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Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

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

Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 23 Jan 2018, 13:16:19

USS Little Rock, Navy's Newest Warship, Is Stuck in Ice in Montreal and May Not Move Until March

The U.S. Navy's newest warship, the USS Little Rock (LCS-9), was expected to be well on its way to its new home port in sunny Jacksonville, Florida, at this point, but it became trapped in ice in Montreal and it may not budge until spring.

A sustained cold snap played caused ice to form faster than expected along the St. Lawrence Seaway and has kept the USS Little Rock docked since its arrival.

Ice cover across all of Great Lakes increased from 3 percent on Christmas Eve to nearly 30 percent by Jan. 6, or a period of about two weeks, - NOAA Ice Map: https://www.glerl.noaa.gov/data/ice/

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In a phone interview, Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson said there was no date set for departure from Montreal, but noted that the ice in the Saint Lawrence Seaway historically melts enough for safe passage by mid-March.

Temporary heaters and 16 de-icers have been added to the USS Little Rock, and its crew members — some 70 officers and personnel in all — have been given new cold-weather clothing while staying on the ship for training and certification during the delay, Hillson added.


Russian Navy “Exercise” Sure Looks Like a Submarine on Fire

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Video of what the Russian government claims is merely an “exercise” appears to show a submarine on fire.

The video, shot in the Russian far eastern city of Vladivostok, shows a large fire and thick, black smoke close to several moored Russian Navy submarines. The submarine involved appears to be a Kilo-class diesel electric attack submarine. The Russian government says the fire was part of a planned exercise, but the fire and smoke look way too close to the submarines for comfort.

The Kilos have had a history of accidents, especially in India. In 2013 a fire erupted on the INS Sindhurakshak which caused an explosion that killed 18 crew members and sank the sub. In 2014, a fire started on the INS Sindhuratna that killed two Indian Navy officers. That fire was blamed on malfunctioning batteries.

The color and thickness of the smoke rising from the flames seems to suggest a diesel fire, which happens to be the fuel utilized in the five submarines moored nearby. This could potentially support the idea that the fire was (at least started) as a part of a training exercise, though it stands to reason that it could also have resulted from a refueling accident, or potentially that the submarine closest to the fire may have a leak in a fuel tank.

Vladivostok serves as Russia’s largest port, as well as the home of Russia’s Pacific Fleet. The five submarines situated near to the fire account for nearly all of the Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines assigned to the Northern Fleet, and it seems unlikely that Russia would be willing to put them in such direct danger for the sake of a fire drill. - Satellite View

The incident has gone quiet on the Internet in the last eighteen hours and is still a mystery.

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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 Plantagenet » Wed 24 Jan 2018, 14:43:26

SF Crime fighting robot retired for picking on homeless people too much

crime-fighting-robot-retired-after-launching-alleged-war-on-the-homeless

Maybe they can reprogram the robot to help people in homeless encampments in San Francisco. For instance, why not a robot that will do all the panhandling for them, and then take the change and go buy them booze and drugs? 8)

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Robots could do many of the tasks that homeless people now must do for themselves
"Its a brave new world"
---President Obama, 4/25/16
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Fri 09 Feb 2018, 11:59:24

The Marines Are Giving Quadcopters to Every Squad

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The Marines now are giving small, unmanned quadcopters to every squad so they can practice and drill with drones and robots. The drones will play a role in everything from beach assaults to training.

“They’re going fast. We’re talking about [sending] two hundred a month,” said Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, head of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command.

The Marine Corps plans to distribute the drones on the basis of which troops are scheduled to deploy first. It’s one of the many insights that have come out of the Marine Corps’ experiments using unmanned amphibious assault tanks with tracked, armed ground robots and drones.


‘Sea Hunter,’ a Drone Ship With No Crew, Just Joined the U.S. Navy Fleet

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)– an organization responsible for developing emerging technologies for the U.S. military’s use— has handed over the first prototype of an autonomous sub-hunting surface ship, christened Sea Hunter, to the Office of Naval Research (ONR) on January 30 for further testing.

Capable of reaching top speeds of up 27 knots, the 132-feet (40 meters) long and 140-ton heavy unmanned autonomous MDSUV trimaran prototype is designed to operate autonomously for 60 to 90 days straight, surveil large stretches of ocean territory and — should an enemy submarine be detected — guide U.S. Navy warships or aircraft to the subs location to destroy it (the Sea Hunter does not carry any weapons systems).

