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+ - The Dominant Life Form in the Cosmos is Probably Superintelligent Robots

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "If and when we finally encounter aliens, they probably won’t look like little green men, or spiny insectoids. It’s likely they won’t be biological creatures at all, but rather, advanced robots that outstrip our intelligence in every conceivable way.
Susan Schneider, a professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, joins a handful of astronomers, including Seth Shostak, director of NASA’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, NASA Astrobiologist Paul Davies, and Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology Stephen Dick in espousing the view that the dominant intelligence in the cosmos is probably artificial. In her paper “Alien Minds," written for a forthcoming NASA publication, Schneider describes why alien life forms are likely to be synthetic, and how such creatures might think."

+ - Quantum physics just got less complicated->

Submitted by wabrandsma
wabrandsma (2551008) writes "From phys.org:
Here's a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An international team of researchers has proved that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing. The result is published 19 December in Nature Communications.
Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner made the breakthrough while at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. They found that 'wave-particle duality' is simply the quantum 'uncertainty principle' in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Video cards? (Score 1) 179

by xtal (#48580549) Attached to: LG To Show Off New 55-Inch 8K Display at CES

Maybe this will drive some faster video cards.. I run 3 30" monitors (7680x1600); and while 2D and work productivity is no problem.. and, believe me, if you have the means I highly recommend picking them up - 3D surround gaming, even with SLI current-generation cards is a challenge.

What's even more impressive is how fast the 4K panels are dropping in price. Manufacturing FTW.

Comment: Re:Password protect your phone (Score 1) 105

by xtal (#48576333) Attached to: Canadian Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Warrantless Cellphone Searches

Actually, no.

If you have a proper password, the magic cables will not work on iOS. It doesn't take long to brute force a numeric 4 digit. It takes a lot longer if that gets complicated; of course, that's harder to use, too.

"I do not consent to any search of my vehicle or my person"

"Am I free to go or am I being detained?"

"I want to speak with an attorney"

Magic words. If police have probable cause they don't need to ask; use the magic words and it'll stay that way.

Comment: Who is pushing what agenda? (Score 1) 1

These edit do appear to be legitimate corrections

The report is called '''Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program''' yet the wiki editor has miss named it
"Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture"

Also under Wikipedia's own rules the articles should be NPV and controversial terms backed by legitimate quotes and citations.

Comment: San Francisco already did this (Score 5, Interesting) 178

by Animats (#48567503) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

San Francisco already did this. Almost all the masonry buildings in SF have been reinforced since the 1989 quake, and now the rules are being tighened on wood buldings. If you've been in an older building in SF, you've probably seen huge diagonal steel braces. That's what it looks like.

All new big buildings meet very tough earthquake standards. The bridges and freeways have been beefed up in recent years. Overpass pillars are about three times as big as they used to be. Two elevated freeways were torn down after one in Oakland failed in the 1989 quake. The entire eastern span of the Bay Bridge was replaced with a new suspension bridge. The western span was strengthened, and there are now sliding joints, huge plates of stainless steel, between the roadway and the towers.

Comment: The corporate AI (Score 4, Insightful) 417

by Animats (#48566135) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

What I'm worried about is when AIs start doing better at corporate management than humans. If AIs do better at running companies than humans, they have to be put in charge for companies to remain competitive. That's maximizing shareholder value, which is what capitalism is all about.

Once AIs get good enough to manage at all, they should be good at it. Computers can handle more detail than humans. They communicate better and faster than humans. Meetings will take seconds, not hours. AI-run businesses will react faster.

Then AI-run businesses will start deailng with other AI-run businesses. Human-run businesses will be too slow at replying to keep up. The pressure to put an AI in charge will increase.

We'll probably see this first in the finanical sector. Many funds are already run mostly by computers. There's even a fund which formally has a program on their board of directors.

The concept of the corporation having no social responsibiilty gives us enough trouble. Wait until the AIs are in charge.

Comment: Re:Of course... (Score 2) 699

by Animats (#48549251) Attached to: French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

It has apparently never occurred to publishers to band together and fund the creation of a system for buying content at dirt cheap prices using something like ACH transfers to keep the transaction costs low. How about a one-click purchase model where you pay $0.50/article or $3 for all content published that day?

It's been tried. Nobody bought. Except for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, no news outlet adds enough value that people will pay for it.

No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware until three software guys have signed off for it. -- Andy Tanenbaum

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