The Tesla founder calls digital superintelligence 'potentially more dangerous than nukes.' Here are some terrifying scenarios that explain why.
By Adam Pasick, Quartz
Elon Musk, the Tesla (TSLA) and Space-X founder who is occasionally compared to comic book hero Tony Stark, is worried about a new villain that could threaten humanity -- specifically the potential creation of an artificial intelligence that is radically smarter than humans, with catastrophic results. This weekend, Musk tweeted:
@elonmusk: Worth reading Superintelligence by Bostrom. We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.
@elonmusk: Hope we're not just the biological boot loader for digital superintelligence. Unfortunately, that is increasingly probable.
Musk is talking about "Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies" by Nick Bostrom of the University of Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute. The book addresses the prospect of an artificial superintelligence that could feasibly be created in the next few decades. According to theorists, once the AI is able to make itself smarter, it would quickly surpass human intelligence.
What would happen next? The consequences of such a radical development are inherently difficult to predict. But that hasn't stopped philosophers, futurists, scientists and fiction writers from thinking very hard about some of the possible outcomes. The results of their thought experiments sound like science fiction -- and maybe that's exactly what Elon Musk is afraid of.
With new apps geared toward booking business trips, 2 startup stars of the sharing economy aim to tap into corporate travel.
By Douglas MacMillan and Craig Karmin, The Wall Street Journal
Airbnb and Uber Technologies popularized the concept of a "sharing economy," in which regular consumers share things such as apartments and car rides. Now they are sprucing up their services to appeal to the buttoned-up business traveler.
The fast-growing technology startups this week each announced new versions of their apps geared toward booking business trips. Both companies also struck deals with Concur Technologies (CNQR), the expense-reporting software used by more than 20,000 companies.
Appealing to corporate clients would give the young technology companies a toehold in the business travel industry, which is expected to generate $1.21 trillion in revenue worldwide this year, according to the Global Business Travel Association.
Hand-carved from an aluminum block, the 128-gigabyte ZX1 resurrects the iconic portable music player -- minus the cassettes -- for premium buyers in search of high-quality audio.
By Kana Inagaki, The Wall Street Journal
Thirty five years after its debut, Sony's (SNE) Walkman is enjoying a little comeback.
But while the original cassette player of 1979 heralded the age of mass-market, portable music, the new $700 Walkman is aimed at premium buyers, as technological advances help more audio-on-the go users head upscale.
The ZX1, as Sony's gadget is called, is in many ways the antithesis of Apple's (AAPL) slender iPod, and the Walkman's own svelte predecessors. It has a heavy, bulky body that houses 128 gigabytes of storage for ultra-high-quality music files. Sony says each ZX1 is manually carved from a block of expensive aluminum, which helps reduce noise.
"The message for our designers and engineers was: please create a good product without worrying about the cost," said Kenji Nakada, Sony's sound product planner.
Want to cut the cord but don't want to miss out on 'Game of Thrones' or 'True Detective'? Some providers offer an Internet and HBO plan -- if you know how to ask.
So you're thinking about cutting the cord on cable TV, but worry you'll miss HBO? There's a way to get what you want.
HBO won't sell access to its online streaming service HBO Go directly to consumers. (ESPN, another often-cited reason for why people stick with cable, has the same policy.) To get a login, you must go to a cable TV company, which usually tries to upsell you on a pricey package that includes lots of channels you don't want.
Frustrated, some would-be customers just cut cable and "borrow" an HBO Go login from a friend. (An HBO spokesman says those logins are "limited to those residing in the home.")
But in recent months, many big cable companies have wised up that they might lose a slowly growing niche of cable-cutting customers. Several of them now will sell a package that include just Internet, HBO (and HBO Go) and the most basic of TV. You're not exactly without cable TV, but you're with much, much less of it.
The designer of the 'Iron Man' suit is among those working on high-tech body armor for elite troops.
By Dion Nissenbaum, The Wall Street Journal
The Oscar-nominated designers at Legacy Effects have outfitted such memorable movie warriors as The Terminator, RoboCop, Captain America and Iron Man.
The special-effects company is now at work on what seems a mission impossible: Building an Iron Man-style suit to protect and propel elite U.S. troops by encasing them in body armor equipped with an agile exoskeleton to enable troops to carry hundreds of pounds of gear.
The 3-D printers that once churned out parts for actor Robert Downey Jr.'s red and gold movie armor are making pieces for a Pentagon prototype. Military officials recently examined three designs, an early step in a project by the U.S. Special Operations Command to create a new generation of protective armor within the next four years.
"We are trying to be revolutionary," said Mike Fieldson, the military's manager of the project known as TALOS, the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
Start investing in technology companies with help from financial writers and experts who know the industry best. Learn what to look for in a technology company to make the right investment decisions.
[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages ended the midweek session on a flat note after spending the day inside narrow ranges. The S&P 500 hovered near the 2,000 mark for the majority of the trading day, but slumped to new lows during the last hour of action. The index then returned to its flat line, where it settled for the day. For the third day in a row, participation left a lot to be desired with just 487 million shares changing hands at the NYSE.
Equity indices opened with slim gains, ... More
More Market News
|There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.|
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'