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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 » Fri 27 Jan 2017, 11:44:06

What Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Can Teach Engineers

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This year is the 200th anniversary of Shelley’s completion of her novel, in May 1817. Her scenario is simple: A man creates a living being, which, grown monstrous, turns on its creator. The experience of the fictional Victor Frankenstein, who used electricity to give life to an inanimate body, shows how the best intentions can lead to unintended consequences that mock and imperil creators.

Today, few would dismiss this assessment. What then can engineers do to reduce, if not eliminate, the chances of unwittingly creating a Frankenstein monster? Here are a few ideas:
- Resist the temptation to pursue projects simply because they are beautiful or too cool to resist. As the philosopher Heather E. Douglas explains in a companion essay in the new MIT edition of the novel, creative engineering often inspires feelings of awe and wonder that can obscure or erase an awareness of design challenges. When euphoria reigns, stop and take a breath!
- Technologists do best when they solve problems of value to people and the planet. Pursuing possibilities without regard to utility invites unforeseen blowback.
- Engineers should act as if creation is a shared responsibility, because their knowledge at least partly comes from others and the effects of their work inevitably extend further than themselves.


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Human-Pig Hybrid Created in the Lab

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Human cells, coloured green, were found in the four-week-old embryo

... Development in the womb is much faster in pigs - pregnancy lasts less than four months compared with about nine in people.

... "One possibility is to let these animals be born, but that is not something we should allow to happen at this point."

"Not everything that science can do we should do, we are not living in a niche in lab, we live with other people - and society needs to decide what can be done.

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Scientists create first stable semisynthetic organism

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Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have announced the development of the first stable semisynthetic organism. Building on their 2014 study in which they synthesized a DNA base pair, the researchers created a new bacterium that uses the four natural bases (called A, T, C and G), which every living organism possesses, but that also holds as a pair two synthetic bases called X and Y in its genetic code.

TSRI Professor Floyd Romesberg and his colleagues have now shown that their single-celled organism can hold on indefinitely to the synthetic base pair as it divides. Their research was published January 23, 2017, online ahead of print in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Next, the researchers plan to study how their new genetic code can be transcribed into RNA, the molecule in cells needed to translate DNA into proteins. "This study lays the foundation for what we want to do going forward," said Zhang.


Scientists persuade nature to make silicon-carbon bonds

A new study is the first to show that living organisms can be persuaded to make silicon-carbon bonds—something only chemists had done before. Scientists at Caltech "bred" a bacterial protein to make the man-made bonds—a finding that has applications in several industries.

The study is also the first to show that nature can adapt to incorporate silicon into carbon-based molecules, the building blocks of life. Scientists have long wondered if life on Earth could have evolved to be based on silicon instead of carbon. Science-fiction authors likewise have imagined alien worlds with silicon-based life, like the lumpy Horta creatures portrayed in an episode of the 1960s TV series Star Trek. Carbon and silicon are chemically very similar. They both can form bonds to four atoms simultaneously, making them well suited to form the long chains of molecules found in life, such as proteins and DNA.


DragonflEye Project Wants to Turn Insects Into Cyborg Drones

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The DragonflEye project is a collaboration between Draper and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at Janelia Farm. There are several unique technologies that have been implemented here: The group was able to pack all of the electronics into a tiny “backpack,” meaning that small insects (like bees and dragonflies as opposed to large beetles) can fly while wearing it. Some of the size reduction comes from the use of solar panels to harvest energy, minimizing the need for batteries. There’s also integrated guidance and navigation systems, so a fully autonomous navigation is possible outside of a controlled environment.

Another major advance is that, rather than using electrodes to brute-force the muscles of an insect into doing what you want, the Draper engineers are taking a more delicate approach, using what are called optrodes to activate a special type of “steering” neuron with light pulses. These steering neurons act as a bridge between the dragonfly’s sensors and its muscles, meaning that accessing them provides a much more reliable form of control over how the insect moves.

The DragonflEye backpack is designed to navigate autonomously without wireless control, harvest energy from the environment for extended operation, and is a fraction of the weight for smaller insects. Next steps will further reduce the size and weight of the DragonflEye system by developing a custom integrated system-on-chip. Further miniaturization will reduce the payload burden and allow the system to be worn by even smaller insects.

The DragonflEye system doesn’t require a power source for flight, only for navigation. It can operate indefinitely due to the insect’s ability to replenish energy from food and the navigation system’s ability to harvest energy from the environment.

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“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 » Wed 01 Feb 2017, 16:48:14

AI Beats & Cleans Out the World’s Top Poker Pros

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Now computers can bluff.

The 20-day poker tournament between four human pros and an artificial intelligence program concluded last night. The AI, named Libratus, was created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and bested its opponents by $1.76 million in chips.
“At a high level, this means now that we have proven the ability for an AI to do strategic reasoning in imperfect situations has surpassed that of humans”

- Tuomas Sandholm, Carnegie Mellon University Professor of Computer Science

The event was surrounded by speculation about how Libratus was able to improve day to day during the competition. It turns out it was the pros themselves who taught Libratus about its weaknesses. “After play ended each day, a meta-algorithm analyzed what holes the pros had identified and exploited in Libratus’ strategy,” Sandholm said. “It then prioritized the holes and algorithmically patched the top three using the supercomputer each night. This is very different than how learning has been used in the past in poker. Typically researchers develop algorithms that try to exploit the opponent’s weaknesses. In contrast, here the daily improvement is about algorithmically fixing holes in our own strategy.”
“Halfway through the challenge, we really thought we were going to win and we were beaten very soundly,” said McAulay, echoing other players who called the almost daily losses “demoralizing.”

Dong Kim, who performed the best among the four humans only lost $85,649 in chips to Libratus.

After Kim finished playing on the final day, he helped answer some questions for online viewers watching the poker tournament through the live-streaming service Twitch. He congratulated the Carnegie Mellon researchers on a “decisive victory.” But when asked about what went well for the poker pros, he hesitated:
“I think what went well was…Shit. It’s hard to say. We took such a beating.”

The algorithms are actually game-independent,” said Professor Sandholm, adding that the AI’s ability to take any imperfect situation and output a strategy has implications for everything from negotiation and bargaining to military uses and some forms of finance.

Brown explained that while the team has yet to look at any specific areas where they can apply the AI capabilities, he has no doubt it can be used across a wide set of applications. “Any of them can be modeled as games of imperfect information and the algorithms can be applied pretty much out of the box.”


Poker-Playing AIs Today, Skynet Tomorrow

First ever blueprint unveiled to construct a large scale quantum computer

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An international team, led by a scientist from the University of Sussex, have today unveiled the first practical blueprint for how to build a quantum computer, the most powerful computer on Earth.

It has long been known that such a computer would revolutionise industry, science and commerce on a similar scale as the invention of ordinary computers. But this new work features the actual industrial blueprint to construct such a large-scale machine, more powerful in solving certain problems than any computer ever constructed before.

Once built, the computer's capabilities mean it would have the potential to answer many questions in science; create new, lifesaving medicines; solve the most mind-boggling scientific problems; unravel the yet unknown mysteries of the furthest reaches of deepest space; and solve some problems that an ordinary computer would take billions of years to compute.

The work features a new invention permitting actual quantum bits to be transmitted between individual quantum computing modules in order to obtain a fully modular large-scale machine capable of reaching nearly arbitrary large computational processing powers.


Should we be hooking up AI to our brains? New Asilomar principles urge caution

Hundreds of AI researchers, business leaders and just plain geniuses have signed onto a statement of cautionary principles for artificial intelligence, including a requirement to build in the ability for human authorities to audit how an AI platform works.

The 23 Asilomar AI Principles were drawn up this month at the Beneficial AI conference, conducted in the same California locale where a famous meeting to define the limits of biotech was held in 1975.
...
- “AI systems designed to recursively self-improve or self-replicate in a manner that could lead to rapidly increasing quality or quantity must be subject to strict safety and control measures.

- “Superintelligence should only be developed in the service of widely shared ethical ideals, and for the benefit of all humanity rather than one state or organization.”

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https://futureoflife.org/wp-content/upl ... ostrom.pdf
https://futureoflife.org/wp-content/upl ... -LeCun.pdf


Boston Dynamics Has a New “Nightmare-Inducing” Robot

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360°- Virtual Reality Video - Boston Dynamics is best known for its bipedal and quadrupedal robots, but it turns out the company has also been experimenting with some radical new tech: the wheel.

The company’s new wheeled, upright robot is named Handle (“because it’s supposed to handle objects”) and looks like a cross between a Segway and the two-legged Atlas bot. Handle hasn’t been officially unveiled, but was shown off by company founder Marc Raibert in a presentation to investors. Footage of the presentation was uploaded to YouTube by venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson.

Raibert describes Handle as an “experiment in combining wheels with legs, with a very dynamic system that is balancing itself all the time and has a lot of knowledge of how to throw its weight around.” He adds that using wheels is more efficient than legs, although there’s obviously a trade-off in terms of maneuvering over uneven ground. “This is the debut presentation of what I think will be a nightmare-inducing robot,” says Raibert:

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He also said it's more efficient than and could be less expensive than the Atlas walking robot. Of course it would be limited to smooth surfaces (like warehouses).

The footage (which Boston Dynamics asked Jurvetson to blur but has since been mirrored by other accounts) shows the Handle spinning and leaping with ease on smooth surfaces. It's incredibly impressive and it's easy to see how helpful the rolling nightmare will be once it's deployed in areas too dangerous for humans.


Fake Skinned Robot Bats Will Soon Be Creeping Us Out From the Skies Above

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This Robot Barista Makes a Dang Good Latte

... Hu’s robot-server idea is coming into view at the right time, as political and technological debate rages over automation and the future of work. “The jobs that are going away are primarily going away because of automation,” Barack Obama said recently. “And that’s going to accelerate.” Hu mostly wants to talk about coffee, but is clearly interested in where else his robots could work.

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Pulp Fiction (1994) Politically Incorrect Version
[Jules, Vincent and Jimmie are drinking coffee in Jimmie's kitchen]
Jules: Mmmm! Goddamn, Jimmie! This is some serious gourmet shit! Usually, me and Vince would be happy with some freeze-dried Taster's Choice right, but he springs this serious GOURMET shit on us! What flavor is this?
Jimmie: Knock it off, Julie.
Jules: [pause] What?
Jimmie: I don't need you to tell me how fucking good my coffee is, okay? I'm the one who buys it. I know how good it is. When Bonnie goes shopping she buys SHIT. I buy the gourmet expensive stuff because when I drink it I want to taste it. But you know what's on my mind right now? It AIN'T the coffee in my kitchen, ...


Japan’s robot chefs aim to show how far automation can go

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The two-armed humanoid chef is designed to coat a griddle with oil, mix the batter and flip pancakes before completing the dish with mayonnaise and dried green seaweed

Autonomous bartenders are programmed to prepare cocktail orders for guests at the robot restaurant.

All of the robots in the restaurant use technology from Yaskawa Elertric, which was designed for grabbing and carrying parts in factories.

Video - The ‘robot kingdom’, which includes the hotel and restaurant, is filled with more than 200 robots.
“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 » Wed 01 Feb 2017, 18:12:11

Every Country Will Have Armed Drones Within 10 Years

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Virtually every country on Earth will be able to build or acquire drones capable of firing missiles within the next ten years. Armed aerial drones will be used for targeted killings, terrorism and the government suppression of civil unrest. What’s worse, say experts, it’s too late for the United States to do anything about it.

So far, 23 countries have developed or are developing armed drones, according to a recent report from the RAND organization. It’s only a matter of time before the lethal technology spreads, several experts say.

“Once countries like China start exporting these, they’re going to be everywhere really quickly. Within the next 10 years, every country will have these,” Noel Sharkey, a robotics and artificial intelligence professor from the University of Sheffield, told Defense One. “There’s nothing illegal about these unless you use them to attack other countries. Anything you can [legally] do with a fighter jet, you can do with a drone.”