... the Sea Hunter will cost approximately $15,000 to $20,000 per day to operate, whereas the average costs of operating a guided-missile destroyer with anti-submarine warfare capabilities are around $700,000 per day. Consequently, the U.S. Navy could field dozens of sub-hunting robot ships at the fraction of the cost of existing anti-submarine warfare assets currently in service.

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US Army Now Holding Drills With Ground Robots That Shoot

In a historic first, the Army conducted a live fire exercise with a remote-controlled ground combat vehicle armed with a .50-caliber machine gun. It plans to conduct more exercises with more heavily armed ground robots within the next couple of years.

The demonstration was part of the annual Northern Strike exercise, which took place last July and August at Michigan’s Camp Grayling. Primarily geared toward reserve units, this year’s event debuted an unmanned, heavily armed M113 armored personnel carrier.

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It’s the first time that the Army has conducted an exercise with a ground robot providing fire. It won’t be the last. Army leaders have asked for more exercises with bigger guns, said Rogers. ... There’s a big incentive for weapons makers to test them in combat as soon as possible.
... “Look at all the learning that happened during the Afghanistan war, the Iraq war,” said Rogers, referring to how the United States improved its use of unmanned aerial drones in those conflicts. “When you’re in that, the learning is exponential.”

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Wingman is First Step Toward Weaponized Robotics

Under a program nicknamed "Wingman," the Army just announced it is range testing autonomous vehicles equipped with robotic weapons systems. So far, engineers have managed to successfully destroy targets with a self-driving Humvee equipped with an onboard autonomous 7.62 mm weapon system.

The three-year program officially began last year, and it seems to be progressing quickly.

The autonomous systems being developed under "Wingman" are controlled by the so-called Robotic Technology Kernel, a program-developed system "with driving cameras, sensors, and other electronics that allow it be driven manually through teleoperation or autonomously through waypoint navigation," according to the Army.

A subsystem of the Robotic Technology Kernel is the Autonomous Remote Engagement System, which helps identify targets using vision-based detection and user-specified target selection.

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For now, the Army plans to keep soldiers in the loop. According to program leaders, lethal action won't be taken without input from individuals.

"You're not going to have these systems go out there like in 'The Terminator'," Thomas B. Udvare, deputy chief of the program, told the Army News Service. "For the foreseeable future, you will always have a Soldier in the loop."

Nice to hear. But there's something a little spooky about the Army insisting humans will remain in the loop while engineers are rushing ahead with weapons systems clearly designed for autonomous use.

It's a bit like robotics companies insisting their products won't replace human workers, just make jobs easier.

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The prototype system complies with DOD Directive 3000.09, “Autonomy in Weapon Systems,” and will be used as a surrogate to inform the development of future unmanned weapon systems.


Is the Russian Military Going Robot?

Russia has developed a small unmanned coaxial rotor helicopter that can carry a 150Kg payload. The Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise—which is part of the Rostec group’s Russian Helicopters division—has built two prototype helicopters.

"This vehicle has good prospects both in the military and in the civilian markets,” Anatoly Serdyuko, Rostec’s industrial director told TASS. “Its scope of application is very wide, such a drone can carry powerful monitoring systems on board, serious weapons that the quadcopters, which are widespread today, can not carry into the air." “This particular prototype can carry more cargo at greater distances and for longer periods of time.”

The Russians are investing extensively in a host of unmanned systems so that those machines can takeover the most tedious and dangerous jobs that are currently performed by humans.

“This is part of a trend—development and testing of unmanned systems that can serve as various mission multipliers,” Bendett said. “This unmanned helicopter can deliver cargo in situations that could be dangerous for humans, thus supporting the Russian government's policies of fielding unmanned systems that can ultimately replace humans in such situations.”


China Building Artificial Intelligence–Powered Nuclear Submarine That Could Have 'Its Own Thoughts,' Report Says

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A senior scientist confirmed that China is building artificial intelligence–powered nuclear submarines that can think for themselves, according to a report.

According to a researcher involved with the program, who requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the project, the AI-augmented submarine with "its own thoughts" would reduce the commanding officers’ workload, eliminate human error and give China’s navy a competitive edge in underwater battles, reported the South China Morning Post.
Up till now, the “thinking” function on a nuclear sub, including interpreting and answering signals picked up by sonar, a system for detecting objects under water by emitting sound pulses, has been handled almost exclusively by human naval personnel, not by machines.

Now, through AI technology, a convolutional neural network undergirds so-called machine learning. This structure underpins a decision support system that can acquire knowledge, improve skills and develop new strategy without human intervention.

By mimicking the workings of the human brain, the system can process a large amount of data. On a nuclear submarine, data could come from the Chinese navy’s rapidly increasing observation networks, the submarine’s own sensors or daily interactions with the crew.

