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Comment Re: 25% drop over 20 years is not a "plummet" (Score 1) 565

That's why I'm here to help you. Now for the next step. Find a tall building, go to the room and throw something soft off the edge. Graph the object's path. Compare with previous graph. That's a "plummet" vs a "gradual decline". If you still can't visualize the difference, then the final step is to gain personal experience. While still on the tall building...

Comment "For the first time in recorded history... (Score 2) 292

...three Category 4 hurricanes..."

Wrong. The Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale was only ivpnented in 1971. Satellite clocking of hurricane wind speeds -- the sole metric of that scale -- has only been available since 1977. Before then the only hurricane speed measurements were on land and ships.

Recorded history goes back much farther than that. Like 6,000 years, give or take.

Slashdot, please correct the story.

Comment Re: Correction to summary (Score 1) 97

Using your term, we didn't 'know' how gravity worked even after Newton's and Kepler's work, still we were able to construct accurate ballistics, because we still knew something.

That example is not congruent with the AI claims made here.

First, we still do not know how gravity works. We have observed its effects and have drawn conclusions that were then formulated into physical "laws", but nobody understands the mechanisms of gravity.

Second, gravity is a very simple process compared with the processes of intelligent thought. We don't even know that thought occurs in the brain. The brain might just be an I/O interface to a completely different repository of intellect that we haven't discovered yet (e.g., what some people call the soul). Maybe, maybe not. We just don't know. Nobody has proven that intelligence resides in the brain. We've only poked at it and observed effects.

Given that level of uncertainty, nobody currently understands neurons and their role in intelligence to do anything more than wild, unprovable guesses.

Comment Re: Correction to summary (Score 1) 97

I agree, except that all that's been achieved so far -- self-driving cars, speech recognition, etc -- is just automation, not intelligence. None of these artificial processes are intelligent, they are simply reliable at solving a small class of problems to a certain level.

Comment Re: Correction to summary (Score 1) 97

Unfortunately you can't define what intelligence is, so these not-neurons in a not-brain network may well be producing it and you wouldn't know.

The burden of proof is not on me, but on those making assertions about IBM's chips achieving rodent brain capabilities. I don't need to prove anything, and demanding that AI researchers and the media support their claims with facts is not a strawman argument.

Comment Re: Correction to summary (Score 1) 97

>We are talking about reproducing the intelligence of a rodent brain.

No. We're not. We're talking about *simulating* a rodent's brain to the limits of our current understanding

Sorry, no. The Wired article title in "IBM’s ‘Rodent Brain’ Chip Could Make Our Phones Hyper-Smart". The title is derived from IBM scientist Dharmendra Modha's description of what IBM built: "You’re looking at a small rodent,”

The claim, at least by Wired, is that IBM has simulated the intelligence of a "small rodent."

The point is that AI researchers and the media keep recklessly spewing outrageous, but unjustified, claims about what they've achieved.

They need to stop.

Comment Re: Correction to summary (Score 1) 97

We know things about neurons, but we do not know how they work. Just as I know things about the Navy Seals, but I don't know how they works. The difference is that knowledge about how the Navy Seals work is possessed by some humans. Knowledge of how neurons work is possessed by no human.

Comment Re: Correction to summary (Score 1) 97

There is a huge difference between a taxi driver not knowing how the neurons work, and a neuroscientist not knowing how the neurons work.

My point is that there is not huge difference. In fact, I think the taxi driver is in a far better position, because he isn't lying to people telling them that he is close to reproducing rodent and cat intelligence from a simulation of not-neurons based on not-knowledge of intelligence and neural biology.

Comment Re: Correction to summary (Score 1) 97

"I am having lunch on the Moon this week!"

"No, you're not."

See, dichotomies work all the time. Especially when you have facts to back them up.

All your handwaving about how much knowledge is enough for useful simulation is meaningless, because we aren't talking about useful simulation. We are talking about reproducing the intelligence of a rodent brain.

The other simulation examples you cite are all experiments based on knowledge we already have. You can't model something you don't understand, and we do not understand ANYTHING about the relationship between neurons and intelligence. We don't know how memories are stored, or where they're stored. We don't know how decisions are made, or even if they're made in the physical brain at all. We know so little tht we can't even estimate how much more we need to know.

Nobody is building a mouse brain this week. Or this year. Or even this decade and I doubt this century.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A firefly is not a fly, but a beetle.