Betraying someone and lying about it is pretty low – especially if you’re a robot. An experiment on interactions between humans and robots reveals just how easy it is for robots to regain trust after a misdeed by fibbing.
The devious robot
in question is NAO, a 58-centimetre-high humanoid that moves and
interacts with people. Sarah Sebo at Yale University and her colleagues
arranged for 82 people to compete for points against NAO in an
asteroid-shooting computer game.
In some rounds, a special asteroid blaster was awarded to either the …https://www.newscientist.com/article/2198141-robot-discovers-that-lying-about-a-betrayal-helps-to-rebuild-trust/
Evolutionary roboticists have decided to begin teaching
artificial intelligence powered robots to evolve and reproduce. Why
should humans go to the trouble of building more robots when a robot
could do it instead?
According to Futurism, this is known as high-tech Darwinism. The
researchers’ ultimate goal is to design artificial intelligence and
robots that can analyze their own source code and mate with others by
combining bits and pieces of their code with that of other robots. This
would to create “offspring,” much like organic life, Futurism reported.
But it isn’t actually anything like organic life, actually. But
evolutionary roboticists who have this new goal have high-tech Darwinism to the extreme.
Apparently, just like biological life evolves to fill ecological
niches, these robots’ offspring might be better adapted to their
environments that their architects specifically built them for.
scientists at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam built a simplified system
that shows how future robots might swap and combine their “genetic”
Their recent research, published in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence and
which involved programming two parent robots to code a new
“offspring,” found that the resulting offspring contain a mixture of the
parents’ code as well as some modules that seemed to have mutated or
been blended on its own. –Futurism
David Howard, one of the scientists on the project, told Wired
that there’s a positive spin to all of this. “It gives you a lot of
diversity, and it gives you the power to explore areas of a design space
that you wouldn’t normally go into.” But others see this as a way to
permanently force human beings into extinction. “One of the things that
makes natural evolution powerful is the idea that it can really
specialize a creature to an environment,” Howard told Wired.
The closing stores include one Walmart Supercenter in Lafayette, Louisiana, and Walmart Neighborhood Market stores in Arizona, California, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.
Walmart is closing at least 11 US stores across eight states.
The closing stores include one Walmart Supercenter in
Lafayette, Louisiana, and Walmart Neighborhood Market stores in Arizona,
California, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and
The closing date for most of the affected stores is April
19, according to employees of those stores, who confirmed the closings
to Business Insider.
Walmart representatives had previously confirmed the
closings to various local media outlets but did not immediately return
Business Insider’s request for comment.
Walmart Neighborhood Markets
are about one-fifth the size of a Walmart Supercenter, and they are
typically in areas that are more than where Supercenters are located.
These stores focus primarily on selling groceries.
light of this new discovery, we can only hope that the eco-brainless
don’t decide to declare war on trees and do something stupid like ban
tree planting, or worse, start destroying them. This will definitely
throw a monkey wrench into remediation of global warming. ⁃ TN Editor
In 1907, Francis W. Bushong, a chemistry professor at the University of Kansas, reported a novel finding in the journal Chemical and Physical Papers. He’d found methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, in a tree.
earlier, he wrote, he’d cut down some cottonwood trees and “observed
the formation of bubbles in the sap upon the freshly cut trunk, stump
and chips.” When he struck a match, the gas ignited in a blue flame. At
the university, he replicated the flame test on a campus cottonwood and
this time captured gas samples. The concentration of methane was not
much below the level measured in samples from Kansas’s natural gas
as they strap $50,000 instruments to trees to record gas flows, more
than a few of these researchers have been unable to resist using a
lighter or match to produce the same blue flame that took Professor
Bushong by surprise more than a century ago.
But the research now is driven by far more than novelty. Methane is second only to carbon dioxide in its importance as a greenhouse-gas emission
linked to global warming. In a natural gas pipeline, methane is a
relatively clean fossil fuel. But it is a powerful heat-trapping
addition to the planet’s greenhouse effect when it accumulates in the
The gas builds up as long as new emissions
outpace the rate at which natural chemical reactions in the air or some
forest soils break it down (that generally takes about a decade, compared to centuries for carbon dioxide). Since 1750, the atmospheric concentration has surged more than 250 percent (from
around 700 parts per billion to more than 1,800 parts per billion). The
main human sources linked to the rise are global
agriculture—particularly livestock and rice paddies—landfills and
emissions from oil and gas operations and coal mines.
sources have always produced large amounts of the gas—currently on a
par with those from agriculture. The main source is microbial activity
in oxygen-deprived soggy soils and wetlands. (Increasingly, human-driven
warming appears to be expanding wetlands, particularly in high latitudes, adding even more methane emissions.)
full climate impact of methane from trees is nowhere near that of the
tens of billions of tons of carbon dioxide released annually from
smokestacks and tailpipes, or the methane from, say, humanity’s vast
cattle herds or gas fields. But there is sufficient uncertainty in the
estimates setting the “global methane budget” that trees could turn out to be a substantial source.
For the moment, this is a newly revealed frontier, said Kristofer Covey, a Skidmore College scientist focused on the chemistry and ecology of forests.
“At the global scale this could be huge”
emissions from an individual tree are small,” Covey said. “But there
are several trillion trees. At the global scale this could be huge.”
