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Comment Re:Self-fulfilling Prophecy (Score 1) 259

Loans do not count. Of course you can get loans... that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

Why don't loans count? My ability to take out about $100k in loans with no collateral and horrible credit is directly responsible for my income rising from $40k to $160k in less than six years. I significantly turned my life around starting in 2009 (at age 28) primarily because of student loan availability regardless of credit rating or past academic history (which was also horrible for me at the time), which is only possible because they cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

Comment Re:Schitzophrenic Labor Dept. (Score 1) 282

Make up your mind. Which is it? They are paying more to white males or discriminating against white males by preferring Asian workers?

Oracle has not been complying with requests for information, so the Labor Department is suing them so they can get this information during discovery. They are probably suing them for multiple offenses so they can get a more broad set of information during this process. At least that is my guess based on the information in the article.

Comment Re:Human brain is NOT a computer (Score 2) 149

"The brain is just a computer" is hand-wavy and objectively incorrect.

No it is not. In the context of the rest of the paragraph it is obvious he doesn't mean a digital computer with an x86 instruction set. He was referring to the brain as a machine which accepts inputs, processes the inputs based on it's current physical state, and produces various outputs to initiate action throughout the body. He mentioned Substance Dualism at the beginning of the paragraph the line you are quoting is found in order to clear up any confusion about what he meant by calling the brain a computer.

I will grant you he is using a definition of computer not used in the common English lexicon, but since we are talking about potentially future human-level AI it's likely the definition of computer in common usage could change by then to include biological computers, not just silicon.

Comment Re:Human brain is NOT a computer (Score 3, Insightful) 149

I read through the paper, but couldn't find any description of what the brain does which couldn't be considered information processing. It may not be digital processing, and it may not resemble how computers process instructions and retrieve data, but even if the physical architecture is different the brain still seems to be processing information.

He uses an example of a dollar bill, and how a person cannot recall every detail of a dollar bill from memory if asked to draw one. And that is somehow proof that the brain does not store data about the dollar bill? The person was still able to draw some details about the dollar bill, such as a person in the center and the numbers in the corners, so that data was stored somewhere. The author also makes a silly distinction between "storing data" and "changing the brain", as if the way the brain is changed isn't how it stores the data.

But neither the song nor the poem has been ‘stored’ in it. The brain has simply changed in an orderly way that now allows us to sing the song or recite the poem under certain conditions.

Sounds a lot like the brain stored the song or poem somewhere in a way it could be retrieved later, under certain conditions. Just because the brain stores information in a less precise way as a computer doesn't mean it isn't storing anything. The rest of the article continues to make similarly odd claims without backing them up. The researcher takes some very valid arguments about how many researchers rely too heavily on computer / human brain metaphors, but then he makes a lot of wild statements himself without backing them up either.

Comment Re: "developed an artificial intelligence(AI) prog (Score 1) 149

And all of those have been branches of the AI field. Since the field of AI was created, arguably during the 1956 Dartmouth workshop, it has included topics such as expert systems and statistical methods being used to make decisions based on both simple and complex input. Whether you want to accept it or not, even those Pacman ghosts' behavior can be accurately referred to as AI.

If you want a term which only refers to human level intelligence, perhaps you should use either Artificial Consciousness, Machine Consciousness, or Synthetic Consciousness. Those probably match your personal definition of AI better than the broad definition used by the scientific community.

Comment Re:... and that's bad, why? (Score 3, Interesting) 301

It is bad because this type of research could lead to less availability of movies on streaming services. If the studios have hard proof that Netflix is costing them money, why would they allow their movies to be shown on Netflix? Either we would see far less movies available, or the prices would go up.

Comment Deep AI not even in the product mentioned (Score 2, Insightful) 158

Funny how Benioff mentions his Einstein feature when mentioning how much deep AI is already being used without people noticing. In this case, it would be very hard to notice since Einstein isn't even a live feature of Salesforce yet. Saying the technology is already pervasive, and then using an example that is still around the corner, is very disingenuous.

But then again, this was just Slashvertisement anyway.

Comment Re:Such a windbag (Score 1) 127

That is just sensationalized reporting. The eight people in that report own $426.2 billion in assets, meaning those bottom 3.6 billion people have an average of $118 in total assets. That means the median US retiree has more wealth than 1500 "average" people in the bottom 3.6 billion poorest humans. I guess it's kind of pathetic that the average US retiree thinks they are more important than 1500 people by amassing such wealth, or some other such nonsense.

Heck, you only need a net worth of $10 to have more than the bottom 100+ million Americans combined. That is why these types of statistics are meaningless, and are only useful for grabbing headlines.

Comment Re:Such a windbag (Score 1) 127

Right. Ignoring the fact that 99% of stock is owned by the 1%, so that the collective ownership of stock by the other 99% of the population amounts to approximately nothing. It's not ownership if you have no voice in its dispensation and the only thing you can do with it is sell it to someone else.

As of 2010, the wealthiest 1% of households owned 35% of all stock owned by U.S. households.

The wealth gap is bad, but not nearly as bad as you make it out to be.

Comment Re:We are tool makers (Score 2) 127

I see no technology in the near term future that I think has any reasonable probability of causing mass unemployment greater than we've seen in previous generations and in previous technological eras.

Natural language processing, self-driving vehicles, and improved virtual assistants for starters. I'm not saying they are certain to cause mass unemployment, but they certainly have a reasonable probability of doing that. Job displacement caused by software create job displacement at a much faster rate than those caused by robotics, because they are deployed at a much faster rate.

Comment Re:Just PR speak (Score 1) 127

So maybe we should stop calling Machine Learning 'AI'. Shall we, pretty please?

Why would we? Should we stop calling a Corvette a car? Machine learning is a subset of AI. Ever since the AI field began it involved everything from the most rudimentary rules engines to the promise of general intelligence. Only people who get most of their understanding of AI from movies think it only means Skynet.

Comment Re:Labor costs vs automation (Score 4, Insightful) 127

Millions of workers still work in manufacturing.

Yes, but there are also millions of former manufacturing and other low-skill workers who cannot find work in the new economy. No one is saying everyone will be out of a job. And it doesn't even take a majority of people out of work for there to be a problem. All it takes is a small disruption to cause massive problems.

The first industrial revolution was hugely beneficial overall to workers and company owners.

Yes, eventually. But while it is easy to look at the period from about 1760 to 1840 as a small blip in history, that was eighty years where large groups of people were significantly negatively affected by changes in employment. It's also easy to look at the century where farming went from a majority of the workforce to only a few percent of us as an easy transition, without looking at how rural areas are still dealing with the loss of income and jobs today. Manufacturing came in for about half a century to help the transition, but there isn't another savior in the horizon (at least in the short term).

We already know new jobs are almost never created fast enough to help displace workers.

You can put that idea to bed by looking at employment rates.

What are you talking about? Workforce participation by working age adults is dropping fast. We are at levels not seen since the 1970's, when women participation was half what it is now. The numbers are clear an unambigious, and they point to a large portion of our country that is being displaced by technology. It is already happening. People are only worried that AI will make the problem worse, not create a new problem.

Comment Re:Such a windbag (Score 2) 127

if automation lets you create twice as much value in the same time, then there's a strong argument to be made that you should get paid twice as much rather than the executives and shareholders pocketing the difference.

There isn't even a weak argument for that let alone a strong one. If investments into automation paid for by the company are causing the increase in value each employee can produce, why do the employees deserve increased pay? If the company had paid for two human assistants for each existing employee, and their quality of work improved because of it, should the employees deserve more pay then as well? Because that isn't just an analogy, it is literally the same thing as automation improving productivity.

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