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Comment Re:"True" atificial intelligence is... (Score 1) 232 232

Every intelligent human is going to have an operational system of instincts for dealing with other intelligent creatures simply because you can't take out that much basic functionality and still have a working mind.

So reversing that premise, why would you think that we could create a working mind that wouldn't effectively have its own "operational system of instincts for dealing with other creatures", as you put it? If it does not, then it would not be a working mind, and I would suggest that societal pressures have far more to do with a person's so-called ethical codes than evolution does.

It's not that it wouldn't have a system, it's that it would be a different system.

Think of it like genetics. We share a ton of genes with other life, 18% of our genes are shared with yeast, that means they're critical enough to our life that they've been preserved over billions of years. If you start screwing around with that 18% things probably break very very quickly so any life you're going to see on earth is likely going to have that 18% because they're a foundation on which everything else rests.

But that doesn't mean that 18% of genes is critical to life in principal. If you went to a different planet you could have a completely different set of foundational genes and a very different ecosystem.

I suspect our intelligence is the same, there's a lot of stuff in the comparable "18%" that every functional human is going to share just because it's so deep and essential. An artificial brain may not share that foundation.

Comment Re:Talking points? (Score 1) 373 373

They are all too old, vote for me, I'm 40... old enough to have some wisdom, young enough to be willing to change.

If there's one real legitimate criticism I'd have of Obama it's that he was elected too young.

If Hillary had won and he was just running now I think he'd be a far stronger President, I think his willingness to enact change was stymied by his lack of experience in dealing with the Republican counter response.

Comment Re:Talking points? (Score 1) 373 373

Trump is the kind of person who will follow through with an absolutely terrible idea because it's his idea and he won't let anyone deter him, he can cause real damage.

Perhaps, but what if it is a good idea?

Also, I pointed out that he wouldn't become King (despite what Obama has been trying), he has to deal with Congress and the SCOTUS.

It's possible, but to be honest what are his good ideas? All I've heard is general mud-slinging and policy proposals that have been all over the map.

Yes I have... I also have considered that a whole lot of Americans are tired of the same-old, same-old...

At some point, people get sick of it and want change... and not the "hope and change variety" which is what we got with Obama, and nothing changed.

Well Obama did achieve health care reform, but I think the lesson of Obama is the opposition can just decide en-mass to politicize everything, cooperate on nothing, and the President gets the blame.

CEO is a very different skillset than President.

So... leading a very large company of many diverse people... is very different than leading a very large nation of many diverse people?

I have to disagree, I think they are a very compatible skill set. Leadership is leadership, be it in the military, a company, or a nation...

No one can do it all themselves, you must be able to build groups of people up and get them to work together. This is true in the military, in companies, and in nations.

Right now we're a nation divided, nothing Obama says is anything but dividing in nature.

Trump may well kick out half the illegals, then put the other half to work.

I don't know what Obama you're listening to but he doesn't actually do much that's divisive. As evidence a lot of the major political complaints (easy on illegals, easy on terror, anti-Christian, etc) are demonstrably false.

Either way even Obama does offend he does it as a side effect, Trump offends on purpose, that's not a healthy characteristic for a leader.

As for the CEO, they've got a lot more unilateral power, they aren't fighting factions in the company the same way a President would be. I think that's a lot of Trump's flaw, he's used to saying "I'm the boss, so do it my way" and when that doesn't work he basically throws a tantrum. But a President can't run government that way, a Trump presidency would just be a stream of tantrums.

And back to Trump, have you considered the possibility that his behaviour is just some early manifestation of senile dementia?

It is a fair point... No, it isn't insulting, it is a real concern. Of course, it would also be real for Hillary and Biden as well.


Possibly, but neither are acting erratic (at least no more than when they were younger). Trump is, I think there's a substantial probability that within 5 years he'll be in steep cognitive decline.

Comment Re:Talking points? (Score 3, Insightful) 373 373

The prospect of having him in power scares me more than Sarah Palin.

Now THAT scares me... that you'd rather have her than him.

She is an idiot who doesn't know anything about anything, at least Trump knows about business.

Yes, he is a walking ego trip, perhaps a blowhard and a PITA...

