Saturday May 17, 2014
There was a four day meeting on “lethal autonomous weapons systems” by the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) at the United Nations (UN) from 13 to 16 May. Voting was almost a caricature of national performance:
- 5 five countries called for a ban on fully autonomous weapons, including Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Holy See, and Pakistan. (none of whom are likely to have them anyway.)
- others, including France, Germany, Netherlands, and the UK, said nations should always maintain meaningful human control over targeting and attack decisions, including France, Germany, Netherlands, and the UK.
- The United States said that there should be “appropriate” human involvement over autonomy in weapons systems. (Appropriate can mean anything from full to zero, I suppose.)
- The Czech Republic and Israel each spoke on the desirability of such systems.
An article in Foreign Affairs eloquently puts the case for controlling these things. There's a campaign and a committee.
Friday Mar 21, 2014
Two for one on Packt books
Packt, who have published two of my books, are having a two for one offer on books at the moment. See here for details.
Sunday Mar 16, 2014
On influencing people.
Three interesting references this week:
1. an article by Vaughan Bell on the military use of influence.
2. Bell helpfull refers to a survey of the field by Sara Bell.
3. Plos has published a report by Covialle et al of an investigation into "Detecting Emotional Contagion in Massive Social Networks".
Thursday Mar 13, 2014
Empathy: effect on decisions
Notice an article on "Paving the road to preferential treatment with good intentions: Empathy, accountability and fairness".
For sheer cheek it's hard not to like a new Australian app, which automatically sends texts to your girlfriend.
The contagion effect
A paper by George Newman and Paul Bloom analyses the prices paid at auctions for articles which have been owned or used by celebrities, and finds a correlation between usage and prices, and links this to 'magical thinking'
Tuesday Dec 17, 2013
Cyberattacks from everywhere...
Gloom about the number of serious, undetected cyberattacks is matched by lack of confidence amongst those charged with defending against them.
When is an exercise scenario unacceptable?
According to the Athens County News, officials in Athens County have had to apologise to a pressure group for using their cause in an emergency response exercise scenario.