An AI expert explains how robot-human offspring would work

We are coming to the Days of Noah. So what kind of monsters are sinful humans going to create? The Nephilim are coming back!

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Can robots and humans make babies together? This is a serious question inspired by some of the advances already achieved in the 21st century by researchers in cell biology and in a discipline variously known as biorobotics, synthetic biology, or bionanotechnology.

Although it had long been a truth universally acknowledged that sexual intercourse was an essential precursor to conception, it was only around 150 years ago that early studies of embryology revealed the reason why, according to the dogma of the time, intercourse was “essential” in human reproduction. The reason was that only an egg from a female, fertilized by a sperm from a male, can result in a live birth. But thanks to the Nobel prize winning work of researchers like embryologist John Gurdon and stem cell researcher Shinya Yamanaka, it has become possible during the past few years to create both sperm cells and eggs in the laboratory from skin cells, obviating the need for a human mother or father to kick off the reproductive process.

At the end of April 2016, Stanford University and the Valencia Infertility Institute announced the result of a collaboration project in which human sperm, with tails, were created from skin cells. Just five months later, testifying to the speed with which stem cell research is progressing, researchers at the University of Bath reported that they had discovered a method of creating offspringwithout the need for a female egg. This was heralded as a major breakthrough which rewrites 200 years of biology teaching, and could pave the way, for example, for a baby to be born from the DNA of two men.

In August 2017, researchers at Ohio State College of Engineering announced an exciting new technology. “Tissue nanotransfection” (TNT for short) which enables injured or aging tissue to be repaired or restored, including blood vessels, nerve cells and entire organs.

TNT technology has two major components: First is a nanotechnology-based chip designed to deliver cargo to adult cells in a live body. Second is the design of specific biological cargo for cell conversion. TNT doesn’t require any laboratory-based procedures and is also non-invasive.

“By using our novel nanochip technology, injured or compromised organs can be replaced. We have shown that skin is a fertile land where we can grow the elements of any organ that is declining,” writes the study’s co-lead, Dr. Chandan Sen, director of Ohio State’s Center for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Based Therapies. The next step for the Ohio researchers is clinical trials next year to test this technology in humans.

In fraction of a second, TNT injects genetic code into the skin, turning those cells into other types of cells required for treating diseased conditions, generating any cell type of interest for treatment within the patient’s own body. This is key to the concept of a human-robot baby whose genetic information comes from both “parents,” the robot as well as the human. The skin cells used to derive the sperm and egg which start the embryonic process, already contain genetic information from the human parent. But what of genetic information derived from the robot parent?

Robot genes

To answer this question, let us consider the research of a South Korean team lead by Jong-Hwan Kim, a pioneer in robotics. In 2005, Kim and his team at the Robot Intelligence Technology Lab in Korea’s Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) published a paper in which they describe an artificial creature called Rity, living in a virtual world. They used Rity to test the world’s first robotic chromosomes—a set of computerized DNA codes for creating artificial creatures that can have their own personality, and can ultimately reproduce their own kind or even evolve as a distinct species. The effectiveness of the Korean team’s artificial chromosomes was demonstrated by implanting genetic code into two Rity robots living in a virtual world, in order to specify their personality.

In 2007, the Korean team applied for a patent for their “genetic robot” invention. The patent describes in some detail how the research team model their software robot based on established biological inheritance laws, including those propounded by Gregor Mendel, who lived from 1822 to 1884, the founding father of the modern study of genetics.

When a sperm and egg meet, their respective DNAs combine so that half of our DNA comes from our mother and half from our father. We need to understand how the Korean model operates in order to understand how a human-robot baby can be created with genetic codes derived partly from a robot. The team define their “genetic robot” as an artificial creature, a software robot, or a general robot that has its own “genetic codes,” the genetic code of a robot being a single robot genome composed of multiple artificial chromosomes.

The genetic codes are classified into “personality genes” related to the internal state of the software robot, and “outward genes” related to its outward appearance. The outward genes provide pieces of outward genetic information that determine the outward appearance of the software robot, such as its face and its eyes. The personality genes provide fundamental genetic information, internal state genetic information, and behavior determination genetic information, and they dictate the robot’s personality by determining changes in its internal states, including changes in the robot’s motivations, its homeostasis, and its emotions, and changes in the corresponding behaviour manifestations as the robot interacts with its external environment.

The term “fundamental genetic information” refers to fundamental parameters, for example volatility, which have a great effect on changes to the robot’s internal states and external behaviours. The internal state genetic information comprises parameters that affect the internal state of the robot in relation to how it is affected by external inputs to the robot. The behavior determination genetic information refers to parameters that determine the robot’s external behaviours based on its current internal states.

So to summarize their invention, the multiple artificial chromosomes implanted in the Korean software robot dictate the individual personality characteristics peculiar to that robot, which in turn governs how the robot’s internal states change, including its motivation, homeostasis, emotion, and its behavior resulting from those changes while it is interacting with its external environment.

