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PeakOil is You

Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

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

Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 24 Oct 2017, 12:38:01

Canada Concerned About Cyber Attacks Targeting Critical Infrastructure

The Canadian government is “really worried” about cyber attacks that have targeted critical infrastructure and has helped companies improve their defenses without disclosing hacks to the public, a senior intelligence official said on Monday.

The comment by Scott Jones, an assistant deputy minister at Canada’s Communications Security Establishment intelligence agency, follows a warning on Friday from the United States that sophisticated hackers are targeting U.S. infrastructure, including nuclear, energy, aviation, water and manufacturing industries.


Malware Campaign Targets Security Researchers with Bogus Cyber Conference Document

Hackers Group 74 (a.k.a. Tsar Team, Sofacy, APT28, or Fancy Bear)—a Russian hacking collective with links to the Kremlin—are using fake messages from the Cyber Conflict US conference to infect cybersecurity experts with malware, according to a new report from Cisco Talos.

The attack is particularly effective because its decoy document is from a real conference: The Cyber Conflict US conference organized by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, which is taking place on November 7-8 in Washington, DC.

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Cybersecurity workers received an email with an attached two-page Word document labeled "Conference_on_Cyber_Conflict.doc." The fake flyer contains a malicious Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macro. Previous campaigns from Group 74 included Office exploits or zero-day attacks, Cisco Talos researchers noted in their report.

CyCon U.S. is a collaboration between the Army Cyber Institute at the U.S. Military Academy and the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence, based in Tallinn, Estonia, where the complementary CyCon Conference is held every spring.

Irony Alert: The theme of this year's CyCon U.S. is "The Future of Cyber Conflict."


Fear the Reaper: Calm Before the IoT Security Storm? - New botnet malware could disrupt Internet services

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It’s been just over a year since the world witnessed some of the world’s top online Web sites being taken down for much of the day by “Mirai,” a zombie malware strain that enslaved “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices such as wireless routers, security cameras and digital video recorders for use in large-scale online attacks.

Now, experts are sounding the alarm about the emergence of what appears to be a far more powerful strain of IoT attack malware — variously named “Reaper” and “IoTroop” — that spreads via security holes in IoT software and hardware. And there are indications that over a million organizations may be affected already.
"We are likely enjoying a period of false calm before another humbling IoT attack wave breaks."

Reaper's masters and purpose are unknown, though the most obvious use for it would be a distributed denial of service attack, a la Mirai, Horowitz said.

"Such an attack could either be for the sake of general chaos, or more targeted at a specific country," she said.
“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 27 Oct 2017, 10:34:17

Flying Drones Scan Warehouse Inventory Night and Day

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Flying drones and robots now patrol distribution warehouses - they've become workhorses of the e-commerce era online that retailers can't do without. It is driving down costs but it is also putting people out of work: what price progress?

"Today's inventory management requires workers to scan items manually, which is a very time consuming and error-prone process. It's impossible to keep track of all items in the warehouse."

Two drones can do the work of 100 humans over the same time period, according to supply chain specialist, Argon Consulting. This means they can do several tours of a warehouse - even at night - compare results, identify discrepancies, and build up a much more accurate picture much more quickly.
Drone makers claim scanning accuracy of close to 100%.


"Nobody has 100% (human) accuracy - including Walmart and Amazon," he says. "For a warehouse that is 95% accurate, it means that 5% is ambiguous. So if the warehouse is storing $100m [£75m] worth of inventory, then $5m is uncertain.

"Typically the retailer will have more than one warehouse. So, if you multiply the problem across the warehouse network you are talking big dollars."
"The use of automated technologies will permit warehouses to operate 24-hour days and improve stock management accuracy, but beyond this they will provide significant benefits to safety within the workplace."

This will be small comfort for the thousands of warehouse workers displaced by drones and robots, but it is the inevitable consequence of our desire for online convenience, cheaper prices and faster deliveries.

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HAL 9000: It can only be attributable to human error.


Walmart Bringing Shelve-Scanning Automation to a Number of Stores

Walmart has tested the technology in a limited number of its stores throughout Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and California and is now readying to expand its presence into an additional 50 locations.

The retailer said on Thursday that it will begin testing automation technology to carry out tasks it considers "repeatable, predictable and manual," including scanning shelves for out-of-stock products, inaccurate prices, or missing labels.

"This new shelf-scanning technology frees up time for our associates to focus on what they tell us are the most important and exciting parts of working at Walmart - serving customers and selling merchandise," Walmart said.

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Warehouse Robot startup Kindred Signs Up the Gap To Test Its First Commercial Product

UPS CEO: Thanks to Automation, We're Shipping More Packages With the Same Number of People

The upcoming holiday period is shaping up to be another record-breaking shipping season. In fact, United Parcel Service (UPS) forecasts 750 million packages will be delivered between Black Friday and New Year’s Eve, a 5% increase from last year.

Despite the expected increase in volume, UPS expects to hire the same number of temporary seasonal workers as last year (95,000).

“Last year we hired about the same number of people and we’re doing it this year with an extra 5% of packages and it is because of automation,” UPS CEO David Abney told Yahoo Finance.

“It’s very important for us to use technology to increase automation to have things in effect like UPS MyChoice that gives our consumers more control of the delivery,” he said.

“We’re not standing still,” Abney said. “If anyone is going to significantly change or disrupt our business, we want it to be us.”


One In Three British Motorists Fined Every Year, as Experts Say Automation has Created a 'Cash Cow'

One in three British motorists is fined every year, a study found, as experts suggest automation technology has created a cash cow for councils and police.

As many as 12 million drivers receive a penalty notice each year, a study by the RAC Foundation found, the equivalent of one every 2.5 seconds.

It means almost a third of Britain's 40 million motorists are now receiving a penalty notice annually, bringing in more than £800 million in revenue.

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As Airlines Aim For Autonomous Flight, Near-Term Revolution Will Be Going Single Pilot

When it comes to transportation, the word for this decade and the next is autonomous. But while we are likely to see autonomous cars in mass production by 2030 and almost certain to see self-driving trucks within five years, we will probably not see any autonomous passenger jets for one simple reason – passengers don’t trust them.

The technology exists – all kinds of aircraft that don’t involve passengers are using it, mostly in the military – but many consumers have said they would refuse to fly in one. Aviation is no doubt disappointed because of the hundreds of billions that could be cut from operational expenses. But tens of billions can still be saved by implementing the step before complete autonomy – single-pilot operations.

Passengers may start seeing planes with a single pilot in the cockpit within the next three to five years – an inevitability driven more by the airlines’ continual quest to lower costs than by the arrival of new technology. Even now, pilots spend a bulk of their flight time monitoring machines rather than actually flying. In fact, with many of the newest jets, most pilots are only manually flying during takeoffs and the final minutes of landing – and not even then if there’s low visibility. Active flying time for pilots sometimes amounts to a little as three to five minutes.


What Does Work Look Like in 2026? New Statistics Shine Light on Automation’s Impacts

On Tuesday the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its biennial report, in which the agency laid out the its predictions for changes in the workforce coming over the next 10 years. The fingerprints of automation and AI can be clearly seen throughout.

It's no secret that automation is expected to continue eliminating jobs, and the report reflects that. Jobs for workers like electronics assemblers and word processers, which are highly susceptible to automation, are anticipated to drop by 45,300 and 25,000, respectively, by 2026.


Rise of Automated Vehicles Spells Doom for Taxis, Buses in Next 15 Years: Report

According to research by the Goldman Sachs Group, less than 10 per cent of travel in North America is taken in non-personally owned vehicles. However, report author Bern Grush – a systems engineer and futurist – says that by 2030, that percentage may climb to 25 per cent or higher as more people turn to robo-taxis, micro-transit and ride sharing. Why? Because automation will make these systems more reliable and far cheaper than today's taxi and bus services — and even personal ownership, for an increasing number of travellers.

Improvements in vehicle automation, combined with a sharing economy, will vastly expand the robo-taxi and micro-transit juggernaut being readied by providers such as Uber, Lyft and Google for Ontario's cities and towns.

"We saw what happened with the Town Council in Innisfil, which contracted with Uber rather than investing in a traditional bus system. This type of disruption will spread to other municipalities," Grush says. "Once these commercial providers begin to automate their fleets, their role in public transit and goods movement will accelerate."


Artificial Intelligence Beats CAPTCHA

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The founder of modern computing, Alan Turing, conceived of the Turing test, the most famous version of which asks if one could devise a machine capable of mimicking a human well enough in a conversation over text to be indistinguishable from human. In doing so, Turing helped give rise to the field of artificial intelligence.

The most commonly used Turing test is the CAPTCHA, an acronym for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart." CAPTCHAs are designed to see whether users are human, often to prevent bots from accessing computing services. They usually challenge website visitors to recognize a string of distorted letters and digits, a problem designed to be difficult for computers and easy for humans.

A CAPTCHA is considered broken if an algorithm can successfully solve it at least 1 percent of the time. Now San Francisco Bay Area startup Vicarious reveals its AI software can solve reCAPTCHAs at an accuracy rate of 66.6 percent, BotDetect at 64.4 percent, Yahoo at 57.4 percent and PayPal at 57.1 percent.

"Our system has the ability to learn using relatively few examples, much like the human brain," says study lead author Dileep George, cofounder of Vicarious.


The AI Revolution Is Coming—And It Will Take Your Job Sooner Than You Think

... This is different from the Industrial Revolution, where machines took away jobs but also created lots of new jobs. The AI Revolution will be nothing like that. Once the intelligence of AI gets near the class of human intelligence, then by definition, any new jobs it creates will also be done by AI. Welcome to the future of mass unemployment. ...
One thing is certain: The monumental task of dealing with the AI Revolution will be almost entirely up to the political left. After all, when the automation of human labor begins in earnest, the big winners are initially going to be corporations and the rich. Because of this, conservatives will be motivated to see every labor displacement as a one-off event, just as they currently view every drought, every wildfire, and every hurricane as a one-off event. They refuse to see that global warming is behind changing weather patterns because dealing with climate change requires environmental regulations that are bad for business and bad for the rich. Likewise, dealing with an AI Revolution will require new ways of distributing wealth. In the long run this will be good even for the rich, but in the short term it’s a pretty scary prospect for those with money—and one they’ll fight zealously. Until they have no choice left, conservatives are simply not going to admit this is happening, let alone think about how to address it. It’s not in their DNA.


For a Dollar, an AI Will Examine Your Medical Scan

A company called Zebra Medical Vision has unveiled a new service called Zebra AI1 that uses algorithms to examine your medical scans for a dollar each. The deep learning engine can examine CT, MRI and other scans and automatically detect lung, liver, heart and bone diseases. New capabilities like lung and breast cancer, brain trauma, hypertension and others are "constantly being released," the company says. The results are then passed on to radiologists, saving them time in making a diagnosis or requesting further tests.

... The company says that two billion people will be entering middle age in the next decade, but the number of radiologists has remained steady. As a result, current radiologists will be overwhelmed by scan data without the aid of algorithmic systems.


Human-Controlled, Force-Multiplying Robots Are the Future of Work on Earth

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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 » Sat 28 Oct 2017, 13:50:38

The Unthinkable --- What If We Have A Nuclear War?

As the North Korean crisis escalates, the possibility of nuclear war has suddenly become discussable—and not just theoretical.

... McMaster acknowledged. As one U.S. official told NBC News, in reference to why U.S.-North Korean diplomatic channels are breaking down, the Trump administration’s message to North Korea appears to be “‘surrender without a fight or surrender with a fight.’”

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3 US Carrier Strike Groups Enter Asia-Pacific Region

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The nuclear-powered Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and the Theodore Roosevelt strike group entered the Western Pacific Ocean amid increasing tensions between the United States and North Korea on October 23, the U.S. Navy announced in a statement. A carrier strike group can consist of up to 12 warships, including one to two submarines and 75 aircraft.

In addition, the U.S. Navy announced that the Nimitz strike group consisting of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Howard, USS Shoup, USS Pinckney, USS Kidd, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton returned to the 7th Fleet area of operations on October 25 following a deployment to the Persian Gulf.

“Amid an unprecedentedly grave security situation, the deployment of Ronald Reagan and its carrier strike group to the Korean Peninsula and their joint exercise with South Korea is part of the increased deployment of U.S. strategic assets here.


As Mattis Promises ‘Massive Military Response’ to North Korea Strike, Threat of Artillery Hangs Over Seoul

...“Make no mistake,” Mattis told reporters, “any attack on the United States or our allies will be defeated, and any use of nuclear weapons by the North will be met with a massive military response that is effective and overwhelming.”

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Mattis: North Korea Nuclear Threat Accelerating

The threat of nuclear attack from North Korea is increasing, US Defence Secretary James Mattis said during a visit to South Korea.

"North Korea has accelerated the threat that it poses to its neighbours and the world through its illegal and unnecessary missile and nuclear weapons programs," Mr Mattis said.

Washington could not accept a nuclear North Korea, he added, speaking alongside his South Korean counterpart Song Young-moo.


300 Airmen, 12 Stealth Fighter Jets Deploying from Hill Air Force Base to Pacific Region

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Though the deployment comes amid increasing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, it is not a response to that, according to Col. Lee Kloos, 388th Fighter Wing Commander.


Oops! This is how Wars start ...

Incoming! Accidental Inbound Missile Warning Scares the Hell Out of American Air Force Personnel

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The message read “MISSILE INBOUND. SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY!” as it took over the screens of Air Force personnel working at the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany, earlier this week.
Lets just take a second to appreciate that low-fi goodness that looks like an old-school virus payload, as well as the fact that it instructs you to take shelter immediately but first click that you acknowledge your inevitable demise.

It was accidentally sent out to all terminals through the bases AtHoc emergency alert system that is typically used for weather updates. Spokesman Maj. Bryon McGarry told Stars and Stripes, “One of the command post controllers was building a template for this specific thing that was posted.” The message was intended to only go to one person but he “inadvertently sent it to everybody.” Eight minutes after the message announcing impending doom popped up, a soothing blue screen went out across the base’s terminals telling everyone to chill out.

All reporting on the incident comes from official sources through military media like Stars and Stripes or Air Force Times. How did everyone react? Information is limited, though someone mentioned on Facebook that a buddy ripped his pants running. If there was a freak out on base, no one seems to be spilling the details. The person responsible for the accident was reportedly counseled and procedures were updated to prevent a similarly alarming situation from occurring in the future.

