I recently attend a conference of AI and Sustainability and came away with a different perspective. I have been doing this investigating for some time at other ‘AI‘ discussions and have resolved an understanding that what is being described as AI, as in Artificial intelligence, is in reality, only an example of the second stage of industrialist Revolution, the electronic analysis of (big) data to control manual (automated) machines.
The only element of the current AI (buzz) business that could be considered intelligent, is the intake, and analysis of data as a front end user interface to existing machine technology. Fundamentally the ‘Intelligence’ is only a programmed response to data changes which adapts limited machines, to adjusting to changes in the data, that it is designed to digest.
There is real AI, real sentience research going on, but it is years away from real applications. What the public has been seeing in Alexa, SIRI, Google Assistant, MyCroft and Open Assistant is just programmed ‘Simulated Intelligent‘ (SI) not real cognitive intelligence.
In the more extensive examples of ‘AI‘ or SI the ‘intelligence’ is just more complex, and adapts to more complex data sets than a simpler one. A device that converses with you is doing more analysis, of voice patterns, language syntax, and context. It does NOT understand what you are saying, it operates only within the limited, but expandable, programmed responses. So if a self driving car kills someone, it’s not the fault of the AI/SI it is the programmers fault for bad programming.
This whole interpretation of SI rather than AI will make for a great deal of Legal entanglements that will last for years. And meanwhile the development of real AI will develop to the point that when (I believe in when) there is a real AI, a sentient, cognitive Intelligence we will have to revisit the entire meaning of being alive.
And maybe then, we can worry about people losing their jobs due to AI.
Last Christmas I bought a new ASUS TP200SA netbook(?) for my wife. It was familiar as I have the ASUS C100PA Chromebook, and I love it. This ASUS however came with Windows 10. She wanted it as a windows box as she was sure she needed windows to do some of the work she wanted to do. A false premise, I know, but one that a lot of people have.
And it worked Ok, at first, however Microsoft should never get into specing hardware, in this case, in an effort to produce a Chromebook ‘killer’ that used a similar specification. duo-core, 2GB ram and 32GB of storage. And while this works for a lightweight OS like ChromeOS, this is nowhere near adequate for windows 10. And the issue raised it’s ugly head with the first ‘Update’ that Microsoft forced down on the users who own these.
It doesn’t work, would never have worked, so MS has produced another dud of a product. Don’t buy one of these for Windows 10, you will hate it.
The good news is that I did my research beforehand on this laptop, and there were several people managing to get Linux to boot on them. Mosly having to delete the entire windows 10 partition. So knowing I had a solution I bought this. And when the wife finally got too frustrated with making Windows work, she ask me to convert it.
The previous Linux geeks were using things like Fedora but I wasn’t enamored of that distribution. So I tried out my favorite Linux Mint 18.2 and performed the steps I found here: TP200SA Linux Success! except where they used Fedora I used a live USB stick for Linux Mint 18.2. This work great, and I showed my wife how to use the install after she tried out the live USB.
Everything when great, and the install worked even the touch screen, a good surprise. However on the first reboot to the internal ‘ssd’ in the TP200 the track pad did not work, the touch interface work and I assumed that there was a setting that needed to be changed. Not! But after googling the Elan touchpad, I found this: Elantech Touchpad not working
had the same problem. After googling a lot I found a workaround: in /etc/defaut/grub
sudo nano /etc/default/grub
I added i8042.reset to the line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”i8042.reset quiet splash”
Finally after a restart the touchpad works fine (multitouch included).
And then after I rebooted, it all worked. It does not auto switch to ‘Pad’ mode, but the wife never used that feature anyway, she is delighted to have dumped Windows, and with the addition of the Chromium Browser it synced up with her other Sony Laptop, and she’s using the touch screen all the time. Win!
UPDATE: Even zdnet.com is telling you to drop Windows.
After extensive cat training, I managed to get two of our black commandos to pull my custom laptop off the arm of my chair and onto the power connector. And after a visit to the repair shop, and being informed that the custom extended power connection. Hence the opportunity to buy a new laptop. The old custom Clevo Laptop was still as fast the the current batch of off the shelf laptops and the wife didn’t want me to build a new custom laptop. So the hunt was on.
The wish list was for a better screen (HD) Lighted keyboard all metal body, But cheap. I had never taxed the CPU in the old laptop so it could be a slower system, but it had to have an SSD as I had gotten used to one in the Clevo. What I found was a Acer Swift 1
The first thing that was required was to remove Windows 10 as I had no intention to use it. After booting into Windows, I set Fast Boot off, and intercepted the BIOS (F2) and shut off secure boot.
I then booted into my Mint 8.3 USB and wiped the 128GB SSD (Kingston) and installed the Mint Cinnamon 8.3 distro. Almost everything works, there was a issue with the Touchpad locking up at random, and the recommended solution was to set the BIOS for the touchpad to ‘Basic’ from Advanced, but that only helped a bit. However a Kernel update to 4.13 and then 4.15 the touchpad it fully functional.
Only one thing remains, The Swift 1 came with a fingerprint reader. It is not in the listed drivers for Linux, at least not yet because I think it’s too new.
