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Comment: Re:Turing test not passed. (Score 1) 114

by TapeCutter (#47422207) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

explain to my poor retard self how it has not passed

By definition, one in three means it failed to convince the average layman, when it gets better that one in two I will give it a pass.

Personally I think it's achievable today but as much as I admire Turing it's entirely irrelevant to the question of intelligence. It's mostly philosophical masterbation by people who misunderstand the modern definition of intelligent behaviour. For example I can't get a sensible reply when asking an octopus about it's garden but there is no denying it's a remarkably intelligent creature.

Comment: Re:Turing test not passed. (Score 1) 114

by TapeCutter (#47422149) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

So now anything we understand is not intelligence?

I heard a great anecdote about this from an MIT proffessor on youtube. Back in the 80's the professor developed an AI program that could translate equations into the handful of standard forms required by calculus and solve them. A student heard about this and went calling to see the program in action. The professor spent an hour explaining the algorithm, when the student finally understood he exclaimed, "That's not intelligent, it's doing calculus the same way I do".

It could be argued that neither the student nor the computer were intelligent since they were simply following rules, but if that's the case the only those handful of mathematicians who discovered the standard form are intelligent. It should also be noted that since that time computers routinely discover previously unknown mathematical truths by brute force extrapolation of the basic axioms of mathematics, however none of them have been particularly useful for humans.

When people dispute the existence of AI what they are really disputing is the existence of artificial consciousness, we simply don't know if a computer operating a complex algorithm is conscious and quite frankly it's irrelevant to the question of intelligence. For example most people who have studied ants agree an ants nest displays highly intelligent behaviour, they have evolved a more efficient and generally better optimised solution to the travelling salesman problem than human mathematics (or intuition) can provide, yet few (if any) people would argue that an ant or it's nest is a conscious being.

Comment: Re:Climate Change on Slashdot? Bring on the fun! (Score 1) 298

by TapeCutter (#47421819) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis
Precisely! The cow fart thing has been deliberately overblown by vested interests (ie: evil environmentalists want to take away your hamburger!!!!). The fact of the matter is that today's cow fart is tomorrow's cow food. Of course if we could stop cows farting and burping we could reduce our overall impact on climate but the real climate related problem not just with with cows but with agriculture in general is land use, ie: flattening forests and scrub land, draining wetlands, etc, to make way for pasture, shrimp farms, etc.

At the end of the day there aren't too many cows or pigs on the planet, there are too many people. However according to said vested interests uttering the simple fact that overpopulation is the root cause of the current environmental collapse somehow means that I want to start exterminating humans en-mass? - Not at all, I just happen to be concerned that collectively we appear to be behaving with all the forethought of a jar of fermenting yeast and as a consequence my three grand kids may suffer the same fate if we fail to reverse that trend.

Comment: Re:Climate Change on Slashdot? Bring on the fun! (Score 1) 298

by TapeCutter (#47421643) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis
Jaws was a great movie, however it was just a fucking movie.

Mosquitoes kill around one million people a year worldwide.
Domestic dogs kill over 3000 people a year worldwide (over 50,000 if you count rabies).
A kick to the head by a cow or horse kills about 40 people a year in the US alone.
ALL species of sharks combined have killed an average of 4.2 people a year worldwide over the last decade.

Too bad they didn't feed the sharks consservtionist[sic] brains.

Too bad you feed your brain with fear rather than facts.

Comment: Careful with that axe Eugene (Score 1) 199

by TapeCutter (#47421527) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere
Sure, Eisenhower warned of the problems but lets try something radical like reading the entire speech. Here's some context to whet your appetite...

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction....[snip]...But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions....[snip]....In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

In other words, Eisenhower saw the overwhelming power of the MIC as essential for peace and at the same time was warning the nation about the potential of a home grown Hitler.
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Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Twenty Nine

Journal by mcgrew

Destiny and me woke up at the same time the next morning. We cuddled a while, made love again, then made coffee and took a shower together while the robots made us steak and cheese omelettes and toast and hash browns. Destiny put on the news. There was something about a problem in one of the company's boat factories; some machinery malfunctioned and killed a guy. I sure took notice of that! They didn't really have much information about it, though

Comment: Re:Reaching for symbolism - and failing (Score 1) 176

by TapeCutter (#47420755) Attached to: Dubai's Climate-Controlled Dome City Is a Dystopia Waiting To Happen

Global warming is measured using terms like "degree" and "decade" (degree, as in singular)

You are missing the point, people won't burst into flames because of AGW. However the Arab spring was preceded by the worst drought in the the history of the fertile crescent (the birthplace of agriculture). People didn't suddenly log on to facebook and find out they were living under tyrants. There were food riots in Cairo and other major cities BEFORE the uprisings, almost 10% of Syria's total population just walked away from their farms and went looking for work in the cities.

