Facebook received a lot of attention for overt censorship last week. But the social network is engaging in covert suppression of independent media too — most recently with its introduction of “Click-Gap,” a way of favoring established websites and suppressing non-established ones.
Perhaps this is an overly broad generalization, but I feel there is an almost universal feeling among the public that there is something intrinsically annoying about academia. The source of this annoyance is up for debate, but I believe it stems from the image academics project versus the reality of their personal character and intent. Your average university approved academic will say that some people find them distasteful because they are “so smart”, and this makes others envious. I would say it’s the opposite – the average academic is actually quite ignorant, but brandishes a false image of being a genius. This is why I often refer to them as “academic idiots”. Continue reading
August 3, 2018
By Eric M. Johnson
SEATTLE (Reuters) – Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos is racing to pull his private space company out of start-up mode and move into production amid signals that his firm’s heavy rocket set for lift-off in 2020 may slip behind schedule, according to people familiar with the project.
Blue Origin has added hundreds of engineers over the past three years and continues to ramp up in an expansion that one employee described as “hyperbolic.” The Kent, Washington-based company is looking to double its current workforce to around 3,000 employees over the next two to three years, a top customer told Reuters.
The urgency centers on a rocket dubbed New Glenn. The heavy-launch vehicle, which Bezos promises will be able to haul satellites and, eventually, people into orbit, is central to the company’s hopes of winning lucrative military and commercial contracts.
New Glenn’s first-stage booster will be reusable, a key piece of Bezos’ strategy to lower costs and increase the frequency of launches. Blue Origin executives have stated publicly that test flights will begin within two years.
But whether Blue Origin can hit that mark remains to be seen.
With the clock ticking on 2020, company engineers are still finalizing details on New Glenn’s design and just beginning to build model components that must be put through extreme testing, people familiar with the project said. They requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly.
Blue Origin has privately acknowledged in conversations with French satellite firm Eutelsat SA [ETLXCE.UL] – its first New Glenn customer – that its 2020 time frame is “very aggressive,” a person with direct knowledge of talks between the companies said.
The firms have padded their contract, which covers the launch of a geostationary satellite in the period 2021-2022, so that Blue Origin will incur no penalties if it is late, the person added.
Yohann Leroy, Eutelsat’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, declined to discuss details of his company’s contract with Blue Origin, but said he was optimistic New Glenn will be ready to carry his firm’s satellite by the end of 2022.
“Of course, I cannot guarantee that they will respect their initial timeline, but we are confident that they will not be very far from it,” Leroy said.
A Blue Origin spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment about the company’s hiring practices, strategy or competitive challenges. The private firm has been tight-lipped on New Glenn’s production status and plans for bringing it to market.
Mounting a successful test in 2020 would give Blue Origin its best shot at fending off competing rockets and new ones expected to enter the market in the next few years, analysts said.
Rivals include aerospace stalwarts United Launch Alliance, a partnership between Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin; and France’s ArianeGroup, a joint venture between Airbus and Safran. Japan and China are likewise designing reusable rockets.
But 18 years after its founding, Blue Origin has found itself lagging a competitor closer to home: SpaceX.
Founded by Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk, the Hawthorne, California-based company has upended the space industry with its relatively low-cost reusable Falcon 9 rockets. SpaceX has completed more than 50 successful Falcon launches and snagged billions of dollars’ worth of contracts, including deals with NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense.
SpaceX in February transfixed a global audience with the successful test launch of its newest rocket, the Falcon Heavy, the most powerful operational rocket in the world.
Musk had predicted “game over” for other makers of heavy rockets if his launch succeeded.
The good news for Blue Origin is that demand for satellite launch services is projected to soar.
Around 800 small satellites are expected to launch annually beginning around 2020, more than double the annual average over the past decade, according to Marco Caceres, senior space analyst with Fairfax, Virginia-based Teal Group.
“If New Glenn can be ready in the next two years (Blue Origin) may be able to seize that window of opportunity,” he said.
Like Musk, Bezos is passionate about the prospect of humans living and working in space.
