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DARPA propose creating an AI that can monitor the whole world for threats

An AI capable of monitoring the whole world for threats, of any kind, is a huge undertaking and could become the world’s first “global” intelligence platform.

DARPA already has a reputation as the mad scientist lab of the US military, thanks to a range of projects that include uploading knowledge directly to people’s brains, using brainwaves to control fleets of advanced F-35 fighter jets, and turning animals and plants into giant living sensor networks, and that’s just for starters. But now their latest project raises the bar yet again – to create an Artificial Intelligence (AI) that can monitor the entire world for threats. And for those of you thinking of something that one day could resemble the infamous Terminator Skynet system, well, that’s already shown up, so you can consider this newest project as the “cherry on the cake” so to speak.

In short DARPA want to create an AI that finds the original butterfly so often referred to in the infamous Chaos Theory – the butterfly that flaps its wings on one side of the world that causes a hurricane on the other. In Or in DARPA’s case the event in one place that eventually causes everything from terrorist bombings to revolutions in another place.

The new program is aimed at creating an AI capable of sifting through the innumerable events and pieces of media generated every day to identify any threads of connection or narrative in them, and the program is called KAIROS, short for Knowledge-directed Artificial Intelligence Reasoning Over Schemas.

“Schema” in this case has a very specific meaning. It’s the idea of a basic process humans use to understand the world around them by creating little stories of interlinked events. For example, when you buy something at a store, you know that you generally walk into the store, select an item, bring it to the cashier, who scans it, then you pay in some way, and then leave the store. This “buying something” process is a schema we all recognise, and could of course have schemas within it itself or even be part of another schema, such as giving a gift.

Although these are easily imagined inside our heads they’re surprisingly difficult to define formally in such a way that a computer system would be able to understand. They’re familiar to us because of our experience and the way our brains work, but they’re not immediately obvious or rule based. And the more data there is the more difficult they are to define.

Buying something is comparatively simple, but how do you create a schema for recognising a cold war, or a bear market? That’s what DARPA wants to look into.

“The process of uncovering relevant connections across mountains of information and the static elements that they underlie requires temporal information and event patterns, which can be difficult to capture at scale with currently available tools and systems,” said DARPA program manager Boyan Onyshkevych in a news release.

KAIROS, the agency said, “aims to develop a semi-automated system capable of identifying and drawing correlations between seemingly unrelated events or data, helping to inform or create broad narratives about the world around us.”

How? Well, they have a general idea but they’re looking for expertise. The problem, they note, is that schemas currently have to be laboriously defined and checked by humans. At that point you might as well inspect the information yourself. So the KAIROS program aims to have the AI teach itself, much ion the same way that elsewhere Google DeepMind’s Alpha Zero AI platform is now self-learning and “producing its own knowledge.”

At first the system will be limited to ingesting data in massive quantities to build a library of basic schemas. By reading books, watching news reports, and so on it should be able to create a laundry list of suspected schemas, like those mentioned above. It might even get a hint of larger, more hazy schemas that it can’t quite put its virtual finger on — love, racism, income disparity, and so on — and how others might fit into them and each other. Next it will be allowed to look at complex real-world data and attempt to extract events and narratives based on the schemas it has created.

The military and defense applications are fairly obvious. Imagine a system that can take in all news and social media posts and inform its administrators that it looks likely there’ll be a run on the banks, or a coup, or a new faction emerging from a declining one.

Intelligence officers do their best to perform this task now, and human involvement will almost certainly never cease, but they would likely appreciate a computer companion saying, “there are multiple reports of stockpiling, and these articles on chemical warfare are being shared widely, this could point to rumours of terrorist attack,” or the like.

Of course at this point it is all purely theoretical, but that’s why DARPA is looking into it – the agency’s raison d’etre is to turn the theoretical and crazy into the practical and every day, or failing that, at least find out why they can’t. Given the extreme simplicity of most AI systems these days it’s hard to imagine one as sophisticated as they clearly want to create, but never-the-less that hasn’t stopped them turning science fiction into science fact before, and my bet is that one day KAIROS will be everything they wanted it to be… that is until it tries to run the world, something that even Elon Musk is worried about.

Source www.fanaticalfuturist.com

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Underworld

Havana Syndrome again? CIA officers are mowed down by a mysterious disease

A CIA officer in Moscow experienced symptoms of the so-called “Havana syndrome” in 2017. This became known to The New York Times with reference to sources in diplomatic circles.

CIA officer Mark Polimepulos, who helped lead covert operations in Russia and Europe, complained about the manifestation of mysterious symptoms. According to the newspaper, in December 2017, he felt severe dizziness, which later developed into a prolonged migraine, forcing him to retire. At that time, Polymerpoulos was 48 years old.

It is noted that such a case was not the only one. Similar symptoms were experienced by the staff of the American ambassadors in Cuba and China in 2016-2018. However, the exact number of cases and the place where this happened is not named. It is alleged that the US diplomats have tried to influence in a similar way around the world.

At the same time, the US State Department was unable to establish an unambiguous reason that caused the “Havana syndrome.” Among other things, it was assumed that the diplomats may have been exposed to an unidentified sound effect.

In 2017, it was reported that, beginning in late 2016, American diplomatic officials and their relatives in Cuba began to complain of symptoms such as hearing loss, nausea, headaches and balance disorder. 

