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Comment Re:privatized gains, socialized losses (Score 1) 121

The biggest use of AI will be in keeping track of dissidence.
As brought out in an earlier SD article, Facebook, Twitter and others turn over photos and postings of people over to the police. This is great for data-mining and record keeping. Add to this the fact that most of our cloths and merchandise have RFID anti-shop-lifting tags, it is easy to trace you based on you passing through shopping checkouts and video surveillance. Even if you decide to yank off every RFID tag and avoid video cameras and a cell phone, most of your friends will not, and call you a tin-foil hat alarmist. "1984" was only off by a couple of years. As long as things are going well, most people's liberties are not strongly infringed. However, just in case things fall apart, the powers that be want to stay in charge. Just look at how successful was the Co-Intel program in the 1970s when it looked as if student and Black demonstrators got carried away. America does not want to pay reparations to Blacks and Indians, that is just for the Germans towards the Jews.
We laugh at the Soviet and their obsessive security system, but it arose because the Soviet Union was scared of collapsing from within and took measures to control what they could.

Comment privatized gains, socialized losses (Score 1) 121

Just as in pharmaceutics, where most of the research comes from public grants and then successful drug research is taken over by private industry, AI and robotics has been largely developed with government grants funded by the tax payer.
The same thing also happened with space exploration. Most of the research and development came from the general public. I will say that the major reason that the US went to the moon was to explore its mineral content. This was outright stated by the astronauts, as they got the equivalent of a M. Sc. in geology. Had there been sufficient supply of exotic minerals, the industry would have been taken over by private forces. It just that the tax payer had to front the initial investment. Worse, maybe we'd find out that the distribution of resources was such that there was not much worth pursuing on the moon. Well, you would not want companies to take that sort of loss would you.
So, most of us paid to develop AI, so that it could be used by corporations to make a bigger profit, and we can go pay the bill.

Comment Re:Where the researchers slaves? (Score 1) 51

If you ever talk to a university dean or professor, the aim of a university to educate undergraduates is secondary. Most of the engineering budget comes from research grants to the department. At best, the jobs of a university is to educate graduate students and to conduct research from which to receive further research grants. I was told that a MIT's EE professor brings in 5 times his salary in research grants. So, as long as this happens, the university carries on. However, in times of intense growth or economic boon, it is more lucrative for both parties involved to hire a professor outright. I guess the major factor for many professors to not leave their university is that they think that maybe working in industry might draw them away from research and risk making them obsolete in case the tech changes. Also, universities tend to make the path to becoming a full tenured professor quite a journey, where each stage requires a considerable investment in order to be vetted by your peers. Many professors put up with this because they think that get stability and respect at a university. Technology has a half life of maybe 5 years, so even if you are an expert in something hot, it will eventually become passe.
I remember reading an article in Newsweek about some researcher who was able to transfer the bioluminese gene from jellyfish to other organisms in the mid 1980s. At that time, it was a ground breaking achievement. Now, he was working for a little bit better than minimum wage at Hertz Rent-A-Car in Madison, AL.

Comment Pharm industry does not want meds to be available (Score 1) 191

Most meds developed by research institutes are funded with public research dollars. However, once a medicine becomes effective at treating a disease, more extensive testing is done to validate it and the side effects on a broader population. This is where pharms enter the picture and get in make money. They buy the work from the research institute and write patents on the chemical process to obtain exclusivity. If you want to do research, best stick with problems faced by poor people without resources to cure their problems, e.g. parasites found in the South.

Comment meaningless (Score 1) 89

Most of my FaceBook friends are people with whom I went to HS 30 years ago and haven't seen since. Some of my FB friends are people I ones that I never spoke with, unless I count my HS reunion after 5 beers.
Many of my LinkedIn associates are people I met while in career transition. So I had lunch with so and so, hence we reached out since we had some "common interests" Nice as this sounds, we are really worlds apart. However, the kicker is that there are many coworkers out there who turned down my LinkedIn request, and vis versa.
Much of this is probabilistic analysis.
My favorite FB moment was a FB suggestion I had. FB found that I have lots of friends in common with this person. Ok, she is my wife, but maybe she does not want to admit this to too many people.

Comment let me try (Score 1) 137

I guess if the Dutch try it, so can we.
I wonder if this is not being done all ready. Some guy growing drugs notices that there seem to be too many drones flying around and decides to take matter into his own hands. Better than shooting the drones with a rifle, as there is culpable deniability.

Comment selective enforcement (Score 5, Insightful) 391

Incidences like this have and always will be about selective enforcement. There are a plenty of laws on the book, which people violate every day. It is just a matter of who gets prosecuted.
Back in the 1990's, one of the Kennedy's was accused of having sex with his kid's babysitter. For a while, this became a news story, only to disappear into the background.
When the government wants to make a example out of you, they just fabricate evidence to frame you. Look at Nixon and the case of the pumpkin papers. Evidence will be planted to make you look bad. This is especially useful against dissidence and anyone who disagrees with the state. After all, if you are not for us, you are for the "enemy".

Comment Soviet SDI proof of concept (Score 1) 126

The thing about it is that it was built at a time of the Cold War SDI/Star Wars concepts. While as it might have had civilian uses, I suspect that it was a precursor to the equivalent of the American "Thousand Points of Light", a SDI concept that would use a ground based laser to fire into a orbiting mirror which would be redirected towards a target. However, if all you are doing is calibrating and orienting an orbiting mirror, you could sell it to the world as a purely scientific experiment.
The kicker in all of this is the protests mentioned which would disrupt the natural night environment. Now, we have been polluted with lots of light during the night time for the last hundred years, so I doubt that this is hardly a valid concern. I don't think that even the atomic bomb tests, which did irradiate a lot of people in the Pacific did not draw the same level of "concern".

Comment Oil of Oley (Score 1) 70

I heard that Oil of Oley was sued. I think that they reworded their commercials to say that "it makes skin look younger" from the old claims that it "actually reverses effects of aging". Mostly, I think that the company reduced the number of explicit TV ad and rely on "word of mouth" and leave the blame with the cosmetics salesperson to take any hits.
Still, fraud by my definition, but less fraudulent. Olive Oil is just as "effective at reducing lines and wrinkles" but costs a lot less.

Comment Re:Of limited use, but an interesting comment on C (Score 2) 164

Did the same team that developed that code also run an accuracy assessment? Was there a "prize" (contract payment) associated with meeting certain accuracy? I remember reading about facial recognition systems which worked well in labs, but fail in the field.
As soon as developers become aware that they might be identified, I think that they might do things (spoof, run beautify and strip comments) to throw such a system off.

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