Now the world’s richest man, thanks to the success of online retailer Amazon, Bezos has been liquidating $1 billion of its stock annually to fund his interplanetary dreams.
He set up Blue Origin in a warehouse some 20 miles (32 km) south of Seattle. The company’s Latin motto means “step by step ferociously,” a reference to Bezos’ belief that success comes through steady, incremental progress.
But after nearly two decades, and with the private space race heating up, Bezos is intent on moving closer to commercialization, three Blue Origin employees told Reuters.
Part of those efforts include selling sightseeing trips to the edge of space aboard another Blue Origin rocket dubbed the New Shepard, with ticket prices in the $200,000-$300,000 range.
Blue Origin also is vying to supply its BE-4 engine to United Launch Alliance to power its forthcoming Vulcan rocket, ULA said.
The recent hiring binge has focused mainly on throwing talent at the New Glenn, and has included more than 60 engineers who worked previously for SpaceX.
Blue Origin’s workforce of more than 1,500 has more than doubled from its early 2016 levels, three employees said. Its ranks are expected to double again by the time New Glenn is flying, Eutelsat’s Leroy said. By comparison, SpaceX has more than 6,000 employees.
Bezos’ company has also invested more than $200 million in a rocket-making facility near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Still, Leroy said he expects to see a New Glenn prototype no sooner than mid-2019.
In the meantime, NASA, the U.S. Air Force and satellite companies are directing business to SpaceX.
Matt Desch, Chief Executive Officer of McLean, Virginia-based Iridium Communications Inc, SpaceX’s largest commercial customer, told Reuters that Blue Origin “has been a little less clear” about its strategy.
“Nobody disputes that with the investment they’re making they won’t eventually be successful, but how and when they become reliable is still uncertain,” Desch said.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Greg Mitchell and Marla Dickerson)
from One America News Network http://www.oann.com/bezos-throws-cash-engineers-at-rocket-program-as-space-race-accelerates/
By Aaron Kesel
China is using artificial intelligence as a tool to help it decide its foreign policy, detaching from the emotions of useless humans that get in the way of the thought process. What could possibly go wrong allowing A.I. to help decide foreign policy with other countries?
The South China Morning Post has reported that “Several prototypes of diplomatic systems using artificial intelligence are under development in China, according to researchers involved or familiar with the projects.”
The Post notes that “one early-stage machine, built by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is already being used by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
If it’s still not worrying you that robotic algorithms could be deciding foreign policy in China with other nations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs further confirmed to the South China Morning Post that they had plans to use A.I. in diplomacy.
“Cutting-edge technology, including big data and artificial intelligence, is causing profound changes to the way people work and live. The applications in many industries and sectors are increasing on daily basis,” a Ministry spokesman said last month, the news agency reported.
According to SCMP, the decision process by the A.I. takes into account “information ranging from cocktail-party gossip to images taken by spy satellites, to contribute to strategies in Chinese diplomacy.”
Although, the final decision is in the hands of Chinese officials according to Fu Jingying, a researcher with the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. The fact that A.I. could be helping leaders and governments decide whether or not to go to war or other important policy decisions with a country is especially worrying.
However, the use of A.I. would not only implant decisions without human emotion into these officials’ heads over a period of time until it was seen as acceptable, but it would eventually shift politics into allowing algorithms and these systems to decide strategic decisions by itself passing the technology off as an advancement. This is exactly what China wants for its next generation of these machines according to the report.
The machines have access to numerous Chinese government databases, according to Fu, who added that the system was equipped with “artificial intelligence technology, including deep learning and a neural network for risk assessment or prediction of events such as political upheaval or terrorist attacks, with “encouraging results.”
This is in line with what WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been warning about: the power of A.I. expanding into influencing human beings. Essentially, Assange stated that we need to draw a line in the sand so to speak between the struggle between man and machines and not allow machines that can control human beings.
Activist Post has continuously reported on the shift away from human beings to machines. This is a far bigger problem than just influencing humans’ decisions, as Elon Musk has warned that UBI (universal basic income) “will be necessary over time if (AI) artificial intelligence takes over most human jobs.”
This report about the Ministry using artificial intelligence comes as A.I. is replacing more and more jobs daily.
