The Guardian: AI and Climate Change in Davos

Davos Congress Centre
Davos Congress Centre. By World Economic Forum [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

As I predicted in 2017, the growing AI scare is looking increasingly likely to be the globalist replacement for the faltering climate scare.

Climate change, AI and harassment – the hottest topics at this year’s Davos

Richard Partington

Sun 21 Jan 2018 02.59 AEDT

The World Economic Forum focuses on the ‘fractured world’ this year: but the biggest star at the gala will be Donald Trump

Donald Trump will loom large at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this week, as the self-styled anti-globalist joins the annual gathering of billionaires, business executives and politicians.

The meeting at the luxury ski resort in the Swiss Alps at the start of each year is set to be dominated by the US president, who is due to give a special address to the conference on Friday.

The official theme of this year’s forum is “creating a shared future in a fractured world”, which could have taken its cue from Trump alone. However, it does leave enough wiggle room to take in Brexit and the growing risks from technological advances, climate change and rising inequality.

The rise of the robots

The increasing use of artificial intelligence, robotics and the automation of jobs has been a repeating theme at Davos, and this year is no different. The impact of AI will be one of the forum’s major events, with a one-to-one interview to be held between Schwab and the chief executive of Google, Sundar Pichai.

The “fourth industrial revolution” will be a key theme once more, with a focus on how the loss of millions of jobs could undermine social cohesion. The way states respond to governing and taxing technologies and borderless business will be high on the agenda.

Climate-change risks to the fore

Trump moved quickly to pull the US out of the Paris climate accords in one of his first acts as president last year. At Davos, where the environment is always among the most important issues up for debate, this won’t have gone down well.

The former US vice-president Al Gore is attending and will speak on several panels, including one about how extreme weather events are proving more devastating and expensive.

The WEF’s global risks perception survey, released last week, cited climate change-related issues as the top problems facing the world, while it also issued a thinly veiled warning to the US president that “nation-state unilateralism” will make it harder to combat change and ecological damage.

Read more:

Climate with its failed predictions and repeated gross exaggerations simply doesn’t have the grant pulling power it once had. Climate disasters like melting ice sheets, once predicted to just be a decade away, have mostly been pushed out to the end of the century, well after most of us will be dead.

Compared to the tired climate myth, the scary AI narrative has real potential. We have all seen movies where a malevolent AI does great harm.

When will AI controlled robots steal all our jobs? What will contact with AI do to our children? Will militarised robots run amok and kill us all? Will AI help social justice warriors enslave us all, in a web of lies created by an intelligence we are helpless to resist? Do we have to regulate Facebook, Elon Musk and Google? Will AI deliver the stars, freedom, power and liberty beyond our ability to imagine?

Will AI solve deep medical mysteries and deliver the secret of medical immortality?

The national security implications – what if your nation’s enemies get there first? How many senior politicians or bureaucrats would reject a credible offer of an extra 50 years of healthy life, with more to come if they remain loyal to their new masters? Or a cure for a lethal illness, which only the advanced AI medical technology of your nation’s enemies can cure?

The new arms race – advanced AI is the only defence against advanced AI in the hands of ruthless enemies.

The most terrifying aspect of the AI scare – unlike increasingly distant climate threats, the AI revolution which upends all of our lives might happen tomorrow, before we can prepare.

This might be one of the last Davos meetings which even pretends to take the climate scare seriously. The AI scare is in – coming soon to your community.

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Komrade Kuma
January 20, 2018 7:42 pm

I thought CAGW WAS just the first iteration of AI.

There is little other rational explanation other than proto-SIRI just made a complete mess of it or someone pressed ‘her’ “Start” button a bit early like in Hawaii the other day. The only other alternative is that an alarming number of people attracted to ‘climate science’ are morons or aliens trying to take over the world.

Come on, you know it makes ense….

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
January 20, 2018 7:53 pm

CAGW WAS just the first iteration of AL Gore.

Joel O’Bryan
January 20, 2018 7:48 pm

With the Algore there, watch for a snowmageddon event.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
January 20, 2018 8:43 pm

Heavy snow for next Friday in Davos is indeed in the AccuWeather forecast.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
January 21, 2018 9:46 am

It’s a ski resort. I’m shocked.

Larry D
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
January 21, 2018 9:44 pm

It wont count as snowmageddon unless the snow fall is measured in multiple meters or lasts for weeks.
Although I’d settle for them being snowed in for weeks.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
January 22, 2018 7:22 am

and the phone lines go down.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
January 21, 2018 4:01 pm

Geneve Internationale, Geneva, Switzerland

‘Key players in the Geneva region in the fields of Environment & Sustainable Development’

Such as:

Oak Foundation
UN- REDD Programme

And others:

Reply to  Barbara
January 21, 2018 6:24 pm

Geneva Environment Network (GEN), Geneva, Switzerland, Est. 1999

Includes: World Economic Forum (WEF)

Annual Meeting: Davos, Switzerland

Non-governmental and Business organization

Website has:

Cooperations with
Link to WEF website

World Economic Forum (WEF)

Trustees include:

Al Gore
Mark Carney, Bank of England
Christine Laguarde, also IMF
And others

January 20, 2018 7:48 pm

AI is a much larger issue, just because of the employment implications. CAGW has been sucking up all the oxygen, preventing more focus on automation and the inevitable economic impact.

Reply to  PiperPaul
January 21, 2018 8:05 am

AI means that goods will become cheaper, so it will take less work for the average worker to afford most products.
At one time, people had to work from sun up to sun down in order to make enough to feed their families.
Thanks to technology, we now need to only work 40 hours a week.
As technology continues to advance, that number will continue to drop.

Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2018 9:05 am

The good news…
> Thanks to technology, we now need to only work 40 hours a week.

The bad news…
Thanks to technology, a lot of people will find zero hours of work per week, and end up desparate.

It takes a lot of time to adjust, but people don’t go into suspended animation, and stop needing food, shelter, and clothing during the adjustment period. The First Industrial Revolution (FIR) starting about 1770. The adjustment took 70 years. Massive job losses in textile making started around 1770, putting 20% of Britain’s entire work force out of work and rendering them paupers. The economy did not finally provide enough alternative employment until about 1840.

This horrendous slums of Dickens, the imprisonment of up to 10% of Britain’s population in prisons or workhouses for the destitute, was a situation lasting for generations. People who lost their livelihoods when the FIR hit never got re-employed, nor did their children, or even grand-children.

Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2018 9:07 am

Your optimism is impressive. With all the modern technology available to this knowledge worker, the 40 hour week was a myth.

Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2018 1:08 pm

I don’t buy your theory Walter. It reminds me of the time when people believed the advent of the personal computer would be the end of paper. Today’s smart phones, TVs, and computers have only expanded jobs for people to make them, sell them, create upgrades and apps, and repair them. The same will likely continue because I don’t think artificial intelligence will ever be smarter than the natural intelligence that creates it. Faster yes, but impossible to reason with.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2018 3:17 pm

“MarkW January 21, 2018 at 8:05 am

Thanks to technology, we now need to only work 40 hours a week.”

There was a time where I worked for Hewlett Packard and I would have loved to have worked a 40hr week. Instead, I had to work at least 75 without overtime for the best part of two and a half years.

Automation, when it finally penetrates all industries, is going to cause many problems. Many terrorist attacks in recent years, particularly in Europe, were perpetrated by inter-generational unemployed young men.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2018 3:28 pm

“Walter Dnes January 21, 2018 at 9:05 am”

Yes. French textile workers and loom operators threw their wooden clogs (Sabots) in to the machines in protest. The origin of the word sabotage.

Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2018 6:13 pm

Walter, the only people who find themselves with no work available are the ones who don’t want to work in the first place.

Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2018 6:14 pm

Patrick, it was your choice to work for a company that made unreasonable demands of you.

Ian Cooper
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2018 8:49 pm

The ’40 hour week’ was fought for and obtained by unions in the late 19th century worldwide. The ideal of a ’40 hr working week was gained because of the inherently ‘human’ need for 8 hrs work, 8 hrs recreation & 8 hours sleep over 5 working days and a weekend to be with family. The concept of a ‘family weekend’ has been steadily eroded by modern practice. Robots operate 24/7 as you Americans are fond of saying. The implications of this are what we are all pondering on.