But I’m happy with the the results, and I’m posting this from it.
PS: The screen is great, the look is great and I can live with the slower CPU.
The recent brain fart from president Trump has yet again distracted the public as to the real motivations of such snips of feigned disdain about respect for the country. And the belief that a employer can force employees not to voice their beliefs. Kneeling as a form of protest becomes an important freedom under attack.
While this seems like yet another simplistic Alt-Right solution, it falls within the GOP goals of legalizing corporations to require contributions to candidates by their employees. This has been floating around congress for years. With the Citizens United decision the push has been on to allow control of contributions, and in effect the political opinions of the corporate employees in violation of their democratic rights to voice their own political beliefs.
IF you can force employees to stand for that national anthem, then you can control their political contributions, and later whom they vote for.
A couple of years ago while observing the relentless anti-Science diatribe coming from the conservatives. I came up with a Idea for a Science Fiction story, and it went something like this;
Many different Scientist had been ‘blackballed’ by the government in power, and removed from their jobs. Unable to work, they had taken any jobs they could get, pumping gas, fast food, and delivery people. Low pay, no respect, and no Science. While many had offers to work abroad in their fields, they were blocked from leaving the U.S. by being placed on no-fly and no-travel restrictions. The government did not want the brain drain, but they didn’t want the scientist from becoming active again, and casting doubts upon the U.S.
So here we are, science suppressed, and scientist restricted. So a group of Irish (where I currently reside) conspired with the Irish government (covertly) to create passports and travel documents for the scientist being held. Then an Irish person who could pass in appearance to a scientist, would enter the U.S. as a visitor, and assume the identity of the individual, and work their jobs, fill their roles and report to their parole boards. In the mean time, the scientists would use the created Irish identities to flee the U.S. and then sometime later the substitutes themselves would exit. The scientists would then be free, and able to resume their Scientific Research.
The story would then detail this activity for several different scientists…etc, etc, etc
Now, in the present, this is no longer a Science Fiction story, and not even really a Fiction of any sort. It is a sad telling of the near reality.
UPDATE: It’s already beginning – Make our Planet Great!
Donald Trump, the future President of the United States has just made slaves of over 2 million ‘Illegal’ Aliens. A Peoples that now are too afraid of deportation to speak up, or to speak out about low wages, bad treatment, and substandard living conditions. They are now slaves of the United States of America.
Welcome to the ‘Good old Days‘ of the Confederacy
In a recent trip to the U.S. to visit the relatives, my wife tried to do shopping in one of the big malls and while watching her and the selections presented by the various stores I came to the conclusion that Americans are, or are being made into Peasants. I could not tell any difference in the selection of drab, shapeless sackcloth being presented by a various Macy’s, Dillard’s Nordstrom’s, J.C. Penny’s you name it, they were all the same. This was extending into the people wandering around the Mall, shapeless clothing. Tights on legs and bags on top. When the sharpest dressers were in Jeans and sneakers, that was saying a lot.
Even in the restaurants, guys in T-Shirts, and women in baggy sacks. Peasants everywhere.
In the current climate the urge to paint Donal Trump as the New Hitler is often the theme, however the ‘The Donald’ is more showman and trickster than absolute dictator. And as showman he will say and do anything that it takes to win. However winning is nothing, the show must go on and the next ‘Thing’ must be won. And should Mr. Trump become Mr. President you will see such a unification of Republican and Democratic Congressional resistance against anything dangerous, that Mr. President should pursue, than has ever been seen before, ever. The world is safe.
The same can not be said of Hilary Clinton. While she is often alluded to as being better than Donald, and forgetting any and all dirt that might be heaved around at the moment. Her belief that the Presidency is hers by Rights, that she believes that the presidency is owed her, and does not have to be earned by a popular vote, is the most condemning sociopathic belief imaginable. This is the root of Fascism, of entitlement of the elite (or self deluded elite), that assumes authority where it is not granted. But should Ms. Clinton become Ms. President the world could slip under such a dark shroud that any and all, real or perceived, enemies and threats to Hilary would fear for their lives. As to threaten Her Reign would be a personal and bloody thing. And the world would tremble.
And while I do favor Bernie Sanders in the next election, anyone (not GOP) plucked off the street could be substituted here, as a last effort to prevent the next disaster.
Whoops: Guess who won? But worst than that, the GOP retained both the House and Senate.
While one can admire Apple for ‘defending’ it’s customers privacy, while also benefiting with the positive advertising. It is probably a moot, and hollow victory as the NSA and the CIA have already broken Apple security.
Not that it shouldn’t be of high importance, the resources required to do the cracking of any particular extraction of an encrypted message sent with a iPhone would most likely exceed the budget of a small country. Which is exactly the point of encryption, making it hard, and expensive to decrypt. Imagine the joviality at the NSA/CIA after the hours of decryption, that the ‘Important’ message turns out to be a high priority, top secret Cookie Recipe from you mothers cookbook.
And thereby is the unspoken truth of encryption the first one is this: you must either decrypt everything, to find what is being said, because if you can only choose strategic messages, choosing the right ones are tantamount.
