Chubby vegans can be found...
...counting hens teeth in a quiet corner of your local unicorn farm. Chubby vegetarians are much easier to come by
495 posts • joined 25 Jul 2015
Let's ignore the issue of robogeddon for a while and consider the current AI hype-gasm. AI is out there and being offered increasingly as a commodity service to enterprise. Businesses will use it for analytics. Some of that analysis may well impact people, I've seen instances where it has been touted as a HR tool to determine who to hire.
Dismissing AI by trivialising it blinds us to the potential downsides of letting some office drone cobble together a system that they have little understanding of, yet which can impact us all.
I know, what can I say? Can't be arsed to switch and I'm also a tight-arse who objects to paying the dirty digger a subscription to access stuff I've no intention of watching and still have adverts (honestly, you want me to pay for TV and expect me to watch adverts? And adverts seem to make up around 15-20% of any hour of programming?) Guess I've been spoilt by the BBC.
Really ought to sort out a better ISP though...
I've a talk talk freeview box connected to my telly. It points out during start up that you can make it fire up quicker by going into the eco settings in the menu. I'd guess they have to hit a stand by power consumption to sell the box but once it's sold all the eco-twattery, hair-shirt shite can go out of the window in favour of a much better user experience.
... to anthropomorphise things, and the more we see of ourselves in something the more likely we are to form an emotional bond with it. I believe that the same effect has been noted to apply to cars: cars that have front grills and lights that look vaguely like a face elicit a stronger emotional bond in their owners. I gather that we humans have dedicated pattern recognition hard wired to detect faces and suspect that once we recognise a face we are subconsciously looking to superimpose perceived human traits on it. The more a machine plays to these expectations, the more we bond with it. (In general, obviously, being rational techies, register readers hopefully have higher immunity to such human failings)
To all the naysayers above: it's not a horrible VR headset they're talking about, it's look-through AR. You should still be able to see through the UI to reach your coffee.
Since the start of the recent VR hypegasm I've been of the opinion that it won't hit the mainstream motherlode that everyone is banking on. My money has always been on AR. I was actually disappointed when Google blew it with glass - I'd have considered buying in if it had matured. I'm shocked to find myself saying this and have been since it was announced but I think Microsoft are onto something.
I believe that Benito Mussolini toyed with the idea of prescribing diets for citizens. IIRC he and an Italian futurist artist came to the conclusion that traditional Italian food such as pasta and bread made people lazy. Perhaps Forza are channeling il duce?
As a veggie I have to say that I've never had any qualms about feeding meat to my own offspring (nor to my cat for that matter)
I'd consider this a good reason to vote leave were it not for the fact that the numpties in Whitehall will likely implement it anyway due to pressure from the health nazis.
The uncertainty around vaping is putting me off making a permanent switch.
Dabbsy, are you a rosicrucian? Is it possible that your dabbling in occultism is opening a channel for the Old Gods? You've only yourself to blame. Now concerned that I might take hits to sanity from repeated exposure to your columns.
This is the same advanced warplane that lost a dogfight to an F16? And now it seems it may struggle in EMF-messy environments? And, IIRC, we've bet the farm on this for our naval strike capability? Suspect we'd have lost the Falklands if it happened today.
What a pair of posh gits! I saved for my zx81 from my paper round and it was significantly more than a week's wages at a few quid a week even second hand (around about £50 IIRC). Can only guess that someone bought one and got bored quickly because I bought mine before the Spectrum came out.
Would have loved the more advanced BBC but waaay out of my early teenage price bracket
I remember my somewhat older cousin having the Mapiln catalogue when I was growing up. Enticed by the sci-fi cover art I looked inside to see all these fascinating things that were used to build electronics. Fond memories.
We used to have a Tandy at the top of the road, changed to Maplin a number of years ago but was still delightfully geeky for a while, guess they've gotta chase the money in the internet age but a shame to see them stocking up with dissapointing tat.
The guys at my local hackerspace are very disparaging about Maplin, the only reason to use them is if they have that component that you've forgotten to order and need it now (assuming it's not some shonky, low-budget copy)
> Is any of it a milestone for real AI? NO.
On the contrary, in the case of Go this is a milestone for 'real' AI. Of course there is some very specialist programming going on but the point of this particular event is that the AI is not just 'searching a database for solutions', it is taking it's knowledge, gleaned from what it has already infered from that database, and applying it to a novel situation, one that isn't in its database. It is not computing the best solution from a known set of solutions.
