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Conspiracies from the pages of Think Magazine
"A CONSPIRACY IS A CLIQUE OF NORMALS SECRETLY PLANNING INSIDIOUS RITUALS AIMED AT CONTROLLING YOU. " - Bob Dobbs
Conspiracy theory is a term that originally was a neutral descriptor for any conspiracy claim... the disinformation claims have smeared it into a dirty word. Don't look over there and pay no mind to the man behind the curtain....
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This is the decades-old question which is being asked increasingly as robotics becomes ever more advanced. The question may sound a little clichéd, but the sentiment behind it is very real. How much should we rely on artificial intelligence? Is there potential for advanced robotics to do harm to human endeavour?
At the moment, the significant advances in robotics seem fairly harmless and are certainly being used to push our horizons. For example, robots are being used extensively to reach places that humans find hard to reach. Visit any disaster zone and you will find robots going about search and rescue tasks which are tough for humans to fulfil. Robots have become ubiquitous in space and recently the first talking humanoid space robot greeted Japan’s latest astronaut as he arrived at the International Space Station. In addition to this advanced work, robots are also being used increasingly in repetitive basic tasks such as manufacturing or even everyday household chores. Basic it may be, but robots are more and more visible. However, they are still limited in terms of dexterity and structural flexibility. In many ways, today’s robots resemble our computers thirty years ago – Expensive and cumbersome.
By the same token though, we can probably expect robotic technology to continue advancing and increasing in accessibility over time. This brings about its own dangers. It is fairly simple to imagine how robots might be used to increasingly entertain children for example, who are already accustomed to watching a screen for portions of the day. This might be convenient for parents, but at what point does a reduction in human interaction begin to negatively impact child development? Robots are also playing a rising role in warfare, enabling armies to attack an enemy without placing actual troops at risk. It can’t be long until engineers design a robot capable of not only striking the enemy but identifying it too. However, can we really trust machines to make these moral decisions?
Of course, another fear for some is that robots will become such effective replacements for humans in some jobs that we will no longer need to perform valuable tasks and thus lose the actual ability to carry out certain functions. And so rather than empower us, robots may in fact diminish human capacity. It is important to remember that although we talk about artificial intelligence, what we are often referring to is advanced programming. For example, the robots which now beat chess masters with regularity and the online poker bots which defeat poker champions are reliant on calculating myriad actions and possibilities incredibly quickly rather than actually thinking for themselves.
Still, given that we are increasingly dependent on computer networks in order to perform everyday functions, some scientists have suggested that these networks could coalesce to behave in an independent fashion, a kind of collective intelligence and one which could work against the best interests of human wellbeing. The dreaded Y2K bug, although it never materialised is a good example of this rudimentary process. In essence, such a scenario would be the result of massive human error, but some believe it could result in seismic disaster.
Sounds like science fiction? Well, perhaps sci-fi isn’t the worst guide to what we can expect. After all, the communication equipment in Star Trek looks incredibly dated against our everyday mobile devices today. A warning for the future? Perhaps.
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A camping trip through Sydney is an exciting prospect in itself. With so many amazing places to stop and explore, there’s no way to ever get bored in the incredible Outback. But we took this camping trip to the next level entirely! Did you know there are hot spots to watch for UFOs in Sydney? Well neither did I, until I read about the incredible paranormal sightings from some parts of Australia, and decided I had to check this one out for myself! What followed was the adventure of a lifetime.
We decided to rent a campervan for this trip because it was the perfect way to explore off the beaten path at our own pace. It was great that we never had to stop and look for hotels, and we could venture off into areas outside of civilization. After all, this is where the UFOs are spotted! My Drive Holiday campervan hire in Sydney was just perfect. They had so many options to choose from, so we got to pick the size and features that were right for our trip. And we could pickup and dropoff the campervan at various locations so that made it really easy for traveling. The price was great, too! With all the money we saved on accommodations, a campervan was definitely the budget-friendly way to go.
One place we really wanted to visit was Lake Macquarie, the place where one family spotted a UFO and took great photos of their experience. We didn’t actually see a UFO there but it was a great place to camp out and enjoy the peaceful lake and wilderness. Another UFO sighting that got me really excited about this trip occurred on the Central Coast of Australia. So mysterious! It’s just fascinating that so many extra-terrestrial vessels and objects are spotted in this part of the world!
So we took our campervan all over the area, stopping outside of civilization in clearings to try and spot UFOs at night. It was such an exciting and unique experience. We really got to soak in the beauty of nature, which felt almost paranormal in itself. These days, it’s so hard to really escape civilization and the mark of humans, so getting way out in the outback was such a treat. We all returned from this trip feeling exhilarated and refreshed, even though we didn’t actually spot any UFOs along the way!
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