Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 16th 2015 Contents B6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, April 16, 2015
The Division of Finance and Enterprise Development, Tobago House of Assembly is inviting suit-
ably experienced and qualified candidates to apply for the position of Corporate Secretary in the
Office of the Secretary for Finance and Enterprise Development. The candidate will provide sup-
port to the Division's seven special purpose entities and the Office of the Secretary. The Corporate
Secretary is required to:
o Effectively manage the official records and minutes of Board of Directors and Committee meetings.
o Schedule Board and Committee meetings, ensuring that documents for same are properly
compiled, packaged and forwarded to Directors prior to the relevant meetings.
o Maintain statutory books under the Companies Act including Registers of members, directors,
shares, and file relevant requirements with the Registrar of Companies.
o Handle correspondence, collate information and ensure decisions made are communicated to
the relevant company stakeholders.
o Review contracts, deeds, memoranda and other instruments binding on the Company, liaise
with the legal practitioner retained for oversight of the Company's legal business and keep
custody of the Company's Seal.
o Positively influence the activities and effectiveness of the Boards and Committees by providing
relevant solutions, resources, information and communications as appropriate.
o A degree in law, accounting or a related discipline.
o A sound knowledge of accounting principles with a working appreciation of International
Financial Reporting Standards.
o A minimum of three (3) years' experience evidenced by a practical knowledge of Board
operations and corporate governance principles.
o Certification from the Institute of Charted Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) will be an asset.
We re sitting on the Paris
metro looking at the French peo-
ple s mobile phones.
"They re not as advanced, are
they?" we say, disparagingly.
And it s true. French digital
technology seems to lag behind
the UK by some way. Web sites
are terribly designed and very un-
user friendly. And the French
themselves seem less digitally inclined,
behaviourally speaking. Of the people
we e-mailed asking to see their apart-
ments prior to our trip, only some have
responded. The others seem to prefer
"By the time we move back to
Trinidad there ll probably be iPhone 8
or 9, won t there?"
"In the future it ll be iFinger, you
just talk into your finger."
"Why would you pay for your fin-
"Ok, it ll be iHand," I say. "Like in
200 years it ll be a touchscreen embed-
ded in the palm of your hand that you
can scroll, swipe, send e-mails, make
It sounds far-fetched but actually
it s not.
On BBC Radio 4 the previous day I
had heard a news item discussing the
use of robots in armed combat. In wars,
basically. Robot armies are being legit-
imately discussed by military councils
and experts in artificial intelligence.
I turned the radio up in disbelief.
I ve been hearing lately the moral and
scientific debates around the use of
robots, generally: to clean your house,
wash your car, open your tin of baked
beans, walk your dog, make love to
And I ve been hearing the arguments
for and against. Even some of the inven-
tors of artificial intelligence have
expressed concerns about the potential
of these machines to, a) malfunction
and, b) develop their own sentient
thoughts (and, by extension, perform
actions which they have instigated).
It s a pretty scary thought for any-
body brought up on Arnold
Schwarzenegger films. We ve seen the
potential harm in the papers already --
like the woman in Korea who set her
robot to clean the house then had a
nap and woke up in agony to discover
the robot sucking up her hair into its
vacuum cleaner like she was a piece of
One assumes the emergency services
had no choice but to hack off her long
hair, decommission the robot and send
it to the robot scrapheap like that creepy
scene in the Will Smith film I, Robot.
But the experts on the radio weren t
discussing robot soldiers as a thing of
the future but a thing of now. America,
one expert said, is keen to use "swarms"
of robots in military situations. And
yes, I know what you re thinking:
swarm is the collective noun for wasps,
bees and locusts.
It s quite likely the US Army is already
testing these combat robots in military
exercises. Their main concern being
how the robots will interact as part of
a team. Now, if I was on that weapons
strategy committee I d be more con-
cerned about the army robots going
mental, killing their human inventors
and seizing control of the Pentagon.
"I could support robot armies, if it
meant humans don t have to die....I
mean, war is senseless so anything that
minimised human casualties can only
"Wait, wait...Have you never seen
The Terminator? Have you never seen
Terminator 2? I know you ve seen
Robocop because we watched it the
other week. Remember when they re
demonstrating the new law enforce-
ment robot and it malfunctions and
machine guns the unarmed man to
death in the boardroom of the weapons
What s genuinely disturbing about
the US (and presumably other global
military powers) developing this idea
is the inherent inequality.
Since the beginning of the human
species superior fighting ability has
been a differentiator of power and suc-
cess---whether it s who has the best
club, rock, sling shot, spears, swords,
cavalry, naval sea power, war planes,
destroyers, submarines or stealth fight-
ers.That fact is disturbing enough---that,
ultimately, power on an international
scale is derived by the ability to kill.
But throwing non-humans into the
equation is almost beyond compre-
hension, because we won t be talking
about robot armies fighting each other
on the front line while we humans get
on with our normal lives and let them
get on with it. It won t be the mirac-
ulous solution to human conflict that
it will inevitably be sold as.
The reality will be that when America
or Britain or Russia wants to invade an
Iraq or Afghanistan or Ukraine, it won t
be dropping bombs or deploying ground
troops. They could simply parachute
in 10,000 robot stormtroopers to
destroy the Iraqi army.
And imagine that coupled with soft-
"The robots have taken over the city,
sir. They ve begun killing civilian women
and children, we need to halt their
"Ok, power them down and bring
"We ve tried that, sir, but they ve
overridden the command."
"Shut them down at the source,
damn it! De-programme them!"
"We ve tried everything we can sir...
the robots aren t responding."
Carnage on an epic scale.
The rate at which the human species
is developing its thirst for technology,
this dystopia could arrive sooner than
Give me a Nokia 3330 any day.
Hasta la vista, baby.
iRobots and the
Models get their hair styled backstage at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Mexico City on Tuesday. AP PHOTO
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