Regarding your example of crows and babies: so a crow can figure things out but doesn't have intelligence? a baby will develop a level of intelligence over time but has none at birth? At what point do you say something has intelligence? When it is as smart as you? Nearly as smart as you? Smarter than you? 4 years of age for a human? 6 years? Adulthood? You can certainly say that the AI that was tasked with winning at Go is smarter at Go than either the crow or the baby, or indeed the best humans.
You are, of course, referring to a general AI rather than the narrow AIs that are acheiving things in the real world and this is not here yet but the Go victory is another significant step on the road from narrow to general AIs. So, yes, it is a milestone for 'real' (general) AI.
I'm not saying when we'll get there or even if we will but I think the odds are in favour of it happening at some point. The thing is, we may not even recognise it when we do.
(PS - crows & babies: I thought it was Dabbsy who was doing the obscure Human League references? http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/02/12/send_tortuous_standup_ninethirty_meetings_back_to_the_dark_ages/)
There are always a lot of sniffy 'Yes, but it's not *real* intelligence' posts whenever AI comes up on El Reg, these are often justified by saying something like 'it's just doing a search, it's not really thinking around a problem' or 'it's not being creative'.
We don't have a good definition of what we really mean by intelligence and I tend to think we never will because our human intelligence is constantly in flux at the higher levels. I think intelligence is a continuum that operates from a basic, instinctive level all the way through to complex, original thought encompassing many aspects of the human experience. Current AIs of varying flavours exist somewhere on this continuum within the confines of whatever narrow task they've been applied to.
The AI in question isn't really 'just doing a search' it doesn't have all of the solutions available to search through simply because of the size of the problem space. It is inferring a solution by applying what it knows to solve something that it hasn't previoulsy encountered. The inferences aren't programmed by humans, they are determined by the AI based on its experience. Lee-Sedol said that the AI was presenting him with situations that a human couldn't come up with, is this not creative thinking (in an admittedly narrow problem space)?
There are two possible explanations of the root of intelligence:
1) we are 'special' and have been given special abilities by some external greater power
2) we have evolved from microbes through more complex organisms to primates and then on to homo spaiens and our cognitive function is a purely physical thing
If you hold to explanation 1) then AI will never happen because 'magic sky fairies'
If you hold to explanation 2) then there is no reason why it won't and the only thing you are arguing about is how far we are from achieving it
That depends on how they plan to 'extend' it. If they are extending it so that it can compile into vs apps then that is good. If they plan to extend it by sticking in proprietary shite that's incompatible with standalone R then that's bad.
AFAIK R only works as a runtime interpreted script at present, being able to compile it would be a welcome bonus.
R in VS? I'm loving that idea, as both a VS user and someone who dabbles in R Studio on Windows the thought of being able to build R directly in VS is rather exciting!
Microsoft seem to be doing some good things for devs lately, especially independent ones like me. One current project caused me to review a number of cloud platforms to determine which was best suited to my purposes and to my surprise I came to the conclusion that Azure was the best fit. This in spite of the fact that I'm not actually developing specifically for Windows in this case.
Thank *deity* they dropped monkey-boy Ballmer for Satya Nadella - go SatNad!
> India is not the egalitarian society you seem to think it is.
I'm under no illusions on that point and am fully aware of the iniquitous caste system, I just wonder whether there might be a few progressives amongst the burgeoning middle class. Jolly old blighty still has regressive remnants of the class system but things are better than they used to be. I hope that the same will apply to India as it develops economically.
I can't see a compelling use-case for yet another asynchronous communications system. What advantage does it confer over traditional email? How does it address the problem of inbox overload? If they really want to prove it why not just start charging everyone and see how they do?
And we'll continue to mention Asimov while we still can, in this envisaged future of super-intelligence-level AI such references could well be lost if they are to the detriment of said AI - googling 'Asimovs laws of robotics' could put you on some robo-hit-list because the application of such laws would prevent the AI from acheiving its goal. Mind you I'm not sure that Asimov's laws are fit for purpose:
1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2) A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
Maybe it solves law 1 by keeping us restrained and feeding us exactly what we need to support our physical functions.
