Human intelligence can’t be transferred to machines

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Technologists across the world have frantically embarked on the quest to create a new species in our own image — general artificial intelligence with superior computational brain power. Nathan Gardels The Washington Post But we are only just beginning to understand the foundations of human intelligence and consciousness that cannot be captured in an algorithmic formula divorced from the functions of the body and the long evolution of our species and its microbiome. As the celebrated neuroscientist Antonio Damasio argues in a ... Read More »

Microsoft president Smith: World must ‘wake up’ to benefits and perils of artificial intelligence

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Citing the enormous power of artificial intelligence to benefit but also disrupt society, Microsoft President Brad Smith on Thursday, March 1, called for standards of accountability and a “Hippocratic oath” among technologists to do no harm with the emerging tools. Steven Schultz Princeton University “Will we ensure that machines remain accountable to people? Will we ensure that the people who design these machines remain accountable to other people?” asked Smith, a Princeton University alumnus and trustee, speaking to a packed audience ... Read More »

Julian Assange: Ecuador says latest talks on release failed

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Ecuador says the country’s latest efforts to negotiate the departure of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from its London embassy have failed BBC Foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa said the UK was unwilling to take part in talks about his release. A UK Foreign Office spokesman said Mr Assange should “leave the embassy to face justice”. Mr Assange, 46, has been staying at the country’s London embassy since 2012 where he was granted political asylum. Last week, the arrest warrant against him ... Read More »

US Intelligence Community: Duterte is one of threats to democracy in Southeast Asia

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Democracy and human rights in the region remain fragile, report says By: Anthony Q. Esguerra INQUIRER President Rodrigo Duterte was listed as one of Southeast Asian leaders that pose a threat to democracy and human rights, according to the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community. The US Intelligence Community is a federation of 16 government agencies that work separately and together to conduct intelligence to support the foreign policy and national security of the US. Last Feb. 12, Daniel ... Read More »

Secrecy legislation should be ‘redrafted from scratch’, journalist union says

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Bill contains prison terms of up to 20 years for dealing with or publishing protected information harmful to Australia Michael McGowan The Guardian The Turnbull government’s concessions on secrecy laws do not go far enough and the legislation should be “withdrawn and redrafted from scratch”, Australia’s journalist union has argued. This week the Coalition watered down its proposed foreign interference laws following pressure from media organisations, Labor and the Greens, which opposition leader Bill Shorten had said would see journalists ... Read More »

Julian Assange loses challenge to UK arrest warrant, court to rule on new bid next week

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has lost one legal bid to have a UK arrest warrant against him quashed but immediately launched another, to have the British authorities halt any action against him on public interest grounds. ABC Judge Emma Arbuthnot said she would give her decision on February 13. A ruling in Mr Assange’s favour could pave the way for him to leave the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he has been holed up for more than five years. Mr ... Read More »

Cyber threats: 2018 and beyond


Hackers using technology with behavioural insights pose a greater threat than ever to cyber security. What do consumer credit reporting agency Equifax and ride-hailing company Uber have in common? Foo Siang-tse and Shashi Jayakumar The Straits Times One would imagine that as large enterprises, they would check the boxes for good cyber-security practices: a healthy security budget, deployment of leading-edge cyber security technologies, and round-the-clock monitoring by well-trained cyber professionals. Yet they were revealed last year to have been successfully ... Read More »

Salvaging the legacy of the FBI

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The FBI is experiencing its greatest crisis in our history. J. Edgar Hoover may have kept “intel” files on enemies but never attempted a government coup. John Ligato The Washington Times Recent leadership at headquarters allowed politics to seep into our DNA, and field agents were smeared with the same brush. What happened and, what can we do to regain our reputation? The Bureau is about to take some major hits to its legacy and Director Christopher Wray is the only individual who can ... Read More »