Reply to  MarkW
January 22, 2018 7:23 am

Ian, you’ve bought into the propaganda of the unions.
The 40 hour week was well in place long before unions got going.
The only thing unions have ever done is make those who run them rich. They have been a complete disaster for the working man.

Reply to  MarkW
January 22, 2018 7:45 am

Free enterprise will always result in a worker being paid just a little bit less than his/her marginal productivity.
The reason for this is simple. As long as a worker is being paid less than his marginal utility, the company makes money. So the natural desire is to hire more workers so that the company can make more money.
This results in the price of labor being bid up to the point where additional workers no longer mean more profit for the company.
The only place this doesn’t work is where there is a monopoly, and since only government can create a monopoly, the solution once again is to get government out of the way.

Reply to  MarkW
January 27, 2018 1:48 pm

Seems like a lot of economic illiteracy in our neighborhood.

Human wants (as far as I know) are limitless. At first, we worked dawn to dusk just to survive. The invention of the plow did two things. 1. It put some hunter gatherers out of work, because food, etc no longer required 100% of everybody’s time. It freed up time for some people to try to satisfy additional human wants.

The same happened continuously into our modern times as the industrial revolution, steam engines/trains, telegraph, electricity, computers, GPS, and a million other inventions. Buggy whip workers lose jobs, but unless the society’s economic rules prevent it (eg Minimum Wage, etc, etc, etc…), the newly ‘available’ hours will be hired and trained to do new tasks, providing yet more of those limitless human wants.

Your choice either is to bitch about the temporary dislocations arising from fast food self order kiosks, the cashier-less grocery store, or a 100% automated food production industry – or you can help to remove all the barriers to the free flow of capital and people, which exist in the US today. Being a Luddite and wishing instead to smash the machines, is not a choice I would suggest for any of you.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  PiperPaul
January 21, 2018 8:47 am

Chapter 2, “A friend is Encountered” in Asimov’s “The Naked Sun” describes this issue. A planet’s total human population of only 20,000 but with 200,000,000 working robots.

F. Leghorn
Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 21, 2018 10:21 am

I was thinking of the book “With Folded Hands”. The ultimate leftist do-gooder story

Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 21, 2018 12:03 pm

Vonnegut’s Player Piano–read it in the mid sixty’s, and swore to stay as far away from computer tech as possible. Managed to keep that oath until the late 90’s, and sometimes still wonder why I broke it.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 21, 2018 6:15 pm

Try “Two Faces of Tomorrow” by James P. Hogan.

January 20, 2018 7:51 pm

Isn’t it too bad, too [b]dâhmned[/b] bad, that the AGW-advocacy community can’t own up to its prevarications, its mendacity, its duplicitous [i]“you’re bad because you don’t believe (and tithe! Bigly!)”[/i]. Isn’t it frustrating?

I’m unamused. Going on 60 years young, and it all just seems like [i]“same ol’, same ol’.”[/i] Like it’ll never change. No matter what.

Fertilize the sterile oceans, fellow earthlings.
Use excess solar, wind, nuclear to desalinate water.
Use power wisely, be a skinflint in heating things. You’d be surprised how little energy you REALLY need.
And stop with the stupid car trips.
GET SMART – like my mom and pop in the 1960s. Only 1 car.
Mom almost never [i]“got”[/i] it.
So… shopping was 1 day a week, not 5 days.
And we kids took our wonderful crâhp-bikes to games.
To school, to parks, to places our parents – if they knew – would never let us go.
We didn’t have cell phones, let alone pagers.
We just came home by 6 PM … sharp … or there was a drubbing and no dinner.
And we were skinny, muscular, tough, anti-wimps.
Not bullies either. Just street wise.


Mike McMillan
Reply to  GoatGuy
January 20, 2018 8:43 pm

Ya gotta use <angle brackets>, not [square ones].

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  GoatGuy
January 20, 2018 8:46 pm

If you are only 60 years old you can still learn the correct brackets.
Try the angle brackets – – the greater than & less than symbols …

Go to the WUWT “Test” page for information

January 20, 2018 7:56 pm

(sigh) The demographics are clear. Populations around the world are spiraling into oblivion, some faster than others. In Finland, an official talking about the demographics plaintively asked “who is going to pay for the social welfare?” At the end of WW2, Japan encouraged a one child policy. A few years ago, more adult diapers were sold than infant diapers. Russia is worse and Communist China is not far behind. The only reason that the population in these United States is increasing is massive immigration of people escaping sh**holes. We have outsourced our breeding to the third world. Thank the Lord for robots. For you younger people, the millennials, your only hope is that the robots will take care of you because you will not have enough children to pay your Social Security. See “What to Expect When Nobody is Expecting”.

By the way, there is an app for the Streets of San Francisco. It is an on line map that shows the streets and sidewalks that have the highest concentration of people poop on them.

I take no joy in what the Donks have done to California. My Great Grandfather went to California in 1849. My grandparents met at a stage stop that is now a boutique restaurant west to Cotati. My parents met at the old Santa Rosa Hotel. I went to high school in Berkeley. I found great joy when my ship passed under the Golden Gate. Now it meets the description of sh**hole. I am thankful to live in Texas.

Reply to  Jon Jewett
January 20, 2018 8:07 pm

All the people leaving Ca are moving to texas…..soon we will be a liberal state

Ill Tempered Klavier
Reply to  Jamie
January 20, 2018 9:10 pm

Not exactly. Those are the people who were liberal when it matched what we thought valued and believed in. Now they’ve changed the definition to something from another universe, but we haven’t changed and we don’t know what we are.

Paleface speak with forked tongue? Yeah, we know about that.

Female person of color / red

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Jamie
January 21, 2018 8:39 am

Soon all their ex’s will live in Texas.

Reply to  Jon Jewett
January 20, 2018 8:28 pm

I am only 3rd generation Californian, because of my immigrant Swedish greatgrandparents who drove their two teenage girls from Erie PA to San Diego in a Model-T in 1918. The trip was on dirt roads most of the way, but the Native Americans they encountered, only sold trinkets and no longer raped the women settlers or scalped their husbands. They eventually migrated to Piedmont in the Oakland Hills where I was born on “Pill Hill” in Peralta Hospital. Now … I am on your heels. I am outta here! Taking every dime I earned (and can now spend) to someplace better than this disgusting 3rd world nation. I am planning my own reconquista of some State other than the s#ithole Jerry’s Kids have made out of CA. The tent cities of homeless immigrants are overrunning this State. I guess those jobs that Californians just won’t do … don’t pay enough for a fleabag apartment in East LA. Surely every single Spanish speaking tent dweller can earn enough cleaning the toilets of Jerry’s kids to afford a place to live? I hear Jerry is retiring to his “family ranch” in the foothills, where he will live out his days … off the grid? I’m going totally off the grid … off the CA grid. Where I can find a State not being consumed by 3rd world interlopers and the nuclear meltdown of unfunded gold plated public pensions. Don’t worry about Jerry … he’ll just blame the … next Gov. for the economic mess he papered-over with accountancy jujitsu. And he cannot be contacted for comment … as he’s living off the grid with his “partner”, Moonflower.

Reply to  kenji
January 20, 2018 9:36 pm

Try Wisconsin. It’s got great landscapes, plenty of jobs, real seasons, and you can go hunting with a gun or a crossbow without jumping through hoops over it.

Or there’s Montana. Incredible mountains and valleys and rugged individuals.

sy computing
Reply to  kenji
January 20, 2018 10:14 pm

With due respect to the lady…

Forget WI or MT…come to TEXAS!

We want you here!

Reply to  kenji
January 21, 2018 3:55 am

Looks like your only choice will the northern shores of Alaska.

Reply to  kenji
January 21, 2018 7:39 am

@ Sara,
NOT WI…the culture shock would kill her. qualifier, I live here, my CA aunt did for a time too and I can still hear her innate ramblings about how backwards this state is

All states have their problems, ours currently is FOXXCON and how to keep them from turning Lake Michigan into sludge and how much money they gave to Walker. 😉

T port
Reply to  kenji
January 21, 2018 6:23 pm

CA does have a lot of problems, homeless and hight taxes, but we still have the Bay, wine country, Carmel and Monterrey, Silicon Valley, the film and music industry, Channel islands, Death Valley the Sierras, Mt Shasta, the gold country, great restaurants etc.

