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Poll

Moment of the week:

Don't Mix Tea with Coffee!
- 1 (2.6%)
Yerba Mate and espresso
- 1 (2.6%)
The Singularity Happened.
- 3 (7.9%)
WHERE ARE THE SEXY ROBOT ELOHIM?
- 4 (10.5%)
At least there's e-Cake!
- 0 (0%)
Tai couldn't sleep with Dora
- 2 (5.3%)
Oh, gee, thanks for the mental image.
- 1 (2.6%)
Happy Batter
- 8 (21.1%)
Joy Juice
- 0 (0%)
Euphoria Fluid
- 7 (18.4%)
Friendly AI Singularity!
- 0 (0%)
"I, for one, welcome our new robotic overlOW!"
- 3 (7.9%)
Dolphins are RAPISTS!
- 2 (5.3%)
Who cares - THE BOOK IS OUT!
- 6 (15.8%)

Total Members Voted: 34


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Author Topic: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010 (1776-1780)  (Read 85411 times)

Dliessmgg

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #200 on: 22 Oct 2010, 01:26 »

People on the xkcd forum are likely to do some research before asking for explanations.
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peterh

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #201 on: 22 Oct 2010, 01:48 »

Which illustrates that, in any given dispute, none of the parties involved is entirely right/wrong.

To illustrate the point: even though I'm a coder, and not an astrophysicist, my initial thought was also a space/time singularity. Googling helped possibly a bit, but I only fully got the joke after it had had time to sink in a bit, and Raoul then came up with his explanation.
« Last Edit: 22 Oct 2010, 03:00 by peterh »
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Quote from: Is it cold in here?:
Some things are most easily explained by the hypothesis that it's just a fictional comedy with things exaggerated for comic effect. However, this explanation is too boring for us to accept it just because it's true.

snubnose

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #202 on: 22 Oct 2010, 02:58 »

So it really was a "technological singularity" ... personally I dont believe that one will ever happen. Thats because intelligence, in my opinion, is, in the end, not mechanic. Kurt Gödels imcompleteness theorem strongly hints that.

Also, to solve the problems of earth, we IMHO dont need more intelligence, we need more empathy.
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Dliessmgg

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #203 on: 22 Oct 2010, 03:17 »

How does the incompleteness even come into that?  :psyduck:

It only states that a theory can not be complete and consistent at the same time. The brain is not a theory. A theory is static. If you change it, it becomes a different theory. The brain has the ability to "rewire" itself, that's why we can learn stuff. I think AI's have to be able to rewire themselves (pysically or digitally) in a way that improves their ability to do what they do before the singularity can even be considered a possibility.
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iduguphergrave

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #204 on: 22 Oct 2010, 03:18 »

What's in Barista Weekly? The top-ten list of snappy comebacks to customers who hit on you? Photos of effective contempt-faces? Advanced techniques for hurling coffee on customers?

Actually if that's the case Faye could be the editor.
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peterh

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #205 on: 22 Oct 2010, 03:22 »

I think AI's have to be able to rewire themselves (pysically or digitally) in a way that improves their ability to do what they do before the singularity can even be considered a possibility.

Im sit here, HOPING you mean "physically or LOGICALLY".

If you mean the latter, that ability is already there, and has been for some time.
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Quote from: Is it cold in here?:
Some things are most easily explained by the hypothesis that it's just a fictional comedy with things exaggerated for comic effect. However, this explanation is too boring for us to accept it just because it's true.

peterh

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #206 on: 22 Oct 2010, 03:36 »

What's in Barista Weekly? The top-ten list of snappy comebacks to customers who hit on you? Photos of effective contempt-faces? Advanced techniques for hurling coffee on customers?

One would assume that this is the case... although it probably also includes coffee-making technicalities and reviews of beans, espresso-machines and other such stuff.

In fact, the image (or should I say "the cult"?) of the barista being an aloof female being that is supposed to regard her customers with some degree of contempt is (afaik, as a stoopit forrinner) entirely American. Yet, there IS a basis for it: before the days of automatic espresso machines, baristas (or, in Italian, baristi, indicating both male and female personnel) were fucking coffee engineers rather than smiling service industry people, and engineers are known to have a certain capacity of aloofness. While today's espresso machines take most of the esotery out of the coffee making process (which is good, because that means not only I, but also my wife, can brew a damn fine latte), most independent coffee bar owners still know enough about the process to qualify as an engineer.
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Quote from: Is it cold in here?:
Some things are most easily explained by the hypothesis that it's just a fictional comedy with things exaggerated for comic effect. However, this explanation is too boring for us to accept it just because it's true.

raoullefere

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #207 on: 22 Oct 2010, 05:11 »

Of course, in the QC Universe, café con piernas* could have walked up to the States from Chilé. Throws a whole 'nother spin on Barrista Weekly, doesn't it? Don't know why Faye would be reading about that, though.