An AI assistant could support commanding officers by assessing the battlefield environment, providing insight into how levels of saline in the ocean and water temperature might affect the accuracy of sonar systems.

It also could recognise and flag threats from an enemy faster and more accurately than human operators.

Zhu Min, lead scientist in China’s deep-water exploration program and researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Acoustics, said using AI on a strategic weaponry platform such as a nuclear submarine would be a natural next step for the evolving technology. Letting it seek new knowledge without restraint, however, could lead to unexpected consequences.
... "If the system started to have its own way of thinking, “we may have a runaway submarine with enough nuclear arsenals to destroy a continent”

“This is definitely a risk the authorities should consider when introducing AI to a sub,” he said.

Beijing, which takes the AI submarine programme very seriously, is ploughing abundant resources into the undertaking, according to the researcher.

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AI & Autonomy

... The new undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment. Ellen Lord, talked to a few reporters last week, on Feb. 1 about AI & Autonomy.
- “AI is very important to us. We have Project Maven…delivering incredible capability to the warfighter. We have pockets of artificial intelligence in places like [the Joint Improvised-Threat Organization] very successfully. We have some sustainment that’s leveraging AI.
- “That will be a focus area of the new [undersecretary for research and engineering]. One of the things Dr. [Michael] Griffin is doing is coming up with more of an AI strategy for all of the department. I think we are leveraging things like our Defense Innovation Board.
- “We’re really seeing what the art of the possible and then coming back and applying it to what we do. Right now, a lot of that is frankly black programs, so you don’t hear about it. I think you’re going to see AI applied across the sustainment domain as well as a lot of our new systems coming along. It’s part of what we’re talking about in terms of software and developing software differently.”
- “We want to take all the datasets we have and leverage those to have machine learning, so that we get smarter and smarter systems.”

... “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.”

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Mayhem Cyber Reasoning System

The Defense Department spent tens of billions of dollars developing and fielding these sensors and platforms, and the capabilities they offer are remarkable. Whenever a roadside bomb detonates in Iraq, the analysts can simply rewind the video feed to watch who planted it there, when they planted it, where they came from, and where they went.

The good news is that Project Maven has delivered a game-changing AI capability. In doing so, the effort has demonstrated a level of technological innovation and programmatic agility that has been sorely lacking from most Defense Department digital initiatives. The bad news is that Project Maven’s success is clear proof that existing AI technology is ready to revolutionize many national & homeland security missions—even if the department is not yet ready for the organizational, ethical, and strategic implications of that revolution.

Already the satellite imagery analysis community is working on its own version of Project Maven. Next up will be migrating drone imagery analysis beyond the campaign to defeat ISIS and into other segments of the Defense Department & DHS that use drone imagery platforms outside and within the U.S. Over 100 drones currently monitor U.S. cities.

The stakes are relatively low when AI is merely counting the number of cars filmed by a drone camera, but drone surveillance data can also be used to determine whether an individual is directly engaging in hostilities and is thereby potentially subject to direct attack. As AI systems become more capable and are deployed across more applications, they will engender ever more difficult ethical and legal dilemmas.
“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 09 Feb 2018, 15:12:29

Did Robot Algorithms Trigger Market Plunge?

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Robot trading has accelerated this week's market dive and may have sparked the sell-off, experts say.

Such automated trading almost certainly accelerated the sell-off on Monday, which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average crashing 800 points in ten minutes.

... "The explosive speed of the fall ... that is done by machines"

- Tom Stevenson, Investment Director at Fidelity Personal Investing

US government bonds, or Treasuries, fell in value after the US jobs report. Yields (the interest that bonds offer investors) rise as prices fall.

It's thought that robot traders were waiting for that yield to hit 3% - a significant figure as it could prompt human investors to switch out of shares into bonds.

Mr Stevenson said: "Everyone looks for a reason for why the fall happened. One of them was that bond yields rose up towards the magic number of 3%. ... "There seems to have been a trigger at 2.9% for automatic trading to sell and once that trigger was pulled the markets went into freefall."

... algorithms will be set up to react in certain ways to certain situations: "One might work by a stop loss criteria, selling an asset as it falls to prevent further losses.
"So if the Dow Jones Index has dropped 5% it may trigger the machine to sell, but if you have a huge number of these algorithms hitting stop losses at the same time that produces further falls which produce further stop losses."

The algorithmic trading can also be triggered by "correlation" trades, when movement in one market will trigger a trade in a different market.

