It's Time . . | Technology Translation Projects & Adaptive Communities – Closing the Functional GapIt's Time . . | Technology Translation Projects & Adaptive Communities – Closing the Functional Gap

Technology Translation Projects & Adaptive Communities - Closing the Functional Gap

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Bots are about to get better at customer support than humans

Bots Are About to Get Better at Customer Support Than Humans

Thanks to machine learning, AI-enabled bots could gain a competitive advantage over human chat exchanges

Rune Fisker

In 2018, AI-enabled bots will provide a better customer experience than human-to-human chat exchange, following the explosion of messaging services that have changed the way companies interact with their customers. Today, more than two billion messages are exchanged between people and companies every month on Facebook Messenger alone. Other major players have been investing heavily in the space, creating platforms to support companies in their pursuits to engage customers where they are and in the way they prefer. In 2018, this will give rise to AI customer-service agents that we are happy to deal with.

However, many organisations will fail to create the customer experience they desire because of a fundamental misunderstanding of human-to-machine interaction. In their belief that human agents give the best experience, many will develop messaging applications that stress person-to-person conversations. But companies will learn that using AI-powered bots, supported by human “escape hatches”, which seamlessly pass on the interaction to a human, will provide a vastly better experience than a standalone human-to-human exchange.

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AI Cyberattacks Will Be Almost Impossible for Humans to Stop

AI Cyberattacks Will be Almost Impossible for Humans to Stop

As cyberattacks become more refined, they will start mimicking our online traits. This will lead to a battle of the machines

Source WIRED:  AI cyberattacks will be almost impossible for humans to stop

 

As early as 2018, we can expect to see truly autonomous weaponised artificial intelligence that delivers its blows slowly, stealthily and virtually without trace. And 2018 will be the year of the machine-on-machine attack.

However, autonomous AIs are already starting to be deployed on another type of battlefield: digital networks. Today cyber-attackers are using AI technologies that help them not only infiltrate an IT infrastructure, but to stay on that network for months, perhaps years, without getting noticed.

In 2018, we can expect these algorithmic presences to use their intelligence to learn about their environments and blend in with the daily commotion of network activity. The drivers of these automated attacks may have a defined target – the blueprint designs of a new type of jet engine, say – or persist opportunistically, where the chance for money- or mischief-making avails itself. As they sustain their presence, they grow stronger in their inside knowledge of the network and its users and they build up control over data and entire systems.

AI will also attack us by impersonating people. We already have AI assistants that do our scheduling, email on our behalf and ask us what we’d like to order for lunch. But what happens if your AI assistant gets taken over by a malicious attacker? Or, indeed, what happens when weaponised AI is refined enough to convincingly impersonate a real person who you trust?

A stealthy, long-term AI presence on your network will have ample time to learn what your writing style is and how this differs depending on who you email, your contact base and the distinctions in professional and personal relationships based on the language you use and key themes in your conversations.

For example, you email your partner five times a day, particularly in the morning and afternoon. They sign their emails “X”. Your football team emails weekly with details for Saturday’s five-a-side games. They sign emails “Be there!”. This is fodder for AI.

As to what we should do about these malicious AIs: they will be too clever and stealthy to combat other than with other AIs. This is one arena we’ll have to give up control, not take it back.

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The Unemployment Conspiracy

Bruce Lesnick

JANUARY 1, 2018

Real unemployment in the US today hovers around 8.3%, afflicting more than 17 million people. This is roughly equivalent to the combined populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. Over one third of the working age population has given up looking for work.

On top of this, pundits project that many more jobs will be lost to automation in the near future, with computers and robots replacing as many as 49% of the jobs now done by humans. The mechanization of dirty, dangerous, repetitive, mind-numbing tasks should be a blessing. Instead, the future is described in apocalyptic terms. Why?

The problem is rooted in the disingenuous narrative we are fed. Jobs, so the story goes, are mysterious, ephemeral things, whose comings and goings are largely beyond our control. The number of available jobs has to vary independently from the work that needs to be done and the number of people available to do it, or so we are told.

There is plenty of work that needs to be done -converting our energy industry to renewables, repairing and enhancing infrastructure, building housing for all who need it, improving student-teacher ratios, increasing healthcare and eldercare staff, and so much more. And there are millions looking for useful work. The disconnect between people wanting to work, work that needs to be done and the number of jobs that happen to be available only occurs if the guiding principle for job availability is profit. But when the needs of society as a whole are prioritized over the needs of wealthy few at the top, then achieving permanent, full employment is a piece of cake.

