Robert J. Howell

497 Flips | 3 Magazines | 9 Likes | 6 Following | 121 Followers | @rjhphil | Professor of Philosophy at SMU

Thousands of leading AI researchers sign pledge against killer robots

For many researchers, giving machines the decision over who lives and dies crosses a moral line.<p>Thousands of scientists who specialise in artificial intelligence (AI) have declared that they will not participate in the development or manufacture of robots that can identify and attack people without …

Artificial Intelligence

Evolutionary algorithm outperforms deep-learning machines at video games - MIT Technology Review

With all the excitement over neural networks and deep-learning techniques, it’s easy to imagine that the world of computer science consists of little …

Deep Learning

China is taking digital control of its people to unprecedented and chilling lengths | John Naughton

The Chinese government’s unsettling new system will see citizens rated by ‘good deeds’<p>Watching Donald Trump trying to deal with China is like watching a clown dancing in front of an elephant. The US president’s entire approach is transactional – the methodology he employed in his allegedly …

China

Study: Early AI adopters may gain "insurmountable advantage"

A pecking order is evolving in the newest stage of the digital era: aggressive early adopters of artificial intelligence are reporting elevated …

Artificial Intelligence

Amazon and Google Are Cultivating Quiet Ties With Police and Military. That's Becoming a Big Problem

Civil rights groups are outraged about Amazon’s supply of facial recognition technology to law enforcement organizations in the U.S.<p>The American …

Hundreds of Apps Can Empower Stalkers to Track Their Victims

KidGuard is a phone app that markets itself as a tool for keeping tabs on children. But it has also promoted its surveillance for other purposes and run blog posts with headlines like “How to Read Deleted Texts on Your Lover’s Phone.”<p>A similar app, mSpy, offered advice to a woman on secretly …

How a Pioneer of Machine Learning Became One of Its Sharpest Critics

Judea Pearl helped artificial intelligence gain a strong grasp on probability, but laments that it still can't compute cause and effect.<p>Artificial intelligence owes a lot of its smarts to Judea Pearl. In the 1980s he led efforts that allowed machines to reason probabilistically. Now he’s one of the …

Artificial Intelligence

How the Enlightenment Ends

Philosophically, intellectually—in every way—human society is unprepared for the rise of artificial intelligence.<p>Three years ago, at a conference on transatlantic issues, the subject of artificial intelligence appeared on the agenda. I was on the verge of skipping that session—it lay outside my …

Artificial Intelligence

Black Mirror-like robotic insects, wireless and powered by lasers

Last month's Black Mirror parallel came in the form of China's credit score system. This month, flying robotic insects.<p>Engineers at the University of Washington have made what they say is the first wireless flying robotic insect. The team will present its findings on RoboFly May 23 at the …

US cell carriers are selling access to your real-time phone location data

The company embroiled in a privacy row has "direct connections" to all major US wireless carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint -- …

Australian regulator investigates Google data harvesting from Android phones

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will investigate reports Google harvests huge amounts of data from Android phones, including detailed location information, after the software company Oracle revealed Google could be harvesting a gigabyte of data from devices each month.<p>Not only …

What's all the fuss about esports?

Until local billionaires started plopping down millions on teams, leagues and venues, most of us had never heard of esports.<p>Who knew that there are …

Loving The Alien: Why AI Will Be The Key To Unlocking Consumer Affection

The consumer relationship with artificial intelligence (AI) has had its rough patches. But initial terror at the specter of job-gobbling automation and affront at the insurgence of ‘inhuman’ interactions is waning as the promise of support, entertainment, connectivity and even protection emerges – …

Blockchain is crappy technology and a bad vision for the future

This December I wrote a widely-circulated article on the inapplicability of blockchain to any actual problem. People objected mostly not to the technology argument, but rather hoped that decentralization could produce integrity.<p>Let’s start with this: Venmo is a free service to transfer dollars, and …

Blockchain

Yes, Atlas is running, but please don’t panic

A new video shows the world’s most advanced humanoid robot running merrily through fields and leaping over logs. It’s a remarkable feat of …