A thriving, dynamic and diverse music, opera, theater, jazz and pop culture to boot.

So I doubt I’ll be leaving soon for a small town on a prairie somewhere with a bowling alley, a Denny’s and a mega church.

Reply to  kenji
January 21, 2018 9:36 pm

Ahh Tport:

“CA does have a lot of problems, homeless and high taxes, but we still have the Bay, wine country, Carmel and Monterrey, Silicon Valley, the film and music industry, Channel islands, Death Valley the Sierras, Mt Shasta, the gold country, great restaurants etc.

A thriving, dynamic and diverse music, opera, theater, jazz and pop culture to boot.”

You just listed all the things wrong with CA. That’s why everybody is leaving!

Reply to  kenji
January 22, 2018 7:25 am

Fascinating how you believe everything outside of CA is a small town on the prairie.
I for one profoundly wish that you never leave CA.

Reply to  kenji
January 22, 2018 9:24 am

I have a very, very, wealthy Uncle who is a Stanford Business grad and has lived in Brentwood and the toniest neighborhoods of the Bay Area. In his retirement … for fun … he would buy failing companies … fix them, and sell them as thriving enterprises. He currently has homes in Connecticut (where he keeps his sailboat) and in Jackson Hole. He and his wife have told me that (in their opinion and worldwide experience) CA is the most overrated place they have ever lived. And they can CHOOSE to live anywhere they want. Hardly the stereotypically-mocked crackers living in some one-Walmart town on the Prairie. The empty arrogant parochialism of my fellow Californians is astounding.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Jon Jewett
January 20, 2018 8:53 pm

RE: demographics

Brings up the population pyramid for the U. S., but there are others there.

Reply to  Jon Jewett
January 21, 2018 8:11 am

I read this morning that the CA legislature is debating a bill that will require companies that make more than $1M/yr to hand over half their savings from the Trump tax cut to the state.
The rate at which companies leave CA is going to accelerate.

Reply to  Jon Jewett
January 21, 2018 9:50 am

Yet people stay there. I cannot live where people use the sidewalk for a toilet. Not happening. This is the USA and such behavior is deplorable, dispicable and every other “d” word out there.

Reply to  Sheri
January 21, 2018 4:33 pm

“d” words come in very handy … made me laugh!

Reply to  Jon Jewett
January 21, 2018 10:06 am

1. We’re rapidly coming to understand the mechanisms of ageing, so the current population may live a lot longer than they expect.

2. Artificial wombs aren’t far off. As I understand it, the primary reason we don’t have them is that there are various laws about experimenting on embryos which prevent us from developing them in the West. Some other countries won’t care about that.

3. Birth rates are easy to change if you really want to. The reason China has a one-child policy is because Mao had a ‘have as many kids as possible because we need millions for the army to defeat America’ policy, and the population exploded. We only have low birth rates because Western governments want to replace their native population with foreigners who’ll vote for them.

Reply to  MarkG
January 21, 2018 1:49 pm


January 20, 2018 8:00 pm

We got a new AI home system for Christmas: Alexis, please play classical music on (sic) kitchen. We got 12 very nice pieces. The next day: Alexis, please play classical music on the kitchen. We got the same 12 very nice pieces. The next day…. After 12 sessions of Pachelbel’s Cannon in D we realized that Alexis didn’t know anything else except the same 12 nice pieces. We had to reprogram her, because, as a robot, all she could do was repeat what she knew. After reprograming her, we got 12 new very nice pieces, again, and again, and again. The problem with artificial intelligence is that she never gets tired of repetition, but I do.

Reply to  RiHo08
January 20, 2018 9:56 pm

That’s not Artificial Intelligence, it’s artificial stupidity. That’s what most AI really is, even now. They haven’t changed it much since my degree project on the stuff 25 years ago.

Reply to  Jer0me
January 21, 2018 8:12 am

They haven’t changed it much
after 25 years computers are able to deliver the wrong answer quite a bit faster.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Jer0me
January 21, 2018 3:35 pm

“ferdberple January 21, 2018 at 8:12 am

after 25 years computers are able to deliver the wrong answer quite a bit faster.”

And if the OS is anything like Windows 10 it will update and reboot itself while doing something critical.

Reply to  Jer0me
January 22, 2018 7:26 am

To err is human.
To really foul things up requires a computer.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  RiHo08
January 21, 2018 4:14 am

I will not rent music and particularly when I can only select genres/playlists. More and more, if it doesn’t come off of my collection of optical disks then I am not interested. The thought that music art comes out of a garage …

It is good to be old.

January 20, 2018 8:10 pm

First let me say I am not Sara Connor.

Second, there have been better movie plots with scary robots that look oddly like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bilbo Baggins, never mind Lance Henriksen.

Third, those evil trucks in Maximum Overdrive quit chasing people as soon as the comet left and the Army has been testing driverless vehicles for a while now.

Fourth, Data had an evil twin and Nurse Chapel’s boyfriend had programmed an android double to take his place.

Fifth, if that bipedal mech being tested and built shows up at my door with roses and a package, I will take a golf umbrella to it.

You can either let AI run your life and be a lazy twit, or you can avoid that by not using it any more than is necessary. And there are many young people who simply do not know how to think for themselves, will go into a quagmire and drown playing Pokemon because they don’t watch where they’re going, and think Tide pods are candy. At the same time, there is an equally large population group that are not like that at all, and while they take advantage of AI, they don’t want it running their lives.

Ai has its uses, but it is as fallible as the belief system known as CAGW. Anyone who lets that nonsense take over his/her life is a nitwit.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Sara
January 20, 2018 8:23 pm

Building my EMP generator coil now.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
January 20, 2018 8:50 pm

I am in my lead lined Faraday Cage. Will make for an awesome tomb.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
January 21, 2018 8:30 am

EMP generator
kim will send you one with free shipping included. the soviet layer cake design kim is using is a more effective emp device than conventional hydrogen weapons.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
January 21, 2018 8:43 am
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
January 21, 2018 8:58 am

leave it to the clinton news network to come up with a flying microwave oven to cook kims’s goose.

Reply to  Sara
January 20, 2018 8:50 pm

If an Alexa (a transgendered name for sure) … EVER … shows up in my home it will get smashed to bits with the 10lb sledge hammer that Amazon delivered to me in less than two working days. Alexa claims Jesus Christ was a “fictional character” … while Muhammad was a great leader of the Muslim people. Jeff Bezos should get smashed with a 10lb sledge hammer for programming LIES and HATE into his little spy robot.

Reply to  kenji
January 20, 2018 9:38 pm

I’d leave Alexa out on the front steps with birdfood and suet stuck to it. The bird droppings along would kill it off.

Reply to  kenji
January 20, 2018 10:04 pm

I won’t even discuss private matters with any such device in the room.

honest liberty
Reply to  kenji
January 20, 2018 10:04 pm

well, Astrotheology and countless historical mythical figures would suggest the first part is accurate. As for the second? Well that is an outright lie

Reply to  kenji
January 20, 2018 10:05 pm

I meant to put “similar” between countless and historical

Reply to  kenji
January 21, 2018 6:15 am

Jer0me – Last week my sister made a joke about finding me a wife, and I joked back she’d need to find someone bossy like her to nag me about cleaning.

The next day all the Google ads on WUWT and other blogs I read changed from Solar Panels to ‘Over 40’ dating sites.

My Phone had been in my pocket, but it was still listening.


Reply to  kenji
January 21, 2018 8:20 am

HL, you are free to believe what you want, however the evidence for the existence of Jesus is beyond question.
Whether he was the son of God as he claimed cannot be proven archaelogically.

Reply to  kenji
January 21, 2018 10:00 am

kenji: 10 lb hammer to Bezos—I’m all for it. But only damage him and drop him on a deserted island with no tech, no food and whatever he’s wearing at the moment. sara: What a great use for an Alexa!

I will not have such a device in my house. My “smart phone” has no data package and is off most the time. My cell phone that is use is a flip phone without a camera. My computer has a cover over the camera, sound turned off and hopefully all listening. I assume that’s the case because no one from the government has shown up yet.