Productivity at Our Service: Today, the putative standard is a forty-hour workweek, with a concomitant eight-hour day. But for more than half of US history, the workweek was longer. Not until 1898 did mineworkers win the eight-hour day. Two years later, the movement for a shorter workweek spread to the San Francisco Building Trades. By 1905, the eight-hour day was established coast-to-coast in the printing trades. The Ford Motor Company adopted the new shorter workweek in 1914. Railroad workers won the right in 1916. Only in 1937, with the adoption of the Fair Labor Standards Act, did the eight-hour day become the national standard. (While many today are compelled to work longer in order to make ends meet, the legal norm remains 40 hours.)

But since 1937, the productivity of American labor has increased more than six-fold! In other words, the value produced by a full day’s labor in 1937 would require less than two hours today.

So an obvious solution to unemployment presents itself: reduce the workweek with no reduction in pay.

If the workweek were reduced from 40 to 30 hours, it would create 53 million new jobs. This is more than three times the current number of unemployed. To fill all the remaining slots and maintain current production levels, we would have to plead with the governments of Mexico, Central America and elsewhere to send more immigrants our way!

Can we afford this? Absolutely. Up to now – and especially since 1973 – increases in productivity have been siphoned off as corporate profits and enriched only those at the top.

Implementing 30 hours work for 40 hours pay (“30-for-40”) would simply redirect newly produced wealth away from corporate profits and back into the pockets of those who produce it. Instead of all the benefits of automation and increased productivity going to the top 1%, 30-for-40 would allocate a greater share of those gains to working people.

Big Business Despises Full Employment Not only would using 30-for-40 to eliminate unemployment directly cut into corporate profits, there are other side effects that corporate behemoths hate but working people would love.

To begin with, full employment would strengthen the working class vis-à-vis the 1%. With abundant, well-paying jobs for all, there would be no one a recalcitrant company could hire as strikebreakers if the workers organized to withhold their labor. It would be more difficult to harass and victimize union organizers because, with full employment, all workers would be harder to replace.

What’s more, less time at work leaves more time for other things. This would include time for rest, recreation, attention to family and exploring creative endeavors. But it would also allow extra time for education, organizing, getting involved and fighting back. In a world imbalanced by massive economic, social and political inequality, allowing the majority more time for education and organization is the last thing those at the top want to see.

Jobs For All vs. Universal Basic Income: Of course, basic human solidarity demands that anyone who is old, sick, disabled or otherwise unable to work should be provided for at society’s expense, with their medical care fully covered and living expenses provided at union wage scales. This can easily be paid for by reallocating funds from the oppressive military budget and by taxing corporate profits. This policy should be combined with a guarantee of a job for all who are able to work.

Lately, some have promoted the notion of a Universal Basic Income (UBI). To the extent that a UBI were funded by redistributing wealth from those at the top to those below – a principle that is by no means guaranteed by the concept – a UBI could be a positive reform. But a UBI is no substitute for a guarantee of jobs for all. Why not?

First and foremost, labor is power. The only power that can counter the concentrated riches of the ruling oligarchs is the collective organization of millions of every-day working people, who, as it happens, produce all of society’s wealth. The root of working class power is the fact that the labor of millions of people generates the riches enjoyed by those at the top, as well as the considerably smaller share currently allocated to the majority. By withholding their labor en mass, working people have ultimate veto power over any government policy. Guaranteeing jobs for all strengthens the ties of working people to production, maximizing the number participating in the labor force and, thus, the number who have a hand on the lever of society’s productive apparatus. A UBI by itself, by contrast, does nothing to reinforce people’s connection to work – that is, to the fundamental engine of wealth creation.

In addition, the rate of any UBI will necessarily be too low. There is a built-in imperative for a UBI to be small enough to encourage people to work. In order to induce people to work at all, the UBI has to be inadequate (or “barely adequate”) to live on by itself. But in the absence of guaranteed jobs for all, “encouraging people to work” means compelling them to compete for an insufficient number of low paying positions. When the supply of labor exceeds its demand in available jobs, wages are driven down, all other things being equal. And if the UBI is to be low enough to encourage people to work, it must ultimately follow wages downward. So, contrary to the assertion of UBI boosters that it would exert upward pressure on wages, a UBI without a job guarantee is just as likely to lead to a race to the bottom.

A UBI is also susceptible to other kinds of manipulation. If a UBI is used to justify cuts to Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment compensation and other social programs, it’s all too easy for the programs replaced to be inadequately covered by the UBI, or for some sectors of the population to benefit at the expense of others.

A UBI can be used to pit employed workers against those without jobs. And, a UBI would do little to address conditions on the job or provide more than a palliative remedy for the unjust distribution of gains from increased automation and productivity.

Published in Daily Times, January 1st 2018.

