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Thread: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed



    Science and entertainment from the world of tomorrow.
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    Here's why Google is building a robot army

    1Expand
    For the past couple of weeks, we've all been wondering why Google bought Boston Dynamics, the company that makes those creepy Big Dog and PETMAN robots for the military. This comes after the company announced a project to eliminate death, and after building a secret installation out of cargo crates on a barge in San Francisco Bay. It's as if Google is in the early stages of building a city state.
    Historically, city states like Athens in ancient Greece were contained within physical walls, anchored to one location. But their tentacles of influence might reach far and wide; the Greek culture that bloomed in Athens is said to have Hellenized many parts of the Middle East.
    What are the main ingredients of a city state? It must have a ruling elite of course, much as a corporation does in its various executives and VPs. It must have a shared ideology, hopefully one that's boastfully vague — sort of like Google's motto "Don't be evil." Perhaps most importantly, it must have an army and an economy.
    If you think of Google's Mountain View campus as a city state, and all its satellite campuses as colonies, then it was kind of inevitable that the company would raise an army. Already, it has a culture within its walls that is as strong as any city-state's. Googlers across the globe share common values, types of work and meals. They exist within a social hierarchy as clear-cut as any caste system in ancient Greece (though Google doesn't have slaves, which is nice). And they've even taken on a state-like role in defending U.S. assets against Chinese hackers.
    But recently, Google's cultural goals have gotten a little more pronounced. They're not just out to make great web services like search, maps, and gmail. They're making driverless cars and funding Ray Kurzweil's efforts to eliminate human death. It's almost like the company is trying to build its own religion, based on vaguely environmentalist and Singulatarian ideas. They're acting less like a company, whose goals are entirely economic, and more like a city-state, whose goals include ineffable things like quality of life.
    Google's robot army reminds me of novels like Neal Stephenson's Diamond Age or Marge Piercy's He, She and It, where companies form city-states that occasionally go to war with each other. In He, She, and It, the company/city makes its living from selling software, but has to build cyborg soldiers to defend its walls against hostile takeovers. And in Diamond Age, corporations create islands devoted to pursuits like recreating the Victorian age. The companies in these novels are no longer just economic entities. They are cultures, conducting social experiments and propagating belief systems that won't lead directly to profit.
    These days, Google reaches into almost every corner of our lives in the West — it shapes the way we see the digital world. Those of us whose culture comes from the internet are already living in a Googlized world, just as people beyond Greece lived in a Hellenized world back in the 300s BCE. It makes sense that this city-state corporation known as Google now has the ability to wage war in the real world as well as cyberspace.
    Though Google's leadership may believe its acquisition of Boston Dynamics will help usher in a future of AI robots, it may actually be ushering in a future that looks more like history than The Matrix. We may be witnessing the return of the city-state, led by corporations rather than governments. Inside Google's walls, this transformation might be Utopia. Outside — well, we don't have to worry about outside. We'll have the robots to protect us against that.



    Discuss




    "God's an old hand at miracles, he brings us from nonexistence to life. And surely he will resurrect all human flesh on the last day in the twinkling of an eye. But who can comprehend this? For God is this: he creates the new and renews the old. Glory be to him in all things!" Archpriest Avvakum

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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    Robots to Replace Troops on the Battlefield
















