Elon Musk and other technology leaders have urged artificial intelligence labs to pause the training of the most advanced systems, warning in an open letter that A.I. tools present “profound risks to society and humanity.” A.I. developers are “locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one — not even their creators — can understand, predict or reliably control,” according to the letter, which was released Wednesday by the nonprofit group Future of Life Institute. It was signed by more than 1,000 people, including Steve Wozniak, a co-founder of Apple; Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur and candidate in the 2020 U.S. presidential election; and Rachel Bronson, the president of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which sets the Doomsday Clock . A.I. powers chatbots like ChatGPT, Microsoft’s Bing and Google’s Bard, which can perform humanlike conversations, create essays on an endless variety of topics and perform more complex tasks, … [Read more...] about Elon Musk and Others Call for Pause on A.I., Citing ‘Profound Risks to Society’
How ChatGPT and Bard Performed as My Executive Assistants
By now, plenty of us know that artificially intelligent virtual assistants like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard can pull off sensational stunts, such as winning coding contests, passing bar exams and professing love to a tech columnist. But I wondered: How helpful are the bots, really, as actual assistants? It’s worth asking because our first rodeo with virtual assistants didn’t go so well. Older A.I. bots like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa had more than a decade to improve, but they ended up stagnating and are now used mostly for setting timers and playing music. ChatGPT and Bard, on the other hand, use so-called large language models that recognize and generate text based on enormous data sets scraped off the web. They are trained to compose sentences on the fly as if they were human, which potentially makes them far more versatile as assistants. To test that theory, I came up with a list of tasks that people might ask of a human assistant. I prodded friends who … [Read more...] about How ChatGPT and Bard Performed as My Executive Assistants
Auras Are Real, and Yours Looks Like Pig-Pen’s
Tech & Science Environmental Health Your skin is teeming with microbes. Millions of them. From the perspective of these tiny organisms, the surface of your body is their living, breathing habitat. This living layer is part of what's called the human microbiome—the collective genomes of all the "foreign" microorganisms that live in the human body—and research on it has exploded in recent years. But within microbiome research is a brand-new field that is just beginning to understand a stunning fact: Your microbiome extends beyond yourself, into the air around you. It hovers in a cloud around your body and leaves bits of itself on surfaces wherever you go. In short, you have an aura, except it isn't made of purplish light; it's your personal cloud of dead skin cells, fungus and many, many microbes. And researchers are learning to be able to identify you by it. "You know the dirty kid from Peanuts? Pig-Pen? It turns out we all look like that," says James Meadow, a data … [Read more...] about Auras Are Real, and Yours Looks Like Pig-Pen’s
Trump Can Destroy N. Korea’s Nukes Without a Land War
World Donald Trump North Korea Kim Jong Un Nuclear In the long view of history, North Korea getting a nuclear-tipped intercontinental missile in 2017 is the rough equivalent of an army showing up for World War II riding horses and shooting muskets. Nukes are so last century. War is changing, driven by cyberweapons, artificial intelligence (AI) and robots. Weapons of mass destruction are dumb, soon to be whipped by smart weapons of pinpoint disruption—which nations can use without risking annihilation of the human race. If the U.S. is innovative and forward-thinking, it can develop technology that ensures no ill-behaving government could ever get a nuke off the ground. Then we might be able to relax and return to laughing at Kim Jong Un for looking like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man topped by a small furry mammal. This is the argument in a new book , Striking Power: How Cyber, Robots, and Space Weapons Change the Rules of War , by international law … [Read more...] about Trump Can Destroy N. Korea’s Nukes Without a Land War
Russia stops sharing information on nuclear forces with the U.S.
A senior Russian diplomat said Moscow had suspended sharing information about its nuclear forces with the United States, including notices about missile tests. Sergei Ryabkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister said in remarks carried by news agencies that Moscow had halted all information exchanges with Washington after previously suspending its participation in the last remaining nuclear arms pact with the U.S . Last month, Russian president Vladimir Putin suspended the New START treaty, saying Russia could not accept U.S. inspections of its nuclear sites under the agreement at a time when Washington and its Nato allies had openly declared Russia’s defeat in Ukraine as their goal. Moscow emphasised that it was not withdrawing from the pact altogether and would continue to respect the caps on nuclear weapons. The Russian foreign ministry initially said Moscow would keep notifying the U.S. about planned test launches of its ballistic missiles, but Ryabkov’s statement … [Read more...] about Russia stops sharing information on nuclear forces with the U.S.
Alleged CIA China turncoat Lee may have compromised U.S. spies in Russia too
The arrest last week of a former CIA officer suspected of spying for China exposed one of the most significant intelligence breaches in American history. But the damage is even worse than first reported, sources familiar with the matter tell NBC News. A secret FBI–CIA task force investigating the case concluded that the Chinese government penetrated the CIA's method of clandestine communication with its spies, using that knowledge to arrest and execute at least 20 CIA informants, according to multiple current and former government officials. American officials suspect China then shared that information with Russia, which employed it to expose, arrest and possibly even kill American spies in that country, said the current and former officials, who declined to be named discussing a highly sensitive matter. The possible sharing with Russia has not previously been reported. Ex-CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee suspected of spying for China … [Read more...] about Alleged CIA China turncoat Lee may have compromised U.S. spies in Russia too
Ex-CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee suspected of spying for China
A former CIA officer who was charged Tuesday with unlawful possession of secrets is suspected of a much worse crime: betraying U.S. informants in China, sources familiar with the case told NBC News. The former officer, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, was arrested Monday after flying into New York on a Cathay Pacific flight from his home in Hong Kong, federal authorities announced. Lee, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, was charged with a single count of unlawfully possessing national defense information, based on a 2012 search that found him to be in possession of two notebooks containing the true names of CIA assets and covert facilities, which are some of the agency's most closely guarded secrets. Ex-CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee suspected of spying for China Jan. 17, 2018 01:55 But sources familiar with the case say he is suspected of funneling information to China that caused the deaths or imprisonment of approximately 20 American … [Read more...] about Ex-CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee suspected of spying for China
South Korea works to prevent war between U.S., North Korea
BEIJING — South Korea is desperately trying to manage the diplomatic crisis between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in order to avert threatened American military action against North Korea. Trump's announcement Thursday that he was calling off the Singapore summit was followed by a flurry of reversed decisions and policy re-statements, rhetorical declarations both hostile and conciliatory, shuttle diplomacy by minor officials around the globe, high-profile meetings and low-key discussions. We have put a great team together for our talks with North Korea. Meetings are currently taking place concerning Summit, and more. Kim Young Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to New York. Solid response to my letter, thank you! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2018 The leadership in Seoul has been working around-the-clock to keep peace talks on track. On Saturday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un held a “surprise summit” … [Read more...] about South Korea works to prevent war between U.S., North Korea
FBI created job for suspected spy Jerry Lee to lure him to U.S.
The suspected betrayal of U.S. informants in China by a former CIA officer is "one of the biggest losses and intelligence failures in modern history," a former counterintelligence official told NBC News. "There was a period of time when reporting to the U.S. intelligence community out of China dried up almost completely, and you don’t rebuild that base of information overnight," said Frank Figliuzzi, who was an FBI assistant director in 2011 and 2012. That assessment comes a day after the Justice Department announced the arrest of former American spy Jerry Chun Shing Lee , 53, for illegal possession of classified information — including the real names of other CIA operatives. Lee, a naturalized U.S. citizen who served in the Army and worked for the CIA for 13 years, is suspected of funneling information to China that caused the deaths or imprisonment of approximately 20 American agents , sources familiar with the case said. Ex-CIA officer … [Read more...] about FBI created job for suspected spy Jerry Lee to lure him to U.S.
UBS Taps an Ex-C.E.O. to ‘Pilot’ Its Takeover of Credit Suisse
A Swiss chief returns UBS unexpectedly said on Wednesday that it was bringing back Sergio Ermotti as C.E.O., as the Swiss bank begins the tough task of digesting its archrival, Credit Suisse. It’s another sign of how tricky UBS considers the work of taking over its main competitor, via a $3.2 billion deal that continues to draw blowback from investors and Swiss lawmakers alike. The move had been in the works for days. Colm Kelleher, UBS’s chairman, said at a news conference that he first called Mr. Ermotti to discuss a potential return on March 20, less than a day after UBS announced it was buying Credit Suisse. Mr. Ermotti, who left UBS in 2020, will replace Ralph Hamers on April 5. The UBS board determined that “for this massive integration exercise, Sergio would be the better pilot for the next part of this voyage,” Mr. Kelleher said. Mr. Hamers will stay on for an unspecified period as an adviser to help with the transition. At the news conference, Mr. Hamers … [Read more...] about UBS Taps an Ex-C.E.O. to ‘Pilot’ Its Takeover of Credit Suisse