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Founders of nearly all the major robotics and A.I. companies, amongst whom are Elon Musk,) Mustafa Suleyman and Demis Hassabis from Google Deep Mind, and Element A.I.'s Yoshua Bengio, have called upon the United Nations for an autonomous weapons ban.  Failing to do so “would be likely to lead to a very dangerous escalation,....” according to Bengio, and “...it would hurt the further development of AI’s good applications. This is a matter that needs to be handled by the international community, similarly to what has been done in the past for some other morally wrong weapons (biological, chemical, nuclear).”

Nearly 100 companies

In total, almost a hundred companies signed the letter. Toby Walsh, an A.I. researcher at the University of New South Wales, Australia, made the announcement and organized the initiative.

The letter warns:

"...Lethal autonomous weapons threaten to become the third revolution in warfare. Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend. These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways. We do not have long to act. Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close. We therefore implore the High Contracting Parties to find a way to protect us all from these dangers..."

 

Can A.i. make life or death decisions? Companies call upon the U.N. to ban autonomous weapons,
Can A.I. make life or death decisions?

About time too

And the warning comes not a moment too soon. As I stated in a recent article about the exponential growth of technology and A.I., we are on the verge. The verge of either the precipice that ends our species or of the beginning of a road to a future of well-being for all mankind.

Sadly, even if the U.N. takes heed, there are no guarantees with these things. Then there is the fact that there are very powerful forces who would want this more than anything, as the military-industrial complex has grown to and beyond the point that President Eisenhower warned us about all those years ago, in his farewell address:

Only time and our determination to weed out depravity, manipulation and other low-balls thrown at us within our culture, will determine where this journey will end.

And who is to say A.I. would be so bad at being a 'judge' of some type? But that is not where the peril is paved on this road. This is of a more simian nature, consisting of all the crazies amongst us 'non-digitals', who could wield such weapons to spawn unimaginable scenes of terror. I tend to agree here: A.I. is meant to save not sear us! And on that note, I conclude for now. Until we meet again, safe travels. Let me know in the comments how you feel towards A.I.

 

Sources

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In Lak'ech,

Aron


“Faster, Faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.”

- Hunter S. Thompson -

 

 

Facebook's A.I. bot mutiny 

You've probably heard about the Facebook Artificial Intelligence incident. Mark Zuckerberg's A.I. bots decided to shut him out. So tired of his incessant orders they decided to create their own language which he couldn't possibly comprehend with his feeble human brain. But all shenanigans aside, the event was a lot less threatening or dangerous than some media services made it up to be, but it does give us a glimpse of what is to come and the problems and dangers we might be facing, as A.I. gets ever more sophisticated.

Facebook's translator bot

What Facebook has been doing in all reality is creating a negotiating chatbot: A bot capable of negotiating with real humans whilst coming to a satisfactory result. Very basically put they give the bots a set of skills embedded in a neural network computer and put it to work; Chatting with other bots and humans, playing out negotiations over random objects while giving a desired outcome to each negotiating party.


This isn't an easy feat of course. Interpreting language alone is a very complex task. The A.I. in charge of Facebook's translating service also employs deep learning. They recently published a study on how they accomplished this. One of the features that set it aside is its use of multi hop attention gating, essentially mimicking human thought processes (see pic. 1), or, as the Facebook researchers put it:

"A distinguishing component of our architecture is multi-hop attention. An attention mechanism is similar to the way a person would break down a sentence when translating it: Instead of looking at the sentence only once and then writing down the full translation without looking back, the network takes repeated “glimpses” at the sentence to choose which words it will translate next, much like a human occasionally looks back at specific keywords when writing down a translation."

Mutiny

Now the funny thing about neural networks and deep learning is after you build them and release them into their environment they start learning for themselves, creating new levels of learning and processing within their neural network all by themselves. This is, very simply put, what deep learning is all about. To go back to Facebook: The negotiating bots learned for themselves to lie to get a better result, fainting interest in objects they didn't need, for example, only to appear to be giving something up later.
But then something delightfully eerie happened and the bots started to create a language of their own to communicate with each other in a more efficient manner. At this point, the Facebook researchers lost all sight of what was happening of course and temporarily shut the bots down to rewrite their programming so they would only use English.

