be another opportunity. So the applications that you think you have today are maybe not the applications that you are going to have tomorrow. And I'll just give a few examples. A lot of cities are tucked in here in Arizona we just had last week the Smart Cities thing, right? Smart cities require a great deal of bandwidth in a particular market. factor in the network to support them. So if you intend to provide services to cities, counties and other communities, the network needs to be able to support that. And so my wish and hope for everyone is that you take these things into consideration when you put your RFIs out in RFPs, and RFQs, and your vendors are qualified in building those types of networks, not just today's legacy networks. But tomorrow's future networks, because economic development, telehealth education, all sorts of things are going to depend on it and require massive amounts of bandwidth and the ability to support to the the necessary computing and communications infrastructure. That's my piece.
Awesome. Well, thank you, JT, and I want to say, your comments just made me feel good about what it is that we did. Team Fishel is who helped us create the initial design, that is part of the grant package, we will be using microduct that has seven deluxe and 432 strands per duct, there is a lot of capacity in what it is we are planning to build, because you are correct. We are not just building for today, the goal is building for 510 20 years from now, so that we're not having to dig up the ground again. So I really appreciate all of those comments, they are just the type of comments that we had gathered when we initially created the grant. And we will continue to gather as we do the procurement for the design build.
And JT Mark Goldstein, generally, this is going to be a dark fiber lease under IR use indefeasible rights to use. So it's actually the last mile providers that will decide on the Opto electronics and the capacity needs for the fiber they lease. And we'll be able to evolve, you know, to dense wave division multiplexing and all at their own expense in their own timeframe. So, and I wrote several grants in that program and got two of them for clients. So it required a open access network and policy that's non discriminatory and fair to multiple, you know, parties, basically all parties that are qualified, but the optoelectronics. And how the fibers are used will be at the determination of the leasers. Sorry, the leases, not the lease.
bases. Correct. I appreciate that word. Thank you.
Any other questions or comments? I know Michelle's got a bug off here and head to another meeting. Any other quick questions or comments for? If not, Michelle, thank you again. And again. Congratulations, and great job.
Thank you. And I put my email in the in the chat. If anybody thinks of something they want to ask. You're more than welcome to reach out. So you guys have a great day. Thanks for your time.
Thanks, Michelle. Bye. So ash, I want to get to you for your presentation in a few minutes. Do you need to drop off soon? Or can you stay on for a few minutes? There's a few people I want to some new people have joined us today want to just give them a minute to introduce themselves?
No, I'm good on time, Steve. Good.
Okay, so several people that are on the call here that I wanted to introduce. So crystal, I see that you're online. I didn't realize you were on earlier. Also with the broadband office, you want to just introduce yourself quickly, and then we expect to hear from you again in the future.
Yeah, that's fine. Sorry, I'm not camera ready just yet. So I'm Crystal with Arizona commerce authority. I'm the broadband data and GIS analyst. So I work really closely with Karla and Sandeep and Karen.
Okay, sounds great. Thanks. And we look forward again to hearing from you in the future. So Tamara you want to introduce yourself?
Please? Thank you so much. My name is Tamara Rosenberg. I'm with resound networks, and we received an art off award in Arizona. And I'm actually based in New Mexico, but I cover Arizona and New Mexico. And I want to thank Heather Floyd for alerting me to this group and inviting me on. She's been a great resource. So thank you, Heather, for inviting me today.
Great. Welcome. And let's see Mignonne. You want to introduce yourself please. I know you're driving but I hope you're feeling better. I know you had to touch COVID
Yes, like Yeah, thank you. And thank you so much for the recommendation of vitamins. i Good morning, everyone. I'm Mignonne Hollis. My day job is I'm the director of the Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation. And in that role I am right now working with the Benton foundation on broadband for all. And really, we're just we're focusing on access and affordability. Because even once we get it to people being for them to be able to afford it, and the average average price is $200. In a lot of communities $200. It's just not affordable. And so we just want to make sure that we're having our ears to the ground about the affordability. And thank you so much for allowing me to introduce myself this morning.
You bet and we of course, need to chat some more about collaboration and cooperation together.
Absolutely appreciate it.
You bet. So a couple of other people. So Reggie, I know you've been here before, but you want to we haven't seen you in quite a while. You want to just say hello real quickly.