The Korean team’s patent application also summarizes their method for passing on genetic information from a robot “parent” to its robot “offspring.” The genetic codes of one or more software robots are used as the genetic codes of a pair of parent software robots, and new genetic information is created by combining genetic information from paired homologous chromosomes – information provided by the genetic codes of the parent software robots. The combining is conducted according to a predetermined gene crossover rule.

The Korean invention allows the user to design a genetic code for a software robot easily and intuitively and to design genetic codes for various software robots by crossover. It also enables a user to easily modify or construct a genetic code for a software robot by providing both a changing function for intuition traits and a software robot crossover function. This exercise in genetic engineering is used to create software robot offspring with the desired personality features.

It cannot be a huge step to translate the genetic code format generated by the Korean algorithm, into the genetic code format employed in the Ohio TNT chip, thereby allowing researchers to specify personality traits and physical characteristics to be passed from a robot parent to a human-robot baby.

Robot-human offspring

Suddenly the very real possibility has appeared on the horizon of the robots of the future manipulating human skin cells to create human sperm and human eggs, and from them, using the Ohio discovery of TNT as the basis, creating an entire human-robot baby whose embryo can be nurtured and carried through pregnancy by a mother surrogate. By injecting genetic code into skin cells à la TNT, the Ohio researchers have paved the way for the genetic code of a robot, containing some of the characteristics of the robot, to be passed on to its offspring along with human genetic code. This is how I believe it will be possible, within the foreseeable future, for humans and robots to make babies together.

Will this happen in my lifetime? Probably not, as I am 72. But given the phenomenal rate of discovery and progress in the fields of cell biology and nanotechnology, I think it is likely to happen before the end of this century.

There are all sorts of ethical questions relating to such a use of genetic engineering as part of the process to create babies.

These implications were put somewhat into perspective in a post on human genetic engineering by Renuka Sivapatham, a graduate student at the University of Southern Denmark. DNA editing techniques have been available for decades and are crucial tools for understanding gene functions and molecular pathways. Recently, genome editing has stepped back into the limelight because of newer technologies that can quickly and efficiently modify genomes by introducing or genetically correcting mutations in human cells and animal models.

Genome editing technologies have come a long way and have already advanced towards mammalian models and clinical trials in humans. These results force scientists to question the future and the implications of such powerful technology. Should we accept the genetic engineering of human embryos? If yes, when and in what capacity should we accept it?

Prominent scientists in the field have already initiated conversations regarding the ethical implications that arise when modifying the human genome. Preventing genetic diseases by human genetic engineering is inevitable. The slippery slope is if, and when, we start to use it for cosmetic changes such as eye color or for improving a desired athletic trait. A perfect example is surgery, which we have performed for hundred years for disease purposes and is now widely used as a cosmetic tool. Opening the doors for the genetic engineering of human embryos could, with time, lead to genetic manipulation for desirable traits, raising the fear of creating a eugenic driven human population.

Who are we to manipulate nature? For those who suffer from genetic diseases, the answer is not so simple. If we can safely prevent severe genetic diseases and create healthy humans, why not manipulate nature?

At this time the long-term effects of genome editing remain unknown, raising additional questions. As the field progresses, with appropriate regulations and guidelines, it will eventually co-exist alongside other major controversial topics like nuclear power and genetically modified organisms. Since ethics are different across the world, creating international guidelines will be a challenge, but a necessity. Strict regulations are in place for nuclear power, the same should be possible for the genetic engineering of human embryos. To outlaw genetic engineering entirely will be potentially declining a place at the discussion table, as the further utilization of such technologies is unlikely to be abandoned. (Click to Source)

Excerpted from “Can Robots and Humans Make Babies Together?”, keynote speech of the third International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots, delivered in London on Dec. 20.

Former Pentagon official confirms: UFOs “proved beyond reasonable doubt”

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(Natural News) For decades scores of people from around the world have sworn that they have seen alien spacecraft from outer space. No small amount of those sightings have occurred in the United States.

Yet each time the “official” word from our government has been that “alien beings” don’t exist because we’re all alone: No life exists in any other galaxy, those known and unknown, except human life.

That never sounded reasonable to most people, mind you, and with good reason. There is simply no way of knowing what form of life exists “out there” in space because it is so vast, we’ve yet to scratch the surface. Plus, it is the pinnacle of human arrogance to believe that because we can’t travel great distances through space, nothing else can, either.

Now, however, all doubts about whether other life forms exist has been erased by a former Pentagon intelligence officer who says there is convincing evidence that we’re not alone in the universe.

As reported by the UK’s Telegraph, Luis Elizondo, who once headed a secret U.S. government effort called the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP), says there exists evidence of highly advanced aircraft using technology that no nation on earth possesses.

