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What next for Roko?

"Basilisk, good job on the fight club case. Here's your gold detective's badge!"
- 1 (1.9%)
Roko Basilisk P.I. (with May as her capable and tough receptionist)
- 15 (28.8%)
Asking Elliott (stammering and blushing) if The Secret Bakery has any open jobs working with b... b... bread
- 7 (13.5%)
The Kirouac Option - She quits, buys a bike and rides off to find herself
- 1 (1.9%)
SpookyBot makes a personal appearence to tell her about ways she can make a difference
- 9 (17.3%)
May personally pleas with her to stick with the force because they need some good cops
- 5 (9.6%)
Bubbles (clued in by May) gives her the 'one good Synthetic' speech
- 6 (11.5%)
A prolonged whodunnit story guest-starring Clinton, Melon and Emily
- 4 (7.7%)
Door security at The Horrible Revelation (which morphs into the prolonged whodunnit arc)
- 4 (7.7%)
Other (please specify in a comment)
- 0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 52


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Author Topic: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)  (Read 11158 times)

efindumb

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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #150 on: 27 Sep 2018, 22:32 »

You can't fix a broken system with the tools of that system. A "good" cop is not going to fix the department from the inside. It's rotten to the core. The whole thing needs dismantled and rebuilt from scratch.
But is the whole department of QC's Northampton really that broken?

Exactly.  If this was a city like Baltimore Iíd understand completely, but is Northampton really that hopeless?

I have seen it happen in Massachusetts TWICE, both in the past 12 years. It doesn't take much for a department to lose its way, especially in a city that prides itself more on its crime rate than trying to prevent crime in the first place. Social problems are ignored in favor of cracking down on lower-level crimes which only causes the bigger fish to move elsewhere while still keeping control over crime in the city.
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efindumb

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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #151 on: 27 Sep 2018, 22:39 »

Roko is state police

If Roko wants to change society she should get in touch with Momo forthwith.

She looks nothing like a state trooper, and we haven't seen her referred to as a state police trooper since then. I think he forgot that she was supposed to be a statie and kept her as a local cop. It makes more sense frankly, especially with how her buddy acts.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #152 on: 27 Sep 2018, 22:42 »

I don't quite get all  attention put on individual cities' police departments - are state and city police completely different and independent organizational units?
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #153 on: 27 Sep 2018, 22:51 »

Bomb rack...I'm going to have to remember that one.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #154 on: 27 Sep 2018, 22:54 »

That depends. How fond of you of capitalism as an insitution -- which neccesitates a focus on property rights, which is both the cause of most crime and leads to the strongest incentives for police corruption -- or of hierarchal power structures in general?
If there is power in the structure, there is necessarily hierarchy. Between one giving orders, and another who must obey, there is no equality. And the briefest glance at the history of my homeland will demonstrate that you certainly don't need capitalism or property-rights to have violent and unaccountable police officers, or unjust courts.

I don't quite get all  attention put on individual cities' police departments - are state and city police completely different and independent organizational units?
In the USA, I think, yes. In Australia, each state has a separate police-force, and then there is the national Australian Federal Police (AKA FedPol).
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #155 on: 27 Sep 2018, 23:12 »

Well, I've got the feeling that this arc is beginning to run out of steam now, unless this is all about Roko taking over the AI rights advocate arc that was supposed to feature Hannelore but got postponed when he put her on a bus with a camera-phone to send us back the occasional strip. I'm not sure how I feel about it if I'm right.

That aside, I find myself wondering about how Roko learned about May's little criminal enterprise was all about wanting to be a fighter jet. Unless she specifically looked her up after their previous encounter at Corpse Witch's place, I'm wondering if May is perceived by some to be a bigger cheese than May herself believes herself to be. That might explain a lot if we see a punky girl who made an enormous impulse-driven error at her first job and everyone else in authority sees a synthetic version of Bernie Madoff!

Finally, today Roko learns why it is that, with the exception of Dale (who seems to feel an elder brother's responsibility towards her) most of May's friends can only tolerate her in small amounts with long cool-off times between them!
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #156 on: 27 Sep 2018, 23:52 »

I don't quite get all  attention put on individual cities' police departments - are state and city police completely different and independent organizational units?
In most US states that's an emphatic YES, and you can add county (or parish in Louisiana) sheriff's offices as another layer.

People assume that law enforcement in the US is a monolithic institution when in reality it is anything but. 
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #157 on: 27 Sep 2018, 23:56 »

> screwed for mistakes you've already paid for.

