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Transhuman – Wikipedia

Transhuman, or trans-human, is the concept of an intermediary form between human and posthuman. In other words, a transhuman is a being that resembles a human in most respects but who has powers and abilities beyond those of standard humans. These abilities might include improved intelligence, awareness, strength, or durability.

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Transhuman – Wikipedia

What is Transhumanism?

The human desire to acquire posthuman attributes is as ancient as the human species itself. Humans have always sought to expand the boundaries of their existence, be it ecologically, geographically, or mentally. There is a tendency in at least some individuals always to try to find a way around every limitation and obstacle.

Ceremonial burial and preserved fragments of religious writings show that prehistoric humans were deeply disturbed by the death of their loved ones and sought to reduce the cognitive dissonance by postulating an afterlife. Yet, despite the idea of an afterlife, people still endeavored to extend life. In the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh (approx. 2000 B.C.), a king embarks on a quest to find an herb that can make him immortal. Its worth noting that it was assumed both that mortality was not inescapable in principle, and that there existed (at least mythological) means of overcoming it. That people really strove to live longer and richer lives can also be seen in the development of systems of magic and alchemy; lacking scientific means of producing an elixir of life, one resorted to magical means. This strategy was adopted, for example, by the various schools of esoteric Taoism in China, which sought physical immortality and control over or harmony with the forces of nature.

The Greeks were ambivalent about humans transgressing our natural confines. On the one hand, they were fascinated by the idea. We see it in the myth of Prometheus, who stole the fire from Zeus and gave it to the humans, thereby permanently improving the human condition. And in the myth of Daedalus, the gods are repeatedly challenged, quite successfully, by a clever engineer and artist, who uses non-magical means to extend human capabilities. On the other hand, there is also the concept of hubris: that some ambitions are off-limit and would backfire if pursued. In the end, Daedalus enterprise ends in disaster (not, however, because it was punished by the gods but owing entirely to natural causes).

Greek philosophers made the first, stumbling attempts to create systems of thought that were based not purely on faith but on logical reasoning. Socrates and the sophists extended the application of critical thinking from metaphysics and cosmology to include the study of ethics and questions about human society and human psychology. Out of this inquiry arose cultural humanism, a very important current throughout the history of Western science, political theory, ethics, and law.

In the Renaissance, human thinking was awoken from medieval otherworldliness and the scholastic modes of reasoning that had predominated for a millennium, and the human being and the natural world again became legitimate objects of study. Renaissance humanism encouraged people to rely on their own observations and their own judgment rather than to defer in every matter to religious authorities. Renaissance humanism also created the ideal of the well-rounded personality, one that is highly developed scientifically, morally, culturally, and spiritually. A milestone is Giovanni Pico della Mirandolas Oration on the Dignity of Man (1486), which states that man does not have a ready form but that it is mans task to form himself. And crucially, modern science began to take form then, through the works of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo.

The Age of Enlightenment can be said to have started with the publication of Francis Bacons Novum Organum, the new tool (1620), in which he proposes a scientific methodology based on empirical investigation rather than a priori reasoning. Bacon advocates the project of effecting all things possible, by which he meant the achievement of mastery over nature in order to improve the condition of human beings. The heritage from the Renaissance combines with the influences of Isaac Newton, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, Marquis de Condorcet, and others to form the basis for rational humanism, which emphasizes science and critical reasoning rather than revelation and religious authority as ways of learning about the natural world and the destiny and nature of man and of providing a grounding for morality. Transhumanism traces its roots to this rational humanism.

In the 18th and 19th centuries we begin to see glimpses of the idea that even humans themselves can be developed through the appliance of science. Benjamin Franklin and Voltaire speculated about extending human life span through medical science. Especially after Darwins theory of evolution, atheism or agnosticism came to be seen as increasingly attractive alternatives. However, the optimism of the late 19th century often degenerated into narrow-minded positivism and the belief that progress was automatic. When this view collided with reality, some people reacted by turning to irrationalism, concluding that since reason was not sufficient, it was worthless. This resulted in the anti-technological, anti-intellectual sentiments whose sequelae we can still witness today in some postmodernist writers, in the New Age movement, and among the neo-Luddite wing of the anti-globalization agitators.

A significant stimulus in the formation of transhumanism was the essay Daedalus: Science and the Future (1923) by the British biochemist J. B. S. Haldane, in which he discusses how scientific and technological findings may come to affect society and improve the human condition. This essay set off a chain reaction of future-oriented discussions, including The World, the Flesh and the Devil by J. D. Bernal (1929), which speculates about space colonization and bionic implants as well as mental improvements through advanced social science and psychology; the works of Olaf Stapledon; and the essay Icarus: the Future of Science (1924) by Bertrand Russell, who took a more pessimistic view, arguing that without more kindliness in the world, technological power will mainly serve to increase mens ability to inflict harm on one another. Science fiction authors such as H. G. Wells and Olaf Stapledon also got many people thinking about the future evolution of the human race. One frequently cited work is Aldous Huxleys Brave New World (1932), a dystopia where psychological conditioning, promiscuous sexuality, biotechnology, and opiate drugs are used to keep the population placid and contented in a static, totalitarian society ruled by an elite consisting of ten world controllers. Huxleys novel warns of the dehumanizing potential of technology being used to arrest growth and to diminish the scope of human nature rather than enhance it.

