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Mind Matters Reporting on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

CategoryGlobal Technology

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We Will Never Go Back to the Pre-COVID-19 Workplace

The virus forced us to realize: Staying together apart has never been so easy

While many people (myself included) have railed against the excesses of technology and its tendency to weaken community spirit and understanding, it turns out that, in the present crisis, it is having the opposite effect. We aren’t really alone in the same way any more.

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Remote jobs for public health concept. Computers, pills and medical mask

COVID-19: Do Quarantine Rules Apply to Mega-Geniuses?

How did Elon Musk, who has a cozy relationship with China, get his upscale car factory classified as an essential business during the pandemic?

If we are going to hold some people up as business icons, why should it be those who—in the present COVID-19 troubles—have relations with China that necessarily raise questions?

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Aerial view of city intersection with many cars and GPS navigation system symbols. Autonomous driverless vehicles in city traffic. Future transportation concept

The Real Threat AI Poses Is the “I” That Controls It

As AI becomes a part of everyday life, the science fiction glow fades; the constant high-tech surveillance intensifies

Pundits like Nick Bostrom and Ray Kurzweil worry that smart AI will rule us. But, as the Carnegie Index shows, conventional dictators using conventional AI for mass surveillance are a growing real-world problem while smart AI remains science fiction.

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Man in black hat in the rain at dark overcast street

How Can AI Help with Real-Life Cold Case Files?

AI doesn’t create new ideas in police work; rather, it does the work that police, who must move on to urgent, fresh cases, don’t have time to do

When no new leads emerge in a murder or missing persons investigation, police must shift their resources to cases that offer new information. Currently, the FBI Uniform Crime Report keeps an estimated 250,000 cold cases on file. Recent developments in AI, however, have shed light on some of these old and cold cases.

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face recognition technology concept illustration of big data and security in city with crowd

The Danger AI Poses for Civilization

Why must Google be my helicopter mom?

If I have a coffee cup with “AI inside,” it’s probably connected to the Internet, which is just another way of saying that my coffee cup is transmitting data to some company’s servers about my coffee drinking habits. Whatever benefit the app provides will come at a cost to my autonomy, privacy, and competence as a person.

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Coronavirus, MERS virus, Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome, 3D illustration

Censorship? But Coronavirus Doesn’t Care!

Back when SARS was a threat, social media wasn’t the giant it is today. Censorship, secrecy, and detention are less effective tools of control now

Coronavirus provides a test. The Chinese Communist Party offers mainland Chinese people security and prosperity in exchange for the sacrifice of personal freedom. But when the government cannot uphold its end of the agreement—security—the people may become less tolerant of the human rights violations. And the age of information makes it much easier to discover them.

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Military Drone in the blue sky, 3D rendering

Robert J. Marks: Peace May Depend on Killer Robots

Calls for a ban on killer robots impact the United States but not the non-democratic nations who are developing them now

In an op-ed at CNS this morning, Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks summarizes his case, as an artificial intelligence expert, that the United States must remain competitive in military AI or, as it is called, “killer robots,” because hostile nations are forging ahead.

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Simulation of a screen of cctv cameras with facial recognition

EU Mulls Five-Year Ban on Facial Recognition

Too soon, too fast, and not enough discussion of the objectives, say critics

Opposition is growing in the Western world to routine government use of facial recognition (FR) technologies. But it takes different forms in different places.

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Close up on pile of mixed electronic waste, old broken computer parts and cell phones

Is There a Gold Mine in Electronic Waste?

Yes, and it is much bigger than most of us realize

Recovering more precious metals from our departed electronics would help both economic growth and sustainable development at once.

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An internet email symbol and a group of people are separated by a red prohibitory symbol No. restrictions on access to the global Internet. Censorship. Information control, society isolation policy

Can a Totalitarian State Be an Information Society?

Beijing’s clumsy social media campaigns against democracy in Hong Kong and Taiwan have failed but attempts to control local media are ramping up

Xi believes that the Western values of a free press, free speech, and separation of powers contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union and that China must avoid them so as not to succumb to the same fate. But the Soviet Union fell just before the internet became today’s information superhighway.

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Group Of Businesspeople Identified By AI System

How To Fool Facial Recognition

Changing a couple of pixels here and there can stump a computer

Both computers and humans can be fooled by patterns that appear significant but really aren’t. But the bigger the computer, the more random patterns it can find in the vast swathes of data processed.

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Robot Predicting Future With Crystal Ball

Five AI Predictions to Watch in 2020

We'll check on these a year from now

Some problems experts hope AI can help with may be outside AI's capacities. Some people may simply want to believe doctored images and deepfakes, for example.

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Tesla Motors logo sign

2019 AI Hype Countdown #1: Tesla’s Robotaxis—Tales of a Phantom Fleet

Musk put out a tweet on December 22, saying “Sorry, it's been a bit of a struggle.” At last, a claim we can unreservedly believe

Because Tesla has yet to make a yearly profit in any of its sixteen years of existence, it depends on capital raises of various forms (equity, debt, etc.) to stay in business. Capital raises require big promises and Tesla’s overstatements about its self-driving cars are always good for a few billion.

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The mankind races - ethnic and multi ethnic - scientific model - concept

China: DNA Phenotyping Profiles Racial Minorities

In the United States, targeting minorities means political pushback; in China, no such discussion is allowed

While there is some merit to the idea that the population of a particular geographic region will have similar DNA patterns, this science comes with a host of assumptions that, when taken too far, crosses the line into pseudoscience.

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2019 AI Hype Countdown #6: AI Will Replace Scientists!

In May of this year, The Scientist ran a series of pieces suggesting that we could automate the process of acquiring scientific knowledge

In reality, without appropriate human supervision, AI is just as likely to find false or unimportant patterns as real ones. Additionally, the overuse of AI in science is actually leading to a reproducibility crisis.

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thousands of umbrella in causeway bay hong kong in rainy day on august 18 2019

Can a Totalitarian State Advance AI?

China vs. Hong Kong provides a test case

George Orwell identified two characteristics of a totalitarian state that offer insight into its central intellectual weaknesses.

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Asia cyclist injured on the street bike after collision accident car and bike.

New Tech to Warn Drivers and Cars of Cyclists Ahead

Most people I have talked know (or knew) people who were struck by motor vehicles, either as cyclists or pedestrians

Hopefully, in ten years’ time, a bike suddenly emerging from behind a roadside dumpster will be fully visible to both the car and the driver long before a driver would usually see it today.

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China and Australia puzzles from flags, 3D rendering

Weighing the Costs of China’s High-Tech Power

Western nations like New Zealand, Australia, and Canada must weigh Beijing’s demands carefully

Smaller Western countries, dependent on high-tech cooperation and the promise of huge markets in China, have muted their protests over Hong Kong and even accept Chinese government censorship in their own territories. That can put them in conflict with their own stated values.

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Scene of modern urban transportation style. People using smartphone to request a ride sharing, autonomous bus in bus stop. Electric truck and minivan moving on the road. Subway entry near to the inter

Gladwell’s Autonomy: The Future of Our Cars But Not Ourselves?

Malcolm Gladwell’s recent film probes independence, individuality, and what cars mean to us

In order to allow for autonomy to develop, the degrees of freedom available on the public roadways will probably have to decrease.

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Inventor? Entrepreneur? Beware the Patent Troll!

Touch screen inventor Hal Philipp shares tips for fending off spurious claims of ownership

Big companies have been known to just pay patent trolls to go away but individual inventors must be more resourceful.

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