Science fiction is an incubator for imaginative minds to create visions that help us to glimpse not only the future, but also something about ourselves in the present. Fueled by the extrapolation of 'what is' into 'what can be', science fiction transports us beyond the horizon of our current technologies enabling us to observe the possible incarnations of scientific progress and to experience and appreciate the many ways this may impact upon us. For example, George Orwell's classic work, 1984, introduced the notion of an omnipresent 'Big Brother' and served as a focal point for discussion about our attitudes, perceptions, hopes and fears about technology, society, and how they intertwine. Also, the concept of rules of ethical conduct for robots was introduced as 'Three Laws of Robotics' by U.S. author Isaac Asimov in his book Runaround originally published in 1942.
The ongoing debate about robots and artificial intelligence eliminating jobs calls for dramatic shifts in the way financial services will be delivered. And yet, the banking profession hasn't really changed much in the last few years, and new technologies haven't caused radical disruption (yet). Nonetheless, I believe change and a high-tech approach are inevitable. Change might just take longer and will happen in rather unexpected ways. There is a lot of hype about robots and artificial intelligence (AI) taking our jobs, and for many observers, especially bankers, Frankenstein's monster is still present in their minds.
Actor Matthew Morrison arrives at the 42nd American Music Awards in Los Angeles, on Nov. 23, 2014. Matthew Morrison's new film, "Crazy Alien," has been accused of animal abuse on set. During the filming of the Chinese science fiction film, a set member sent PETA a video of a German shepherd allegedly being mistreated while shooting a stunt. The video and an account of the alleged incident by the crew member was made public by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Thursday. "On November 28th, 2017, I witnessed firsthand one of the worst animal cruelty acts I have ever seen," the staffer-turned-whistleblower told PETA, per a log the group released.
Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018) was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. His scientific works included a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He was a vigorous supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. Hawking was an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. In 2002, Hawking was ranked number 25 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. He was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009 and achieved commercial success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general. His book, A Brief History of Time, appeared on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. Hawking had a rare early-onset slow-progressing form of motor neurone disease (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Lou Gehrig's disease), that gradually paralysed him over the decades. Even after the loss of his speech, he was still able to communicate through a speech-generating device, initially through use of a hand-held switch, and eventually by using a single cheek muscle. Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 in Oxford to Frank (1905–1986) and Isobel Hawking (née Walker; 1915–2013). Despite their families' financial constraints, both parents attended the University of Oxford, where Frank read medicine and Isobel read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. The two met shortly after the beginning of the Second World War at a medical research institute where Isobel was working as a secretary and Frank was working as a medical researcher. They lived in Highgate; but, as London was being bombed in those years, Isobel went to Oxford to give birth in greater safety. Hawking had two younger sisters, Philippa and Mary, and an adopted brother, Edward. In 1950, when Hawking's father became head of the division of parasitology at the National Institute for Medical Research, Hawking and his family moved to St Albans, Hertfordshire.
Editor's Note: See, Will Artificial Intelligence Become Its Own Regulator? Last month the Congressional Subcommittee on Information Technology began a three-part series of hearings to break through the myths and the hype to gain a real understanding of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the role it can play in the Federal government. While the first hearing focused on industry and academic experts, Wednesday's hearing saw testimony exclusively from government leaders, including representatives from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), General Services Administration (GSA), National Science Foundation (NSF), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, a celebrated Bangladeshi author and academic, was stabbed in the back on March 3, while attending a programme at a university in the northeastern district of Sylhet. The lone attacker, Foyzur Rahman, was caught before he could continue stabbing Iqbal from behind. The 24-year-old attacker later said he wanted to kill Iqbal because he believed the academic was an "an enemy of Islam". Iqbal, who has authored more than 200 books, is now out of danger and is recuperating at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in the capital, Dhaka, according to his wife, Yasmin Haque. The stabbing has brought back memories of a series of fatal attacks against secular bloggers in Bangladesh nearly three years ago.
Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society. After William Gibson coined the term cyberspace in his 1984 novel Neuromancer, it almost immediately entered our everyday vocabulary. A play on information theorist Norbert Wiener's idea of cybernetics, cyberspace became shorthand for the world inside our networked computers, that digital landscape where we met to chat, play games, and exchange intimate secrets. Today, cyber is part of our political language, too, used to describe everything from digital warfare to online intelligence gathering. What often gets forgotten about the origin story of this term is that Gibson wasn't just talking the future of computers, but of a world where tech corporations rule every aspect of our lives.
Scholars have long held the belief that Hurrians were a roving mountain people who emerged in the region sometime between the fourth and third millennium B.C., and eventually settled down and adopted cuneiform as a script. New excavations of Hurrian cities, however, have revealed an advanced culture with a distinctive language and belief system that may have played a key role in shaping the first cities and states of the Near East. The forthcoming DNA results from Megiddo may for the first time reveal the Hurrian role in running Canaanite city states, as well as change our perception of the population of Canaan.
Last month the Congressional Subcommittee on Information Technology began a three-part series of hearings to break through the myths and the hype to gain a real understanding of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the role it can play in the Federal government. While the first hearing focused on industry and academic experts, Wednesday's hearing saw testimony exclusively from government leaders, including representatives from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), General Services Administration (GSA), National Science Foundation (NSF), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). During the hearing one point was raised that bears repeating–AI isn't science fiction, its science reality. "When people hear'artificial intelligence,' their minds often wander to the realm of science fiction," said Keith Nakasone, deputy assistant commissioner, acquisition operations, Office of Information Technology Category, GSA. "There is also a belief that AI is in the future, rather than in the present.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, hosts and moderates a lively discussion about how A.I. is opening doors to limitless possibilities, and if we're ready for them. Listen to a podcast version on our blog: https://www.amnh.org/explore/news-blo... Or search for Science@AMNH on iTunes, Soundcloud, or wherever you get your podcasts. The late Dr. Isaac Asimov, one of the most prolific and influential authors of our time, was a dear friend and supporter of the American Museum of Natural History. In his memory, the Hayden Planetarium is honored to host the annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate -- generously endowed by relatives, friends, and admirers of Isaac Asimov and his work -- bringing the finest minds in the world to the Museum each year to debate pressing questions on the frontier of scientific discovery. Proceeds from ticket sales of the Isaac Asimov Memorial Debates benefit the scientific and educational programs of the Hayden Planetarium.
Despite its overwhelming success, the human brain peaked about two million years ago. Lucky for us, computers are helping us understand our brains better, but there may be some consequences to giving AI a skeleton key to our mind. A team of Japanese researchers recently conducted a series of experiments in creating an end-to-end solution for training a neural network to interpret fMRI scans. Where previous work achieved similar results, the difference in the new method involves how the AI is trained. An fMRI is a non-invasive and safe brain scan similar to a normal MRI.