This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Sep 5)

ROBOTICS: Let’s Treat Robots Like Yo-Yo Ma’s Cello — as an Instrument for Human Intelligence
Nicholas Agar | The World Post
“Our own human complexity suggests that there is plenty of scope for humans assisted by digital technologies (and electricity) to create ways to satisfy the needs of other humans. As digital technologies vacate center stage, there should be greater opportunities for humans to claim starring roles.”

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: The Struggle To Define What Artificial Intelligence Actually Means
Gary Lea | The Conversation
“From a philosophical perspective, “intelligence” is a vast minefield, especially if treated as including one or more of “consciousness”, “thought”, “free will” and “mind”. Although traceable back to at least Aristotle’s time, profound arguments on these Big Four concepts still swirl around us.”

GENETICS: The Philosopher Who Says We Should Play God
Steve Paulson | Nautilus
“One of the big mistakes in ethics is to think that means make all the difference. The fact that we’ve done it or nature has done it is irrelevant to individuals and is largely irrelevant to society. What difference would it make if a couple of identical twins come not through a natural splitting of an embryo, but because some IVF doctor had divided the embryo at the third day after conception? Should we suddenly treat them differently? The fact that they arose through choice and not chance is morally irrelevant.”

VIRTUAL REALITY: Experience the horror of Ebola in this new VR film
James Temperton | WIRED UK
“Filmed using a purpose-built VR camera, the medium presents new possibilities for filmmakers and storytellers. Unlike photo essays and documentary films, in VR you are forced to twist and turn your head to take everything in. Quite quickly you forget you’re not in Liberia.”

3D PRINTING: An affordable, self-correcting, multi-material 3D printing platform
Shalini Saxena | Ars Technica
“Over the past three years, they’ve developed an impressive multi-material 3D printing platform that costs around $7,000—over an order of magnitude cheaper than other multi-material systems.”

DIGITAL CONTENT: Robots Might Soon Be Writing ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Books
Maddie Stone | Gizmodo
“Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are hard at work on an artificial intelligence program that can build interactive fiction — a la Choose Your Own Adventure and Twine — by reading stories written by humans and studying their narrative structures.”

SECURITY is the Global Grand Challenge
for the Month of September

“Safety of all people from physical and psychological harm;
and protection of physical, financial, and digital systems.”
from Singularity University’s 2015 Impact Report

CYBERWARFARE: We’re at Cyberwar: A Global Guide to Nation-State Digital Attacks
Kim Zetter | WIRED
“In recent years, more than 20 countries have announced their intent to launch or beef up their offensive cyber capabilities. The result is a burgeoning digital arms race that presents a major threat to the security of our data.”

THREATS: National security faces challenges from insider threats, scholar says
Clifton Parker |
“People and organizations often remember what they should forget and forget what they should remember,” she said, adding that policymakers tend to attribute failure to people and policies. While seemingly hidden at times, the organizational roots of disaster are much more important than many think, she added.”

PRIVACY: Facial Recognition Technology: A Creepy But Ultimately Powerful Boon to Society
Amy X. Wang | Slate
“Like any burgeoning technology, facial recognition must reckon with complex privacy laws, and legislators have the daunting task of making sure its applications remain beneficial instead of exploitative. But from a purely technological standpoint, a facial recognition dystopia is still wildly off.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock

David J. Hill
David J. Hill
David started writing for Singularity Hub in 2011 and served as editor-in-chief of the site from 2014 to 2017 and SU vice president of faculty, content, and curriculum from 2017 to 2019. His interests cover digital education, publishing, and media, but he'll always be a chemist at heart.
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