Artificial intelligence predicts corruption

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Researchers from the University of Valladolid (Spain) have created a computer model based on neural networks which provides in which Spanish provinces cases of corruption can appear with greater probability, as well as the conditions that favor their appearance. EurekAlert! This alert system confirms that the probabilities increase when the same party stays in government more years. Two researchers from the University of Valladolid have developed a model with artificial neural networks to predict in which Spanish provinces corruption cases ... Read More »

A New American Leader Rises in ISIS

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A two-year investigation identifies one of the very few Americans in the Islamic State’s upper ranks—and sheds light on the dynamics of radicalization Seamus Hughes, Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, and Bennett Clifford The Atlantic The clues are out there, if you know where to look. Scattered across far-flung corners of the internet, there is evidence that Zulfi Hoxha, the son of an Albanian-American pizza-shop owner from New Jersey, had sinister plans. First there’s the defunct Twitter profile, which at one point engaged ... Read More »

Undersea cables the Achilles’ heel in lead-up to new cold war

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Hostile acts against submerged Internet cables would put critical communications, trillions of dollars in transactions and the world economy at risk By Doug Tsuruoka Editor at Large Asia Times It’s a little-known twist in the cyber-warfare between nations that carries potentially devastating consequences At a time when more than 95% of everything that moves on the global Internet passes through just 200 undersea fiber-optic cables, potential adversaries such as the US, Russia, China and Iran are focusing on these deep-sea ... Read More »

Regional News Outlets: The real target of Poland’s New Media Law?

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Poland’s government has made no secret over the past 12 months of its plans to change media rules in a such way that could force some foreign owners out of the country. Emerging Europe Despite criticism from both the European Union and human rights groups including Amnesty, Poland’s Deputy Culture Minister Paweł Lewandowski said as recently as August 2017 that while the new law (which he is helping to draft) would stop short of ‘re-Polonizing’ the nation’s media, it would ... Read More »

China’s CCTV surveillance network took just 7 minutes to capture BBC reporter

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It took Chinese authorities just seven minutes to locate and apprehend BBC reporter John Sudworth using its powerful network of CCTV camera and facial recognition technology Jon Russell TC This wasn’t a case of a member of the media being forcibly removed from the country. The chase was a stunt set up to illustrate just how powerful and effective the Chinese government’s surveillance system can be. It’s a stark example of the type of monitoring that China has invested heavily in over ... Read More »

Australia Seeks New Gag Laws That Could See Journalists And Whistleblowers Jailed for 20 Years

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Organisations such as WikiLeaks and disclosures from whistleblowers like Edward Snowden appear to be the target Paul Farrell BuzzFeed  Australian government and intelligence whistleblowers – and potentially even journalists – may face up to 20 years in jail for disclosing classified information, under the most sweeping changes to the country’s secrecy laws since they were introduced. The Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a broad package of reforms aimed at curbing foreign interference from countries including China and Russia. ... Read More »

Budding nuclear power Turkey casts a darkening shadow over Middle East

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Turkey is rapidly developing into a threat to peace and stability in the Middle East. Sol W. Sanders  The regime of President [formerly Prime Minister] Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP Justice and Development Party are increasingly authoritarian. World Tribune Their effort to obtain nuclear power with its military offshoots would make it an imposing and new threat to the whole region. Behind Erdogan’s efforts, of course, is nostalgia for Turkey’s once dominant role in that part of the world. ... Read More »

Don’t panic: three myths about the North Korean threat

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The US has talked itself into Kim Jong-un’s trap of exaggerating how much power his rocketry gives him Joseph S. Nye Asia Times North Korea recently tested its Hwasong-15 ballistic missile, which reached an altitude of 2,780 miles (4,475 kilometers) during its 53-minute flight. Using a flatter trajectory could provide Kim Jong-un’s regime with the capability of hitting the east coast of the United States. Although it has not yet demonstrated a re-entry vehicle capable of surviving atmospheric friction, North ... Read More »