Entries by a guest blogger

Top Scientists Call for Obama to Take Nuclear Missiles off Hair-Trigger Alert

The following post was written by Lisbeth Gronlund, co-director of the Global Security Program for the Union of Concerned Scientists. More than 90 prominent US scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates and 90 National Academy of Sciences members, sent a letter to President Obama yesterday urging him to take US land-based nuclear missiles off hair-trigger alert […]

What Google’s TPUs Mean for AI Timing and Safety

The following article was written by Jim Babcock and originally posted on Concept Space Cartography. Last Wednesday, Google announced that AlphaGo was not powered by GPUs as everyone thought, but by Google’s own custom ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits), which they are calling “tensor processing units” (TPUs). We’ve been running TPUs inside our data centers for […]

CRISPR, Gene Drive Technology, and Hope for the Future

The following article was written by John Min and George Church. Imagine for a moment, a world where we are able to perform genetic engineering on such large scales as to effectively engineer nature.  In this world, parasites that only cause misery and suffering would not exist, only minimal pesticides and herbicides would be necessary […]

Passing the Nuclear Baton

The following post was written by Joe Cirincione, President of the Ploughshares Fund, as part of our Huffington Post series on nuclear security. President Obama entered office with a bold vision, determined to end the Cold War thinking that distorted our nuclear posture. He failed. He has a few more moves he could still make […]

Computers Gone Wild: Impact and Implications of Developments in Artificial Intelligence on Society

The following summary was written by Samantha Bates: The second “Computers Gone Wild: Impact and Implications of Developments in Artificial Intelligence on Society” workshop took place on February 19, 2016 at Harvard Law School.  Marin Soljačić, Max Tegmark, Bruce Schneier, and Jonathan Zittrain convened this informal workshop to discuss recent advancements in artificial intelligence research.  […]

The Nuclear Terror Threat and Funding Mismatch

The following article, written by Erica Fein, was originally posted on Huffington Post. What if terrorists in Belgium had employed a crude nuclear or radiological device? Those who have followed news from the attacks know that the premise is not really that far-fetched. The two brothers alleged to have carried out the attacks are also […]

Eliezer Yudkowsky on AlphaGo’s Wins

The following insightful article was written by Eliezer Yudkowsky and originally posted on his Facebook page. (Note from the author about this post: Written after AlphaGo’s Game 2 win, posted as it was winning Game 3, and at least partially invalidated by the way AlphaGo lost Game 4. We may not know for several years […]

AlphaGo and AI Progress

Tomorrow, March 9, DeepMind’s AlphaGo begins its quest to beat the reigning world champion of Go, Lee Se-dol. In anticipation of the event, we’re pleased to feature this excellent overview of the impact of AlphaGo on the AI field, written by Miles Brundage. Don’t forget to tune in to Youtube March 9-15 for the full […]

Dr. David Wright on North Korea’s Satellite

Earlier this month, Dr. David Wright, co-director of the Union of Concerned Scientists Global Security Program, wrote two posts about North Korea’s satellite launch. While North Korea isn’t currently thought to pose an existential risk with their weapons, any time nuclear weapons are involved, the situation has the potential to quickly escalate to something that […]

Why MIRI Matters, and Other MIRI News

The Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI) just completed its most recent round of fundraising, and with that Jed McCaleb wrote a brief post explaining why MIRI and their AI research is so important. You can find a copy of that message below, followed by MIRI’s January newsletter, which was put together by Rob Bensinger. Jed […]

Santa, Mistakes, and Nuclear War

Written by: David Wright, physicist & co-director, Global Security | December 14, 2015, 9:34 am EST On December 1, the U.S. military started its annual tracking of Santa’s flight from the North Pole. Really. NORAD—the North Atlantic Aerospace Defense Command—is not known for its sense of humor. Its mission is deadly serious: to alert authorities about […]

Should AI Be Open?

POSTED ON DECEMBER 17, 2015 BY SCOTT ALEXANDER I. H.G. Wells’ 1914 sci-fi book The World Set Free did a pretty good job predicting nuclear weapons: They did not see it until the atomic bombs burst in their fumbling hands…before the last war began it was a matter of common knowledge that a man could […]