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Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

For discussions of events and conditions not necessarily related to Peak Oil.

Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 16:03:06

AI Gets Average Grade In Chinese University Entrance Exam


The machine, called AI-MATHS, scored 105 out of 150 in 22 minutes. Students have two hours to complete the test, the official Xinhua news agency reported. It then spent 10 minutes on another version and scored 100.

Beijing liberal art students who took the maths exam last year scored an average of 109.

"I hope next year the machine can improve its performance on logical reasoning and computer algorithms and score over 130," Lin Hui, the company's CEO, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

"This is not a make-or-break test for a robot. The aim is to train artificial intelligence to learn the way humans reason and deal with numbers," Lin said.

The machine took only one of the four subjects in the crucially important entrance examination, the other three being Chinese, a foreign language and one comprehensive test in either liberal arts or science.

“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Fri 09 Jun 2017, 15:07:05

Self-flying plane: Boeing To Test Pilotless Jetliners In 2018


Aerospace giant Boeing has announced that it will test some of its jetliners next year without pilots leading to flying its passenger aircraft autonomously some day.

While self-driving technology for cars is relatively new, autopilot on aeroplanes have existed for over a decade. However, autopilot mode is mostly used when the aircraft is in the skies that too monitored by the pilots. The crucial task of take-off and landing are still a pilot's core responsibility even though some onboard flight computers do posses the technology to take off and land on its own.
"A self-flying plane would need to be able land safely as Captain Chesley Sullenberger did in the 'Miracle on the Hudson.' If it can't, then we can't go there," says Sinnett.

BAE Systems, the British defence company, has been testing robotic planes since last year and has successfully logged trials with its autonomous technology that has taken over the controls 15,000ft high in the sky.

Boeing reveals plans for fleet of giant robotic underwater military drones

Boeing's giant underwater military drone programme has been given a boost after it announced a partnership with the US's largest shipbuilding company Huntington Ingalls, which will see the development of a fleet of futuristic unmanned vehicles.

As part of the Navy's Advanced Undersea Prototyping programme, Boeing is already working on the Echo Voyager – a giant sub-like drone with the ability to fire missiles or stay underwater for months at a time to collect data. Huntington Ingalls is expected to join the project of the 51-foot drone and will continue to collaborate on new undersea drones and vehicles.


The new Echo Voyager, Boeing's secret Phantom Works division has brought us yet another step closer to robotic domination of land, sea, and air. 51 feet long, weighing 50 tons, capable of diving to 11,000 feet and ranging autonomously for up to six months at a time, it's Boeing's first unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) that doesn't require a support ship.

Japan's SoftBank Acquires Google's Boston Dynamics and Schaft


We knew that Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of telecom giant SoftBank, loved robots. Now the Japanese billionaire is about to significantly expand his collection.

Minutes ago, SoftBank announced that it will be acquiring Boston Dynamics and Schaft from Google parent Alphabet for an undisclosed sum, in order to “collaborate in advancing the development of smart robotics technologies.”

Boston Dynamics and Schaft were two of the nine robot companies that Google bought in 2013 to form the core of its robotics division, headed by Android founder Andy Rubin.

No more Spot or Atlas to dress up and kick around anymore

The Robot Future Won't Need a Lot More Electricity


In automated factories, less power is needed for lights and air conditioning.

As an example: Germany has a heavily industrial economy, and its producers are automating as much as possible. Siemens, for one, has boosted production at one factory ninefold in three decades without appreciably increasing its workforce. Yet, as a whole, Germany uses 5 percent less electricity than it did 10 years ago.

Where robots require significant electrical load, they create an economic incentive to conserve electricity elsewhere -- in lighting and heating, for example, which serve humans more than machines. The potential for near-total automation -- and with it the “lights-out factory” devoid of human labor -- would greatly reduce or eliminate the systems designed to keep people comfortable.

In Google’s data centers, the temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) in the “cold aisle” sections where people work, and 120 degrees elsewhere. And the ambient noise is so loud, humans can't enter without ear protection.
Continue the process of automation, and more energy-consuming systems disappear. No people means no refrigeration, no cooking, no TVs in the break room.


DeepMind takes a shot at teaching AI to reason with relational networks

Reasoning Is One Part of the Puzzle to Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)

Analysis The ability to think logically and to reason is key to intelligence. When this can be replicated in machines, it will no doubt make AI smarter.

But it’s a difficult problem, and current methods used in deep learning aren’t advanced enough. Deep learning is good for processing information, but it can struggle with reasoning.

Enter a different player to the game: relational networks, or RNs.

RNs are described as “plug-and-play” modules. They are designed in a way where the architecture allows the network to focus on the relationship between pairs of objects. It can be thought of as being similar to a graph network, where the nodes are objects and the edges connecting the nodes are the relationships between them.

In the CLEVR dataset, the network is presented with several objects with different shapes, sizes and textures, and is asked a series of questions that test its visual reasoning capabilities:
The word embedding of the question allows the RN to focus on the relevant pairs of objects and calculate the relation to spit out an answer. It’s clever trickery that allows a single function to work out each relation. Researchers do not have to code a function that looks at shape, and another one for size. It means RNs can be more efficient with data.

