Archive for the ‘Popular Culture’ Category

“PwC Global has calculated that the overall emerging global market for business services using [drones] is over $127 billion.”

February 23, 2017

“[PETA filed suit] as “Next Friends” for a male macaque named `Naruto,’ [the court held] animals cannot be `authors’ [or] own copyrights.”

February 23, 2017
For those who think intellectual property law cannot be interesting . . .


In 2015, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (“PETA”) and primatologist Antje Engelhardt of the Macaca Nigra Project brought suit against Slater for copyright infringement, as “Next Friends” for a male macaque named “Naruto,” in the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. Defendants filed motions to dismiss. On January 28, 2016, Judge William Orrick dismissed the case, finding that Naruto did not have standing to sue under the Copyright Act because animals cannot be “authors” and therefore cannot own copyrights.

PETA contended that the “highly intelligent” Naruto was accustomed to seeing cameras, observing humans handling cameras, hearing camera mechanisms in action, and seeing
them being used by humans for his entire life, as the reservation where he lives is next to a human village visited by tourists and photographers.

“WIRED: In your book you predict the emergence of two completely new religions. What are they? HARARI: [Techno-humanism and Dataism.]”

February 22, 2017


Techno-humanism aims to amplify the power of humans, creating cyborgs and connecting humans to computers, but it still sees human interests and desires as the highest authority in the universe.

Dataism is a new ethical system that says, yes, humans were special and important because up until now they were the most sophisticated data processing system in the universe, but this is no longer the case. The tipping point is when you have an external algorithm that understands you—your feelings, emotions, choices, desires—better than you understand them yourself. That’s the point when there is the switch from amplifying humans to making them redundant.


February 18, 2017

Today I discovered this Ph D dissertation available online. My father was a B-47 pilot in the Strategic Air Command. Our 1958 Chevrolet family car bore SAC decal in the upper corner on the driver’s side – – it was there from when my father was stationed at March Air Force Base. I’m glad I found this resource, and am looking forward to reviewing in the future.


“The AI Threat Isn’t Skynet. It’s the End of the Middle Class”

February 13, 2017


In the US, the number of manufacturing jobs peaked in 1979 and has steadily decreased ever since. At the same time, manufacturing has steadily increased, with the US now producing more goods than any other country but China. Machines aren’t just taking the place of humans on the assembly line. They’re doing a better job. And all this before the coming wave of AI upends so many other sectors of the economy…McAfee pointed to newly collected data that shows a sharp decline in middle class job creation since the 1980s. Now, most new jobs are either at the very low end of the pay scale or the very high end.