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Comment Re:Languages cannot all be translated into each ot (Score 1) 117

How do we teach people idiomatic content now. I know there are German phrases that translate into nonsense in English and vice versa, but you can translate the "meaning" of the idiom. The whole point of the new semantic engine being created by Google is that the relationship of words and groups of words will be preserved. When a Doctor yells for Dabigatran in an ER because he thinks his patient is suffering from a nonlocalized DVT, his staff knows what's happening and how to respond. I (a person off the street) can look up Dabigatran and DVT in Google and I instantly know the problem has something to do with a blood clot that's traveled someplace it ought not to be. Another search and I find out the bad news places it could go would be the carotid artery or the pulmonary vein. A semantic network would have all these things related and through the interaction of a human being would be able to provide the necessary information to explain what a sentence means. There are something you can't easily translate from language to another, however you can at least describe the context. I can write something in Common Lisp, that save peeking and poking, you cannot duplicate in Basic. However spoke human languages for the most part have sufficient semantic richness to describe complex ideas. Those languages that lack sufficient complexity can in most cases be easily extended to add new meaning... Look at how much Latin, Greek, German, French and Gaelic there is in English. We add words easily to grow the language. Most languages support this feature.

Comment Re:Awesome post (Score 4, Interesting) 117

You need to investigate the entire initiative Google is spearheading around its acquisition of Metaweb. They are building an ontology for human knowledge, and are ultimately building the semantic networks necessary for creating an inference system capable of human level contextual communication. The old story about the sad state of computers' contextual capacity, recounts the story of the computer that translates the phrase "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." from English to Russian and back and what they got was "The wine is good but the meat is rotten."

The new system won't have this problem. Because it will instantly know about the reference coming from the Bible. I will also know all the literary links to the phrase, the importance of its use in critical historical conversations, The work of the Saints, the despair of martyrs, in short an entire universe of context will spill out about the phrase and as it takes the conversational lead provided by the enquirer it will dance to deliver the most concise and cogent responses possible. In the same way, It will be able to apprehend the relationship between a core communication given in context 'A' and translate that conversation to context 'B' in a meaningful way.

Ray is a genius for boiling complex problems down into tractable solution sets. Combine Ray's genius with the semantic toy shop that Google has assembled, and the informational framework for an autonomous intellect will become. The real question is how you make something like that self aware. There's a another famous story about Helen Keller, before she had language. symbolic reference, she lived like an animal. Literally a bundle of emotions and instincts. One moment, one utterly earth shattering moment there was nothing, then Annie Sullivan her teacher placed her hand in a stream of cold water and signed water in her palm. Ellen understood... water. In the next moment Ellen was born as a distinct and conscious being, she learned that she had a name, that she was. I don't know what that moment will look like for machines, I just know its coming sooner than we think. I also can't be certain whether it will be humanities greatest achievement or our worst mistake. That awaits seeing.

Comment Re:"JUST" 12 light years? LOL. (Score 2) 420

In point of fact, its all relative. You are using the orbital velocity of the planet plus its gravity, to transfer momentum to your Voyager craft. Or in your case, do the same with the sun, you would have to figure out what the relative solar motion is with respect to your destination star. There would be galactic rotation and other more local motions to be considered. Finally, the closer you get to the source of the gravity the bigger the slingshot, however if the source of your gravity assist is a ball of plasma with a million degree corona... you might wanna keep a reasonable distance, which might put a damper on the amount of gravity assist you'd ultimately be able to coax from the attempt.

You could try doing several loops around the inner planets to get a solid kick (some of the more recent planetary explorers used that trick.) However, if you're gonna attempt relativistically significant velocities, you're gonna have to use a mother Ion motor, or great big laser or an Orion engine, or something you can keep thrusting with for years while at the same time providing you with a meaningful ISP. Chemical reactions are simply too weak.

Comment Re:Instagram Bubble (Score 1) 313

In a world where whistling the wrong tune in public could get you facing a lawyer for public performance of a copyrighted song, one expects that control of IP would cut both ways. Instead, you put you personal IP on a site that promises it will never crap on you, your IP, or your privacy, only to have that site sold to someone else who gleefully turns around and says your IP is now my IP to use as I please, to profit me and only me as I please, and if you don't want to that cute picture of your baby getting a bath used in a brochure by Russian Child Pornographers, then you better get your crappy pictures off my site in about 10 minutes.

You're right, this isn't parasitic, parasites serve a useful purpose in an ecosystem. This is a plague. A blight. An oozing running sore on the human condition, a pustulant rash that occurs at the intersections of power, hubris, and blind avarice. It's possible this is just one more ridiculously heavy handed EULA that explains you have no rights and are less than human in the eyes of the service provider, and that there are no other evil machinations in the works. Then let Facebook please come out and say as much, because from here it looks like the Mother of all uninvited ass rapings, and only a fool would leave any more than a snapshot of dog vomit on the site.

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