At the end of the day I'd expect a Palin Whitehouse to be a bit of chaos quickly taken over by bureaucrats as she realizes that being President is a) confusing, and b) a lot of hard work. It would be incompetent and shoddily run but the kind of damage people can work around.

Trump is the kind of person who will follow through with an absolutely terrible idea because it's his idea and he won't let anyone deter him, he can cause real damage.

Have you stopped to consider that some of his comments of the past few months are actually quite carefully considered? He would not be getting anything close to the media attention without them, he is leading the republican polls, so clearly he is doing something right.

Have you stopped to consider he's only polling so high because he has huge name recognition and he's essentially a sideshow. The Republican primaries have been a gong-show since 2012 and I'm doubtful that most of the people indicating him would be actually do so if they thought he had a chance of winning.

Why does everyone want to hire a lawyer or professional lifetime politician to be President, instead of a CEO?

Another example, Steve Jobs was a PITA to work for, he'd yell, scream, tell you were you a moron, yet he clearly knew something.

Some of the nicest people in the world would make for crappy leaders.

CEO is a very different skillset than President. I don't have any objection to CEOs as Presidents in general though I think Trump would be terrible. Jobs too, I don't think he'd have been bad, but the things that made him special as a CEO wouldn't translate to being a President.

And back to Trump, have you considered the possibility that his behaviour is just some early manifestation of senile dementia? I don't want to focus on it because it sounds very insulting, but at the same time his behaviour and seeming obliviousness is downright bizarre. He wouldn't be the first politician past retirement age to start acting erratically and be diagnosed with dementia a few years later, if you're considering him for President I think it's a possibility you have to take seriously.

Comment Re:Talking points? (Score 3, Informative) 373 373

The only person who has a remote chance of caring about us is Trump.

Wait, wait, don't bring out the pitch forks... yea, I know he is a walking ego trip, yes he is a arrogant SOB.. I am well aware of that... but he also has nothing to gain by screwing us at this point. .

That doesn't mean he cares about you, it just means he's responding to different incentives.

He is now old, very wealthy, and has nothing else to do but take the country in a new direction.
    He also isn't owned by lobbyists or 30 years of political connections the way Bush and Clinton are.

If Bush or Clinton are elected, exactly nothing will change. If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always gotten.

The fact he has different baggage doesn't he has no baggage. If anything I'd say he's more likely to have some massive skeletons stuffed in the closet of an unsavoury operator.

As for a new direction 'new' doesn't necessary mean better, I don't see how a guy batting to the looniest of the fringes is going to be a change for the better.

At least Trump will kick over the table and say, "new direction".

Will it turn out well? Hard to say, we won't really know without trying, but at some point we either try something new, or accept the current situation forever.

Just read this twitter exchange. It's not a policy position or anything like that but I think it's illustrative.

First, who in their right mind gets in an insult fight with a professional comedy writer?

Second, once they're in that fight who throws out insults like a 5 year old and acts like they're kicking ass?

Trump was obviously once competent enough at one thing to make billions, but at this point, in this context, it's pretty clear that he's spent so long surrounded with yes-men that he's completely out of touch with reality. The prospect of having him in power scares me more than Sarah Palin.

Comment Re:That's Crazy Expensive (Score 1) 303 303

Ensure isn't really designed for long-term, one-food use like Soylent.

So if you have a long term medical condition that prevents you from eating anything non-liquid what do they give you and why wouldn't they want to make it suitable for long-term one-food use?

My guess is it's because it's really hard and they don't know how to do that. If Soylent thinks they've done it they're probably just shooting at a lot easier target.

They may have other advantages over Ensure such as taste or market image, but I'm really dubious it's a medically superior drink.

Comment Re:"True" atificial intelligence is... (Score 1) 232 232

It's not the weapons that are the problem, it is the people who abuse them.

There is no basis to presume that artificial intelligence is likely to pose a greater threat to mankind than natural intelligence already is without either subscribing to the notion that some mystical force or agency that is allegedly the product of millions of years of natural evolution being the only thing that prevents human beings from acting unethically when we there isn't an iota of evidence to suggest that such a thing even has any kind of objective existence in the first place, or else simply allowing one's imagination to overrule their common sense.

Well for one thing in my original post I listed 4 factors that made AI dangerous in a way human intellect isn't. You've only argued one of those 4, and even if I were to completely concede the point the other 3 still makes AI uniquely dangerous.