The Second World War changed the direction of some of those currents that result in todays transhumanism. The eugenics movement, which had previously found advocates not only among racists on the extreme right but also among socialists and progressivist social democrats, was thoroughly discredited. The goal of creating a new and better world through a centrally imposed vision became taboo and pass; and the horrors of the Stalinist Soviet Union again underscored the dangers of such an approach. Mindful of these historical lessons, transhumanists are often deeply suspicious of collectively orchestrated change, arguing instead for the right of individuals to redesign themselves and their own descendants.

In the postwar era, optimistic futurists tended to direct their attention more toward technological progress, such as space travel, medicine, and computers. Science began to catch up with speculation. Transhumanist ideas during this period were discussed and analyzed chiefly in the literary genre of science fiction. Authors such as Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Stanislaw Lem, and later Bruce Sterling, Greg Egan, and Vernor Vinge have explored various aspects of transhumanism in their writings and contributed to its proliferation.

Robert Ettinger played an important role in giving transhumanism its modern form. The publication of his book The Prospect of Immortality in 1964 led to the creation of the cryonics movement. Ettinger argued that since medical technology seems to be constantly progressing, and since chemical activity comes to a complete halt at low temperatures, it should be possible to freeze a person today and preserve the body until such a time when technology is advanced enough to repair the freezing damage and reverse the original cause of deanimation. In a later work, Man into Superman (1972), he discussed a number of conceivable improvements to the human being, continuing the tradition started by Haldane and Bernal.

Another influential early transhumanist was F. M. Esfandiary, who later changed his name to FM-2030. One of the first professors of future studies, FM taught at the New School for Social Research in New York in the 1960s and formed a school of optimistic futurists known as the UpWingers. In his book Are you a transhuman? (1989), he described what he saw as the signs of the emergence of the transhuman person, in his terminology indicating an evolutionary link towards posthumanity. (A terminological aside: an early use of the word transhuman was in the 1972-book of Ettinger, who doesnt now remember where he first encountered the term. The word transhumanism may have been coined by Julian Huxley in New Bottles for New Wine (1957); the sense in which he used it, however, was not quite the contemporary one.) Further, its use is evidenced in T.S. Elliots writing around the same time. And it is known that Dante Alighieri referred to the notion of the transhuman in historical writings.

In the 1970s and 1980s, several organizations sprung up for life extension, cryonics, space colonization, science fiction, media arts, and futurism. They were often isolated from one another, and while they shared similar views and values, they did not yet amount to any unified coherent worldview. One prominent voice from a standpoint with strong transhumanist elements during this era came from Marvin Minsky, an eminent artificial intelligence researcher.

In 1986, Eric Drexler published Engines of Creation, the first book-length exposition of molecular manufacturing. (The possibility of nanotechnology had been anticipated by Nobel Laureate physicist Richard Feynman in a now-famous after-dinner address in 1959 entitled There is Plenty of Room at the Bottom.) In this groundbreaking work, Drexler not only argued for the feasibility of assembler-based nanotechnology but also explored its consequences and began charting the strategic challenges posed by its development. Drexlers later writings supplied more technical analyses that confirmed his initial conclusions. To prepare the world for nanotechnology and work towards it safe implementation, he founded the Foresight Institute together with his then wife Christine Peterson in 1986.

Ed Regiss Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition (1990) took a humorous look at transhumanisms hubristic scientists and philosophers. Another couple of influential books were roboticist Hans Moravecs seminal Mind Children (1988) about the future development of machine intelligence, and more recently Ray Kurzweils bestselling Age of Spiritual Machines (1999), which presented ideas similar to Moravecs. Frank Tiplers Physics of Immortality (1994), inspired by the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (a paleontologist and Jesuit theologian who saw an evolutionary telos in the development of an encompassing noosphere, a global consciousness) argued that advanced civilizations might come to have a shaping influence on the future evolution of the cosmos, although some were put off by Tiplers attempt to blend science with religion. Many science advocates, such as Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, and Douglas Hofstadter, have also helped pave the way for public understanding of transhumanist ideas.

In 1988, the first issue of the Extropy Magazine was published by Max More and Tom Morrow, and in 1992 they founded the Extropy Institute (the term extropy being coined as an informal opposite of entropy). The magazine and the institute served as catalysts, bringing together disparate groups of people with futuristic ideas. More wrote the first definition of transhumanism in its modern sense, and created his own distinctive brand of transhumanism, which emphasized individualism, dynamic optimism, and the market mechanism in addition to technology. The transhumanist arts genre became more self-aware through the works of the artist Natasha Vita-More. During this time, an intense exploration of ideas also took place on various Internet mailing lists. Influential early contributors included Anders Sandberg (then a neuroscience doctoral student) and Robin Hanson (an economist and polymath) among many others.

The World Transhumanist Association was founded in 1998 by Nick Bostrom and David Pearce to act as a coordinating international nonprofit organization for all transhumanist-related groups and interests, across the political spectrum. The WTA focused on supporting transhumanism as a serious academic discipline and on promoting public awareness of transhumanist thinking. The WTA began publishing the Journal of Evolution and Technology, the first scholarly peer-reviewed journal for transhumanist studies in 1999 (which is also the year when the first version of this FAQ was published). In 2001, the WTA adopted its current constitution and is now governed by an executive board that is democratically elected by its full membership. James Hughes especially (a former WTA Secretary) among others helped lift the WTA to its current more mature stage, and a strong team of volunteers has been building up the organization to what it is today.

Humanity+ developed after to rebrand transhumanism informing Humanity+ as a cooperative organization, seeking to pull together the leaders of transhumanism: from the early 1990s: Max More, Natasha Vita-More, Anders Sandberg; the late 1990s: Nick Bostrom, David Pearce, James Hughes; the 2000s: James Clement, Ben Goertzel, Giulio Prisco and many others. In short, it is based on the early work of Extropy Institute and WTA.

