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technology

Self-driving cars with one eye closed?

Context: Elon Musk Says Tesla’s Full-Self Driving Beta V9.0 Is Almost Ready (They are dropping the radar.) A thought that comes to mind is that of an ML system that having been trained with some static n number of streaming (sensory) data points/observations, having had the system narrow focus on less data might brute-force an […]

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technology

Bill Gates: Rolling the Dice on Nuclear Power

Context: How Bill Gates’ company TerraPower is building next-generation nuclear power As a general observation, *anything* which measures safety as “analyzed by deaths per unit of electricity generated” is a worry – it is a normative expectation of inevitable fatality. The technical solution described is interesting and certainly shifts the hazards and juggles the entropy […]

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technology

Biased AI & Inequitable Algorithmic Justice

Context: Can you make AI fairer than a judge? Play our courtroom algorithm game Bias in AI only ever really focuses and amplifies existing inequality as a function and retrospective, combinatorial abbreviation of historical data. This itself is no great or new revelation: we generate automated decision-making systems that recursively reinforce aggregate cultural dependencies and […]

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technology

Information Technology is Implicitly Insecure

The discussion that no one (like  anywhere) appears willing to have is that from the very inception of these information technologies, doubt and uncertainty has been endemic and irreducible. Turing’s proof of the implicit undecidability of computation took its recursive cues from Gödel’s prime number shenanigans in the Incompleteness proof. These systems are first and […]

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technology

Is China Taking the Lead in AI?

Context: Is China Taking the Lead in AI? I guess it really depends on what we consider progress to be and in what ways such progress is substantive and meaningful or superficial and fragile. It may be an undeniable fact that competition and adversarial sabre-rattling is as profoundly and normatively written into our modern psyches […]

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technology

Hardening Democracies against Disinformation and Cyber Vulnerabilities

Context: The next pandemic may be cyber — How Biden administration can stop it Interesting article, but the centralisation of resources and administrative control is a limited and piecemeal assertion over a global and overall systemic problem: • the irreducible, implicit and generally unacknowledged insecurity of digital technologies represents something of a leaking bucket that could […]

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Alien Anthropology Philosophy technology

Artificial Intelligence: Navigating the 4th Industrial Revolution

Professor Bell provides a fascinating, artfully-abbreviated and profoundly well-informed historical survey of the steam, electrical, computational and AI/cyber-physical technological phase transitions of human civilisation. As an anthropologist, she grounds technological systems in the people and places that inhabit them. It is clearly of critical importance to consider the lived experience of a future that remakes us and […]

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Philosophy technology

The Dream Police

Context: ‘This is not science fiction,’ say scientists pushing for ‘neuro-rights’ Dystopian authoritarian visions notwithstanding, there is a strong philosophical argument to be made that consciousness, sentience or intelligence only possesses the value (and, indeed, the substantive reality) it does because there are aspects of self and indeed of complex systems self-organisation that are not […]

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technology

Ransomware Attacks On Hospitals: Acts of War?

Implicit and endemic grey-zone ambiguities mean that this might never be attributed to anything other than (yet) another heartlessly self-serving criminal enterprise that is leveraging the inflated value of hospitals and health data during a public health crisis. I expect there are some logical and legal hurdles in defining acts of war this way. Not […]

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technology

Countering Influence Operations: An Enigma?

Context: Facebook: Recommended Principles for Regulation or Legislation to Combat Influence Operations It is a fascinating issue. I suggest that the complexity of the problem far outstrips these assertions of interdiction and oversight. We have seen pretty much the same thing happen in cyber security. Where a property or quality, if not the actual content, […]

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technology

Who’s afraid of the big bad AI?

Artificial Intelligence technologies raise (or revisit) enduring philosophical questions regarding the relationships between notions of individuality, self-determination and distributed information systems (as language, culture, technology, civilisation) in which such concepts acquire meaning. The gathering stormclouds of technologically-mediated identity-harvesting, surveillance and (emerging artefacts, idioms and tools of) ideological control suggest that we do not understand and […]

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technology

Cyber: The House Always Wins

Is cyber security a complex game? Of course, it (i.e cyber) is all a game – of probability, of information entropy, of indefinitely-extensible logical or material systems and of successfully negotiating the vast and hyper-inflating, self-gravitating referential spaces of technology, communication and psychological or socioeconomic and ideological motivations that provide momentum here. To attenuate an […]