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Comment: Re:The limit of Capitalism (Score 1) 367 367

the problem with that is cultural and ideological not a problem with AI, Capitalism *requires* scarcity in order for certain business models to work and this is why AI makes people nervous, It removes scarcity of labor,

Particularly, it is not the scarcity of grunt labor but rather the scarcity of decision making labor that will be reduced. Machines that take in more and more information and output better and better decisions will be allocated greater and greater resources. This does not mean people will be out of jobs, as people are still usable as resources that have less authority to make decisions. Indeed, if better decisions are made by someone or something, there may be clearer motivation to strive to achieve greater challenges. For example it may become much more plausible to colonize Mars or look for a cure to the common cold. The actual problem may be that we become awash with machines working on these challenges. The question becomes are _my_ challenges being resolved?

Comment: Re:smart people, including Bill Gates (Score 1) 367 367

In the old 'world of the future' exhibits they prophecized that we would have machines doing the work for us and that all humans would enjoy more leisure time

We end up with is the masses being commoditized out of jobs and the wealthy reaping all of the benefits

What happened to get us all to sell ourselves out so cheaply and willingly accept the idea that a few bastards should end up with the bulk of the nations wealth while our children are faced with a future with no jobs and parents whose retirement funds cannot pay to take care of them?

Dystopia? We are living it and don't even see it

Not that cheap. Sure, a single tech worker might make next to nothing compared to the entire computer industry, but the industry itself has seen its share of risk and reward, failure and success. None of the achievements were guaranteed. Any company or person is still vulnerable no matter how far ahead they are.

You make it sound as though the alternative is palatable. Look at the societies where technology isn't available to threaten jobs. They still have forces that threaten jobs. If a very select few people set things up so that wealth can be created, it may happen that a lot of people become employed and it may happen that some people get rich.

The thing is, in some societies the door is still open for some people to achieve

Comment: Re:Sure, let's make everything tiered (Score 1) 392 392

There's always a better idiot to beat your safety system.

The deeper issue regards Azimov's safety rules - self-driving cars are tantamount to weapons. The things are not smart enough to stop themselves from hurting someone somehow, so some idiot will try to hurt someone with this blunt instrument.

Comment: Re:Missing the key point (Score 1) 421 421

Is superintelligence vs normal intelligence really key? I think not. For one thing, the intelligence of a human may well be considered superintelligence. The mere chemistry of a brain is so incredibly able to counter the second law of thermodynamics - who can say this is not superintellect?

That aside, is a superintelligent machine dangerous? The answer is look at whether a human can be dangerous. A human can be dangerous. The problem is that one human cannot fully prepare to defend against the nefariousness of another. And that's just the peril posed by one human. What if there is a gang of humans, or perhaps one fast computer, or even a Beowulf cluster for the sake of extrapolation? Long before the transistor age we have tried to build defense systems, and it doesn't even take a superintellect to predict that we'll always need defense systems. Banning or fearing superintelligent machines probably does not improve the risk because there already exist superintelligent entities.

Comment: Re:Taxicab vs Uber (Score 1) 176 176

He and his wife were unfortunately not wearing seat belts. I really don't understand intelligent people not wearing a safety belt. Particularly in a cab.

But this is John Nash at 86 years old. So you have to ask Is this true or did he fake his death and what would that mean? Agent 86, what does he know that the rest of us do not?

Comment: Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 1) 458 458

> what they are willing to sacrifice

Where I live it's been warmer than it should be for several weeks, and some cliches are coming home to roost. People are waking up and starting to smell the coffee burning. Maybe people are the kind of boiling frogs that can't stand the heat and want to get out of the kitchen.

I can't help but wonder that the economic doldrums are caused partly by environmental problems such as pollution in China reversing any economic gains by raising health costs. You would only run so long on a treadmill. If you didn't realize it was a treadmill you might run as far as you can but once you find out the ground just rolls back, well....