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Official USAF Twitter Jokes About Nuclear War and Questions Santa's Existence

At a time when talk of nuclear weapons has come back into vogue, one U.S. Air Force Base decided to make a darkly humorous reference to nuclear war before getting into a major Twitter battle with another one about bombers, deterrence, and the existence of Santa Claus – no really.

... Heightened tensions and "fiery rhetoric" have a lot of people on edge. So it’s somewhat notable that two days after the Pentagon’s initial Tweet, the official account for the Nuclear Missle command at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota responded with “Hey @DeptofDefense, ‘[shall we] play a game?’

For those who might not know the reference, this was an obvious, if slightly incorrect callback to the 1983 movie WarGames, in which a young computer hacker unwittingly convinces a military super computer that there is an incoming nuclear attack on the United States from the Soviet Union.

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Unfortunately, these kind of mishaps have been terrifyingly common over the years, often triggering various parts of the United States government's extensive system to make sure it can keep functioning during just such an apocalyptic crisis.

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The Tweet from Minot seems in some ways both flippant and the kind of lighthearted candor one might hope from American military personnel who literally have the ability to end the world as we know it. There is a well-known motto among the service’s missileers already that “death wears bunny slippers,” a nod to the oddly casual nature of ICBM launch crews as they maintain their alert posture 24-hours a day, ready to respond at a moment’s notice, and end all human life on this planet.

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VP Pence Makes Promises at Minot Air Force Base Visit

... Pence emphasized the significance of the Minot Air Force Base, home to B-52 bombers and intercontinental ballistic missile wings and the only base with two of the three legs of the nuclear triad. Accompanied by Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, Pence received a mission briefing from base commanders and toured a missile silo and a B-52.

During an 18-minute speech, Pence mentioned global threats facing the United States, including aggression from North Korea. He said the U.S. will continue to use economic and diplomatic pressure to demand that North Korea abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. During his speech, Pence extended Trump’s appreciation of the airmen and promised the administration’s commitment to investing in military resources and training.
“Under this Commander-in-Chief, the era of budget cuts to the American military are over,” Pence said, prompting applause from the service members.

“Diplomacy only works when you have the capability of using force, or at least works a lot better,” Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D said.


Former CIA Chief: Nuclear War with Russia, Biological Weapons and Climate Change 'Only' Existential Threats to US

Michael Morell, who served as acting chief of the foreign intelligence service between November 2012 to March 2013, warned the US was failing to pay attention to longer term issues.
'We tend to focus on the immediate, not the longer term'

Nuclear exchange with Russia was still a threat that had the capacity to “destroy” the country, the 59-year-old told the politics podcast Pod Save the World.

“The second is a naturally occurring or manmade biological agent that kills 60 to 70 per cent of the population,” he said. “We don’t spend enough time on that.”

“And then the third, and some people may laugh at this but it’s absolutely true, is climate change. It’s an existential threat to the United States of America and if you don’t believe me look at Puerto Rico. This is an existential threat to us and obviously we’re not paying enough attention.”


Soviet Submarine Officer Who Averted Nuclear War Honored with Award

A senior officer of a Soviet submarine who averted the outbreak of nuclear conflict during the cold war is to be honoured with a new prize, 55 years to the day after his heroic actions averted global catastrophe.

On 27 October 1962, Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov was on board the Soviet submarine B-59 near Cuba when the US forces began dropping non-lethal depth charges. While the action was designed to encourage the Soviet submarines to surface, the crew of B-59 had been incommunicado and so were unaware of the intention. They thought they were witnessing the beginning of a third world war.

Trapped in the sweltering submarine – the air-conditioning was no longer working – the crew feared death. But, unknown to the US forces, they had a special weapon in their arsenal: a ten kilotonne nuclear torpedo. What’s more, the officers had permission to launch it without waiting for approval from Moscow.

Two of the vessel’s senior officers – including the captain, Valentin Savitsky – wanted to launch the missile.According to a report from the US National Security Archive, Savitsky exclaimed: “We’re gonna blast them now! We will die, but we will sink them all – we will not become the shame of the fleet.”

But there was an important caveat: all three senior officers on board had to agree to deploy the weapon. As a result, the situation in the control room played out very differently. Arkhipov refused to sanction the launch of the weapon and calmed the captain down. The torpedo was never fired.

Had it been launched, the fate of the world would have been very different: the attack would probably have started a nuclear war which would have caused global devastation, with unimaginable numbers of civilian deaths.


Mapping the US Nuclear War Plan for 1956

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The FLI's digitized version of the target list.
“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 31 Oct 2017, 12:45:26

Congressional Research Service Report: The North Korean Nuclear Challenge: Military Options and Issues for Congress

A New Report from the Congressional Research Service identifies and examines seven possible directions for US policy, none of them risk-free or altogether satisfactory:
* Maintaining the military status quo
* Enhanced containment and deterrence
* Denying DPRK acquisition of delivery systems capable of threatening the US
* Eliminating ICBM facilities and launch pads
* Eliminating DPRK nuclear facilities
* DPRK regime change
* Withdrawing U.S. military forces


Korea War Seen Killing Up to 300,000 Even Without Nukes

- Up to 25 million on both sides of border could be affected
- Grim assessment offered by Congressional Research Service


Renewed conflict on the Korean peninsula could kill hundreds of thousands of people in the first few days alone even if no nuclear weapons are involved, according to a new report by the Congressional Research Service.

Given population densities on the peninsula, military conflict “could affect upwards of 25 million people on either side of the border, including at least 100,000 U.S. citizens,” according to a 62-page assessment sent to U.S. lawmakers Friday and obtained by Bloomberg News.

With the U.S. saying that all military options are on the table, the CRS report laid out in sharp detail the consequences of a conflict. North Korea can rely on hundreds of thousands of artillery rounds within striking distance of Seoul, making it difficult for even a preemptive strike to prevent mass casualties.

Even if North Korea “uses only its conventional munitions, estimates range from between 30,000 and 300,000 dead in the first days of fighting,” the report said, citing North Korea’s ability to fire 10,000 rounds per minute. Moreover, the conflict could quickly spread to involve forces from China, Japan and Russia.

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“Such a conflict could also involve a massive mobilization of U.S. forces onto the Korean Peninsula, and high military casualty rates,” the report said. “Complicating matters, should China choose to join the conflict, those casualty rates could grow further, and could potentially lead to military conflict beyond the peninsula.”

The assessment acknowledges the pressure facing the Trump administration is heightened by the view of intelligence and military advisers that by next year North Korea is likely to have mastered all of the technology for an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the U.S.

The CRS report also explored the possibility that a war between the U.S. and North Korea would quickly turn into a wider conflagration.

“A protracted conflict -- particularly one in which North Korea uses its nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons -- could cause enormous casualties on a greater scale, and might expand to include Japan and U.S. territories in the region,” said CRS. “Such a conflict could also involve a massive mobilization of U.S. forces onto the Korean Peninsula, and high military casualty rates.”


Global Thunder”: US Kicks Off Major Military Exercise Days After Russian ICBM Drills

The US Strategic Command has commenced its ‘Global Thunder’ war games. This major military exercise involves all of STRATCOM’s major missions and come just days after the Russian military tested its nuclear triad in large-scale drills across the country.

The war games will encompass all of STRATCOM’s major missions, including “strategic deterrence, space operations, cyberspace operations, joint electronic warfare, global strike, missile defense and intelligence.”

The Pentagon has already informed the Russian military of the drills, RIA Novosti reported citing Captain Brian Maguire, spokesman for the Strategic Command.
“The US and Russia must notify each other about large-scale nuclear drills under the [Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty],” he explained.

According to the spokesman, the ‘Global Thunder’ exercises are focused on enhancing STRATCOM’s “nuclear readiness.”

On Monday, the US military dispatched a B-2 stealth bomber on a long-range patrol over the Pacific to demonstrate Washington’s “visible commitment” to its Asian allies amid the North Korean crisis.

STRATCOM said the bomber, which took off from Whiteman Air Force Base, practiced moves to “familiarize aircrew with air bases and operations in different geographic combatant commands.”


Massive Russian Nuclear War Games Reported in Arctic

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Russia, in a little-noticed move, has carried out a barrage of missile tests across its Arctic territories in what’s described as one of the most massive nuclear missile drills in post-Soviet history.

The Independent Barents Observer reports that Russia’s military fired four ballistic missiles, two in each direction, across the Arctic hemisphere on Thursday evening. The exercises are the latest in what Scandinavian analysts say is a noticeable rise in Russian military activity in a region whose economic importance is growing due to global warming.

The Norway-based news website says two missiles were launched from a Pacific Fleet submarine in the Sea of Okhotsk towards the Chizha test range on the Kanin Peninsula in Arkhangelsk. A Northern Fleet submarine, in another test, is said to have launched another ballistic missile from the Barents Sea. This missile reportedly hit a target in the Kura test range on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Far East.

A Topol ballistic missile was also launched the same day from Plesetsk in Russia’s Arkhangelsk region, reportedly streaking across the Arctic before its dummy warhead hit a target at the Kura test range in northern Kamchatka Krai in the Russian Far East

Long-range Russian Tu-160 and Tu-95 strategic bombers, as well as Tu-22M bombers are also said to have tested cruise missiles in Kamchatka in the Far East and in Kazakhstan in Central Asia.


‘Military Options’ Against North Korea Isn’t the Problem—Loose Talk Is

... Even as the senior advisors are trying to tone down the inflammatory rhetoric from President Trump, emphasizing that U.S. policy does not include regime change and reiterating Washington’s commitment to peaceful resolution, the drumbeat of military action has been drowning out the “engagement” part of the formula. While it is absolutely appropriate to consider military options, loose talk of war could take on a dangerous life and momentum of its own.

The apparently coordinated messaging hinting at kinetic strikes against the North Korean regime leaves no doubt that administration officials are considering such options ... Loose talk of war in today’s discourse, amplified by the media and fueled by the president’s constant belittling of diplomatic efforts, could take a life and momentum of its own, including potentially by accelerating preparations for a conflict that would serve nobody’s interests, leading leaders in Washington and Pyongyang to feel that their credibility is tied to their resolve in causing the other party to blink, and thereby increasing the potential for miscalculation.

For many of us, such martial talk from usually reserved and measured officials—combined with the president’s bull-in-a-china-shop attitude to national security—raise the specter of a military confrontation that could lead to millions dead, nuclear and humanitarian disaster, and possibly even World War III.

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The dream scenario is one in which Kim sees the error of his ways and comes to the table, immediately freezes his nuclear weapons program, and allows International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors into the country. In this vision, already highly unlikely, this would ultimately lead to complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization. Beijing and Washington would trade congratulatory messages, the North Korean people would be finally freed from a totalitarian state as the regime opens itself up, and South Korea and Japan could finally live without the fear of a North Korean attack.

The operative word is “credible.”

What if Kim Jong-un does believe the United States will strike, and mistakes a military exercise as the prelude to an attack? Or views a cyberattack as eroding his ability to defend North Korea and responds militarily? Or the United States successfully conducts a limited strike inside North Korea and messages Kim Jong-un and the North Korean leadership that it’s not intended for regime change? Would Kim believe Washington that it’s really just a limited strike? In either case, Kim is likely to see his situation as a use-or-lose scenario, in which he has to decide whether to use nuclear weapons first or die knowing that his nuclear weapons failed at deterring a U.S. attack and ensuring regime survival. He would probably choose the former.

On the other hand, if Kim does not believe in the credibility of the U.S. military threat, being inured to the empty bluster of President Trump, he could potentially be goaded by additional tweets or U.S.-South Korean military shows of force into following through on the threats to detonate a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific or fire ballistic missiles near Guam to show that he will not be cowed. In this scenario, the United States would be embarrassed either if it tried and failed to intercept the missiles, highlighting the inconsistency of the ballistic missile defense systems, or if it did nothing at all, which would reinforce to Pyongyang that Washington’s threats are meaningless. Or Kim could continue to escalate the war of words with Trump, on the assumption that the threats are merely rhetorical and that, sooner or later, the president will be reined in by his advisors, Congress, or the American public, showing him to be all growl and no bite [a true 'dotard'].


Trump Admin Continues Threats & Provocations Against North Korea, Laying Groundwork for Nuclear War

Amid a Cyber Cold War, is the Cyber Mission Force prepared?

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... Hackers, by compromising defense systems, have gained information about military designs that cost US taxpayers trillions of dollars to develop—and meanwhile, hacking of industrial control systems could result in calamity for civilian populations. It is clear that the United States is now in a Cyber Cold War against multiple capable adversaries. As during the original Cold War, the Defense Department is organizing, posturing, and maneuvering to gain and retain the initiative.

On August 15, the president announced the elevation of US Cyber Command to a unified command, on par with the nine other commands that direct regional or functional operations for the US military. Cyber Command’s mission as a unified command will be to defend and advance US interests in and through cyberspace. This change in authorities and responsibilities will entail a number of significant administrative undertakings. Assigning a commander, updating agreements, transferring resources, and determining the conditions required for full operational capability will take time. Unfortunately, Cyber Command’s realignment of responsibilities does not represent an immediate or dramatic change to the nation’s capabilities in cyberspace operations. Although the Cyber Mission Force has matured dramatically since its inception, major barriers—legislated operating constraints, unwieldy acquisition processes, and less-than-ideal utilization of commercially developed technologies—impede the innovation necessary to ensure that the United States can overmatch its adversaries.

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What is an Act of War in Cyberspace?

What constitutes an act of war in the cyber domain? It’s a question that officials have wrestled with for some time without being able to provide a clear-cut answer.

But in newly-published responses to questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Pentagon ventured last year that “The determination of what constitutes an ‘act of war’ in or out of cyberspace, would be made on a case-by-case and fact-specific basis by the President.”

“Specifically,” wrote then-Undersecretary of Defense (Intelligence) Marcel Lettre, “cyber attacks that proximately result in a significant loss of life, injury, destruction of critical infrastructure, or serious economic impact should be closely assessed as to whether or not they would be considered an unlawful attack or an ‘act of war.'”

Notably absent from this description is election-tampering or information operations designed to disrupt the electoral process or manipulate public discourse.

