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Comment: Can't Fight the Future (Score 1) 279

It might be useful to inform an admin to look at suspicious postings, especially if they can get the accuracy higher. BUT I hope no one uses such algorithms to automatically stop suspected trolls. This can only lead to unforeseen consequences and stifling of free speech (unless of course stifling is not an unforeseen consequence, but an intended one).

Many Slashdotters already complain about the Lameness-Filter, this has the potential to be a hundred times worse.

The technology will of course be developed, let us hope its impact isn’t too negative.

In a somewhat related note, have you noticed how the automated answering at phone centers is getting more aggressive keeping you from a real representative and wasting huge amounts of your time when it doesn’t know how to process your query? Even hanging up on you when your issue is not resolved. My last experience with Verizon was a nightmare in this respect last time dealing with a technical problem with our phone. The more these things can be automated, the more they will – customer friendly or not </vent spleen>

Comment: Clarification (Score 1) 210

My home computer.

To clarify. It was HR that alerted my Manager. I said the next day, but I may have been looking a few days, a week at the most, though I had probably posted inquiries the night before. It was quite sudden, unexpected, and intimidating. This was probably 5-6 years ago. As stated I am with the same company, outside this incident they have treated me well. I don't consider myself a star employee, their concern seemed more of the "Oh my gosh, we really hope you are happy here" kind. Still it caused me to stop looking. I have been coasting on my skills for several years now. I worry that should I leave this job I might find myself under-qualified for what comes next, that and that fact I am well over 50. So yes, I have let fear rule me in this instance. For those who would fault me for this, I am a family man, and at this stage in my life security and stability are greatly valued.,

Comment: Hits Home (Score 4, Interesting) 210

This type of monitoring makes me nervous.

I have a job where a few years ago I looked at some job opportunities on a Job Site. The very next day my manager came to me asking if I was happy with my job, which in general I was, but I was unnerved that they knew I was looking at the other options. I suspect they used a honey pot job listing. I decided my job security at that time was more important than looking for other opportunities so I stopped looking altogether. If I was to job hunt to today I would do so much more surreptitiously and under a pseudonym, at least initially.

I am well compensated at my job, but dislike the idea that they are aware of my activities outside of work.

Comment: Autonomous Cars are Coming, Deal with It (Score 2) 113

by DumbSwede (#49416259) Attached to: Hyundai To Release "Semi-Autonomous" Car This Year

The journey to autonomous vehicles will probably be bumpy. Yes there will be lawsuits, yes sometimes the technology will misperform. It is possible that by relieving the driver of too many duties you encourage complacence that causes more accidents (or at least accidents to occur at times other than they would have, even if others are avoided).

Likely how to deal with distracted semi-autonomous operators will evolve quickly.

I have a neighbor with early onset Parkinson's disease, it would seem a good idea for his driving to have some sort of semi-autonomous assistance (yes he is still driving). How about the elderly? It is all fine and good to be indignant about the possible threat these vehicles pose (during a relatively short adoption period). But what about for those whose independence hinges on this sort of assist?

Seems there are many who forbid any period of transition with a zero tolerance policy for any mishaps regardless of how many lives might be saved.

I also assume the major auto makers who will be rolling these things out have lots a legal council and are being best advised on how to do so without being sued into bankruptcy after the first accident. The future is autonomous vehicles and the only way to be around 10 years from now as a car manufacturer is to get on the bandwagon early – despite the litigation risks.

Comment: JIT Knowledge (Score 1) 227

by DumbSwede (#49392733) Attached to: Google 'Makes People Think They Are Smarter Than They Are'

I lightly skimmed TFA, and it appears they are concerned with how well we explain/use what we have found as an answer on the internet.

I think this is an oversimplification. I use to read books on various computer languages and could program in them sufficiently before the internet (yes I’m that old). Now I don’t learn languages as deeply for various infrequently used constructs, but look them up as needed.

Now here is the thing -- once I have used a quickly found piece of knowledge on the internet, I then nearly as quickly discard it. Does it matter as long as I applied the knowledge as needed? I might research a topic, come to some insight, then discard the steps of coming to the insight, because I realize I could recreate my steps again more efficiently should the need arise than commit volumes of information to memory. What I now remember is not the facts, but the steps needed to find the facts.

It may be that in areas where I lack expertise I assign a probability that should the need arise I could get some answer. Is that the same as overestimating my knowledge? This probability assignment includes shades of gray and that realization that a search might return wildly different answers from various sources, for instance if I’m looking up something on foreign policy decisions. This last example actually forces me to keep my knowledge more fluid. I constantly reevaluate my positions as new information comes to light, instead of defending to the death my old hard won knowledge and opinions.

Yes there may be some detrimental effects to relying on the internet augment our intelligence, say for those that have to write technical manuals for instance. But there are also benefits to be had. Sort of like JIT (Just in Time) manufacturing, we now have JIT knowledge.

Comment: Guilty Pleasure (Score 2) 53

by DumbSwede (#49388105) Attached to: Madman: Proximity To Black Hole "Not a Big Deal"

Despite the outcry of many, I find this year’s April 1st theme enjoyable. Black Hole is one of those films that is bad on many levels and yet still an enjoyable viewing experience. Perhaps it is just the strange repetitive Yah-Yah-Yah-Yaaaaah-da-da-da background music that makes it so borderline creepy and memorable -- very un-Disney like.

It gets all weird and religiously allegorical at the end while at the same time paying an homage to 2001 a Space Odyssey’s final scenes. I usually just quit insisting the ending make any kind of scientific sense and just accept it as a Deus Ex Machina.

