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This Happened

This Happened — October 18: Jean-Claude Van Damme Born

Jean-Claude Van Damme, Belgian martial artist and actor, was born on this day in 1960.

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Who is John-Claude Van Damme?

Jean-Claude Van Damme, born in Sint-Agatha-Berchem, Brussels, Belgium, is a renowned actor and martial artist known for his contributions to the action film genre. Van Damme's breakthrough came with the film "Bloodsport" (1988), and then he gained further fame with movies like "Kickboxer" (1989), "Double Impact" (1991), and "Street Fighter" (1994), solidifying his status as a martial arts and action film icon.

What is John-Claude Van Damme's martial arts training?

Van Damme began studying Shotokan karate at a young age and eventually earned a black belt. He later trained in kickboxing and became a professional fighter, amassing a record of 18 wins (all by knockout) and 1 loss. His martial arts skills and background greatly contributed to his action movie career.

What is the "Van Damme Split" and why is it famous?

The "Van Damme Split" is a signature move associated with Jean-Claude Van Damme. In this iconic display of flexibility, he performs a full split with each leg stretched out while standing. He famously performed this split between two moving trucks in a Volvo commercial, which went viral on the internet.

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AI And War: Inside The Pentagon's $1.8 Billion Bet On Artificial Intelligence

Putting the latest AI breakthroughs at the service of national security raises major practical and ethical questions for the Pentagon.

Photo of a drone on the tarmac during a military exercise near Vícenice, in the Czech Republic

Drone on the tarmac during a military exercise near Vícenice, in the Czech Republic

Sarah Scoles

Number 4 Hamilton Place is a be-columned building in central London, home to the Royal Aeronautical Society and four floors of event space. In May, the early 20th-century Edwardian townhouse hosted a decidedly more modern meeting: Defense officials, contractors, and academics from around the world gathered to discuss the future of military air and space technology.

Things soon went awry. At that conference, Tucker Hamilton, chief of AI test and operations for the United States Air Force, seemed to describe a disturbing simulation in which an AI-enabled drone had been tasked with taking down missile sites. But when a human operator started interfering with that objective, he said, the drone killed its operator, and cut the communications system.

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