If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
The E.U. supports the Iranian nuclear deal as the Trump administration announces new sanctions. Iran's Revolutionary Guard on Saturday threatened to avenge the killing of its top general, saying it would go after everyone responsible for the January U.S. drone strike in Iraq. The guard's website quoted Gen. Hossein Salami as saying, "Mr. Our revenge for martyrdom of our great general is obvious, serious and real." FILE: Chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Gen. Hossein Salami speaks at a pro-government rally, in Tehran, Iran.
The chief of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard threatened Saturday to go after everyone who had a role in a top general's January killing during a U.S. drone strike in Iraq. The guard's website quoted Gen. Hossein Salami as saying, "Mr. Our revenge for martyrdom of our great general is obvious, serious and real." U.S. President Donald Trump warned this week that Washington would harshly respond to any Iranian attempts to take revenge for the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, tweeting that "if they hit us in any way, any form, written instructions already done we're going to hit them 1000 times harder." The president's warning came in response to a report that Iran was plotting to assassinate the U.S. ambassador to South Africa in retaliation for Soleimani's killing at Baghdad's airport at the beginning of the year.
The United Nations's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary killings presented a new report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Agnes Callamard's investigation focused on the legality of armed drones including one that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani near Baghdad's airport on January 3. It concluded the United States acted unlawfully in carrying out the attack. The US, meanwhile, denounced her findings. Callamard spoke to Al Jazeera about her probe and the future of drone warfare.
In a move that caused a ripple effect across the Middle East, Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad's international airport on January 3. On that day, the Pentagon announced the attack was carried out "at the direction of the president". In a new report examining the legality of armed drones and the Soleimani killing in particular, Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial and arbitrary killings, said the US raid that killed Soleimani was "unlawful". Callamard presented her report at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday. The United States, which is not a member after quitting the council in 2018, rejected the report saying it gave "a pass to terrorists". In Callamard's view, the consequences of targeted killings by armed drones have been neglected by states.
The US drone strike that killed Iran's top general Qassem Soleimani was "unlawful", the United Nations expert on extrajudicial killings concluded in a report on Tuesday. US President Donald Trump ordered the killing in a January 3 drone strike near Baghdad international airport. Soleimani was "the world's top terrorist" and "should have been terminated long ago", Trump said at the time. Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also killed in the attack. Callamard concluded that it was an "arbitrary killing" that violated the UN charter.
The US is using methods of violence against domestic protests it has repeatedly used in its imperial adventures abroad. As the world was gripped by the shocking scenes of police brutality against the Black community in the United States and the aggressive posture adopted by President Donald Trump against the protestors, an important development was missed by many observers. On May 29, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency flew a Predator drone, the machine used to kill suspected terrorists around the world, over the protestors in Minneapolis. The use of the drone led to immediate condemnations from civil rights groups on the ground, as the city of Minneapolis lies outside the 100-air-mile border zone where the CBP has jurisdiction. The incident is significant because it reflects the willingness of the US authorities to use technology developed to propagate imperial designs abroad against their own citizens.
A United Arab Emirates (UAE) drone strike on a biscuit factory near the Libyan capital Tripoli on November 18 killed eight civilians and injured 27 others, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said. In a report released on Wednesday, the rights group said the UAE appeared to take little or no action to minimise civilian casualties and called on Emirati authorities to conduct a transparent investigation into the incident. "Since the current armed conflict in Tripoli erupted in April 2019, the UAE has been conducting air and drone strikes to support the Libyan Arab Armed forces, previously known as the Libyan National Army [LNA], one of two major parties to the conflict, some of which have resulted in civilian casualties," HRW said. "All causalities in the November incident were civilian factory workers, including seven Libyans and 28 foreign nationals, all of them men." Human Rights Watch visited the site and found remnants of at least four Blue Arrow-7 (BA-7) laser-guided missiles that were launched by a Wing Loong-II drone.
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – A small instrument inside the drones that targeted the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry and those in the arsenal of Yemen's Houthi rebels match components recovered in downed Iranian drones in Afghanistan and Iraq, two reports say. These gyroscopes have only been found inside drones manufactured by Iran, Conflict Armament Research said in a report released on Wednesday. That follows a recently released report from the United Nations saying its experts saw a similar gyroscope from an Iranian drone obtained by the U.S. military in Afghanistan, as well as in weapons shipments seized in the Arabian Sea bound for Yemen. The discovery further ties Iran to an attack that briefly halved Saudi Arabia's oil output and saw energy prices spike by a level unseen since the 1991 Gulf War. It also ties Iran to the arming of the rebel Houthis in Yemen's long civil war.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham reacts to criticism from Democrats and Republican Sen. Rand Paul on the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani on'America's Newsroom.' Former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday said he would not have given the order to launch the airstrike that killed Iranian Quds Force Gen. Qassem Soleimani if he was the commander in chief. Biden was asked about the attack during the Democratic presidential debate in New Hampshire. "No, and the reason I wouldn't have ordered the strike is there isn't any evidence yet of an imminent strike that was going to come from him," he said while on stage next to his Democratic rivals at Saint Anselm College in Manchester. Soleimani was killed last month in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad that ordered by President Trump.
WASHINGTON – For all of the Trump administration's insistence that the threat of an "imminent" attack led to the American drone strike on Iran's top general, U.S. officials behind the scenes say the strike was motivated as much, if not more, by a broader effort to rein in a dangerously emboldened Iran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr gave voice to the broader rationale on Monday, saying deterrence was a key component of the strike. But they, like other U.S. officials interviewed by The Associated Press, stopped short of saying definitively that no specific plot was broken up. Still, the shifting rationale has raised questions about the nature and credibility of the threat posed by Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the architect of a decades-long reign of terror in which Iranian proxy fighters killed hundreds of Americans and contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands in the region. Critics of President Donald Trump's decision say he should have consulted Congress before taking an action that brought the United States and Iran to the brink of war.