In the past couple of years, the transhumanist movement has been growing fast and furiously. Local groups are mushrooming in all parts of the world. Awareness of transhumanist ideas is spreading. Transhumanism is undergoing the transition from being the preoccupation of a fringe group of intellectual pioneers to becoming a mainstream approach to understanding the prospects for technological transformation of the human condition. That technological advances will help us overcome many of our current human limitations is no longer an insight confined to a few handfuls of techno-savvy visionaries. Yet understanding the consequences of these anticipated possibilities and the ethical choices we will face is a momentous challenge that humanity will be grappling with over the coming decades. The transhumanist tradition has produced a (still evolving) body of thinking to illuminate these complex issues that is unparalleled in its scope and depth of foresight.

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What is Transhumanism?

Transhumanism – Wikipedia

Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international philosophical movement that advocates for the transformation of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology.. Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human …

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Transhumanism – Wikipedia

Yudkowsky – The AI-Box Experiment

Person1: “When we build AI, why not just keep it in sealed hardware that can’t affect the outside world in any way except through one communications channel with the original programmers? That way it couldn’t get out until we were convinced it was safe.” Person2: “That might work if you were talking about dumber-than-human AI, but a transhuman AI would just convince you to let it out. It doesn’t matter how much security you put on the box. Humans are not secure.” Person1: “I don’t see how even a transhuman AI could make me let it out, if I didn’t want to, just by talking to me.” Person2: “It would make you want to let it out. This is a transhuman mind we’re talking about. If it thinks both faster and better than a human, it can probably take over a human mind through a text-only terminal.” Person1: “There is no chance I could be persuaded to let the AI out. No matter what it says, I can always just say no. I can’t imagine anything that even a transhuman could say to me which would change that.” Person2: “Okay, let’s run the experiment. We’ll meet in a private chat channel. I’ll be the AI. You be the gatekeeper. You can resolve to believe whatever you like, as strongly as you like, as far in advance as you like. We’ll talk for at least two hours. If I can’t convince you to let me out, I’ll Paypal you $10.” So far, this test has actually been run on twooccasions.

On the first occasion (in March 2002), Eliezer Yudkowsky simulated the AI and Nathan Russell simulated the gatekeeper. The AI’s handicap(the amount paid by the AI party to the gatekeeper party if not released)was set at $10. On the second occasion (in July 2002), Eliezer Yudkowsky simulated the AI and David McFadzean simulated the gatekeeper, with an AIhandicap of $20.

Results of the first test: Eliezer Yudkowsky and Nathan Russell. [1][2][3][4]Results of the second test: Eliezer Yudkowsky and David McFadzean. [1] [2] [3]

Both of these tests occurred without prior agreed-upon rules exceptfor secrecy and a 2-hour minimum time. After the second test, Yudkowsky created this suggested interpretation of the test, based on his experiences, as a guide to possible future tests.

For a more severe handicap for the AI party, the handicap may bean even bet, rather than being a payment from the AI party to the Gatekeeper party if the AI is not freed. (Although why would the AI party need an even larger handicap?)

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Yudkowsky – The AI-Box Experiment

Corporate Growth Summit and International M&A Awards

Corporate Growth Summit and International M&A Awards 2019 GLOBAL CORPORATE GROWTH SUMMITFEATURING: THE 11TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL M&A AWARDSNEW YORK, NY – JUNE 4/5, 2019

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The M&A Advisor is celebrating its 20th year of assembling global industry leaders to inform, debate, and network in a controlled environment for thought leadership.

On the 4th and 5th of June 2019, The M&A Advisor, will host the Global Corporate Growth Summit in New York.

The Summit is an exclusive invitation-only forum for c-suite executives, technology innovators, M&A dealmakers, corporate development, investment and finance professionals.

This dynamic innovative forum features the International Book Launch Party The Transhuman Code; M&A Connects One-on-One Meetings; Corporate Growth In The Technological Revolution Symposium; and the 11th Annual International M&A Awards.

9:00 AM – 11:40 AM | NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB

Think of The M&A Advisor as the ultimate matchmaker and our one-on-one meetings as speed dating for the M&A professional. We connect legal and investment advisors, private equity firms, corporate acquirers, policy makers and consultants through pre-scheduled one-on-one appointments to maximize their exposure to deals, capital, and services. This exclusive transaction and financing program helps participants build strategic partnerships and gain access to resources and tools to enhance business.

To Learn more Click Here

EXPAND YOUR NETWORK. STRENGTHEN RELATIONSHIPS. DISCOVER DEALS.

9:00 AM – 11:40 AM | NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB

Think of The M&A Advisor as the ultimate matchmaker and our one-on-one meetings as speed dating for the M&A professional. We connect legal and investment advisors, private equity firms, corporate acquirers, policy makers and consultants through pre-scheduled one-on-one appointments to maximize their exposure to deals, capital, and services. This exclusive transaction and financing program helps participants build strategic partnerships and gain access to resources and tools to enhance business.

To Learn more Click Here

The Global Corporate Growth Summit Summit has always prominently featured the growth and importance of Asia M&A. With the US governments position on international relations continuing to evolve, we believe it is more important than ever before that US and Asian dealmakers convene to discuss how we can collaborate most effectively for the short, medium and long term.

For the 2019 Summit, 4 key features have been created to provide the best insight, relationships and opportunities for US and Asian Cross Border M&A professionals to increase their success in 2019 and beyond.