    The Pentagon is considering replacing thousands of troops with robots, a military commander said recently, marking the first time a DOD official has publicly acknowledged that humans would be replaced with robots on the battlefield.
    Gen. Robert Cone, head of the Army Training and Doctrine Command, made the comment at the Army Aviation symposium on Jan. 15, according to a report in Defense News, a trade publication covering the military. He said that robots would allow for “a smaller, more lethal, deployable and agile force.”
    Related: Killer Robots—If No One Pulls the Trigger, Who’s to Blame?
    “I’ve got clear guidance to think about what if you could robotically perform some of the tasks in terms of maneuverability, in terms of the future of the force,” Cone said.
    DOD did not respond to a request for comment on Cone’s remarks.
    Cone also said that one-quarter of a 4,000 troop Brigade Combat Team could be replaced by robots or drones. His announcement comes as the entire Pentagon is shrinking, including troop reductions. DOD officials have said that the size of the force would shrink from 540,000 to 450,000 by 2020.
    The Pentagon and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have been aggressively pursuing robot technology. DOD has already invested billions of dollars with companies like Boston Dynamics, now owned by Google, to develop the technology.
    Related: World’s Most Lethal Drone Just Flew over Florida
    So far, the company has developed the AlphaDog robot, designed to haul heavy military equipment for soldiers. Last year alone, DOD spent $7 million on the Avatar Program, which is attempting to find a way to upload a soldier’s consciousness to a robot. It also spent $11 million on a program that is developing robots that act autonomously.
    These robots, combined with the already widespread use of drones and robots to detect bombs, are prompting fears that the human element would be removed from combat. Human Rights Watch and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, an international coalition concerned that robots could replace humans, have launched preemptive campaigns to ban their use.
    If more advanced robots are used in battle, it would be years down the line. Lt. Gen. Keith Walker told Defense News that widespread use of robots could not occur until the “deep future” - sometime between 2030 and 2040.
    “We’ll need to fundamentally change the nature of the force, and that would require a breakthrough in science and technology,” he said.
    "God's an old hand at miracles, he brings us from nonexistence to life. And surely he will resurrect all human flesh on the last day in the twinkling of an eye. But who can comprehend this? For God is this: he creates the new and renews the old. Glory be to him in all things!" Archpriest Avvakum

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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    Google acquires artificial intelligence firm DeepMind

    Google is continuing its robotics-oriented spending spree by acquiring UK-based DeepMind, and is developing an artificial intelligence ethics board as part of the deal. Is a robot revolution en route?


    By Karis Hustad, Staff writer / January 27, 2014






    The data collection and distribution business is booming.

    Chris Helgren/Reuters




    With $56.5 billion dollars to spare, it looks like Google is letting loose on the tech world like a kid in a toy store. The most recent desire? Robots.



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    On Sunday, Google confirmed it had purchased UK artificial intelligence firm DeepMind, its ninth robotics-oriented acquisition in a little over a year. This deal is only the most recent in Google’s growing collection of artificial intelligence acquisitions, as well as a growing fleet of some of the smartest tech companies in the world.





    According to its website, the two-year-old company deals in “machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms,” and its first first commercial applications are in simulations, e-commerce, and games.


    The deal, which was first reported by Re/Code, is valued at $400 million, a small sum compared to the $3.2 billion Google recently threw down to buy smart home technology company Nest. However, sources say Google may not just be buying the company for its technology, but also for its talent.


    DeepMind is run by Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg, and Mustafa Suleyman, all of whom have backgrounds in artificial intelligence and technology. Mr. Hassabis alone has a background in game development, a doctorate in cognitive neuroscience, and has done research on amnesia (he was also a child chess prodigy). According to Re/Code, DeepMind was actively recruiting in the artificial intelligence world, taking talent away from big tech companies such as Google and Facebook.


    The site also adds that Google CEO Larry Page personally led the deal proceedings. In 2012, Facebook courted DeepMind, but the deal fell through.


    All in all, it looks as if Google is seeking to make its products more intelligent, and DeepMind could hold the key to bringing the tech company one step closer to this goal.
    “DeepMind was generally interested in reinforcement learning, and in deep learning, which is very useful in mining so called ‘big data', something Google has a lot of and is interested in processing,” says Murray Shanahan a professor of cognitive robotics at Imperial College London in an article by the Guardian.





    Does this all feel a little too futuristic to you? Google and DeepMind, it turns out, are aware they are wading into uncharted ethical waters. Google is developing an artificial intelligence ethics board as a part of the deal, according to the Information.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    The rise of artificial intelligence


    Iain Gillespie



    Advanced: Google's chief engineer and futurist, Ray Kurzweil.



    Recent advances in making computers work like the human brain have pointed the way to a new era in artificial intelligence, and chances are you have already used some of the software improvements involved.