During WWII monitoring enemy communication was aided by observing the frequency of communication traffic, when frequency increased, something important was being communicated. Modern military communications is continuous and unbroken, transmitting meaningless message traffic, and therefore not highlighting any particular message in the traffic stream that would be required to be decrypted. This would now be a requirement to decrypt everything, in the military traffic stream.
The second Truth is this; The assumption that you can decrypt all the messages is the hight of arrogance and ignorance. Anyone, yes anyone can create an encryption that will be impossible for a machine of any sort to decrypt, and many of these can be hidden to the point that even a human expert directly observing the message can not decipher.
Imagine hiding messages in the continuous email stream called Spam, which now constitutes more that 80% of all email traffic?
Thoughts like this keep the NSA/CIA/FBI up nights, and no matter what Bull Shit they might tell you about the need to have back doors and encryption keys it will NEVER catch all the potential secret messages that terrorists might choose to pass to each other.
Because the simplest of truths: It isn’t possible.
The only thing that I hear from the ‘Debates’ were that Parties were running against Parties. There was no debate about anyone being held responsible for decisions, no one responsible for any outcomes. It’s the Party’s choice. The Party that Failed, the Party that succeeded, the party that brought you X or Y.
We the people are voting on, and for PEOPLE, not parties. We know that Kenny never fulfilled any campaign promises, but it’s not his fault, he was doing what his party wanted. Sinn Fein has killed people in the past, therefore the people who now represent Sinn Fein are all murderers, because Sinn Fein, the party, murdered.
There are criminals who have been CONVICTED dozens of times, that do not get painted as a criminal when next they come to trial, why does ANY party get painted with past party issues, by past party members, when it was the members who committed them.
This lame attempt by our politicians to redirect blame to an anonymous ‘Party’ is another attempt to shed personal responsibility for the outcomes of bad decisions and choices. Like cheap used auto dealer, I have to talk to my party…er manager about that deal.
I hold Kenny & Noonan responsible for Water Charges, and paying off the bond holders, not Fine Gael, and Labor.
But if you want to play party politics, fine, Kenny, Noonan you have lost my vote for ANY Fine Gael politician, Labor too, as you had no guts to stand up for your ‘Party’ position, you also will fail to get a vote.
Yesterday while talking with a colleague, I was trying to get across the idea the most ‘programmers’ don’t understand what goes on inside a computer. And his response was, “Does it matter any more?” and while it took me back, I had to respond, “No!” After sleeping on it, I came to a revelation of sorts.
Current IT is equivalent to being a Hot-dog vendor on the street.
And while we IT/CS folk might try and elevate our profession to that status of demigod status we are merely vendors of what the computer can DO!‘ We don’t create the computer, we splash condiments on the hot-dog, and sell it as computing. We don’t even make the condiments anymore, call them libraries, functions written by gnomes in dark caves. And don’t even mention the buns, the dressing ,the cover, beyond us.
In the early days of computing, the common question was, what do I use my computer for. And the first answer often was, you could put your cooking recipes in it. Creating the first cookbook you needed to plugin. The computer is still the same, just that the cookbook has gotten more sophisticated.
I have harped for years that the ‘hardware’ of computing has crippled real advances in computing, more and more systems are opting for generic in their selection of Hot-dog instead, choosing to dress it up with more and intriguing spices and toppings, things like AI and Neural Networks. While these latter are more sophisticated and sexy, they are more or less toppings on the same Hot-dog.
Throughout Science Fiction there is always a belief that man will be ‘Mankind’ while evoking a rational and reasoning mind. And it’s disturbing to think that reason, and considered actions will be how Humans will be perceived. If there is a considered, planned rational approach to traveling among the stars, it will be from an AI consciousness not a Human one, and there by hangs ‘humanity’ if we show who we are, we may not survive, but if we survive without all the elements that make us human, emotions, excitement, joy anger and sadness and wonder, it won’t be us. It will be ‘them’.
in the coming Apocalypse,
The first person to create more Toilet Paper
Will be King!
Almost all religion speaks of a next world, a heaven if you will. If their followers uphold the values that religion espouses. Christianity, Islam even Norse speaks of Valhalla. But time and space in the real world is a very different place. Each moment a branch in space-time, each moment, a new world. And while in most religions, you must die to enter heaven, in space time that is only a next moment, a new branch. You die, you don’t die, each on it’s own branch. Each a possibility, taken or not.
If you assume that each religion has fundamental elements that provide a moral framework to betterment of society, and the individual. Then each positive action that person betters, improves, does good in the world, betters the next world in the next moment. So each individual, makes the next world a heaven, or a hell of the next world in the next moment. Each branch an upward movement, or a downward one. Good, or not, betterment or not, each leading to a better or worse world for everyones next moment.
Any practitioner, priest, cleric or minister that preaches the worst elements of their religion, calling for any of mankind’s worse traits, they are wishing for the hell, striving for the worst world in the next moment for everyone. And any, who are not religious, who by their actions uplifts, that does good, that betters, are saints, and righteous for they uplift all mankind, in the next moment, in the next world.