AI of the Future / Popularity of UFO Cases

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Date Host George Noory
Guests Martin Ford, Nigel Watson

In the first half, author and researcher Martin Ford shared his predictions about the future of artificial intelligence. Advances we can expect, Ford said, include positive developments in medicine, as well as negative ones like job losses due to increased automation in workplaces and increased government surveillance. The topic of AI becomes especially complicated when we consider that a given AI application—in military weaponry, for example—can be either desirable or undesirable, depending on who's using it and how it's used. It's important, then, that the international community work out how to manage the pros and cons of such a powerful tool, he went on. Ford argued that ultimately, AI is the paradigm of the future, and that he believes humankind will lead better lives because of it.

Among the listeners who called the show, a few expressed their concern about AI-controlled driverless vehicles. One caller in Indiana observed that the steering in his truck was electronic and not mechanical, which he distrusted; he wondered whether driverless trucks would be even less mechanical. From New York, another caller speculated that driverless vehicles would need an additional robot to drive them, and possibly to protect them against theft. A California listener, in contrast, pointed out that the trucking industry is projected to be short about a million new drivers within the next decade, which makes driverless vehicles a necessity. Although he acknowledged that these concerns are valid in the context of current AI technology, Ford maintained that once the technology is fully developed—which he expected to be within about twenty years—these issues would be resolved.

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UFO investigator Nigel Watson joined the show in the second half to talk about the history and influence of well-known encounter and abduction cases. He related the story of how his own interest in ufology began as a boy in England, intrigued by news coverage of the American Apollo missions and by the various UFO-related magazines popular at the time.

In the conversation that followed, Watson reviewed several well-known ET cases, including the Betty and Barney Hill abduction, the Rendlesham and Roswell sightings, and the Travis Walton incident. He put these stories into a cultural context, noting the "peaks and troughs" in the public imagination UFOs sometimes follow. He attributed these shifts in our attention to numerous factors: compelling books and movies about the phenomenon, society's overall tolerance for being frightened by the possibility of alien visitation, or the availability of government information on sightings, for instance.

When asked why there seem to be so many fewer encounter and abduction cases nowadays, Watson offered that experiencers today may be more worried about being criticized or ostracized than in the past. Another problem with modern-day UFO investigation is that tangible evidence is scarce and can take years to piece together; even the fact that many of the older, experienced ufologists are dying off could play a part in the decline in media attention. On the other hand, Watson suggested, the recent popularity of UAP news stories may be a sign of renewed cultural acceptance of the individuals reporting them.

News segment guests: Dr. John Curtis, Charles Coppes

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Last Night

Illinois MUFON Director Sam Maranto, along with witness and investigator T.J. Japcon, discussed the Tinley Park UFO sighting, which involved a trio of color-shifting orbs that moved across the horizon before a crowd of witnesses. Open Lines followed.

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