*'Coffee with Legs'. Walked. I kill me. :laugh: (If you must throw tomatoes, my knowing this is all Anthony Bordain's fault. Anyway, Bob Guccione died yesterday. Wallow in a little semi-classy sleaze today to show your respects)
« Last Edit: 22 Oct 2010, 05:16 by raoullefere »
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peterh

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #208 on: 22 Oct 2010, 05:23 »

Of course, in the QC Universe, café con piernas* could have walked up to the States from Chilé.

's Not gonna happen in the CoD universe... :D

Quote
*'Coffee with Legs'. Walked. I kill me. :laugh: (If you must throw tomatoes, my knowing this is all Anthony Bordain's fault. Anyway, Bob Guccione died yesterday. Wallow in a little semi-classy sleaze today to show your respects)

Too many cultural references that elude me. My mind, she is blown. As if Bob cared...

By the way, what drives you to make up this stuff at 7 am??!?
« Last Edit: 22 Oct 2010, 05:28 by peterh »
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Quote from: Is it cold in here?:
Some things are most easily explained by the hypothesis that it's just a fictional comedy with things exaggerated for comic effect. However, this explanation is too boring for us to accept it just because it's true.

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #209 on: 22 Oct 2010, 07:39 »

People on the xkcd forum are likely to do some research before asking for explanations.

It's not a question of research, it's a question of not underestimating people as a matter of course. Maybe that's reflection on the audience for xkcd assuming that only someone who's pretty clued up would read it in the first place and therefore if they're asking the question they must have already done their research and were left unenlightened.

To me your answer here is really just saying that you assume everyone is useless unless they explicitly say, "I've Googled and I can't find or understand this".
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DarthMark

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #210 on: 22 Oct 2010, 07:42 »

Faye is making a mistake applying human morals to dolphins.  We have spiders for whom mating is always a case of rape and then probably being killed, and praying mantises for whom it's a case of being killed and then mating.  Among higher animals, most large mammals are polygamous, and males will sometimes drive competing males away from the group, potentially to starve, and even kill the previous dominant male's offspring when taking over.  This last behaviour has been observed in cute fuzzy kitty kats.

By human standards this kind of behaviour is apalling, but applying human standards to other animals is kind of arrogant, in itself.

Besides, it's already been demonstrated that baby seals may be worse: http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=804
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peterh

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #211 on: 22 Oct 2010, 08:25 »

People on the xkcd forum are likely to do some research before asking for explanations.
It's not a question of research, it's a question of not underestimating people as a matter of course. Maybe that's reflection on the audience for xkcd assuming that only someone who's pretty clued up would read it in the first place and therefore if they're asking the question they must have already done their research and were left unenlightened.
To me your answer here is really just saying that you assume everyone is useless unless they explicitly say, "I've Googled and I can't find or understand this".
Theo, Dliessmgg (yes, I had to look in order to spell it correctly) is not the original instigator of the ... let's call it "difference of opinion".
The dispute arose when someone (who already seems to have a bit of a reputation on the forum, or so I've learnt) said he didn't get it, and then someone else (who apparently spends quite a bit of time disagreeing with others and firmly hanging on to his point of view) replied to that in, um, no uncertain terms (and font sizes, and colours).
Dliessmgg is not someone who is known to polarise, and I don't know him as someone who is quick in underestimating people. In fact, I think the two of you would get along just fine outside of the context of this, er, issue.

Cheers, :D
peter
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Quote from: Is it cold in here?:
Some things are most easily explained by the hypothesis that it's just a fictional comedy with things exaggerated for comic effect. However, this explanation is too boring for us to accept it just because it's true.

Carl-E

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #212 on: 22 Oct 2010, 08:41 »

OK, I've been intending to stay out of it,

and I still am, I guess...

but I think the issue was that this whole singularity thing came up before on the forums about a year ago (no, I'm not trawling through old fora to find it). 

So I could understand someone thinking "oh lord, here we go again" and trying to avoid all the pages and pages of debate/commentary that happened last time. 

Of course, it didn't work, but for completely different reasons! 

History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.  (-- Mark Twain)
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Wiregeek

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #213 on: 22 Oct 2010, 10:00 »

Quote from: TheoGB
I think if your lives are too busy to let you respond with an actual answer then maybe you need some better time management, starting with not wasting your precious minutes on a forum like this.
Quote

To me your answer here is really just saying that you assume everyone is useless unless they explicitly say, "I've Googled and I can't find or understand this".


Or perhaps we could stop wanting handholding and lollipops from everyone and do some damn work for ourselves, hmmm?

The denizens (and visitors) to this forum are not trained monkeys here to educate and amuse you, perhaps you should attempt to acquire information yourself?

If only there was some sort of easily available network of information services which one could search in a free, safe, and fast method to provide an overview of any given topic, with opportunities to learn more about it!



