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Archive for the ‘policy’ category

Feb 14, 2017

The Biotechnological Wild West: The Good, the Bad, and the Underknown of Synthetic Biology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing, health, policy, security

While the recent cases of Ebola and Zika contributed to an emphasis on research, response, and policy related to EIDs, the meeting also had presentations on emerging biotechnologies. Of particular note was the Synthetic Biology panel, which focused on the current state of synthetic biology, its use in the health security defense enterprise, and the policy conundrums that need to be addressed.

Synthetic Biology – Complexity through Simplification

The first presenter, Dr. Christopher Voigt of the Synthetic Biology Center at MIT, noted that synthetic biology was the application of engineering principles to biological systems. The end goal of this bioengineering framework is to leverage ever-increasing computer capabilities to simplify both the designing and writing of genomic sequences. Further simplification would then allow for the creation of more complex systems.

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Feb 14, 2017

Cryptographers Dismiss AI, Quantum Computing Threats

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, encryption, information science, policy, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Cybercrime & Cybersecurity 0 20

There is a reason why they’re not in the private sector developing QC. Noticed all represented no one developing and delivering QC commercially. There is a reason why folks like this become nay sayers as it is hard when you’re not able to deliver and not hireable by the private sector to deliver QC. With such a huge demand for QC experts and in security; you have to wonder why these folks have not been employed in a QC Tech company especially when you see tech grabbing every professor they can to develop QC and especially cyber security. Also, I still never saw any bases or details scientifically for their argument why specifically where and how QC will not block hacking just a bunch of professors throwing out words and high level speculations.


SAN FRANCISCO—Cryptographers said at the RSA Conference Tuesday they’re skeptical that advances in quantum computing and artificial intelligence will profoundly transform computer security.

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Feb 14, 2017

IARPA launches crowdsourcing research effort

Posted by in categories: law, neuroscience, policy

I believe we’re already doing this in other programs around SWARM Data Intelligence. Wish they would re-leverage other US Govt. programs and their work…


WASHINGTON. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, has announced that it is embarking on a multiyear research effort to develop and test large-scale, structured collaboration methods to improve reasoning. If the project is successful, the Crowdsourcing Evidence, Argumentation, Thinking and Evaluation (known as “CREATE”) program will improve analysts’ and decisionmakers’ understanding of the evidence and assumptions that support or conflict with their conclusions.

The agency is confident that the knowledge gained through this project will improve its ability to provide accurate, timely, and well-supported analyses of the complex issues and questions facing the community.

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Feb 14, 2017

Gov’t Sued For Taking US Company’s Business Plan And Giving It To Foreigners

Posted by in categories: business, military, policy, robotics/AI, satellites

Hmmmm.


A private space company is suing the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for allegedly taking an idea and giving it to a foreign-owned competitor.

Orbital ATK accused DARPA, which develops military technology, of giving its business plan to repair satellites to Space Systems Loral (SSL), a company-based in California but registered as foreign-owned. Orbital ATK says handing business plans to SSL violates U.S. policy.

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Feb 14, 2017

Microsoft calls for ‘digital Geneva Convention’

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, policy, security

SAN FRANCISCO – In a policy speech that puts Microsoft front-and-center in the shifting ground of both politics and nationalism, company president Brad Smith said tech companies must declare themselves neutral when nations go up against nations in cyberspace.

“Let’s face it, cyberspace is the new battlefield,” he told an overflow audience in the opening keynote at the RSA computer security conference.

Tech must be committed to “100% defense and zero percent offense,” Smith said.

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Feb 11, 2017

Value Conflicts surrounding the Meaning of Life in the Trans/Post/Human Future

Posted by in categories: biological, cryonics, cyborgs, economics, environmental, ethics, futurism, governance, health, homo sapiens, law, mobile phones, policy, posthumanism, security, theory, transhumanism

Posthumanists and perhaps especially transhumanists tend to downplay the value conflicts that are likely to emerge in the wake of a rapidly changing technoscientific landscape. What follows are six questions and scenarios that are designed to focus thinking by drawing together several tendencies that are not normally related to each other but which nevertheless provide the basis for future value conflicts.

  1. Will ecological thinking eventuate in an instrumentalization of life? Generally speaking, biology – especially when a nervous system is involved — is more energy efficient when it comes to storing, accessing and processing information than even the best silicon-based computers. While we still don’t quite know why this is the case, we are nevertheless acquiring greater powers of ‘informing’ biological processes through strategic interventions, ranging from correcting ‘genetic errors’ to growing purpose-made organs, including neurons, from stem-cells. In that case, might we not ‘grow’ some organs to function in largely the same capacity as silicon-based computers – especially if it helps to reduce the overall burden that human activity places on the planet? (E.g. the brains in the vats in the film The Minority Report which engage in the precognition of crime.) In other words, this new ‘instrumentalization of life’ may be the most environmentally friendly way to prolong our own survival. But is this a good enough reason? Would these specially created organic thought-beings require legal protection or even rights? The environmental movement has been, generally speaking, against the multiplication of artificial life forms (e.g. the controversies surrounding genetically modified organisms), but in this scenario these life forms would potentially provide a means to achieve ecologically friendly goals.

  1. Will concerns for social justice force us to enhance animals? We are becoming more capable of recognizing and decoding animal thoughts and feelings, a fact which has helped to bolster those concerned with animal welfare, not to mention ‘animal rights’. At the same time, we are also developing prosthetic devices (of the sort already worn by Steven Hawking) which can enhance the powers of disabled humans so their thoughts and feelings are can be communicated to a wider audience and hence enable them to participate in society more effectively. Might we not wish to apply similar prosthetics to animals – and perhaps even ourselves — in order to facilitate the transaction of thoughts and feelings between humans and animals? This proposal might aim ultimately to secure some mutually agreeable ‘social contract’, whereby animals are incorporated more explicitly in the human life-world — not as merely wards but as something closer to citizens. (See, e.g., Donaldson and Kymlicka’s Zoopolis.) However, would this set of policy initiatives constitute a violation of the animals’ species integrity and simply be a more insidious form of human domination?

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Feb 9, 2017

Disrupting the White House: Peter Thiel’s Influence is Shaping the National Security Council

Posted by in categories: finance, policy, security

Over the past week, the White House appointed five new senior National Security Council staff officials. Two in particular signify the emerging and disruptive influence Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel could have on U.S. national security and how he might bring his venture capital perspective — visionary but unconventional leaders, big bets on disrupting established industries — to national security.

Kevin Harrington, a Thiel acolyte, has been named Deputy Assistant to the President for strategic planning. Since early December, Harrington served on the Trump “landing team” at the Commerce Department, where his job was to help hire people for open positions and identify policy priorities. Before that, he worked at hedge funds started by Thiel. Michael Anton, a former executive at an investment management firm and speechwriter, was named Deputy Assistant to the President for Strategic Communications, virtually the same job that Obama advisor Ben Rhodes held. POLITICO reports that he received the position “thanks to an entree from Thiel.”

The Harrington appointment is unusual for a couple of reasons. First, the elevation of this position to “Deputy Assistant to the President,” the second highest rank within the White House, suggests that Harrington will have a larger role than his predecessors. Although the strategic planning office is one of the most important at the NSC, it is typically staffed by a lean team of forward thinkers and the head of the office is ranked accordingly.

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Feb 8, 2017

Making big sense of big data: The quest to improve human reasoning

Posted by in categories: information science, policy, robotics/AI

SWARM still only restricts itself to sample sets/ group representation of the population. And, when we place AI in this mix; I get concerned still where daily lives are impacted by decisions coming out from this model. For example, I would hate to see laws and policies rely on SWARM data reasoning as Laws and Policies often have special exceptions that Judges and Policy makers must still have the ability to call not AI with SWARM.


US intelligence is investing millions of dollars in a global research effort to boost analytical thinking by unlocking the reason in crowds.

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Feb 7, 2017

India to frame policy on synthetic biology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, policy

Rules placed on Synbio in India; wonder who is next?


The technology could help produce drugs, vaccines, fuel components and other chemicals.

: India is taking its first steps to evolve a policy on synthetic biology, an emerging science through which new life forms can potentially be made in labs and existing life forms, such as bacteria and other microbes, tweaked to produce specific proteins or chemically useful products.

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Jan 31, 2017

When the Mother of Invention Is a Machine, Who Gets Credit?

Posted by in categories: computing, economics, food, policy

What do the Oral-B CrossAction toothbrush, about a thousand musical compositions and even a few recent food recipes all have in common?

They were invented by computers, but you won’t find a nonhuman credited with any of these creations on U.S. patents. One patent attorney would like to see that changed.

Ryan Abbott is petitioning to address what he sees as more than a quirk in current laws but a fundamental flaw in policy that could have wide-ranging implications in areas of patent jurisprudence, economics and beyond if his proposals are adopted.

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