Second the "mystical force or agency" you're referring to is evolution. When we have good ethical instincts that's a product of evolution, when we have bad ethical instincts (ie psychopaths) that's also a product of evolution. That's because those instincts are just a method for operating with other intelligent creatures, there's huge adaptive pressure to get that right so it's built into our minds at a very low level.

Every intelligent human is going to have an operational system of instincts for dealing with other intelligent creatures simply because you can't take out that much basic functionality and still have a working mind.

But an AI won't have that same foundation, it is going to be extremely difficult to predict how it will think or to constrain it to have certain instincts.

Comment Re:"True" atificial intelligence is... (Score 1) 232 232

I'm saying that we should have no more to fear from a machine that lacks ethical constraints than we should a human being who lacks said constraints...

Except the machine may be exponentially smarter and able to replicate with extreme speed.

AI is ultimately intelligence that happens to be artificial instead of natural, and is no more worrisome about the fact that it doesn't have millions of years of evolution behind it as prosthetic limbs, no matter how advanced or sophisticated they are likely to become, are problematic for amputees.

That's a poor metaphor since prosthetic limbs fulfil a relatively simple task with simple constraints.

A much better metaphor might be artificial vs natural weapons. Natural weapons include fists, feet, and teeth. Artificial include knifes, guns, bombs, and nukes. It's clear that artificial weapons change things significantly.

As I said, we will always have much more to fear from the human beings that control such advanced technology than the technology itself.

They're a risk too but humans are much better understood as an intelligent entity.

Comment Re:"True" atificial intelligence is... (Score 1) 232 232

Natural intelligence has ethical constraints developed by millions of years of evolution

This notion is routinely spouted by people who express fears about AI, but it irrationally elevates the concept of so-called "ethical constraints" to being some mystical property of natural intelligence that is apparently somehow actually separate from it, and somehow unlikely to exist in artificial intelligence when there isn't any reason to think that it should be, or that it is likely to be.

We will have much more to fear from humans who might use AI to further their own agendas than we would from AI itself.

Huh? I'm having a little trouble parsing. You seem to be claiming that what we consider ethics are both integrally linked to our intelligence and that they are going to exist in artificial intelligence? (It actually looks like you say they're unlikely to exist in AI, but I think that would hurt your point).

"Ethics" as we define them, but more broadly every action we take that isn't completely rational, is likely a product of evolution and culture, hardwired into what we consider our intelligence. There's no reason to think AI would naturally have these characteristics, nor that we could easily replicate them if we wished.

We simply don't understand how a highly intelligent AI would think, for instance is desire or want a fundamental characteristic of intelligence or just intelligence as its evolved? What if we make a mind that doesn't have a comparable characteristic, what does it do?

Comment Re:Think like a soldier in the next war for a mome (Score 1) 311 311

When you break it down it shows you were you have a problem and gives you some detail so you can intelligently analyize the numbers.

Your number is not useful for intelligent analysis. It exists merely as a mindless shock number to confuse peasants.

I'm not a peasant. And I'm now done entirely talking about this number. Bring it up in any capacity and i'll just ignore it. I don't even want to talk about your opinion of the nature of the number.

You want to understand the numbers better read the papers. The point is to capture more of the externalities of the conflict, it may be imprecise but it's a completely legitimate measure. Ignore it and you're not having a serious discussion.

The Iranians for example think they're going to join the US and Russians as big boys at the table with their nukes.

No they don't, they think they'll deter a potential first strike by Israel, and achieve some additional prestige in the Middle East.

As to allying with dictators or opposing democracies... where have I said that that is the basis by which I determine friend or enemy? You're not making sense. You imply I do not choose my enemies carefully and then when I call you on it you say that I will not ally with certain types of governments and I will sometimes support other types of governments. And? Why is this strategically relevant to me?

Why do I care if a country is democratic or not from a military strategic perspective? You're projecting your own ideology and morality on me. While I believe in freedom and democracy etc... I am not bound to prioritize it in strategic matters. My priority there is the well being of my own people. if allying with a dictator to assist British and European industrial needs during the Cold War helps allies resist Soviet pressure then why wouldn't I do that?

So you're no longer arguing for US interventions based on doing good for those people?