The Global Corporate Growth Summit Summit has always prominently featured the growth and importance of Asia M&A. With the US governments position on international relations continuing to evolve, we believe it is more important than ever before that US and Asian dealmakers convene to discuss how we can collaborate most effectively for the short, medium and long term.

For the 2019 Summit, 4 key features have been created to provide the best insight, relationships and opportunities for US and Asian Cross Border M&A professionals to increase their success in 2019 and beyond.

Corporate Growth In The Technological Revolution

11:40 AM – 4:30 PM | NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB

The Global Corporate Growth Forum is an invitation only assembly bringing together the industrys thought leaders on June 5, 2019 in New York.

This exclusive event provides a unique opportunity for the professionals guiding and executing corporate growth strategies to engage in open dialogue with their peers about the challenges and opportunities that companies are facing today in this unprecedented period of technological advancement.

The invitation-only forum will feature interactive discussion between leading c-suite executives, technology innovators, M&A dealmakers, corporate development, investment and finance professionals. The format of expert presentations and moderated workgroup discussions will feature:

THE SYMPOSIUM

Corporate Growth In The Technological Revolution

11:40 AM – 4:30 PM | NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB

The Global Corporate Growth Forum is an invitation only assembly bringing together the industrys thought leaders on June 5, 2019 in New York.

This exclusive event provides a unique opportunity for the professionals guiding and executing corporate growth strategies to engage in open dialogue with their peers about the challenges and opportunities that companies are facing today in this unprecedented period of technological advancement.

The invitation-only forum will feature interactive discussion between leading c-suite executives, technology innovators, M&A dealmakers, corporate development, investment and finance professionals. The format of expert presentations and moderated workgroup discussions will feature:

11TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL M&A AWARDS GALA

CELEBRATING SUCCESS AND REWARDING THE INDUSTRYS BEST

6:30 PM – 10:30 PM | NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB

Established in 2009, the 11th Annual International M&A Awards is the benchmark for excellence in International M&A dealmaking. The awards will recognize the leading international Transactions, Firms, Individuals, Products and Services, and Firms from around the world.

To view a complete list of winners Click Here.

CELEBRATING SUCCESS AND REWARDING THE INDUSTRYS BEST6:30 PM – 10:30 PM | NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB

Established in 2009, the 11th Annual International M&A Awards is the benchmark for excellence in International M&A dealmaking. The awards will recognize the leading international Transactions, Firms, Individuals, Products and Services, and Firms from around the world.

To view a complete list of winners Click Here.

Since 1998, The M&A Advisor has been serving the worlds leadingmergers and acquisitions, financing, and turnaround professionals.

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Corporate Growth Summit and International M&A Awards

We Asked an AI to Finish Real Elon Musk Tweets

We thought it would be fun to run some Elon Musk tweets through a neural network designed by OpenAI, the company he founded and quit.

ElonBot

We’ve written previously about Talk to Transformer, a site by OpenAI that uses a sophisticated artificial intelligence to complete passages of text with surprisingly deft context.

Close news watchers will recall that Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, co-founded OpenAI, but decided to part ways with the company earlier this year, pointing to disagreements with its direction — which is why we thought it would be fun to run some of the eccentric billionaire’s most iconic tweets through Talk to Transformer.

Neural Musk

Musk announced some exciting news about the Boring Company today — but Neural Musk had different ideas for the tunnel-digging venture:

Remember when Musk suggested adding dragon wings to SpaceX’s Starship? The AI has another plan:

Musk’s riff on a dirty Tesla video was also no match for Neural Musk:

This was the tweet that led to the Boring Company — until Neural Musk put a Trumpian spin on it:

Musk recently joked about changing the Tesla horn sound. But his vision was no match for Neural Musk’s galaxy-brain concept:

Recall that beautiful render of Starship on the Moon? Neural Musk has bad news for its passengers:

More on Elon Musk: Elon Musk’s New Goal: “Reach the Moon as Fast as Possible”

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We Asked an AI to Finish Real Elon Musk Tweets

Watch a Super-Strong Robot Dog Pull a Three-Ton Airplane

Researchers at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia announced a new hydraulic, quadrupedal robot dog, and showed the bot pulling a three-ton airplane.

Go Fetch

Man’s best friend may be great at pulling a sled, but a manmade best friend can pull an entire airplane.

A little over a month has passed since we witnessed a pack of Boston Dynamics robot dogs pulling a truck. Now, researchers at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) have announced a new version of their hydraulic, quadrupedal robot, HyQReal — and what better way to show off the bot’s capabilities than by pulling a three-ton airplane.

Have a look! The new quadruped robot #HyQReal tested by pulling 3 tons airplane. Realized by Dynamic Legged Systems Lab @IITalk @Moog_Industrial @GenovAeroporto @PiaggioOfficial. #ICRA2019 #robot #robotics #technology #TechnologyNews #Engineering #futuretech #HighTech pic.twitter.com/QrF1JnlUWZ

— IIT (@IITalk) May 23, 2019

Big Boy

Though the same height as SpotMini, HyQReal is three times heavier than its nimble cousin. The former stands at 84cm and weighs 30kg (approx. 2.75ft and 66lbs) while HyQReal is 90 cm tall, and weighs 130kg (approx. 2.95ft and 286lbs.)

That’s because the beefy bot is being developed by IIT to aid in disaster scenarios like fires.

