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Texas should rein in AI abuses with new consumer protections

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Texas should rein in AI abuses with new consumer protections


In testimony before a state committee on artificial intelligence, a witness showed a picture of the Dallas Cowboys celebrating a Super Bowl victory this year. Another witness displayed an AI-generated email response crafted from a state lawmaker’s LinkedIn account.

Two problems. There was no such victory or celebration, and the lawmaker had nothing to do with the email response.

Increasingly used in hiring, credit, health care, law enforcement, insurance and other everyday decisions, artificial intelligence can produce dangerous, life-altering consequences. AI-initiated deceptions or faulty data can cost someone a job, a home or even their freedom. Unfortunately, the absence of clear rules makes it difficult for Texans to know how artificial intelligence impacts their lives and to contest abuses.

Texas lawmakers could remedy this when the Legislature convenes next year. Warning of potential abuses of privacy, consumer rights and threats to elections and national security, several artificial technology experts recently told the Texas House Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence & Emerging Technologies that lawmakers should provide legal and ethical guidelines for artificial intelligence use in Texas. Among their recommendations, they urge laws to require companies to disclose how they use algorithms and biometric information to train and deploy artificial intelligence systems.

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Texas should look to data privacy and consumer protection laws for inspiration. States that regulate the use of artificial intelligence rightly focus on transparency, accountability and anti-discrimination measures. It would be consistent with many other consumer and privacy laws to protect residents from abusive, inappropriate, irrelevant, or unauthorized use or reuse of consumer data. Texans should also be protected from unjustified assessments based on race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion or disability.

Colorado, Maryland, Tennessee, Illinois and California also have transparency and accountability standards to give consumers and regulators recourse when lines are crossed, according to the Council of State Governments. And to mitigate false information based on the biases or inaccuracies in AI programs, lawmakers in California, Connecticut, Louisiana and Vermont hold companies responsible for unintended but foreseeable impacts or uses of artificial intelligence systems. Some states also require an employer to receive consent from an employee if the business intends to use an AI system to collect data about its workforce.

The entire world is slowly awakening to a technology that is exploding faster and wider than any technology in the history of the planet. The European Union recently established rules around artificial intelligence use. Congress and major companies that develop and use artificial intelligence systems are so gridlocked that states are trying to fill this regulatory vacuum on behalf of their residents.

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It is good that Texas is beginning a serious conversation about the use of artificial intelligence systems. It should enact comprehensive and enforceable consumer protections. Providing Texans with more say on how data is used and recourse when companies abuse consumer trust would be smart public policy.

We welcome your thoughts in a letter to the editor. See the guidelines and submit your letter here. If you have problems with the form, you can submit via email at letters@dallasnews.com



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Potential Tropical Cyclone One expected to strengthen before landfall. See spaghetti models

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Potential Tropical Cyclone One expected to strengthen before landfall. See spaghetti models



The system is expected to become tropical storm before landfall Wednesday

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  • Potential Tropical Cyclone One is expected to become Tropical Storm Alberto.
  • Landfall is expected late Wednesday.
  • The system is very large, with tropical-storm-force winds extending 290 miles northeast of the center.

Tropical storm warnings have been issued for parts of the Texas coast ahead of Potential Tropical Cyclone One, according to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The system is expected to strengthen and is likely to become a tropical storm by Wednesday before approaching the western Gulf Coast late Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area by Wednesday.

If it does become a tropical storm, it’ll become the first named storm of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, Alberto.

➤ Track all active storms

➤ Excessive rainfall forecast

The National Hurricane Center warned the system is very large: with tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 290 miles to the northeast of the center.

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Heavy rain is forecast to extend well north of the center of the storm, spreading into portions of central Texas, according to AccuWeather.

Potential Tropical Cyclone One is expected to bring 5 to 10 inches of rain across South Texas and into northeastern Mexico, with up to 15 inches possible, NHC forecasters said.

AccuWeather is predicting over half a foot of rain across parts of the Texas and Louisiana coasts, with up to 30 inches possible in the hardest-hit areas.

“Very warm waters in this area of the Gulf, as well as low wind shear will make this a conducive environment for the tropical rainstorm to strengthen,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski.