Yeah, I'm sick. So if I cough, sorry. Hello. Hello, Steve. Hello, everybody. My name is Reggie Garrido on the Microsoft Fallout three stills regional manager. And so I do work here in Arizona, New Mexico and California working with our high schools. My work entails advancing equitable access to computer science opportunities. So writing skills courses and support again at the high school level of a former educator and current governing board members serving our oldest school district in the state. So as you can imagine what that experience I just I've seen the digital divide digital gaps, play out in person with my students and the students that I serve. And so this is really close to my heart. And through that journey, tech, digital inclusion inequities LIS related to all that has become a passion of mine. So thank you for having me. And thank you all for coming together to work on these on these important issues for me, for our youth. Thank you.
Thanks, Reggie. And EDD want to introduce yourself Edd and I go way back. How many too many years? Great to reconnect with you. And so you want to introduce yourself briefly briefly?
Thank you very much, Steve and pleasure to be on the call with you all very excited about what you're doing. I'm an independent consultant at this time. Caregiver background marketing, working with a world famous neurologist to pioneer and tele Med and marketing guru. Our hope is to bring quality medical and psychosocial care to dementia patients and caregivers, particularly in rural areas, and even more particularly to the tribal reservations in the country. So we're working on getting that off the ground and broadband is a real big part of connectivity with the telehealth telemedicine. So look forward to forming some connections here and see what we can accomplish. Thanks to your bad welcome and good to see you in tech catch up with you again after all these years.
And Philip be of course, you've been on the call before but you seem to be popping up all over with the great work you guys are doing in Yuma, you want to just say about real quickly.
Well, thanks, Steve. I really appreciate that. Yeah, and PJ way, says Philip Attica YPJ. I'm the human County's Broadband Program Manager. And I'm sorry that Michelle left to you had a chance to have conversation with her. I've met with Navajo County also, I know that the middle mile fiber projects are essential for our rural communities, we're we're making significant progress for about 70% Complete with our fiber infrastructure, dark fiber infrastructure design. In our first phase, our second page is going to take us out to the east valley of Yuma county. And we expect to have all of this completed by December of 2024. I've got just received a $6 million grant from the governor's office that's going to utilize for specifically agriculture and supporting our ag tech in the farming industry. So you know, food security is national security. And if we can keep food on our reach table, we're all we're all succeeding. So that's a some of the updates here at the county. And it's it's going very, very well. I'm very pleased with with everything we're doing. So thank you all so much. And thanks for the call Steve. I really appreciate it. There's a remarkable amount of talent and knowledge in this room. And I really love hearing everybody's perspective what people are working on. And if there's any way that I can offer help or assistance or insight from experience that we've had, I'm happy to do so.
Great. Thanks. Thanks PJ. Good to have you back. So I want to move on and introduce ash black I had the good fortune to run into him at an event and an Arizona Technology Council event a week or a week or two ago. And I put him on the spot to present already this morning, even though he's never participated with us. But he's since everybody's talking about AI. I thought it was very timely for him to talk about the work he's doing, and the AI issues going on efforts going on at the University of Arizona. So with that, Ash, I'm gonna turn it over to you, do you need to share or not?
I think I'll probably share just straight up out here, I don't think I need shared access. Thanks for having me. And Steve. Yeah, I'm looking forward to finding out so much more about what this taskforce is about and stay following up on the conversation we had about that, you know, the impact of all of this infrastructure coming into the university, I mean, into the state. I have to apologize, I just returned from the East Coast last night, which means that it's actually 1130 in the morning to my body, but for some reason, it still feels like 530. So I'm confused. Let me let me bring up my little presentation, and I'll share with what with you all what we've been doing. So my name is Ash black, and I'm at the University of Arizona, I'm a lecturer in the Business College, I teach entrepreneurship. And I am also an AI consultant with the Institute for computation and data enabled insight at the University of Arizona, and I'm helping to give me a second, okay, and I what I'm hoping to do is to establish our industry outreach efforts, and I'd like to share with you all a little bit of what we've discovered this summer, what we're working on now. And I'll try to keep it I hope insightful, so that like, I'm just going to share what I've learned what I think are the most salient bits about what we've learned in the last couple of months. And I hope that that's of use to you know, everybody on the call. So we're gonna shop.
