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Comment: Re:Not pointless... (Score 1) 455

by TapeCutter (#49771811) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

It's not a crime to have your car parked somewhere if you have a suspended/revoked license

I don't see anyone claiming that it is a crime. What I do see is a lot of slashdotters ignoring the fact that the location of the parking spot aroused legitimate suspicion from police, likewise a pressure cooker in that location will legitimate raise their eyebrows even further.

This is how it operated in London and Paris when the IRA were being bastards. Sure, with 20/20 hindsight, an unlicensed dickhead with a dead car is not a perfect outcome, but it's a much better outcome than a false negative.

Comment: Karma is a bitch (Score 0) 455

by TapeCutter (#49771627) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker
Unattended, records show the (absent) owner has no license - could be stolen. Pressure cooker - improvised bombs and pressure cookers go together like ham and cheese, Boston Marathon was a recent example.

The cops did their job and rightly erred on the side of caution, the only "injustice" is the guy will not be compensated for the damage to his car, neither the cops or his insurance company are liable. OTOH, he had no license, his car should have been parked at his home where it would have aroused far less official suspicion.

Comment: Define "expert" (Score 1) 412

by TapeCutter (#49767339) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI
Speculation yes, blind no. It's true that neither Musk nor Gates are AI academics/engineers, but they are both deeply involved in setting up and funding AI research, but the clincher is that they have huge wallets and have a long held personally interested in the subject. As such they almost certainly have a better grasp on AI and it's potential usest than the proverbial Joe Sixpack.

It follows that, with or without fame, they are both "experts" relative to the general population. As such their opinion ranks as an "educated guess" and is preferable to that of the majority of "Joe Sixpack's" who base their concerns on Terminator, Bender or an obscure passage from an ancient religious text. In other words, those with knowledge of what is possible today are more informed about what that may lead to tomorrow. In the same vein I have an (old fashioned 1990-ish) degree in computer science which included an AI component, I have written numerous AI toys over the last 30yrs, and recently sat through the 2010 online MIT course* for AI (just for fun). None of this means that Joe is a moron, Joe is quite likely to be an "expert" in other fields compared to you or I.

Here's the rub with "AI" (or any complex and controversial issue). Due to a messy divorce I hadn't really been paying attention to what had been going on in AI during the 2000's, it blew me away, I showed my 'wife' who happens to be a (sought after) business 'expert' who's lectures attract large audiences. She shrugged and said "The voice thing is neat, but what's the big deal, it's just looking up the answers on the internet, right?". To this day she simply does not have sufficient knowledge to recognize the problem. Just about everyone I have shown (other than fellow AI geeks) has a similar reaction. Not only don't they "get it", they don't even recognize "it" when "it" is talking to them. There's no offense intended when such an opinion is deemed "uninformed", it's actually a plea for Joe to familiarise himself with the problem before offering an opinion.

Personally, I'm not afraid of AI suddenly turning hostile, but "knowledge is power" so I am definitely concerned about what the "known behavior of the only high intelligence we've ever met" may do with such a tool/weapon. Given the track record of our species I don't think that is an unreasonable concern, in fact the last line of your post would seem to agree with it.

Now, if you actually take a few moments to (randomly) listen to what these people are saying about AI in their speeches and interviews, you may find that their concerns are not that different to yours and mine and that the "SkyNet" hype is just the MSM doing their thing to "sex up" conservative (and unoriginal) speculation about the human tendency to use tools in every endeavor, including our inhumane endeavours.

* For anyone wanting to sharpen their existing AI knowledge (and make smarter toys), I highly recommend MIT's online AI course. It took me about a month to watch and absorb all the lectures, I approached it as a "refresher" but also learnt some new tricks that were not available 25yrs ago. The guy running the show has trouble keeping his pants hitched up but he is simultaneously entertaining, intelligent, and down to earth, when I finished the series I wanted to sit down and talk "cabbages and kings" with him...

Comment: Re:Soft bigotry of incomprehensibly low expectatio (Score 1) 149

by TapeCutter (#49766649) Attached to: Al-Qaeda's Job Application Form Revealed

trying to address that overblown ultra-echochamber-progressive concept of poverty being the main driver of religious terrorism.

Hunger drove the "Arab spring" not Facebook. Everybody seemed to forget that there were rolling food riots in cities like Cairo and Aleppo shortly before the outbreak of hostilities. They were brought on by skyrocketing food prices due to record breaking droughts that were occurring in Australia, Russia, and the Fertile Crescent during the 2000's. In Syria alone, 2M people abandoned their farms and moved into the city looking for jobs, in a nation of 20M people it's not surprising that such internal displacement triggered a civil war. In fact it was shown in the diplomatic cables posted by wikileaks that at least one US diplomat predicted the Syrian war and even guessed the city where hostilities first erupted (due to the large influx of internal migrants).

Poverty alone is not enough inspire a terrorist response, but three days without bread will prompt most people to behave like a wounded animal. At that point you just need religion (or FB) to point the finger at someone they can blame for their predicament.

Comment: Re:Great Recession part II? (Score 1) 742

by TapeCutter (#49766287) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

The house of cards is different now. The bulk of the investment market is moving towards private equity, where things are less regulated and more difficult to game.

It's almost universally acknowledged that the GFC was caused by a LACK of regulation in the US mortgage market making it impossible for financial institutions to trust each others financial instruments ( ie: easier to game).

Comment: Re:Funny, that spin... (Score 2) 412

by TapeCutter (#49766181) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI
"Mostly" is the key word in your post. Morality cannot be defined as a list of do's and dont's that are mechanically obeyed precisely because it has a myriad of "edge cases" that require human interpretation. Many situations don't even have a 'right' answer and what is morally correct will depend on the person(s) interpreting the rules.

Also notice that when the zeroth law was added it just made matters worse because more laws allow for more contradictions, loopholes, and paradoxes, exactly like the evolved tax code of any nation you care to name.

Heard that the next Space Shuttle is supposed to carry several Guernsey cows? It's gonna be the herd shot 'round the world.