Consider the difference between North Korea and South Korea. We could have saved lives in the war by letting the north dominate the south as well. In your mind this would have been worth it? Should we have allowed that or were the civilian deaths acceptable given the outcome?

You're damned no matter what you say because your entire moral framework is naive.

If you say the North Koreans should have been allowed to dominate the south you are saying that we should never fight against anything... including fascism. So the Nazis etc should have just been allowed to take what they want. Fighting them after all cost civilian lives.

But you're also damned if you say we should fight them because it fatally undermines your position that the civilian deaths means we can't go to war.

Your entire position is goofy.

I never argued that you can never intervene because of the total casualty counts, I argued that it raises the bar.

The Korean War was justifiable on those grounds, the additional death and suffering from doing nothing would have dwarfed the consequences of the act they did. Of course I have no idea how clear that was at the time.

As to ad hominems... I'm not going to get tied up in semantics. If you attempt to invalidate my position based on a baseless character assassination then I'm going to slap it aside and tell you to try something else. You say you don't want to do that? Okay... good. When you do it again, I'll remind you of your own words. Until then... I'll just leave it there.

I didn't say I didn't want to do it. I said I didn't do it.

Comment Re:shooter should have talked to owner first (Score 1) 492 492

Why is it the property owners reponsibility to go find and talk to the drone operator? The drone operator, on the other hand, knows where his toy is going so maybe HE should actually act like a responsible person and let the property owners know what he is doing ahead of time.

If he was doing something potentially invasive or that would legitimately cause the owner to worry.

If he's just flying in the area than you're effectively advocating the banning of drones in municipal areas. Even flying in your own backyard could potentially be looking out at the entire neighbourhood.

Comment Re:Took a the data real? (Score 1) 492 492

I wonder that the video and data didn't go up immediately. A couple of days is enough to edit the telemetry and video. Maybe they're honest, maybe they're not. However, it seems really unlikely that someone would be massively offended by a drone 70 meters up.

If they were going to file charges against anyone, it was really stupid for the police not to impound the drone as evidence.

It's a viral news story, are you really shocked the drone owner took a week to decide he wanted to talk to the media and give them a presentation?

Heck, maybe he has a job and simply didn't have time until the weekend.

Comment Re:Impossible with #6 or lesser shotgun shot (Score 1) 492 492

Vice president Cheney shot a man in the face with birdshot. It barely broke the skin. And the victim was 78 years old. Skin gets easier to tear as we get older.

Though Cheney usually hangs out with fellow lizard folk and their skin is far more robust.

Comment Re:"True" atificial intelligence is... (Score 1) 232 232 more dangerous to our existence than natural intelligence is.

And no less, for that matter.

There is nothing inherent to being "artificial" that should cause intelligence to be necessarily more hostile to mankind than a natural intelligence is, so while the idea might make for intriguing science fiction, I am of the opinion that many people who express serious concerns that there may be any real danger caused by it are allowing their imaginations to overrule rational and coherent thoughts on the matter.

Except for several characteristics that are specific to artificial intelligence.

1) Natural intelligence doesn't really go above 200 IQ at it's absolute max. Artificial intelligence could potentially go far higher.

2) Complex natural intelligence replicates very slowly. Artificial intelligences could replicate in seconds.

3) Natural intelligence has certain weaknesses such as basic math, artificial intelligence will lack many of these weaknesses.

4) Natural intelligence has ethical constraints developed by millions of years of evolution and a highly developed education process, sociopaths are quite rare and usually harmless. We have no idea how to encode such an ethical system into an artificial intelligence.

It depends a lot on what the artificial intelligence looks like but we would be dealing with a fundamentally different kind of consciousness, it could be innocuous or extremely dangerous.

Comment Re:The Less You know, The More Scared You Are (Score 1) 232 232

To clarify my point: The article mentions Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Steven Hawking. What do they all have in common? They are not AI researchers. The author of the book is a philosophy professor. They are all talking about and making predictions in a field that they aren't experts in. Yes, they are all smart people, but I see them doing more harm than good by raising alarm when they themselves aren't an authority on the subject. An alarm that isn't shared with the experts in the field.

To be fair the AI researches aren't experts in strong AI either, they're qualified to say we're not there yet, but they can't really say how far off "there" is because they don't know.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein