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Comment Poisoning the corpus (Score 1) 115

I hate the whole intrusive, infantilising, spying and unnecessary lot of them. I've been thinking about making a conversational text to speech engine that provides a) surrealist commentary such as 'I am the bird of the clockwork ice cream' b) revolutionary talk such as 'Siri, when will the revision lapdogs of late capitalism be strangled with their own entrails?' and just letting it talk to one of these 'assistants'.

I've been thinking a little about experimenting with Mycroft: https://mycroft.ai/ the only fairly developed open source one that I can see, but I really don't want my private life harvested and commercialised.

Comment Strange one, Oric Atmos (Score 1) 856

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... and a secondhand colour TV. My son learnt:

10 PRINT "Hello!"
20 GOTO 10

on this, start of a programming career. We didn't bother with World, we're not really hard-core traditionalists. Sometime later, we modified it to print Hello! in a diagonal pattern, those long winter evenings just flew by (know the quote anyone?).

Comment Re:Current AI isn't... (Score 1) 237

Thanks, so do I. Some of our current troubles are a) expecting too much, too soon, a traditional industry vice b) not dealing/reflecting on ethical issues c) lay folk and politicians taking current AI, literally as 'intelligence', we've explained it badly too. There are probably more, but those are the first to come to (my) mind.

Comment Current AI isn't... (Score 4, Interesting) 237

We've been going through this since the 1980's when we started to make ruled-based expert systems and put them into production. We called that AI too. Now we're doing the same with statistical machine 'intelligence' (optimisation, often), various configurations of trainable neural networks and some hybrids.

These are trainable appliances, not intelligences. They don't have the adaptability and recovery from mistakes of human or (in the case of statistical, sub-symbolic etc.) any explanatory power. To some extent, that's why I liked the ancient expert systems with a why? function, but they were also very brittle. So I think the current hype curve has inflected and this is a good thing, since, apart from this, there are some quite weighty ethical problems as well.

This is not the view of a neo-Luddite, but there's stuff to think about here.

Comment Re:Virgin just sued the NHS too. (Score 1) 149

First thing, we don't have 'tax dollars', we have another currency called 'pounds'.

Second thing, the 'internal market' (introduced by Thatcher) within the NHS (our healthcare system) is an anathema to most Brits. We do not wish to die, just because we have no cash, as in the US. That doesn't answer the 'rigged' question, but see below.

This: https://www.theguardian.com/so... is one of several 'incidents' involving Virgin Healthcare looking to the bottom line rather than to patients. As such, (my opinion) it shouldn't be allowed to bid at all.

If that is you beardy (qv), or one of your shills, my apologies.

Comment Virgin just sued the NHS too. (Score 4, Interesting) 149

Apologies to US readers, but Virgin are busy suing our health service: http://healthcaretimes.co.uk/v... so I'm boycotting anything that has the Virgin label, airlines, sport, fibre etc. etc.

This particular thing is ridiculous, invasive and potentially full of infosec/legal problems too. Just don't.

Comment Re:What people do in private life belongs to them (Score 1, Funny) 476

As someone else has already pointed out below, only if it affects performance. I'm from the 1960s, so quite sympathetic to recreational drugs. As for the 'obedient statist motherfucker', please look up ad hominem argument on Google, it should be fairly easy, even for you.

Comment What people do in private life belongs to them (Score 4, Insightful) 476

If it doesn't affect their work, counter examples being excessive drinking or drug taking. I dislike cats (they shit in my garden and eat garden birds) but will work with people that own them.

The key words here are mutual consent and boundaries. He was not asking or coercing any of his coworkers to join him. So, I'm with the letter writers.

Comment Joining up all the walled gardens (Score 1) 98

Some people already talk informally about Googlezon, this is just more of the same. I understand that not many people actually use this, but the gesture is very worrying. Please go to your local baker (no, not the one inside the supermarket, inside the mall) before the only bread available is via an Amazon drone.

Comment Testing, Testing (Score 4, Funny) 174

I worked with ICL (now Fujitsu) printers of the same type and generation. One great console command we had was TE peripheral-number. If you used that on a printer, it would print a couple of pages of solid lines of characters, thus making a horrendous noise. So you waited until someone was beside the printer collecting printouts or starting to change the box of paper then let it rip.

Computers provide less physical fun now that these printers, the tape drives and the blinking lights are gone. Happy days!

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