Monday Morning: Synthesized Brain

When you need a break this hectic Monday morning, take five minutes and watch ANA from Factory Fifteen. I’m intrigued by the props and set — how much is CGI, and how much is actual production line? What company allowed this production company access to their equipment?

Though snappy and visually engaging, the story’s not realistic — yet. But much of the equipment on the production line is very close to that used in manufacturing today. And just as depicted in this short film, the weakest link is the human.

Worth keeping in mind this week as we plow deeper into the conflict at the intersection of humans and devices. Speaking of which…

Apple-heavy week ahead

  • Hearing in California tomorrow in front of Judge Sheri Pym over the San Bernardino’s shooter’s iPhone. Be sure to read Marcy’s take on the hearing and witnesses.
  • WLTX of Columbia SC posted a timeline of #AppleVsFBI events — unfortunately, it starts on February 16 with Judge Pym’s order to Apple.
  • NYT reported last week that Apple employees may quit if Apple is ordered to cooperate and write security-undermining code. But is this a deliverable in itself? The article offered an incredible amount of detail about Apple’s operations; if employees quit, any entities observing the technology company will know even more. Has this shakedown been designed to yield information about Apple’s operations, while risking corporate and personal security?
  • Apple will release information about new products today at a media event. The buzz may be less about the new products than the hearing tomorrow.
  • An iPhone 6 bursting into flames during a flight to Hawaii didn’t help Apple. One might wonder why this particular phone flamed out so spectacularly as it’s a relatively new device.

HEADS UP TECH USERS

  • Kindle users: Amazon is forcing a mandatory update across all its older Kindle reader devices. Deadline: TOMORROW MARCH 22 — after that date, users will have to manually update devices and download books via PC and not over the internet.
  • Tweetdeck users: Owner Twitter will kill the Windows app on April 15th. After that time, Windows-based users will need to use a browser. Can’t blame Twitter–it’s ridiculously expensive to write and service so many apps when the same devices usually have a browser.
  • Android users: 1) Protect your privacy and security by checking these settings; 2) Check this setting, stat, to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Nexus users: Make sure you have the latest patch issued last week. All other Android users should nag their equipment makers for their version of the same patch.

Before the machines complete their occupation of our world…

  • Nice read on law emerging with the rise of robots. Too bad none of them really incorporate Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. (The Atlantic)
  • Want to bet the overlords will argue workers should be paid less because they don’t have to work as hard wearing an exoskeleton — like these at Panasonic? (By the way, DARPA, that’s yet another commercially-developed exoskeleton near release; where’s yours/ours?) (Mashable)
  • Artificial intelligence already pitted against humans by those bloody banksters. Watch this video and ask yourself if this guy from Global Capital Acquisitions realizes there are humans at the nodes of the investment network whose lives are affected by his blah-blah-blah-babbling about artificial intelligence. STG he could be a machine himself. (Bloomberg)
  • Myths about AI busted – another solid read. Combined with the preceding Bloomberg bankster video it reinforces AI threat awareness. (Gizmodo)

After watching that video at Bloomberg, I think we’re a lot closer to ANA than we realized. Watch your backs — Monday is certainly gaining on you, if robots aren’t.

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.
6 replies
  1. bloopie2 says:

    How about this tech news: “Automakers In US Commit To Automatic Emergency Braking Standard On New Cars” (it’s voluntary, no less)
    .
    “Automakers have committed to making automatic emergency braking a standard feature on new cars and light trucks within the next seven years. Automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems help prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying the brakes for the driver. The systems use on-vehicle sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver and apply the brakes if the driver does not take sufficient action quickly enough. It will become standard on heavier trucks three years later.”
    .
    http://www.rttnews.com/2626925/automakers-in-us-commit-to-automatic-emergency-braking-standard-on-new-cars.aspx?type=gn
    .
    Can’t wait for the first lawsuit of “The damn car jammed on the brakes by itself and so my super-hot McDonald’s coffee spilled and burned me and I couldn’t control the car any more and so I ran over a little kid on a bicycle and his mother ran out into the street and so another car had to automatically stop suddenly to avoid her and that car got rear-ended and the accident blocked the street and so the fire trucks behind us couldn’t get through and so some house burned down and killed a bunch of cats.”

  2. Denis says:

    Thank you for the link to the WLTX timeline, it’s concise
    and helpful as far as it goes.
    .
    I’ve tried to keep up with posting links to the most
    important documents in these DoJ v. Apple cases.
    .
    http://logophere.com/SideBar%20Pages/2016%20Apple-DOJ%20timeline.htm
    .
    They’re $.10/page if you download them from Pacer, which
    annoys the livin’ b’jezus outta’ me. What annoys me 100x
    more is Courthouse News then reselling these sorts of court
    documents for about $30 a pop. Guess I should be re-selling
    for $.05/page. . . or maybe put them on eBay.
    .
    The WLTX timeline ends with this:
    .
    “The Future Experts expect that whatever the outcome of
    the case, it will be appealed to the 9th Circuit Court in
    California and potentially all the way to the Supreme Court.”
    .
    That’s mostly right, but obscures two important points.
    .
    #1 — the 9th Circuit does sit in California (SF) but its jurisdiction
    is huge, which is why it is the largest circuit court of appeals. It
    covers AK, HI, CA, WY, MT, AZ, ID, NV, OR, WA. Did I miss any? Any
    decision the 9th Cir makes is binding in all those states but no
    others. Granted, there’s not much in most of these states
    except dirt, cow pats, and Sovereign Citizens,
    .
    #2 — WLTX omits an important intermediate step in this case.
    Pym’s decision will be reviewed by a local USDC judge.
    I don’t believe there are rules that allow a magistrate judge’s
    order to go straight to a court of appeal even if the parties
    agree. Of course, the same goes for Orenstein’s blistering
    opinion over in NY.
    .
    IMO Pym was an idiot for entering an initial order granting DoJ’s
    ex parte application. She should have done what Orenstein
    did and bring Apple into the case immediately so that the
    issues could be fully briefed and heard prior to the order.
    Now she has to make the calculation of whether to stick to
    her guns and probably get reversed on review or reverse
    herself in order to look less like the idiot she is.
    .
    Entering orders behind parties’ backs is not the way most
    people think the system should work.
    .
    I shouldn’t be so hard on the lady, It’s a tough job and
    this case has to be one of her toughest. I like her name.
    Makes me think of an English teacher or librarian for
    some reason. Wonder if she wears her hair in a bun.

  3. bloopie2 says:

    The second link on AI is a winner – must read for sure – thank you! And it’s scary as can be. One mistake, though, I would point out. When it talks about AI putting us out of work, it says this: “Over the next couple of decades AI is going to destroy many jobs, but this is a good thing,” Miller told Gizmodo. Self-driving cars could replace truck drivers, for example, which would cut delivery costs and therefore make it cheaper to buy goods. “If you earn money as a truck driver, you lose, but everyone else effectively gets a raise as their paychecks buy more,” Miller said. “And the money these winners save will be spent on other goods and services which will generate new jobs for humans.”
    .
    Yeah, right, just like global trade will put us out of work but we’ll save enough by shopping at Wal-Mart to make up for it.

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