World’s Most Human-Like Robot Lands Job As University Receptionist

TN Note: Meet Nadine, the world’s most human-like robot, or so says its creator, Professor Nadia Thalmann at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Nadine now works as a receptionist. Her creator says, “This is somewhat like a real companion that is always with you and conscious of what is happening.” The philosophy behind Technocracy would say that any job that could be done by a non-human, should be done by a non-human.  

The world’s most human-like robot has begun work as a university receptionist as scientists predict the new technology will eventually provide childcare and offer friendship to lonely elderly people.

With her soft skin and flowing brunette hair, Nadine does not only meet and greet visitors, smile, make eye contact and shake hands, but she can even recognise past guests and spark up conversation based on previous chats.

Unlike conventional robots, Nadine has her own personality, mood and emotions. She can be happy or sad, depending on the topic.

Powered by intelligent software similar to Apple’s Siri orMicrosoft’s Cortana, she is the brainchild of scientists at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and is based on her creator Prof Nadia Thalmann.

Prof Thalmann, the director of the Institute for Media Innovation who led the development of said robots such as Nadine are poised to become more visible in offices and homes in future.

“Robotics technologies have advanced significantly over the past few decades and are already being used in manufacturing and logistics,” she said.

“As countries worldwide face challenges of an aging population, social robots can be one solution to address the shrinking workforce, become personal companions for children and the elderly at home, and even serve as a platform for healthcare services in future.

“Over the past four years, our team at NTU have been fostering cross-disciplinary research in social robotics technologies — involving engineering, computer science, linguistics, psychology and other fields — to transform a virtual human, from within a computer, into a physical being that is able to observe and interact with other humans.

“This is somewhat like a real companion that is always with you and conscious of what is happening. So in future, these socially intelligent robots could be like C-3PO, the iconic golden droid from Star Wars, with knowledge of language and etiquette.”

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Off The Buses: Driverless Robot Revolution Threatens Mass Cull Of Transport Jobs

TN Note: England may lead the way for now, but driverless transportation will quickly be ubiquitous in every industrialized society, displacing hundreds of thousands of workers. Technocracy has no provision to consider the real needs of people. Rather, it exists only to apply its scientific method to social engineering problems in order to extract maximum efficiency from the social engine. Agenda 21 specifies that the ultimate sustainable global population will be 1 billion or fewer people. Those who cannot survive because of unemployment will rapidly depopulate the planet. 
Government plans to introduce driverless buses as part of a digital revolution could see Britain lead the way in new technology, but could also put tens of thousands of people out of work.

Culture and Digital Economy minister Ed Vaizey said a five-year digital strategy currently being drawn up will propose that robotic buses be launched across the country.

The plans will be part of a wider policy to force government departments to embrace the digital age in the same way private companies have.

A Whitehall official told the Times it was a “cross-government” program.

It is about how we push the boundaries and make sure every bit of government is digital and policy is more digital.

Speaking to the Times, Vaizey said the impact of the plans on people’s lives would be “profound” and cited positive outcomes such as improved healthcare from wearable smart technology.

However critics such as computer entrepreneur and author Martin Ford warn that if the introduction of automation in the economy is not handled carefully, it could lead to mass unemployment.

In his recent book, “Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future,” Ford argues such a surge in unemployment could have disastrous consequences on the global economy.

London’s transportation system alone employees 27,000 bus drivers, according to Unite the Union, many of whom could be pushed out of work.

Britain’s digital sector accounted for 7.5 percent of the economy (£113 billion) in 2013, just ahead of Germany. Vaizey said the government wants the UK to lead the way with the new technology.

We want the UK to be synonymous with digital, a place where technology transforms day-to-day life,” he said.

The potential impact is profound. It might mean that the best educators from around the world are made accessible to all – with virtual reality sets bringing Nobel laureates into the classroom. That we can build better houses, faster.

That more power is given to the patient, and the care we provide for our elderly and sick is improved and made more affordable.

That we use driverless robotic buses in rural communities or help people to find parking places using GPS technology,” he added.

