The first special-guest episode in the spring series is a fascinating chat about artificial intelligence, killer robots, and more with UNSW Scientia Professor Toby Walsh, chief scientist of the brand new UNSW AI Institute.
In this episode we talk about neural networks, the dangers of algorithmic policing, Google Duplex, cryptocurrency, HAL 9000 (obviously) and other disembodied computers, tribbles, whether red-eyed robots will take over the world, and even the Australian government’s illegal “robodebt” scheme.
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[16 July 2022] The validity of COVID-19 fines issued across NSW will be called into question in a court case that has the potential to invalidate millions of dollars worth of penalty notices issued during the state’s lockdowns.
21 June 2022] I woke up on Friday morning a pawn in a Kafka-esque story. Except I hadn’t been transformed into a chess piece but was a diplomatic pawn, a small player in a much larger international story. I read the news that I and 119 other “prominent” Australians were banned from travelling to Russia “indefinitely”.
The German S-mine (Schrapnellmine, Springmine or Splittermine in German), also known as the "Bouncing Betty" on the Western Front and "frog-mine" on the Eastern Front, is the best-known version of a class of mines known as bounding mines. When triggered, these mines are launched into the air and then detonated at about 1 meter (3 ft) from the ground. The explosion projects a lethal spray of shrapnel in all directions.
The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction of 1997, known informally as the Ottawa Treaty, the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or often simply the Mine Ban Treaty, aims at eliminating anti-personnel landmines (AP-mines) around the world. To date, there are 164 state parties to the treaty. One state (the Marshall Islands) has signed but not ratified the treaty, while 32 UN states, including China, Russia, and the United States have not; making a total of 33 United Nations states not party.
The Phalanx CIWS (often spoken as "sea-wiz") is a gun-based close-in weapon system to defend military watercraft automatically against incoming threats such as aircraft, missiles, and small boats. It was designed and manufactured by the General Dynamics Corporation, Pomona Division, later a part of Raytheon. Consisting of a radar-guided 20 mm (0.8 in) Vulcan cannon mounted on a swiveling base, the Phalanx has been used by the United States Navy and the naval forces of 15 other countries.
The SGR-A1 is a type of autonomous sentry gun that was jointly developed by Samsung Techwin (now Hanwha Aerospace) and Korea University to assist South Korean troops in the Korean Demilitarized Zone. It is widely considered as the first unit of its kind to have an integrated system that includes surveillance, tracking, firing, and voice recognition.
On 4 August 2018, two drones detonated explosives near Avenida Bolívar, Caracas, where Nicolás Maduro, the President of Venezuela, was addressing the Bolivarian National Guard in front of the Centro Simón Bolívar Towers and Palacio de Justicia de Caracas. The Venezuelan government claims the event was a targeted attempt to assassinate Maduro, though the cause and intention of the explosions is debated. Others have suggested the incident was a false flag operation designed by the government to justify repression of opposition in Venezuela.
[November 2012] The U.S. government is surreptitiously collecting the DNA of world leaders, and is reportedly protecting that of Barack Obama. Decoded, these genetic blueprints could provide compromising information. In the not-too-distant future, they may provide something more as well—the basis for the creation of personalized bioweapons that could take down a president and leave no trace.
Toby Walsh is one of the world’s leading researchers in Artificial Intelligence. He is a Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of New South Wales and leads a research group at Data61, Australia’s Centre of Excellence for ICT Research. He has been elected a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of AI for his contributions to AI research, and has won the prestigious Humboldt research award. He has previously held research positions in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland and Sweden.
Brazil is a 1985 dystopian black comedy film directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Gilliam, Charles McKeown, and Tom Stoppard. The film stars Jonathan Pryce and features Robert De Niro, Kim Greist, Michael Palin, Katherine Helmond, Bob Hoskins, and Ian Holm.
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This episode it’s thanks once again to all the generous people who contributed to The 9pm Spring Series 2022 crowdfunding campaign.
CONVERSATION TOPIC: Gay Rainbow Anarchist and Richard Stephens.
THREE TRIGGER WORDS: Peter Sandilands, Peter Viertel, Phillip Merrick, Sheepie, and one person who chooses to remain anonymous.
ONE TRIGGER WORD: Andrew Groom, Bic Smith, Bic Smith (again), Bruce Hardie, Elana Mitchell, Errol Cavit, Frank Filippone, Gavin C, Joanna Forbes, John Lindsay, Jonathan Ferguson, Jonathan Ferguson (again), Joop de Wit, Karl Sinclair, Katrina Szetey, Mark Newton, Matthew Moyle-Croft, Michael Cowley, Miriam Mulcahy, Oliver Townshend, Paul Williams, Peter Blakeley, Peter McCrudden, Ric Hayman, Rohan Pearce, Syl Mobile, and four people who choose to remain anonymous.
PERSONALISED AUDIO MESSAGE: Mark Cohen and Rohan (not that one).
FOOT SOLDIERS FOR MEDIA FREEDOM who gave a SLIGHTLY LESS BASIC TIP: Andrew Kennedy, Benjamin Morgan, Bob Ogden, Garth Kidd, Jamie Morrison, Kimberley Heitman, Matt Arkell, Michael Strasser, Paul McGarry, Peter Blakeley, and two people who choose to remain anonymous.
MEDIA FREEDOM CITIZENS who contributed a BASIC TIP: Bren Carruthers, Elissa Harris, Opheli8, Raena Jackson Armitage, and Ron Lowry.
And another five people chose to have no reward, even though some of them were the most generous of all. Thank you all so much.