The Smarter Robots are coming to take away your jobs

AI is not new, so why suddenly does it matter?

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Here come the Intelligent Machines.

This week on the BBC you may get the impression that the robots have taken over. Every day, under the banner Intelligent Machines, we will bring you stories on online, TV, radio about advances in artificial intelligence and robotics and what they could mean for us all.

We will ask whether smarter robots and more advanced algorithms will take over all sorts of tasks that we thought were the preserve of humans, posing a threat to employment. We will explore the ethical concerns about artificial intelligence, from the fear that computers will come to dominate humans to the question of who is to blame when a self-driving car hits a pedestrian.

We will examine the cultural impact of AI, asking whether a robot could paint a decent picture or compose a symphony, and we will also emphasise all those areas where this technology is making our lives better.

Why now? Well at the end of last year Prof Stephen Hawking told the BBC that full artificial intelligence could spell the end for mankind. “Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution,” he warned, “couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”

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Pakistan press freedom under pressure from army

Journalists claim they are forced to self-censor criticism of the military after indirect threats from army officials

Hamid Mir knew one of the guests on his nightly television show had made a mistake the moment he blurted out the name of the country’s army chief without due deference.

“He just said ‘Raheel Sharif, Raheel Sharif’ without calling him general,” Mir says of a recent episode of his influential Capital Talk programme. “I knew immediately the words came out it would be cut.”

At a time of intense pressure on the media to cooperate with an army public relations campaign that is burnishing the image of General Sharif, channels routinely edit out or drop the sound on the mildest criticism of the military.

Even the country’s only Nobel peace prize winner, the schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai, was briefly silenced in early August when she said in an interview with Aaj TV that the prime minister had told her he was unable to spend more money on education because of pressure to fund military operations.

Mir fears that behind the pressure for self-censorship lurk “anti-democratic forces deliberately trying to undermine political institutions by giving more importance to the army.”

Leading journalists claim to have received indirect threats from army officials who warn them they are being targeted by terrorists or that their coverage is raising suspicions they have been compromised by the Indian intelligence service.

Read more » The Guardian
See more » http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/14/pakistan-press-freedom-army-journalists-military?CMP=share_btn_fb

Corbyn unveils ‘unifying’ top team

Jeremy Corbyn has unveiled what he called a “unifying” new shadow cabinet, naming his left-wing ally John McDonnell as shadow chancellor.

Defeated leadership rival Andy Burnham is shadow home secretary, while Hilary Benn remains shadow foreign secretary.

The most senior roles on the Labour front bench are all taken by men, leading to criticism from some MPs.

But half of the total posts went to women, including shadow defence, education, business and health.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-34240869

World Pashto Conference: Speakers demand national, official status for Pashto

BY SYED ALI SHAH

QUETTA: Writers, poets, intellectuals, authors and literary figures have demanded the government to make Pashto an official and educational language.

Speakers at the World Pashto Conference spoke at length on the importance of mother-languages and urged the federal government to grant national and official status to all languages in the country.

Pashto Academy Quetta organised a three-day Pashto International Conference “Pashto Language and Globalisation, Challenges and Possibilities” at a local hotel in Quetta on Saturday.

Governor Balochistan Muhammad Khan Achakzai while inaugurating the conference termed the mother-language imperative for the promotion of education and success of a society.

Renowned Pashto literary personalities from Kabul, Kandahar, Canada, Germany and various parts of the world participated in the conference, which thoroughly discussed history, the importance of, and challenges to, the Pashto language.

Prominent among those who participated in the Conference were Pashto Academy President Syed Khair Muhammad Arif, Muhammad Masoom Hotak from Canada, Wali Muhammad Achakzai from Germany, Habibullah Rafi from Kabul Afghanistan, Professor Dr. Fazal Rahim Marwat, Vice Chancellor Bacha Khan University Charsada, Abdul Ghafoor Lewal from Afghanistan and others.

“Committed nations make their dead languages alive,” Muhammad Khan Achakzai said while referring to various ancient languages around the globe. He pointed out that Pashto was neither an educational nor official language, but Pashto-loving personalities were still publishing books in Pashto, despite the odds.

The chief of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Mehmood Khan Achakzai, said that throughout the history Pashtoons have not believed in sectarianism neither were they terrorists, rather they always stood for peace and development.

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