"just pattern matching"
In other words, "all you have to do is..." [recreate the results of 500 million years of brain evolution]
942 posts • joined 31 Oct 2010
"just pattern matching"
In other words, "all you have to do is..." [recreate the results of 500 million years of brain evolution]
My dream of AI would be a computer system that could listen to a meeting through one or more microphones. Shortly after the end of the meeting it would email a coherent set of minutes to everybody concerned.
It will have established who was present and which other people should receive the minutes. It will have taken remarks that were made in the "wrong" part of the meeting and put them into the correct section. It will present the pros and cons for each proposal rather than a verbatim rendering of each speaker.
I wait, patiently but with little expectation.
I have a theory that the various underground factories built during WW2 were later turned to manufacturing artificial wine. That is where all the German wine comes from, distributed through pipelines around Europe and beyond. Sometimes oil, sometimes wine, sometimes natural gas; there may be problems during the switch from one to another.
All the pictures of vineyards and happy peasants are just a sales puff by the wine industry.
The reason I like CDs is that the ones in ISO9660 or Joliet formats cannot be written to, unlike USB sticks. So having created them free from viruses, that is how they stay.
I don't see anything for CDs/DVDs in the pictures or in the report.
I use "live CDs" for online banking, and to restore computers to a non-virus state.
Back in the 1970s I was asked to make a PDP11 system go faster. It was running DEC's real time OS, viz RSX11. The critical part of the program needed to make a lot of OS calls. I arranged for that region of the program to be mapped into kernel space (using a 'connect to interrupt' facility) and got my speedup. The cost was a section of high-risk code.
There is a reason why interrupts used to return control to the kernel. It may be that a disk transfer has finished, thus allowing some more important program to resume. In more general terms, the context has changed and the system should adjust, particularly if several programs are running. The PDP11 could respond to interrupts within microseconds, perhaps to capture volatile data from fleeting registers on special hardware; but it could be a long time returning to the point of interrupt.
Forget the notebook and pencil. The modern journalist just phones the story back to a robot at base. The robot has a limited understanding of natural language, English, German, or any other; so any shortcoming of language in the journalist is masked.
Robots' English makes lots of mistakes with homophones, probably because the meaning escapes them.
99 percent of all statistics are concocted to sell something or to insult somebody.
E.g. mean and standard deviation for postal area SW1, but not for Mr/Mrs X of SW1A 0AA.
The national anti-spy agencies would disagree with that assertion.
But the noise to signal ratio is enormously bigger.
@AC - "He later became a Professor of Maths."
This is the old fallacy of arguing from individual cases rather than statistics. There are some 600,000 little darlings entering the school system each year. If we are to run a generally successful policy at reasonable cost we have to consider the statistics.
Some 100,000 children will have an IQ greater than 115, and similar number an IQ of less than 85, in accordance with a near-Gaussian distribution with mean 100 and standard deviation 15. These are the bright and the weak streams I identified in my initial comment. The bright ones will, at school, in their careers, and as grumpy old pensioners, have the ability to abstract from the current facts to the underlying ideas. I saw that repeatedly in my work colleagues. They need the kind of schooling that develops that ability.
The present system is doing a disservice to the midstream children: it holds them back because it pretends that the weak ones can match the midstream. It also fails to give the weak ones an education that will bring them satisfaction and make them supportive citizens.
As other commenters have noted, some children needed to be reclassified at, say, 13+. The truth remains that the vast majority of children were correctly assigned by the 11+. Nowadays there is so much testing in schools that it should be straightforward to arrange transfers at 13+. Even in my marvellous new scheme there will be borderline cases who will need re-assessment in due course.
I wrote "bright" rather than "academically bright" because being bright correlates with ability in a wide range of activities. My sister, when schoolteaching, once made the weekly football game a contest between the brighter ones and the others. The bright team did well.
See also the comment by ... that the best generalists are PhD level physicists and astronomers.
The problem is as much in the schools as in the universities. The schoolteaching establishment (aka "the blob") seems wedded to the idea that any child can thrive academically if so encouraged; and so we can send them all to comprehensive schools.