Covey organized an international workshop last spring to identify
research priorities and just published a paper in New Phytologist that
is, in essence, a call for help from a host of disciplines not yet
focused on this issue. His coauthor is J. Patrick Megonigal, a tree
researcher at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Maryland.
papers are being published month by month with remarkable rapidity,
with each field measurement essentially constituting a new publishable
this be a lesson that the Technocrat mind has no space for adhering to
individual laws or more generally, the rule of law. We have seen
consistent and repeated instances of willful disregard within the
intelligence community for years, from the NSA, FBI, CIA, and now the
DEA. ⁃ TN Editor
The administration “failed to conduct a
comprehensive legal analysis” of three NSA-style bulk data collection
programs, according to the Justice Department Inspector General.
Drug Enforcement Administration skirted numerous legal checks on a trio
of bulk data collection programs dating back to the early 1990s,
according to an internal watchdog.
In a heavily redacted, 144-page report published
Thursday, the Justice Department Inspector General revealed the
administration failed to fully assess the legal basis for three massive
international surveillance operations that ran largely unchecked from
1992 to 2013. Two of the programs remain active in some form today.
Under one initiative, which investigators called “Program A,”
the administration used “non-target specific” subpoenas to force
multiple telecom providers to provide metadata on every phone call made
from the U.S. to as many as 116 countries with
“a nexus to drugs.” Investigators found some companies also provided
the officials with data on all calls made between those foreign
The administration also conducted two other bulk
surveillance programs during that time without assessing their legality,
investigators found. Under “Program B,” officials used similarly
sweeping subpoenas to collect information on anyone who purchased
specific products from participating vendors. Through “Program C,” DEA
purchased telephone metadata for targets of ongoing investigations
through a contractor for a separate government agency.
Program B ran from 2008 to 2013, and Program C began in 2007 and remains active today, according to the IG.
found the administration “failed to conduct a comprehensive legal
analysis” of actions under all three programs. Previous court rulings
have called into question the use of the sweeping subpoenas under
programs A and B, they said. According to the report, the FBI also
raised concerns about the legality of the operations.
found the absence of a robust legal review troubling because the DEA
utilized the bulk data collected … on an unknown number of occasions in
support of investigations by non-DEA federal agencies that had no
apparent connection to specific drug investigations,” the IG added.
“This utilization raised significant legal questions” because the
administration justified its actions by saying the information “was
‘relevant or material’ to a drug investigation.”
administration also never clearly determined whether its existing
subpoena authority extended to the data provided through Program C,
investigators said. The IG also found proof that DEA officials exploited
certain investigative practices to keep prosecutors from sharing
evidence with defendants.
DEA significantly scaled back Program A
after Edward Snowden revealed the existence of similar sweeping
surveillance programs at the National Security Agency, according to
investigators. In 2014, the administration started subpoenaing metadata
on calls made from phone numbers specifically tied to federal
investigations. This more narrow surveillance program remains active
today, the IG said.
The ongoing unrest in one of North Africa’s largest oil and gas producers Algeria is reaching boiling point.
After weeks of protests from the opposition, aimed at
blocking the possible re-election of long-time president Bouteflika,
there still doesn’t seem to be a resolution within reach. Even after the sudden withdrawal by Bouteflika from new elections, demonstrations continued.
Opposition and some regime insiders still feel that the old guard is clinging to power. The
Algerian army, however, has stepped into the fray, urging the removal
of the current president. Algerian army chief of staff General Ahmed
Gaid Salah suddenly stated that Abdelaziz Bouteflika should be deemed
unfit to rule. The latter was greeted by support of opposition parties
and European analysts. The end to the old guard and Bouteflika clan
seems to be near. Officially, the Algerian army has been stepping in to
support the “legitimate demands” of the hundreds of thousands of
protesters flocking the streets lately. Optimism is growing and Western
media is already suggesting the possibility of a new Arab Spring
movement. The reality of Algeria’s political upheaval, however,
is that it is less Arab Spring 2.0 and more Cairo 2.0, with the
re-emergence of the army as the real power broker.
Since the Algerian Revolt against France, the North African country
has been ruled by a bipartisan system based on a political party, coming
from the Algerian independency groups, and the newly formed Algerian
army. This system has endured a multitude of changes and crises, and got
almost obliterated during the brief rule of the Islamists after their
election victory in the 1990s. Soon after this Islamist victory, the
Algerian army with support of the old guard, took over and reinstated
their own rule. The current situation looks almost the same, with one
big difference. Algerian military strategists seem to have been reading
all reports and analysis pieces written during and after the Arab Spring
developments in Egypt. Cairo’s long-time ruling elite, headed by
president Husni Mubarak, had outlived its time. Democratic and religious
opposition combined their forces and removed Mubarak from power. At the
same time, the Egyptian army stayed in their barracks, not interfering
at all, despite the fact that Mubarak’s rule was built with the support
of the army. After the removal of Mubarak, and the electoral victory of
the Muslim Brotherhood, the army put in place its own strategy to regain
its grip on the fractured country. Within 2 years, Egypt’s minister of
defense and general Sissi took over, with a huge mandate from the
When looking at Algeria, the same structures and strategies seem to be unfolding. An old president, supported by a corrupt and undemocratic political party, is heading for the abyss. Algeria’s economy is struggling at the same time, even though the country holds vast oil, gas and mineral resources. Mismanagement and clientism, combined with paternalistic political views, have brought the country to its knees. Europe’s former 2nd largest gas supplier is even struggling to keep its gas and LNG exports in place, despite its reserves being immense. The time is rife for change, looking at the political disorder and economic crisis scenarios. Read more:https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-28/perfect-coup-unfolding-algeria