Last week an Index called the VIX, nicknamed the Fear Index because it measures stock market volatility, started to rise sharply. Mr Currant said: "The VIX was very elevated last week, and doubled on Monday, and because there is often an inverse correlation between the VIX and the Dow Jones Index, the machine trades sold US equities."

Many of the algorithms that sold equities on Monday were "selling short", that is selling stocks specifically to buy them back cheaper later and net a profit. Steep market falls created by algorithms can create equally steep recoveries.
"The market reaction to these single numbers was massively exaggerated because of the machine trades."


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Dow Jones Said Google Was Buying Apple, and the Bots Bought It

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This morning Dow Jones shot some fake news out over the wires announcing that Google was acquiring Apple for $9 billion. For a brief second, the news sent Apple’s stock up about $2 to $158 per share. To the benefit of everyone’s morning, both stock prices quickly returned to normal.

The story went something like this. Larry Page and Steve Jobs started discussing an acquisition back in 2010. Jobs outlined the plans in his will, which dictated the sale to close tomorrow. Google would get nine Apple shares for each Google share at a deal value of $9 billion. Insane to a human, logical to a bot.

Dow Jones issued a statement to 9to5Mac, who first reported the drama. The company asserted that the calamity was the product of a technical error and all erroneous headlines would be stripped from the newswire.

But the human reaction wasn’t fast enough for the algos. We can only admire the poorly written rules from a distance. It’s irritating, as it always is, when the curtains get pulled back for a brief moment and we all realize that our financial markets are being run by bots with the intelligence of infants. Keyword search, sentiment analysis, trend identification (certainly caused by other bots) and whatever other magic was at play really don’t cut it when long-tail events like this happen.
... “I take today’s inadvertent and erroneous publication of testing materials extremely seriously. While immediate corrective action has been taken, I have also ordered a review of news and technology processes in this area,”

-William Lewis, CEO of Dow Jones and Publisher of The Wall Street Journal.


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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 » Wed 14 Feb 2018, 13:06:24

Boston Dynamics' Newest Robot Trick Is Straight Out of 'Jurassic Park'

When Boston Dynamics first debuted the four-legged, one-armed SpotMini, it just wanted to show how fun and helpful it could be. It loaded the dishwasher, it did a silly dance. But its latest demonstration is adorable but also subtly threatening. At least, if you've seen Jurassic Park and you read between the lines.
... "it's smart enough to understand the correct way to open a door without missing, and it can effectively use its own weight to hold the door open for its friend—an extraordinarily complicated feat of problem-solving that most cats and dogs never figure out."

"Robots have typically only had limited cooperation with each other, and this hints at more advanced team-ups where robots can supplement each others' abilities and accomplish more than they would by themselves." - like Velociraptors!

Video - This Little Robot Can Open Doors. How Long Before It Kicks Them In?

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Clever Girl

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While you’re away at work, the worst a real dog will do is shred the toilet paper in the bathroom. Boston Dynamics’ contraption, on the other hand, will probably let all of its little robo-friends in so they can hang out and plot humanity’s demise.

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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 » Thu 15 Feb 2018, 12:58:00

Russia Accused of Massive $1.2 Billion NotPetya Cyber Attack

The British National Cyber Security Centre said Thursday that "the Russian military was almost certainly responsible" for the disastrous NotPetya malware attack.

Primary targets were Ukrainian financial, energy and government sectors,” Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad said in the statement. “Its indiscriminate design caused it to spread further, affecting other European and Russian business.”

Ahmad said London judged that the one behind the attack was “specifically the Russian military” and called on the Kremlin to stop positioning Russia in conflict with the West. Ahmad appeared to link the attack to a “continued disregard for Ukrainian sovereignty” by the Russian government, referring to the prolonged military confrontation in the former Soviet state.

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NotPetya Attack Totally Destroyed Maersk's Computer Network

Maersk Chairman Jim Hagemann Snabe said while participating on a cybersecurity panel at the World Economic Forum conference, Davos, that his company replaced 45,000 PCs, 4,000 servers and install 2,500 applications. The computer system runs an operation where a ship carrying 20,000 containers enters a port every 15 minutes somewhere around the world. Overall, Maersk handles 20 percent of all world trade, he said.

We found we had to reinstall our entire infrastructure. It was done in a heroic effort in just 10 days,” he said, adding such a job should take about six months to complete.


Russian Military Was Behind ‘NotPetya’ Cyberattack in Ukraine, CIA Concludes

The CIA has attributed to Russian military hackers a cyberattack that crippled computers in Ukraine last year, an effort to disrupt that country’s financial system amid its ongoing war with separatists loyal to the Kremlin.

