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Comment: Re:Perspective (Score 1) 211

by Kjella (#48453545) Attached to: LinkedIn Study: US Attracting Fewer Educated, Highly Skilled Migrants

I have a high six-figure income, and I've money in the bank. I'm not a "1%er" but I'm up there with the rest...

If I recall correctly, any six-figure salary makes you a 0,1%er globally. It doesn't really show until you travel but then it's just weird, like people making less in a year than you make in a week. It's no wonder they like tourists or our money anyway, to them it seems we have insane amounts and because it's relatively cheap we're inclined to spend it more loosely as well. But if they ever came to visit me, they'd think paying >$10000/m^2 for an apartment is absurdity itself.

Comment: Re:Emergent Intelligence? (Score 1) 386

by jd (#48453063) Attached to: Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

That's an argument I can buy. Absolutely, with NN, the topology is static. Unless every node is connected to every other node, bi-directionally, you cannot emulate a dynamic topology. And that's assuming a fixed number of neurons. We know, in the brain, the number of neurons varies according to usage. So even a fully-connected NN would not be sufficient unless it started off at the maximum potential size.

I agree that to evolve, you've got to have an environment to evolve in, a means to evolve and a pressure to evolve. The AI field that looks at this sort of thing is "Genetic Algorithms", and there are a few systems in that area which look promising.

It's my thesis, though, that Strong AI must be more complex than even that. All higher life-forms have not only an external environment but an internal one as well. There is a simulation of the local "world" in the brain that is updated by the senses and this is the "reality" we perceive. The consciousness is not directly connected to any sense, which is why you can induce synaesthesia. The mind, therefore, evolves according to this simplified internal model. and not the external reality.

The idea of Emergent Intelligence is therefore very appealing. It is possible to construct a virtual world for the Artificial Life and a second virtual world maintained by the Artificial Life. This doesn't require knowing how to develop intelligence or how to define it. They're just virtual worlds, nothing more. All you need then is an initial condition and a set of rules. These would be more sophisticated than a conventional genetic algorithm, but based on the same idea. If you don't know what something will be, but know how to determine how close you are, herustics are sufficient for you to close the gap as much as you like.

This would not be "Artificial Intelligence" in the sense that the intelligence emerged with no human intervention past the initial state. It was not made, it's not an artifact, it's perfectly natural but in an artificial world running on an artificial computer. It is possible to determine if this universe is a simulation running on a computer running on a universe of the same size, but it is not possible if this universe is a simulation running in a larger universe. The decision on whether something is artificial or not cannot, then, be governed by the platform because we've no idea if this is top-level or not and we cannot. Nonetheless, we're indistinguishable from a natural lifeform, thus we have to say that it is this property that decides if something is natural.

An imitation of the whole human brain is planned in Europe. The EU is building a massive supercomputer that will run a neuron-for-neuron (and presumably complete connectome) simulation of the brain for the purpose of understanding how it works internally. I think that's an excellent project for what it is designed for, but I don't think it'll be Strong AI.

Let's say, however, you built a virtual world at a reasonably fine-grain (doesn't have to be too fine, just good enough), a second virtual world that was much coarser-grain and which used lossy encoding in a way that preserved some information from all prior states, a crude set of genetic algorithms that mapped outer virtual world to inner virtual world, and finally an independent set of genetic algorithms that decide what to do (but not how), a set for examining the internal virtual world for past examples of how, a set for generating an alternative method for how without recourse for memory, and a final set for picking the method that sounds best and implementing it, and an extensive set that initially starts off with reconciling differences between what was expected and what happened.

That should be sufficient for Emergent Intelligence of some sort to evolve.

Comment: Re:AI researcher here (Score 1) 386

by jd (#48452791) Attached to: Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

"the human brain is ultimately nothing more than a gigantic conglomerate of gates itself"

Which is sufficient evidence, as far as I'm concerned that you didn't read my post and replied to what you thought I should have written according to what you think I should believe.

Guess what. You're wrong.

+ - Sony Comes To A Screeching Halt Targeted By Massive Ransomware Hack->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "It appears that Sony has become the victim of a massive ransomware hack which has resulted in the company basically shutting down. An unnamed source has noted this, claiming that the company shut down after its computers in New York and around the nation were infiltrated. The source is an ex-employee of Sony Pictures who has a friend that still works for the company. According to the source's friend, allegedly, every computer in Sony's New York Office, and every Sony Pictures office across the nation, bears an image from the hacker with the headline "Hacked By #GOP" which is then followed by a warning. The hacker, or group, claims to have obtained corporate secrets and has threatened to reveal those secrets at 11:00 PM GMT tonight if Sony doesn't meet their demands. What those demands are and what is #GOP has yet to be determined."
Link to Original Source

