Tag Archives | Pop Culture

Building Moral Robots, With Whose Morals?

BEAR, or Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot, is designed to help soldiers in need. But other robots could take on roles as combatants. Credit Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center

BEAR, or Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot, is designed to help soldiers in need. But other robots could take on roles as combatants.
Credit Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center

I certainly wouldn’t trust the politicians or corporate money-mongers. Heather Goldstone proposes three sources: The Geneva Convention, Asimov’s Laws of Robotics, and/or The Ten Commandments. Whose morals would you want AI to model?

Via at WCAI:

Giving robots morals may sound like a good idea, but it’s a pursuit fraught with its own moral dilemmas. Like, whose morals?

Stop and look around you right now. You’re sitting in front of a computer and, chances are, there’s a phone or some other “smart” device in your vicinity. As our devices get more capable, and we become more reliant on them, there’s increasing hand-wringing over whether our relationships with technology have gone awry.

In some circles, the conversation has a particular urgency to it – because they’re talking about whether or not robots could – or should – be entrusted with life and death decisions, and whether such robots could ever be conferred with anything comparable to our morals.

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Tangerine Dream Founder Edgar Froese Dead at 70

Ralf Roletschek via Wikimedia Commons.

Ralf Roletschek via Wikimedia Commons.

Daniel Kreps writes at Rolling Stone:

Edgar Froese, founding member and keyboardist of the long-running band Tangerine Dream and an electronic music pioneer, passed away after suffering a pulmonary embolism on January 20th. Froese was 70.

“This is a message to you we are very sorry for… On January 20th, Tuesday afternoon, Edgar Froese suddenly and unexpectedly passed away from the effects of a pulmonary embolism in Vienna,” the band posted on Facebook Friday afternoon. “The sadness in our hearts is immensely. Edgar once said: ‘There is no death, there is just a change of our cosmic address.’ Edgar, this is a little comfort to us.”

Formed in 1967 in West Berlin and born out of the same Krautrock scene that produced Kraftwerk, Cluster, Neu! and Can, Tangerine Dream’s 1970 debut LP Electronic Meditation, which featured fellow electronic music giant Klaus Schulz, shared many of the same musical qualities as their German peers.

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Read The Very First Comic Book: The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck

 

Obadiah Oldbuck

Via Open Culture.com

Comic books, as any enthusiast of comics books won’t hesitate to tell you, have a long and robust history, one that extends far wider and deeper than the 20th-century caped musclemen, carousing teenagers, and wisecracking animals so many associate with the medium. The scholarship on comic-book history — still a relatively young field, you understand — has more than once revised its conclusions on exactly how far back its roots go, but as of now, the earliest acknowledged comic book dates to 1837.

The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck, according to thecomicbooks.com’s page on early comic-book history, “was done by Switzerland’s Rudolphe Töpffer, who has been considered in Europe (and starting to become here in America) as the creator of the picture story. He created the comic strip in 1827,” going on to create comic books “that were extremely successful and reprinted in many different languages; several of them had English versions in America in 1846.

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Imagining an America Without Sports

Sam Riches writes at The Pacific Standard:

What if we eliminated the institution of sport—from the high school level to the pros? Ten academics from around the country weigh in.

The National Football League, despite a reported dip in fan support this year, remains the most popular and profitable sports league in America. Though it generates in the range of $10 billion annually, it’s heavily subsidized by its fans, American taxpayers, who provide 70 percent of the capital costs in stadium construction. NFL headquarters, meanwhile, enjoys tax-free status as a non-profit organization and the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, earned more than $40 million last year.

The athletes that make the league a viable business—the majority of them having worked their way up to the professional level after years of labor exploitation in the NCAA—have an average career length of just over three years, according to the NFL Players Association.

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Wife, daughter, and writer of controversial FEMA camp movie ‘Gray State’ dead in ‘murder-suicide’

graystatefp

Anti Media via WTF News:

The lead writer of a controversial movie was found dead along with his wife and daughter in a Minnesota home Saturday afternoon. Officers went to the house Saturday after a neighbor called to report bodies inside. Three people were found dead and have been identified as screenwriter David Crowley, his wife, Komel, 28, and their 5-year-old daughter.

A statement from Apple Valley police Sunday morning said the case would be considered “an apparent murder-suicide” and the deaths would be investigated as suspicious.

