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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 » Tue 05 Sep 2017, 11:13:05

Meanwhile; while all attention is on Hurricane Harvey and Irma

Congress Faces Decision on Whether to Rein in Controversial Spying Program

WASHINGTON — Congress must decide by year's end whether to overhaul a controversial surveillance program that collects the content of Americans' emails, phone calls, text messages and other electronic communication without a warrant.

"This law is supposed to be a tool to fight terrorist threats overseas; instead it's being used as an end-run around the Constitution," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Wyden has promised to put a hold on any bill that allows the government to continue spying on Americans without a search warrant.

Knowing what we do about Donald's approach to policy issues, it seems unlikely that the American president is aware of what is going on. Lawmakers are not expected to simply let the law lapse.


The Age of AI Surveillance is Here

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Long possible in Hollywood thrillers, the tools for identifying who someone is and what they’re doing across video and images are taking shape. Companies like Facebook and Baidu have been working on such artificial intelligence-powered technology for years. But the narrowing rate of error and widening availability of these systems foretell a near future when every video is analyzed to identify the people, objects, and actions inside.

... The largest public example of this is MegaFace, a project out of the University of Washington. The dataset contains nearly 5 million images of 672,000 people, sourced from Flickr’s creative commons. In July, the MegaFace team presented the latest scores for algorithms trained on the dataset. When tested on matching two images of the same person in a separate dataset of 1 million face images, top-ranking teams touched 75% accuracy when given one chance to guess, and more than 90% accuracy when allowed to give 10 options.

“We need to test facial recognition on a planetary scale to enable practical applications—testing on a larger scale lets you discover the flaws and successes of recognition algorithms,” Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman, a UW professor who oversees MegaFace, told the UW press shop.

... If state or federal governments expand into deploying facial recognition in public, they will already have a database of more than 50% of American adults from repositories like DMVs. And again, the bigger the dataset, the better the AI.

And that might not be far off. Axon, a company once known as Taser and the largest distributor of police body cameras in the US, has recently ramped up ambitions to infuse artificial intelligence into its products, acquiring two AI companies earlier this year.


The Facial-Recognition Arms Race: Is Jason Bourne Technology Near?

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"Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking, H.L. Mencken observed a century ago. The 21st-century version of that could be, Conscience is the inner voice that warns that something is always looking” — with something being technology that grows ever more invasive by the year.

Underneath our very noses, there is a facial-recognition arms race going on.

Slate reported this month that Facebook is ignoring state laws that forbid the compiling of biometric data because it is convinced that DeepFace — a “deep learning” facial recognition system that uses advanced artificial intelligence — will be a revenue gusher. Slate wrote that even if ...
... Facebook never sells its biometric data troves and keeps them locked in encrypted storage, the company still stands to turn big profits, as businesses look to tailor ads to specific customers based on their mood, age, eye gaze or other personal attributes that could indicate a propensity to buy.

Facebook has innovated heavily in this space. It’s worked on a feature that can identify a user even if her face is hidden, drawing from other potentially unique identifiers, like body shape, hair, posture and clothing.

Mashable’s report this week about the new iPhone 8 expected to debut Sept. 12 shows Apple is also very much in the facial-recognition game. The new iPhone reportedly will have a default of automatically scanning the faces of everyone in a room — something media leaks suggest it will be able to do even in the dark and while face up on a table. Mashable summed up the downside of more prevalent facial-recognition devices like this:
Does this matter to you now? Maybe, maybe not. But it probably will when someone drains your bank account using nothing more than a photo they pulled off your Instagram account.


Mashable, like most tech blogs, focused on how facial recognition will be used in lieu of a fingerprint for sign-in or purchase-confirmation purposes.

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But the potential issues raised by hyperaccurate facial recognition go far beyond its use as a marketing tool. ... Which gets to perhaps the most provocative aspect of advances in facial recognition occurring in sync with the development of gigantic databases of images of individuals. A fairly common scene in movie spy thrillers is for computers being able to use photos to quickly find individuals around the world by scanning millions of video feeds. Aha — Jason Bourne is at the Rome airport!


Hiding Behind Your Hands Won’t Stop Next-Gen Facial Recognition Software

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As evidenced by Apple’s rumored plans to replace Touch ID with facial recognition technology for the iPhone 8, the ability of computers to seamlessly recognize faces is pretty darn impressive these days. The technology is not infallible, however, and there are still things capable of tripping it up. One example? Hands covering faces, which represents a significant challenge, due to how often a particularly animated hand gesture accidentally obscures a speaker’s face.

What researchers from the University of Central Florida and Carnegie Mellon University have developed is a method of dealing with the so-called “facial occlusion” problem. Called Hand2Face (which admittedly sounds a little bit like that early 2000s “talk to the hand” meme), they’ve developed technology that can help improve facial recognition technology for a variety of applications — ranging from security to making machines better understand our emotions.


Driver’s License Facial Recognition Tech Leads to 4,000 New York Arrests

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The state of New York says its driver's license facial recognition technology has led to the arrest of 4,000 people in connection to identify theft or fraud crimes. This number is likely to skyrocket in the wake of the state doubling the number of measurement points for photographs.

The state last year increased the measurement points of a driver's license picture from 64 to 128. The DMV said this vastly improves its chances of matching new photographs with one already in a database of 16 million photos. As many as 8,000 new pictures are added each day.

At least 39 US states use some form of facial recognition software.

New York's DMV photo database is not among those databases forwarded to an FBI program containing about 411.9 million facial recognition images of people who have committed no crimes.


Just like China ...

From Ale To Jail: In China, Facial Recognition Is Used To Buy KFC, Board Planes, and Catch Drug Users

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Over the past several months, private companies and government entities have successfully deployed facial recognition technology for a number of different purposes, ranging from shopping to public safety. The speed of the rollout is a sign of how China’s ambitions in artificial intelligence are advancing rapidly—and in a manner that will make Western techies envious, and privacy advocates queasy.

... On Monday, media in the northern Chinese city of Qingdao reported that police had apprehended 19 individuals at an annual beer festival who tested positive for drug use. How did they do it? Authorities simply spread 18 cameras across the premise’s four entrances and recorded the faces of more than two million attendees. Police identified individuals with past histories of drug abuse—Chinese law requires people caught using illegal drugs to register with authorities—tested them on the spot, and arrested those with positive results.

Meanwhile, in late July, authorities in Macau, which is technically a special administrative region of China with a government separate from Beijing, installed facial recognition on 680 ATMs across the city. Out-of-towners regularly travel to the casino hub to gamble and get easy access to foreign exchange, which has become increasingly difficult to do within the mainland. The facial-recognition feature only affects holders of UnionPay cards, the main payment provider in mainland China, and marks an attempt from Beijing to make it even harder to surreptitiously move capital out of its borders.

The Communist Party, facing no political opposition or democratic checks, can implement controversial technology with little pushback. This all means that facial recognition in China looks set to steadily move beyond few novelty cases toward near ubiquity. (... just like in the U.S.)


China’s Dystopian Push To Revolutionize Surveillance

As part of a new multimillion-dollar project in Xinjiang, the Chinese government is attempting to “build a fortress city with technologies.” If this sounds Orwellian, that’s because it is. According to the Sina online news portal, the project is supposed to strengthen the authorities’ hands against unexpected social unrest. Using “big data” from various sources, including the railway system and visitors’ systems in private residential compounds, its ultimate aim is to “predict … individuals and vehicles posing heightened risks” to public safety.

And this isn’t the only project in China that aims to expand surveillance while denying people privacy rights. Across the country, local governments are spending billions of dollars implementing sophisticated technological systems for mass surveillance. The consequences for human rights are ominous.

The project aims to build a nationwide, intelligent digital surveillance network capable of identifying and locating individuals, as well as offering the state immediate access to personal records at the push of a button. (... just like the U.S.)

This dystopian project is bearing fruit. China’s pervasive Internet censorship and its use of countless security cameras in public spaces are well known. Recent reporting reveals authorities’ aspirations to enable facial recognition through upgraded cameras, to calculate citizens’ “social credit” scores based on economic and social status and to establish a national DNA database that logs genetic code irrespective of anyone’s connection to a crime.

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What’s worse, the Chinese government is promoting its surveillance model abroad. It has pushed the concept of “Internet sovereignty” — the idea that, instead of a free World Wide Web, a country’s rulers should determine what netizens can say and read.

Chinese telecom giant ZTE sold technology and provided training to monitor mobile phones and Internet activity. Meanwhile, closed-circuit television cameras and monitoring systems made by Chinese companies — some high-definition and equipped with facial and movement recognition powers — have been sold to countries around the world, including Brazil, Ecuador, Kenya, Britain and the U.S.


Vocord Face Recognition System Tops World Ranking – Again

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The world’s best face recognition algorithm is made by Skolkovo resident Vocord, according to the MegaFace platform, which rated it above Google in one of its rankings this week.
“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 05 Sep 2017, 13:30:15

New T-Shirt Sewing Robot Makes as Many Shirts per Hour as 17 Factory Workers

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SoftWear Automation’s big selling point is that one of its robotic sewing lines can replace a conventional line of 10 workers and produce about 1,142 t-shirts in an eight-hour period, compared to just 669 for the human sewing line. Another way to look at it is that the robot, working under the guidance of a single human handler, can make as many shirts per hour as about 17 humans.

... Tianyuan Garments has invested $20 million in a 100,000-square foot factory in Little Rock, Arkansas, planned to open in 2018. The factory will be staffed with 21 robotic production lines supplied by SoftWear Automation, and will be capable of making 1.2 million t-shirts a year.

Normally, manufacturing in the US would be much more expensive than producing in China because of the higher labor costs. But Tang Xinhong, chairman of Tianyuan Garments, told World Textile Information Network (paywall) that, in a completely automated production line, the cost of human labor works out to about $0.33 per shirt. For context, to produce something like a denim shirt in Bangladesh, you might pay about $0.22 in labor costs, according to an estimate from the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights. That same labor would be $7.47 in the US, putting the labor cost for Tianyuan Garments’ American-made shirt about on par with one of the cheapest labor markets in the world.

Pete Santora, the company’s chief commercial officer, says it got its first grants from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), in the US Department of Defense. By law, the US military must buy US-made goods when possible, and would obviously welcome a way to outfit soldiers more cheaply than it currently does.

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Invasion of the Job Snatchers? Use of Robots in Workplace on the Rise

... “We actually put Fitbits on employees and they walked 18,000 steps (each per day), which is quite a lot,” said Nils Alstad, Cochlear’s director of supply chain, who was looking for ways to speed up the order completion process. “What the robot does for us is not have our employees walk around so much. … We are shipping 6 to 8 percent more orders and we’re shipping between 11 to 14 percent more items per person. We’ve definitely seen a difference in our world.

... “We’re at the point where we’re building Amazon fulfillment centers smaller because we can use the space better,” said Ashley Robinson, an Amazon spokeswoman, adding that the company has 25 robotics fulfillment centers worldwide. “We’re not building those multi-stories with pick pods where we have to build walkways for employees. With robotics, robots come to fulfillment associates. We can store 50 percent more inventory in a (robotics) fulfillment center. And it enables faster fulfillment speed.”