“State-of-the-art results on CLEVR using standard visual question answering architectures are 68.5 per cent, compared to 92.5 per cent for humans. But using our RN-augmented network, we were able to show super-human performance of 95.5 per cent,”DeepMind said in a blog post.

The RN has also shown promising signs that it can reason with language. The bAbI dataset, popularized by Facebook’s AI research team, is composed of 20 question-answering tasks that evaluate deduction, induction and counting skills.

First a few facts are given, such as, “Sandra picked up the football” and “Sandra went to the office,” before a question like “Where is the football?” is asked. The RN managed to pass 18 out of 20 tasks, beating previous attempts that used memory networks used by Facebook and DeepMind’s differentiable neural computer.

Autonomous Machines Edge Towards Greater Independence

In a study published in EPJ B, Agustín Bilen and Pablo Kaluza from Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina show that smart systems can evolve autonomously to perform a specific and well-defined task over time. Applications range from nanotechnology to biological systems, such as biological signal transduction networks, genetic regulatory networks with adaptive responses, or genetic networks in which the expression level of certain genes in a network oscillates from one state to another.

These autonomous systems do not need an external tutor. Nor do they report to a central unit designed to modify what the system must learn depending on their performance. To increase their autonomy, the authors have built in delayed dynamics and a feedback loop with the system's performance. The delayed dynamics provide information on the history of the system, thus presenting the past relationships between its structure and performance. In turn, the feedback loop offers information on the system's actual performance in terms of how close it is to the desired task.

Agustín M. Bilen et al, Autonomous learning by simple dynamical systems with a discrete-time formulation, The European Physical Journal B (2017).
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Mon 12 Jun 2017, 11:48:57

DoD Considers 'Performance Enhancing Drugs' for Special Ops 'Super Soldiers'


US Special Operations Command is weighing the use of nutritional supplements or performance-enhancing drugs to push the abilities and endurance of its forces beyond current human limits, according to a report from Defense News.

While special-operations forces already have access to specialized resources, like dietitians and physical therapists, SOCOM is looking to increase their ability to tolerate pain, recover from injuries, and remain physically able in challenging environments.

"If there are ... different ways of training, different ways of acquiring performance that are non-material, that's preferred but in a lot of cases we've exhausted those areas," Ben Chitty, the senior project manager for biomedical, human performance, and canine portfolios at US SOCOM's Science and Technology office, told Defense News.
One goal of the research to develop what Defense News referred to as "super soldiers" would be to expand troops' ability to operate in places not well suited for humans — high altitudes or underwater in particular.

Any proposal to deploy pharmaceutical substances among special-operations troops is likely to draw scrutiny, especially in light of recent revelations about what Capt. Jamie Sands, the commander of 900 Navy SEALs on the East Coast, called a "staggering" number of drug cases among Navy Special Operations units.

"We've been operating at such a high [operational] tempo for the last decade plus, and with budgets going down, what we've had to do is essentially ... eat our young, so to speak," Theresa Whelan, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations, said during a House Armed Services Committee session this month.

"We've mortgaged the future in order to facilitate current operations that has impacted readiness and it's also impacted development of force for the future," she said. "And as the threats grow, this is only going to get worse."

USSOCOM Wants Performance-enhancing products for its Military Working Dogs

U.S. Special Operations Command is looking for more effective ways to unleash the hounds of war.

The command headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base is asking small business to develop nutrients or pharmaceutical products that will enhance the performance of its own working dogs. At the same time, SOCom is seeking ways to inhibit the work of dogs used by the enemy.

SOCom relies on dogs for jobs like detecting explosives and enemy personnel and works to keep enemy dogs from exposing its secrets.

So the command submitted a request last month through the Pentagon's Small Business Innovation Research portal for companies interested in developing the necessary products.

SOCOM is seeking products that optimize hearing, vision and scent, improve recovery time when wounded, and increase survivability.
The goal of this technology pursuit is to develop innovative pharmaceutical compounds that will optimize the performance, improve recovery time and increase the survivability of MPCs by:

• Increasing endurance
• Improving ability to regulate body temperature
• Improving hydration
• Improving acclimatization to acute extremes in temperature, altitude, and/or time zone changes
• Increase the speed of recovery from strenuous work
• Improving hearing
• Improving vision
• Improving scent
• Decreasing adverse effects and increase surviving trauma due to loss of a high volume of blood loss

The nutraceutical and/or pharmaceuticals will have potential commercial applications outside of USSOCOM

Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Dogs of War

DARPA: Engineering Humans for War

... It was the collapse of the Soviet Union that accelerated many of DARPA’s most radical super-soldier science programs. The revelation that the Soviets had developed an extensive biological-weapons program caused DARPA to bring biologists into its ranks, and with the life sciences at the fore, DARPA began to look inside the human body, toward a scientific capability that could transform soldiers from the inside out.

