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Comment: Re:Already there (Score 1) 413

by mbeckman (#49765409) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI
Watson is not AI. In fact, AI is not AI. AI is artificial, alright, but none of it is intelligent. Intelligence requires consciousness. We don't know what consciousness is, hence we cannot built an artificial one. The whole "strong/weak" AI terminology came about because AI researchers made zero progress on consciousness. Stratifying the discipline is a rationalization for continuing to use the term AI when it is totally unwarranted.

Comment: Bye bye, AI. Hello Cargo Cult. (Score 1) 413

by mbeckman (#49765353) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI
The whole concept of an existential threat from an artificial intelligence is bogus. We don't even understand our own consciousness, let alone how to construct one out of digital logic. We are no closer to creating an artificial consciousness today than McCarthy was back in the 1950s. All current AI is parlor tricks and fancy table lookups -- glorified Elizas. In fact, it's bogus to even call today's state of the art in cybernetic software "AI" at all. AI researchers are like the little man in the Elizabethean chess machine, but a little man that redefines the definition of intelligence to meet his actual abilities:

"How about checkers? Let's do checkers, shall we? Or maybe tic-tac-toe. Yes, I'm a machine who thinks, I am! Depending on what the meaning of 'think' is."

Modern AI researchers, knowing how far they are from actual consciousness, are redefining "AI" to include such mechanistic idols as robots and routing algorithms.

It's all reminiscent of the south pacific cargo cults: primitive natives making effigies of airplanes and radios out of bamboo, thinking that the shape of things determines their function, and not their actual construction.

Comment: Re:Morons don't learn quicklly (Score 1) 629

You're thinking of curtilage trespass -- not entrance into a residence. Walking into someone's yard that is posted "no trespassing" is indeed a misdemeanor. But in many states, including liberal California, if you commit what is known as "aggravated trespass" by entering into someone's home without permission, and the resident feels bodily threatened, you can face felony trespass charges. This could mean a jail sentence of sixteen months or up to three years. The threatened resident can also shoot you under the Castle doctrine (California Penal Code Section 198.5). The threatened resident is not required to retreat, and can even chase you and use deadly force to neutralize the threat. And if they manage to just hold you for police, you are still subject to felony trespass charges. What's more, the threat can have been made any time in the preceding 30 days. It need not occur during the trespass.

So death or prison are your options. Only a moron would choose this.

Comment: Morons don't learn quicklly (Score 1) 629

If some moron walks into your house through an unlocked door and begins riffling through your things, that's trespassing. As the home's resident, you're entitled to apprehend them and prosecute. Same thing here. These delinquents will either learn or they will remain morons.

Comment: Downwinders' misguided protest (Score 2) 167

The Tularosa Basin Downwinders came to protest the 70th anniversary tour? Yet The Downwinders' aim is to bring public awareness about the negative impacts of the detonation of the bomb? Seems like an anniversary tour is a perfect opportunity for that. Why protest people who had nothing to do with the testing, and only have historic interest? Should we protest Civil War reenactors? I sympathize with their plight and don't approve of government misdeeds, but the Downwinders shame themselves.

Comment: Dear citizens of Switzerland, (Score 1) 111

by mbeckman (#49412693) Attached to: Swiss Launch of Apple Watch Hit By Patent Issue
Thanks to your idiotic government, you, the world's foremost connoisseurs of fine timepieces, will be denied the right to own the most revolutionary timepiece in history. Fortunately, you have the means to change the government's mind. By law, each of your men between 20 and 30 years old has received military training and is required to maintain a military-grade automatic weapon at the ready in their homes...

Comment: Trivial? I'll show you trivial! (Score 1) 198

Look how many TONS OF OXYGEN are consumed on human exercise. Exercise that gets you nowhere, generates not one miliwatt of consumable power, and throws off MEGAWATTS of heat that undoubtedly contributes to global warming. We need regulation and we need it now! Close all gyms, tax eliptical machines and treadmills. Do it for the children!

Comment: Re:As an Engineer/Journeyman Machinist I can tell (Score 1) 188

by mbeckman (#49212611) Attached to: The Origin of Life and the Hidden Role of Quantum Criticality
I actually do work with genetic and evolutionary algorithms, since routing on the Internet is a variant of the NP-hard Traveling Salesman Problem. But EAs are only inspired by Darwinian evolution, and just one aspect of evolutionary theory: natural selection. EAs perform their automated selection function in an ideal environment, where there is no loss of information, no friction, and no entropy. The selection function, however, is the crux of EA, and it must be devised by an intelligent programmer. EA selection algorithms do not "evolve" on their own.

In the end, nothing in EA proves anything about evolution, or vice-versa. The experimental realms are totally different.

A much more interesting application of biology to CS is DNA itself, as an information store, and protein construction as programmable machines. No evolution is involved, but the complexities of DNA has given great insight into practical massive computation methods. In particular, a novel proof of concept for solving an NP- hard path problem was devised by computer scientist Leonard Adleman, who employed the massive parallelism of polymerase chain reaction to simultaneously evaluate all possible paths. The final answer was literally spun out of the computation reaction with a centrifuge. This launched the field of DNA Computing.

Comment: Re:Blind to the Watchmaker? (Score 1) 188

by mbeckman (#49211891) Attached to: The Origin of Life and the Hidden Role of Quantum Criticality

Saying that you can't test the theory is quite different from saying that the theory is false. And often it's just "we can't *yet* test the theory".

I didn't say it was false. I said it is not science. Like many religions, it may be true. But its adherents must take that on faith. Science can't *yet* prove evolution, just as it cannot *yet* prove God. The two beliefs are on an equal footing, philosophically. Yet evos keep trying to say "it's settled science". Anyone is allowed to call bogus on that position. It is the evos' duty to prove their assertion.

Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie

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