If I can interrupt for one second. So one of the conversations that I had with ash is, is there some opportunities with the work that they're doing for us to prove to you some utilize some of the students with some of the projects that we're working on? Sure. So anyway, I'm sorry, Ash, go ahead. No,
absolutely, we'll get to that. So today, what I'd like to share with you is just a little bit about the institute. For computation and data enabled insight, we go by icdi, a little bit of what happens,
are you sharing your screen, you're not sharing your screen.
It's, it should be behind me.
It is behind you. But we won't be able to see that if
you make if you make your view of zoom speaker view when Ash is talking, it'll be big enough to see I just had to do that. It looks, it looks so cool behind you. But you've got to be in speaker view.
I have to Oh, no. You mean the like we Yes. Thank you, Erin. I'm gonna stick with it. And we're gonna do what Aaron said. Because my presentation is behind me, I apologize if it's too small. But I'll try to keep it lively and quick, actually, we don't have too much time. So a little bit about what's happened this summer. And then broadly the AI phenomenon itself and some of the key insights that I think are important for that I would like for everybody who is in business or in development, or dealing with bringing this into the state to have a couple of key pieces of information and insights in mind. And then share a little bit about what's happening in this year moving forward. And if we have time, a little q&a, otherwise I can stick around. So the ICD AI is a newly formed group, it's less than two years old. It is a non academic Institute within the research office. So we we do workshops and outreach and we we educate but we don't issue credit. What instead what we do is we galvanize resources from across the university in our data science computing, Computer Science Information Systems. And we're trying to organize them and catalyze them so that everybody can find each other. They can work more closely together. And importantly, with my work, that we can now outreach to the state get out into the state and industry because we want this to go beyond the boundaries of the university. The taskforce was was formed this summer and some of the highlights are that more than 70 faculty, students and staff joined on an voluntary way which kind of gave clue to how popular and impactful the topic of artificial intelligence had become because there was just so many people over the summer who were willing to get involved. And it continues now in an academic year contexts, and it's now up to 400 individuals, dozen people from all across different parts of campus. Some are from our campuses in Phoenix, but who want to bring guidance to the AI phenomenon as it impacts the university and our society. One of the key highlights was that we made a lot of progress and syllabus syllabus Cretans. So the University of Arizona is not caught flat footed. It has policy for how we should take AI into the classroom. And then we have some follow events coming up. And then again, I mentioned my industry outreach and the need for communal dialogue, which is coming coming in the form of several town hall events. Steve, how are we doing? Is it going going? Okay, you're, you're fine. All right. So briefly, the working groups that were formed, and you can follow up, if you like, with any of these working groups access and equity, communications, AI and data, document events. My group is the industry group integrity, education, syllabus, guidance and training. Let me show you really quickly what the site looked like. That's Michelle's site. I was just checking it out as she was talking, I think that should be good. Okay, so we have the artificial intelligence at University of Arizona website. And this is where we have our events that are coming up, and you can sign up and registered there, as well as check out the workings of the working group, for example. So here we are in the steering committees, and you can find contact information and get involved with those groups, if that's of interest to you. The key findings to share from that summer experience were that resistance to this new generative AI phenomenon is somewhat higher than enthusiasm. I think that's worth keeping in mind that broadly across the spectrum of society, it seems that people know about Chachi Beatty, they know about generative AI and for for various reasons, resistance to the AI is a bit higher than the excitement for the AI. And that's kind of cultural, culturally, culture wide. And students we found are more likely to have used or will use generative AI than faculty. Although I don't think our faculty are laggards. It's just that the students got to it fast. The attitudes are shifting towards enthusiasm and curiosity. And it's very interesting to consider that once people can begin to play with with generative AI tools, if it's the image generators or the chat GPT. If they haven't done it before, they tend to warm up pretty quickly because it has such a, it can have such a rewarding experience, impact returning results for you. And it can be quite chatty and friendly. So people seem to warm up to it. But it's worth noting that as a culture, that people are a bit a bit freaked out by this, there is a huge appetite for talking about it. And that's why we that's what motivated our townhall series to create dialogue. We're doing okay, on time. Yeah, we're fine. And then social disruption, or the potential for social disruption and job replacement are among the top concerns. And I think it's funny because I explained to people that my job is to go find, ironically, how we can make jobs out of AI. So if I have to go make new jobs with AI, that's, that's the problem that I'm wrestling with. And I'm really grateful for the chance to do it. But I will admit, it's a head scratcher, because the artificial intelligence strategy, technology itself. It does things that humans