Max Tegmark: ‘Machines taking control doesn’t have to be a bad thing’

The artificial intelligence expert’s new book, Life 3.0, urges us to act now to decide our future, rather than risk it being decided for us

Afew years ago the cosmologist Max Tegmark found himself weeping outside the Science Museum in South Kensington. He’d just visited an exhibition that represented the growth in human knowledge, everything from Charles Babbage’s difference engine to a replica of Apollo 11. What moved him to tears wasn’t the spectacle of these iconic technologies but an epiphany they prompted.

“It hit me like a brick,” he recalls, “that every time we understood how something in nature worked, some aspect of ourselves, we made it obsolete. Once we understood how muscles worked we built much better muscles in the form of machines, and maybe when we understand how our brains work we’ll build much better brains and become utterly obsolete.”

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Equifax hack puts data of 400,000 UK customers at risk

US credit rating firm’s announcement comes after UK authorities order it to alert British clients of cybersecurity breach

About 400,000 people in the UK may have had their information stolen following a cybersecurity breach at the credit monitoring firm Equifax.

The US company said an investigation had revealed that a file containing UK consumer information “may potentially have been accessed”.

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Social media stars face crackdown over money from brands

Instagram ‘influencers’ told to clarify paid-for ads, while health claims are taken down after advertising breaches

Consumer protection bodies in the UK and US are increasing their crackdown on Instagram “influencers”, in an attempt to rein in the big business being done covertly on social media.

Instagram’s popularity with young people, and women in particular – in April it reported 700 million members – has led to a roaring trade between marketers and so-called influencers with large and engaged followings. Members of the Kardashian family, who promote a range of products from “detox” tea to waist-training corsets to their tens of millions of followers, can reportedly command as much as $500,000 (£370,000) per post.

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Equifax hack: two executives to leave company after breach

Chief information officer and chief security officer to exit immediately, company announces as it highlights security efforts

Equifax announced late Friday that its chief information officer and chief security officer would leave the company immediately, following the enormous breach of 143 million Americans’ personal information.

It also presented a litany of security efforts it made after noticing suspicious network traffic in July.

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