In times of universal deceit, telling
the truth is a revolutionary act.
         - George Orwell


Napoleon once observed that "history" is a set of lies agreed upon. In an era of ubiquitous fake news and information warfare, this has never been more true. The very concept of objective truth in history is fading out of our world. Pure propaganda and outright lies are passing into our history textbooks as unquestioned truth, condemning future generations to false views about historical reality. But the task of sifting through the lies and propaganda is overwhelming, limited by the ambition and time constraints of most observors. Only those who have dedicated their lives to sorting reality from falsehood are qualified to rewrite "consensus" history as a duty to humanity. The contributors to this site endeavor to do just that.

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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Playing God, Becoming the Devil: Connecting Human Consciousness with A.I.


     Futurist billionaire and Tesla founder Elon Musk has recently announced an ambitious corporate venture to merge human consciousness with computers - literally. Working with advance-ments in both quantum computing and the ability to get human neurons to communicate electronically with silicon chips, Musk is optimistic that within a few years, his team of researchers and developers will bypass the clumsy "GUI" (graphic user interface) cybernetics of today, which rely on mice and keyboards, and integrate the human brain with computers directly.
     The stated promise is the advancement of human learning in the face of rapidly advancing artificial intelligence which, without the direct brain-computer interface, stands to overtake human intelligence within a decade.  A quick interaction with Apple's 'SIRI' already hints at this reality.  By merging man with machine, the argument goes, we stand a chance of keeping up with computers by having the entire Internet a mere "thought-stream" away.  But critics are beginning to ask:  What are the potential downsides of having a pioneering elite leap-frog into the technology while the lowly masses of humanity are left behind?  Who will control the merged man-machine cyberspace?  And could the merger lead to the nightmare scenario imagined twenty years ago in the movie series 'Terminator', where artificial intelligence actively engages all the components of the rapidly-emerging Internet-of-things into destroying humanity?

Consider the following articles:

‘Who will control merged human-AI digital space?’ 
Slavoj Zizek on Musk’s brain implant venture, on RT, Mar, 31, 2017.
Originally from:  © Christoph Schmidt / www.globallookpress.com

The plan to directly link the brain with AI will inevitably create a privileged class that will retain self-identity and free will, obtaining an immense control over the ordinary human consciousness merged with digital space, argues Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek.

With an ambitious goal of keeping mankind up-to-speed with advancing technology, the billionaire tech entrepreneur and inventor Elon Musk has played an active role in launching a new company called Neuralink which seeks to create devices that can be implanted in the human brain, the Wall Street Journal reported this week. However, such a step inevitably raises questions of who will be in control of the digital space that would emerge.

“There is first the big question of power – who will be controlling this digital space? It’s a mega-political question,” Zizek told RT.

“Here I don’t believe in those dreamers like [American scientist] Ray Kurzweil, who think we will become part of some collective brain-singularity and so on. No, the only question for me is – and we don’t have a good answer – how will this affect our self-experience? Will we still experience ourselves as free beings, or will we be regulated by digital machinery – now comes the crucial point – without even being aware that we are being regulated?”

Zizek argues that with advancing technology, it will be possible to use this AI link to control people and get them to do things without even realizing it, something that has totalitarian implications.

Elon Musk © Rashid Umar AbbasiEnter the Matrix: 'Humans are transforming into a new technological species'

“Never forget that attempts to control us always begin like this,” Zizek explained. “You begin with all these humanitarian causes, heart diseases and so on, and then sooner or later you move to police control. Even today, computers know more about ourselves than we do.”

“I know where the future is. We will be automatically checked-up, controlled for our health, but also for our purchases, what are we buying, for our political opinions, for our voting, and so on. A computer will literally know us better than we know ourselves.”

“I’m not opposed to this, I’m not a utopian, my question is simply: who will control the computers?”

Zizek, who has written extensively about the class struggle, said he predicts a new class system emerging, built around our access to the digital world.

“I think we are approaching a paradoxical situation [in light of modern consumerism], where to be outside digital space will become a privilege. I think the privileged will be those, who will be able to regulate digital space without themselves being fully included into it.”

“A new class division will appear, much stronger than the old class division envisioned by Marxist theory: a division between those who are just controlled, and those who can regulate those modes of digital control themselves.”

But despite all this, Zizek maintains that the coming digital revolution is a source of freedom as well as oppression.

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Terminated: ‘Skynet’ nuclear apocalypse scenario may come true, warns Russia’s top arms official
© Mike Blake / Reuters, RT, Published time: 28 Oct, 2016 14:36

The future of warfare involves increased use of robots, but putting a non-human in control of a nuclear arsenal is a scary scenario, believes Dmitry Rogozin, the deputy PM in charge of the Russian defense industry.

“Let’s consider the Hollywood movie ‘The Terminator’. Once humans realize they are incapable of acting fast enough, they delegate the decision over launching a retaliation nuclear strike to a machine, Skynet,” Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin said at a meeting with students of Tomsk Polytechnic University.

“A machine is a machine. Should we entrust one with such a sacred thing as the existence of humanity? I doubt that,” he added, saying he is “scared” of putting a machine in charge of nuclear weapons.

The plot of ‘The Terminator’ sees the Skynet computer system go rogue and launch American ICBM’s at Russia and China, triggering a nuclear apocalypse. The fictional company later uses robots to subjugate and eradicate survivors, but human resistance forces eventually fight back.

With NATO’s deployment of military systems close to Russia’s border – including the European anti-ballistic missile shield – Moscow would have less time after receiving a launch warning to decide on whether to respond with a nuclear strike of its own.

Machines, however, have a huge advantage over humans in the speed at which they can take decisions, so NATO’s actions could tempt Russia into entrusting its nuclear arsenal to an automated system, the deputy PM explained.“I’m not a pessimist here. It’s just we should be aware that something radically new is emerging which will affect our most basic experience of who we are as human beings.”

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