Artificially Intelligent, Maybe

But is it smart?

Technical progress by decree?

AI

Germany is often criticized for sluggish levels of digital investment, particularly in AI. The government wants to invest €3 billion before 2025 to try and close the knowledge gap with world leaders in the field.

Germans are smart, of course, but they can’t even spell AI properly. They call it KI. Ridiculous. And when you look at the amount being invested, well, maybe they’re not all that good at math anymore, either.

“This amount is much less than companies, such as Microsoft or Google, invest in AI in a single year. So people should not think that Germany will suddenly become a world leader in the field, able to compete with the US and China.”

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AI Don’t Trust You

But what’s new? Germans don’t trust any new technical development that comes along. Grundsätzlich (out of principle). New is scary because it always comes from somewhere else.

AI

So here’s another piece of news that made the news even though it’s not news at all: A YouGov survey has revealed that Germans are distrustful of anything that has to do with artificial intelligence. Not only is AI new (and from somehwere else), it’s, well, artificial. It’s not natural, you know? Non-organic or something.

Die Mehrheit der Deutschen steht einer Umfrage des Instituts YouGov zufolge dem Einsatz Künstlicher Intelligenz (KI) misstrauisch gegenüber. Nur rund jeder Siebte – 15 Prozent – denkt demnach, dass der Nutzen der Technologie gegenüber den Risiken überwiegt, wie die repräsentative Umfrage ergab.

Europeans Submerge Emerging Technology

Yet again. Just in case. You never know. Better safe than sorry. This wasn’t developed here in Europe, after all…

Genfood

The European Court of Justice has ruled that altering living things using the relatively new technique of genome editing counts as genetic engineering.

And genetic engineering, as we all know, is a very, very, very bad thing. We don’t know WHY that is but we do know THAT it is because that is what we have been fed. No, not the genetically modified foods, the media-modified information. Or disinformation, if you prefer. Turn on your local state TV channel if you don’t believe me. They’ll show you. Sort of.

Scientists hope this emerging technology could be used, for example, to develop crop varieties that are resistant to pests, or that produce large yields under challenging climatic conditions. They are also hoping to use it to correct genetic diseases in humans.

“The classification of genome-edited organisms as falling under the GMO Directive could slam the door shut on this revolutionary technology. This is a backward step, not progress.”

The Case Of The Missing Navy

OK, practically non-existent navy.

The German military commissioner is always the last to know, I guess.

Ship

He, too, has now determined that the German navy does not have enough ships (and we don’t even want to start thinking about their submarines). Not that the warships they do have will ever actually be used as warships or anything, just sayin’.

New ships are apparently too technologically complex to operate, it seems. And the older ships can’t seem to get the parts they need due to excessive bureaucracy and end up stranded indefinitely in dry dock.

He did have some good news, however. The German navy is really good at mothballing their older ships. Six of the 15 older frigates were taken out of service in exemplary fashion. Without being replaced by new ones, of course. Aber immerhin (but still).

“Es sollte keine neue maritime Mission für Nato, EU oder Uno mehr dazukommen. Der Marine gehen die einsatzfähigen Schiffe aus.”

“Sanctions Against North Korea Apparently Ineffective”

Like, duh. How could they be effective if countries like Germany, and a number of other “cooperative States,” keep letting the North Koreans get around them?

Korea

North Korea procured equipment and technology for its ballistics missiles program using its embassy in Berlin, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has said.

“We determined that procurement activities were taking place there, from our perspective with an eye on the missile program, as well as the nuclear program to some extent,” BfV head Hans-Georg Maassen told public broadcaster NDR in an interview.

Falsche Ladepapiere, ungewöhnliche Schifffahrtsrouten, das Verladen von Öl auf hoher See: Nordkorea umgeht offenbar systematisch alle bestehenden internationalen Sanktionen. Ein brisanter UN-Bericht bringt nun eine Reihe kooperierender Staaten in Bedrängnis.

Germany

Beautiful German weapon sale of the week.

Fregate

Because somebody has to admire them.

Only… The German navy doesn’t want this F125 super-frigate they just bought. They want their money back. Or at least have it fixed or something. She doesn’t work right. Like, not at all. Damn. This must be the same boatyard that makes Germany’s submarines.

Zu schwer und zu schief – Fregatte F125 Unsere neue Super-Fregatte – noch nicht im Dienst und schon veraltet.

PS: Order your copy of Brain Quest – A Fantastic Voyage through the Progressive Mind today! The paperback is out now. Get a free sample at Smashwords. Take only as directed.

Deutsche Post Introduces New Robotic Technology To Deliver Packages Late More Efficiently

Intent on keeping up with the times, the German Post is now in the process of introducing a so-called Postbot that will help human postmen deliver their packages later than ever before, or not at all.

Postbot

Based on their human counterparts, the Postbot will regularly call in sick, inexplicably lose letters and packages assigned to it once it leaves the post office and regularly pretend to have ringed at apartments located two floors or higher before leaving a notice in the mailbox claiming that nobody was home when they were there. The Postbot will do this noticably faster and more efficiently, however, failing to deliver up to seven times the number of undelivered packages normal German postmen fail to deliver.

Union officials have expressed concern that the Postbot could threaten Deutsche Post jobs and insists that the robot must be granted obligatory union memborship to help slow down this frantic pace of technological advance.

In zwei Zustellbezirken wird das vierrädrige, 1,50 Meter hohe Gefährt den Boten hinterher fahren. Es könne bis zu 150 Kilo Briefe und Pakete transportieren, stoppe vor Hindernissen und überwinde Bordsteine. Mittels Sensoren erkennt er die Beine der menschlichen Postboten und folgt ihnen in Schrittgeschwindigkeit.

 

Berlin Face Recognition Technology Severely Flawed

Immediately after launching their six-month test of automatic facial recognition technology at Berlin’s Südkreuz railway station, a number of the German authorities responsible have already expressed their bitter disappointment with the initial results.

Face

It seems that the face recognition software being used – programmed here in Berlin – is only capable of recognizing frowning faces and security officials involved with the project fear that the new system will not be able to recognize any cheerful, smiling terrorists who attempt to murder and maim us in the future.

“This is German software, after all,” grumbled one frowning security official, refusing to give his name for security reasons. “Now wipe that stupid grin off your face and leave me the hell alone.”

Heute ist es soweit: Die umstrittene Testphase zur Gesichtserkennung am Bahnhof Südkreuz beginnt. 300 Freiwillige haben sich gemeldet.

German Of The Day: Notlandung

That means emergency or forced landing.

A380

I guess size matters after all.

The future of Airbus’s A380 super jumbo looks even more bleak after the pan-European aircraft company said it was cutting production of the double-decker airliner.

Reporting half-year figures, Airbus said that “considering the current order booking situation” delivers of the A380 will be reduced to eight in 2019…

Demand for the giant four-engined aircraft has waned as airlines seek the efficiencies of smaller twin-engine aircraft. Airlines have ordered just 317 A380s; so far 213 have been delivered.

Der weltgrößte Passagierjet A380 wird für Airbus zu einer immer herberen Enttäuschung. Weil Airlines den Flieger nicht mehr bestellen, streicht der Hersteller die Produktion ab 2019 auf acht Maschinen pro Jahr zusammen.

Germans To Develop On-Demand Flying Car Service

They’re going to call it Über.

Über

A GERMAN tech firm has vowed to develop a five-seat “flying taxi” after it successfully carried out a test flight of a smaller airborne automobile.

Munich-based Lilium said the planned five-seater jet, which will be capable of vertical take-off and landing, could be used for urban air taxi and ride-sharing services.