Geopolitics used to be a board game. Leaders defended and extended their physical territory in the terrestrial plane. Borders were defined by geography. Trade partners and military partnerships tended to fall in the same lines. We knew who our enemies and allies were, and where to find them. But things are no longer so simple. … Continue reading 5G Geopolitics (we’re way past Go!)
In the classic paperclip maximiser thought experiment; an AI is tasked with making paperclips. Innocent enough. However, the AI is also not told when to stop. Driven by the singular goal to make as many paperclips as possible, the AI eventually destroys not only our planet, and our selves, but the entire universe, as it … Continue reading Paperclip minimiser dystopia
The choices we make today, as individuals, as businesses, and as societies ripple out all around us, amplifying over time. What will future generations – our children and our grandchildren (indeed, even our future selves, should we live long enough, as well we could)- make of the choices we are making on their behalf? The … Continue reading The Future Starts Now
As deep fake technologies "improve", they now have the ability to manipulate the past as well as the future. We can no longer be sure that a historical document, photograph or even video footage has not been manipulated to change history (in ways not even Orwell's Big Brother could have imagined). Case in point, here … Continue reading Can we build a shared future without a shared past?
Many tasks could (and should) be automated to free humanity of drudgery and accelerate our prosperity. However, some things are still really best left to flesh and blood people. Love letters, for example. These neural network-generated candy-heart slogans are a wonderfully bad reminder of the value of human empathy and EQ - even in todays … Continue reading Never trust a machine to do a human’s job.
Can robots have rights? Should robots have rights? These deceptively big questions regarding "roborights" are shaping up to be among the Big Issues debated by law makers, scientists, engineers, and philosophers in 2019 - and far into the future. I read David J. Gunkel's Robot Rights to get a handle on where academia is "at" … Continue reading Robot Rights
"Those two, in paradise were given a choice: happiness without freedom, or freedom without happiness. There was no alternative." - We I'm really enjoying retro-science fiction at the moment. The ideas imagined in science fiction of years past planted seeds in more practical minds who went on to shape the future that we live in … Continue reading We
“Belief sloshes around in the firmament like lumps of clay spiralling into a potter's wheel. That's how gods get created, for example. They clearly must be created by their own believers, because a brief resume of the lives of most gods suggests that their origins certainly couldn't be divine. They tend to do exactly the … Continue reading New Gods for a New Age – Losing Our Religion and Finding it Again in (Unlikely) Places
There is a problem with automated governance and outsourcing decision making to artificial intelligence. And that problem is probability. And the probable problem at hand is that the innocent are flagged as guilty, the right candidates flagged as wrong, at an unacceptably high probability. As we use - even highly reliable - automated systems such … Continue reading I don’t like the look of your face
In Hans Christian Anderson's famous tail, The Emperor's New Clothes, a vain ruler is tricked by a pair or shrewd into walking around naked, in the belief that he was wearing clothes so fine and luxurious that only those with exquisite taste could see them. Today, we are all close to sharing that Emperor's delusions. … Continue reading The Emperor Has No Clothes