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Comment: Re:Exodus (Score 5, Insightful) 555

by bunratty (#49796753) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?
Even at the speed of light we can expand our territory at most proportional to the cube of the amount of time we have to spread. If the birth rate exceeds the death rate, the population growth will be exponential. No matter what technology we have, we won't be able to accommodate a geometrically growing population within a volume that grows no faster than a cubic formula. Here come the death panels. Thanks, Obama!

Comment: Re:Heptatonic (Score 2) 107

by bunratty (#49761293) Attached to: Favorite musical scale, by number of pitch classes?
We wouldn't have the confusion over octatonic if music started counting at zero. If you play a note and the next note up (on a heptatonic scale such as C major), it's counted as two (a second interval), because we started counting at one with the original note. By the time we get to the same note but at a higher pitch (do re mi fa so la ti do), we've counted to eight even though it's seven notes away. I avoided this mistake by counting A, B, C, D, E, F, G, seven notes, heptatonic. I suppose most people who can play an instrument didn't think it through before answering.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 2) 291

by bunratty (#49452955) Attached to: Cannabis Smoking Makes Students Less Likely To Pass University Courses

If you include the fact that you never bought it, that's more information that affects the probabilities. It's just like in the Monty Hall problem where revealing a goat behind one door changes the probabilities of what's behind the other doors.

Given the fact that cannabis was recently made legal where you live, you may be 5% less like to pass a class. Given the additional fact that you chose not to use cannabis, you may be 5% more likely to pass a class due to the curve being lowered by those who do smoke.

Comment: Re:Very informative article (Score 1) 71

by bunratty (#49123623) Attached to: Facebook AI Director Discusses Deep Learning, Hype, and the Singularity

When most AI people are talking about artificial intelligence, they are talking about narrow "intelligence". This is why in Russell & Norvig's book they quickly move away from the term "intelligence" and instead speak of "agents" working in a particular "task environment", and whether the agents behave rationally or not. For example, a chess program may be able to win chess games against a grandmaster chess player, so we say this agent is performing rationally within this specific task environment. The chess program is not "intelligent" in the sense that you and I are -- it's an incredibly dumb automaton, as is nearly every computer program. You can see this when it fails miserably when put in any different task environment.

The intelligence that will bring about the singularity is artificial general intelligence, which is the same intelligence that you and I have, that is, the capability of performing well in a very wide variety of environments. This type of agent would be able to reason about how to improve itself and bring about that improvement. Very little AI research these days involves artificial general intelligence, and the progress in this area is slow.

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