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Comment Wrong question (Score 1) 50 50

Computers certainly can do those things.

A much better, and much more fundamental question is - "Would a computer ever WANT to paint a sunset, or write a sonnet?"

People have struggled with their own motivations for some time. AI is just beginning to consider these factors.

Can they? Almost certainly. Why would someone want to?

Comment We process such threats just fine. (Score 1) 637 637

Lots of books, science, theories, mitigations.

We just don't care.

In a way, it makes a perverse sense; my kids can deal with it. If not, oh well. Not my problem.

On a more optimistic note, when things do hit crisis level, I have little doubt that technology and engineering will provide solutions to a existential risk. The issue is the motivation ($$) behind such an effort. Until there is a demonstrable need, perhaps, what you are seeing is the best optimization of resources according to our collective will.

Oh yeah.. Get off my lawn.

Comment They do what they're trained to do (Score 3, Interesting) 357 357

..which is NOT to detect weapons.

They're trained to detect common tools, water bottles, and other harmless items to harass people. This performance is what is incentivized and reinforced, so that's what is optimized.

Security theatre doesn't work. Security that works offends people.

C'est la vie. Shoes off!

Comment What's old will be new again.. (Score 3, Insightful) 276 276

Eventually people will get fed up with paying $4.99 in perpetuity to a dozen or more vendors, and we'll have single pay licensing again. Legislative changes relating to data protection will complicate cloud migration for some professions, and I imagine state spying is starting to have economic impact.

I've seen the cycles too; the difference there is a legion of programmers and a even bigger pile of code out there. Computers (hardware) are also trending to very low cost now as well.

Software trends to zero in volume as there's no marginal cost; I'd expect more and more core functionality to be free. This has already happened to some degree in the Apple ecosystem, and Microsoft is bundled with everything.

Another prediction: More and more functionality will come bundled into the OS, and you can factor on paying a subscription for it (or the fee when you upgrade).

You want to jump on the next big rage? Nice, clean applications, web based or not, devoid of crapware and malware and in-app-purchases and ads that do what they're supposed to, cleanly, nothing more, and easily connect together through standard interfaces. It's almost like someone built something like that before.

On the other hand, no application is complete until it has an email client..

Comment Re:I'm all for DD (Score 1) 312 312

This isn't about plastic f'ing guns.

The mill they're making is designed to turn pieces of high grade billet (commonly available) into real, functioning, accurate gun bodies.

You could always do this, but it required investment of time to gain the required skill. You also needed at least a $2500 mill and some brains.

Things change when it's a $500 box you put metal in and a weapon comes out. You can do that with a specialized gig and inexpensive stepper motor drives.

3D printing metal technology is advancing on a near daily basis.

Interesting times.

Look for laws controlling ammunition to be more popular.

Comment Depends how you evaluate the curve (Score 4, Insightful) 425 425

If you're looking for people who generate a profit from their time, the curve is almost certainly U-shaped based on my now not-so-light 30+ years in the trenches.

Why is this any different than the population of other skilled professionals? You will see the same curve for musicians, for example; it's not necessarily about being able to eventually get the skill, but it's about doing so in a reasonable efficient amount of time proportional to the effort expended.

In terms of actually learning, the guy probably has a point - eventually, I could learn to play the violin - but having tried, I'm never going to do it professionally.

Ask me to develop OMAP firmware or drivers, otoh..

Comment Remember kids, sync to cloud. (Score 1) 489 489

Don't turn it off, either, until the event is long over.

I've had police in my face before, and there is no democratizing tool quite has powerful as a lawyer on retainer and/or a recording device.

Tools like Meerkat and other live streaming services are going to change the world, and not necessarily in the way their authors intended.

Comment Mass unemployment (Score 5, Insightful) 477 477

The #1 job for men in the United States is.. driving a truck.

It pays well.

Those two things make it ripe for disruption as there is a clear economic incentive; autonomous trucks don't need to stop. It's not clear even if you'd ever have to turn them off, save for regular maintenance. That is a huge economic motivator.

Trucks also follow well defined routes that are easier for the autonomous systems to deal with right now.

The Teamsters will of course freak out; but change, it is a comin'.

"Well hello there Charlie Brown, you blockhead." -- Lucy Van Pelt

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