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Comment: Re:Uh (Score 2) 229

Metadata maps the social networks, storage allows you to drill down into the details. The FBI used the same technique with paper dossiers during the civil rights uprising and the misadventure in vietnam. Understanding the metadata is far more informative about a groups strengths and weaknesses than snooping on a specific individual.

Comment: Re:Why is this news? (Score 1) 357

by TapeCutter (#47436341) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

I step off my bike

I was stopped at some lights one time and there was a guy next to me on a pushbike doing the balance thing where the bike is upright but not moving. He suddenly lost balance and fell on the side of my car, no damage to anything but his dignity. I only wish I had a photo of his face because the mental image of it sliding down the passenger window still makes me laugh.

Comment: Double edge sword. (Score 4, Interesting) 71

by TapeCutter (#47429957) Attached to: Google, Dropbox, and Others Forge Patent "Arms Control Pact"
A patent cartel is a double edged sword that can smite trolls, competitors, or both. All depends of who's holding the blunt end.

Software patents are absurd and a form of double dipping since software is already protected by copyright they should indeed be scrapped. However just because patents are currently too powerful and have spread into areas where they don't belong does not mean the concept is fundamentally flawed.

The fundamental flaw is greed, the fact that 1000 individuals have obtained an income that is more than 3X that of 1,000,000,000 individuals combined is simply too much of a temptation to all but the strongest moral compass. OTOH, if everyone gets the same income who in their right mind would not just sit back and let "somebody else" worry about silly things such as a job?

The sweet spot lays somewhere in between, most economists put the ideal income ratio between richest and poorest at 10:1 and point to Norway's position at the top of almost every economic and social metric known to man as prima-facie evidence. Norway was smart enough to realise the North Sea oil boom would come to an end one day so they taxed the hell out of oil companies during the boom and invested it in both industrial and social infrastructure. Many economists now argue it is the social infrastructure that has seen the highest ROI.

Here in Australia we have done the opposite with our mining boom, there were some good reforms and we built lots of roads and railways that lead to giant holes in the middle of nowhere but mostly we squandered it on tax cuts and corporate welfare. In the meantime China has been buying our coal and iron ore and for quite some time has been building up their infrastructure at a phenomenal rate. Ironically they now have one of the highest inequity ratings of any nation. This is because of the discrepancy between the rural areas and the "economic zones". China is now in the process of building up the infrastructure in these rural areas but the pace has slowed because of the financial mess in the US and EU. They are now officially in deflation meaning production has overshot demand. Consequently our 25yr mining boom has come to a sudden halt and we have two fifths of fuck all to show for it. Sure our economy is still in much better shape than the EU and US, but I'm old enough to remember when life was good in both Norway and Argentina.

Disclaimer: I plead guilty to OT ranting, but I put it to the reader that a spliff and an end of the working week rant is far more humane than kicking the cat.

Comment: Re:Wish I could say I was surprised (Score 1, Insightful) 164

by TapeCutter (#47429443) Attached to: Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted

we could increase the penalties for those caught cheating

No thanks, keep the lawyers out of it unless a genuine crime has been commited, the last thing we want is politicians regulating peer-review. There is no system that is totally incorruptable, the fact that these frauds were exposed means the system is working in this case. The fact that the scientific and academic communities will ostrasize the fauds for the rest of their lives is natural justice, anything more crosses the line between natural justice and revenge

Comment: Re:So (Score 1) 295

I have no sympathy for idiots who poke the bear and then whine about the obvious consequences. A court of law will sort out if the charges are valid or not. These people deliberately broke the FAA ceiling in full view of a police chopper. They are not oppressed heros, they are wankers who bring the hobby into disrepute and fuck it up for everyone else.

Comment: Re:Most humans couldn't pass that test (Score 1) 279

by TapeCutter (#47422363) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI
You and I are constantly having original thoughts while walking and chewing gum at the same time, thing is they not impressive enough to be called "original". The test in TFA just extends the psychologically comforting idea that intelligence is something unique to higher life forms, yet when I was at school in the 60's intelligence was generally considered to be unique to humans, animals were generally considered to be instinctual automata, which likely explains why Turing defined AI as the ability to hold a human conversation.

