Machine Learning

I bet the left wing will blame John Key for the rise of the machines

Interesting headline and article at The Week:

killer robots


The belief that humanoid robots are dangerous on the battlefield and need to be slowed before weapons systems become autonomous is at the heart of a debate raging in the robotic engineering community. On one side, there are people who believe that the use of unmanned robots must be stopped before war becomes an automated process.

Giving machines the power to decide who lives and dies on the battlefield would take technology too far,” Steve Goose, Arms Division director at Human Rights Watch, said in a November 2012 statement announcing the release of a study, “Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots.”“Human control of robotic warfare is essential to minimizing civilian deaths and injuries.”

They’re seconded by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, an international coalition of NGOs working to stop robotic warfare

“There are a lot of people very excited about this technology… this is going to be big, big money. But actually there is no transparency, no legal process. The laws of war allow for rights of surrender, for prisoner of war rights, for a human face to take judgments on collateral damage,” Noel Sharkey, an ethicist at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom and one of the main driver of the campaign, said in an interview last spring.  Read more »

Made stupid to catch stupid

NZ Herald

Nigerian scammers make their letters ridiculous to weed out smart people, and trap the stupid people:

Nigerian scam letters include carefully designed flaws, complete with misspellings and pidgin English, in order to weed out the intelligent and leave only the most vulnerable targets, new research says.

Offers of millions of dollars from a Nigerian prince are intentionally unbelievable in a scam technique perfected to target the vulnerable, gullible and elderly, according to the study.

A research paper by Microsoft’s Machine Learning Department, entitled ‘Why do Nigerian scammers say they are from Nigeria?’, has found the formula is a cost effective way at “reducing the false positives”.

“Far-fetched tales of West African riches strike as comical… (but) our analysis suggests that is an advantage to the attacker, not a disadvantage,” wrote principal researcher Cormac Hurley.

“Since his attack has a low density of victims, the Nigerian scammer has an overriding need to reduce the false positives.

“By sending an email that repels all but the most gullible, the scammer gets the most promising marks to self-select, and tilts the true to false positive ration in his favour.”