Entries by Ariel Conn

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 […]

From CNN: The Rise of the Killer Robots

Last week, CNN published an article by AI expert Toby Walsh, about the rise of autonomous weapons entitled, The Rise of the Killer Robots — and Why We Need to Stop Them. In the article, he highlights five major concerns: “Killer robots are near.” “There will be an arms race.” “Killer robots will proliferate.” “Killer […]

Reality Bytes

The following short story was written by Frank Wilczek. Early in the twenty-first century, many people feared that humanity as a whole might become, like Victor Frankenstein or Nathan Bateman, the target of its own brainchild, malignant artificial superintellgence. Their fear, we now know, was off the mark. For what do humans offer, that super […]

Eric Schlosser on Nuclear Weapons

Today’s Nuclear Dilemma In a paper just released by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists entitled, Today’s nuclear dilemma, Eric Schlosser considers the possible consequences of a new nuclear arms race, which now appears to be underway. After the Cold War ended, most of the world supported calls to reduce nuclear arsenals, and such a […]

MIRI November Newsletter

MIRI, one of our partner organizations, has just sent out their November newsletter, put together by Rob Bensinger. Check out the links below to learn more about the great work they do! Research updates A new paper: Leó Szilárd and the Danger of Nuclear Weapons New at IAFF: Subsequence Induction A shortened version of the Reflective Oracles paper has […]

Grants Program Press Release

New International Grants Program Jump-Starts Research to Ensure AI Remains Beneficial Elon-Musk-backed program signals growing interest in new branch of artificial intelligence research July 1, 2015Amid rapid industry investment in developing smarter artificial intelligence, a new branch of research has begun to take off aimed at ensuring that society can reap the benefits of AI […]

From Physics Today: China’s no-first-use nuclear policy

“China’s entire nuclear weapons posture, and its relatively small arsenal of about 250 warheads, is based on its pledge of no first use, according to Pan Zhenqiang, former director of strategic studies at China’s National Defense University. Although that pledge is “extremely unlikely” to change, missile defense, space-based weapons, or other new technologies that threaten […]

From Time: How We Can Overcome the Risks of AI

“Apple’s recent acquisition of Vocal IQ, an artificial intelligence company that specializes in voice programs, should not on its face lead to much fanfare: It appears to be a smart business move to enhance Siri’s capabilities. But it is also another sign of the increased role of AI in our daily lives. While the warnings […]