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Archive for the ‘internet’ category: Page 162

Sep 28, 2014

How the Web Became Our ‘External Brain,’ and What It Means for Our Kids

Posted by in category: internet

By Michael Harris — Wired

kid-brains-inline

Recently, my two-year-old nephew Benjamin came across a copy of Vanity Fair abandoned on the floor. His eyes scanned the glossy cover, which shone less fiercely than the iPad he is used to but had a faint luster of its own. I watched his pudgy thumb and index finger pinch together and spread apart on Bradley Cooper’s smiling mug. At last, Benjamin looked over at me, flummoxed and frustrated, as though to say, “This thing’s broken.”

Search YouTube for “baby” and “iPad” and you’ll find clips featuring one-year-olds attempting to manipulate magazine pages and television screens as though they were touch-sensitive displays. These children are one step away from assuming that such technology is a natural, spontaneous part of the material world. They’ll grow up thinking about the internet with the same nonchalance that I hold toward my toaster and teakettle. I can resist all I like, but for Benjamin’s generation resistance is moot. The revolution is already complete.

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Sep 26, 2014

Review: When Google Met WikiLeaks (2014) by Julian Assange

Posted by in categories: big data, bitcoin, computing, encryption, ethics, events, futurism, geopolitics, government, hacking, internet, journalism, law, law enforcement, media & arts, military, transhumanism, transparency
Julian Assange’s 2014 book When Google Met WikiLeaks consists of essays authored by Assange and, more significantly, the transcript of a discussion between Assange and Google’s Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen.

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Sep 18, 2014

Why Superintelligence May Not Help Us Think about Existential Risks — or Transhumanism

Posted by in categories: alien life, biological, cyborgs, defense, disruptive technology, ethics, existential risks, futurism, homo sapiens, human trajectories, internet, military, philosophy, policy, posthumanism, science, singularity, transhumanism

Among transhumanists, Nick Bostrom is well-known for promoting the idea of ‘existential risks’, potential harms which, were they come to pass, would annihilate the human condition altogether. Their probability may be relatively small, but the expected magnitude of their effects are so great, so Bostrom claims, that it is rational to devote some significant resources to safeguarding against them. (Indeed, there are now institutes for the study of existential risks on both sides of the Atlantic.) Moreover, because existential risks are intimately tied to the advancement of science and technology, their probability is likely to grow in the coming years.

Contrary to expectations, Bostrom is much less concerned with ecological suicide from humanity’s excessive carbon emissions than with the emergence of a superior brand of artificial intelligence – a ‘superintelligence’. This creature would be a human artefact, or at least descended from one. However, its self-programming capacity would have run amok in positive feedback, resulting in a maniacal, even self-destructive mission to rearrange the world in the image of its objectives. Such a superintelligence may appear to be quite ruthless in its dealings with humans, but that would only reflect the obstacles that we place, perhaps unwittingly, in the way of the realization of its objectives. Thus, this being would not conform to the science fiction stereotype of robots deliberately revolting against creators who are now seen as their inferiors.

I must confess that I find this conceptualisation of ‘existential risk’ rather un-transhumanist in spirit. Bostrom treats risk as a threat rather than as an opportunity. His risk horizon is precautionary rather than proactionary: He focuses on preventing the worst consequences rather than considering the prospects that are opened up by whatever radical changes might be inflicted by the superintelligence. This may be because in Bostrom’s key thought experiment, the superintelligence turns out to be the ultimate paper-clip collecting machine that ends up subsuming the entire planet to its task, destroying humanity along the way, almost as an afterthought.

But is this really a good starting point for thinking about existential risk? Much more likely than total human annihilation is that a substantial portion of humanity – but not everyone – is eliminated. (Certainly this captures the worst case scenarios surrounding climate change.) The Cold War remains the gold standard for this line of thought. In the US, the RAND Corporation’s chief analyst, Herman Kahn — the model for Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove – routinely, if not casually, tossed off scenarios of how, say, a US-USSR nuclear confrontation would serve to increase the tolerance for human biological diversity, due to the resulting proliferation of genetic mutations. Put in more general terms, a severe social disruption provides a unique opportunity for pursuing ideals that might otherwise be thwarted by a ‘business as usual’ policy orientation.