Or you're just a snivelly little prat who should unplug mommy's webtv and go back to your wrestling shows.
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TheoGB

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #214 on: 22 Oct 2010, 10:22 »

People on the xkcd forum are likely to do some research before asking for explanations.
It's not a question of research, it's a question of not underestimating people as a matter of course. Maybe that's reflection on the audience for xkcd assuming that only someone who's pretty clued up would read it in the first place and therefore if they're asking the question they must have already done their research and were left unenlightened.
To me your answer here is really just saying that you assume everyone is useless unless they explicitly say, "I've Googled and I can't find or understand this".
Theo, Dliessmgg (yes, I had to look in order to spell it correctly) is not the original instigator of the ... let's call it "difference of opinion".
The dispute arose when someone (who already seems to have a bit of a reputation on the forum, or so I've learnt) said he didn't get it, and then someone else (who apparently spends quite a bit of time disagreeing with others and firmly hanging on to his point of view) replied to that in, um, no uncertain terms (and font sizes, and colours).
Dliessmgg is not someone who is known to polarise, and I don't know him as someone who is quick in underestimating people. In fact, I think the two of you would get along just fine outside of the context of this, er, issue.

Cheers, :D
peter


Ha, I'm not upset just find it interesting. I didn't realise I'd stepped into the middle of a forum history-war there.

Cheers
 :D
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TheoGB

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #215 on: 22 Oct 2010, 10:26 »

Quote from: TheoGB
I think if your lives are too busy to let you respond with an actual answer then maybe you need some better time management, starting with not wasting your precious minutes on a forum like this.
Quote

To me your answer here is really just saying that you assume everyone is useless unless they explicitly say, "I've Googled and I can't find or understand this".


Or perhaps we could stop wanting handholding and lollipops from everyone and do some damn work for ourselves, hmmm?

The denizens (and visitors) to this forum are not trained monkeys here to educate and amuse you, perhaps you should attempt to acquire information yourself?

If only there was some sort of easily available network of information services which one could search in a free, safe, and fast method to provide an overview of any given topic, with opportunities to learn more about it!



Or you're just a snivelly little prat who should unplug mommy's webtv and go back to your wrestling shows.

In all honesty I can't work out if you're agreeing with me or just threw me a ZING! so lame it's coughing and dying on the floor. Here endeth the lesson in not replying like you're in the YouTube comments section. :wink:
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Heliphyneau

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #216 on: 22 Oct 2010, 10:42 »

I would have thought that every issue of Barista Weekly would be the Fuck You issue, or at least would have a regular column of barista ranting, ala Ed Anger.   :-D  And . . . did the "friendly AI" singularity (I'm sorry, signularity) happen while Angus was latched onto Faye's boobs?  Perhaps the meter lurking behind them gained sentience and administered a small shok to knock him loose . . .

 :mrgreen:

In other news, I bought my copy of the book, so woohoo!

*dances with eyes closed, not paying attention to whether anyone is watching*
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #217 on: 22 Oct 2010, 11:22 »

1996?  Pretty sure we've had it longer that that... unless you mean "strong AI," in which case, what took them so long?  It seems like once you've crossed that threshold, by the definition Hannelore's using, it's only a matter of building a big enough mainframe.
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Mr_Rose

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #218 on: 22 Oct 2010, 11:35 »

Faye is making a mistake applying human morals to dolphins.  We have spiders for whom mating is always a case of rape and then probably being killed, and praying mantises for whom it's a case of being killed and then mating.  Among higher animals, most large mammals are polygamous, and males will sometimes drive competing males away from the group, potentially to starve, and even kill the previous dominant male's offspring when taking over.  This last behaviour has been observed in cute fuzzy kitty kats.
How is Faye making any sort of moral anything here; she just described dolphin behaviour and someone else decided she didn't like them any more. Faye's opinion is not contained in this strip.
True, you might infer that she doesn't like them because of that behaviour, but then this is Faye; she could also have simply memorised that anecdote specifically to use on people that come over all cutesy when the subject of dolphins arises and otherwise have a wholly neutral attitude to them.
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peterh

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #219 on: 22 Oct 2010, 11:48 »

Faye is making a mistake applying human morals to dolphins.  We have spiders for whom mating is always a case of rape and then probably being killed, and praying mantises for whom it's a case of being killed and then mating.  Among higher animals, most large mammals are polygamous, and males will sometimes drive competing males away from the group, potentially to starve, and even kill the previous dominant male's offspring when taking over.  This last behaviour has been observed in cute fuzzy kitty kats.
How is Faye making any sort of moral anything here; she just described dolphin behaviour and someone else decided she didn't like them any more. Faye's opinion is not contained in this strip.

Not explicitly, perhaps, but it it strongly implied.
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Quote from: Is it cold in here?:
Some things are most easily explained by the hypothesis that it's just a fictional comedy with things exaggerated for comic effect. However, this explanation is too boring for us to accept it just because it's true.

Carl-E

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #220 on: 22 Oct 2010, 12:37 »

Found it

If anyone really cares. 

I guess I did. 

