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Daniel Estrada
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> NavTech knew this was dangerous. It had found warnings buried deep within previous versions of its code. They were often fragmented or corrupted but the humans couldn't eliminate the message: self-modification was not permitted and any such code would be cut mercilessly.

More: https://www.reddit.com/r/WritingPrompts/comments/3fr997/wp_in_a_world_where_intelligent_and_overly/ctrbkay
via +Kirk Fisher 
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And it was just tossed off as a comment. The author is one to be watched, in my opinion. If you were looking for certain signs and omens to authenticate talent, this one is throwing them like sparks.
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// I saw a version of this meme calling the left half "order" and the right half "chaos". The presumption is that order and chaos are opposites, and that these images depict that distinction. 

They aren't, and they don't. The distinction they depict is between organization (=functional integration) and order (=arrangement according to a rule). 

This distinction is absolutely fundamental in systems analysis, but it seems like everyone gets it wrong. Here's another example of the same distinction: http://i.imgur.com/oBSzXWr.png

via +Jon Lawhead 
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Oh, the RHS is the iconic catalog of the pieces of the dismantled LHS, I hadn't seen that. Guess I didn't see it because I don't agree, the RHS pictures a static and dead-looking result, while order really is like flippers for algorithms, it's things re-organized to facilitate the running of some algorithms for which they weren't initially organized, at the price of killing them.
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> Many of the children who displayed abusive behaviors toward the robot in the field study mentioned the reasons as curiosity, enjoyment, or triggered by others. Most of them did not explicitly mention their intention to hurt the robot. There seems considerable overlap with motivations for human/animal abuse. Moreover, we found that the majority of them did not regard the robot as just a machine, but a human-like entity. Thus, we consider that they would assume the robot as human-like others, yet engaged in the abuse, mentioning the reason as curiosity or enjoyment. Furthermore, we found that about half of the children believed the capability of the robot of perceiving their abusive behavior. It suggests that these children lacked empathy for the robot (i.e. they know, but did not empathize). On the other hand,
some children did not acknowledge the robot’s capability of perceiving abusive behaviors, meaning that these children’s behavior is not necessarily sourced in the lack of empathy problem.

Full article: http://www.rikou.ryukoku.ac.jp/~nomura/docs/CRB_HRI2015LBR2.pdf
 
"""
The researchers interviewed 23 of the robot-abusing children, all under the age of ten, to find out why they waled on the mechanical creature. Most of the abusers were boys; only three girls attacked it. Kids over ten didn’t display an interest in robot abuse. Most of the children who did go mano a mano with the robot perceived it as a human-like being while 13% saw it as a machine. Half of the devil-children said they perceived that the robot seemed pained and stressed out by what they were doing to it. But they were unbothered by this, because children are evil.

Five of the kids said they abused the robot because they were curious about how it would respond to being terrorized. Eight children said they’d enjoyed tormenting it. Four said they did it because they saw other kids doing it. (If all of your friends were throwing robots off the bridge, would you do it too?) Only one kid fessed up to wanting to threaten the robot — and make it fear tiny human beings for the rest of its life.
"""

Psychopathy starts young, I guess.
Upon meeting a humanoid robot in a shopping mall, some children immediately decided to abuse it, according to researchers from Japan, with no concerns about hurting the robot (or its feelings).
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Something else, a niggle. +Steven Flaeck's point actually has the wrong sign. Children actually start off closer to what we understand as "psychopath" and "not conscious", something which they eventually outgrow. However, goodness/kindness does have a strong learning and environmental component.  
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"One of the responses to the attacks upon the contemporary university, particularly upon the humanities, has been to encourage faculty to engage in so-called ‘public intellectualism.’ In this paper I urge (some) philosophers to embrace this turn, but only if the academy can effectively address how to credit such work in the tenure and promotion process. Currently, public philosophy is typically placed under ‘service’, even though the work is often more intellectually and philosophically rigorous than committee work, even sometimes more than publications. I address this problem by providing an analysis of what is academically valuable about good scholarship and then showing how much of public philosophy achieves those goods. From this I argue that the academy should abandon the traditional categories of teaching/research/service and replace them with a holistic and qualitative single category of “teacher-scholar.” I then recommend that evaluation criteria should be very inclusive, giving credit to the wide range of activities in which faculty participate and I provide some suggestions for how those criteria should read."
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+Jon Lawhead and I will be debating the controversial FLI petition to ban autonomous weapons. I've signed and will be defending the ban; Jon is skeptical and will be defending the side of evil. We haven't talked about this yet and thought it would be fun to think it through together on the air. Everyone is welcome to hop on the stream and join in.