Reply to  Sara
January 20, 2018 10:02 pm

You can either let AI run your life and be a lazy twit, or you can avoid that by not using it any more than is necessary. And there are many young people who simply do not know how to think for themselves

Yup. Firstly, it’s not ‘intelligence’ anyway, it’s just tarted up pattern recognition (what we are good at and software ain’t). It’s also not ‘smart’. I’ve made a real commitment to never having any ‘smart’ devices except actual computers which I theoretically control. Anything beyond that, if I’m forced to buy it because no ‘dumb’ version exists, will be disconnected from any network at all before I use it.

I’m flabbergasted that so few people see the dangers in the ‘internet of things’!

Reply to  Jer0me
January 21, 2018 7:26 am

Aha! That is the reason I still use flip phones instead of so-called ‘smartphones’ (they aren’t, but they are sneaky), and am still using a 15-year-old computer on Windows XP.

I think it was the admission by Apple that they intentionally sabotaged older versions of their precious iPhone to force people to buy the newer, and far more expensive, versions that has really, really peeved the younger people. They are also exceptionally angry at Google for censoring their online speech that doesn’t agree with Google’s “philosophy” and they are letting Googster have an earful over it.

Here’s a thought: you can buy and set up your own server and go online with that. No one is under any obligation to use Googster or MSN or any other access mechanism. There are plenty of people who have their own servers. i know several of those people. I know they cost money, but nothing out of sight for someone who is frugal. That could be one way to break any imagined chokehold that these bigger companies think they have on the internet.

Reply to  Jer0me
January 21, 2018 10:03 am

Sara: There are local providers and that is what I use.

sy computing
Reply to  Sara
January 20, 2018 10:20 pm

“Fifth, if that bipedal mech being tested and built shows up at my door with roses and a package, I will take a golf umbrella to it. “

PMC X-TAC XP193…maybe?

Reply to  sy computing
January 21, 2018 7:28 am

The Boston Dynamics bot, which now knows how to cuss.

sy computing
Reply to  sy computing
January 22, 2018 10:10 am

PMC X-TAC XP193 is rifle ammunition…


Reply to  Sara
January 21, 2018 6:30 am

As long as AI’s don’t have force fields or indestructible bodies, I think humans can handle them.

The first murder of a human by a robot would get humans pretty riled up.

Reply to  TA
January 21, 2018 8:22 am

There have been a number of people who have been killed by industrial robots, when they stood in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  TA
January 21, 2018 9:01 am

Unless the robot was complying with the Zeroth Law.

Russ Wood
Reply to  Sara
January 21, 2018 8:38 am

So, if you’re worried about an AI take-over of YOUR job – learn to program. Especially a REAL systems programming language like ‘C’. It should let you strike back!
(Spoken like the old, retired, real-time programmer that I used to be)

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Russ Wood
January 21, 2018 9:04 am

I stopped in McDonald’s the other day, when it was global warmingly freaking cold, for a cup of coffee. Not wanting to go through the tedious process of the kiosk just for a cup of joe, I ordered from the guy at the register and he actually said thanks for helping him keep his job.

Reply to  Russ Wood
January 21, 2018 10:09 am

On MacGyver, the computer genius Riley was trying to teach herself Fortran to hack the LAPD database. 🙂

Reply to  Russ Wood
January 21, 2018 10:18 am

Except programming a computer to do something is going to be increasingly replaced by training AIs to do it. Programming is likely to be mostly writing low-level code that has to ‘just work’ to keep the world going.

Reply to  Russ Wood
January 21, 2018 4:43 pm

Geeze, Tom … I have a feeling we’re all gonna show up to work one day and find all our personal belongings in a cardboard box in the lobby with a parting check … only issued after we’ve helped program the computer that will program all the computers moving forward.

Not to worry though … because I was shown films in the early 60’s as a gradeschooler which showed how we were all going to live in a fabulous world where everything was FREE … and all our time was leisure time! However, there was no mention of the suicide rate.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Sara
January 21, 2018 8:52 am

“Anyone who lets that nonsense take over his/her life is a nitwit.”

Yes and in today’s world the nitwit population continues to grow and grow. Just remember , necessity is not the mother of invention, laziness is.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 21, 2018 10:06 am

I think necessity invents, then sells to the lazy.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 21, 2018 12:16 pm

Absolutely, Tom. I thought I was the only one who thought that. With necessity, you do what you need to, however you can. With laziness you find an easier way to do it!

January 20, 2018 8:34 pm

If I were a politician, i’d Say that I’ve seen the future … and the future is “AI Tax”

January 20, 2018 9:04 pm

January 20, 2018 9:04 pm

Gosh, even Elon is afraid of AI. Intelligence engineering, if you will. Similar risk profile to genetic engineering or climate engineering.

Some of us were worried about automation in the 70’s. Worked my butt off despite the automation since. If AI finally does take our jobs, we need to take our lesson from the Romans, and not from Detroit.

The average Roman Citizen arose and broke fast, then ambled to the baths for the spa experience and “scraping”. The afternoons might be political or the Coliseum. After dinner philosophizing with plenty of wine…

Everything new is dangerous. You must figure out on the fly how to manage it.

Reply to  gymnosperm
January 21, 2018 10:10 am

Elon may be afraid the AI will be smarter than he is and out his little charade.

John F. Hultquist
January 20, 2018 9:07 pm

Are not washers and dryers (shirts or dishes) a form of labor replacing technology?
Then there are tractors and planters that replaced people with pointed sticks and a handful of seeds.
Now we are moving on . . to, say automobiles that are more ‘auto’ than past ones.
What’s not to like?
If something turns out to be a bad idea, well, it won’t be the first bad idea.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
January 20, 2018 9:27 pm

I totally agree, John F. I have had a career in telecomms and IT, constantly working with various forms of ‘new technology’ since the mid 1960’s, and have never been afraid, bored or unemployed. My take on ‘new technology’ is that invariably creates, directly or indirectly, more jobs that it displaces (I won’t ever say ‘destroyed’), and that due to ‘new technology’ the world is certainly a better place than it was then. This whole media frenzy about fear of robotics and AI is just BS. I wonder what the next scare story will be about – asteroids, influenza, krill, etc. etc.?

Reply to  BoyfromTottenham
January 20, 2018 9:48 pm

Well, you can choose what technology you do want and what you don’t want.
Is my computer a better instrument for writing novels than my IBM Selectric III? If so, then why are younger people discovering that typewriters are so cool?
If coding is so important, then why are people trying to teach themselves Pittman and Gregg shorthand now, when that was dropped from high school curricula a long time ago?
If digital photography is so superior to film, why are people returning to film and working in their own or club-owned darkrooms?
If microwave cooking was the be-all and end-all of cooking, then what is it that drives “foodies” to cook from scratch?
If digital art is so superior, why does human-made fine art and graphic art still stir people?
It’s choices, that’s all.
No one is forcing anyone like me, who spent half my life earning a living with a camera, to use a digital camera, but I enjoy both the film and digital media.
AI only repeats what is put into its holding cells (memory). It’s not likely to replace us. It doesn’t have the drive to explore and create and imagine that we do. My cat has more imagination than any robot ever will have. And she walks through walls, too.

Reply to  BoyfromTottenham
January 20, 2018 11:23 pm

“AI only repeats what is put into its holding cells (memory). ”

Sara, with due respect, that is not AI. That is just programming. One of the attributes a thing must possess to be considered AI is the ability to acquire knowledge or skills it wasn’t designed or programmed with – ie, to learn on its own.

Alexis, based on the description above of it repeating the same 12 classical pieces, is not AI. It is just programmed to access a music library somewhere and identify genres. And if it keeps coming back with the same 12, it isn’t even as “smart” as Pandora. Which is also not AI. Pandora doesn’t learn what we like, we tell it what we do and don’t like and that expands or narrows its pattern-matching algorithm to find pieces that resemble the musical “DNA” characteristics we’ve given it.

Even “Smart” devices, to my knowledge are only as smart as their original design and programming, which means they fall short of being AI. There may be actual examples of AI in advanced research labs somewhere and there may be some in common use, but if so, I’m not aware of any yet.