In fact, he says the existence of such technology has been “proved beyond reasonable doubt.”

Elizondo ran the AATIP until October of this year from an office on the fifth floor of the Pentagon, which was funded with $22 million in “black ops money” from Congress. It was a real-life X-Files program which began in 2007 and has since been confirmed by the Defense Department.

In an interview with the Telegraph, Elizondo said a lot of things he could talk about were still classified, including whether or not he and his team had examined UFO (unidentified flying object) sightings around the world, or whether they had talked to any witnesses to such sightings.

“I’m not at liberty to discuss that,” he told the paper. “But we took a very comprehensive approach. Nothing was too small to investigate.”

However, he did say this: “In my opinion, if this was a court of law, we have reached the point of ‘beyond reasonable doubt.’ I hate to use the term UFO but that’s what we’re looking at.

“I think it’s pretty clear this is not us, and it’s not someone else, so one has to question where they’re from,” he added.

And while the precise number of sightings investigated as well as witnesses interviewed are also classified, the former Pentagon X-Files investigator said there has been “lots.” (Related: Americans will welcome ET visitation, says psychologist.)

He also said that his team found geographical “hot spots” during their probes, sometimes near nuclear facilities and power plants. Common factors of the movements of UFOs were also identified by the investigators, he said.

“It was enough where we began to see trends and similarities in incidents,” he said. “There were very distinct observables. Extreme maneuverability, hypersonic velocity without a sonic boom, speeds of 7-8,000mph, no flight surfaces on the objects. A lot of this is backed with radar signal data, gun camera footage from aircraft, multiple witnesses.

“There was never any display of hostility but the way they maneuvered, in ways no one else in the world had, you have to be conscious something could happen,” he added ominously.

It could just be that whatever or whoever was flying those crafts knew nothing earthlings could send against them was a serious threat.

In any event, after reports outed Elizondo’s program, attention shifted to the release of footage shot by a U.S. Navy pilot off San Diego in 2004.

Cmdr. David Fravor was flying an F/A-18 near the object and reported seeing a “white Tic Tac, about 40 feet long with no wings” that demonstrated out-of-this-world speed and maneuver capabilities.

As for the crafts themselves, Elizondo told the Telegraph: “I think it’s pretty clear it’s not us, and it’s not anyone else” flying them. (Click to Source)

Stay current on this and related stories at Unexplained.news.

J.D. Heyes is editor of The National Sentinel and a senior writer for Natural News and News Target.

F-18 fighter plane captures stunning UFO on video… government admits UFO research is real

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(Natural News) Following the release of a new report from The New York Times (NYT) about efforts by the United States government to investigate unidentified flying objects (UFOs) as a potential threat to national security, some amazing video footage has now been released suggesting that this threat may be more imminent than previously thought.

There have been at least two separate incidents now in which a U.S. Navy F/A-18 fighter jet apparently captured infrared video footage of what appears to be UFOs flying around in space. The one video contains audio of a conversation between the pilot and his weapons officer, both of whom sound flabbergasted over what they saw before their very eyes. The second video actually shows the plane’s radar apparatus locking onto the UFO, which is seen moving so quickly that it disappears offscreen before it can be fully tracked.

In an interview with NPR, portions of which were relayed by PJ Media‘s Rick Moran, an intelligence officer by the name of Luis Elizondo who headed up the Pentagon program responsible for probing UFOs explained how the intelligence asset is often unsure about what it sees flying in the sky – and this anomalous footage is no exception.

“If you’re asking my personal opinion from here, look, I’ve got to be honest with you, I don’t know where it’s from. But we’re pretty sure it’s not here,” Elizondo is quoted as saying, noting that the objects seen often move and rotate with almost magic-like ease and speed.

“Now does that mean it’s ‘out there?’ Whether or not it’s Russian or Chinese inside or little green men from Mars or frankly your neighbor’s dog, I wanted to purposely steer away from that because I wanted to focus on truly the raw science: what were we seeing and did it pose a threat to national security.”

Is Big Brother faking ‘disclosure’ in order to pull of a massive ‘cosmic false flag’ attack?

As interesting as this all might seem – the video and audio captured speak for themselves – the release of this information at a time such as this in human history is potentially suspect. That’s because, with things seemingly heating up in the space realm these days, it seems just a little bit too convenient that Big Brother has chosen now to suggest that UFOs may, indeed, be real.

Dr. Stephen Greer from Sirius Disclosure is one such skeptic who believes that the UFO and “extraterrestrial” narrative is all a ruse by the government to cover for manufactured false flag events of a cosmic nature that could one day be used to fake an alien invasion.

According to Dr. Greer, a large percentage of the so-called “UFO” events that are being witnessed or reported around the world do not originate from outer space. In his opinion, these are manufactured events by humans – mainly the military industrial complex – to trick humanity into believing that the world is being invaded by ET beings from other planets or galaxies.

