Avoiding the Robot Apocalypse

Avoiding the Robot Apocalypse

My wife and I were recently driving in Virginia, amazed yet again that the GPS technology on our phones could guide us through a thicket of highways, around road accidents, and toward our precise destination. The artificial intelligence (AI) behind the soothing voice telling us where to turn has replaced passenger-seat navigators, maps, even traffic…

From Rossum’s Robots to Artificial Intelligence

From Rossum’s Robots to Artificial Intelligence

25 January 2021 marked one hundred years since the première of Czech sci-fi writer Karel Čapek’s play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots). The short work anticipated subsequent books on the subject, as well as cyberpunk and post-apocalyptic films like The Terminator and Alien: Covenant. Rossum’s universal robots were conceived as human helpers, but after a while…

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, and the Trajectory of Human Civilization

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, and the Trajectory of Human Civilization

“I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted.” — Alan Turing, Computing machinery and intelligence “Artificial intelligence will reach human levels by around 2029. Follow that out…

The End of Reality?

The End of Reality?

In 1888,  the year before he went insane, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote the following in Twilight of the Idols: We have got rid of the real world: what world is left?  The apparent world perhaps? … But no!  Along with the real world we’ve done away with the apparent world as well. So, if you feel…

Phrenology Is Back, Wrapped Up with Facial Recognition in a 21st Century Pre-Crime Package by University Researchers. Too Soon?

Phrenology Is Back, Wrapped Up with Facial Recognition in a 21st Century Pre-Crime Package by University Researchers. Too Soon?

The focus of US policing is shifting from enforcement to prevention as mass incarceration falls out of favor. ‘Pre-crime’ detection is the hot new thing, accomplished through analysis of behavior and…facial features? Researchers at the University of Harrisburg announced earlier this week that they had developed AI software capable of predicting – with 80 percent…