The turn of the century “was a radical time to be at DARPA,” Goldblatt said. He believed that defense sciences could demonstrate that “the next frontier was inside of our own selves,” and he became a pioneer in military-based transhumanism—the notion that man can alter the human condition fundamentally by augmenting the body with machines and other means. At the time, the threat from biological warfare was in his words “growing far faster than the solutions were coming in. … [President] Clinton gave lots of money to the countermeasures program for unconventional pathogens,” with the result that DARPA had plenty of funding for biology programs. Goldblatt saw the creation of the super-soldier as imperative to 21st-century warfare.


Goldblatt ran the DSO until 2004, and when he spoke to me last year, he could only describe unclassified programs. More than 10 years after his departure, the status of the “super-soldier” pursuits he helped launch is murky; DARPA’s highest-risk, highest-payoff programs remain secret until they are unveiled on the battlefield. Still, given the progress of the exoskeleton, these or similar programs could be closer to reality than anyone realizes.
“Soldiers having no physical, physiological, or cognitive limitation will be key to survival and operational dominance in the future”

Soldiers having no physical, physiological, or cognitive limitation will be key to survival and operational dominance in the future,” Goldblatt told his program managers a few weeks after his arrival. One program in the DSO, called Persistence in Combat, addressed three areas that slowed soldiers down on the battlefield: pain, wounds, and excessive bleeding.

Goldblatt hired a biotechnology firm to develop a pain vaccine. If a soldier got shot, Goldblatt explained, the vaccine would “reduce the pain triggered by inflammation and swelling,” the desired result being “10 to 30 seconds of agony then no pain for 30 days.” Such a vaccine would allow the warfighter to keep fighting so long as bleeding could be stopped. To develop new ways to try to stop bleeding, Goldblatt initiated another program that involved injecting millions of microscopic magnets into a person, which could later be brought together into a single area to stop bleeding with the wave of a wand.

Sleep, too, was a focus of intense research at DSO. In the Continually Assisted Performance program, scientists worked on ways to create a “24/7 soldier,” one who required little or no sleep for up to seven days. If this could be achieved, an enemy’s need for sleep would put him at an extreme disadvantage. Goldblatt’s program managers hired marine biologists studying certain sea animals to look for clues. Whales and dolphins don’t sleep; as mammals, they would drown if they did. Unlike humans, they are somehow able to control the lobes of their left and right brains so that while one lobe sleeps, the opposite lobe stays awake, allowing the animal to swim. While some DARPA scientists ruminated over the question of how humans might one day control the lobes of their own brains, other scientists experimented with drugs like Modafinil, a powerful medication used to counter sleep apnea and narcolepsy, to keep warfighters awake.

Other programs explored other questions. What if soldiers could have 10 times the muscle endurance of enemy soldiers? What if they could leap seven feet or do 300 pull-ups a day? Under the DSO banner, in a program called the Brain-Machine Interface, DARPA scientists studied how brain implants could enhance cognitive ability. … Imagine a time when the human brain has its own wireless modem so that instead of acting on thoughts, warfighters have thoughts that act,” Eisenstadt suggested. But a 2008 report by defense scientists raised some warnings. “An adversary might use” brain technology “in military applications. … An extreme example would be remote guidance or control of a human being.”

CRISPR gene editing can cause hundreds of unintended mutations

As CRISPR-Cas9 starts to move into clinical trials, a new study published in Nature Methods has found that the gene-editing technology can introduce hundreds of unintended mutations into the genome.

The first clinical trial to deploy CRISPR is now underway in China, and a U.S. trial is slated to start next year. But even though CRISPR can precisely target specific stretches of DNA, it sometimes hits other parts of the genome. Most studies that search for these off-target mutations use computer algorithms to identify areas most likely to be affected and then examine those areas for deletions and insertions.

"These predictive algorithms seem to do a good job when CRISPR is performed in cells or tissues in a dish, but whole genome sequencing has not been employed to look for all off-target effects in living animals," says co-author Alexander Bassuk, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics at the University of Iowa.

In the new study, the researchers sequenced the entire genome of mice that had undergone CRISPR gene editing in the team's previous study and looked for all mutations, including those that only altered a single nucleotide.

The researchers determined that CRISPR had successfully corrected a gene that causes blindness, but Kellie Schaefer, a PhD student in the lab of Vinit Mahajan, MD, PhD, associate professor of ophthalmology at Stanford University, and co-author of the study, found that the genomes of two independent gene therapy recipients had sustained more than 1,500 single-nucleotide mutations and more than 100 larger deletions and insertions. None of these DNA mutations were predicted by computer algorithms that are widely used by researchers to look for off-target effects.

"Researchers who aren't using whole genome sequencing to find off-target effects may be missing potentially important mutations," Dr. Tsang says. "Even a single nucleotide change can have a huge impact."

“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 13 Jun 2017, 13:32:19

Fifty Years Later, NSA Keeps Details of Israel’s USS Liberty Attack Secret


On June 8, 1967, an Israeli torpedo tore through the side of the unarmed American naval vessel USS Liberty, approximately a dozen miles off the Sinai coast. The ship, whose crew was under command of the National Security Agency, was intercepting communications at the height of the Six-Day War when it came under direct Israeli aerial and naval assault.

Reverberations from the torpedo blast sent crewman Ernie Gallo flying across the radio research room where he was stationed. Gallo, a communications technician aboard the Liberty, found himself and his fellow shipmates in the midst of an attack that would leave 34 Americans dead and 171 wounded.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the assault on the USS Liberty, and though it was among the worst attacks in history against a noncombatant U.S. naval vessel, the tragedy remains shrouded in secrecy. The question of if and when Israeli forces became aware they were killing Americans has proved a point of particular contention in the on-again, off-again public debate that has simmered over the last half a century. The Navy Court of Inquiry’s investigation proceedings following the incident were held in closed sessions, and the survivors who had been on board received gag orders forbidding them to ever talk about what they endured that day.

Now, half a century later, The Intercept is publishing two classified documents provided in the cache of files leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden related to the attack and its aftermath. ...


Facing Limits of Remote Hacking, Army Cybers Up the Battlefield

Army prepares for a less friendly electronic battlespace, embeds cyber in units.

... The US military is facing a future in which American forces in the field will face adversaries that can go toe to toe with the US in the electromagnetic domain—with disastrous physical results.

That's in part why the Army Cyber Command recently experimented with putting "cyber soldiers" in the field as part of an exercise at the Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.
In addition to fielding troops to provide defensive and offensive cyber capabilities for units coming into NTC for training, the Army has also been arming its opposition force (the trainers) with cyber capabilities to demonstrate their impact.

That impact was demonstrated clearly in May, when an armored unit staging a simulated assault at NTC was stopped dead in its tracks by jamming of communications. As the unit's commanders attempted to figure out what was wrong, a simulated artillery barrage essentially took the unit out of action.

Hacking UK Trident: A Growing Threat

This paper reviews the growing potential for cyber-attack on the UK’s operational fleet of Vanguard-class submarines armed with nuclear-tipped Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles, and some of the implications for strategic stability.

A successful attack could neutralise operations, lead to loss of life, defeat or perhaps even the catastrophic exchange of nuclear warheads (directly or indirectly). But the very possibility of cyber-attack and the growing capability to launch them against SSBNs, could have a severe impact upon the confidence of maintaining an assured second-strike capability and therefore on strategic stability between states. Recent suggestions that the fleet is vulnerable have sometimes been met with complacency and claims that the isolated ‘air-gapped’ systems cannot be penetrated. Whilst we recognise that it is important not to be alarmist, these claims are false.


Russia Cyberweapon Can Disrupt Power Grids


Hackers have developed powerful malware that can shut down electricity distribution systems and possibly other critical infrastructure, two cyber security firms announced Monday, with one report linking it to Russia.

Slovakia-based ESET said the malware is the most powerful threat to appear since Stuxnet, the hacking tool used to sabotage Iran's nuclear program believed developed by US and Israeli intelligence. ESET said the malware, which it dubbed Industroyer, may be behind the one-hour shutdown of power to the Ukraine capital Kiev last December.

The company said Industroyer's potent threat is that it works using the communication protocols (SCADA) designed decades ago and built into energy, transportation, water and gas systems around the world.

Making use of these poorly-secured protocols, Industroyer can take direct control of electricity substation switches and circuit breakers, giving hackers the ability to shut down power distribution and damage equipment.

The malware is the "biggest threat to industrial control systems since Stuxnet," ESET said, without indicating who was behind it. But in a separate report on the same malware Monday, a second cyber security company, Dragos, tied it to a Russian hacker group called Sandworm which has been linked to the Russian government.

Dragos gave its own name to the malware, "CrashOverride," and said it is only the second-ever malware deployed for disrupting physical industrial processes, after Stuxnet.

"CrashOverride is not unique to any particular vendor or configuration, and instead leverages knowledge of grid operations and network communications to cause impact," Dragos said. "In that way, it can be immediately re-purposed in Europe and portions of the Middle East and Asia."

In addition, it said, the malware could be adapted "with a small amount of tailoring" to render it potent against the North American power grid.

Top-Secret NSA Report Details Russian Hacking Effort Days Before 2016 Election

Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known: 39 States Affected

Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.

In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states.

The new details, buttressed by a classified National Security Agency document recently disclosed by the Intercept, show the scope of alleged hacking that federal investigators are scrutinizing as they look into whether Trump campaign officials may have colluded in the efforts.


Illinois became Patient Zero in the government’s probe, eventually leading investigators to a hacking pandemic that touched four out of every five U.S. states.

The hackers had gained access to the state’s voter database, which contained information such as names, dates of birth, genders, driver’s licenses and partial Social Security numbers on 15 million people, half of whom were active voters. As many as 90,000 records were ultimately compromised.

Using evidence from the Illinois computer banks, federal agents were able to develop digital “signatures” -- among them, Internet Protocol addresses used by the attackers -- to spot the hackers at work.

The signatures were then sent through Homeland Security alerts and other means to every state. Thirty-seven states reported finding traces of the hackers in various systems, according to one of the people familiar with the probe. In two others -- Florida and California -- those traces were found in systems run by a private contractor managing critical election systems.

