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4 ways AI will prevent – not cause – an apocalypse

The coming advent of super-intelligent AI has some of the greatest minds of our time crying apocalypse.

Stephen Hawking co-authored an article on the topic which darkly quipped that “success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history—unfortunately, it might also be the last.” Bill Gates has likewise voiced concern.

Elon Musk famously called artificial intelligence our “greatest existential threat” and issued a letter (along with Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, and hundreds of others) warning that AI could be more dangerous than nuclear weapons, and he’s been doing a lot of hand-wringing again lately.

In a recent address to an assembly of U.S. governors, Musk warned that AI needs to be regulated before it’s too late. “I keep sounding the alarm bell, but until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react, because it seems so ethereal,” he said.

We’re talking about super-intelligence, Musk. Not a Transformers movie.

The statements got a lot of play in the media when Mark Zuckerberg addressed them over a live Facebook Q&A. Among other things, he said, “I think you can build things and the world gets better, and with AI especially, I’m really optimistic. I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios are—I just, I don’t understand it. It’s really negative, and, in some ways, I think it is pretty irresponsible.” He goes on to talk about all of the benefits that AI will deliver, citing improvements to healthcare and self-driving cars.

Musk was quick to dismiss Zuckerberg, calling his grasp on the subject “limited.”

Well, my grasp on the subject is not limited. And I think Zuckerberg has it right. In fact, I think he’s being conservative. The advent of super-intelligent AI will not signal the demise of humanity. In fact, instead, it might signal the dawn of a more ethical, less destructive human race.

AI will keep us honest

The first major point in my argument is this: defining what is ethical for AI will go hand-in-hand with redefining what is ethical for humankind. While this exercise has been attempted many times on a philosophical or existential level, this kind of practical application has never been possible. As we define the rules of the game for AI, we will be forced into playing by them ourselves, as the resulting AI will help hold us to our own standards—it will be omniscient and omnipresent, and nothing will escape it. Crimes will be harder to commit because all information about everybody and everything will be known and accessible.

AI will eliminate our inherent biases

If living in a world governed by omniscient, omnipresent AI sounds like a dystopian nightmare, let’s just stop for a moment to consider the systems we currently have in place. People all over the world are subjected to the effects of corruption, despotism, poverty, anarchy, and persistent terrorism.

Here in the first world, we have police forces that maintain law and order. But because they are comprised of un-aided human agents susceptible to bias and even prejudice, they fall devastatingly short of protecting all citizens equally.

Take, for example, the United States. The U.S. has a staggeringly high rate of incarceration: 22 percent of all the world’s prisoners are here, even though the country accounts for just 4.4 percent of the world population—and of those, more than a third are African Americans, even though they account for just 13 percent of the population. Furthermore, African American drivers are 31 percent more likely to be stopped by the police than Caucasian drivers, and African American people are twice as likely to be searched during routine traffic stops than Caucasian people.

AI could fix that.

It is already within the power of scientists to create an AI that is less biased than a human counterpart by appropriately selecting training samples or what the AI is exposed to. With this AI at their side, police will be forced to abandon their own intentional or unintentional biases and find the real “bad guys,” regardless of age, gender or race.

AI will right our environmental wrongs

AI surveillance may sound creepy, but saving endangered species with AI definitely, doesn’t. There are many different ways in which this is possible, and there are several applications already afoot. For example, loading up drones with AI might prove to be the most effective way to keep poachers from slaughtering elephants and rhinos in Africa.

AI might just save us

AI may well save us from ourselves—from preventing war and traffic accidents and making healthcare more affordable to finding lost children. AI has the potential to be super-intelligent without any of our inherent human flaws. Despite what Musk predicts, AI can be leveraged any number of ways for the greater good, and the applications that might result are countless.

Max Versace is the CEO of Neurala, a deep learning neural network software company, and founding director of the Neuromorphics Lab at Boston University.

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Ms. A. C. Kennedy
My name is Ms A C Kennedy and I am a Health practitioner and Consultant by day and a serial blogger by night. I luv family, life and learning new things. I especially luv learning how to improve my business. I also luv helping and sharing my information with others. Don't forget to ask me anything!

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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick