Elon Musk’s Open Letter to the United Nations Warns Against Autonomous Killer Robots

“Lethal autonomous weapons threaten to become the third revolution in warfare. Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend,” the letter states, according to a press release issued by the Future of Life, an organization with Musk and famous astrophysicist Stephen Hawking as two of the several members of the board of advisers. “These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways.”

Musk has expressed his dire concerns over artificial intelligence and robotics several times in recent months, despite developing and employing the technology for his self-driving cars.

“Musk of all people should know the future is always rife with uncertainty—after all, he helps construct it with each new revolutionary undertaking,” Ryan Hagemann, director of technology policy at the think tank the Niskanen Center, wrote in a blog post. “Imagine if there had been just a few additional regulatory barriers for SpaceX or Tesla to overcome.”

During a National Governors Association meeting in July, Musk described AI as the “biggest risk we face as a civilization.”

“Until people see robots going down the street killing people,” Musk said, “they don’t know how to react because it seems so ethereal.”

Musk said earlier in August that AI poses more of a risk than a nuclear weapon-armed North Korea.

SEE: KILLER ROBOT REFERENCE PAGE

Tech-focused groups have criticized Musk for his seemingly anti-AI position.

The Information, Technology, and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), for example, called the Tesla CEO an “alarmist” in 2015 for pledging $1 billion to prevent the proliferation of autonomous robots, adding that he and his ilk stoke fear about an upcoming artificial intelligence revolution.

Certain tech executives have also indirectly criticized Musk for his doomsday clamoring. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in July that people who raise fears over the advent of AI are “pretty irresponsible.”

“I think you can build things and the world gets better. With AI especially, I am really optimistic,” Zuckerberg said, according to Axios. “I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios — I just I don’t understand it … In the next five to 10 years, AI is going to deliver so many improvements in the quality of our lives.”

While he did not name anyone in particular and is presumably referring to general fears about the prospect of such capabilities, the tech wunderkind is in all likelihood alluding to specific comments made by fellow bigwig Musk, and perhaps even Hawking.

But uneasiness of autonomous functionality does not just originate from some of the people who purportedly understand it the most. A large majority of both major political affiliations believe there should be some form of regulations on AI, according to a fairly recent Morning Consult poll. Seventy-three percent of Democrats, 74 percent of Republicans, and 65 percent of independents, respectively, answered in the affirmative when asked if the U.S. should impose regulations.

Other noteworthy signatories of the letter were Mustafa Suleyman, founder of Google’s DeepMind, and Esben Østergaard, founder and CTO of Universal Robotics in Denmark.

With the apparent schism of opinion on AI in the larger tech field, Musk and several others in the robotics industry are pushing ahead with their intense apprehension towards specific applications of the technology.

“We do not have long to act,” the letter urged. “Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close.”

READ THE LETTER: “An Open Letter to the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

Gamification In Genetics

(graphic courtesy of BigFishGames/blog/stats)

The question was recently posed to me on Twitter:

How is GAMIFICATION impacting Life Sciences–specifically GENETICS?

My answer was simple: In many powerful ways combined with crowd-sourced “citizen scientists”!

To follow-up with Abraham, here are a few reference links to information on the GAMIFICATION OF GENETICS

The Gamification of Scientific Discovery from BigFish Games

http://www.bigfishgames.com/blog/stats/the-gamification-of-scientific-discovery/

Gamification & Genetics

GAMIFYING GENETICS

https://www.gene.com/stories/gamifying-genetics

GAMIFYING GENETICS IN CANCER

SEE http://www.gameffective.com/

OLD PROJECTS

CASP10
http://www.predictioncenter.org/casp10/

RECENT PROJECTS

Fierce’s top 5 feats in life sciences ‘gamification’
http://www.fiercebiotech.com/special-report/fierce-s-top-5-feats-life-sciences-gamification

Gamification of life science – The CAGI challenge
http://epilepsygenetics.net/2012/10/10/cagi-predictions/

CAGI
https://genomeinterpretation.org/

CAPRI
http://www.ebi.ac.uk/msd-srv/capri/

Dr. Joyce Stewart Earns Most Effective Administrator Award

Congratulations to Dr. Joyce Stewart,  as she was honored with the Robert J. Handy Most Effective Administrator Award, sponsored by PEMCO Insurance and WASA.

A peer committee selects the recipients from nominations that describe how each nominee is taking part in realizing the nine characteristics of high performing schools/districts as defined by research from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Established in 2002, these awards recognize outstanding Washington public school administrators. Dr. Joyce Stewart was selected as a highly effective superintendent for large districts (over 2,000 students).

A $10,000 award will be equally divided among the three winners (small, medium, & large districts).  Dr. Joyce Stewart will donate her award to the Everett Music4Life Booster Club. Music4Life repurposes donated musical instruments and gives them to Everett
Public Schools for students who may not be able to afford one.

See all winners on the PEMCO/WASA Robert J. Handy Most Effective Administrator Awards web site.

Official WASA Leadership Award Press Releases

 

About the Washington Association of School Administrators

The Washington Association of School Administrators (http://www.wasa-oly.org) is committed to the development of quality education through professional leadership. Members benefit from a supportive community of professional leaders working to provide insightful and valuable training, support, and resources to education leaders, and to sustain a positive impact on legislative and community leaders. With over 1,675 members, membership is open to all education administrators in the central office, building management, and educational agency positions. A not-for-profit organization, WASA is funded by membership dues and association events.

wasa-logoFollow WASA on Twitter:  @WASA_OLY

A research study from The University of Queensland School of Medicine, Ochsner Clinical School, New Orleans, LA

[sociallocker id=3591]DOWNLOAD the Study: Using Flipped Classroom To Bridge The Gap to Generation Y [5 page PDF][/sociallocker]

Background

The flipped classroom is a student-centered approach to learning that increases active learning for the student compared to traditional classroom-based instruction. In the flipped classroom model, students are first exposed to the learning material through didactics outside of the classroom, usually in the form of written material, voice-over lectures, or videos.

During the formal teaching time, an instructor facilitates student-driven discussion of the material via case scenarios, allowing for complex problem solving, peer interaction, and a deep understanding of the concepts. A successful flipped classroom should have three goals:

  1. Allow the students to become critical thinkers
  2. Fully engage students and instructors
  3. Stimulate the development of a deep understanding of the material.

The flipped classroom model includes teaching and learning methods that can appeal to all four generations in the academic environment.

Results

When comparing the students taught by traditional methods to those taught in the flipped classroom model, saw a statistically significant increase in test scores in Rotation 2.

While the average score for the flipped classroom group increased in Rotation 3 on the obstetrics section, the difference was not statistically significant.

Unexpectedly, the average score on the gynecology portion of the multiple-choice question examination decreased among the flipped classroom group compared to the traditional teaching group, and this decrease was statistically significant.

For both the obstetrics and the gynecology portions, researchers found statistically significant increases in the scores for the flipped classroom group in both Rotation 2 and Rotation 3 compared to the traditional teaching group.

With the exception of the gynecology portion of the multiple-choice question examination in Rotation 3, we saw improvement in scores after the implementation of the flipped classroom.

CHART-flipclass-genY-research

Conclusion

The flipped classroom is a feasible and useful alternative to the traditional classroom. It is a method that embraces Generation Y’s need for active learning in a group setting while maintaining a traditional classroom method for introducing the information.

Tweet this! #FlipClass Embraces #GenY Need for Active Learning & Maintains Traditional Classrooms

Active learning increases student engagement and can lead to improved retention of material as demonstrated on standard examinations.

[sociallocker id=3591]DOWNLOAD the Study: Using Flipped Classroom To Bridge The Gap to Generation Y [5 page PDF][/sociallocker]

A randomized, controlled research study from the China Medical Board published this week found undergraduate medical students learned  principles of electrocardiogram better with a flipped-learning instructional model.

