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Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence would be unpredictable on the battlefield and could start a new arms race

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The controversy surrounding artificial intelligence isn’t going anywhere it seems. In fact, things are heating up yet again due to an open letter recently published by the Future of Life Institute (FLI), which warns against using autonomous weaponry on the battlefield. The letter was written by some of the world’s top AI researchers and paints a pretty grim picture for the future of humanity should major military powers choose to ignore it. Having advanced artificial intelligence among us is already a pretty unsettling thought for many, but using it to wage war is downright scary. Not to mention very ill-advised.

An argument against the use of artificial intelligence on the battlefield is that doing so would likely spark another arms race between rivaling nations. Unlike the nuclear arms race, however, this one could be even worse since producing and maintaining autonomous weapons is cheaper that producing nukes, which means that many countries could potentially try to get in on the action. The letter also talks about the fact that artificial intelligence might eventually end up on the black market if mass produced, allowing shady groups to use it for “assassinations, destabilizing nations, subduing populations and selectively killing a particular ethnic group.”

“Just as most chemists and biologists have no interest in building chemical or biological weapons, most AI researchers have no interest in building AI weapons — and do not want others to tarnish their field by doing so, potentially creating a major public backlash against AI that curtails its future societal benefits. Indeed, chemists and biologists have broadly supported international agreements that have successfully prohibited chemical and biological weapons, just as most physicists supported the treaties banning space-based nuclear weapons and blinding laser weapons.”

Among the people who have already signed and endorsed the letter we find a few high-profile figures that have already spoken against the potential dangers of artificial intelligence on more than one occasion in the past. These people include theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, to name just a few. All three of them have signed another Future of Life Institute open letter earlier this year, which was also related to artificial intelligence and how it could pose a threat to humanity some day.

Artificial Intelligence

Android’s latest Theft Detection Lock feature serves as a deterrent against smartphone thefts and snatch-and-grab incidents

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Imagine yourself engaged in your own affairs, seated on a park bench, gazing at your mobile device. Explosion. An individual seizes your device and swiftly flees with it. While Android and iOS devices do have certain security measures, what about the brief period of time when the phone is still unlocked? Is there a method available to remotely erase its data?

Burglars can obtain a substantial amount of information within that brief duration. Each moment is significant. During the Google I/O 2024 developer conference, Google unveiled a new feature for Android called Theft Detection Lock. This feature is specifically designed to safeguard against the increasing risk of theft. Once activated, the AI-driven function will automatically secure the device.

According to Google, if your phone detects a typical movement related to theft, it will rapidly lock the screen to prevent thieves from easily accessing your data. An instance of such a stimulus is a mechanism that abruptly initiates rapid motion in the opposite direction.

Google is implementing an offline device lock feature, specifically designed to safeguard the device in the event of intentional disconnection from the network. Occurrences such as consistently failing to authenticate the phone will activate that functionality.

The forthcoming update will also introduce functionality that enhances the level of difficulty for malefactors attempting to perform a remote factory reset on your device. According to Google, this upgrade prevents thieves from setting up a stolen device again without having knowledge of your device or Google account credentials, even if they force a reset. By rendering a stolen device unsellable, it diminishes the motivation for individuals to engage in phone theft.

Biometric authentication will be mandatory for modifying sensitive information while the device is connected from an unsecured location.

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Artificial Intelligence

As AI comes out, Google adds a “Web” search filter that shows old-school text links

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Google is undergoing a transformation to adapt to the AI era. As part of this, the company is now providing AI summaries directly in its search results. Additionally, Google is introducing a new feature that allows users to filter their search results to only display text-based links. The addition of the new “Web” filter at the top of the results page will allow users to specifically filter for text links, similar to how they can currently filter for images, video, news, or shopping.

The announcement was made on Tuesday through a post on X during Google I/O, the company’s developer conference. During the conference, Google introduced significant changes to its search engine, including AI-organized search results and AI overviews in search.

Google states that the new “Web” filter will be visible either at the top of the results page or within the “More” option, depending on the specific search query.

The launch acknowledges that there are instances when individuals simply desire to display text-based links to web pages, which are typically considered less significant nowadays as Google either provides answers directly in its informational Knowledge Panels or, more recently, through AI experiments.

The Google SearchLiaison X account is noted. The post stated that this addition was made in response to feedback from users who expressed a preference for seeing only web page links in their search results. This preference may arise when users are searching for longer-form text documents, using devices with limited internet access, or simply preferring text-based results to be displayed separately from search features. “If you belong to that particular group, I hope you have a pleasant experience!”

Google has specified that on mobile devices, the new “Web” filter will be displayed by default, along with the other filters, without necessitating users to access the “More” menu. On desktop, Google will display the filters that appear to be the most pertinent to the search results.

Google announced that the feature will be gradually released to users worldwide over the course of today and tomorrow.

The announcement of a “Web” filter is bound to spark some controversy, especially among the SEO community. These experts have always strived to enhance their links in order to secure a spot on the first page of Google search results for specific keywords. However, this type of SEO manipulation has potentially diminished the usefulness of Google compared to its early days. At that time, search experts weren’t manipulating the PageRank algorithm.

The move is a significant gamble that suggests the future of search may not revolve around presenting website links. Instead, users may find the answers they are looking for in alternative forms of content or even AI responses that provide sources for those who want to explore the topic in more depth. It is yet to be determined how these changes will impact industries that heavily depend on clicks and visitors.

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Artificial Intelligence

New 3D displays are coming out from Looking Glass

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Looking Glass produces immersive mixed-reality displays that create a three-dimensional visual experience without the requirement of specialized eyewear. Today, it introduces two new displays, one of which is a 16-inch model priced at $4,000. Additionally, there is a 32-inch screen available, which comes with a price tag that is intentionally kept high to deter those who cannot afford it from inquiring about its cost. The displays are offered in both landscape and portrait orientations, allowing for increased versatility to accommodate various content formats and applications.

The price of the previous 15-inch model was $6,000, thus indicating a slight decrease in prices. Additionally, a few years ago, the company unveiled a $350 holographic digital photo frame along with software that enables the enhancement of your vacation photos to produce a three-dimensional effect.

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The new displays offer stunning group 3D visualization without the need for headsets. This means that professionals working with 3D content can get things done without having to deal with the hassle and fatigue of wearing extra hardware. The company says that its products are made for professionals in design, engineering, education, research, and healthcare who need cutting-edge visualization tools.

The new displays, along with the recently announced Looking Glass Go, complete the company’s range of space-related products. Looking Glass Go turns 2D photos into 3D memories, but the bigger formats are better for XR developers and professionals.

Groups can view the content, which is another advantage of these displays. This is especially useful when working together. The business says that up to 100 different people can use the content at the same time.

The screens can show a lot of different types of media, like holographic images, high-quality videos, and real-time apps. They also have gesture-based controls that make the experience even more immersive without having to touch the computer screen.

Looking Glass has many ways to make content, such as plugins for Unity, Unreal, Blender, and WebXR. It also comes with a software development kit and a 3D model importer for making your own holographic content.

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