Within five years, he said, every country could have access to the equivalent of an armed UAV, like General Atomics’ Predator, which fires Hellfire missiles. He suggested five to 10 years as a more appropriate date for the global spread of heavier, longer range, more lethal “hunter-killer” aircraft, like the MQ-9 Reaper.


Islamic State Video Shows Weaponized Drones at War

Video - ISIS drone strike Abrams main battle tank in Mosul

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Video - ISIS weaponized drone usage

Video - Long-range anti-drone gun

Video - German Military LASER SHOOTS DOWN Mini Drone Quadcopter

... Countermeasures don't take into account that in the future, these cheap, highly available tool/toys turned into weapons will be used in greater numbers and, eventually, will feature autonomous flight coordination, also known as swarm technology. As such, solutions need to migrate from taking down one enemy drone at a time, to denying their use, even in large quantities, seamlessly over an entire area.

Omnidirectional broadband jamming is an issue because the US military uses a wide range of the same frequencies. Not only that, but small hobby-like drones are increasingly used by the America’s own land forces, including suicidal ones that work just as well as guided missiles than as surveillance systems. Jamming yourself and neutering your own drone capability doesn’t help the situation for allied troops fighting on the ground.

Clearly this is going to become a much more complicated business than anyone would like imagine, especially as these “over-the-counter” drone systems become smaller and more autonomous. Even here at home, as time passes, murder by drone is likely to become a very real thing. The police have already killed a suspect using a robotic system, and criminals may find that the drone is far better tool for taking out one’s enemies from afar than a gun’s bullet, especially consider that said bullet cannot turn corners.

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Chinese UAV Drone Swarm - Nightmare Butterfly


US military wants a missile that can carry explosive drones to a target

The US Military Wants a Missile That Can Carry Explosive-Packed Drones To a Target Hundreds of Miles Away, according to a contract solicitation from the Pentagon.

Earlier this month, the DoD announced it was soliciting proposals for this new missile system, which would be fired by the Army's existing MGM-140 Tactical Missile System or the M-270 Multiple Launch Rocket System. But unlike traditional armaments, the Army wants this missile packed with unmanned quad-copters that will be released, fly to their target, land, and blow themselves up.
"The ultimate goal is to produce a missile deployable, long range [unmanned aerial system] swarm that can deliver small [explosively formed penetrators] to a variety of targets" ... "This will serve as a smart augmentation to the standard missile warhead."

The payload seems to be meant for hard targets, which the Army says could potentially mean tanks, large guns, fuel storage barrels, and vehicle roofs. The contract doesn't mention exactly how many drones should be packed inside a missile.

Still, it could potentially mean hundreds of drones being deployed to a target, if a test of a "drone swarm" made public earlier this month is any guide. During that test, three F/A-18 Super Hornets spit out more than 100 tiny Perdix drones, which then linked up with each other to collectively make decisions and fly in formation.
“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 07 Feb 2017, 14:27:18

Smile, you're on camera, and it knows who you are

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Authorities seem keener than ever to use the tech, citing security and law enforcement as the main reasons. It was recently revealed that the city of New York plans to install facial recognition tech on its bridges and tunnels to scan and identify people driving in and out.

The "transformational plan," which is part of a larger, $100 billion infrastructure effort for the state, aims to "reimagine New York's crossings" for the 21st century and the future — a future that, in some aspects, looks to be straight out of Minority Report.

A Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) memo obtained by Vocativ though a Freedom of Information Act request provides some more insight into how the city might look to track the people inside the estimated 800,000 vehicles that cross through MTA tunnels and bridges every day.

The document, which was drafted by the MTA's Bridges and Tunnels division, was sent to contractors on Dec. 12, 2016 as a solicitation for "information of a Facial Detection and Recognition system," to be installed on nine MTA-controlled bridges and tunnels.

Specifically, the system the MTA is planning to implement will detect both individuals and their license plates using the tech.
... The Authority is interested in implementing a Facial Detection System, in a free-flow highway environment, where vehicle movement is unimpeded at highway speeds as well as bumper-to-bumper traffic, and license plate images are taken and matched to occupants of the vehicles (via license plate number) with Facial Detection and Recognition methods from a gantry-based or road-side monitoring location.

In light of the today's political climate and the current administration's statements about sanctuary cities, this type of targeted observation of the public on such a massive scale opens up the system to potential abuses — unless preemptive action is taken to set up safeguards.


Iris Recognition & Augmented Reality IDs Straight From The 'Minority Report'

A Swedish mobile interface specialist agency has just launched a 'facial recognition' device.

Their 'Augmented ID Concept' uses facial recognition in their new Recognizr android app. By simply pointing a mobile phone camera at someone you will be able to see their various social networks appear next to their face.

On another front, AOptix Technologies and Microsoft Global Security Operation out of Redmond, Washington have just inked a deal that uses adaptive optics technology to verifies a subject's identity once it has detected the eyes of an individual within a 6 feet range.

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At the same time, Sarnoff Corporation launched its next generation of its 'Iris on the Move' (IOM) which combines the extraordinary accuracy of iris recognition with the speed and convenience of a pass-through system that you might incur at an airport.

While other iris scanning technologies require users to stop or stare directly into a scanner, IOM technology works at speeds of up to thirty people per minute, allowing subjects to walk through the system at a standard pace, without stopping to look into a scanner.

Around the globe, several airports have eye-detection security programs in place already. At Schiphol Airport, Netherlands, iris recognition has permitted passport-free immigration since 2001 as well as several Canadian airports using it for pre-approved, low-risk air travelers.

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‘Minority Report’-like eye scanner works from 40 feet away

Video - Police departments that rely on ID databases may have a new tool at their disposal, courtesy of the Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering.

A new system being tested by the college can identify the unique signature of irises up to 40 feet away.

Professor Mario Savvides demonstrated the technology for CNN on Friday, which could offer law enforcement authorities a way to safely ID suspects during police stops.

“What it’s doing is, as I’m looking at the mirror right now, it’s actually finding my face, detecting my eyes, extracting features and then matching them — running through the database to come up with the identity of who I am. It can really save the officer’s life by making sure he’s far away and safe.”


Covert Iris Scanner Close To Minority Report Future

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The device is able to scan the iris of the eye without the knowledge or consent of the person being scanned

Iris scans are considered highly accurate; current iris recognition algorithms have an incredibly low false match rate. Good quality scans result in a "false match" less than one time per one hundred billion. The significant advantage of the newly proposed system is that it allows iris scans to be taken without the knowledge or participation of the subject. The availability of a public iris scanning device could greatly alter the nature of public spaces.


Vizio tracked and sold your TV viewing habits without consent

According to the original complaint filed by the FTC and New Jersey AG, the company worked with a third party to build smart TVs that could capture "second-by-second" viewing information about what's on the screen. That includes details on content from cable, internet, set-top boxes, DVD players, over-the-air broadcasts and other streaming devices.

The collection started in 2014, and more than 11 million television sets were apparently affected.

Vizio sold the collected viewing data to advertisers. Those details included IP addresses that could be matched to the owner and household. From there, third parties could use the information to gather personal details like sex, age, income, marital status, household size, education, and home ownership.

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2017 isn't '1984' — it's stranger than Orwell imagined

Orwell described a single-party system in which a tiny core of oligarchs, Oceania’s “inner party,” control all information. This is their chief means of controlling power.

... The other main way the party elite, symbolized in the mustached figurehead Big Brother, encourage and police correct thought is through the technology of the Telescreen. These “metal plaques” transmit things like frightening video of enemy armies and of course the wisdom of Big Brother. But the Telescreen can see you, too. During mandatory morning exercise, the Telescreen not only shows a young, wiry trainer leading cardio, it can see if you are keeping up.

Telescreens are everywhere: They are in every room of people’s homes. At the office, people use them to do their jobs.


Most smart TVs are tracking you — Vizio just got caught

In 2015, The Wirecutter took a really thorough look at the privacy policies for popular TVs and streaming devices, and it found that most are tracking you in one way or another — and they don’t all offer an option to opt out. Though it’s now a little over a year since the article was published, most of the information still appears to be current; it’s worth checking out if you want specific details on your devices.

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

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

Unread postby vox_mundi » Fri 10 Feb 2017, 12:10:40

Trump paused a call with Putin to make an aide explain a nuclear arms treaty

Thursday afternoon, Reuters reported that Donald Trump interrupted a phone call with Vladimir Putin to ask a basic question about US-Russia relations. Specifically, he asked what New START, a nuclear arms agreement inked by the Obama administration, was. Once he heard the basics, he immediately informed Putin that he was against it.

“When Putin raised the possibility of extending the 2010 treaty, known as New START, Trump paused to ask his aides in an aside what the treaty was,” the Reuters reporters, Jonathan Landay and David Rohde, write. “Trump then told Putin the treaty was one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration, saying that New START favored Russia. Trump also talked about his own popularity.”

Three things stick out about this report, presuming it’s accurate (both Rohde and Landay are skilled veterans of the national-security beat, and the White House has declined to comment on the report both to Reuters and when asked during a subsequent press briefing). The first is that Trump still clearly does not know basic facts about American foreign policy, like the name of a major treaty — and that this somehow leaked to the press from one of his top advisers, the only people in the room for the Putin call.

The second is that the president seems willing to make major policy changes anyway. Trump had referenced New START in an October presidential debate, though he called it “start up” and incorrectly suggested that it limited American nuclear warhead construction without similarly capping Russia’s. (The deal actually caps each country’s number of deployed nuclear warheads at 1,550.)

Months later, after winning the presidency and having daily national security meetings, Trump still doesn’t know the treaty’s name. But he decided to come out against it anyway after getting quick refresher while Putin was on hold.

Finally, the comments seem to contradict stuff Trump has said recently about nuclear weapons. Just days before his inauguration, Trump said in an interview that he hoped to work with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin to reduce both countries’ nuclear arsenals.
“Let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia,” ... “For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially.”

Those comments, in turn, directly contradicted a December tweet, where he said that the US “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” Afterwards, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski asked him about the possibility of this policy setting off an arms race with Russia (which is also talking about modernizing its nuclear arsenal). She recalls Trump’s answer being simple.
“Let it be an arms race.”

There’s only one reasonable conclusion to draw from all this: The president’s positions about the only weapon capable of destroying human civilization seem to be in constant flux — and sometimes change on the dime while the leader of the country with the world’s second-biggest nuclear arsenal is still on the phone.


Stock up on sun-block 2,000,000 ...

Steve Bannon: 'We're going to war in the South China Sea ... no doubt'

The United States and China will fight a war within the next 10 years over islands in the South China Sea, and “there’s no doubt about that”. At the same time, the US will be in another “major” war in the Middle East.

Those are the views – nine months ago at least – of one of the most powerful men in Donald Trump’s administration, Steve Bannon, the former head of far-right news website Breitbart who is now chief strategist at the White House.

Bannon’s sentiments and his position in Trump’s inner circle add to fears of a military confrontation with China, after secretary of state Rex Tillerson said that the US would deny China access to the seven artificial islands. Experts warned any blockade would lead to war.

An official wrote on the website of the People’s Liberation Army:
... “A ‘war within the president’s term’ or ‘war breaking out tonight’ are not just slogans, they are becoming a practical reality”

- China National Defence Mobilisation Department, Central Military Commission, People’s Liberation Army

The People’s Liberation Army said in a commentary on its official website last Friday, the day of Trump’s inauguration, that the chances of war have become “more real” amid a more complex security situation in Asia Pacific.

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Defense Ministry to increase purchases of inflatable tanks and missile systems

The Russian military is ordered more inflatable weapons, suggesting an increased focus on disguise and deception. The company taking the orders: Rusbana.


Putin’s DNC Hackers Actively Targeting French Elections

The same Putin-state backed actors that stole emails from the DNC and John Podesta are targeting campaigns in France in the run up to critical elections in that country. The spear phish campaigns are identical to the attacks that the “Fancy Bear” group launched against the DNC and John Podesta.

As the American press, intelligence community and Donald Trump play out a sordid spy drama, Vladimir Putin’s kompromat campaign of attempted data theft and election meddling continues across Europe, according to a cybersecurity professional with direct knowledge of the ongoing attempts.

The objective in France is to advance Marine Le Pen’s National Front Party. Le Pen has advocated a weakening the EU and has supported Vladimir Putin on the issue of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

France’s election will take place on April 23.


DARPA programme to explore swarming operations

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has commenced a project to explore how swarms of robots could be used to operate alongside army and marine units at the company level and below.

The Offensive Swarm Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) project is looking to advance and accelerate swarming capabilities, with a specific focus on urban operations, Tim Chung, DARPA's programme manager for the effort, told Jane's.

Chung is interested in seeing how those small units could work with 50-250 unmanned air and ground systems in an urban setting, "What impacts would they have that are significantly more challenging because we have a swarm set of systems to worry about," he noted.

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Unleash the Swarm


DeepMind's AI has learnt to become 'highly aggressive' when it feels like it's going to lose

What happens if one AI’s aims conflict with another’s? Will they fight, or work together?

Google’s AI subsidiary DeepMind has been exploring this problem in a new study published today. The company’s researchers decided to test how AI agents interacted with one another in a series of “social dilemmas.” This is a rather generic term for situations in which individuals can profit from being selfish — but where everyone loses if everyone is selfish. The most famous example of this is the prisoner’s dilemma, where two individuals can choose to betray one another for a prize, but lose out if both choose this option.

They found that Artificial Intelligence changes the way it behaves based on the environment it is in, much like humans do.

... After 40 million in-game steps, they found the agents learnt "highly aggressive" policies when there were few resources with the possibility of a costly action (not getting a reward). "Less aggressive policies emerge from learning in relatively abundant environments with less possibility for costly action," the paper says. "The greed motivation reflects the temptation to take out a rival and collect all the resources oneself."

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

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

Unread postby vox_mundi » Fri 10 Feb 2017, 12:52:46

This Walking Robot Might Be Your New UPS Driver

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Video - Today, Agility Robotics, a spin-off of Oregon State University, is officially announcing a shiny new bipedal robot named Cassie. Cassie is a dynamic walker, meaning that it walks much more like humans do than most of the carefully plodding bipedal robots we’re used to seeing. This makes it better at handling the kind of diverse and complex terrain that we walk over all the time without even thinking, a talent that’s going to be mandatory for robots that want to tackle the different environments and situations that they’ll need to master to be actually useful around people.

In addition to search-and-rescue and disaster relief, Agility Robotics has one particular environment and situation in mind: They want Cassie to be scampering up your steps to deliver packages to your front door.

Hurst tells us that arms and sensors are coming soon, which will enable Cassie to get up by itself after a fall, and they’re also working on VR-style telepresence.

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'Kick the Robot' - This is apparently a required test for legged robots.

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The Coming AI Wars

At a time when the Trump administration is promising to make America great again by restoring old-school manufacturing jobs, AI researchers aren’t taking him too seriously. They know that these jobs are never coming back, thanks in no small part to their own research, which will eliminate so many other kinds of jobs in the years to come, as well.

They looked at the real US economy, the real reasons for the “hollowing out” of the middle class. The problem isn’t immigration—far from it. The problem isn’t offshoring or taxes or regulation. It’s technology.


Artificial intelligence, AI is the new competitive advantage. Our civilization is heading for a reality check.

We have entered a new era—The AI Wars. Artificial intelligence, and the current computer programs that deliver various forms of machine learning, natural language processing, neural networks and cognitive computing is emerging fast as a competitive force in every industry, nation and market.

Amazon is using Alexa to compete against all of the other retailers on the planet and Google Home. Tesla’s AI downloads updated geo-intelligence to compete against all the other car brands that don’t update via the cloud. IBM’s Watson is automating decision analysis that competes with clinics and hospitals not enabled by its cognitive computer. This is just the beginning of the AI Wars. Companies that are using AI to compete will shape the future of AI.

There are companies using AI for diagnosing disease, deciphering law, designing fashion, writing films, drafting music, reading taxes or figuring out if your a terrorist, fraudster or threat. AI is everywhere. If you are within sight of a videocamera, cell phone, city, driving in a car or traveling by transit, online or off, unless you are on Mars you are likely exposed to AI in real-time. You may not know this.

Having AI that can deliver solutions, faster then, even more cost-effective then, with greater quality then humans is coming. This is the inevitable end game of digital transformation.

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More Human Then Human: AI as a Competitive Advantage
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sat 11 Feb 2017, 11:48:15

$1.5 Million Drone Lost During Training Mission at Fort Huachuca

Soldiers from Fort Carson are helping recover a $750,000 Arizona-based Army drone found west of Denver. The post confirmed the effort Thursday afternoon.

The drone has been missing since Jan. 31 from a training range at Fort Huachuca.
It's a mystery how the RQ-7 Shadow reconnaissance drone made it to Colorado, traveling about 900 miles or more than 10 times the drone's stated range.

The drone has an endurance of about nine hours and can fly a distance of about 77 miles. It weighs 450 pounds and has a wingspan of 20 feet, said officials.

"An investigation into what happened is the next step," said Fort Huachuca spokeswoman Tanja Linton. (... d'ya think?)

And it's not Colorado's first experience with a misguided drone flying far beyond its stated range.

In 2015, Fort Carson controllers lost track of a 4-pound RQ-11 Raven drone and it wandered 12 miles, all the way to a yard on Alexander Road between Uintah and San Miguel streets in Colorado Springs. That's nearly double the Raven's stated range of 6.2 miles.


For the US Army, ‘Cyber War’ Is Quickly Becoming Just ‘War’

The next great conflict will play out not just on physical terrain but also in the electrical pulses of cyberspace and the electronic spectrum. But while anonymous enemies like ISIS or Russia’s “little green men” are free to use the digital space as they like, U.S. Army leaders say legal requirements and a pre-digital rules structure complicate their response. That’s why, for the last 18 months, the service has been experimenting with different concepts of operations for the cyber units that will be on the front lines of tomorrow’s fights.

The Army, which already has 30 cyber teams at full operational capability and 11 more at initial operating capability, is aiming to have 41 fully operational teams by year’s end.

As soon as we create them, they are in operational use” in both offense and defense, said Brig. Gen. J.P. McGee, Army Cyber Command’s deputy for operations. “We have Army soldiers delivering effects against ISIS and ISIL.”

Last April, the New York Times reported that military cyber teams are helping Iraqi security forces and Kurdish units by altering ISIS fighters’ electronic messages, “with the aim of redirecting militants to areas more vulnerable to attack by American drones or local ground forces.

The U.S. hackers sent fake text messages to insurgent fighters and roadside bombers,” Harris writes. “The messages would tell the recipient, in effect, ‘Meet at this street corner to plan the next attack,’ or ‘Go to this point on a road and plant your device.’ When the fighter got there, he’d be greeted by U.S. troops, or perhaps the business end of a Hellfire missile fired from a drone aircraft thousands of feet above.

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The Army has a tactical field manual for cyber and EW effects, but has not yet laid out — at least in public — an explicit policy for how, when, and under what circumstances it will use offensive cyber weapons.


Military-Grade Spy Gear Is Flooding into Local Police Departments

Major U.S. cities are spending millions of dollars on tools that track and extract data from people’s cellphones — but almost nothing on rules to guide their use.

A little after midnight on November 28, 2014, hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters filled the streets of downtown Chicago. The demonstration was one of many that erupted in cities nationwide soon after a Missouri grand jury failed to indict a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer for the shooting death of Michael Brown that August. As the protesters marched, a police vehicle crept behind them. The black SUV emblazoned with “City of Chicago Emergency Management” appeared to have two 360-degree cameras sprouting from its roof and a command center in the back.

Whenever the vehicle drove by, protesters reported that their phones stopped working.

A week later, audio of a police radio dispatch from the protest was released online. In the recording, an officer alerts a department intelligence analyst about of one of the protest organizers.
“One of the girls here… she’s been on her phone a lot,” the officer says. “You guys picking up any information? Where they’re going, possibly?”The analyst responds, “Yeah, we’re keeping an eye on it. We’ll let you know if we hear anything.”

The leaked conversation and the cellphone disruptions led many activists to conclude that the police were eavesdropping on them.

Legally, listening in on private communications between citizens talking over mobile phones would require a Title III search warrant. But one thing is indisputable: The technology to snoop on nearby phones exists—and the Chicago Police Department has had it for over ten years.

And such spy gear is not limited to Chicago. Hundreds of documents obtained by CityLab from the country’s top fifty largest police departments over the last ten months reveal that similar cellphone surveillance devices have been quietly acquired by local authorities nationwide. With only a few clicks, police can now map out individuals’ social networks, communication timelines, and associates’ locations, based on the data captured by these surveillance tools.

“With 18,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, you know there are going to be many that are just going to jump on the technology bandwagon without regard for civil liberties”

- Norm Stamper, former Chief of the Seattle Police Department

These concerns have taken on a new urgency with the ascension of Donald Trump. The new administration has taken power amid an outbreak of civil resistance in cities nationwide and signs that federal authorities are poised to expand domestic surveillance capabilities. The president has frequently spoken of his plans for the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants and mass surveillance of Muslim Americans and other domestic targets. Executing those plans would be dramatically helped by harvesting, retaining, and distributing personal information from the electronic devices many of us carry in our pockets. And your local police may already have the tools to do just that.


Pentagon journal explores what could happen if a president called for Muslim internment camps

The scholarly journal of the Pentagon’s top general published an essay that examines what the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs should do if a president ordered the establishment of Muslim internment camps, one day before President Trump signed an executive order restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The article appears in the most recent issue of Joint Force Quarterly under the headline “The Viability of Moral Dissent by the Military.”

The essay, authored by Air Force Maj. Lee Turcotte, states at the outset that it is “not a partisan statement, although it unequivocally judges the rising tide of nationalism, isolationism, xenophobia, and anti-Islamic rhetoric occurring throughout the West. It was submitted for the contest amid frequent claims by Trump during the presidential campaign that he would bar Muslims from entering the country and be open to using torture against detainees.

“This article explores whether there is ever a moral imperative for the military — primarily senior military leaders — to refuse to obey the direction of civilian leaders,” Turcotte writes. “I believe the answer is yes.

The White House: Executive Order: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements - January 25, 2017

... Sec. 5. Detention Facilities. (a) The Secretary shall take all appropriate action and allocate all legally available resources to immediately construct, operate, control, or establish contracts to construct, operate, or control facilities to detain aliens at or near the land border with Mexico.

The U.S. government has the largest immigration detention system in the world, and that is nothing to be proud of. The underlying problem with immigration detention is that most detainees are only guilty of being in the U.S. without authorization, which is a civil offense, not a crime.

Yet detainees are treated like criminals, held behind bars and barbed wire, often in remote locations. In fact, in at least one respect, immigration detainees are treated worse than criminals: Criminal defendants have the right to a speedy adjudication and to court-appointed legal counsel. Immigration detainees do not.

Detention punishes people in disproportionate relation to their alleged infractions, and contributes to the misconception that undocumented immigrants are criminals.

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Last edited by vox_mundi on Sat 11 Feb 2017, 12:40:10, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sat 11 Feb 2017, 12:01:59

Go ahead. Have some fun. Scare the bejesus out of the grand-kids ...

Rise of the Spider Robots

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Mon 13 Feb 2017, 12:09:54

Indias own Iron Man? DRDO labs to develop military robots for next gen warfare

With futuristic warfare in mind, India is working to develop robotic soldiers as part of efforts to boost unmanned fighting capabilities, joining a select group of countries in this endeavour.

Under the project being undertaken by DRDO, robots would be developed with very high level of intelligence to enable them to differentiate between a threat and a friend.

These can then be deployed in difficult warfare zones, like the Line of Control (LoC), a step that would help avert the loss of human lives.