What would be the purpose of this? In the view of Dr. Greer, certain government entities might try to use it as a cover in the event that enough people in society become awakened to the truth of things and start to challenge the status quo.

“If someone tries to stage an event, we’re all going to call it out as the hoax that it is… and not go along with that what I’m calling ‘scripted Armageddon,’” Dr. Greer is quoted as saying.

“They would love to see a shut down of our civilization and the extermination of about five billion people, through a conflict that they will stage, and they will manufacture Armageddon … the big one is going to be the launch of a hoaxed attack on the planet that would look 100% like an extraterrestrial event … and it is not.” (Click to Source)

Follow more news on UFOs at UFOs.news.

‘I want to help humans genetically modify themselves’

Former Nasa biochemist Josiah Zayner became an online sensation by conducting DIY gene therapy on himself. He explains why he did it.

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Josiah Zayner, 36, recently made headlines by becoming the first person to use the revolutionary gene-editing tool Crispr to try to change their own genes. Part way through a talk on genetic engineering, Zayner pulled out a syringe apparently containing DNA and other chemicals designed to trigger a genetic change in his cells associated with dramatically increased muscle mass. He injected the DIY gene therapy into his left arm, live-streaming the procedure on the internet.

The former Nasa biochemist, based in California, has become a leading figure in the growing “biohacker” movement, which involves loose collectives of scientists, engineers, artists, designers, and activists experimenting with biotechnology outside of conventional institutions and laboratories.

Despite warnings from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that selling gene therapy products without regulatory approval is illegal, Zayner sells kits that allow anyone to get started with basic genetic engineering techniques, and has published a free guide for others who want to take it further and experiment on themselves.

Was administering a dose of Crispr on yourself an experiment, or a stunt to show what amateur scientists/biohackers can do?
Both. The technical feasibility of what I did is not under question – researchers have done this many times, in all sorts of animals. But there’s a barrier – people are afraid of it, and just talk about the possibilities in humans. I wanted to break that down, to say “Hey look, the tools are inexpensive, and somebody with a bit of knowledge can actually go through with these experiments”.

I chose to start with the gene for myostatin [a protein that regulates muscle growth], because it has been extensively studied, and it produces an obvious change if it has worked.

So, how is your arm looking?
In similar experiments with animals, you only start to see results after four to six months of treatment. I would expect that the DNA in some of the cells of my arm has changed, but I am still working on developing assays [tests] to try and detect that. As to whether the actual size of the muscle changes, I’m more sceptical.

Changing the way one gene behaves can have a huge number of knock-on effects on the way other genes are regulated or expressed. Do you really know what you’re doing?
It’s a good question. These things are complicated, and obviously with things like this there are lots of unknowns. I look at what the possible negative outcomes are and ask: “Are those risks insignificant enough that I’m willing to undertake this experiment?” Based on the data I read, for a local injection the answer was yes. A treatment that blocks myostatin throughout the whole body? That would be much more hazardous – you would be messing with the muscles of your heart.

You support the idea of people attempting gene therapy and other experimental procedures on themselves. What’s wrong with the existing system, where treatments are thoroughly tested by professionals before being approved for use?
If we’re going to do these experiments you have to balance two things: how many people can possibly die from testing their own products or making them available prematurely, versus how many people have genetic disorders and are just dying because they don’t have access to them. I think there’s a huge imbalance, where we’re overprotective of hurting people instead of offering a chance to millions of people who are dying right now.

As human beings we’re very big on freedoms, equality, equal rights. What’s more of an equal right than being able to control what genes we have? I think people should be able to choose that. I’m not saying anything I can do can help treat people, but treating things genetically is the ultimate medicine.

I grew up in the 90s with the computer hacker movement, the development of the internet – the whole open-source movement was amazing. Who created Linux, the most used operating system ever? Not students from Harvard or Cambridge, but Linus Torvalds, a student in Finland working in his apartment.

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I don’t think for a second I’m going to be the mastermind behind a great biotech revolution, but I think there’s some brilliant person waiting to be discovered out there that could be.

In another recent biohacking experiment, a man injected himself with an unproven gene-therapy treatment for HIV which had been developed by biohacking startup Ascendence Biomedical. What do you know about what they are doing, and do you support their approach?
I think they’re at a lot more risk because they are trying to work in the medical field, saying they can cure people. I think that starts to get a little more ethically and morally sketchy, and the government will certainly crack down on that.

The reason we have hospitals is that it’s not just one random person giving you their opinion; there is oversight, checks and balances. When people start proposing new treatments without data to back them up or without consulting people, I think “Hey, be smart”. Get a second opinion, third opinion, ask doctors, ask other biohackers. Trying a therapy that doesn’t work instead of your medication obviously could be worse.

