Entries by Ariel Conn

X-risk or X-hope? AI Learns From Books & an Autonomous Accident

X-risk = Existential Risk. The risk that we could accidentally (hopefully accidentally) wipe out all of humanity. X-hope = Existential Hope. The hope that we will all flourish and live happily ever after. The importance of STEM training and research in schools has been increasingly apparent in recent years, as the tech industry keeps growing. […]

X-risk News of the Week: Human Embryo Gene Editing

X-risk = Existential Risk. The risk that we could accidentally (hopefully accidentally) wipe out all of humanity. X-hope = Existential Hope. The hope that we will all flourish and live happily ever after. If you keep up with science news at all, then you saw the headlines splashed all over news sources on Monday: The […]

Nuclear Warmongering Is Back in Fashion

“We should not be surprised that the Air Force and Navy think about actually employing nuclear weapons rather than keeping them on the shelf and assuming that will be sufficient for deterrence.” This statement was made by Adam Lowther, a research professor at the Air Force Research Institute, in an article for The National Interest, […]

An Explosion of CRISPR Developments in Just Two Months

    CRISPR made big headlines in late November of 2015, when researchers announced they could possibly eliminate malaria using the gene-editing technique to start a gene drive in mosquitos. A gene drive occurs when a preferred version of a gene replaces the unwanted version in every case of reproduction, overriding Mendelian genetics, which say […]

Are Humans Dethroned in Go? AI Experts Weigh In

Today DeepMind announced a major AI breakthrough: they’ve developed software that can defeat a professional human player at the game of Go. This is a feat that has long eluded computers. Francesca Rossi, a top AI scientist with IBM, told FLI, “AI researchers were waiting for computers to master Go, but we did not expect […]

Is the Legal World Ready for AI?

Our smart phones are increasingly giving us advice and directions based on their best Internet searches. Driverless cars are rolling down the roads in many states. Increasingly complicated automation is popping up in nearly every industry. As exciting and beneficial as most these advancements are, problems will still naturally occur. Is the legal system keeping […]

North Korea’s Nuclear Test

North Korea claims that, on January 6, they successfully tested their first hydrogen bomb. Seismic analysis indicates that they did, in fact, test what was likely a nuclear bomb, but experts – and now the White House — dispute whether it was a real hydrogen bomb. David Wright, Co-director of the Global Security Program for […]

2015: An Amazing Year in Review

Just four days before the end of the year, the Washington Post published an article, arguing that 2015 was the year the beneficial AI movement went mainstream. FLI couldn’t be more excited and grateful to have helped make this happen and to have emerged as integral part of this movement. And that’s only a part […]

Who’s In Control?

The Washington Post just asked one of the most important questions in the field of artificial intelligence: “Are we fully in control of our technology?” There are plenty of other questions about artificial intelligence that are currently attracting media attention, such as: Is superintelligence imminent and will it kill us all? As necessary as it is to […]

Were the Paris Climate Talks a Success?

An interview with Seth Baum, Executive Director of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute: On Friday, December 18, I talked with Seth Baum, the Executive Director of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute, about the realistic impact of the Paris Climate Agreement. The Paris Climate talks ended December 12th, and there’s been a lot of fanfare in […]