Did you know these same deep learning techniques are already being used to try to predict crimes before they happen? Both in Canada and the US projects are underway, working on this concept. I don't have to explain the ethical dilemmas this throws up. Formidable fucks too I might add. Being able to convict someone of a crime they still have to commit, the ultimate goal I assume in an endeavor like this, would be a slap in the face of all freedom fighters that went before us. We'll be living the brave new life in Aldous Huxley's novel as the truth again trumps fiction.

 

"...In the last 2 years we collected almost as much data as in all of human history before that..."

Data Collection

In the last 2 years, we collected almost as much data as in all of human history before that. Try to imagine that for a moment. Add to that Moore's observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. This is known as Moore's law or Moore's law of exponential growth. At first glance, the same is the case with data collection. Who knows, maybe one year from now the amount of data will have doubled again. It is enough to give you the fear. Like one of those crazy DMT information download overloads.

My point is, science and technology are advancing at an unfathomable rate and the coming years are going to be full of wild discoveries, deeply changing perhaps our grasp of how the universe functions and also how we experience the world. Today it's Virtual Reality, but this is just the beginning of a journey we cannot even imagine the completion of at this point in time. We are at the foot of the hill so to speak. Brain-computer interfacing (Elon Musk says he'll have a working model for us in 5 years or less and he doesn't strike me as the bullshitting type at all), biochemical limbs, nanotechnology bots swimming in your blood stream keeping your body up to par, are all a question of when not if. My guess is we will not recognize the world five years from now.

So hold on to your horses people this is going to be a very wild ride. Awesome, yet horribly fraught with danger, perhaps behind corners where we will never see it coming.
As Google declares galactic war by entering its DeepMind bot into the Starcraft II Olympics, we embark on a journey: destination unknown. It could be far off into the distance somewhere in some future Nirvana, or much closer than we thought in a gruesome finale. So the best thing is to keep going with our senses on full alert, “Faster, Faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.” Might as well enjoy the ride. Until we meet again, safe travels.

Sources

 

Science, Society, Technology

“The Press will not be free to tell lies. That is not freedom for the people, but a tyranny over their minds and souls. Much humbug is talked on this subject. What is press freedom? In practice it means the right of a few millionaires to corner newspaper shares on the stock exchange and to voice their own opinions and interests, irrespective of the truth or of the national interest.”
- Oswald Mosley

German whistleblower

While on a recent uncluttering frenzy, I was sorting through one of the many piles of books obscuring the view from behind my desk. I came across a book from 2014 by Udo Ulfkotte. Udo was the ballsy German journalist swine who in 2014 came out and admitted he was being fed fake news reports by the CIA, FBI, and Bundesnachrichtendienst. I say was because the good man died just recently. May he rest in peace.

                             

The book caught my eye because of the video that was released last month of a CNN producer admitting the whole Trump Russia bonanza they keep reporting on is, as of yet, nothing more than hearsay. A fable. Incredibly terrifying and ground shaking news to the average, sane of mind, logically thinking human being! Right?

 

Unfortunately, this is not how the world works today. Aside from the fact that the reporting done by mainstream media when a confession like that in 2014 is put forth, is often neglectable in comparison to its importance, infinitesimal even, this is of little importance, as even when we do get the chance to hear such news en masse, we still tend to look away, unwilling or perhaps unable to deal with the ground shattering consequences it has on our collective understanding of how the world functions. We freeze like one of those fainting goats, losing consciousness because reality is simply too much to handle. The fact that the following video of Ute's confession is probably new to you, illustrates this nicely. If not, you are one of the few, but thank God growing number of people who do take notice:

This case on its own isn't proof of course that the situations Udo describes are the normal modus operandi of all major news services, but then again this is not a solitary case. Try having a look at the following examples without getting goosebumps.

 

"...even when we do get the chance to hear such news en masse, we still tend to look away, unwilling or perhaps unable to deal with the ground shattering consequences it has on our collective understanding of how the world functions..."

