The recent explosion in the stunning power of artificial intelligence is likely to transform virtually every domain of human life in the near future, with effects that no-one can yet predict. The breakneck rate at which AI is developing is such that its potential impact is almost impossible to grasp. As Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin, co-founders of the Center for Humane Technology, demonstrate in their landmark presentation, The AI Dilemma, AI accomplishments are beginning to read like science fiction. After just three seconds of hearing a human voice, for example, an AI system can autocomplete the sentence being spoken with a voice so perfectly matched that no-one can distinguish it from the real thing.
One common view of human beings is that we are “by nature” selfish, violent, cruel, and untrustworthy, and that, to the extent we manage to restrain these base instincts, it is because we are taught to be generous, and punished if we go around hurting others. Sometimes this view is accompanied by a story about human development: once upon a time, life was nasty, brutish, and short, a war of all against all. Prehistoric human beings were violent barbarians. Fortunately, civilization has gradually brought out the better angels of our nature. Free markets can actually direct humans’ natural selfishness toward socially beneficial ends, and laws backed by the threat of violence are able to ensure that a semblance of order is maintained.
By Staff of Tele Sur - The historic sentencing of 43 accused of grave human rights violations in the case known as La Perla comes after a "mega-trial" lasting nearly four years. An Argentine court sentenced former General Luciano Benjamin Menendez to life in prison Thursday for crimes against humanity committed at secret Dirty War-era detention centers in the late 1970s, making a landmark step in the struggle for justice for human rights abuses during one of the darkest chapters in the South American country’s history.
By Brent Blackwelder of Casse - There are physical limits to growth on a finite planet. In 1972, the Club of Rome issued their groundbreaking report—Limits to Growth (twelve million copies in thirty-seven languages). The authors predicted that by about 2030, our planet would feel a serious squeeze on natural resources, and they were right on target. In 2009, the Stockholm Resilience Center introduced the concept of planetary boundariesto help the public envision the nature of the challenges posed by limits to growth and physical/biological boundaries. They defined nine boundaries critical to human existence that, if crossed, could generate abrupt or irreversible environmental changes.
By Maria Santelli in Other Worlds Are Possible - In our work at the Center on Conscience & War, this is proven to us daily, through our individual conscientious objectors. Science has proven it, too. This tendency for cooperation over competition is evident in daily life: on an average day, most people will witness countless acts of cooperation, kindness, and humanity towards one another, and not one act of violence or competition. And most of it is so commonplace, we barely even notice it. We take our nonviolence for granted. And so does the news. What makes the news is violence, not cooperation. Particularly, on our local news programs, the top stories are the ones that depict street crimes and “home invasions.”