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Sep 7, 2017

End of humanity as we know it’s ‘coming in 2045’ and Google is preparing for it

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI, singularity

‘In my lifetime, the singularity will happen,’ Alison Lowndes, head of AI developer relations at technology company Nvidia, tells Metro.co.uk at the AI Summit.

‘But why does everyone think they’d be hostile?


Robots ‘will reach human intelligence by 2029 and life as we know it will end in 2045’.

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Sep 7, 2017

Japan’s scientific ‘moonshot’

Posted by in category: futurism

A push to exploit the country’s lead in the sector risks being tripped up by regulation, sparking fears it could lose out to a rival.

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Sep 6, 2017

OPINION: ~ Buck Sexton, The Hill

Posted by in category: military

“North Korea claims it is now part of the thermonuclear club, after successfully testing on Sunday a miniaturized hydrogen bomb capable of fitting on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).”

“Assuming the reports are true, the North’s most recent nuclear detonation wasn’t just another test on a growing list of Kim Jong Un’s provocations. It was a major escalation in the nuclear face-off on the Korean peninsula. The world’s most belligerent rogue state going from fission to fusion weapons is ominous to say the least.”

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Sep 6, 2017

IBM and MIT partner on artificial intelligence research

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, economics, health, information science, robotics/AI

BOSTON (AP) — IBM is planning to spend $240 million over the next decade to create an artificial intelligence research lab at MIT.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Thursday announced the formation of the new MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. It will support joint research by IBM and MIT scientists.

Its mission will include advancing the hardware, software and algorithms used for artificial intelligence. It also will tackle some of the economic and ethical implications of intelligent machines and look at its commercial application for industries ranging from health care to cybersecurity.

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Sep 6, 2017

Breaking: An Entirely New Type of Quantum Computing Has Been Invented

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Australian researchers have designed a new type of qubit — the building block of quantum computers — that they say will finally make it possible to manufacture a true, large-scale quantum computer. Broadly speaking, there are currently a number of ways to make a quantum computer. Some take up less space, but tend to be incredibly complex. Others are simpler, but if you want it to scale up you’re going to need to knock down a few walls.

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Sep 6, 2017

Spell it Out: What, exactly, backs Bitcoin?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics

On August 1 2017, the value of a Bitcoin was at $2,750 US dollars. Today, just over one month later, it is poised to leap past $5,000 per unit. With this gain, many people are asking if Bitcoin has any genuine, inherent value. Is it a pyramid scheme? —Or is it simply a house of cards ready to collapse when the wind picks up?

In a past article, I explained that Bitcoin fundamentals ought to place its value in the vicinity of $10,000.* (At the time, it was less than $450, and had even fallen to $220 in the following year).

For many consumers viewing the rising interest in Bitcoin from the stands, there is great mystery surrounding the underlying value. What, if anything, stands behind it? This is a question with a clear and concise answer. In fact, it has a very definitive and believable answer—but it is easiest to understand with just a little bit of historical perspective.

At one time, G7 fiat currencies were backed by a reserve of physical Gold or the pooling or cross-ownership of other currencies that are backed by gold. That ended in 1971 when the Bretton Woods agreement was dissolved by president Richard Nixon in Ithaca NY.

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Sep 6, 2017

The AgeMeter campaign has now reached over 75% funded

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A few more donations will put it in striking distance to be completed by a top-level pledge (of which there have already been 2), so please help put it over the top if you can. Thanks!

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Sep 6, 2017

Hackers attacking US and European energy firms could sabotage power grids

Posted by in category: cybercrime/malcode

Now, Symantec reports, the group has resumed operations, apparently working since late 2015 to investigate and penetrate energy facilities in at least three countries: the US, Turkey and Switzerland.

“The Dragonfly group appears to be interested in both learning how energy facilities operate and also gaining access to operational systems themselves, to the extent that the group now potentially has the ability to sabotage or gain control of these systems should it decide to do so,” the cybersecurity firm warns.

Dragonfly’s methods are varied, but all its attacks seem to be focused on researching the inner workings of energy firms. It has been seen sending malicious emails with attachments that leak internal network credentials, which are then used to install backdoors on the network allowing the hackers to take control of computers and systems. They’ve also been seen seeding fake flash updates to install the backdoors and carrying out “watering hole” attacks, hacking third-party websites that were likely to be visited by people working in the energy sector.

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Sep 6, 2017

Sun Unleashes Monster Solar Flare, Strongest in a Decade

Posted by in category: space

Early this morning (Sept. 6), the sun released two powerful solar flares — the second was the most powerful in more than a decade.

At 5:10 a.m. EDT (0910 GMT), an X-class solar flare — the most powerful sun-storm category — blasted from a large sunspot on the sun’s surface. That flare was the strongest since 2015, at X2.2, but it was dwarfed just 3 hours later, at 8:02 a.m. EDT (1202 GMT), by an X9.3 flare, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). The last X9 flare occurred in 2006 (coming in at X9.0).

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Sep 6, 2017

Top Silicon Valley tech exec on cash handouts: Let’s eliminate poverty for all Americans

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, ethics

It’s de rigeur for the many of the richest of the rich to tout the benefits of giving cash handouts to all American citizens, in part as a way to end poverty. The idea, called universal basic income (UBI), is for every individual to be paid a regular sum of money regardless of employment status.

One of the tech elite who has an interest in universal basic income is self-made multimillionaire and Y Combinator President Sam Altman. “Eliminating poverty is such a moral imperative and something that I believe in so strongly,” Altman tells CNBC Make It.

“There’s so much research about how bad poverty is. There’s so much research about the emotional and physical toll that it takes on people.

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