Closing Thought–21Jun17

I, Robot!

Before I begin I would like to report that TS Cindy is dumping lots of rain and a bit of wind but nothing too bad…..the local rivers will flood in the next day or so but they leave their banks if some one flushes a toilet upstream….the garden is taking a beating it may not return……oh well…..such is the life in the tropics.

Onto more important things…….

Remember the 3 Laws of Robotics?

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

There has been many leaps forward in AI research……some thought it was about time for some “laws”…….so at a recent meeting of the minds some goals and values and principles were set forth……

1) Research Goal: The goal of AI research should be to create not undirected intelligence, but beneficial intelligence.

2) Research Funding: Investments in AI should be accompanied by funding for research on ensuring its beneficial use, including thorny questions in computer science, economics, law, ethics, and social studies, such as:

  • How can we make future AI systems highly robust, so that they do what we want without malfunctioning or getting hacked?
  • How can we grow our prosperity through automation while maintaining people’s resources and purpose?
  • How can we update our legal systems to be more fair and efficient, to keep pace with AI, and to manage the risks associated with AI?
  • What set of values should AI be aligned with, and what legal and ethical status should it have?

3) Science-Policy Link: There should be constructive and healthy exchange between AI researchers and policy-makers.

4) Research Culture: A culture of cooperation, trust, and transparency should be fostered among researchers and developers of AI.

5) Race Avoidance: Teams developing AI systems should actively cooperate to avoid corner-cutting on safety standards

Source: AI Principles – Future of Life Institute

Will this make the science better or just a way to shut critics up?

Maybe a special session should be called to discuss the ethics of AI….I am sure somewhere the subject of morality will rear its head.

BTW….any tech types that have a plan or an idea about this subject please share……

That is it from me for the day…..time for a snack and a beer….and watch it rain…..be well, be safe….chuq

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A Royal Shake-Up

The real life Game of Thrones in the Middle East has taken a new twist or should I say turn?

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Wednesday appointed his 31-year-old son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince, placing him firmly as first-in-line to the throne and removing the country’s counterterrorism czar and a figure well-known to Washington from the royal line of succession. In a series of royal decrees carried on the state-run Saudi Press Agency, the monarch stripped Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who had been positioned to inherit the throne, from his title as crown prince and from his powerful position as the country’s interior minister overseeing security, the AP reports. The young prince was little known to Saudis and outsiders before Salman became king in January 2015.

The newly announced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman already oversees a vast portfolio as defense minister and head of an economic council tasked with overhauling the country’s economy. He had previously been the second-in-line to the throne as deputy crown prince, though royal watchers had long suspected his rise to power under his father’s reign might also accelerate his ascension to the throne. The royal decree issued Wednesday stated that “a majority” of senior royal members from the so-called Allegiance Council—a body made up of the sons and prominent grandsons of the founder of the Saudi state, the late King Abdul-Aziz—supported the recasting of the line of succession

The Trump admin ought to be pleased…..the new “dude” is a staunch hater of Iran and will play ball with the US if the push comes to shove.

The prince is a hardliner…and that means that the crimes against humanity will continue……the be-headings, oppression of women, and the same extreme form of Islam that fuels ISIS and AQ…..

I am not alone in my mistrust in this move……

The epic battle in the Trump White House between Jared Kushner, the Orthodox Jewish son-in-law, and Steve Bannon, the alt-NeoNazi White House strategist, is hard to top.

But Saudi Arabia just topped it?

Saudi Arabia just topped it.

King Salman just fired the crown prince and made his son, Muhammad bin Salman, heir apparent.

the new crown prince is a foreign policy adventurer and hard liner who said just last month that there can be no compromise with Iran.

Source: The Millennial’s Palace Coup in Saudi Arabia

This will be on my radar as the Iran debate heats up….this will be telling of any action to come.

More on this …..situation…….

The move itself was not unexpected given that Salman has been concentrating power in his son’s hands from the moment he became King in 2015. MBS rapidly became the key figure in the country’s internal and foreign policies, but MBS also knew that his chances of becoming King might have been forestalled if his father died before he could consolidate his power, especially vis-à-vis his key rival in the family, MBN

Source: The Saudi Succession Shuffle | RealClearDefense

Another episode of the Saudi version of “All In The Family”.

Relive The 2016 Election (One More Time)

News Flash!  Donald J. Trump won the Electoral College…thus he became president of the United States.

And ever since his win the Dems have been trying to explain how they lost the election…..the simple explanation that none in the Party wants to hear….you had a crappy candidate.

But you have tools like MSNBC’s Joy Reid and others that blame the progressives for the loss…they say that we were pissed about Bernie’s loss so we work against Hillary…yeah that was it (sarcasm)….you toads defeated yourself!

MSNBC’s Joy Reid all but confirmed as much in a widely shared tweet earlier this week in which she said, “Bernie and his followers are like that college friend who stays at your place for weeks, pays $0, eats your food & trashes your aesthetic.”