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Technocracy Is Being Woven Into Our Society

TN Note: A tip of the hat to Kathy Solomon, who wrote this article for her local paper in Macon, Georgia. This type of editorial/activity should be repeated in every community across America, and why not? It is your community after all!

Throughout history, various totalitarian and dictatorial governances have more often than not, been cloaked in some form of promised utopianism. These philosophies have had different roots but the outcome is the same: destruction, misery and death. There is a new form of utopian totalitarianism called Technocracy. It is alive and well and under implementation in this country. It is transforming economics, government, religion and law. It is about economic and social control of society and persons according to the Scientific Method. If it is allowed to be fully implemented, it too will have the same results.

It is being woven into our society under the names and programs called: Sustainable Development, Smart Grid, Green Economy, Smart Growth, Public Private Partnerships, Agenda 21, Land Use, Global Warming/Climate Change, Cap and Trade and, in education, the Common Core state standards.

Technocracy was resurrected by the global elitists led by David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski with the formation of the Trilateral Commission. In Brzezinski’s book “Between Two Ages: Americas Role in the Technetronic Era” he wrote “the nation-state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of nation-state.” He called sovereignty “fiction.” He also wrote the” technetronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled and directed society dominated by elite whose claim to political power would rest on allegedly superior scientific know-how using the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under close surveillance and control.”

What we are being transitioned into is Global Governance and the United Nations is an integral part. Much of what is being established circumvents our Congress and the Constitution. So bit by bit, our rights under our Constitution are being eroded. We will have no representation under this governance.

In view of the current Climate Conference Agenda 2030, consider the dictatorial statements such as “the science is settled,” “climate deniers must be silenced” and “climate deniers should be jailed” et al.

The conversation must be shut down because the “science” has been bought and paid for and fabricated to fit an agenda. The scientists who have changed views against global warming/climate change have had their reputations marginalized and often their careers ruined.

Maurice Newman, chairman of Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s business advisory council, said “the UN is using false models which show sustained temperature increases because it wants to end democracy and impose a New World Order.” The adviser’s inflammatory comments coincided with a visit from U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres. Newman said Figueres is “on record saying democracy is a poor political system for fighting global warming. Communist China, she says, is the best model.”

There is much more that is in play to exact this diabolical agenda. I would direct anyone interested in learning more on this subject to read both “Technocracy Rising” by Patrick Wood and “The Green Gospel” by Shelia Zilinsky.

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AI Chatbots Will Become ‘Friends’ To Millions Of Technology Users

TN Note: Artificial Intelligence is being applied to ‘chatbots’, programs that interact with users as if they were human. The problem is, people cannot differentiate between real and unreal human interaction, leading many to build bonding relationships with a program. This is not the way life is meant to be, however, and will lead to serious social dysfunction.

Artificial intelligence is coming to a messaging app near you.

Google has been working on a messaging-based chat bot for a year, according to The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper described the service as a Google Now-like virtual assistant that you could send messages to and get the answers back as messages.

It’s not clear whether this service would be available within Google’s Hangouts or Messenger service, whether it could be available on other platforms, such as over SMS, or whether it would be a new messaging service. One source told the Journal that Google would open up its chatbot as an extensible platform, which means other companies could build special-purpose chatbots based on Google’s data.

The Journal had no information about a launch date or name for the service, but did say the project is being headed by longtime Googler, Nick Fox.

An A.I. chatbot makes sense for Google. Consumers are increasingly going mobile and searching (pun intended) for an alternative to search. Current alternatives, such as Google’s own Google Now or its competitors — Siri, Cortana, Alexa and others — all suffer from imperfect voice recognition. And in their state of evolution, they can be unsatisfying to use.

John Underkoffler, the CEO of Oblong Industries (and creator of the Minority Report and Iron Man user interfaces), told me recently that “we haven’t built a good feedback system yet” (for voice assistants) that keeps you informed in real time about how well the system is understanding you. Virtual assistants also require a conscious decision to stop doing the current task and actively seek out the virtual assistant, which is a reflex many users haven’t developed.

Meanwhile, millions of online users, who used to seek out data on search engines like Google Search, and more recently on social networks like Facebook, are now moving to messaging apps, such as Facebook’s WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Viber, Telegram, WeChat and many others. The habit or impulse to reach out to people on messaging apps, and to respond to incoming messages through notifications, is growing stronger.