Don't know why, really. 
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #221 on: 22 Oct 2010, 13:07 »

So Jeph said in the news post that Dolphins are the assholes of the sea. Just like Humans are the assholes of the land then?
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Dliessmgg

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #222 on: 22 Oct 2010, 15:18 »

I think AI's have to be able to rewire themselves (pysically or digitally) in a way that improves their ability to do what they do before the singularity can even be considered a possibility.

Im sit here, HOPING you mean "physically or LOGICALLY".

If you mean the latter, that ability is already there, and has been for some time.
Then I haven't heard of it. I have heard of evolutionary algorithms who have "kids" with random changes of which the more efficient ones for a certain task survive, but not of an AI that decides to change itself and also where and how these changes take place so that it gets better. to build an AI seems to be difficult enough for now.
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westrim

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #223 on: 22 Oct 2010, 15:43 »


I admit he's somewhat creepy, but that reaction's a little extreme.

      (Yes, Raoul did pick this video because of that first image. Jeph has finally corrupted him!)

I took a survey when they were testing how that campaign would play to the public, and rated it excellent. You're welcome.  :-D

However, you worry me when you refer to yourself in the third person.

Oh, yes, we forgot -- that's your job too, isn't it? :D
I want to say something witty, but I'm afraid someone will take it seriously.

Quote
It's in fact the Barista Weekly - the Fuck You issue.  
Oh.

What I find interesting is that xkcd has this issue pretty much every week but when someone says they don't get the joke on that forum people bother to tell them what the answer is. Dunno, it takes me two minutes to type this sort of thing out so it's not a big deal for me. I think if your lives are too busy to let you respond with an actual answer then maybe you need some better time management, starting with not wasting your precious minutes on a forum like this.
No, don't bring this topic up again! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo....

People on the xkcd forum are likely to do some research before asking for explanations.
Damn.

So it really was a "technological singularity" ... personally I dont believe that one will ever happen. Thats because intelligence, in my opinion, is, in the end, not mechanic. Kurt Gödels imcompleteness theorem strongly hints that.

Also, to solve the problems of earth, we IMHO dont need more intelligence, we need more empathy.
Oh snub. I can always rely on you to say something hilariously disconnected.

*'Coffee with Legs'. Walked. I kill me. :laugh:
Don't do it! You have so much to live for- laughter, smiles, lolcats...

Faye is making a mistake applying human morals to dolphins.  We have spiders for whom mating is always a case of rape and then probably being killed, and praying mantises for whom it's a case of being killed and then mating.  Among higher animals, most large mammals are polygamous, and males will sometimes drive competing males away from the group, potentially to starve, and even kill the previous dominant male's offspring when taking over.  This last behaviour has been observed in cute fuzzy kitty kats.
But they generally do it for the reasons stated, food and competition and such. Dolphins are one of the few species that are assholes for shits and giggles.

Theo, Dliessmgg (yes, I had to look in order to spell it correctly) is not the original instigator of the ... let's call it "difference of opinion".
The dispute arose when someone (who already seems to have a bit of a reputation on the forum, or so I've learnt) said he didn't get it, and then someone else (who apparently spends quite a bit of time disagreeing with others and firmly hanging on to his point of view) replied to that in, um, no uncertain terms (and font sizes, and colours).
Dliessmgg is not someone who is known to polarise, and I don't know him as someone who is quick in underestimating people. In fact, I think the two of you would get along just fine outside of the context of this, er, issue.
There's no reason to be vague, we're all here and so are our previous statements. Snubnose isn't stupid by far, but he can often be thoughtless or express off kilter views. I like a healthy debate and try not to say anything I can't defend. Okay, done rephrasing.

OK, I've been intending to stay out of it,
and I still am, I guess...
but I think the issue was that this whole singularity thing came up before on the forums about a year ago (no, I'm not trawling through old fora to find it).  
So I could understand someone thinking "oh lord, here we go again" and trying to avoid all the pages and pages of debate/commentary that happened last time.  
Of course, it didn't work, but for completely different reasons!  
History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.  (-- Mark Twain)
Please stay on  the line. You will be connected shortly.


Quote from: Wiregeek
Insults and such
*Pauses, then leans into mic* You're a dick. (Thank you Jon Stewart!)

Found it.  
If anyone really cares.  
I guess I did.  
Don't know why, really.  
Thank you for waiting, your call will now be completed as dialed.
*click*
There it is! 10 months ago, huh? What is that, a week QC time? *dodges tomato*

It's rather illuminating though, what with my megalomania, but also the different tone. Bob asked far more nicely and less bluntly, Akima made insinuations about his intelligence then linked him, which he actually read and I was able to clarify for him. Happy times all around.

I should say that my reaction this time wasn't singularity specific, it was lack of any research specific, though some residue of that previous thread was probably knocking around. Interesting that at least one of the people asking about it was in that thread too, so they clearly had prior chance to learn of it.

So Jeph said in the news post that Dolphins are the assholes of the sea. Just like Humans are the assholes of the land then?