    Breakthroughs in deep learning, a process that imitates the brain with digital ''neural networks'' that gather information and react to it independently, have prompted the world's technology giants to invest billions of dollars in a fierce competition to lead the field.


    Google co-founder Sergey Brin has been quoted as saying he wants to build the equivalent of the sentient computer HAL from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, except that it wouldn't kill people. Deep learning might bring that objective a step closer.


    New frontiers: There's lots of exciting work to be done, says Tim Baldwin.



    His company has used deep learning to improve the speech-recognition system in its Android Jelly Bean operating system, while Microsoft has deployed it for Windows Phone and Bing voice search, but many of the world's top computer scientists believe that is only the beginning.


    Facebook has formed a secretive research group rumoured to be working on the possibility of developing software that can identify emotions in text, recognise objects in photos and even predict the likely future behaviour of each of its 1 billion users.


    Google's chief engineer, Ray Kurzweil, recently told MIT Technology Review that he envisions a ''cybernetic friend'' based on deep learning that listens in on your phone conversations, reads your emails and tracks your every move so that it can tell you things you want to know even before you ask.


    Hod Lipson, of Cornell University.



    Speaking at a Google language-processing workshop in China, Tim Baldwin, an associate professor of computing and information systems at the University of Melbourne, confirms that there have been significant advances in deep learning.


    ''The technologies, the techniques and theories have existed for a while,'' he says. ''Now there has been a coming together of hardware fast enough to train the models, a corporate boost to push it forward and teams formed to make it happen more quickly.''


    The neural network process uses layers of information-processing algorithms, or ''neural nodes'', stacked on top of each other. Each layer passes what it has learnt to the one above for further processing, providing an increasingly sophisticated result.


    Older image processing software, for example, examined images pixel by pixel, a system that required immensely complicated algorithms and produced uncertain outcomes. Neural networking applies sparse coding to images and looks for outlines rather than pixel patterns, allowing computers to identify them with greater accuracy.


    The same sparse coding approach, which breaks down information into simple forms to be interpreted and reassembled through successive layers of neural nodes in a way that mimics the operation of the human brain, can be used to process and understand any kind of data, and could produce results previously confined to science fiction.


    Many scientists, who once scoffed at the idea of a truly intelligent computer capable of making its own decisions, no longer do. For example, Hod Lipson, professor of engineering at New York's Cornell University, has built ''self-aware'' robots that use feedback from their limbs to learn to walk.


    Lipson says his robots have the ability to learn, understand themselves and even self-replicate. As well, by watching and touching swinging pendulums for a day, one used its own basic algorithm to learn a formula that took humans thousands of years to discover: force equals mass times acceleration.


    On another front, Kurzweil believes a conscious machine capable of understanding complex natural language will be developed within the next 16 years.


    ''I've had a consistent date of 2029 for that vision,'' he told Wired magazine, ''and that doesn't just mean logical intelligence. It means emotional intelligence, being funny, getting the joke, being sexy, being loving, understanding human emotion. That's actually the most complex thing we do. That is what separates computers and humans today.''


    However, Baldwin is not convinced.


    ''Frankly, there's a lot of hype around deep learning,'' he says. ''There's lots of exciting work to be done, but it [digital consciousness] is a long way off.


    ''We're giving machines instructions so they can learn for themselves how to do tasks, but it's still very one-dimensional. We have come a long way, but there's nothing that's going to directly produce a sentient machine, so it's not as if machines are about to take over the world.


    ''It's more like, looking back over our shoulders, we can say 'wow', we've actually come a reasonable way. We're opening up new frontiers and maybe one of those frontiers will be a thinking, feeling machine.''


    The world's biggest artificial brain is one built by Andrew Ng at Stanford University, in California. It's a deep-learning monster with the equivalent of more than 11 billion neural connections, while requiring the comparatively small computational power of 16 servers with graphics processing units.