The problem is, it’s like the freedom of speech thing: it sucks sometimes. If I say I want the freedom to test something on myself, it means everybody does – even people who are stupid or want to do crazy stuff.

But if you say people should experiment on themselves outside of the traditional clinical trial system, surely that’s exactly what will happen? There will be a grey area where people are halfway there, or guessing what the effects will be.
Yeah. I don’t know – honestly, I would never put me in charge of running this stuff for the FDA or the government. I think there are people who know how to make the rules to protect the most amount of people.

People are going to get hurt with this stuff and I feel ethically terrible about that, and I don’t know how to prevent it. I see these instances of people doing crazy stuff and I’m like, “No, that’s not what I meant! Why are you injecting things in your eyeballs?”.

I have this very libertarian side of me that says people have the right to do whatever they want with their bodies. But I also have this part of me that says “Be knowledgeable! Base it on scientific data!”

What do your family think of what you do?
I usually hide stuff I’m about to do from them, in case they try and talk me out of it. If I decide to do something, it’s because I’ve carefully weighed up the pros and cons. They won’t understand how much research I’ve done. My mom supports me, but thinks I’m crazy. She was so sad when I left Nasa.

Last year, you performed a DIY faecal transplant on yourself. How did that go?
Yes, I did a DIY faecal transplant to help with my gut health issues. It still blows my mind the effect it had, and DNA samples showed I did manage to change the makeup of my gut bacteria. I don’t exactly recommend the course of action I took, because there are safer alternatives to DIY. But if people have no access to those I support their choice to try it. Faeces is quite strictly regulated in the US, like a drug, so people travel to the UK where there are clinics.

Where do you and other biohackers get the equipment, tools and chemicals to conduct genetic engineering at home? 
People don’t know that generally the same resources that are available to scientists are available to non-scientists. I can just order DNA online and they ship it to my house. If I want to get some sequencing done I send it off to a company and they’ll do it for me. It’s really inexpensive – we’re talking $6 to get a sample sequenced, or $10 to get a piece of DNA.

What are you working on next? 
We have always been slaves to the genomes we have, and giving people the ability to change that almost changes what it means to be human. It seems so sci-fi and made up, but we’ve been genetically modifying humans with gene therapy since the 1990s – it’s just been very few people and for medical reasons. I want to help humans genetically modify themselves.

If DIY genetic engineering becomes commonplace, as you hope, what do you think the world will be like in the future?
To me it’s like Blade Runner, where he goes into that back-alley science lab and there’s the guy making eyes. I imagine people going to some place like a tattoo parlour, and instead of getting a tattoo they pick out some DNA that makes them muscly, or changes the colour of their hair or eyes.

DNA defines what a species is, and I imagine it wouldn’t be too long into the future when the human species almost becomes a new species because of these modifications.

When scientists first started altering DNA just to make, say, tomatoes ripen differently, there was immense public concern. Do you expect the general public is going to be supportive of people modifying any organism, including people, in any way they can, in their garage?
The whole thing with GMOs [genetically modified organisms] was that it was “us and them”. They have the power to modify plants and we don’t know what they’re doing, and have no control over it, and so we are against it. This technology that I’m trying to do is for all of us. Whether you’re a big corporation or somebody in their basement, you have access to this stuff – everybody does. People respond very positively to that. We’ll see what happens. I’m sure we’ll get a different response when people are doing it every day, or when the first person decides to try and give themselves a tail or something. (Click to Source)

Coptic diocese says hundreds attack church in Egypt

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CAIRO (AP) — Hundreds of Muslim demonstrators attacked an unlicensed church south of Cairo wounding three people, an Egyptian Coptic Christian diocese said on Saturday, in the latest assault on members of the country’s Christian minority.

The incident took place after Friday prayers when dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the building and stormed it. The demonstrators chanted hostile slogans and called for the church’s demolition, the diocese in Atfih said. The demonstrators destroyed the church’s contents and assaulted Christians inside before security personnel arrived and dispersed them.

The wounded were transferred to a nearby hospital, the diocese said after the attack, without elaborating.

A media coordinator at the diocese, the Rev. Yehnes Youssef, said later on Saturday that three Copts were wounded but have been treated.

The church in Giza just outside of Cairo is yet to be sanctioned by the state but has been holding prayers for 15 years. The diocese said it had officially sought to legalize the building’s status under a 2016 law that laid down the rules for building churches.

Local authorities often refuse to issue building permits for new churches, fearing protests by hardline Muslim. Christians sometimes build churches illegally or set up churches in other buildings.

Christians constitute around 10 percent of Egypt’s predominantly Muslim population. Sectarian violence erupts occasionally, mainly in rural communities in the south.

