Artificial Intelligence

TED Talk. Sam Harris: How can we build AI without losing control?

26.04.2017

The scenario Sam describes in his talk is disconcerting, even terrifying, but likely to occur: AI – artificial intelligence – could ultimately destroy us or inspire us to destroy ourselves. „One of the things that worry me most about the development of AI at this point is that we seem unable to marshal an appropriate emotional response to the dangers that lie ahead.“ Sam’s concern is that one day machines built by us might treat us with the same disregard as ants are treated by us. „It seems overwhelmingly likely, however, that the spectrum of intelligence extends much further than we currently conceive, and if we build machines that are more intelligent than we are, they will very likely explore this spectrum in ways that we can’t imagine, and exceed us in ways that we can’t imagine.“

Read article

Reading time: about 1 minute
A lilliput hotel near Västeras in Sweden.

Snuggling up in Sweden: A semi-submarine Lilliput Hotel

10.04.2017

Who needs posh?! Would a minimalist wooden cabin – bobbing on Swedish waters – with an interior reduced to bare necessities not suffice as well? Hotell Utter Inn, a pocket-sized lodging solution near Västerås, was conceived by local artist Mikael Genberg and built in 2000. It not merely floats, but virtually represents an islet in its own right. The tiny upstairs-downstairs affair has no immediate neighbours intruding into whatever one might be up to and is always encircled by a refreshing breeze to help cool off a reeling mind. Privacy of a similar quality is rarely to be had this close to civilisation.

Read article

Reading time: about 2 minutes
Heiligendamm. An incentive event in front of Hohenzollern Castle

Heiligendamm: A White Beauty by the Sea

28.03.2017

As is frequently the case, the spirit of a new era is ushered in by initiative of one committed individual. When it comes to the history of German spa-ing, it is said to have been a progressive physician by the name of Samuel Gottlieb Vogel, who had triggered off the lasting success story of sea-side health treatments. The healing effects of a coastal climate and the invigorating properties of salty seawater on skins in desperate need of airing, were promoted by him. And, in order to corroborate his cause, Vogel convinced nobility to act as prominent supporters and forerunners, making Heiligendamm with its tideless shores the premier German spa resort and Friedrich Franz I of Mecklenburg-Schwerin the first-ever guest to use it. That was back in 1793.

Read article

Reading time: about 3 minutes
Beethoven's Ode to Joy

The Sound of Friendship: Beethoven’s „Ode to Joy“

22.03.2017

Whenever there is reason to celebrate on a festive scale, a dramatic sound scape must not be missing. Worldwide, solemn ceremonies are carried by Beethoven’s „Ode to Joy“ (Ode an die Freude), being played by enthusiastic orchestras and sung by effervescent choirs in front of a mesmerised audience. Since its debut in Vienna in 1824, the compassionate tune and emotional lyrics manifested themselves as the epitome of the brotherhood of man.

Read article

Reading time: about 4 minutes
Vegan Diet

Vegan food trend: Crying for substitution

13.03.2017

As will soon become obvious, this article was written by an omnivorous female who believes in the power of a well-balanced diet – and still respects animals and their rights and our environment in a healthy and practicable manner.

The ambition of a good and wholesome cuisine has always been the use of fresh produce and to tamper with it as little as possible: to retain vits, minerals and trace elements, maintain its original shape, colour, size and taste and to offer a pleasant sight on the plate. Boiling vegetables to death or to make a pallid mash of virtually everything has luckily dropped out of fashion – reason enough for palates and eyes each to heave a huge sigh of relief.

Read article

Reading time: about 5 minutes