Systems Theory
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Systems Theory
theoretical aspects of (social) systems theory
Curated by Ben van Lier
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Can we build an artificial superintelligence that won't kill us?

Can we build an artificial superintelligence that won't kill us? | Systems Theory | Scoop.it

At some point in our future, an artificial intelligence will emerge that's smarter, faster, and vastly more powerful than us. Once this happens, we'll no longer be in charge. But what will happen to humanity? And how can we prepare for this transition? 


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Human extinction warning from Oxford

Human extinction warning from Oxford | Systems Theory | Scoop.it

What are the greatest global threats to humanity? Are we on the verge of our own unexpected extinction?

An international team of scientists, mathematicians and philosophers at Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute is investigating the biggest dangers.

And they argue in a research paper, Existential Risk as a Global Priority, that international policymakers must pay serious attention to the reality of species-obliterating risks.

Last year there were more academic papers published on snowboarding than human extinction.

The Swedish-born director of the institute, Nick Bostrom, says the stakes couldn't be higher. If we get it wrong, this could be humanity's final century.


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A Collection of Essays About What We Should Fear

A Collection of Essays About What We Should Fear | Systems Theory | Scoop.it

Each December for the past fifteen years, the literary agent John Brockman has pulled out his Rolodex and asked a legion of top scientists and writers to ponder a single question: What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive tool kit? (Or: What have you changed your mind about?) This year, Brockman’s panelists agreed to take on the subject of what we should fear. There’s the fiscal cliff, the continued European economic crisis, the perpetual tensions in the Middle East. But what about the things that may happen in twenty, fifty, or a hundred years? The premise, as the science historian George Dyson put it, is that “people tend to worry too much about things that it doesn’t do any good to worry about, and not to worry enough about things we should be worrying about.” A hundred fifty contributors wrote essays for the project. The result is a recently published collection, “What *Should* We Be Worried About?” available without charge at John Brockman’s edge.org.


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Szabolcs Kósa's curator insight, January 16, 2013 7:36 PM

Read the complete collection of responses here: http://www.edge.org/responses/q2013

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Will super-human artificial intelligence (AI) be subject to evolution?

Will super-human artificial intelligence (AI) be subject to evolution? | Systems Theory | Scoop.it

There has been much speculation about the future of humanity in the face of super-humanly intelligent machines. Most of the dystopian scenarios seem to be driven by plain fear that entities arise that could be smarter and stronger than us. After all, how are we supposed to know which goals the machines will be driven by? Is it possible to have “friendly” AI? If we attempt to turn them off, will they care? Would they care about their own survival in the first place?


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Preparing synthetic biology for the world

Preparing synthetic biology for the world | Systems Theory | Scoop.it

Synthetic Biology promises low-cost, exponentially scalable products and global health solutions in the form of self-replicating organisms, or “living devices.” As these promises are realized, proof-of-concept systems will gradually migrate from tightly regulated laboratory or industrial environments into private spaces as, for instance, probiotic health products, food, and even do-it-yourself bioengineered systems. What additional steps, if any, should be taken before releasing engineered self-replicating organisms into a broader user space?


Via Gerd Moe-Behrens, Szabolcs Kósa
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Gerd Moe-Behrens's curator insight, January 25, 2013 2:19 PM

by
Gerd H. G. Moe-Behrens, Rene Davis and Karmella A. Haynes

"Synthetic Biology promises low-cost, exponentially scalable products and global health solutions in the form of self-replicating organisms, or “living devices.” As these promises are realized, proof-of-concept systems will gradually migrate from tightly regulated laboratory or industrial environments into private spaces as, for instance, probiotic health products, food, and even do-it-yourself bioengineered systems. What additional steps, if any, should be taken before releasing engineered self-replicating organisms into a broader user space? In this review, we explain how studies of genetically modified organisms lay groundwork for the future landscape of biosafety. Early in the design process, biological engineers are anticipating potential hazards and developing innovative tools to mitigate risk. Here, we survey lessons learned, ongoing efforts to engineer intrinsic biocontainment, and how different stakeholders in synthetic biology can act to accomplish best practices for biosafety."

http://bit.ly/W8eV9J

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How can we govern new life forms?

How can we govern new life forms? | Systems Theory | Scoop.it

‘Synthetic biology’ is an emergent scientific field with enormous potential for development and technological advancement. However, it also carries an equal capacity for risk and for harmful results to derive from the advancement of the science. Consequently, it is widely recognised in academic papers, political documents, and public discourse as requiring regulation on national and global levels, on both an ethical plane and as a safeguard.


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