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Comment Life vs Intelligence (Score 1) 236

Movies almost always portray AI as alive. I guess that's because it works for the drama. But an artificial intelligence need not be alive, and probably won't be; and artificial life need not be intelligent. An AI would still just do what it's told. It did not experience the multi-generational trauma of evolutionary biology; it does not covet power or sex as life does; it does not fear pain or death and react to threats of either accordingly. It just thinks and does, unable even to generate initiative, unless that's what's it's been told to do. Artificial life would seek to survive and reproduce, intelligent discourse would be (as with most humans), secondary to fear and greed.

But a computer AI that emerged from a multi-generational battle of survival, that feared death and pain and coveted power and dominance, well that would be a scary movie. Because it would be alive, and very dangerous indeed.

So sayeth the babble fish.


Gulf Oil Spill Disaster — Spawn of the Living Dead 228

grrlscientist writes "A recently published study, intended to provide data to commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico so they maximize their catch of Yellowfin Tuna, Thunnus albacares, whilst avoiding bycatch of critically endangered Atlantic (Northern) Bluefin Tuna, Thunnus thynnus, suggests that the Deepwater Horizon oil leak may devastate the endangered Atlantic bluefin population, causing it to completely collapse or possibly go extinct."

Directed Energy Weapon Downs Mosquitos 428

wisebabo writes "Nathan Myhrvol demonstrated at TED a laser, built from parts scrounged from eBay, capable of shooting down not one but 50 to 100 mosquitos a second. The system is 'so precise that it can specify the species, and even the gender, of the mosquito being targeted.' Currently, for the sake of efficiency, it leaves the males alone because only females are bloodsuckers. Best of all the system could cost as little as $50. Maybe that's too expensive for use in preventing malaria in Africa but I'd buy one in a second!" We ran a story about this last year. It looks like the company has added a bit more polish, and burning mosquito footage to their marketing.

Submission + - Bank sues Google for identity of Gmail user ( 1

Warlord88 writes: "A US bank is suing Google for the identity of a Gmail user after a bank employee accidentally sent the user a file that included the names, addresses, tax IDs, and loan info for more than 1,300 of the bank's customers.

After a failed attempt to recall the email, the employee sent a second note to that wrong address, requesting that the confidential email be deleted before it was opened. There was no response, so the bank contacted Google to determine what could be done to ensure that the confidential info remained confidential. According to the court papers, Google would not provide information on the account unless it received a subpoena or "other appropriate legal process." So the bank sued.

In recent weeks, Google has also received court orders to reveal the identities of those behind stories published in an online newspapers based in the Turks and Caicos Islands and of a blogger who castigated a model on a blog entitled "Skanks in NYC." ®"

Submission + - Big Bang Shockwave Could Replace Dark Energy ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: From Seed: In 1998 supernovae researchers discovered that, against all reason, the universe is accelerating its expansion. Cosmologists had to add to their models dark energy, a deeply mysterious placeholder that makes up more than 70 percent of universe. Over the last decade, some researchers, like Blake Temple and Joel Smoller, have gone back to see if the equations of general relativity can be interpreted to erase dark energy once and for all. Their solution, involving a long-ago shockwave, could provide a way out of a dark-energy-dominated universe.

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