    Although Ng's effort is more than six times larger than the previous record holder, Google's Brain project, two researchers have pointed out that such neural network computers haven't even approached the intelligence of a rat. The human brain has about 100 trillion connections, and there is still that elusive word ''consciousness'' to grapple with.


    Teams at the cutting edge of deep learning are increasingly turning to neurologists and biologists to come up with an answer.


    In the meantime, perhaps you should be nice to your computer, just in case.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    Google apparently is balls deep in this thing and when it "pops" it's going to go everywhere.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    Yeah... I was looking over my tablet - and of course I guess Google owns android.

    It does shit I don't want it to do already
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    Quote Originally Posted by Malsua View Post
    Google apparently is balls deep in this thing and when it "pops" it's going to go everywhere.
    I can't help but think that the Obama Administration is deeply involved in all this too; the Liberal State i'm sure would love to have an entirely AI Military.
    "God's an old hand at miracles, he brings us from nonexistence to life. And surely he will resurrect all human flesh on the last day in the twinkling of an eye. But who can comprehend this? For God is this: he creates the new and renews the old. Glory be to him in all things!" Archpriest Avvakum

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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    Quote Originally Posted by Avvakum View Post
    I can't help but think that the Obama Administration is deeply involved in all this too; the Liberal State i'm sure would love to have an entirely AI Military.
    AI military? I think I've seen that story before and know the ending...





    "All this has happened before. All this will happen again."



    So since we know where this will end up, what round for toasters? M855 and Chinese Steel Core going to cut it?


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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    So if we have an AI army and someone infects them with Malware that they shoot on sight hippies and liberals, do you think the libs would still support this AI army?
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    lol.

    Of course, because you know, "man made the machine so man who makes mistakes is at fault. We must get rid of man!"
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    I feel like this also belongs in the 'Leftist plot to destroy the US Millitary Thread' but it has larger implications here;

    ​Pentagon debuts driverless vehicles, continues push into autonomous warfare

    Published time: February 01, 2014 00:09
    Edited time: February 01, 2014 03:56 Get short URL

    Image from youtube.com @RDECOMTARDEC



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    Tags
    Army, Drones, Military, SciTech, USA

    New autonomous-vehicle technology tested this month shows US Army’s convoys - plagued by deadly improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan - will soon be able to move through the fiercest combat zones without the risk of losing life.
    The US Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and weapons contractor Lockheed Martin first demonstrated earlier this month the Autonomous Mobility Applique System (AMAS) at Fort Hood in Texas. The technology gives full autonomy to convoy vehicles that must often traverse dense urban terrain, often posing great risk to military personnel.

    The driverless system has shown the ability to “navigate hazards and obstacles including pedestrians, oncoming traffic, road intersections, traffic circles and stalled and passing vehicles,” Wired reported.
    Lockheed Martin integrated sensor technology and control systems with Army and Marine tactical-vehicle capabilities for AMAS, which the powerhouse weapons maker began in 2012 under an initial US$11 million contract. The versatile AMAS “is installed as a kit and can be used on virtually any military vehicle,” according to Lockheed.
    “The AMAS CAD [Capabilities Advancement Demonstration] hardware and software performed exactly as designed, and dealt successfully with all of the real-world obstacles that a real-world convoy would encounter,” said Lockheed’s AMAS program manager David Simon in a statement.
    The capabilities of AMAS fall in line with the US military’s drift toward autonomous warfighting. In addition to the US military’s increasing reliance on unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, the Pentagon has for years now tinkered with robotic warriors made to someday replace real life soldiers on the battlefield of the future, as RT has reported extensively in the past.
    Gen. Robert Cone, the chief of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, said during a recent symposium that he thinks there’s a chance the size of the military’s brigade combat teams will shrink by a quarter in the coming years from 4,000 total troops down to 3,000. Picking up the slack, he said, could be a fleet of robotic killing machines akin to the ground versions of the unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, increasingly used by the world’s armies.
    “[AMAS] adds substantial weight to the Army’s determination to get robotic systems into the hands of the warfighter,” said TARDEC technical manager Bernard Theisen.
    Suicide bombers and the IED menace in Iraq and Afghanistan has pushed the Pentagon to find solutions for how warfare can be conducted without serious loss of life. In both war theaters, often cheap, homemade explosives made up for a significant portion of deaths and injuries among US troops armed with the most advanced weapons technologies in the world.
    "God's an old hand at miracles, he brings us from nonexistence to life. And surely he will resurrect all human flesh on the last day in the twinkling of an eye. But who can comprehend this? For God is this: he creates the new and renews the old. Glory be to him in all things!" Archpriest Avvakum

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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    No, it's not looking good for the human race at all, not a bit;


    Robots Inspired by Termites Assemble Complex Structures Independently

    Added by Daniel O'Brien on February 14, 2014.
    Saved under Daniel O'Brien, Science
    Tags: robots, top
    Robots inspired by termites assemble complex structures independently in a demonstration by researchers at the University of Cambridge. Researchers from the Wyss Institute and Harvard School of Engineering were also involved with the work, Justin Werfel is a co-author from Cambridge and explains that the machines work together by following a few simple environmental cues and traffic rules to build structures like castles and pyramids without seeing a plan and without any leadership. The robots use these cues and sensors that allow them to track where their contemporaries are to decide between taking another step up or laying down the brick they are carrying, resulting in bricks being placed in such a way that the next robot to come across that location will know whether to build higher or step onto that level themselves in order to start another level. This system of building stair cases that gradually become walls allow for the tiny machines to build structures much larger than themselves in only a matter of hours.
    Although robots that work together are becoming more common recently, these robots inspired by termites assemble complex structures independently of each other, meaning that if some are lost the others will carry on without a hitch. In other systems the remaining robots would become confused and stall once their building scenario no longer matched their programmed behaviour. Like other robots before them, these are destined to work in conditions that are unsafe or unpleasant for humans and their independent nature makes them particularly suited to repairing structures in turbulent areas, such as levies or dams where flood waters have yet to recede. Should a handful of workers be lost, either to falling debris or rushing flood waters, those that remain will continue to work until the task is complete. On top of this, the number of robots used in a scenario can be scaled, allowing for small numbers for small jobs and large numbers for bigger ones. Although the little workers are quick to appraise their project and decide what should be done next, their small wheels don’t move them around very quickly.
    The key to the abilities of these new robots is called swarm intelligence. Although each robot is small and can only carry out a small number of actions, together they are able to work towards a common goal, even if they do not know it individually. Each unit has just enough information to spot errors and correct them, but not enough to know what their siblings are doing, allowing these robots inspired by termites to assemble complex structures independently without worrying what their partners are up to. Four years of design resulted in these small robots, only 8 inches long and 4.5 inches wide, each equipped with 4 twisted triangle wheels powered by inexpensive motors and little arms to carry bricks. We probably won’t see these little workers laying out bricks in new sidewalks for another few years, but the groundwork is in place for a system that will allow humans to take a break from heavy lifting.
    By Daniel O’Brien
    Sources
    Scientific American
    Utah People’s Post
    The Wall Street Journal
    "God's an old hand at miracles, he brings us from nonexistence to life. And surely he will resurrect all human flesh on the last day in the twinkling of an eye. But who can comprehend this? For God is this: he creates the new and renews the old. Glory be to him in all things!" Archpriest Avvakum

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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    "We probably won’t see these little workers laying out bricks in new sidewalks for another few years, but the groundwork is in place for a system that will allow humans to take a break from heavy lifting."

    Yea, we'll all be superfluous and have to be exterminated, isn't machinery and technology cool?!
    "God's an old hand at miracles, he brings us from nonexistence to life. And surely he will resurrect all human flesh on the last day in the twinkling of an eye. But who can comprehend this? For God is this: he creates the new and renews the old. Glory be to him in all things!" Archpriest Avvakum

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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    Once the bugs build the houses, they're going to want to live in them.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with ‘full-time’ robots


    By Douglas Ernst

    The Washington Times
    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    The Pentagon’s research agency tasked with developing breakthrough technologies for national security has come up with a plan for dealing with shrinking budgets: robotic flight crews.

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is currently working on technology that will be able to replace up to five crew members on military aircraft, in effect making the lone human operator a “mission supervisor,” tech magazine Wired reported.

    The Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) would offer the military a “tailorable, drop-in, removable kit that would enable the addition of high levels of automation into existing aircraft to enable operation with reduced onboard crew,” DARPA said.

    “Our goal is to design and develop a full-time automated assistant that could be rapidly adapted to help operate diverse aircraft through an easy-to-use operator interface,” said DARPA program manager Daniel Patt said in a statement. “These capabilities could help transform the role of pilot from a systems operator to a mission supervisor directing intermeshed, trusted, reliable systems at a high level.”

    DARPA asserts that the technology will then free up servicemen to focus on mission-level tasks, Wired reported.
    "God's an old hand at miracles, he brings us from nonexistence to life. And surely he will resurrect all human flesh on the last day in the twinkling of an eye. But who can comprehend this? For God is this: he creates the new and renews the old. Glory be to him in all things!" Archpriest Avvakum

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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    Stephen Hawking Warns Of Possible Dire Threat To Mankind: Artificial Intelligence Might Be Humanity’s Worst Mistake
    May 5, 2014 · by Fortuna's Corner · in big data, cloud computing, Cyber War, Cybersecurity, Intelligence Community, Internet, national security, Robots In War, technology & innovation, underwater vehicles, unmanned, Unmanned aerial systems, US Military · Leave a comment

    Stephen Hawking Warns Of Possible Dire Threat To Mankind: Artificial Intelligence, He Says, Might Be Humanity’s Worst Mistake

    http://www.fortunascorner.wordpress.com

    Stephen Hawking, Stuart Russell, Max Tegmark, and Frank Wilczek had an article in London’s, The Independent, regarding the state of artificial intelligence (AI), and where we might be headed in the future. Hawking is the Director of Research, at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge; and, a 2012 Fundamental Physics Prize laureate for his work on quantum gravity; Stuart Russell is a computer science professor at the University California, Berkeley, and co-author of ‘Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach;’ Max Tegmark is a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the author of ‘Our Mathematical Universe;” and, Frank Wilczek is a physics professor at MIT and a 2004 Nobel laureate for his work on the strong nuclear force.

    “With the Hollywood blockbuster Transcendence, currently playing in cinemas, showcasing clashing visions for the future of humanity,” the authors write, “it’s tempting to dismiss the notion of highly intelligent machines as mere science fiction. But, this would be a mistake,” the authors add, “and potentially our worst mistake in history. ” AI research is now progressing rapidly,” they write. “Recent landmarks such as self-driving cars, a computer winning at Jeopardy; and, the digital personal assistants Siri, Google Now, and Cortana, are merely symptoms of an IT arms race — fuelled by unprecedented investments and building on an increasingly mature theoretical foundation. Such achievements will probably pale against what the coming decades will bring,” they warn.

    “The potential benefits are huge, everything that civilization has to offer is a product of human intelligence; we cannot predict what we might achieve when this intelligence is magnified by the tools that AI may provide; but, the eradication of war, disease, and poverty would be high on anyone’s list. Success in creating AI would be the biggest even in human history,” and if we aren’t careful, “its last,” the authors contend.

    “In the near-term,” they add, “world militaries are considering autonomous-weapons systems that can choose and eliminate targets,” and substantial research and development investments are being made across the globe in this fertile area. “In the medium-term,” as emphasized by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee in The Second Machine Age, “AI may transform our economy to bring both great wealth and great dislocation.”

    “Looking further ahead, there are no fundamental limits to what can be achieved: there is no physical law precluding particles from being organized in ways that perform even more advanced computations — than the arrangements in human brains. An explosive transition is possible, although it might play out differently from the movie: as Irving Good realized in 1965, machines with super-human intelligence — could repeatedly improve their design even further, triggering what Vernor Vinge called “singularity” and Johnny Depp’s movie character calls “transcendence.”

    “One can imagine such technology outsmarting financial markets, out-inventing human researchers, out-manipulating human leaders, and developing weapons we cannot even understand. Whereas the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all. “

    “So, facing possible futures of incalculable benefits and risks, the experts are surely doing everything possible to ensure the best outcome — right? Wrong. If a superior alien civilization sent us a message saying, “We’ll arrive in a few decades,” would we just reply, “OK, call us when you get here — we’ll leave the lights on?” “Probably not, – but this is more or less what is happening with AI. Although we are facing potentially the best, or worst thing to happen to humanity in history, little serious research is devoted to these issues — outside non-profit institutes such as the Cambridge Center for the Study of Existential Risk, the Future of Humanity Institute, the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, and the Future of Life Institute. All of us should ask ourselves what we can do now to improve the chances of reaping the benefits [AI], and avoiding the risks.”

    I certainly wouldn’t take issue with these gentlemen regarding the significance and potentially eye-watering advancements that AI may have to offer to humanity. And, they certainly raise an extremely important question about whether or not we have adequately “war-gamed” the risks, benefits, and unintended consequences of significant advances in AI. Social media, crowdsourcing and the ‘wisdom of the crowd,’ via an Internet of Things is allowing for unprecedented advances across a number of domains: computing, robotics (miniature and micro), genetics, nanotechnology, autonomous systems, and big data analytics are all racing ahead of Moore’s Law.

    As The Daily Galaxy noted back on March 25, 2010, “AI is becoming the stuff of sci-fi reality: The Mars rover can now select the rocks that look the most promising for signs of life. A robot that can open doors and find electrical outlets to recharge itself; computer viruses that no one can stop; Predator drones, which though still remotely controlled by humans, come close to a machine that can kill autonomously.” That was written four years ago. Now we have autonomous systems that can interact with each other — without requiring human intervention and, sensors and systems that can activate based on target activity — albeit in limited fashion — for now.

    “The key factor in singularity scenarios,” the Daily Galaxy wrote, “is the positive- feedback loop for self improvement: once something is even slightly smarter than humanity, it can start to improve itself, or design new intelligence faster than we can — leading to an intelligence explosion designed by something that isn’t us.” Artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence after 2020, wrote Vernor Vinge, a world renowned pioneer in AI, who has warned the risks and opportunities that an electronic super-intelligence would offer mankind. Vinge wrote his 1993 manifesto: “The Coming Technological Singularity,” in which he argues that exponential growth [and advancements] in technology — means a point will be reached [in the not too distant future] where the consequences are unknown.”

    George Dvorsky, in the April 1, 2013 io9, discussed the potential ramifications of leap-ahead advancements in AI in an article titled, “How Much Longer Before Our First AI Catastrophe?” He wrote, “when singularity hits, it will be like, in the words of mathematician I.J. Good — “an intelligence explosion — and, it will indeed hit us like a bomb. Human control will forever be relegated to the sidelines, in whatever form that might take. A pre-Singularity AI catastrophe, on the other hand, will be containable. But just barely. It’ll likely arise from an expert system, or super sophisticated algorithm run amok. And the worry is not so much power — which is definitely part of the equation — but at speed at which it will inflict the damage. By the time we have a grasp on what’s going on, something terrible may have happened.”

    “It is difficult to know,” he writes, “exactly how, when, or where are true first AI catastrophe will occur but, we’re still decades off. Our infrastructure is still not integrated, or robust enough to allow for something really terrible to happen. But, by the mid-2040s (if not sooner), our highly digital and increasingly interconnected world, will be susceptible to these sorts of problems.”

    Rich and interesting, with lots to think about. V/R, RCP
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  17. #57
    Super Moderator Malsua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    No one is going to heed the warnings. There is such an economic advantage to having a super intelligent AI that someone will build it and that's the end of us.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    I think it will take more than "building it" myself. It will have to figure out a way to propagate itself, then we're in trouble. lol
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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    It appears that Mal has accurately predicted the destruction of the human race.

