CIA, DoD eager to tap AI capabilities they don’t understand

An artificial intelligence arms race seems to be officially underway following Russian President Vladimir Putin's comment last week that whoever comes to dominate the field "will be the ruler of the world." This is one area, at least, where top U.S. policymakers can apparently agree with Putin. The military and the Central Intelligence Agency are … Continue reading CIA, DoD eager to tap AI capabilities they don’t understand

Tech companies, governments cracking down on free speech online

It's no surprise that tech companies such as Google and GoDaddy came under pressure to drop clients such as the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer following extremist violence in Charlottesville earlier this month. But given the ongoing controversies over internet censorship not only in the United States but around the world, it is also understandable … Continue reading Tech companies, governments cracking down on free speech online

DoD officials offer conflicting hints on killer robot policy

It's been a busy year in the world of robotics and the politics surrounding it, the latest development coming in the form of potentially conflicting comments from two Pentagon officials hinting at what the future of an international killer robot ban -- or lack thereof -- might look like. Not only has the job-killing potential … Continue reading DoD officials offer conflicting hints on killer robot policy

U.S. arms sales ‘busier than ever,’ oversight of military ‘a joke’

It is no secret that the United States spends lavishly on its military, far more than any other country in the world. The reason U.S. politicians often give for this is that America faces unparalleled threats, largely from rogue non-state terrorist groups waging unconventional, asymmetric warfare against it. Yet while such groups, almost by definition, … Continue reading U.S. arms sales ‘busier than ever,’ oversight of military ‘a joke’

China censorship extends known distance Facebook will go to please governments, maximize profits

The New York Times is reporting this week that social media giant Facebook has developed a new "censorship tool" for use by the Chinese government, in the company's latest aggressive move to get into the potentially lucrative Chinese market. The news comes as Facebook begins new controversial blocking of "fake news" in the US, a … Continue reading China censorship extends known distance Facebook will go to please governments, maximize profits

Election hacking fears fuel cyber arms race

As US officials loudly argue over how to best go about hacking foreign governments, other countries are taking note, and an international hacking arms race seems to be picking up pace. Of the many unexpected topics that came into play in this year's cartoonish US presidential election, one that received considerable attention was Russian hacking … Continue reading Election hacking fears fuel cyber arms race

Snowden weighs in on election results

Following last week's US presidential election, Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who exposed numerous government surveillance programs in 2013 and is now living in Russia, has publicly discussed the results at least twice. "We are starting to substitute open government for sheer authoritarianism, a government based not upon the principle of informed … Continue reading Snowden weighs in on election results

U.S., other countries issue drone declaration, but key players absent

The United States was one of 44 countries to sign a declaration Wednesday that sets the stage for a conference next year to create formal rules regarding the export and use of armed, unmanned aerial vehicles, otherwise known as drones. "As a world leader in the development and deployment of military UAVs, the United States … Continue reading U.S., other countries issue drone declaration, but key players absent

Skepticism of gene editing doesn’t stop human trials from moving forward

This month, scientists in China will begin the first ever experiments on humans using the cutting-edge gene-editing tool known as CRISPR. But as these researchers break barriers in biotech, a new in-depth survey from the Pew Research Center shows the public is deeply suspicious of various high-tech biomedical "enhancements" under development. The Pew report focused … Continue reading Skepticism of gene editing doesn’t stop human trials from moving forward

Tech Giants Promote Dystopian ‘Smart Homes’

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated," the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states. While we still have the right -at least on paper - to privacy in our homes, however, many AmericansĀ appear increasingly willing to trade … Continue reading Tech Giants Promote Dystopian ‘Smart Homes’