The Bright Side of the AI and Robot Revolution: You Might Get To Retire Earlier

The rewards generated by robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) should be used to reduce the state pension age and realise other benefits for working people.

According to a report by the UK's Trade Union Congress, while previous waves of technological change have not led to overall job losses, much of the benefit of improved productivity has gone to business owners, and not been shared by workers in better wages and working conditions. It wants the impending wave of AI productivity gains to be handled differently.

...Special police squads - BLADE RUNNER UNITS - had orders to shoot to kill, upon detection, any trespassing Replicant This was not called execution. It was called Retirement.

- Blade Runner (1982)


Steady and Drug-Free, These Robots Are Exactly What Young Factory Workers Aren’t

Factory Workers Quitting in Droves

INDIANAPOLIS — Kipp Glenn grew tired of standing for eight-hour shifts, assembling steel furnace doors. His knees ached from 25 years on the concrete factory floor. So even after President Donald Trump made his job at Carrier a symbol of American prosperity and vowed to save it, the Indiana native took a buyout.
“What we want to call ‘blue-collar jobs’ are on the way out,” ... “I didn’t want to suffer another 15 years in there,”

Carrier came to the nation’s attention last year when Trump excoriated it for sending jobs to Mexico. The company ultimately agreed to preserve some jobs, thanks to a deal with the state government in Indiana – worked out with the Trump team – but some layoffs were still permitted to move forward.

Nearly half of the 337 employees who left Carrier on July 20 in a wave of planned job reductions did so willingly, citing a belief that automation threatened their job security and that they could find or make better work. They also seized a severance package that included a week of pay for every year at the company.

Since Trump declared his candidacy, more factory workers have left their jobs than have been laid off or fired, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The share of employees voluntarily leaving the industry has climbed from 1.1 percent to 1.6 percent since June 2015. (During that period, the broader economy’s quitting rate barely budged, from 2 percent to 2.1 percent.)

That translates to a hefty pile of resignations. In June, the most recent month of data available, 194,000 factory workers quit their jobs, while 29,000 retired and 101,000 were dismissed.
“We would have to be ignorant to look away from automation,” he said. “It’s taking things over.”

The president took credit for another manufacturing deal last month, telling reporters at the White House that he had met with Foxconn executives in a bid to get the Taiwanese giant to build a new flat-screen-display factory in southeastern Wisconsin – a deal that relies on a $3 billion state incentives package.

Trump has said his efforts will restore the sector to its former glory, but Christian Zimmermann, an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said the bigger picture is more complicated.

“People had the impression that manufacturing was shrinking because people were getting fired,” he said. “But there is a lot of churn going on. People are quitting to take other jobs.”
“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 05 Sep 2017, 14:02:19

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Putin: Leader in Artificial Intelligence Will Rule World

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says that whoever reaches a breakthrough in developing artificial intelligence will come to dominate the world.

Putin, speaking Friday at a meeting with students, said the development of AI raises "colossal opportunities and threats that are difficult to predict now."

He warned that "the one who becomes the leader in this sphere will be the ruler of the world."

Putin warned that "it would be strongly undesirable if someone wins a monopolist position" and promised that Russia would be ready to share its know-how in artificial intelligence with other nations.

The Russian leader predicted that future wars will be fought by drones, and "when one party's drones are destroyed by drones of another, it will have no other choice but to surrender."


Musk Thinks AI Race Could Ignite WWIII

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China's Artificial Intelligence Technology Is Fast Catching Up To the US, Goldman Sachs Says

In the report, titled "China's Rise in Artificial Intelligence," the investment bank said the world's second-largest economy has emerged as a major global contender in using AI to drive economic progress.

Goldman said the government and companies have identified AI and machine learning as the next big areas of innovation.

"We believe AI technology will become a priority on the government's agenda, and we expect further national/regional policy and funding support on AI to follow," the bank said.


Alexa and Cortana to Join Forces

Humans, Cover Your Mouths: Lip Reading Bots in the Wild

In the paper Lip Reading Sentences in the Wild, researchers Joon Son Chung, of Oxford University, Andrew Senior, Oriol Vinyals, and Andrew Zisserman, of Google, tested an algorithm that bested professional human lip readers. Soon, surveillance videos may not only show your actions, but the content of your speech.

The researchers used Google's Deep Mind neural network and trained it using thousands of hours of subtitled BBC television videos. The videos showed a broad spectrum of people speaking in a wide variety of poses, activities, and lighting -- thus the "in the wild" designation.

Their 'Watch, Listen, Attend and Spell' (WLAS) neural network learned to transcribe videos of mouth motion to characters, using over 100,000 sentences from the videos. By translating mouth movements to individual characters, the neural net spelled out words.

They found that a professional lip reader is able to correctly decipher less than one-quarter of the spoken words. Their WAS model (lips only) was able to decipher half of the spoken words, significantly better than professional lip readers.

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IBM is Teaching AI to Behave Like the Human Brain

Facebook AI Learns Human Reactions After Watching Hours of Skype

Researchers at Facebook’s AI lab have developed an expressive bot, an animation controlled by an artificially intelligent algorithm. The algorithm was trained on hundreds of videos of Skype conversations, so that it could learn and then mimic how humans adjust their expressions in response to each other. In tests, it successfully passed as human-like.

To optimise its learning, the algorithm divided the human face into 68 key points that it monitored throughout each Skype conversation. People naturally produce nods, blinks and various mouth movements to show they are engaged with the person they are talking to, and eventually the system learned to do this too.

The bot was then able to look at a video of a human speaking, and choose in real time what the most appropriate facial response would be. If the person was laughing, for example, the bot might choose to open its mouth too, or tilt its head.

The Facebook team then tested the system with panels of people who watched animations that included both the bot reacting to a human, and a human reacting to a human. The volunteers judged the bot and the human to be equally natural and realistic.

In this case, the Facebook system ends up creating a kind of “average personality”, says Louis-Philippe Morency at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. In future, more sophisticated bots might be able to pick from a range of personalities or adapt their own to match the person they are talking to.

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AI Is About to Drastically Change

AI is Developing Faster than Experts Imagined. Do We Need a Speed Limit?

Google’s Fighting Hate And Trolls With A Dangerously Mindless AI

To see how far we are from truly smart AI, you need look no further than the comments we post online, some of which are now being analyzed and censored in disturbing ways by Perspective, an AI-based program launched earlier this year by Google. It’s perhaps the largest of various efforts afoot to automate the notoriously difficult and controversial process of filtering content online, whether its hate speech, violent or terrorist content, or, in places like China, politically-sensitive ideas.

To put AIs like Google’s Perspective into, well, perspective, let’s take a quick look at where things stand on language processing—and at that singularity thing.

WE’RE PROBABLY SCREWED ...
“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 » Thu 07 Sep 2017, 11:21:36

Deutsche Bank Boss Says 'Big Number' of Staff Will Lose Jobs to Automation

The chief executive of Deutsche Bank, which employs 100,000 around the world, has issued a stark warning about the impact of technology, saying a “big number” of his staff will lose their jobs as robots take over.

John Cryan told an audience in Frankfurt:
“In our bank we have people doing work like robots. Tomorrow we will have robots behaving like people. It doesn’t matter if we as a bank will participate in these changes or not, it is going to happen.”

He also referred to accountants inside the bank who “spend a lot of time basically being an abacus”, who would also be replaced by machines.

Cryan is the latest business leader to make predictions about the impact of automation on on banking roles. In 2015, the former chief executive of Barclays described how the industry was facing an “Uber” moment, with hundreds of branches closing and a potential halving of the number of jobs in the sector.

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Automation to Eat Away One Third of Low Skill Jobs By 2022

BENGALURU, India: Almost one-third of 'low-skilled' jobs, about 700,000, will be lost on account of automation in Indian IT by 2022 says US-based research firm HfS Research. The report shows a marginal uptake of IT jobs in Philippines.

The research firm cites the aggressive uptake of RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and AI as the primary reasons for the reduction in headcount. It adds that RPA is merely accelerating the elimination of rote jobs. In their scenario, the report predicts that 20% of the total workforce needs to be re-skilled to be employable.

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A Robot Did Better Than 80% of Students on the University Of Tokyo Entrance Exam

Artificial intelligence can't understand meaning or emotion just yet, but it can write a pretty good essay on 17th-century maritime trade.

AI expert Noriko Arai gave a talk presenting her Todai Robot, a machine that has been programmed to take the entrance exam to Japan's most prestigious university, Tokyo University.

While Arai discovered Todai didn't pass muster to gain acceptance, the robot still beat 80% of the students taking the exam, which consisted of seven sections, including math, English, science, and a 600-word essay writing portion
"How we humans will coexist with AI is something we have to think about carefully, based on solid evidence. At the same time, we have to think in a hurry because time is running out."


Prototype Panasonic Washing Machine Has Robot Arms That Fold Clean Clothes

It’s like something from the Jetsons – a robot washing machine that’ll fold your clean clothes into a pile ready for storage.

The huge device is a prototype which is unlikely to find its way into your washroom any time soon, but provides a glimpse into how advancing technology could improve the most mundane tasks.

A hamper drawer opens when pressed, and the items of clothing that need to be cleaned are tossed in. A camera scans the item’s label to check the manufacturer’s instructions for water temperature and any other details, and examines the garment for stains that need particular attention.

After that, the machine gets to work – washing then drying the item – before robot arms pick up and fold the freshly cleaned item before placing it on top of the pile of finished clothes.

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Deere to Acquire Machine-Learning Farming Robot Company Blue River for $305m

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Deere & Co has announced that is acquiring the maker of LettuceBot, Blue River Technology, to increase its machine learning capabilities across farm equipment.

Deere said it is paying $305 million to acquire the Sunnyvale, California-based agtech company, which uses computer vision, robotics, and machine learning for agricultural spraying and weeding equipment, such as its lettuce farming robot.

The LettuceBot, which is towed by a human-driven tractor, is able to identify plants in need of fertiliser, pesticides, or other "inputs" used to manage crops, and take action. The agtech company claims results are a 5 to 10 percent increase in yield, as well as up to 90 percent reduction in the amount of chemicals used on farms. Blue River also said LettuceBot enables the use of non-GMO seeds and chemicals that were previously too expensive for broad use.

Blue River said that LettuceBot covers 10 percent of the United States lettuce crop, with the machine capable of handling 1 million plants per hour.

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China's World Robot Conference

... Drone manufacturers demoed models that communicated with skull caps so people could control the flying machines with brain signals alone. Other drone makers showed off underwater models that can capture footage while people swim and Scuba-dive.

Many of the robots were self-learning, meaning they responded to people's unique preferences and instructions without any pre-programming from the designers. Visitors also had the opportunity to watch robots make ice cream cones. It's an early sign of the kind of low-skill jobs that may be at risk in the coming years. Video
“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 » Thu 07 Sep 2017, 13:26:17

What the CIA’s Tech Director Wants from AI

CIA’s Head of Technology Development, Dawn Meyerriecks, says staying ahead of Russia and China isn’t as hard as getting U.S. leaders to listen to their own artificial intelligence analysis.

