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+ - How a Super-Intelligent AI Could Wipe Out Humanity->

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "Oxford University futurist Nick Bostrom thinks we're doomed. It's his job to contemplate existential threats to the human species, and he predicts that a super-smart artificial intelligence program will be the end of us.

His new book, Superintelligence, outlines AI takeover scenarios, discusses what might motivate a superintelligent AI, and lays out reasons why the AI’s pursuit of its goals would likely lead to our extinction. This excerpt from the book imagines a situation in which a developing AI lulls humans into complacency before making a "treacherous turn.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Being a Millionaire (Score 1) 467

by labradore (#46774455) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

My dad was a small-town banker and my father-in-law was a box factory floor manager.

Both managed to save over half a million before they retired through no particular brilliance, just hard work and saving.

If you're a developer younger than 35 and don't save a million before you retire, there's a good chance that you're either not going to retire or you're going to be poor when you do.

Retiring at 65 and living to 85 gets you 50k per year with a million dollars of savings. Investment and interest could extend that another 5 to 10 years. On the other hand, medical technology advancing gives you a pretty good chance of living that long. Save now. Spend later.

Comment: Yes, they're bastards. And Greedy. (Score 1) 386

by labradore (#46764213) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

Rich people get income from "investment". Poor people get income by working. When you invest, you take the accumulated surplus work and use it to accumulate a larger surplus. You also retain more surplus. When you work, you directly contribute labor that is needed to sustain life and civilization and give away a "fair" portion of the surplus to your bosses.

We have a sliding tax scale. Everyone gets taxed 15.625% (social security and medicare) on labor. Except if your labor is valued about 2x to 3x above average. After $120k per year, you pay minimal additional SSI/Medicare.
Then there's income. Income tax is mostly paid by fools and people who earn about 2x to 4x the average wage. If you're in the lower class, you probably pay nothing or get a small stipend from the government. If you earn average to about 2x average wage, you most likely pay 8 to 15% of your labor in income tax.

Then there's sales tax. That averages around 9.5%. It's effectively regressive because those of us who spend almost all of our income on things we need end up paying 6 to 10% of our income in sales taxes. Rich people spend very little of their total income in sales tax. They "spend" a lot of their income on generating more income instead of on taxable purchases. The sales tax rate is more like 1 to 2% of rich peoples income.

Then there's capital gains. Rich people earn most of their income from capital gains. They nominally pay 15 to 20% of capital gains in taxes. In reality, the richest people pay almost no capital gains because it's much cheaper to just buy tax loopholes and hire attorneys and accountants.

Lets say you work hard and manage to get yourself into the "upper middle class". Your family makes about $160k per year. Probably 7% of that goes to sales tax. Another 15% to SSI/Medicare. Another 10% to income taxes. Another 4% to various state and local taxes. You're paying about 36% of income in taxes. It could easily be more like 40%. The millionaire a few neighborhoods over? He pays about 3% in sales taxes because he only spends about 500k of his annual income. 20% in income taxes because most of it is capital gains. 5% in state taxes and 4% in SSI/Medicare because he doesn't have to pay much after around $120k. That's right: 32%. Also, his company may be getting tax breaks for "staying in the area" or investing in solar or whatever else he can finagle out of the local and state governments. So that's it for taxes.

Now, lets also look at how income is distributed. We already know that basically, right now, the rich get richer and the poor tread water or get poorer. How come? It pretty much flows naturally. Capitalism is mostly about competition. In nature, competition produces winners and losers. The alpha male lion does most of the mating (hence the "lion's share"). The most well adapted species survive and take over. The rest go extinct. There's a direct parallel between our economic system of unequal gains and the fact that we, as a species, are winning the competition for survival so thoroughly against every other species that we're presently causing the greatest mass extinction event in the history of the world.

Nature is really just an extension of physics whereby biology governs a set of complex chemical interactions that collect, store and expend energy in endlessly varying eddies, pools and swales. Life surfs on the energy gradient that exists between the sun and the vast cold emptiness of space. We are fractal perturbations of the otherwise straight forward march of entropy in the universe. Evolution is the process whereby life develops ever-more efficient and complex means of subsisting on smaller portions and more exotic locales in the energy landscape. This demands that the least efficient competitors die off to make room for more advanced ones.

We are transitioning out of the existing system, riding the phase-change whereby evolution is no longer being playing out exclusively in the biome, but also in memes manifested as technology. Just as the earliest life forms were massively inefficient relative to today's species, they are orders of magnitude more complex and effective at catching energy and complicating the process of entropy than non-living processes. Our technological processes are quite inefficient at harnessing energy but make up for it by having access to immense pools of energy that are unavailable to biological organisms (fossil, nuclear fuels and soon extra-terrestrial solar). Thus the scale of technological processes completely dwarfs that of biology so it can, at present, afford to be inefficient.