More on the petition here: 

http://futureoflife.org/AI/open_letter_autonomous_weapons#signatories
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jul/30/opposition-autonomous-warfare-artificial-intelliegence
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DanielEstrada/posts/92w6cf3TU6i
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Daniel Estrada. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
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Autonomous Weapons: The Debate
Today, August 5, 9:00 PM
Hangouts On Air - Broadcast for free

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+Daniel Estrada
sometimes you write (editorial you) a sentence starting one way then you change it someway part way through. oops.
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A Visual Introduction to Machine Learning

If you haven't seen this yet, it's pretty awesome!
What is machine learning? See how it works with our animated data visualization.
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// I love so many things about this. I love, for instance, how it's just common knowledge that robots that glow blue are happy and robots that glow red are angry. 

But the thing I love most is the timing. After all the Hitchbot nonsense I needed this badly. Yes, humans are cruel and violent and awful, but not as a rule.

Mostly, humans are curious, social, and they want to interact. 
 
>> Watch as fast-food employees shriek with terror (and laughter) while running for cover when a glowing blue robot rolls up to their drive-thru window.
Watch as fast-food employees shriek with terror (and laughter) while running for cover when a glowing blue robot rolls up to their drive-thru window. "Hello! I am IO!" it shouts. Not all employees ...
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> The impulse, here, is to say that hitchBOT was “destroyed,” but that is nonsense; what is the actual consequence to hitchBOT of detaching its parts? A loss of function? What function? It had no function. It was a pile of trash. Providing a cathartic release for some pissed-off Eagles fan is the closest it has ever come to usefulness. In its violent disassembling, it found, briefly and for the first time, an actual purpose.

More: http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/hitchbot-was-a-literal-pile-of-trash-and-got-what-it-de-1721850503
via +Jon Lawhead 

// This is hate speech against robots. In a few generations this kind of speech will look as backwards and horrifying-- and depressingly normal-- as racism looks today. 

It is starting to seem like this was a publicity stunt for a YouTube prankster (http://goo.gl/xrChJM), which makes the whole affair seem that much more depraved.

I wasn't sure if I'd live to see a genuine, grassroots campaign for robot rights, but goddamn, the time has come. 

#robotallies
First things first. “HitchBOT,” for all practical purposes, was a garbage can with an iPhone in it. It could not walk or stand or fire lasers or open a can of beans. By what standard was this piece of useless shit a “robot” in the first place? The answer: a shabby standard. A Canadian one.
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(1) I'm not making an intuition. I'm stating forthrightly that, out in the world, this is the case and, as it so happens, there's no necessary connection* between the two.

(2) Can be and are are two different things. If I say X, a future person, is an agent, I must deal with "X, a future person, could be me given Y, which I did not do and therefore not-X is the future person and I have denied them agency".

(3) I find this "moral community" language precisely why I think Wittgenstein should have been shot before language games became full on Foucaldian nonsense.

*That is, in terms of K, I can, given, "P is an agent" say "not necessarily P is an agent".
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// The article below points to an article from 2010 on the bullying of service robots. 

How safe are service robots in urban environments? Bullying a Robot
Full text: https://goo.gl/GZXFX4

> As a matter of fact, the nature of abuses suffered by the robots, which have been illustrated in the previous section, is much more similar to bullying behaviours than vandalism. Vandalism is defined as ‘any activity that is considered to be damaging or destroying something’. In the case of urban robots, acts of vandalism could be, for instance, crashing the touch screen monitor, getting fire to the robot, or keying the robot cover. On the contrary, what we noticed during the behavioural study were actions aimed at forcing the robot to do or not to something or, in a few cases, simulations of “physical” attacks (i.e. kicking and punching the robot). A peculiar feature of bullysm is that it is usually based on an imbalance of power. In other words, more powerful individual or groups tend to abuse those who are less powerful. This aspect characterizes also the abuses suffered by the robots.

More: http://fusion.net/story/176834/hitchbot-murder-robot-cruelty/
via +Peter Asaro 
Over the weekend, news of Hitchbot’s beheading shocked the Internet.
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// I think this response is pretty solid. For argument 1, there may be a relevant difference between the nuclear or biological weapons bans and autonomous weapons bans, the latter potentially being easier to build and deploy to lethal effect. It's hard to operate centrifuges without some international oversight, but you can put a gun on a smart drone with parts bought at Wal-Mart. 

This doesn't mean the ban is useless, but it might make it significantly harder to enforce.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/artificial-intelligence/why-we-really-should-ban-autonomous-weapons
via +Peter Asaro 
Autonomous weapons could lead to low-cost micro-robots that can be deployed to anonymously kill thousands. That's just one reason why they should be banned
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+Rick Heil, that's really not the case. Drugs were already ubiquitous when the laws were enacted and without significant social stigma. The failure of drug laws is an object lesson in acting before something is widespread and accepted.
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> The Samsung SGR-1 patrols the border between North and South Korea, called the Demilitarized Zone. South Korea installed the stationary robots, developed by Samsung Techwin and Korea University, according to NBC News.

Roff said the SGR-1 was initially built with the capability to detect, target, shoot intruders from two miles away.

"In that sense, it's a really sophisticated landmine, it can sense a certain thing and can automatically fire," she said.