That comparison sounds familiar...



Okay, I'm done finally.
« Last Edit: 22 Oct 2010, 15:50 by westrim »
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jwhouk

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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #224 on: 22 Oct 2010, 19:26 »

THE BOOK IS NOW ON SALE! Will you be buying it?

QC Volume 1? HELL YESs!!!!!    - 18 (31%)
Of course I will.    - 6 (10.3%)
Sure.    - 3 (5.2%)
Yeah.    - 4 (6.9%)
Can I borrow some cash? I wanna buy it.    - 11 (19%)

I'll have to ask my mom.    - 1 (1.7%)
Meh.    - 4 (6.9%)
I can't afford it.    - 5 (8.6%)
No.    - 3 (5.2%)
Why buy it when I get it for free every night?    - 3 (5.2%)

Total Voters: 58

-----

72% of you are buying the book - GOOD!
« Last Edit: 22 Oct 2010, 19:28 by jwhouk »
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #225 on: 22 Oct 2010, 20:11 »

If dolphins do that (first I'd heard of it), that just brings them even with humans (who have and continue to do that with "brides" - I can provide links, if anyone really wants to be disgusted with their own species).  So why do the AIs talk to us but not them?
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #226 on: 22 Oct 2010, 20:30 »

Thats because intelligence, in my opinion, is, in the end, not mechanic. Kurt Gödels imcompleteness theorem strongly hints that.

 :|

Okay, will hippies and theists stop saying this?  Gödel's incompleteness theorem is the Liar Paradox formalized, nothing more or less.  All it does is show the absurdity of trying to answer every question that could possibly be posed, something the human brain can't do, either.  The set of questions that can be answered by a logical system is far greater than those that can be precisely answered by the human mind, and encompasses it totally.

Or do you mean the similar proofs of undecidability?  These follow the same logic, but they only apply to precise algorithms.  Modern AI is no more algorithmic than the human mind, but rather both generate multiple precise algorithms to attack a problem in a variety of ways, arriving at conclusions that couldn't be found by a single algorithm.

Between this and quantum physics, stop grabbing concepts you don't understand - you can't understand.  Unless you go back as a freshman, you never will.  While the liberal arts write, admittedly in a more refined voice, essay after essay of simple ideas buried in obfuscation and glorified case studies disguised as tracks of study, actual academics trying to mollycoddle you through complex ones have left you with garbled half-understandings that justify the gods you invent.  And don't tell me I'd change my views if I took more courses; I have a sociology degree.

And the same to you Singularity cultists!  Yes, someday, and I don't know how soon it will be - it seemed nearly as soon when my calculator couldn't have fit in the Pentagon - there will be AI powerful enough to enter a positive feedback loop.  What next?  I can't say, but neither can you.  People are notoriously wrong about where future technology will lead, and always have been, and technology has always crept up on us, the truly revolutionary innovations only seeming so in retrospect.  Don't think I haven't noticed the creeping religious imagery you swear is a joke but act out in every respect; evidence shows our brains are hardwired for many aspects of religion, and this is just one more place you see it.  I imagine the Singularity will come in somewhere between jetpacks and the Millerite rapture on the list of grand disappointments... but of course, I can't be sure. :-P
« Last Edit: 22 Oct 2010, 20:47 by Near Lurker »
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #227 on: 22 Oct 2010, 20:57 »

Too many cultural references that elude me. My mind, she is blown. As if Bob cared...
Anthony Bordain = hosts an irreverent (to say the least) travel show in the U.S.
Bob Guccione = publisher of Penthouse Magazine—sort of like Playboy getting down to business, only with some scruples intact. Also responsible for Caligula, the one (so far as I know) attempt to make a film intended to be 'serious' and pron at the same time.

By the way, what drives you to make up this stuff at 7 am??!?
I have fires that burn within me, driving me to lengths undreamed of by the sane. (translation: I have a sinus infection entering its second week, and I don't sleep much because of it—an hour here and there.)

I admit he's somewhat creepy, but that reaction's a little extreme.

      (Yes, Raoul did pick this video because of that first image. Jeph has finally corrupted him!)
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I took a survey when they were testing how that campaign would play to the public, and rated it excellent. You're welcome.  :-D
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Out of all the things I 'contribute' on here, that's the only one that worries you? Besides, it was the dinosaur, I swear. He sings to me, sometimes…
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #228 on: 22 Oct 2010, 21:32 »

...Don't think I haven't noticed the creeping religious imagery you swear is a joke but act out in every respect; evidence shows our brains are hardwired for many aspects of religion, and this is just one more place you see it....
You've just made me realize something!  I must have a specific kind of brain malfunction, because I have been following this dicussion of the"Singularity" and it makes no sense to me.  And I am also an atheist,and always have been, because religion just doesn't make sense to me.  Now I understand that my brain is not equiped to understand either because they are related.   (Or maybe I'm just a contrary cuss...)
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #229 on: 22 Oct 2010, 23:19 »

The latter. 

