Blog Lars Jaeger

Fantasies of technological omnipotence - The "Silicon Valley Dream"

In the 1970s, biologists celebrated a major breakthrough: The discovery of so-called restriction enzymes enabled them to perform “gene transplantations”. It was the birth of gene technology. Artificial genes produce certain proteins that can then be used to treat respective human diseases. With this form of “genetic engineering,” the biosciences suddenly aroused the imagination and […]

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Lars Jaeger August 26, 2018 , 0

The Second Quantum Revolution - From Entanglement to Quantum Computing and Other Super-Technologies

In Douglas Adams’ parody of intergalactic life The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, one reads at the beginning of the second book: There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more […]

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Lars Jaeger August 1, 2018 , 1

Towards global leadership in Artificial Intelligence - The view of the German government

Just over two years ago, the general public was surprised by the victory of the Google computer AlphaGo over Go World Champion Lee Sedol. Suddenly, many realized how far the learning algorithms of Artificial intelligence (AI) systems have developed already. Because in the game Go, intuition and creativity are far more important than stubborn arithmetic […]

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Lars Jaeger July 14, 2018 , 1

Attack on the immune system of our democracy - How we are being digitally manipulated

In 1983 there was a theme that moved all West-Germany: a planned census. Every household in the country was supposed to fill out a questionnaire with 36 questions on the housing situation, persons living in the household, and their income situation. Massive resistance developed against this “governmental interference with our privacy sphere” at that time. […]

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Lars Jaeger June 23, 2018 , 4

Exiting the comfort zone of absolute certainties - From quantum physics to today’s political populism

One may at times wonder whether Donald Trump does not a macroscopic quantum system. His intellectual, emotional, and general mental state is objectively not determinable. He lives, so to speak, in a superposition of willingness to talk and stubborn anger politics, social promises and super-rich-clientele lobbying, charm efforts and snotty brat-performances. Only the concrete interaction […]

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Lars Jaeger June 10, 2018 , 0

"The Tyranny of the Butterfly" - Frank Schätzing's new novel and how Artificial Intelligence and other super technologies threaten our way of life

Most people – including the vast majority of writers – hardly understand what is going on behind the curtain of the scientific stage. However, they feel that they are huge processes at play that affect our all future. It is this combination of intuitive sensing and non-knowledge, respectively non-understanding that causes great anxiety and uncertainty […]

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Lars Jaeger May 15, 2018 , 0

The Malthusian Trap - How an again and again refuted theory from over 200 years ago still haunts us

Looking at today’s discussions about the scarcity of resources, climate change, or economic growth, a recurrent pattern of argumentation reveals itself: “Today’s social and economic system requires constant growth. And in a finite world that’s just not possible.” The intellectual great-grandfather of this position was the British economist Thomas Robert Malthus, who in 1798 (in […]

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Lars Jaeger April 21, 2018 , 1

Canaries in the Mines of Democracy – On the status of science in Russia, Turkey, Hungary and Poland

Canaries used to play an important role in mining. When the dangerous but odorless gas carbon monoxide got released in the underground, canaries were affected fastest. Already at a concentration of 0.3% and after a time of about two and a half minutes the birds fell of their pole dead. The miners were thus warned […]

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Lars Jaeger March 25, 2018 , 3

Dressage of the democratic will - When computer algorithms determine the outcome of elections

The mechanisms of popular attention and outrage are not always easy to comprehend. Hardly incomprehensible is, however, that the business practice of the firm Cambridge Analytica provoke strong public reactions. The commentaries in print and online media are rarely as unanimous as in this case: Basic rules of democracy have been violated. Less understandable is […]

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Lars Jaeger March 15, 2018 , 0

Stephen Hawking – On the death of a scientific pop star

The physicist community mourns the death of Stephen Hawking, one of its greatest minds. A life that began in the midst of the deepest crisis of the 20th century and is unlikely to be surpassed in intellectual heights and at the same time physical suffering has come to an end. Stephen Hawking was the pop […]

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