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Comment Re:Smart enough to REALLY f*ck things up??? (Score 1) 231

> Currently intelligence is not well defined

To the contrary, in the technical domain, the 'g' factor in the psychometric literature (you can call it 'general intelligence' or IQ) is well defined and has a quantitative meaning. In particular, it represents the empirically observed phenomenon that across a variety of cognitive/neurological tasks of different natures, there is a statistical tendency among humans for people who are pretty good at many of them have a much higher probability than background distribution of performing well on others. The tasks that don't correlate well don't get put into 'intelligence' tests, say like running and catching a fast moving ball.

The degree is how much this incorporates the aspects of the human word 'intelligence' in social situations.

Using the psychometric definition, it's clear that the machine intelligences can't even be measured because the background assumptions about correlations is false: 99.9999999% performance outlier on Go, brain-death on everything else.

Because machines today have no general intelligence---and it may not matter.

Comment Re:Money != Smart (Score 1) 231

Musk is a firm reality-acceptor when it comes to the technological issues facing his businesses: energy storage, battery manufacturing, car manufacturing, and liquid kerosene fueled rockets. He knows how hard they are and what it takes.

If a software company CEO said oh 'look at the progress in batteries, in 30 years, they will have 50 times the energy density of gasoline', he'd honestly be upset by this wild overselling, and the scientists will describe the energy and chemical constraints of the laws of physics that make that prediction ridiculously wrong.

But he's doing the same thing with AI.

Comment Re:CEOs are smarter than anyone (Score 1) 231

> The experts in any field tend to be focused on the problems and obstacles, and are often the unduly pessimistic about progress. In hindsight, they often turn out to be the worst predictors. It is hard to see the horizon when you are in the trenches.

Do you have widespread examples about this?

Comment Re:That quote can't be right. (Score 1) 273

All else being equal, the surface temperatures in Kelvin will go as the fourth root of the flux, because emissivity is proportional to T^4 and you presume that outgo = incoming energy in rough equilibrium. So temperatures in Kelvin varying by 2.3, which is still a huge difference but not 30.

Comment Re:But they use lithium-ion (Score 1) 201

| If you want a car analogy for charging your car, try this. Uber "surge" pricing. The more people using Uber, the more normal pricing approaches surge pricing, and the higher "surge" pricing goes.

And the market response on supply from increased prices? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?

If utilities start to see more overall electricity demand from vehicles, they will also have more money. Some of the money which used to go to petroleum will go to them. They will have more money to add capacity and storage. Most vehicles will charge at night when costs will stay low for quite a while. At some point, utilities will pay people to plug in their car at 6pm and discharge it for a couple of hours to lower peak demand, and then recharge it back at night.

Comment Re:But they use lithium-ion (Score 3, Informative) 201

Argh. The CA utilities have a good reason for this---the gas supply and storage is constrained because of the major leak at Aliso Canyon. They don't have capacity to run the NG peaker plants now, couldn't get it to be installed before the summer of 2017, and would prefer to store up cheaper electricity from the daytime.

It's up to the storage suppliers to bid on the project and choose the technology, and they have all the motivation to choose the most cost-effective one for the project. They know that capacity will degrade with some rate, and probably decided that the likely cost of adding capacity in 10 years would be less than doing something different now. Perhaps there aren't fully proven ready-to-go nickel battery storage units.

The requirement from the utility was to get something installed, successfully, now. No time to waste with a technology that wasn't production ready or had supply problems.

Comment Solar City acquisition reason (Score 1) 121

I think the reason for the acquisition is consumer finance.

The business model of companies like Solar City is making money off loans, with the hardware as the hook to get the loans. This will be important with the much more widely sold Telsa 3. Now, the model S is sold to very wealthy people who don't usually need financing or have significant credit risks. In the mass market, that won't be the case any more.

Having experience with loan acquisition and risk pricing is very important to business success or failure. SC presumably has experience in this.

Comment Re:Harness economic self interest (Score 2) 502

> If we observe a cycle happening dozens of times, but assert that THIS TIME it's somehow being driven a different mechanism, certainly the onus is on us to explain conclusively how & why the previous mechanism stopped and a new mechanism took over.

Sure, that is very true.

And the answer is the following:

The evidence is geological, that when humans mined coal, there were no coal shafts and evidence of previous mining and combustion from 120,000 years ago. Instead, the isotopic and geological analysis shows that the carbon which is being emitted now is from human activities which didn't exist 120,000 years ago.

Something new is definitely happening: human mining & combustion.

Comment Re:Two questions before I call BS. (Score 2) 502

In any case, the whole question here is about sea surface temperatures.

Looking further deeper into the oceans (which has a higher heat capacity of course and therefore shows trends better) always showed an unremitting upward trend with no pause.

Comment Re:instrumentally homogeneous temperature records (Score 1) 502

> Environmentalists were loudly warning us about "global cooling" and an upcoming ice age during the 1960s and 1970s.

No they weren't. And scientists certainly weren't.

The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus

Climate science as we know it today did not exist in the 1960s and 1970s. The integrated enterprise embodied in the Nobel Prizewinning work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change existed then as separate threads of research pursued by isolated groups of scientists. Atmospheric chemists and modelers grappled with the measurement of changes in carbon dioxide and atmospheric gases, and the changes in climate that might result. Meanwhile, geologists and paleoclimate researchers tried to understand when Earth slipped into and out of ice ages, and why. An enduring popular myth suggests that in the 1970s the climate science community was predicting “global cooling” and an “imminent” ice age, an observation frequently used by those who would undermine what climate scientists say today about the prospect of global warming. A review of the literature suggests that, on the contrary, greenhouse warming even then dominated scientists' thinking as being one of the most important forces shaping Earth's climate on human time scales. More importantly than showing the falsehood of the myth, this review describes how scientists of the time built the foundation on which the cohesive enterprise of modern climate science now rests.

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