Comment: Re:Turing test not passed. (Score 3, Interesting) 279

by TapeCutter (#47422323) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI
I think Watson would be able to give it's real age by finding the information rather than recalling it, although it might get confused by progressive versions. AI can also produce a picture of a generic rabbit, or cat as the case may be.

The thing that Watson (and AI in general) has difficulty with is imagination, it has no experience of the real world so if you asked it something like what would happen if you ran down the street with a bucket of water, it would be stuck. Humans who have never run with a bucket of water will automatically visualise the situation and give the right answer, just as everyone who read the question have just done so in their mind. OTOH a graphics engine can easily show you what would happen to the bucket of water because it does have a limited knowledge of the physical world.

This is the problem with putting AI in a box labeled "Turing test", it (arrogantly) assumes that human conversation is the only definition of intelligence. I'm pretty sure Turing himself would vigorously dispute that assumption if he were alive today.

Comment: Re:Turing test not passed. (Score 1) 279

by TapeCutter (#47422207) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

explain to my poor retard self how it has not passed

By definition, one in three means it failed to convince the average layman, when it gets better that one in two I will give it a pass.

Personally I think it's achievable today but as much as I admire Turing it's entirely irrelevant to the question of intelligence. It's mostly philosophical masterbation by people who misunderstand the modern definition of intelligent behaviour. For example I can't get a sensible reply when asking an octopus about it's garden but there is no denying it's a remarkably intelligent creature.

Comment: Re:Turing test not passed. (Score 2) 279

by TapeCutter (#47422149) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

So now anything we understand is not intelligence?

I heard a great anecdote about this from an MIT proffessor on youtube. Back in the 80's the professor developed an AI program that could translate equations into the handful of standard forms required by calculus and solve them. A student heard about this and went calling to see the program in action. The professor spent an hour explaining the algorithm, when the student finally understood he exclaimed, "That's not intelligent, it's doing calculus the same way I do".

It could be argued that neither the student nor the computer were intelligent since they were simply following rules, but if that's the case the only those handful of mathematicians who discovered the standard form are intelligent. It should also be noted that since that time computers routinely discover previously unknown mathematical truths by brute force extrapolation of the basic axioms of mathematics, however none of them have been particularly useful for humans.

When people dispute the existence of AI what they are really disputing is the existence of artificial consciousness, we simply don't know if a computer operating a complex algorithm is conscious and quite frankly it's irrelevant to the question of intelligence. For example most people who have studied ants agree an ants nest displays highly intelligent behaviour, they have evolved a more efficient and generally better optimised solution to the travelling salesman problem than human mathematics (or intuition) can provide, yet few (if any) people would argue that an ant or it's nest is a conscious being.

Comment: Re:Climate Change on Slashdot? Bring on the fun! (Score 2) 377

by TapeCutter (#47421819) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis
Precisely! The cow fart thing has been deliberately overblown by vested interests (ie: evil environmentalists want to take away your hamburger!!!!). The fact of the matter is that today's cow fart is tomorrow's cow food. Of course if we could stop cows farting and burping we could reduce our overall impact on climate but the real climate related problem not just with with cows but with agriculture in general is land use, ie: flattening forests and scrub land, draining wetlands, etc, to make way for pasture, shrimp farms, etc.

At the end of the day there aren't too many cows or pigs on the planet, there are too many people. However according to said vested interests uttering the simple fact that overpopulation is the root cause of the current environmental collapse somehow means that I want to start exterminating humans en-mass? - Not at all, I just happen to be concerned that collectively we appear to be behaving with all the forethought of a jar of fermenting yeast and as a consequence my three grand kids may suffer the same fate if we fail to reverse that trend.

The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when he fills out a job application form. -- Stanley J. Randall