AARHUS, Denmark — The Philippine Robotics National Team bagged the gold medal award in the World Robot Olympiad Friendship Invitational (WROFIT) 2019 held here from August 1 to 4.
The delegation represented by Team NOUVUS from Dr. Yanga’s College Inc., (DYCI Bocaue, Bulacan) won gold in the competition’s Smart Cities project presentation in the Open Category–Smart Governance Theme.
The team’s work called Project ’ALAB’ (Anti-Adversity Link for Aid and Benefits) bested 149 teams from 32 countries (ages 16 to 19 years old).
Seventy-five people filed into a Washington State Convention Center meeting room Wednesday to hear about the latest advancements in artificial intelligence. In a pitching session reminiscent of a speed-dating event, about 10 Northwest startups hurriedly shared their accomplishments and aspirations with Japanese investors eager to stoke business relationships.
Master of ceremonies Tom Sato, co-founder of Kirkland-based investing firm Innovation Finders Capital, lightened the mood by cracking jokes as he translated the English-speaking founders’ business plans into Japanese, cautioning the attendees that he faced a challenge: “I have to understand what the hell they’re talking about.”
The A.I. Age | This 12-month series of stories explores the social and economic questions arising from the fast-spreading uses of artificial intelligence. The series is funded with the help of the Harvard-MIT Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative. Seattle Times editors and reporters operate independently of our funders and maintain editorial control over the coverage.
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I’m joined by Jenny Martinez, the Dean of Stanford Law School, and Noah Feldman, a Professor at Harvard Law. They’re both experts in constitutional law, and Noah is also an advisor to Facebook helping us define the independent oversight board where people will be able to appeal our content decisions. The idea is to create a separation of powers so that while Facebook is responsible for enforcing our policies, we aren’t in the position to make so many decisions about speech on our own. This board will be tasked with upholding the principle of free expression while ensuring we keep our community safe.
This morning we also released a report with all the feedback we’ve gotten from experts about how to best set up this board based on almost 30 workshops we’ve hosted around the world. It also covers many of the questions asked in our live discussion, including how the board members should be selected to ensure independence, what the scope of their decision-making should be, the importance of publishing their deliberations, and more. You can check out the full report here: https://fbnewsroomus.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/oversight-board-consultation-report-1.pdf
The status quo of economies today seems to be leaning towards automation as the base provider of all products and services. Owing to rise of robots in factories and AI in computing, automation is becoming one of the most integral parts of society.
While self-replicating robots have largely been kept to science fiction books, their rise is becoming more and more likely with the rise of supplementary technologies such as 3D printing.
This technology could hold the key to a truly post-scarcity society. The question then arises, how would the rise of a post-scarcity society affect human institutions such as economy and governance that rely on scarcity?
My own 2013 book Catalyst: A Techno-Liberation Thesis offered a prediction of the political future, viewing the near-term future as a time of crisis shaped by the nature of technology and the slowness of states to adjust to it. As this struggle becomes more acute, guarded new technologies will also get stolen and overflow across borders, going global and penetrating every country before they were intended to. States and large companies will react with bans and lies as they try to save their monopolies. Ultimately, over a longer time-frame, the nation-state system will collapse because of this pressure and an uncertain successor system of governance will emerge. It will look like “hell on earth” for a time, but it will stabilize in the end. We will become new political animals with new allegiances, shaped by the crisis, much as the Thirty Years’ War brought about our Westphalian nation-state model. Six years on from my book, are we any closer to what I predicted?
- The internet is “liberating” and “empowering” in a political sense (pp. 2, 3)
- Uncertain outcome. Will current habits of censorship, de-platforming and other techno-enslavement as a result of controversies like “Russiagate” persist or are they temporary? If the economically or commercially favorable course is one of freedom and the removal of all filters and bans, will we see a reversal in the next few years? As younger politicians replace the old, will the internet become a sacred anarchy again?
- “Duplicitous policies” preserve the status of rich countries as exploiters and bullies (p. 11)
- Yes, and it is increasingly obvious. Such policies became exposed and visible under the Trump administration, which openly declares its national interest to lie in the economic deprivation of others and sabotage of their tech. This has been criticized as harmful to free trade, and has been described as “de-globalization”. Even Russian President Vladimir Putin remarked that the tech war complicates the issue of global inequality (a rare observation seemingly asserted only in the Catalyst Thesis before recently).
- “Nano” and “bio” appliances will be in the household and will “shrink” production processes, abridging these processes so they are not corporate or state controlled and are in the “hands of the people” (p. 15)
- This is uncertain. If there has been progress towards this outcome, it is not visible and has not had a major impact on world events. The possibility of it has started to cause concern for states and monopolistic schemes, but this is more in the ‘alarm’ stage rather than the ‘ban’ stage. More time may be needed, before this trend has a deeper impact on society.
