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
https://www.ft.com/content/8e228692-f251-11e6-8758-6876151821a6
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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
https://medium.com/join-scout/the-rise-of-the-weaponized-ai-propaganda-machine-86dac61668b
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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.
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-02-17/mark-zuckerberg-s-manifesto-for-facebook-offers-a-social-dystopia
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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?
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/15/elon-musk-cyborgs-robots-artificial-intelligence-is-he-right
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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
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603633/us-panel-endorses-designer-babies-to-avoid-serious-disease/
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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
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/the-real-threat-is-machine-incompetence-not-intelligence
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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
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/26/vanishing-point-rise-invisible-computer
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Why Hollywood as We Know It Is Already Over (Vanity Fair)

“But the real threat isn’t China. It’s Silicon Valley. Hollywood, in its over-reliance on franchises, has ceded the vast majority of the more stimulating content to premium networks and over-the-top services such as HBO and Showtime, and, increasingly, digital-native platforms such as Netflix and Amazon. These companies also have access to analytics tools that Hollywood could never fathom, and an allergy to its inefficiency. Few have seen the change as closely as Diller himself, who went from running Paramount and Fox to building his own tech empire, IAC. “I don’t know why anyone would want a movie company today,” Diller said at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in October. “They don’t make movies; they make hats and whistles.” (Half of the people in the audience, likely representing the tech industry, laughed at this quip; the other half, from Hollywood, cringed.) When I spoke to Mike Moritz, the iconic venture capitalist, backstage at the event, he noted that a nominal investment in a somewhat successful tech company could generate more money than Hollywood’s top-grossing movies. “In my mind,” he said, “Hollywood is dying.””

Why Hollywood as We Know It Is Already Over
http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/01/why-hollywood-as-we-know-it-is-already-over
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Electric cars and cheap solar 'could halt fossil fuel growth by 2020'

“Polluting fuels could lose 10% of market share to solar power and clean cars within a decade, the report by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative found.

A 10% loss of market share was enough to cause the collapse of the coal mining industry in the US, while Europe’s five major utilities lost €100bn (£85bn) between 2008 and 2013 because they did not prepare for an 8% increase in renewables, the report said.

Big energy companies are seriously underestimating the low-carbon transition by sticking to their “business as usual” scenarios which expect continued growth of fossil fuels, and could see their assets “stranded”, the study claims.”

Electric cars and cheap solar 'could halt fossil fuel growth by 2020'
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/02/electric-cars-cheap-solar-power-halt-fossil-fuel-growth-2020
via Instapaper