    The last test was just passed. Now... it is merely a matter of time.

    A computer just passed the Turing Test in landmark trial





    Can machines think?
    Alan Turing from archive of papers relating to the development of computing at the National Physical Laboratory between the late 1940s and the early 1970s. (Science Museum, London/SSPL)

    In 1950, famed London scientist Alan Turing, considered one of the fathers of artificial intelligence, published a paper that put forth that very question. But as quickly he asked the question, he called it “absurd.” The idea of thinking was too difficult to define. Instead, he devised a separate way to quantify mechanical “thinking.”
    “I shall replace the question by another, which is closely related to it and is expressed in relatively unambiguous words,” he wrote in the study that some say represented the “beginning” of artificial intelligence. “The new form of the problem can be described in terms of a game which we call the ‘imitation game.’”
    What he meant was: Can a computer trick a human into thinking it’s actually a fellow human? That question gave birth to the “Turing Test” 65 years ago.
    This weekend, for the first time, a computer passed that test.
    “Passing,” however, doesn’t mean it did it with flying colors. For a computer to pass the test, it must only dupe 30 percent of the human interrogators who converse with the computer for five minutes in a text conversation. In the test, it’s up to the humans to separate the machines from their fellow sentient beings throughout their five-minute inquisition. (Gizmodo has a pretty good breakdown of how the test works.)
    This go-round, a Russian-made program, which disguised itself as a 13-year-old boy named Eugene Goostman from Odessa, Ukraine, bamboozled 33 percent of human questioners. Eugene was one of five supercomputers who entered the 2014 Turing Test.
    “We are proud to declare that Alan Turing’s Test was passed for the first time on Saturday,” declared Kevin Warwick, a visiting professor at the University of Reading, which organized the event at the Royal Society in London. “In the field of Artificial Intelligence there is no more iconic and controversial milestone than the Turing Test, when a computer convinces a sufficient number of interrogators into believing that it is not a machine but rather is a human.”
    There is some cause for concern, however. For starters, convincing one-third of interrogators that you’re a teenager who’s speaking in a second language perhaps skews the test a bit. Was the computer that smart? Or was it a gimmick?
    And then there is the concern that such technology can be used for cybercrime.
    “The Test has implications for society today,” Warwick said in a university news release. “Having a computer that can trick a human into thinking that someone, or even something, is a person we trust is a wake-up call to cybercrime. . . . It is important to understand more fully how online, real-time communication of this type can influence an individual human in such a way that they are fooled into believing something is true . . . when in fact it is not.”
    Indeed, if the optimism of Eugene’s programmers is any guide, we may be headed for a scenario not dissimilar to “Her” — the 2013 blockbuster that depicted a complex man falling in love with his computer.
    “Going forward we plan to make Eugene smarter,” Vaselov said, ”and continue working on improving what we refer to as ‘conversation logic.’ ”
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  20. #60
    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Our Final Invention: How the Human Race Goes and Gets Itself Killed

    I just finished watching the movie Transcendence and, although I haven't read the book Mal started this thread on, I believe the movie dovetails superbly with the author's premise. Not only that but a couple of other things we touched on in this thread like the Borg and Terminators.

    I have to say that I'm really not sure why the movie scored as poorly as it did (only a 6.4) on IMDB and brought in so little at the box office except, and I know this is going to sound cliche, but the subject matter is just beyond most of the audience. I believe that most people don't understand how plausible the scenario laid out in the book and this movie could be where an AI rapidly grows into an ASI and quickly spirals out of control. Perhaps a classic "it can't happen here" mentality where humans aren't used to being not in control. The movie did a good job of keeping me watching throughout.

    I can honestly say that from my perspective, having only just read through this thread added immensely to the viewing experience of the movie. Thanks to Mal's input on the book, I understood a lot of how and why things were happening and the story progression seemed very natural given what the book's author lays out. I imagine having actually read the book and then watching the movie would be better still. Perhaps if you haven't already seen it Mal, you could give the movie a view and share your thoughts. Maybe I'm entirely off base and you can set me straight!

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