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Archive for May, 2012

The company’s name isn’t Cyberdyne Systems and the system they’ve developed isn’t called SkyNet, but I still found the headline, “US Army Gets Artificial Intelligence” a little bit disturbing. Ariston Consulting and ai-one, have apparently got together to supply Uncle Sam’s foot soldiers with, “machine learning tools to test and evaluate military Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, and Intelligence Test Bed systems.”

The companies in questions have developed tools to enable developers of military code to build machine learning into their applications in order that they can recognize patterns and associations like a human does. It gets better. ai-one reckon that their software is better because it learns without any human intervention. They reckon that their AI software, “detects the inherent structure of data in very complex environments so computers can recognize patterns and associations.” That’s great, does it also send a robot army to destroy mankind?

Amongst the companies plans for the future are AI analysis of threat patterns in cyber security, cataloging radio signals and network monitoring and management. The companies make a lot of noise about how much this will save the tax-payer (10% according to the press release) but it doesn’t mention what happens when the AI invades global cyber systems, gains control of nuclear launch codes and begins Judgement Day. You heard it here first folks. I’m Reese. Sergeant Tech-Com, DN38416. Assigned to protect you. You’ve been targeted for termination.

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Yep! Sit down and be calm, it’s good for you! 😉

Although research has found that long-term mindfulness meditation practice promotes executive functioning and the ability to sustain attention, the effects of brief mindfulness meditation training have not been fully explored. We examined whether brief meditation training affects cognition and mood when compared to an active control group. After four sessions of either meditation training or listening to a recorded book, participants with no prior meditation experience were assessed with measures of mood, verbal fluency, visual coding, and working memory. Both interventions were effective at improving mood but only brief meditation training reduced fatigue, anxiety, and increased mindfulness. Moreover, brief mindfulness training significantly improved visuo-spatial processing, working memory, and executive functioning. Our findings suggest that 4 days of meditation training can enhance the ability to sustain attention; benefits that have previously been reported with long-term meditators.

Scientific Paper at Consciousness and CognitionVolume 19, Issue 2, June 2010, Pages 597–605

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Causes of the Crisis I

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Are we prepared for dealing with the prospect that humanity is not the end of evolution? TechnoCalyps is an intriguing three-part documentary on the notion of transhumanism by Belgian visual artist and filmmaker Frank Theys.

The latest findings in genetics, robotics, artificial intelligence, bionics and nanotechnology appear in the media every day, but with no analysis of their common aim: that of exceeding human limitations.

In TechnoCalyps the director conducts his enquiry into the scientific, ethical and metaphysical dimensions of technological development. The film includes interviews by top experts and thinkers on the subject worldwide, including Marvin Minsky, Terence McKenna, Hans Moravec, Bruce Sterling, Robert Anton Wilson, Richard Seed, Margareth Wertheim, Kirkpatrick Sale, Ralph C. Merkle, Mark Pesce, Ray Kurzweil, Rabbi Youssouf Kazen, Rael and many others.

Preparing for the Singularity

In this 4 parts advocates and opponents of a transhuman future are weighed against each other; prognoses are done when we can expect the transhuman revolution and how people are preparing for it already now.

PART I

PART II / PART III / PART IV

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