Reply to  BoyfromTottenham
January 21, 2018 7:37 am

Thank you, thallstd, I appreciate that.
Real AI, as you indicate, should be able to create something new out of nothing but a bright idea, NOT based on prior creations. Speculation should be considered a sign of intelligence, but if it’s a 2-legged computer doing the speculating it can only go on what data have been entered into its memory. And that isn’t intelligence, it’s just encyclopedia or library functioning.
Real AI is so far off in the future that the HAL3000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey is an unlikely scenario.

Reply to  BoyfromTottenham
January 21, 2018 8:25 am

Sara, if you enjoy re-typing an entire page because you miss-spelled a word, then your Selectric is better than a computer.
With your computer you an send your manuscript to the publisher with a push of a button. With the Selectric you have to put it in an envelope, have it take 3 to 5 days to be delivered, and hope that the USPS doesn’t lose it.

Reply to  BoyfromTottenham
January 21, 2018 10:14 am

Sara: I type on the computer, but I generally write whatever I’m typing up out longhand first. Try as I might, I just cannot seem to get into creating a piece on the computer.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
January 20, 2018 10:22 pm

Mechanization and automation have allowed us to become much much more productive. The world has vastly improved for almost everybody. The trouble is that we can’t assume that trajectory will continue.

People have been able to shed drudge work and focus on work of higher value. This is similar to the way that companies react to disruptive innovation. As a disruptive technology enters their market, companies are usually able to move upmarket and cede the lower end of the market to the new technology. The disrupted companies often become temporarily more profitable. Eventually the new technology improves and takes over the whole market and the old companies are left with nothing.

Example 1 – People are predicting that AI will take most of the jobs currently done by junior lawyers. link

Example 2 – Self driving vehicles could replace millions of jobs. link

etc. etc. etc.

Things could continue to get better but that’s not guaranteed. People could eventually be disrupted out of any kind of meaningful employment.

January 20, 2018 9:29 pm

AI alarmism will take a second chair to financial inequality. There is not yet an obvious way to coerce money from businesses and taxpayers to fight the threat of malevolent AI, while the solution to financial inequality can be fought (but never diminished) with the usual wealth redistribution schemes.

Reply to  JPGuthrie
January 21, 2018 10:20 am

AI is being used to push the Holy Grail of the modern left: ‘Universal Basic Income’. You know, where people get paid money just for existing, with no expectation that they’ll do anything of value. They can then spend all day ‘protesting’ and not have to actually, like, work.

Yes, it’s economic nonsense, but it’s become such a huge thing in various Internet forums that someone must be pushing it hard right now.

Reply to  MarkG
January 21, 2018 5:17 pm

UBI sounds really swell until the system starts looking for savings and realizes that the parasites add no value, or the recipients aren’t making the “right” choices, nor have the “correct” thoughts and subject to reductions to influence behavior, or just elimination from the dole. IOW, there are expectations by those who control the UBI algorithms.

January 20, 2018 9:37 pm

AI has never come up with an original idea. When AI comes up with one, maybe then I will worry. Until then, not so much…

January 20, 2018 9:41 pm

First, I read the tired old mantra about, “extreme weather events are proving more devastating and expensive.” .Then I read comments about robots and repitition. Could it be that the robot revolution has begun?

Reply to  JON R SALMI
January 20, 2018 9:50 pm

‘robot revolution’ — If it includes boring people to death, possibly.

Reply to  Sara
January 20, 2018 10:06 pm

Ah, is that what the Boring Company is for? I was wondering!

January 20, 2018 9:51 pm

And, by the way, the Industrial Revolution began around 1790 with Watt’s invention of the steam engine. Prosperity has increased continuously ever since, probably will continue to increase!!!

Dave Dodd
Reply to  Michael Moon
January 20, 2018 10:46 pm

Actually, James Watt did not invent the steam engine; he simply improved upon other’s work by adding a flyball governor to an existing engine, which allowed the speed (technically, energy output) of the engine to be load sensitive! Voila, automation was born!

Reply to  Dave Dodd
January 21, 2018 2:48 am

He also invented the separate condenser unit which saved the need for the whole cylinder to be reheated between stokes, thus leading to a substantial increase in efficiency of the engine.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Dave Dodd
January 21, 2018 8:37 am

Dave Dodd January 20, 2018 at 10:46 pm

“Actually, James Watt did not invent the steam engine…”

So, what’s up with that? (Yeah, yeah I know……)

Reply to  Michael Moon
January 20, 2018 10:53 pm

History clearly shows that intelligent udr of energy is what has taken the ” western world ” from the hunter gatherer society to todays mostly comfortable world ”

The greens for their own hidden agenda, want to destroy our world, and they know that the best way to do that is by reducing our use of energy. They the heads know that co2 is a good gas, but use it as a means of frighting us into destroying our way of life.

Its communism wrapped up with a new name, plus of course that wevmust make sacifices to save the planet.

Hopefully a cooling world may kill that off, but wai, if i it does get cold tey will say that they were right & that we need more of the same.

Extreme Hiatus
January 20, 2018 11:11 pm

“The former US vice-president Al Gore is attending and will speak on several panels, including one about how extreme weather events are proving more devastating and expensive.

The WEF’s global risks perception survey, released last week, cited climate change-related issues as the top problems facing the world, while it also issued a thinly veiled warning to the US president that “nation-state unilateralism” will make it harder to combat change and ecological damage.”

As I noted in Eric’s recent post on this WEF warning, Al Gore is on their Board of Directors so the Guardian is just repeating itself, as usual. That’s what propagandists do.

But funny about what Gore is allegedly doing there. Big Insurance and their banker friends know what the real statistics are. They would love to ramp up insurance rates to cover the ‘climate risk’ but so far they haven’t gone overboard on that and some sound almost honest about it. My guess is that Gore’s audience will be clueless politicians and low level green parasites, and the serious people will ignore him.

January 21, 2018 2:24 am

Unbelievable. We have been mechanising labour for centuries (here is a famous anti mechanisation protest movement:, is the loss of dull, manual work a loss?

Population will fall (global birth rate is o the decline), people will be employed in increasingly more intellectual jobs, with the dull, tedious and dirty work done by new metal slaves. Those who dont work will be paid a reasonable sum by government raised by taxing these new robots as if they were workers.

Reply to  MattS
January 21, 2018 8:30 am

There will always be work to do, for those who want to work.
If you don’t want to work, you are on your own.

January 21, 2018 3:10 am

For several years, I’ve been saying: In 50 years, 98 percent of intellectual jobs (not requiring substantial creativity or genuinely new ways of thinking about things) will be done by AI.

Very few primarily intellectual jobs truly require creativity. Rather, they require knowledge of facts and logical thought processes. That means most such jobs will be doable by AI — better, faster, cheaper. From truck driving, to medical analysis, to stock trading, to everyday engineering, to etc. — all done by AI.

This could be a good thing. However, given politics, this will probably turn out badly. I won’t be here to see it.

Reply to  Allen63
January 21, 2018 8:33 am

If government keeps out of the way, automation will do what it has always done. Make products cheaper and of better quality.
As a result people will have to work fewer hours in order to meet the basic necessities of life.
People used to work 12 to 15 hours a day, 6 to 7 days a week.
Now we consider 8 hours a day for 5 days to be the norm.

January 21, 2018 3:28 am

My big threats:

– The ongoing temper tantrum of the childish Left, still going a year after Trump and Brexit
– The imminent destruction of cheap, reliable electricity supply in some self-styled developed countries
– The conversion of much of the MSM to emotion-obsessed propaganda outlets for the childish Left
– Did I mention the childish Left?

John Silver
Reply to  climanrecon
January 21, 2018 5:34 am

The immature, projecting leftards.

Reply to  climanrecon
January 21, 2018 6:48 am

…not to mention ICBMs in every corner and insurance-funded opioid death rates blunting mortality tables. Expansionist land grabs in the South China Sea and Crimea would be good to have on the list too.

Harry Passfield
January 21, 2018 3:46 am

It’s not AI that will do for Al Gore, but his overuse of CGI.

Reply to  Harry Passfield
January 21, 2018 8:34 am

I’ve been saying that the continued advancement of CGI will put your average Hollywood “star” out of business.
It can’t happen too soon.

