Posts Tagged ‘pain’

By Jasper Hamill

Experts fear it’s only a matter of time before robots declare war on humans.

Now the tech world has taken one small step toward making this nightmare scenario a reality.

An American engineer has built the world’s first robot that is entirely designed to hurt human beings.

The pain machine breaks the first rule in science fiction writer Isaac Asimov’s famous “laws of robotics,” which states that machines should never hurt humans.

“No one’s actually made a robot that was built to intentionally hurt and injure someone,” robot designer and artist Alexander Reben told Fast Company.

“I wanted to make a robot that does this that actually exists.

“[It was] important to take it out of the thought experiment realm into reality, because once something exists in the world, you have to confront it. It becomes more urgent. You can’t just pontificate about it.”

Luckily for us humans, the pain-bot is not quite the shotgun-wielding death machine depicted in the “Terminator” films.

Its only weapon is a small needle attached to a long arm, which is used to inflict a small amount of agony on a human victim.

The robot randomly decides whether to attack people who are brave enough to put their hands beneath its arm, although it’s not strong enough to cause major injury.

Reben said the aim of the project wasn’t to hasten the end of humanity. Instead, he wants to encourage people to start discussing the prospect that robots could soon have some terrifying powers.

“I want people to start confronting the physicality of it,” Reben says. “It will raise a bit more awareness outside the philosophical realm.”

“There’s always going to be situations where the unforeseen is going to happen, and how to deal with that is going to be an important thing to think about.”

Last year, world-famous British physicist Professor Stephen Hawking claimed robots and artificial intelligence could wipe humans off the face of the planet.

Billionaire Elon Musk agrees, having spent much of the past few years warning about the apocalyptic scenario of a war between man and machine.

Both Hawking and Musk signed a letter last year urging world leaders to avoid a military robotics arms race.

It is likely that the battles of the future will involve machines capable of killing without needing to be directed by a human controller.

“[Robotic] weapons are ideal for tasks such as assassinations, destabilizing nations, subduing populations and selectively killing a particular ethnic group,” the letter said.

“We therefore believe that a military AI arms race would not be beneficial for humanity.”

http://nypost.com/2016/06/13/this-is-the-first-robot-designed-to-cause-human-pain/?utm_source=applenews&utm_medium=inline&utm_campaign=applenews

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By Jason G. Goldman

When a monkey has the sniffles or a headache, it doesn’t have the luxury of popping a few painkillers from the medicine cabinet. So how does it deal with the common colds and coughs of the wildlife world?

University of Georgia ecologist Ria R. Ghai and her colleagues observed a troop of more than 100 red colobus monkeys in Uganda’s Kibale National Park for four years to figure out whether the rain forest provides a Tylenol equivalent.

Monkeys infected with a whipworm parasite were found to spend more time resting and less time moving, grooming and having sex. The infected monkeys also ate twice as much tree bark as their healthy counterparts even though they kept the same feeding schedules. The findings were published in September in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The fibrous snack could help literally sweep the intestinal intruder out of the simians’ gastrointestinal tracts, but Ghai suspects a more convincing reason. Seven of the nine species of trees and shrubs preferred by sick monkeys have known pharmacological properties, such as antisepsis and analgesia. Thus, the monkeys could have been self-medicating, although she cannot rule out other possibilities. The sick individuals were, however, using the very same plants that local people use to treat illnesses, including infection by whipworm parasites. And that “just doesn’t seem like a coincidence,” Ghai says.

University of Helsinki researchers recently announced the first evidence of self-medication in ants. When the biologists exposed hundreds of Formica fusca ants to a dangerous fungus, many of the infected insects chose to consume a 4 to 6 percent hydrogen peroxide solution made available for the experiment. Healthy ants avoided the household chemical, which can quash infections in small doses but is otherwise deadly. The sick ants that partook were less likely to succumb to the grips of the fungus. In the wild, they could perhaps acquire the compound by eating plants that release it to fight aphid infestations.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/self-medicating-monkeys-gobble-painkilling-bark/

BY JEFF HADEN

Courage isn’t just a willingness to confront pain or fear. Courage, like character, also involves doing the right thing when no one is watching… or will ever know what you’ve done.

When you think of courage you may think of physical bravery, but there are many other forms of courage. After all, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” That means courage – sometimes remarkable courage – is required in business and entrepreneurship: Taking a chance when others will not; following your vision, no matter where it takes you; standing up for what you believe in, especially when your beliefs are unpopular; or simply doing the right thing even though easier options exist.

