Talking Hawking and artificial intelligence on radio 2UE

2UE logo“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 Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”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.

Play

This audio is ©2014 Radio 2UE Sydney Pty Ltd.

Links for 28 August 2009 through 09 September 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 28 August 2009 through 09 September 2009, gathered automatically and then forgotten until today:

Links for 08 March 2009 trough 10 March 2009

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.

Dawkins on why there’s no God

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.