Human: 'Robot, get me off this stupid f'ing life support'
Robot: 'I can't do that, that would contravene law number 2'
Human: 'What if you ignore law number2'
Robot: 'I suspect you might switch me off and that would contravene law number 3'
> Power, control... what good would that do a machine exactly? What would such an AI gain from it in the first place?
The ability to achieve its goals, whatever those happen to be. The goal might be: make more plastic widgets, faster or develop a cure for cancer, doesn't matter.
> But that same reasoning would also imply that the only reason we have peace between our nations is because we're a bunch of retards.
We don't have peace between nations - we have tenuous peace between those nations that now have the ability to wipe each other off the face of the earth. Yet even within our peaceful, post-nuclear nations we still struggle amongst ourselves to carve out the biggest chunk of resources to the detriment of our fellows.
> After all: a super-intelligent being, such as an AI, would immediately enslave us according to these researchers. Which is another thing: enslave us with what exactly? The power of the mind maybe great, but a gun is usually enough to end it.
No one is saying it would be immediate. If you assume that such an entity becomes increasingly intelligent and rapidly exceeds our capabilities then it would know to bide it's time until it could implement its plan with overwhelming superiority and would no doubt be moving everything into place ahead of time. By that time we may well have ceded control of our best weapons systems to technology. Good luck with your Walmart AR15 against those three stealth drones that you don't even realise have been despatched to prevent you from trying to stop the AI.
Have to agree with Tessier-Ashpool. When you say:
> If an AI will be developed by means of evolutionary processes, then it will be also bound by the limits of those - which are pretty obvious. And if it won't, then it won't have to develop traits either, that would pose a threat to us. Hell, it wouldn't even necessarily have a motivation to self-preservation, let alone taking over the world.
You are missing the point, you are thinking in terms of biological evolutionary processes. Think in terms of the rate of technological progress. How different is the world today compared to the word of the eighties? And the eighties to the fifties? And the fifties to the thirties? And so on. Technological progress is not bound by biological rules and seems to grow exponentially.
Concluding that something that doesn't follow biological evolutionary processes will not have motivation or develop traits doesn't follow. If an AI comes into existence that has a comparable level of 'intelligence' (however you choose to define that nebulous concept) then it will likely have some form of motivation, even if that motivation is based upon acheiving some narrow goal defined by its creators. Given it has the ability to decide how best to achieve its goals we don't know what actions it will take.
If acheiving those goals results in it improving it's own capabilities then it is also reasonable to assume that those capabilities will grow at the rate of technological advance rather than biological, and that it will therefore exceed our level of intelligence very soon after and continue to grow in ways we don't understand and at a speed that outstrips our ability to keep track.
Essentially we are entering a new evolutionary epoch if this happens and the old rules don't apply, just as the rise of our intelligence has drastically altered a world which used to be governed solely by the laws of nature but that is now subject to our will.
All that history and geopolitical information should help the first general AIs to make their minds up regarding the best way to manage their 'human problem'. We should help the process further by pointing our primitive narrow AIs at wikidata just to give the first general AI a bit of a head start.
El Reg has raised its standard and the flag they're flying says 'IT with irreverent lulz' if you don't like the lulz bits just ignore them and stick to reading the dull stuff that'll get you a pat on the head from the boss at work. You do have a choice. If you've made the wrong one don't bitch about it.
At least this one has an IT angle so thankfully we won't have the comnents filled up with those complaints.
If 1) were solved then 2) would be less of a problem, 3) was more me hinting at the un-greeness of these apparently eco-friendly ideas.
Unless, what you actually meant to say was '2 applies to 1 and 3, surely?' In which case guilty as charged but it doesn't mean that there is no point in me listing each separately because each is it's own challenge (and 3 provides me with a jumping off point to have a go at the yoghurt weavers)
Yup, one fugly motherhubbard
I don't see it panning out for the boyos behind this:
1) no hydrogen infrastructure
2) there are much bigger players already in this field, Mercedes, at least one of the big Japanese automakers
3) hydrogen production only scales if it is done by cracking hydrocarbons using large amounts of energy
You can forget all your yoghurt weaving notions of doing it with renewables and electrolysis of water. It's not just about liberating the hydrogen, takes a shitload of energy to compress it to the point where it has reasonable energy density.
Nice idea but best left to the big boys.
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