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).”
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…”
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.
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“Faster, Faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.”
– Hunter S. Thompson –
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.
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.”
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…”
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.
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
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…”
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!
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.
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!
“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.
And 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?…
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:
In honor of his birthday, I couldn’t refrain from posting some new juice on my good friend Donnie. In my last post on him, I discussed the rumors concerning Trump perhaps suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (besides suffering from a major narcissistic personality disorder, of course).
As is always the case in the political shenanigans, nothing is what it seems. Are these ‘accusations’of Alzheimer’s a ploy to get rid of him, being a reason for impeachment. Or did the Trump camp start these rumors themselves, preparing an insanity plea of sorts? Al crucial questions, the answers to which will probably be revealed sooner rather than later. Cenk Uygur at the Young Turks Online summarized the situation quite eloquently.
Fast forward to today: It seems the obstruction of justice allegation will be investigated, as the Washington Post reported. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is to investigate Trump’s conduct. In addition, investigators are looking for any evidence of financial crimes. Trump off course, says it’s all phony…
They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2017
Alternative facts! Happy Birthday, Donnie! 😉
Mainstream Media and fake news: Fact not fiction. And how we choose to ignore it. “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 …
Biggest data leak of its kind ever in U.S.! 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 …
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. And let’s not forget that the Gulf states recently decided to boycott Qatar. In Donnie’s defense though: …
-Avarus, nisi cum poritur, nil recte facit-
(A miser, until he dies, does nothing right)
You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. Buy the ticket and go for it… But For God’s sake learn to drive first. Or worse, realize you’re even in a car, to begin with… Right?
When Trump took on running for president, he did so because people told him he would never succeed. It’s a gut reaction some people feel that can either help or hurt them a lot. As for me personally, it has helped me a lot throughout my life and has fueled my drive towards attaining a certain goal on many occasions. And who knows which ones would have never succeeded without it? But when it starts causing you to do things or accept challenges that you are totally unprepared for, it might be time to scratch yourself behind the head. But this will turn out hard since by now you will be discovering your head was up your ass this whole time.
In other words, back to the White House, where the vaudeville theater continues. Trumps’ “Kremlinks” are catching up with him. And it’s happening a lot faster than most of us thought it would.
Taking on leadership without Integrity is like trying to go 5 days without sleep without some decent amphetamine. Nye impossible, for all intents and purposes. This speaks for itself in a democratic system that includes any form of ethics and morale. Of course, every politician carries a hint of slimy maggot somewhere, but that can be tolerated. When morality becomes an outside demand rather than a principal, sound leadership becomes a non-sequitur. Nixon showed us what that path leads to. We’re still stuck with that beastly war on drugs, lest we forget! And a war it is in every sense, including the tragic casualties. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bush for example has even bigger skeletons in his closet that are still waiting to reveal itself. But with this Carrot-Top wannabe hog in place, we have reached a new level of depravity not before seen in the oval office. During Caligula? Maybe.
Such a distinct lack of empathy is a clear sign you are dealing with a sociopath. But one doesn’t need a degree in psychology to figure this one out. The bastard is actually doing a lot of the crazy shit he dreamed up during the run for the presidency. If this continues, the war on drugs
was a mere prelude to the closed mindedness that festers in many of the people in power. We are damn lucky he dug his own grave long before ever becoming president, or we would be seriously screwed.
Now don’t get me wrong, we are definitely not out of the woods yet. Like some fiendish madman, he is currently steering us straight toward World War III.He practically forced that giant mutant baby that runs Korea to make a very detrimental move. Trump is the belligerent drunk bar guest who tries to pick a fight with everyone just for the sake of it. Nobody remembers who invited him of course, but everybody’s looking at each other for it. And nobody has got the guts to kick him out. If he succeeds in getting someone to fight with him, it’ll leave a lot more than a black eye on all of us. Scorched earth…
Back here in the Netherlands, public TV did an investigation into his former ties to the Russian mafia. They stumbled upon some interesting stuff. All that is left now is for someone to throw it in the fan. Watch the video and see for yourself:
Here is what they said about it on MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower –
Just when you thought things couldn’t possibly get any weirder, the cosmic joker recently played his ultimate trump-card, and quite literally this time. A depraved egomaniac at the wheel: A walking textbook example of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I challenge anyone to look up said ailment in DSM-V, the standard classification of mental disorders used by psychologists and psychiatrists all over the world, and disagree with me. His orange glow was nature’s final desperate attempt to warn us, but it went unnoticed. America chose the carrot over the string-bean, the outsider over the wife.
Of Course, more subtle things were at play here than initially meet the eye. Not since that German bastard reared his ugly head during World War two, have affect heuristics been utilized with such effectiveness. What everyone said wouldn’t happen, happened. You laugh at first, simply because of the surreal quality of it all. Like being stuck in a David Lynch movie. But then the horror of it all begins to dawn on you. If someone would have described the current state of affairs to me a decade ago, I would have asked what he or she was using to produce such a nightmarish trip.
Unfortunately, this joke the gods played on us couldn’t have come at a worse moment in time. Great challenges are looming around the corner: With the political climate as volatile as it is becoming and increasing social and religious polarization, with climate change being an undeniable occurrence everywhere around us and with massive unemployment due to the rise in artificial intelligence looming, just to name a few, we have a difficult road ahead of us. It will be far less forgiving than we have grown accustomed to in the last 50 years or so. If we nod off or do not make the right turns it very well might steer us towards social upheaval, the likes of which the world has not seen in quite some time. We might be aware of a lot of these problems and are even working on a solution for some, but to others, society remains blind. Our first reaction, letting a fool hearted sociopath set the stage for us, does not bode well…
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