Topic: Global

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.“

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Reading time: about 1 minute
A Galloway by Pexels

Common Sense vs. Decadence

20.02.2017

 

The 25 most expensive Dishes and Drinks compiled by Ignitespot

As is widely known, there are many sappy fruitcakes on the face of this earth, some even make it to the top of politics. But no, what we are talking about here is genuine food, albeit of a nature that again gives reason to doubt reason. Spending a fortune on a humble trench of Japanese Miyazaki Wagyu beef – the Kobe superlative – may still be somewhat comprehensible given the fact that body and soul of an Asian cow need to be pampered into beef so artfully marbled and tender that effort and price are warranted and the cow is a happy one until death do them part, bovine and farmer. If you are a good Miyazaki-Wagyu-beef producer you might even win the Japanese Culinary Olympics Beef Competition held in Nagasaki every five years. And so it happens that a slice of Lancashire Wagyu & Mushroom Pie served in England may cost you a handsome 1,781 US-$.

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Reading time: about 2 minutes
Rusty wire cage. Are we caged in our personality?

TED Talk. Brian Little: Who are you really?

17.11.2016

„One of the most influential approaches in personality science is known as trait psychology, and it aligns you along five dimensions which are normally distributed, and that describe universally held aspects of difference between people. They spell out the acronym OCEAN. So, ‘O’ stands for ‘open to experience’ versus those who are more closed. ‘C’ stands for conscientiousness’ in contrast to those with a more lackadaisical approach to life. ‘E’ — ‘extroversion’ in contrast to more introverted people. ‘A’ — ‘agreeable individuals’ in contrast to those decidedly not agreeable. And ‘N’ — ‘neurotic individuals’ in contrast to those who are more stable.“

Brian Little’s intriguing talk is highly entertaining – and it reminds us that we cannot lick the outside of our own elbow. :-)

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The Olympic Symbol

The Olympic Symbol: Rings connecting the World

11.08.2016

When a commodity is taken for granted, it usually does not receive much attention. Unfairly so. Yet, especially the reliable components in our lives ready to be harvested at random if needed, deserve some limelight once in a while. The Olympic Symbol, for instance, has accompanied us since we were children. But do we know who thought it up and what it actually means – apart from being the familiar logo of a prestigious international sports event?

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
Inverted Age Pyramid

Out of shape: The inverted Age Pyramid

18.07.2016

Longevity and the future Population Structure

A World Bank report makes it clear: owing to the demographic evolution, and the consequent shrinkage of a working age population, it becomes important to keep older workers in the labor force longer. A changed pension policy accompanied by a flexible labor market should enable them to remain in the workforce and retain a high level of productivity. Presently, the prognosis for the future population structure resembles a column and may even take the shape of an inverting pyramid – with smaller cohorts of working age population expected to support the larger ones of elderly retirees. With rising longevity suggesting an average life expectancy after retirement of 15 years, the elderly are encouraged to spend their healthy years in the labor force rather than in retirement. This not only feeds pension funds, it also helps maintain the living standard enjoyed while working and reduces poverty among the elderly significantly. The following poem is a reminder of all those well-known facts – and relates to the meetings industry.

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Reading time: about 4 minutes