The GRU military spy agency created NotPetya, the CIA concluded with “high confidence” in November, according to classified reports cited by U.S. intelligence officials.

The hackers worked for the military spy service’s GTsST, or Main Center for Special Technology, the CIA reported. That unit is highly involved in the GRU’s cyberattack program, including the enabling of influence operations.

The attacks reflect Russia’s mounting aggression in cyberspace as part of a larger “hybrid warfare” doctrine that marries traditional military means with cyber-tools to achieve its goal of regional dominance. “It’s a pattern of more bold, aggressive action,” said Robert Hannigan, former head of Britain’s GCHQ intelligence agency.


Trump Has Not Asked Us To Stop Russian Election Meddling, Intelligence Chiefs Testify

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The Kremlin-led influence operations targeting the U.S. electorate will continue into the 2018 midterms, U.S. intelligence community heads testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

CIA Director Mark Pompeo for months has acknowledged Russian meddling, “We have seen Russian activity and intentions to impact the 2018 election cycle,” he said.

The report, Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community, released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence reads: ... “We assess that the Russian intelligence services will continue their efforts to disseminate false information via Russian state-controlled media and covert online personas about US activities to encourage anti-US political views” ... “The 2018 US midterm elections are a potential target for Russian influence operations.”

Adm. Michael Rogers, the outgoing head of U.S. Cyber Command and the NSA, agreed. “This will not stop,” he said of Russian interference activities in response to a question about the midterm elections.

... When one senator asked Pompeo if the president had asked him specifically to try and stop the Russian meddling in the midterm elections, Pompeo dodged, feigning an inability to understand the question. “I’m not sure how specific,” he said. It was his job to talk to the president about all threats, he said. And that was that.

Rogers agreed. “I can’t say that I’ve been specifically directed,” to stop Russian influence hacks aimed at the midterms. But he, like other intelligence leaders, had been tasked with reporting on what he had seen.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the committee’s vice chairman and ranking Democrat, expressed frustration at the disconnect between warning and defending. “Despite all of this, the president inconceivably continues to deny the threat posed by Russia. He didn’t increase sanctions on Russia when he had a chance to do so. He hasn’t even tweeted a single concern. This threat demands a whole-of-government response, and that needs to start with leadership at the top.”

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Thousands of Websites Infected by 'Crypto Mining' Malware

The attacks made public over the weekend by British security researcher Scott Helme showed more than 4,000 website were infected in this manner, including those of the British data protection and privacy watchdog and the US federal courts system.

Security researchers at Cisco Talos warned last month that this kind of hacking activity "has exponentially increased."

Because of the huge financial gains in cryptocurrencies, Cisco researchers said this has become a prime target for hackers.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 15 Feb 2018, 13:00:32

Breaking with Tradition, Trump Skips President’s Written Intelligence Report and Relies on Oral Briefings

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For much of the past year, President Trump has declined to participate in a practice followed by the past seven of his predecessors: He rarely if ever reads the President’s Daily Brief, a document that lays out the most pressing information collected by U.S. intelligence agencies from hot spots around the world.

Trump has opted to rely on an oral briefing of select intelligence issues in the Oval Office rather than getting the full written document delivered to review separately each day, according to three people familiar with his briefings.


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Reading the traditionally dense intelligence book is not Trump’s preferred “style of learning,” according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The arrangement underscores Trump’s impatience with exhaustive classified documents that go to the commander in chief — material that he has said he prefers condensed as much as possible. But by not reading the daily briefing, the president could hamper his ability to respond to crises in the most effective manner, intelligence experts warned.

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Soon after Trump took office, analysts sought to tailor their intelligence sessions for a president with a famously short attention span, who is known for taking in much of his information from conservative Fox News Channel hosts. The oral briefings were augmented with photos, videos and graphics.

After several months, Trump made clear he was not interested in reviewing a personal copy of the written intelligence report known as the PDB, a highly classified summary prepared before dawn to provide the president with the best update on the world’s events, according to people with knowledge of the situation.


Trump’s Schedule Shows That His Daily Briefing Was Only Daily In Three Weeks of His Presidency

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... There have been only three weeks during which he had scheduled daily briefings on five days of the week. The most recent was the week of Sep. 25, 2017. There have been nine weeks during which he’s had no scheduled briefings, often but not always coinciding with overseas travel.

The most common day on which Trump receives a briefing is Wednesday; on 60 percent of his Wednesdays as president, he’s received a briefing. He’s also received one on 51 percent of the Tuesdays he’s been in office. The least common day for a briefing is Friday. On only 38 percent of his Fridays has he had a scheduled daily briefing.