From <https://dailytimes.com.pk/171303/the-unemployment-conspiracy/>

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The Goliath CNC Robot is a Autonomous Cutting Machine

“Goliath CNC can be positioned directly on the work surface: this innovative mode of operation makes it a machine tool with a boundless work area because it matches the workpiece’s surface,” said Frangi. “The user can design or download designs from online project libraries, then upload the drawing to Goliath and supervise the work progress by a computer, smartphone or tablet.”

Because the machine is portable you can build wherever you want and even drag it to job sites where it can cut out pieces automatically. It has automatic leveling so it doesn’t drill haphazardly.

“The concept of Goliath CNC was born at the beginning of 2014 as my thesis project for the Master Degree in Design & Engineering at the Politecnico of Milano,” said Frangi. “I wished to contribute somehow to the digital fabrication tools’ world, which together with the Maker movement pick my attention for the enthusiasm and great success reached – at least in Italy! – and especially dealing with 3D printing. I wanted to develop something able to manufacture real and quality materials, so I focused on CNC milling machines of a desktop size.”

 

While yes, this robot could become self-aware and start drilling everyone in its path, it’s clear that Frangi and his team have taken special care to only allow the Goliath to cut down through materials and not give it the ability to climb walls and zap our bodies… yet.

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Corporate Oligarchy Is Holding Back Social Advance


    Corporate Oligarchy Is Holding Back Social Advance


     
     
    We, as a People, have become more narrowly focused on two major political parties.
     
    Today, the two parties are being cultivated and more financially dependent upon large corporations and power manipulators, whose goals are profit and gain.
     
    Corporatocracy infringes on the independence of the People.
     
    We and our children can take part in the exciting rebirth not merely of obsolete thinking but the World Itself. Create it by our individual actions
     

    Act Non Partisan – Its Time..

     

     

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    How Governments Can Be Smart About AI

    10/21/2017.  Huffington Post

    The French MP and Fields medal award winner, Cédric Villani, officially auditioned Constance Bommelaer de Leusse, the Internet Society’s Senior Director, Global Internet Policy, on national strategies for the future of artificial intelligence (AI). In addition, the Internet Society was asked to send written comments, which are reprinted here.

    AI is not new, nor is it magic. It’s about algorithms

    “Intelligent” technology is already everywhere – such as spam filters or systems used by banks to monitor unusual activity and detect fraud – and it has been for some time. What is new and creating a lot of interest from governments stems from recent successes in a subfield of AI known as “machine learning,” which has spurred the rapid deployment of AI into new fields and applications. It is the result of a potent mix of data availability, increased computer power and algorithmic innovation that, if well harnessed, could double economic growth rates by 2035.

    So, governments’ reflection on what good policies should look like in this field is both relevant and timely. It’s also healthy for policymakers to organise a multistakeholder dialogue and empower their citizens to think critically about the future of AI and its impact on their professional and personal lives. In this regard, we welcome the French consultation.

    Our recommendations

    I had a chance to explain the principles the Internet Society believes should be at the heart of AI norms, whether driven by industry or governments:

    • Ethical considerations in deployment and design: AI system designers and builders need to apply a user-centric approach to the technology. They need to consider their collective responsibility in building AI systems that will not pose security risks to the Internet and its users.
    • Ensure interpretability of AI systems: Decisions made by an AI agent should be possible to understand, especially if they have implications for public safety or result in discriminatory practices.
    • Empower users: The public’s ability to understand AI-enabled services, and how they work, is key to ensuring trust in the technology.
    • Responsible deployment: The capacity of an AI agent to act autonomously, and to adapt its behaviour over time without human direction, calls for significant safety checks before deployment and ongoing monitoring.
    • Ensure accountability: Legal certainty and accountability has to be ensured when human agency is replaced by the decisions of AI agents.
    • Consider social and economic impacts: Stakeholders should shape an environment where AI provides socioeconomic opportunities for all.
    • Open Governance: The ability of various stakeholders, whether in civil society, government, private sector, academia or the technical community to inform and participate in the governance of AI is crucial for its safe deployment

    Think holistically, because AI is everywhere

    Current dialogues around AI usually focus on applications and services that are visible and interacting with our physical world, such as robots, self-driving cars and voice assistants. However, as our work on the Future of the Internet describes, the algorithms that structure our online experience are everywhere. The future of AI is not just about robots, but also about the algorithms that provide guidance to arrange the overwhelming amount of information from the digital world – algorithms that are intrinsic to the services we use in our everyday lives and a critical driver for the benefits that the Internet can offer.

    The same algorithms are also part of systems that collect and structure information that impact how we perceive reality and make decisions in a much subtler and surprising way. They influence what we consume, what we read, our privacy, and how we behave or even vote. In effect, they place AI everywhere.