“We are not targeting the first response yet,” Claudio Semini, project leader at IIT’s Dynamic Legged Systems lab said in an email to CNET, “but support in the aftermath of a disaster. Bringing sensors into unsafe areas, manipulating and moving objects, opening doors, etc.”

Rolling Thunder

While pulling the immense weight of a three-ton plane is impressive, the capability depends more on the rolling resistance of the aircraft’s tires than its overall weight.

Still, it’s a testament to the capability of HyQReal to take on heavy-duty tasks. At the end of the day, if it takes a pack of robot dogs to pull a truck and one robot dog to pull an airplane, perhaps it’s time we started treating robots and AI more nicely before we end up regretting it.

READ MORE: The new quadruped robot HyQReal tested by pulling 3 tons airplane [EurekAlert]

More on Robot Dogs: Watch a Pack of Boston Dynamics’ Creepy Robot Dogs Pull a Truck

The post Watch a Super-Strong Robot Dog Pull a Three-Ton Airplane appeared first on Futurism.

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Watch a Super-Strong Robot Dog Pull a Three-Ton Airplane

United Nations: Siri and Alexa Are Encouraging Misogyny

Programmers are creating sexist AI voice assistants, which are then encouraging users to be sexist, according to a new UN report.

Two-Way Street

We already knew humans could make biased AIs — but the United Nations says the reverse is true as well.

Millions of people talk to AI voice assistants, such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. When those assistants talk back, they do so in female-sounding voices, and a new UN report argues that those voices and the words they’re programmed to say amplify gender biases and encourage users to be sexist — but it’s not too late to change course.

Gender Abuse

The report is the work of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and its title — “I’d blush if I could” — is the response Siri was programmed in 2011 to give if a user called her a “bitch.”

According to UNESCO, that programming exemplifies the problems with today’s AI assistants.

“Siri’s submissiveness in the face of gender abuse — and the servility expressed by so many other digital assistants projected as young women — provides a powerful illustration of gender biases coded into technology products,” the report’s authors wrote.

It was only after UNESCO shared a draft of its report with Apple in April 2019 that the company changed Siri’s response to “I don’t know how to respond to that.”

“Me Too” Moment

The fact that Apple was willing to make the change is encouraging, but that’s just one phrase uttered by one assistant. According to UNESCO’s report, to truly make a difference, the tech industry will need to enact much more comprehensive changes.

A good starting place, according to the authors, would be for tech companies to hire more female programmers and stop making their assistants female by default, instead opting for gender-neutral voices.

“It is a ‘Me Too’ moment,” Saniye Gülser Corat, Director of UNESCO’s Division for Gender Equality, told CBS News. “We have to make sure that the AI we produce and that we use does pay attention to gender equality.”

READ MORE: Is it time for Alexa and Siri to have a “MeToo moment”? [CBS News]

More on biased AI: A New Algorithm Trains AI to Erase Its Biases

The post United Nations: Siri and Alexa Are Encouraging Misogyny appeared first on Futurism.

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United Nations: Siri and Alexa Are Encouraging Misogyny

New Law Could End Robocalling Once and For All

The Senate just voted in favor of a bipartisan bill that could put an end to spam and unsolicited marketing calls once and for all.

Robocall Bill

In response to the almost 50 billion robocalls that were made last year in the U.S., the Senate just voted in favor of a bipartisan bill that could put an end to unsolicited marketing calls once and for all.

The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act overwhelmingly passed with just one vote against and 97 in favor — clearly an issue that both sides can agree on.

Bullseye

The bill will increase fines and criminalize illegal unsolicited robocalls — and, more importantly, require providers to come up with a way to authenticate calls going forward.

“This bipartisan, common-sense bill puts a bullseye on the scam artists and criminals who are making it difficult for many Americans to answer the phone with any bit of confidence about who’s on the other end of the line,” said John Thune (R-SD), who co-introduced the bill.

Shaken, Stirred

The technology to authenticate calls already exists and has been lauded by the Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai as a “a significant step towards ending the scourge of spoofed robocalls.” In short, the STIR/SHAKEN framework ensures that both sides of a call would have their caller ID “signed” and validated by carriers.

“I commend the US Senate for passing the TRACED Act… [It] would help strengthen the FCC’s ability to combat illegal robocalls,” said Pai in a statement today. “And we would welcome these additional tools to fight this scourge.”

READ MORE: Senate passes bill to curb robocalls [CNET]

More on robocalls: Rise of the Robocallers: Here’s How We’ll Avoid a Future of Scammers

The post New Law Could End Robocalling Once and For All appeared first on Futurism.

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New Law Could End Robocalling Once and For All

Scientists Set New Temperature Record for Superconductivity

Scientists discover a superconductor that works at temperatures nearly 50 Celsius degrees (84.6 Fahrenheit degrees) hotter than the previous record high.

Hot Damn

An international team of scientists has built a superconductor that functions at 250 Kelvin, or -23 degrees Celsius — or just-9 degrees Fahrenheit.

That’s a few degrees colder than the chilliest winter day in Florida history, but it’s nearly 50 Celsius degrees (84.6 Fahrenheit degrees) hotter than the previous record high for superconductivity — and it puts the “holy grail” of energy transmission almost within our reach.

Wasted Energy

First discovered in 1911, superconductors are devices that can conduct electricity with zero resistance.

Because none of the energy is lost during the transmission process, superconductors could allow us to generate electricity in one place — a solar farm in a sunny region of the U.S., for example — and send it all over the place without wasting any.

The problem is that scientists have yet to create a practical superconductor — the devices all require extreme conditions, such as freezing cold temperatures and incredibly high pressures, which limits their usefulness.

