Techno Trade War with China, Man Eats Battery, and About Time for Ethical AI

Credit goes to @techstacy for this great image.

Credit goes to @techstacy for this great image.

I’m prepping this week’s stories in the sometimes illogical world of technology on a train leaving Gotham City. New York. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

There was a lot of techno-nonsense news this week. GM and Tesla’s self-driving AIs got involved in fender benders this week. One in a collision with a fire engine. Yeah. A fire engine, a teenaged driving student ain’t hitting a fire engine, and trust, I was in one of those student driver cars were my peer almost drove us into opposing traffic!

This week, I thought an ensuing war with China and some fool who’s trying out for a Darwin award would be good candidates for our weekly techno-news break on First News 570 with Mark Starling. Listen now.

NO ONE WANTS WAR WITH CHINA, BUT IT COULD BE TECHNOLOGICAL
This week features the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The forum in Davos is usually billed as a gathering of the masters of the universe including hedge fund masters, the world’s bankers, and trade and policy leaders from the country’s largest economies. Seeing China as a clear threat to the US’ position of being the world’s economic superpower and technology innovator. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has stated that the US seeks to level the playing field in global commerce and technology. China has long been viewed as an IP pilferer and dumper of cheap goods in the US market. Seeing a rise in the number of engineers, patent filings, and protectionist policies the US is complaining to the WTO and seeking “action”.
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SEEKING DARWINISM AWARD, CHINESE MAN BITES INTO BATTERY CAUSING IT TO EXPLODE
Sometimes the only reasonable response is to shake your head. A man seeking to replace his iPhone battery in a Chinese electronics store decided to test the battery by biting into it. So, instead of using a battery tester, or even plugging it into another device, he causes a short and miniature explosion. The CCTV video was uploaded to a social media website showing what you shouldn’t do when you need to have a battery replaced. Meanwhile, stateside; you can walk into an Apple store and pay $29 to have one replaced.
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IN AN ABOUT DARN TIME MOMENT, UK PM IS ASKING FOR SAFE AND ETHICAL AI
Like seriously. The world is watching as the US and China are locked in a battle to death for dominance in the AI space. The thing is, is that AI could be a potentially harmful technology as we have seen recent advances of AIs engineering their own unintelligible languages, AIs mistaking people for animals, and in some cases AIs running wild on stock markets triggering massive losses. I’m not one of the SkyNet-conspiracy crowd, but we’ve already seen how humans are utterly lazy when it comes to adopting technology innovation and the impact on those who can’t afford the latest tech can be detrimental, specifically to minorities because we are witnessing human biases being leaked into algorithms. Well, finally someone thought of the children, and UK Prime Minister Theresa May is calling on companies to consider safe and ethical ways of deploying AI. Very soon, we will see personless stores, and bots handling our phone calls. Those people need to work somewhere, and how do we handle AIs that exhibit rampancy. Elon Musk and Bill Gates have been saying we should hesitant in our embrace, but it seems like everyday my life is slowly becoming a Black Mirror episode.
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