Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Re:Smart? (Score 1) 367 367

They aren't that smart if they think machines could ever be sentient. Machines are deterministic. They do what you tell them to.

And what happens if we tell them to behave randomly? A particle filter, for instance, uses randomness to generate a set of states for evaluation. Sensor fusion takes large numbers of highly error prone sensor readings and merges them into state estimates. Both methods introduce uncertainty into state estimation and, therefore, present non-deterministic foundations for reasoning. Even if the reasoning processes are strictly deterministic, you can still get non-deterministic behavior, and that's without even introducing any explicit behavioral randomness.

But, let's be honest: No one has ever provided a definition (that I've ever seen) for sentience which precludes deterministic response. Are you proposing irrationality as a fundamental identifier of intelligence? I'm not sure I'd call it a feature, but maybe it's an inevitable consequence.

Anyone with enough insight and humility knows there's still an extremely large piece of the puzzle missing in our understanding of life. And you need to understand how something works before you can create it.

I don't think there is an extremely large piece. I think there are hundreds of thousands of little pieces. Also, we create things all the time without understanding them. I mean most people don't have any idea how mitosis works and yet we don't have much problem reproducing. Anyway, the point is that I don't think we need a full understanding of human intelligence to create some kind of intelligent agent.

Comment: Re:dream on (Score 1) 389 389

Nobody who is driving today will ever see ubiquitous self-driving cars. You don't realize the deep connection between the automobile and drivers' need for autonomy. How closely the desire to own a car is tied to the desire to drive.

I own a car, but I've always hated driving. I value the freedom of having the ability to go anywhere, whenever I want. I also value my free time. I would trade the joy of attending to my 45 minute commute in the morning for the next episode/chapter of whatever in an instant. The desire to drive isn't a desire I share. I share the desire to get somewhere, which an autonomous vehicle will, pretty soon, achieve.

And the biggest problem with self-driving cars is that they don't really show their benefit until everybody's using them. A busy highway filled with a mixture of human-driven and machine-driven cars would make for a very enjoyable Michael Bay movie.

Actually, self driving cars will always have to deal with unpredictable behavior from neighboring vehicles. This will never change. They can react faster to other's wrong behaviors, evaluate and plan faster than human drivers, have greater knowledge of road conditions and environment, plus they don't get bored or inattentive. While they aren't up to the task yet, they are coming fast, because they have value for every driver who isn't just driving to drive.

I agree pervasiveness will be more than 5 years, but you'll be able to buy any car with an autonomous driver option in less than 20 years. In 5 years the first autonomous work vehicles will be on the road (specifically long haul trucking). Shortly after that someone will implement the autonomous traffic cop (red light camera on wheels), and traffic cops will be on their way out.

Comment: in RE: Privacy, not Ownership (Score 4, Insightful) 379 379

Well, he clearly owns the copyright on the photographs, so if anyone wants to contest that they are SOL. The privacy concern is legitimate if and only if the pictures were taken in an area where there was an expectation of privacy. A sporting event with people in the stands cheering certainly doesn't seem like a private event...

Comment: Re:The real question... (Score 1) 742 742

I have worked support for a ISP before, If I had a dime for every time a conversation started with I'm a lawyer, technician, or etc.. so I know what I'm talking about. I would be a millionaire.

I wish more people understood this. There are plenty of ways during a support contact to show me you are an exception to the norm, but telling me you are the exception just makes you less exceptional.

AKA: Show me don't tell me.

Comment: Re:Mars has no magnetosphere (Score 3, Insightful) 549 549

It doesn't matter how much money you spend here, by staying only here you are committing the species to a single point of failure. Fault tolerant design requires the elimination of single point failure architecture, particularly if the detection and correction of the failing element is difficult or impossible prior to failure.

We are pretty bad at detecting dangerously large rocks flying directly at our faces. Said dangerously large rocks have the potential to kill every one of us in one event. There is no safe mitigation, there is no localized preparation that can eliminate the risk. Parallelism is the only idea that provides the proper redundancy. Extra-solar would be better, but we can't reasonably achieve that yet. We also might not be capable of colonizing Mars yet, but we should all get behind the fact that we really need to.

Comment: Re:List the STL? Seriously? (Score 2) 479 479

We engineer so we draw things out write out UML or some type of logic flow then get to coding.

I personally build little modules then add on higher functional work loads until I have a finished product...

Son, you are adorable! So cute with your UML diagrams, logic flows, little modules, thinking, and all that. In the real world of startups and Minimum Viable Products, we just code whatever comes in our minds before dinner and ship it.

I wish to live in a world where this is funny, because right now it's a little too on point.

Comment: Re:Brought an iPhone 6 and think it's too big (Score 1) 277 277

I switched to a Note 2 from my old iPhone 3GS, because I wanted more screen real estate, and it was a huge adjustment. Took me about a month to get used to the size (mow the 3GS seems laughable). After almost two years I'm still not OK with Android, but it was worth the annoyance for the larger size. I'd give it a little time...particularly give it long enough to determine if you actually need your tablet any more. I certainly didn't.

Comment: Re:Methodologies are like religion (Score 1) 101 101

Well, software development is about many stakeholders. You, as the developer, are one of those stakeholders. Yes, the customer has a set of requirements, but you have a set of requirements as well. You make technical decisions every day based on those requirements whether you have explicitly enumerated them or not.

My read on this is that it's a set of governing principles for making implementation decisions about how you write code. As such any one of these guiding principles can be set aside to accomplish specific requirements they might conflict with, but where they don't conflict they should guide decision making.

From that perspective I guess they are helpful, if kind of obvious, guidelines. They seem kind of asymmetric though..."use message passing" is a pretty specific choice, where "elastic" is vague to the point of uselessness. On the whole I guess this seems like someone who really likes message passing and is tired of trying to justify the extra overhead every single time it comes up.

Robotics

A Thousand Kilobots Self-Assemble Into Complex Shapes 56 56

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at Harvard's Self-Organizing Systems Research Group—describe their thousand-robot swarm in a paper published today in Science (they actually built 1024 robots). In the past, researchers have only been able to program at most a couple hundred robots to work together. Now, these researchers have programmed the biggest robot swarm yet. Alone, the simple little robot can't do much, but working with 1,000 or more like-minded fellow bots, it becomes part of a swarm that can self-assemble into any two-dimensional shape. These are some of the first steps toward creating huge herds of tiny robots that form larger structures—including bigger robots."

Counting in binary is just like counting in decimal -- if you are all thumbs. -- Glaser and Way

Working...