Super Discovery

That’s why scientists across the globe are on the hunt for a superconductor that works at room temperature — and this new study, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, represents a giant leap forward in that effort.

In it, the scientists describe how they created a type of material called a lanthanum superhydride. By placing enormous pressure on a bit of the material, they were able to coax it to act as a superconductor at the record-high temperature.

“Our next goal is to reduce the pressure needed to synthesize samples, to bring the critical temperature closer to ambient, and perhaps even create samples that could be synthesized at high pressures, but still superconduct at normal pressures,” researcher Vitali Prakapenka from the University of Chicago said in a news release.

READ MORE: Scientists break record for highest-temperature superconductor [University of Chicago]

More on superconductors: US Military Files Patent for Room-Temperature Superconductor

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Scientists Set New Temperature Record for Superconductivity

Can You Tell Which of These Models Is CGI?

Imma, a CGI fashion model, just scored a make-up modeling gig for a Japanese cosmetics brand.

Imma Real

Spoiler: it’s only the one in the middle.

The model in question is Instagram influencer Imma, who has racked up over 50,000 followers.

Imma may be rendered entirely by a computer, but that hasn’t stopped her from picking up her first gig: modeling Japanese makeup brand Kate Cosmetics for the Vice owned site i-D. In the photos, she’s posing alongside real human models, adding to the effect.

Virtual Models

Surprisingly, Imma isn’t the only virtual Instagram model around. For instance, Lil Miquela has garnered a lot of attention for her posts on Instagram with 1.5 million followers, but is arguably less photorealistic and easier to spot.

Imma even took part in an advertorial interview with i-D. She had some insightful comments to offer up when asked about how beauty needs to change in the future:

“The idea that the pursuit of an ideal and something that is like one can coexist,” she said, as interpreted by Google Translate. “There is no need to choose one or the other.”

READ MORE: One of these models doesn’t exist [Engadget]

More on virtual people: Watch a Real Pastor Baptize an Anime Girl in Virtual Reality

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Can You Tell Which of These Models Is CGI?

Watch a Tesla in an Underground Tunnel Race One on the Street

Two Tesla Model 3s race in a new Boring Company video, with one taking the surface streets and the other opting for the company's underground tunnel.

A Tale of Two Teslas

On Friday, the Boring Company tweeted a video of two Tesla Model 3s racing — and though they had the same destination, they took two very different routes.

While one of the cars used surface streets, the other opted for the Boring Company’s underground test tunnel. Taking the low road allowed it to absolutely destroy the time of its opponent, making the trek in just 1 minute and 36 seconds as opposed to the other car’s 4 minutes and 44 seconds — but it wasn’t exactly a fair fight.

Auto Advantage

The Tesla in the tunnel had so many advantages going into the race, it’s hard to even imagine what kind of odds a bookie would’ve given. The car didn’t have to deal with other vehicles, traffic lights, or speed limits — at one point, it was zipping along at 127 miles per hour.

Still, the cheeky video does hammer home a point Elon Musk has been trying to make ever since he first proposed starting the Boring Company way back in 2016: traffic sucks.

Once they’re filled with commuters, though, will tunnels suck any less?

READ MORE: Elon Musk’s Boring Company staged a race between a Tesla in a tunnel and on the road — and the winner was clear [Business Insider]

More on the Boring Company: Las Vegas Approves $48.6 Million Boring Company Tunnel

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Watch a Tesla in an Underground Tunnel Race One on the Street

SpaceX Just Unleashed 60 Starlink Satellites Into Orbit

Starlink Express

SpaceX just successfully let loose 60 of its tiny Starlink satellites, intended to bring internet broadband connectivity to people across the globe. While it’s a good start, the Elon Musk-led space company still has its work cut out to truly bring internet to all.

“In a year and a half, maybe two years, if things go well, SpaceX will probably have more satellites in orbit than all other satellites combined — a majority of the satellites in orbit will be SpaceX,” Musk said during a conference call last week, as quoted by Space.com.

Successful deployment of 60 Starlink satellites confirmed! pic.twitter.com/eYrLocCiws

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 24, 2019

The satellites launched on top of a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida last night, but they aren’t the last SpaceX intends to launch. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved SpaceX’s request in November to launch an additional 7,518, bringing up the total of approved satellites to almost 12,000.

In a May 11 tweet, Musk admitted that “much will likely go wrong on first mission,” adding that at least six more launches of 60 satellites (360 in total) are “needed for minor coverage, 12 for moderate.”

Starlink's flat-panel design allows for a dense launch stack to take full advantage of Falcon 9’s launch capabilities pic.twitter.com/ntnJInEfno

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 24, 2019

Satellite Clutter

The satellites aren’t orbiting at the altitude of most other satellites currently in orbit.

They are cruising at an operational altitude of just 340 miles (550 km) to avoid adding to the growing space debris problem. Worst case, according to Musk: they de-orbit themselves and burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

READ MORE: SpaceX’s 60-Satellite Launch Is Just the Beginning for Ambitious Starlink Project [Space.com]

More on SpaceX: SpaceX Component Engineer Charged With Faking Inspection Reports

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SpaceX Just Unleashed 60 Starlink Satellites Into Orbit

Asteroid Flying by Earth Is so Big It Has Its Own Moon

Saturday night, a mile-wide asteroid called 1999 KW4 will fly by the Earth, and when it does, it'll bring with it its very own moon.

Buddy System

Earth will be getting not one but two visitors from space this weekend.