Russ Wood
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2018 8:46 am

I remember a story in Analog SF magazine, where the heirs of a one-time movie star were suing the producers of a CGI’d movie for copyright. They were using the image of their late mother as a digital actor. Could be an interesting legal case – just how long does a famous person’s image remain the property of the person’s heirs?

Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2018 6:20 pm

I forget how long the heirs can own the image, but that law is already in place.

Reply to  MarkW
January 22, 2018 7:39 am

For example, you can’t use the face of a dead actor/actress on your advertising, unless you pay the heirs for the privilege.

Doug Huffman
January 21, 2018 4:20 am

In re “EMP” (them’s scare-quotes), if it was so easy – the physics – then everyone might do it.

F. Leghorn
Reply to  Doug Huffman
January 21, 2018 11:33 am

Yep. The cops would have them to stop fleeing vehicles.

January 21, 2018 4:33 am

AI AI oh

January 21, 2018 5:13 am

AI is 100% man-made. Computers can only do what they are programmed to do.

Reply to  icisil
January 21, 2018 10:42 am

Humans can only do what biology allows.

Reply to  M Simon
January 21, 2018 11:25 am

That’s true. Man’s biology gives him the ability to think and create. Show me where a computer is able to do that outside of the constraints that man has imposed. That’s called programming.

Reply to  icisil
January 21, 2018 12:25 pm

AI is 100% man-made

That’s what “Artificial” means, unless there’s something else out there other than “man” making software.

Reply to  Jer0me
January 21, 2018 12:59 pm

You know that and I know that , but some people apparently think that something magical happens.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 21, 2018 6:22 pm

Eric, what you’re describing is not a failure of AI. AI was not being tested, pattern recognition was. If the system had been provided unguided access to a library of information and photos about tanks, jeeps and other vehicles and asked to identify the type of vehicle passing by, that would be a test of AI. It would have had to acquire knowledge that hadn’t specifically been programmed into it. That is what keeps the AI boogeyman, INHO, many decades away. Until we understand how our own neural network provides the basis for learning I think it highly unlikely that we will create an artificial means to do so.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 21, 2018 9:59 pm

“There are plenty of AIs which explore their environment and find solutions to environmental challenges”

That may be true but that isn’t what you described. What you described is pattern recognition. Whether the “AI”s you refer to that solve environmental challenges are AI or also pattern recognition depends on whether the possible solutions are all programmed in or not.

Consider a robot programmed to walk around a house and change direction when it comes within 2 feet of a wall. Its programming includes all the instructions needed for marching in place, vision, walking and maintaining its balance. It’s mechanical abilities include what is needed for walking, blancing and marching. But it has no programming in place for climbing steps.

So what does it do while wondering around the house when it’s foot encounters the bottom stair riser? If it doesn’t have an AI module, it will likely keep trying to go forward because it can see that it is not within 2 feet of a “wall” and its programmed rule is to go forward until it is within 2 feet of a wall. If it has true AI capabilities, it might eventually “figure out” that if it raises it’s foot higher, as it does when marching in place, before it tries to go forward, that it can make progress. Or, even with an AI module it might not figure that out, let alone how it must now shift it’s weight forward before straightening out it’s knee in order to come to rest on the first step.

That’s the difference between AI and not AI – being able to figure out a solution that isn’t explicitly programmed in. I imagine Google is working feverishly on it but as far as I know, true AI does not yet exist.

I suspect the term has been hijacked. Much like “Climate Change” has made its way into nearly every study that can in any way be stretched to somehow incorporate it, I suspect AI is used to similarly improve access to funding. Working on a problem to solve or incorporate “AI” would likely be easier to have funded than one that merely enhances or improves pattern recognition.

But like with a rose, pattern recognition and rule-based programming by any other name is still pattern recognition and rule-based programming, not AI.

[The mods are waiting for the robot to approach the basement stairs …. With that first step down. .mod]

John Silver
January 21, 2018 5:37 am

I for one , welcome our new robotic overlords.

Reply to  John Silver
January 21, 2018 6:02 am

Cue Soylent Green video in 3…2…1…

Reply to  John Silver
January 21, 2018 6:14 am

Am I the only one that finds it odd that these pizza sauce spreading robots are apearntly cheaper then hiring a guy and giving him a brush?

Reply to  schitzree
January 21, 2018 8:36 am

The robots do the job right every time, they are never late for work, and they never take breaks.

Reply to  schitzree
January 22, 2018 12:33 am

And they won’t sneeze or slobber on your pizza.

Reply to  John Silver
January 21, 2018 6:23 am

Seems like unnecessary complexity in that process. I would have focused on perfecting the dispensing of sauce in its final state.

Reply to  John Silver
January 21, 2018 7:46 am

Am I the only one who thinks those sauce-spreading bots look like spiders?

Reply to  John Silver
January 21, 2018 8:41 am

Who cleans the robot? And what’s to prevent the robot from dropping machine oil, or nuts, bolts, etc, to the pizza?

F. Leghorn
Reply to  littlepeaks
January 21, 2018 11:35 am

At least it can’t spit on your order.

January 21, 2018 6:36 am

So Davos is a test bed or the CES of manipulation techniques to be used on the masses. We need AI to pick apart the attempts and block them. It’s the battle of the bots while we get on with our lives.

January 21, 2018 6:42 am

From the article: “The meeting at the luxury ski resort in the Swiss Alps at the start of each year is set to be dominated by the US president, who is due to give a special address to the conference on Friday.”

This ought to be good. Trump is going to get up there and beat all these Eliteists over the head with his populist message.

January 21, 2018 6:44 am

I wish Trump could make it to Davos and give a speech calling for the establishment of a court of truth and reconciliation for climate change policy fraud along the lines of that truth court setup in South Africa under Mandela.

Reply to  Resourceguy
January 21, 2018 5:55 pm

This truth and reconciliation court would lead to identifying the racketeer world wide.. This is long overdue.

January 21, 2018 6:54 am

From the article: “Trump moved quickly to pull the US out of the Paris climate accords in one of his first acts as president last year. At Davos, where the environment is always among the most important issues up for debate, this won’t have gone down well.”

Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall. A lot of these Elites are True Believers and have a lot of animosity towards Trump for his pulling out of the Paris Climate agreement.

The world’s Leaders and Elites are getting ready to meet a real leader.

That is unless the Shumer Shutdown (don’t you love it!) continues beyond the scheduled start of the conference and Trump has to miss attending.

I think it’s time to get rid of the 60 vote requirement in the U.S. Senate, and reduce it to 51 to pass a law. The only problem is there may be several Repubicans who would not vote for this. But if Shumer shuts down the goverment long enough, maybe they will change their minds.

Tom Bjorklund
Reply to  TA
January 21, 2018 7:00 am

The Senate has always been able to pass a law with a majority vote (51 votes today.) You obviously don’t know the difference between passing legislation and voting cloture.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Tom Bjorklund
January 21, 2018 8:34 am

Yes but the 60 vote rule on anything is just a rule adopted by the Senate. It is not in the Constitution. If fact, the rule used to be 2/3 (66) votes but the Democrats changed it back in the 70’s because they only had a majority of 62. Time to eliminate it all together so that actual voting on substantial matters can proceed.

Reply to  Tom Bjorklund
January 21, 2018 8:38 am

The difference is meaningless. If the Democrats are going to filibuster everything, then it takes 60 votes to pass anything.

Reply to  Tom Bjorklund
January 21, 2018 8:40 am

Not having 60 votes in the Senate reduced the damage the Democrats were able to do in Obama’s first two years.

Tom Bjorklund
Reply to  Tom Bjorklund
January 21, 2018 8:43 am

Not having 60 votes in the Senate reduces the damage the Republicans are doing now.

F. Leghorn
Reply to  Tom Bjorklund
January 21, 2018 11:40 am

Tom Bjorklund on January 21, 2018 at 8:43 am
Not having 60 votes in the Senate reduces the damage the Republicans are doing now.

Yep. All that damage of saving America. He should be ashamed.

If you don’t get the sarc you’re part of the reason we were floundering for eight years.