Google doesn’t have the most popular social network or messaging apps, but it does have the best and most popular search engine. Also: Many people consider Google Now to be the best virtual assistant. Building A.I. virtual assistance into a messaging platform makes a world of sense for Google. It helps the company with both their search engine exodus problem and the messaging app nonpopularity problem.

Of course, the new Google chatbot solves Google’s problems only if it succeeds. To succeed, Google needs to win users from a wide range of alternatives, including and especially Facebook’s.

M is for ‘Made Out Of People’

Facebook launched a new service on its mobile Messenger app called “M” (the code-name was Moneypenny).

M is a chatbot designed to do things for you. Trouble is, A.I. is imperfect. No chatbot has yet passed the Turing testuncontroversially.

So Facebook M performs a neat (if expensive) trick: Humans fill in where A.I. fails.

When you ask M whether people are involved, it replies: “I’m A.I., but humans train me.”

That claim is simply not true. Humans directly answer some of the queries. So some of M is A.I., and, yes, humans train this A.I., but many queries are answered by people.

This has been proved by multiple journalists testing the system for human involvement.

In any event, this reveals that Facebook is willing to pay what must be a massive amount of money for real people to help answer M queries, while denying it all the while. Chat-based A.I. as an alternative to search — or, for that matter, virtual assistants, customer service, and more — could become a major, important way for people to use the Internet.

Companies are desperate to show that computers can convincingly respond as people would. They grasp intuitively that the public wants exactly that: A fake human.

Cheating on the Turing test by inserting humans is Facebook’s stop-gap solution. But all chatbot makers, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and many others, are working hard on acing the test — on creating a chatbot that always convincingly plays a humanlike role in our lives.

Google itself even created a somewhat philosophical A.I. engine, which emerged in the summer. Google researchers published earlier this year a research paper on Arxiv about a machine learning-based proof-of-concept chatbot they created that can discuss Big Questions, such as: “What’s the meaning of life?” That sounds profound, until you learn that the answers have been gleaned from a database of movie dialog. The chatbot answers the Big Questions, but with Hollywood’s answers.

Basing answers on existing dialog seems to be the winning approach to the problem of making chatbots seem human. At least, that’s been Microsoft’s experience.

X is for XiaoIce

Microsoft researchers in China have been developing a chatbot in China (and in Chinese) called XiaoIce, which is reportedly used by some 40 million people on their smartphones.

XiaoIce is different from the Siris of the world because it’s more of a friend than a personal assistant. It can hold conversations, tell jokes, suggest products to buy and do other things. The New York Times even reported that about 25% of users have at some point told XiaoIce “I love you.”

Unlike Google’s research project, which gleans responses from movie dialog, XiaoIce gets them from social media in China. So when you ask XiaoIce. “What’s the meaning of life?” the A.I. scans a database of people who have posed that question online, and chooses one of the popular responses to provide to the user.

The disturbing reality is that XiaoIce is not only basing its replies on social media chatter, it’s replacing social media and messaging for some users in some circumstances. And therein lies the dystopian risk with messaging-based chatbots.

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Techno-skeptics’ Objection Growing Louder

TN Note: People are getting agitated all over the world, and from all political spectrums. It is not technology per se that is the issue, but rather its misuse and the abuse of the technology users.

Astra Taylor’s iPhone has a cracked screen. She has bandaged it with clear packing tape and plans to use the phone until it disintegrates. She objects to the planned obsolescence of today’s gadgetry, and to the way the big tech companies pressure customers to upgrade.

Taylor, 36, is a documentary filmmaker, musician and political activist. She’s also an emerging star in the world of technology criticism. She’s not paranoid, but she keeps duct tape over the camera lens on her laptop computer — because, as everyone knows, these gadgets can be taken over by nefarious agents of all kinds.

Taylor is a 21st-century digital dissenter. She’s one of the many technophiles unhappy about the way the tech revolution has played out. Political progressives once embraced the utopian promise of the Internet as a democratizing force, but they’ve been dismayed by the rise of the “surveillance state,” and the near-monopolization of digital platforms by huge corporations.