You would think that schoolteachers would have learned what all employers know: that some people are brighter than others and no amount of training will alter that.
We need to return to selective education, with some differences from the past. We need a three-way division of schools for the bright (top 17%), the midstream (67%), and the weak (16%). This must be determined by the ability of the child rather than the wealth of the parents. Then the midstream could be taught far more effectively than they are now; and the same applies to the other two streams.
Streaming within one school will not work because of the numbers. If 100 random pupils are divided into three classes, the top class will be about half full of those not really suited to education for the bright. So the schools must be streamed, not the pupils.
I have had problems in the past with Barclays online banking, when my browser has claimed there was an issue with certificates. I try again next day, no problems reported. Barclays have said to me, "No, we don't have those problems. Send us a screenshot if it happens again."
"...debugging code the developers forgot to remove from production models."
I suspect this was the cause of the Volkswagen diesel commotion. Then the software passed a test brilliantly. After that, Management said to Resources: "You are not going to be difficult about this, are you?"
It does look as though there are too many "security consultants" in this business, all scraping the barrel for edge cases they can use to make publicity and boost their business.
Perhaps they should return to writing real programs.
Like an ancient
mariner programmer, I long for the simplicity
of the old mouse with buttons.
I have read that the Allies cut German cables in WW2 to force them to use radio, which was much easier to tap.
And in WW1 Britain and Germany cut many opposing cables.
At least some commenters here say we should expect higher standards from MPs than from ordinary employees. But few seem to admit that the domain parliament.uk might be subject to special attack. Perhaps initially not against a specific person, just an exercise to gain a few future hostages. That is the way companies are hacked, after all.
I use Linux on a CD for banking. Much harder to corrupt a CD than a stick.
But how many PPE graduates know what sells, and how to create new things that sell?
More seriously, only a small proportion of innovative developments will succeed. The trick is to know when to give up on a project.
Tosh has not yet actually "rustled up" the money. They plan to sell shares, but who is going to buy?
When the British Empire came to an end in Africa in the 1960s, most of the British settlers returned to Britain. A few, however, came to terms with the locals and stayed on as citizens of the new states.
There is an analogous problem with Russian people still living in Estonia and the other Baltic states. To which state are they loyal? They should follow the British example.
Years ago, America's Finest News Source, aka The Onion, reported that Microsoft had patented the numerals 0 and 1.
The biggest disease is that which makes people blind to the value of pure science. Yes, let us cure that one!
Surely Reg readers know that 1 Astronomical Unit (AU) is the recognised term for Earth-Sun distance?
There is also Abiword, there for free.
You can prepare a Word document if you are not too fussed about themes and styles. Then the real weirdos can export it to Latex or Docbook. Its Docbook output is much more reliable that that of OO/LO.
I have always assumed that letting Google see anything is equivalent to handing it to US Intelligence.
@ "Somethings not quite right"
I would not plug it into my "main computer". But I have others, and can wipe them clean again.
The money won't come from anywhere until the beancounters' own machines are hacked. Why should they listen to what they regard as unfounded claims designed to grab more of the budget?
Cats are always plotting. If not to kill you, then to do something else.
It looks as though Appleby need some advice from Sir Humphrey.
"Social media, by grown-ups"
All computer freaks are nerds. Even me, a little bit.
"the customer wants to add 3-d shadows to the text on the on screen menus"
I guess that's the time to hand it over to the B team.
I doubt that a neuron is 'just a simple logic gate'. Even a bacterial cell, without a nucleus, embodies feedback mechanisms without which it would not survive. Cells with a nucleus, including neurons, are much more complicated than bacteria.
I therefore believe that until we understand the whole evolutionary history of cells and brains we will not properly understand how the brain works. Current AI will, I expect, produce useful machines and some lessons, but not that full understanding.
I use both MS Office and Libre Office -- the latter on numerous "other computers" that I own. I use MS Office only on my "main" machine.
The problems arise, as Lysenko notes, when documents have to be exchanged between different "Offices" on a regular basis. A one-off exercise in dealing with minor niggles is bearable, but not time and again, every day.
