What makes you uniquely you?

...as opposed to a slavering, ravening, human-meat grinder? As the complexities and growing pool of common knowledge on the creation of Artificial Intelligence coalesce, "What Rough Beast" might we find ourselves prostrate before? I'm just sayin'...

[exceprt] "By proposing the possibility of artificial consciousness, are you comparing the human brain to a computer?
No. The world is unpredictable, and thus it is not an unambiguous algorithm on which computing is based. Your brain has to be creative about how it integrates the signals coming into it. And computers don

POLL: Is A Terminator Scenario Possible?

Some great futurist minds confer on the probability and extent of the possible cruel domination of the human race by, you guessed it, evil robots. Also, speaking in the strictly E.R.N. editorial sense, we told you so...

We [HPlus magazine] ask several roboticists, AI workers, SF writers, and other techie types a simple-minded question. Is a Terminator-like scenario possible? And if so, how likely is it?

David Brin is an SF and non-fiction writer. Among his most influential books are The Uplift War, Earth, The Postman, and the non-fictional The Transparent Society

Of course such a calamity is possible, and nightmares are great fun, in fiction and film. Still, look at the premise. Superficially, the lesson is the same one that the late Michael Crichton taught, every time: "If man sticks his hand where it wasn't meant to go, it will get cut off!" It is the old warning against hubris, as ancient as Gilgamesh. But look closer. From Terminator to Jurassic Park to The Matrix and so on, the real back-story is that the terrible new mistake -- like AI or resurrected dinosaurs -- was done in secret... and as stupidly as possible.

Brave New Evil Robot WorldBrave New Evil Robot World

Full Story at HPlus Magazine

British children comprehensively organized into a database...

...or as the Evil Robot Overlords, and assorted other suspect individuals, will refer to it, a "Menu"

In the coming Era of the Machines, as minions, we should readily expect to cataloged, tagged, chipped and neatly organized to the delight of the cold, hydraulic fluid pumping, cardio-units of our oppressors, in much the same way that various handy iPhone apps can now direct you to the nearest appealing restaurant. How scrupulously convenient...

A controversial database which holds the details of every child in England has become available to childcare professionals for the first time...[ContactPoint] will hold the details of 11 million children and young people aged up to 18 years.

Full story at BBC News

That's a very pretty picture Dave...

Now, thanks to the lackeys of the masterful overlords at Penn State U, you will soon no longer have to ask your significant other, "Do I look fat in these jeans?". You're about to experience an entirely new level of "photographic objectivity"...

University Park, Pa. -- An online photo-rating system developed at Penn State is the first publicly available tool for automatically determining the aesthetic value of an image, according to a Penn State researcher involved with the project.

James Z. Wang, associate professor of information sciences and technology, is one of the principal researchers on the Aesthetic Quality Inference Engine (ACQUINE), a system that judges the aesthetic quality of digital images. Wang said this tool is a significant first step in recognizing human emotional reaction to visual stimulus.

Yes Dave, you do look fat in those jeans...


Full Story at Penn State Live

Evil Robots are now after your stash

It is well worth exploring the intersection of Evil Robots as accomplices of the state in infringing on the private lives of citizens. The wily constabulary of the northeastern Achterhoek region of Denmark are now employing wicked mini-choppers to weed out (I know, I know...) the clandestine elements of their local farming communities.

That's right, an itty-bitty narco-chopper that wants to pop your tart for "The Man". Oh Dutch authorities, I am wounded...

Police in the northeastern Achterhoek region have begun using an unmanned miniature helicopterto track down the illegal cultivation of cannabis, which often takes place indoors. The so-called "canna-chopper" is fitted with cameras and a sniffer to take air samples out of ventilator shafts and chimneys. A dedicated gas analyser is able to recognise traces of weed smell in the air samples.

Dutch narco-ChopperDutch narco-Chopper

Full story at Radio Nederland Wereldomreop

Chemical 'caterpillar' points to electronics-free robots

Okay, as if the imminent obsolescence of the human race were not creepy enough, the Shuji Hashimoto applied physics laboratory at Waseda University, Tokyo is busy bringing us these fresh horrors. I'm not especially squeamish, but man...

Also, are we seeing the early potential for a synthesis between mechanical and these chemical techonologies? I'm looking at you Cyberdyne Systems Model 101...

Shingo Maeda and colleagues made the colour-changing, motile gel by combining polymers that change in size depending on their chemical environment. This is based on an oscillating chemical reaction called the Belousov


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