Last month, Taylor and more than 1,000 activists, scholars and techies gathered at the New School in New York City for a conference to talk about reinventing the Internet. They dream of a co-op model: people dealing directly with one another without having to go through a data-sucking corporate hub.

“The powerful definitely do not want us to reboot things, and they will go to great lengths to stop us, and they will use brute force or they will use bureaucracy,” Taylor warned the conferees at the close of the two-day session.

We need a movement, she said, “that says no to the existing order.”
The dissenters have no easy task. We’re in a new Machine Age. Machine intelligence and digital social networks are now embedded in the basic infrastructure of the developed world.

Much of this is objectively good and pleasurable and empowering. We tend to like our devices, our social media, our computer games. We like our connectivity. We like being able to know nearly anything and everything, or shop impulsively, by typing a few words into a search engine.

But there’s this shadow narrative being written at the same time. It’s a passionate, if still remarkably disorganized, resistance to the digital establishment.

Techno-skeptics, or whatever you want to call them — “humanists” may be the best term — sense that human needs are getting lost in the tech frenzy, that the priorities have been turned upside down. They sense that there’s too much focus on making sure that new innovations will be good for themachines.

“I’m on Team Human!” author Douglas Rushkoff will say at the conclusion of a talk.

You could fill a college syllabus with books espousing some kind of technological resistance. Start the class with “You Are Not a Gadget” (Jaron Lanier), move on to “The Internet Is Not the Answer” (Andrew Keen), and then, to scare the students silly, “Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era” (James Barrat).
Somewhere in the mix should be Astra Taylor’s “The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age,” a clear-eyed reappraisal of the Internet and new media.

Of the myriad critiques of the computer culture, one of the most common is that companies are getting rich off our personal data. Our thoughts, friendships and basic urges are processed by computer algorithms and sold to advertisers. The machines may soon know more about us than we know about ourselves.

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Anchors Worried as Chinese TV Employs Robot As Weather Reporter

TN Note: Ten years from now, it will be hard to find a real person producing actual news stories, because it will all be done by an AI program instead. In fact, if major media outlets are going to survive at all, they will be forced into AI in order to reduce headcount.

BEIJING: For the first time, a Chinese news channel has employed an artificial intelligence robot as a weather reporter on its live breakfast show, raising concerns among the country’s journalists as it could threaten their jobs.

“I’m happy to start my new work on the winter solstice,” robot XiaoIce said during her debut on Tuesday morning.

XiaoIce is actually a piece of software developed by Microsoft using smart cloud and big data.

In the first two days of her work, XiaoIce impressed many with her cute voice. She also comments on big news events on Shanghai Dragon TV.

According to Microsoft, breakthroughs in text-to-speech artificial intelligence (AI) have helped XiaoIce score high points for linguistic naturalness, and hers is closer to the human voice than other speech synthesizers.

Through unique emotional technology, she can make comments instantly based on weather data.

After her successful debut, people are worried that XiaoIce could cause traditional TV anchors and weather reporters to lose their jobs, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Song Jiongming, director of TV news for the Shanghai Media Group, pointed out that human anchors will not be completely replaced by XiaoIce in the near term, but the robot will supplement humans with her big data analysis capability.

In September this year, Chinese social and gaming giant Tencent published its first business report written by a robot this week, stroking fears among local journalists as it could make forays into the state controlled media in China and oust them from work.

The “flawless” 916 -word article was released via the company’s QQ.com portal, an instant messaging service that wields much sway in China.

“The piece is very readable. I can’t even tell it wasn’t written by a person,” Li Wei, a Reporter based in the Chinese manufacturing boomtown of Shenzhen told Hong Kong media.

It was written in Chinese and completed in just one minute by Dream writer, a Tencent-designedrobot journalist that apparently has few problems covering basic financial news.

Robot reporters could easily replace a lot of Chinese reporters like this nationwide, a Chinese journalist based in Guangzhou said.

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When Facial Recognition Tools Are Available To Everyone

TN Note: When facial recognition tools are available to everyone, everywhere, their use will become ubiquitous and gradually put a net of control over unsuspecting users.  