It’s not clear that he’s actually briefed for an extended period during that scheduled time. On 19 occasions, there have been tweets sent from his personal account within an hour of the scheduled briefing getting underway. On 11 occasions, there’s been a tweet within half an hour of his briefing getting underway.

It happened three times this week, in fact. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted twice right as his briefing was supposed to be getting underway. ... the next day, he left little doubt, apparently tweeting about something he’d seen on “Fox and Friends” 10 minutes after his briefing was supposed to have begun.

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It’s not a stretch to think that Trump may spend more time getting information from Fox News’ morning hosts than during scheduled time for his daily briefings.


Trump Is Blowing Off Intel Briefings Because “I’m, Like, a Smart Person”

... I don't have to be told - you know, I'm, like, a smart person. I don't have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years.

(If Trump has only received two or three intelligence briefs so far, how does he know that they’re “often repetitive”?)

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CIA Director: Trump Is a 'Sophisticated' Consumer of Intelligence – Even if He Doesn't Get National Security Briefings Daily

The Onion Leaks a Trove of Trump Docs

... Among the leaked Trump documents: a string of e-mails between the President and Boeing's C.E.O., about Trump's desired upgrades—marble everything—to Air Force One; some of the Vice-President's handwritten notes, with helpful illustrations, describing puritanical inventions of his, like a "nose harness" to prevent the smelling of "sinful smells," like a woman's skin, and a "blouse that cannot flutter in the wind"; and three of the President's idiosyncratic daily briefings, written on children's placemats. "Like you get at Denny's


The Trump Document Dumps

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

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

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 15 Feb 2018, 13:55:48

Google Glass Paranoia is Coming True in China

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Officers in Zhengzhou, a city in China's Henan province, are using the smart-glasses to scan travellers passing though the entrances of crowded areas including busy train stations. According to AFP, the biometric-scanning abilities are cutting-edge.

The glasses are equipped with a camera connected to a "smartphone-like device" that lets officers snap pictures of anyone they deem suspicious.

In real time, the glasses compare the snap to a massive database of mugshots back at HQ. It shows the target's name, gender, address and ethnicity and highlights whether they are wanted for any crime, AFP reported, citing state owned outlet People's Daily.

... In 2017, it emerged that Chinese law enforcement was using a system known as "Police Cloud", built by the Ministry of Public Security, to monitor "extreme thoughts". The programme, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW), will be rolled out nationwide.

It is believed to collate a swathe of personal information including medical histories, flight and train records, biometrics, national ID numbers, addresses, family relations, birth control methods, religious affiliations and even supermarket delivery records.

It is seemingly designed to help police track where certain individuals have been, who they travel with and what they have been viewing online, the organisation said.

In December, it emerged that China was testing a system called the Social Credit Score (SCS) that would let citizens rate each other's behaviour. The resulting score would then become the foundation for an individual's level of trustworthiness, reports suggested.

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Although currently the system is hunting down potential felons, it’s not hard to imagine police forces using the same technology to identify and detain political activists who disagree with the Chinese government’s policies, or even journalists seeking to document human rights offenses and more.


Artificial Intelligence Is Going To Supercharge Surveillance

We usually think of surveillance cameras as digital eyes, watching over us or watching out for us, depending on your view. But really, they’re more like portholes: useful only when someone is looking through them. Sometimes that means a human watching live footage, usually from multiple video feeds. Most surveillance cameras are passive, however. They’re there as a deterrence, or to provide evidence if something goes wrong. Your car got stolen? Check the CCTV.

But this is changing — and fast. Artificial intelligence is giving surveillance cameras digital brains to match their eyes, letting them analyze live video with no humans necessary. This could be good news for public safety, helping police and first responders more easily spot crimes and accidents and have a range of scientific and industrial applications. But it also raises serious questions about the future of privacy and poses novel risks to social justice.

What happens when governments can track huge numbers of people using CCTV? When police can digitally tail you around a city just by uploading your mugshot into a database? Or when a biased algorithm is running on the cameras in your local mall, pinging the cops because it doesn’t like the look of a particular group of teens?

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Fear and Loathing at the San Antonio Border Security Expo

Immigration officials say they no longer “distinguish between border security and interior enforcement” and aim to “push the borders out.”

“We used to distinguish between border security and interior enforcement; now we’re lumping it all under border security,” said Elaine Duke, deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Wednesday. Duke was speaking to a crowd of around 100 law enforcement officials and technology vendors in a downtown conference hall.