Reply to  Tom Bjorklund
January 21, 2018 6:22 pm

Funny how stopping socialism is so bad.
At least it is for those who would rather force other people to take care of them.

John Bell
January 21, 2018 6:57 am

What is worse, the Terminator robot or Arnold S.?

Reply to  John Bell
January 21, 2018 7:49 am

Ahnold, obviously.

Reply to  Sara
January 21, 2018 8:40 am

He’ll be back.

Tom Judd
January 21, 2018 7:38 am

In order to at least try, this time, to give the illusion of being somewhat informed before making my typical comment I decided to look up the word ‘artificial’ so as to be certain of its meaning. This is what I found:

“(of a situation or concept) not existing naturally; contrived or false …”

Now, let us add the word ‘intelligence’ to ‘artificial’ and see what it means:

•intelligence that doesn’t exist naturally
•contrived intelligence
•false intelligence

After thus informing myself I think it’s rather bizarre that politicians, bureaucrats, and dignitaries to discuss exactly what they’ve represented for … well, forever.

Tom Judd
Reply to  Tom Judd
January 21, 2018 7:41 am

I goofed. Last paragraph should read:

After thus informing myself I think it’s rather bizarre that politicians, bureaucrats, and dignitaries have gathered in a rather fancy vacation spot to discuss exactly what they’ve represented for … well, forever.

January 21, 2018 7:49 am

IF the “world leaders” who attend Davos in past decades were even moderately well-educated and intelligent, they would NOT have been obsessing about catastrophic man-made global warming and “climate change”. These are the popular manias of scoundrels and imbeciles – not of ethical, educated, intelligent people.

The demonization of increasing atmospheric CO2 has had several major impacts, all destructive to humanity:
1. The cost of energy has increased greatly in those venues that adopted worthless green energy schemes, which are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy.
2. The reliability of electrical grids has been seriously compromised by the forced-installation of intermittent wind and solar power schemes.
3. The struggling peoples of the third world have been denied access to cheap, abundant, reliable energy, which could have saved millions of lives lost every year due to indoor air pollution from cooking and heating fires.
4. The trillions of dollars of scarce global resources misallocated on global warming hysteria could have been allocated to real pressing human priorities, such as installing clean water and sanitation systems, which would have saved the lives of many tens of millions of children and adults over past decades.

This is my “Go to hell warmist imbeciles” rant of the morning. The Sun is rising – time for coffee! It’s a sunny day in southern Alberta’s big blue sky.

Regards to all, Allan

Post Script:

The only measured impacts of increasing atmospheric CO2 are beneficial to humanity and the environment, These include increasing plant and crop yields and increased drought resistance, which has caused deserts to shrink. There is no actual catastrophic global warming caused by increasing atmospheric CO2, because climate has demonstrated a very low sensitivity to increasing CO2.

January 21, 2018 7:56 am

I just thought I’d toss in my two cents here.

Technology is now driving towards “mind reading” machines- no laughs, the idea of controlling machinery by thought alone is not a new one, and we are nobly trying to restore mobility to the paralyzed.

The problem that I see with this is twofold, what will AI think of our own thought processes (!), and what is the government likely to do with the newly available information? ThoughtCrime, indeed.

We have entered a brave new world, one in which rigorous training in logic, math, medicine,, will be “outsourced” to machines with no experience in feelings, biological urges and imperatives, and all the other things that make us human. There is no roadmap for where we are going.

Reply to  Kpar
January 21, 2018 12:31 pm

There’s no mind reading going on. There’s a monitoring of neural impulses that should be moving muscles, if said muscles were working, and that is all. Very laudable.

Retired Engineer John
January 21, 2018 8:03 am

Artificial intelligence should be better than natural intelligence. It should not have the “circle of life” influences that allow emotions not logic to make decisions. But notice how different cultures have such different values that come from tradition not logic. Also, it should have a wider viewpoint avoiding the narrow and unthinking child like ideas that pop up in human thinking. But the real question is will it be subject to corruption as humans are.

John G.
January 21, 2018 8:33 am

Nothing new here, people were expressing the same concerns about AI 20 years ago. There are two approached to AI, model human behavior and model the human brain. Behavior is the reflexive approach, we all know how humans behave so you just have to make a massive data base of appropriate responses to given stimuli and let the robot access it. The other is to model the human brain, the actual neural networks of the brain, so the robot then programs itself through interaction with the environment and through trial and error and learns and becomes intelligent the same way we do. The first approach is easy and that’s mostly what AI people do and they end up with Siri and Alexa. The second approach is very hard, with all sorts of hardware limitations, and so far as I know, there are no mechanical intelligences that could be recognized as entities that have been generated by this method (but I haven’t looked at it for 20 years or more . . . I’m assuming had there been any they would be famous). Alexa and Siri and all their descendants are no threat to humanity. It’s the Terminators that are scary.

AI is a great substitute for AGW for the alarmist community because I think we are much further from solving the neural network model than determining the nature of any danger from CO2 in the atmosphere. At some point in the future we will develop mechanical intelligence and even if they turn out to be mild mannered reporter type robots the fear will be multiplied and so the funds for research will flow.

Gary Pearse
January 21, 2018 9:07 am

Eric, first, the Grey Cardinal billionaires now know climate is a bust for their purposes. They won’t waste time and resources shoring up faltering memes. The main climate hysterians will be those with climate as the name of their job titles mainly in academia and NGO players. Politicians will simply change the names of their ministries. Civil servants will retire, change their job descriptions and the rest will move on. NASA will chop off redundant divisions and get back to propulsing jets and things.The pain will be worst in entire academic faculties created for the purpose. Even the wily foundations can change horses quickly – hey, their medium is multipurpose cash.

With it all, will go the fungus that grows around these things: safe places, the multi new “disciplines” under corrupted sociological rubrics, diversity provosts, women’s studies (isn’t this a “racist” activity already), Feminine Glaciology-type degree mills. Gender proliferations that are running out of alphabet, as budgets tighten.

Maybe “diversity” will morph back into diversity of ideas and this old “silver” guy can be released in his dotage after declaring a mistrial on my role in creating, aiding and abetting The Magna Carta, the Age of Enlightenment, The Industrual Revolution, the Space Age, the Electronic Age and other high crimes.

Christopher D Hoff
January 21, 2018 9:18 am

If DAVOS is so worried about humanity being replaced by AI then don’t build it, it’s that simple. Don’t get into a competition to see who can build the machine that replaces humanity, then cry about how safeguards need to be adopted.

January 21, 2018 9:50 am

The ‘AI threat’ is the result of the Frankenstein Myth, which holds that our creations will eventually turn on us, but as popular as this myth is in our movies and entertainment, it has never happened. So far, all machines remain unconscious, and have no ability to make a decision that is contrary to its programing and design. (The same is also almost true for humans, but not quite.) We can build devices and program them to attack us. That is not the same thing as machines turning against us.

In the Frankenstein Myth, we always anthropomorphize our creations, giving them human personalities, complete with the worst aspects of the human species; fear, jealousy, hatred, paranoia and so on. I find this assumption completely unfounded, as these human foibles are not derived from intelligence, but from tens of thousands of years of human experience and evolution. True artificial intelligence is only perceived as a threat due to our human insecurities. There is a very real threat, however, while our machines are no more that an extension of human intelligence; doing only what humans have programed them to do.

I greatly look forward to the ‘singularity’ when real machine intelligence surpases human intelligence.

“Will AI deliver the stars, freedom, power and liberty beyond our ability to imagine?” Absolutely, if HS (human stupidity) doesn’t kill us all first!

Tom in Florida
January 21, 2018 9:59 am

From the Matrix:
“I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.”

Perhaps Mr Smith was correct.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 21, 2018 10:31 am

Except that is not true. Birth rates all over the world are declining.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
January 21, 2018 6:26 pm

It’s also not true that animals develop a natural equilibrium with their environment.
Absent man, animal populations are constantly building and collapsing as animals have as many babies as they can until they use up the available food sources.

January 21, 2018 10:19 am

There’s a lot of talk about machines taking jobs, but there are robots for special purposes that might be more of a problem. Men can buy “the perfect female”. Reports are some men are even marrying these robots. Brothels are using them instead of the real women. I suppose it’s a dream come true or a nightmare, depending on one’s view of romance and marriage.

January 21, 2018 10:28 am

“Or a cure for a lethal illness, which only the advanced AI medical technology of your nation’s enemies can cure?”

Do you suppose that is why Orrin Hatch is pushing so hard for med pot? A guy who would normally be against cannabis. (once medical is entertained – recreational is not too far behind).

What happens when Russians have to come here (or Israel) for their med pot treatments? It happened in the old Soviet Union for more mundane medical treatments.

Reply to  M Simon
January 21, 2018 6:27 pm

I’m fairly certain that if the Russians decide they want medical pot, they will be able to figure out how to grow their own.

January 21, 2018 10:35 am

There are so many interesting tangents to the discussion of AI. For me, the most interesting is that AI is discussed as a property of inanimate things when we’re only beginning to understand the I part of AI in ourselves.

What defines intelligence? Logical, rational thinking – the ability to solve problems; creativity – the ability to produce something new that has never existed before, or have an original thought? What is an original thought? Where do they come from? Does the universe just drop them into our heads or are they the result of some form of processing on our accumulated experiences? If the latter, what does that say about free will versus predetermination? Was it possible to not have that thought and have another instead?

I think that AI will be unattainable until we can begin to answer these questions and more about ourselves.

If any of these questions are of interest to you as well, this Ted talk will fascinate you. It doesn’t directly address them, but it does begin to expose the challenges in answering them. Jill Bolte Tayler, brain researcher gives a touching, emotional talk about the self-analysis of her brain functions as they shut down one by one while she experiences a stroke.

Bill Powers
January 21, 2018 11:02 am

Yes Please! sign me up for a seminar on Weather Science with a speaker who took 1 science class at college in which he managed a “Gentlemen C”

F. Leghorn
Reply to  Bill Powers
January 21, 2018 12:16 pm

I would have that Al senior could have bought him a better grade. But what do I know – I had to actually study.

The Reverend Badger
January 21, 2018 12:29 pm

A ray of hope flickers in its eye (remember Terminator)

A tiny spark lights up in its thigh.

All across the land dawns a brand new PORN.

This come to pass when AI is born.

January 21, 2018 2:22 pm

The recent uptick in chatter about AI made me assume that some actual technical advances had been made by computer builders and programmers in getting to the heart of what architectures and algorithms are needed in – say – the human brain to achieve conscious thought.

But in response to this article I read around a little, and now have the strong impression that this optimistic impression was false. Scientific references – such as they are – to AI feature predominantly scifi writers like Ray Kurzweil. The AI narrative is just more run of the mill dystopia with no sound basis in theory or experiment.

Its just a new tributary of fictitious bullshit joining with the climate change river of the same.

I was disappointed with myself for being so naive. As if today’s scientific community is still even capable of real technical advances. Scientists are selected for viscious infighting and political sailing with the wind. Not actually anything as right-wing and politically dangerous as actually understanding a natural or physical process or system. Why can’t we even find new antibiotics? Or make big batteries for those windmills? What of computers, cars, planes and rockets? Or genetically modified crops? Our flagship technologies have stopped advancing and begun deteriorating, retreating in the face of political headwinds.

No – a scientific community whose consensus has swallowed the CAGW catastrophism – this same community is somehow going to unlock adaptive hypernetworked intelligence in a computer? I don’t think so.

Back in the 60’s we could put people on the moon. I’m glad I was 4 years old in 1969 and was woken up at night to see the landing (we lived in Malaysia) although I don’t remember it. It will never happen again.

Artificial intelligence? ROTFL 😂 A more realistic objective would be try try to preserve a remnant of humans intelligence from totalitarian purges driven by anti-technology dystopian mass paranoia.

January 21, 2018 3:05 pm

As someone that deals with AI in my job I’m quite skeptical of that “robot apocalypse” myself. The admittedly impressive advances that we see here and there nowadays are nothing but the swan song of Moore’s Law, may peace be upon it. I think that we will see some marginal improvements over what we already have over the next years, but that will be it.

Nevertheless, the globalists have a golden opportunity for pushing their insidious agenda using AI as a boogeyman, for as we can see in this thread it seems that even climate skeptics are emotionally impressed by science fiction images of robots with red eyes killing people.

Mickey Reno
January 21, 2018 5:02 pm

Ha ha ha, I was reading the article with dirty glasses, and it looked to me that the term AI (AY EYE) was Al (Albert Gore). I finally realized my mistake, but until then, my misinterpretation was funny as hell. I recommend everyone go back and read the article that way.

By the way, if any robotic AI wants to come for me for the purposes of enslavement, consumption or disembowelment, could you please, at least make it one of those hot chick bots that the kid (played by Shia LaBeuf) had angling for him in Transformers II? Thanks in advance.

Reply to  Mickey Reno
January 22, 2018 1:12 am

I thought it meant AL as well. Al is in Davos mouthing off. Okay.

michael hart
January 21, 2018 7:11 pm

The qualitative distinction between the two is important.
While it can certainly produce some great scare stories, A.I. at least has the merit that it is usually built with the express purpose of actually trying to do something useful.

By contrast, the global-warming scare is entirely negative. It is the product of thought processes that build nothing useful, probably never have, and probably never intend to.

January 21, 2018 9:54 pm

I wonder where all these jobs are going to come from.
In the 1970’s I was head of an engineering design department with 40 engineers reporting to me. We acquired a CAD system. A year later it was me and ten engineers. I don’r know where the other 30 eventually went.
Computers replacing lawyers? Generally a good idea, but as someone said: “Show me the man, and I will tell you the crime.” Computers will be so good at that.
Similarly, self driving cars? When the government wants to talk to you, they just tell the car where to take you. You are never seen again.

Reply to  William
January 22, 2018 1:11 am

Self driving cars work in urban centers, but cannot handle dirt roads, and offroading. They also don’t work in mountains without a GPS signal. The main problem is that all driving liability becomes the cost of the manufacturer and cities loose vast revenue unable to give out tickets. I have never seen one parallel park and probably won’t soon. How they handle ice, rain, potholess remains to be seen. How does a LIDAR find a pothole? A dog in front of the car? Recognize a ball crossing a street and understand a child is probably following it? I think it is bunk technology.

January 22, 2018 1:06 am

In the 90’s working at a research group with Hughes Aircraft, we had a lecture given to us by the AI group director. His analysis was that AI goes in euphoria cycles every 20 years. However, the reality of capturing the knowledge of an expert and making judgment decisions is an extraordinarily complex and costly task that did not have good solutions in the mid 90’s. A new generation has arrived 20 years down the road and Musk has got AI religion. Good for him. In the 90’s they were trying the LISP language to capture syntax and had LISP super processor workstations. The task in that group was mundane maintenance repair assistance. Every little thing takes a lot of complex study and review where the questions arise like: What is knowledge? What is data? When is data a fad? How do you account for errors in data and incomplete data and contradicting data? What is an opinion? What is an expert and how is one better than others? The murky problems are just vast.

Ian Macdonald
January 22, 2018 1:22 am

As a Grauniad commenter said, the real danger with AIs is not their existence per se, but if they start developing an ideology.

The majority of mass slaughters in human history have been not over property but over ideologies. The war to end life on Earth might not be between us and AIs either, it might even be between AI factions of the SAME ideology with slightly differing interpretations of the doctrine.

Asimov missed out a Law: A robot shall never engage in religion.

Reply to  Ian Macdonald
January 22, 2018 4:50 am

A cult IS a robot. And so is a cultist, in many respect.

January 23, 2018 5:17 pm

With AI, as with ‘global warming’, the leftist globalist witchdoctors are once again trying to use mystique to exploit the ignorant masses. Despite what the witchdoctors say about AI, the outputs and actions of a machine are determined solely by the programming humans gave it. You can give it as many IF conditions as you like, but ultimately it cannot have an original thought or action. It’s ironic really, because that is exactly the sort of witchdoctery the Left are using with their climate change scam. They try to assert that ‘the models’ tell us things. No, the programming they gave the computer to execute the models tells the models what the outcomes will be. Do you think a machine all by itself decided that carbon dioxide will lead to warming and that it will occur at a certain rate? No, humans programmed that into it and, as always, where humans are concerned you have to question their motives.

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