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Comment affordable hybrid (Score 3, Informative) 90

Dear car makers,

Instead of pushing useless gadget that nobody cares about, what about trying to develop affordable hybrid and electric vehicles? Right now, buying a hybrid mid-range car costs as much as buying a luxury car, which nobody sane would ever do. So please, focus on affordable green cars instead of bullshit toys.

Sincerely,
A Parisian stuck in the winter smog.

Comment I use it from time to time (Score 1) 83

I still use it from time to time, probably once a year. Sometimes, the cups server is down, or the default configuration of the printing server is messed up and I'm in a hurry, well, then I resort to using ftp to print documents (usually last minute exams). It's quite handy. When this happens I'm usually the only one in the lab able to print something...

Comment Re:The Internet and dumb people (Score 1) 773

Me too. It seems the Internet does not turn dumb people into smarter people. It's simply an enabling tool. Of course the last thing you want to do is to give dumb more power, and this is exactly what the Internet has done. I used to think of it as something that would start an education revolution, but it's marginally the case. Too bad.

Comment Re:He's right. (and has been for hundreds of years (Score 1) 468

Well, it depends on what you think the average human is capable of.

The way our society works is that you exchange your work for money in order to survive. Your whole survival depends on how much your work is valued on the labor market. If the only thing you are able to exchange is physical labor, congratulations, it's already worth almost nothing and you might starve in a near future! If the only thing you can exchange is prone to automation (hint: at the moment everything that is on the labor market is prone to automation), you will not make a dime.

So actually, what you are proposing is that people should evolve skills which value is not going to sink due to automation. Which begs two fundamental questions:
1. What are those skills? You speak of information, but automated information generation is already successful. Automated creation is on the rise, and partly already successful. Or you mean we will discover that soon enough, and the people in college right now are certainly not being taught those next things.
2. Do you really think everybody can catch up? There's the trend: the jobs that remain are the highest skilled one, which by definition are reserved to the lucky few that are able to do them. I don't think 90% of the population can defend a PhD, whatever the domain they prefer. Maybe you think that 90% of the population can improve their skills so as to beat the machine, forever.

So it all boils down to this: your faith in what the average human is capable of that is not automatable and has value on the market. Long term trend, I think is nil. Short term trend, I think it's below 30% of the population.

Comment Re:Time to create a distinction? (Score 1) 80

Please define intelligence. Please do it such that it is possible to test whether something is intelligent or not.

I'm pretty sure you will come to a definition that either leads to the 2 following possibilities:
- A moth is intelligent, albeit less than a cow, which is less than a crow which is less than a human. AI is somewhere on that scale.
- Many humans are not intelligent, and some AI programs are just like them.

It seems most people would like to define intelligence such that only humans have it. Why? Self-esteem? The vast majority of us are already shitty compared to programs on a kiloton of tasks, get over it.

Comment Re:Or... (Score 1) 126

I can related to this story. I've always bought cheap shitty smartphones ($100) not because of money problem, but purely out of ideology (I'm not giving that much money for a useless toy, which I barely use). It was so slow to do even the basic things a good old nokia did 20 years ago that I finally gave up and but a mid-price phone (around $300). I'm definitely happier. Not having to wait 20 seconds to launch the texting app and then wait another 10 seconds before the keyboard shows up has definitely change my emotion when using the useless toy.

Comment Re:As a reviewer... (Score 1) 97

They are indeed very low. The thing is that publishing something is a mandatory part of many students curriculum in China. This means that you have many papers that are written as an exercise part of a project at BSc level. Obviously, there are little meat on those paper, and the writing style is atrocious.

But hey, quantity is the best, right?

Comment Re:This doesn't prove what they were hoping to pro (Score 1) 192

If this follows the same trend as we saw in computer vision in the last few years, then doctors will be outperformed by machines in less than a decade in all the simpler tasks. The thing is, we truly are only in the beginning of the era of machine learning, and currently, there is no upper bound to what it can possibly do.

Comment Temporary (Score 2) 178

Whether it's liberating or exploitative doesn't really matter. Above all, it's temporary until the app replaces the workers entirely.

Get over it, you are a mediocre useless pile of flesh that is inefficient at best, and certainly unneeded to generate wealth.

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