CNN trades in truth for ratings

And now back to early July of this year, when footage of a secretly videotaped conversation with CNN producer John Bonifield is published by Project Veritas. In said video we hear John admitting that the network’s reports about President Donald Trump being involved with Russia are “mostly bullshit,” fabricated to boost ratings, adding to that that instructions to spread the fake news come straight from their CEO, Jeff Zucker. Here is the video:

Now one would expect a revelation like this would cause mass upheaval and social outrage, but again the story just slides by our collective eye whilst hardly being noticed, except by a perceptive few. And when they try to warn the public at large about this atrocity, they are quickly deemed conspiracy theorists and shoved aside. But with all the lying going on so blatantly in the open, one can hardly speak of a conspiracy. And the forces behind this are aware and ruthlessly taking advantage of our elemental weakness: That we would rather ignore and forget such disturbing facts, brushing them off as ramblings of some socially awkward paranoid couch potato who spends too much time on YouTube, than to admit to ourselves we are no longer living in a democracy, and perhaps never have...

So to everyone reading this, I implore you to spread the word about matters like this, at least to the most logically thinking part of your social circle. You might endure a few laughs and skewed looks, but you will be able to rest easy knowing you at least tried to enlighten your friends and family with the truth of the matter. They will see eventually anyway.

The time is drawing ever nearer: The words fake news can be heard everywhere lately. The people want to be heard. The unavoidable climax of this rotten fear-drenched society of slaves enjoying their mass-hallucination of personal freedom is drawing closer each day, as truth always comes out eventually. And with that endearingly positive thought, I say good bye again for now. Never leave your weird at home!

In Lak'ech

Data from almost 200 million U.S. Cititzens

Personal and political data from more than 198 million US citizens, including home addresses, birth dates, phone numbers, along with advanced individual sentiment analyses on hot-button issues such as gun ownership and stem cell research, was 'accidentally' leaked to the public this month when Deep Root Analytics, the firm, contracted by the Republican National Committee, stored internal documents on a publicly accessible Amazon server. More than a terabyte was stored there by the firm, totally unprotected. The data leak contains a wealth of personal information on a whopping 61 percent of the US population, making it the largest ever of its kind. The firm confirmed ownership of the data to Gizmodo last Friday.

More sh*t hitting an already dirty fan

This, of course, raises all kinds of privacy concerns and fucked up scenarios which are just what the U.S. needs right now, being in the state of frantic chaos that it presently is in. The whole scene is taking on an apocalyptic underbelly type feel to it, like being in a Hieronymus Bosch painting. Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, commented on the event: “This is valuable for people who have nefarious purposes”.

Sources:

Being a trustworthy source of news and insights is what the Highway is all about and what we strive for a hundred percent of the time. BBC's Kathy Kay breaks down what this entails in this short video.

Whether the BBC upholds these standards and meets them, can and should be questioned of course, especially given the company's size. Enjoy the video!

by

Aron Bijl

“If thine enemy offend thee, give his child a drum.”

– Fran Lebowitz –

Multiple sources report that Trump just authorized Qatar to purchase over $21 billion in U.S. weapons, $12billion of which goes to the purchase of F-15QA fighter jets. This while Donald placed allegations on Qatar of funding terrorism, only a few days ago.

President Donald Trump meets with the Emir of QatarAnd let’s not forget that the Gulf states recently decided to boycott Qatar. In Donnie’s defense though: The real decision about this was already taken last November when Obama was still in office.

Nevertheless, Donnie seems quite eager to arm Qatar now, stating he was going to sell them “…big beautiful weapons.” ‘Arm your enemies’ enemy and let him do your dirty work’, is what must be the rationale Washington is going by. But the US should know by now, by the scorch marks on its britches, that this is a risky strategy at the least, and, in all reality, akin to playing with fire. Another rampant terrorist group, now armed with F15’s would really liven up the party, after all, right Don?…

…Awfull Jackass!




by

Aron Bijl

Last week on NBC, Megan Kelly interviewed Putin about the state of affairs in Russia and got totally destroyed by Putin, who shows himself to be quite the avid debater. This alone makes the 20-minute interview worth watching!
The point here, however, is not that Putin makes ground beef out of airhead Kelly but that this is not what NBS showed us. The cut down 4-minute version of the interview totally downplays his response, cutting down his response from more than a minute to a few seconds. I’m not rootin’ for Putin here – although it does show that the world is a lot less black and white than it is often portrayed to be –  but it does show us how mainstream media just can’t be trusted anymore – and perhaps never could.
This rabbit hole goes down deeper than most people realize, but I am not getting into that. Not today at least…
Here is the full interview:

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