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OPINION Let Google do it A4

Potential benefits of company's drone development John Vence jtvence@liberty.edu

Google recently unrolled a new advertising campaign across New York City, emblazoning subway station walls with minimalist posters, many suggesting that we should just “Let Google do it.” But while the newest tagline of the tech titan has been slowly swallowing the Big Apple, it’s the company’s much older motto that’s making headlines. “Don’t be evil.” An open letter from employees published April 6 in the New York Times asked CEO Sundar Pichai to pull Google’s hand from “Project Maven,” a collaborative endeavor with the Department of Defense focused on creating technology to analyze drone footage. The letter, signed by over 3,000, further requests that Pichai instate “a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology.” The antiwar sentiment is agreeable, but ultimately idealistic. The 3.5 percent of Google’s employees are singing “Give Peace a Chance” too loudly to realize their employer’s role in warfare tech is not only good, but necessary. To clarify, the artificial intelligence that Google has been creating since Project Maven was established April 2017 is non-offensive. Living up to the name of the venture (Maven is Yiddish for “accumulator of knowledge”), the technology will simply gather information in seconds, replacing the abysmally tedious job of reviewing hours of footage while risking human error. Could it lead to human death? Absolutely. Targets will be identified and subsequently eliminated. But by identifying innocent people, lives will be saved as well. Watchdog project Airwars recorded up to 6,000 Iraqi and Syrian civilian deaths in 2017 alone — all of them caused by

airstrikes, many involving drones. Refined technology might ensure we never see those numbers again. That doesn’t exactly sound evil. Would those protesting Googlers hold the same convictions toward Alan Turing and his invaluable help in World War II? Considered to be the father of artificial intelligence, Turing used AI in 1943 to decrypt German transmissions and ultimately help the Allies defeat the Nazis. Turing expert Jack Copeland, a University of Canterbury philosophy professor, posited in BBC that Turing’s collaboration with the military possibly shortened the war by at least two years, saving over 14 million lives. Computer technology has colossally evolved over the 75 years between then and now, but the motivation driving the need for minds like Turing and at Google has remained the same: combating the opponent’s advancing technology. The Department of Defense stated itself in an April 2017 letter that they must “integrate artificial intelligence and machine learning more to maintain advantages over increasingly ca-

pable adversaries and competitors.” China announced last summer its intention to become the head leader in artificial intelligence by 2030, according to ScienceMag. That goal doesn’t just stop with Chinese people paying via facial scanning (they can) or a robot passing the National Medical Licensing Exam (it did), but bleeds heavily into military projects. According to the Center for a New American Security, China is financially backing the development of artificial intelligence in autonomous weaponry and decisions made in the battlefield. Countries like China are investing in AI to change the face of warfare in the twenty-first century. When a recent AP-NORC poll is indicating that nearly half of Americans expect relations with China to worsen, we need to ensure that we have the best technology to defend ourselves if needed. The Department of Defense can’t do that without Silicon Valley. So, let Google do it. VENCE is an opinion writer.

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WEAPONS — In response to the letter from Google employees, Google has asserted that its role in the drone development is strictly “non-offensive” in nature.

To be a princess How Princess Week can help inspire girls in a #MeToo world Christianne Gormley cgormley1@liberty.edu

National retail chain Target, in collaboration with the Walt Disney Company and actress Julie Andrews, will host National Princess Week April 2228 — a week-long event for children to celebrate their inner princess through Disney’s Princess Line of movies, books, apparel and toys. With movements such as the #MeToo movement and the Time’s Up movement promoting women to speak up, National Princess Week can serve as a foundation that teaches young girls to speak up, embrace their worth, feel empowered by our modern-day princesses and Disney’s female characters and discover the many possibilities of what they can be when they grow up. According to the #MeToo website, the movement was established in 2006 by Tarana Burke to help survivors of sexual violence, particularly young

women, find pathways to healing and let other survivors know that they are not alone. National Princess Week coincides with the #MeToo movement because the event promotes ways for young girls to empower one another by using their voices to share the true meaning of being a modern-day princess. Andrews mentioned in her article “15 Tips to Be a Modern-Day Princess” for the Target Corporation that National Princess Week is more than the dresses and the tea parties. This event introduces children to practice humanitarian work by being charitable and encouraging them to volunteer at their favorite charities. Perfect examples of the modern-day princesses that have contributed their time in different countries doing humanitarian work are Princess Diana, Kate Middleton and upcoming Princess Meghan Markle, who was also vocal during the #MeToo movement.