She, Reid, is NO better than the Right’s Rush Limbaugh……a tool for propaganda.

Why?

Let’s look at the Dem. Party shall we?

The Party ceased representing the worker class when they let Bubba Clinton and his DLC take over control of the Party.  When that occurred the Party went from labor and working class to big business and big money party.

That you jackasses is where your problems began.

The Democratic Party no longer stands for the principles that progressives embrace……The Democratic Party has shifted to the right. It’s not anti-war. It’s not strong on the environment. It’s not strong on civil and human rights. It’s not for universal health care. It’s not strong on cracking down on Wall Street and big banks or corporate fraud…in short a tool of the GOP.

That is right….I said….typical GOP stuff.

With each election the Party is driving more and more voters away…..the candidates are NO way progressive and seldom liberal….no matter what those mental midgets on the Right try to convince you….they are NO better than the slugs they (GOP) nominate.

The Dems lost these elections on their own….blaming others for their stupidity does little to change the trajectory they have programmed for themselves.

They elected a similar toad to run the DNC with promises they cannot deliver.

The latest election in Georgia has proved one thing…the Dems have NO message that the American voter wants to hear.  As per usual the Dems will spin this as a win and they will stay the course on a message that few want to hear.

The only thing that the DNC has accomplished…..is not to increase the number of Dems but rather giving the working people a chance to look for a new leader….a new message…..and possibly a new party.

Source: The American People’s Party

That is what they have accomplished……the search for REAL representation.

Is Foreign Aid Crucial?

There have been many calls for the US to lessen or eliminate the foreign aid to the rest of the world.

I for one have said that we could use it more to get favorable commitments and not just give it away to our “buddies”…it could be used to avoid war or end disastrous conflicts.

Is foreign aid vital to our national security?

Some say yes…….

In our active duty days, we were honored to help lead the finest fighting force in the world and we strongly support an increase in military spending to maintain the readiness of those forces. But our experiences also taught us that not all foreign crises are solved on the battlefield; in the 21st century, weapons and war fighters alone are insufficient to keep America secure.

That’s why we support a robust development budget to advance our national security objectives — and we are not alone in this belief. This week, we will join 14 other experienced former four-star generals and admirals in submitting testimony to Congress that military power alone cannot prevent radicalization, nor can it, by itself, prevent despair from turning to anger and increasing outbursts of violence and instability. Over the past 15 years, our national experience in Afghanistan, Iraq, in the Middle East, and now in Africa has shown clearly that development aid is critical to America’s national security.

Source: Why foreign aid is critical to U.S. national security

For too long it has been used to reward our “buddies” instead of trying to affect change in the conflicts that rage the globe.

Since the days of Bush 1 our foreign policy has been going downhill……I was not a supporter of George HW Bush by any stretch of the imagination….I will give him his props…his foreign policy was impressive…..

George H.W. Bush, who turns 93 today, was the last person elected president of the United States with any prior foreign policy experience.

He entered office with one of the most impressive resumes of any president, having served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, ambassador to the United Nations and Ronald Reagan’s vice president.

He left office with an impressive list of achievements, including managing the peaceful collapse of the Soviet Union and the unification of Germany. But a major high point of his presidency was also the harbinger of disappointments to come: the swift military victory that reversed Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait and seemed to herald a new era in world affairs – but left Saddam Hussein in power.

Source: George H.W. Bush: America’s last foreign policy president

It is a shame that our present president has so little confidence in foreign policy and diplomacy….we were better off when we had presidents that believed in the positive aspects of foreign policy.

If national security is a priority then so should foreign policy and diplomacy.

These days our national security is under attack and we have turned our backs on foreign policy……you should be very worried…..I know I am.

Will Iraq Have A Silver Lining?

Many seem to think that the defeat of ISIS in Iraq will bring to an end to this barbaric chapter of the country. (I am not one of them)……

So the question is….with the defeat of ISIS will there be a silver lining?  Will Trump beat his chest with the defeat of ISIS?  What will be the outcome of said defeat?  Who will win and who will lose?

Below is a commentary I read in Reuters…..

Will the defeat of Islamic State in Iraq be a foreign policy victory for Donald Trump? With the fall of Mosul imminent, what happens next?

There will be winners, like the Kurds. There will be losers, like Iraq’s Sunni minority. There will be gains for Iran, which backs the Shi’ite militias drafted to fight Sunni-dominated IS. And there may be a silver lining for the Trump administration – specifically in the form of Kurdish independence and permanent American bases in a Shi’ite-ruled Iraq. But any declaration of “victory” on the part of the United States depends on how the measure of those results is taken.

Start with the Kurds. Their military forces currently control a swath of northern territory, including the oil-rich province of Kirkuk. The area has been a functional confederacy since soon after the American invasion of 2003 and in spite of likely opposition from Baghdad, a fully-realized nation-state of Kurdistan seems inevitable. The Kurds certainly think so; they’ll hold an independence referendum on September 25.

Source: Commentary: Trump’s silver lining in Iraq | Reuters