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The newly-appointed DRDO chief listed the project for development of robotic soldiers as one of his "priority thrust areas" saying that "unmanned warfare in land and air is the future of warfare. Initially the robotic soldier may be assisting the man."

He said in the initial phase of the project, the robotic soldier would be required to be told by the human soldier to identify an enemy or a combatant but "slowly in due course of time, the robotic soldier would be at the front end and the human soldier would be assisting him."


China's Robot Dog Takes A Walk

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Better than a pony - Get Along, Little Doggies

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China has global ambitions to be a leader in military robotic exports, having already sold armed drones to Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. Expect also to see Da Gou baling about future battlefields in the coming decades.


Wells Fargo sets up artificial intelligence team in tech push

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Would You Like To Talk To A Human?

NEW YORK: Wells Fargo & Co has created a team to develop artificial intelligence-based technology and appointed a lead for its newly combined payments businesses, as part of an ongoing push to strengthen its digital offerings.

Wells Fargo's AI team will work on creating technology that can help the bank provide more personalized customer service through its bankers and online, the bank said. It will be led by Steve Ellis, head of Wells Fargo's innovation group.

Well Fargo’s AI focus comes as banks and other large financial institutions increase their investment in the emerging technology which seeks to train computers to perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence.


Elon Musk: Humans must merge with machines or become irrelevant in AI age

"Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence," Musk told an audience at the World Government Summit in Dubai, where he also launched Tesla in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"It's mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output."

Musk explained what he meant by saying that computers can communicate at "a trillion bits per second", while humans, whose main communication method is typing with their fingers via a mobile device, can do about 10 bits per second.

In an age when AI threatens to become widespread, humans would be useless, so there's a need to merge with machines, according to Musk.

"Some high bandwidth interface to the brain will be something that helps achieve a symbiosis between human and machine intelligence and maybe solves the control problem and the usefulness problem," Musk explained.

During his talk, Musk touched upon his fear of "deep AI" which goes beyond driverless cars to what he called "artificial general intelligence". This he described as AI that is "smarter than the smartest human on earth" and called it a "dangerous situation".

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DARPA: We’re on cusp of merging human and machine

"There are a couple of very interesting things happening as we speak facilitating humans and machines working together in a very different way," said Justin Sanchez, director of the Biological Technologies Office at DARPA.

Smart exoskeletons help people with paralysis walk again, give soldiers extra strength and endurance, and implanted computer chips help the blind see again or help others feel a sense of touch in a prosthetic foot.

It might not be a sci-fi vision of cyborgs, but a near future where soldiers might have implanted chips that help them communicate in the battlefield or receive information from GPS systems or drones. According to Sanchez, a biomedical engineer who also holds a doctor of philosophy degree, we are on the cusp of seeing the merging of humans and machines.
"I think the recent science and technology developments we're making at DARPA, as well as the embracing of physiology and A.I., is enabling us to set up the conditions for profound changes on how humans and machines can work together,"

"We are giving our physiology the opportunity to work with machines in a different way," he added.

Andrew Chien, who was then director of future technologies research at Intel Labs, said in 2009 that by 2020, an Internet user would be able to bypass her keyboard and mouse and control her computer with her brain waves.

These might sound like outlandish predictions, but DARPA's Sanchez said it's not as crazy as it might have sounded several years ago.

Within three to five years, researchers could have a device that helps people with brain injuries form and recall memories. "We absolutely have people working on that now," said Sanchez. "Direct neural interfaces are being developed."

He added that DARPA-backed researchers are working on implantable devices that have computing capabilities akin to a standard desktop or laptop. Scientists want to make them powerful enough to process neural signals and use them to control devices. Sanchez, also noted that they're also working on how people could interface with these devices and chips without having them surgically implanted in their bodies.


Millimeter-Scale Computers: Now With Deep Learning Neural Networks on Board

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Computer scientist David Blaauw pulls a small plastic box from his bag. He carefully uses his fingernail to pick up the tiny black speck inside and place it on the hotel café table. At one cubic millimeter, this is one of a line of the world’s smallest computers. I had to be careful not to cough or sneeze lest it blow away and be swept into the trash.

Blaauw and his colleague Dennis Sylvester, both IEEE Fellows and computer scientists at the University of Michigan, were in San Francisco this week to present ten papers related to these “micro mote” computers at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC). They’ve been presenting different variations on the tiny devices for a few years.

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Another micro mote they presented at the ISSCC incorporates a deep-learning processor that can operate a neural network while using just 288 microwatts.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 14 Feb 2017, 12:17:17

Onward to the Final Frontier ...

USS Enterprise Decommissioned

Video - The aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN 65), was decommissioned during a ceremony held in the ship's hangar bay on February 3.

The ceremony not only marked the end the ship's nearly 55-year career, it also served as the very first decommissioning of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

Enterprise was the eighth naval vessel to carry the name. It was built by the Newport News Shipbuilding and was christened Sepember 24, 1960 by Bertha Irene Franke, wife of former Secretary of the Navy William B. Franke. The ship was put to sea in 1961 and safely steamed more than one million nautical miles on nuclear power over its entire career of more than 50 years.

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http://nns.huntingtoningalls.com/employ ... ery/cvn65/

Time to Roll Out The Next Big E

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This is the amazing design for NASA’s Star Trek-style space ship, the IXS Enterprise

If a spaceship could be designed in such a way that it created a warp bubble, then the space in front of the ship would be compressed and the space behind would expand. This would result in space-time moving around the object, repositioning the ship without it actually moving.

“Remember, nothing locally exceeds the speed of light, but space can expand and contract at any speed,” White told io9.
“A journey of a hundred light-years begins with a single step.”
~ Confucius (extended 12 orders of magnitude)

So of course, White’s new design incorporates these ideas and involves “a sleek ship nestled at the center of two enormous rings, which create the warp bubble,” 3D artist Mark Rademaker explained to io9. You can check out some more of Rademaker and White's ship design here.

Think this sounds a little too futuristic? According to a report by Gizmodo, White’s team has been using a test instrument called a White-Juday Warp Field Interferometer in order to try and generate and detect microscopic instances of warp bubbles. If they can achieve this, then who knows how quickly the technology could advance. “Perhaps a ‘Star Trek’ experience within our lifetime is not such a remote possibility” says White.

The Tau Zero Foundation Pioneering Interstellar Flight

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 21 Feb 2017, 10:54:35

Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt: ‘I Was Proven Completely Wrong’ About Artificial Intelligence

While leading Google through the aughts, Eric Schmidt made a miscalculation.

"I was proven completely wrong" about artificial intelligence, Alphabet's executive chairman said at the RSA security conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Schmidt has initially skeptical about the technology, and he's since acknowledged how vital it is to both the company's mission and to the global economy.

Schmidt's assessment back then was that artificial intelligence research faced tremendous obstacles that inhibited its progress. He "didn't think it would scale," he said of the machine learning tech.

And he said he also didn't think it would "generalize," meaning becoming more flexible and elastic, like the human mind, rather than remaining a specialized tool suited only to specific tasks.

Schmidt had underestimated the power of simple algorithms to "emulate very complex things," he said ... But he has become more bullish about the prospect in recent years.

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New AI Can Write and Rewrite Its Own Code to Increase Its Intelligence

Gamalon calls the technique it employed Bayesian Program Synthesis. It is based on a mathematical framework named after 18th century mathematician Thomas Bayes. The Bayesian probability is used to refine predictions about the world using experience. This form of probabilistic programming — a code that uses probabilities instead of specific variables — requires fewer examples to make a determination, such as, for example, that the sky is blue with patches of white clouds. The program also refines its knowledge as further examples are provided, and its code can be rewritten to tweak the probabilities.

“Probabilistic programming will make machine learning much easier for researchers and practitioners,” explained Brendan Lake, an NYU research fellow who worked on a probabilistic programming technique in 2015. “It has the potential to take care of the difficult [programming] parts automatically.”

The potential impact of smarter machines really can’t be overstated.


Speed-Reading AI Processes Data in ‘Minutes’

Lawyers could be the next profession to be replaced by computers

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The legal profession — tradition-bound and labor-heavy — is on the cusp of a transformation in which artificial-intelligence platforms dramatically affect how legal work gets done.

Those platforms will mine documents for evidence that will be useful in litigation, to review and create contracts, raise red flags within companies to identify potential fraud and other misconduct or do legal research and perform due diligence before corporate acquisitions.

Leib of NexLP noted at "about 70 percent of the cost of discovery" — the process of exchanging information that is relevant to a legal case or review — "is human cost, people looking through documents and emails and all different things."

"If we could reduce that from 70 percent to 2 percent, we're looking at dramatic cost savings," he said.

If AI solutions become pervasive, law firms may cut staff.

A Deloitte Insight report released in 2016 said that "profound reforms" will occur in the legal sector over the next decade, estimating that nearly 40 percent of jobs in the legal sector could end up being automated in the long term.

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Artificial Intelligence Is Becoming A Major Disruptive Force In Banks' Finance Departments

Artificial Intelligence In Schools Is Closer Than You Think

Artificial intelligence has brought “Doubt and Suspicion” to the ancient world of Japanese chess

The world of shogi, Japan’s answer to chess and Go, is now grappling with the rise of the robots.

Shogi players are very respected in Japan. There is a real fear that their status in Japan could be threatened by AI,” said Noboru Kosaku, a shogi player and a researcher on the amusement industry at the Osaka University of Commerce.

Shogi is seen to be a more difficult game than chess because once players capture an opponent’s piece, they can use that piece as their own—meaning that while chess games on the whole get simpler as fewer pieces are left on the board, shogi gets more complex

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 21 Feb 2017, 12:07:01

UPS Tries Arming Its Brown-Clad Drivers With an Octocopter Drone

Video - The world’s largest courier took a step closer to that future on Monday, launching an unmanned aerial vehicle from the roof of a UPS truck about a quarter-mile to a blueberry farm outside Tampa, Florida. The drone dropped off a package at a home on the property, and returned to the truck, which had moved about 2,000 feet.

The test shows how UPS is looking to drones as a way to cut costs and ease delivery in hard-to-reach places. Deploying the aircraft in rural areas -- where the distance between stops drives up fuel and labor costs -- is one of the more promising applications.

UPS says it hasn’t calculated how much the potential shift could help cut costs, but estimates in general that reducing each driver’s mileage by a mile a day could save $50 million a year. The company operates more than 100,000 road vehicles, according to its website.

UPS has enlisted Loveland, Ohio-based Workhorse Group Inc., which makes the courier’s plug-in electric delivery vehicles, to design a “rolling warehouse” system in which a drone is deployed from the roof of a UPS truck and flies at an altitude of 200 feet to the destination. It returns after dropping off the package.

The aircraft weighs 18 pounds and can carry a 10-pound payload, says Workhorse Chief Executive Officer Steve Burns. The driver can use a street view of the destination to determine where the item should be delivered. For safety reasons, the drones currently won’t fly under structures, such as awnings, so a package may be left several feet from a home’s doorstep.


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Marines’ Afghanistan Task Force Will Deploy with Quadcopters

The 300-Marine task force that will deploy to Helmand province, Afghanistan, in an advisory capacity will bring with them a range of small unmanned aerial vehicles, including quadcopters similar to those similar to those available for off-the-shelf purchase.

Marines with Task Force Southwest spent the day Feb. 8 training with Instant Eye, a tactical low-cost hand-launched drone mounted with multiple cameras to provide an accurate picture of the battlespace. According to Instant Eye manufacturer Physical Sciences Inc., the little drone weighs about a pound and can go from a stowed configuration to airborne in under 30 seconds, a plus for grunts carrying the system downrange.


It’s Official: Marine Rifle Squads are Getting Drones

The commandant is considering creating a new position within Marine infantry squads dedicated to flying unmanned aerial vehicles and managing information.
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US Marines test a variety of new warfighting technology - MAARS, MUUT, PD-100, Instant Eye

The war in Yemen has delivered a new weapon: the Drone Boat

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The Houthi boat that attacked and hit a Saudi frigate Jan. 30 in the Red Sea, reported earlier as a suicide boat, was instead carried out by an unmanned, remote-controlled craft filled with explosives, the US Navy’s top officer in the Mideast said.

