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Comment Re:Intelligence is Dangerous (Score 2) 185 185

One could argue that 'natural' intelligence developed in humans is the worst thing to ever happen to the planet's inhabitants as a whole.

One could, but one would be wrong. Developing intelligent life is the only way for Earth's biosphere to avoid complete extermination.

Comment Re:Obvious deflection. (Score 1) 185 185

Law is what is enforced. And the ban on land mines is not enforced.

So does this mean it's okay for the Government to ignore the Constitution, since any violations mean the violated parts are no longer laws since they weren't upheld at that particular time?

Law is law. Perhaps criminals and traitors have somehow managed to gain temporary power and suspended the rule of law in part or entirely. That's the citizen's cue to start a resistance to liberate their country, not roll over and accept the treacherous narrative of "might makes right". Or, at the very least, stop spreading it - perhaps everyone can't be a hero who refuses to serve evil, but everyone can be lazy and stupid when serving it.

Unless, of course, you'd rather be remembered as the Vichy France than French Resistance.

Comment Re:Obvious deflection. (Score 2) 185 185

Why is the ethics for an autonomous killing machine different from a non autonomous one?

Because "autonomous" means "non-manned". A drone has no dreams, hopes or an anxious family back home waiting for its return. The only thing getting hurt when one is shot down is the war budget, and even that money lost turns into delicious pork in the process.

If you don't have to worry about your own casualties, it changes the ethics of tactics - which, like it or not, matter a lot in the Age of Information - quite a bit.

To me that sounds just like another case "it happened with computers so it must be more dangerous because I do not understand computers".

It is, to Elon Musk. He's high up in the current system, and thus has little to gain and a lot to lose from any changes to status quo.

Figure out a way to raise humans so that they don't turn out bad. Then apply the same method to other neural networks.

If you don't go out of your way to abuse children, they usually turn out okay. The problem is, society is more than just a collection of individuals. A decent person still has limited personal strength and thus can give in to peer pressure, and once they have, their compliance - or at least silence - helps put pressure on others, which is how places like North Korea can persist, at least for a while. Nor can peer pressure be simply judged an unfortunate defect and eliminated from the design of any artificial intelligence, because it also helps keep various not-so-decent impulses and urges under control, and also because it's not possible to upkeep a technical civilization if you can't make any assumptions about the behaviour of someone you've not met before.

Comment Re:stupid article (Score 1) 483 483

Unfortunately there has been a trend lately on Slashdot where the editors accept a lot of stories from people linking to their own site. I guess this is acceptable in the Twitter world but doesn't match a meritocracy where users submit interesting stories instead of pumping up their page views.

I don't think the editors have a choice in the matter. Slashdot is corporate, thus it must deliver bigger numbers every quarter or be labeled a failure and discontinued. Finding a niche and delivering a steady stream of eyeballs to advertisers isn't sexy with higher-ups, because they in turn must deliver exponential growth to shareholders. But exponential growth is only possible when you're way below what the environment can support, so the staff implements random changes to be seen doing something, which in turn end up driving existing users away.

People need to understand that the Web is not the frontier anymore. Dotcom bubble came and went, and sites like Slashdot are mature (boring) businesses which simply aren't going to grow significantly anymore. Put them into maintenance mode and use their steady revenue as venture capital to fund developing new, exciting things.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 483 483

I've never understood why it can't do this during the 10 hours a night that I am not using the laptop instead of doing it when I need to quickly shut down and leave the house or quickly shut down and leave work.

Windows is codependent, it wants your attention at all times. And this is unlikely to get any better now that that attention is worth money.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 870 870

However, smart insurance companies will see this as a dangerous erosion of their market, and will probably fight against this...

Actually, isn't this the ideal case for the insurance companies? All they need to know is the software version the car is using to know exactly how it drives.

Comment Re:Why Fight It? (Score 1) 132 132

Okay, so whyTF did the company decide to fire the guy without going through the agreed-on procedure?