+ - Attack Of The One-Letter Programming Languages

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "The programming world is fast proliferating with one-letter programming languages, many of which tackle specific problems in ways worthy of a cult following, writes InfoWorld's Peter Wayner in this somewhat tongue-and-check roundup of the more interesting entrants among this trend. 'A long time ago — long before Netflix, Hulu, and HBO battled for the living room — people went to the movie theaters for their weekly dose of video streaming. There were usually only two movies, and you couldn't choose the order. (The horror!) The double feature began with the big stars — the Javas and JavaScripts of the acting world — but then it got interesting. The second feature, the so-called B movie, was where the new ideas, odder actors, and weirder scripts found their home. Some proved rich enough with exactly the right kind of out-there thinking to garner significant cult followings — even break through to the mainstream. The programming languages with one-letter names are one such corner of the Internet. They're all a bit out there, with the possible exception of C. ... Each offers compelling ideas that could do the trick in solving a particular problem you need fixed.'"

Comment: Wealthy companies want ILLEGAL immigrants. (Score 1) 1

by Futurepower(R) (#48451541) Attached to: Obama's Immigration Reform and the Technical Workforce
Wealthy companies want illegal immigrants. They don't want immigrants, they want ILLEGAL immigrants, because people who only care about money want people who have little legal protection. The lack of protection means illegal immigrants will accept abuse. The "4 million undocumented immigrants" are illegal immigrants. The fact that they are given the name "undocumented" is intended to distract people from the fact that what they have done is illegal.

It seems to me that President Obama has shown that he is very weak. If rich people want something, he has a tendency to allow it. He has allowed a long list of things that are bad for the average U.S. citizen.

The fundamental issue, it seems to me, is that a child of alcoholics should not be allowed to hold a government position. An alcoholic told me, "No one like me should be president."

When Barack Obama's mother decided she didn't want to take care of him, she gave him to her parents, his grandparents, who were both alcoholics. See, for example, Obama likens grandparents to 'Mad Men' characters: "Grandmother Madelyn Dunham, who rose from secretary to bank vice president, began drinking more as her responsibilities grew."

Obama's father was a very self-destructive alcoholic, also, but he spent very little time with him.

President Obama is what is called an ACoA, an Adult Child of Alcoholics. There is a typical description of an ACoA in the article Barack Obama, Adult Child of an Alcoholic: The ACoAs, with their deep mistrust of people, have no loyalty to anyone. They are master manipulators. They live by the mantra, "What's in it for me?"

Once again, President Obama is showing no respect for the law. The U.S. government continues to help the rich get richer.

+ - Obama's Immigration Reform and the Technical Workforce-> 1

Submitted by braindrainbahrain
braindrainbahrain (874202) writes "President Obama's announcement of an executive order to reform immigration was a big news item, but little was said about the order's impact on the technical workforce. “Are we a nation that educates the world’s best and brightest in our universities, only to send them home to create businesses in countries that compete against us?"
While there were no immediate changes to the H-1B visa system, there are changes to the Optional Practical Training and the National Interest Waiver programs that would make it easier for foreign workers to legally work in the U.S."

Link to Original Source

Comment: A history of model planes in Ohio (Score 1) 40

by Roblimo (#48449807) Attached to: Ohio College Building Indoor Drone Pavilion

My father grew up in Akron, OH, and in the 1930s it had the world's largest building - a no-longer-used airship hangar. My dad and his friends used the hangar to fly microfilm models - - and I think this is the hanger --

So indoor model-flying seems to be an Ohio tradition. I know my dad enjoyed doing it as a teenager.

Comment: Re:It's more of a statement about NYC (Score 1) 416

I've lived in a variety of multicultural environments in the UK in the past, and not seen anything other than normal levels of policing - which by suburban US standards (never mind urban standards) are extremely relaxed.

I'm not sure what studies you're referring to, but I would revisit them if I were you with a very skeptical eye. I'd be more inclined to think the US has a particular problem due to history and the level of corruption in local governments, which has lead to particularly bad policing, which has in turn lead to an assumption that that's just the way things should be from a populace brought up in that environment.

Comment: Re:Wouldn't time be better spent... (Score 2) 416

by hey! (#48448467) Attached to: Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

... teaching the cops how not to alienate the people?

No, for two reasons.

First stop and frisk is based on the "broken windows" theory, which in general is sound: people take behavioral cues from what they perceive as social norms. If they look around and see people breaking windows and jumping turnstyles they'll figure everyuone does it. But stop and frisk plus being "proactive" is a case of two ideas getting together and having a bastard child. Instead of signalling what the social norms are by keeping the streets orderly, the cops are singling out individuals upon whom they will impose those norms. It's a crude exercise in behavior control, and inherenly alienating.

