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AI

Elite Scientists Have Told the Pentagon That AI Won't Threaten Humanity (vice.com) 110

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: A new report authored by a group of independent U.S. scientists advising the U.S. Dept. of Defense (DoD) on artificial intelligence (AI) claims that perceived existential threats to humanity posed by the technology, such as drones seen by the public as killer robots, are at best "uninformed." Still, the scientists acknowledge that AI will be integral to most future DoD systems and platforms, but AI that could act like a human "is at most a small part of AI's relevance to the DoD mission." Instead, a key application area of AI for the DoD is in augmenting human performance. Perspectives on Research in Artificial Intelligence and Artificial General Intelligence Relevant to DoD, first reported by Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists, has been researched and written by scientists belonging to JASON, the historically secretive organization that counsels the U.S. government on scientific matters. Outlining the potential use cases of AI for the DoD, the JASON scientists make sure to point out that the growing public suspicion of AI is "not always based on fact," especially when it comes to military technologies. Highlighting SpaceX boss Elon Musk's opinion that AI "is our biggest existential threat" as an example of this, the report argues that these purported threats "do not align with the most rapidly advancing current research directions of AI as a field, but rather spring from dire predictions about one small area of research within AI, Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)." AGI, as the report describes, is the pursuit of developing machines that are capable of long-term decision making and intent, i.e. thinking and acting like a real human. "On account of this specific goal, AGI has high visibility, disproportionate to its size or present level of success," the researchers say.

Comment Re:Yeah, not a surprise (Score 0) 540

a release in 120 days is immediate (those days are to begin a transition to post-prision life, not punishment)

I am certain that there are many private citizens and organizations that are willing to help Chelsea Manning transition to private life outside of the prison system and can do so better and more humanely than the prison system can. I am sure many people would be willing to donate to such a cause. If a reputable private organization gathering funds for that cause emerges, I will contribute Bitcoin immediately to help out.

Comment iPhones just one affected component (Score 1, Interesting) 127

I realize that was a consumer-level link, but still... I expect better from Slashdot.

There are plenty of other devices out there that are still liable to use 2G that are now effectively bricked. The iPhone is probably the least likely of them to cause a real concern for people. (Though, hell, until 2 years ago my parents were still on 2G PCS phones (not through AT&T though).)

How is rural 3G coverage these days? I remember when the analog shut down happened, there were folks out there who needed lots of repeaters to get anything... Some of whom decided to go back to HAM repeaters to patch into the phone network.

Communications

Ambulances In Sweden Will Be Able To Hijack Car Radios During Emergencies (digitaltrends.com) 161

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Digital Trends: The Swedish government wants to make it impossible to be caught off guard by a speeding ambulance. Sure, their sirens are loud -- but soon they'll be able to take over your car's radio. Swedish students at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have developed a way for emergency vehicles to transit radio signals to warn other vehicles of an approaching truck. It's called the EVAM System, according to Phys.org, and it's designed to send a signal over a specific FM radio band that'll interrupt music or radio and display a test message over the system's tuner display -- so long as the car is equipped with a Radio Data System (RDS). The number of crashes caused by muted sirens is on the rise, Florian Curinga, one of the students working on the project, said. That's because of improved sound insulation in cars. Emergency vehicles in Stockholm will begin testing the system this year. The EVAM System can also predict how far in advance the message needs to be broadcast, depending on traffic speed, according to Phys.org. It may also be helpful in warning drivers about upcoming accidents, the students added. EVAM will work on two-thirds of all vehicles on the road, Curinga said. All drivers need to do is have their radio systems turned on. If a message is broadcast then, they'll see it -- and hear it -- from the tuner.
Government

President Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning's Sentence (theverge.com) 791

The New York Times is reporting that President Obama has commuted Chelsea Manning's sentence. What this translates to is a reduced sentence for Manning, from 35 years to just over seven years. Since Manning has already served a majority of those years, she is due to be released from federal custody on May 17th. The Verge reports: While serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, Manning leaked more than 700,000 documents to Wikileaks, including video of a 2007 airstrike in Baghdad that killed two Reuters employees. In 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for her role in the leak and has been held at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth for the past three years. Julian Assange, who has long been sought by U.S. and EU authorities for extradition on Swedish rape charges, had previously pledged to surrender himself to U.S. authorities if Manning was pardoned. Born Bradley Manning, Chelsea announced her gender transition the day after the verdict was handed down. "I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female," she said in a statement. "Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible." Obtaining the resulting medical treatments was extremely difficult for Manning, and was the subject of significant and sustained activism. After a lawsuit, Manning was approved for hormone therapy in 2015. In September 2016, she launched a hunger strike, demanding access to gender reassignment surgery; the military complied five days later.

Comment Re:Whoah there (Score 1) 22

But in saying it this way, you're attempting to imply you can provide evidence. And I am simply pointing out that there is no reason to even consider that this is a possibility. Don't tell me you will do it later, because that's irrelevant. It's no different than saying nothing at all, or even saying "I have no evidence" or "I cannot provide evidence." They are all exactly equivalent in the end, except that the other methods do not have the implication that you might actually provide the evidence, despite you not giving us a reason to believe that, so it smacks of dishonesty.

Just say nothing at all, unless you have something to contribute. You'll be better off.

Comment Re:It's the media's fault (Score 1) 22

If not for you, then it's not difficult for anybody.

I make no claims about what is not hard for others. I do assert that most people do not do it, regardless of how hard it is.

In this case blaming the media is just doing the democrats' dirty work ...

Yawn. I am uninterested of your characterizations. Either actually make an argument against what I wrote, or do not. So far, you have not.

We all have the same power to turn our backs. You're not that special.

You are not, in any way, arguing against what I wrote.

In theory humans can make the choice.

Of course they can. So? Again: this, in no way whatsoever, implies that the media is not to blame. It just means that we have the power to ignore their bad behavior. But it's still their bad behavior. They are still to blame for it. Obviously.

Comment Re:Whoah there (Score 1) 22

Incorrect. Page views and the like are cash money.

I meant -- obviously -- there is no journalistic or democratic reason to do it. Everything has a reason.

I don't know of any broadly reported unsourced attacks on Hillary Clinton.

Of course not, you don't read the NYT.

So you have no examples, then. Good to know.

Comment Re:Whoah there (Score 1) 22

I'm not talking about evidence, I'm talking about railgunner's assertion that it's "obvious".

I get that, but the main point is that there's no reason to report it in the first place, because there is no evidence ... regardless of how much you think it might be in line with his character to do it.

Besides, it worked so well on Clinton, can you blame anyone for adopting the tactic?

I don't know of any broadly reported unsourced attacks on Hillary Clinton. Can you give an example? The main attacks I know of on her were based on hacked documents that the DNC and others admitted were genuine; on a report by the FBI that no one called into question on the facts (though admittedly we couldn't verify some of those facts, such as that the information Clinton mishandled was actually classified); and so on.

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