Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Another way to look at this is.. (Score 1) 400

It's about more and more of our skills becoming obsolete. It is inevitable that (anorganic) non-humans will at some point be better than us in everything

We're not there yet and it is debatable how long it will take before we get there but again: it is inevitable that we will get there. That is, unless you believe (and can prove) that humans will always be better than anything in something. The fact of the matter is that the human body is a general purpose platform that has evolved for survival in an earthlike environment, which makes it highly unlikely to (permanently) excel at specific things. Don't get me wrong, the human body is a marvel and I like a lot of things about my specific body, but to consider it the epitome of what the universe can create would be nothing but arrogance.

The above is why your argument needs additional support that in this specific instance the human skills that will not have been superseded by those of non-humans (both technically and economically) are sufficiently untapped to (economically!) offset the skills that have been or will shortly be superseded.

For the Luddites, that support is provided trivially. The entire skillset derived from intelligence, cognition and dexterity was still highly untapped at that point.

Humans have been trumped in dexterity (and numerical processing for that matter) for a long time now, but in tasks where cognition is highly necessary for the dexterity to be useful we still have a leg up. The (specialized) dexterity and strength of robots has relied on very simple specialized sensing and strict constraints to function. Only now are we getting to a place where powerful (visual) cognition is getting close to being precise enough to coordinate robot dexterity in complex ways. There is a huge difference between knowing that the hole for the screw is going to be at exactly x,y,z (or using lasers to detect whether there is a hole at that location) and just looking at the thing and recognizing the hole, knowing where it is and how to move the arm to put the screw in the hole. In essence, I'm talking about 'hand' 'eye' coordination.

This is very relevant in the self-driving cars area. The hard part about driving is not (really) knowing what decisions to make, given certain circumstances. The hard part is situational awareness, specifically by looking at the environment, knowing what is what and how it will behave.

So forget about the AI-bit for a few years (although it is very relevant in this discussion). In the short term we're about to be surpassed in the area of 'hand'-'eye'-coordination. And that is not a small thing.

Comment Re:Meh (Score 1) 470

Viruses are a very low form of life. They aren't even single-cellular. It's even debatable whether viruses can be considered life forms at all. Considering that pretty much nobody gives a rat's ass about endangered plant species, ecological conservationism is clearly not going to kick in for viruses, which renders the comparison ineffective. Stating that variola is technically a species would just be pedantry.

Comment Re:capitalism? (Score 1) 470

It is a poorly written poorly founded bit of conjecture. The idea seems to be that rainforests would be commercially (and destructively) exploited much faster if it weren't for those meddling mosquitoes.

Science writer David Quammen has argued that mosquitoes have limited the destructive impact of humanity on nature. "Mosquitoes make tropical rainforests, for humans, virtually uninhabitable," he said.

This line of reasoning is just too flimsy to get into. The submission expanding on that already highly questionable bit of logic by implying that commercial entities might actively try to eradicate mosquitoes to be able to exploit the rainforests makes the whole thing even worse.

Comment Re:Meh (Score 1) 470

There is a difference between murder and manslaughter.

I'm not trying to make some emotional argument with that, just pointing out why people may perceive the extinction of species differently in this case.

Comment Re:Microarchitectural details? (Score 2) 95

Nope. Officially it's now: Process-Architecture-Optimization, but tick-tack-tock is what some people are calling it, with the tack having been tacked on there to allow selling 'refreshes' of processors with the same architecture and process whilst giving the impression of meaningful progress.

Comment Re:Progress (Score 1) 133

I get the presence of the engineer and co-pilot are temporary its still kinda funny though

No, it isn't. Any other way to introduce this technology would be stupid and reckless.

They also haven't replaced the driver with an engineer and co-pilot. They (will) have replaced the driver with self-driving software. That is the 'proposed solution'. Whether or not they'll pull it off with this experiment is a different story. I'm actually quite skeptical of that.

Comment Re:Developers are at fault (Score 1) 125

That is a counterexample.

What you propose would be superannoying, namely having to take an extra step to go to the downloads folder and then run the file. At that point the OS doesn't even know that it was a file just downloaded from the internet which would make showing a warning dialog at that point even more annoying as it would have to do so for every executable, always.

Also, please keep your ad hominems to yourself.

Slashdot Top Deals

A successful [software] tool is one that was used to do something undreamed of by its author. -- S. C. Johnson

Working...