human beings do. It does them well, particularly cognitive labor, we can get into that later. But the most important point is that what has happened recently is that ethics and regulation have become really front and center of almost every conversation, whether it's at the university, it seems to be happening at government level and, and other other parts of the world. So this is happening, the there is an effort to to, to regulate it, I want to show you real quick. And Steve, I'm going to have, there's some I'll put these slides, I'll share the slides if you'd like so that people can follow up with the resources. But for example, there's this one group here, which has emerged called the Center for AI and digital policy. And I really recommend if you're interested in regulation, discussions, and I mean globally, subscribe to their newsletter, it's very thick. It's it comes out once a week, it's a dense read. But there's just so much going on globally, about efforts to regulate AI in all the countries of the world. And so that's kind of fascinating if that's your thing. It's worth taking a look at that. And here's the slides that I'll let you know the URLs, the insights that I would like to share most with you all and I don't know what the technical level on the call is, I'm going to presume it's perhaps a spectrum from not very much to quite a bit. And I hope that this will be helpful to pretty much all of us, but we know that there's a noise. We know that there's enormous investment into it in terms of just economic, you know, the money that hundreds 10s or hundreds of billions of dollars are being sunk into AI so you know what's real? There is a tremendous amount of hype and a growing concern about it. I mentioned the regulatory environment, but something to keep in mind is that it's estimated that our compute power has increased by a factor of 10 every year since about 2010 that has been growing like that. And it is expected to continue for at least another three to five years to grow at that rate. What that means is that the AI models that were blank that are being built now could be 1000 to 10,000 times larger within a few years than they are now. And so what this means is that we were kind of at a very special time, because one thing that's not understood well, about the generative AI models like chat, GPT, and Bard and the image generators is that they seem to learn things on their own, just by sheer size. I think many of you might have heard that chat GPT, or GPT, for taught itself, all human languages, even though it wasn't trained on all human languages, it can infer it through its vast lexicon of vocabulary and language and linguistic weights that it's built, it can actually just read Hungarian, it can read Persian, it can read ancient languages, as well. And so those are called emergent properties. And so something to keep an eye on in the next few years is that as these models get super, super large, with companies like Google and Microsoft competing to build the biggest models, we're going to find out whether new capabilities emerge or not. And so what I kind of put out there for you to imagine as a thought experiment is that it's a very different reality on this planet, if we have chat bots that are as intelligent as us, and they plateau that like they're really smart, but they're not smarter than us, then that's kind of a world sort of, like, you know, data from from Star Trek, where you have robot companions that are kind of like people versus that, that the AI gets so intelligent that that they just dwarfed us and intelligence. And there's a lot to watch. And we'll probably see this within the next six to 12 months, a little bit of science as to whether it's going to plateau, or whether it's going to keep rolling or not. So something to keep an eye on. other little details that are good to keep in mind are that text text meaning where you type a prompt, and then it generates a document and text image where you type a prompt and it generates an image that is completely solved. Now, the imagery the AI can generate right now is so convincing. It doesn't take a whole lot to create something that looks absolutely real thing to keep in mind is that text to video is right behind. Now, I was just in. I was just in Virginia this week in Washington, DC for a conference and the National Security Agency was having somebody a representative there talking about the concerns that they have, from a security perspective, the intelligence community. And they were pretty concerned about the near term possibility of deep fake technology disrupting our election cycle and causing groups of people to fight with each other because of the way social media can propagate. These, you know, completely false, but very, very, very realistic stories about people doing terrible things. So that's something to think about. I hate the fact that AI is kind of a bummer this way. So I'm going to do my best to make it also, you know, like optimistic and uplifting. But there are things to think about like that. The most important thing that I would like for you to know, if you don't if you're not aware already, is that in this last year 2023, there has been the establishment of open source source alternatives to the giant models and what that means. I'd like to explore just one second more, I have a little graphic so that it's not all just bullet points there. I found this graphic this morning, I thought that might get the idea across. So I chose the the motif of gunpowder. Because that was a pretty transformative technology and another thought experiment, think about what the world if you were in the 1400s in Europe, for example. And then gunpowder arrived, and at first it has it. But then over a few decades, the commoner has it as well. And think about how different our world has evolved because the gunpowder was a technology that was not controlled just by by the by the elites, the American Revolution, for example, the you know, and the all of the