Go and find out why that one guy set himself on fire in the public square, and why it resonated across the Arab world. Don't believe the "hunger for freedom" bullshit, these people were hungry for bread.

Comment: Re:Law Enforcement has been doing this forever. (Score 4, Interesting) 193

If memory serves, the ostensible logic was that civil rights groups were pawns of International Communism(because clearly only sinister foreign influences could have given the negro the crazy idea that certain aspects of American life were less than ideal) and thus a terrifying internal threat. That, and Hoover just didn't feel alive if he wasn't wiretapping somebody.

Comment: Savings? (Score 2) 132

Even in areas where all the cabling is buried(which definitely isn't all of them) how much do you save by putting some fancy and expensive widget within a couple hundred meters of every customer's location? Aside from the joys of managing a zillion touchy network devices out on the poles in all winds and weathers, you'd better hope that there's no secondary market for such gear or people will be harvesting them faster than you can install them...

Comment: Re:I wrote about this in 1996 in BYTE (Score 1) 488

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47415295) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software
While I strongly suspect that anyone who thinks that good developers can be made without also being correctly born is either terminally optimistic or a biologist who should quit talking and get his work into wider availability, there is a case to be made for the issue of building tools that allow seriously mediocre not-really-developers to solve the (effectively endless) supply of theoretically uninteresting, but too large to be manually tractable, problems that come up in all kinds of business and other situations. Ideally without setting them loose to produce brutally unmaintainable and incomprehensible messes.

It arguably fails the 'brutally unmaintainable and incomprehensible messes' criterion; but that's basically the function that has allowed either a dubiously sensible pile of Excel hacks, or a shambling Access monstrosity(often several of both) to become a vital part of offices everywhere. They are pretty dreadful; but they allow people with very, very, limited programming knowledge (and essentially zero computer science skill) to bodge through the assorted business-process data schlepping tasks that are too small or mundane to get an actual developer involved with. Not glamorous; but extremely useful and widely used. Even the humble mail merge, commonly treated as an invaluable tool by secretarial workers who explicitly claim to 'not know computers' is valued because it allows somebody without programming knowledge to perform the oh-so-frequently-useful "Iterate through this file and do something sensible with each line" function.

Making more good programmers is hard; but building tools that allow bad programmers to get some of the benefits of programming, ideally with features to keep them from hurting themselves or puking up unmaintainable messes, is a more tractable problem, and a valuable one to solve.

To go with your music analogy, normal humans are effectively excluded from composing and performing music at anything resembling a serious level; but hobby/amateur level musical activity is extremely widespread(and contemporary societies with recorded music and mass media might actually be atypically low, by historical standards, in mass participation in musical culture). Doesn't mean that kiddo's high school rock band doesn't suck, or that kiddo would know 'music theory' if it bit him in the ear; but music-making for recreational and social purposes is very accessible without much specialist knowledge.

Comment: Re:Classic 100 years from now? (Score 3, Insightful) 126

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47414547) Attached to: Dwarf Fortress Gets Biggest Update In Years
In terms of replay value and intricacy, 'computer games' are arguably several largely different things that all just happen to be amenable to running on computers and being sold in software boxes:

The trivial analog to simple games is (of course) those games implemented on a computer. Being the trivial case, this is mostly a wiseass cop-out; but it's worth mentioning because computer implementations have made a substantial difference in what games are considered 'solved' and how strongly. Some games are so simple that children can solve them by hand (tic-tac-toe, most notably, since people do actually play it; but it's simple enough that most players eventually solve it and lose interest); but solving checkers, or the partial solutions for chess and go, are exercises that require ingenuity and cunning; but a lot of brute force.

The slightly less trivial analog is extensions of classic games that would be impossible or impractical to fabricate as board games. Mostly 2d games adapted to 3 or more dimensions(or 3d puzzles, like Rubik's cubes adapted to 4 or more dimensions). These usually have some improvised implementation that doesn't need a computer (multiple chess/checkers boards with rules for pieces moving between them in the extra dimension, that sort of thing); but computers make them easier and less knock-over-and-abandon-in-frustration prone.