... The CIA currently has 137 pilot projects directly related to artificial intelligence, Meyerriecks, the CIA’s deputy director for science and technology, told the Intelligence and National Security Summit in downtown DC. These “experiments” include everything from automatically tagging objects in video (so analysts can pay attention to what’s important) to better predicting future events based on big data and correlational evidence.
... If there’s a bear in the woods, you just have to be faster than the slowest person.

When asked whether she was worried that U.S. prowess in artificial intelligence was falling behind that of China and Russia, Meyerriecks said:
“I bet on the innovation and on the systems engineering of the United States every time. One of the things we talk about with In-Q-Tel [the CIA’s venture capital arm] is, as long as we’re going faster than everybody behind us, I don’t want to think about how we find them off [from catching up to the U.S. in AI]. I just want to go faster than they can keep up. If there’s a bear in the woods, you just have to be faster than the slowest person.”

... For Meyerriecks, the biggest challenge in applying cutting-edge AI products and techniques to intel collection and reporting is convincing leaders in government – including the President – to accept intel that comes, at least in part, from a robot, she said.


Dep. Dir. of Central Intelligence - (S) Artificial intelligence Report

White House Advisory Group Warns of '9/11-Level Cyber Attack'

President Trump’s advisers have warned of an impending 9/11-style attack on the nation’s critical infrastructure and called for “direction and leadership to dramatically reduce cyber risks.”

The National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) was commissioned by the National Security Council (NSC) to review over 140 federal “capabilities and authorities” in order to evaluate what needs to be done to secure infrastructure against targeted attacks.

The resulting report out this week claimed that although both government and private sector have “tremendous” resources to defend critical systems from attack, they’re not properly organized, harnessed or focused. It added:
... There is a narrow and fleeting window of opportunity before a watershed, 9/11-level cyber-attack to organize effectively and take bold action. We call on the Administration to use this moment of foresight to take bold, decisive actions.”


Russia-Linked Hackers Breached 100 Nuclear and Power Plants Just This Year

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Symantec warned on Sept. 6 that it is seeing the re-emergence of a hacker group known as Dragonfly, that is directly targeting energy firms and industrial control system (ICS) infrastructure.

Symantec issued warnings about the first Dragonfly attacks back in July 2014, after which the hacker group's attacks diminished. The new round of attacks, dubbed Dragonfly 2.0 by Symantec, have been underway since December 2015 with an increasing number of attacks in 2017.

"Much of this activity was undetected by the security industry and is highly targeted," Jon Dimaggio, senior threat intelligence analyst at Symantec, told eWEEK. "Once we identified the activity and began to look into what was going on, we realized this was a major operation targeting the energy industry."
This level of access means that motivation is “the only step left” preventing “sabotage of the power grid”

The Dragonfly 2.0 attacks involve multiple elements including phishing emails designed to trick users into opening attachments, as well as fake Flash updates that end up installing trojan backdoors.
“The ones where the attackers were able to get on the operational side of the house were the scariest to us,” says Thakur. “We’ve seen them get on these operational computers and start taking rapid-fire screenshots. Some would show maps of what’s connected to what.”

"The fact that the attacker can create malware that may not be detected and have goal oriented operations show the adversary has both the funding and capability that is usually only seen with nation state attackers," Dimaggio said.

"Based on the post operations and the amount of time and effort spent to obtain access to specific network or systems in the recent campaign is above and beyond what was seen in Dragonfly 1.0," Dimaggio said. "We believe that it is plausible, based on the amount of attacker time and interest to specific systems, that the main advantage to accessing them would be to disrupt operations. "


Dragonfly: Western energy sector targeted by sophisticated attack group

Secret Russian Cyber Attacks on West ‘Could Lead To Fatalities

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Covert Russian cyber attacks against Western countries could cause civilian fatalities and potentially escalate into a real-world military confrontation, Latvia’s foreign minister has warned.

Edgars Rinkevics told the Telegraph that Russia may use a massive war games in September to probe Nato’s resilience to full-spectrum “hybrid” warfare including propaganda and cyber attacks that Moscow has previously used against Ukraine.

And he warned that deaths from deniable cyber attacks designed to test the “resilience and resolve” of the West by hitting key infrastructure like power grids could start a dangerous cycle of retaliation.
“At some point, people are going to die.

“What I am rather worried about is that this hidden cyber warfare can escalate to a level of cyber warfare where we are not going to talk about bank attacks or ransom payments,” he said.

“If you get security systems down or hospitals left without power, then I am afraid that such kind of activity could provoke a very real military build-up.

“My concern is that at some point, we are going to detect that there have been casualties because of cyber attacks, and we are able to trace where they came from. Then the situation can get much more tense.”


India, Pakistan Targets of ‘State-Sponsored’ Cyber Attack

As India and Pakistan are embroiled in regional conflicts, cyber security firm Symantec has discovered another attack against the two nations, which is likely to be state-sponsored. In its threat intelligence report, Symantec notes that the sustained cyber espionage campaign dates back to October 2016.

The cyber spying campaign reportedly appears to be the work of several groups, with techniques suggesting ‘similar goals or under the same sponsor,’ which is most likely to be a nation state, Reuters reports. Although Symantec did not identify the likely sponsor of the attack, the company warned that governments and militaries with operations in South Asia, and interests in regional security issues, to be at risk from the espionage malware. The spyware uses ‘Ehdoor’, which is a backdoor to access crucial files on a given system. A security expert told Reuters that a similar campaign was carried out on Qatar by using programs called Spynote and Revokery.


Smart Electrical Grids More Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

Electricity distribution systems in the USA are gradually being modernized and transposed to smart grids, which make use of two-way communication and computer processing. This is making them increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks. In a recent paper in Elsevier's International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection, Dr. Sujeet Shenoi and his colleagues from the Tandy School of Computer Science, University of Tulsa, US, have analyzed these security issues.

... "The most devastating scenario involves a computer worm traversing advanced metering infrastructures and permanently disabling millions of smart meters," noted Dr. Shenoi. Such attacks already occur: in December 2015, for example, the Russian hacker group Sandworm successfully attacked the Ukrainian power grid, disrupting power to more than 225,000 customers. Plant operators restored power within six hours by manually resetting the circuit breakers, but in the case of disruption in major US cities, this would take much longer. "Damaging a few million smart meters would cause a power outage in a large geographic area that may last anything from several months to over a year," said Dr, Shenoi. This is "because of the limited production and inventories of smart meters and availability of technicians."


Is the Power Grid Getting More Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks?

... A lot of these cyberattacks deal with the computer technology and the interconnected nature of the infrastructure. And so when they target it in that way, you’re talking hours, maybe a day, at most a week of disruption. For reasonable scenarios, we’re not talking about a long time of outages, and we’re not talking about compromising safety.

Now, the scary side of it is [twofold]. One, our adversaries are getting much more aggressive. They’re learning a lot about our industrial systems, not just from a computer technology standpoint but from an industrial engineering standpoint, thinking about how to disrupt or maybe even destroy equipment. That’s where you start reaching some particularly alarming scenarios.

The second thing is, a lot of that ability to return to manual operation, the rugged nature of our infrastructure - a lot of that’s changing. Because of business reasons, because of lack of people to man the jobs, we’re starting to see more and more computer-based systems. We’re starting to see more common operating platforms. And this facilitates a scale for adversaries that they couldn’t previously get.


Cyberattack Cost Maersk As Much As $300 Million and Disrupted Operations for 2 Weeks

Former State Dept. Cyber Coordinator Says It Was a Mistake to Close His Office

You Can Protest, But You Can’t Hide From Government Facial Recognition (For Much Longer)

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Artificial intelligence is giving rise to unprecedented capabilities for surveillance, from facial recognition at bridge crossings to the ability to identify thousands of people at once. Now, new research suggests that AI could potentially be used to identify people who have taken steps to conceal their identities by wearing hats, sunglasses, or scarves over their faces.

The paper, accepted to appear in a computer vision conference workshop next month and detailed in Jack Clark’s ImportAI newsletter, shows that identifying people covering their faces is possible, but there’s a long way to go before it’s accurate enough to be relied upon. Researchers used a deep-learning algorithm—a flavor of artificial intelligence that detects patterns within massive amounts of data—to find specific points on a person’s face and analyze the distance between those points. When asked to compare a face concealed by a hat or scarf against photos of five people, the algorithm was able to correctly identify the person 56% of the time. If the face was also wearing glasses, that number dropped to 43%.

But faces aren’t the only way to identify a person—other AI research indicates that the way a person walks is almost like a fingerprint. Researchers achieved more than 99% accuracy when using a deep-learning algorithm to identify one person’s gait from 154 others.

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You. You can run,but you can't hide.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 07 Sep 2017, 14:00:26

http://theweek.com/articles/441194/why- ... t-internet
"One of the most perturbing things about cyberwar may be the fact that it is an uncharted frontier. In the First World War, German forces rained mustard gas, phosgene, and chlorine gas down on enemy trenches, leaving soldiers gasping for air in agonizing, painful deaths — the new and distant face of warfare. In 1925, the world collectively agreed that such weapons should never be used again, creating the  Geneva Protocol . Follow up conventions and agreements have strengthened the global position on chemical weapons. Similarly, the Geneva Protocol bans a number of other human rights abuses in war — including   torture .
Such ethics, enforced and abided by or not, don't exist for cyberwar; like mustard gas, it's something no one imagined until it started happening. It's an entirely new playing field for both targets and participants alike, and in a world without ethics, anything goes. Cyberwar could create opportunities for exploiting loopholes in existing treaties and agreements, in addition to creating an entirely new landscape of horrors. Using chemical weapons is a violation of international law, but what if cyberwarfare creates a spill at a chemical facility? The use of nuclear weapons is controversial, but what about the exploitation of vulnerabilities at nuclear power plants or nuclear weapons facilities?
Cyberwar could open the world to possibilities like shutting down the power supply and record-keeping at hospitals — even though attacking hospitals, medics, and doctors is barred under international law. It would also represent an escalation of attacks on civilians, as when war is so distant, it becomes difficult if not impossible to distinguish combatants from ordinary civilians. Just as Brits feared the streets of London in the Second World War, citizens of a nation at cyberwar would have to fear every component of their lives that could possibly be exploited or manipulated through cyber means.
This is no small worry. For better or for worse, we live in a world where a substantial percentage of our lives is overseen electronically. The financial system, the grid, the water supply, medical facilities, and more are all at the mercy of cyberattacks, which is precisely why the prospect of cyberwar is so appealing to aggressors and so terrifying to defenders.
For those at the helm, it also involves  minimal investment . Weapons systems can cost billions of dollars, with constantly escalating costs as other nations develop counterattacks. Storage, transport, and deployment of such weapons is also extremely costly. For the budget-conscious military — if such a thing ever exists — cyberwarfare is the perfect opportunity to produce maximum damage with minimum spending. In fact, a country's own weapons systems could be used against it, in what may be the most cruel and ironic attack of all.
With escalating diplomatic tensions worldwide, the question to ask ourselves isn't if we'll see another world war, but when — and the medium will be digital when it happens."
You can ignore reality but not its consequences
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Mon 11 Sep 2017, 11:04:42

onlooker wrote:... cyberwarfare is the perfect opportunity to produce maximum damage with minimum spending. In fact, a country's own weapons systems could be used against it, in what may be the most cruel and ironic attack of all.

