Tag Archives: gunther anders

What It All Means

On this day, seventy-three years following the second use of atomic weapons against a largely civilian population, we turn to Günther Anders with an excerpt from a presentation delivered to the Sixth World Congress of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War in 1986; the untitled painting (added by DP) is from the imagination of Kazuo Shiraga, and dates from 1962.

 

 

 

The entire address is worth close consideration, and might well have been written following Fukushima, or even yesterday, and let us meditate on these lines in particular:  

For what has to be done is to harass these people who are both not very bright yet also all-powerful and capable of deciding at their whim whether or not humanity will exist; we certainly have to curtail their power.

 

˜˜˜˜˜


Pepper Loves You

Who is Pepper? From the SoftBank website, we read:

Pepper is a human-shaped robot. He is kindly, endearing and surprising.

We have designed Pepper to be a genuine day-to-day companion, whose number one quality is his ability to perceive emotions.

Pepper is the first humanoid robot capable of recognising the principal human emotions and adapting his behaviour to the mood of his interlocutor.

To date, more than 140 SoftBank Mobile stores in Japan are using Pepper as a new way of welcoming, informing and amusing their customers. Pepper also recently became the first humanoid robot to be adopted in Japanese homes!

Wow! Japanese homes! Yet there is even more to gush over:

Pleasant and likeable, Pepper is much more than a robot, he is a genuine humanoid companion created to communicate with you in the most natural and intuitive way, through his body movements and his voice.

Pepper loves to interact with you, Pepper wants to learn more about your tastes, your habits and quite simply who you are.

Pepper can recognise your face, speak, hear you and move around autonomously.

You can also personalise your robot by downloading the software applications that take your fancy, based on your mood or the occasion. Dance, play, learn or even chat in another language, Pepper adapts himself to you!

Your robot evolves with you. Pepper gradually memorises your personality traits, your preferences, and adapts himself to your tastes and habits.

 

PEPPER LOVES YOU!

What could possibly wrong?

˜˜˜˜˜

Last week saw the release of a report on potential malicious uses of AI, the result of a collaboration among fourteen institutions and twenty-six distinguished authors. We urge careful review of the entire report; the conclusion is excerpted below.

THIS DOG DOES NOT LOVE YOU!

˜˜˜˜˜

Our own view on the dangers of AI will be familiar to longtime DP readers. Our ability to invent clever technologies accelerates while the development of moral consciousness and empathic conscience degrades, resulting in an ever-deepening discrepancy that, if left to its own lethal devices, will eventually terminate in a world without us. In the words of Gunther Anders:


The Freezing Point

FAUST IS DEAD

FAUST IS DEAD

To commemorate the 68th anniversary for the bombing of Hiroshima, we have been slowly working our way through Günther Anders’ remarkable Reflections on the H Bomb, which can be read here in its entirety, courtesy of Harold Marcuse.

Anders begins his reflections with a passage titled The modern infinite. Faust is dead:

GA1

Further along, beneath the heading Our incapacity for fear marks the freezing point of human freedom, Anders identifies the nascent radical unfreedom of our own time, as we stumble along, well past the freezing point, deep into the numbness of the black ice:

GA2

AFGHAN CHILDREN BENEATH THE FREEZING POINT

AFGHAN CHILDREN KILLED BY OUR FREEZING POINT