Menu

Blog

Page 11037

Mar 9, 2015

Striking the Balance on Artificial Intelligence

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

By — Slate
The dangers of AI.

In January, I joined Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Lord Martin Rees, and other artificial intelligence researchers, policymakers, and entrepreneurs in signing an open letter asking for a change in A.I. research priorities. The letter was the product of a four-day conference (held in Puerto Rico in January), and it makes three claims:
  • Current A.I. research seeks to develop intelligent agents. The foremost goal of research is to construct systems that perceive and act in a particular environment at (or above) human level.
  • A.I. research is advancing very quickly and has great potential to benefit humanity. Fast and steady progress in A.I. forecasts a growing impact on society. The potential benefits are unprecedented, so emphasis should be on developing “useful A.I.,” rather than simply improving capacity.
  • With great power comes great responsibility. A.I. has great potential to help humanity but it can also be extremely damaging. Hence, great care is needed in reaping its benefits while avoiding potential pitfalls.

In response to the release of this letter (which anyone can now sign and has been endorsed by more than 6,000 people), news organizations published articles with headlines like:

Mar 8, 2015

Why Robots Will Be The Biggest Job Creators In World History

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

John Tammy — Forbes

As robots increasingly adopt human qualities, including those that allow them to replace actual human labor, economists are starting to worry. As the Wall Street Journal reported last week, some “wonder if automation technology is near a tipping point, when machines finally master traits that have kept human workers irreplaceable.”

The fears of economists, politicians and workers themselves are way overdone. They should embrace the rise of robots precisely because they love job creation. As my upcoming book Popular Economics points out with regularity, abundant job creation is always and everywhere the happy result of technological advances that tautologically lead to job destruction.

Read more

Mar 8, 2015

Zombie Apocalypse Simulator Proves That You Should Leave The City When The Dead Walk

Posted by in categories: entertainment, existential risks

Andy Campbell — The Huffington Post
Click image for simulator:
zombie outbreak
Thanks to Cornell University researchers, we can now simulate the spread of a zombie disease outbreak.

And thanks to their new zombie apocalypse simulator, we can confirm what we already knew: Stay out of cities if you don’t want to get infected.

The researchers will present their study, “The Statistical Mechanics of Zombies,” later this week, and reportedly prove that the best place to escape should zombies take over is the northern Rockies.

Read more

Mar 8, 2015

Could Abra be Bitcoin’s “Killer App”?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, business, cryptocurrencies, disruptive technology, economics, finance, innovation

Quoted: “At the event, CEO Bill Barhydt said: “Our mission with Abra is to turn every smartphone into a teller that processes withdrawals. This is not just another bitcoin app. The wallet is a full-fledged digital asset management system, and you don’t have to understand it.”

Use of the application is straightforward and relies on a network of people around the world who act as tellers, charging small fees to help people transfer money abroad. A user can deposit funds into his or her account using a debit card or by meeting up with a teller in person and handing them cash. Then those funds can be instantly — the power of Bitcoin — transferred anywhere in the world. The person receiving the money has only to find a teller, show that he or she is the recipient of the funds, and exchange the digital cash (denominated in USD) back for their local currency.”

Read the article here > https://bitcoinmagazine.com/19490/abra-announced-launch-fest…d-bitcoin/

Mar 7, 2015

FedEx And UPS Refuse to Ship a Digital Mill That Can Make Untraceable Guns

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, business

By — Wired
The Ghost Gunner, which measures about a foot in each dimension.
The new generation of “maker” tools like 3-D printers and milling machines promises to let anyone make virtually anything—from prosthetic limbs to firearms—in the privacy and convenience of his or her own home. But first, those tools have to get to customers’ homes. That’s going to be difficult for at least one new machine with the potential to make homemade firearms, because FedEx is refusing to deliver it.