Accordingly, Mr. Lettre declared last year that “As of this point, we have not assessed that any particular cyber activity [against] us has constituted an act of war.”


EU to Declare Cyber-Attacks “Act of War

European Union member states have drafted a diplomatic document which states serious cyber-attacks by a foreign nation could be construed as an act of war.

The document, said to have been developed as a deterrent to provocations by the likes of Russia and North Korea, will state that member states may respond to online attacks with conventional weapons “in the gravest circumstances."

The framework on a joint EU diplomatic response to malicious cyber activities would seem to raise the stakes significantly on state-sponsored attacks, especially those focused on critical infrastructure.


North Korea Hacked Daewoo Shipbuilding, Took Warship Blueprints: South Korea Lawmaker

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SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea probably stole South Korean warship blueprints after hacking into Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd’s database in April last year, a South Korean opposition lawmaker said on Tuesday.

“We are almost 100 percent certain that North Korean hackers were behind the hacking and stole approximately 40,000 of the company’s sensitive documents, including 60 classified military files” Kyung Dae-soo of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party told Reuters by telephone.

Daewoo Shipbuilding has built several South Korean warships, including an Aegis-class vessel and submarines. It was most likely North Korea had obtained blueprints for these, he said.

Hackers in North Korea are believed to have been responsible for a recent cyber heist in Taiwan - the latest in a string of hacks targeting the global SWIFT financial messaging system.

Earlier this month, another South Korean lawmaker had said North Korean hackers had stolen a large number of classified military documents, including South Korea-U.S. wartime operational plans.

And British authorities said last week they believed North Korea was behind the “WannaCry” ransomware attack in May that disrupted businesses and government services worldwide, including the National Health Service in England.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 31 Oct 2017, 13:04:08

The U.S. Will Invade West Africa in 2023 after an Attack in New York — According To Pentagon War Game

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When the Pentagon peers into its crystal ball, the images reflected back are bleak.

On May 23, 2023, in one imagining from the U.S. military, terrorists detonate massive truck-bombs at both the New York and New Jersey ends of the Lincoln Tunnel. The twin explosions occur in the southern-most of the three underground tubes at 7:10 a.m., the beginning of rush hour when the subterranean roadway is packed with commuters making their way to work.

The attack kills 435 people and injures another 618. Eventually, we’ll come to know that it could have been much worse. The plan was to drive the trucks to “high profile targets” elsewhere in Manhattan. Somehow, though, the bombs detonated early.

This spectacular attack, which would result in the highest casualties on U.S. soil since 9/11, isn’t the hackneyed work of a Hollywood screenwriter — it is actually one of the key plot points from a recent Pentagon war game played by some of the military’s most promising strategic thinkers. This attack, and the war it sparks, provide insights into the future as envisioned by some of the U.S. military’s most important imagineers and the training of those who will be running America’s wars in the years ahead.

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The documents consist of hundreds of pages of summary materials, faux intelligence estimates, fictional situation reports, and updatesissued while the exercise was in progress


Operation Dark Winter

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A survivor

The Dark Winter exercise, held at Andrews AFB, Washington, DC, June 22-23, 2001, portrayed a fictional scenario depicting a covert smallpox attack on US citizens. The scenario is set in 3 successive National Security Council (NSC) meetings (Segments 1, 2 and 3) that take place over a period of 14 days. Former senior government officials played the roles of NSC members responding to the evolving epidemic; representatives from the media were among the observers of these mock NSC meetings and played journalists during the scenario's press conferences.

With tensions rising in the Taiwan Straits, and a major crisis developing in Southwest Asia, a smallpox outbreak was confirmed by the CDC in Oklahoma City. During the thirteen days of the game, the disease spread to 25 states and 15 other countries. Fourteen participants and 60 observers witnessed terrorism/warfare in slow motion. Discussions, debates (some rather heated), and decisions focused on the public health response, lack of an adequate supply of smallpox vaccine, roles and missions of federal and state governments, civil liberties associated with quarantine and isolation, the role of DoD, and potential military responses to the anonymous attack. Additionally, a predictable 24/7 news cycle quickly developed that focused the nation and the world on the attack and response. Five representatives from the national press corps (including print and broadcast) participated in the game and conducted a lengthy press conference with the President. See briefing slides.
- An attack on the United States with biological weapons could threaten vital national security interests. Massive civilian casualties, breakdown in essential institutions, violation of democratic processes, civil disorder, loss of confidence in government and reduced U.S. strategic flexibility abroad are among the ways a biological attack might compromise U.S. security.

- Current organizational structures and capabilities are not well suited for the management of a BW attack. Major "fault lines" exist between different levels of government (federal, state, and local), between government and the private sector, among different institutions and agencies, and within the public and private sector. These "disconnects" could impede situational awareness and compromise the ability to limit loss of life, suffering, and economic damage.

- There is no surge capability in the U.S. healthcare and public health systems, or in the pharmaceutical and vaccine industries. This institutionally limited surge capacity could result in hospitals being overwhelmed and becoming inoperable, and it could impede public health agencies' analysis of the scope, source and progress of the epidemic, their ability to educate and reassure the public, and their capacity to limit causalities and the spread of disease.

- Dealing with the media will be a major immediate challenge for all levels of government. Information management and communication (e.g., dealing with the press effectively, communication with citizens, maintaining the information flows necessary for command and control at all institutional levels) will be a critical element in crisis/consequence management.

- Should a contagious bioweapon pathogen be used, containing the spread of disease will present significant ethical, political, cultural, operational, and legal challenges.

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Smallpox, because of its high case-fatality rates and transmissibility, represents one of the most serious biological warfare threats to the civilian population. In 1980, the World Health Assembly announced that smallpox had been eradicated and recommended that all countries cease vaccination. Although labs in two countries still officially store smallpox samples (U.S. and Russia), its re-appearance would almost certainly indicate an intentional outbreak.

Aerosol release of smallpox virus disseminated among a relatively small population could result in a significant epidemic. Evidence suggests the infectious dose is very small. Several factors are cause for concern: the disease has historically been feared as one of the most serious of all pestilential diseases; it is physically disfiguring; it bears a 30 percent case-fatality rate; there is no treatment; it is communicable from person to person. Vaccination ceased in this country in 1972, and vaccination immunity acquired before that time has undoubtedly waned. Prior to eradication, data on smallpox outbreaks in Europe indicated that victims had the potential to infect 10 to 20 others. However, there has never been a smallpox outbreak in such a densely populated, highly mobile, unvaccinated population such as exists today.

Estimates of the current U.S. supply of smallpox vaccine range from 7 to 12 million doses. This stock cannot be immediately replenished, since all vaccine production facilities were dismantled after 1980, and renewed vaccine production is estimated to require at least 24-36 months. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently contracted with Acambis Inc. of Cambridge MA to produce 40 million doses of new vaccine.
Shining Light on “Dark Winter”


Considering the Effects of a Catastrophic Terrorist Attack: Rand Report

In recent years, there has been a growing concern that targeted acts of terrorism, focused on critical economic infrastructure, could produce cascading social and economic effects on a very wide scale. The authors carry out a scenario analysis and strategic gaming revolving around a catastrophic terrorist attack on the Port of Long Beach. The authors describe the results from this investigation and provide many of the primary results from the analysis in the appendixes. The analysis tools developed by the authors for this study lay the groundwork for research exploring both the short- and long-term effects of catastrophic events.


It Can't Happen Here: “A Night at the Garden” Is the Most Terrifying Movie You Can Watch This Halloween

(7:05 min)... “Nazism, has nothing to do with race and nationality. It appeals to a certain type of mind. … The frustrated and humiliated intellectual, the rich and scared speculator, the spoiled son, the labor tyrant, the fellow who has achieved success by smelling out the wind of success — they would all go Nazi.”

“Regular, nonpolitically minded Americans who watch it,” Curry hopes, “will become a tiny bit more aware of the way that, throughout history, demagogues [have] used sarcasm and humor and mob violence to whip up audiences that were otherwise decent people.”

... there are always many chronological adults waiting for someone to give them permission to lay down the burden of an individual adult’s consciousness. To tell them: We’ve located the culprits causing all your frustration and pain. They look like us, like humans, but they’re not. They’re wearing a disguise. Dissolve with us into this howling mass of protoplasm, and you will be responsible for nothing.

This has happened, at various scales, innumerable times in our species’ history. It’s more profoundly a part of us than anything we think of as “politics.” Nazism and fascism are just the names we’ve given to the better organization and production values made possible by modern technology.


They Shoot Lawyers Don't They?: Law In The Third Reich And The Global Threat To The Independence Of The Judiciary
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 31 Oct 2017, 13:45:02

‘Big Brother Billboard’ Switched On In Piccadilly Circus

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The six old advertising boards have been replaced with one high-definition curved screen, dubbed the ‘Big Brother billboard’.

The screen features facial and object recognition technology to track passing cars and pedestrians and deliver targeted adverts. It also provides free Wi-fi which researchers have warned could be used to ‘monitor and capture your every online move.’

The hidden cameras track the make, model and colour of cars as well as the age, gender and even mood of pedestrians, according to The Verge. Brands can pre-program triggers so specific adverts are played when certain car models pass, according to Landsec who own the screen.

‘The new screen has the ability to react to external factors such as the weather and passing vehicles – though without collecting or storing any personal details’, a spokesperson for Landsec told MailOnline.

‘For example, the branded content displayed on the screen could change depending on the colour of vehicles. ‘How the technology is used depends on the approach and creative being displayed by the brands’, the spokesperson said.

Speaking earlier this year, Tim Bleakley, chief executive of Ocean Outdoor, the company that runs the board’s advertising said: ‘Coca-Cola, for example, can log on at any given moment, see a large group of Spanish tourists and change the copy of the ad from ‘hello,’ to ‘buenos dias’.’

‘The reality of this digital game is that the free WiFi you connect to is the real gold-mine for the sponsors of this technology’, cyber-security expert Douglas Crawford from BestVPN.com, told MailOnline.

They can use it to monitor and capture your every online move

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... People should not be afraid of their government, government should be afraid of their people

V: Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine- the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, whereby those important events of the past, usually associated with someone's death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.

There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power.

Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission.

How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense.

Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you've seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked.

But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 01 Nov 2017, 10:43:02

Google is Teaching Its AI How Humans Hug, Cook, and Fight

Google, which owns YouTube, announced on Oct. 19 a new dataset of film clips, designed to teach machines how humans move in the world. Called AVA, or “atomic visual actions,” the videos aren’t anything special to human eyes—they’re three second clips of people drinking water and cooking curated from YouTube. But each clip is bundled with a file that outlines the person that a machine learning algorithm should watch, as well as a description of their pose, and whether they’re interacting with another human or object. It’s the digital version of pointing at a dog with a child and coaching them by saying, “dog.”

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Human-Level AI: How Far Are We?

To answer this question I will propose that there are five milestones that must be conquered in order to machines to become as intelligent as humans: generality, transfer learning, learning without being taught, common sense and self-awareness. Let’s look at them, in turn, and see where we stand today in the roadmap to human-level AI.

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Generality: this means that we have developed an approach, or a systems architecture that can be applied to any problem independent of the domain. I consider this problem largely solved. Probabilistic approaches to AI, such as deep leaning networks (as opposed to “symbolic”, e.g. expert systems), have demonstrated generality. We can use the same deep learning networks and algorithms to bear on virtually any problem that is a good use case for machine learning.

Learning without being taught: this is what Deep Mind have achieved with AlphaGo Zero. By tweaking and simplifying their original reinforcement learning approach that they had used with the first AlphaGo they demonstrated how a neural network that is given a goal (e.g. “to win”) can learn by itself and invent strategies for achieving that goal. It is a major breakthrough, and it has brought us a big step closer to human-like AI.

Transfer learning: this means that a system can use, or abstract, the knowledge it has accumulated by solving a specific problem, and apply this knowledge in solving a different problem. This is something that we humans do naturally. We “see patterns” and “similarities” in problems, and we apply heuristics and accumulated “experience” to solve them. We are not there yet in AI; although there seems to be at least one promising path to achieving transfer learning in machines, by combining probabilistic and non-probabilistic (“symbolic”) approaches. For example, imagine a system that can detect the steps that its neural network takes in solving a given problem and translates them into a heuristic algorithm; then, generalizing this domain-specific heuristic algorithm, and using it to drive the neural network into solving for a different problem.

Common sense: this is a really hard problem. Take for example the sentence “Michael Phelps won the 400m butterfly gold medal in the Beijing Olympics“. When you read this sentence you instantly, and implicitly, assume a long list of things; for example, that Phelps got wet in achieving the medal, that he had to take his socks off before he went into the pool, etc. This association of logical hypotheses to the original statement is extremely hard to code affectively in a computer. We are still a long way from solving for common sense. But, a good start, would be to look into what neuroscience can teach us about the way we form, retain and use memories. The function of human memory is perhaps the key to developing approaches for common sense in machines.

Self-awareness: this level of “consciousness” is still mysterious in humans, although there have been several breakthroughs by neuroscientists in understanding more what happens in the human brain when we become aware of something, i.e. when an “I” - or a “self” - emerges and we have subjective experiences. For many, high-level consciousness is perhaps the “last bastion” of humanity in retaining some kind of superiority over the intelligent machines of the future. Nevertheless, creating machines that mimic self-awareness may not be impossible. I say “mimic” because, unless we find an objective way to measure human consciousness, we will forever be unable to conclude whether a machine is “truly” conscious or not. Machines that will have us believe they have a self, or a personality, should be relatively easy to develop. But whether they would be truly self-aware, we will only know if we crack the “hard problem of consciousness” first.

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What is Consciousness, and Could Machines Have It?

AI Method to Upscale Low-Res Images to High-Res

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According to the researchers, the AI technology is more efficient than any other single-image super-resolution (SISR) technology currently on the market. In contrast to existing algorithms, EnhanceNet-PATdoes not attempt pixel-perfect reconstruction, but rather aims for faithful texture synthesis. By detecting and generating patterns in a low-resolution image and applying these patterns in the upsampling process, EnhanceNet-PAT adds extra pixels to the low-resolution image accordingly. For most viewers, the result is very much like the original photo.


