Leading AI researchers boycott Korean university over its work on ‘killer robots’

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<em>An unmanned military robot operates on a beach during a training exercise organized by the US Navy.</em>

More than 50 leading AI and robotics researchers have joined a boycott of South Korea’s KAIST university over the institute’s plans to help develop AI-powered weapons. The boycott was announced ahead of a UN meeting set in Geneva next week to discuss international restrictions on so-called “killer robots.” It marks an escalation in tactics from the part of the scientific community actively fighting for stronger controls on AI-controlled weaponry.

The boycott was organized by Professor Toby Walsh of the University of New South Wales, who warned in a press statement that the race to build autonomous weapons had already begun. “We can see prototypes of autonomous weapons under development today by many nations including the US, China,…

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Killer robots? Cambridge Analytica and Facebook show us the real danger of AI

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We were warned, time and time again, by one expert after another. AI doesn’t play fair, it can’t make moral decisions, and it relies entirely on humans for ethics. When those humans are (allegedly) Alex Nix, Steve Bannon, and Dr. Aleksandr Kogan we’re all in a lot of trouble. Cambridge Analytica (allegedly) took bad science, stolen data, and machine learning and used it to create a toxic stew designed specifically to radicalize the American people. The company’s success is no more admirable than a serial killer’s bodycount. And no matter Facebook’s level of involvement, it’s now tainted. Even if it turns out…

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The Next Web

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Samsung Galaxy S9 Review Roundup: Not an iPhone X Killer

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The first set of Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ reviews are out ahead of their retail availability next week.  Given that the Galaxy S9 packs modest improvements over its predecessor, how good are the phones when compared to their predecessors? And is Samsung’s latest flagship better than the iPhone X? Continue reading
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7 Killer Apple Watch Tricks You Probably Didn’t Know

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The Apple Watch introduced a fundamentally new way of interacting with a smartwatch. This means there are a whole lot of new tricks to learn about, of course. The latest software version, watchOS 4, brought a lot of new features to the Apple Watch. While we have extensively covered the headline features in watchOS 4, there are a few little-known Apple Watch tricks that aren’t apparent at the first glance. Here’s the scoop you have to know. 1. Set an Image From Gallery as Custom Watch Face Unlike Android Wear, watchOS doesn’t let you set custom third-party watch faces. If…

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Germany Pledges Not to Use “Killer Robots”

No Killer Robots, Please

Autonomous weapons are currently at the core of the debate about the future of artificial intelligence, and some countries are already starting to distance themselves from the ethical dilemma and the political controversy involved in their use.

In a recent meeting of the United Nations’ Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), world leaders have considered a possible ban on these so-called “killer robots” — technically a misnomer, as these autonomous weapons aren’t limited to just the robotic type. Now, at the annual Munich Security Conference (MSC), Germany made it clear they’re not interested in developing autonomous weapon systems.

“We have a very clear position. We have no intention of procuring […] autonomous systems,” said Lieutenant General Ludwig Leinhos, head of Germany’s new Cyber and Information Space Command, according to eNCA. However, he made it clear that the German military is not simply choosing not to engage with the issue, but is prepared to defend the country against potential attacks carried out by foreign remote weapons.

Pulling the Plug

Germany is the latest nation to officially decry the development and use of autonomous weapons, joining Australia and Canada, as well as the United Kingdom which had declared a ban earlier in 2017. Mary Wareham, a coordinator for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, told the panel at MSC that 22 nations already support the ban. Meanwhile, activists all over the world continue to rally against the development of such weapons, which some countries — the United States included — continue to explore.

Critics include many of the world’s most prominent experts in AI, who sent an open-letter to the UN calling for a ban on autonomous weapons. Among these is long-time AI researcher Stuart Russell, who once told Futurism that weaponizing AI would bring society more harm than good. Various other groups, including Harvard’s AI Initiative, Amnesty International, and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots express similar concern.

Surely, autonomous weapons occupy only a part of the overall discussion on the future of AI, which most agree is a technological development that should be encouraged and not stymied. Nevertheless, the potential of AI to be co-opted in weapons development is raising alarm in the highest ranks of the world’s security circles.

The post Germany Pledges Not to Use “Killer Robots” appeared first on Futurism.

Futurism

LG Lens doesn’t sound like a killer feature

LG V30

The Life’s Good crew wants to change things up. Not necessarily for the smartphone market in general (though, if they could, I’m sure they’d jump at the chance). Over the last couple of months, we’ve heard quite a few stories about the company, which includes a focus on releasing smartphones with a more direct, less responsive approach.

Interestingly, I never really considered that LG (or any company, for that matter) was launching phones just because the competition was, but I can understand why that would be the outlook, even for a company like LG. We’ve all been sucked into this yearly refresh schedule, and if LG wants to jump off that bandwagon, well, more power to them.

We expected LG to announce the G6’s successor this year at Mobile World Congress, but it is definitely sounding like that’s not going to happen. The most recent report points to the company announcing a more powerful (maybe?) version of the LG V30 that was launched late last year.

Actually, there isn’t a lot known about the V30s, the name that will apparently be used. The initial report suggests that the handset will have 256GB of built-in storage, which is a huge increase from the standard V30 which had 64GB, and even a significant uptick from what the V30+ offered at 128GB. There’s no indication that LG is going to be changing anything else about the V30 variant, though.

Except it will apparently include a feature called LG Lens. As the name suggests, it’s tied to the camera, and it will apparently work like Google Lens or Samsung’s Bixby Vision. That means you will be able to point the V30s camera at things and get information pertaining to that item, which includes shopping info as well.

The LG Lens feature will reportedly also boast support for augmented reality (AR) for location info, and will be able to translate languages, too. So, all-in-all, a lot of things that we’ve already seen before.

That aforementioned report suggests LG Lens is going to be the standout feature. The one thing that the Life’s Good crew thinks will help sell models. I can’t think that’s going to work out at all. It’s great that the handset will allegedly boast a ton of built-in storage, but if you’re just going to offer a V30 with more storage and LG Lens . . . that shouldn’t even warrant a name change of any kind. Other than the fact that LG has changed the names for these built-in storage differences already, so I guess we’re just sticking with the routine.

Is this going to work? It sounds like the company is just buying time before it can get around to announcing the G6’s successor, which will obviously come sometime after MWC and warrant its own special event. But who knows! Maybe the V30s will sell like hot cakes.

What do you think? Is the V30s, based on the rumors so far, something you’d be remotely interested in? Let me know!

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