Activist Post previously reported that University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and the Alan Turing Institute aimed to bring ‘game-changing’ benefits of artificial intelligence to NHS patients and replace some workers in the hospital.
Recently Activist Post also reported that even finance wasn’t safe from the robot apocalypse. China Construction Bank (CCB) opened a Shanghai branch run entirely by robots in a testing phase for finance with little to no human involvement.
Robots are beginning to take over every aspect of society. They are also headed for retail businesses delivering freight and eliminating truckers.
But, again, robots malfunction. In fact, it sounds quite dangerous allowing a freight truck to drive itself; if the sensors break down on a big rig truck going 60-70 MPH, that’s potentially 40 tons barreling down the highway unattended except by artificial intelligence. As Activist Post reported back in March, Uber had to halt nationwide testing of its A.I. vehicles following the death of a pedestrian in Arizona. And that was a car actually attended by a human back-up operator.
Automation clearly isn’t a foolproof technology; and it can also be exploited by hackers for malicious purposes that could even include programming a bot to kill an individual.
Not even journalists are safe from robot replacements. It should be one of our real worries that journalism and political strategic analysis are being actively looked at by not just China but other superpowers as human jobs that can be replaced by robots.
It says a lot about what governments plural think about human beings. Even the U.S. seems to be involved in testing the use of artificial intelligence for shaping foreign policy, according to a document dated 1997-2012, at the Naval Post Graduate school entitled, “Artificial intelligence and foreign policy decision-making.”
However, under the administration of Donald Trump, it seems to be less of an important goal to support the development of the technology. Last year the sitting U.S. President’s budget called for cutting A.I. research at the National Science Foundation by 10 percent, to a mere $175 million.
It should be understood by now that algorithms and A.I. will continue to shape the world we live in as they are increasingly used in nearly all areas of human activity. Along with the lethal risks noted above, an algorithm could be programmed to not tell the truth about an elected official and cover up crimes, thus affecting foreign policy, just as social media algorithms can affect public perception or shut down dissenting voices either intentionally or by mistake.
Reiterating Julian Assange’s statement on humans versus machines: we collectively only have one planet, and if the machines take over, that’s it … “undetectable mass social influence by A.I. is an existential threat to humanity.”
Tesla founder Elon Musk has previously said that artificial intelligence is potentially more dangerous than nuclear weapons. That’s a shared thought with scientist Stephen Hawking, who also previously warned that “artificial intelligence could spell the end for the human race If we are not careful enough because they are too clever.”
This is the beginning of The Terminator movie, as even scientists agree that machines will begin to think for themselves in the near future and could be a threat to the human race.
Let us just hope that China and other nations utilizing artificial intelligence don’t end up with an intelligence that has the persona of MIT’s Norman, a disturbed image-captioning A.I. obsessed with murder. Otherwise, we could all be screwed and in a nuclear radiation dust cloud in a few years thanks to artificial intelligence making an incorrect calculation.
China’s July 2017 Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan, calls for exceeding all other nations in A.I. by 2030.
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.
In 2014, Fox News warned us of what was to come, but that was in 2014. Now it is 2018, and Internet Censorship is indeed occurring. There is much more to this story, and I have gone back in time to research the many facets of this complex manifestation. It is shocking, but we should have seen it coming. The two instigators and partners are Barack Obama and the United Nations, and they have accomplished a completion in global governance.
The first aspect is the present censorship, which has now encompassed Alternative Media. It has been in the works since Obama became President. We have been aware that Obama has a very close relationship with the United Nations. That relationship was in fact preplanned and forged in global governance by the United Nations. You could call it the New World Order, Agenda 21/30, Mark of the Beast, or the Deep State take over of the United States. They are all one in the same.
The Pentagon will pump millions into a State Department center created to fight propaganda and disinformation campaigns waged by foreign nations, as it wants to be “on the offensive” and respond “aggressively” to attacks.
The State Department announced on Monday that it had signed a memorandum with the US Department of Defense to transfer $40 million to the State’s Global Engagement Center (GEC), so it could up its game in countering malicious content online. Continue reading