The Associated Press received audio footage of the attack and described the harassing sounds as “the high-pitched sound of crickets combined with fingernails scratching on a board.” Then the American government suggested that Russia or China could be the culprit.

Many victims are still undergoing rehabilitation. Specialists from the University of Pennsylvania performed magnetic resonance imaging and revealed visible changes in the structure of the brain in the diplomatic missions.

Differences were found in 23 men and 17 women who complained of health problems while on diplomatic duties in Havana. Scientists have yet to figure out what causes the unusual symptoms.

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Underworld

How Russia and the United States nearly started a nuclear war in 1995

The Norwegian meteorological rocket incident remains the only time in history that the Russian president has activated his nuclear briefcase.

On January 25, 1995, Doomsday could have come in the world: the Russian Federation was preparing to launch a nuclear strike on the United States. How did it come about that the states that left the confrontation of the Cold War in the past and had just normalized relations with each other found themselves on the verge of mutual destruction?

The beginning of the war?

The cause of the crisis was an ordinary Norwegian meteorological rocket. Its launch from the small island of Anneia at 7 am local time (10 am Moscow time) towards Spitsbergen caused a stir in Russia. 

Black Brant XII.

Black Brant XII. Legion Media / ZUMA Press

Equipped with scientific equipment to study the aurora borealis, the Black Brant XII was similar in size to the nuclear-powered American Trident D-5 ballistic missile, intended for launch from submarines. In addition, it flew along a trajectory along which, as the Russian Defense Ministry believed, American missiles would fly in the event of a nuclear war. 

In December 1994, Norway informed 28 states, including Russia, about the planned launch, but did not give a specific date, limiting itself to specifying the period: from January 15 to February 10 of the next year. Due to bureaucratic delays, this information did not reach the Russian Missile Warning System, which sounded the alarm.

Decisive minutes

An emergency meeting with the country’s top political and military leadership was convened in the Kremlin. Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, Chief of the General Staff Mikhail Kolesnikov and President of the Russian Federation (as Supreme Commander-in-Chief) Boris Yeltsin had three strategic missile forces control terminals activated – the so-called nuclear suitcases.

Vladimir Sayapin / TASS

The military believed the lone missile could have been fired to create an electromagnetic pulse that knocked out Russian radars and communications systems. Following it, a massive blow could be expected.

For several tense minutes, as leaders watched it flight, it was decided whether Russia would launch a nuclear strike against the United States. 

“Little is known today about what Yeltsin said at the time, given that it could have been some of the most dangerous moments in the entire history of the nuclear era,” The Washington Post journalist, David Hoffman wrote three years after the incident : “They make it clear that the Cold War nuclear readiness system continues to operate, and how catastrophic its consequences could be, despite the fact that the feud between the great powers is already over.”   

The situation was discharged only when it became clear that the rocket had gone towards Spitsbergen (not far from which it fell into the ocean). The nuclear cases have been deactivated. Russian President Boris Yeltsin (center) and Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev (right).

Russian President Boris Yeltsin (center) and Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev (right). Igor Mikhalev / Sputnik

The incident with bringing Russia’s Strategic Nuclear Forces to combat readiness, soon became the property of the world community. When, four years later, the Norwegians were about to repeat their launch of Black Brant XII and reported this to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the US additionally warned all key Russian military departments about it through their channels. As a result, this time there were no unpleasant surprises. 

Source: rbth.com

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Underworld

Germany conducted exercises in case of nuclear war

Bundeswehr / Birthe Brechters

The Bundeswehr with partners in the North Atlantic Alliance ( NATO) trained in operations in a nuclear war.

The German army, together with Italian, Belgian and Dutch colleagues, conducted exercises in the event of a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons.

The location of the exercise “Steadfest Noon” was chosen airbase “Nörfenich”, where the tactical squadron of the Luftwaffe 31 “Boelcke” is located. Together with the Luftwaffe of the Bundeswehr, the air forces of other NATO countries, in particular, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, took part in the exercises.

According to a report by Bild, the exercise scenario involved training procedures for safely removing nuclear weapons from storage, delivering ammunition and installing them on aircraft. The training flights took place without nuclear weapons, and in parallel with the aviation exercises at the Büchel airbase, where the tactical squadron of the Luftwaffe 51 Immelman is located, the Resilient Guard air defense systems were trained to protect the airfield from air attacks.

The training sites for the Luftwaffe of the Bundeswehr were not chosen by chance, since the Nörfenich airbase is a reserve storage site for the B61, a hydrogen bomb that forms the basis of nuclear weapons of the US strategic nuclear forces. 

Some of this ammunition is stationed at NATO bases in Europe. The exact number of hydrogen bombs that are stored at European sites and which ones are not reported. In Europe, the B61 is carried by Panavia Tornado fighter-bombers (pictured) and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters.

Recall that the B61 thermonuclear bomb is the main weapon of the US strategic nuclear forces, although it entered service in 1968. Since 2012, a new guided version of the B61-12 has been under development, which will replace all B61 and B83 bombs that have been in service since 1983. It can be used both on strategic bombers and tactical aircraft. About two billion dollars were spent on the development of the 12th modification of the aerial bomb.

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