“Our assessment is that it was an unmanned, remote-controlled boat of some kind,” Vice Adm. Kevin Donegan, commander of the Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet and head of US Naval Forces Central Command, told Defense News in an interview here Saturday.

The attack on the frigate Al Madinah appears to be the first confirmed use of the weapon which, Donegan said, represents a wider threat than that posed by suicide boats and shows foreign interests are aiding the Houthis.

Video - Saudi Navy Camera Records Houthi Drone Boat Attack

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China sets new 1,000 drone record

Video - A Chinese city orchestrated a dazzling 1,000-drone performance to mark the end of the Lunar New Year.

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Makes the SuperBowl show look kinda cheesy.

Watch Drive.ai’s self-driving car handle California city streets on a rainy night

Video - ... These are impressive because inclement weather and nighttime driving are particularly challenging for autonomous driving software, owing to factors like reduced visibility for optical sensors and a lot more interference with sensors in general because of the added noise created by the rain. Road conditions are also obviously affected by precipitation, and requires a different style of driving to navigate effectively (something a lot of human California drivers seem surprised to learn).

Some of the majorly impressive moments in the video include a point where another vehicle cuts in front of the Drive.ai car at a four-way stop intersection, and another near the two-minute mark where the car successfully manages a red light that’s knocked out and acting as a four-way stop as a result. ...
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 22 Feb 2017, 12:29:07

Day After Employees Vote to Unionize, Target Announces Fleet of Robot Workers

That didn't take long.

Just a day after pharmacy workers from a Brooklyn Target store formed a union, the company announced plans to replace employees with robot workers in the near future.

Last week it was reported that the pharmacists had submitted their initial “microunion” filing with the National Labor Relations Board after an initial ballot vote was passed 7 -2. The filing was noteworthy as the workers become the first union at any Target store since the retailer opened in 1902.

Yet, less than a week later, in a seemingly unrelated press release, Casey Carl, the Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at Target announced the company’s plan to develop automation systems and replace workers with robots in their retail locations as part of a new program with Techstars, an industry leader with a reputation for accelerating startups.

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For the last few years, Target has been increasing their share of the e-commerce sector since taking back control of their digital fulfillment from Amazon, which also uses robot workers. But now, they are looking to integrate that portion of their business with their brick and mortar locations to create a speedy grocery delivery service, which will require an even greater investment in technology.

That, combined with groups and politicians working towards a $15 per hour minimum wage, has pushed Target to announce that within two years they will have a “concept store” open that will include robots instead of associates.
... Target executives hinted at what's coming down the pike for the retailer. Target is working on a "concept store" that will open between 18 and 24 months from now that could include robots (conveniently for Target, Techstars has a program specifically for robotics) and other sci-fi features, though Target was parsimonious with details.


Tech CEOs back call for basic income as AI job losses threaten industry backlash

It's 2027 and robots have wiped out millions of jobs, AI is rampant, and unemployment is on the rise. Technology companies and CEOs have become public enemy number one.

This portrayal of the future is one tech executives are keen to avoid and has driven a growing chorus to support the idea of a universal basic income (UBI).

"There is going to be backlash when it comes to jobs," Sayantan Ghosal, an economics professor at the University of Glasgow who has written about UBI, told CNBC by phone.

How a basic income project might work in the future is unclear and the technology industry is still not sure. One idea is for governments to pay everyone a monthly sum. Experts say it will not disincentivize workers because it will provide a bare minimum of living. Instead, workers will still want to get a higher standard of living by working.

But any policy will be tough to fund.

"If you think of a basic income as providing a kind of floor to the standard of living for most people, then it will far exceed current benefit expenditure," Ghosal said.


The robot that takes your job should pay taxes, says Bill Gates

“You ought to be willing to raise the tax level and even slow down the speed” of automation, Gates argues. That’s because the technology and business cases for replacing humans in a wide range of jobs are arriving simultaneously, and it’s important to be able to manage that displacement. “You cross the threshold of job replacement of certain activities all sort of at once,” Gates says, citing warehouse work and driving as some of the job categories that in the next 20 years will have robots doing them.


Robot rights can adapt more from Roman law than from Sci-Fi

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This month, the European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution to create a new ethical-legal framework for robots. The Commission does not have to follow the parliament’s recommendations, but if it refuses it will have to explain why.

Consider two key issues: jobs and responsibilities. Robots replace human workers. Retraining unemployed people was never easy, but it is more challenging now that technological disruption is spreading so rapidly, widely and unpredictably. There will be many new forms of employment in other corners of the infosphere — think of how many people have opened virtual shops on eBay. But new and different skills will be needed. More education and a universal basic income may mitigate the impact of robotics on the labour market.

Society will need more resources. Unfortunately, robots do not pay taxes. And more profitable companies are unlikely to pay enough extra taxes to compensate for the loss of revenues. So robots cause a higher demand for taxpayers’ money and a lower supply of it.

The report correctly identifies the problem. But its original recommendation of a robo tax on companies that employ robots — a proposal that did not survive into the final text approved the parliament — may not be feasible, for what counts as a robot? It may also work as a disincentive to innovation.

... There is no need to adopt science fiction solutions to solve practical problems of legal liability. Jurisprudence already provides a solution.

If robots become as good as human agents — think of the droids in Star Wars — we can adapt rules as old as Roman law, in which the owner of enslaved persons is responsible for any damage. As the Romans knew, attributing some kind of legal personality to robots (or slaves) would relieve those who should control them of their responsibilities. And how would rights be attributed? Do robots have the right to own data? Should they be “liberated”?

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Google co-founder Sergey Brin says he's ‘surprised’ by pace of A.I. and uses a story of a cat to explain it

Google co-founder Sergey Brin said Thursday he was "surprised" by the advances in artificial intelligence after ignoring early projects in the field.

While Brin was heading the Google X research lab from 2010 to 2015, it was working on a project called Google Brain — an AI platform that is used across the search giant.

But Brin told delegates at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, that, at the time, he "didn't pay attention to it all."

"Jeff Dean would periodically come up to me and say, 'Look, the computer made a picture of a cat,' and I said 'OK that's very nice, Jeff' … and fast forward a few years and now SkyNet Brain probably touches every single one of our main projects," Brin said.

"This kind of revolution in deep nets has been very profound and definitely surprised me even though I was right inside there. … It's an incredible time. What can these things do? We don't really know the limits."
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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

Unread postby vox_mundi » Fri 24 Feb 2017, 13:00:40

Trump Wants To Expand U.S. Nuclear Arsenal, Make It ‘Top Of The Pack’

President Donald Trump said on Thursday he wants to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal to ensure it is at the “top of the pack,” saying the United States has fallen behind in its atomic weapons capacity.

In the Reuters interview, Trump also said China could solve the national security challenge posed by North Korea “very easily if they want to,” ratcheting up pressure on Beijing to exert more influence to rein in Pyongyang’s increasingly bellicose actions.

In his first comments about the U.S. nuclear arsenal since taking office on Jan. 20, Trump said the United States has “fallen behind on nuclear weapon capacity.”
“I am the first one that would like to see everybody - nobody have nukes, but we’re never going to fall behind any country even if it’s a friendly country, we’re never going to fall behind on nuclear power.

WTF? - (Once again, a fine example of verbal vomit from our 'carnival barker' in chief.)

It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack,” Trump said.

The new strategic arms limitation treaty, known as New START, between the U.S. and Russia requires that by February 5, 2018, both countries must limit their arsenals of strategic nuclear weapons to equal levels for 10 years.

Analysts have questioned whether Trump wants to abrogate New START or would begin deploying other warheads.

In the interview, Trump called New START “a one-sided deal.*

“Just another bad deal that the country made, whether it’s START, whether it’s the Iran deal ... We’re going to start making good deals,” he said.
* ... US president Donald Trump went into a January call with Russian president Vladimir Putin without being briefed first by intelligence or National Security Council experts, and during the conversation had to ask an aide to explain the New Start treaty, a milestone accord that constrains the two nations’ nuclear and missile arsenals, according to Reuters.

The U.S. Senate approved it 71-26.

President Donald Trump’s lack of understanding about the United States’ most crucial nuclear arms reduction treaty was extremely alarming. It is a matter of national security and the president’s ignorance is setting off alarm bells all over.

The incident is just more proof that Trump neither takes his responsibilities seriously nor is he prepared for one-on-one conversations with foreign leaders.

The United States is in the midst of a $1 trillion, 30-year modernization of its aging ballistic missile submarines, bombers and land-based missiles, a price tag that most experts say the country cannot afford.

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What Trump Doesn’t Get About Nukes

Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet premier, warned in an extraordinary article late last month that the “increasingly belligerent” tone of geopolitical debates looked to him “as if the world is preparing for war.” He urged the United Nations Security Council to “adopt a resolution stating that nuclear war is unacceptable and must never be fought.”

... Trump has signaled a willingness to embark on an expensive, pointless new arms race that he boasts the United States would win.

This is a foolish, dangerous delusion. Trump seems to believe he can bend opponents to his will. And, although he evidently knows little about nuclear weapons, he seems to embrace the Dr. Strangelove view that they are for war-fighting and war-winning. During the presidential campaign, for instance, he refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons to fight the Islamic State, despite the absurdity of wielding them against a lightly armed terrorist group. Against a heavily armed nuclear state like Russia or China, the notion of nuclear war-fighting is beyond absurd. Once nuclear weapons are unleashed, a conflict would almost certainly escalate to all-out proportions and kill hundreds of millions of people.

Practically every U.S. nuclear force exercise involving a Russia scenario ends exactly this way—in a full-scale nuclear exchange that kills hundreds of millions of civilians.

Nuclear crises involving coercion and threats meant to subdue an adversary are likewise fraught. Bullying the other side in a nuclear confrontation might succeed, but it just as easily could provoke escalation to the brink of war and possibly beyond. The definitive study of the effectiveness of nuclear blackmail during the Cold War finds it had mixed results, even when the United States enjoyed overwhelming nuclear superiority. In some cases, the United States forced the Soviet Union or China to back down, but in others the threats were counter-productive. Hubris in this arena today, too, threatens to fuel escalation and yield a nuclear war instead of a diplomatic victory.

... Trump needs a crash course on the probable consequences of a nuclear exchange with our nuclear rivals, especially Russia because of its vast arsenal. His education should include a thorough repudiation of the delusion of U.S. nuclear primacy. No matter what armchair strategists may claim, U.S. strategic nuclear forces and missile defenses are not capable of blocking Russian retaliation to a U.S. first strike. Not by a long shot.

Even if the United States could surreptitiously raise its nuclear readiness to a war footing and launch a surprise, full-scale nuclear strike that caught Russia flat-footed, the U.S. would suffer massive casualties. At least 145 Russian warheads could be delivered by surviving Russian mobile nuclear missiles alone, according to a new study by Global Zero. If those missiles were allocated one to every American city with a population above 172,000, nearly 150 cities would be utterly destroyed in retaliation. Twenty-two million people would die from the blast alone.[/b]
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Dr Strangelove (1964)

President Merkin Muffley: [to Kissoff] Hello?... Uh... Hello D- uh hello Dmitri? Listen uh uh I can't hear too well. Do you suppose you could turn the music down just a little?... Oh-ho, that's much better... yeah... huh... yes... Fine, I can hear you now, Dmitri... Clear and plain and coming through fine... I'm coming through fine, too, eh?... Good, then... well, then, as you say, we're both coming through fine... Good... Well, it's good that you're fine and... and I'm fine... I agree with you, it's great to be fine... a-ha-ha-ha-ha... Now then, Dmitri, you know how we've always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the Bomb... The *Bomb*, Dmitri... The *hydrogen* bomb!... Well now, what happened is... ahm... one of our base commanders, he had a sort of... well, he went a little funny in the head... you know... just a little... funny. And, ah... he went and did a silly thing... Well, I'll tell you what he did. He ordered his planes... to attack your country... Ah... Well, let me finish, Dmitri... Let me finish, Dmitri... Well listen, how do you think I feel about it?... Can you *imagine* how I feel about it, Dmitri?... Why do you think I'm calling you? Just to say hello?... *Of course* I like to speak to you!... *Of course* I like to say hello!... Not now, but anytime, Dmitri. I'm just calling up to tell you something terrible has happened... It's a *friendly* call. Of course it's a friendly call... Listen, if it wasn't friendly... you probably wouldn't have even got it... Ah-ah-eh-uhm-hm... I'm sorry, too, Dmitri... I'm very sorry... *All right*, you're sorrier than I am, but I am as sorry as well... I am as sorry as you are, Dmitri! Don't say that you're more sorry than I am, because I'm capable of being just as sorry as you are... So we're both sorry, all right?... All right.


How Russia vs. West Tensions Could Trigger World War 3



'The Donald' might want to crack open a book from time to time, like these ...

U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Office: Russia’s Military Strategy Impacting 21st Century Reform and Geopolitics

Defensive capability includes not just protecting Russia’s territory, but also the security of the nation’s national interests and conduct of geopolitics. Capturing the essence of these developments is the goal of this book.

Part One of this book contains three chapters. They are focused on the personality of President Vladimir Putin, the development of Russian strategic thought over the past several decades, and contemporary military thought on the use or non-use of force, to include how Russian military officers think. Chapter One provides details on how Putin thinks and how he has been affected by specific issues. (Psych profile) Ideology, politics, and military issues affecting his decision-making are discussed. Included in the assessment are several thoughts from some US and Russian specialists with key insights into political thought in Moscow. Chapter Two represents a detailed look at the development of Soviet and now Russian military strategy. The chapter examines strategic thought from the time of Svechin to the present, highlighting, in particular, those elements of strategic thought that continue to influence how forces will be used even today. Chapter Three offers a look at how Russia utilizes indirect, asymmetric, and nonmilitary operations, as well as how this differs from most Western interpretations of the General Staff’s use of strategy. In particular, the chapter examines how Russian military officers think and offers commentary on cross-domain deterrence thinking in Russia, which is a topic usually discussed only as a nuclear issue. Here several other potential adaptations of deterrence theory are reviewed. The chapter offers a differing view than some on the issue of hybrid war as a Russian concept and ends with a look at Russian reflexive control theory.

Part Two examines Russia’s preparation for future wars. Included in the discussion are new military equipment and aerospace developments, future-war organizations, and digital expertise. Chapter Four deals with several new items of equipment that are now in the Russian inventory, including an extensive look at Russian unmanned aerial vehicles and electronic warfare equipment. Chapter Five is dedicated to the new Aerospace Force and the Strategic Rocket Forces. Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu has stated, “Their creation was prompted by a shift of the ‘center of gravity’ in combat struggle to the aerospace sphere.” The discussion includes the rationale behind Russia’s decision to integrate the Air Force, Air Defense Forces, and Space Forces into an Aerospace Force and to declare aerospace a new theater of military operations. The continued development of the Strategic Rocket Forces is covered, since it has found new impetus from the strategic guidance of President Putin. Chapter Six considers several organizational aspects of future-war thought, including equipment under development, organizational and doctrinal changes, and future-war thinking. Equipment under development includes robotics and laser research. Organizationally there is a look at Russia’s new science companies and the Advanced Research Foundation (the Russian military’s DARPA equivalent), followed by a summary of several articles discussing the future contours of conflict and the changing character or war. Chapter Seven discusses Russia’s cyber thinking and organizational development. This includes a review of a Russian-authored cyber book, recent cyber developments in Russia, treaties that Russia has made with other nations, and several policy efforts directed by the Kremlin and the Federal Security Service (FSB) to monitor cyber compliance. A section on military thinking on cyber issues is included, along with Russian efforts to control the international cyber environment. China is a main partner of Russia in this regard.

Part Three is an examination of the application of military power and strategy to Putin’s geopolitical goals, specifically as applied to military operations in the Arctic and Ukraine. Chapter Eight investigates the ongoing militarization of the Arctic. The two goals of the military in the region appear to be to establish an overarching monitoring capability and a quick response, powerful military deterrent. Russia has continued to improve its military presence and infrastructure in the region. The buildup includes two light brigades, two airborne divisions that are on-call, new Borei- and Yasen-class nuclear missile submarines, rebuilt airfields, and new aerospace defense units. Meanwhile, Russian administration officials are working feverishly with the United Nations and other organizations to establish legal claims to the Arctic. Putin has made the Arctic a region of his personal interest, noting that the Arctic has been under “our sovereignty for several years. This is how this will be in the future.” This does not bode well for the future of the Arctic’s peaceful development. Chapter Nine discusses how and why Russia became engaged in the conflict in Ukraine, to include the interventions into both Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Russia’s strategy and use of new concepts (new reality, self-determination, use of surrogates, nonmilitary issues, indirect and asymmetric thinking, etc.) are examined. The end of the chapter focuses on Russian actions in Crimea, as it appears Russia is doing one of two things there with its massive military buildup: either it is ensuring that Crimea can never be given back to Ukraine due to all of the military equipment it now has stationed there; or it is preparing a bridgehead from which it can launch a pincer operation against Mariupol or advance quickly on Odessa or Transdniester.

Chapter Ten provides conclusions drawn from this study.


Handbook of Russian Information Warfare

pg 23 ... Subversion and Destabilisation
pg 49 ... Cyber, Kinetic and Information Operations
pg 54 ... Troll Farms and Botnets
pg 70 ... Social Media Preparations
pg 71 ... Targeting Personnel
pg 72 ... Exploitation


Russian military admits significant cyber-war effort

Russia's military has admitted for the first time the scale of its information warfare effort, saying it was significantly expanded post-Cold War.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russian "information troops" were involved in "intelligent, effective propaganda", but he did not reveal details about the team or its targets.

The admission follows repeated allegations of cyberattacks against Western nations by the Russian state. Nato is reported to be a top target.

... Keir Giles, an expert on the Russian military at the Chatham House think-tank, has warned that Russian "information warfare" occupies a wider sphere than the current Western focus on "cyber warriors" and hackers.

"The aim is to control information in whatever form it takes," he wrote in a Nato report called "The Next Phase of Russian Information Warfare".

"Unlike in Soviet times, disinformation from Moscow is primarily not selling Russia as an idea, or the Russian model as one to emulate. ... "In addition, it is often not even seeking to be believed. Instead, it has as one aim undermining the notion of objective truth and reporting being possible at all," he wrote.


Russian Defense Minister Says His Military Has Tested 162 Weapons In Syria

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made his way to the Duma, the lower house of parliament, on the eve of Defender of the Fatherland Day. The Feb. 23 national holiday was once known as Soviet Army and Navy Day, and Shoigu, dressed in the uniform of a general, came to boast about the Russian military's latest achievements.

"We tested 162 types of contemporary and modernized weapons in Syria, which showed a high level of effectiveness,"
Shoigu said. Only 10 weapons systems performed below expectations, he added.

... As cynical as it may sound, Golts said, combat is the best way for any military to test the condition of its weaponry. ... "By American standards, it was a small operation. But it was more than the experts thought they were capable of," Gorenburg said.

For example, by launching the cruise missiles, Russia showed that it could reach potential targets deep within Europe. ...


Congressional Briefing: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2016

...

... instead of golfing
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Mr Trump made his sixth trip to the golf course in 29 days on Sunday.

Previously, Mr Trump said he would be too busy to swing at a tee if elected.

"I'm going to be working for you. I'm not going to have time to go play golf," he said last August.


Russia Compiles Psychological Dossier on Trump for Putin

MOSCOW — A dossier on Donald Trump's psychological makeup is being prepared for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser.

"Very serious preparatory work is going on in the Kremlin, including a paper — seven pages — describing a psychological portrait of Trump, especially based on this last two to three months, and the last weeks," added former Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Fedorov, who said he has known Trump since 2000.

The dossier was being revised regularly, he said, adding that many in the Kremlin believed that Trump viewed the presidency as a business.

... Fedorov added that Trump's "constant battle with the mass media" was "worrying us."

The U.S. president "is dancing on thin ice," he said. "It's a risky game."


Trump on deportations: 'It's a military operation'

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump, meeting with business leaders at the White House on Thursday, described his administration's moves to deport undocumented immigrants as a "military operation," a label that runs counter to what his administration has previously said.

"We're getting really bad dudes out of this country, and at a rate that nobody's ever seen before," Trump said Thursday. "And they're the bad ones. And it's a military operation," he added.

A White House spokesperson said Trump did not misspeak by calling deportations a 'military operation,' but clarified the President meant "military" as an "adjective."

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly walked back the comment and told reporters in Mexico City Thursday that there would be "no use of military force in immigration operations, none."
“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 » Sun 26 Feb 2017, 15:27:00

Insurer Asks Its 16,000 Staff: Could a Robot Do Your Job?

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Ned Ryerson! - Groundhog Day (1993)

Could your job be done better by a robot? That’s the question posed to 16,000 employees by British insurance company Aviva. If you think anyone would be crazy to tell their employer “yes, I’m obsolete,” consider this: According to the Sunday Times, Aviva is offering to train employees for alternative jobs in the company for those who admit their job could be automated.

Despite frequent warnings that automation will disrupt a wide swath of industries, many workers believe that their own job is safe. That’s probably unreasonably optimistic. In addition to the Oxford study, a critical mass of recent research has pointed to the coming tidal wave of automation. A White House report from 2016 concluded that between 9% and 47% of all American jobs are vulnerable, including 80% of jobs paying less than $20 an hour.

Assuming even the most conservative numbers, that’s a lot of disappearing jobs. Deals like Aviva’s offer a potential lifeline for employees who will lose out in a more heavily-automated economy. Whether or not those new jobs are sustainable—and not just a stepping stone to robot-induced unemployment—remains to be seen.

Could only be an improvement.

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Goldman Sacked: How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Wall Street

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For the past year, we as a society have been worried sick about artificial intelligence eating the jobs of 3 million truck drivers. Turns out that a more imminently endangered species are the Wall Street traders and hedge fund managers who can afford to buy Lamborghinis and hire Elton John to play their Hamptons house parties.

So maybe “hooray for AI” on this one?

Financial giants such as Goldman Sachs and many of the biggest hedge funds are all switching on AI-driven systems that can foresee market trends and make trades better than humans. It’s been happening, drip by drip, for years, but a torrent of AI is about to wash through the industry, says Mark Minevich, a New York-based investor in AI and senior adviser to the U.S. Council on Competitiveness. High-earning traders are going to get unceremoniously dumped like workers at a closing factory.

In 2014, Goldman Sachs invested in and began installing an AI-driven trading platform called Kensho. Walnut Algorithms, a startup hedge fund, was designed from the beginning to work on AI. Infamously weird hedge fund company Bridgewater Associates hired its own team to build an AI system that could practically run the operation on its own. Bridgewater’s effort is headed by David Ferrucci, who previously led IBM’s development of the Watson computer that won on Jeopardy!

A report from Eurekahedge monitored 23 hedge funds utilizing AI and found they outperformed funds relying on people.

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Human traders and hedge fund managers don’t stand a chance, in large part because they’re human. ...

Goldman Sachs shows just how devastating automation can be to traders. In 2000, its U.S. cash equities trading desk in New York employed 600 traders. Today, that operation has two equity traders, with machines doing the rest. And this is before the full brunt of AI has come into play at Goldman. “In 10 years, Goldman Sachs will be significantly smaller by head count than it is today,” Daniel Nadler, CEO of Kensho, told The New York Times. Expect the same to happen on every trading floor at every major financial company.

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Much of America is not going to weep for the types of people depicted in The Wolf of Wall Street, yet this new AI reality could be devastating in many ways. Imagine the impact on high-end real estate in New York. Think of the “For Sale” signs on summer beach homes in Southampton. How will luxury retailers survive the likely dip in sales of $2,000 suits and $5,900-per-pound white truffles? Maybe Donald Trump will be driven to demand that somebody bring back traders’ jobs, thinking they’ve moved to Mexico.