Watch Yamaha's Humanoid Robot Ride a Motorcycle Around a Racetrack

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Video - What’s striking is that the bike is unmodified: the robot is a hunched-over form on top. It senses the environment, calculates what to do, keeps the bike stable, manages acceleration and deceleration—all while factoring in road conditions, air resistance, and engine braking.

It’s also part of an industry-wide drive to incorporate autonomous features into commercial motorcycles to make them easier and safer to ride. Yamaha’s bike can remain stable at speeds as low as 15 kph (9 mph); in a straight line, it can hit 200 kph (124 mph).

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Buyer's Remorse: Wishes he'd bought the Yamaha.

Video - Vladimir Putin visited a Research Institute outside Moscow and was shown a combat robot on a motorcycle. Here's what he saw


World’s First Rideable Hoverbike Looks Cool as Hell But Will Probably Kill You - Or at Least Amputate Your Legs

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Video - The manufacturers say they wanted to combine a motorcycle with quadcopter drone technology to create “an extreme sports instrument.” The electric-borne aircraft is intended for both “amateur and professional navigators,” Hoversurf says. Though don’t expect a motorcycle’s license or even a pilot’s license to authorize you to ride one of these things. The only thing that would, in my opinion, is a willingness to have your legs amputated in the name of extreme sports.


Original Robby the Robot Goes Up for Auction

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Very handy for keeping the bar well stocked ...
[Robby the Robot has been asked to duplicate whiskey]
Robby: Would 60 gallons be sufficient?

Programmed for self-maintenance ...
Robby: I was giving myself a lube job.

Better than an ATM machine ...
Robby: Star saphires take a week to crystalize. Will diamonds and emeralds do?

... and totally infallible ...
Robby: Morbius. Morbius!
Dr. Edward Morbius: What?
Robby: Something is approaching from the southwest. It is now quite close.
[they run to the windows and look out, but see nothing]
Commander John J. Adams: Could Robby be wrong?
Dr. Edward Morbius: No. Never.


Also comes with the car ...
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It can drive and speaks many languages (nearly as well as Siri) ...
Robbie the Robot: I am to transport you to the Residence.
Robbie the Robot: If you do not speak English I am at your disposal with 187 other languages along with their various dialects and sub-tongues.


Disintegrator Blaster sold separately


A Different Take: Our Robot Hellscape Awaits Us

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All These People Never Existed. They Were Created by an AI.

Video - Chipmaker NVIDIA has developed an AI that produces highly detailed images of human-looking faces, but the people depicted don't actually exist. The system is the latest example of how AI is blurring the line between the "real" and the fabricated.


Ford Built a Robot Butt to Test the Seats in Its Cars

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Video... Replacing the posteriors of human workers, the robot mimics a human sitting themselves down in a Ford carseat. For the new Ford Fiesta car in Europe, the robot has put its robot butt on the seat designs 25,000 times, Ford’s video states. That’s meant to replicate about 10 years’ worth of sitting, and it takes the robot about three weeks to complete. There’s also a separate metallic robot butt that’s used to measure how comfortable the seat designs are.

Perhaps it won’t be long until robots replace all our butts in the workforce.
“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 Nov 2017, 12:22:20

Chinese Navy Tests Experimental Magnetic Propulsion System

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Engineers and scientists in China have started up the first Chinese ship with a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) propulsion system. The system, which uses magnetic fields propel a ship through the water, promises to make quieter military submarines that are harder to detect. However, the technology is not new and has failed to catch on in the mainstream.

MHD propulsion systems work by using superconducting magnets to create strong magnetic fields. Generated by electric motors, these fields move seawater through an underwater shaft and past a metal rim, propelling the ship forward. MHD propulsion uses no moving parts, making it ultra-quiet. The fictional Soviet Navy submarine Red October in the filmThe Hunt for Red October used a MHD drive. In the movie, the Red October was described as particularly dangerous because its quietness made it easier to sneak up on the East Coast and launch a so-called nuclear "decapitation strike" against the United States.

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Marines to get Star Trek Phaser-like Device for Nonlethal Weapon Option

Marines will soon have a Star Trek phaser-like new green laser that can reach out and “warn or visually suppress” opponents without firing a round.

The Ocular Interrupter System is essentially a green light with a combined laser range finder that gauges shooter-to-target distance then adjusts the light to deter, but not blind, personnel, said Ryan Smith, team leader for force protection programs at Marine Corps Systems Command.

It can be mounted on a the M16/M4 rail system or used separately with a pistol grip, Smith said.

The Glare Recoil nonlethal Hail and Warning device was developed as a commercial off-the-shelf product by B.E. Meyers & Co., Inc., based in Redmond, Washington. It is a $49 million contract, according to the company’s website.

Marine requirements wanted a system to operate up to 500 meters. Company spokeswoman Grace Strong said in an email that the gear, “provides immediate and recognizable visual warning quite a bit farther than the stated 500 meters.

It is, in actuality, effective to (more than) 25 kilometers
.”

... "a laser system that will dazzle at one mile away may permanently blind at closer range."

The Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons, Protocol IV of the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, was issued by the United Nations on 13 October 1995.[1] It came into force on 30 July 1998.[1] As of the end of April 2016, the protocol had been agreed to by 107 states.

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A Former CIA Director Describes the Dangers of ‘Trump Unleashed’

You sense that the stakes are high, and the circumstances exceptional, when the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency issues the kind of rebuke of a sitting president that John Brennan did on Friday, in an interview with The Atlantic.
In contrast to his predecessors, Brennan told me, Trump often “acts and speaks before thinking” and appears to make national-security decisions based on “what’s in the best interest of Donald Trump” rather than what’s in the best interest of the United States. He is “woefully inexperienced in international affairs,” Brennan argued, and so far has shown little interest in learning on the job. His “bullying tendency … compounds all of the other deficiencies,” and “he does not seem competent in international brinkmanship.”

The upshot, according to Brennan, is that whether the scenario is an imminent terrorist threat or an impromptu clash in the air above the Korean peninsula, “Trump unleashed is a dangerous thought.” That’s why Brennan places so much stock in the “governors” of the president’s impulses, including Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Joe Dunford, and why he’s so disturbed by the “enablers” of Trump’s “bad instincts,” who on occasion have included Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. In making political statements about the failed policies of the previous administration, McMaster, an active-duty general, “does a disservice to the uniform,” Brennan said.

Below is a condensed and edited transcript of our conversation. ...


North Korea Reportedly Conducting Nuclear War Safety Drills

North Korea conducted rare blackout exercises and mass evacuation drills in secondary, tertiary cities and towns last week, multiple sources told NK News on condition of anonymity on Saturday.

The wartime preparations were not observed in Pyongyang, further sources said, and were restricted to locations outside of the capital – particularly on the east coast of the country.

Such blackout and evacuation drills are extremely rare in North Korea, multiple other sources with long experience working inside or on the country told NK News, making it difficult to gauge their purpose amid the current atmosphere.
“There used to be air raid drills in 2003, but not since then,” the source said, who didn’t want to be identified due to the sensitivities of talking about military issues to the media. “A mass evacuation would be impossible not to notice.”


Afghan War Data, Once Public, Is Censored in U.S. Military Report

WASHINGTON — The American military command in Afghanistan has decided to keep secret key figures related to the growth and progress of local security forces, redacting the numbers at the behest of Afghan officials from the latest report by the government’s watchdog for spending.

The move clouds measures of progress for the Afghan security forces, the primary benefactor of the $120 billion that the United States has spent on reconstruction since the start of the war and the linchpin of President Trump’s new strategy in Afghanistan.

Among the details being kept private in the report are the number of people in the Afghan army and police force, how many of them have been wounded or killed and the state of their equipment.
“The Afghans know what’s going on; the Taliban knows what’s going on; the U.S. military knows what’s going on,” John F. Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan, whose office compiled the quarterly report, said in an interview. “The only people who don’t know what’s going on are the people paying for it.

... “The government usually doesn’t classify good news. I don’t want any nameless, faceless Afghan bureaucrat telling the American taxpayer what they ought to know.”

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The data categories redacted in the latest release have been available to the public since the inspector general started putting out the reports in 2008.

This time, the numbers were kept secret as Mr. Trump ramps up the conflict, authorizing the deployment of thousands more troops and an expanded C.I.A. paramilitary campaign as well as overseeing a volume of airstrikes not seen since 2012.

It is unclear whether the American military will move to classify more information in future reports, said Mr. Sopko, as some of the redactions in the October report seemed arbitrary.

“If they start classifying this stuff now, what are they going to do next month?” Mr. Sopko asked. “It’s a slippery slope.”


We're Losing Afghanistan By Every Metric That Matters

The news out of there is grim. A report released today by a watchdog U.S. government agency details what's been happening in Afghanistan as the United States' attention has been fixated elsewhere: The coalition is losing Afghanistan by every metric that matters.

The report comes from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR. This is the Congressionally empowered group formed to watch over the $121 billion the U.S. has spent since 2001 to rebuild Afghanistan, and to try to ensure it isn't lost to the widespread corruption in the country. SIGAR's quarterly report doubles as a thermometer to gauge what's happening in Afghanistan.

Progress is always elusive here, but this latest report paints a picture of a reconstruction gone awry. Grim news, waste, and scandal is typical of SOIGAR reports. But in the past six months, the trends are even worse than usual.

"Insider Attacks" Are Getting Worse ... Civilian Casualties From Air Strikes Are Going Up ... 14
Percent Increase of Afghans Living Under Insurgent Control


Asymmetric Warfare Group: Modern Urban Operations: Lessons Learned from Urban Operations from 1980 to the Present

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... “How can [the U.S. Army] fight in urban terrain against an intelligent, determined, well-equipped adversary and win quickly without unacceptable casualties to ourselves or our allies, unacceptable civilian casualties, or unacceptable destruction of infrastructure?” (scorched earth is acceptable?)

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Strategic:
- Urban operations are seldom short-lived or low-cost.
- Civilian casualties are a major concern in urban operations. However, concerns over collateral damage (civilian casualties and property damage/destruction) generally decline as friendly military casualties increase.

- Generally speaking, the side that is less concerned with the safety of the civilian population has the advantage, especially if this is coupled with a disregard for reporting the truth and adeptness at manipulating international opinion.

Operational:
- Urban operations are resource-intensive, specifically requiring large numbers of soldiers and units to effectively clear and hold sections of terrain.
- Doctrine, tactics, training, and equipment meant specifically for urban warfare improves military effectiveness in urban environments.
- Rules of engagement must be clear given the ambiguous nature of urban warfare.
- Urban warfare is high-tempo, stressful, and violent, resulting in higher casualties and higher soldier “burn-out”.
- Bombing and close-air support can support, but not win by itself, urban operations. Airpower (or other standoff, heavy weapons such as artillery) used alone usually requires the complete destruction of urban areas versus seizing and holding terrain to achieve objectives, but this is often strategically counterproductive.
- Warfare in an urban environment necessitates decentralized, small-unit operations at the tactical level, with junior leaders capable of operating independently using initiative, adaptability, and good judgment.
- Adversaries will use existing civilian infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, churches, banks, and government buildings because they often are in tactically useful locations, command key terrain or lines of communications, and are solidly built. Further, many are considered noncombatant or neutral sites which discourage friendly forces from attacking them.

Tactical:

- Combined arms warfare is essential in urban operations, with armor supporting infantry, infantry supporting armor, and indirect fire and air support supporting both.
- Adversaries can leverage the urban terrain to canalize military forces; negate friendly forces’ equipment and technology advantages; and engage with multiple weapon systems, such as IEDs, ATGMs, and snipers, from various concealed positions.
- Adversaries will increasingly use the multi-domain characteristics available in urban environments, such as subterranean, to mask their operations and counter friendly forces’ traditional military advantages.
- HUMINT is essential to identify adversaries in urban environments.
- Units must adapt for urban operations: task organizing as appropriate (including enabler integration), equipping beyond MTOE authorizations, and reducing soldier load to increase mobility and agility.

IMPLICATIONS
- Civilians will be on the urban battlefield. Commanders must balance operational necessity with minimizing civilian casualties and collateral damage.
- Urban operations frequently result in higher casualty rates. Commanders must plan appropriately to mitigate this. However, commanders should not allow casualty rates to reduce attempts to limit civilian casualties.
- Urban operations are resource- and Soldier-intensive. Commanders must plan adequate quantities and types of forces to successfully conduct urban operations. Because urban operations are fast-paced, violent, and stressful, commanders must plan for the relief or replenishment of forces.
- Urban operations are a combined arms fight. Commanders should use armor and infantry together. Indirect and air firepower should be used to support ground fighting. Appropriate enablers, such as engineers, should be used to ensure freedom of movement for maneuver forces.
- Urban operations are multi-domain. Adversaries will use all aspects of physical and virtual domains to mitigate friendly technological and other advantages. Commanders must do the same.
- Urban operations are often a decentralized fight. Small-unit commanders must be resourced and empowered to operate independently based on mission command.
- Enabling efforts such as information operations and intelligence are often more than just supporting but instead vital to the success of urban operations.
- Urban operations do not end upon completion of hostilities. Commanders must plan for post-operation support to the populace, to help ensure a return to normalcy for civilians in the urban centers.


Pope: Humanity Risks 'Suicide' with Nuclear Confrontation

Pope Francis warned Monday that "humanity risks suicide" with the increased threat of nuclear confrontation between the U.S. and North Korea — a threat that will dominate a Vatican conference gathering 11 Nobel peace laureates, top U.N. and NATO officials and ambassadors from key countries.

The pope has already urged Washington and Pyongyang to step back from the brink of war and accept mediation efforts by others, telling reporters in April that "a good part of humanity" would be destroyed if tensions on the Korean peninsula escalated.

On Monday, Francis visited staff of the Vatican office organizing the conference and warned that "humanity risks suicide" with nuclear war, Flaminia Giovanelli, undersecretary in the office, told Vatican Radio.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sun 05 Nov 2017, 16:52:56

Pentagon: Securing North Korean Nuclear Sites Requires a Ground Invasion,

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The only way to locate and secure all of North Korea’s nuclear weapons sites “with complete certainty” is through an invasion of ground forces, and in the event of conflict, Pyongyang could use biological and chemical weapons, the Pentagon told lawmakers in a new, blunt assessment of what war on the Korean Peninsula might look like.