You hit the nail on the head.

Winter Is Here, But the US is Not Ready for Cyber War

... The White House has proved little help. President Donald Trump’s proposed DHS budget would cut the .gov cybersecurity program by $74 million, despite former DHS Secretary John Kelly (currently White House Chief of Staff) telling Congress he’d like to see an increase. An ongoing DHS cyber assessment may jumpstart other efforts to protect networks, including in the areas of cloud, mobile, and other technologies, but there’s little chance DHS can operate at the requisite net-speed when the White House has failed to nominate a replacement for Kelly or leadership for the National Protection and Programs Directorate, which is responsible for DHS’s cybersecurity operations and policy.

... even Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats recently admitted that he had no doubt that Russia’s ultimate objective was to “undermine Western democracy.” Cyberattacks have now become weapons of war.

There’s never been a more important time for Congress to fill this leadership vacuum. The next attack won’t just stop at our elections or financial institutions, but could be on our infrastructure, satellites, smart devices, or our military.


Robot Tank Concept from BAE Raises Questions about Computers Controlling Weapons

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BAE Systems has revealed plans for an unmanned tank which could raise questions about Britain’s policy on “robot warriors”.

The arms company envisions an autonomous combat vehicle supported by “fleets of smaller autonomous air and ground vehicles” which create a defensive perimeter around the tank.

BAE says the system ­– currently at concept stage and called “Ironclad” – will keep soldiers out of harm’s way, and although they will remain “at the centre of decision making”, the need to react quickly might see control of some weapons handed over to a computer.

BAE imagines Ironclad will use “friend or foe” tracking systems and protect soldiers within its perimeter from danger using its own weapons, which could include lasers in the future.

But the increasing speed of warfare raises questions about how effective weapons can be when controlled by humans. “Today’s active protection systems make decisions which require ultra-fast reactions such as triggering explosive reactive armour,” said John Puddy, technology lead at BAE’s land warfare business. “The pace of development means these reactions need to be faster than ever before.”

He said “there will always be a human in the loop when it comes to decisions around use of force”, but added:
“No one can be sure what the future will look like, but it’s a relatively short step from technology available today to having a fleet of autonomous vehicles sharing situational awareness and – where appropriate – making certain decisions independently.”


Drone "Factory in a Can" Would Change Air War Forever

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The Pentagon's research and development arm has laid down a challenge for the defense industry: Give us an armed drone that can carry air-to-air missiles and is inexpensive to produce—oh, and also we need to crank out 500 of them every month. If one of the big defense contractors succeeds at this mission, it will revolutionize military manufacturing and aerial warfare as we know it.

In a video posted earlier this week on YouTube, Air Force Lt. Col. Jimmy Jones, a program manager with the Strategic Technology Office, challenged industry with the Flying Missile Rail (FMR) concept. DARPA's vision is an armed drone that would be carried on the missile rails of Air Force F-16s and Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18. The Flying Missile Rail would fly at 0.9 Mach (690 miles an hour) for up to 20 minutes.

Strangely enough, the renderings of the Flying Missile Rail concept look very similar to a certain model that was spotted on a Northrop Grumman executive's credenza recently. It is unclear if there is some relation or if it is just a fluke.

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... A key requirement for the program is what Jones calls a "factory in a can." The idea is that the entire manufacturing process—plus materials, electronics, and everything else necessary—must be able to fit in several shipping containers. Any manufacturing process is allowed, but DARPA suggests highly automated advanced manufacturing processes such as computer numerical control (CNC) machining or 3D printing.

Another advantage to the "factory in a can" strategy is that the services could take ownership of the factory and can choose how many drones to build. For example, the Air Force would not need two years and hours of negotiations to purchase an extra 50 drones; a "factory in a can" can produce that many in four days. It would also not have to pay to keep and maintain fleets of hundreds of drones on hand. Every year the services would fire up the factories and crank out a handful of drones to make sure everything still works, then shut down the machinery and walk away.

We will see drone factories at every air base and on every aircraft carrier, complete with the drone's internals and weapons, shoved into a quiet corner, waiting for a war. Once war breaks out, the troops throw a switch and the factory starts cranking out drones. Eventually, this will apply to full-sized aircraft, and eventually to air, land and sea weapons.

How soon will we see FMR prototypes flying? According to LTC Jones' chart, less than two years.


Cassies Take a Tour of Agility Robotics

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Last edited by vox_mundi on Mon 11 Sep 2017, 11:53:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Mon 11 Sep 2017, 11:08:07

Take Part in the First Online AI Study of Human Intelligence

Put your intelligence to the ultimate test and see how you fare compared with other people.

In around half an hour, the artificial intelligence developed by a team at Imperial College London – nicknamed Cognitron - will put you through a series of a dozen customised tests and, after you have supplied a few details, tell you how well you did.

The online study uses web-based AI developed by neuroscientists Romy Lorenz, Rob Leech, Pete Hellyer and Adam Hampshire at Imperial’s Computational, Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory, ‘C3NL’. The AI will harvest information from thousands of people and dozens of tests, enabling it to explore hundreds of different measures of cognitive ability.

The AI will tinker with the tests to find out if intelligence can be divided into different types of cognitive ability like verbal reasoning and focused attention, or if such cognitive skills are all interdependent. Ultimately, Cognitron aims to understand if AI is the key to understanding human intelligence.

According to Adam Hampshire, if the test reaches more than 20,000 participants, ‘the AI can learn and map out the structure of human intelligence in greater detail than any previous study.’

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'Inspirational' Robots to Begin Replacing Teachers within 10 Years

Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, said intelligent machines that adapt to suit the learning styles of individual children will soon render traditional academic teaching all but redundant

The former Master of Wellington College said programmes currently being developed in Silicon Valley will learn to read the brains and facial expressions of pupils, adapting the method of communication to what works best for them. "You'll still have the humans there walking around during school time, but in fact the inspiration in terms of intellectual excitement will come from the lighting-up of the brain which the machines will be superbly well-geared for.

The efficiency of automated teaching would also mean that only 30 per cent of school time will be spent in class.
"The great danger is that it takes jobs away, and for humans beings much of our fulfilment in life comes from the satisfaction of work. ... "If we get the technology wrong it will end up doing everything for us in the same way that satnavs mean we no longer know how to read maps."

"I'm expecting this to happen in the next 10 years.

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Don't expect a job flippin' pancakes at IHOP, either ...

ABB Robotics - Pancake Picker

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 12 Sep 2017, 10:57:57

The Pentagon is Building a ‘Self-Aware’ Killer Robot Army Fueled by Social Media

An unclassified 2016 Department of Defense (DoD) document, the Human Systems Roadmap Review, reveals that the US military plans to create artificially intelligent (AI) autonomous weapon systems, which will use predictive social media analytics to make decisions on lethal force with minimal human involvement.

Despite official insistence that humans will retain a “meaningful” degree of control over autonomous weapon systems, this and other Pentagon documents dated from 2015 to 2016 confirm that US military planners are already developing technologies designed to enable swarms of “self-aware” interconnected robots to design and execute kill operations against robot-selected targets.

More alarmingly, the documents show that the DoD believes that within just fifteen years, it will be feasible for mission planning, target selection and the deployment of lethal force to be delegated entirely to autonomous weapon systems in air, land and sea. The Pentagon expects AI threat assessments for these autonomous operations to be derived from massive data sets including blogs, websites, and multimedia posts on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Notice the lack of human collaboration.

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One type of machine agent is the “Autonomous Squad Member (Army)”, which “Integrates machine semantic understanding, reasoning, and perception into a ground robotic system”, and displays:
“Early implementation of a goal reasoning model, Goal-Directed Autonomy (GDA) to provide the robot the ability to self-select new goals when it encounters an unanticipated situation.”

Referring to the “Mechanisms of Cognitive Processing” of autonomous systems, the document highlights the need for:
More robust, valid, and integrated mechanisms that enable constructive agents that truly think and act like people.”

In a slide entitled, ‘Exploiting Social Data, Dominating Human Terrain, Effective Engagement,’ the document provides further detail on the Pentagon’s goals:

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The Goal: AI "System Self-Awareness"

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Experts 'Threatcast' Potential Cybersecurity Risks in 2027

On Wednesday and Thursday, 80 professionals from academia, government, industry and the military met at George Washington University in Washington D.C. to think about the cybersecurity threats of the future. Through a process called “threatcasting,” small groups envision the world ten years from now.

The potential future story lines were diverse, but trends in concerns were apparent. Artificial intelligence, ubiquitous automation and the vulnerability of our digital infrastructure were top concerns. The conjured threats left no one unscathed, from a retired engineer in southern Arizona with an internet-enabled medical device to an American astronaut trapped in the International Space Station during a terrestrial dispute.
"Autonomous decisions can lead to high-regret actions, especially in uncertain environments.”

While it may have felt like it at times, this was not a writer’s workshop. These futures will be a part of a report intended to be a catalyst for industry and government to think about potential threats. On Tuesday, Sept.12, the Lab will release its newest report: “The New Dogs of War: The Future of Weaponized AI.”


Two Days After Tuesday: A Threatcast Scenario How a Simple Email Phishing Attack Leads to Devastation of New York City

Face-Reading AI Will Be Able To Detect Your Politics and IQ, Professor Says

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Voters have a right to keep their political beliefs private. But according to some researchers, it won’t be long before a computer program can accurately guess whether people are liberal or conservative in an instant. All that will be needed are photos of their faces.

Michal Kosinski – the Stanford University professor who went viral last week for research suggesting that artificial intelligence (AI) can detect whether people are gay or straight based on photos – said sexual orientation was just one of many characteristics that algorithms would be able to predict through facial recognition.

Using photos, AI will be able to identify people’s political views, whether they have high IQs, whether they are predisposed to criminal behavior, whether they have specific personality traits and many other private, personal details that could carry huge social consequences, he said.

Kosinski, an assistant professor of organizational behavior, said he was studying links between facial features and political preferences, with preliminary results showing that AI is effective at guessing people’s ideologies based on their faces.

Facial recognition may also be used to make inferences about IQ, said Kosinski, suggesting a future in which schools could use the results of facial scans when considering prospective students. This application raises a host of ethical questions, particularly if the AI is purporting to reveal whether certain children are genetically more intelligent, he said: “We should be thinking about what to do to make sure we don’t end up in a world where better genes means a better life.”

Some of Kosinski’s suggestions conjure up the 2002 science-fiction film Minority Report, in which police arrest people before they have committed crimes based on predictions of future murders. The professor argued that certain areas of society already function in a similar way.

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Kosinski is also known for his controversial work on psychometric profiling, including using Facebook data to draw inferences about personality. The data firm Cambridge Analytica has used similar tools to target voters in support of Donald Trump’s campaign, sparking debate about the use of personal voter information in campaigns.


Hackers Have Already Started to Weaponize Artificial Intelligence: Weaponized A.I. – 36 Early Examples

From a positive perspective, AI will create more efficient systems for leveraging advertising dollars, and for you as the consumer, to only see products and deals that you’re interested in.

