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Comment: Re:I appreciate the sentiment.. (Score 1) 92

The labs actually pull in money for most universities, when students are not using them they are rented out for private training. I remember the head of CS department bitterly complaining about being forced to share the bounty with other departments.

As for TFA the companies are offering $1.75 for every dollar they state puts in, that's not a shakedown, that's philanthropy. That education in the US has to rely on philanthropy is the real shakedown.

Comment: Re:Verizon is just following Alinsky (Score 2) 322

government control is a bad idea

As opposed to what? - Anarchy, tribalism, feudal warlords? An economic market is not a thing or a place, it's a set of rules that govern trade. The Fox News definition of "free market" = "free from regulation" is an oxymoron at best.

Comment: Re:fees (Score 1) 322

The FCC made the right call in the US, they upheld the long established status-quo of the international market, but it's a hollow victory if you only have one ISP to choose from. The decision is kind of a surprise to me given the head of the FCC was an influential telco lobbyist prior to his appointment. In this case it seems to me the FCC are doing their job by telling telco's what to do, rather than the other way around (as one would expect with such blatantly insestious oversight).

Comment: Re:Ha (Score 1) 45

by TapeCutter (#49146601) Attached to: The Believers: Behind the Rise of Neural Nets
I understand how it works, that's why I was so impressed. What they (and others) have done in total is solve a long standing problem with NN's, their tendency to be single minded, ie: you train it to recognise cats then train it to recognise dogs, you end up with something that recognises dogs and non-dogs but has forgotten what it knew about cats. The hint is in the name "deep learning".

As for a "huge computer" Watson now knows a lot more than the original and runs on a commodity rack mounted server. Agree, prosthetics is where AI will converge with the human mind, again the technological bits and pieces are already in use, but still very much isolated from each other.

If you define AI to be the replication of human intelligence then it will never arrive except via birth and environment. IMO, it's a very narrow definition and not particularly useful since we presumably all posses our own human like intelligence. No matter how you slice it, it was a major milestone when an AI defeated the best humans in an unbounded problem space where humans excel, such as Jeopardy.

I guess it would be cooler before I knew how it worked but I was playing with ANNs on a smaller scale well before Watson came about.

Ditto, I taught myself programming in the early 80's because playing Conway's game of life on graph paper was tedious. Sure, by definition knowledge removes the mystery but to paraphrase Feynman "Knowledge can only add to the awe and beauty of a flower, I don't understand how it can detract"

Comment: Re:#1 slashdot article submitters (Score 2) 251

by TapeCutter (#49136155) Attached to: 5 White Collar Jobs Robots Already Have Taken
What a coincidence! I've heard managers say the same thing about their staff.

Both of you are wrong, keep it up and whatever project/task you're working on will be unpleasant, and at best limp to the finish line. Just about everyone has a manager, a professional in any field will get their manager's respect by learning and solving their manager's problems with minimal fuss. If after 12 months or so, that doesn't work, find a new job/manager. If your manager doesn't have problems it's probably because you're both about to be put out to pasture on the next payroll cycle.

At 55, I've been on both sides of the managerial fence and I've hired and fired programmers. I rejected the project managers job when my current employer offered it to me 4-5yrs years ago, having "been there before" I decided to keep my more interesting and less stressful role as the resident CVS Nazi. My overall goal has always been to automate my way out of whatever tedious task confronts me, I've been lucky enough to work with several professional managers who ensured I never ran out of tedious, annoying, tasks.

The less time planning, the more time programming.