Entries by Ariel Conn

GCRI December News Summary

The following is the December news summary for the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute, written by Robert de Neufville. It was originally published at the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute. Please sign up for the GCRI newsletter. Chinese power plant image courtesy of Tobias Brox under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license (the image has been cropped) Turkish F-16s shot […]

OpenAI Announced

Press release from OpenAI: Introducing OpenAI by Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, and the OpenAI team December 11, 2015 OpenAI is a non-profit artificial intelligence research company. Our goal is to advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return. Since […]

The Future of Humanity Institute Is Hiring!

Exciting news from FHI: 1. Research Fellow – AI – Strategic Artificial Intelligence Research Centre, Future of Humanity Institute (Vacancy ID# 121242). We are seeking expertise in the technical aspects of AI safety, including a solid understanding of present-day academic and industrial research frontiers, machine learning development, and knowledge of academic and industry stakeholders and groups. […]

Guest Blog: Paris, Nuclear Weapons, and Suicide Bombing

The following post was written by Dr. Alan Robock, a Distinguished Professor of Climate Science at Rutgers University. France’s 300 nuclear weapons were useless to protect them from the horrendous suicide bomb attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, 2016. And if France ever uses those weapons to attack another country’s cities and industrial areas, France […]

The World Has Lost 33% of Its Farmable Land

During the Paris climate talks last week, researchers from the University of Sheffield’s Grantham Center revealed that in the last 40 years, the world has lost nearly 33% of its farmable land. The loss is attributed to erosion and pollution, but the effects are expected to be exacerbated by climate change. Meanwhile, global food production […]

Can Artificial Intelligence Save Thanksgiving?

REI, the outdoor retail company, has made headlines in recent weeks for its decision to not only remain closed on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but also to provide all 12,000 of its employees with paid time off on those days. As Shep Hyken with Forbes says, REI has gone retail rogue. Or have they? REI […]

The Superintelligence Control Problem

The following is an excerpt from the Three Areas of Research on the Superintelligence Control Problem, written by Daniel Dewey and highlighted in MIRI’s November newsletter: What is the superintelligence control problem? Though there are fundamental limits imposed on the capabilities of intelligent systems by the laws of physics and computational complexity, human brains and societies […]

CRISPR to Be Used on People by 2017

We recently posted an article about what the CRISPR gene-editing technology is and why it’s been in the news lately, but there’s more big news to follow up with. Highlights from MIT Technology Review article: While there has been much ado about how easy and effective CRISPR is in animals like mice, Katrine Bosley, CEO […]

Improving AI’s IQ

Just how smart is artificial intelligence getting? According to the Wall Street Journal, Techspot, and HNGN, it can now get accepted to many of Japan’s universities. To be more specific, Japan’s National Institute of Informatics is developing an AI program that can pass the country’s college entrance exams. The project, called the Todai Robot Project, […]

From the WP: How do you teach a machine to be moral?

In case you missed it… Francesca Rossi, member of the FLI scientific advisory board and one of 37 recipients of the AI safety research program, recently wrote an article for the Washington Post in which she describes the challenges associated with building an artificial intelligence that has the same ethics and morals as people. In […]

FLI November Newsletter

News Site Launch We are excited to present our new xrisk news site! With improved layout and design, it aims to provide you with daily technology news relevant to the long-term future of civilization, covering both opportunities and risks. This will, of course, include news about the projects we and our partner organizations are involved in to help […]

Mealworms Bring Good News for Recycling

Summary from fusion.net: Current estimates indicate that it could take tens to hundreds of years for the 33 million tons of plastic that get added to our landfills each year to degrade. The plastic and styrofoam that don’t make it to landfills often end up in the stomachs of birds and even the fish you […]

FLI November Newsletter

News Site Launch We are excited to present our new xrisk news site! With improved layout and design, it aims to provide you with daily technology news relevant to the long-term future of civilization, covering both opportunities and risks. This will, of course, include news about the projects we and our partner organizations are involved in to help […]

From The New Yorker: Will Artificial Intelligence Bring Us Utopia or Dystopia?

The New Yorker recently published a piece highlighting the work of Nick Bostrom, who is one of the leading advocates for AI safety and a member of the FLI science advisory board. The article provides extensive background information about who Bostrom is, as well as what risks and opportunities artificial intelligence could provide. With the release […]

Don’t Bank on the Bomb: 2015 Report Live

Don’t Bank on the Bomb is a European campaign intended to stigmatize nuclear weapons by encouraging financial institutions to divest in companies that are associated with the development or modernization of nuclear weapons. Today, they’ve released their 2015 report in which they highlight which financial institutions are most progressive in decreasing funding to nuclear weapons […]

The Rise and Ethics of CRISPR

CRISPR. The acronym is short for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats,” which describes the structure of a specific type of gene sequence. CRISPR also represents a fast-growing, gene-editing technology that could change the way we approach disease, farming and countless other fields related to genetics and biology. CRISPR researchers believe the process can be used […]

Momentum to Address Climate Change Increases: Is It Enough?

From the New York Times: Reports from the Paris climate talks indicate that momentum is increasing among countries to improve emissions. Specifically, the emissions gap is decreasing. The emissions gap is the difference between a country’s pledge to decrease emissions by some amount in the coming years and what the scientific predictions state are the […]

Investing in Autonomous Weapons

Merrill Lynch recently put out a report highlighting the growth of artificial intelligence from an investment perspective, and according to a Wall Street Journal article about this report, robots are about to become a hot commodity for investors. However, that comes with a caveat: Autonomous weapons, or “killer robots,” as the media likes to refer […]