The second reason is Campbell's Law, roughly stated: the more you rely on a single measure to control social processes, the more that measure and the processes it controls will be corrupted. In 1995 the NYPD adopted CompStat -- a process improvement strategy based on measuring performance and holding police units like precincts accountable for their numbers. It's not a bad idea, depending on the measures chosen and if you have a critical attitude toward those measures, but the number of stops made is an inherently terrible metric. It's not a measure of success, it's a measure of activity, and is an easy number to control; if your numbers look bad you can always head out and start stopping peoiple.

There's a lot of debate over whether NYPD cops have "quotas", but it's quibbling. There doesn't have to be a quota if everyone knows bad things happen to the precinct when the numbers are low and good things happen when the numbers are high.

+ - Back to School: Steve Ballmer's Guest Lecture at Harvard's CS50

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "GeekWire looks at the 'game film' from ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's guest lecture at Harvard's CS50, in which Harvard alum Ballmer touched on a wide variety of topics, including the LA Clippers ("500 times less complicated than Microsoft"), how his career started at Microsoft (BillG convinced him to drop out of Stanford Business School), his views on Net Neutrality, his favorite products ("Surface Pro 3 in modern days and Windows 1.0 in historic days"), and his 15-year-old's biggest concern about Dad leaving Microsoft (no more early access to new Halo releases). Ballmer was fairly subdued in the lecture and Q&A, but couldn't resist cranking it up to 11 for a CS50 intro. Ballmer, who was an applied math and economics major at Harvard, was visiting his alma mater to drop off a $60 million check to beef up Harvard's Computer Science faculty."

Comment: Re:Philosophy -- graveyard of fact (Score 3, Interesting) 386

by jd (#48447337) Attached to: Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Not true. The Scientific Method is itself a philosophy, as is mathematics. (Mathematics is not a science, it is a humanity and specifically a philosophy.) Mathematics is the core of all science.

Your understanding of philosophy clearly needs some refreshing. I suggest you start with Bertrand Russel's formalization of logic and progress to John Patrick Day's excellent textbook on mathematical philosophy. It's clear you do not know what serious (as opposed to populist) philosophers are concerned with. This is no better than judging physics by Fleich and Pons' Cold Fusion work, or judging biology by examining 1960s American perversions of brain surgery.

You've got to look at the real work. And the odds are that there's more in your computer that was developed by a philosopher than ever came close to a "non-philosophical" scientist (whatever those might be).

Comment: Re:AI researcher here (Score 2) 386

by jd (#48447321) Attached to: Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

Expert systems are not intelligent. They're nothing more than a fancy version of Animals. If/then/else isn't even weak AI and a binary search of an index is just a search. It doesn't mimic an expert, because experts only start with simple diagnostic tools like that. That's the beginning, not the end. Experts know when answers are off and know how to recover from it - when it's unimportant and when it's absolutely critical. Experts also know how to handle cases never encountered before, because they don't just know a bunch of checklist questions, they know how information relates and they know the patterns that are generic across all cases, known and unknown. You can't program an Expert System Shell with Category Theory maps, Prolog isn't going to know what to do with meta-abstraction.

Neural Networks are debatable. Fundamentally, a Neural Network is a very large set of multi-input gates. Nothing more. If it's trained, then all you've done is simplified the derivation of the gates. You've not added any intelligence. Self-organizing networks are another beast entirely. These can be argued to be "intelligent", since the human brain is ultimately nothing more than a gigantic conglomerate of gates itself. The only reason you have the illusion of intelligence is that there's self-organizing involved. However, no self-organizing neural net on any computer yet built is so powerful that it can simulate the functioning of a nematode's brain. Strong AI, which is what most non-CS people think of as AI, cannot yet even be described. We have no comprehension of what it is, therefore cannot build it.

What the professor is really talking about though, as indicated by the reference to cellular biology, is not AI but ALife. Nothing currently in existence can be called true artificial life, although the Bugs program from Scientific American is a good start. Artificial Life is many orders of magnitude harder than Strong AI. It's not enough to emulate the properties of intelligence, you have to emulate the reason for there needing to be intelligence in the first place. Even those working on Strong AI aren't tackling such self-consistency issues, far too complex for them.

(It's clear that most AI work is incompatible with a self-consistent Strong AI, so I'm inclined to believe Singularity isn't going to be here for a while. Progress is, as others have noted, somewhere between non-linear and exponential, but even if we assume exponential, it'll be between 75-150 years before Strong Artificial Life is within reach, where Strong ALife is Strong AI and Artificial Life and self-consistency.)

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist