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Sep 17, 2014

Artificial Intelligence: How Algorithms Make Systems Smart

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

By Stephen F. DeAngelis, Enterra Solutions — Wired

algorithmia-ft

“Algorithm” is a word that one hears used much more frequently than in the past. One of the reasons is that scientists have learned that computers can learn on their own if given a few simple instructions. That’s really all that algorithms are mathematical instructions. Wikipedia states that an algorithm “is a step-by-step procedure for calculations.

Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning.” Whether you are aware of it or not, algorithms are becoming a ubiquitous part of our lives. Some pundits see danger in this trend. For example, Leo Hickman (@LeoHickman) writes, “The NSA revelations highlight the role sophisticated algorithms play in sifting through masses of data. But more surprising is their widespread use in our everyday lives. So should we be more wary of their power?” [“How algorithms rule the world,” The Guardian, 1 July 2013] It’s a bit hyperbolic to declare that algorithms rule the world; but, I agree that their use is becoming more widespread. That’s because computers are playing increasingly important roles in so many aspects of our lives. I like the HowStuffWorks explanation:

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Sep 16, 2014

We Need to Pass Legislation on Artificial Intelligence Early and Often

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

By John Frank Weaver — Slate

152766339-google-self-driving-car-is-displayed-at-the-google

Not that long ago, Google announced something unheard of in the auto industry—at least in the part of the auto industry that makes moving cars. A car without a steering wheel or gas and brake pedals. To Google, this was the next step in self-driving cars. Why bother with a steering wheel if the driver isn’t driving? Some observers questioned whether this feature in the proposed the test vehicle violated the autonomous vehicle statute in California (where the vehicle would be tested), which required that the driver take control of the self-driving vehicle in case the autonomous system malfunctions. Google claimed that it installed an on/off button, which satisfied the California law.

California recently weighed in: Google, you’re wrong. The state has released regulations requiring that a test driver be able to take “active physical control” of the car, meaning with a steering wheel and brakes.

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Sep 15, 2014

Robots Aren’t Out to Get You. You Should Be Terrified of Them Anyway.

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

By — Slate

140910_FT_Superintelligence

n the recent discussion over the risks of developing superintelligent machines—that is, machines with general intelligence greater than that of humans—two narratives have emerged. One side argues that if a machine ever achieved advanced intelligence, it would automatically know and care about human values and wouldn’t pose a threat to us. The opposing side argues that artificial intelligence would “want” to wipe humans out, either out of revenge or an intrinsic desire for survival.

As it turns out, both of these views are wrong. We have little reason to believe a superintelligence will necessarily share human values, and no reason to believe it would place intrinsic value on its own survival either. These arguments make the mistake of anthropomorphising artificial intelligence, projecting human emotions onto an entity that is fundamentally alien.

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Sep 14, 2014

What if Destiny were real? The UK’s cities imagined with space travel

Posted by in category: entertainment

Adam Gell — HITC

Destiny UK City Space Age Comparison London After

Destiny has been in players’ hands for the past few days now, and I’ve also been doing my part to fight The Darkness this week too. But, as the game uses our own galaxy as the setting to tell its story, complete with futuristic space travel and talk of a Golden Age brought by the arrival of The Traveller, Activision and Bungie have worked with the National Space Centre to see what the UK could look like in the future when space travel is real.

Similarly in the images below, Destiny lets you travel to the futuristic imaginings of the Russian Cosmodrome, which is the real-world site of Earth’s first and largest space facility, and where Sputnik 1 (the first artificial Earth satellite) was launched in 1957. In the game the site looks quite different from today’s real-world counterpart, as humanity has gone through a Golden Age of space travel, and reached the brink of extinction with the arrival of The Darkness years later.

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Sep 13, 2014

Why the Ebola fire can almost not be stopped anymore

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

It needs an effort dwarfing all past peace-time and war-time efforts to be launched immediately, which prospect appears almost infinitely unlikely to be met in time.

The outbreak has long surpassed the threshold of instability and can only be spatially contained any more by the formation of uninfected (A) areas as large as possible and infected areas (B) as small as still possible. Water, food, gowns and disinfectants must be provided by international teams immediately in exponentially growing numbers and for whole countries. A supportive industry must be set in motion in a planet-wide action.

Diseased_Ebola_2014

The bleak prospect that the quenching of the disease is close to a point of no return stems from chaos theory which is essentially a theory of exponential growth (of differences in the initial conditions). “Exponential growth” means that a level that has been reached – in terms of the number of infected persons in the present case – will double after a constant number of time units for a long time to come. Here, we have an empirical doubling every 3 weeks for 5 months in a row by now with no abating in sight. See the precise graphs at the end of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_virus_epidemic_in_West_Africa

Sep 13, 2014

Century 21st Adaptability Into Outright Success, Regardless of Hugely Indebted Nations and a Global Economy Disrupted to Its Knees! (Image)

Posted by in category: futurism

Century 21st Adaptability Into Outright Success, Regardless of Hugely Indebted Nations and a Global Economy Disrupted to Its Knees! (Image)

0  ACROBATICS

Sep 13, 2014

The Three Simultaneous Foresight Imperatives Into Victory! [Graphic]

Posted by in category: futurism

0    FORESIGHT

Sep 13, 2014

Neuromodulation 2.0: New Developments in Brain Implants, Super Soldiers and the Treatment of Chronic Disease

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, defense, transhumanism

Written By: — Sigularity Hub

neuro-modulation

Brain implants here we come.

DARPA just announced the ElectRX program, a $78.9 million attempt to develop miniscule electronic devices that interface directly with the nervous system in the hopes of curing a bunch of chronic conditions, ranging from the psychological (depression, PTSD) to the physical (Crohn’s, arthritis). Of course, the big goal here is to usher in a revolution in neuromodulation—that is, the science of modulating the nervous system to fix an underlying problem.

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Sep 12, 2014

Celebgate Could Inspire More Bitcoin Blackmail

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cybercrime/malcode

Caleb Chen — Cryptocoinsnews

bitcoin hacker blackmail

The Celebgate incident is still unfolding, and we are already seeing mainstream media report on the connection between the “nude celebrity photos” and Bitcoin. The original leaker of the pictures returned to 4chan recently to respond to the uproar he had caused. An excerpt from his post highlights Bitcoin’s involvement in Celebgate:

People wanted **** for free. Sure, I got $120 with my bitcoin address, but when you consider how much time was put into acquiring this stuff (i’m not the hacker, just a collector), and the money (i paid a lot via Bitcoin as well to get certain sets when this stuff was being privately traded Friday/Saturday) I really didn’t get close to what I was hoping.

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Sep 11, 2014

KnCMiner Launches Cloud Mining Service at Arctic Bitcoin Mine

Posted by in category: bitcoin

| — Coindesk

knc cloud

KnCMiner has unveiled a new cloud-mining service, offering six-month contracts out of its Arctic bitcoin mine.

KnC Cloud, launched on 2nd September, leverages the company’s existing data center space in northern Sweden. The so-called Clear Sky mine boasts more than 7 petahashes per second in estimated mining power.

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