However, an A.I. system like this will be equally good at scoping out your main vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and liabilities.

In much the same way Google’s personalized marketing system delivers targeted ads, a weaponized intimidation engine will be capable of delivering highly targeted threats.

As A.I. cyber crimes escalate, we run the risk of having our social structures deteriorate into invisible mafia-style communities with the blackmailers ruling the blackmailees, and few, if any, capable of understanding the behind-the-scenes war zones?

... Anyone who thought that privacy wasn’t all that important in the past will quickly come to an entirely different conclusion once weaponized A.I. touches them directly.

Privacy has a way of masking our personal foibles and overall weaknesses. Look for an entire new wave of privacy concerns and privacy demands to take center stage over the coming years.


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... In the hands of a terrorist, weaponized A.I. can also be formed around an unpredictable chaos engine, whose sole purpose is to disrupt as many people, places, and things as possible.

Using next generation A.I. masking tools, the wrongdoers will maintain a far-distant relationship from the path of destruction they’ve created, hiding any direct ties to the actual puppet masters in the background.

Once a well-crafted A.I. weapon is launched, it can operate on its own creating devastation and mayhem for months, years, perhaps even decades into the future.

Ironically, the greatest tool for fighting an A.I. weapon is more A.I. This will likely become our next big arms race with the smart good guys trying to stay one step ahead of the smart bad guys.

Weaponized A.I. is coming. The first iteration will be crude and poorly implemented, but the 2nd and 3rd generation of this technology will be far more menacing.


Security Researcher Predicts Creepy Scenario for Hacked Sex Robots
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 13 Sep 2017, 10:17:44

The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine

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“This is a propaganda machine. It’s targeting people individually to recruit them to an idea. It’s a level of social engineering that I’ve never seen before. They’re capturing people and then keeping them on an emotional leash and never letting them go”

- Prof. Jonathan Albright


Albright, an assistant professor and data scientist at Elon University, started digging into fake news sites after Donald Trump was elected president. Through extensive research and interviews with Albright and other key experts in the field, including Samuel Woolley, Head of Research at Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project, and Martin Moore, Director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power at Kings College, it became clear to Scout that this phenomenon was about much more than just a few fake news stories. It was a piece of a much bigger and darker puzzle -- a Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine being used to manipulate our opinions and behavior to advance specific political agendas.

By leveraging automated emotional manipulation alongside swarms of bots, Facebook dark posts, A/B testing, and fake news networks, a company called Cambridge Analytica has activated an invisible machine that preys on the personalities of individual voters to create large shifts in public opinion. Many of these technologies have been used individually to some effect before, but together they make up a nearly impenetrable voter manipulation machine that is quickly becoming the new deciding factor in elections around the world.

The company is owned and controlled by conservative and alt-right interests that are also deeply entwined in the Trump administration. The Mercer family is both a major owner of Cambridge Analytica and one of Trump’s biggest donors. Steve Bannon, former Trump’s Chief Strategist and a member of the White House Security Council, is a Cambridge Analytica board member. Until recently, Analytica’s CTO was the acting CTO at the Republican National Convention.


Conservative Media Dominated Coverage of 2016 Campaign, Report Finds

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With surprising ease, the far right led mainstream media to cover its preferred issues, massive Berkman Klein study finds

Though it's fashionable to declare that everybody is trapped in social and ideological echo chambers, the study, "Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election," found that highly partisan content was far more pervasive in the conservative media than on the left. Consumers of right-leaning news outlets wound up insulated, seeing a narrower array of stories from a smaller group of producers and shielded from news produced outside the conservative media ecosystem. Instead, users had an information diet larded with political disinformation, propaganda, half-truths, conspiracy theories, hoaxes, and even "fake news" far more frequently than users following left or center-left news producers like Mother Jones or even NBC News.

On social media, stories shared on Twitter skewed more partisan than on the open web, while Facebook shares were even more partisan than on Twitter. In fact, a story's popularity on Facebook strongly correlated with how partisan it was and how dubious its veracity was. Of the top 100 media sources, in a ranking measured by links or social media sharing, seven of the most partisan outlets on the left and right—Breitbart, Daily Kos, Gateway Pundit, Raw Story, PoliticusUSA, Right Scoop, and BizPacReview—dominated social media attention.
"The social media platforms have to really decide what their obligations to the public sphere are," ... "Thus far, the platforms have essentially been remarkably hands-off," a reality perhaps exacerbated by the fact that "the truth is not always the most profitable direction."

Nicco Mele, director of the Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics & Public Policy which has also studied 2016 election coverage, said he found the study's findings about how information is produced, distributed, and manipulated "breathtaking."

"What surprised me was not that there are people out there creating this kind of content. It doesn't even surprise me that there are audiences for that content. What surprised me was the ease with which malicious, untrue content moved into the mainstream media and the information diets of everyday Americans," he said.

... If, as the report suggests, the core problem is our "paranoid" political discourse and norms and that many people desire extreme information, there's no technological solution, said Benkler, whose scholarship focuses on how the internet shapes democracy.

Ultimately, he hopes that journalists will read the report and understand that they are now operating in a "disinformation-rich environment" comparable to that of reporters who once staffed the Moscow bureau of American newspapers during the days of Pravda.

They need "to understand that there's a distinct propagandist effort, that it succeeded in this election in hijacking their agenda, and to practice 'defensive journalism,'" he said. Instead of just distrusting every source equally as a signal of professional neutrality, they need to pay "special attention to the fact that you're being manipulated by everyone, and, in particular, there seems to be a campaign on the right."

An important audience to reach with this report, he said, involves American conservatives, who would benefit from a reminder that a shared public sphere is a "precondition" for democracy.


Hackers Have Already Started to Weaponize Artificial Intelligence

Last year, two data scientists from security firm ZeroFOX conducted an experiment to see who was better at getting Twitter users to click on malicious links, humans or an artificial intelligence. The researchers taught an AI to study the behavior of social network users, and then design and implement its own phishing bait. In tests, the artificial hacker was substantially better than its human competitors, composing and distributing more phishing tweets than humans, and with a substantially better conversion rate.

The AI, named SNAP_R, sent simulated spear-phishing tweets to over 800 users at a rate of 6.75 tweets per minute, luring 275 victims. By contrast, Forbes staff writer Thomas Fox-Brewster, who participated in the experiment, was only able to pump out 1.075 tweets a minute, making just 129 attempts and luring in just 49 users.

... many of the cybersecurity experts we spoke to said machine intelligence is already being used by hackers, and that criminals are more sophisticated in their use of this emerging technology than many people realize.


Facebook Acknowledges Russian Ads In 2016 Election.

It is illegal in the US for foreigners to advertise or spend to influence an election. Clearly that happened and it took Facebook the best part of a year to tell anyone, or perhaps even to realise.

Common Cause has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, alleging that some of the ads violated federal laws that bar foreign interference in U.S. campaigns. In a second request, for investigations by the Justice Department and special counsel Robert Mueller, Common Cause says the ads "pose a direct threat to democracy and national security." Mueller is investigating whether there was any collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

Facebook's chief security officer, Alex Stamos, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday that the ads cost about $100,000. He said they were connected to about 470 "inauthentic" Facebook pages and accounts, which seemed to be affiliated and "likely operated out of Russia."
... “The behavior displayed by these accounts to amplify divisive messages was consistent with the techniques mentioned in the white paper we released in April about information operations.”


Russia Used Facebook Events to Organize Anti-Immigrant Rallies on U.S. Soil

Pushing fake news was just one component of the Russian campaign to shape American minds. Part two: organizing anti-immigrant events echoing themes from the pro-Trump press.


You never know with Russian dezinformatsiya. There are many things the Russian intelligence machine probably does, yet very little you can prove it has actually done.


Facebook needs to answer these questions about the Russian campaign to influence American voters

Here are the questions Facebook has yet to answer and why it matters. We’ve sent this list of questions to Facebook
- What were the demographics of the users who saw the ads, and how were they targeted?

- What were the 470 accounts connected to the ad campaign?

- What was in the ads, and what types of ads were they?

- Was there any overlap between the content used by the Russian campaign and other known campaigns?

- Was there any overlap between the content used by the Russian campaign and other known campaigns?


If Mark Zuckerberg runs for president, will Facebook help him win?

Facebook can shift elections. That’s why, with rumors swirling that the social media CEO might run, transparency is needed now more than ever. Facebook must be regulated like the broadcast medium that it has become.

Despite his protestations to the contrary, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been acting like someone planning to run for office. He hired a pollster, visited a Detroit auto plant and other swing-state locations, and gave a high-profile commencement speech.

... The Facebook platform already has the ability to shift the outcome election if it so chooses. Setting aside the issue of so-called ‘fake news’ and its spread on the platform during 2016, Facebook itself is a powerful tool of voter mobilization and information.

My own research demonstrates that seeing one’s Facebook friends praise others for voting increases turnout; other work finds that exposure to voting-related posts on Facebook increases turnout.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s internal research shows that exposing users to voting reminders that include pictures or names of friends also makes them more likely to vote. Algorithmic shifts that prioritize showing these kinds of messages to certain groups of voters and suppressing them from others could theoretically be used to help a particular candidate.

The algorithm makes Facebook different from other media – we don’t see a customized TV feed or hear different radio songs based on what we’ve liked before. This algorithm has long been a black box for people outside of the company. Now, it’s time for the platform to explain how it influences what political content gets spread on the network.


Mark Zuckerberg Denies that Facebook is Trapping Its Users in 'Filter Bubbles'; But They Are

... There's a popular theory around social media called the "filter bubble." It's the idea that as users naturally subscribe and follow other users that share their interests, they get trapped in a self-reinforcing feedback loop: All they see is more information that "confirms" their beliefs, while dissenting opinions get filtered out.

Sorting algorithms, which show the user what they supposed want to see, only reinforce this "bubble" — cutting off users from the real world.


Virginia is replacing some of its electronic voting machines over security concerns

A demonstration at Defcon helped prompt the decision

Virginia’s State Election Board decided to replace all of its direct-voting electronic voting machines following a recommendation from the state’s Department of Elections on Friday, according to Politico (via Engadget). The devices will be replaced by machines that “produce a paper trail.”

Virginia is poised to hold a general election in November, and the Virginia Information Technology Agency issued an initial report to the Department that stated that “in each of the [DRE] systems, the potential for loss of vote is significant, as none of the machines appear to produce paper audit trails during the voting process.”

The state’s Board of Elections at a demonstration at Defcon in July, hackers showed that a variety of voting systems could easily be tampered with, including ones used by the state. The board noted that other reasons for its recommendation include the state of the “current security environment surrounding the election administration, and that the machines don’t produce a physical paper trail to verify votes.

In sum,” wrote board Commissioner Edgardo Cortes:
... “the Department of Elections believes that the risks presented by using this equipment in the November General Election are sufficiently significant to warrant immediate decertification to ensure the continued integrity of Virginia elections.”


New Study Shows Trump Fans Can Be Easily Coaxed Into Being More Racist

It’s easy to turn trump supporters against government assistance programs—just show them a picture of a black man.