Let me pose this question: which ecology has more potential for evolutionary advancement? One where many competitors exist with a gaussian distribution of resources, all with the strong desire to work their way up into the safety and security of the upper class? How about one where a handful of competitors safely control a vast amounts of resources and the majority of competitors have subsistence resources? In the second scenario, most competitors don't have the resources to evolve technologically (try new ventures). In the first scenario, the pace of technological evolution is much faster because so many more experiments (mutations) are being run in parallel. It's a fair analogy to the economic circumstances in the U.S. of the 1950s and 60s and the U.S. of today.

There's another factor to consider here. We are conscious, self-aware entities. At some point, we can look at the situation, do the analysis and conclude that:
1) There's enough resources for everyone. People don't have to starve or even just subsist. Not even some of us.
2) We don't have to kill off or marginalize nature to further our expansion.

We can modulate our the impulse to conquest and expand.
We can work together.
Those who can't or won't, don't really have a place at the table.

It's not inevitable, AND it's also the only future worth having.

It's only by contributing to a shared, peaceful future that each and any of us will find true fulfillment and satisfaction.

Comment: Conflict of interest (Score 1) 181

by labradore (#46714749) Attached to: Do Free-To-Play Games Get a Fair Shake?

It's simple. On the one hand there is the incentive to make the game enjoyable. On the other hand, there is an incentive to make the game less enjoyable if you don't pay. When you simply pay for access to the game, the incentives align. When you don't, the incentives are at odds. The only mitigating factor is that the game has to be enjoyable enough to get your attention in the first place.

Comment: Be a Tech Writer (Score 1) 451

by labradore (#46424593) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Change Tech Careers At 30?

If you haven't taught yourself programming by now, there isn't much point. Just move on.
While the demand for good developers and engineers is strong and well publicized, demand for UI/UX people and tech writers is also pretty strong.
It also doesn't hurt you to know multiple spoken languages in those fields.

None of that is appealing? Create a YouTube channel of explaining the topics that you like. If you really are good at explaining and demonstrating, someone will offer you work. The ad revenue makes a nice bonus.

Comment: Have you tried any other languages? (Score 2) 876

by labradore (#46192927) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

ASM, C are no where near the abstraction level of LabView.
C++ is higher but so complex that it's useless for rapid development.

Labview is at a much higher level of abstraction. Of course it's designed essentially for hardware folks to do software with a low learning curve.

Comparable level text-based languages would be something like Python or Matlab. Have you tried those?

Comment: They're about standards, not openness. (Score 1) 1

by labradore (#45896981) Attached to: MPAA joins the W3C

HTML5 was created despite the W3C and without its blessing.
1) W3C is more interested in bureaucratic solutions than useful technology.
2) W3C is bought and paid for by groups whose interests align strongly with the MPAA whose essential policy is to monetize all forms of expression and total control over distribution of content.

See earlier discussions:

At this point, the standards are seen mainly as a way of keeping unapproved "vendors" from creating a user-agent that might allow too much access. They seem to espouse the notion that there is still an ocean of "content" that hasn't made it to the web because there hasn't been sufficient monetary incentive to put it online. Two seconds of thought about how cable companies restrict access to their online streams (e.g. HBO Go) shows that there's no technical barriers to having more content on the web, only corporate barriers.

+ - Intel's 128MB L4 Cache May Be Coming To Broadwell And Other Future CPUs->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "When Intel debuted Haswell this year, it launched its first mobile processor with a massive 128MB L4 cache. Dubbed "Crystal Well," this on-package (not on-die) pool of memory wasn't just a graphics frame buffer, but a giant pool of RAM for the entire core to utilize. The performance impact from doing so is significant, though the Haswell processors that utilize the L4 cache don't appear to account for very much of Intel's total CPU volume. Right now, the L4 cache pool is only available on mobile parts, but that could change next year. Apparently Broadwell-K will change that. The 14nm desktop chips aren't due until the tail end of next year but we should see a desktop refresh in the spring with a second-generation Haswell part. Still, it's a sign that Intel intends to integrate the large L4 as standard on a wider range of parts. Using EDRAM instead of SRAM allows Intel's architecture to dedicate just one transistor per cell instead of the 6T configurations commonly used for L1 or L2 cache. That means the memory isn't quite as fast but it saves an enormous amount of die space. At 1.6GHz, L4 latencies are 50-60ns which is significantly higher than the L3 but just half the speed of main memory."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:If Google sold servers... (Score 3, Interesting) 152

by labradore (#41319525) Attached to: Intel Confirms Decline of Server Giants

What's the point?
1. you use less parts and cheaper parts in the power supply.
2. you have fewer and shorter cables
3. you use 5V, 3.3V, regulators that are the right size for the job. this saves space and saves material
4. you get to choose where to put these regulators so that heat management can be more optimal
5. it's easier to integrate the 12v battery with the space saved

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. -- John Muir