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Comment: Re:Okay... (Score 1) 69

by Teancum (#47478609) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Dr. Andy Chun About Artificial Intelligence

I'm pretty certain that any attempt to do precisely what you are asking for here is going to be a pretty potent driver for significant AI research, if nothing else. There are some chat-bots which do a pretty good job of simulating a lewd conversation. All you are asking is for that to be coupled with robotics like Disney's anamatronics for a Las Vegas theme park.

Maybe Westworld isn't so far away after all. One of the scenes in that film which I found sort of funny at the time was when the protagonist took a couple of whores in the Saloon up to a room and tried to bed them... only to discover they weren't completely anatomically correct.

Comment: Re:Why is the term "Intelligence" used ... (Score 1) 69

by Teancum (#47478501) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Dr. Andy Chun About Artificial Intelligence

We know so little about what self-awareness, intelligence, or sentience actually is that every attempt to simulate the concept is usually met with dead ends in terms of research. There is some usefulness that comes from legitimate AI research, but at this point it is parlor tricks and a few novel programming concepts that have some usefulness in a practical sense.

The only thing that is fairly certain is that somehow a raw physical process is involved with establishing consciousness. Some real effort has been done with trying to understand the physical process from which neural cells interact with each other, and it is fairly certain that the brain is a key component (not the only one though) of what establishes thoughts and reason. Still, there is a long way to go from being able to mathematically describe a neuron to being able to completely simulate, much less actually implement consciousness in the sense that we see with human children emerging after they are born.

You can say that ocean tides act with what apparently is some intelligent behavior, yet if you really study the phenomena it turns out that it isn't. Sometimes complex behavior comes from some very simple rules, sometimes it doesn't. Don't confuse those simple rules with actual intelligence, which is precisely what you are doing here. Even assuming that somehow we could almost completely duplicate the nervous system of a human in electronics, I seriously doubt it would be something you could simply flip on a switch and have working within minutes of starting up the computer.

Comment: Re:Hey Mr Bandera (Score 1) 112

by Teancum (#47465815) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida

Nice try. If you want to continue the Soviet era propaganda that was trying to convince the west that they really were one big happy family and that the Soviet Union was just as friendly to each other as the European Union is right now, continue that daydream. It should be telling as soon as the opportunity to bolt out from under Russian control, that the former Soviet Republics all left. Heck, you even have admitted the "-stan" republics were quick to expel the Russians as soon as they could. This would have been unthinkable during the Soviet era.

Throughout the 1950's and 1960's, most western politicians and news media still referred to that part of the world in general as "Russia", at least in terms of the primary opponent of America during the Cold War. That started to change by the 1970's, but by then it really didn't matter.

Yes, there were some people of talent who were able to rise to power like Stalin who came to power in spite of their ethnic background. That doesn't stop it from being an exception rather than the typical situation. BTW, Nikita Khrushchev, while his ancestry certainly was Ukrainian, was born in Russia and considered himself to be Russian. It does get messy though so it isn't nearly so clear... but the Russian culture certainly pervaded everything that happened in the Soviet Union.

Comment: Re:"An anonymous reader" (Score 2) 112

by Teancum (#47455343) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida

No, what's relevant here is that it launched from Kennedy. It's the first SpaceX launch from that location.

That and they're going to try to recover the booster. That's new too, but you covered that under 'launch technology'.

This is not the first time that SpaceX has launched from Cape Canaveral (technically no longer Kennedy.... that is only the VAB and the NASA facility itself although Florida at one time did call it Cape Kennedy... and changed that back in the 1990's).

The facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (who actually "owns" the property... although SpaceX does have a long term lease) is known as SLC-40... the pad just next to LC-39 A&B where the Space Shuttle and the Apollo rockets all were launched from. This launch was number nine from that same location BTW. The Florida government is also trying to encourage other private launch companies to launch from that general location, and United Launch Alliance also has flights from there as well, including a pure commercial launch fairly recently (even though most of their stuff is national security payloads for the NRO, NSA, and other alphabet soup agencies).

Even the booster recovery is not really that remarkable as it is the third time they've tried, and technically they've tried on nearly every launch since the first Falcon 1 went boom about a thousand feet above the launch pad due to insane levels of galvanometric corrosion that wasn't anticipated. The earlier attempts tried to use parachutes, which ended up not working very well and have since been abandoned by SpaceX.

On the whole, at least for SpaceX, this was a rather ordinary launch. The 1st stage recovery attempt (or at least testing the recovery systems... which is a more accurate description of what happened with this OrbComm flight) is certainly impressive and can eventually lead to cheaper prices for future customers.

