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Comment Re:AI? (Score 1) 158

Actually, people _are_ working towards that, but there has been very little progress, and hence it does not get reported often. On the other hand, general artificial intelligence even far below what a human moron can do would be extremely helpful. For example, the robotics people would be hugely interested and some other fields too.

Comment The only surprise is it took so long (Score 3, Insightful) 67

I expect that quite a few people knew that there were a lot of not adequately secured and Internet-visible DB installations. It was only a question of time until somebody with the criminal energy to use that came along.

Morale: If it is insecure and connected to the Internet, it will get hacked sooner or later.

Comment Re:The dumbing down is real (Score 1) 169

Did I claim to be an expert in "not making typos"? It is however telling that you did not understand what I wrote and your skills seem to end at identifying the typo.

The whole point was that most programmers do technical work on the level of engineers while not being qualified as engineers. And that makes the results so bad.

Comment Re:AI? (Score 1) 158

Well, both "strong AI" and "true AI" are keywords in Wikipedia. It is defined (simplified) as the ability of a machine to perform "general intelligent action". There is no consciousness requirement, but a "generality" requirement. And that makes all the difference. Strong/true AI is AI that is not specialized for one tiny problem, but can solve general problems.

Whether actual intelligence (whether natural or artificial) is possible without consciousness is an open question and besides the point for the current discussion.

Comment Re:AI? (Score 1) 158

No, it does not. Actual science at this time says "we have no clue how this works". There is zero evidence either way and that makes the question open. Or have you forgotten that actual intelligence gets observed nowhere else? That alone makes a default to the physicalist explanation exceptionally non-scientific. Or maybe you think consciousness and intelligence are emergent properties of complexity? If so, that would be "magic" right there, because the whole cannot be more than the sum of its parts in physics.

The actual scientific fact at this time is that the question is completely open.

Incidentally, you are wrong about "quantum". The human brain is awash with quantum-effects. They happen all the time in the synapses, and there are about 1,000 trillion of those in a human brain backed very densely. Nobody knows what even tiny deviation in the probability distributions could do.


The 32-Bit Dog Ate 16 Million Kids' CS Homework ( 151

"Any student progress from 9:19 to 10:33 a.m. on Friday was not saved..." explained the embarrassed CTO of the educational non-profit, "and unfortunately cannot be recovered." Slashdot reader theodp writes: CTO Jeremy Stone gave the kids an impromptu lesson on the powers of two with his explanation of why The Cloud ate their homework. "The way we store student coding activity is in a table that until today had a 32-bit index... The database table could only store 4 billion rows of coding activity information [and] we didn't realize we were running up to the limit, and the table got full. We have now made a new student activity table that is storing progress by students. With the new table, we are switching to a 64-bit index which will hold up to 18 quintillion rows of information.
The issue also took the site offline, temporarily making the work of 16 million K-12 students who have used the nonprofit's Code Studio disappear. "On the plus side, this new table will be able to store student coding information for millions of years," explains the site's CTO. But besides Friday's missing saves, "On the down side, until we've moved everything over to the new table, some students' code from before today may temporarily not appear, so please be patient with us as we fix it."

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