On the Brink of an Artificial Intelligence Arms Race

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This article was originally published by the World Economic Forum. The doomsday scenarios spun around this theme are so outlandish--like The Matrix, in which human-created artificial intelligence plugs humans into a simulated reality to harvest energy from their bodies--it's difficult to visualize them as serious threats. Meanwhile, artificially intelligent systems continue to develop apace. Self-driving cars are beginning to share our roads; pocket-sized devices respond to our queries and manage our schedules in real-time; algorithms beat us at Go; robots become better at getting up when they fall over. It's obvious how developing these technologies will benefit humanity. But, then, don't all the dystopian sci-fi stories start out this way?


We're on the brink of an artificial intelligence arms race. But we can curb it -- World Economic Forum

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The doomsday scenarios spun around this theme are so outlandish -- like The Matrix, in which human-created artificial intelligence plugs humans into a simulated reality to harvest energy from their bodies -- it's difficult to visualize them as serious threats. Meanwhile, artificially intelligent systems continue to develop apace. Self-driving cars are beginning to share our roads; pocket-sized devices respond to our queries and manage our schedules in real-time; algorithms beat us at Go; robots become better at getting up when they fall over. It's obvious how developing these technologies will benefit humanity. But, then -- don't all the dystopian sci-fi stories start out this way? One is overly credulous scare-mongering.


Police used a robot to kill: The key questions

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Below is a series of questions that I have been asked frequently and preliminary answers. The facts remain incomplete, so these are preliminary thoughts. In the wake of the shooting of the Dallas police officers Thursday night during a peaceful protest, police cornered the shooter -- Micah Xavier Johnson -- in a parking garage. After an hours-long standoff that included exchanges of gunfire, they used a robot to deliver an explosive that killed the gunman. "We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the subject was," Dallas Police Chief David Brown said at a news conference Friday morning.


Report: artificial intelligence will cause "structural collapse" of law firms by 2030

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Robots and artificial intelligence (AI) will dominate legal practice within 15 years, perhaps leading to the "structural collapse" of law firms, a report predicting the shape of the legal market has envisaged. Civilisation 2030: The near future for law firms, by Jomati Consultants, foresees a world in which population growth is actually slowing, with "peak humanity" occurring as early as 2055, and ageing populations bringing a growth in demand for legal work on issues affecting older people. This could mean more advice needed by healthcare and specialist construction companies on the building and financing of hospitals, and on pension investment businesses, as well as financial and regulatory work around the demographic changes to come; more age-related litigation, IP battles between pharmaceutical companies, and around so-called "geriatric-tech" related IP. The report's focus on the future of work contained the most disturbing findings for lawyers. Its main proposition is that AI is already close in 2014.


How the Dallas Police Used an Improvised Killer Robot to Take Down the Gunman

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Following the tragic deaths of five police officers in Dallas, Texas, during a rally for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile on Thursday night, the Dallas Police Department deployed a small robot designed to investigate and safely discharge explosives. Officers attached a bomb to the robot ad hoc-style -- detonating it and killing the sniper while keeping the investigators out of harm's way. According to companies that manufacture bomb-disposal robots interviewed by The Intercept, none were aware of their bots ever being turned into lethal weapons, though one company acknowledged the robots could be adapted to hold weapons. A spokesperson from Pedsco, a company in Canada that supplies robots to other jurisdictions in Texas, confirmed that he did not "know of any instances of an explosive used to disable a suspect" attached to a robot owned by law enforcement. Pedsco would not comment on its own robots, citing possible confidentiality conflicts with customers, but pointed to instances where explosive ordnance disposal robots had been used offensively, such as a 1993 case where Prince George's County Police Department deployed a water cannon attached to a robot to disarm a suspect hiding in a closet.