Why AI Won’t Take Over The Earth

Law professor Ryan Calo — sometimes called a robot-law scholar — hosted the first White House workshop on AI policy, and has organized AI workshops for the National Science Foundation (as well as the Department of Homeland Security and the National Academy of Sciences). Now an anonymous reader shares a new 30-page essay where Calo “explains what policymakers should be worried about with respect to artificial intelligence. Includes a takedown of doomsayers like Musk and Gates.” Professor Calo summarizes his sense of the current consensus on many issues, including the dangers of an existential threat from superintelligent AI:

Claims of a pending AI apocalypse come almost exclusively from the ranks of individuals such as Musk, Hawking, and Bostrom who possess no formal training in the field… A number of prominent voices in artificial intelligence have convincingly challenged Superintelligence’s thesis along several lines. First, they argue that there is simply no path toward machine intelligence that rivals our own across all contexts or domains… even if we were able eventually to create a superintelligence, there is no reason to believe it would be bent on world domination, unless this were for some reason programmed into the system. As Yann LeCun, deep learning pioneer and head of AI at Facebook colorfully puts it, computers don’t have testosterone…. At best, investment in the study of AI’s existential threat diverts millions of dollars (and billions of neurons) away from research on serious questions… “The problem is not that artificial intelligence will get too smart and take over the world,” computer scientist Pedro Domingos writes, “the problem is that it’s too stupid and already has.”

A footnote also finds a paradox in the arguments of Nick Bostrom, who has warned of that dangers superintelligent AI — but also of the possibility that we’re living in a computer simulation. “If AI kills everyone in the future, then we cannot be living in a computer simulation created by our decedents. And if we are living in a computer simulation created by our decedents, then AI didn’t kill everyone. I think it a fair deduction that Professor Bostrom is wrong about something.”

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Apple Paid Nokia $2 Billion To Escape Fight Over Old Patents

An anonymous reader shares a report: Apple’s latest patent spat with Nokia resulted in a $ 2 billion up-front payment from the iPhone maker, a colossal sum that seems to indicate Apple was eager to avoid a protracted and ugly dispute that could rival the one it had with Samsung. The new details of the settlement, which was first announced back in May without the disclosure of a financial amount or the new licensing terms, were spotted in Nokia’s second quarter earnings release. “We got a substantial upfront cash payment of $ 2 billion from Apple, strengthening further our cash position. As said earlier, our plans is to provide more details on the intended use of cash in conjunction with our Q3 earnings,” reads the official transcript of Nokia’s quarterly earnings call with investors yesterday. Neither Nokia nor Apple have disclosed the terms of the new licensing deal, including whether it involves recurring payments or how many years it will be in place.

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Trump continues to attack London mayor over terror response

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‘We will never forget him’: Trump addresses widow of slain SEAL as doubts linger over mission

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Germany Threatens To Fine Facebook Over Hate Speech

An anonymous reader quotes a report from ABC News: German officials are stepping up their criticism of Facebook, saying the social network is doing too little to stop hate speech and could face stiff fines unless it deletes illegal content faster. In an interview published Friday, Justice Minister Heiko Maas said his ministry was checking whether it would be possible to make social networking sites legally liable for illegal posts. Germany has seen a sharp increase in vitriolic posts on social media in recent years amid a heated public debate over the influx of more than a million migrants since the start of 2015. The country has laws against speech deemed to be racist, defamatory or inciting violence — a response to Germany’s Nazi legacy. But authorities have struggled with the deluge of often anonymous postings on foreign-owned websites. Thomas Oppermann, a senior lawmaker in Maas’ Social Democratic Party, told German weekly Der Spiegel that dominant social media sites like Facebook could be required to delete illegal posts within 24 hours or face fines up to 500,000 euros ($ 522,000). Facebook also could be compelled to distribute corrections that reach the same number of people as the original post, Oppermann suggested, something traditional media companies in Germany are already required to do.

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How Microsoft Lost In Court Over Windows 10 Upgrades

In June a California woman successfully sued Microsoft for $ 10,000 over forced Windows 10 upgrades, and she’s now written a 58-page ebook about her battle (which she’s selling for $ 9.99). But an anonymous Slashdot reader shares another inspiring story about a Texas IT worker and Linux geek who got Microsoft to pay him $ 650 for all the time that he lost.

“Worley built a Windows 7 machine for his grandfather, who has Alzheimer’s Disease, [customized] to look like Windows XP, an operating system his grandfather still remembered well…” writes Digital Trends. “But thanks to Microsoft’s persistent Windows 10 upgrade program, Worley’s grandfather unknowingly initiated the Win 10 upgrade by clicking the ‘X’ to close an upgrade window.” After Worley filed a legal “Notice of Dispute,” Microsoft quickly agreed to his demand for $ 650, which he donated to a non-profit focusing on Alzheimer’s patients.

But according to the article, that’s just the beginning, since Worley now “hopes people impacted by the forced Windows 10 upgrade will write a complaint to Microsoft demanding a settlement for their wasted time and money in repairing the device,” and on his web page suggests that if people don’t need the money, they should give it to charities fighting Alzheimer’s. “If Microsoft isn’t going to wake up and realize that lobbing intentionally-tricky updates at people who don’t need and can’t use them actively damages not only the lives of the Alzheimer’s sufferer, but those of their whole family, then let’s cure the disease on Microsoft’s dime so their tactics and those of companies that will follow their reckless example aren’t as damaging.”
Worley suggests each Notice of Dispute should demand at least $ 50 per hour from Microsoft, adding “If recent history holds steady they might just write you a check!”

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