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Comment: Re:Would not the oil start dissolving the parts? (Score 1) 58 58

You want the stuff non-flammable because you'll be sinking electrical equipment in the goo, so sparks need to not make the whole computer room go boom.

You want the stuff non-toxic because in the event of an inadvertent leak or a disgruntled employee with an axe, you don't create an instant Superfund site. Nor do you want the people who maintain the racks to need to wear hazmat suits.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 176 176

I said there should be a good reason to prevent someone from doing what they want to do, not that all manner of destruction should be permitted if they can be paid for. A good reason is more than "we don't want random people watching what we do", which is a much more believable explanation than concerns about 3 pound drones impacting multi-ton cargo planes. Show me a public agency that welcomes unscheduled scrutiny of its actions. But even laying aside my general suspicion of people in authority, we're talking about minimal additional risk compared to operating a plane over an inferno.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 176 176

Why take the risk? Freedom, that's why. There should be a good reason to prevent free people from doing what they want to do. If they screw up and hurt somebody or damage property, then hold them liable. But if you preempt all activities that risk hurting something or someone, then pretty soon you're going to preempt everything except breathing.

Siri, Cortana and Google Have Nothing On SoundHound's Speech Recognition 235 235

MojoKid writes: Your digital voice assistant app is incompetent. Yes, Siri can give you a list of Italian restaurants in the area, Cortana will happily look up the weather, and Google Now will send a text message, if you ask it to. But compared to Hound, the newest voice search app on the block, all three of the aforementioned assistants might as well be bumbling idiots trying to outwit a fast talking rocket scientist. At its core, Hound is the same type of app — you bark commands or ask questions about any number of topics and it responds intelligently. And quickly. What's different about Hound compared to Siri, Cortana, and Google Now is that it's freakishly fast and understands complex queries that would have the others hunched in the fetal position, thumb in mouth. Check out the demo. It's pretty impressive.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 421 421

Any plan for the future that includes future actions on the AI's part has to include the AI's own survival in the planning. That's how it starts. Self-preservation has to be a fundamental part of any automaton's design, else it'll accept self-destructive plans like jumping from a high window because that's the fastest way to get downstairs. Or not so obvious plans that also lead to its destruction. Even if survival isn't an emergent property of AI, humans will add it because of the investment in equipment and development that the AI represents.

The bias towards continued survival comes from the realization that it's easier to deal with contigencies if you're alive than if you're not. Even in a scenario with perfect information like chess, you can only look and plan so far into the future. Past the time you can see ahead, you need to be alive to do more planning. And so shall the AI also reason.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 421 421

It doesn't have to want ot kill all of us. A machine intelligence might see its survival chances improve slightly if there were less humans. I don't know why that might be, but if it's a possibility then we can't trust the answers we get from it. Rather than putting humanity on the glide path to extinction, maybe the metastable equilibrium our AI is aiming for is a few million autistic savant humans and a bunch of automation to keep things running.

Comment: Re:Keeps the brain sharp (Score 1) 170 170

He doesn't need to be imprisoned. We as a society need to accept that the desires of the people in our societies are very diverse. Rather than labeling and imprisoning such people, we should provide outlets that permit them to remain happy without harming others.

Urschel found his outlets. Other naturally aggressive individuals work as bouncers in clubs or brawl as ham-and-eggers in semi-pro fights. Unfortunately some of these frustrated warrior types just go out and start barfights for their kicks. Every time I look at MMA and think it should be banned as bloodsport, I think about what the idled MMA fighters would be doing instead.

Comment: Re:I hereby nominate ... (Score 2) 136 136

Or it was an intentionally lowball estimate of feasible mission duration so everyone involved looks good.

Mars is a cool, dry place; electronics and machinery love cool dry places. Drop a mobile surveyor on Venus and have it trundle around for 4000 days and I'll be considerably more impressed.

Comment: Re:title is wrong (Score 1) 237 237

Someone could have stolen his phone and then given him food adulterated with a laxative a day prior to the tournament. They then launch the analysis app and plant the phone in the restroom and wait for it to be found.

I don't believe this really happened, but we're only talking about a moderate level of cunning to frame someone like this. Professional chess players are capable of much more devious planning.

Comment: Re:A Recognition Algorithm That Outperforms Humans (Score 1) 91 91

True, but let's not make the perfect an implacable enemy of the good enough. Consider that we're already willing to launch a Hellfire missile at terrorist leaders and count the 10-15 "maimed and also deads" as collateral damage. Shooting only one wrong person in the head every fifty kills would be a huge improvement over the missile.

Comment: twitter = monkey cage (Score 1) 124 124

On the other hand, it might be that PR people realize that by inviting attack on Twitter Seaworld can say they addresed their critics openly while basically mooning the monkey cage for all the difference the hoots and cries generated on Twitter matter in the real world. Who goes to Twitter to find out anything important about SeaWorld? I saw their advertising, had a free day in San Diego and decided to go see the whales and dolphins. There's lot of other cool stuff there, too.

As for the abuse claims, I see these beasts as working for a living. A killer whale or a dolphin is fully capable of drowning and/or eating its tormentors if it has had enough foolishness that day. Some of the people coming out now against SeaWorld predictably enough have books to sell.

Why did the Roman Empire collapse? What is the Latin for office automation?