Egypt’s Christian minority has been targeted by Islamic militants in a series of attacks since December 2016 that left more than 100 dead and scores wounded. The country has been under a state of emergency since April after suicide bombings struck two Coptic Christian churches on Palm Sunday in an attack that was claimed by the local affiliate of the Islamic State group. (Click to Source)

Checkmate humanity: In four hours, a robot taught itself chess, then beat a grandmaster with moves never devised in the game’s 1,500-year history and the implications are terrifying

 

  • Robot taught itself chess in just four hours and learned moves never seen before
  • Oxford academic: AI could go rogue and become too complex for engineers
  • AlphaZero surpassed years of human knowledge in just a few hours of chess 

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Will robots one day destroy us? It’s a question that increasingly preoccupies many of our most brilliant scientists and tech entrepreneurs.

For developments in artificial intelligence (AI) — machines programmed to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence — are poised to reshape our workplace and leisure time dramatically.

This year, a leading Oxford academic, Professor Michael Wooldridge, warned MPs that AI could go ‘rogue’, that machines might become so complex that the engineers who create them will no longer understand them or be able to predict how they function.

Yes, it’s a concern, but a ‘historic’ new development makes unpredictable decisions by AI machines the least of our worries. And it all started with a game of chess.

AlphaZero, an AI computer program, this month proved itself to be the world’s greatest ever chess champion, thrashing a previous title-holder, another AI system called Stockfish 8, in a 100-game marathon.

So far, so nerdy, and possibly something only chess devotees or computer geeks might get excited about.

But what’s so frighteningly clever about AlphaZero is that it taught itself chess in just four hours. It was simply given the rules and — crucially — instructed to learn how to win by playing against itself.

In doing so, it assimilated hundreds of years of chess knowledge and tactics — but then went on to surpass all previous human invention in the game.

In those 240 minutes of practice, the program not only taught itself how to play but developed tactics that are unbeatably innovative — and revealed its startling ability to trounce human intelligence. Some of its winning moves had never been recorded in the 1,500 years that human brains have pitted wits across the chequered board.

Employing your King as an attacking piece? Unprecedented. But AlphaZero wielded it with merciless self-taught logic.

Garry Kasparov, the grandmaster who was famously defeated by IBM’s supercomputer Deep Blue in 1997 when it was pre-programmed with the best moves, said: ‘The ability of a machine to surpass centuries of human knowledge . . . is a world-changing tool.’

Simon Williams, the English grandmaster, claimed this was ‘one for the history books’ and joked: ‘On December 6, 2017, AlphaZero took over the chess world . . . eventually solving the game and finally enslaving the human race as pets.’

The wider implications are indeed chilling, as I will explain.

AlphaZero was born in London, the brainchild of a UK company called DeepMind, which develops computer programs that learn for themselves. It was bought by Google for £400 million in 2014.

The complex piece of programming that created AlphaZero can be more simply described as an algorithm — a set of mathematical instructions or rules that can work out answers to problems.

The other term for it is a ‘deep machine learning’ tool. The more data that an AI such as AlphaZero processes, the more it teaches itself — by reprogramming itself with the new knowledge.

In this way, its problem-solving powers become stronger all the time, multiplying its intelligence at speeds and scales far beyond the abilities of a human brain. As a result it is unconstrained by the limits of human thinking, as its success in chess proved.

But the real purpose of such artificial intelligence goes far beyond playing board games against other boxes of silicon chips. It is already starting to make life-or-death decisions in the high-tech world of cancer diagnosis.

It is being trialled at NHS hospitals in London, including University College London Hospital (UCLH) and Moorfields Eye Hospital.

At UCLH, a system is being developed in which an AI developed by DeepMind will analyse scans of patients with cancers of the head and neck, which afflict more than 11,000 people a year in the UK.

Google experts say the AI should be able to teach itself to read these scans ever quicker and more accurately than any human, so radiation can be more precisely targeted at tumours while minimising damage to healthy tissues in the brain and neck. What currently takes doctors and radiologists four hours could be done in less than an hour.

Meanwhile, at Moorfields, a DeepMind AI will analyse the 3,000 or so high-tech eye scans carried out each week. Currently, only a handful of experts can interpret the results, which may cause delays in treatment. It is believed that AI will be able to identify problem scans faster.

On the surface, it looks like a win-win for patients and the NHS. But there are major issues. The first is privacy — the London hospital trials have involved handing over the scans of more than a million NHS patients to Google.

This is causing alarm among privacy campaigners and academics. Dr Julia Powles, who works on technology law and policy at Cambridge University, says ‘Google is getting a free pass for swift and broad access into the NHS, on the back of unproven promises of efficiency and innovation’.

Dr Powles adds: ‘We do not know — and have no power to find out — what Google and DeepMind are really doing with NHS patient data.’

Google has tried to address the criticisms of its project by declaring that all data access will be subject to NHS monitoring, but this is an organisation that has long had to contend with allegations of prying into people’s data for commercial advantage.