Last week FedEx told firearm-access nonprofit Defense Distributed that the company refuses to ship the group’s new tool, a computer controlled (CNC) mill known as the Ghost Gunner. Defense Distributed has marketed its one-foot-cubed $1,500 machine, which allows anyone to automatically carve aluminum objects from digital designs, as an affordable, private way to make an AR-15 rifle body without a serial number. Add in off-the-shelf parts that can be ordered online, and the Ghost Gunner would allow anyone to create one of the DIY, untraceable, semi-automatic firearms sometimes known as “ghost guns.”
Read more

Mar 7, 2015

Scientist claims that human head transplants could be a reality by 2017

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

By — Gizmag
A woman's severed head awaits a new body, in the 1962 film The Brain That Wouldn't Die
Transplanting a human head onto a donor body may sound like the stuff of science fiction comics, but not to Italian doctor Sergio Canavero. He has not only published a paper describing the operation in detail, but also believes that the surgery could be a reality as early as 2017.

Canavero, Director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, initially highlighted the idea in 2013, stating his belief that the technology to successfully join two severed spinal cords existed. Since then he’s worked out the details, describing the operation in his recent paper, as the Gemini spinal cord fusion protocol (GEMINI GCF).
Read more

Mar 6, 2015

Singularity? Reality? Humanity? Are there sophisticated Barbarians in Silicon Valley? Linking the Human Brain to the Computer — Exciting, or Frightening?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, complex systems, cyborgs, evolution, futurism, human trajectories, posthumanism, singularity, transhumanism, virtual reality

Quoted: “Once you really solve a problem like direct brain-computer interface … when brains and computers can interact directly, to take just one example, that’s it, that’s the end of history, that’s the end of biology as we know it. Nobody has a clue what will happen once you solve this. If life can basically break out of the organic realm into the vastness of the inorganic realm, you cannot even begin to imagine what the consequences will be, because your imagination at present is organic. So if there is a point of Singularity, as it’s often referred to, by definition, we have no way of even starting to imagine what’s happening beyond that.”

Read the article here > http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/silicon-valley-mordor/

Mar 6, 2015

Illegal, Immoral, and Here to Stay: Counterfeiting and the 3D Printing Revolution

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, ethics

By Josh Greenbaum — Wired
20130814-SEARS-CATALOG-033edit
If you’re looking for a way to gauge how the 3D printing market will evolve, look no further than the dawn of two other revolutionizing technologies – the desktop printing market and the VHS standard. And be prepared for a decidedly off-color story.

While many of us have fond memories of watching a favorite movie when it first came out on VHS, or admiring the first three-color party invitation we printed on a laser printer, the fact remains that innocent pursuits were not the sole reason either of these technologies took off. And we shouldn’t expect 3D printing to be any different.
Read more

Mar 6, 2015

The Future of Consumer Tech Is About Making You Forget It’s There

Posted by in category: innovation

By — Fast Company

When Apple introduced the iPad 2 in 2011, it laid out a noble goal for the future of technology.

“Technology alone is not enough,” an Apple ad proclaimed. “Faster, thinner, lighter, those are all good things, but when technology gets out of the way, everything becomes more delightful, even magical. That’s when you leap forward.“
Read More

Mar 5, 2015

Bitcoin Takes the Stage at SXSW 2015 Interactive

Posted by in category: bitcoin

— Bitcoin Magazine
sxswbitcoin
Speakers from the top companies in the Bitcoin industry will present a full-day mini-conference of Bitcoin-related content during the SXSW 2015 Interactive Festival. The event will take place Monday, March 16, at SXSW’s Startup Village in the Austin Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Downtown in Austin, Texas.

The event will feature five sessions focusing on topics about the Bitcoin industry, with information from basic to advanced. Good and bad myths will be addressed, and speakers will share their vision for a future with Bitcoin.

The hour-long sessions for the day are titled “What is Bitcoin?,” “Bitcoin 2.0,” “A Future with Bitcoin,” “Impact on Developing World,” and “Real World Applications.” Read more