(An NSA document reportedly leaked by Reality Winner, the 25-year-old government contract worker arrested last week, identifies the Florida contractor as VR Systems, which makes an electronic voter identification system used by poll workers.)

In Illinois, investigators also found evidence that the hackers tried but failed to alter or delete some information in the database, an attempt that wasn’t previously reported. That suggested more than a mere spying mission and potentially a test run for a disruptive attack, according to the people familiar with the continuing U.S. counterintelligence inquiry.

One former senior U.S. official expressed concern that the Russians now have three years to build on their knowledge of U.S. voting systems before the next presidential election, and there is every reason to believe they will use what they have learned in future attacks.

Ambassador Kislyak and President Trump after Passing Top Secret Intell

America’s Electronic Voting Machines Are Scarily Easy Targets

... “Moving to electronic voting systems solved a lot of problems, but created a lot of new ones.”

The list of those problems is what you’d expect from any computer or, more specifically, any computer that’s a decade or older. Most of these machines are running Windows XP, for which Microsoft hasn’t released a security patch since April 2014. ... researchers have demonstrated that many of them are susceptible to malware or, equally if not more alarming, a well-timed denial of service attack.

“When people think that people think about doing something major to impact our election results at the voting machine, they think they’d try to switch results,” says Norden, referring to potential software tampering. “But you can do a lot less than that and do a lot of damage… If you have machines not working, or working slowly, that could create lots of problems too, preventing people from voting at all.”

The extent of vulnerability isn’t just hypothetical; late last summer, Virginia decertified thousands of insecure WinVote machines. As one security researcher described it:
... “anyone within a half mile could have modified every vote, undetected” without “any technical expertise.”

machine security was not maintained; the vendor had gone out of business years prior.


xLED: Covert Data Exfiltrartion via Router LEDs

In the new paper, the researchers demonstrated how LEDs functionality can be silently overridden by malware they developed (code named "xLED"), which infects firmware in the device. Once the xLED malware infects the network device, it gains full control of the LEDs that flash to indicate status.

Network devices such as routers and local area network switches typically include activity and status LEDs used to monitor traffic activity, alerts and provide status.

According to research leader Dr. Mordechai Guri, the head of research and development at the BGU CSRC, "sensitive data can be encoded and sent via the LED light pulses in various ways. An attacker with access to a remote or local camera, or with a light sensor hidden in the room, can record the LED's activity and decode the signals."

Click here to watch a video of the demonstration and determine what famous book is being leaked via the flickering LED signals of a WIFI router.


U.S. now can ask travelers for Facebook, Twitter handles

... The State Department asked for the right to collect the information under an emergency request on May 3 which was granted on May 23 by the Office of Budget and Management. It was implemented with no fanfare on May 23 and it wasn't until Thursday, when Reuters first reported on it, that the existence of the new form became widely known.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Fri 16 Jun 2017, 14:42:01

Sec AF: Why I’m Directing The Air Force to Focus on Space


New Air Force Secretary expects war in space. SecAF Heather Wilson writes in an op-ed posted Friday on Defense One:
“In short, we must develop space airmen who have the tools, training, and resources to fight whennot if – war extends into space”

Wilson says she has directed service officials to begin “standing up a new organization at the Pentagon that will be responsible for recruiting, training and equipping airmen involved in the space mission” and establish a deputy chief of staff for space operations as a step toward “ensuring that we maintain space superiority.”

We are currently investing in the hardware to ensure space superiority; in the near future we will need to grow the number of space airmen and the accompanying infrastructure much like we did for the combat Air Force 40 years ago. Video

What would Ripley do? Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure

Pentagon is Building Robotic Wingmen to Fly Alongside Fighter Planes

XQ-222 Valkyrie

On Tuesday, Kratos Defense and Security Solutions officially announced two new classes of drones designed to function as robotic wingmen for fighter pilots. Development of the UTAP-22 Mako has been funded by the Defense Department’s Silicon Valley laboratory, dubbed DIUx. Separately, the company showed off a larger, 30-foot-long drone backed by the Air Force called the XQ-222 Valkyrie, with a range of more than 4,000 nautical miles. Kratos is promoting the pilotless planes at the Paris Air Show next week in preparation for a new round of testing.

Aviation experts say the speed and altitude capacities published by Kratos suggest the drones could fly in tandem with an F-16 or F-35 fighter. The company says it has already successfully flown the drones alongside manned aircraft and that it will soon embark on an advanced round of testing above California’s Mojave Desert employing a more sophisticated array of sensing technology to determine just how autonomous the drones can be.

In those tests, a pilot in an accompanying airplane is preparing to monitor the drones from a small Android tablet. For most of the flight, the drone will attempt to maneuver without the help of a human, relying on artificial intelligence technology and sensors to mimic the nearby plane’s movements.

UTAP-22 Mako

The Navy is exploring similar options in using autonomous submarines that can scout the ocean floor and seek out mines.