Chances are, you’re already familiar with facial recognition software, even if you’ve never spent time in an artificial intelligence lab. The algorithm that Facebook uses for tagging photos, for example, is a version of facial recognition software that can identify faces with a 97.25 percent accuracy.

The problem with most of today’s facial recognition software, however, is that it’s computationally very intensive and difficult to use for more than just matching simple photos. If you could speed up the process of recognizing faces, add the ability to track facial features and make it so easy to use that it could be used as a smartphone app by anyone – then it might open up a number of important new opportunities.

That’s the goal of AI researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Human Sensing Laboratory. Starting in Feb. 2016, they will make available their advanced software facial image analysis software to fellow researchers. The software, known as IntraFace, is fast and efficient enough that it can be installed as a smartphone app.

For now, in order to give a preview of what to expect, the researchers have made available free demonstration smartphone apps, which show how IntraFace can identify facial features and detect emotions. These can be downloaded from the website for the Human Sensing Laboratory, fromApple’s App Store, or from Google Play.

The project’s lead researcher, Fernando De la Torre, associate research professor in the robotics department of Carnegie Mellon University, says that he is already starting to see enormous interest within the AI field for IntraFace. “Now it’s time to develop new applications for this technology. We have a few of our own, but we believe there are lots of people who may have even better ideas once they get their hands on it.”

Duke medical researchers, for example, are using IntraFace as part of an advanced tool to screen for autism. Doctors and clinicians might be able to monitor or detect a number of pathologies, including depression or anxiety, just by checking out facial expressions of patients.

One everyday use for facial recognition analysis might be vehicles that can recognize a distracted driver behind the wheel. In the demo video for IntraFace, there’s the example of a father behind the wheel of a vehicle who turns around to comfort a screaming toddler in a car seat for a split second before being warned that he’s veered off the road.

And sales and marketing teams are going to love this once this technology becomes commercially available – imagine being able to evaluate what people think about your products just by reading their faces. The Carnegie Mellon researchers refer to this as “audience reaction measurement,” and see potential applications being used by public speakers to gauge how well they’re winning over the crowd. But you could also imagine biometric trackers on billboards, checking out how the crowd is responding to an advertisement.

For that matter, you could also envision IntraFace being used by dating apps once the technology becomes commercially available. Not sure whether you should approach the target of your amorous intentions? Use the IntraFace app to read the facial features of that handsome guy or beautiful girl and get the go-ahead green light to proceed.

IntraFace is the result of a decade of work by De la Torre and his colleagues, including Jeffrey Cohn, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh and an adjunct professor in CMU’s Robotics Institute. The researchers used machine learning techniques to train the software to recognize and track facial features. The researchers then created an algorithm that can take this generalized understanding of the face and personalize it for an individual, enabling expression analysis.

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Flashback: Australia PM’s Adviser Says Climate Change Is UN Hoax To Create New World Order

TN Note: Newman is exactly correct: New World Order (sustainable development) is the UN’s goal and climate change is merely fear mongering mechanism to drive the world into accepting the solution. In other words, it is a scam, a fraud and a deception.

The Australian prime minister’s chief business adviser has accused the United Nations of using debunked climate change science to lead a new world order – provocative claims made to coincide with a visit from the top UN climate negotiator.

Christiana Figueres, who heads the UN framework convention on climate change, touring Australia this week, urged the country to move away from heavily polluting coal production.

Under Tony Abbott’s leadership, Australia has been reluctant to engage in global climate change politics, unsuccessfully attempting to keep the issue off the agenda of the G20 leaders’ summit in Brisbane last year.

Maurice Newman, the chairman of Abbott’s business advisory council and a climate change sceptic with a history of making provocative statements, said the UN was using false models showing sustained temperature increases to end democracy and impose authoritarian rule.

“The real agenda is concentrated political authority,” Newman wrote in an opinion piece published in the Australian newspaper. “Global warming is the hook. It’s about a new world order under the control of the UN..

“It is opposed to capitalism and freedom and has made environmental catastrophism a household topic to achieve its objective.”

Figueres used an address in Melbourne to urge Australia to move away from coal, the country’s second-largest export, as the world grapples with global warming.