That’s the conclusion of a new study, which suggests that white resentment is a key driving force for supporting Donald Trump. The study, soon to be published in Research & Politics, found that white Trump supporters were more likely to back a federal mortgage aid program if they were first exposed to an image of a white man. However, when they were shown an image of a black man, white Trump supporters weren’t only less likely to support the aid program, but were angrier about the policy, and more likely to blame potential beneficiaries of the program for their own predicament.

Researchers were keen to stress that white Trump supporters in particular responded more to racial cues. While factors like ideology, income, and age did not correlate with responsiveness to racial cues, support for Trump did. This was not just because of strong affiliation with any candidate, but appeared to be specific to Trump. Support for Hillary Clinton, for instance, was also not linked to responsiveness to racial cues. “Importantly, these effects were exclusive to attitudes toward Trump: effects of the racial cue did not differ according to feelings about Hillary Clinton,” researchers note in the paper. “Thus, Trump supporters and opponents respond in fundamentally different ways to racial cues in the environment.”
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 13 Sep 2017, 12:23:19

DSEI 2017: Future Warships Will Have a 'Mind' of Their Own, says Royal Navy Chief

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Warships will soon have computer assistants with a “Mind” of their own, according to Britain's First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to play a key role in the future of the service, with new ships being equipped with systems similar to "intelligent personal assistants", he said.

The military has been focusing on developing its AI capabilities and recently held its first "hackathon".

New Type 31e frigates will come with app-based tools able to access the ship's data using touch screen displays and voice-controlled systems, Admiral Jones said.

"This is not a gimmick or a fad," ... "As modern warfare becomes ever faster, and ever more data driven, our greatest asset will be the ability to cut through the deluge of information to think and act decisively.

"Under Project NELSON, the Royal Navy aims to develop a ship's 'mind' at the centre of our warships and headquarters to enable rapid decision making in complex, fast moving operations."

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Video ... At a briefing titled "Artificial Intelligence in Royal Navy Warships" hosted by non-profit TechUK, Blighty's navy announced it was keen to explore the potential of using machine-learning to improve operational capability in its fighting units under Project NELSON.

Developed by Roke Manor Research, the company claims it is the first supplier to integrate AI software into a Defence Science and Technology Laboratory-sponsored maritime combat system demonstrator.

Mike Hook, lead software architect on STARTLE at Roke, told The Register: “It’s hard to implement new technology in warships because it has so much proprietary software. But integrating STARTLE will give it new data to do trials with.”

Roke describes STARTLE as “machine situation awareness” software. It works by using a neural network and machine learning to process information and flag warning signs in a similar way to the fear condition system found in mammalian brains.

It resembles how the amygdala – a set of neurons located within the brain’s temporal lobes – reacts towards sensory data to learn about danger, Hook explained.

“It roots through big fat piles of data and has been trained to recognize threats. It’s a goal-driven threat accessor. It monitors multiple sources of information and has a queuing system build up a body of information to assess and confirm potential threats by going through a series of criteria like a human would do,” Hook said.

Hook doesn’t see the software as being problematic. “It’s a kind of augmented intelligence that can cope with much more complex situations to help inform human decision making.”


AI Will Now Have Input in Air Force Decision-Making

Algorithms will now bring artificial intelligence into the Air Force’s planning, programming, budgeting, and execution process. According to the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), this step marks the first stage of Project Quantum, an effort to use machine-learning resources to enhance decision-making capabilities among top military leaders.

The first step is a contract with SparkCognition, an artificial intelligence-focused company based in Austin, Texas. The machine-learning programs applied to the Air Force decision-making data will be common to those of the company’s SparkPredict programs, according to a press release.
“We are customizing an AI engine for the Air Force to provide actionable insights and behavior predictions,” ... “SparkCognition will apply cutting-edge technology that will benefit our troops and our national security.”

- Tim Stefanick, Director of Federal Operations at SparkCognition

According to SparkCognition, the focus of the Air Force algorithm program will be on recognizing and modeling higher-order patterns. The goal of the project is to process data corresponding to a wide variety of Air Force planning and programming practices in order to derive a model capable of informing future decisions related to these spheres.

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Militant Groups Have Drones. Now What?

... The threat posed by militant groups flying drones is as much about where the threat is coming from—the sky—as it is about the munitions being launched. Militaries fighting militant groups have enjoyed air superiority for decades. US soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, for example, have rarely, if ever, feared attacks from the air. Civilians and humanitarian groups in Syria worry about air strikes from Assad’s regime, but not from militant groups like ISIS. The adoption of drones by militant groups is therefore generating a novel challenge.

Speaking at a conference in May, Gen. Raymond Thomas, head of the US Special Operations Command, called commercial drones the “most daunting problem” his troops had faced over the previous year. At one point, he said, the anti-ISIS campaign “nearly came to a screeching halt, where literally over 24 hours there were 70 drones in the air.”

... For example, today it is easy to acquire infrared cameras adapted for use on UAVs. It is plausible to imagine a near future in which militant groups program short- or medium-range drones equipped with these sensors to seek and destroy anything with a heat signature.

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Drone Swarms vs Conventional Arms: China’s Military Debate

“Clearly the US and China are in some sort of weird swarm race,” says Paul Scharre, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security who writes on military robotics. “A swarm with 10 more individual drones isn’t necessarily better. What matters are the things you can’t see. It’s the algorithms that govern the swarm behaviour.”

Swarms take the might of drones one step further. “The essence of a swarm is co-operation,” adds Mr Scharre. “Having a hundred or a thousand small cheap drones that can’t communicate and co-ordinate behaviour isn’t worth much. What’s valuable is if they can communicate and work cooperatively. That’s a difference between a wolf pack and just little wolves.

This goes all the way back to the tactics of Attila the Hun,” says Randall Steeb, senior engineer at the Rand Corporation in the US. “A light attack force that can defeat more powerful and sophisticated opponents. They come out of nowhere, attack from all sides and then disappear, over and over.”


Army Wargames Russian Electronic Warfare & Cyber Attacks

Army soldiers tried to detect and fend off simulated Russian electronic warfare and cyberattacks in a Cyber Quest exercise aimed at preparing the service for fast-evolving current and future cyber threats.

... For the first time for the Army, the training included a specified synthesis between cyber and electronic warfare attacks, as the two are often intertwined, Morrison explained.

The current EW and cyber attack environment was a specific focus of the exercise, but the possibility of Russian hacking is very much on the radar. Russian electronic warfare tactics used during the invasion of Ukraine were, without question, noticed around the world. These attacks demonstrated an improved ability for EW technologies to locate and jam enemy radio signals with greater effect and at longer distances.

Russian sensors were able to detect electronic signatures emanating from radio antennas and dismounted communication technologies used by soldiers in combat. This dynamic led the exercise to address the overlap between EW and cyber defenses, underscoring the need to design EW hardware so that it can quickly embrace new software upgrades and patches needed to respond to new threats.
...


Air Force Won’t Say What Happened In Fatal Area 51 Crash

The tragic death of Lt. Col. Eric Schultz last week on a weapons testing range in Nevada has attracted an inordinate amount of interest.

And it’s because of what we don’t know.

The US Air Force has pointedly refused to reveal what aircraft he was at the controls of when the fatal accident occurred. It also took them three days to even admit his death.

This is in stark contrast to another accident, at the same range, in the same week. Details of an accident involving two A-10 ground-attack jets that forced their pilots to eject were released within hours.

So what could possibly cause such reluctance to reveal the circumstances of Schultz’s death?

“I can definitely say it was not an F-35,” Air Force chief of staff Gen. David L. Goldfein stated over the weekend.

So what was it?

The USAF is remaining tight-lipped.

All we know is the unspecified aircraft crashed about 6 p.m. some 124 miles northwest of Nellis Air Force Base in the Nevada Test and Training Range. This range is also home to the extremely secretive “Area 51” research and development facility.

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 14 Sep 2017, 12:30:54

And now for a brief musical interlude ...

Nigel Stanford: "Automatica"

... “I wanted to explore the concepts of robotics, the singularity, Artificial Intelligence etc” Stanford explains. “I also just thought it would be cool to see a robot explode a piano.”
https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/14/nigel ... utomatica/
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 14 Sep 2017, 14:04:28

EU Cyber WarGame Tests Politicians' Ability to Deal With a Major Attack

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The 'EU Cybrid' cyber defence exercise took place as part of a meeting of European Union (EU) defence ministers in Tallinn. The scenario for the table-top wargame was a fictitious orchestrated cyber-attack against an EU-led military operation, involving both an EU headquarters in Rome and attacks on EU naval forces.

"The scope of the exercise is crisis response to a major offensive cyber campaign against EU military structures in a hybrid warfare context," said the European Defence Agency (EDA), which was one of the organisers of the exercise, along with the Estonian ministry of defence.

... The objective of the session was to practice how ministers would respond to a cyber-attack against the EU's military organisations, and to help develop guidelines to be used in such a real-life crisis -- and to make ministers more aware of the potential effects of offensive cyber-campaigns.

A number of cyber defence exercises -- such as the annual Locked Shields event, which also takes place in Tallinn -- focus on the technical responses to cyber attacks, but the EU Cybrid exercise is the first to involve politicians at such a senior level.

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Critical Bluetooth Flaw Could Put Nearly Every Connected Device at Risk of Cyberattack

Video - A new attack vector called BlueBorne could put billions of connected devices at risk of a cyberattack, according to research from Armis Labs. According to an overview post, BlueBorne puts mobile, desktop, and IoT devices running Android, iOS, Windows, or Linux at risk.
"The BlueBorne attack vector can potentially affect all devices with Bluetooth capabilities, estimated at over 8.2 billion devices today"

Using BlueBorne, hackers can attack Bluetooth-connected devices over the air, without the device even being paired to the attacker's device, the post said. Once successfully penetrated, the attacker gains full control over the victim's device.

The method through which BlueBorne spreads allows it to infect air-gapped networks as well, which was a major concern for the researchers. Additionally, it takes minimal effort on behalf of the attacker, requires no victim interaction, and can remain undetected in many systems, the post said.

... Because BlueBorne is airborne, and can spread from device to device, it is considered "highly infectious" by the researchers. It's airborne nature also means that it is often targeting the weakest spot in the defense strategy for most modern networks, the post added. ...


Kaspersky Lab Antivirus Software Is Ordered Off U.S. Government Computers

WASHINGTON — The federal government moved on Wednesday to wipe from its computer systems any software made by a prominent Russian cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky Lab, that is being investigated by the F.B.I. for possible links to Russian security services.

... On Wednesday, Elaine C. Duke, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, ordered federal agencies to develop plans to remove Kaspersky software from government systems in the next 90 days.
... The risk that the Russian government, whether acting on its own or in collaboration with Kaspersky, could capitalize on access provided by Kaspersky products to compromise federal information and information systems directly implicates US national security... The Department's priority is to ensure the integrity and security of federal information systems.

DHS Binding Operational Directive 17-01

Wednesday’s announcement is the latest instance of the apparent disconnect between the Trump White House, which has often downplayed the threat of Russian interference to the country’s infrastructure, and front-line American law enforcement and intelligence officials, who are engaged in a perpetual shadow war against Moscow-directed operatives.