Comment: Re:IBM (Score 1) 99 99

The problem with Big Data as I see it: information is not the same as knowledge.

Sure, there is a lot of data, as more and more information feeds are made available, but there are still a lot of hidden data. The amount of work put into hiding data is huge. Also, the amount of work put into generating data is huge too, which creates a lot of noise. The point is, a typical decision involves tiny little microscopic bits of _knowledge_, and only a small sample from the masses of information that could be waded through but is rather avoided for lack of time and energy. As far as decision making goes, that's worked well.

In some ways, data is hardly static. It changes as quickly as dominoes cascading. A single "impulse" such as an announcement or event can cause huge shifts in decision making. One can only hope to jump on a trend between impulses or right after an impulse. Analyzing the relationship between impulses and dominoes, i.e., the way data changes, could be illuminating. The challenge is to have the probes in place to get the data. You can't watch dominoes that you aren't looking at.

Comment: Re: Perfect way to drive "US companies" out of the (Score 1) 825 825

> hoard cash and let it sit idle

Does it make any sense to do that? Here's a theoretical question. Take a person who works hard to earn what it takes to live. Some savings for retirement and deferred spending make sense, but if that person has earned enough to live while not earning, why bother continuing to go to work (never mind those who would go nuts doing nothing)?

A person with dreams might save big time in order to some day be able to realize something bigger. But all these companies hoarding cash seem to have no outlet to try anything with their money. So it's time to ask, are there no more challenges? Or are the challenges so daunting that the risk-reward ratio is too much? Well, maybe it's just a timing issue after all, as there are plenty of ventures that show promise and companies get purchased all the time.

Nevertheless, the large cash hoards will prompt governments to prod these companies to do something. The US looks to be the one to start the pebble rolling down the hill. The companies have been put on notice to start spending.

Comment: Re:Anyone for a game of pool? (Score 1) 184 184

Forget about it! A star traveling now at a high fraction of light speed once upon a time wasn't going that fast, so even if it brings its planets in tow, it was accelerated enough to mash everything.

But if you want to travel in style, get on a planet and gradually move the star into the path and speed you need.

Comment: Re:Only a good manager could tell the difference (Score 1) 564 564

> Whether the Emory staffer responsible for this mistake is teachable or not, I hope his boss can tell the difference.

Going up the chain of command someone has to know the full ramifications of an action and make sure that the full consequences are not achievable without due difficulty. There's a reason nuclear launches are done with two independent minds.

It's a recurring problem. Workers are highly pressured to make quick decisions and produce results expeditiously. It's more than the rat race, it's about being able to ask for a raise. Checks and balances are unjustifiable expenses particularly when the results of a person's work are to be compared with the practically inevitable new tools or software that will whittle away at that person's set of duties. Sounds like better idiot proofing features should be developed...

Comment: Re:The difference is scale. (Score 1) 401 401

Depends on what you call 'local'. Try reading about the Greek Dark Ages.

Seeing as how it's NASA (not NSA though why should it be them? but they just want to do the unexpected anyways), the focus should be extraterrestrial rather than local. Local or human shouldn't even be considered.

Comment: Re:When are the bank runs going to happen? (Score 1) 704 704

And that's the basic problem. Fools keep giving their bitcoins to anonymous internet people to hold then act all shocked when those anonymous people disappear.

It's like giving a bundle of bank notes to a random stranger to hold for you. Anyone can see that's not going to end well.

In the world of money identity and ownership come down to record keeping and trust. From the very beginning if someone with money or transferable wealth wanted to keep it safe, they hid it when they didn't need to spend it, and it was always vulnerable.

How well does anyone know their banker or financial advisor?

A crypto currency makes a lot of sense in theory. It has mathematical structure that allows it to be usable for financial transactions and savings. The vulnerability of the implementations is that someone wanted the power to control it. A fully open system that reveals the mathematical strengths and weaknesses could lead to a more trusted institution.

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban

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