    Look at AI through the Internet access lens

    Another flaw in today’s AI conversation is that much of it is solely about security implications and how they could affect users’ trust in the Internet. As shown in our Future’s report, AI will also influence how you access the Internet in the very near future.

    The growing size and importance of “AI-based” services, such as voice-controlled smart assistants for your home, means they are likely to become a main entry point to many of our online experiences. This could impact or exacerbate current challenges we see – including on mobile platforms – in terms of local content and access to platform-specific ecosystems for new applications and services.

    Furthermore, major platforms are rapidly organising, leveraging AI through IoT to penetrate traditional industries. There isn’t a single aspect of our lives that will not be embedded in these platforms, from home automation and car infotainment to health care and heavy industries.

    In the future, these AI platforms may become monopolistic walled gardens if we don’t think today about conditions to maintain competition and reasonable access to data.

    Create an open and smart AI environment

    To be successful and human centric, AI also needs to be inclusive. This means creating inclusive ecosystems, leveraging interdependencies between universities that can fuel business with innovation, and enabling governments to give access to qualitative and non-sensitive public data. Germany sets a good example: Its well-established multistakeholder AI ecosystem includes the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), a multistakeholder partnership that is considered a blueprint for top-level research. Industry and Civil Sociey sit on the board of the DFKI to ensure research is application and business oriented.

    Inclusiveness also means access to funding. There are many ways for governments to be useful, such as funding areas of research that are important to long term innovation.

    Finally, creating a smart AI environment is about good, open and inclusive governance. Governments need to provide a regulatory framework that safeguards responsible AI, while supporting the capabilities of AI-based innovation. The benefits of AI will be highly dependent on the public’s trust in the new technology, and governments have an important role in working with all stakeholders to empower users and promote its safe deployment.

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    The Rise is Now

    The Rise . . is Now

     

     

    Digital communications are shifting social and political leverage away from Urban centers. Large pockets of influence are now dispersed among global populations and disparate voices.

     

    This is an Epic Event

     

    We are witnessing a rapid empowering of democracy and human advance over antiquated and failing corporatocracies. The birth pangs of this new world are difficult to recognize at ground level as the blind and greedy try to hold back the inevitable.

     

     

    Human nature demands clarity and seeks truth. The accelerative thrust is increasing our understanding.

     

    The Future is Better Now

     

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    Are We Consuming or Being Consumed?

     


     

    Defining technological strategy across society is dangerously inept. The problem at this time is how to deal with exponential growth in technologies. Exponential growth is producing effects that are pervasive across the globe and having an impact on almost every aspect of societies in both constructive and destructive ways.

     

    While exponential growth is producing important changes in how societies function, technological strategies underpinning the definition and development of societies are most frequently not well aligned with the seismic growth in the basic technologies being deployed. Whenever the evolution of a technology base outstrips technological strategy and operational technique, there is increasing potential for disaster.

     

    New technologies are deployed haphazardly with emphasis on monetization and used without a well-defined social strategy or commensurate conceptual coupling, resulting in a widening functional gap and deepening social failure.

     

    Exponential growth in human interfaces with digital technologies for information-control, is arguably the defining trend in this decade, yet it is mostly not well understood. Some observers regard such growth with unbounded optimism.

     

    Though haphazardly introducing technologies via market-driven profiteering and power-motivated designs poses grave and unprecedented dangers. Our attention is being distracted at ground level and social confusion is mounting. Take up the challenge by joining in the conversation. It’s Time..

     

    Bots are about to get better at customer support than humans

    Bots Are About to Get Better at Customer Support Than Humans Thanks to machine learning, AI-enabled bots could gain a competitive advantage over human chat exchanges By MICHAEL SIKORSKY and RITA GUNTHER MCGRATH Monday 1 January 2018 Rune Fisker In 2018, AI-enabled bots will provide a better customer experience than human-to-human chat exchange, following the explosion of messaging

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    AI Cyberattacks Will Be Almost Impossible for Humans to Stop

    AI Cyberattacks Will be Almost Impossible for Humans to Stop As cyberattacks become more refined, they will start mimicking our online traits. This will lead to a battle of the machines Source WIRED:  AI cyberattacks will be almost impossible for humans to stop   As early as 2018, we can expect to see truly autonomous weaponised

    Read More…

    The Unemployment Conspiracy

    Bruce Lesnick JANUARY 1, 2018 Real unemployment in the US today hovers around 8.3%, afflicting more than 17 million people. This is roughly equivalent to the combined populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. Over one third of the working age population has given up looking for work. On top of this,

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    A metamaterial that twists to right or the left in response to straight, solid push

    Source: A metamaterial that twists to right or the left in response to straight, solid push

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