Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

TagTechnocracy

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Silicon Valley’s Strange, Apocalyptic Cult

Key Valley figures hope to beat death the transhumanist way. Oh, by the way, YOU are doomed

Everything has a history, including Silicon Valley. According to a new media theorist, an influential Valley philosophy might underlie the current attitudes, values, and beliefs: There is a Silicon Valley religion, and it’s one that doesn’t particularly care for people — at least not in our present form. Technologists may pretend to be led by a utilitarian, computational logic devoid of superstition, but make no mistake: There is a prophetic belief system embedded in the technologies and business plans coming out of Google, Uber, Facebook, and Amazon, among others. Douglas Rushkoff, “The Anti-Human Religion of Silicon Valley” at Medium In an excerpt from his new book, Team Human (2019), Rushkoff traces the history to a post-Cold War collaboration centered on Read More ›

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Exporting and Securing Technologies of Today and Tomorrow

U.S. Export Control and Research Espionage

Technology is vital in commerce and war. Corporations spend billions in development and don’t want to get ripped off. Technology and AI, more than ever, determine military superiority. What are the laws that protect technology and how are they enforced? Show Notes 01:20 | Introduction; Daniel M. Ogden, J.D. 03:06 | Reasons for protected technology 04:00 | Determining what needs Read More ›

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AI: Think About Ethics Before Trouble Arises

A machine learning specialist reflects on Micah 6:8 as a guide to developing ethics for the rapidly growing profession
To love mercy sometimes means to give up efficiency. It could mean losing a few points of model accuracy by refusing to take into account features that invade privacy or are proxies for race, leading to discriminatory model behavior. But that’s OK. The merciful are willing to give up some of their rights and advantages so they can help others.   Read More ›
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AI and the Future of Murder

If I kill you but upload your mind into an android, did I murder you or just modify you?
The sci-fi TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013– ) tackled this question in an episode titled “Self Control”.  Scientist Holden Radcliffe has an android assistant appropriately named Aida (Artificial Intelligence Digital Assistant). Together, they build a virtual world that people could be plugged into and uploaded into, called The Framework. Read More ›
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Google.com or Google.gov?

A political analyst argues that Google is beginning to mesh with governments whose values are compatible with its own.
Readers who follow the growing controversies over the free flow of information will find much to reflect on in Adams’s long-form discussion of how Google shapes the search for information in the pursuit of its social goals. Read More ›
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Is social media the best communications tool that ever happened?

The worst communications tool that ever happened? Or something less comfortable than either?
We hear all three views aired frequently these days, along with many prescriptions for reform. Some sound the alarm over the success of political movements they disagree with and long for more control Read More ›
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The End of Human Drama

Part 3: Yuval Harari on the end of democracy, volition, religion, and art?

In this third part of their reflection on Yuval Harari’s Atlantic piece anticipating technology’s march toward tyranny, Jay Richards and Robert J. Marks discuss the many assumptions therein. At the root of these speculations is an overestimation of the power of information processing systems and an underestimation of the human ability to be the true governors of their creations, not their docile “pets”. Harari rightly points to a better understanding of the mind as the way forward, but fails to appreciate its true nature, resulting in a dismal prognosis for art, religion, and democracy. Read More ›

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Peaceful code of conduct sparks rage in Silicon Valley

Hi tech firm’s code, based on ancient monks’ practice, deemed “just disgusting”
Whether or not the Rule of St. Benedict is suited to a high tech workplace, the strategy of frightening or policing people out of bad behavior implies low expectations. One thing it means is, there will be many more news stories about harassment to come. Read More ›
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George Gilder explains what’s wrong with “Google Marxism”

In discussion with Mark Levin, host of Life, Liberty & Levin
Gilder: Marx’s great error, his real mistake, was to imagine that the industrial revolution of the 19th century, all those railways and “dark, satanic mills” and factories and turbine and the beginning of electricity represented the final human achievement in productivity so in the future what would matter is not the creation of wealth but the redistribution of wealth. Read More ›
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Google Powering China’s Snoop Culture

They’ve suppressed the memo but can’t suppress the uproar around it
It may at first seem deeply ironic that a Silicon Valley ostensibly committed to liberal values would help to unleash this storm. But a political analyst carefully traces the growth in its enthusiasm for “smart government,” using the tools of information technology for social engineering. Read More ›
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Twitter doesn’t just seem out of control

It actually is.
Social media may be changing the world more than we think. And we may need some social leadership in fighting back against Twitter mobs. It probably won’t emerge from within because bullies are usually cowards. Read More ›
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Silicon Valley grew old before it grew up

By April of this year, 100 employees were complaining about the Google groupthink
Quip making the rounds: Would you trust a self-driving car from Google? Answer: Sure, if I needed a car that decided for me where I should go and then just drove me there. Read More ›
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Imagining Life after Google

Reviewers of George Gilder's new book weigh in
If we have simply taken the big software, hardware, and social media companies who dominate our lives for granted, the reactions from the business world to Life after Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy should give us a lot to think about. Read More ›
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Silicon Valley as a Colonial Power

Irish writer asks us to look more carefully at claims about “liberation”
The social media companies will force us to define ourselves over against the specifications of our would-be programmers. And say what you want about the conflict, it will never be dull. Read More ›
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Giant Google’s Vulnerable Spot

Social media are free because we are both the content and the market
Recently, we looked at philosopher of technology George Gilder’s Life after Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy. But what form would that decline take? A look at the advertising picture offers one clue. Read More ›
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Hell Is a “Parasocial” Place

Where your "friends" may not even exist
Consumer digital hells can be dreadful indeed but they are mostly of our own making. The companies that profit from them are not forcing us to live in them. That said, students should be taught in school that the internet’s virtual world features a great deal of fakery, including fake friends. Read More ›
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Will AI Liberate or Enslave Developing Countries?

Perhaps that depends on who gets there first with the technology
Karl D. Stephan: Zimbabwe, an African country well-known for its human-rights abuses, has received advanced Chinese AI technology from a startup company in exchange for letting the firm have access to the country’s facial-recognition database. So China is helping the government of Zimbabwe to keep tabs on its citizens as well. Read More ›
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George Gilder: Life after Google Will Be Okay

People will take ownership of their own data, cutting out the giant “middle man”
In his new book, he calls the successor era he envisions the “cryptocosm,” referring to the private encryption of data, represented by technologies such as blockchain. Read More ›
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AI Has a (Wonderful) Plan for Your Life

Tech-savvy religion scholars play with reshaping society

The team is pessimistic about getting politicians on side and hopes to persuade policy analysts to convince the politicians to adopt the policies their model suggests instead. Wildman predicts, “We’re going to get them in the end.”

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