“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” said Stephen Hawking the other day.
“It would take off on its own, and redesign itself at an ever-increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”
Look, I have many feels about this sort of statement, which will have to wait for another time. But I managed to express one of those feels to Justin Smith on Sydney’s radio 2UE on Thursday afternoon. And here it is.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:52 — 1.7MB)
This audio is ©2014 Radio 2UE Sydney Pty Ltd.
Stilgherrian’s links for 28 August 2009 through 09 September 2009, gathered automatically and then forgotten until today:
- REAPER | Audio Production Without Limits: I haven’t encountered this audio/music production tool before. It’s perhaps worth a look.
- Experts look to Australia’s Aborigines for weather help: As it happens, the Aboriginal tribes of the Sydney basin recognised six season, not the European four.
- The 2009 Edelman Trust Barometer: This was published back in March, but it’ll show you how trust in various things has changed over time.
- Salvage Techniques for Wet Electronics | Andy Ihnatko’s Celestial Waste of Bandwidth (BETA): The title says what it is. Yes, I have wet electronics. I dropped my phone in a “moist environment” and it’s now sitting with silica gel and probably never working again. Read this guide now so you know the drill for the future.
- For SEC, tech-savvy fans might be biggest threats to media exclusivity | St Petersburg Times: The US Southeastern Conference of college sports is trying to stop fans communicating about the game in the most stringent restrictions ever seem. A pity they can’t possibly work.
- User driven service bingo | Doc Searls Weblog: A checklist of activities to see whether some web service or other is truly “user driven”. Does this apply to organisations too?
- Electronic Warfare: Airborne electronic attack – a new offensive role for the RAAF | ADM: Someone took me to task for suggesting the RAAF buying F/A-18 Super Hornets was a waste. He suggested the electronic warfare capability of the “Growler” model was a worthwhile addition to Australia’s defence capability.
- Stop Using the Word “We” | Ted Dziuba: A plea for more direct communication within the corporation. Yes please.
- Economics is not a Natural Science by Douglas Rushkoff | Edge: “Some of us analyzing digital culture and its impact on business must reveal economics as the artificial construction it really is. Although it may be subjected to the scientific method and mathematical scrutiny, it is not a natural science; it is game theory, with a set of underlying assumptions that have little to do with anything resembling genetics, neurology, evolution, or natural systems.”
- Impatient CEOs are all of a Twitter, but it doesn’t work like that | The Observer: John Naughton points out a real dilemma: CEOs have to generate profits to a quarterly cycle, but the business benefits of “social media” (or whatever it’s called next month) will take decades to emerge.
- Draft Open Access and Licensing Framework released | In Development: The New Zealand government’s draft policy recommends that government agencies use the most liberal Creative Commons licensing possible.
- Stark realisation: I no longer depend on Google to find stuff | Alex J Campbell: Alex differentiates between “finding” and “locating”, and along the way observes that the changes in the way we do these things has profound implications for businesses trying to get customers online.
- Words for Webstock – Bruce Sterling: Bruce Sterling sees the Future, and it’s banal. Just like today.
- Last Year’s Model: “It’s totally normal to lust after the hottest new geeky gadgets. It’s also cool to put some thought into what we buy, and what we throw away. So this is a place to show the world that a lot of us are choosing to use Last Year’s Model.” Their slogan is “Saving the planet through sheer laziness”, but it’s also a call for a more informed choice about consuming less.
- OSX Timemachine and Samba/Windows share | Hupio’s Weblog: How to use Apple’s OS X 10.5.2 Time Machine backup software with a Linux server, Windows server or Windows network share. It presumably works just as well with later versions.
- The next 100 years | New Statesman: An extract from Stratfor founder George Friedman’s book of the same name. Can you imagine a war between a Japan-Turkey alliance and US-Poland?
- Depression’s Evolutionary Roots | Scientific American: New research seems to indicate that depression isn’t something “broken”, but rather the brain going into an altered state so that “deep rumination” can be uninterrupted, leading to better analysis of a complex problem. If so, doesn’t that mean anti-depressant medications are preventing the problem being solved?
- John Thompson-Mills: John was the producer of Club Escape, the dance music program I presented with Scott Thompson on Triple J back in 1990 or whenever it was. Happy to have stumbled across this.
- CHART OF THE DAY: Actually, Kids Don’t Hate Twitter Anymore! | Silicon Valley Insider: “While Twitter’s user base historically favored older users, people between ages 12-24 have been Twitter’s fastest growing age group of late. And now that age group is actually disproportionately visiting Twitter, according to comScore.”
Here are the web links I’ve found for 08 March 2009 through 10 March 2009, posted with a thin layer of grease for protection against corrosion.
- Who is Fake Stephen Conroy? Full list of Suspects. | Amnesia Blog: Speculation about who Fake Stephen Conroy really is. Are they getting warm?
- How the US forgot how to make Trident missiles | The Sunday Herald: Plans to refurbish Trident nuclear weapons had to be put on hold because US scientists forgot how to manufacture a component of the warhead. Complex manufacturing process do need to be maintained.
- Historically Bad Ideas in Software | Bex Huff: A great conversation-starter. Just because something sounds good in theory, in isolation, doesn’t mean it’ll be good value in the long run.
- Privacy in the Age of Persistence | Schneier on Security: “Data is the pollution of the information age. It’s a natural byproduct of every computer-mediated interaction. It stays around forever, unless it’s disposed of. It is valuable when reused, but it must be done carefully. Otherwise, its after effects are toxic. And just as 100 years ago people ignored pollution in our rush to build the Industrial Age, today we’re ignoring data in our rush to build the Information Age.” Bruce Schneier has written about this before, but this is one of the tightest explanations I’ve seen.
- How to Twitter | WSJ.com: One journalist’s first cut at explaining Twitter to a non-Twitter audience. I’m amused by the observation that you’ll get more followers if you actually say something. Well, yes.
- Okay, this is going to hurt… | Winnipeg Free Press: One journalist’s take on the “controversy” following political blogger Policy Frog’s decision to do commentary in the “mainstream media”.
- The Evolution of Life in 60 Seconds | YouTube: Exactly what it says. Personally, I’d have presented it with images rather than words. Maybe that’s a project for me for another time.
I finally understood evolution when I read Richard Dawkins‘ books The Blind Watchmaker and The Selfish Gene. But flak he’s faced for his latest book, The God Delusion — probably for telling people their cherished gods are just a delusion — intrigued me.
If you want to skip the book, try this magazine-length version from the man himself, “Why There Almost Certainly Is No God“. It begins:
America, founded in secularism as a beacon of eighteenth century enlightenment, is becoming the victim of religious politics, a circumstance that would have horrified the Founding Fathers. The political ascendancy today values embryonic cells over adult people. It obsesses about gay marriage, ahead of genuinely important issues that actually make a difference to the world. It gains crucial electoral support from a religious constituency whose grip on reality is so tenuous that they expect to be ‘raptured’ up to heaven, leaving their clothes as empty as their minds. More extreme specimens actually long for a world war, which they identify as the ‘Armageddon’ that is to presage the Second Coming.
Dunno that I’d be bothered reading all 592 comments though.