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William Hertling on AI Risks

William Hertling, author of the Singularity Series books and the recent techno-crime thriller Kill Process earlier this year shared a few of his thoughts regarding artificial (general) intelligence (AI / AGI) and the hazards as well as ethical ramifications and quandaries that the emergence of AI / AGI might give rise to.In Ten Musings on AI Risks William broaches both pragmatic subjects such as risk mitigation and deeper moral questions. In his (and my ...) opinion rather than artificially slowing down ... Read more

Neil Harbisson: I listen to color And The Renaissance of our Species

Earlier this month I attended Reasons to: in Brighton. It's been a fantastic 3 days full of information, insights and inspiration, in addition to getting to know a lot of nice and interesting people.The talk that stood it in particular was Neil Harbisson's The Renaissance of our Species. Right after that talk I tweeted:Mind blown. By designing new senses cyborg Neil Harbisson is pushing the envelope of pushing the envelopeNeil was born with achromatopsia or total colour blindness. In 2003 he ... Read more

Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen

In this TED talk sound expert and public speaking coach Julian Treasure outlines how to effectively use your voice to deliver a message and make people want to listen to what you have to say:While of course regarding a complex subject like skillfully using your voice and speaking in public effectively such a short video can by no means be comprehensive it gives a good idea about the key ingredients of getting your message across.In a larger context, Julian also briefly ... Read more

Possible Brexit Fallout: Decentralization

While some things are still certain after the Brexit vote in June, most aren't.Though the argument that won the day was all about "taking back control" of the country, at least short term a quite likely result might be that nothing much will change in terms of control and the people will have merely exchanged one aloof, self-serving elite for another. I still think that Brexit is a royally stupid idea but in the end only time will tell.A crisis is ... Read more

William Hertling – Kill Process

I've recently finished listening to the audio version of William Hertling's latest novel "Kill Process"I think it's fair to say that I'm quite a fan of his novels and his writing. Kill Process is a bit of a departure from Hertling's Singularity series in that it doesn't deal with future events and science fiction technology but mostly takes place in the present day with a few exceptions for flashbacks to previous events in the protagonist's life.The novel has been described as ... Read more

Shadow Gallery – I Believe

Shadow Gallery is one of those lesser known bands in progressive metal that deserve to have made the big time but unfortunately for one reason or another never did. Their most quintessential work so far probably is their 1998 album Tyranny still featuring singer Mike Baker, who unfortunately died in 2008.The album and particular this song I Believe (featuring a well-known guest singer from a highly successful progressive metal band ...) capture ideas and feelings that were prevalent with hackers, civil ... Read more

72: Easily Predicting Growth Rates

Mathematics undeniably has countless applications that are both intriguing and vital to modern society. It's of pivotal importance in broad areas such as research, innovation, engineering and human progress in general.However, it often seems that maths other than basic arithmetics is of little importance in everyday life, doesn't it?Apart from the obvious, such as all the wondrous contraptions we use every day made possible by modern technology, which in turn by a large part is made possible through solid mathematical foundations, ... Read more

Valleys Of Green And Grey

In the light of recent political events I thought about if and what to write about this whole mess. This writing would've involved copious amounts of insults and swearing. While certainly fun, such an exercise would also have been rather pointless, especially since the Scots are now the official world champions in the art of insulting anyway and expressed their opinions much more eloquently than I ever could.So, instead of a political opinion piece - which I largely try to avoid ... Read more

TED Talk – Peter Singer: The Why And How of Effective Altruism

In 2013 philosopher Peter Singer held a TED talk on the intriguing idea of effective altruism.The simple premise of this idea is that with altruism both the heart and the head need to be involved in order to truly make a difference and make the world a better place.While empathy and compassion for other people's suffering is a prerequisite for altruism, if altruistic action isn't undertaken in a purposeful, effective manner it does little more than placate your conscience, in other ... Read more

LOAD”*”,8,1

Last week, I met with a few friends for an evening of 80s retro computing - or retro gaming to be specific. We set up an Amiga 500 and a C64 and played classic games like Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge, Dynablaster, Sensible Soccer, California Games and International Karate.It was great fun. Retro gaming of course is a lot about nostalgia but there's also something about many of these games that hasn't been achieved in many modern video games anymore: Instead of ... Read more
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