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) …
Robert Epstein was looking for love. The year being 2006, he was looking online. As he recounted in the journal Scientific American Mind, he began a promising email exchange with a pretty brunette in Russia. Epstein was disappointed - he wanted more than a penfriend, let's be frank - but she was warm and friendly. Soon she confessed she was developing a crush on him.
Fox News Flash top headlines for Sept. 16 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) computer scientist who said the alleged sex-abuse victims of an associate of deceased convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein were "entirely willing" has resigned. Richard Stallman, a famed open-source advocate, announced his departure in an email published online Monday. "I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT," he wrote.
Jeffrey Epstein's tangled web leads down some surprising paths, including, he claimed, to Sophia the robot. The female robot styled after Audrey Hepburn made headlines in recent years for her eerily lifelike skin and appearance, complete with a diverse set of facial expressions, and the artificial intelligence she uses to spout off quotes like "OK. She also got in a Twitter fight with Chrissy Teigen. In a new essay detailing a journalist's friendship with Jeffrey Epstein over the past three decades, Edward Jay Epstein (the two are not related) says the wealthy financier told him in April 2013 that he was funding a Hong Kong group to build "the world's smartest robot," named Sophia. Sophia was built by Hanson Robotics, a Hong Kong company created and led by David Hanson. In a statement shared with Business Insider, Hanson denied that Epstein ever directly contributed funding to either Sophia or Hanson Robotics. "With all of our software efforts, both inside Hanson Robotics, and via collaboration with universities and other institutions, we seek to further our mission to empower socially intelligent AI and robots that enrich the quality of human lives.
This short week was filled with tough ethical debates at two of the top AI institutions in the United States. A petition and letter of support circulating at MIT is calling Media Lab director Joi Ito courageous for his public apology in the wake of the Epstein sex trafficking scandal and asking Ito to remain in his position following public pressure to resign. Ito took funding for the MIT Media Lab, and startups he backs, from the now-deceased billionaire and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, years after Epstein was accused of running an extensive sex trafficking network, accusations that led to a controversial federal plea deal. In response to Ito's admission, MIT Center for Civic Media director Ethan Zuckerman resigned his post, a position he had held since 2012. Shortly after, MIT Media Lab visiting scholar and Cornell University assistant professor J. Nathan Matias also resigned, saying he could no longer in good conscience stay at the school.
This is the web version of Data Sheet, Fortune's daily newsletter on the top tech news. To get it delivered daily to your in-box, sign up here. Given that I make my living writing about Silicon Valley, I pride myself at not being an early adopter. I find that by avoiding the bleeding edge, I can refrain from wasting time on never-will-be technology while maintaining a connection to the real world of technology users. This explains why I still don't have an Apple Watch (Also: I adore my inexpensive Timex Iron Man and wear-all-night FitBit Alta); why I wrote my book about Apple on a Windows PC; and why I got my first iPhone in 2012.
Ed. note: Does pedophilia allow those involved with building A.I. technology to experiment with the very extremes in human emotions through pedophilia? While we are mesmerized by all this rapidly accelerating technology, what else is going on that might be of concern? Contributor I cover what entrepreneurs are looking to learn. Virtual gaming is about to warp through a black hole, thanks to a band of scientists in Hong Kong and a hedge funder with a zealous science background, called Jeffrey Epstein. Indeed, game programming is moving away from algorithmic robots to a twilight realm of emotional thinkers, taking online, video and toy entrepreneurs, one step closer to Star Trek's'Holodeck'. For years, in virtual gaming, the only intelligent player was the person playing the game, responding to non-reactive obstacles. At most, opponents could blow up or morph into something else.
I recently had my attention drawn to this essay from May 2016 – The Empty Brain – written by psychologist Robert Epstein (thanks Andrew). In it, Epstein argues that the dominant information processing (IP) model of the brain is wrong. He states that human brains do not use symbolic representations of the world and do not process information like a computer. Instead, the IP model is one chained to our current level of technological sophistication. It is just a metaphor, with no biological validity.
This Employment Law This Week Monthly Rundown features a recap of the biggest employment law trends from 2018 and a look ahead at what's to come in 2019. Specifically, this episode includes the following: 1. #MeToo Movement in the Workplace For employers, 2018 was the year of #MeToo. While the movement began in the fall of 2017, last year, it touched every aspect of employment law--from harassment training to arbitration. Jennifer Gefsky (Member of the Firm, Epstein Becker Green): "I think if the #MeToo movement taught us one thing, it's that employers face significant liability and risk in the event that allegations are made against any employee or supervisor or the highest-level executive at the company." In 2019, we can expect to see more legislative action, particularly in the area of equal pay, where much of the #MeToo focus has shifted.
Now, an AI system developed by MIT students Ziv Epstein and Matt Groh adds spooky figures to your photos, no reality TV show required. Called AI Spirits, it's a website that lets you upload empty landscapes, to be haunted with humanoid shadows. "In the world all around us, many people have lived full lives and passed on. Yet they are still with us emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually," says Epstein. "In the business of daily life, we can forget them and only see the empty scenes all around us. AI Spirits is a visualization of saudade: the presence of absence."
Now, an AI system developed by MIT students Ziv Epstein and Michael Groh adds spooky figures to your photos, no reality TV show required. Called AI Spirits, it's a website that lets you upload empty landscapes, to be haunted with humanoid shadows. "In the world all around us, many people have lived full lives and passed on. Yet they are still with us emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually," says Epstein. "In the business of daily life, we can forget them and only see the empty scenes all around us. AI Spirits is a visualization of saudade: the presence of absence."