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Potential Tropical Cyclone One: What you need to know

  • Location: 420 miles southeast of Brownsville, Texas
  • Maximum sustained winds: 40 mph
  • Movement: north at 6 mph
  • Pressure: 999 mb
  • Next advisory: 8 a.m.

Watches, warnings issued across Florida, Texas, Gulf Coast

For an explanation of what the watches and warnings mean, scroll to the bottom of this story.

  • Tropical storm warning: The Texas coast from Port O’Connor southward to the mouth of the Rio Grande.
  • Tropical storm watch: The northeastern coast of Mexico south of the mouth of the Rio Grande to Puerto de Altamira.

How strong is Potential Tropical Cyclone One and where is it going?

At 5 a.m. EDT, Potential Tropical Cyclone One was located about 420 miles southeast of Brownsville, Texas, or 350 miles east-southeast of La Pesca, Mexico. Latitude 21.3 North, longitude 93.0 West.

The system is moving toward the north near 6 mph. A gradual turn toward the west-northwest and west is expected is expected Tuesday night and Wednesday, and the system is likely to approach the western Gulf Coast late Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 40 mph, with higher gusts. Some increase in strength is likely during the next 36 hours, and the disturbance is forecast to become a tropical storm by Wednesday.

  • Formation chance through 48 hours: high, 80 percent.
  • Formation chance through 7 days: high, 80 percent.

The disturbance is quite large with tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 290 miles to the northeast of the center, the National Hurricane Center said.

Spaghetti models for Potential Tropical Cyclone One

Special note about spaghetti models: Illustrations include an array of forecast tools and models, and not all are created equal. The hurricane center uses only the top four or five highest performing models to help make its forecasts. 

➤ Track Potential Tropical Cyclone One

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Key messages from the National Hurricane Center: What you need to know about Potential Tropical Cyclone One

  1. Users are reminded not to focus on the exact forecast track of this system. The disturbance is very large with rainfall, coastal flooding, and wind impacts likely to occur far from the center along the coasts of Texas and northeastern Mexico.
  2. Rainfall associated with Potential Tropical Cyclone One will impact large regions of Central America, northeastern Mexico and South Texas. This rainfall will likely produce considerable flash and urban flooding along with new and renewed river flooding. Mudslides are also possible in areas of higher terrain across Central America into northeast Mexico.
  3. Moderate coastal flooding is likely along much of the Texas Coast beginning Tuesday morning and continuing through midweek.
  4. Tropical storm conditions are expected beginning Wednesday over portions of the Texas coast south of Port O’Connor, where a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect, and over portions of northeastern Mexico.

Current forecast: Where is Potential Tropical Cyclone One going and how strong could it get?

  • 12 hours: 40 mph
  • 24 hours: 45 mph. Would be a tropical storm.
  • 36 hours: 50 mph
  • 48 hours: 50 mph as it moves inland.
  • 60 hours: 35 mph

What impact could Potential Tropical Cyclone One have and what areas could be affected?

  • Storm surge: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide:
    • Sargent, Texas, to Sabine Pass, Texas: 2-4 feet
    • Galveston Bay: 2-4 feet
    • Mouth of the Rio Grande, Texas, to Sargent, Texas: 1-3 feet
    • Sabine Pass, Texas, to Vermilion/Cameron Parish Line, Louisiana: 1-3 feet
  • The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the north of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.
  • Rainfall: Potential Tropical Cyclone One is expected to produce rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches across northeast Mexico into South Texas, with maximum totals of 15 inches possible. This rainfall will likely produce flash and urban flooding along with new and renewed river flooding. Mudslides are also possible in areas of higher terrain across northeast Mexico.
  • Wind: Tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area by Wednesday.

Interactive map: What tropical storms, hurricanes have impacted your area in the past?

What do tropical storm watches, warnings from NHC mean?

What is storm surge? Graphics explain the deadly weather event

Tropical storm warning: A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.

Tropical storm watch: An announcement that sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph are possible within the specified area within 48 hours in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone.



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Texas A&M’s Ryan Prager holds Kentucky without hit into 7th inning in College World Series win

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Texas A&M’s Ryan Prager holds Kentucky without hit into 7th inning in College World Series win


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Texas A&M scored all of its runs in the sixth inning, Ryan Prager held Kentucky hitless into the seventh and the Aggies are off to their best start in a College World Series after their 5-1 win Monday night.

