“Where is everybody?” This question had been asked by the Italian nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi. With “they” he had meant intelligent life, thus extraterrestrials. How is it that we do not see them or that they come to us? So … Continue reading UFOs: Were The Crackpots Right After All?
First it was an oil pipeline, then a large meat producer that was paralyzed by cyberattacks. Not a week goes by without a hospital here, a shipping company there or, most recently, Colonial Pipeline, through whose oil pipelines 45 percent … Continue reading The Coming of an AI Pearl Harbor is Inevitable
How do you prepare a sandwich spread with peanut butter and strawberry jam? Quite simply, you take two slices of bread, smear peanut butter and jam on it and you’re done? Not quite, if you follow these instructions exactly. That’s … Continue reading The peanut butter jelly sandwich instructions for an AI
Occasionally, someone messes up badly and is then forced to apologize publicly. Which, strictly speaking, is done far too rarely anyway. But even a not insignificant number of these rare apologies are, on closer inspection, not really apologies. Often we … Continue reading Pilnacek: The apology that is not an apology at all – An analysis
When Mary Shelley wrote her novel ‘Frankenstein’ at the age of 20, she struck a chord with the times. The phenomenon of electricity, which caused dead frogs’ legs to twitch wildly, had stirred people’s imaginations. In retrospect, it seems little … Continue reading Machine Learning and Democracy
Vannevar Bush is an almost complete unknown even among innovation experts, and yet he was responsible for laying the foundation for the American technological dominance that still exists. It began under the most difficult circumstances imaginable. In 1940, the MIT … Continue reading The ‘Frictionless Design’ Paradigm Using the Example of Charging Stations
The United States has had an interesting approach to new technology and challenges since its founding: whenever they reach a certain critical mass, Americans create an agency or authority to deal with them exclusively, both in terms of regulation, impact … Continue reading The new U.S. AI Initiative compared to the European Digital Strategy.
I’ve actually been meaning to put a little less focus on Silicon Valley itself since changing my website, but occasionally something comes up that’s just too interesting. Facebook user Mark Hersch contrasts historical drawings of various cities from a bird’s … Continue reading San Francisco 1912 and 2021
As little as one can foresee a pandemic, or an economic crisis, or the onset of winter in December, excitement about one’s own person is just as unpredictable. What does the public know about the burdens and duties of a … Continue reading The Art of the Non-Apology
Some things have gone wrong in the European Union, others well, since the pandemic has taken hold of the world. But what has become clear for some months now is the degree of incompetence of the European authorities and local … Continue reading COVID: No, the EU is not ‘too nice’, it just doesn’t think in terms of ‘First Principles’.