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JAMES KIRCHICK – Donald J. Trump Is the L. Ron Hubbard of Politics

Is Donald Trump the new George Wallace? Silvio Berlusconi? Adolf Hitler? Could be. But at least as much as a southern segregationist, rich pervert turned politico, or genocidal fascist, Trump resembles L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the pyramid-scheme-masquerading-as-religion known as Scientology. Consider: both men are (or, in Hubbard’s case, were) narcissistic, autocratic, money-obsessed, pathological liars and would-be sexual conquerors who …

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Ian Sample – Stephen Hawkings: Most threats to humans come from science and technology, warns Hawking

The human race faces one its most dangerous centuries yet as progress in science and technology becomes an ever greater threat to our existence, Stephen Hawking warns. The chances of disaster on planet Earth will rise to a near certainty in the next one to ten thousand years, the eminent cosmologist said, but it will take more than a century …

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Kalla Hale-Stern – Don’t Have Sex With Robots, Say Ethicists

Robot ethicists have launched the Campaign Against Sex Robots, seeking a ban on the development of robotic sexytimes. The reality of pleasure bots is fast approaching. Mechanical toys for sexual pleasure already exist, of course, and hardware developers are working to incorporate A.I. into their designs. A company called True Companion claims to be producing “the world’s first sex robot,” …

Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times – Iain Thomson

Surgery on humans using robots has been touted by some as a safer way to get your innards repaired – and now the figures are in for you to judge. A team of university eggheads have counted up the number of medical cockups in America reported to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2000 to 2013, and found …

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Citing Moral and Legal Void, Rights Groups Demand Preemptive Ban on ‘Killer Robots’

A Phalanx close-in weapons system (CIWS), which Human Rights Watch calls a prototype for fully autonomous weapons—or “killer robots”—fires at sea. (Photo: U.S. Navy/flickr/cc) Fully autonomous weapons, or “killer robots,” present a legal and ethical quagmire and must be banned before they can be further developed, a new human rights report published Thursday urges ahead of next week’s United Nations …