Navy MQ-4C Triton - High Altitude Maritime Autonomous Drone -- Will Deliver Later This Year

The Navy is Preparing the MQ-4C Triton Maritime Drone for Service in the Pacific Theater; the drone is now being configured with collision avoidance technology and advanced maritime sensors enabling it to zero in on enemy ships at sea.

The Navy's Triton autonomous drone, called the MQ-4C, is now receiving a "3.1 software" integration as part of a technical plan for the aircraft to be operational by 2018. The first Tritons are slated to deliver sometime later this year, developers said. "3.1 software gets you to the point where you can use the sensors in an operational environment."

The Triton is an autonomous air vehicle able to chart a course without needing to be remotely piloted, Twomey explained. Computer algorithms and on-board systems enable the aircraft to account for wind, temperature and altitude conditions. "You load in a complete mission plan, but if you need to change, there is an ability to override the autonomy. It will correct the path and tell you where you need it to go," he said.

Specs include a full day’s worth of flight, an altitude limit over 10 miles, and an operational range of 8,200 nautical miles. The Navy’s program of record states that the service will field 68 aircraft.


Missile Defense Agency Seeking A High-Flying Drone For "Airborne Laser 2.0"

In a business solicitation posted over at on June 13th, the Missile Defense Agency clearly defines the criteria for a test system they want to field in the near future:
... The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Advanced Technology Directorate is interested in industry's capability to provide a High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft in the 2023 timeframe. A HALE aircraft with greater payload capacity is needed to carry a high energy laser system payload to high altitudes to mature Boost Phase Intercept (BPI). The results of this RFI will inform future program options for maturing BPI technology and capability following the current Low Power Laser Demonstrator (LPLD) effort. Proposed aircraft should be able to maintain continuous positive ground control and are expected to operate from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii and Edwards AFB in California. Unmanned platforms are highly desired; however, manned concepts will be considered with appropriate justification.

In parallel with ongoing BPI technology maturation and demonstration projects, BMDS capability requirements for an airborne high energy laser BPI capability are being developed. Based on analysis to date, Paragraph 2.a below describes the ideal platform characteristics to enable robust BPI capability. MDA is interested in far-term platform approaches to meet the full performance of Paragraph 2.a and mid-term solutions that demonstrate significant progress toward achieving these performance parameters. Concepts that do not meet these parameters are requested to include future options for improving performance, where applicable.
- Video

Lockheed Will Build and Fly SR-72 Mach 6 Prototype in the Early 2020s


Lockheed Martin reports they plan to fly a flight research vehicle (FRV) of the mach 6 hypersonic SR-72 in the early 2020s. They have plans to build an FRV the size of an F-22 that can be flown either manually or remotely.

Lockheed Martin reports they plan to fly a flight research vehicle (FRV) of the model in the early 2020s. They have plans to build an FRV the size of an F-22 that can be flown either manually or remotely.

Forget supersonic: Hypersonic is the U.S. military’s new speed

Video - Boeing Co.’s XS-1 (Experimental Spaceplane), which the company dubs “Phantom Express,” got a green light this week by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa. The XS-1 is designed to quickly lift satellites as heavy as 3,000 pounds into orbit for $5 million or less, launching from the ground, deploying a small upper-stage module, and then landing like a traditional airplane-the key to reuse and lower operating expense. Darpa also has a separate program aimed at launching 100-pound satellites for less than $1 million per launch, using conventional aircraft.


US Army Ramps Up Testing of Autonomous Trucks

China developing new strategic nuclear bomber


The Pentagon has their annual report to Congress on the China’s military. The 2017 report is 106 pages long.

The Federation of American Scientists have summarized the report.

The most sensational nuclear news in the report is the conclusion that China is developing a new strategic nuclear bomber to replace the aging (but upgraded) H-6.

If China creates a nuclear strategic bomber sometime in the mid-2020s then it would change China’s nuclear posture into a formal Triad of air-, land- and sea-based nuclear capabilities, similar to U.S. and Russian strategic arsenals.


New ramjet engine could triple the range of Chinese missiles and make them hypersonic

In a May 31 report, the Science and Technology Daily announced that the 4th Research Institute of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) has twice successfully tested a ramjet engine aimed to power air-to-air missiles.

Song said the ramjet engine could more than triple the range of Chinese BVRAAMs. The PL-12’s range, for example, could increase from 62 miles to over nearly 200 miles. If so, this would be a key factor in any future conflicts, as CASC ramjet engine would be both faster and longer-ranged than most BVRAAM (beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile) rocket engines like the AIM-120 AMRAAN and PL-12, which have a top speed of about Mach 4.

Long range missiles would be a threat to US AWACS and refueling tankers.

AWACS and refueling are critical parts of the US air force. No refueling means half the combat range and no AWACS means targeting is crippled.

Long-range threat even to stealth fighters and bombers.

President Trump Has Abdicated the Office of Commander-in-Chief

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday he now had authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan and would deliver a revised strategy for the conflict there to the White House in the coming weeks.

In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, Mattis said President Donald Trump had given him the authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan at noon on Tuesday.

