Last night's squeaker of an election presented Al Gore with the chance to speak too soon. Shortly after Gore conceded to George W. Bush, it became clear that the votes from Florida were not entirely in. Read all about it in The Washington Post,The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Miami Herald. You can also stay up to date throughout the day with Yahoo.com's full coverage and with CNN.
I knew R2D2 was more than a hunk of metal
Even for those of us raised on Star Wars, it might be a huge leap from fiction to consider whether in fact robots can develop personalities (and possibly even destinies and souls, as well). But for the director of MIT's God and Computers project, Lutheran minister Anne Foerst, questions of personhood and artificial intelligence must be pursued because the technology to teach robots how to replicate human experiences—like learning and social interaction—is maybe 50 years away. Foerst says MIT realizes the need for a theologian in its Artificial Intelligence Laboratory because "when you build machines in analogy to humans, you make assumptions about humans. Theologians explore the cultural and spiritual dimensions of that very question, 'What does it mean to be human?'" Foerst wrestles daily with difficult questions like "What would be the threshold when the robots are developed to a certain point that you couldn't switch them off anymore?" and "When does a creature deserve to be treated as intrinsically valuable?"
Islam Asia Islam is growing in numbers and aggression among the people of Southeast Asia, according to this story from The Washington Post. Not only does it mention the Muslim vigilantes who have been killing Christians in Indonesia's Maluku islands, but it also examines ...1
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