1. They Have the Courage to Believe the Unbelievable
Most people try to achieve the achievable. That’s why most goals and targets are incremental rather than massive or even inconceivable. Incremental is safe. Believable is safe. Why? Because you’re less likely to fall short. You’re less likely to fail. You’re less likely to lose credibility and authority. A few people do expect more from themselves and from others. But they don’t stop there. They also show you how to get to “more.” And they bring you along for what turns out to be an unbelievable ride.

2. They Have the Courage to be Patient
When things go poorly, giving up or making a change is often the easiest way out. It takes more courage to be patient, to believe in yourself, or to show people you believe in them. Showing patience in others also shows you care. And when you show you truly care about the people around you, even when others clamor for a change, they may find ways to do things that will amaze everyone — including themselves.

3. They Have the Courage to Say, “No.”
They have the courage to say no to requests for unusual favors, for unreasonable demands on your time, or to people who are only concerned with their own interests? Saying yes is the easy move. Saying no, when you know you’ll later resent or regret having said yes, is much harder — but is often the best thing to do, both for you and for the other person.

4. They Have the Courage to Take an Unpopular Stand
Many people try to stand out in a superficial way: clothes, or interests, or public displays of support for popular initiatives. They’re conspicuous for reasons of sizzle, not steak. It takes real courage to take an unpopular stand. And it takes real courage to take risks not just for the sake of risk but for the sake of the reward you believe is possible, and by your example to inspire others to take a risk in order to achieve what they believe is possible.

5. They Have the Courage to Ask for Help
No one does anything worthwhile on his or her own. Even the most brilliant, visionary, fabulously talented people achieve their success through collective effort. Still, it takes courage to sincerely and humbly say, “Can you help me?” Asking for help shows vulnerability. But it also shows respect and a willingness to listen. And those are qualities every great leader possesses.

6. They Have the Courage to Show Genuine Emotion
Acting professionally is actually fairly easy. Acting professionally while also remaining openly human takes courage–the willingness to show sincere excitement, sincere appreciation, and sincere disappointment, not just in others, but also in yourself. It takes real bravery to openly celebrate, openly empathize, and openly worry. It’s hard to be professional and also remain a person.

7. They Have the Courage to Forgive
When an employee makes a mistake –- especially a major mistake –- it’s easy to forever view that employee through the lens of that mistake. But one mistake, or one weakness, or one failing is also just one part of a person. It’s easy to fire, to punish, to resent; it’s much harder to step back, set aside a mistake, and think about the whole person. It takes courage to move past and forget mistakes and to treat an employee, a colleague, or a friend as a whole person and not just a living reminder of an error, no matter how grievous that mistake may have been.

8. They Have the Courage to Stay the Course
It’s easy to have ideas. It’s a lot harder to stick with your ideas in the face of repeated failure. It’s incredibly hard to stay the course when everyone else feels you should give up. Every day, hesitation, uncertainty, and failure causes people to quit. It takes courage to face the fear of the unknown and the fear of failure. But how many ideas could turn out well if you trust your judgment, your instincts, and your willingness to overcome every obstacle?

9. They Have the Courage to Lead by Permission
Every boss has a title. In theory that title confers the right to direct, to make decisions, to organize and instruct and discipline. The truly brave leader forgets the title and leads by making people feel they work with, not for, that person. It takes courage to not fall back on a title but to instead work to earn respect–and through gaining that respect earn the permission to lead.

10. They Have the Courage to Succeed Through Others
Great teams are made up of people who know their roles, set aside personal goals, willingly help each other, and value team success over everything else. Great business teams win because their most talented members are willing to sacrifice to make others successful and happy.

11. They Have the Courage to Say, “I’m Sorry.”
We all make mistakes and we all have things we need to apologize for: Words, actions, omissions, failing to step up, step in, show support. It takes courage to say, “I’m sorry.” It takes even more courage not to add, “But I was really mad, because…” or “But I did think you were…” or any words that in any way places the smallest amount of blame back on the other person.

12. They Have the Courage to Take the Hit
A customer is upset. A coworker is frustrated. A supplier feels shortchanged. An investor is impatient. Whatever the issue, the courageous people step up and take the hit. They support others. They support their teams. They willingly take responsibility and draw negative attention to themselves because to do otherwise is not just demotivating and demoralizing, it also undermines other people’s credibility and authority. Courageous people never throw others under the bus, even if that shines a negative spotlight on themselves.

http://www.inc.com/ss/jeff-haden/qualities-remarkably-courageous-people