It faces court action in the UK over claims it unlawfully harvested information from 5.4 million UK users by bypassing privacy settings on their iPhones. The group taking action, called Google You Owe Us, alleges Google placed ‘cookies’ (used to collect information from devices to deliver tailored adverts) on users’ phones without their knowledge or permission.

Google has responded: ‘This is not new. We don’t believe it has any merit and we will contest it.’

But the insertion of a super-intelligent AI into NHS decision-making procedures brings an infinitely more worrying concern.

It is an open secret that the NHS effectively rations access to care — through waiting lists, bed numbers and limiting availability of drugs and treatments — as it will never have enough funds to give everyone the service they need.

The harsh reality is that some deserving people lose out.

The harsher alternative is to be coldly rational by deciding who and who not to treat. It would be most cost-effective to exterminate terminally ill or even chronically ill patients, or sickly children. Those funds would be better spent on patients who might be returned to health — and to productive, tax-paying lives.

This is, of course, an approach too repugnant for civilised societies to contemplate. But decision-making AIs such as AlphaZero don’t use compassionate human logic because it gets in the way. (The ‘Zero’ in that program’s name indicates it needs no human input.)

The same sort of computer mind that can conjure up new chess moves might easily decide that the most efficient way to streamline the health service would be to get rid of the vulnerable and needy.

How we keep control of deep learning machines that will soon be employed in every area of our lives is a challenge that may well prove insurmountable. Already top IT experts warn that deep-learning algorithms can run riotously out of control because we don’t know what they’re teaching themselves.

And the programs can develop distinctly worrying ideas. A system developed in America for probation services to predict the risk of parole-seekers reoffending was recently discovered to have quickly become unfairly racially biased.

DeepMind certainly acknowledges the potential for problems. In October it launched a research team to investigate the ethics of AI decision-making. The team has eight full-time staff at the moment, but DeepMind wants to have around 25 in a year’s time.

But, one wonders, are 25 human minds enough to take on the super-intelligent, constantly learning and strategising powers of a monstrously developed AI?

The genie is out of the bottle. In building a machine that may revolutionise healthcare, we have created a system that can out-think us in a trice. It’s a marvel of human ingenuity. But we must somehow ensure that we stay in charge — or it may be checkmate for humanity. (Click to Source)

 

 

Top official reveals UFOs exist, and they’re “often being reported” over nuclear power plants… “We’d never seen anything like it” — Military: “Ominous correlation” between sightings and atomic sites — TV: “Mystery intruders over nuke facilities”

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CNN, Dec 18, 2017 (emphasis added): A former Pentagon official who led a recently revealed government program to research potential UFOs said Monday evening that he believes there is evidence of alien life reaching Earth. “My personal belief is that there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone,” Luis Elizondo said… “We found a lot,” Elizondo said. The former Pentagon official said they… were “seemingly defying the laws of aerodynamics… maneuvering in ways that include extreme maneuverability beyond, I would submit, the healthy G-forces of a human or anything biological”…

New York Times, Dec 16, 2017: By 2009, [Sen. Harry] Reid decided that the program had made such extraordinary discoveries that he argued for heightened security… A 2009 Pentagon briefing summary of the program prepared by its director at the time asserted that “what was considered science fiction is now science fact,” and that the United States was incapable of defending itself against some of the technologies discovered…

The Independent, Dec 19, 2017: US government recovered materials from unidentified flying object it ‘does not recognise’ … Materials, which are alleged to have “amazing properties”, are being stored in modified buildings in Las Vegas, the New York Times reports… “They have some material from these objects that is being studied, so that scientists can try to figure out what accounts for their amazing properties,” Ralf Blumenthal, one of the authors of the New York Times report, told MSNBC. Mr Blumenthal said the DoD “do not know” what the materials are made of. “It’s some sort of compound they do not recognise,” he added…

Politico, Dec 16, 2017: The sightings, [Luis Elizondo (official in charge of the Pentagon’s program)] told POLITICO, were often reported in the vicinity of nuclear facilities, either ships at sea or power plants. “We had never seen anything like it.”.

KLAS, Jul 7, 2016: A group of more than 150 military veterans, missile officers, and security personnel, including many who worked at the Nevada Test Site, say they’ve seen mystery intruders over nuclear facilities… The I-Team’s own Freedom of Information Act request filed in 1992 produced a thick stack of documents from the Department of Energy, indicating UFO incidents over every major atomic weapons facility

Documentary – UFOs and Nukes (IMDb), 2016: (at 3:30 in) Declassified US government documents reveal that as early as December 1948 incursions by mysterious aerial objects later referred to as UFOs began to occur at American nuclear laboratories… (at 13:00 in) According to military intelligence officers, a worrisome pattern had begun to emerge. On July 1, 1952, Look Magazine featured an article “Hunt for the flying saucer” about the air force’s new UFO investigations group Project Blue Book and noted that its director first lieutenant Edward Ruppelt had plotted 63 unexplained sightings on a map of the United States. At that point it was discovered that a quote “ominous correlation” existed between some of the sightings and the location of various atomic weapons installations.

