Category Archives: politics

How Might Artificial Intelligence Affect the Risk of Nuclear War?

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are enabling previously infeasible capabilities, potentially destabilizing the delicate balances that have forestalled nuclear war since 1945. Will these developments upset the nuclear strategic balance, and, if so, for better or for worse? To start to address this question, RAND researchers held a series of workshops that were attended by prominent experts on AI and nuclear security. The workshops examined the impact of advanced computing on nuclear security through 2040. The culmination of those workshops, this Perspective — one of a series that examines critical security challenges in 2040 — places the intersection of AI and nuclear war in historical context and characterizes the range of expert opinions. It then describes the types of anticipated concerns and benefits through two illustrative examples: AI for detection and for tracking and targeting and AI as a trusted adviser in escalation decisions. In view of the capabilities that AI may be expected to enable and how adversaries may perceive them, AI has the potential to exacerbate emerging challenges to nuclear strategic stability by the year 2040 even with only modest rates of technical progress. Thus, it is important to understand how this might happen and to assure that it does not.

https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE296.html

https://www.rand.org/pubs/perspectives/PE296.html

More than half the world’s millennials fear a nuclear attack this decade

The International Committee of the Red Cross, a worldwide humanitarian organization, surveyed 16,000 millennials — adults between the ages of 20 and 35 — in 16 countries and territories last year: Afghanistan, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, Russia, South Africa, Syria, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, and the United States.

https://www.vox.com/2020/1/20/21070621/millennials-survey-nuclear-world-war-3-red-cross

Elon Musk, Twitter and the Attention Economy

Twitter has about 229 million monetizable daily active users, the vast majority of whom live outside of the United States. Twitter said that its first quarter growth and increased usage was largely “due to the war in Ukraine as people turned to Twitter to organize, share news, find sources of support and stay connected.” In an attention economy, much of our value as consumers is measured by the time we spend on the site — liking memes, signal boosting information, clicking on links. During times of crisis and fast-moving world events, it’s an invaluable resource.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-04/elon-musk-twitter-and-the-attention-economy

Robert Moses and the decline of the NYC subway system

New Yorkers now use a transit system in a state of emergency. The past few months have laid bare the enormity of the problems currently facing the century-old subways, from aging infrastructure to a lack of federal dollars available to help make things better.

https://ny.curbed.com/2017/7/27/15985648/nyc-subway-robert-moses-power-broker

Risk, Uncertainty and Innovation

The past several decades have seen the introduction of a number of disruptive technologies into warfare, including some whose effects are so extensive that they can be considered their own domains, such as cyber– and cognitive warfare. Meanwhile, new technologies continue to emerge, ones which, as a recent article in NATO Review notes, “are already beginning to turn speculative fiction into reality.”

https://www.nato.int/docu/review/articles/2022/04/14/risk-uncertainty-and-innovation/index.html?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NATO%20Review%20Risk%20and%20Uncertainty&utm_content=NATO%20Review%20Risk%20and%20Uncertainty+CID_f1dc0a7bf310799e44a2254eeb3f8e34&

Stories from 2050 (European Union)

In the project “Stories from 2050” we sought narratives outside the ordinary, reference scenarios, by means of engaging citizens. We invited people from all over the world to contribute to horizon scanning for cultural material – imagery, text, video etc. around the themes of the European Green Deal, and to take part in story developing workshops. They included mental space traveling to other worlds of extreme environmental conditions to encourage unusual, “out of the box” thinking and finally to tell and write stories of life in 2050.

68% of U.S. execs admit their companies are guilty of greenwashing

The anonymous survey, conducted by the Harris Poll for Google Cloud with executives primarily at companies with more than 500 employees, has mixed messages: 80% of executives gave their companies an “above-average” rating for environmental sustainability. The majority of leaders both at large corporations and startups said that sustainability is a priority for them; 93% said that they’d be willing to tie their compensation to ESG (environmental, social, and governance) goals, or already do. But 65% said that while they wanted to make progress on sustainability efforts, they didn’t actually know how to do that.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90740501/68-of-u-s-execs-admit-their-companies-are-guilty-of-greenwashing

Understanding and meeting policy intent (Gov.uk)

Service teams need to have a clear understanding of what government wants to change or achieve through its policies. You should find this information in a statement of policy intent. This will explain what outcome or set of outcomes the policy has been designed to deliver. It may also outline what outcomes should not change.

https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/design/understanding-and-meeting-policy-intent

Service teams are expected to deliver new, existing or changing policy when they are developing a service. Both policymakers and service teams face similar challenges in translating government priorities into policies and services that affect people’s lives.

Policy teams design, develop and propose solutions to help meet ministerial objectives based on research and evidence. They make sure the effective delivery of policy, evaluating its impact and adapting as necessary.

Many government departments are trying to embed user-centred design into policy making. Service teams may have the opportunity to work with policy professionals to design a range of policy options so that ministers can make more informed decisions about which one to follow. Your role may involve highlighting unintended consequences and risks and showing how a particular policy might not work.

Amazon is still struggling to make drone deliveries work

Last year, a Wired report revealed that Amazon’s drone delivery operation is struggling just as much in the UK, despite making its first-ever drone delivery near Cambridge in 2016Wired’s report suggests that the UK outfit is marred by some of the same issues described by Bloomberg, including a high turnover rate and potential safety issues. At a UK-based facility for analyzing drone footage for people and animals, one worker reportedly drank beer on the job, while Wired said another held down the “approve” button on their computer regardless of whether there were hazards in the footage or not.

https://www.theverge.com/2022/4/11/23020549/amazon-struggling-drone-deliveries-prime-air-bezos

The SEC proposed a landmark climate disclosure rule.

Environmentalists hailed the rule as a crucial first step in forcing the private sector to confront the economic risks of a warming world, even as some said the SEC should have gone further in requiring all businesses to disclose the emissions generated by their supply chain and customers.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/03/21/sec-climate-change-rule/