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Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

http://cser.org/

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Solve Puzzles for Science Hey everyone! I will be leading a Science Café about Foldit at the Southpaw Social Club, in San Diego, on April 28. The purpose of the event is to engage with the community in a casual, comfortable setting to talk about the exciting science of protein folding and the Foldit computer game. There will be a short presentation on the science behind Foldit, but the event is mostly dedicated to Q & A and open discussion with the audience. We're very excited about this opportunity to share Foldit in such a personable format!

The AI Revolution: Our Immortality or Extinction Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part series on AI. Part 1 is here. PDF: We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and offline viewing. Buy it here. How Cryptocurrencies are Transforming the Oldest Profession The world is moving toward a paper-free financial system, but in the borderline-legal organizations of the world’s underbelly economy, cash still reigns as king. Any good business owner is keen to please his or her customers, particularly when it comes to prostitution. To avoid the awkward fumble of cash after a lusty romp, the frictionless convenience of digital payment systems is becoming more attractive.

Asteroid and Comet Watch Average distance between Earth and the moon is about 239,000 miles (385,000 kilometers). The Asteroid Watch Widget tracks asteroids and comets that will make relatively close approaches to Earth. The Widget displays the date of closest approach, approximate object diameter, relative size and distance from Earth for each encounter. The object's name is displayed by hovering over its encounter date. Clicking on the encounter date will display a Web page with details about that object. The Widget displays the next five Earth approaches to within 4.6 million miles (7.5 million kilometers or 19.5 times the distance to the moon); an object larger than about 150 meters that can approach the Earth to within this distance is termed a potentially hazardous object.

Chinese scientists genetically modify human embryos Dr. Yorgos Nikas/SPL Human embryos are at the centre of a debate over the ethics of gene editing. Breaking the Speed of (Light) Thought An announcement a couple of weeks ago claimed that the speed of light had been broken. A pair of German physicists, Dr. Gunter Nimtz and Dr. Alfons Stahlhofen, of the University of Koblenz, claimed that they measured microwave photons – energetic packets of light – traveling “instantaneously” between a pair of prisms. If true, this discovery clearly violates Einstein’s theory of special relativity while raising the possibility of supraluminal (faster than the speed of light) travel. Their experiments found that as they separated the two prisms by up to 3 feet and shot microwave photons through them, most of the photons reflected off the first prism they encountered while a few photons appeared to “tunnel” through space to reflect off the second prism.

The 4 Secret Psychological Tools Filmmakers Use It may come as no surprise when I tell you that my mother used to call filmmakers the biggest fibbers and fakers out there. I guess she saw through all the shamanic tricks and sleights of hands that filmmakers use to get their stories out there. There is more. Filmmakers need to know how to get people to click on stuff on the internet. This helps them get people to watch their trailers, their webseries, their crowdfunding campaigns and hopefully buy tickets to their festival screenings. Two things happened to me this week: Pacific Biosciences: Overview www.pacificbiosciences.com The PacBio RS II is a Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) DNA Sequencing System that provides the highest consensus accuracy and longest read lengths of any available sequencing technology. SMRT Sequencing is ideal for de novo assembly, characterization of genetic variation, methylation analysis, microbiology studies, and more. The instrument features high performance optics, automated liquid handling, and an environmental control center, all directed through an intuitive touchscreen interface. The computational brain responsible for primary data analysis, called the Blade Center, is also included. This allows for seamless integration of performance enhancements through chemistry and software advances.

NOVA The 100-Year-Old Idea That Could Change Flight Inspired by birds, bats, and the Wright brothers, engineers are building the next breakthrough in aviation. From NOVA Next | Feb 22, 2017 Key Brain Regions Found To Be Smaller in People With ADHD The AI Revolution: Road to Superintelligence - Wait But Why PDF: We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and offline viewing. Buy it here. (Or see a preview.) Note: The reason this post took three weeks to finish is that as I dug into research on Artificial Intelligence, I could not believe what I was reading. It hit me pretty quickly that what’s happening in the world of AI is not just an important topic, but by far THE most important topic for our future. So I wanted to learn as much as I could about it, and once I did that, I wanted to make sure I wrote a post that really explained this whole situation and why it matters so much.

Men in black: The Stranglers’ BBC documentary about the color black, 1982 In 1982, BBC Southwest aired a short documentary about the color black made by two members of the Stranglers. Singer/guitarist Hugh Cornwell and drummer Jet Black “were asked to put together a piece about the colour black for an arts programme called RPM,” according to Cornwell’s autobiography Around this time, the Stranglers were obsessed with the sinister Meninblack (as they stylized it) legends of UFO lore. They had released their great concept album, The Gospel According to the Meninblack , and changed their names to Hughinblack, JJinblack, Daveinblack and Jetinblack; they were even thinking about changing the band’s name to the Men in Black. Ultimately, these pursuits scared the band shitless.

Protocols The project this year is a continuation of last year’s project iGem Tecnológico de Monterrey 2013 in which the team developed a modified Escherichia coli that was able to deliver a pro-apoptotic protein (Apoptin) to kill cancer cells. The aim of this module was to address one of the most relevant issues of our past project: the immune response caused by the introduction of bacteria to the blood. Thus, we attempted to remove a significant amount of endotoxins found on the membrane of E. coli in order to prevent and/or reduce the impact of the possible immunological response caused by the bacterial therapy. Escherichia coli and cancer

Profile: Jebsen Center - Feature - Tufts University When it comes to fighting terrorism, The Fletcher School's Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies emphasizes predictive strategies over preemptive action. "Imagine tomorrow, a nuclear device goes off in Cincinnati, Ohio." The frightening scenario is posed by Brig. Gen. Russell Howard (Ret.), whose Fletcher School office is full of papers and mementos from his 37 years of Army service. "Within 15 minutes, on one of three thousand Al Qaeda websites, they take responsibility for the attack.

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