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A Holocaust Survivor's Hardboiled Science Fiction

The New Yorker

This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from. In "His Master's Voice," a 1968 sci-fi novel by the Polish writer Stanisław Lem, a team of scientists and scholars convened by the American government try to decipher a neutrino signal from outer space. They manage to translate a fragment of the signal's information, and a couple of the scientists use it to construct a powerful weapon, which the project's senior mathematician fears could wipe out humanity. The intention behind the message remains elusive, but why would an advanced life-form have broadcast instructions that could be so dangerous? Late one night, a philosopher on the team named Saul Rappaport, who emigrated from Europe in the last year of the Second World War, tells the mathematician about a time--"the year was 1942, I think"--when he nearly died in a mass execution.


'Invasion' on Apple TV is a slow burn best watched at once

Mashable

In the late 19th and early 20th century, a new genre of literature emerged from eventually realized fears that the world was vulnerable to massive global conflict sparked by foreign invasions. This "invasion literature" was a phenomenon that explored these conflicts through a terrestrial lens, exploring scenarios where France invaded England, or Prussia got randy with Germany; it wasn't until 1897 that one such story looked beyond Earth for the next generation of fictionalized threat. That was the year H.G. Wells serialized War of the Worlds in Pearson's Magazine and invented the alien invasion, arguably the single most influential concept in the history of science fiction. The press campaign for Apple TV's new series Invasion frequently invoked War of the Worlds as a source of inspiration and tonal match for the project. On it surface they are similar -- belligerent aliens from another planet attack the earth with weapons so superior they bring nations to their knees within weeks -- but while War of the Worlds is primarily concerned with the invasion's effect on England, Invasion follows six individuals in different countries to show the devastation from a variety of political, social, and emotional lenses.


GPT-3 Creative Fiction

#artificialintelligence

What if I told a story here, how would that story start?" Thus, the summarization prompt: "My second grader asked me what this passage means: …" When a given prompt isn't working and GPT-3 keeps pivoting into other modes of completion, that may mean that one hasn't constrained it enough by imitating a correct output, and one needs to go further; writing the first few words or sentence of the target output may be necessary.


Killer robots are not a fantasy. The world must reject and block these weapons.

#artificialintelligence

Allowing machines to select and target humans sounds like something out of an apocalyptic sci-fi movie. But as we enter another decade, it is becoming increasingly obvious that we're teetering on the edge of that dangerous threshold. Countries including China, Israel, South Korea, Russia and the United States are already developing and deploying precursors to fully autonomous weapons, such as armed drones that are piloted remotely. These countries are investing heavily in military applications of artificial intelligence with the goal of gaining a technological advantage in next-generation preparedness for the battlefield. These killer robots, once activated, would select and engage targets without further human intervention.