The Pentagon, in a letter to lawmakers, said that a full discussion of U.S. capabilities to “counter North Korea’s ability to respond with a nuclear weapon and to eliminate North Korea's nuclear weapons located in deeply buried, underground facilities” is best suited for a classified briefing.

On Saturday, 15 Democratic lawmakers and one Republican issued a statement in response to Dumont’s missive, also released Saturday, saying that they found the measures needed to destroy the North’s arsenal “deeply disturbing” and urged U.S. President Donald Trump to stop making cavalier remarks about the tense situation in North Korea.

Lieu told The Washington Post “it’s important for people to understand what a war with a nuclear power would look like.” He said of the 300,000 people who could potentially die in the initial days, more than 100,000 could be Americans.


‘Bleak’ Assessment of Toll of Destroying North Korea Nukes

WASHINGTON — A ground invasion of North Korea is the only way to locate and destroy, with complete certainty, all components of leader Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons program, according to a Pentagon official.

“It is the most bleak assessment,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Sunday.
“The Joint Chiefs of Staff has now confirmed that the only way to destroy North Korea’s nuclear arsenal is through a ground invasion. That is deeply disturbing and could result in hundreds of thousands, or even millions of deaths in just the first few days of fighting.

Adm. Michael J. Dumont of the Joint Staff responded on behalf of the Defense Department.

Dumont noted that the United States is evaluating North Korea’s ability to target heavily populated areas of South Korea with long-range artillery, rockets and ballistic missiles. He pointed out that Seoul, the South’s capital with a population of 25 million, is just 35 miles from the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas.

The Trump administration “has failed to articulate any plans to prevent the military conflict from expanding beyond the Korean Peninsula and to manage what happens after the conflict is over.”

With that in mind, the thought of sending troops into harm’s way and expending resources on another potentially unwinnable war is chilling.


The Pentagon letter also notes the possibility of “opposition from China or Russia.”


Slouching Toward War With North Korea

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John Brennan, the former head of the C.I.A., estimates the chance of a war with North Korea at 20 to 25 percent.

Joel S. Wit, a Korea expert at Johns Hopkins University, puts it at 40 percent.

Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, says the odds may be somewhere around 50/50.


Yet we’re complacent: Neither the public nor the financial markets appreciate how high the risk is of a war, and how devastating one could be.

The Congressional Research Service last month estimated that as many as 300,000 people could die in the first few days of war — and that’s if it remains nonnuclear. If there is a nuclear exchange, “there easily could be a million deaths on the first day,” says Scott Sagan, an international security expert at Stanford.
“... the odds of war are certainly greater than is widely recognized by the American public.” ... “I don’t know if the odds are 50 percent, 40 percent, 60 percent, but it’s a hell of a lot more than negligible.”

Almost no expert believes that sanctions will force Kim Jong-un to give up his nuclear weapons or halt his missile program. That puts us on a collision course, for North Korea seems determined to develop a clear capacity to target the U.S. with nuclear weapons, while the White House hints that it would rather have a war than allow the North to become a nuclear threat.

Our president has been really clear about this,” H. R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, said on Fox News. “He is not going to permit this rogue regime, Kim Jong-un, to threaten the United States with a nuclear weapon. And so he is willing to do anything necessary to prevent that from happening.”

The whispers in Washington are that “anything necessary” includes airstrikes on North Korea, such as a strike on a missile as it is being prepared for launch. When I asked North Korean officials what would happen in those circumstances, they answered unambiguously: WAR.

Tammy Duckworth, a former military pilot who is now a Democratic senator from Illinois, says that from what she hears, the chance is greater than 50/50 that the president will order a strike.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, has said that Trump told him he’d choose a war with North Korea over allowing it to continue on its course.

And this is what happens ...

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It's what war is all about


Rep Lieu Leads 16 Veteran Member Statement on Dangers of Ground Invasion in North Korea

“The Joint Chiefs of Staff has now confirmed that the only way to destroy North Korea’s nuclear arsenal is through a ground invasion. That is deeply disturbing and could result in hundreds of thousands, or even millions of deaths in just the first few days of fighting.

As Veterans, we have defended this nation in war and we remain committed to this country’s security. We also understand that entering into a protracted and massive ground war with North Korea would be disastrous for U.S. troops and our allies. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, it appears, agree. Their assessment underscores what we’ve known all along: There are no good military options for North Korea. Invading North Korea could result in a catastrophic loss of lives for U.S. troops and U.S. civilians in South Korea. It could kill millions of South Koreans and put troops and civilians in Guam and Japan at risk. The Joint Chiefs said they have no reason to believe North Korea would resist using their stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons. It is our intent to have a full public accounting of the potential cost of war, so the American people understand the commitment we would be making as a nation if we were to pursue military action.

A nonpartisan report by the Congressional Research Service indicates conflict on the peninsula could impact as many as 25 million people on either side of the border, including more than 100,000 U.S. citizens. We must pursue every other option before even considering a massive ground invasion. The Administration has also failed to articulate any plans to prevent the military conflict from expanding beyond the Korean Peninsula and to manage what happens after the conflict is over. We’re still engaged in the longest war in U.S. history in Afghanistan with no end in sight.

With that in mind, the thought of sending troops into harm’s way and expending resources on another potentially unwinnable war is chilling. The President needs to stop making provocative statements that hinder diplomatic options and put American troops further at risk.

The Joint Chiefs’ assessment and the CRS report clearly demonstrate that every diplomatic and economic option must be exhausted before military options are considered. If President Trump does intend to pursue a military option against North Korea, he must come to Congress as required by our Constitution. The stakes are too high and the potential outcome too grave for President Trump to violate his constitutional duty to come to Congress to authorize and oversee use of force.”


Questions: https://lieu.house.gov/sites/lieu.house ... sments.pdf
Response: https://lieu.house.gov/sites/lieu.house ... n%20NK.pdf
How Many People will Die? https://www.duckworth.senate.gov/sites/ ... 0of....pdf
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Mon 06 Nov 2017, 12:49:33

Homeland Security cyber unit on alert for Election Day

... “I’ll say it this way: We saw in 2016 that Russia had an intent to be involved in our elections and some capability to be active or to attempt to be active in scanning elections systems. We have not seen any evidence that intent or capability has changed,” Kolasky said.

"We believe the intent and capability is still out there."


States Race to Secure Their Voting Systems Before Hackers Strike Again

In the wake of last year’s attacks, states are stepping up firewalls and encryption of their voter databases; boosting password security among election employees; monitoring their networks for threats; and testing any election infrastructure that’s connected to the internet to see how easy it would be for hackers to get in. Many are also creating cybersecurity task forces.

... “We know from more than a decade of research into voting machines and other election equipment that most of the equipment we use in the U.S. is just full of vulnerabilities,” said Alex Halderman, a professor of computer science and an expert in cybersecurity at the University of Michigan. “We know that there are routes that attackers could potentially use to remotely compromise everything from the electronic poll books that are used to check-in voters at the polling place, to the voting machines themselves, to the voter registration systems. These are not well-secured systems.”

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What's the Likelihood That a National U.S. Election Could Be Hacked?

The electronic voting machine, now used to some degree in all 50 states, is the functional equivalent of an unoccupied Lamborghini left running at midnight with vanity plates that say STEALME. This summer, hobbyist hackers with no specialized expertise who attended a convention called Defcon were able to compromise four different voting machines, one in less than 30 minutes. "Unfortunately, they were much easier than, say, a home router or mobile device," says Defcon organizer Jeff Moss.

Experts gave examples of all sorts of possible mischief: reprogramming the machines' firmware, inserting malicious code, swapping out memory cards, thereby producing virtually any result. Even voting machines not connected to the internet are vulnerable, as each election requires that machines be programmed with the ballot. Hack the software that records votes, and you've hacked every machine. The list goes on, and becomes littered with terms like "deep ROM dumps" and "shell injection vulnerability," neither of which sounds like something Thomas Jefferson would have looked upon favorably.

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Hacker study: Russia could get into U.S. voting machines

A new report published on Tuesday outlines how amateur hackers were able to “effectively breach” voting equipment, in some cases in a matter of minutes or hours, over just four days in July at DEFCON, an annual hacker conference. The report underscores the vulnerability of U.S. election systems. It also highlights the need for states to improve their security protocols after the Department of Homeland Security said Russian hackers attempted to target them during the 2016 election.


Congressman Says It’s ‘Quite Possible’ A Special Election Was Stolen From A Democrat

A Georgia Democratic congressman suggested one of his colleagues may not have been legitimately elected, saying it was “quite possible” a special congressional election was “stolen” and given to the Republican candidate in June.

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) questioned whether Rep. Karen Handel (R-Ga.) really defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in a closely watched congressional special election in June. There are lingering questions about the security of Georgia’s election systems after a server hosting voter information was wiped clean amid a lawsuit over Georgia’s election systems.

I think it’s quite possible that Jon Ossoff won that election and the election was stolen from him. That’s my suspicion,” Johnson told WXIA on Monday. Handel defeated Ossoff by just over 9,200 votes in the June contest that was closely watched nationally because of Ossoff’s unexpected strength in the race.


Incompetence or a Cover-Up?

On July 3, state voters and a good-government group filed a lawsuit alleging that Georgia officials ignored warnings that the state’s electoral system was extremely susceptible to hacking.

On July 4, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office was alerted about the lawsuit by the press and declined to comment. It received a copy of the suit on July 6.

And on July 7, Georgia officials deleted the state’s election data, which would have likely been critical evidence in that lawsuit, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Two things could have happened here. Either it was an incredible act of incompetence on the part of Georgia’s election officials, or it was an attempted cover-up to try to hide from the public a major election security lapse.

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According to the lawsuit in question, the vulnerabilities included a path via Google to uncover troves of information about the electorate, including passwords into the election systems themselves. Hackers could theoretically have used these holes to breach the system and make changes to voter registries, or even raw votes. Because the state has no paper trail for votes, such an attack would have been incredibly difficult to detect. (The FBI investigated Georgia’s system earlier this year but has not publicly revealed the results of that investigation.) The lawsuit argues that because of the weaknesses in Georgia’s system, the state’s 2016 election and its 2017 special congressional election were potentially compromised.
... The new e-mails, which were sent by the Coalition for Good Governance to Ars, show that Chris Dehner, one of the Information Security staffers, e-mailed his boss, Stephen Gay, to say that the two backup servers had been "degaussed three times."

This level of deletion is common practice in the industry when hardware is to be retired (junked).

"That is a nuked drive," Nicholas Weaver, a computer science researcher at the International Computer Science Institute, told Ars. "Degaussing literally destroys the drive because it not only erases data, it erases the synchronization information on the drive."

Officials at Kennesaw State University, which provides logistical support for the state’s voting network, destroyed the server that housed statewide election data. Marilyn Marks, executive director of the Coalition for Good Governance, the organization in the suit, says that the plaintiffs expected this data would have demonstrated the system’s enormous vulnerabilities. The FBI may still have made a copy of the data taken during its investigation, but what Kennesaw State’s Center for Election Systems stored was Georgia’s only version.

According to the Associated Press, GOP state Rep. Scot Turner called on Georgia’s attorney general to investigate “whether there was criminal intent” in the destruction of the data. U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat, sent the AP a statement saying the server wipe “appears to be a willful and premeditated destruction of evidence.”


Georgia Attorney General Quits Defense in Election Server Wiping Case

The Georgia attorney general's office will no longer represent state election officials in an elections integrity lawsuit in which a crucial computer server was quietly wiped clean three days after the suit was filed, The Associated Press has learned.

The server in question was a statewide staging location for key election-related data. It made national headlines in June after a security expert disclosed a gaping security hole that wasn't fixed for six months after he first reported it to election authorities.

Personal data was exposed for Georgia's 6.7 million voters, as were passwords used by county officials to access voting files.

The assistant state attorney general handling the case, Cristina Correia, notified the court and participating attorneys Wednesday that her office was withdrawing from the case, according to an email obtained by the AP.

Spokeswoman Katelyn McCreary offered no explanation and said she couldn't comment "on pending matters."

Secretary of State Brian Kemp released a statement Wednesday saying the law firm of former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes will represent Kemp and other state election officials.

The erased hard drives are central to the lawsuit because they could have revealed whether Georgia's most recent elections were compromised by hackers. Russian interference in U.S. politics, including attempts to penetrate voting systems, has been an acute national preoccupation since last year. It's not clear who ordered the server's data irretrievably erased.

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And That's the Way It Is
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Mon 06 Nov 2017, 13:15:15

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Receptionist: It's Mr. Shadow...
Zorg: Zorg here.
Shadow: Am I disturbing you?
Zorg: Oh no... no, no... I was... just... W-Where are you?
Shadow: Not far now.
Zorg: Good... good, good...

- The Fifth Element (1997)


Pakistan Says It's Ready to Use Nuclear Weapons

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Pakistan is ready to use nuclear weapons against India, a senior Pakistani official confirmed on Monday.

Appearing on the Pakistani television channel “Geo,” Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said that Islamabad is willing to use nuclear weapons to ensure its survival.

“We should pray that such an option never arises, but if we need to use them (nuclear weapons) for our survival we will,” Asif said, according to Geo’s website. His remark was widely reported by Indian media outlets.

Asif’s statement about Pakistan’s willingness to use nuclear weapons is in line with Islamabad's long-standing nuclear doctrine. In contrast to India and China, which both maintain no first use nuclear doctrines, Pakistan has always maintained that it could resort to nuclear weapons to blunt a conventional attack from India.

Nor is Asif the first high-level Pakistani official to threaten to use nuclear weapons. Former President Pervez Musharraf issued a similar threat (albeit, after he left office), when he stated: “We do not want to use nuclear capability but if our existence comes under threat, who do we have these nuclear weapons for?

More tellingly, in an interview back in 2002, Lt. Gen. Khalid Kidwai, the first head of the Strategic Plans Division (SPD), which is responsible for Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, outlined four scenarios where Pakistan would consider using nuclear weapons against India:
- If India conquers a large part of Pakistan;

- If India destroys large parts of Pakistan’s army or air force;

- If India tries to strangle Pakistan economically;

- If India tries to destabilizing Pakistan politically, including by creating large scale internal subversion.

Notably, in his interview this week, Asif seems to suggest that India is doing the fourth scenario by supporting terrorist groups inside Pakistan.