“Economic diversification will be a challenge that Australia faces,” she said.

Abbott has described coal as “good for humanity” and the “foundation of prosperity” for the foreseeable future.

Figueres also urged Australia to play a leading role at the climate summit in Paris in December, a call unlikely to be heeded given Abbott’s track record.

At the Brisbane G20 meeting, he warned that the Paris summit would fail if world leaders decided to put cutting carbon emissions ahead of economic growth.

At home, Abbott, who in 2009 said the science behind climate change was “crap”, repealed a tax on carbon pricing and abolished the independent Climate Commission advisory body.

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DARPA Already Creating Cybersoldiers Using Advanced AI Technology

TN Note: DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is a hotbed of technocrats who advance technology for military and national security purposes. In other words, it’s first mission is to perpetuate and reinforce the same government that is transforming America into a global state. Technocrats create technology for technology’s sake, exclusive of moral or ethical constraints. Note that the current Secretary of Defense is Ashton Carter, a career technocrat with a PhD in Theoretical Physics and a member of the elitist Trilateral Commission.

The US military has revealed its plans for artificial intelligence on the battlefield – but admits enemies are already ahead of it.

It hopes AI will power everything from cybersoldiers to the targetting systems of the F-35 – but admits it has to catch up to commercial AI firms.

Deputy Defense secretary Robert Work said ‘The commercial world has already made this leap.’

Speaking at a national security forum co-hosted by the Center for a New American Security and Defense One, he admitted ‘The Department of Defense is a follower.’

He also said cyber battles would rely on AI.

‘You cannot have a human operator operating at human speed fighting back at determined cyber tech,’ Work said.

‘You are going to need have a learning machine that does that.’

He also admitting automating weapons could happen.

‘We believe strongly that humans should be the only ones to decide to when use lethal force.

‘But when you’re under attack, especially at machine speeds, we want to have a machine that can protect us.’

Work also said the much maligned F-35’s smart helmet, which can help pilot’s track targets, was a key project.

AI was also set to control military vehicles.

We are looking at a large number of very, very advanced things,’ citing recent programs that would deploy cascades of small drones from larger drone ‘motherships,’

The AI’s would also work together as a ‘superbrain’.

‘If we launch seven missiles at a surface action group and one missile goes high, and is looking at all the different things that the battle group is doing to defend itself and it sees something new that’s not in its library, it will immediately report back on the learning network, which will go back to a learning machine, which will create ‘here’s something you should do’ which will pass it over to human machine collaboration— so the mission commander can make an adjustment on the next salvo and then make a command change inside the software of the missile so that the next seven missiles launch will be that much more effective,’ he said.

The Pentagon’s skunk works is already using AI to create technology to build the ‘super soldier’ of the future.

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Tech Giants Pledge $1 Billion To Stop Evil Robots From Taking Over The World

TN Note: Technocrats like Elon Musk are scary in their own right, but when Musk obsesses over evil AI robots taking over the world, its time for concern. What does he know that we don’t know? Could it be that the evilness of programmer-man will rub off on the computer algorithms? Or is it that AI is inherently evil as far as its intent toward man?

Elon Musk and a set of other tech giants have launched a $1 billion fund to try and make robots that won’t kill humanity.

Mr Musk has repeatedly warned about the dangers of artificial intelligence, calling them the biggest threat to humanity. A range of other famous scientists and technologists have warned about the same, including Stephen Hawking.

The newly-launched company is called OpenAI and will make use of huge sets of data to build artificially intelligent robots that don’t end up killing humans.

OpenAI’s goal is “to advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return,” according to its website .

The new company hopes that it can work against too many big companies like Google or Facebook — both of which have huge artificial intelligence operations — getting too muchpower from “super-intelligence systems”. Governments may also use the power of AI to oppress the citizens, the backers of OpenAI have warned.

The company is being funded by Elon Musk as well as a range of other backers. Those include YCombinator, a startup funding programme that has stakes in some of the biggest technology companies.

Both YCombinator and Elon Musk will share the data that their companies generate with the AI firms. That will mean, for instance, that everything on Reddit could be given to the robots to help them learn.

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