The Aggies (51-13) are 2-0 in the CWS for the first time in eight all-time appearances and have taken control of Bracket 2. They’ll await the winner of a Tuesday elimination game between Florida and Kentucky (46-15) in the bracket final Wednesday. They would have to lose twice to be kept out of the best-of-three finals.

Texas A&M’s Jim Schlossnagle speaks after Aggie fans removed from CWS: ‘Don’t come back’

Prager (9-1), the season-long No. 1 pitcher for A&M, wiggled out of trouble twice before Ryan Nicholson lined the ball over second base for the Wildcats’ first hit with two outs in the seventh. Nolan McCarthy followed with a double, putting runners on the corners, and then reliever Josh Stewart came on to strike out Patrick Herrera.

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Prager, rocked for six runs in 1 2/3 innings in his super-regional start against Oregon, threw only 10 pitches in a 1-2-3 first inning against the Wildcats, and he retired 13 in a row from the second to sixth inning. The sophomore left-hander walked one, hit a batter and struck out four.

Not everything went smoothly. A&M catcher Jackson Appel made a huge play with two outs in the second when James McCoy bunted to the left side with Nick Lopez heading home from third. Appel ran down the ball and fired to first to get McCoy on a close play upheld on review.

The Wildcats had two runners on with one out in the sixth after a walk and error. Prager got out of the inning when Kaeden Kent fielded Devin Burkes’ sharp grounder down the third-base line, tagged the bag and threw to first for an inning-ending double play.

Texas A&M scored five times in the sixth to take control. Jace LaViolette walked leading off against Mason Moore (9-4), Appel doubled into the right-field corner and both came home on Hayden Schott’s single into left field. Cameron O’Brien came on in relief and gave up an RBI double to Ali Camarillo and a two-run single to Kent.

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Kentucky ended the Aggies’ bid for a nation-leading 12th shutout when Nicholson homered with one out in the ninth.

The only down side for the Aggies was an injury to LaViolette, who hobbled on his right leg crossing home plate in the sixth. LaViolette leads the Aggies with 28 homers and 77 RBIs, and he was the hero of their CWS-opening win over Florida when his catch at the fence robbed the Gators of a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning.

Texas A&M already lost projected top-five draft pick Braden Montgomery to a broken ankle and starting pitcher Shane Sdao to an arm injury in super regionals.

    Texas A&M’s Jim Schlossnagle speaks after Aggie fans removed from CWS: ‘Don’t come back’
    Home-run robbery in 9th preserves Texas A&M’s 3-2 CWS win over Florida

Find more college sports coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.

Find more Texas A&M coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.



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College World Series 2024: Texas A&M fans ejected for heckling Florida coach over murder of Gators ballboy

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College World Series 2024: Texas A&M fans ejected for heckling Florida coach over murder of Gators ballboy


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Two Texas A&M fans at the College World Series were ejected Saturday after heckling University of Florida baseball coach Kevin O’Sullivan. They were making comments regarding the murder of two boys, one of them whom regularly served as a batboy for the team.

“Heckling an opposing baseball team about the tragic death of their batboy is beyond unacceptable,” read a statement by the Omaha Police Officers Association. “Glad our officers and security threw this duo out of Charles Schwab Field. You’re no longer welcome in this city and should be banned for life from future College World Series.”

Rex Reinhart, 14, and batboy Brody Reinhart, 11, were killed by their father Paul Otto Reinhart in 2021 before he set their house on fire and died by suicide. As reported by The Gainesville Sun, the father was in the process of divorcing his wife of 19 years, Minde, and had updated his will 15 days before the murders to prevent her from receiving any of his assets. Minde is now married to O’Sullivan.

Texas A&M coach Jim Schlossnagle apologized for the fans’ actions after the game. 

“I want to apologize on behalf of Texas A&M on behalf of whatever the heck went on over in that dugout,” Schlossnagle said. “Whoever those two guys are they don’t represent what Texas A&M is about and whoever they are just don’t come back. Let’s not let those two guys back in the ball park.”

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