In mid-April, 90 countries and dozens of nongovernmental organizations met in Geneva to discuss the challenges raised by lethal autonomous weapons, and a consortium of more than 50 NGOs called for a pre-emptive ban.
[H]ere is a priest, outfitted in the finery of a centuries-old church, shaking holy water over the engines, invoking God’s protection for a journey to near-earth orbit. That these two spheres of human creation co-exist is remarkable. That they interact, space agencies courting the sanction of Russian Orthodox Christianity, is strange.
IBM researchers build a chip that simulates a million neurons and more than 250 million synapses.
The World Council of Churches, a global coalition of 345 churches, made the decision to no longer fund oil, gas, or coal at its central committee meeting in Geneva, and recommended that its members do the same. “The committee discussed the ethical investment criteria, and considered that the list of sectors in which the WCC does not invest should be extended to include fossil fuels,” read the finance policy committee report.
Fully autonomous weapons, or “killer robots,” would jeopardize basic human rights, whether used in wartime or for law enforcement, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, on the eve of the first multilateral meeting on the subject at the United Nations.
“Philosophy helped me trim the fat in my own thoughts. And I learned how to sit with my thoughts and have some insight and get to know myself a lot better. It was enormously beneficial. It’s the best possible degree I could have gotten, for someone wanting to do something very independent and creative.”
“Her” raises two questions that have long preoccupied philosophers. Are nonbiological creatures like Samantha capable of consciousness — at least in theory, if not yet in practice? And if so, does that mean that we humans might one day be able to upload our own minds to computers, perhaps to join Samantha in being untethered from “a body that’s inevitably going to die”?