gunpowder empires. In other words, it's a very different world. If the open source models that are now downloadable and can be used by organizations like like Iran, and like by governments and by small businesses. If you can build your own models, then you're not completely beholden to Google, and to Microsoft. And to Amazon, you actually can build a you have a chatbot you can build a commerce authority chatbot this, this is possible and this is playing out right now. So it's also a very interesting thing to think about, about how the world's gonna go. The last little bits I want to share about the AI phenomenon is that it's moving very swiftly and just this last week, Amazon put $4 billion into a company called anthropic, so now they're in the game, they're probably going to be a very, very large player in artificial intelligence services. Microsoft released something called autogen eight AI agent, which is an open They made it open source, so it's not owned by them. And it is capable of automating the generative AI so that it has its own drives, which, you know, I'm, again, this is why we need regulatory environment, but it makes it much more powerful. And then Google released size data on their new model, I want to show you real quick, I did, I asked set up to help me with this last night. But there's I did a quick visualization of size to help you understand. So if this little black.at, the top is the compute size and parameter size of the chat GPT, that happened back in November of last year, this bigger.is, the size of the current cutting edge frontier model, which is the GPT. Four, that's the one that everybody's using, but this is the size of the one that Google is building. So that's where we're going in the next 18 months. And like I mentioned before, it's going to be really fun to watch, because does this giant model do things that we can't understand? Or does it just kind of plateau as being a really expensive version of the GPT four, and that's a question that will play out. The most important part that I want to leave you with, is that there is the potential for acquiring an open source language model. There's a website called hugging face, which is quite popular, I'll pull it up takes a minute usually. And here every day, the most recent versions of these fine tuned models are published in an in a shared environment. And you can have these for free. Many of them you can use commercially, not all of them. But some of them some of the some of them, you can. And with that, it's possible to build a language model that has your company's information or your organization's information in it. And you don't have to give that information out to open AI, or to Microsoft or to Google, you can keep it private, if you want to go that route. So there's a new world of internet, or other tech technology development that is made possible by this technology. The thing that I think is relevant for our group today is that with all of this massive amounts of bandwidth coming into the state, at least potentially, their needs, there can and needs to be something that we can do with it. And I think that artificial intelligence will be very happy to soak up that bandwidth. And so that's why it's good to be thinking about it. Now. And just to wrap up our strategy in this year, and next is to continue outreach, continue holding public workshops, and helping people understand what the technology can do. Again, the model that I just tried to explain, I wish that I had a graphic for you to make it a little bit more tangible. But this idea of building your own local model that connects to a larger model to get the best of both worlds is something that I'm very passionate about. And that's, you know why I chose a historical analog of a technology that if it's in everybody's hands, it's a different world than if it's just for, for organizations hands. And so if you want to continue that conversation, I'm really happy to stick around to do that. And then finally, my last slide is that at the U of A, we are engaging to build our own, like local language models now. So this is something that you have is starting to do, I don't know that it'll be like value of a model, it might be health sciences model, it might be research models, but this is beginning to happen. So it's a thing. And then the one that I'm most proud of and passionate about is the AI student internship dream that we have, which right now, I'm calling it the LLM workforce, or the LLM army or whatever. But we have so many students that are attracted to the University of Arizona for computer science and machine learning, data analytics, all of these kinds of sciency mathy fields, they're all dabbling in or fascinated by or adapting to artificial intelligence. I don't have hard numbers yet I imagine it's, you know, 1000 or more students that are that are waiting to find they're looking for a way to to get into AI. And so what we're trying to build is a an exploratory workforce, where we would have students mentored within our institute in how to build these models, and then pair them up with organizations like yours, hopefully, that are forward thinking, ready to take a chance like to work with students that's really important that that that you appreciate the value of mentoring people who are at that beginning stages of their career to adapt to your environment, and then maybe, you know, kicking out this language model generative AI power at the state level instead of letting it just be a Google versus Microsoft thing but like, can we get this distribute this out into the state of Arizona where people are, are willing to ready to play with it and learn Learn how it works and put it to use. And, you know, productivity gains and entirely new types of work and products and services are possible with that student relationship. And so that's what I'm very passionate about. And then the last thing is that I was just in Washington yesterday. And you know, when? When, sorry, when I'm just wrapping up.
