With the help of Derek Robertson
If the explosion of artificial intelligence wasn’t mind-boggling enough, Washington is now grappling with the possibility of another, stranger AI: alien intelligence.
After a former intelligence official publicly said earlier this month that he was tipped off by other officials about a secret government program that possesses downed alien spacecraft, the House Oversight Committee said announced plans for a hearing on the matter.
And former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Christopher Mellon, now with Harvard’s alien-focused Project Galileo, wrote in POLITICO Magazine that he reported four people to the Pentagon UFO office who claims to be aware of covert government efforts to study off-world ships.
The Pentagon has said its UFO program has uncovered no verifiable information to support claims of downed craft, and many stories about aliens and UFOs have been shown to stem from a combination of delusion, confusion and misinformation.
But here at DFD, we like to keep an open mind.
After all, the internet’s magic money, killer robots, and artificial intelligence itself were all the stuff of futuristic sci-fi before they became political hot potatoes in the present.
And it turns out that artificial intelligence, in particular, has a thing or two to teach us about the possible existence of its extraterrestrial cousin.
To help us understand this, we sat down with Ravi Starzl, a computer science professor focused on artificial intelligence at Carnegie Mellon. Starzl also serves as an adviser to Americans for Safe Aerospace, an advocacy group founded by former Navy fighter pilot Ryan Graves, which has drawn attention to the UFO phenomenon since it reported a series of sightings in 2014 and 2015 at Congress and the Pentagon. .
On a practical level, how can AI help identify UFOs?
I have helped some organizations develop algorithms and machine learning systems to be able to identify and characterize unknown aerial phenomena based on multimodal domains of data. So visual, textual, audio, radar.
Machine learning, and artificial intelligence in particular, will be able to process the vast amounts of existing information, make sense of it, and actually transform it into interpretable insights and even actionable information
You have to be able to separate hoaxes and fakes from genuine phenomena and machine learning is extremely useful for this.
On a more abstract level, Ryan Graves has argued that the process underway now, in which human societies grapple with the rise of AI, will prepare them for the possible existence of alien intelligence. What do you think?
A real value in the current craze is to force people to start thinking about the fact that we are no longer the only cognitive entities operating in our world. They’re not quite as sophisticated as to where the fundamentals of that technology can take it. But we can still have a conversation with it right now and it can work for us and it can give us ideas that we didn’t have.
That process of learning how to interact with an alien basically, if you will, intelligence is going to open up the whole zeitgeist.
It seems like an exciting time to be studying intelligence.
We’re going to be very busy and we’re living in very interesting times for the next 20 years as these things start to merge and diverge and get analyzed and brought more into the mainstream.
When you say these things do you mean man-made AI, or are you also talking about possible alien intelligence?
I guess in my mind, I’m having a hard time seeing the difference.
So, on some level, are they just different forms of intelligence?
This is a question that has been struggled with, what does it mean to have the other?
On one level, two humans are alien intelligences. Because one, each of them has its own cognitive sphere. Each of them has their own mental models of reality. And they have to exchange information to collaborate.
The same phenomenon, like a matryoshka doll, continues outward when dealing with super-organisms such as corporations.
And then from there you have formations that interact with other formations at a superintelligence level. So in many respects the question: Is there an alien intelligence and how would we deal with it? it has already been definitively answered. Yes, because he’s already with us.
But now the question becomes how exotic it is, what processes created it, and how can we establish a more efficient or more consistent or consistent or safe way to interact with it, understand it and learn from it?
Sometimes to guide the future, you have to learn a little from the past.
Writing in POLITICO magazine this weekend, Vanderbilt University professor Ganesh Sitaraman proposes lawmakers squabble over how to regulate Chinese-owned app preferred by young Americans TikTok reflects on a little bit of American history before WWII.
[D]Debates over foreign ownership of the media are part of an important American legal history and tradition, Sitaraman writes, arguing that lawmakers should make a decision platform utility approach to TikTok that would ensure American influence over its governance.
If lawmakers want to take a lesson from America’s long tradition of regulated capitalism, they should push for comprehensive legislation to regulate technology platforms most akin to utilities, Sitaraman writes. Such legislation would include restrictions on foreign ownership and control, which could apply to all technology platforms of adversary countries. Comprehensive legislation should also include industry standards that apply to US companies, as well as standards not only on data collection, surveillance and privacy, but also against anti-competitive behavior – all tech policy topics that have relevance far beyond TikTok itself . Derek Robertson
If Apple’s Reality Pro headset turns out to be the future-defining device that finally brings virtual and augmented reality into American homes, we may not start to see the effects for a long time.
That’s what technology analyst Benedict Evans predicts a new essay, comparing it to the iPhone and writing Today we know that the iPhone worked, but Apple still had to change the business model, expand distribution and build many more products. Sales haven’t really taken off for five years and the launch has been pretty weak. [I]It seems unlikely that this will be as big as the iPhone in the next few years, and more likely even then it will look more like the iPad, which is a good deal.
In fact, he writes that perhaps the most revealing thing about the Reality Pro launch so far is in what it says about how much raw capital Apple has to spend to experiment with such devices. He notes that Apple had $280 billion in free cash flow over the past three years to play with, helping to power the silicon and manufacturing craftsmanship that made Reality Pro possible, and which will pose a formidable challenge to the likes of Meta in the their new competition. Derek Robertson
Stay in touch with the whole team: Ben Schreckinger ([email protected]); Derek Robertson ([email protected]); Mohar Chatterjee ([email protected]); AND Steve Heuser ([email protected]). Follow us @Digital Future on Twitter.
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