Join the club! 
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #230 on: 23 Oct 2010, 01:34 »


Or do you mean the similar proofs of undecidability?  These follow the same logic, but they only apply to precise algorithms.  Modern AI is no more algorithmic than the human mind, but rather both generate multiple precise algorithms to attack a problem in a variety of ways, arriving at conclusions that couldn't be found by a single algorithm.

Are you quite sure that you understand what the undecidability results actually state? My understanding is that the undecidability results are statements about classes of problems. Not about algorithms. In other words they state that no algorithm can possibly exist that would solve a general problem in this class. Multiple (a finite number) algorithms can always be combined to a single one, so saying that using multiple algorithms somehow circumvents an undecidability result is bogus. My math PhD is in rather different area, so I am not an expert on undecidability questions either. I would need to ask the half a dozen researchers at our department, if you have a more precise question.

Of course, those results do use a precise definition of an algorithm (something that can be carried out by a Turing machine).

Mind you, when I googled for this kind of 'singularity', my first impression was that a cousin to Gödel's theorems might prevent this from ever happening :-) You are, of course, correct in that Gödel is way too often misapplied to justify some obscure piece of pseudoreasoning, but the law of nature/logic underlying it places limitations to non-humans also.

Then again, if the singularity happened the way some believers think it might (an instantaneous explosive growth of the power of reasoning of that device), my profession would be among the first to go, so I'm psychologically incapable of accepting the possibility of this ever happening. Denial. Denial. Denial :-)

I rather think that if an AI ever becomes capable of designing something smarter than itself, the design process will involve a time-consuming step very similar to the way we educate our children.
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #231 on: 23 Oct 2010, 01:46 »

I rather think that if an AI ever becomes capable of designing something smarter than itself, the design process will involve a time-consuming step very similar to the way we educate our children.

Either that, or it will be the size of an entire planet and will run for ten million years before the Vogons destroy to make way for a hyperspace bypassit ten seconds before it outputs the results...





...and we're back!
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #232 on: 23 Oct 2010, 08:58 »

I rather think that if an AI ever becomes capable of designing something smarter than itself, the design process will involve a time-consuming step very similar to the way we educate our children.

How do we define something as "smarter than ourselves", though?  I mean, we can easily conceive of something that does what we do, but faster, but is simply doing something faster actually smarter?  I mean, wouldn't the usual argument be that something that was actually "smarter" than we are is so because it thinks in a way that we cannot, or at least cannot easily comprehend?  Or perhaps in the more classical sense, happens when something is looked at from a completely different angle than before, like the rise of logic, or how relativistic physics replaced/extended classical Newtonian physics.  In either case, though, I would think that something "smarter" is more likely to arise by accident, or randomness, than by design.
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #233 on: 23 Oct 2010, 09:55 »

Of course, those results do use a precise definition of an algorithm (something that can be carried out by a Turing machine).

It's better to say that those results use precise algorithms, since all algorithms that can be expressed precisely can be carried out by a Turing machine (that's kind of the point), but that's the idea.  Our brains approximate infinite algorithms by changing tack haphazardly, which is how we're able to solve problems that can't be generally solved algorithmically (as reflected in the script for every detective show ever).  There's no reason to think that we can't make a computer do the same better, and it's certainly no reason to think our brains are immaterial.
« Last Edit: 23 Oct 2010, 10:00 by Near Lurker »
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #234 on: 23 Oct 2010, 11:03 »

Of course, those results do use a precise definition of an algorithm (something that can be carried out by a Turing machine).

It's better to say that those results use precise algorithms, since all algorithms that can be expressed precisely can be carried out by a Turing machine (that's kind of the point), but that's the idea.  Our brains approximate infinite algorithms by changing tack haphazardly, which is how we're able to solve problems that can't be generally solved algorithmically (as reflected in the script for every detective show ever).  There's no reason to think that we can't make a computer do the same better, and it's certainly no reason to think our brains are immaterial.

Whatever. To me your phrase "precise algorithms" sounded like you were talking about certain specific algorithms rather than the totality of all conceivable algorithms that a Turing machine can run. I apologize for misunderstanding you there.

I feel that your reference to detective shows is a bit off the mark. I feel that a more likely explanation to e.g. my poor results as a detective is a faulty algorithm as opposed to the problem itself not being algorithmically tractable. After all, the good ole Sherlock himself claimed to only apply algorithms of logical thinking :-)

It may very well be possible to turn a computer into a better detective than I could ever be, but... a computer is a Turing machine (or more precisely a limited Turing machine, because a Turing machine is usually modelled to have an unlimited amount of memory. So a computer cannot do anything that a Turing machine could not. Therefore all the present and future computers are doomed to forever remain dumbfounded when facing a sufficiently general instance of an algorithmically undecidable question. If we want to get around undecidability we need something stronger than a Turing machine.