There’s one other benefit to AI machines taking over finance. Ben Goertzel, chief scientist at Aidyia, says his machine will never need human intervention. “If we all die, it would keep trading,” he once said.

So if Trump pulls out the nuclear codes and pushes the button, at least some people will still get a good return on their 401(k)s.
“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 28 Feb 2017, 11:21:11

Air Force to Retire UAV MQ-1 Predator Drone, Transition to MQ-9 Reaper

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While the MQ-1 has provided many years of service, the Air Force plans to retire the MQ-1 early next year to keep up with the continuously evolving battlespace environment.

The MQ-9 is better equipped than the MQ-1 due to its increased speed, high-definition sensors and the ability to carry more munitions. These combat attributes allow the MQ-9 to complete a wider array of mission sets, which can help the Air Force stay prepared in the fight.

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Air Force Attack Drones Will Fire Laser Weapons

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency says it has conducted tests of a “directed-energy airborne laser” fired from a military drone. The weapon, which would be carried by remote-control aircraft loitering high over suspected enemy ballistic missile launch sites, would add an early interception ability to the current system, which relies on “metal-to-metal” missile interceptors guided by an elaborate system of radar and satellites.

“Our vision is to shift the calculus of our potential adversaries by introducing directed energy into the ballistic missile defense architecture,” agency spokesman Christopher Johnson wrote in an email response to a Las Vegas Review-Journal inquiry. “This could revolutionize missile defense, dramatically reducing the role of kinetic interceptors.”

Two remotely piloted Reaper drones — like those that routinely fly at Creech Air Force Base, 45 miles northwest of Las Vegas — are being used in a $230 million, five-year Low Power Demonstration program at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, according to Johnson.

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Johnson said five leading defense contractors — Boeing, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon — are studying the technology, and the agency expects to award contracts this year to design a multi-kilowatt-class laser weapon for missile defense.

“We will select the best designs, develop a demonstrator system for flight test in 2020, and piggyback on ballistic missile defense tests in 2021,” Johnson said.


Counter-Terror Chief: Expect Terrorist Drone Swarms ‘Soon’

Militaries could face a new threat: swarms of cheap enemy drones, according to one of the nation’s counter-terrorism chiefs.

“It is conceivable that some day soon we will see someone’s otherwise capable military security force penetrated, defeated or even overrun by such technologies,” Lt. Gen. Michael Nagata, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said at the recent Special Operations Forces / Low Intensity Conflict summit.

“What could you do with a swarm of weaponized unmanned aerial systems?” asked Nagata.
“We need to remember that aerial vehicles are not the only rapidly growing capability when it comes to robotics. Ask yourself what could a robot the size of a penny that can cut through computer cables do to a command control room?”

In October, a booby-trapped ISIS drone killed the Peshmerga fighters who shot it down.

Such drones are having profound psychological effects on the people of Mosul.

“I’d just gone to the market for some shopping,” one wounded Mosul resident told BBC reporter Wyre Davies. “The next thing I was lying on the ground and looking up. People started pointing up to the sky from where the bomb had come … Where’s the security when these machines are hovering over people and killing us?”

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... "First they come to observe and then they will return carrying bombs," Maj. Firas Mehdi said, cautioning the AP journalists with the special forces unit to remain under cover during an outing in December. Mehdi himself had been hit with shrapnel in his leg when a drone dropped a small bomb on his position a week earlier.

A small, black rotary drone flew over their position from the IS held neighborhood just a few hundred meters away. Two Iraqi special forces soldiers rushed Mehdi into a concrete house for cover while half a dozen more spread out into the street and fired wildly into the air.

An Iraqi special forces officer told the AP this week that at least three Iraqi troops had been killed by the drones and dozens injured.


Boston Dynamics' Newest Robot Moves Like a Donkey on Rollerblades

New Video

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The leaked footage of Handle already revealed the robot’s amazing jumping abilities, as it easily leaped over an obstacle without having to slow down at all. But the extended cut shows off even more of the two-legged robot’s capabilities. Apparently, the movie RoboCop gave us a false sense of security when it came to a robot’s inability to handle stairs. Instead of collapsing like ED-209 did, Handle rolls down a small flight of steps like they’re nothing more than a ramp.

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The wheeled bot can travel up to 9 mph, and as you can see in the video, it has no trouble rolling over some light off-road terrain such as patches of grass and flights of stairs. Batteries power the robot's electric and hydraulic actuators, allowing it to crouch down, make sharp turns, and lift objects that weigh at least 100 pounds. Handle has enough battery juice to travel about 15 miles on one charge.
“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 28 Feb 2017, 11:52:45

US Military Is Looking to Add AI to Its Cyber Defense

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Drones, lasers, and tanks: China shows off its latest weapons

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China's Poly Technologies showed off The Silent Hunter, one of the world's most powerful laser weapons. It claims an output of at least 50-70 kilowatts, which would make it more powerful than the 33-kilowatt laser weapon systems (LaWS) currently deployed on the USS Ponce. The laser is probably based on a smaller anti-drone laser, the Low Altitude Guard. That's enough to knock out automobiles by burning out their engines from over a mile away, as the 30-kilowatt Lockheed Martin ATHENA laser demonstrated in 2015. The Silent Hunter is likely to be scaled up and equipped with radars to complement its optical/infrared tracking system, making it a capable close range defense system against enemy missiles, artillery, drones and aircraft.

The Silent Hunter laser is powerful enough to cut through light vehicle armor at up to a kilometer away, making you wonder if China already has more powerful laser weapons only for domestic use.

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LAG II: Resulting from a private/public partnership, the LAG II laser is one of the most powerful operational laser weapons, initially designed to shoot down drones. (there are reports of more powerful but classified anti-satellite lasers)

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The Low Altitude Guard II is a more powerful, mobile follow up to the laser turret, one with potential military applications that goes beyond just shooting down drones to possibly defending against mortar and rocket attacks.

Compared with its predecessor, LAG II is more apparently militarized. Its range is doubled to 4 km and has a 300 percent increase in maximum power output to 30 kilowatts. That's comparable to the Laser Weapons System (LAWS) installed on the USS Ponce, which has a range of 15-50 kilowatts for attacking UAVs, small boats, and helicopters.

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The CH-5 drone is China's largest UCAV offered for export, with a fuel-efficient turboprop engine that gives it a 4,400-mile range and 60 hour flight time (soon to become 12,000 miles and 120 hours of flight). In addition to carrying one ton of weapons, its communications systems allows its controller to use the plane as a relay station for controlling other drones. It could also benefit from breakthroughs in Chinese AI to work as part of an autonomous drone swarm in the future.

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CK-20: CK-20 is a supersonic target drone concept in the advanced stages of development. A 5.5-ton, single-engine aircraft roughly the size of a jet fighter trainer, it can fly at an altitude of 18 km, reach speeds of up to Mach 1.8. It may make first flight around 2020, and like the CH-805, has stealthy features, including canted vertical stabilizers. Similarly, its high speed could make it a candidate to be developed into an operational role.

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CH-500: The CH-500 is a coaxial small helicopter UCAV drone, but packs a very hefty punch in the form of two anti-tank missiles. CH-500 can carry two HJ-10 anti-tank missiles. Its small size makes this robot helicopter suitable for use by smaller formations like battalions and companies, giving frontline Chinese commanders ready and responsive access to airstrikes.

CH-901: The CH-901, a micro-UAV, just entered service with the PLA, but already being offered for export. While a useful recon tool, it can kamikaze into enemy forces and detonate its warhead for some quick carnage.

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Drone Swarm: Drone swarms can aggregate resources, with autonomous decision-making, to undertake tasks like reconnaissance and even attack missions, as the CETC video suggests.

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L-70: First debuting at Zhuhai 2014, a combat exoskeleton designed by EEAE came new and improved to Zhuhai 2016. The L70 now has a smaller power pack/battery, thanks to recent advances in battery miniaturization. L70's specifications two years ago included a coefficiency of 5:1 (carrying twenty pounds with the exoskeleton requires the wearer to exert only four pounds), a performance that could have been boosted by refinements to the exoskeleton hydraulics.

Akin to the Pentagon's Iron Man project, special forces could use exoskeletons to ease the physical demands of carrying weapons, supplies and equipment on extended deployments; the exoskeleton could also be used to ease logistical tasks like loading.
Last edited by vox_mundi on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 12:58:40, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 28 Feb 2017, 12:09:24

Wendy's plans self-ordering kiosks at 1,000 locations

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Video - DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Wendy's says it plans to install self-ordering kiosks at about 1,000 locations by the end of the year.

Wendy's chief information officer, David Trimm, said the kiosks are intended to appeal to younger customers and reduce labor costs. Kiosks also allow customers of the fast food giant to circumvent long lines during peak dining hours while increasing kitchen production.

Trim estimates the company will see a return on its investment in less than two years.

"They are looking to improve their automation and their labor costs, and this is a good way to do it," said Darren Tristano, vice president with Technomic, a food-service research and consulting firm. "They are also trying to enhance the customer experience. Younger customers prefer to use a kiosk."

Kiosks are also valued by the Dublin, Ohio-based company for their ability to provide data about customers.

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Robot apple pickers on the way

WENATCHEE, WA — Worry over ag labor shortages could be a thing of the past if two engineering firms hit goals to market robotic fruit-picking machines by 2019.

The two competing companies — Abundant Robotics Inc. in California and Israel-based FFRobotics — have plans to manufacture and market commercial robotic harvesters sometime in the next 18 to 24 months, representatives told a global audience of fruit growers here Thursday.

The two reps gave presentations to hundreds of orchardists, packers and shippers from 13 countries gathered last week in Wenatchee for the 60th Annual Conference of the International Fruit Tree Association.


Spider robot predicted to soon run faster than humans

Meet the ominously-named Titan-XIII, a four-legged insectoid robot straight out of the Skynet book of world domination. It's been created by researchers at the Suzumori Endo Lab at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Why? To prove that insect-like quadruped robots can move just as fast as their mammalian robotic counterparts. And, presumably, to one day outrun them And us.

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In their paper published in Robomech Journal, designers Satoshi Kitano, Gen Endo, Koichi Suzumori, and Shigeo Hirose argue that insectoid robots are better suited to carrying objects across uneven ground.

The current trend within load-carrying robotic design is towards a more mammalian-type automaton, with four vertical legs.

The Japanese researchers point out that insectoid robots have a lower centre of gravity and are therefore more equipped to stay upright.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 01 Mar 2017, 11:02:45

If Silicon Valley Types Are Scared of A.I., Should We Be?

Conversation with Nate Soares, executive director of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute in Berkeley.

If we use, to achieve our purposes, a mechanical agency with whose operation we cannot efficiently interfere once we have started it because the action is so fast and irrevocable that we have not the data to intervene before the action is complete, then we better be quite sure that the purpose put into the machine is the purpose which we really desire and not merely a colorful imitation of it.

Norbert Wiener, the founder of cybernetics (1960)

“It gets very hard to predict the future once you have smarter-than-human things around,” said Nate, “In the same way that it gets very hard for a chimp to predict what is going to happen because there are smarter-than-chimp things around. That’s what the Singularity is: It’s the point past which you expect you can’t see.”

What he and his colleagues—at MIRI, at the Future of Humanity Institute, at the Future of Life Institute—were working to prevent was the creation of an artificial superintelligence that viewed us, its creators, as raw material that could be reconfigured into some more useful form (not necessarily paper clips). And the way Nate spoke about it, it was clear that he believed the odds to be stacked formidably high against success.

To be clear,” said Nate, “I do think that this is the shit that’s going to kill me.” And not just him—“all of us,” he said. “That’s why I left Google. It’s the most important thing in the world, by some distance. And unlike other catastrophic risks—like say climate change—it’s dramatically underserved. There are thousands of person-years and billions of dollars being poured into the project of developing AI. And there are fewer than 10 people in the world right now working full-time on safety. Four of whom are in this building.”

