Category Archives: Consciousness

How to persuade a robot that you should get the job

Do mere human beings stand a chance against software that claims to reveal what a real-life face-to-face chat can’t?

According to Nathan Mondragon, finding the right employee is all about looking at the little things. Tens of thousands of little things, as it turns out.

Mondragon is head psychologist at HireVue, which markets software for screening job candidates. Its flagship product, used by Unilever and Goldman Sachs, asks candidates to answer interview questions in front of a camera. Meanwhile its software, like a team of hawk-eyed psychologists hiding behind a mirror, takes note of barely perceptible changes in posture, facial expression and vocal tone.

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Source: gadt

Who needs ethics anyway? – Chips with Everything podcast

There has been a quiet push lately by tech industry giants to get ethical about future technologies. But is anything more than PR? And how do we teach technology students to preempt a possible ethical disaster? Jordan Erica Webber explores the issues

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Technology companies seem to have a bad reputation at the moment. Whether through honest mistakes or more intentional oversights, the likes of Apple, Facebook, Google and Twitter have created distrust among consumers.

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Source: gadt

Don’t worry about AI going bad – the minds behind it are the danger | John Naughton

Killer robots remain a thing of futuristic nightmare. The real threat from artificial intelligence is far more immediate

As the science fiction novelist William Gibson famously observed: “The future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.” I wish people would pay more attention to that adage whenever the subject of artificial intelligence (AI) comes up. Public discourse about it invariably focuses on the threat (or promise, depending on your point of view) of “superintelligent” machines, ie ones that display human-level general intelligence, even though such devices have been 20 to 50 years away ever since we first started worrying about them. The likelihood (or mirage) of such machines still remains a distant prospect, a point made by the leading AI researcher Andrew Ng, who said that he worries about superintelligence in the same way that he frets about overpopulation on Mars.

Related: Growth of AI could boost cybercrime and security threats, report warns

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Source: gad

Boston Dynamics is teaching its robot dog to fight back against humans

‘Testing robustness’ apparently crucial to SpotMini’s development, with machine showing it won’t be perturbed by human interference

It appears that, just like their flesh and blood counterparts, you just can’t put a good robot dog down, even if you’re a human fighting it for control of a door.

Boston Dynamics’ well-mannered four-legged machine SpotMini has already proved that it can easily open a door and walk through unchallenged, but now the former Google turned SoftBank robotics firm is teaching its robo-canines to fight back.

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Source: gadt

Humans no longer required: Google tests robot to chat with friends for you

With its new Reply system the firm is taking the art of conversion one step forwards – or should that be backwards?

Are you tired of the constant need to tap on a glass keyboard just to keep up with your friends? Do you wish a robot could free you of your constant communication obligations via WhatsApp, Facebook or text messages? Google is working on an AI-based auto-reply system to do just that.

Google’s experimental product lab called Area 120 is currently testing a new system simply called Reply that will work with Google’s Hangouts and Allo, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Android Messages, Skype, Twitter direct messages and Slack.

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Source: gadt

‘I could hear things, and I could feel terrible pain’: when anaesthesia fails

Anaesthesia remains a mysterious and inexact science – and thousands of patients still wake up on the operating table every year. By Kate Cole-Adams

When Rachel Benmayor was admitted to hospital, eight and a half months pregnant, in 1990, her blood pressure had been alarmingly high and her doctor had told her to stay in bed and get as much rest as possible before the baby came. But her blood pressure kept rising – this condition, known as pre-eclampsia, is not uncommon but can lead to sometimes-fatal complications – and the doctors decided to induce the birth. When her cervix failed to dilate properly after 17 hours of labour, they decided instead to deliver the child by caesarean section under general anaesthetic. Rachel remembers being wheeled into the operating theatre. She remembers the mask, the gas. But then, as the surgeon made the first incision, she woke up.

“I remember going on to the operating table,” she told me. “I remember an injection in my arm, and I remember the gas going over, and Glenn, my partner, and Sue, my midwife, standing beside me. And then I blacked out. And then the first thing I can remember is being conscious, basically, of pain. And being conscious of a sound that was loud and then echoed away. A rhythmical sound, almost like a ticking, or a tapping. And pain. I remember feeling a most incredible pressure on my belly, as though a truck was driving back and forth, back and forth across it.”

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Source: gad

Household robots: more than just expensive toys…

Advances in AI and robotics are leading to high street models becoming increasingly useful in our day-to-day lives

Named after the Greek god of the wind, this bot’s abilities are more prosaic yet nevertheless useful. Its big boast is that it can fetch you a beer from the fridge, but this household helper can also vacuum, pick up toys and find your lost glasses. The price tag will probably be five figures and the manufactures are hoping it will breeze into shops later this year.

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Source: gadt

Neurotechnology, Elon Musk and the goal of human enhancement

Brain-computer interfaces could change the way people think, soldiers fight and Alzheimer’s is treated. But are we in control of the ethical ramifications?

At the World Government Summit in Dubai in February, Tesla and SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk said that people would need to become cyborgs to be relevant in an artificial intelligence age. He said that a “merger of biological intelligence and machine intelligence” would be necessary to ensure we stay economically valuable.

Soon afterwards, the serial entrepreneur created Neuralink, with the intention of connecting computers directly to human brains. He wants to do this using “neural lace” technology – implanting tiny electrodes into the brain for direct computing capabilities.

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Source: gad