Category Archives: The Future

Robot workers will lead to surge in slavery in south-east Asia, report finds

Research shows risk of trafficking will rise, as automation pushes low-skilled workers into ‘race to the bottom’ for jobs

Robots will slash millions of jobs and create an upswing in trafficking and slavery across south-east Asia, research claims.

In a report launched on Thursday, supply-chain analyst firm predicts that the rise in robot manufacturing will have a knock-on effect that results not only in lost livelihoods but in a spike in slavery and labour abuses in brand supply chains.


‘Robots can’t beat us’: Las Vegas casino workers prep for strike over automation

At the Tipsy Robot in Las Vegas, a mechanical arm mixes cocktails that patrons order on tablet computers. “Galactic ambassadors” – human waitresses in shiny silver skirts – are sometimes available to deliver drinks. But the underlying message at the future-themed bar is that humans are irrelevant.

It’s a novelty experience, but the future Tipsy Robot represents is one of several issues that may lead tens of thousands of Las Vegas hotel employees to strike in the coming days.


Scientist predicts our future will be ‘worse than extinction’

Alexander Berezin, a highly-cited scientist from Russia’s National University of Electronic Technology Research, outlined his bleak prediction in an article entitled ‘First to enter, last to leave: a solution to Fermi’s paradox’.

Fermi’s paradox is the contradiction that’s been maddening scientists for years. The idea that if the universe is so vast, practically guaranteeing the existence of extraterrestrial life, then why hasn’t humanity ever detected a trace of it?

1. Distance
2. Relativity
3. Age of universe

Fermi’s paradox isn’t necessarily wrong, but it is incomplete.


Uber’s Self-Driving Car Saw the Woman It Killed, Report Says

THE FEDERAL INVESTIGATORS examining Uber’s fatal self-driving crash in March released a preliminary report this morning. It lays out the facts of the collision that killed a woman walking her bicycle in Tempe, Arizona, and explains what the vehicle actually saw that night.

The National Transportation Safety Board won’t determine the cause of the crash or issue safety recommendations to stop others from happening until it releases its final report, but this first look makes two things clear: Engineering a car that drives itself is very hard. And any self-driving car developer that is relying on a human operator to monitor its testing systems—to keep everyone on the road safe—should be extraordinarily careful about the design of that system.


Scientists Bring A Severed Brain Back To Life, Sparking Ethical Debate

Yale neuroscientist Nenad Sestan revealed the breakthrough during a meeting at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on March 28. Sestan’s team reportedly experimented on over 100 pig brains obtained from a slaughterhouse and restored their circulation using a system of pumps, heaters, and artificial blood. The researchers said they managed to reactivate the brains for up to 36 hours.


The new food: Lab engineered “meat & dairy” substitutes

If you make food that tastes really good, you win,” says Josh Tetrick, with a smile. And winning is crucial, he says, with his company Just in the vanguard of a new sector with an ambitious mission: to use cutting-edge technologies to create food that will take down the meat and dairy industries.

The scope is huge: growing meat in labs, producing creamy scrambled “eggs” from mung beans, or making fish that has never swum in water, or cow’s milk brewed from yeast. The drive is to lessen the colossal environmental damage wrought by industrial farming, from its vast carbon emissions to water pollution and disease.

What fresh hell is this?


Robot to run for mayor in Japan

The robot is campaigning under the slogan “Artificial Intelligence will change Tama city”.

The election in the west of the Japanese capital features high-ranking local politicians, as well as the robotic candidate competing against its human counterparts.

The campaign process is no different either: the district has had posters with smiling faces of the party leaders plastered across it, with the usual slogans promising positive change for all residents.


Experts slam EU proposal to grant personhood to intelligent machines

From George Dvorsky at Gizmodo:

Over 150 experts in AI, robotics, commerce, law, and ethics from 14 countries have signed an open letter denouncing the European Parliament’s proposal to grant personhood status to intelligent machines. The EU says the measure will make it easier to figure out who’s liable when robots screw up or go rogue, but critics say it’s too early to consider robots as persons—and that the law will let manufacturers off the liability hook.

This all started last year when the European Parliament proposed the creation of a specific legal status for robots … More.

See also: Should chimpanzees be considered legal persons or things? Chimpanzees being considered legal persons is a step on the road to human beings not being considered so. But people vote for it. And academics and law firms will profit from it. It will not help chimpanzees at all, unfortunately, as the only thing that can really help them is protection of their environment.


Live webinar with Robert Marks, Baylor U, on artificial intelligence and human exceptionalism