Then there are computer games that are really, in terms of playability and intricacy, basically team sports, rather than anything analogous to deterministic games of perfect information like chess, checkers, go, etc. Something like Counter-Strike is replayable much like soccer or football are (ignoring the fact that operating systems and Glide/OpenGL/DirectX tend to break backward compatibility more often than 'grass' does, so a single, specific, implementation may not remain playable in the long term without porting, though games with robust port support are in decent shape). There is strategy and teamwork; along with individual expertise in implementation, so most of the 'churn' in these games is either abandonment of older engines in favor of nicer ones, or iterative tweaking of weapons and balance. Specific 'games' in the sense of 'Program X sold under name Y' tend to come and go; but the overall dynamic is similar to regional variations, changes in equipment, occasional rule tweaks, and the like in traditional sports, except that traditional sports tend to treat variants as all being flavors of A Sport, while the trademark and SKU-focused game market tends to treat each variant as a separate game.

Then there are the 'games' that really shade into choose-your-own-adventure books with pictures, or movies with reflex tests: I enjoy these myself, and they are a perfectly valid form of entertainment; but they are about as dissimilar from classic 'games' as something called a 'game' can be. Single-player FPSes, relatively 'closed world' RPGs, that sort of thing. Hardly identical to a film(in all but the worst excesses of the early days of "Wow, we have a whole CD to fill with shitty, overcompressed FMV!" era), the tests of reflexes, RPG party management, or whatever are genuinely part of the experience; but they aren't terribly replayable because, sooner or later, you run up against the fact that there is only so much manually-generated, written, and voice-acted plot to uncover. Likely good for more than one playthrough, unless brutally linear; but each 'branch' costs so much dev and artist time that there aren't going to be too many of them.

There may also be a category for the games (the Civilization series being the most prominent example that comes to mind) that could have been implemented as board games; but would be near insanity if you had to keep track of teeny plastic wheat counters for every single square. If these are single player, they often wear out their welcome sooner or later because the AI opponents just aren't good enough (whether because there just wasn't anything in the budget for 'hire academic computer scientists to do deep analysis of the game and attempt to solve it', which there isn't, or because the game may not be solvable in any remotely computationally tractable way); but against humans these might qualify as both genuinely somewhat novel, and genuinely replayable and intricate, it will be interesting to see.

'Emergent' games (like DF), may or may not be sufficiently mature; but if they do end up standing the test of time and intricate replayability, that would be the most novel of all, since (unlike games that attempt, with varying levels of success, to make an AI do a human's job) these games tend to give the NPCs fairly limited intelligence; but enough room for the world as a whole to just go nuts in interesting ways. That has not historically been possible in games; but it is also not an imitation (however accurate or inaccurate) of a human opponent or opponents, as with 'Chess-but with someone who's always up for a game!' type computer games.

Comment: Re:Modern Day Anti-Evolutionists (Score 1, Interesting) 321

by ideonexus (#47414489) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann
That's a fair argument, and that's also why I used the word "faith" to describe my opinion. I would love to continue having a constructive dialog on this... but unfortunately, we can't move the conversation on Climate Change to a discussion of what, if anything, we should do about it until we get the public to accept the scientific consensus on it. This is how the Skeptics are winning, by preventing the dialog from moving forward.

Comment: Modern Day Anti-Evolutionists (Score 5, Interesting) 321

by ideonexus (#47414391) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

It seems to me that the Climate Skeptics are making the same mistake the anti-eugenics movement made in 1925 with the Scopes Monkey Trial, which fought the teaching of evolution in schools. Most people don't know this, but the anti-evolution activists were horrified by the textbook's use of Evolution to justify Eugenics, but instead of attacking the public policy proposals of the Eugenics Movement, they attacked the science of Evolution, and history remembers them as buffoons for combating the scientific consensus.

Today, Climate Skeptics are fighting the scientific consensus instead of debating the policies being proposed from that consensus. I myself am an adaptationist, I don't care if we do anything about Global Warming for another 20-30 years and at that point I have faith that civilization will start to engineer its way out of the problem... however, I find myself on the side of the environmentalists with their oftentimes draconian public-policy initiatives because I believe in scientific literacy, and the anti-science positions of today's Climate Skeptics threaten to undo the scientific progress on which our civilization depends for its survival.

Comment: Re:Is it still braindeadly single-threaded? (Score 1) 126

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47414121) Attached to: Dwarf Fortress Gets Biggest Update In Years
Why wouldn't it be an explanation? 'Excuse', is a slippery term because it tends to have moral connotations that can lead one into the rather subjective territory of arguing about what somebody does or doesn't have a duty to learn and why; but an 'explanation' is just an account of why something is as it is.

It might be that 'He's an autodidact' isn't the correct explanation in this case; but 'He picked it up on his own, because of his interest, which is why the result shows an idiosyncratic emphasis on what interests him to the exclusion of some accepted best practices.' certainly sounds like a reasonably well formed explanation, whether one finds it excusable or not.

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