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Comment Re:Only a fraction of US munitions... (Score 1) 197

We bomb brown people because we can get away with it. That's more opportunist than racist, but it's still racist.

As soon as "white" people start doing the same crap, it happens to them too. I'm guessing you're wishing away that pesky little Balkan conflict a few years back, where we bombed white people for, among other things, slaughtering olive people.

Pretending that it's skin color that makes ISIS a fair target for air strikes is the worst sort of craven intellectual laziness.

Comment Re:The problem with strong AI. (Score 1) 156

There's probably a level where it's hard to know if it's conscious or not, but so far we haven't even gotten close to that level.

Incidentally, if you could define consciousness, you'd probably be really close to creating it. I think it's more important to figure out how the human brain stores information, though.

Comment Re:such a wonder to mankind (Score 1) 156

but the DeepMind/AlphaGo achievements are pretty astonishing IMHO.

I thought so too, but AlphaGo is mainly just a tree searching algorithm (which is why it takes so long to move, even with such huge CPU power). As you can see from this graph, Go AI was already on a trajectory to beat humans, as better and better hardware came along. The real breakthrough was employing a Monte-Carlo algorithm, which in that graph I linked to is at the inflection point.

Google managed to leapfrog the competition in Go computing by throwing a huge cluster at it. On a single CPU, alphago doesn't do nearly as well, and other computers are close in performance.

Comment Re:Is it me? (Score 1) 156

AI means what it's always meant to researchers since the 60s (outside of SciFi): software that solves problems that can't be solved in a straightforward procedural way. E.g., voice recognition and image recognition are "AI problems" that have largely been solved (still some ground to cover in machine vision, but the core work is there).

Note that what you are referring to is called weak AI, which is a term created because people realized they weren't making any progress on actually creating real (strong) AI.

And now it's a marketing term.

Submission + - Law for Autonomous Vehicles: Supporting an Aftermarket for Driving Computers (

Bruce Perens writes: How will we buy self-driving cars, and how will we keep them running as self-driving software and hardware becomes obsolete much more rapidly than the vehicle itself? Boalt Hall legal professor Lothar Determann and Open Source Evangelist Bruce Perens are publishing an article in the prestigious Berkeley Technology Law Journal on how the law and markets might support an aftermarket for self-driving computers, rather than having the manufacturer lock them down or sell driving as a service rather than selling cars. The preprint is available to read now, and discusses how an Open Car, based on Open Standards and an Open Market, but not necessarily Open Source, can drive prices down and quality up over non-competitive manufacturer lock-in.

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