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Confusion Hits Consumer Market Over U.S. Ban of Kaspersky Software

Best Buy Pulls Kaspersky Lab Products after Concerns over Ties to the Russian Government

U.S. ‘Incredibly Lucky’ To Have Avoided Cyber Calamity This Long

“We’ve been incredibly lucky but I do believe that things may change,” Charles Carmakal, vice president of Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm owned by FireEye of Milpitas, California, said at a forum Wednesday.
“It doesn’t take much effort to imagine the consequences of an attack that knocks out power in Boston in February or power in Phoenix in July”

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats opened the 8th Annual Billington Cybersecurity Summit with a warning that digital threats to the United States are mounting.

“We have not experienced — yet — a catastrophic attack. But I think everyone in this room is aware of the ever-growing threat to our national security,” Coats said, adding that attacks on electrical grids and other utilities are a rising concern.

Chinese state-sponsored hackers had shown their ability to penetrate into sensitive U.S. energy companies.

“I have seen first-hand Chinese military actors and other state-sponsored entities gain access to the operations, technology and environments of oil and gas companies and nuclear power plants,” he said. “Essentially they had the ability to actually cause significant disruption to those organizations. They could shut down the distribution of electricity.”


Millions Swelter in Florida; Nursing Home With No Power Becomes Death Trap for 8 Patients

It's an Alpha Male Thing: What Dominant Chimpanzees and Donald Trump Have In Common

... For human beings today, dominance and prestige compete with each other as the two primal expressions of leadership.

When it comes to US presidents, we expect to see a bit of both.

For Trump, however, it is dominance all the way through.

In the prestige paradigm of leadership, the president’s cabinet would be viewed as a body of experts charged with running government agencies and providing the president with critical advice. But under the aegis of dominance, specific expertise is irrelevant. What matters instead is fealty to the alpha.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sat 16 Sep 2017, 10:22:53

Pizza Delivery by Robot Cars has Arrived

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Domino's Pizza and Ford have paired up in a pilot project that will look at how humans interact with driverless food-delivery cars. Ann Arbor is home to thousands of students, an age group not likely to view this new technology with suspicion. But it could turn into a fascinating social experiment for the food industry.

Customers ordering through Domino's will be able to track their delivery in real time by using a downloadable app on their smartphones. They receive a text message that gives them a four-digit code to use once the car arrives. No tipping will reduce price points, making delivered pizzas more affordable. For cash-strapped students, that's key.
Domino's delivers more than a billion pizzas annually, and has more than 100,000 drivers. Running a driverless fleet could save the company millions.

Restaurant operators won't need to deal with the headache of hiring the right people for delivery, and delivery is an important means of expanding the brand outside their facilities.


Moduform furniture deploys smart robot to handle labor shortage

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... "In the furniture business, many of the production jobs can be monotonous or temporary due to the seasonality of customer demand. Because of this, we can struggle with employee turnover and finding workers who are willing to simply pick up and put down parts all day long,"

- Josh Weissman, CEO at Moduform

Sawyer is currently being used in the work cell to help assemble drawers. Sawyer's versatility allows the robot to be used on various tasks to build the drawer, including picking up parts from the pick pallet, pushing them into place, sliding them into a dovetail machine, turning on the machine, retracting the piece and repeating the process until the drawer is complete.

Sawyer ensures each piece is aligned correctly and is the correct dimensions. Moduform's manufacturing engineer is quickly able to deploy Sawyer on different tasks based on what application Sawyer would be most helpful for on any given day.

Video ... "With Sawyer, we don't have to worry about finding people to complete these tasks. We can focus on recruiting workers for advanced work, such as cognitive jobs that leverage technology on the factory floor, and offer career advancement opportunities."


Wages Are Stagnating, Robots Are Taking Our Jobs. This Democrat Has A $1.4 Trillion Solution.

Northern California Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) plans to unveil Wednesday legislation that will give substantial tax credits to low- and middle-income Americans. His goals include combating two of the most troublesome aspects of the American economy: income stagnation within the working class and rising instability caused by a shift from secure jobs with benefits to jobs (or gigs) lacking them.

More broadly, he’s motivated by surging interest in Silicon Valley in using income redistribution as compensation for the costs imposed on workers by increasing automation.

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How the Khanna-Brown plan compares to the current EITC (proposed credits are rendered in purple)

"There are a variety of ways to pay for such a large expansion of the EITC, including a financial transaction tax, closing special interest tax loopholes, and raising revenue from the top 1 percent of earners," he recently explained. "I’m happy to have that conversation with my colleagues in Congress. I also look forward to learning more about the House Republican offsets to pay for their $5 to $7 trillion worth of tax cuts for corporations and the very wealthy."

The tax credit enjoys broad bipartisan support: Liberal economists like its impact on reducing poverty through redistribution, while libertarian economists like it both because it spurs some people — particularly single parents — to enter the workforce and because it is inexpensive to administer. Overhead costs are under 2 percent, compared to 20 to 25 percent for a program like food stamps.
"... given the costs of displacement by automation technology and robotics for the people, there is a very strong case for policies to facilitate the transition."

... Khanna also presents his plan as a response to the rise of the “gig economy” an issue that overlaps with, but is not identical to, both the automation and wage-stagnation questions. It would help the growing legions of independent contractors, like Uber drivers, who aren't protected by minimum wage laws.

The economists Alan Krueger and Lawrence Katz estimate that almost all new net jobs have come in the gig economy, expanding from roughly 9 million to 14 million jobs between 2005 and 2014. Though gig workers are earning a paycheck, they are stranded without with the safety net that benefits can provide.
Last edited by vox_mundi on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 11:56:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 16 Sep 2017, 10:57:57

Some of you appear to have not read this thread on human obsolescence:
http://peakoil.com/forums/obsolete-t73001.html
KaiserJeep 2.0, Neural Subnode 0010 0000 0001 0110 - 1001 0011 0011, Tertiary Adjunct to Unimatrix 0000 0000 0001

Resistance is Futile, YOU will be Assimilated.

Warning: Messages timestamped before April 1, 2016, 06:00 PST were posted by the unmodified human KaiserJeep 1.0
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sat 16 Sep 2017, 11:54:02

Future US Navy Accident Investigations Will Look for Cyber Attacks

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The fleet’s info-warfare chief has a team aboard the damaged USS McCain. The main thing she expects to learn is how to do this kind of investigation.

“There was no indication in either account that cyber had anything to do with either of these, so we put the team onto McCain to go confirm that,” said Tighe, whose dual titles are deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, and director of naval intelligence.

Tighe’s team is still sifting through cyber data they recovered. So far, they have turned up nothing suspicious aboard McCain, so she hasn’t sent a similar group to the other destroyer, Tighe said.

“Codifying how we will do these types of mishap investigations to account for a cyber component going forward is where we will learn from the results of the McCain investigation,” she said. Eventually, the Navy will “make it part of the normal process of how we do mishap investigations.”


Naval Intelligence Director: Navy Must Learn to Fight Through Cyber-Attacks

Following a 2013 cyber-attack on Navy computer systems by Iran, the Navy sought to develop better strategies for mitigating such events. Following the fix — Operation Rolling Tide — Tighe said cyber security experts in the Department of Defense started looking at cyber-attacks differently.

Now, once security experts detect a cyber-attack, the typical response is shut down all systems and then scrub them for malicious code or software, said Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Information Warfare/Director of Naval Intelligence.

“[At sea]you can’t shut down the propulsion, and the navigation system and the communication system while you clean up,” she said. - “That’s not going to work.” ...


C.I.A. Wants to Expand Its Drone Strike Authority Despite Pentagon Concerns

Until now, the Pentagon has had the lead role for conducting airstrikes — with drones or other aircraft — against militants in Afghanistan and other conflict zones, such as Somalia and Libya and, to some extent, Yemen. The military publicly acknowledges its strikes, unlike the C.I.A., which for roughly a decade has carried out its own campaign of covert drone strikes in Pakistan that were not acknowledged by either country, a condition that Pakistan’s government has long insisted on.

C.I.A.’s director, Mike Pompeo, has publicly suggested that Mr. Trump favors granting the C.I.A. greater authorities to go after militants, though he has been vague about specifics, nearly all of which are classified. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has not resisted the C.I.A. proposal, administration officials said, but other Pentagon officials question the expansion of C.I.A. authorities in Afghanistan or elsewhere, asking what the agency can do that the military cannot.

Some Pentagon officials also fear that American troops on the ground in Afghanistan could end up bearing the burden of any C.I.A. strikes that accidentally kill civilians, because the agency will not publicly acknowledge those attacks.


DSEI: Navy Poised to Order Second Vessel for ACTUV Sea Hunter Test Program

LONDON — The U.S. Navy is preparing to take full control of the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program and procure a second craft. A third might also be built as the Office of Naval Research (ONR) starts to evaluate additional roles for the autonomous wave-piercing trimaran design, an industry executive disclosed at the DSEI exhibition in London.
“We’re pretty excited, frankly, to have a very capable vehicle that has lots of payload capacity, long legs, great sea-keeping ability, and we’re going to start exploring this whole space”, Hahn told USNI News.

The ONR is planning to assess the vessel’s suitability for roles other than submarine hunting, such as logistics support, hydrographic survey and surveillance. Sea Hunter has already demonstrated the Towed Airborne Lift of Naval Systems (TALONS), employing a parakite to elevate various sensors, increasing their range and enhancing the vessel’s situational awareness.

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Asked if the ACTUV would receive a self-defense capability, Hahn replied: “It’s certainly something we need to explore as we think about that vehicle [operating] alone, as opposed to operating in concert with a battle group or other surface formation.”


US Army Tackles Teaming Robots and Ground Forces on Battlefield

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An automated direct/indirect mortar system suppresses enemy fire during a robotics demonstration at the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga., on July 22, 2017

... "Much of the technology is there to drive robotics and autonomy into maneuver formations, but when it comes to developing the tactics, techniques and procedures, the Army is figuring out “how we want to massage this,” said Robert Sadowski, robotics chief with the Army‘s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center. “The next 10 to 15 years will help us figure out how we want to embed robotics and autonomous systems into the formation.”

Sadowski said the U.S. military obviously isn’t the only military in the world developing robotic and autonomous capabilities. Russia, for example, has fielded similar capabilities and is testing them in combat in Syria.


Ukraine Sokol Killer Drone Analysis

US Policy is 'NOT to Defend Canada' In any N Korea Attack

BBC: ... Lt Gen Pierre St-Amand, [b]deputy commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command, told the national defence committee in Ottawa there is no policy that requires the US to aid Canada in any nuclear attack.

Gen St-Amand told MPs: "The extent of the US policy is not to defend Canada. "That's the fact I can bring to the table."


BAE Systems To Study Military Application Of Laser Directed Energy Weapons



Pilot Dies in 'Classified' Plane Crash at Nevada Training Range

... The aircraft, the type of which wasn't specified, was assigned to Air Force Materiel Command and was flying a training mission at the time of the mishap, the release states.