- The nation-state system is being weakened by technology, media and globalization (p. 16), anti-state forces are “winning”
- Well, not really. As of 2019, unless everything we just saw was a hiccup in the grand plan of history, the “ideological mask” of exploitation and division — the nation-state system — has reasserted itself. In almost every policy area in every country, the clock is running backward towards nationalism, censorship, borders, walls, and deep paranoia. Almost everyone on the political left and right is part of the problem, wittingly or unwittingly. Whether you support Trump or think he’s a Russian asset, or even care, your views and values are right out of the Nineteenth Century. We have seen the defeat of net neutrality, along with the passive acceptance of censorship on social media in the foolish assumption it will only be used on targets we dislike or who went too far. There seems to have been a lack of any major follow-up disclosures of government abuses on the scale of Edward Snowden’s, and whether it will ever happen again is questionable. With all these things considered, “losing” might be a better description of the situation for anti-government techno-politics as of 2019. If what is happening is not a minor disruption in the flow of history, it is consequential for the Catalyst Thesis and severely undermines its value. If the “soft” battle is lost as described above, and we revert to a society dominated entirely by strong states and corporations, the “hard” battle of techno-liberation may never start in our lifetimes.
- Historical transitions are “dark and filled with reaction” (p.23)
- Yes. This appears to still be the case. The reaction may be what we are already facing, as all elites invested in the old system desperately try to suppress the global political will, motivated by fear of a new world order in which they are demoted.
- “Open-borders global political will” will form as a result of the internet, translation software, and the difficulty of statists in managing the overflow of popular technologies and their users (pp. 24, 25)
- Yes. Almost every attempt by the media conglomerates and/or state to create a uniform public opinion about an election, a global issue, a scandal, etc. is failing because of alleged foreign “trolls”. They cannot be stopped because the internet’s circulatory system is not for one nation, but completely open to the world. That is the whole point of it, the reason it is the internet. The US 2016 election was the most visible example of the loss of control. Repressive and paranoid statements ensued. But, as of 2019, governments and media still gasp at the results they are getting.
- We will see new or experimental technologies shared illegally, the way information is leaked (p. 37)
- Uncertain. Edward Snowden and Wikileaks do not seem to have captured as many imaginations as they should have, given how central they have been in the story of the internet. It is difficult to argue that the next generation will be even more rebellious, if they are to grow up in a much more monitored and conformist society. If the anarchy of the internet is going to be stopped and the smallest infractions punished as treason, this will damage the thinking of younger people who should have grown up noticing the contradictions in society. If, on the other hand, younger people are increasingly trained to be highly capable in the cyber-world (e.g. coding classes), we may see an even bigger generation of cypherpunk rebels accidentally raised by the state.
Catalyst is read in less than a day, and can be found on Kindle as well as in print. It was written to bring together a number of ideas and predictions I presented in articles at the IEET website, h+ Magazine, and other websites and includes full lists of sources. If you prefer to see more first, follow @CatalystThesis on Twitter or sign up to the email newsletter.
Extremely happy to be able to already share with you the two videos from our last salon🚀! We gathered not one but three individuals who have been pre-eminent luminaries in their fields for 30 years to discuss their alternative approaches to the current AI paradigm: Kim Eric Drexler, Robin Hanson, and Mark S. Miller.
Allison Duettmann (Foresight Institute) discusses alternative approaches to the current AI paradigm with three individuals who have been pre-eminent luminaries in their fields for 30 years: Eric Drexler, Robin Hanson, and Mark S. Miller.
Drexler is widely known for his seminal studies of advanced nanosystems and scalable atomically precise manufacturing (APM), a prospective technology using arrays of nanoscale devices to guide chemically-reactive molecular encounters, thereby structuring matter from the bottom up. Drexler’s current research explores prospects for advanced AI technologies from the perspective of structured systems development, potential applications, and global implications. Key considerations in this work include advances in AI-enabled automation of AI research and development, and the potential role of thorough automation in accelerated development of comprehensive AI services.
Mark S. Miller:
Mark S. Miller is a pioneer of agoric (market-based secure distributed) computing and smart contracts, the main designer of the E and Dr. SES distributed persistent object-capability programming languages, inventor of Miller Columns, an architect of the Xanadu hypertext publishing system, a representative to the EcmaScript committee, a former Google research scientist and member of the WebAssembly (Wasm) group, and a senior fellow of the Foresight Institute. Eric and Mark co-authored the Agoric Papers, which have recently received substantial attention in the cryptocommerce community, 30 years after their initial release: https://agoric.com/assets/pdf/papers/markets-and-computation-agoric-open-systems.pdf
Robin Hanson is associate professor of economics at George Mason University and research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University Press published his book The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life When Robots Rule the Earth in June 2016, and his book The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life, co-authored with Kevin Simler, in January, 2018. Professor Hanson has 900 media mentions, given 350 invited talks, and his blog OvercomingBias.com has had eight million visits. He has pioneered prediction markets since 1988 and suggests “futarchy”, a form of governance based on prediction markets. He was a principal architect of the first internal corporate markets, at Xanadu, of the first web markets, the Foresight Exchange, of DARPA’s Policy Analysis Market, and of IARPA’s combinatorial markets DAGGRE and SCICAST. He coined the phrase “The Great Filter” as part of an effort to understand why the universe looks so dead.
In the months since, China’s scientists and regulators have been going through a period of soul-searching. We, our colleagues and our government agencies, such as the Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Health Commission, have reflected on what the incident says about the culture and regulation of research in China. We’ve also thought about what long-term strategies need to be put in place to strengthen the nation’s governance of science and ethics.
The shocking announcement of genetically modified babies creates an opportunity to overhaul the nation’s science, argue Ruipeng Lei and colleagues.