Erik Prince’s Dark Plan for Afghanistan: Military Occupation for Profit, not Security

Blackwater founder Erik Prince has a vision for profiting off Afghanistan that President Trump might just love

Lost in the cascade of stories of potential White House criminality and collusion with foreign governments is the Erik Prince affair. It is reported that Prince, the brother of controversial Education Secretary Betsy Devos who established his power in Washington with his mercenary army Blackwater during the Iraq war, met with Russian intermediaries in an obscure Indian Ocean archipelago to establish back-channel communication with Moscow, possibly in coordination with the efforts of Jared Kushner, who last week was reported to have sought a White House back channel to the Kremlin.

Prince is said to have advised Harrington, Flynn and others on the Trump transition team on the “restructuring of security agencies” and “a thorough rethink of costly defense programs.”

Prince’s recent appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” sheds considerable light on what the series of furtive discussions likely entailed. ... Prince proposed nothing less than the revival of the British East India Company model of for-profit military occupation, wherein an armed corporation effectively governed most of India for the extraction of resources.
Prince explained to Carlson how the almost 16-year-old war and occupation of Afghanistan is premised on a faulty model. “We’ve fought for the last 15 years with the 1st Infantry Division model,” he says. “Now we should fight with an East India Company model, and do it much cheaper.”

“So you replace a military occupation with the ‘American South Asia Company’ or something like that?” asks Carlson.

“Something like that, sure,” Prince replies. “If you look back in history, the way the English operated India for 250 years, they had an army that was largely run by companies — and no English soldiers. So cheap, very low cost.”

It was also “very low cost” to the English because the British East India Company funded itself by extracting wealth from the territories it occupied.

“It was not the British government that seized India at the end of the 18th century,” writes the author of “The Anarchy: How a Corporation Replaced the Mughal Empire,”William Dalrymple, “but a dangerously unregulated private company headquartered in one small office, five windows wide, in London, and managed in India by an unstable sociopath.”

Prince knows this. The British East India Company was not simply a mercenary army like his Blackwater but an armed corporation that colonized like a state power. It was not merely a government contractor like Blackwater but an autonomous military and administrative entity sharing the worst aspects of both the corporation and the imperial state. So, Prince’s first innovation is to do away with civilian-military control administered by the Department of Defense and overseen by civilian, elected leadership, as is currently in place, and replace that apparatus with an armed corporation.

The second innovation is ...


Present at the Destruction?
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sat 24 Jun 2017, 13:22:26

Google On Track for Quantum Computer Breakthrough Within 7 Months


John Martinis, one of Google’s quantum computing gurus, laid out Google’s “stretch goal”: to build and test a 49-qubit (“quantum bit”) quantum computer by the end of 2017. This computer will use qubits made of superconducting circuits. The test will be a milestone in quantum computer technology. In a subsequent presentation, Sergio Boixo, Martinis’ colleague at Google, said that a quantum computer with approximately 50 qubits will be capable of certain tasks beyond anything the fastest classical computers can do. ... uantum.cfm

New Scientist reports that Google is testing a 20 qubit quantum computer. Alan Ho, an engineer in Google’s quantum AI lab, revealed the company’s progress at a quantum computing conference in Munich, Germany. His team is currently working with a 20-qubit system that has a “two-qubit fidelity” of 99.5 per cent – a measure of how error-prone the processor is, with a higher rating equating to fewer errors.

“Things really have moved much quicker than I would have expected,” says Simon Devitt at the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science in Japan. Now that Google and other companies involved in quantum computing have mastered much of the fundamental science behind creating high-quality superconducting qubits, the big challenge facing these firms is scaling these systems and reducing their error rates.

Alibaba Founder's Theory on A.I. Causing WW III Has Historical Support

In his interview with CNBC at the Gateway ’17 conference in Detroit, Ma talked about the changes that will happen in the world over the next thirty years. Unlike Elon Musk, Ma isn’t worried that artificial intelligence will rise up and kill us, but that the job loss caused by machine learning and artificial intelligence will be extremely painful for many people. Because of this, World War III may be around the corner, he said. And his argument can be backed up by history.
“The third technology revolution may cause the Third World War,” ... “The next 30 years are going to be painful.”

A technological revolution is defined as a period where one technology rapidly replaces another technology. From 1870 to 1914, the railroad, the telegraph, electricity, and the telephone exploded into existence and changed the face of the world, in a period called the Second Industrial Revolution. It was a period of increased globalization and spread of ideas, and is considered to end at the start of World War I. Between World War I and World War II came new materials like nylon, plastic, and long range missile technology.

Ma places the blame for the World Wars on these technological advancements. “The first technology revolution caused World War I. The second technology revolution caused World War II,” he said. “This is the third technology revolution.” Although Ma thinks machines will be smarter than people, he doesn’t think they will ever be able to defeat humans. The danger to people lies in job loss, he says. ... “People are already unhappy because machine learning and artificial intelligence has killed a lot of jobs”


AGI Still Several Breakthroughs From Reality

Fei-Fei Li, who works as the chief scientist for Google Cloud, said that she sees this as “the end of the beginning” for AI, but says there are still plenty of hurdles ahead. She identified several key areas where current systems fall short, including a lack of contextual reasoning, a lack of contextual awareness of their environment, and a lack of integrated understanding and learning.