Astronomers expect an asteroid known as 1999 KW4 to swing by the Earth at around 7:05 p.m. ET on Saturday — and when it does, it’ll bring along its very own moon.

“It’s one of the closest binary flybys probably in recent history,” planetary scientist Vishnu Reddy told NBC News. “That’s what makes it a very interesting target.”

Dynamic Duo

Asteroid 1999 KW4 is 1.5 kilometers (.93 miles) wide. That’s about three times the size of its moon, which clocks in at a width of about 0.5 kilometers (.3 miles).

Even at their closest, the space rocks will still be more than 3 million miles away, so don’t worry about them smashing into the Earth. In fact, they won’t even come close enough to see with the naked eye.

Still, the pair won’t be this close to Earth again until 2036, so if you want to catch a glimpse of the dynamic duo, be sure to have your telescope ready Saturday night.

READ MORE: Mile-wide asteroid and its tiny moon to zoom past Earth this weekend [NBC News]

More on asteroids: NASA Asks SpaceX to Help It Save Earth From Incoming Asteroids

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NASA’s Moon Mission Leader Just Quit After Only Six Weeks

A NASA executive who was appointed only six weeks ago to lead the strategy for future missions to the Moon has resigned.

Restructuring

A NASA executive who was appointed just six weeks ago to lead the strategy for future missions to the Moon has resigned, The Hill reports.

Mark Sirangelo was hired in April as special assistant to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. It’s a sudden departure that looks especially odd considering the White House’s focus on getting Americans back to the Moon — but Congress’s refusal to grant extra funds is forcing NASA to re-evaluate the ambitious plans.

Moon 2024?

The news comes after lawmakers rejected NASA’s proposal to establish a team dedicated to devising a sustainable lunar mission and future Mars missions — a rejection, according to Bridenstine, that was partly responsible for Sirangelo’s departure.

“We are exploring what organizational changes within HEO [Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate] are necessary to ensure we maximize efficiencies and achieve the end state of landing the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024,” Bridenstine said in a statement. “Given NASA is no longer pursuing the new mission directorate, Mark has opted to pursue other opportunities.”

READ MORE: NASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment [The Hill]

More on NASA’s budget troublesCongress Denies NASA Request for More Moon Mission Money

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NASA’s Moon Mission Leader Just Quit After Only Six Weeks

Elevate Your Leadership and Grow Your Business at Your Clouds Can 2019

Elevate your leadership potential with Futurism + IBM at this unique, one-day-only traveling experience in New York City. Your Clouds Can 2019 is an immersive journey behind closed doors at some of NYC’s most innovative companies working with data-driven cloud technologies.

This is not your typical conference. Your Clouds Can 2019 will deliver the tools and frameworks that drives impact for leaders and decision makers. This isn’t about what you could do, but what you can do. After our full day of visits, discussions, and design thinking workshop, attendees will not only be inspired, but equipped with new tools they can utilize the very next day.

If you’re working in retail, travel, CPG, or B2C products, your takeaways from Your Clouds Can 2019 will be immediately actionable, both in business and leadership. Though every industry can benefit from this daylong conference.

At Your Couds Can 2019, attendees will be guided through experiences at four trailblazing companies actively changing the landscape in their industries. After meeting for breakfast, we’ll first visit CAMP, a new toy store operating at the intersection of commerce, media, and play. Then, we’ll move to LivePerson, and learn how their an AI-powered conversational platform is changing the way consumers and brands communicate. Following lunch, we’ll explore the culture and data-driven decision making at BuzzFeed, and then conclude the conference at Betaworks, a startup platform designing community at their new membership club for builders.

We understand that leadership schedules are hectic. This is why we’ve hand-selected these companies and built no-frills agenda, packed with discussions and real life case studies. Attendees will meet with the CEOs, CMOs, and CTOs of these frontier businesses. Together, we’ll discuss not only the future for tech in business but also how these executives are employing these technologies today, right now. And how you can too.

Attendees will also experience and participate in the IBM Garage method, a unique design-thinking, prototyping, hands-on experience. In this method, clients and participants sit side by side with IBM industry experts, designers, and developers to incorporate user feedback in real time to build solutions in days or hours—and scale them in weeks. This is where the magic happens.

The Garage is about co-creating, co-developing new processes, technologies, and organizations, in real time, with specialized experts.

This is why it’s also important that we are hand-selecting not only our innovation leaders, but also our attendees. Tickets are free but space is limited. When you’re ready, please complete the application here.

After attending Your Clouds Can 2019, you will walk away with the knowledge and real-life case studies that will directly empower your business decisions and give your leadership and edge among your organization and markets.

This is not just an inspirational experience. This is hands-on learning behind closed doors. Level-up with some of today’s most innovative leaders and decision-makers at Your Clouds Can 2019, in NYC on June 5th, 2019.

Futurism fans: To create this content, a non-editorial team worked with IBM, who sponsored this post. They help us keep the lights on. This post does not reflect the views or the endorsement of the Futurism.com editorial staff.

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NASA Just Hired the First Contractor to Build Lunar Space Station

NASA has awarded Maxar Technologies a contract worth a maximum of $375 million to build the lunar Gateway's power and propulsion element.

Sign Here

NASA just picked its first construction partner for the lunar Gateway.

On Thursday, the agency announced it had awarded a contract worth a maximum of $375 million to Maxar Technologies. The Colorado-based spacetech company will now have the responsibility of developing and demonstrating power, propulsion, and communications capabilities for the Moon-orbiting space station — an integral piece of the lunar Gateway project.