... Earlier this year, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, the director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, confirmed that Pakistan is continuing to build up a tactical nuclear weapons force. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in February, Stewart said: “We anticipate that Pakistan will continue [its] development of new delivery systems, including cruise missiles and close-range ‘battlefield’ nuclear weapons to augment its existing ballistic missiles.

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India's Jet Fighters Are Now Equipped with Nuclear-Armed Missiles

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India’s nuclear command has begun receiving fighter jets armed with the country’s most advanced, supersonic cruise missile.

The Brahmos is jointly developed by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia. Capable of traveling at speeds of Mach 3.0, the Brahmos is the fastest cruise missile in the world. As Russia and India Report explained:
“The BrahMos’ 3000 km per second speed – literally faster than a bullet – means it hits the target with a huge amount of kinetic energy. In tests, the BrahMos has often cut warships in half and reduced ground targets to smithereens.”

Pairing the Su-30 with the Brahmos missile will also drastically expand the striking power of the air leg of India’s nuclear triad. The Su-30 itself has a range of up to 1,800 kilometers while the Brahmos missile can strike targets nearly 300 kilometers away. Thus, the newly modified Su-30s will allow India’s nuclear aircraft to strike deep in the heart of China or Pakistan, Delhi’s two main adversaries.

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The Brahmos-armed Su-30s is only one of the ways that India is strengthening its strategic deterrent. It has also been busy testing the Agni-V, which is three-stage solid-fueled intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) with a range of about 5,000 km. When the Agni-V is inducted into service, India will have the ability to strike any part of China with nuclear weapons for the first time. Furthermore, India is currently testing ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), which will complete the nuclear triad.


What Would Happen if Pakistan Attacks India with Nuclear Weapons?

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... Given the extent of India's geography and extent of Pakistan's capabilities only a fraction of Indian territory would be damaged by the first strike. Pakistan doesn't have aircraft carriers or nuclear submarines to launch a strong attack on India and has to purely rely on long range missiles, which are fairly inaccurate. Unless Delhi is destroyed, India's response would have a very swift response. If Delhi is destroyed with no warning, Army has to work on new protocol on the go for taking control.

India's response would be expectedly brutal. Almost all of Pakistan is easily accessible to Indian bombers [most of population live within 100 miles of Indian border]. This makes things asymmetric. India's biggest population centers are away from the border in contrast.

... A nuclear attack on India is not good for US or any other power. US as a major weapons provider to Pakistan has a fairly tight control on the data and it is very hard to evade CIA, R&AW and Mossad if you have to assemble a large scale nuclear deployment. They might be able to slip one or two nuclear weapons, but if they are trying to attack India they would have to move dozens of nuclear bombs & that would be noticed.


Where are Pakistani Nuclear Weapons Stored?

... India has the capability to destroy all these facilities except the one at KORI at present as the KORI facility is out of range of the BrahMos missiles and is also located in the core of the mountains. If India can manage to sabotage all these facilities somehow before launching an all out war, Pakistan will be defenseless and could be easily defeated in less than 72 hours.

This is because Pakistan has spent billions of dollars on the construction of these facilities and warheads and missiles. So much so, that it has left the country bankrupt without much to spend even on it’s Armed Forces. As per intelligence sources Pakistan can sustain to fight an all out war with India only for 4 days after which it would face severe ammunition, fuel and supply shortages.

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Billions Could Die If India and Pakistan Start a Nuclear War

Islamabad sees nuclear weapons as its deterrent against a conventional attack, and Cold Start in particular. This is demonstrated by its refusal to adhere to a “No First Use” policy. Pakistan has an extensive plutonium production capacity, and is estimated to possess 130 to 140 warheads, a total that may easily increase to 220 to 250 in a decade, according to a report by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

... To enable a second-strike capability, Pakistan has also empowered local commanders to launch retaliatory nuclear strikes in case the chain of command is disrupted.

While battlefield nuclear weapons are less likely to cause the mass civilian casualties that a strike against a densely populated city would produce, they are deeply worrying in their own way: a state may be more tempted to employ tactical nuclear weapons, and perceive doing so as being intrinsically less risky. However, many simulations of nuclear war suggest that tactical-nuclear-weapon usage rapidly escalates to strategic weapons.
“India would hardly risk giving Pakistan the chance to carry out a massive nuclear strike after the Indian response to Pakistan using tactical nuclear weapons. In other words, Pakistani tactical nuclear weapon use would effectively free India to undertake a comprehensive first strike against Pakistan.”

One factor Indian leaders would be forced to consider is how the other third of Asian nuclear triangle, China, would react. Although the Stimson Center event focused primarily on India and Pakistan, China has always been the primary focus of India’s nuclear program. Beijing is also a staunch if informal ally of Pakistan, with a growing economic stake in the country. It is this multipolarity that is the hallmark of the second nuclear age.


US National Intelligence Council Predicts Indo-Pakistan Nuclear War In 2028

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The US National Intelligence Council has predicted a nuclear war between India and Pakistan in 2028. The prediction came in the Council report released recently under the title: Global Trends: Paradox of Progress.

Every four years since 1997, the National Intelligence Council has published an unclassified strategic assessment of how key trends and uncertainties might shape the world over the next 20 years to help senior US leaders think and plan for the longer term.

The report predicts three scenarios which “postulate alternative responses to near-term volatility at the national, regional and Communities levels.” The India-Pakistan nuclear clash is one of the three scenarios.

The report envisage a crisis between India and Pakistan that may result in a nuclear clash:
... “The Second Indus Waters Treaty was abandoned by both sides, followed shortly by a series of explosions in New Delhi that the Indian Government quickly attributed to Pakistan-based extremist groups. Islamabad denied involvement, but both sides began mobilizing their military forces. After a few confusing days of cyber attacks that disrupted the ability of both sides to understand what was happening, the situation escalated quickly. According to a subsequent investigation, artificial intelligence systems supporting the military decision makers made the crisis worse by misinterpreting signals meant to deter instead as signs of aggressive intent. The result was the first use of a nuclear weapon in a conflict since 1945.”


The report argues that “it took a mushroom cloud in a desert in South Asia (in 2028) to shake us from our complacency.”

Or ... "Imagine, then, that it triggered not world peace, but an ongoing nuclear exchange between the two powers, each with significant arsenals of such weaponry. The results in South Asia could be mindboggling — up to 21 million direct deaths by one estimate. Scientists speculate, however, that the effects of such a nuclear war would not be restricted to the region, but would spark a nuclear-winter scenario globally, destroying crops across the planet and possibly leading to up to a billion deaths.”

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°C - Temperature changes in summer following a small India-Pakistan nuclear war


The United States and the Pakistani Bomb, 1984-1985: President Reagan, General Zia, Nazir Ahmed Vaid, and Seymour Hersh

- Declassified State Department Documents Disclose Internal U.S. Government Debate over Whether to Enforce "Red Lines" for Nuclear Activities in Pakistan, and Worries about an Indian "Pre-Emptive Strike"

- Fears about "Upsetting US-Pakistani Relations" May Have Led State Department to Influence Outcome of Nuclear Smuggling Trial of a Pakistani National, ACDA Official Said

- Department Memoranda Depict Reporter Seymour Hersh's Persistent Efforts to Acquire Intelligence Information on Pakistani Nuclear Smuggling
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 08 Nov 2017, 12:09:36

‘Every Day Brings Some New Trauma’: Keeping Calm In an Anxious World

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... “The traumas come so quickly – every day brings something else – that now there’s a certain despair and numbness that has set in,” says Saks, a psychotherapist and psychiatrist whose patients are overwhelmingly liberal New Yorkers.

“The level of anxiety in ordinary people is extraordinary,” says Emmy van Deurzen, a London-based therapist and philosopher, and a passionate remainer. “I see it in all my patients. We don’t feel the same sense, as we once did, that we can take things for granted, that everything is going to be fine.” ..., “I see a lot more of them who are angry, because it’s all been going on for such a long time. Before, people thought: ‘We’ll hang in there and governments will sort things out.’ Now, it’s clear governments aren’t doing that, so people stop feeling the sense that things will right themselves.”

A bereavement, for all its awfulness, is a one-off event. But the erratic behaviour in the White House – like the protracted negotiations with the EU – provides fresh cause for worry or fear every day. The impact of this is becoming clear: earlier this year, a survey conducted annually by the American Psychological Association found that 57% of respondents were stressed by the political climate; overall, the survey found the first significant uptick in national anxiety levels in the 10 years the organisation had been measuring them. In the UK, the Office for National Statistics has recorded a rise in self-reported anxiety, while other research has found significant increases in worry about the future ...

“Anxiety is conductive,” Mike Monteiro has written. “It wants to travel from one person to another person. And, once it sees itself in that person, it feels justified in being in that first person.”
... In the long term, ceaseless fury is probably more likely to curdle into passivity and cynicism, as people seek relief from their anger by numbing themselves to the news.

...
Theo: "A hundred years from now there won't be one sad fuck to look at any of this. What keeps you going?"
Nigel: "You know what it is, Theo? I just don't think about it."

- Children of Men - Video -(2006)


7 U.S. Aircraft Carriers Are Now Simultaneously Underway

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Seven out of 11 U.S. nuclear aircraft carriers are underway simultaneously for the first time in several years, USNI News has learned.

Three are on operational deployments in the Western Pacific with full air wings and carrier strike groups — USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).

Four more are out for short training missions as part of training operations or workups ahead of deployments. USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) are operating in the Eastern Pacific. USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and the Navy’s newest carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) are operating in the Atlantic.


U.S. to Stage Drill with Three Carriers as Trump Visits Asia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups will exercise together in the Western Pacific in the coming days in a rare show of force as President Donald Trump visits Asia with warnings about the nuclear threat from North Korea, U.S. officials say.

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Nuclear Threat 'At Highest Level' Since Cuban Crisis

The risk of nuclear weapons being used is at their highest level since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis the former US Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz, has said.


A Regional Nuclear War With North Korea Could Alter Earth's Climate, Cause Widespread Famine

It's winter, 2018, in Iowa, five months after the last of the nuclear bombs detonated across megacities in northeast Asia, from Seoul to Tokyo to Shanghai. Radioactive fallout was the initial concern, but now something else is going awry: the Weather.

American farmers accustomed to snow and cold during the winter would be forgiven for mistaking their corn and wheat fields for the Arctic tundra, as temperatures dip well below zero at night, and barely recover above 10 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, under a milky, leaden sky.

Forecasters say the corn and wheat harvest may be significantly shortened this year, and for the next several years. In fact, fears of a famine on an international scale are settling in.

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This is what our world could look like just a few months to years after a regional nuclear war breaks out on the Korean Peninsula and spreads to include China and possibly Russia.

Whether from a deliberate strategy or a terrifying miscalculation, such a war could trigger a global climate catastrophe, experts warn, that is not being factored into leaders' planning.

Such a war could cause the planet to cool by up to 10 degrees Celsius, or 18 degrees Fahrenheit, with larger regional swings and extremes, according to Owen Brian Toon, a scientist at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The amount of cooling could be far lower, depending on whether the conflict were more limited in scope.

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... One might think that the climate change implications of a nuclear war would generate interest from government agencies that are involved in building, maintaining, and delivering such weapons, as well as deciding when and where to launch them. However, Robock and Toon both say they've been rebuffed from the Energy Department, Defense Department, and the Department of Homeland Security.
“I’m concerned and I’m surprised by the lack of common understanding of our research,” ... “It is alarming that there are people who don’t know this who are in charge of our nuclear arsenal.”


The Effect of Nuclear War on Climate: By Jeffrey Masters, Ph.D. — Dir. of Meteorology, Weather Underground, Inc

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Studies by Once Top Secret Government Entity Portrayed Terrible Costs of Nuclear War

Washington, D.C., July 22, 2014 – On the morning of 20 July 1961, while the Berlin Crisis was simmering, President John F. Kennedy and the members of the National Security Council heard a briefing on the consequences of nuclear war by the NSC's highly secret Net Evaluation Subcommittee. The report, published in excerpts today for the first time by the National Security Archive, depicted a Soviet surprise attack on the United States in the fall of 1963 that began with submarine-launched missile strikes against Strategic Air Command bases. An estimated 48 to 71 million Americans were "killed outright," while at its maximum casualty-producing radioactive fallout blanketed from 45 to 71 percent of the nation's residences. In the USSR and China, at the end of one month 67 and 76 million people, respectively, had been killed. (...firestorms,nuclear winter, and starvation would have doubled or tripled casualties.)

This was President Kennedy's first exposure to a NESC report, but the secret studies of nuclear war scenarios had been initiated by his predecessor, Dwight D. Eisenhower. It may have been after this briefing, described by Secretary of State Dean Rusk as "an awesome experience," that a dismayed Kennedy turned to Rusk, and said:
... "And we call ourselves the human race."

- President John F. Kennedy


Top Air Force Official Told Joint Chiefs in 1971: “We Could Lose Two Hundred Million People [in a Nuclear War] and Still Have More Than We Had at the Time of the Civil War”

Washington, D.C. February 15, 2017 – The Air Force chief of staff told the Joint Chiefs at a September 1971 meeting that in a nuclear war the United States “... could lose two hundred million people and still have more than we had at the time of the Civil War.” The quote comes from a recently declassified and highly revealing diary entry by JCS Chairman Thomas Moorer, published today for the first time by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University. The other chiefs did not challenge Gen. Thomas Ryan’s inaccurate numbers, seemingly choosing to ignore his comment altogether. ...

... General "Buck" Turgidson: Mr. President, we are rapidly approaching a moment of truth both for ourselves as human beings and for the life of our nation. Now, truth is not always a pleasant thing. But it is necessary now to make a choice, to choose between two admittedly regrettable, but nevertheless *distinguishable*, postwar environments: one where you got twenty million people killed, and the other where you got a hundred and fifty million people killed.
President Merkin Muffley: You're talking about mass murder, General, not war!
General "Buck" Turgidson: Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.

