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Comment Re:Good grief (Score 1) 327

And I say that it's your party's fault too. Year after year of republitard cuts killed NASA.

You do realize that SLS exists in the first place only because of republitard senators? My view is that SLS will probably fail utterly, not because of the republitards, but because SLS is based on really stupid economics. Even if it successfully launches some point in the future, it'll be many times more expensive than commercial alternatives.

Comment Targeted Alpha Therapy offers a solution (Score 2) 63

For some time, Targeted alpha therapy has shown promise for treating difficult cancers, but it may also be used to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria and pathogens like HIV. Once this capability is developed, the antibiotic arms race will end once and for all. The looming threat is very serious, and such promising research should be a high priority.

Unfortunately, there are artificial barriers that are retarding progress. The most attractive isotopes for use with TAT are Actinium-225 and Bismuth-213, which no longer exist in nature. Looking at the periodic table, one might be inclined to believe that other substitutes exist, but they simply don’t. The neptunium decay chain is unique in that it does not pass through radon or terminate in lead. Born in supernovae long ago, it was extinct in nature until relatively recently, when it was revived in the heart of nuclear reactors.

However, conventional reactors don’t produce much, and it is impractical to extract the short-lived isotopes from solid fuel rods sealed in a reactor core. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors however, are the ideal machines for producing these life-saving medical isotopes. Meanwhile, LFTR safely transforms nuclear waste into abundant and inexpensive energy.

It is worth noting that Flibe Energy is the only company in the west pursuing this technology; others developing molten salt reactors are trying to take shortcuts which miss out on the greatest benefits of the thorium fuel cycle. LFTR is a comprehensive solution, which can finally close the fuel cycle, eliminating the need for uranium mining and enrichment. It is a more challenging design, but it doesn’t kick the can down the road; it fully addresses all rational concerns with nuclear technology, and offers many new opportunities.

Comment Walgreens lists it as in stock (Score 1) 63

> If anybody knows of a chain store in California or Nevada where I can buy potassium iodide supplements or tincture of iodine, over the counter, please let me know.

The very first place I tried was Walgreens. You didn't say what part of California, so at random I checked availability in San Francisco. Here's one brand:

Of course Amazon will deliver it right to your door.

Your difficulty finding it may indeed have something to do with illegal drugs. Not quite in the way you were thinking, it seems.

Comment Take a look at a cable franchise map (Score 1) 72

Have a look at a franchise map and get back to us on that. The New York map is entertaining because there are so many places where one company is permitted to operate on one side of the street, amd another company on the other side of the street. Yes there are several companies in New York, each granted legally enforced monopolies in specific neighborhoods.

This is about the time someone pipes up and says "cities aren't allowed to grant monopolies anymore." Read that law and see what it actually says, or if you're in hurry just go to the New York City web site and look at the map of monopolies enforced by the city. To summarize the law in one sentence:
Cities may not grant brand new legally enforced monopolies - unless they hold a hearing first.

Comment oh no! (Score 0) 62

Oh no! All the people whose job description is to be 6 feet tall, to lift 100 pounds, to jump 4feet into the air and to be able to travel at 9 miles per hour are no longer economically viable...

Time to upgrade that resume.
Skills: can lift up to 101 pound jump 4 feet 5 inches into the air. Can travel at 9.5 miles her hour. Will cost no more 10% of a robot doing the same thing a year. A bonus feature: can travel at least 30 miles on a single charge!

Comment Re:sigh (Score 2) 104

If you're actually asking, I had a textbook from the 50s that was quite certain on the idea of the ice age coming. Now, it wasn't talking about an ice age in the next 30 years or being alarmist about it. It was just aware that another ice age that would probably happen. And actually, I don't think scientists today even disagree with that. It's coming, but there's no reason to believe it will be a problem in our lifetimes.

By the 1970s though, scientists were already starting to worry about global warming (so any surveys that only go back to the 70s are misleading). By 1980 they were expending significant resources on figuring out if it would be a problem or not.

Comment Re:Sort of confused at what you are shooting for.. (Score 1) 212

The point I was making was that game devs of the time weren't even trying to build a intelligent, learning system that would adapt to player behavior or environmental changes, but they simply took the lazy/easy path of just peeking at player input and using asymmetrical information to appear to be smarter than they actually were.

In other words, when you slightly change the rules about how AI is supposed to work, the problems turned out so easy that the developer didn't need to bother with any formal AI approaches.

It's also worth noting that the developer solved the problem. Excessive problem description and feature creation is a notorious killer of many academic projects not just in the AI world. The business world occasionally falls prey to that as well, but as we see here, not always.

I am a little confused though, on how either of these points leads you to the conclusion that 'Academic Techniques' aren't adequate for real world problems. Some of the best and most exiting work in the 'real world' being done by big companies is built solidly on academic techniques. Go read about Google's machine translate work, for example. It is built on a neural net model, and is making some pretty amazing progress.

First, on your machine translation example, "amazing progress" compared to what? Both neural nets and machine translation have been around for decades. The "wow" factor of Google's efforts comes from the infrastructure that has been built up (being able to copy/paste something something to be translated over the internet effortlessly and throw orders of magnitude more CPU cycles at it) rather than the algorithm.

What I consider a more relevant case of doing something new with neural networks is Google's Deep Dream where one uses a neural network trained on finding certain images (say like images of buildings) to iteratively perturb images (like a mundane landscape photo) to bring out those patterns (ending up with a weird, psychedelic image with lots of buildings crammed into every part of the image).

Unfortunately, there's not a lot of academic precedent for that. The related research articles heavily emphasize classification and detection improvements not the wow of turning a boring image into piles of buildings or whatever. Going to the games genre, this would be an excellent way for a neural network to create on the fly themed maps and art for a game. Train a neural net to spot the desired sort of maps or artwork and then starting with a sufficiently simulating pile of mush, bring out the desired patterns iteratively in the mush.

Finally, if you hope that using my own opinions about the state of AI will somehow shore up your opinion of academic AI techniques, I will be the first to claim that I am a talented amateur at best. Build your arguments on my thoughs on the topic, and you are truly building a house on sand!

You made the claim that academics are at least a century out from building anything resembling human or higher level AI. That says right there that you don't think they have much to say about the subject now. This brings up my second point, Your beliefs are inconsistent. We don't need to care about any validation of my beliefs when the conflicts in your beliefs are more than ample to defeat your assertions.

The most obvious source of any AI development is completely missed here. It's not academics, CEOs, or secretive government agencies. It's computers. Once you've completely automated the creation of human or better level AI, then it's not going to need a century to get there. You might not even need a day.

Bootstrapping more sophisticated algorithms from existing one that have sufficient power to improve themselves is the great missing step here, I think. And modern AI research simply isn't going that way at present. I think at some point that will change, then we'll come up with more relevant concerns than how many more centuries we'll wait till humanity does this thing.

Comment Re: CEOs are smarter than anyone (Score 2) 212

Bingo. All of the new and exciting developments of the last decade have been in machine learning tasks. That says nothing about generalization. What we're developing are very efficient tools to accomplish new tasks, but those tools have precisely zero skill in the cleverness department. It's so common for people to forget this fundamental distinction that there's a term for what happens when they remember it. AI research has its own genre of tech bubbles caused by overoptimistic futurists.

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