One other frustration is that OCR packages can pass their results directly into MS Word but not, as far as I know, into Libre Word.
I do wonder how they manage in Germany, where some government entities use Linux while most remain with Microsoft. Perhaps a Reg reader could let us know.
We need an IP v7, bigger than 32-bit but compatible with v4.
It was a huge mistake by the people who imposed v6 to ignore compatibility issues, i.e. to ignore real users.
V4 was a work of genius. Everything since then has been B-team at best, student project at worst. How many people have heard of v5?
The Internet is to tell the plebs what is what, not to enable them to have a voice.
1. Thank you for a useful run-down, so to speak, of the Tories.
2. "Nicky Morgan. Please"? I think/hope you mean "Nicky Morgan. Gulp!"
3. Johnson is the one with brain power. But look at British history: it took the pressure of a war that we had been losing to get Lloyd George and Winston Churchill as prime minister, because many people opposed them. If Johnson is a successful foreign minister the situation that would get him into no. 10 will not arise.
Politics is the art of the possible, except when it is impossible, which takes a little longer.
These 'vectors' remind me of Hilbert space: infinite-dimensioned, with many imaginary components.
My record for downvotes is about 40, on a totally different topic.
I, too, quite like the ribbon. Have an upvote.
The mile is an excellent base unit. In this modern world, it should be divided into 65536 new inches, as opposed to 63,360 old inches. Then a new foot is 16 new inches, and a new rod/pole/perch is 16 new feet. A furlong is one eighth of a mile (512 new feet), and a cricket pitch is one tenth of a furlong at 51.2 new feet.
What could be simpler?
In England there used to be a legal doctrine, in Latin, to the effect that the law does not deal with trifles. So if you fiddled the raffle at the tennis club, MI5 are not interested in that particular misdeed, although it would tell them something about you. Nor can they conceivably be directly interested in the average nutjob opinions that infest the wibbly wobbly web. That is why they never get further than the surveillance computer systems. But in this wicked world, the authorities have to keep watch, even if the moaners keep moaning.
Unfortunately the litigious attitudes of the USA have spread to England (the case of Scotland must be discussed separately) and so many legal cases today would have been regarded as trifling in times past.
Bring back the concept of trifle, it is so good for all of us. And let the USA take note.
WTF is 8008135? It is meaningless to the average Brit.
It is a pity that programmers can't just get it right. You would think that with all the fancy tools they now have, which us oldies did not, it would be easier to get it right. Back in the days of VMS or George 3 we did not need updates every month.
Heaven help us when our cars will have to get monthly software updates. Perhaps that is a cunning plan by the public transport freaks to push us out of our cars.
Well said, Dr Syntax.
For over 60 years, since the famous experiment by Miller, people have been trying to "put it together".
Frankly, they have got nowhere. In the book "Genetic Takeover" (Cairns-Smith, 1982) he, as an experienced chemist, points out that an uncontrolled reaction between organic chemicals just yields a filthy tarry mess. None of the experimental work has shown how precisely constructed long molecular chains can be assembled, or how to produce the pure stereochemical L or D isomers needed as a starting point.
Cairns-Smith proposed that things began with clay, which would answer the L/D question and others, and then organic molecules became associated and eventually took over. This suggestion is not accepted these days - I assume there are good reasons but I am not familiar with them.
There are other suggestions that life began as sea water, with organic contaminants, penetrated cracks in the earth's crust and interacted with hot silicate minerals.
Yes, there are experiments that should be done; but I suggest they need to be looking for the kind of two-stage origins of life mentioned above.
The 1789 constitutional convention was the scene of many very experienced politicians. Sometimes I, as a Brit, suspect they gave the US a democratic constitution because they distrusted the voters less than they distrusted each other.
WTF - President Zuck?
“the real challenge is getting society to become more sharing either by allowing others to use their cars or through a third party mobility plan”.
No! The real challenge is to get those busybodies to respect democracy when it comes from ordinary more or less selfish people.
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