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Sep 11, 2014

Justice Beyond Privacy

Posted by in categories: computing, disruptive technology, ethics, government, hacking, internet, law, policy, privacy, security

As the old social bonds unravel, philosopher and member of the Lifeboat Foundation’s advisory board Professor Steve Fuller asks: can we balance free expression against security?

justice

Justice has been always about modes of interconnectivity. Retributive justice – ‘eye for an eye’ stuff – recalls an age when kinship was how we related to each other. In the modern era, courtesy of the nation-state, bonds have been forged in terms of common laws, common language, common education, common roads, etc. The internet, understood as a global information and communication infrastructure, is both enhancing and replacing these bonds, resulting in new senses of what counts as ‘mine’, ‘yours’, ‘theirs’ and ‘ours’ – the building blocks of a just society…

Read the full article at IAI.TV

Sep 6, 2014

How to Save The Net

Posted by in category: internet

By

It’s impossible to overstate how much the Internet matters. It has forever altered how we share information and store it for safekeeping, how we communicate with political leaders, how we document atrocities and hold wrongdoers accountable, how we consume entertainment and create it, even how we meet others and maintain relationships. Our society is strengthened and made more democratic by the open access the Internet enables. But the Internet as we know it is at risk from a variety of threats ranging from cybercrime to its very infrastructure, which wasn’t built to withstand the complications our dependence upon it causes.

We asked some of the Net’s biggest stakeholders and thought leaders to lay out ways we can maintain the Internet as a home for innovation, community, and freely exchanged information. We are excited to present you with these six takes on what could go wrong—and how to bring us back from the brink.

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Aug 6, 2014

Math Can Make the Internet 5–10 Times Faster

Posted by in category: internet

Aalborg University

A new study uses a four minute long mobile video as an example. The method used by the Danish and US researchers in the study resulted in the video being downloaded five times faster than state of the art technology. The video also streamed without interruptions. In comparison, the original video got stuck 13 times along the way.

- This has the potential to change the entire market. In experiments with our network coding of Internet traffic, equipment manufacturers experienced speeds that are five to ten times faster than usual. And this technology can be used in satellite communication, mobile communication and regular Internet communication from computers, says Frank Fitzek, Professor in the Department of Electronic Systems and one of the pioneers in the development of network coding.

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Aug 5, 2014

Meet the Online Tracking Device That is Virtually Impossible to Block

Posted by in categories: internet, surveillance

Julia Angwin — Nation of Change
Article image
A new, extremely persistent type of online tracking is shadowing visitors to thousands of top websites, from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn.com.

First documented in a forthcoming paper by researchers at Princeton University and KU Leuven University in Belgium, this type of tracking, called canvas fingerprinting, works by instructing the visitor’s Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to assign each user’s device a number that uniquely identifies it.

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Aug 2, 2014

Buenos Aires new lighting can be monitored and controlled from a browser

Posted by in categories: information science, internet

By — gizmag
The Philips LED lighting can be controlled and monitored using the CityTouch control panel
LED lighting offers a host of benefits for cities, such as reduced energy usage and costs. For Buenos Aires, which is in the process of having its lighting infrastructure upgraded, one of the benefits is the increased level of control it provides. Gizmag took a look at technology being used.

It was announced towards the end of last year that Philips had been selected to replace 91,000 street lights across Buenos Aires with LED lighting. That’s more than 70 percent of the city’s lighting. Philips says that it is the biggest city deployment of its kind. A total of 28,000 lights have now been replaced and are already being controlled remotely.

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Jul 11, 2014

Making opinions matter: making headlines

Posted by in categories: internet, journalism, media & arts, philosophy

.#democracy. #you. #indie. #webcontent. #contentmarketing. @HJBentham.


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Jul 2, 2014

Tech breakthroughs may mean ‘digital everything’ by 2025

Posted by in categories: automation, internet

By — ComputerWorld
http://www.futuretimeline.net/21stcentury/images/future-air-travel-technology.jpg

Think you’re digitally connected today? You haven’t seen anything yet.

Forget carrying a smartphone in your pocket. In about 10 years, we’re likely to have digitally connected cars, smart homes, and refrigerators and dishwashers that can think for themselves.

On top of that, towns, cities and even continents may be digitally connected and responsive.

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