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Comment: Re:There is no "working AI" at this time (Score 1) 98

by Half-pint HAL (#48157709) Attached to: First Demonstration of Artificial Intelligence On a Quantum Computer

Oh ye of simple mind.

Oh ye of simpler.

"AI" is just fine. Its misuse is not. And I should have said "I am extremely tired of a certain type of person working in that field".

Are you a computer? Do I need to be extra carefully specific in order to avoid compile time errors? What is your preferred replacement for the term AI for referring to the wide field which you think using AI for is an abuse of the term?

Comment: Re:There is no "working AI" at this time (Score 1) 98

by Half-pint HAL (#48157703) Attached to: First Demonstration of Artificial Intelligence On a Quantum Computer

Does the brain consume oxygen? Yes, it does.

Mine certainly does, but I think yours was deprived of it at some point.

So an acetylene-torch is an AI device?

Building strawmen with oxy-acetylene blowtorches is a fire risk. Does the oxy-acetylene blowtorch attempt to model the operation of a human brain and provide a mechanism to examine, prove and/or disprove theories about the operation of the brain? No.

Comment: Re:There is no "working AI" at this time (Score 1) 98

by Half-pint HAL (#48157691) Attached to: First Demonstration of Artificial Intelligence On a Quantum Computer

Visual processing is a subproblem of human cognition. Your complaint is akin to moaning to someone studying human anatomy trying to work out how the left ventricle works, on the grounds that "the left ventricle is a human being".

Remember that "Artificial intelligence" is the name of the research field, and it doesn't imply that an individual research outcome is "intelligent".

Now, if you were there at the start and you are disappointed in the progress in the field, you clearly had been reading too much science fiction.

Comment: Re:lawyer up (Score 1) 222

by Half-pint HAL (#48157583) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

I'm interested in how many people say they would not hire someone with patents because they worried they had a hidden agenda or were more motivated to leave the company, and it's also relieving to see the number of people who recommend complete up-front disclosure.

Someone who would not hire someone because they hold patents is clearly an idiot, because it is a sign of having achieved something (assuming it's not an assinine patent). Unfortunately there are lots of idiots in management. Fortunately, you have a way to help filter out the idiots that you'd really be better off not working for.

Comment: Re:IP is licensed separately. (Score 1) 222

by Half-pint HAL (#48157571) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

All your patent portfolio is likely to tell me is that I don't get to have 100% of your skills and abilities after I've hired you. NDA's and non-compete agreements can only go so far to alleviate a hiring manager's concerns in this area.

Funny you mention NDAs and non-competes... surely any dev is burdened with accumulated NDAs and trade secrets from previous employers? Why is there a difference when that employer is self-?

Comment: Re:Are you patenting software? (Score 1) 222

by Half-pint HAL (#48157557) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

one example -- I have a large photo portfolio; if I go to work for someone, and they're aware of my existing body of work, and they want to use a piece I have for a project, is this something I should have already addressed at the job interview?

I can't think of any photographer who would open up his entire portfolio on entering contracted employment, because when that employment ends, he may well be self-employed again, and that would essentially put him starting from zero.

The problem here, though, is that while your employer can get a photograph of a similar subject and composition, you've basically blocked out a whole technique, and worse, a technique you're familiar with. You're essentially interfering with your own ability to do your job. Of course, if you had developed that patent in the name of another company, you would be just as blocked, but it wouldn't be you doing the blocking. This should not make a difference, but we don't live in a fair world.

Comment: Re: Apparently (Score 1) 212

by Half-pint HAL (#48157489) Attached to: Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too

No he's not, he's absolutely right.

Back when I was in university, it was taken for granted that programming would become a non-specialist skill because the biggest difficulty in dev was knowledge transfer. How do you get a software team to understand in months what took the guys doing the job four years of university education and five years of experience? So CS professors all basically agreed that computers would never reach their potential if the programming skills never migrated to the subject matter experts. The bottleneck is the teachers. Until the teachers can teach coding, kids can't be taught coding in schools. But who's teaching the teachers to program? No-one.

Personally, I think the long-term solution isn't more "days/weeks/months of code" with specific directions, or a new language necessarily; but the requirement for all teacher training colleges to include programming training as a mandatory part of the course for would-be teachers.

Comment: Re:Apparently (Score 1) 212

by Half-pint HAL (#48157475) Attached to: Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too

That is absolute fucking horse shit. The best coders I've ever worked with are American.

Sorry, but that's absolute fucking horse shit. The best coders I've ever worked with are Scottish.

This is probably because I live in Scotland so it's pretty much inevitably true. The same would hold for you. My problem with trusting you as a code dev is that you appear ignorant of statistical effects. The best coders I've worked with understand stats. Sadly most coders don't.

Comment: Re:Apparently (Score 1) 212

by Half-pint HAL (#48157453) Attached to: Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too

Heck, I'm a Sys Admin and I don't know how to program! Sure, I understand the basic concepts of what coding is and can write a shell script or a batch file (I'm getting into Powershell too). But I don't consider that programming.

If you leave computers to one side for a moment and you think about the word "programming", it is very close in meaning to "scheduling", and batch scripting revolves around scheduling. If you think about the Unix model, a lot of early programming was just a matter of manipulating multiple command-line tools. Now if you look inside a book on C (either A Book on C or any other book on C), you'll find that procedural programming is very, very similar to the Unix command line in a lot of ways, except that instead of a restricted toolset of grep etc, we now have libraries that carry out millions of different functions.

Shell scripting really is exactly the same as any other form of programming, except that it is typically only used for small programs.

I believe your problem is that you have confused "programming" with "software development", but I suppose that's the English language's fault. In the same way that not everyone who can write is a "writer" (ie a journalist or author), not everyone who can program is a "programmer" (ie software developer).

But a basic level of skill in programming (in particular shell scripting) can make any worker more productive, as it lets them process their own data. When I was working in corporate IT management I had user to process, and where my non-coder colleagues were reading records manually out of Active Directory in the GUI, I just dumped everything to CSV and knocked up a quick script to filter the rows. A took one morning to iterate through revisions of the script until it did what I want, with my boss suggesting that I was wasting my time and should be working. After lunch, I started "working" and was finished in a couple of hours. It was supposed to be a three day job. There are many tasks that can be automated that way, if only the worker knew how to.

Comment: Re:Apparently (Score 1) 212

by Half-pint HAL (#48157413) Attached to: Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too

And just like you can't simply pump more people into med school to end up with more doctors, you cannot pump more people into computer schools to get more programmers. Programming isn't middle management, you can't simply take any simpleton and expect them to be able to learn how to do it.

If your assertion is true, then there is something deeply wrong with the programming field. If it takes what is effectively a defective human brain to code, then our programming languages are wrong. Time to rewrite computing then...?

Comment: Re:Read: IT wages in Europe rising (Score 1, Interesting) 212

by Half-pint HAL (#48157411) Attached to: Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too
Scratch introduces kids to a decades-old style of programming that is well past its sell-by date. Let's write a proper functional programming language without all the imperative hacks that SML, Scala etc have and teach the next generation of programmers to think in terms of the problem to be solved, not how a typical CPU works.

What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying. -- Nikita Khruschev

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