If somebody tried to go ahead,
yeah. When you're when you're, when you're at the airport, and you're looking at the ads on the TVs, you know, that often tells you like, where things are happening. And meta, the company Facebook that they're very big on this Metaverse, virtual reality education is a big deal for them. They were putting up a lot of ads for that. And I just feel I talked with Steve, we talked about this, but I have a dream. I really liked this technology. And I have a dream of seeing the metaverse technologies like telepresence, the ability to like, meet, maybe it's just science fiction, but maybe maybe we can turn Arizona into into a workforce where people have so much connectivity in this state that they live here. But they work elsewhere, as in like Tokyo, right, like telepresence, through this technology. And that's something that I'm really excited to talk about. And I would be happy to connect with anybody on the call who has a similar dream of using that kind of technology to create, like a workforce with the 2030 leverages bandwidth and high tech. Okay, thank you. That's what I've got. I hope that I didn't run over time. If we have time, I'll do q&a, or I'll just stick around and chat.
JT, you have your hand up?
I do. Of course, Steve, you know that. You made a new friend here today. And I just have a couple of questions for you. But let me get my first and self serving question out of the way. Where are you guys? In terms of studying artificial intelligence as it relates to cyber safety and security? Do you do you have any programs like that? We
do? Yeah, we have two programs in the yellow College of Medicine. at Baylor College of Management, we have the Artificial Intelligence Lab has a cybersecurity program. And then also the College of Applied Science and Technology, which is called cast CISD. Down at in Sierra Vista is has a whole campus dedicated to that. In particular. They have they have a pretty groundbreaking operation they call I think it's called Cyber opolis. And it's what it is, is it's a virtualized city that simulates you know, power supply, utilities, traffic and traffic routing, social media accounts, people going about their days, going to Starbucks and things like that. And that's where it's like a cybersecurity training range, where the students learn how to social engineer and hack into city environments. And it's it's got, it gets a lot of interest from Fort Huachuca. They're interested in that one.
Yeah, I couldn't do that, I think from the location. Anyway, the next question I have is your focus covers, like, different disciplines in AI. So you talked about like large language models and generative AI, but you do also the deep learning and the machine learning and other aspects of AI as well. Is that correct? That's
totally correct. And it's it's a little bit of probably critique of how I present it because I tend to focus on the the generative AI, because it has captured so much of the public discussion, but you're absolutely right, the artificial intelligence field has been researched for quite some time. And there's actually a lot of strength as I think you're alluding to, at the U of A with machine learning, and deep learning, and the various neural networks and database storage techniques. There's a lot more to it than just the the stuff that's going on in the news.
Okay, last quick, get last last question. Is it the beginning of your talk, you talked about how we might have the MLMs are exhibiting emergent technologies. And there's a point of growth to which it becomes as smart as us. But there's a line probably between as smart as us and smarter than us. And some of your peers would suggest that once that line is breached, that boundary is crossed, then human beings are not necessarily the apex species on the planet. And I'm not asking you to expound upon that here, but I would love a discussion with you and your peers about that. Not particularly in the context of is the the existential threat that that would seem to pose?
Yeah, well, we have made a new friend. And because I share that with you, I'd like to follow up with you. I can't say enough about what you just expressed that. And in fact, I will tell you personally, that that is like my own sort of mission. Why I got involved over the summer is because I do not want our society to lose sight of that fundamental discussion, that wow, this is, what are we doing? This is big. It's not just productivity. Right? It's like you said, are we looking at a potential sharing our planet with entities for lack of better word that are smarter than us? And And can I follow up with you about that and chats more?
Please do. I will put my contact information in the in the in the chat box. Thank you.