Next-door neighbor Collin Prochnow said he went to the house on Saturday to ‘gather packages that were sitting on the front steps’ when he looked inside and saw the bodies. Prochnow told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the family had not been seen since Christmas and that a dog was also in the house.

David Crowley had been the lead screenwriter for the movie Gray State which depicts a violent police state in post-crisis America as people reject government policy en masse in frustration over economic collapse and the breakdown of society.

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Survivors of the Apocalypse

MARTIN WITTFOOTH — BABEL.  Some of the most beautiful, moving and relevant paintings of our time.

BABEL by New York based artist Martin Wittfooth is the new book featuring 124 pages of  masterful works spanning over five years (2009-2014).

Martin’s work is a rich narrative tapestry that celebrates animals as victors after an apparent apocalyptic event. “Animal apparitions trapped within theatrical atriums caught acting out scenes of good and evil, life and death.”

“Instinctive and purposeful, New York-based oil painter Martin Wittfooth conveys mention of the Masters while sifting through personal revelations, environmental phenomena and socio-political disturbances.” (Nocturne II featured in BABEL).

BABEL is a museum-grade publication documenting seven prolific solo exhibitions featuring large-scale oil paintings: De Anima (2014), Empire (2012), The Passions (2011), Gardens (2010), Tempest (2010), Babylon (2009), Sandcastles in the Tide (2008) and Melting Season 2006).

BABEL features written contributions by Marshall Arisman, Kirsten Anderson, Martin Wittfooth and Mark Murphy.… Read the rest

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The Nature of Mind and the Holographic Brain

Ardonik (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ardonik (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Via War is a Crime

The purpose of this article is to provide evidence that strongly indicates that you are not your brain, or your body for that matter, and that the nature of mind, of memory, and of our brains may actually be vastly different than we have been lead to believe.

Since time immemorial, man has been fascinated by the mind, leading great thinkers from Hippocrates to Descartes to ponder the nature of mind with wonder. Fast forward to modern times and observe how the mind is still revered and is dominating our culture. We have a lot of firm beliefs about the nature of mind, and I believe the ego — our limited perception of ourselves — and thus human ignorance, is intricately tied in with these beliefs.

But the truth of the matter is that we only understand a fraction of the mind’s potential, i.e.

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‘South Park terrorist’ sues prison, claims it’s difficult to practice Islam behind bars

South_Park_banner

Via NY Daily News:

A wannabe terrorist serving prison time for threatening the “South Park” creators is suing his jail for allegedly hindering his ability to practice his Muslim faith.

Zachary Chesser filed a civil complaint last month against the Federal Bureau of Prisons, claiming it made it difficult for him to “fulfill Islam’s religious obligations,” the Smoking Gun reported.

Islam requires regular group worship, which the prison only allows once a week, the 25-year-old said in the hand-written complaint.

Chesser said he has tried to connect with other incarcerated Muslims: He talks to a man on the floor above him from a shower drain, but the unusual communication is “physically painful, reeks of sewage and makes it very hard to hear,” he wrote.

Chesser was convicted in 2010 on terror charges after he threatened “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and tried to join a Somalian terrorist group.

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FAMILY LEXICON – Fred Stonehouse and Esther Pearl Watson Curated by Michela D’Acquisto

Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea MILAN is proud to present Family Lexicon, the exhibition of american artists Esther Pearl Watson and Fred Stonehouse, curated by Michela D’Acquisto.

The show proposes a new body of works intended to explore the family lexicon of the two artists, the labyrinth of sayings and terms typical of the intimate dimension of every family.

Fred-Stonehouse-Search-For-The-Finish

Fred-Stonehouse-Search For The Finish

Esther Pearl Watson’s confessional and distinctly naïve painting draw on the years of her very peculiar adolescence, spent tavelling between Italy and Texas, in the orbit of her father, an inventor of flying saucers made of cars’ motors and scrap parts.

Her memories unravel in the background of sleepy small towns and infinite Texas prairies, whose skies are always dominated by the strangely comforting presence of space shuttles: these are the double emblem of the relationship with her father, the first inspiring figure of her life, and with her own young daughter, who has learned since she was a child to associate Esther to her UFOs.… Read the rest

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