In the first half, Lauren Weinstein an expert on technology's impact on individuals and society, discussed the latest developments in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and virtual reality. These new technologies will present fantastic opportunities yet at the same time may have negative consequences, he warned. Hardware is now being built specifically to do AI, along with neural software models that somewhat mimic the human brain. These developments along with the enormous computing power now available, are advancing the field even further ahead, he said.
There's a big push for autonomous vehicles (driverless cars), which could be thought of as mobile robots, he cited. Yet, sometimes there are business pressures to deploy technology too early, which could lead to problems and safety issues. He also expressed concern over militaristic usage of advanced technology, such as fully automated drones capable of dropping bombs, as well as "terrorist robots." For the most part, Weinstein is bullish on the future of technology, and foresees a time when humans will be integrated with the tech such as through brain interfaces and implants.
In the latter half, attorney and novelist, David Brody, shared evidence that the legendary continent of Atlantis actually existed. From cobbling together resonances or "echoes" from such fields as geology, anthropology, history, and archaeology, he believes he can make a good case for an advanced civilization living about 12,000 years ago in the Atlantic, and then disappearing quite suddenly. Plato spoke of a cataclysmic event that ended the Atlantean civilization about 11,600 years ago, which Brody noted corresponds with the end of the Ice Age. The Sumerians and ancient Egyptians also had legends of a distant, advanced civilization that came to a sudden end, he added.
As a form of evidence, he cited the Red Paint people, who lived along the Massachusetts coast, some 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, and painted the bones of certain deceased people with red oxide, as they thought they would need blood in the next life. Interestingly, this tradition has been found all along the Atlantic rim in such diverse places as Central America and Scandinavia, and Brody suggested there could have been a single origin that spread across the Atlantic region. In the middle of that is the island where he thinks Atlantis resided-- on the (now mostly submerged) Atlantic ridge, a snake-like land mass that was around the size of the British Isles. The Basque people might be survivors of Atlantis, he conjectured, as they had sophisticated cave paintings, and pottery that date back many thousands of years.
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