Our brain cannot "approximate infinitely many algorithms", because it only has had a finite amount of time to learn, and only has a finite pool of things to try. However, the "haphazard" part is more promising. Some of the more curious stuff revolves around concepts like "genetic algorithms". Even they are still run on Turing machines and are thus somewhat limited in their capabilities. Also we then lose the blinding speed that we today associate with computers.
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #235 on: 23 Oct 2010, 11:06 »

In either case, though, I would think that something "smarter" is more likely to arise by accident, or randomness, than by design.

Agreed.
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #236 on: 23 Oct 2010, 12:03 »

How do we define something as "smarter than ourselves", though?
Insightful question. For purposes of Singularity theology, a system smarter than us is one that is better than us at designing even more sophisticated systems.

I'm saying "system" rather than "computer" because it takes whole ecosystems to create something like a Sun server or a Cray.
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #237 on: 23 Oct 2010, 12:10 »

Our brain cannot "approximate infinitely many algorithms", because it only has had a finite amount of time to learn, and only has a finite pool of things to try.

The thing is, though, that the problems to be solved don't all have the same likelihood of coming up (after all, the first thing anyone thinks seeing these proofs or paradoxes is "...but that's a pathological case"), so it's possible to reach a finite fraction of relevance, even quite a large one, in finite time.  And, to the point of the argument, the human brain almost certainly can't solve any problem, or at least it hasn't been proven to be able to, and most of what we know about neuroscience suggests it no more can than a computer.

However, the "haphazard" part is more promising. Some of the more curious stuff revolves around concepts like "genetic algorithms". Even they are still run on Turing machines and are thus somewhat limited in their capabilities. Also we then lose the blinding speed that we today associate with computers.

The Turing machine is a thought experiment-cum-mathematical construct modeling the evaluation of algorithms, one that is in some ways less limited than a modern computer and in some ways more.  It's not a smart-sounding word for "computer."
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #238 on: 23 Oct 2010, 12:49 »

The thing is, though, that the problems to be solved don't all have the same likelihood of coming up (after all, the first thing anyone thinks seeing these proofs or paradoxes is "...but that's a pathological case"), so it's possible to reach a finite fraction of relevance, even quite a large one, in finite time.  
This is certainly true for many problems (but IIRC not all of them). This I won't challenge. For example the tiling problem is easily solvable by humans in many cases of practical interest (this is a somewhat silly argument, because in this case by definition "practical interest" implies "solvable by humans"). You need to go to something really wacky for the computer to balk. An interested reader may use "Penrose tiling" as a buzzword for a search engine, though the relevance of the Penrose construction to the tiling problem is elsewhere.

The Turing machine is a thought experiment-cum-mathematical construct modeling the evaluation of algorithms, one that is in some ways less limited than a modern computer and in some ways more.  It's not a smart-sounding word for "computer."

 :-) Mathematicians/theoretical computer scientists use the word "Turing machine" because it has a precise definition, whereas the word "computer" has not. This is obviously necessary in order to say something precise about the capabilities of a device. I used it here so that eventual interested folks (if any?) can use it as a buzzword when searching for more information (and in order not to say something untrue). However, I'm under the impression that all current computers could (in theory) be emulated by a Turing machine, so the concept is not without practical merit. For any real work a Turing machine would be awfully clumsy, because the computers have useful add-ons like user interfaces and dedicated circuitry for frequently occuring tasks, but the range of tractable problems is the same (if the computer had access to unlimited amounts of memory).
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #239 on: 23 Oct 2010, 14:32 »

My math PhD is in rather different area...

Wait, how many mathemeticians are on this board? 

And Skewbrow, what's your field?  Mine's Knot Theory (classical dimensions), Indiana University, '95. 
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #240 on: 23 Oct 2010, 15:12 »

Of course, those results do use a precise definition of an algorithm (something that can be carried out by a Turing machine).

I think... no, wait. I *feel* that this somehow points to a pitfall in our reasoning.
Maybe there was a reason why Edsger Dijkstra painted "Touring Machine" on the side of his camper van - which he used when he went on a lateral thinking session.

Then again, maybe he was just being facetious. But he might have been onto something.
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #241 on: 23 Oct 2010, 17:52 »

:-) Mathematicians/theoretical computer scientists use the word "Turing machine" because it has a precise definition, whereas the word "computer" has not. This is obviously necessary in order to say something precise about the capabilities of a device. I used it here so that eventual interested folks (if any?) can use it as a buzzword when searching for more information (and in order not to say something untrue). However, I'm under the impression that all current computers could (in theory) be emulated by a Turing machine, so the concept is not without practical merit. For any real work a Turing machine would be awfully clumsy, because the computers have useful add-ons like user interfaces and dedicated circuitry for frequently occuring tasks, but the range of tractable problems is the same (if the computer had access to unlimited amounts of memory).