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- Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)


The 1983 War Scare Declassified and For Real
All-Source Intelligence Report finds US-Soviet Nuclear Relations on "Hair Trigger" in 1983

Alert Air Force General acted "out of instinct, not informed guidance" to Stop Escalation of the Crisis

President Reagan: "Really Scary"


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Here's How Easy It is for the US President to Launch a Nuclear Weapon

... Once the missiles are launched, there's no turning back.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 08 Nov 2017, 16:38:40

Artificial Intelligence Could Hijack Brain-Computer Interfaces and Take Control Of Our Minds

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An illustration of a brain-computer interface at Facebook's F8 conference, April 19, 2017

Brain-computer interfaces (BCI), such as those being developed by Facebook, DARPA and Elon Musk’s Neuralink startup, risk being hijacked by a rogue artificial intelligence, experts have warned—meaning a person’s thoughts, decisions and emotions could be manipulated against their will by AI.

The warning comes in a comment piece in the scientific journal Nature this week written by 27 neuroscientists, ethicists and machine intelligence engineers.

The researchers use the hypothetical example of a paralysed man participating in a brain-computer interface (BCI) trial who doesn’t like the research team working with him. Artificial intelligence reading his thoughts could take his dislike as a command to harm or injure the researchers, despite no direct command being given by the paralysed man.

The researchers write:
...“Technological developments mean that we are on a path to a world in which it will be possible to decode people’s mental processes and directly manipulate the brain mechanisms underlying their intentions, emotions and decisions; where individuals can communicate with others simply by thinking; and where powerful computational systems linked directly to people’s brains facilitate their interactions with the world such that their mental and physical abilities are greatly enhanced.”

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The researchers estimate that more than a dozen companies that are currently working on some form of BCI technology, specifically mentioning Musk’s Neuralink startup that launched earlier this year.

They also worry that the armed forces might use BCI to create super intelligent soldiers and set off an “augmentation arms race”, an eventuality that ought, they argue, to be headed off by a United Nations-led moratorium.

... “What if you could type directly from your brain?” Regina Dugan, the former director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), asked during her Facebook's F8 keynote presentation. Telepathic typing, Dugan continued, is only the first part of the division’s plans for the brain-computer interface technology. Eventually, people could use the mind-reading technology to control computers and experiences in virtual reality and augmented reality."

Video ... The Krell had reached a stage of technological and scientific development so advanced that they were able to construct a vast underground machine with virtually unlimited power — a machine that could turn thoughts into reality and project that reality anywhere on the planet.

Even for the advanced Krell this Freudian personality characteristic, although long forgotten, had not been eliminated. When combined with the power of their machine, the unbridled emotions of their Ids were all at once let loose to eradicate the entire Krell race.

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...
Commander Adams:... Monsters from the subconscious. Of course. That's what Doc meant. Morbius. The big machine, 8,000 miles of klystron relays, enough power for a whole population of creative geniuses, operated by remote control. Morbius, operated by the electromagnetic impulses of individual Krell brains.
Dr. Morbius: To what purpose?
Commander Adams: In return, that ultimate machine would instantaneously project solid matter to any point on the planet, In any shape or color they might imagine. For *any* purpose, Morbius! Creation by mere thought.
Dr. Morbius: Why haven't I seen this all along?
Commander Adams: But like you, the Krell forgot one deadly danger - their own subconscious hate and lust for destruction.
Dr. Morbius: The beast. The mindless primitive! Even the Krell must have evolved from that beginning.
Commander Adams: And so those mindless beasts of the subconscious had access to a machine that could never be shut down. The secret devil of every soul on the planet all set free at once to loot and maim. And take revenge, Morbius, and kill!
Dr. Morbius: My poor Krell. After a million years of shining sanity, they could hardly have understood what power was destroying them.


Brain-Machine Interface Isn't Sci-Fi Anymore

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Thomas Reardon puts a terrycloth stretch band with microchips and electrodes woven into the fabric—a steampunk version of jewelry—on each of his forearms. “This demo is a mind fuck,” says Reardon, who prefers to be called by his surname only. He sits down at a computer keyboard, fires up his monitor, and begins typing. After a few lines of text, he pushes the keyboard away, exposing the white surface of a conference table in the midtown Manhattan headquarters of his startup. He resumes typing. Only this time he is typing on…nothing. Just the flat tabletop. Yet the result is the same: The words he taps out appear on the monitor.

That’s cool, but what makes it more than a magic trick is how it’s happening. The text on the screen is being generated not by his fingertips, but rather by the signals his brain is sending to his fingers. The armband is intercepting those signals, interpreting them correctly, and relaying the output to the computer, just as a keyboard would have. Whether or not Reardon’s digits actually drum the table is irrelevant—whether he has a hand is irrelevant—it’s a loop of his brain to machine. What’s more, Reardon and his colleagues have found that the machine can pick up more subtle signals—like the twitches of a finger—rather than mimicking actual typing.

You could be blasting a hundred words a minute on your smart phone with your hands in your pockets. In fact, just before Reardon did his mind-fuck demo, I watched his cofounder, Patrick Kaifosh, play a game of Asteroids on his iPhone. He had one of those weird armbands sitting between his wrist and his elbows. On the screen you could see Asteroids as played by a decent gamer, with the tiny spaceship deftly avoiding big rocks and spinning around to blast them into little pixels. But the motions Kaifosh was making to control the game were barely perceptible: little palpitations of his fingers as his palm lay flat against the tabletop. It seemed like he was playing the game only with mind control. And he kind of was.


The ‘Brain-Controlled Factory’ Literally Turns You Into a Cog in the Machine

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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

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Mon 13 Nov 2017, 12:02:13

The Pentagon Wants Drone 'Swarms' to Support Infantry

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In the near future, US Army and Marine Corps infantry squads could march into battle behind swarms of hundreds of flying and crawling drones.

At least, that's the plan. On October 12, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency asked robot-developers to submit ideas for tactics and technologies that could allow small-forces infantry to use "swarms of 250 robots or more to accomplish diverse missions in complex urban environments." To that end, DARPA has requested information from military contractors like Raytheon and Northrop Grumman.

... The infantry's semi-autonomous drone swarms could help detect enemy forces and guide artillery and air strikes in and around densely-packed, tall buildings, DARPA explained. "Urban canyons—with their high vertical structures, tight spaces and limited lines of sight—constrain military communications, mobility and tactics in the best of times."

"Unmanned air vehicles and unmanned ground vehicles have long proven beneficial in such difficult urban environs," the agency added. "But their value to ground troops could be vastly amplified if troops could control scores or even hundreds—'swarms'—of these robotic units at the same time."

The major obstacle isn't the drones themselves. Wheeled and tracked ground robots and quadcopters are "increasingly capable and affordable," DARPA stated. But the US military lacks the technologies to manage drone swarms. The Marine Corps began issuing quadcopters to infantry squads in September, but the squads operate the quadcopters individually.


Ban on killer robots urgently needed, say scientists

Technology now exists to create autonomous weapons that can select and kill human targets without supervision as UN urged to outlaw them

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The movie portrays a brutal future. A military firm unveils a tiny drone that hunts and kills with ruthless efficiency. But when the technology falls into the wrong hands, no one is safe. Politicians are cut down in broad daylight. The machines descend on a lecture hall and spot activists, who are swiftly dispatched with an explosive to the head.

The short, disturbing film is the latest attempt by campaigners and concerned scientists to highlight the dangers of developing autonomous weapons that can find, track and fire on targets without human supervision. They warn that a preemptive ban on the technology is urgently needed to prevent terrible new weapons of mass destruction.

Because AI-powered machines are relatively cheap to manufacture, critics fear that autonomous weapons could be mass produced and fall into the hands of rogue nations or terrorists who could use them to suppress populations and wreak havoc, as the movie portrays.

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Most depictions of killer robots show Terminator-type androids and giant battle machines treading heavily over a “War of the Worlds” landscape. The video illustrates how palm-sized drones packed with just a few grams of explosives are more likely trailblazers for attacks guided by artificial intelligence.

The narrative is intercut with fake-news dramatizations that make it sound as if the debate over autonomous weapons has been ripped from the headlines. And that’s just the point, Berkeley AI researcher Stuart Russell says at the end of the video.

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http://autonomousweapons.org/


The Evolution of Targeted Killing Practices: Autonomous Weapons, Future Conflict, and the International Order

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Hundreds of A.I. Experts Echo Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking in Call for a Ban on Killer Robots

Russian Forces to Field Robot Tank Nerekhta after it Defeated Manned Vehicles in Field Tests

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Navy wide incompetence and not hacking caused the recent US Navy collisions

How Robots Will Help the US Navy Avoid Future Collisions

Among the recommendations offered in the U.S. Navy’s new review of the year’s warship-related mishaps are some that will help prepare the fleet for interaction with the autonomous vessels that will soon be crowding the seas.

One key takeaway from the fatal collisions is that the Navy’s problems are very human in nature. Talking about the new report and its conclusions on Thursday, Adm. John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, said the Navy has too few people with too little training driving too few ships. There was, he said, too much pressure on the crewmen of ships in the Pacific to be everywhere at once, and that led to sailors steering ships and operating sensors and navigational equipment without proper training.

These were fundamental mistakes of ship driving,” he said, mistakes compounded by issues related to operational pressures.

So why not replace, or at least augment, them with robotic ship drivers? The Navy has been developing various unmanned vessels of its own, notably the 132-foot Sea Hunter. When asked if there were specific technologies related to autonomous navigation or steering, or simply applications in artificial intelligence related to improving naval safety, Richardson remarked “We’ve done a lot of examination of that, Navy-wide, outside of the comprehensive review. It’s making progress. We’re monitoring that closely.”

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Three-Star General Wants AI in Every New Weapon System

The department's Project Maven uses machine learning to go through drone video feeds but that's just the beginning, Air Force Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan said.

By automatically analyzing the videos for useful intelligence, Maven would take the burden off military personnel and free them up to more efficiently make decisions based on incoming information.

Shanahan believes the tool strikes at the heart of an issue facing both the Pentagon and federal government at-large: a lack of resources to sift through the incoming “avalanche of data.”
“It’s becoming more serious because we’re running out of people to throw at the problem,”

At the Pentagon, he sees opportunities for AI to not only assist data analysts at home, but also help fight enemies abroad directly on the battlefield.

“The Department of Defense should never buy another weapons system for the rest of its natural life without artificial intelligence baked into it,” Shanahan said.

We are in an AI arms race, … It's happening in industry [and] the big five Internet companies are pursuing this heavily. Many of you will have noted that Eric Schmidt [executive chairman of Alphabet Inc.] is calling Google an AI company now, not a data company.”
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Fri 17 Nov 2017, 12:48:13

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How the Military is Making It Hard To Remember Our Wars

... “The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.” ... “The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon.”

― George Orwell, 1984

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I often wonder what people will say about the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan decades from now. What I will tell my children when they are able to understand the answers to questions about what happened “over there.” I am afraid I will forget. As every day passes, I struggle more and more to remember all the names of the soldiers in my platoon, the hard-to-pronounce places we fought, the day-to-day things we did during my two year-long combat tours in Iraq.

But what worries me most is that we, as a nation, will forget.

... Even for those wars with no living veterans — whether the American Revolution or World War I — we can remember. We can access digital archives of battlefield maps. We can examine lists online of personnel who fought in each battle. We can read written orders from commanders, or personal diaries, journals and letters sent by soldiers to their loved ones.

Unfortunately, our recent conflicts will be difficult to remember this way. That is because for the first 10-plus years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military lost or deleted a majority of its field records. And, although the military has since made a greater commitment to preserve records, an outdated archival system limits their usefulness.

It may seem counterintuitive that records and battle reports were saved more reliably before the digital age. But as a 2009 Army report found, “The increasing use of electronic records — easy to create and move but also difficult to organize and easy to erase — made the situation more complicated.

In Iraq, in part because of concerns over transporting classified material, soldiers heading home were forced to turn in computer hard drives to be wiped clean and “reimaged.” My own computer held hundreds of reports written after daily patrols. I would note every soldier who went on the patrol, summarize our every action, list every person we talked to and often include photos.

My unit analyzed patterns in our digital data and used it to inform our operations. At the end of my rotations, I handed off files for a few specific projects to the relief units. But everything on my computer was deleted. Hand-written logs were similarly shredded and burned when we rotated out.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

- George Santayana - The Life of Reason (1905-1906)

... Medical records in the military are well kept and rarely lost. But if a soldier who served in Iraq or Afghanistan needs to be assessed for service-related injuries or requires therapy for combat-related stress, there are often no records of the incidents that may have caused their injuries. There are often no documents to help a soldier remember and unpack what happened.

The lack of records also has operational consequences. An abundance of invaluable knowledge, often earned at great cost, wasn’t available for new units that rotated into conflict zones on a yearly basis. Newly arrived troops typically would receive intelligence from Army organizations about the area, enemy forces and local populations, but they were for the most part deprived of firsthand accounts from the soldiers who preceeded them. So American units that were sent to Mosul in 2014 weren’t able to learn from the contextual lessons or ground tactical information collected by soldiers deployed to Mosul in 2004.

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YouTube and Facebook Are Removing Evidence of Atrocities, Jeopardizing Cases against War Criminals

... The disappearance of Abdusalam’s photos are part of a pattern that’s causing a quiet panic among human rights groups and war crimes investigators. Social media companies can, and do, remove content with little regard for its evidentiary value. First-hand accounts of extrajudicial killings, ethnic cleansing, and the targeting of civilians by armies can disappear with little warning, sometimes before investigators notice. When groups do realize potential evidence has been erased, recovering it can be a kafkaesque ordeal. Facing a variety of pressures — to safeguard user privacy, neuter extremist propaganda, curb harassment and, most recently, combat the spread of so-called fake news — social media companies have over and over again chosen to ignore, and, at times, disrupt the work of human rights groups scrambling to build cases against war criminals.

It’s something that keeps me awake at night,” says Julian Nicholls, a senior trial lawyer at the International Criminal Court, where he’s responsible for prosecuting cases against war criminals, “the idea that there’s a video or photo out there that I could use, but before we identify it or preserve it, it disappears.”

