'Buffy' Should Have Been Set in the Virgin Islands


In Cadwell Turnbull's sci-fi novel The Lesson, powerful aliens occupy the US Virgin Islands. Turnbull, who grew up on Saint Thomas, says he meets many people who have no idea that the Virgin Islands even exist. "When I first went to Pittsburgh for my undergrad, I would talk to people about the Virgin Islands, and a lot of people just had no idea that we were territories of the US," Turnbull says in Episode 387 of the Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast. "Because it's so small--the population is a couple hundred thousand people--it's easily overlooked." Turnbull first got interested in fantasy and science fiction from watching shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

History as a giant data set: how analysing the past could help save the future

The Guardian

In its first issue of 2010, the scientific journal Nature looked forward to a dazzling decade of progress. By 2020, experimental devices connected to the internet would deduce our search queries by directly monitoring our brain signals. Crops would exist that doubled their biomass in three hours. Humanity would be well on the way to ending its dependency on fossil fuels. It warned that all these advances could be derailed by mounting political instability, which was due to peak in the US and western Europe around 2020. Human societies go through predictable periods of growth, the letter explained, during which the population increases and prosperity rises. Then come equally predictable periods of decline. In recent decades, the letter went on, a number of worrying social indicators – such as wealth inequality and public debt – had started to climb in western nations, indicating that these societies were approaching a period of upheaval. The letter-writer would go on to predict that the turmoil in the US in 2020 would be less severe than the American civil war, but worse than the violence of the late 1960s and early 70s, when the murder rate spiked, civil rights and anti-Vietnam war protests intensified and domestic terrorists carried out thousands of bombings across the country. The author of this stark warning was not a historian, but a biologist.

AsiaGlobal Online – AI and Emotions: The Next Frontier in the Social Sector


What happens when the Fourth Industrial Revolution collides with the need and desire to improve the state of the world? To be more specific: What impact will artificial intelligence (AI) have on the social sector? The answer depends on the reply to a bigger, deeper question: What ultimately does AI need to solve? The social sector may be defined as an ecosystem where resources are shared for the purpose of helping others rather than only for the benefit or profit of one person or a group. Actors in the sector are expected to ensure that people create and share resources equitably or fairly to the broadest extent possible.

We are finally getting better at predicting organized conflict


Incidents of conflict and protest, along with many other structural variables, are fed into constituent models. Input variables would include things like population density, GDP growth, travel time to the nearest city, proportion of barren land, years since independence, and type of government. Several different models, each of which uses a different method, compute a probability of conflict. Constituent models could be a conflict history regression model, natural resources model, and an aggregate machine learning model. The results from the constituent models get combined to produce a final risk score.

Robot's Rules of Order


"Although the Singularity has many faces, its most important implication is this: our technology will match and then vastly exceed the refinement and suppleness of what we regard as the best of human traits." "Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended." Mr. Vinge and Mr. Kurzweil have been two of the leading proponents of the idea of the technological singularity, which is the concept that artificial intelligence and technological advancement overall will, in the near future, get to a point where machines are exponentially smarter than humanity and changes to the world around us come so fast that normal, unmodified humans will no longer be able to keep up with it. It seems evident that most members of the scientific community agree that there needs to be a set of rules that everyone responsible for AI and robotic technology must abide by.

Multi-Party Privacy and AI Autonomous Cars - UrIoTNews


You are at a bar and a friend of yours takes a selfie that includes you in the picture. Turns out you've had a bit to drink and it's not the most flattering of pictures. In fact, you look totally plastered. You are so hammered that you don't even realize that your friend is taking the selfie and the next morning you don't even remember there was a snapshot taken of the night's efforts. About three days later, after becoming fully sober, you happen to look at the social media posts of your friend, and lo-and-behold there's the picture, posted for her friends to see. In a semi-panic, you contact your friend and plead with the friend to remove the picture. The friend agrees to do so. Meanwhile, turns out that the friends of that person happened to capture the picture, and many of them thought it was so funny that they re-posted it in other venues. You look so ridiculous that it has gone viral. Some have even cut out just you from the picture and then made memes of you that are hilarious, and have spread like wildfire on social media.

Cognitive Enhancement Will Yield Conflict - VR or Mind Uploading a Necessary Transition Dan Faggella


Ray Kurzweil's The Singularity is Near peaked my interest when he posited his reasoning for why there is likely no intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. By a mere matter of odds, most of us assume (likely myself included) that there simply must be some kind of super-intelligent species "out there somewhere." One of the many postulations made (the book is more than worth reading), is that species might – at the point of attaining a certain degree of capacity or intelligence – destroy themselves. Could be bombs, could be nanotechnologies, could be super-intelligent computers – but something batters them back to the stone age – or worse. In thinking recently on topics related to ethical enhancement and human enhancement in general, I came to the notion that this "self-extermination theory" might pan out in some other interesting and less considered ways.

The SDGs of Strong Artificial Intelligence Emerj


While it is difficult for people to agree on a vision of utopia, it is relatively easy to agree on what a "better world" might look like. The United Nations "Sustainable Development Goals," for example, are an important set of agreed-upon global priorities in the near-term: These objectives (alleviation of poverty, food for all, etc.) are important to keep society from crumbling and to keep large swaths of humanity in misery, and they serve as common reference points for combined governmental or nonprofit initiatives. However, they don't help inform humanity as to which future scenarios we want to move closer or farther to as the human condition is radically altered by technology. As artificial intelligence and neurotechnologies become more and more a part of our lives in the coming two decades, humanity will need a shared set of goals about what kinds of intelligence we develop and unleash in the world, and I suspect that failure to do so will lead to massive conflict. Given these hypotheses, I've argued that there are only two major questions that humanity must ultimately be concerned with: In the rest of this article, I'll argue that current united human efforts at prioritization are important, but incomplete in preventing conflict and maximizing the likelihood of a beneficial long-term (40 year) outcome for humanity.

Improving Endpoint Security Needs To Be A Top Goal In 2020


Bottom Line: Attacking endpoints with AI, bots, and machine learning is gaining momentum with cybercriminals today with no signs of slowing down into 2020, making endpoint security a must-have cybersecurity goal for next year. Cyberattacks are growing more complex and difficult to prevent now and will accelerate in the future, making endpoint security a top goal in 2020. Cybercriminals are using structured and unstructured machine learning algorithms to hack organizations' endpoints with increasing frequency. Endpoint attacks and their levels of complexity will accelerate as cybercriminals gain greater mastery of these techniques. In response, endpoint protection providers are adopting machine learning-based detection and response technologies, providing more cloud-native solutions that can scale across a broader range of endpoints, and designing in greater persistence and resilience for each endpoint.

Terminator: Dark Fate Sequels Would Focus on Artificial Intelligence


Terminator: Dark Fate producer James Cameron reveals that future films in the franchise would focus on artificial intelligence. The sixth movie in the Terminator series, Dark Fate executes a radical do-over by ignoring the events of Terminator 3, Terminator Salvation and Terminator Genisys and acting as a direct sequel to 1992's Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the last film in the series that enjoyed Cameron's personal involvement. The "Judgment Day" concept indeed looms large in Dark Fate, as Linda Hamilton's Sarah Connor returns to again try to prevent the machines from taking over the world. This time, Connor meets up with a pair of fellow female warriors, Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) and Grace (Mackenzie Davis), the latter of whom is a human/cyborg hybrid sent back from the future. Of course, there's also a new Terminator, the menacing Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna), which has the ability to split into two separate autonomous killing machines.