The really remarkable thing though, and what makes this get hardcore geeks excited for this flight, is that customers can go to SpaceX and drop a bag of cash to get a launch slot to go into space. It really is that simple. SpaceX will deal with all of the government red tape and flight clearances, so all you need to do is drop off the payload. Some other minor things like telemetry and some bus configurations are available for the engineers building satellites for Falcon 9, but that is technical and not legal issues. EELV payloads still need government permission if you want to fly one of them. Of course Arianespace has been doing this for customers as well for a couple of decades, so even that isn't all that remarkable.

I suppose it helps that you can obtain SpaceX media under the terms of the Creative Commons licenses (I think it is CC-by-SA) and are quite open about what it is that they are doing.

Comment: Re:And the recovery system? (Score 1) 112

by Teancum (#47454217) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida

The previous telemetry that they recovered from the previous Falcon 9 rocket (not the one that flew today) was literally recovered from a pizza pan that somebody bent over their knee and stuck a radio receiver to the back and then pointed it out of a private aircraft towards the rocket during descent in one of the most jury rigged pieces of apparatus you could possibly imagine. That they got any kind of data at all is freaking amazing.

This has nothing to do with conspiracy theories, but rather that the telemetry is using some FM band (so the signal can actually get through the ionosphere when it is in or at least near space) and that ground stations capable of receiving the signal simply weren't really handy near the landing site.

It will be interesting to see what video comes from this current attempt, as I think something perhaps a little better might be recovered. I also doubt that SpaceX would mind if a video of the rocket landing in the water was shown for the evening news, even if it blew up after a wave crested over the middle of the rocket afterward. Perhaps the general public might learn a thing or two about rockets and aerospace engineering because of that too.

Comment: Re:Guaranteed (Score 1) 112

by Teancum (#47454155) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida

Right... Charles Bolden must be white.... as is his boss too.

That is just scratching the surface. BTW, Bolden didn't get his job because of his skin color either, and IMHO he is also one of the best qualified NASA administrators that America has ever had. The general stars that he earned (in the USMC no less) weren't honorary either.... and his degree is in engineering.

Comment: Re:"An anonymous reader" (Score 2) 112

by Teancum (#47454117) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida

He donated some money to a "museum" dedicated to advertising one of his products, no samples of which are so unique or old that they deserve to be in a museum. And that suggests an altruistic tendency? I'm not saying he doesn't have any but that is NOT an example of one.

You ought to read links before spouting off drivel that you don't understand. The museum is one dedicated to Nikola Tesla, the namesake of Tesla Motors to be sure, but somebody of very significant historical interest. The building that the museum is housed in happens to be formally recognized already as a National Historic Landmark. There will not be anything in this museum (except very tangentially) about Tesla Motors or any other Elon Musk company except perhaps a small note listing donors to the museum on a plaque.

I don't suppose you've heard of Nikola Tesla? Thank Thomas Edison for that (if you believe the stories).

Comment: Re:"An anonymous reader" (Score 3, Insightful) 112

by Teancum (#47451251) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida

Russia as a country has assumed all treaty obligations and considers itself to be the legitimate heir to the Soviet Union. Very few people really disagree.

Besides, the Soviet Union really was a greater Russian empire anyway. The language, the culture, and in many cases the people at the top were all from Russia. That is also one of the causes of the issues in the Ukraine as the "Russification program" to deliberately wipe out whole cultures was occurring there to transplant culturally Russian peoples into the conquered areas (like Ukraine) and then do a similar transplantation of the "locals" to other areas still so they would lose their cultural identity. They expected this would take several generations, and was incomplete, but in areas where it was done there are now ethnically Russian people (like the Crimea) who want to "return home".

So yes, "Soviet Union" == "Russia" for all practical purposes. Especially in the realm of spaceflight.

Comment: Re:Hi speed chase, hum? (Score 1) 443

by Teancum (#47436307) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

> When the police called off the chase (for other
> reasons) and he kept going at 100+mph...

Just to play devil's advocate here, it's not like they informed the guy via their loudspeakers that they were calling off the chase.

I presume that the guy had a rear view mirror to look at. Then again, when you are traveling at 100+ mph through urban streets with cross traffic and parked cars, you likely aren't spending much time looking at what is going on behind you.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 162

by Teancum (#47404467) Attached to: The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

It would be impressive if legal code could somehow be "compiled" for syntax checks as well as encoded in such a way that it becomes expert system rules. That way, asking if a particular action was legal simply would be running it through the "AI" to find out.

That would sort of make some of the stuff that judges do to become obsolete, but is that a bad thing too?

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 162

by Teancum (#47404147) Attached to: The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

I'm betting that in this case "expert system" has become an abused term that the marketing guys of the software developer want to strongly avoid due to bad experiences (like the Denver Airport) over the years. Either that or because the people involved were originally from China, the translation of the term got mangled going from English to Chinese and back to English again. I am strongly suspecting more of the latter though.

You are correct, this simply is an expert system applied to a large practical application worth millions of dollars.

I'm all for computer dating, but I wouldn't want one to marry my sister.