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  • 5 weeks later...

Not sure if this is the best thread for it, but browsing around online I found this fascinating website:

http://grid.iamkate.com/

. . . which illustrates, with a small number of very simple pie charts, where the National Grid is getting its power from at any given moment. As of 8PM, we were getting 42.5% from gas, 22% from nuclear, 14% from wind, just under 6% from biomass, 4.5% from France, 3.3% from coal and 3% from Holland, with lots of other minor bits. Intriguing. 

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Meat testing: A fifth of samples reveal unspecified animals' DNA

More than a fifth of meat sample tests in 2017 found DNA from animals not on the labelling, the BBC has learned. Out of 665 results from England, Wales and Northern Ireland collected by the Food Standards Agency, 145 were partly or wholly made up of unspecified meat. The FSA said the levels were consistent with "deliberate inclusion" - but added testing had targeted those businesses suspected of "compliance issues". The samples came from 487 businesses, including restaurants and supermarkets. A BBC Freedom of Information request to the FSA revealed that in total 73 of the contaminated samples came from retailers - including three supermarkets. A further 50 came from restaurants, while 22 originated from manufacturing or food processing plants.

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more on link

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45371852

 

 

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A return to a discussion in this thread from a few years ago:

Who should AI kill in a driverless car crash? It depends who you ask

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Moral responses to unavoidable damage vary greatly around the world in a way that poses a big challenge for companies planning to build driverless cars, according to new research.

The researchers, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other institutions, presented variations of the classic “trolley problem” thought experiment almost 40m times to millions of volunteers from all around the world.

In the traditional thought experiment, participants are asked to consider whether they would reroute a runaway trolley car which is about to hit and kill five people, directing it on to a siding where it would kill only one person. In the new quiz, dubbed “Moral Machine”, the researchers instead asked volunteers to consider what a self-driving car should do in examples from more than 26 million variations of the same question.

Should a car with three occupants, an adult man and woman and a child, swerve into a wall, killing them all, in order to avoid hitting three elderly people, two men and a woman? Should an unoccupied car swerve and kill an unemployed adult man, a child and a cat in order to save an adult man and woman and a child? Does the answer change if the pedestrian light is red? What if one of the people is unfit, or pregnant?

Responses to those questions varied greatly around the world. In the global south, for instance, there was a strong preference to spare young people at the expense of old – a preference that was much weaker in the far east and the Islamic world. The same was true for the preference for sparing higher-status victims – those with jobs over those who are unemployed.

The TV comedy The Good Place tackles the trolley problem.

When compared with an adult man or woman, the life of a criminal was especially poorly valued: respondents were more likely to spare the life of a dog (but not a cat).

The researchers, whose work is published in the journal Nature, also note “some striking peculiarities, such as the strong preference among those in the global south for sparing women and fit characters.

“Only the (weak) preference for sparing pedestrians over passengers and the (moderate) preference for sparing the lawful over the unlawful appear to be shared to the same extent in all clusters.”

The data comes with caveats, of course. Unlike traditional polling, the volunteers were entirely self-selected, reached in large numbers thanks to the viral nature of the “Moral Machine” quiz, which was covered by technology news sites like The Next Web and Business Insider. That means that, for instance, the data is likely to skew towards the wealthy in nations with weak internet penetration. More generally, they write, “most users on Moral Machine are male, went through college, and are in their 20s or 30s”.

Nonetheless, they argue that the findings should prompt policymakers and auto engineers to consider embedding some moral intuitions into self-driving cars. “Before we allow our cars to make ethical decisions, we need to have a global conversation to express our preferences to the companies that will design moral algorithms, and to the policymakers that will regulate them,” they write.

Among some autonomous vehicle engineers, however, that view is disputed. Speaking to the Guardian just after the Moral Machine quiz was first released, Andrew Chatham, a principal engineer on Google’s self-driving car project, said the problem has little bearing on actual design.