“I’m somewhat optimistic,” he said, leaning back in his chair, “that if we raise more awareness about the problems, then with a couple more rapid steps in the direction of artificial intelligence, people will become much more worried that this stuff is close, and the A.I. field will wake up to this. But without people like us pushing this agenda, the default path is surely doom.”

... This is what we do as a species, after all: We build ingenious devices, and we destroy things.


Will Democracy Survive Big Data and Artificial Intelligence?

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It can be expected that supercomputers will soon surpass human capabilities in almost all areas—somewhere between 2020 and 2060. Experts are starting to ring alarm bells. One thing is clear: the way in which we organize the economy and society will change fundamentally.

In the 1940s, the American mathematician Norbert Wiener (1894–1964) invented cybernetics. According to him, the behavior of systems could be controlled by the means of suitable feedbacks. Very soon, some researchers imagined controlling the economy and society according to this basic principle, but the necessary technology was not available at that time.

Today, Singapore is seen as a perfect example of a data-controlled society. What started as a program to protect its citizens from terrorism has ended up influencing economic and immigration policy, the property market and school curricula. China is taking a similar route. Recently, Baidu, the Chinese equivalent of Google, invited the military to take part in the China Brain Project. It involves running so-called deep learning algorithms over the search engine data collected about its users. Beyond this, a kind of social control is also planned. According to recent reports, every Chinese citizen will receive a so-called ”Citizen Score”, which will determine under what conditions they may get loans, jobs, or travel visa to other countries. This kind of individual monitoring would include people’s Internet surfing and the behavior of their social contacts (see here & here).

With consumers facing increasingly frequent credit checks and some online shops experimenting with personalized prices, we are on a similar path in the West. It is also increasingly clear that we are all in the focus of institutional surveillance. This was revealed in 2015 when details of the British secret service's "Karma Police" program became public, showing the comprehensive screening of everyone's Internet use. Is Big Brother now becoming a reality? Programmed society, programmed citizens.

Everything started quite harmlessly.

Today, algorithms know pretty well what we do, what we think and how we feel—possibly even better than our friends and family or even ourselves. Often the recommendations we are offered fit so well that the resulting decisions feel as if they were our own, even though they are actually not our decisions. In fact, we are being remotely controlled ever more successfully in this manner. The more is known about us, the less likely our choices are to be free and not predetermined by others.

But it won't stop there. Some software platforms are moving towards “persuasive computing.” In the future, using sophisticated manipulation technologies, these platforms will be able to steer us through entire courses of action, be it for the execution of complex work processes or to generate free content for Internet platforms, from which corporations earn billions. The trend goes from programming computers to programming people.

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These technologies are also becoming increasingly popular in the world of politics. Under the label of “nudging,” and on massive scale, governments are trying to steer citizens towards healthier or more environmentally friendly behaviour by means of a "nudge"—a modern form of paternalism. The new, caring government is not only interested in what we do, but also wants to make sure that we do the things that it considers to be right. The magic phrase is "big nudging", which is the combination of big data with nudging. To many, this appears to be a sort of digital scepter that allows one to govern the masses efficiently, without having to involve citizens in democratic processes.
Big nudging aims to bring the actions of many people into line, and to manipulate their perspectives and decisions. This puts it in the arena of propaganda and the targeted incapacitation of the citizen by behavioral control.

A problem arises when adequate transparency and democratic control are lacking: the erosion of the system from the inside. Search algorithms and recommendation systems can be influenced. Companies can bid on certain combinations of words to gain more favourable results. Governments are probably able to influence the outcomes too. During elections, they might nudge undecided voters towards supporting them—a manipulation that would be hard to detect. Therefore, whoever controls this technology can win elections—by nudging themselves to power.

This problem is exacerbated by the fact that, in many countries, a single search engine or social media platform has a predominant market share. It could decisively influence the public and interfere with these countries remotely.

What undesirable side effects can we expect? In order for manipulation to stay unnoticed, it takes a so-called resonance effect—suggestions that are sufficiently customized to each individual. In this way, local trends are gradually reinforced by repetition, leading all the way to the "filter bubble" or "echo chamber effect": in the end, all you might get is your own opinions reflected back at you. This causes social polarization, resulting in the formation of separate groups that no longer understand each other and find themselves increasingly at conflict with one another. In this way, personalized information can unintentionally destroy social cohesion. This can be currently observed in American politics, where Democrats and Republicans are increasingly drifting apart, so that political compromises become almost impossible. The result is a fragmentation, possibly even a disintegration, of society.

Owing to the resonance effect, a large-scale change of opinion in society can be only produced slowly and gradually. The effects occur with a time lag, but, also, they cannot be easily undone. It is possible, for example, that resentment against minorities or migrants get out of control; too much national sentiment can cause discrimination, extremism and conflict.

Experiments with manipulative technologies, such as nudging, are performed with millions of people, without informing them, without transparency and without ethical constraints. Even large social networks like Facebook or online dating platforms such as OkCupid have already publicly admitted to undertaking these kinds of social experiments.
Personalized information builds a "filter bubble" around us, a kind of digital prison for our thinking. How could creativity and thinking "out of the box" be possible under such conditions?

Ultimately, a centralized system of technocratic behavioral and social control using a super-intelligent information system would result in a new form of dictatorship.

We are now at a crossroads

Big data, artificial intelligence, cybernetics and behavioral economics are shaping our society—for better or worse. If such widespread technologies are not compatible with our society's core values, sooner or later they will cause extensive damage. They could lead to an automated society with totalitarian features. In the worst case, a centralized artificial intelligence would control what we know, what we think and how we act. We are at the historic moment, where we have to decide on the right path—a path that allows us all to benefit from the digital revolution.

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Britain banks on robots, artificial intelligence to boost growth

(Bloomberg) -- Britain is betting that the rise of the machines will boost the economy as the country exits the European Union.

As part of its strategy to champion specific industries, the U.K. government said in a statement on Sunday that it would invest 17.3 million pounds ($21.6 million) in university research on robotics and artificial intelligence. The government cited an estimate from consultancy Accenture that AI could add 654 billion pounds to the U.K. economy by 2035.

UK DCMS Digital Strategy
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 01 Mar 2017, 18:17:49

Meet the weaponized propaganda AI that knows you better than you know yourself

Video - Is it worse to be distracted by irrelevant ads, or to be monitored closely enough that the ads are accurate but creepy? Why choose? (Why not Zoidberg?) One company called Cambridge Analytica has managed to apply what some are calling a “weaponized AI propaganda machine” in order to visit both fates upon us at once. And it’s all made possible by Facebook.

Cambridge Analytica specializes in the mass manipulation of thought. One way they accomplish this is through social media, particularly by deploying “native advertising.” Otherwise known as sponsored content, these are ads designed to fool you into assimilating the ad unchallenged. The company also uses Facebook as a platform to push microtargeted posts to specific audiences, looking for the tipping point where someone’s political inclination can be changed, just a little bit, for the right price. Much like Facebook games designed specifically for their addictive potential, rather than for any entertainment value, these intellectual salesmen exist solely to hit every sub-perceptual lever in order to bypass our conscious barriers.

Cambridge Analytica is one subsidiary of a UK-based firm called SCL — for Strategic Communication Laboratories — that does business in “psychometrics,” an emerging field concerned with applying the big data approach to psychology and the social sciences.

SCL also claims secretive but highly paid disinformation and psy-ops contract work on at least four continents. Their CV includes work done on the public dime here in America, training our military for counterterrorism.

Also among their services is the euphemistically named practice of “election management.” They are riding to fame — or at least better funding — on the coattails of Donald Trump’s ascension to the White House, for which they claim no small degree of responsibility.

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Nobody is willing to go on the record and put their name to assertions that the emperor has no clothes, for fear of incurring the wrath of newly powerful Cambridge Analytica board member Steve Bannon, or yanking too hard on the Koch brothers’ monetary speech apparatus. It’s not clear whether Cambridge Analytica is pulling the strings they say they’re pulling, or just really good at knowing what side is going to win. But they definitely have something under their hats.

The AI that enables the entire business model is likely an intellectual descendant of Dr. Michal Kosinski’s work in the Cambridge University social sciences department — and an illegitimate one, if you ask Kosinski himself. The story reads like a film noir.

Facebook activity has an uncanny amount of predictive power. Michal Kosinski’s 2014 PhD project rested on a psychometric Facebook survey called MyPersonality, which added AI to the mix.

With only a person’s Facebook “likes” plugged into a MyPersonality dossier, Kosinski’s AI could reliably predict their “sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious and political views, personality traits, intelligence, happiness, use of addictive substances, parental separation, age, and gender.”

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OCEAN Personality Assessment score

More data meant a better guess, of course. Seventy “likes” were enough to make the AI’s prediction of a person’s OCEAN Personality Assessment score better than their friends could do, 150 made it more accurate than what their parents got, and 300 “likes” could do better predicting a person’s OCEAN score than the best human judge of a person: their spouse. More “likes” could even surpass what a person thought they knew about themselves, by predicting their OCEAN score closer than the person’s own best estimate of what their score would be.

His work earned him a deputy directorship at Cambridge’s Psychometrics Centre. It also earned him the attention of SCL.

... If pirating the data that can reconstruct a movie is the moral and legal equivalent of stealing the movie from a store, then pirating a model that can be used to reconstruct someone’s personality with enough fidelity to predict and alter their behavior without their consent might also be worth legal attention. Can you consent to be misled, and then vote based on that? Our legislature can be sold ideas, and they enact policy by voting. Who’s serving dark posts to Congress, and what’s in those posts?


Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media

... why I recognised Robert Mercer’s name: because of his connection to Cambridge Analytica, a small data analytics company. He is reported to have a $10m stake in the company, which was spun out of a bigger British company called SCL Group. It specialises in “election management strategies” and “messaging and information operations”, refined over 25 years in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. In military circles this is known as “psyops” – psychological operations. (Mass propaganda that works by acting on people’s emotions.)

Cambridge Analytica worked for the Trump campaign and, so I’d read, the Leave (Brexit) campaign. When Mercer supported Cruz, Cambridge Analytica worked with Cruz. When Robert Mercer started supporting Trump, Cambridge Analytica came too. And where Mercer’s money is, Steve Bannon is usually close by: it was reported that until recently he had a seat on the board.


Did artificial intelligence influence Brexit and Trump win?

... Mercer introduced the firm to Leave campaigner and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage. The communications director of Leave.eu, Andy Wigmore, told the Observer that the longstanding friendship between Nigel Farage and the Mercer family led Mercer to offer his help free of charge to the Brexit campaign due to their shared goals.

Last year, Cambridge Analytica was paid more than $6million to target swing voters by Trump’s team during the US Presidential election. According to its website, the firm claims to have gathered psychological profiles, based on 5,000 separate pieces of data, about 220 million American citizens.


Trump’s Data Firm Snags RNC Tech Guru Darren Bolding

BRITISH NEWCOMERS CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA EARNED serious bragging rights—and more than a few enemies—as the data firm that helped engineer Donald Trump’s victory in its first US presidential election. Now it’s poaching the Republican National Committee’s chief technology officer, Darren Bolding, in a quest to become the analytics outfit of record for the GOP.

Though Cambridge is now pursuing commercial clients through its new office in New York, it’s also expanding its DC operation and hopes to secure government and defense contracts under the Trump administration. Cambridge already has the requisite ties. Not only did it work for the Trump campaign, but Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, serves on the firm’s board.

Cambridge also is funded by Robert Mercer, the billionaire donor who gave millions to Trump Super PACs and whose daughter Rebekah Mercer serves on the Trump transition team. She reportedly is involved in shaping the non-profit organization that will serve as a fundraising and messaging vehicle for the Trump administration. That could give Cambridge an advantage in securing its business.

Meanwhile, Cambridge will be harvesting data on the American electorate and using it to promote the Republican party.


What Does the Billionaire Family Backing Donald Trump Really Want?

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