Background

Interpreting an electrocardiogram (ECG) is not only one of the most important parts of clinical diagnostics but also one of the most difficult topics to teach and learn. In order to enable medical students to master ECG interpretation skills in a limited teaching period, the flipped teaching method has been recommended by previous research to improve teaching effect on undergraduate ECG learning.

Methods

A randomized controlled trial for ECG learning was conducted, involving 181 junior-year medical undergraduates using a flipped classroom as an experimental intervention, compared with Lecture-Based Learning (LBL) as a control group. All participants took an examination one week after the intervention by analysing 20 ECGs from actual clinical cases and submitting their ECG reports. A self-administered questionnaire was also used to evaluate the students’ attitudes, total learning time, and conditions under each teaching method.

Results

The students in the experimental group scored significantly higher than the control group (8.72 ± 1.01 vs 8.03 ± 1.01, t = 4.549, P = 0.000) on ECG interpretation. The vast majority of the students in the flipped classroom group held positive attitudes toward the flipped classroom method and also supported LBL. There was no significant difference (4.07 ± 0.96 vs 4.16 ± 0.89, Z = − 0.948, P = 0.343) between the groups. Prior to class, the students in the flipped class group devoted significantly more time than those in the control group (42.33 ± 22.19 vs 30.55 ± 10.15, t = 4.586, P = 0.000), whereas after class, the time spent by the two groups were not significantly different (56.50 ± 46.80 vs 54.62 ± 31.77, t = 0.317, P = 0.752).

Conclusion
Flipped classroom teaching can improve medical students’ interest in learning and their self-learning abilities. It is an effective teaching model that needs to be further studied and promoted.

Source:
Friend or Foe? Flipped Classroom for Undergraduate Electrocardiogram Learning: a Randomized Controlled Study

MORE on Flipped Class & BLENDED LEARNING

 

Internet Security

If you haven’t seen the  Norse Global Real-Time Attack Map, I highly recommend it as both visually fascinating and informative. The site provides a geographical display of live cyber attacks along with the origin, attack type, and target.

What Is A DDOS

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources.

They target a wide variety of important resources, from banks to news websites, and present a major challenge to making sure people can publish and access important information.

WordFence–a company that monitors and provides the leading protection for WordPress sites, issued their December 2016 WordPress Attack Activity Report which showed an increase in both brute force (password guessing) and complex attacks.

What About Your OWN Protection?

The value of anti-virus protection is directly related to the consequences of not having anti-virus software. The increases in viruses and malicious code make the Internet unsafe if you’re aware nor prepared.

Web sites get attacked and hacked all the time. Whether the Internet is a safe or a secure place for even the most tech-savvy user often debated.

Users of email and visitors of many different websites have a relatively high likelihood of accidentally downloading some form of malware or becoming the victim of an identity-stealing scam.

Your computer AND smartphone need an antivirus program which you can trust to keeping your system clean and secure from harmful virus, worms and attacks through scanning process. A trusted anti-virus software will stop problems BEFORE they start by detecting suspicious websites and files that contain malicious programs before they enter your computer and they’ll block malicious tracking software from being downloaded to your system.malicious tracking software from being downloaded to your system.

Consumer Affairs Best Antivirus Software Reviews

Antivirus software is used to detect, prevent and remove viruses and spyware, stop hacking and phishing attacks and protect consumers from identity theft. This software is essential to prevent loss of data and personal information and to keep computers and mobile devices running effectively.

Most antivirus software now runs on PC, Mac and Android and iOS mobile devices and may include a firewall to prevent access to computers and networks.

Parental monitoring options keep minors protected by limiting access to selected websites.

Whatever YOUR choice, make sure ALL your Internet-connected devices are protected, to ensure your data & privacy information is safe.

VIEW THEIR COMPLETE LIST & DETAILED COMPARISONS HERE: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/computers/antivirus-software/