So what are we going to do about it?
So what are we going to do about it?
I am not worthy:
One additional thought. Has anyone noticed that there are a bunch of movies coming up about artificial intelligence and all the bad things that can happen? Like this one:
And this one:
Speaking at the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics department’s Centennial Symposium in October, Tesla boss Elon Musk referred to artificial intelligence as “summoning the demon.”
I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence. Increasingly scientists think there should be some regulatory oversight maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish. With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like yeah he’s sure he can control the demon. Didn’t work out.
British inventor Clive Sinclair has said he thinks artificial intelligence will doom mankind.
“Once you start to make machines that are rivaling and surpassing humans with intelligence, it’s going to be very difficult for us to survive,” he told the BBC. “It’s just an inevitability.”
After gushing about the immediate future of technology in his Reddit AMA, [Bill] Gates aligned himself with the AI alarm-sounders.
“I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence,” Gates wrote. “First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don’t understand why some people are not concerned.”
It really can’t be that bad, right?
This week, authorities in Beijing announced an initiative to catch corrupt officials who have fled overseas. The plan, set to be put into action next month, will better coordinate Chinese investigations into offshore funds and “underground banks” used by officials to funnel money out of the country.
It’s just another anti-graft measure implemented under the watch of President Xi Jinping, who has made the fight against corruption a signature issue since coming to power toward the end of 2012. According to Bloomberg News, Xi’s campaigns “have snared more than 100,000 cadres,” or members of the Communist Party.
About 150 Chinese economic fugitives are suspected to be in the United States, the BBC reports.
But there’s one thing slightly troubling about the latest campaign to catch fugitive officials abroad: its name. Chinese officials have dubbed it “Sky Net.”
And we all know what happens when SkyNet becomes self aware:
You really can’t believe what you see anymore.
And we’ll get plenty of angry thought germs as the election season progresses.
A nice map of the solar system and the satellite missions that we’ve used to explore it from National Geographic (click to enlarge):
And yes, when you click through it, you see it’s a huge map. But it’s not really an adequate representation of the size of the solar system.
Click here to go through a scale model map of the solar system, using as the scale our moon the size of one pixel. And then you’ll see that despite the billions of stars and planets in the night sky, we are really in the middle (?on the edge?) of nowhere.
Once you go through that vast, seemingly endless, map of nothingness, think what your reaction should be to this observation:
Now some SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) researchers are pushing a more aggressive agenda: Instead of just listening, we would transmit messages, targeting newly discovered planets orbiting distant stars. Through “active SETI,” we’d boldly announce our presence and try to get the conversation started.
Naturally, this is controversial, because of . . . well, the Klingons. The bad aliens.
“ETI’s reaction to a message from Earth cannot presently be known,” states a petition signed by 28 scientists, researchers and thought leaders, among them SpaceX founder Elon Musk. “We know nothing of ETI’s intentions and capabilities, and it is impossible to predict whether ETI will be benign or hostile.”
My reaction? Doesn’t matter if they’re benign or hostile. It would take them forever to get here. So send the signal, which would travel at the speed of light and take years to get to the next galaxy. At the worst, we’ll just end up crank calling each other. (Hey, Boba Fett! Is that a ring around Uranus? Yuk, yuk, yuk.)
Meanwhile, the Web site Vox has plenty more space map thrills for you.
If you look toward the moon right now in the U.S., you’ll see the watermelon to its left, then turn in the opposite direction and you’ll see the grape. In a couple of days, about an hour after sunset, look south of the grape and you’ll see the blueberry.
(Art by Guardian datablogger Simon Rogers and New York Times designer Jennifer Daniel.)