The development of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) that select targets without human intervention could violate fundamental principles of human dignity, according to one AI expert.
Stuart Russell, professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, highlighted in the journal Nature the ethical decision faced by the artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics communities about whether to oppose or support the development of such systems. (more…)
MEDIA ROOTS– Last year marked the tenth anniversary of America’s invasion of Afghanistan, officially making it the longest war in US history. Now that Osama Bin Laden is finally confirmed dead, the federal government’s logic of continuing the occupation remains unclear.
Initially, the Bush administration irrationally insisted that any sovereign nation harboring terrorists was itself complicit in “terror” and therefore open for pre-emptive US military action. This rationale is absurd– just because one criminal might be living inside of a particular country doesn’t make that entire country guilty of the criminal’s crimes.
Heroin is a multibillion dollar business supported by powerful interests, which requires a steady and secure commodity flow. One of the “hidden” objectives of the war was precisely to restore the CIA sponsored drug trade to its historical levels and exert direct control over the drug routes.
Immediately following the October 2001 invasion, opium markets were restored. Opium prices spiraled. By early 2002, the opium price (in dollars/kg) was almost 10 times higher than in 2000.
In 2001, under the Taliban opiate production stood at 185 tons, increasing to 3400 tons in 2002 under the US sponsored puppet regime of President Hamid Karzai.
While highlighting Karzai’s patriotic struggle against the Taliban, the media fails to mention that Karzai collaborated with the Taliban. He had also been on the payroll of a major US oil company, UNOCAL. In fact, since the mid-1990s, Hamid Karzai had acted as a consultant and lobbyist for UNOCAL in negotiations with the Taliban.
In today’s globalized world, one can’t discount the role that multinational corporations play in US foreign policy decisions. Not only have oil companies and private military contractors made a killing off the Afghanistan occupation: big pharmaceutical companies, who collectively lobby over $250 million to Congress annually, need opium latex to manufacture drugs for this pill happy nation.
There is a lot of unrest in the US on how our government has been handling matters lately. Should the riots in England serve as a warning for the US? Spending on wars and cutting social programs are things that both the US and UK are doing. Luke Rudkowski, an independent journalist, and Kathryn Dill, lead reporter for Truth March, tell us if the US will be seeing riots of their own and how the US could potentially prevent them.
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MEDIA ROOTS– This discussion covers US imperialism: wars, costs, media and government propaganda; the culture of self-censorship and the erosion of privacy in the US; information as power and how communication is an important tool to strengthen and build communities.
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