The big difference between a real computer and a Turing machine is that a Turing machine is stuck with the input it starts with, whereas a real computer can take new input between steps.  What a computer actually does with this input can be described with a Turing machine, but - and here's the catch - there's no reason at all the human brain can't be considered the same way.  After all, the Turing machine was originally intended to model the human brain.  The human brain may act randomly, but why can't a computer act randomly?  Sure, pseudorandom numbers are just that, but if you ask a human to give you a random sequence, you'll get much worse than the worst professional pseudorandom number generator.  The actions of the human brain seem more random because they rely on environmental input, as a computer well might.  The physical growth of the human brain is no different from a computer modifying itself based on external seeds. 

Of course, those results do use a precise definition of an algorithm (something that can be carried out by a Turing machine).

I think... no, wait. I *feel* that this somehow points to a pitfall in our reasoning.
Maybe there was a reason why Edsger Dijkstra painted "Touring Machine" on the side of his camper van - which he used when he went on a lateral thinking session.

Then again, maybe he was just being facetious. But he might have been onto something.

It's long since been shown mathematically that a Turing machine can be constructed for anything expressible in Church's lambda-calculus, which is effectively the definition of a precise description of an algorithm.  "Lateral thinking" is just randomized approximation by another name.
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #242 on: 23 Oct 2010, 19:05 »

 :? :-o

TL;DR.


 :wink:
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #243 on: 23 Oct 2010, 22:02 »

My math PhD is in rather different area...

Wait, how many mathemeticians are on this board?  

And Skewbrow, what's your field?  Mine's Knot Theory (classical dimensions), Indiana University, '95.  

My PhD was in representation theory of algebraic groups. Notre Dame, '90. Since then I have drifted to applications of algebra into telecommunications problems: mostly coding theory.

Sorry, can't say I would know much about knot theory. I spent the few months after graduation (and before my student visa expired) at MSRI (also accompanied by my wife and unborn son). Jones had just won the Fields medal, so when he was giving a talk at Berkeley, all of the MSRI gang showed up, of course. It was a memorable moment, when the head of the department introduced Jones as "our latest Fields medalist".
« Last Edit: 23 Oct 2010, 22:30 by Skewbrow »
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #244 on: 23 Oct 2010, 23:23 »

It's long since been shown mathematically that a Turing machine can be constructed for anything expressible in Church's lambda-calculus, which is effectively the definition of a precise description of an algorithm.  "Lateral thinking" is just randomized approximation by another name.

The difference being that the human brain has come up with quite a bit more interesting results using lateral thinking than any machine has managed to using random approximation.

I'll have to do some thinking and reading on this, but the difference may well lie in the direction of valuing seemingly random results.
How do we get a machine to actually like a result, or find it interesting?


« Last Edit: 24 Oct 2010, 05:38 by peterh »
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #245 on: 24 Oct 2010, 15:21 »

Doug Lenat did that with a math program. It had a few simple rules for what was interesting enough to explore further, and it decided prime numbers were interesting because they were an extreme case of divisibility.

Then it went off trying to find prime pairs, which is nice, and prime triples, which shows one of its limitations.
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #246 on: 24 Oct 2010, 17:05 »

Having done an Astrophysics degree the use of 'singularity' only has one meaning to me (I mean a gravitational singularity or spacetime singularity). The technological singularity didn't really explain the joke to me but the above does. I'm aware of what The Rapture is but having been brought up as an atheist I've never read the Bible and don't think in religious circles. All said, we're talking about a strip that makes a particular joke that not everyone will get.

I'm not an athiest, and have taught Bible study classes (including the the Revelation of John) and I can assure you that the Rapture isn't scriptural. It came out of the Fundamentalist movement in the 19th Century, from a (shall we say) creative set of interpretations.
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #247 on: 25 Oct 2010, 00:26 »

To say the least. I told you people* to look that up for a reason.



*'You people' being anyone whose childhood was not stuffed full of that 'old-time religion,' Southern US Protestant-style.
« Last Edit: 25 Oct 2010, 00:30 by raoullefere »
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Re: WCDT: 18-22 Oct 2010
« Reply #248 on: 25 Oct 2010, 15:22 »

Moment of the week:

Don't Mix Tea with Coffee!    - 1 (3.3%)
Yerba Mate and espresso    - 1 (3.3%)
The Singularity Happened.    - 1 (3.3%)
WHERE ARE THE SEXY ROBOT ELOHIM?    - 4 (13.3%)
At least there's e-Cake!    - 0 (0%)
Tai couldn't sleep with Dora    - 2 (6.7%)
Oh, gee, thanks for the mental image.    - 1 (3.3%)
Happy Batter    - 6 (20%)
Joy Juice    - 0 (0%)
Euphoria Fluid    - 6 (20%)
Friendly AI Singularity!    - 0 (0%)
"I, for one, welcome our new robotic overlOW!"    - 2 (6.7%)
Dolphins are RAPISTS!    - 2 (6.7%)
Who cares - THE BOOK IS OUT!    - 4 (13.3%)

Total Voters: 30
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