"Information about the type of aircraft involved is classified and not releasable," Maj. Christina Sukach, chief of public affairs for the 99 Air Base Wing at Nellis, said in an email.

Schultz was a U.S. Air Force combat veteran and test pilot, ... [he] also held management positions, serving as director of operations and exchange officer at the Canadian Forces Flight Test Center, and performed systems engineering for the Airborne Laser program. Schultz was the senior scientist and business development manger at the Pratt & Whitney Seattle Aerosciences Center, and a rotary wing flight test engineer at the Naval Air Warfare Center. Schultz in 2011 was also named the 28th pilot to fly the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a stealthy fifth-generation fighter jet made by Lockheed Martin Corp.

It wasn't immediately clear why Friday's release came three days after an accident involving a fatality.

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http://deepbluehorizon.blogspot.com/201 ... -also.html

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https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nat ... s/9007123/
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sat 16 Sep 2017, 11:59:35

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Max Tegmark’s new book on artificial intelligence, Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, explores how AI will impact life as it grows increasingly advanced, perhaps even achieving superintelligence far beyond human level in all areas. For the book, Max surveys experts’ forecasts, and explores a broad spectrum of views on what will/should happen.

In Life 3.0, Max explores 12 possible future scenarios, describing what might happen in the coming millennia if superintelligence is/isn’t developed. You can find a cheatsheet that quickly describes each here, but for a more detailed look at the positives and negatives of each possibility, check out chapter 4 of the book. Here’s a breakdown so far of the options people prefer: ...
Examples:

Protector God: Essentially omniscient and omnipotent AI maximizes human happiness by intervening only in ways that preserve our feeling of control of our own destiny and hides well enough that many humans even doubt the AI’s existence.
...
Conquerors: AI takes control, decides that humans are a threat/nuisance/waste of resources and gets rid of us by a method that we don’t even understand.

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 19 Sep 2017, 13:04:55

And you thought they were there for the fishes ...

Marine National Monuments Are Defense Assets

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American taxpayers pay billions of dollars for the best submarine fleet in the world. But this huge national investment is at risk if Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, as reported in the Washington Post, shrinks two large marine national monuments the deep Pacific Ocean and opens the rest to an undefined mix of commercial and traditional activities.
... "Ceding federal control of strategic territory that is larger than the Louisiana Purchase would be an epic strategic blunder"

Having a relatively protected sea to hide in near a supply base makes a submarine’s life far easier. During the Cold War, as a superior U.S. fleet lurked outside of Soviet submarine bases, the Communist Navy cobbled together large undersea refuges, hiding their strategic ballistic missile submarines behind a protective barrier of coastal defense missiles, ships and aircraft. Some analysts believe China is doing the same thing today in the South China Sea, complicating American efforts to track and monitor an expanding PLA(N) submarine fleet.

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America’s Marine Monuments are ecological wonderlands, but they are also strategically located along key U.S. submarine operational areas. In the Atlantic, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument may, in time, help the 13 attack submarines based at Groton, Connecticut, sneak into the deep Atlantic. West of Hawaii, the seamount-dotted Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument may offer sanctuary to America’s 18 Pearl Harbor-based subs, helping these high-tech “fish” train and make their stealthy way into the deep Pacific.

Guam is set to be critical submarine territory, and the unique hydrological features protected by the nearby marine monument may help American submarines slip into striking positions off North Korea, Taiwan, or elsewhere.

China is risking war to impose control upon a similarly sized stretch of the South China Sea. The value of these territories is less in their economic contribution than their strategic potential.


Cyber Attack Could Sink Cruise Ships, Warns U.K. Government

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The British government has announced a new cyber security code of practice for ships.

It warned that with the development of autonomous and partly-autonomous vessels, the industry is potentially “more vulnerable to cyber attacks”.

Cruise ships could be sunk by cyber terrorists, or Vessels could be vulnerable to “kidnap, piracy, fraud [and] theft of cargo” if their computer systems are compromised, the Transport Department said.

At worse a cyber-hack could result in “risk to life and/or the loss of the ship”, the industry was also told.

The concern is that hackers could distort mapping equipment or the ship's controls, causing it to hit another vessel or run aground.

The dire warnings were made in a “Cyber Security for Ships” code of practice, written by the Institution of Engineering and Technology and distributed by Whitehall.

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https://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/secur ... navigation


(U//FOUO) Asymmetric Warfare Group Russian New Generation Warfare Handbook

...(U) CYBER

(U) Russia’s developing capabilities have also incorporated the cyber realm. The U.S. dependence on computer networks and the amount of technology present even at the company level, create vulnerabilities to Russia’s new found capabilities. Contributing factors for increased cyber-attacks are their low risk to high pay off ratio and increasingly interconnected U.S. military networks. Everyday U.S. military functions, such as Web-based or computer generated administrative and logistical operations or activities. This creates a significant vulnerability to cyber intrusion and network degradation.

(U) Cyber-attacks can effectively shape the battlefield and require very little risk on the part of the perpetrator. Since U.S. formations operate under self-imposed restrictions, like ethical hacking(?) :-D and prioritizing protective measures over offensives(?) :-D in the cyber realm, they are limited in their capabilities compared to Russian counterparts.

(U//FOUO) Russia is also able to reach into its nonmilitary cyber expertise to complement their military capabilities. The Kremlin cooperates with criminal hacker groups and the Russian government employs thousands of professional hackers as part of their whole of government Information Operations strategy. This severely outnumbers U.S. military cyber capabilities and means that U.S. brigades could be subjected to cyber-attacks from pro-Russian sympathizers in countries not even involved in a conflict.

(U) As with the degraded communication environment, Cyber Meaconing Intrusion, Jamming and Intercept (MIJI) is a very real threat to U.S. formations.

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NSA Hacking Toolkit

NSA Compromised the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) Network

It seems that the NSA sought to totally capture the backbone of international financial system to have a God’s eye into a SWIFT Service Bureau?— and potentially the entire SWIFT network. This would fit within standard procedure as a covert entity entrusted with covert actions that may or may not be legal in a technical sense. If the US had a specific target in the region’s financial system, NSA penetration offers redundancy and other options than merely relying upon good faith compliance procedures, standard diplomatic requests, or collaborating with SWIFT Service Bureau.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_f ... munication
Last edited by vox_mundi on Tue 19 Sep 2017, 13:32:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 19 Sep 2017, 13:13:09

Nigel - the Robot That Could Tell You How to Vote

"Siri, who should I vote for?"

"That's a very personal decision."

Apple's "personal assistant", Siri, doesn't do politics. It has stock, non-committal answers for anything that sounds remotely controversial. Not unlike some politicians in fact.

But the next generation of digital helpers, powered by advances in artificial intelligence (AI), might not be so reticent.

One piece of software being developed by a company in Portland, Oregon, aims to be able to offer advice on every aspect of its users' lives - including which way to vote.

"We want you to trust Nigel, we want Nigel to know who you are and serve you in everyday life," says Nigel's creator Mounir Shita.

"It (Nigel) tries to figure out your goals and what reality looks like to you and is constantly assimilating paths to the future to reach your goals.

"It's constantly trying to push you in the right direction."

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Senate Must Fix Privacy Loophole in Federal Self-Driving Car Bill

The House of Representatives’ bill governing self-driving vehicles has a hole in it big enough to drive an autopilot Mack truck through.

... Section 12 of the “Self-Drive Act” requires that manufacturers develop a privacy plan that outlines what information is collected, how it is used and shared, and the extent to which users have control over the data collected from their vehicles by manufacturers. That’s all good. But a provision of Section 12 virtually eliminates any protections.

It says “if information about an occupant is anonymized or encrypted the manufacturer is not required to include the process or practices regarding that information in the private policy.”


According to San Jose Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the practical effect is that if manufacturers encrypt the data, they are no longer required to disclose what is collected, how it is used, how it is stored, or whom they share it with — even if they decrypt it later.

That means the information from your vehicle could tell the manufacturer which stores you frequent and when — any information about your driving habits that could be used for marketing purposes, or any purposes for that matter.

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Robot Strike Zone? Tigers Say Hitters Will Hate It

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MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is not a proponent of robot umpires or electronic strike zones, but during his visit to Comerica Park last month, he said the technology would soon be available to make it happen.

As a technological matter, I believe we will get to the point where balls and strikes will be called in real time by a machine,” he said.


Cheering Robots Replace Real Fans at Korean Baseball

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Last edited by vox_mundi on Tue 19 Sep 2017, 13:34:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 19 Sep 2017, 13:27:55

Apple’s FaceID Could Be A Powerful Tool For Mass Spying

... Law enforcement is rapidly increasing use of facial recognition; one in two American adults are already enrolled in a law enforcement facial recognition network, and at least one in four police departments have the capacity to run face recognition searches. Still, until now, co-opting consumer platforms hasn’t been an option. While Facebook has a powerful facial recognition system, it doesn’t maintain the operating systems that control the cameras on phones, tablets, and laptops that stare at us every day.

Apple’s new system changes that.
For the first time, a company will have a unified single facial recognition system built into the world's most popular devices—the hardware necessary to scan and identify faces throughout the world.

... Until now text has been the focus of mass scan surveillance, but Apple and FaceID could change that. By generating millions of face prints while simultaneously controlling the cameras that can scan and identify them, Apple might soon face a government order to turn its new unlocking system into the killer app for mass surveillance.

The government could issue an order to Apple with a set of targets and instructions to scan iPhones, iPads, and Macs to search for specific targets based on FaceID, and then provide the government with those targets’ location based on the GPS data of devices that receive a match. (... or they could just take control of the phone without asking)

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Face recognition is already used around the world to examine, investigate, and monitor. In China, police use face recognition to identify and publicly shame people for the crime of jaywalking. In Russia, face recognition has been used to identify anti-corruption protesters, exposing them to intimidation or worse.

In the UK, face recognition was used at an annual West Indian cultural festival to identify revelers in real-time.

At the festival in London late last month, the real-time face recognition system reportedly led to 35 misidentifications and only one “correct” match – an innocent person who was not wanted by the police after all. Officials at the New York Police Department have acknowledged at least five misidentifications by their face recognition system.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... -x-privacy

Think about all the places you show your face each day. Should retailers, law enforcement officers, or strangers have the ability to capture your photo, turn it into a biometric, and use it to identify, track, or surveil you? Are these uses of face recognition worth the erosion of our privacy and the persistent risks of misidentification?


Why the State of Surveillance in Schools Might Lead to the Next Equifax Disaster

These days, RFID badges, fingerprint scanners and cameras are regular parts of school life—on the ceilings watching students walk, and on their laptops analyzing their facial expressions. The tools could yield benefits for safety, performance development and security, but they also raise thorny security and privacy issues. ...


Video Surveillance Systems Get Even More Intelligent

What’s the Worst That Could Happen With Huge Databases of Facial Biometric Data?

... Earlier this month, reports emerged that Samsung’s Note 8 facial recognition feature could be tricked by photos of the person’s face. Hopefully, Apple’s is less spoofable. What can happen when we combine the large amount of facial biometrics data with a potentially imperfect system? What sort of societal implications would there be if you were recognized by someone, anywhere and everywhere you went? You'd be surprised. ...
“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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