Look Magazine, Jul 1, 1952:  Ruppelt keeps 63 sightings on the top of his file… These sightings were pinpointed on a map.  Soon afterwards, it was seen by a Pentagon representative who noted that a number of concentrations duplicated exactly the area of atomic energy installations. The Pentagon man excitedly reported back to his headquarters.  A conference was called immediately in Washington. (Click to Source)

DARPA Can Exterminate Humanity: ‘You Could Feasibly WIPE OUT The Human Race’

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One of the most dangerous experiments that mankind has ever embarked upon is DARPA’s desire for gene drive technology. Scientists now have the knowledge and the tools they need to create and deliver “Doomsday genes” which can selectively target and exterminate an entire species.

According to Sputnik News, and as previously reported by SHTFPlan,  the United States highly-secretive and advanced military research body DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) announced that it will invest tens of millions of dollars into genetic extinction research. While the official aim of this research is said to be fighting harmful insects, like mosquitos which carry Malaria, there are significantly darker implications and speculations surrounding the possible use of such a tool.

Joe Joseph of The Daily Sheeple said a quick Google search would give you enough information to let you know how horrific this kind of technology can be. “…and you’ll find it fascinating just at how unbelievable a weapon this could be, how unintentionally mistakes can be made that can cause irreversible damage…irreparable damage…to the human race. And I mean, FAST!” Joseph said. “A gene drive…if let’s just say there’s a mistake, you could feasibly wipe out the human race in a very very short period of time. It’s an unbelievable tool at the disposal of madmen.”

Emails released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), suggest that the U.S.’s uber-secretive military body, DARPA, has become the world’s largest funder of this “gene drive” research.

Silvia Ribeiro, Latin America director of the ETC Group, an international organization dedicated to the conservation and sustainable advancement of cultural and ecological diversity and human rights, said:  “When it is developed under an umbrella of a military research, you get a clear notion that there can be a dual purpose of this research.”

Jim Thomas, a co-director of the ETC group which obtained the emails, said the US military’s influence in furthering this technology would strengthen the case for a moratorium. “The dual-use nature of altering and eradicating entire populations is as much a threat to peace and food security as it is a threat to ecosystems,” he said. “Militarization of gene drive funding may even contravene the Enmod convention against hostile uses of environmental modification technologies.”

But while we are on the subject of UN bans, the sanctions they placed on North Korea are being willfully ignored by the rogue regime.  It stands to reason that should a military seek the use of this technology, they will also defy the UN’s “authority.” –SHTFPlan

Humanity is known for making mistakes, but we can’t come back from an extinction of our own making. “You can call it a ‘tool’ all day, [but] it’s a weapon,” says Joseph. (Click to Source)

Did an alien probe enter our solar system? Asteroid ‘Oumuamua could be artificial, extraterrestrial investigators suggest

Lost interstellar asteroid enters solar system

It could turn out to be the greatest discovery humanity has ever made. Scientists are planning to investigate a mysterious cigar-shaped asteroid which entered our solar system to see if it’s an alien probe. The strange space rock has been named A/2017 U1, or ‘Oumuamua, and is the first asteroid seen arriving in our galactic neighbourhood after speeding through interstellar space – the name for the blank and vast void between stars. The 400 metre-long asteroid may have been travelling through space on its lonely journey for hundreds of millions of years before it was snared by the sun’s gravitational pull. But scientists from Breakthrough Listen project think there’s a small chance it’s a spaceship built by some advanced civilisation.

 

A telescope will now be trained on the object to see whether it’s producing any signals – which would indicate it’s alien in origin – or whether it’s just a plain old asteroid on a solitary path through the heavens. The unidentified object is up to 800 metres long but very thin and elongated. It is bright red and appears to have been blasted by cosmic rays. It zoomed through the solar system at a speed of about 60,000 miles per hour before catapulting out into space again to continue its solitary trek between the stars. However, its strange shape offers few clues about how it was formed, boosting speculation about its artificial origins. Could it actually be a reconnaissance craft sent out by an alien mothership?

 

Avi Loeb, an astrophysicist from Harvard University thinks there’s a small chance that the asteroid could finally reveal whether humanity is alone in the universe. ‘Perhaps the aliens have a mothership that travels fast and releases baby spacecraft that freely fall into planetary systems on a reconnaissance mission,’ Loeb told Scientific American. ‘In such a case, we might be able to intercept a communication signal between the different spacecraft.’ Sadly, the alien hunters aren’t getting too excited. Oumuamua appears to be zooming through space without any external propulsion, suggesting it’s natural in origin, and so far it has not produced any radio signals. Experts recently suggested it could be the wreckage of a destroyed planet. (Click to Source)