Worries over disappearing evidence are not just theoretical. This past summer, YouTube rolled out a new artificial intelligence system designed to identify violent content that may be extremist propaganda or disturbing to viewers. Almost overnight, it shut down 900 groups and individuals documenting the civil war in Syria. That included a channel run by Bellingcat, a reputable U.K.-based organization devoted to analyzing images coming out of conflict zones including Syria, Ukraine, and Libya. YouTube also took down content from the group AirWars, which tracks the toll of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. Countless media organizations run from Syria were also shut down, including the Idlib Media Center, one of the few groups producing videos from the last Syrian province controlled by rebels. Meanwhile, in September, Facebook began removing photos and images documenting ethnic cleansing and torture of the Rohingya ethnic minority at the hands of the Myanmar government. Like the images taken by Abdulsalam, other users had flagged the Rohingya images as disturbing, and Facebook agreed.
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“It was not desirable that the proles should have strong political feelings. All that was required of them was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever it was necessary to make them accept longer working hours or shorter rations. And even when they became discontented, as they sometimes did, their discontent led nowhere, because, being without general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances.”

― George Orwell, 1984


Mattis, Tillerson Tell Congress New War Authorization Should Have No Time, Geographic Constraints

Hīs ego nec mētās rērum nec tempora pōnō; imperium sine fīne dedī

[For the Romans] I set no boundaries of space or time,To them I grant an Empire with no end.


- Virgil - The Promise of Jupiter: Aeneid 1.275-296


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The Most Dangerous Man in the World

Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

GEORGE ORWELL, 1984

There is an emerging bipartisan consensus that the president has the sole authority to launch U.S. nuclear weapons at the time of his choosing, with no real checks or balances from anyone. Now the question is what to do about it.
... “We are concerned that the president of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic, that he might order a nuclear strike that is wildly out of step with US interests,”

- Sen. Chris Murphy (D) Connecticut

In a rare bipartisan consensus, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and ranking member Ben Cardin, D-Md., agreed that the president has the ability to launch U.S. nuclear weapons on his own authority. “The president has the sole authority to give that order, whether we are responding to a nuclear attack or not,” said Corker. “Once that order is given and verified, there is no way to revoke it.”

Sen. Cardin said, “Based on my understanding of the nuclear command-and-control protocol, there are no checks—no checks—on the President’s authority. The system as it is set up today provides the President with the sole and ultimate authority to use nuclear weapons.”

This agreement is important, because most Americans do not realize that President Donald Trump, all by himself, can order a civilization-ending nuclear attack. No one can stop him, and the weapons once launched cannot be recalled. This makes Trump the most dangerous man in the world—not just to others, but to the United States itself.


Congress Is Concerned About Who Gets to Launch Nuclear Bombs
Last edited by vox_mundi on Fri 17 Nov 2017, 13:26:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 17 Nov 2017, 12:59:11

vox_mundi wrote:
... “The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.” ... “The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon.”

― George Orwell, 1984


The US role in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq should've ended long ago.

People seem to have completely forgotten that Obama promised in both 2008 and 2012 to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan if he was elected president------.

Obama's failure to keep his promise to end the wars was a major setback for the American people. We voted--twice---- to end the wars----but Obama and the other lying politicians in DC contrived to keep them going.

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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Fri 17 Nov 2017, 14:32:47

Say 'Hello' to Your New Robot Overlord: Boston Dynamics' Atlas Robot Has a New Skill Set

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The robot has always looked a little awkward and jerky in previous videos, but its movements here look downright human.

Check it out for yourself in the video above. And, when you've picked your jaw back up from the floor, watch it again -- in slow motion. If robo-Olympics were a thing, we know who'd win gold in gymnastics.

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Coming Soon?


Anymal Quadruped Robot Can Now Use an Elevator

Maybe it's the way they bound around like mechanical dog skeletons, but there's something inherently discomforting about quadruped robots. Regardless, these four-legged robots have evolved stunningly fast over the last few years and are set to become more commonplace, particularly in industrial settings.

Anymal is a smaller, multi-purpose robot that has been specifically designed for commercial and industrial applications. The bot is being advertised as good for uses on dangerous sites, such as oil and gas platforms or mines, as well as being functional as a basic security surveillance device.

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More Advanced SpotMini Robot Dog Revealed by Boston Dynamics

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Bioengineered Robotic Hand with Its Own Nervous System Will Sense Touch

An interdisciplinary team of scientists from Florida Atlantic University and the University of Utah School of Medicine are developing a first-of-its-kind bioengineered robotic hand that will grow and adapt to its environment. This "living" robot will have its own peripheral nervous system directly linking robotic sensors and actuators.

The research team is creating a living pathway from the robot's touch sensation to the user's brain to help amputees control the robotic hand. A neuroprosthesis platform will enable them to explore how neurons and behavior can work together to regenerate the sensation of touch in an artificial limb.

For the study, the neurons will not be kept in conventional petri dishes. Instead, they will be placed in biocompatible microfluidic chambers that provide a nurturing environment mimicking the basic function of living cells. Sarah E. Du, Ph.D., co-principal investigator, an assistant professor in FAU's Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering, and an expert in the emerging field of microfluidics, has developed these tiny customized artificial chambers with embedded micro-electrodes. The research team will be able to stimulate the neurons with electrical impulses from the robot's hand to help regrowth after injury.

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Scientists Create a Prototype Neural Network Based on Memristors

Cyborg - Lobachevsky University scientists under the supervision of Alexey Mikhailov, head of the UNN PTRI Laboratory of Thin Film Physics and Technology, are working to develop an adaptive neural interface that combines a living culture and a neural network based on memristors. This project is one if the first attempts to combine a living biological culture with a bio-like neural network based on memristors. A multi-electrode system will record and stimulate the bioelectrical activity of a neuron culture that performs the function of analyzing and classifying the network dynamics of living cells.

The use of hybrid neural networks based on memristors opens up amazing prospects. First, with the help of memristors, it will be possible to implement the computing power of modern supercomputers on a single chip. It will also be possible to create robots that manage an artificially grown neuronal culture. Such "brain-like" electronic systems can be used to replace parts of the living nervous system in the event of their damage or disease.


Manta Ray Robot Swims Fast and For Up to 10 Hours

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A Short-Staffed US Air Force Wants Robots to Do More Human Jobs

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M.— Filling the fuel tank of a B-2 stealth bomber is a group effort; the task involves pilots, maintainers, logisticians — not to mention fuel specialists. Gen. David Goldfein wants to know: can the Air Force give some of that work to machines, as airlines do?

... ince becoming the Air Force’s top general, Goldfein has pushed for airmen to think differently about the future of war. He has been on a personal crusade to make sure all of the Air Force’s planes, satellites, and other weapons can all talk to one another digitally. That would be a shift: much of the U.S. arsenal was built by defense firms that used proprietary standards, preventing the weapons from communicating electronically and requiring lots of time and money to modify them.

So when a company pitches new weapons, Goldfein asks three questions: Does it share? Does it connect? Does it learn?


As Trump Targets Immigrants, U.S. Farm Sector Looks to Automate

Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration through stepped-up arrests and border enforcement has shaken the U.S. agricultural sector, where as many as 7 in 10 farm workers are undocumented, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

... Farmers and food companies increasingly are moving to automate dairy operations, chicken processing, crop production and harvesting. Even delicate crops such as strawberries and peaches are being considered for mechanization.


Miniature Robots Could Cut Pesticide Use On Farms in Future

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An A.I. Designed to Guide Humans Through the End of Life is Already Among Us

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Chatbots are used for a variety of tasks: ordering pizza, getting product suggestions via Facebook Messenger and receiving online customer support. But can they cope with death?

A three-year clinical study with financial backing of more than $1 million from the National Institutes of Health is exploring whether a chatbot can help terminally ill, geriatric patients with their end-of-life care.

Designed in consultation with experts from Boston Medical Center and programmed by Bickmore and other Northeastern University researchers, the chatbot — which takes the form of a middle-age female digital character — is preloaded with a number of capabilities. These include clinical ones — such as gauging a patient's level of pain and keeping tabs on whether medication is being taken — as well as ones to improve a patient's quality of life. There are modules for talking about stress management and promoting exercise, a social chat feature if patients are just looking for someone to talk to, and even a module for spiritual counseling.


Virtual Infant BabyX Prompts Question: How Do We Feel About AI That Looks So Much Like Us?

BabyX, the lifelike virtual infant from the New Zealand-based research group Soul Machines, is a hyper-realistic screen-based simulation of an infant, with rosy cheeks and wide, sparkling eyes. Its lifelike appearance is a result of both art and engineering.

"It's very difficult to get a robot to not just look right but move right, as well," says Walters, who is also a researcher with the university's multidisciplinary Adaptive Systems Research Group.

"We've seen various humanoid robots, but we aren't fooled by them for very long. They're close but not quite right."

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Their goal, he says, is to understand how humans work, and "figure out how we learn to interact with others, and how we learn to create." When their autonomous virtual infant smiles, it's not because of a line of code directing it to do so following certain prompts or inputs — it's in reaction to virtual dopamine and endorphins, the release of which is triggered by real-world stimuli and interactions. In other words, the same things that make humans smile.

"Humanoid robots are to virtual assistants what television was to radio," he says.
“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 17 Nov 2017, 15:17:50

This Artificial Intelligence is Designed To Be Mentally Unstable

DABUS is a new type of AI that paves the way for smarter machines. Nothing new there - but this machine-learning system is different. DABUS, short for "device for the autonomous bootstrapping of unified Sentience", is deliberately created to be mentally unstable.

... The system swings between extremes of unimaginative plodding and novel thinking. It can also exceed the bounds of sanity.
"At one end, we see all the characteristic symptoms of mental illness, hallucinations, attention deficit and mania," Thaler says. "At the other, we have reduced cognitive flow and depression."

This process is illustrated by DABUS's artistic output, which combines and mutates images in a progressively more surreal stream of consciousness.

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More than 50 Experts Just Told DHS that Using AI for “Extreme Vetting” is Dangerously Misguided

A group of experts from Google, Microsoft, MIT, NYU, Stanford, Spotify, and AI Now are urging (pdf) the Department of Homeland Security to reconsider using automated software powered by machine learning to vet immigrants and visitors trying to enter the United States.

The controversial program, which hasn’t yet been implemented, would screen social media posts and other digital information to determine whether the person is a “positively contributing member of society,” and if they pose a threat to the United States. The process, called extreme vetting, was spurred by a June executive order from President Trump. However, these 54 experts say those metrics are impossible to determine using any machine learning or automated approach available today or foreseeable in the future.

No data or measures exist that could determine if someone is a good citizen. Thus the DHS algorithms have nothing to learn from.

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Big Data Meets Big Brother as China Moves to Rate its Citizens

The Chinese government plans to launch its Social Credit System in 2020. The aim? To judge the trustworthiness – or otherwise – of its 1.3 billion residents

In June 14, 2014, the State Council of China published an ominous-sounding document called "Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System". In the way of Chinese policy documents, it was a lengthy and rather dry affair, but it contained a radical idea. What if there was a national trust score that rated the kind of citizen you were?

Imagine a world where many of your daily activities were constantly monitored and evaluated: what you buy at the shops and online; where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay (or not). It's not hard to picture, because most of that already happens, thanks to all those data-collecting behemoths like Google, Facebook and Instagram or health-tracking apps such as Fitbit. But now imagine a system where all these behaviours are rated as either positive or negative and distilled into a single number, according to rules set by the government. That would create your Citizen Score and it would tell everyone whether or not you were trustworthy. Plus, your rating would be publicly ranked against that of the entire population and used to determine your eligibility for a mortgage or a job, where your children can go to school - or even just your chances of getting a date.
Here's what could happen if you're a low scorer:

- You won't be considered for public office
- You'll lose access to social security and welfare
- You'll be frisked more thoroughly when passing through Chinese customs
- You'll be shut out of senior level positions in the food and drug sector
- You won't get a bed in overnight trains
- You'll be shut out higher-starred hotels and restaurants and will be rejected by travel agents
- Your children won't be allowed into more expensive private schools

A futuristic vision of Big Brother out of control? No, it's already getting underway in China, where the government is developing the Social Credit System (SCS) to rate the trustworthiness of its 1.3 billion citizens.

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In the "Black Mirror" episode, titled "Nosedive," the purpose of a universal ratings system is ostensibly to incentivize untrustworthy individuals in a society to shape up to what other members consider good.

But the irony in the episode is that the system ends up creating a culture of disingenuity — a "numbers game" where people kiss up to popular folks to raise their social standing, rather than simply striving to be a better person.


A.I. Will Serve Humans—But Only About 1% of Them

It doesn’t have to be this way, but for now it is: AI’s primary purpose is to maximize profits. For all of the predictions of its benefits to society, right now, that’s just window-dressing—a pie-in-the-sky vision of a world we don’t actually inhabit. As long as AI is dedicated to economic goals and not societal concerns, its tunnel vision is a problem. And as so often seems to be the case these days, the benefits will go to the already wealthy and powerful.
“You’re not the customer—you’re the product”

We’re coming to understand just how adroitly AI can be played as we learn more and more about Russia’s manipulation of social media during the 2016 presidential election. Facebook’s much-lauded AI was working to “consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible,” as Facebook's first president Sean Parker said recently.

“You’re not the customer—you’re the product” meant to draw advertisers to the platform. Cleverly parsing our newsfeeds for clues to our most addictive interests and associations, Facebook’s AI somehow completely failed to notice it was being gamed by Russia, as noted in this stunning exchange between Senator Al Franken and Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch:

What neither man explicitly says is that it was not the job of Facebook’s AI to do anything but maximize the platform’s profits. Democracy? Not Facebook’s problem—until it was. Stretch’s classic tech-speak/euphemism is that Facebook’s algorithms should have had a “broader lens.”

The future currently under construction is frightening if you’re not among those few people.

... The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”

― George Orwell, 1984

... Totalitarianism ... does not so much promise an age of faith as an age of schizophrenia. A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial: that is, when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud.Such a society, no matter how long it persists, can never afford to become either tolerant or intellectually stable. It can never permit either the truthful recording of facts or the emotional sincerity that literary creation demands. ... A totalitarian society which succeeded in perpetuating itself would probably set up a schizophrenic system of thought, in which the laws of common sense held good in everyday life and in certain exact sciences, but could be disregarded by the politician, the historian, and the sociologist.

... From the totalitarian point of view history is something to be created rather than learned.... Totalitarianism demands, in fact, the continuous alteration of the past, and in the long run probably demands a disbelief in the very existence of objective truth.

GEORGE ORWELL, Books v. Cigarettes

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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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