Cops Can Find the Location of Any Phone in the Country in Seconds, and a Senator Wants to Know Why

Here are the letters Senator Ron Wyden sent to mobile carriers and the FCC demanding answers and action on the recently highlighted law enforcement service to easily track phones across the country.<p>On Thursday, the <i>New York Times</i> published a blockbuster piece revealing how US law enforcement have …

Google now says controversial AI voice calling system will identify itself to humans

Google is trying to stay ahead of the ethical and philosophical pitfalls of its new Duplex platform<p>Following widespread outcry over the ethical dilemmas raised by Google’s new Duplex system, which lets artificial intelligence mimic a human voice to make appointments, Google has clarified in a …

Alexa and Siri Can Hear This Hidden Command. You Can’t.

BERKELEY, Calif. — Many people have grown accustomed to talking to their smart devices, asking them to read a text, play a song or set an alarm. But someone else might be secretly talking to them, too.<p>Over the last two years, researchers in China and the United States have begun demonstrating that …

Artificial Intelligence

Tiny Lab-Grown 'Brains' Raise Big Ethical Questions

Bits of human brain tissue no larger than a pea are forcing scientists to think about questions as large as the nature of consciousness.<p>These clusters of living brain cells are popularly known as minibrains, though scientists prefer to call them cerebral organoids. At the moment, they remain …

Machine intelligence

Research in the field of machine intelligence is seeing a resurgence. Big conceptual breakthroughs in artificial neural networks and access to …

Facebook: Essential to our mental wellbeing?

Mark Zuckerberg likes this.<p>The way the general populace feels about Facebook can, I imagine, be aptly summed up by a recent article in <i>The Onion</i>, …

Facebook says it will not extend GDPR privacy protections beyond EU

CEO Mark Zuckerberg is hesitant to apply European protections worldwide<p>Facebook has no plans to extend the user privacy protections put in place by the far-reaching General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, law to users of its social network around the globe, according to <i>Reuters</i>. CEO Mark …

A new study suggests fake news might have won Donald Trump the 2016 election

By Aaron Blake<p>Senior reporter<p>President Trump has said repeatedly that Russian interference didn't matter in the 2016 presidential campaign, and he has suggested — wrongly — that the intelligence and law enforcement communities have said the same. His overriding fear seems to be that Russian …

Fake News

The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity

<b>Criminals and Nation-state Actors Will Use Machine Learning Capabilities to Increase the Speed and Accuracy of Attacks</b><p>Scientists from leading …

Facebook was tracking your text message and phone call data. Now what?

If you installed a Facebook app to your Android smartphone, odds are good that Facebook has been logging your phone calls and text message data ever …

Apps

Silicon Valley Has Failed to Protect Our Data. Here’s How to Fix It

Over and over in the last 20 years we’ve watched low-cost or free internet communications platforms spring from the good intentions or social …

How He Used Facebook to Win

Prototype Politics: Technology-Intensive Campaigning and the Data of Democracy<p>by Daniel Kreiss<p>Oxford University Press, 291 pp., $99.00; $27.95 (paper)<p>…

Social Media ‘Negatively Affects Adolescent Girls More Than Boys’

Girls who start using social media younger tend to be unhappier as they progress through their teens, new research has shown.<p>Social media seems to …

“Yes,” It’s Bad: Facebook Stock Plunges as Data Scandal Takes a Dark Turn

For Mark Zuckerberg, the story just keeps getting worse.<p>Already reeling from reports that Cambridge Analytica had quietly harvested private information from more than 50 million users, Facebook stock plunged on Monday, erasing about $40 billion from the social-media company’s market cap. In the …

How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions

<i>(After this story was published, Facebook came under harsh criticism from lawmakers in the United States and Britain. Read the latest.)</i><p>LONDON — As the upstart voter-profiling company Cambridge Analytica prepared to wade into the 2014 American midterm elections, it had a problem.<p>The firm had secured …

Cambridge Analytica