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Archive for 6. September 2019

How Britain’s staid Conservative Party became a radical insurgency

Posted by hkarner - 6. September 2019

Date: 05-09-2019
Source: The Economist

The transformation of the Tory party leaves surviving MPs feeling uneasy

IMAGINE A CONSERVATIVE MP and your mind’s eye might conjure up Philip Hammond. The former chancellor is tall, grey and with a sense of humour that matches his fiscal policy: extra-dry. If not Mr Hammond, then perhaps a figure in the mould of Kenneth Clarke. The rotund, cigar-chomping jazz enthusiast has served in practically every senior government job bar prime minister in a 49-year stint as a Tory MP. Failing that, consider Sir Nicholas Soames, a former defence minister. He has a Churchillian manner, largely because Winston Churchill was his grandfather. The three embody the parliamentary Conservative Party in different ways. Yet they are no longer in it.

The trio were among 21 Conservative MPs to have the whip withdrawn and be barred from standing for the party again after they supported a plan to make Boris Johnson, the prime minister, seek a delay to Britain’s scheduled departure from the European Union on October 31st. The purge was only the most visible part of a revolution that is transforming the world’s oldest political party. Those who advocate fiscal prudence, social liberalism and an orderly departure from the EU have been routed. Those who demand free-spending authoritarianism and a “do-or-die” escape from the yoke of Brussels are ascendant. ConservativeHome, a blog for party activists, described this week as “the end of the Conservative Party as we have known it”. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Artificial intelligence and war

Posted by hkarner - 6. September 2019

Date: 05-09-2019
Source: The Economist

As computers play a bigger role in warfare, the dangers to humans rise

The contest between China and America, the world’s two superpowers, has many dimensions, from skirmishes over steel quotas to squabbles over student visas. One of the most alarming and least understood is the race towards artificial-intelligence-enabled warfare. Both countries are investing large sums in militarised artificial intelligence (ai), from autonomous robots to software that gives generals rapid tactical advice in the heat of battle. China frets that America has an edge thanks to the breakthroughs of Western companies, such as their successes in sophisticated strategy games. America fears that China’s autocrats have free access to copious data and can enlist local tech firms on national service. Neither side wants to fall behind. As Jack Shanahan, a general who is the Pentagon’s point man for ai, put it last month, What I don’t want to see is a future where our potential adversaries have a fully ai-enabled force and we do not.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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