In February, Markle spoke in her first Royal Foundation Forum. Markle said #MeToo should not be about women finding their voices but about empowering them to use it and that people should be urged to listen. In “Teatime with Julie Andrews” featured on Target’s website, Andrews said National Princess Week is a time for children to create muscle memory that encourages children to also expand their minds with possibilities of what they can be. Andrews, having portrayed numerous Disney characters herself, broke the traditional female character stereotypes through her portrayal of characters such as Mary Poppins and Queen Clarice Rinaldi in “The Princess Diaries.” As female characters in Disney movies have developed over the years, the common theme of Disney princess movies was that true love comes from loving what is on the inside — character. And in the process of Disney princesses and heroines such as Mulan, Belle, Moana and Jasmine finding themselves, they used their voices to defeat the norms, speak out and act upon what they knew they were called to do – much of what we as women in our nation are doing right now. Though many men and women in our nation are publically announcing their stories and helping our nation progress, there is still much to be done. National Princess Week is the week to let our girls know that we hear and care for them, to teach them to believe in themselves, to pursue the endless possibilities of what they can be and to give them the opportunity to not only look and act like a princess, but also feel like a princess.

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DREAMS — Disney’s “Dream Big, Princess” ad campaign highlights the strengths and unique aspects of the characters in the hopes of insipring young girls.

GORMLEY is an opinion writer.

April 24, 2018

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Will Young weyoung@liberty.edu

Like all people my age, I was not alive while former President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush were in the White House. And if I am going to be completely honest, it was not until recently when I read the various obituaries of the late Barbara YOUNG Bush that I really understood the impact she had in advocating for a more literate America. As someone who was taught not only how to read, but how to love to read at a young age in the public education system, it is possible that I reaped the benefits of Barbara Bush’s professional work without realizing it. In honor of the legacy of Barbara Bush, then, I have listed off the five books that have had the most impact on me in the past year in hopes that you, too, could fall in love with them. 1. H is for Hawk Helen MacDonald’s 2015 memoir follows her story of taking in and caring for a domineering yet stoic goshawk; it is a beautifully written narrative about using affection to overcome the fierce pains of heartbreak. After her father’s death, MacDonald, a falconer, finds emotional refuge in the bird of prey, which she trains over years to respond to her whistle and obey her commands. Throughout the read, I could not help but feel overwhelmed by MacDonald’s raw, honest emotion that she conveys throughout the book. Reading how MacDonald learned to live and love without her father, I came away with a greater understanding of the power of empathy and compassion. 2. There Are No Children Here A non-fiction account of life in the inner-city during the late 1980s, “There Are No Children Here” paints a gruesome picture of fervent street violence and pervasive racism. The author, Alex Kotlowitz, follows two young boys who grew up in deep poverty in the Henry Horner Homes on the west side of Chicago. In its entirety, the book is hard to read. Katlowitz’s stories are horrid; kids are coerced into joining gangs; the justice system is broken; the implications are incomprehensible. After finishing it, I do not believe it is possible for me to underestimate the hardships of the inner city. 3. The Bookseller of Kabul Norwegian journalist Asne Seierstand mixes in her historical account of the establishment of democracy in Afghanistan with a sobering and eye-opening story of misogyny and male dominance in the middle east weeks after the 9/11 attacks. Seierstand, disguising herself by wearing a burka, is able to live with a bookseller’s family in Kabul, Afghanistan, to document day-to-day life in the town. Other than being just a compelling narrative of life in a culture I am unfamiliar with, Sierestand’s book showcased the similarities in human emotion and societal power systems that are seemingly common in every culture. 4. Sully I’m going to be completely honest — I have not watched the Tom Hanks dramatization of U.S. Airways Pilot Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. The book, though, was the first one I picked up at the store because it was on sale at Target, and I was intrigued. Along with giving readers an inside look into the much-publicized story of Sully ditching his commercial plane into New York’s Hudson River — saving the lives of everyone on board — it also tells the not-as-publicized story of the pilot’s haunted state after the incident. Sully later has dreams of the same plane crashing into a building; he cannot stop reliving the moment the plane crashed into the Hudson. For the rest of his life, Sully displays anxiety and a lack of confidence in his decisions; for me, it was a powerful revelation that there is so much underneath every story of triumph. 5. My Father & Atticus Finch Those who know me well know that “To Kill a Mockingbird” is one of my favorite novels. “My Father & Atticus Finch” is the true story of attorney Foster Beck’s defense of an African-American man in court in the 1930s that foreshadowed the court scene set up in Lee’s novel. Though Lee stated before her death that her novel was not based on any story she heard before, the similarities between Beck’s story and Lee’s are undebatable. The book showed how the pervasive racism seen in Lee’s fictionalized justice system was very real during the time period. I walked away from the book feeling encouraged by Beck’s recreation of his father’s courageous and righteous stand for racial justice . YOUNG is the editor-in-chief.

Profile for Liberty Champion

Liberty Champion April 24, 2018  

Liberty Champion April 24, 2018  

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