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In the News

Gary Marcus on the Future of Artificial Intelligence and the Brain

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, December 15, 2014

Gary Marcus of New York University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the future of artificial intelligence (AI). While Marcus is concerned about how advances in AI might hurt human flourishing, he argues that truly transformative smart machines are still a long way away and that to date, the exponential improvements in technology have been in hardware, not software. Marcus proposes ways to raise standards in programming to reduce mistakes that would have catastrophic effects if advanced AI does come to fruition. The two also discuss "big data's" emphasis on correlations, and how that leaves much to be desired.

Analysis and Commentary

Lawfare Podcast, Episode #103: Mieke Eoyang on FAA Exclusivity

by Benjamin Wittesvia Lawfare
Saturday, December 13, 2014

A few weeks ago, Mieke Eoyang wrote and post on Lawfare entitled “A Modest Proposal: FAA Exclusivity for Collection Involving U.S. Technology Companies.” Mieke is a long-time congressional staffer on national security matters, who served a stint on the House Intelligence Committee during the drafting of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) and now runs national security programming at Third Way—a centrist Democratic think thank.

In the News

Sources: FAA May Require Licenses To Fly Commercial Drones

quoting John Villasenorvia NPR
Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Drones, drones, drones.

Everybody wants one. Amazon, to deliver packages, Hollywood to shoot movie scenes, agriculture interests to monitor crops.

In the News

Ashton Carter, Presumed Defense Secretary Nominee, Has A Long History With Military Technology

featuring Ash Cartervia Washington Post
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The man President Obama is expected to choose to be the next secretary of defense has a long history at the Pentagon, having served in senior positions there for nearly five years. But one of his specialties is particularly timely: Ashton B. Carter is considered one of the country’s top administrators and students of military technology.

Analysis and Commentary

Charles Davis Is Half Right

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Over at Salon, Charles Davis has an article titled "Amazon's frightening CIA partnership: Capitalism, corporations and our massive new surveillance state." In it, he quotes from, and criticizes, a post I wrote titled "The Amazon Boycott: Blaming a Victim." Davis writes:

In the News

Don't Slam The Brakes On Smart Cars

quoting John Villasenorvia US News
Monday, December 1, 2014

The world is on course to change very rapidly in a short amount of time. From new business models changing how individuals interact with one another to the onset of deliveries-by-drone, technology is altering the way we live our daily lives — and some of the most significant changes have yet to arrive.

Bitcoins
In the News

Free Bitcoin For Students: How Will They Spend It?

quoting John Villasenorvia New Scientist
Saturday, November 29, 2014

WHAT happens when you hand college students free cash? That's the question behind an experiment playing out in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Starting this month, $100 worth of bitcoins are being given to students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In the News

Nick Bostrom on Superintelligence

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, December 1, 2014

Nick Bostrom of the University of Oxford talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. Bostrom argues that when machines exist which dwarf human intelligence they will threaten human existence unless steps are taken now to reduce the risk. The conversation covers the likelihood of the worst scenarios, strategies that might be used to reduce the risk and the implications for labor markets, and human flourishing in a world of superintelligent machines.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

The Libertarian Podcast – “Climate Change, China, and International Law”

by Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Parsing the US-China agreement on carbon emissions.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Managing the Cyber Security Threat

by Abraham D. Sofaervia Analysis
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The cyber threat is part of a transnational game, with low barriers of entry, increasing sophistication, increasing cost, and no prospect that any state will be victorious.  The U.S. needs to manage the risk by focusing on those aspects of cyber insecurity that relate to commerce and critical infrastructure, leaving traditional forms of intelligence and military activities unregulated; and by allowing private companies and individuals to use strong encryption or open source software without built-in vulnerabilities. 

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Energy Policy Task Force


The Task Force on Energy Policy addresses energy policy in the United States and its effects on our domestic and international political priorities, particularly our national security.