Our Bots, Ourselves - brilliant read via The Atlantic

“In the coming decades, artificial intelligence will replace a lot of human jobs, from driving trucks to analyzing X-rays. But it will also work with us, taking over mundane personal tasks and enhancing our cognitive capabilities. As AI continues to improve, digital assistants—often in the form of disembodied voices—will become our helpers and collaborators, managing our schedules, guiding us through decisions, and making us better at our jobs. We’ll have something akin to Samantha from the movie Her or Jarvis from Iron Man: AI “agents” that know our likes and dislikes, and that free us up to focus on what humans do best, or what we most enjoy. Here’s what to expect.”

Our Bots, Ourselves
via Instapaper

‘Artificial Intelligence’ Has Become Meaningless / good points via The Atlantic

“Deflationary examples of AI are everywhere. Google funds a system to identify toxic comments online, a machine learning algorithm called Perspective. But it turns out that simple typos can fool it. Artificial intelligence is cited as a barrier to strengthen an American border wall, but the “barrier” turns out to be little more than sensor networks and automated kiosks with potentially-dubious built-in profiling. Similarly, a “Tennis Club AI” turns out to be just a better line sensor using off-the-shelf computer vision. Facebook announces an AI to detect suicidal thoughts posted to its platform, but closer inspection reveals that the “AI detection” in question is little more than a pattern-matching filter that flags posts for human community managers.

AI’s miracles are celebrated outside the tech sector, too. Coca-Cola reportedly wants to use “AI bots” to “crank out ads” instead of humans. What that means remains mysterious. Similar efforts to generate AI music or to compose AI news stories seem promising on first blush—but then, AI editors trawling Wikipedia to correct typos and links end up stuck in infinite loops with one another. And according to human-bot interaction consultancy Botanalytics (no, really), 40 percent of interlocutors give up on conversational bots after one interaction. Maybe that’s because bots are mostly glorified phone trees, or else clever, automated Mad Libs.”

‘Artificial Intelligence’ Has Become Meaningless
via Instapaper

Frankenstein fears hang over AI / via FT

“Vivek Wadhwa, a US-based entrepreneur and academic who writes about ethics and technology, thinks the new wave of automation has geopolitical implications: “Tech companies must accept responsibility for what they’re creating and work with users and policymakers to mitigate the risks and negative impacts. They must have their people spend as much time thinking about what could go wrong as they do hyping products.

The industry is bracing itself for a backlash. Advances in AI and robotics have brought automation to areas of white-collar work, such as legal paperwork and analysing financial data. Some 45 per cent of US employees’ work time is spent on tasks that could be automated with existing technologies, a study by McKinsey says.”

Frankenstein fears hang over AI
via Instapaper

The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine – Scary stuff but spot-on!

“In the past, political messaging and propaganda battles were arms races to weaponize narrative through new mediums — waged in print, on the radio, and on TV. This new wave has brought the world something exponentially more insidious — personalized, adaptive, and ultimately addictive propaganda. Silicon Valley spent the last ten years building platforms whose natural end state is digital addiction. In 2016, Trump and his allies hijacked them.”

The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine – Scout: Science Fiction + Journalism
via Instapaper

Facebook Plans to Rewire Your Life. Be Afraid.

“Facebook -- launched, in Zuckerberg's own words five years ago, to "extend people’s capacity to build and maintain relationships" -- is turning into something of an extraterritorial state run by a small, unelected government that relies extensively on privately held algorithms for social engineering.”

Facebook Plans to Rewire Your Life. Be Afraid.
via Instapaper

Elon Musk says humans must become cyborgs to stay relevant. Is he right?

“If humans want to continue to add value to the economy, they must augment their capabilities through a “merger of biological intelligence and machine intelligence”. If we fail to do this, we’ll risk becoming “house cats” to artificial intelligence.

And so we enter the realm of brain-computer (or brain-machine) interfaces, which cut out sluggish communication middlemen such as typing and talking in favour of direct, lag-free interactions between our brains and external devices.”

Elon Musk says humans must become cyborgs to stay relevant. Is he right?
via Instapaper

U.S. panel endorses babies gene-edited with CRISPR - this is huge

“On Tuesday, in a striking acknowledgement that humanity is on the cusp of genetically modified children, a panel of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation’s source of blue-ribbon advice on science policy, recommended that germ-line modification of human beings be permitted in the future in certain narrow circumstances to prevent the birth of children with serious diseases.”

U.S. panel endorses babies gene-edited with CRISPR
via Instapaper

The Real Threat Is Machine Incompetence, Not Intelligence? Good read via Motherboard

“"The singularity is predicated on a linear model of intelligence, rather like IQ, on which each animal species has its place, and along which AI is gradually advancing," Bundy writes. "Intelligence is not like this. As Aaron Sloman, for instance, has successfully argued, intelligence must be modeled using a multidimensional space, with many different kinds of intelligence and with AI progressing in many different directions."”

The Real Threat Is Machine Incompetence, Not Intelligence - Motherboard
via Instapaper

Vanishing point: the rise of the invisible computer - and Moore's law

“Shrinking chips no longer makes them faster or more efficient in the way that it used to. At the same time, the rising cost of the ultra-sophisticated equipment needed to make the chips is eroding the financial gains. Moore’s second law, more light-hearted than his first, states that the cost of a “foundry”, as such factories are called, doubles every four years. A modern one leaves little change from $10bn. Even for Intel, that is a lot of money.

The result is a consensus among Silicon Valley’s experts that Moore’s law is near its end. “From an economic standpoint, Moore’s law is dead,” says Linley Gwennap, who runs a Silicon Valley analysis firm. Dario Gil, IBM’s head of research and development, is similarly frank: “I would say categorically that the future of computing cannot just be Moore’s law any more.” Bob Colwell, a former chip designer at Intel, thinks the industry may be able to get down to chips whose components are just five nanometres apart by the early 2020s – “but you’ll struggle to persuade me that they’ll get much further than that”.”

Vanishing point: the rise of the invisible computer
via Instapaper