Worry less about the march of the robots, more about techno panic | Kenan Malik

An obsession with the threat of technology may well edge us closer to the dystopia we’re so fearful of

 A robot cleaner infiltrates Germany’s ministry of finance by blending in with the pool of legitimate machines. After initially performing routine cleaning tasks, the robot, using facial recognition, identifies the finance minister. It approaches her and detonates a concealed bomb.

That’s one of the scenarios sketched out in a new report called The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence. Produced by 26 researchers from universities, thinktanks and campaigning organisations in Europe and the US, it is the latest in a series of studies warning of the dangers of AI.

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Worry less about the march of the robots, more about techno panic | Kenan Malik

An obsession with the threat of technology may well edge us closer to the dystopia we’re so fearful of

 A robot cleaner infiltrates Germany’s ministry of finance by blending in with the pool of legitimate machines. After initially performing routine cleaning tasks, the robot, using facial recognition, identifies the finance minister. It approaches her and detonates a concealed bomb.

That’s one of the scenarios sketched out in a new report called The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence. Produced by 26 researchers from universities, thinktanks and campaigning organisations in Europe and the US, it is the latest in a series of studies warning of the dangers of AI.

Continue reading…

Read more

Global arms trade reaches highest point since cold war era

Middle East almost doubles weapons imports, as US and Europe remain the main suppliers and China joins top-tier exporters

The global transfer of major weapons systems rose over the past five years to the highest volume since the end of the cold war as the Middle East nearly doubled its imports, according to an annual report on arms sales.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said on Monday that more weapons were delivered between 2012 and 2016 than any other five-year period since 1990. Saudi Arabia, which leads a military intervention in Yemen that has cost hundreds of civilian lives, was the world’s second largest importer after India, increasing its intake by 212%, mainly from the US and the UK.

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Ditching tobacco and arms does not make you an ethical investor

Ethical investment campaigns shouldn’t focus on so-called sin stocks like tobacco and alcohol, but on all sectors that act unethically

It is becoming increasingly common to question the ethical dimensions of investment. Institutions, pension funds and individuals have faced pressure to divest from investments in controversial industries, including so-called sin stocks such as alcohol, tobacco and arms companies.

The debate around sin stocks, though, is a confused one that risks misrepresenting what ethical investment should focus on.

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Ditching tobacco and arms does not make you an ethical investor

Ethical investment campaigns shouldn’t focus on so-called sin stocks like tobacco and alcohol, but on all sectors that act unethically

It is becoming increasingly common to question the ethical dimensions of investment. Institutions, pension funds and individuals have faced pressure to divest from investments in controversial industries, including so-called sin stocks such as alcohol, tobacco and arms companies.

The debate around sin stocks, though, is a confused one that risks misrepresenting what ethical investment should focus on.

Continue reading…

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Lockheed Martin strikes $9m deal to buy helicopter maker Sikorsky

Swoop for manufacturer of Black Hawk chopper opens new foreign markets for Lockheed, the Pentagon’s largest arms supplier

Lockheed Martin is to buy Sikorsky, maker of the Black Hawk helicopter, from rival United Technologies Corporation (UTC) for $9bn (£5.8bn), consolidating its position as the Pentagon’s largest supplier.

The deal opens key foreign markets for arms manufacturer Lockheed, which dwarfs its nearest competitors, the defence business of air giant Boeing, and Northrop Grumman, maker of the B-2 stealth bomber.

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Lockheed Martin strikes $9m deal to buy helicopter maker Sikorsky

Swoop for manufacturer of Black Hawk chopper opens new foreign markets for Lockheed, the Pentagon’s largest arms supplier

Lockheed Martin is to buy Sikorsky, maker of the Black Hawk helicopter, from rival United Technologies Corporation (UTC) for $9bn (£5.8bn), consolidating its position as the Pentagon’s largest supplier.

The deal opens key foreign markets for arms manufacturer Lockheed, which dwarfs its nearest competitors, the defence business of air giant Boeing, and Northrop Grumman, maker of the B-2 stealth bomber.

Continue reading…

Read more