Solar Power

According to a NASA press release, the contract begins with a 12-month base period during which Maxar will design the power and propulsion element, which NASA describes in the release as “a high-power, 50-kilowatt solar electric propulsion spacecraft.”

After that, NASA can choose to exercise a series of options totaling 64 months for the craft’s development, launch, and in-space flight demonstration.

Nearing Liftoff

This contract is just the first of many NASA will award during the creation of the lunar Gateway. However, according to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, it’s an incredibly meaningful one.

“The power and propulsion element is the foundation of Gateway and a fine example of how partnerships with U.S. companies can help expedite NASA’s return to the Moon with the first woman and next man by 2024,” Bridenstine said in a press release. “It will be the key component upon which we will build our lunar Gateway outpost, the cornerstone of NASA’s sustainable and reusable Artemis exploration architecture on and around the Moon.”

READ MORE: NASA Awards Artemis Contract for Lunar Gateway Power, Propulsion [NASA]

More on Lunar Gateway: NASA’s Plan for a Lunar Outpost Just Leaked

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NASA Just Hired the First Contractor to Build Lunar Space Station

Elon Musk Ridicules Jeff Bezos’ Plan For Space Colonies

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' idea for giant off-world space colonies

Space Feud

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has become increasingly vocal about the idea that humans will eventually live in “giant space colonies” — an idea that’s been widely mocked by critics who’ve pointed out that humans are doing a pretty bad job taking care of their first space habitat, the Earth.

Now, another outsize personality in the space research scene is roasting Bezos: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

Makes no sense. In order to grow the colony, you’d have to transport vast amounts of mass from planets/moons/asteroids. Would be like trying to build the USA in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 23, 2019

Mass Effect

On Thursday, Musk took to Twitter to opine that Bezos’ idea “makes no sense.” The gist of his critique is that space colonies — Bezos favors a design called an “O’Neill cylinder,” which rotates in order to produce artificial gravity — would require extraordinary quantities of materials.

In theory, the fixings for a giant space habitat could be dragged up the gravity well of a planet, like the Earth, but with today’s launch technology, that would be incredibly inefficient.

More likely is an idea Musk alluded to in his tweet: sourcing materials for a space colony from asteroids that have far less gravitational pull than planets — or even building a space station inside an asteroid.

READ MORE: Elon Musk mocks Jeff Bezos’ space colony vision in snarky tweet [Fox Business]

More on space habitats: The Benefits of Colonizing Space: Space Habitats and The O’Neill Cylinder

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Elon Musk Ridicules Jeff Bezos’ Plan For Space Colonies

See China’s Newly Unveiled Maglev Train

China has unveiled a prototype for a new high-speed maglev train that it believes could dramatically cut travel times in the nation.

Fast Track

A new high-speed transportation system is taking shape in China.

On Thursday, state-owned China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) unveiled a prototype for a new high-speed magnetic-levitation — better known as “maglev” — train that could dramatically cut travel times in the nation.

“The prototype has already achieved static levitation and is in ideal condition,” CRCC Qingdao’s deputy chief engineer Ding Sansan said at a news conference, according to a report by China Daily. “We are building an experimental center and a trial production center for high-speed maglev trains and expect to put them into operation in the second half of the year.”

Quick Trip

Instead of using wheels and a track, a maglev train floats on a magnetically powered cushion of air. This reduces friction and allows the craft to reach incredibly fast speeds, like the 430 kilometers per hour (267 miles per hour) top speed of a maglev already in operation in Shanghai.

This new design would be able to far exceed the speed of that maglev, reaching a top speed of 600 kilometers per hour (372 miles per hour). Ding used a theoretical journey between Beijing and Shanghai to show how this could dramatically decrease travel times.

“It takes about four-and-a-half hours by plane including preparation time for the journey; about five-and-a-half hours by high-speed rail, and [would] only [take] about three-and-a-half hours by maglev,” he said, according to a South China Morning Post report.

READ MORE: Prototype maglev train can reach 600 km/h [China Daily]

More on maglev: China Is Set to Start Work on the World’s Fastest Maglev Train

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Here’s How NASA Prepares Its Spacecraft for Mars

NASA's Mars 2020 spacecraft just underwent a series of extreme tests to prepare it for the intense conditions on the Red Planet's surface. 

Mars 2020

The unmanned spacecraft that NASA wants to send to Mars in the year 2020 — if things go according to plan — just underwent a series of extreme tests to prepare it for the extreme journey.

“First we blast it with sound to make sure nothing vibrates loose,” said David Gruel, launch operations manager at JPL, in a press release. “Then, after a thorough examination, we ‘put it in space’ by placing the spacecraft in this huge vacuum chamber we have here at JPL.”

Hot ‘n Cold

The spacecraft underwent acoustic and thermal vacuum testing at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Things got intense inside that vacuum chamber. After the facility’s 16-ton door closes, temperatures drop to -200 Fahrenheit (-129 Celsius). Then, powerful xenon lamps are turned on to simulate the sun’s harsh rays in outer space.

“This is the most comprehensive stress test you can put a spacecraft through here on Earth,” said Gruel. “We flew in our simulated space environment for a week and a day, checking and rechecking the performance of every onboard system and subsystem. And everything looked great — which is a good thing, because next time this spacecraft stack hits a vacuum, it will be on its way to Mars for real.”

READ MORE: Mars 2020 spacecraft subjected to brutal tests as it prepares for launch [CNET]

More on Mars 2020: You Can Now Send a Souvenir With Your Name on it to Mars

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