Debating a Ban On Autonomous Weapons

Lasrick writes: A pretty informative debate on banning autonomous weapons has just closed at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The debate looks at an open letter, published In July, 2015, in which researchers in artificial intelligence and robotics (and endorsed by high-profile individuals such as Stephen Hawking) called for ‘a ban on offensive autonomous weapons beyond meaningful human control.’ The letter echoes arguments made since 2013 by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, which views autonomous weapons as ‘a fundamental challenge to the protection of civilians and to international human rights and humanitarian law.’ But support for a ban is not unanimous. Some researchers argue that autonomous weapons would commit fewer battlefield atrocities than human beings—and that their development might even be considered morally imperative. The authors in this debate focus on these questions: Would deployed autonomous weapons promote or detract from civilian safety; and is an outright ban the proper response to development of autonomous weapons?

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‘The Life of Pablo': Here’s what everyone thinks of Kanye West’s latest album

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The Life of Pablo is only a few hours old, but everyone already has an opinion about Kanye West’s latest opus

The rapper debuted his seventh studio album at Madison Square Garden during his Yeezy Season 3 fashion show. And — it’s really good, though too soon to measure how it stacks up to his past work. West has preemptively declared it one of the greatest albums of all time and the “album of the life.”

Now that it’s out there, do fans think he’s right? Reactions on social media ranged far and wide, but some are actually daring to call it West’s best album to date

More about Music, Entertainment, Kanye West, and Yeezy Season 3

‘The Life of Pablo': Here’s what everyone thinks of Kanye West’s latest album

Ye2

Feed-twFeed-fb

The Life of Pablo is only a few hours old, but everyone already has an opinion about Kanye West’s latest opus

The rapper debuted his seventh studio album at Madison Square Garden during his Yeezy Season 3 fashion show. And — it’s really good, though too soon to measure how it stacks up to his past work. West has preemptively declared it one of the greatest albums of all time and the “album of the life.”

Now that it’s out there, do fans think he’s right? Reactions on social media ranged far and wide, but some are actually daring to call it West’s best album to date

More about Music, Entertainment, Kanye West, and Yeezy Season 3

Authorities investigate death of inmate at Maine State Prison

The death of a prisoner Thursday at the Maine State Prison in Warren is under investigation by the Maine State Police and the Medical Examiner’s Office.

The inmate was identified in a press release Thursday night by the Department of Corrections as Donald Riley, 67.

Deputy Commissioner Jody Breton said Riley died around 2:15 p.m. Thursday. He had served just over one year on a 9½-year sentence for gross sexual assault. He was also serving a concurrent two-year term for burglary.

Sanders and Clinton fight over who loves Obama more

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WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders played tug-of-war over President Obama’s heart at Thursday’s Democratic debate, with each arguing the other has been more disrespectful to the president.

Clinton lit into Sanders for his Thursday comments that President Obama hasn’t been able to work with Congress well enough, accusing him of Republican-like attacks.

“I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves,” she said. “The kind of criticism that we’ve heard from Senator Sanders about our president I expect from Republicans, I do not expect from someone running for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama.” Read more…

More about Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Election 2016

Sanders and Clinton fight over who loves Obama more

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WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders played tug-of-war over President Obama’s heart at Thursday’s Democratic debate, with each arguing the other has been more disrespectful to the president.

Clinton lit into Sanders for his Thursday comments that President Obama hasn’t been able to work with Congress well enough, accusing him of Republican-like attacks.

“I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves,” she said. “The kind of criticism that we’ve heard from Senator Sanders about our president I expect from Republicans, I do not expect from someone running for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama.” Read more…

More about Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Election 2016

Maine Arts Commission chief touts benefits of arts education

WATERVILLE — Julie Richard knows that without strong arts education in Maine schools, children will not have a strong understanding of the arts.

They will not become artists or audience members who patronize the theater, musical performances, dance, movies and other events. They will not become critical thinkers, she said.

Richard, executive director of the Maine Arts Commission, is working hard with her staff to ensure all children in Maine have an arts education.

“It gives kids all kinds of skills that they can use in almost everything in life,” she said.

Richard spoke early Thursday at Thomas College as part of the business breakfast series hosted by Thomas and Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce. Her organization, a 50-year-old state agency governed by a 15-member governor-appointed panel, is funded by the Legislature and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The state for the first time this year is partnering with Americans for the Arts on the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study, which explores the economic impact of spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences.

Waterville, through Waterville Creates!, is taking part in the study. Arts and cultural organizations are distributing surveys, and it is important that people fill them out, as the information will be critical to their receiving arts funding, Richard said Thursday.

Waterville also is seeking a Creative Communities = Economic Development Grant to support dialogue and partnerships between municipalities and the cultural sector to boost economic development in communities. Richard estimates the economic impact of the arts in Maine is $313 million. The state spends about 73 cents per capita on the arts.

In the audience Thursday were Amy Cyrway and her husband, Brian Vigue, who own The Framemakers in downtown Waterville.

Cyrway said she loved hearing what Richard had to say and she is excited that there is such a focus on arts and education, not only in the city, but also at the state level.

“I think it’s very inspiring,” Cyrway, who is president of the Waterville Area Arts Society, said. “I’m feeling very confident in the arts in Waterville. That’s our focus right now.”

Amy Calder can be contacted at 861-9247 or at:

acalder@centralmaine.com

Mario Woods died of at least 20 gunshot wounds, autopsy shows

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Mario Woods, the San Francisco man whose fatal shooting by police was recorded in a harrowing video posted to social media in December, suffered at least 20 gunshot wounds and had a combination of drugs in his system at the time of his death, autopsy results showed Thursday

Woods, 26, died from 20 gunshot wounds to his back, head, buttocks, legs and hands, with an additional “probable gunshot graze wound” to his cheek, according to the autopsy report released by San Francisco Chief Medical Examiner Michael Hunter.

More about San Francisco San Jose, Us World, Us, Autopsy, and Police Shooting


Mario Woods died of at least 20 gunshot wounds, autopsy shows

Ap_192495754551-1

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Mario Woods, the San Francisco man whose fatal shooting by police was recorded in a harrowing video posted to social media in December, suffered at least 20 gunshot wounds and had a combination of drugs in his system at the time of his death, autopsy results showed Thursday

Woods, 26, died from 20 gunshot wounds to his back, head, buttocks, legs and hands, with an additional “probable gunshot graze wound” to his cheek, according to the autopsy report released by San Francisco Chief Medical Examiner Michael Hunter.

More about San Francisco San Jose, Us World, Us, Autopsy, and Police Shooting


Diffbot Aims To Build The Intel Of Data For Artificial Intelligence

Two artificial intelligence faces facing one another. With a new $10 million commitment led by Tencent, one of China’s largest Internet companies, Diffbot chief executive Mike Tung has come a long way from his days of eating beans and rice in the dark and solving the math problems that would form the core of his groundbreaking artificial intelligence software. Diffbot, which raised its first seed money in 2012, has set itself the lofty goal… Read More