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Comment: Wait a second... (Score 1) 506

by cfalcon (#49143087) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

"On the other hand, suppose someone did endow a strong AI with emotion – encoded, say, as a strong preference for one type of experience over another, coupled with the option to subordinate reasoning to that preference upon occasion or according to pattern. what ramifications could that have for algorithmic decision making?"

That's a funny way to spell "robot girlfriend"...

Comment: Re:Pacman (Score 1) 148

by cfalcon (#49133923) Attached to: Artificial Intelligence Bests Humans At Classic Arcade Games

That one is interesting because it took humans a ludicrous number of hours to figure out emergent patterns. It was trial and error (and the AI was deliberately not given an overly large amount of time on each game). Once the ninth key pattern was solved it became execution based. You could trivially code a machine to killscreen Pacman with no AI involved. Hell, you could probably do it with a very small Perl script- because humans already know the patterns that win.

It WOULD have been interesting to give it a lot of time on Pacman and see if it worked out NEW patterns. I'm pretty sure that the world record for Pac Man will now be "how long did it take you to killscreen Pacman with the max score", and it may be possible that the AI could work out a more optimal pattern.

Comment: Re:Comments are predictable... (Score 1) 148

by cfalcon (#49133905) Attached to: Artificial Intelligence Bests Humans At Classic Arcade Games

Programming a computer to ace these games was possible in the 90s, maybe the 80s. The reason this is interesting is HOW it taught itself, and how many of the games it could get good at (many of the games it could not learn). Cheerleading AI research is nice, but this isn't an example of a computer entering a new domain, this is a research example of something that can solve other problems in the field- an engineering demo of sorts.

Comment: Wait, not one classic arcade game in here? (Score 1) 148

by cfalcon (#49132929) Attached to: Artificial Intelligence Bests Humans At Classic Arcade Games

It looks like it worked with Atari 2600 games, which are ports of classic arcade games. A nitpick, but about 30 seconds playing the 2600 version versus the arcade version will show you a ludicrous level of difference betwixt. I don't want to belittle the work, but calling 2600 games arcade games is like calling a motorcycle a semi truck. Words have meaning- in this case, "Atari 2600 games" or "classic games". NOT arcade games.

Comment: It's cool but (Score 1) 148

by cfalcon (#49132879) Attached to: Artificial Intelligence Bests Humans At Classic Arcade Games

It's actually really cool that this happened, so it's a shame that most of the reporting on it is sort of "correction bait". The fact that it does good at these games without watching human strategies is interesting, but computers have strategies that humans lack, due to their increased reaction time (random thing happened, I can respond by doing X -> the computer is several orders of magnitude superior at this for free) and increased calculation time (the trajectory is curve such and such -> your visual cortex is great at this, but a computer can beat it at something like this). Human strategies for these games involve working around the relative difference in clock speed, so of course the computer would have no need of it.

But forgetting that garbage, it's still very cool.

Comment: Re:Question In Headline (Score 5, Insightful) 150

by cfalcon (#49115527) Attached to: Is Sega the Next Atari?

This is a solid comment. I agree with all of it, but I wish you had emphasized how very ludicrous their hardware marketing was. As a gamer at the time (Nintendo), I was extraordinarily puzzled at the amount of hoops it took to even understand what the various Sega hardware was. It was extremely silly to assume that everyone had infinite space under their TV and tolerance for hardware outlays, CD/32-X were confusing anyway. Expensive hardware addon is always a risky play, because it means that any game made for it is just for the subsection of players that bought your base hardware and then bought your hardware addon, and those hardware addons NEVER seemed to be inexpensive in the first place.

The other reason that it hurt them so bad was the social aspect. If you had decided you weren't going to buy the Genesis (and if you were a kid, that decision was mostly made by asking your parents for a DIFFERENT system to begin with), then you were already committed to not owning a Genesis. If you launch a fresh piece of hardware, you might grab the Nintendo guy for that generation, but if you keep building on the one he already chose, then he's already well into cognitive dissonance land- you would need to dominate the field so hard with technical expertise that no one could ignore you, and that just didn't happen.

Also... I always found their marketing ludicrous. Console wars were always clannish, but Sega couldn't seem to stop insulting Nintendo players with their attitude of "play us and be cool, play them and be drool". "Personally insulting your potential customers based on their current console" definitely looked like it was their strategy for awhile. I never see this come up in any discussion, but it really did feel real at the time.

Comment: No big surprise but nice to see numbers (Score 1) 212

by cfalcon (#49103891) Attached to: The Best, and Worst, Places To Drive Your Electric Car

Whenever an electric car starts making the rounds, immediately all the ranges are "up to" whatever. In fact, on discussion forums, some electric zealots will usually march in and talk about how I don't *need* a range of X (where X is 80 miles, my round trip to and from work).

The other big piece is that it's not exactly obvious how the range shrinks with age. Personally, I have zero interest in an electric car until it can do 80 miles on a charge under ALL circumstances- snow, cold, 10 years old. Anything less than that will leave me stranded in some blizzard. Fuck all that. If a car is expensive and new it should be able to handle what my late 90s Subaru can do, period.

Not everyone has that need, and that's nice for them. But electrics have a long way to go if these numbers are hard to get or have some engineering wiggle room. 80 miles in the snow while being a decade old or just a toy IMO.

fortune: cpu time/usefulness ratio too high -- core dumped.