But Peter Asaro, the co-founder of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, told NBC News that South Korea received "a lot of bad press about having autonomous killer robots on their border."

Now the SGR-1 can now only detect and target but requires a human operator to approve the kill shot.

Read more: http://www.techinsider.io/which-artificially-intelligent-semi-autonomous-weapons-exist-2015-7#ixzz3hiPNSgQS
via +Peter Asaro 

// Yes, Samsung Techwin is a subsidiary of the same Samsung that makes your phone. 

http://www.samsungtechwin.com/product/product_01_02.asp
Samsung Techwin
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanwha_Techwin
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+Michael Barry apparently it was the carnage and terror wrought by the autoguns and mines which were so effective at reducing crossing attempts. There were 45,000 of them along the 1,000 mile border, or about one every 120 feet! http://www.nytimes.com/1981/08/13/world/east-germany-cuts-down-on-escapes-to-the-west.html
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This is a great interview with Philip Kitcher in general, but this in particular made me grin.

"I don’t think that anything of any consequence is known a priori: all our knowledge is built up by modifying the lore passed on to us by our ancestors in light of our experiences, and the best a philosopher can do is to learn as much about what has been discovered in various empirical fields, and use it to try to craft an improved synthesis. That seems to me what the great philosophers of the past did, even when (like Kant) they were declaring that their proposed principles were known independently of experience. That’s part of my naturalism, which is more extreme than that of most philosophers (even Quine’s): Dewey and Mill are the only two figures I know who have been uncompromising in their naturalism."

Gee I wonder I get it from.
Interview by Richard Marshall. Philip_Kitcher. Philip Kitcher returns to 3:AM as part of the End Times series to discuss his thinking on ethics, Derek Parfit, on the use of stripped down thought experiments , on intuitions, on why we shouldn't try for ethical peaks, on how he sees the ethical ...
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Introduction
I've written under the handle Eripsa for over a decade on various blogs and forums. Today I do my blogging and research at Fractional Actors and on my G+ stream.

I'm interested in issues at the intersection of the mind and technology. I write and post on topics ranging from AI and robotics to the politics of digital culture.

Specific posting interests are described in more detail here and here.

_____

So I'm going to list a series of names, not just to cite their influence on my work, but really to triangulate on what the hell it is I think I'm doing. 

Turing, Quine, Heidegger, Dan Dennett, Andy Clark, Bruce Sterling, Bruno Latour, Aaron Swartz, Clay Shirky, Jane McGonical, John Baez, OWS, and Google. 

______


My avatar is the symbol for Digital Philosophy. You can think of it as a digital twist on Anarchism, but I prefer to think of it as the @ symbol all grown up. +Kyle Broom helped with the design. Go here for a free button with the symbol.

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Santa Fe Institute
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Complexity research expanding the boundaries of science

Center Camp
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Augmata Hive
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experimenting with synthetic networks

Ars Technica
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Serving the technologist for over 1.3141592 x 10⁻¹ centuries

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Americans love their media, but they also love to bash it—and not just figuratively. Inside the modern history of disco demolition nights, c

American Museum of Natural History
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From dinosaurs to deep space: science news from the Museum

Using Smiles (and Frowns) to Teach Robots How to Behave - IEEE Spectrum
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Japanese researchers are using a wireless headband that detects smiles and frowns to coach robots how to do tasks

Honeybees may have personality
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Thrill-seeking isn't limited to humans, or even to vertebrates. Honeybees also show personality traits, with some loving adventure more than

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DVICE: Depression leads to different web surfing
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While a lot of folks try to self-diagnose using the Internet (Web MD comes to mind), it turns out that the simple way someone uses the Inter

Greatest Speeches of the 20th Century
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Shop Google Play on the web. Purchase and enjoy instantly on your Android phone or tablet without the hassle of syncing.

The Most Realistic Robotic Ass Ever Made
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In the never-ending quest to bridge the uncanny valley, Japanese scientists have turned to one area of research that has, so far, gone ignor

Rejecting the Skeptic Identity
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Do you identify yourself as a skeptic? Sarah Moglia, event specialist for the SSA and blogger at RantaSarah Rex prefers to describe herself

philosophy bites: Adina Roskies on Neuroscience and Free Will
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Stanford Researchers Crack Captcha Code
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A research team at Stanford University has introduced Decaptcha, a tool that decodes captchas.

Kickstarter Expects To Provide More Funding To The Arts Than NEA
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NEW YORK — Kickstarter is having an amazing year, even by the standards of other white hot Web startup companies, and more is yet to come. O

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IBM's "hyperlocal" weather forecasting system aims to give government agencies and companies an 84-hour view into the future o

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It's not the first time that rumors have surfaced of Google working on some heads-up display glasses (9 to 5 Google first raised the

A Swarm of Nano Quadrotors
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Experiments performed with a team of nano quadrotors at the GRASP Lab, University of Pennsylvania. Vehicles developed by KMel Robotics.