Because Mr. Someone living Somewhere never lived anywhere, or existed for that matter. It's just an urban legend someone decided to believe because it confirms their political beliefs.

Comment Re:Why Fight It? (Score 1) 132 132

They've made it abundantly clear that's not what they are paying you for, so oblige them, even going so far as to gleefully compound their organizational problems.

Don't go that far. Intentional sabotage due to dislike might be emotionally satisfying but also both illegal and morally wrong.

Also, bad organizational cultures are so destructive because they slowly become the invisible default against which everything is judged. And they become invisible by encountering no resistance from those who can see them until they become so accustomed to them that they don't notice them anymore. Perhaps you don't have a duty to try to save the company from itself, but if you won't, you also won't get to complain about the resulting suck, since it's the result of your (in)action - in other words, your fault.

Comment Re:Poppycock! (Score 1) 77 77

Note that if NSA is doing its job properly, you'll never hear about its successes.

Don't we hear about foiled terrorist plots and infiltrated groups all the time?

Also, one might argue that as an institution in a democratic society, NSA isn't doing its job properly unless you, the citizen, hear enough about its successes and failures to form an informed opinion about it. Because that's what democracy is: subjecting the institutions - both organizations and traditions - of the society to the will of the people.

Comment Re:Thank you, early updaters (Score 1) 316 316

Back in the real world, this is probably the first time Microsoft released a new version of Windows and no-one really cared. All the interesting new technology is elsewhere.

Of course, if (and that's a big if) Microsoft can get Hololens to work well, they pretty much have a killer application at their hands. Imagine mechanics seeing the schematics projected into whatever they're maintaining, builders seeing the outline of whatever they're building, maintenance workers seeing the outline of wires inside the wall, industrial workers seeing nearby pipes color-coded for the substance flowing through them, drivers seeing cars with high collision probability highlighted...

The real money is not in shiny desktop OS's, or even mobile, but in making a million everyday tasks slightly more efficient - injecting just the right amount of information at the right time and the right place to eliminate the stall as people check things out.

Comment Re:How much is an AG these days? (Score 1) 256 256

I would disagree with this. As has been proven by high rollers on both the right and left. You're immoral billionaire's money is just as good to these 'hoes as corporate money.

Because a billionaire is just as much a product of the system than a company is. Nobody makes a billion dollars through their own work, they make it by extracting value from other people's work. Which means their wealth is a product of and dependent on the system, thus they can be trusted to be utterly loyal to the system - slaves with golden chains, but slaves nonetheless.

Kings might have had it better than peasants, but neither could opt out of feudalism. It wasn't until capitalism - a new system - began making inroads that new opportunities opened up. And now capitalism is worn at the seams, at least in the developed world, and a seemingly neverending cascade of problems defy attempts to solve them through means acceptable to the system, which has caused a predictable retreat into fundamentalism - in this case free-market fundamentalism - for many who are heavily invested in the system. Whether this is the final crisis of capitalism, or whether it can ride out the storm once again by lifting the rest of the world to the developed status remains to be seen - but either way, it won't last forever any more than any previous system has.

Comment Re:Under what authority? (Score 0) 298 298

In this case, you need a permit to use the park. Their permit said that they would not have this wanted fugitive perform. They violated the terms of their permit, so were shut down.

But that doesn't answer the question: what right does the city, which manages public spaces such as parks on behalf of the public, has to put arbitrary conditions on their use by said public?

Comment Re:RMS Says I Told You So (Score 1) 316 316

This is yet another an example of the industry trend to make all personal computing devices, from desktop workstations to wrist-band gadgets, merely "dumb terminals" that are completely beholden to a distant server. Software will inevitably become a service that will be metered out by a distant authority like water or electricity.

It's not limited to software but is the whole idea of an economy built on disposable products: since nothing lasts, you are effectively renting everything and since you're renting everything, you can't build up wealth except in the form of "financial instruments" who's demand - and thus value - is thus artificially inflated.

"What I've done, of course, is total garbage." -- R. Willard, Pure Math 430a