So I asked you a couple of things. One, this reminds me of back way back. Right? If you're familiar with Ray Kurzweil, he talked about singularity, and singularity coming this seems to be here now. But but the main thing I wanted to ask you about is you've talked about, you know, doing outreach and that sort of thing. Unfortunately, our representative with the Arizona Department of Education is not here. She's been out having some surgery. But it seems to me and I know there's all kinds of different groups who are now emerging, and talking about how AI relates to education and all that sort of stuff. But at least my experience is that it's always helpful to have an organization in Arizona, that can specifically work with the schools, libraries, and others, to particularly to address this issue. And so I think it makes sense for us to have further conversation with you about your plans. I know you're focused a lot on at the university right now. But to also do outreach, if I understood correctly, mostly to the industry. But I think that that whole education community is all struggling with how do they deal with this? And your institute? Could be a great
yeah, thank you, Steve. Yes, the task that I'm working on right now is defined as industry. But like, what we just the opinion, the what JT just brought forward? I just don't feel that there's any limiting the scope of this, and there's no good. So education, government. I also, you know, I think other sectors I don't like I don't like the vulcanizing quality of trying to get things done that way, because it's an expansive technology. So I appreciate what you said. And I would just follow up by making it clear that like, reiterating that the real passion that I have for it is that I've worked with, with our young programmers and student coders, and developers and marketers in the last five years with great success. And I really believe in youth, I really, really believe in youth. So if we can get young people mentored a little bit in outworking, they have the ability to pick up the reins. And we also need them to pick up the reins a little bit because we're this technology is moving a bit faster than we can keep up with it. And so, my I have a soapbox that I keep on my desk, I'll get off of it in a second. But it's it's that I believe in you if we should believe in youth, and they really, they really can't do it. And that's that's the way forward as far as I'm concerned. So I don't see limiting that. To industry. It's just the right now. That's the slice of the pie that I've been asked to tackle.
Right. So, so a couple of quick things. Reggie, you're still online. So you've been you're out working with, with the schools and students and and of course, you worked for Microsoft, which knows a little bit about AI. I don't know if you have any thoughts about about what's happening right now and your experience with the students in schools and, and so forth these days?
Yeah, I was just gonna miss it in the chat. Just on admin level, there is interest of teaching teachers especially how to utilize it because we are seeing and this is from a board perspective, our students are already using it just like you said, right, and our teachers aren't laggards but the professional development isn't there to help our students become more enthusiastic and learn about this. So if you do have any connections, or anyone else from U of A to some of our schools at the high school level, are at that level. entry levels. Excellent. Total, we're working with 35 schools, here in here in Arizona. And so we'd love to any type of opportunity how to connect you to one of our school. That's
fantastic. Let's follow up because we have part of our icdi involves a group called the Data Science Academy. And that's exactly what that is. It's an outreach to K 14 outreach. So I'll be really happy, ready to follow up with you.
And Steve, in their courses we offer it is AI that we support to but a lot of our teachers that we work with are barely on introductory level computer science learning, like coding Python, and so not too many of our teachers are not taking, utilizing their AI courses we have and teaching us on it. So that's not a priority area for us.
Should I do or somebody else have something to say? Sorry, yeah, we've actually launched a company that it's using AI. Right now we've got I'm sorry, we're at the very beginning stages of that operation. We haven't hired most of the programmers yet. We have two of them that are leading on a project. We've seen that our estimated development time went from three years to one year. That's currently what's in our roadmap. But we will be hiring developers over the next three to four months. So if there's you know, if the school has some kind of a job placement program, yeah, yeah, please, forward that information to me.
So Rory, you do want to tell him quickly who you are, and, you know, so that he can put that in context, please.
My Yeah, my apologies. So my company is a wireless Internet service provider. We provide internet over terrestrial microwave across the state, wherever we're from Grand Canyon to Nogales, we are working on two simultaneous projects, one internal and one for a new company. That will be completely bait based on AI. Applications. The first ones started development actually Monday of this week. So if you can, it's for you know, I apologize. I can't really tell everybody what's going on yet. It's still obvious, but we will be doing hiring in that area. If you have, if you have referrals for us to people to talk to. Most of those hires will probably start after the first year.
That's great. And what's the name of your company? Rory
Triad wireless Triad was one of the one of the people leading the project we just hired is a new graduate from ASA. So,
okay, your computer science?
That's great. And is your contact information in the chat by any chance?
My apologies, but I'll send it to you. Right. That's great.
So also just a reminder, ash that after this meeting sometime in the next couple of days, I send out a follow up to the meeting. All the people who register with their contact information and so forth. Also awesome.
Your date, when we brought up the security issue. So as an ISP, obviously we see a lot of traffic. And and JT are you I don't know if you're still on your I can't see. But we're seeing AI attacks already, where we're seeing basically low level easy attacks as a primary. And then then notice that we're getting hit harder and other most important addressing, obviously, but we're seeing different. They're basically doing faint and faint and move attacks. So it's getting it's getting really sick and they're getting hit so fast. We're having to address it at the CPU level on the routers.
I'm sorry, that that's that's part of the reason why I asked the question is because yeah, I mean, you you can you can understand how, as ash explained, you know, we're getting more and more creative with AI. Right? It's for good and for bad. I mean, the technology itself is is neutral, is how we apply it. And if if the black hats are using AI, then then certainly we need to be able to defend ourselves with with equal and superior technology based on AI. So let me that that would be the objective, because we want to be safe, right? We want our children to be safe, our families, our economy, our nation and our planet. And in fact, to be safe. I'm off my soapbox,
and we need to have this conversation. And perhaps we have another meeting or a separate meeting, because this is a big issue. Lots of issues going on who do and what to who and, and all that kind of stuff. So it will be certainly for us to continue dialogue Go with Ashe and, and how we can best partner and work collaboratively together. But I do want to take we're just about out of time. But I do want to take some time. Cindy, do you want to give a quick update?
Yes, sure. Yes. So we have some things going on for digital inclusion week and I posted there, the Arizona events can be found on our website, and there's a link there. And then the second part of the chat. We're also having an interesting guy from from the four h tech changer program in Nogales, Arizona. He's a fellow that that took on teaching digital literacy and has helped 3000 Older Adults with digital literacy in the last two years. He's coming to speak with us on October 5 at 11 o'clock, and I put the link to the to the registration there for everyone to look at. We're combining that with a meeting with an open house meeting with our group, the Arizona Digital Inclusion network that happens from 12 to one so if you stay on the call, you can you can hear what Aiden is all about. And Mignon Hollis is going to be speaking at that on that on October 5 to tell us about Arizona broadband for all and how we can become involved with that coalition. So that's what we have going on next week for digital inclusion week.
Thanks, Sandy. Aaron, do you have any updates? So Seema was not here today. But
Mala is actually in the middle of a presentation about disaster response in Library's right now. So that's why she's not here. We had a really successful event at the Tuba City Library this last week, Thursday, we were up there helping support the kickoff of their the availability of the telehealth equipment at that library. And there was a whole health fair with a ton of resources local to the to the city area available for the community members there. There was a group of folks signing people up for ACP, and I believe they got five families all registered and ready to receive benefits at the event, which is fantastic news.
Can I interrupt one second? Can you please just tell people who you are?
Oh, of course, I'm so sorry. I should do that. Um, people
are most people know you.
No worries. So I'm Erin Miranda's. I work for the Arizona State Library. I am the digital inclusion library consultant there. And we work with many people in this in this space here across the state, you know around digital access and inclusion as well as in the telehealth space. We have a program where we provide funds to libraries who are interested in having telehealth equipment and their spaces. And I'm not sure if you saw on the chat, but I would love to talk about the connection with the Dementia Care Resource because that's something that we hear a lot about in libraries. So I would love to connect with you on how we can kind of cross pollinate that that information. But the telehealth and Libraries program is it's kind of moving out of its pilot phases into a bigger expansion. In this next year. We started out with Pima County Public Library's two locations there and Arivaca and Idaho, hosting the equipment and they really helped us kind of figure out some of the logistics and help us through the the pilot of that program. And now it has expanded and so this year, we put the materials in the the Flagstaff Coconino library district through the to the city library, and then you to expand as well. And so that event in to the city this last week was kind of like their big kickoff with their equipment. And we continue to grow. And let's see what else Digital Inclusion weeks, and he did a great job talking about some of the things that are happening there. The State Library is supporting our libraries in the state with programming opportunities, ideas that they can just kind of take and run with if they're interested. That information is available on the Connect Arizona website, which is the website for our digital navigator program. If you're unfamiliar with that, and I'll drop a link to that in the chat in a moment. And I believe those are all of my updates. Yes, I'll pass it back to you. Thank you.
Okay, thank you, Aaron. So I'm posting in the chat. Jana major sent me a note she couldn't be here today. But she has three events coming up and I'm going to post those in the chat for you too. And then just a reminder, and you'll get more information. And unfortunately, she had to drop off. We had a representative from the governor's office was here earlier this morning, that, as we've announced before, that the governor has created a task force. And there's going to be different breakout sessions for breakout groups for people to participate in. And I will I posted that before and our information, and I will post it again. And there is opportunities for you to sign up if you want to be a part of any of those teams. So I will get that information out to you also. And with that, is there anybody else has anything else that they want to want to share this morning?
I think we were about them for today. So I'm going to stop recording. And if anybody wants to stay online and chat. You're more than welcome to do that.