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The goal of automation and exportation is not shiftless inaction, but complexity . As a species, we have built cities and crafted stories, developed cultures and formulated laws, probed the recesses of science, and are attempting to explore the stars. This is not because our brain itself is uniquely superior – its evolutionary and functional similarity to other intelligent species is striking – but because our unique trait is to supplement our bodies and brains with layer upon layer of external assistance. We have a depth, breadth and permanence of mental and physical capability that no other animal approaches. Humans are unique because we are complex, and we are complex because we are the beast that automates.

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Antone Martinho-Truswell

is a researcher in the department of zoology at the University of Oxford. His current work is focused on how birds learn concepts and process information.

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Idea /

Sabine Hossenfelder

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H2020-EU.1.1. - EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC)

Evolving Program Improvement Collaborators

2017-10-01 2022-09-30, ongoing project

Total cost:

EUR 2 159 035

EU contribution:

EUR 2 159 035

Coordinated in:

United Kingdom

Topic(s):

ERC-2016-ADG - ERC Advanced Grant

Call for proposal:

ERC-2016-ADG See other projects for this call

Funding scheme:

ERC-ADG - Advanced Grant
EPIC will automatically construct Evolutionary Program Improvement Collaborators (called Epi-Collaborators) that suggest code changes that improve software according to multiple functional and non-functional objectives. The Epi-Collaborator suggestions will include transplantation of code from a donor system to a host, grafting of entirely new features `grown' (evolved) by the Epi-Collaborator, and identification and optimisation of tuneable `deep' parameters (that were prev…

EPIC will automatically construct Evolutionary Program Improvement Collaborators (called Epi-Collaborators) that suggest code changes that improve software according to multiple functional and non-functional objectives. The Epi-Collaborator suggestions will include transplantation of code from a donor system to a host, grafting of entirely new features `grown' (evolved) by the Epi-Collaborator, and identification and optimisation of tuneable `deep' parameters (that were previously unexposed and therefore unexploited).A key feature of the EPIC approach is that all of these suggestions will be underpinned by automatically-constructed quantitative evidence that justifies, explains and documents improvements. EPIC aims to introduce a new way of developing software, as a collaboration between human and machine, exploiting the complementary strengths of each; the human has domain and contextual insights, while the machine has the ability to intelligently search large search spaces. The EPIC approach directly tackles the emergent challenges of multiplicity: optimising for multiple competing and conflicting objectives and platforms with multiple software versions.Keywords:Search Based Software Engineering (SBSE),Evolutionary Computing,Software Testing,Genetic Algorithms,Genetic Programming.

Related Information not available

Deliverables not available

Publications not available

The White House and the president’s personal attorneys declined to comment. Representatives for Jimenez, the former CEO, did not respond to a request for comment.

In a letter to employees in May after news of the agreement with Cohen became public, current Novartis CEO Vasant Narasimhan wrote that the company “made a mistake” in working with the longtime Trump insider but maintained that its contact with Cohen was brief and inconsequential.

Executives held only a single meeting with Cohen, the company said, before they realized the relationship would prove unhelpful and lamented that they were obligated under their contract to pay out the $1.2 million in fees they owed him. Cohen never lobbied the administration on behalf of Novartis, former CEO Jimenez told Bloomberg and Forbes , and he never provided access to the Trump administration.

“Michael Cohen was somebody who was introduced to us, and he was unknown to us, but he was said to be somebody who could help,” Jimenez said in May. “After my team met with him individually, it was clear that he oversold his abilities.”

The newly disclosed emails show Cohen had multiple contacts with Jimenez on substantive matters, including federal drug pricing policy, over the course of six months.

In June 2017, Jimenez, replying to a request from Cohen, sent an email containing a six-point plan for the Trump administration entitled “Drug Pricing Cost Initiatives. In their response to the senators, Novartis said Cohen told Jimenez at the time that a "friend with experience in the pharmaceutical industry" was preparing ideas for a discussion with Trump administration officials.

Cohen responded that “the information you provided was a great beginning. I am expecting to receive in a few days their version and will scan to you under privileged and confidential communication.”

Novartis wrote in their letter to the Senate that Cohen "never told Mr. Jimenez the name of his friend or any other person his friend was working with." Novartis also said the discussion of drug policy was not part of their consulting agreement, but rather a discussion held as “a courtesy.”

Democrats claim several of those points were similar to proposals included in a report Trump released in May 2018 outlining the administration’s priorities on addressing the cost of prescription drugs, but it is unclear whether they were drawn from the company’s six-point plan -- a list including cost-lowering initiatives Novartis and other pharmaceutical companies had advocated for publicly.

According to Bryson Morgan, a Washington attorney who served as Investigative Counsel at the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics, if Cohen made contact with President Trump or other federal officials, he would have been required to register as a lobbyist.

“That’s lobbying,” he said. “It’s the public’s right to know who is trying to influence the government, and through what means, and for what compensation. It’s an important mechanism for the public being able to hold their public officials accountable.”

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