On the other side of a partition, dozens of vendors had set up booths where they proffered mobile surveillance rigs, long-range thermal cameras and radar, license plate scanners, all-terrain combat vehicles, waveform radios and handguns specially engraved with the Border Patrol logo. One high-end camera was going for hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a vendor.

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“The Prowler,” a vehicle currently being tested by Border Patrol and going for around $30,000, according to a company rep, featured an onboard temperature-regulated dog kennel.

Duke, the DHS deputy secretary, said in her opening remarks that the agency needs to make it easier for people to become immigration agents, in part by reducing polygraph testing.


Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) About To Start Tracking License Plates Across the US

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The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has officially gained agency-wide access to a nationwide license plate recognition database, according to a contract finalized earlier this month. The system gives the agency access to billions of license plate records and new powers of real-time location tracking, raising significant concerns from civil libertarians.

ICE agents would be able to query that database in two ways. A historical search would turn up every place a given license plate has been spotted in the last five years, a detailed record of the target’s movements. That data could be used to find a given subject’s residence or even identify associates if a given car is regularly spotted in a specific parking lot.


Facial Recognition Scanners To Be Tested Soon at Texas-Mexico Border

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has long sought a way to identify the millions of travelers who leave the country each year through land border crossings into Mexico and Canada. ... thanks to quantum leaps in facial recognition technology, especially over the past year, the future is arriving sooner than most Americans realize. As early as this summer, CBP will set up a pilot program to digitally scan the faces of drivers and passengers — while they are in moving vehicles — at the busy Anzalduas Port of Entry outside of McAllen, the agency announced Thursday.

The agency will use the results of the South Texas effort to set the stage for a wider rollout along the southern and northern borders, where the technology someday could be used to identify fugitives or wanted terror suspects. Customs and Border Protection already operates facial recognition exit programs at nearly a dozen international airports, including Houston’s, aimed at making sure travelers are who they say they are.

... Analysts at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Georgetown University’s Center on Privacy and Technology have argued the program could lead to “mission creep” in the form of additional, unauthorized government scanning. At least two members of Congress have questioned whether the agency’s program illegally spies on American citizens.
“While Congress has repeatedly voted to authorize biometric entry-exit scanning of foreign nationals, it has never authorized biometric exit scanning for U.S. citizens,” the senators wrote. “In fact, Congress has pointedly neglected to authorize biometric exit scanning for U.S. citizens.”


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Study Finds Gender and Skin-Type Bias in Commercial Artificial-Intelligence Systems

Video - Three commercially released facial-analysis programs from major technology companies demonstrate both skin-type and gender biases, according to a new paper researchers from MIT and Stanford University will present later this month at the Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency.

In the researchers' experiments, the three programs' error rates in determining the gender of light-skinned men were never worse than 0.8 percent. For darker-skinned women, however, the error rates ballooned—to more than 20 percent in one case and more than 34 percent in the other two.

The findings raise questions about how today's neural networks, which learn to perform computational tasks by looking for patterns in huge data sets, are trained and evaluated. For instance, according to the paper, researchers at a major U.S. technology company claimed an accuracy rate of more than 97 percent for a face-recognition system they'd designed. But the data set used to assess its performance was more than 77 percent male and more than 83 percent white.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 15 Feb 2018, 14:00:28

Facebook Patents Tech to Determine Social Class

Might want to unfriend some poor people before clicking on that credit score ad.

We've got great news this week for nation-state employees tasked with using social media to spark a class war in previously stable democracies! Facebook is patenting technology to decide if its users are upper, middle or working class -- without even using the usual marker for social class: an individual's income (the patent considers this a benefit).

Facebook's patent plan for "Socioeconomic Group Classification Based on User Features" uses different data sources and qualifiers to determine whether a user is "working class," "middle class," or "upper class." It uses things like a user's home ownership status, education, number of gadgets owned, and how much they use the internet, among other factors. If you have one gadget and don't use the internet much, in Facebook's eyes you're probably a poor person.

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Facebook's application says the algorithm is intended for use by "third parties to increase awareness about products or services to online system users." Examples given include corporations and charities.

The patent essentially tells us that Facebook intends to add class to its advertising preferences. You know, the ones that until very recently allowed advertisers to filter by race and ethnicity, which they dragged their feet about fixing, and still hovers in the realm of "temporarily disabled."

It's not a stretch to think that Facebook will be able to decide from check-ins which restaurants, phones, and brands of shoes, are "lower class." - it's not too hard to imagine how this could be used to keep lower class renters out of a particular neighborhood, to facilitate predatory lending, or make sure that lower classes don't see your dating service ads.

