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Indeed the stars in the sky and their constellations no longer shine

The Global Course of the Information Revolution | RAND
Topic: Technology 8:06 am EDT, Jul 23, 2003

] Some Traditional Mechanisms of Governance Are Becoming
] Problematic
] New Governmental Mechanisms Are Being Enabled
] New Political Actors Are Being Empowered
] The Information Revolution Could Over Time Change the
] Role of the Nation-State:

Downstream impact could be vast.

The Global Course of the Information Revolution | RAND Swarm Intelligence: An Interview with Eric Bonabeau [Feb. 21, 2003]
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:46 am EDT, Jul 23, 2003

] Eric Bonabeau, Ph.D, a keynote speaker at the upcoming
] Emerging Technology conference, is a leader in the field
] of swarm intelligence and has focused on applying these
] concepts to real world problems such as factory
] scheduling and telecommunications routing.

Perhaps there is a potential convergence between swarm intelligence and genetic programming. What if one could evolve the components of the swarm to improve the overall capabilities of the whole? Swarm Intelligence: An Interview with Eric Bonabeau [Feb. 21, 2003]

Topic: Technology 7:21 am EDT, Jul 23, 2003

] "Computer sentience is possible," said John Holland,
] professor of electrical engineering and computer science
] and professor of psychology at the University of
] Michigan. "But for a number of reasons, I don't believe
] that we are anywhere near that stage right now."
] ...
] According to Holland, the problem with developing
] artificial intelligence through things like genetic
] algorithms is that researchers don't yet understand how
] to define what computer programs should be evolving
] toward. Human beings did not evolve to be
] intelligent--they evolved to survive. Intelligence was
] just one of many traits that human beings exploited to
] increase their odds of survival, and the test for
] survival was absolute. Defining an equivalent test of
] fitness for targeting intelligence as an evolutionary
] goal for machines, however, has been elusive. Thus, it is
] difficult to draw comparisons between how human
] intelligence developed and how artificial intelligence
] could evolve.


Wired News: Feeling Blue? This Robot Knows It
Topic: Technology 7:11 am EDT, Jul 22, 2003

] Science fiction often depicts robots of the future as
] machines that look like people and feel, or at least
] hanker after the ability to feel, human emotions.
] A team at Vanderbilt University is turning this notion on
] its head by developing a robotic assistant whose goal is
] not to develop emotions, but rather respond to the moods
] of its human master.
] By processing information sent from physiological sensors
] the human counterpart wears, the Vanderbilt robot can
] detect when its master is having a bad day and approach
] with the query: "I sense that you are anxious. Is there
] anything I can do to help?"

Wired News: Feeling Blue? This Robot Knows It - Games of infinite possibilities
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:08 am EDT, Jul 22, 2003

] R. Michael Young, an assistant professor of computer
] science at N.C. State University, is working on research
] that might one day make video games more enjoyable.
] Young, 41, is studying ways to build artificial
] intelligence -- the ability of computers to act like
] humans -- into games so that users get movielike stories.
] With such technology, for example, a game could adjust to
] a player's actions and provide a different experience
] every time it is played. - Games of infinite possibilities

Before The Matrix, There was Only Meat
Topic: Arts 10:31 am EDT, Jul 20, 2003

] "They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell
] you. Meat made the machines."
] "That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're
] asking me to believe in sentient meat."
] "I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are
] the only sentient race in that sector and they're made
] out of meat."
] "Maybe they're like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based
] intelligence that goes through a meat stage."
] "Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied
] them for several of their life spans, which didn't take
] long. Do you have any idea what's the life span of meat?"

Before The Matrix, There was Only Meat

Topic: Science 10:01 am EDT, Jul 18, 2003

Rumor has it that that this site was down for a while due to intellectual property issues. Good to see it back.


Can Sensemaking Keep Us Safe?
Topic: Technology 8:15 am EDT, Jul 18, 2003

New intelligence software finds meaning in the chaos of clues scattered throughout data-saturated networks. The challenge: to unravel terrorist plots before they happen.

By M. Mitchell Waldrop

A few years ago, says Jeff Jonas, a friend arranged for him to give a talk at the secretive National Security Agency, widely renowned as the most technology-savvy spy shop in the world. He wasn’t quite sure what to expect. ... Jonas was proud of NORA, his company’s Non-Obvious Relationships Awareness analytic software. The system can cross-correlate millions of transactions per day, extracting such items of interest as the info nugget that a particular applicant for a casino job has a sister who shares a telephone number with a known underworld figure. But Jonas reckoned that this would seem like routine stuff to the wizards of the NSA.


This article appears in the March 2003 issue of MIT Technology Review. A subscription is required for access to the full text. It's also available in print on newsstands everywhere.

Do you have a good idea that In-Q-Tel should know about?

Can Sensemaking Keep Us Safe?

Wired 11.04: The Secret War Machine (Bruce Sterling)
Topic: Society 8:14 am EDT, Jul 18, 2003

] But the real success story is the Contras, or rather
] their modern successor: al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden's crew
] is a band of government-funded anticommunist
] counterrevolutionaries who grew up and cut the apron
] strings. These new-model Contras don't need state support
] from Washington, Moscow, or any Accessory of Evil. Like
] Project Democracy, they've got independent financing: oil
] money, charity money, arms money, and a collection plate
] wherever a junkie shoots up in an alley. Instead of
] merely ignoring and subverting governments for a higher
] cause, as Poindexter did, al Qaeda tries to destroy them
] outright. Suicide bombers blew the Chechnyan provisional
] puppet government sky high. Cars packed with explosives
] nearly leveled the Indian Parliament. We all know what
] happened to the Pentagon.
] The next Iran-Contra is waiting, because the
] contradictions that created the first have never been
] resolved. Iran-Contra wasn't about eager American
] intelligence networks spreading dirty money in distant
] lands; it was about the gap between old, legitimate,
] land-based governments ruled by voters and the new,
] stateless, globalized predation. The next scandal will
] erupt when someone as molten, self-righteous, and
] frustrated as John Poindexter uses stateless power for
] domestic advantage. That's the breaking point in American
] politics: not when you call in the plumbers, but when you
] turn them loose on the opposition party. Then the Empire
] roils in a lather of sudden, indignant fury and strikes
] back against its own.

Wired 11.04: The Secret War Machine (Bruce Sterling)

The Pentagon's New Map
Topic: Current Events 8:08 am EDT, Jul 18, 2003

] Since the end of the cold war, the United States has been
] trying to come up with an operating theory of the
] world—and a military strategy to accompany it. Now
] there’s a leading contender. It involves identifying the
] problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking
] them. Since September 11, 2001, the author, a professor
] of warfare analysis, has been advising the Office of the
] Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually
] at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community. Now
] he gives it to you.

The Pentagon's New Map

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