“It takes some of the intellectual intrigue out of the problem, but the answer is almost always ‘slam on the brakes’,” he said. “You’re much more confident about things directly in front of you, just because of how the system works, but also your control is much more precise by slamming on the brakes than trying to swerve into anything. So it would need to be a pretty extreme situation before that becomes anything other than the correct answer.”

As before, I don't think it's something that needs to be considered just in relation to something not working properly or a car being 'out of control' (physical control, I think they mean) but should be considered with respect to the actions of others on the road/in the path of the car, too.

Edit: A thumbs up from me for using the clip from The Good Place. :D

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3 hours ago, snowychap said:

A return to a discussion in this thread from a few years ago:

Who should AI kill in a driverless car crash? It depends who you ask

As before, I don't think it's something that needs to be considered just in relation to something not working properly or a car being 'out of control' (physical control, I think they mean) but should be considered with respect to the actions of others on the road/in the path of the car, too.

Edit: A thumbs up from me for using the clip from The Good Place. :D

Interesting. Haven't read in full but morals and perspectives are two of my favourite points of discussion and introspection so will definitely return to this when I can.

Thanks for the post.

On a separate note, AI scares the poo out of me. Coming from a complete place of ignorance though. We can't even govern ourselves as a people. Corruption and one-upmanship stand in place of benevolence and community. From the little I gather AI will effect the livelihoods of so many and completely usurp  things as we know them, and not necessarily for the better.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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The day of clean, limitless energy from nuclear fusion has taken another step closer thanks to China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST). During a four-month experiment, the "Chinese artificial sun" reached a core plasma temperature of over 100 million degrees Celsius – that's more than six times hotter than the interior of the Sun – and a heating power of 10 MW, enabling the study of various aspects of practical nuclear fusion in the process.

Beginning operations in 2006, the Chinese designed and developed EAST is located at the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CASHIPS) and is billed as an open test facility for conducting steady-state operations and ITER-related physics research by both Chinese and international scientists. And, like many other fusion experiments, the ultimate goal is to produce a practical nuclear fusion power reactor.

EAST is a tokamak reactor, which consists of a metal torus or doughnut that is exhausted to a hard vacuum and then injected with hydrogen atoms. These atoms are then heated by a number of different methods to create a plasma that is then compressed using a series of powerful superconducting magnets.

Eventually, the plasma becomes so hot and so compressed that the conditions inside the reactor mimic those found inside the Sun, causing the hydrogen atoms to fuse, releasing tremendous amounts of energy. The hope is that eventually a reactor can be built where the fusion reaction is self-sustaining, and the reactor generates more energy than it consumes.

EAST produced its breakthrough temperatures and densities for around 10 seconds by combining four different heating methods to create the plasma and spark the fusion process. In this case, the methods were lower hybrid wave heating (oscillating the ions and electrons in the plasma), electron cyclotron wave heating (using a static magnetic field and a high-frequency electromagnetic field), ion cyclotron resonance heating (accelerating ions in a cyclotron), and neutral beam ion heating (injecting a beam of accelerated neutral particles into the plasma).

However, the purpose wasn't just to peg the meter, but to also study how to maintain plasma stability and equilibrium, how to confine and transport it, and how the plasma wall interacts with energetic particles. In addition, EAST is used as a demonstrator of how to use radio frequency wave-dominant heating, maintain a high level of plasma confinement with a high degree of purity, maintain magnetohydrodynamic stability, and how to exhaust heat using an water-cooled tungsten divertor.

CASHIPS says EAST is being used to explore how to maintain electron temperatures of over 100 million degrees over long periods to further knowledge and aid the development of advanced reactors like the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) being built in France, the Chinese Fusion Engineering Test Reactor (CFETR), and the proposed DEMO (DEMOnstration Power Station). Achieving temperatures in excess of 100 million degrees Celsius – even if only for around 10 seconds – proves that it is possible to reach the temperatures required for nuclear fusion.

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