Oops -- I meant to write "working class." Really.

Facebook's algorithm may not be making illegal decisions, but it is absolutely facilitating humans to do so. Welcoming them to it, actually. Not that Facebook lets the law deter them from making a buck. I mean, c'mon. ... It's not too hard to think of ways Russia's state-sponsored propaganda trolls will use this new feature either.

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Facebook Lets Advertisers Exclude Users by Race

Imagine if, during the Jim Crow era, a newspaper offered advertisers the option of placing ads only in copies that went to white readers.

That’s basically what Facebook is doing nowadays.

Facebook’s system allows advertisers to exclude black, Hispanic, and other “ethnic affinities” from seeing ads.

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Facebook’s business model is based on allowing advertisers to target specific groups — or, apparently to exclude specific groups — using huge reams of personal data the company has collected about its users. Facebook’s microtargeting is particularly helpful for advertisers looking to reach niche audiences, such as swing-state voters concerned about climate change. ProPublica recently offered a tool allowing users to see how Facebook is categorizing them. We found nearly 50,000 unique categories in which Facebook places its users.


Facebook Says It Is Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the U.S. and Israeli Governments

In September of last year, we noted that Facebook representatives were meeting with the Israeli government to determine which Facebook accounts of Palestinians should be deleted on the ground that they constituted “incitement.” The meetings — called for and presided over by one of the most extremist and authoritarian Israeli officials, pro-settlement Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked — came after Israel threatened Facebook that its failure to voluntarily comply with Israeli deletion orders would result in the enactment of laws requiring Facebook to do so, upon pain of being severely fined or even blocked in the country.

The predictable results of those meetings are now clear and well-documented. Ever since, Facebook has been on a censorship rampage against Palestinian activists who protest the decades-long, illegal Israeli occupation, all directed and determined by Israeli officials. Indeed, Israeli officials have been publicly boasting about how obedient Facebook is when it comes to Israeli censorship orders:
Shortly after news broke earlier this month of the agreement between the Israeli government and Facebook, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said Tel Aviv had submitted 158 requests to the social media giant over the previous four months asking it to remove content it deemed “incitement.” She said Facebook had granted 95 percent of the requests.

What makes this censorship particularly consequential is that “96 percent of Palestinians said their primary use of Facebook was for following news.” That means that Israeli officials have virtually unfettered control over a key communications forum of Palestinians.

Last March, Facebook briefly shut down the Facebook page of the political party, Fatah, followed by millions, “because of an old photo posted of former leader Yasser Arafat holding a rifle.”

Needless to say, Israelis have virtually free rein to post whatever they want about Palestinians. Calls by Israelis for the killing of Palestinians are commonplace on Facebook, and largely remain undisturbed.

FACEBOOK NOW SEEMS to be explicitly admitting that it also intends to follow the censorship orders of the U.S. government. ...


What this means is obvious: that the U.S. government — meaning, at the moment, the Trump administration — has the unilateral and unchecked power to force the removal of anyone it wants from Facebook and Instagram by simply including them on a sanctions list. Does anyone think this is a good outcome? Does anyone trust the Trump administration — or any other government — to compel social media platforms to delete and block anyone it wants to be silenced?
“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 Cog » Thu 15 Feb 2018, 14:35:23

Hamas and Hezbollah are terrorist organizations. I'm not surprised the Israeli government would try to censor their means of communication.
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Re: Fully Automated Combat Robots Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 21 Feb 2018, 12:25:07

Only a Fool Would Dare Interrupt Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini from Opening a Door

... A followup video posted today by Boston Dynamics reveals a grave mistake by one of its creators. The video, titled “Testing Robustness,” shows a human attempting to get in the way of SpotMini’s door opening routine. He first halts the robot with a hockey stick, pushing its new arm attachment away from the door. When that didn’t work, he holds the door against the robot to prevent it from successfully pulling it open. SpotMini persists, which results in the man pulling the robot from behind and dragging it backward

After the man lets go, SpotMini marches on and completes its task. What SpotMini desires, SpotMini gets.

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The most subtle detail here is also the most impressive: The robot is doing all of this autonomously.

The robot is able to correct for extreme forces, all the while handling a relatively precise task. Boston Dynamics is, as it says in the title of the video, “testing robustness.” That is, a robot’s ability to deal with our crap.
It’s hard as hell to get a robot to not fall on its face, much less fight off a human and go about its business as if nothing happened.

I know a Rotweiller that would bite your face off if you tried that sh*t with it.
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