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The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers 159

Posted by samzenpus
from the running-on-time dept.
Taco Cowboy writes The subway system in Hong Kong has one of the best uptimes: 99.9%, which beats London's tube or NYC's sub hands down. In an average week as many as 10,000 people would be carrying out 2,600 engineering works across the system — from grinding down rough rails to replacing tracks to checking for damages. While human workers might be the ones carrying out the work, the one deciding which task is to be worked on, however, isn't a human being at all. Each and every engineering task to be worked on and the scheduling of all those tasks is being handled by an algorithm. Andy Chan of Hong Kong's City University, who designed the AI system, says, "Before AI, they would have a planning session with experts from five or six different areas. It was pretty chaotic. Now they just reveal the plan on a huge screen." Chan's AI program works with a simulated model of the entire system to find the best schedule for necessary engineering works. From its omniscient view it can see chances to combine work and share resources that no human could. However, in order to provide an added layer of security, the schedule generated by the AI is still subject to human approval — Urgent, unexpected repairs can be added manually, and the system would reschedule less important tasks. It also checks the maintenance it plans for compliance with local regulations. Chan's team encoded into machine readable language 200 rules that the engineers must follow when working at night, such as keeping noise below a certain level in residential areas. The main difference between normal software and Hong Kong's AI is that it contains human knowledge that takes years to acquire through experience, says Chan. "We asked the experts what they consider when making a decision, then formulated that into rules – we basically extracted expertise from different areas about engineering works," he says.

Comment: Re:Deleted (Score 1) 108

by DG (#47349357) Attached to: US National Archives Will Upload All Its Holdings To Wikipedia

Indeed.

Print encyclopedias had to be picky about editing, because even edited down they were still 100lbs and took up feet of shelf space.

A digital encyclopedia has no such constraints. It can be a repository for everything, at no cost.

The "not notable" constraint is totally artificial and serves only as an outlet for the petty-minded to exert some small degree of power.

DG

Comment: Re:Deleted (Score 5, Interesting) 108

by DG (#47347741) Attached to: US National Archives Will Upload All Its Holdings To Wikipedia

Where Wikipedia fails HARD though is the article deletion process.

There are people out there who get a weird thrill from deleting articles.

An article that has been in place for *10 years* can be snuffed out just because a motivated moderator decides it isn't "notable" and sets up a "speedy delete".

Notice 6 months after the fact, try and put it back, and the whole friggin' WORLD descends on you.

Wikipedia is ruled by a group of petty, self-nominated bureaucrats. And the system - as horribly broken as it is - cannot be reformed, because there are too many vested interests who want to see it STAY broken.

 

Comment: Re:Deleted (Score 1) 108

by DG (#47347715) Attached to: US National Archives Will Upload All Its Holdings To Wikipedia

Let me guess, you're a Wikipedia moderator, right?

It continually amazes me how, in a world where storage is effectively free, where there is literally no cost to hosting articles, that there exist people who seek to suppress knowledge because it doesn't meet their arbitrary standard of "notable".

Give a man the power to say "no", and he says "no" - a lot.

DG

Comment: Re:Two things (Score 1) 85

by Tom (#47344287) Attached to: The Game Theory of Life

(or is it discovered inside the human mind? I'll let you figure that one out).

There's not even an argument there. Current scientific knowledge indicates strongly that our brains are wired for language processes, but not for a specific language.

What you're referring to as the creation of an algorithm is simply the creation of the description of the algorithm which is a different thing to the creation/discovery of the algorithm.

No. You are trying to introduce some kind of strange sideways category. Or maybe it is the word "algorithm" that's causing the confusion here. I've described my view, how about you describe yours?

Comment: Re:I lost the password (Score 1) 554

While it’s true that they will open a physical safe themselves if you refuse, you can indeed be held in contempt if you have the ability to open a safe and refuse to do so when presented with a valid warrant. The “physical safe” analogy is one of the things that’s (unfortunately) applied as an existing-law analogy to crypto.

That's actually only true if they already know for certain it's your safe and you have access to it. Otherwise, admitting that you know how to open the safe (by opening it or providing the combination) is admitting that the contents of it are in fact yours. That's self-incrimination and you can't be forced to do it, though of course with a valid warrant they can still try to break into the safe. They just can't make you admit it's yours, and that's what you're doing if you open it.

In this case, however, the idiot went and bragged to the police that yeah, that stuff is all mine! To extend the safe analogy, that's like saying to the police "Yeah, I know the combination, but I'm not giving it to you!" Now you wouldn't be telling them anything they don't know, so opening the safe is no longer self-incriminating. If he'd kept his mouth shut (first rule of being questioned by the police, keep your fucking mouth shut, they mean it when they say anything you say will be used against you), this case would likely have been decided differently.

Comment: Really? (Score 1, Insightful) 548

My salary has been steadily increasing and I certainly haven't found that there are skilled developers sitting idle at home. I can collect a small fortune in placement fees, if only I know some out-of-work developers I wouldn't be ashamed to recommend.

The simple fact from where I am standing is: There is a lot of work and there are not enough skilled people to do it yet we are only using 50% of the population.

But the sector has a massive negative image. Not even so much anti-women as anti-human. If you don't fight for yourself you won't get raises by just doing a good job and managers will happily have you do 80 hours with no compensation if they can get away with it. So a LOT of good developers I know have started their own businesses to get out of the rat race. You really got to love coding to stay with it when you can make money in consulting.

But part of the problem is the gigantic hatred you see on this site and sites like tweakers any time a story of this kind comes up. "The girls are getting some money, UNFAIR!". Crybabies. There are tons of initiatives to promote coding in general, plenty of competitions if you so wish, plenty of events to visit often with booth babes. No booth boys.

Let it go! Or at least accept that if this news story makes your blood boil, you got issues. And your issues are poisoning your work place or are even the reason you can't find a job despite your leet skills.

Nobody with real skills fears competition. If you see a new employee as anything but "FINALLY, some HELP, here is ticket 1000-9999, I take the remaining 1 million until you are up to speed", you are not a developer, real developers don't have enough spare time to worry about their jobs.

Comment: Re:You've forgotten 1 thing Tom (Score 1) 103

by Tom (#47281541) Attached to: German Intel Agency Helped NSA Tap Fiber Optic Cables In Germany

The real world is not that simple.

There are some psychopaths, especially in politics, who are not driven by money but by power and control. They've intentionally moved into politics because of that. Merkel is actually a good example of that, she spends considerable amounts of her efforts on getting rid of every potential rival around her, and she's quite good at it. She's the most popular politician in Germany largely because she's made sure all the others woke up to a knife in the back one day.

These kinds of people are not looking for big money, and are not easily bought, because they're looking for a different drug.

Comment: Re:no surprise (Score 1) 103

by Tom (#47281471) Attached to: German Intel Agency Helped NSA Tap Fiber Optic Cables In Germany

No, I mean 2 decades. Adenauer was before my time, what I know about him is from history books and I don't trust them on the details.

But we also had Brand and Schmidt, for example. We had Kohl who, even though I massively disliked him, cannot be said to have been anyones pet. And SchrÃder was... not exactly great, but he did have the guts to stand up to Bush and tell him that his war in Iraq is stupid and we will have no part in it.

Not only is UNIX dead, it's starting to smell really bad. -- Rob Pike

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