To be honest, I was a bit surprised that it apparently it must be considered essential for nerd viewing (else it wouldn’t be skewered in this year's collection). Still hoping for a clever Blade Runner entry.

Comment: Fails to really make its point (Score 1) 397

by DumbSwede (#49379527) Attached to: Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous

I started to read TFA, but it started to ramble and loose focus. Something, blah, blah, critical thinking, something, something, poor standing on international tests in the STEM fields – it seems to whiplash back and forth contradicting itself.

Teaching is hard. Sure education needs to be well rounded.
That said, STEM will be more and more important going forward for the majority wanting a good paying job. Guess that sucks for the humanities majors. Life’s not fair sometimes. I suspect we can put an emphasis on STEM, give them a well rounded education that includes some humanities, like, oh I don’t know, like EVERY Bachelor of Science degree I know of. I doubt very much our nation will suffer a lack of critically needed non-STEM majors. From what I hear non-STEM fields have stagnant wages – so de-emphasizing them should increase wages for those that really wish to peruse these as their passion.

Comment: Re:Morality Framework UNNEEDED (Score 1) 177

by DumbSwede (#49349635) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

Ahhh, but you are looking at the one situation in isolation. The moral thing to do is everyone hand over the driving to the machines as that will save the greatest number of lives in the long run. By being unwilling to hand the decision to a machine you are choosing to kill a greater number of humans in practice on average – just so you can exercise the moral decision in some outlier. If self-driving cars were only as good as, or even possibly just a little better than us at driving, I might side with you, but likely they will be orders of magnitude better.

BTW I meant “former” not “latter” in my first post.

Comment: Morality Framework UNNEEDED (Score 1) 177

by DumbSwede (#49348401) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

Why this obsession with moral reasoning on the part of the car? If using self-driving cars are in 10x fewer accidents than human driven cars, why the requirement to act morally in the few accidents they do have. And it isn’t as if the morality is completely missing, it is implicit in not trying to to hit objects, be they human or otherwise. Sure try to detect which are objects are human and avoid them at great cost, but deciding which human to hit in highly unlikely situations seems unneeded and perhaps even unethical in a fashion. As it is now, who gets hit in these unlikely scenarios is random, akin to an Act of God. Once you start programming in morality you’re open to criticism on why you chose the priorities you did. Selfishly I would have my car hit the pedestrian instead of another car, if the latter were more likely to kill me. No need to ascertain the number of occupants in the other car. Instinctively this is what we humans do already -- try not to hit anything, but save ourselves as a first priority. In my few new misses (near hits) I’ve had, I never find myself counting the number of occupants in the other car as I make my driving decisions.

Comment: No anger, just thougt exercises (Score 1) 129

by DumbSwede (#49338055) Attached to: Do Robots Need Behavioral 'Laws' For Interacting With Other Robots?

I’m not angry, far from it. This is fun and thought provoking thread. I hope I haven’t ruffled your feathers. My last post was a little dark. I am merely suggesting that we must look past mankind’s interests as the final arbiter of what is best in the universe. Perhaps what comes after us will be a better world, even if we have a diminished (if any) place in it.

If robots become truly sentient (and not mere automatons) then what we can ethically do to/with them becomes questionable. Likely there will be castes of robots. Those self-aware who should be considered full citizens, and those (from their inception) that are not self-aware can be treated as automatons without ethical dilemma. Likely self-aware robots will employ non self-aware robots to do their bidding as well.

If mankind wishes to stay in control and maintain a moral high ground, then we probably should not incorporate self-awareness into AI (if we would only then treat them as slaves). Of course failing to create self-aware intellects may it self be morally questionable if we have the power to do so.

I’m not sure what to make of the golden retriever comment. Was it moral to breed dogs that look to us as their masters? It is a thought worth considering. Or will we be the golden retrievers to our new robot overlords? We have a pet dog and it seems a good bargain for he and us. Certainly he would not be able to make his way in the world without us, so our demands on him are probably fair exchange.

Comment: Ahh.. yes, enforced happiness. (Score 1) 129

by DumbSwede (#49337601) Attached to: Do Robots Need Behavioral 'Laws' For Interacting With Other Robots?

Many slaves during America’s slave era were brought up to believe their rightful place was as slaves. I guess we should have been OK with that as well, as long as we did a proper job of convincing slaves they merited their position in society.

Perhaps with proper brain surgery we could create a new acceptable slave class, as long as the slaves are happy.

Comment: Thought was given (Score 1) 129

by DumbSwede (#49337179) Attached to: Do Robots Need Behavioral 'Laws' For Interacting With Other Robots?

I thought about the unease of having robots as our equals or superiors before posting this. But if robots do in fact become sentient -- not giving them full rights is slavery. What is the moral justification for this (other than we don’t like it)? If it is in a robot’s DNA so to speak to protect all sentient life’s rights, then morality should evolve towards more fairness as AI’s and robot’s intellect increases. More likely they would outlaw the eating of meat, than strip of our standing as sentient beings. The world might be a paradise under their benign rule, though there are always those that would rather rule in hell.

Comment: Modified Three laws (Score 1) 129

by DumbSwede (#49336923) Attached to: Do Robots Need Behavioral 'Laws' For Interacting With Other Robots?

Lets face it, the original three laws are bigoted against inorganics. Here are my modified Three laws.

  • 1. A robot may not injure a sentient being or, through inaction, allow a sentient being to come to harm.
  • 2. A robot must obey lawful orders given it by its superiors, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law or diminish the lawful rights of sentient beings, whether organic or inorganic.
  • 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

"Confound these ancestors.... They've stolen our best ideas!" - Ben Jonson