... The panelists did concur that an artificial intelligence that could match a human is possible, however.
...“I think we have at least half a dozen major breakthroughs to go before we get close to human-level AI,” ... “But there are very many very brilliant people working on it, and I am pretty sure that those breakthroughs are going to happen.”

- Stuart Russell, professor of computer science and engineering at University of California, Berkeley

MIT and Google Algorithm links Sound, Sight, and Text to Give AI Contextual Awareness of the Environment


... two new papers from MIT and Google explain first steps for making AI see, hear, and read in a holistic way—an approach that could upend how we teach our machines about the world. ... One algorithm that can align its idea of an object across sight, sound, and text can automatically transfer what it’s learned from what it hears to what it sees.

Google Advances AI With ‘One Model To Learn Them All

Google quietly released an academic paper that could provide a blueprint for the future of machine learning. Called “One Model to Learn Them All,” it lays out a template for how to create a single machine learning model that can address multiple tasks well.

The MultiModel, as the Google researchers call it, was trained on a variety of tasks, including translation, language parsing, speech recognition, image recognition, and object detection. While its results don’t show radical improvements over existing approaches, they illustrate that training a machine learning system on a variety of tasks could help boost its overall performance. ...


Facebook AI Unexpectedly Created Its Own Unique Language — And Learned How To Lie

Researchers from the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research lab (FAIR) recently made an unexpected discovery while trying to improve chatbots. The bots — known as “dialog agents” — were creating their own language.

Using machine learning algorithms, dialog agents were left to converse freely in an attempt to strengthen their conversational skills. Over time, the bots began to deviate from the scripted norms and in doing so, started communicating in an entirely new language — one they created without human input.

In an attempt to better converse with humans, chatbots took it a step further and got better at communicating without them. ... ke/530934/
Other AI researchers, too, say they’ve observed machines that can develop their own languages, including languages with a coherent structure, and defined vocabulary and syntax—though not always actual meaningful, by human standards.

And it’s not the only interesting discovery.

From the human conversations (gathered via Amazon Mechanical Turk), and testing its skills against itself, the AI system didn’t only learn how to state its demands, but negotiation tactics as well—specifically, lying. Instead of outright saying what it wanted, sometimes the AI would feign interest in a worthless object, only to later concede it for something that it really wanted. Facebook isn’t sure whether it learned from the human hagglers or whether it stumbled upon the trick accidentally, but either way when the tactic worked, it was rewarded. ... tiator.pdf

Image ... -it-wants/

We’re not talking singularity-level beings here, but the findings are a huge leap forward for AI. ... negotiate/

NASA is Figuring Out How to Use AI to Build Autonomous Space Probes

Adding artificial intelligence to the machines we send out to explore space makes a lot of sense, as it means they can make decisions without waiting for instructions from Earth, and now NASA scientists are trying to figure out how it could be done.

As we send out more and more probes into space, some of them may have to operate completely autonomously, reacting to unknown and unexplained scenarios when they get to their destination – and that's where AI comes in.

The researchers suggest AI enabled probes could reach as far as Alpha Centauri, some 4.24 light-years away from Earth. Communications across that distance would be received by the generation after the scientists who launched the mission in the first place, so giving the probe a mind of its own would certainly speed up the decision making process.

What If the Aliens We're Looking For are AI


... Seti has been actively searching for signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life for more than half a century. Despite tantalising signals (such as this recent one), it has so far drawn a blank. But Shostak believes we should consider looking to our own future to imagine what aliens will be like.

“Perhaps the most significant thing we’re doing is to develop our own successors,” says Shostak. “If we can develop artificial intelligence within a couple of hundred years of inventing radio, any aliens we are likely to hear from have very likely gone past that point.”

“In other words,” he says, “most of the intelligence in the cosmos, I would venture, is synthetic intelligence and that may disappoint movie goers who expect little grey guys with big eyeballs, no clothes, no hair or sense of humour.”
“... The big question is whether the AI goes on to become conscious and define its own goals and decide it doesn’t need the biological creatures that developed it.”

The argument assumes that the creatures who built the first AIs – grey guys, hyper- intelligent pan-dimensional beings, sentient trees or whatever – are no longer around.

“Well they might be,” Shostak concedes, “but once you develop artificial intelligence you can use that to develop the next generation of thinking thing and so on – within 50 years you not only have a machine that’s far smarter than all the previous machines but certainly smarter than all humans put together.”

The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Post-Biological Intelligence

In September, 2015, the John Templeton Foundation’s Humble Approach Initiative sponsored a three-day symposium entitled “Exploring Exoplanets: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Post-Biological Intelligence.” The venue for the meeting was the Royal Society’s Chicheley Hall, north of London, where a dozen researchers gave informal presentations and engaged in the type of lively dinner table conversations that such meetings inevitably spawn. ...

... Steven A. Benner
Paul C.W. Davies
Chrisantha Fernando
Didier Queloz
Martin J Rees
Susan Schneider
Seth Shostak

“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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