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Comment: Re:Does the job still get done? (Score 1) 658

by babymac (#48621241) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

There is currently no autonomous car to buy anywhere. No taxi, truck, bus driver has been replaced so far and no one knows when it will happen and if it will happen at all.

I think you're deluding yourself. The people working on the problem of automated driving (just as one example) aren't going to stop. The technology that enables it; the sensors and algorithms aren't going to cease to be developed. They're going to succeed and whether that's a year from now or ten years from now, it doesn't really matter. And I think the same holds true for the most important technology - some form of AI. It would appear to me that the largest questions of how to develop (even an imperfect, less-than-human-capable) intelligence have been resolved. The only thing remaining is the refinement and distribution of the final product.

Once that takes place, I don't think there will be any stopping the technological, scientific, economic and societal upheaval.

Comment: Re:This synopsis (Score 2) 129

by babymac (#48620955) Attached to: Research Highlights How AI Sees and How It Knows What It's Looking At
But don't worry. I'm sure the armchair experts of Slashdot will be along any minute to tell us how this all just a bunch of hype and that the computers are stupid (I'm not disagreeing - for the moment) and AI is at least ten millions years away and will likely NEVER come to pass. Seriously though, I think a large portion of this site's users have their heads in the sand. I don't work in the field, but I am very interested in it and I read a lot of material from a lot of reputable sources. It seems to me that there are some very deep pockets out there treating this as a serious project and are determined to succeed. Personally, I think they will succeed and far sooner than almost everyone will expect. To have a huge impact, AI doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to reason at a human level to be of use or have a noticeable effect on the economy. And once simpler forms of AI arrive, it will advance very rapidly. I think the folks here on Slashdot will be denying the possibility of such a thing right up until the day before they find themselves on the unemployment line. I think we (and our political leaders) should be preparing for a new economy today while there's still time. Otherwise, it'll be a catastrophe for the majority of working people and society at large.

Comment: Re:They tried to raise prices 20% unnanounced (Score 1) 392

by babymac (#48270175) Attached to: Cutting the Cord? Time Warner Loses 184,000 TV Subscribers In One Quarter

A lady at work the other day didn't seem to know that one could still receive over-the-air broadcasts for television. I wonder how many people don't realize this and are paying for TV that they don't want or need.

Yeah, that's been my experience as well. When my wife and I were just discussing the possibility of ditching pay TV, my mother-in-law couldn't quite grasp the concept of an over-the-air antenna. She grew up with it of course, but she couldn't fathom that it still existed. And we have been pay TV free for a couple of years now!

Comment: Re:zomg singularity! (Score 1) 145

by babymac (#48214239) Attached to: Machine Learning Expert Michael Jordan On the Delusions of Big Data

The whole idea of "the Singularity" is nonsense. It is basically people seeking a surrogate "God" in technology, and the singularity is needed to create the "all knowing" aspect.

This all depends on one's individual interpretation of the word singularity. My interpretation of it means a point in history and technological development beyond which predictions become impossible. There is no "all knowing" aspect in my interpretation. There is certainly no "God" in my interpretation. Some people interpret the term to mean the point at which humanity and machines merge. Once again, that's not my interpretation. My idea of the singularity raises questions about what happens to human civilization when all material needs and wants can be manufactured on demand, near-instantaneously and extremely cheaply. The other question of course is what an advanced AI might look like and how might society be transformed if similar AIs were available to everyone. If you ask me, neither AI or on-demand manufacturing are wild, outlandish ideas. Those things are coming down the technology pipeline and sooner than most people think. Society should prepare for these technologies now, not dismiss them.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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