Well that's life. You pay for your mistakes, to a greater or lesser extent, for the rest of your life. 
Doesn't matter how well I look after my teeth now, they're always going to be compromised by the poor care they got when I was younger.
Something that's been repaired is pretty much never ever quite as good as something that was never broken. Same is true of mental and social status as physical.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #158 on: 28 Sep 2018, 00:19 »

We've speculated on how AIs acquire education, and since they are computers it's reasonable to assume they can simply download information.  That Mr. Bartholomew Punchbot, CPA has never reminisced about his college days supports this theory.  AIs, like humans, have differing levels of intellectual capacity, and Roko seems to be on the bright side, even among AIs.

Is Roko going to download a JD and sit the next Massachusetts bar exam?  She has the smarts and practical knowledge of the criminal justice system.  I can definitely see her as an attorney (and she'd have plenty of opportunities to user her "I am surrounded by idiots" face from panel 4).
« Last Edit: 28 Sep 2018, 01:16 by OldGoat »
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #159 on: 28 Sep 2018, 00:43 »

I don't quite get all  attention put on individual cities' police departments - are state and city police completely different and independent organizational units?
In most US states that's an emphatic YES, and you can add county (or parish in Louisiana) sheriff's offices as another layer.

People assume that law enforcement in the US is a monolithic institution when in reality it is anything but.

I'm wondering whether that might not be part of the problem. It's much harder to oversee and regulate a decentralised institution, that's basically made up of little baronies that defend their own turf and authority, than a single, unified body.

Edit: But if we want to dig deeper into that, we might want to take it to Discuss.
« Last Edit: 28 Sep 2018, 00:55 by Cornelius »
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #160 on: 28 Sep 2018, 00:51 »

I don't quite get all  attention put on individual cities' police departments - are state and city police completely different and independent organizational units?

I believe there are about 18,000 different police forces in teh US. One of the effects of this is "Gypsy Cops". Most jurisdictions view firing/resigning as sufficient punishment for "Bad" cops, but the "Bad" cop just joins one of the other 18k forces. There is a John Oliver program about this contacting a cop who had been working for  10-12 different forces over about the same number of years.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #161 on: 28 Sep 2018, 03:25 »

I don't quite get all  attention put on individual cities' police departments - are state and city police completely different and independent organizational units?

Yes.

State police ultimately report to the state's governor.

City/town/village police ultimately report to their mayor typically.

And in between, as OldGoat mentioned, there's sheriff's departments at a county level. Sheriffs (the county equivalent of a city police chief) are often directly elected by the residents of the county.

Note that jurisdiction varies in different areas - for instance, in my state (Ohio), the only state police that anyone would usually deal with are the Ohio Highway Patrol, which as the name implies, are responsible for highways (a mix of enforcing traffic laws, and patrolling for stranded motorists). Sheriff's deputies may not have any power inside of a municipality within their county, because the municipality's police department is who has jurisdiction.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #162 on: 28 Sep 2018, 04:02 »

You know what I'd like to see? May getting a Transformers-like body that is either as a surface-to-orbit shuttlecraft or an upright humanoid form (and maybe a giant bear-dog beast mode because Dr Ellitcott-Chatham likes good four-legged girls). After seeing the latest Bumblebee trailer, I like the idea of May in a Giant Mecha body trying to fit into her usual routine and places; naturally, she ends up knocking over lots of stuff.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #163 on: 28 Sep 2018, 06:54 »

And to expand on bhtooefr's comment about Ohio police jurisdictions -- how the differing levels work together can depend in large part on the personalities of the local commanders. Just recently I can think of a local murder case in which the sheriff "froze" the detectives from the city police force out of the investigation because the city police chief (who was seeking election as sheriff) criticized the sheriff's and his chief detective's handling of the case. (Coda to this: The sheriff is in prison for mishandling confiscated drugs and his chief detective is in prison for criminal mishandling of said murder case. The police chief, though, was not elected sheriff; a police sergeant from a neighboring township police force won the job on a promise to clean things up.)

And the highway patrol, though it still keeps the name, is very much the state police. They provide security for the governor and the state government, and (this always surprises people when it happens) they're formally the first investigators of any aircraft crash in Ohio, though they usually just collect information and hold the fort until the federal aviation investigators get there.
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WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #164 on: 28 Sep 2018, 07:38 »

And then you get into cases where there are police departments with multiple overlapping jurisdictions. I used to live in Raleigh, North Carolina. In Wake County we had:

* Multiple state police agencies - the State Bureau of Investigation, the NC Highway Patrol, the State Capitol Police and the State Fairgrounds Police (yes, the last two really were separate independent police agencies.) Plus a few others I’m probably forgetting.

* The Wake County Sheriff’s Department

* Nine different municipal police forces

* The NC State University Police and the Meredith College Police (it’s not unusual for colleges and universities in the US to have their own police forces)

* The Crabtree Valley Mall Special Police - yes, the mall cops were real police officers, with the power to make arrests and write tickets.

Try getting all of those departments to cooperate.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #165 on: 28 Sep 2018, 11:14 »

They are separately administered and except for some voluntary accreditation programs there are no nationwide standards except for a body of Constitutional law.

The level of oversight by elected officials varies widely and can either make things worse or make them better. I brought a few worrisome signs of trouble from a clean professional police department to the attention of a City Council member who said that they wouldn't "micro-manage" the police force.

So Roko could be in a bad place even if there are good places all around, raising the question of why she didn't transfer to another department.

She does seem like the type who might have un-meetable high standards.

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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #166 on: 28 Sep 2018, 11:58 »

You know what I'd like to see? May getting a Transformers-like body that is either as a surface-to-orbit shuttlecraft or an upright humanoid form (and maybe a giant bear-dog beast mode because Dr Ellitcott-Chatham likes good four-legged girls). After seeing the latest Bumblebee trailer, I like the idea of May in a Giant Mecha body trying to fit into her usual routine and places; naturally, she ends up knocking over lots of stuff.

Welcome to the Decepticons!  Just need to give you a name.  Well you can fly and youíre annoying.  Thatís it weíll call you Mayfly! 
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #167 on: 28 Sep 2018, 12:10 »

You know what I'd like to see? May getting a Transformers-like body that is either as a surface-to-orbit shuttlecraft or an upright humanoid form (and maybe a giant bear-dog beast mode because Dr Ellitcott-Chatham likes good four-legged girls). After seeing the latest Bumblebee trailer, I like the idea of May in a Giant Mecha body trying to fit into her usual routine and places; naturally, she ends up knocking over lots of stuff.

To paraphrase Dr Ian Malcolm, that sounds like the worst idea in the long sad history of bad ideas.

May wouldn't be awkwardly trying to sit on a couch, she'd be the one trying to bodyslam it.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #168 on: 28 Sep 2018, 12:40 »

And to add on how fractured police are with state/federal/county/city etc police in the US, our laws are just as bad. There are federal laws, state laws, county laws, city laws, sometimes something can be legal or not depending on where you are standing. (most major things are federal or state laws, and things like gun laws and self defense laws can vary wildly).
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #169 on: 28 Sep 2018, 14:38 »

We've speculated on how AIs acquire education, and since they are computers it's reasonable to assume they can simply download information.  That Mr. Bartholomew Punchbot, CPA has never reminisced about his college days supports this theory.  AIs, like humans, have differing levels of intellectual capacity, and Roko seems to be on the bright side, even among AIs.

Is Roko going to download a JD and sit the next Massachusetts bar exam?  She has the smarts and practical knowledge of the criminal justice system.  I can definitely see her as an attorney (and she'd have plenty of opportunities to user her "I am surrounded by idiots" face from panel 4).

I'll defer to the forumites who have a CS grad and a specialization in machine learning/'artificial intelligence' - like e.g. Morituri (sorry for not remembering the others' names atm.) - but IIRC, Jeph established that an AI's intelligence is an 'emergent' property of their computing 'substrate', and that nobody truly understands the process - pretty much like our own (more squishy) computing substrate.

And our own computing substrate's learning involves altering its physical structure.

IMO, that would cast doubt on the possibility of acquiring non-trivial skills via a simple download - if the intelligence is an emergent property of the substrate, and all intelligences are similar, but distinctly different from each other, than my question would be how such a Matrix-like, downloadable skills-package could be simultaneously tailored to the individual substrate as well as universally applicable. Even if it could be tailored to all the configurations of all AI's computing substrates at initialization, those substrates would have significantly - and unknowably - changed since initialization, if AI's brains' learning process also involves irreversible alterations to their physical structure. 

So personally, I'd regard it as "semi-established as canon, until further clarified by Jeph" that 'adult' QC-verse AI learn complex skills pretty much like we do - the slow and tedious way.

I also vaguely recall that we've had this discussion before? And that one of the learned ones disagreed with me? :psyduck:



That Mr. Bartholomew Punchbot, CPA has never reminisced about his college days supports this theory. 

I'm sorry, but as far as I can see, all it does is not falsify your theory.

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".
« Last Edit: 28 Sep 2018, 14:56 by Case »
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #170 on: 28 Sep 2018, 14:52 »

And to add on how fractured police are with state/federal/county/city etc police in the US, our laws are just as bad. There are federal laws, state laws, county laws, city laws, sometimes something can be legal or not depending on where you are standing. (most major things are federal or state laws, and things like gun laws and self defense laws can vary wildly).

The laws aren't fractured, they're just hierarchal.  The USA is a massive nation, it'd be a nightmare to design laws that perfectly fit every square inch of it; so certain things get regulated at certain levels.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #171 on: 28 Sep 2018, 17:13 »

We've speculated on how AIs acquire education, and since they are computers it's reasonable to assume they can simply download information.  That Mr. Bartholomew Punchbot, CPA has never reminisced about his college days supports this theory.  AIs, like humans, have differing levels of intellectual capacity, and Roko seems to be on the bright side, even among AIs.

Is Roko going to download a JD and sit the next Massachusetts bar exam?  She has the smarts and practical knowledge of the criminal justice system.  I can definitely see her as an attorney (and she'd have plenty of opportunities to user her "I am surrounded by idiots" face from panel 4).

IMO, that would cast doubt on the possibility of acquiring non-trivial skills via a simple download . . .
I said information, you are speaking of skills (the ability to apply information in a real world environment.

I submit that an AI can download the contents of every textbook and lecture in any course of study.  I have stated in prior discussions that they would still need practical experience to learn to use that information, that is, to acquire those skills.  Roko already has substantial experience in the legal system, including formidable legal research skills.  (God help the first witness that thinks being cross examined by her is going to be a piece of cake.)

The bottom like is that Jeph, if he so desires, can have Roko licensed to practice as an Attorney-at-Law within a few weeks in-strip time and still maintain story continuity rather than either switching the locus of Roco arcs to law school for a couple years or making her vanish while she completes a LLM or JD. 

I like the idea of Roko Basilisk, Esq., but it's Jeph's world and Jeph's choice.  Whatever he does with her, I like the Roko character and hope he doesn't banish her.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #172 on: 28 Sep 2018, 18:08 »

I submit that an AI can download the contents of every textbook and lecture in any course of study. 

Well, yes I agree that she can - mostly because I can, too? Like, right now? (Well, near enough)

That doesn't mean that I don't have to read them and think about them in order to finally (hopefully) understand them - which would then enable me to gain the practical experience you speak of.

Which is what I was speaking of: The reading-and-thinking-about-and-understanding part. I don't think that one works much different for (QC-Verse) AIs than it works for us.

Are we talking past each other?  :psyduck:
« Last Edit: 28 Sep 2018, 18:17 by Case »
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #173 on: 28 Sep 2018, 18:11 »

We've speculated on how AIs acquire education, and since they are computers it's reasonable to assume they can simply download information.  That Mr. Bartholomew Punchbot, CPA has never reminisced about his college days supports this theory.  AIs, like humans, have differing levels of intellectual capacity, and Roko seems to be on the bright side, even among AIs.

Is Roko going to download a JD and sit the next Massachusetts bar exam?  She has the smarts and practical knowledge of the criminal justice system.  I can definitely see her as an attorney (and she'd have plenty of opportunities to user her "I am surrounded by idiots" face from panel 4).

IMO, that would cast doubt on the possibility of acquiring non-trivial skills via a simple download . . .
I said information, you are speaking of skills (the ability to apply information in a real world environment.

I submit that an AI can download the contents of every textbook and lecture in any course of study.  I have stated in prior discussions that they would still need practical experience to learn to use that information, that is, to acquire those skills.  Roko already has substantial experience in the legal system, including formidable legal research skills.  (God help the first witness that thinks being cross examined by her is going to be a piece of cake.)

The bottom like is that Jeph, if he so desires, can have Roko licensed to practice as an Attorney-at-Law within a few weeks in-strip time and still maintain story continuity rather than either switching the locus of Roco arcs to law school for a couple years or making her vanish while she completes a LLM or JD. 

I would be astonished if her experience in the force has equipped her with all of the skills and experience required to obtain bar admission.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #174 on: 28 Sep 2018, 19:21 »

I worry about a potential friendship between May and Roko.

If May finds out about Rokoís crush on Clinton...can you imagine?? She will tease Roko mercilessly and maybe even create a very embarrassing situation...
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #175 on: 28 Sep 2018, 20:36 »

Someone with better archive skills than I have may know the strip in which a synthetic is reading a book and someone asks why, given the option of downloading the information. I don't remember the answer but don't think it was "we can't just download knowledge".

* Is it cold in here? acknowledges OldGoat's distinction between knowledge and skills.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #176 on: 28 Sep 2018, 21:12 »

Which is what I was speaking of: The reading-and-thinking-about-and-understanding part. I don't think that one works much different for (QC-Verse) AIs than it works for us.

Are we talking past each other?  :psyduck:
Probably.

Eyeballs as input device or straight to the drive - text is text is text.  I think the AI with the book was Momo, and it sounds like something she'd say.  As I recall she was saying she was doing it because she liked it, too.  However, New Tricks is on the local PBS station so I'm not going looking for it just now.  Cheers!
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #177 on: 29 Sep 2018, 04:23 »

Someone with better archive skills than I have may know the strip in which a synthetic is reading a book and someone asks why, given the option of downloading the information. I don't remember the answer but don't think it was "we can't just download knowledge".

* Is it cold in here? acknowledges OldGoat's distinction between knowledge and skills.

As far as I remember, that was Momo, who explained that she could download the book, but preferred the tactile experience. And that it made her seem more human.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #178 on: 29 Sep 2018, 06:24 »


I think I maybe should have remained blissful in my ignorance...   :oops:

But can there truly be bliss in ignorance?
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #179 on: 29 Sep 2018, 08:09 »

Eyeballs as input device or straight to the drive - text is text is text.

I hope I'm not imposing on you: Did you never encounter a 'text' (I'd include e.g. math-textbooks into that definition - math is a language, too, in a sense) that you had to read several times to understand it?

I'm asking because that experience, and dealing with it, was such a fundamental one when I was a fledgling physics student (I almost quit studying before finding out that everybody I asked, including the profs, assured me that it was completely normal for them), that later on, as a teaching assistance, I made a habit of telling ever class of 1st semester students :

"Get used to having to read stuff twice, thrice or five times before you understand it. Having to sleep on it. Having to go to your TA and discuss about it. You're all here because you have an aptitude and a passion for mathematics and physics (If you're here for the money, you're in the wrong building - you want the law school). It's not unlikely that you've never made this experience before in school, that until now, reading was understanding.

Those days are over, my young Padawans"



P.S.: German physics curricula were (partially still are) notoriously over-formal - the famous 'mathematische Strenge' that Einstein so hated, and (rightfully) criticized as detrimental to learning the skill of problem-solving in physics, is still very popular over here. For a 1st semester, this can be ... daunting.
« Last Edit: 29 Sep 2018, 09:16 by Case »
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #180 on: 29 Sep 2018, 09:43 »

Eyeballs as input device or straight to the drive - text is text is text.

I hope I'm not imposing on you: Did you never encounter a 'text' (I'd include e.g. math-textbooks into that definition - math is a language, too, in a sense) that you had to read several times to understand it?

Not at all.  Breakfast in the belly, coffee in the cup, it's time for laptop on the lap.  (The cat will be by shortly with something to say about that last and who ought to be there, but you catch my drift.)

Once in a blue moon, when a topic that really grabs me is presented unusually well, I'll pick something up the first time through.  But that's the rare exception - usually I'm going over stuff at least a few times and sometimes quite a few.

My computer, OTOH, nearly always gets the data the first time through and throws an error on those rare occasions something gets munged.  If I tell it to index the file, that takes a little more time. 

Neuroscientists tell us we have to lay down neural pathways to record every thought.  Silicon brains are better at that input and access part than carbon brains are, they just flip bits to record and file as per their operating system and move on.  An AI would, however, have to write their own new code for how they're going to apply that data, and that's where experience comes in.  Momo is adept at developing her own code for social interactions, May not so much.

* Is it cold in here? acknowledges OldGoat's distinction between knowledge and skills.
I throw a distinction between skill and talent/aptitude into the mix as well, with talent innate while skill needs to be developed.  Both have to do with what and how the entity, meat or metal, does with knowledge. 
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JimC

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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #181 on: 29 Sep 2018, 12:38 »

On a completely different topic, boob jobs for AIs ought to be a simple and easy earner for Faye and Bubbles...
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #182 on: 29 Sep 2018, 12:55 »

I'm just confused as to why May decided to ask Roko for a new body...literally after Roko lost her job ._.;

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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #183 on: 29 Sep 2018, 13:12 »

Maybe May thinks Roko knows where all the best confiscated chassis are, like the Police Impound Lot?
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #184 on: 29 Sep 2018, 13:34 »

I'm just confused as to why May decided to ask Roko for a new body...literally after Roko lost her job ._.;
She didnít. She used her own cut rate chassis as an example of one of the ways criminal AI get shafted by the system and one of the things Roko, in her quest to improve the lot of the robot ex-con, could look into.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #185 on: 29 Sep 2018, 14:56 »

From a more subtle person it might have been a hint.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #186 on: 29 Sep 2018, 17:09 »

I'm just confused as to why May decided to ask Roko for a new body...literally after Roko lost her job ._.;
To be a good (including effective) cop, a person needs to know where and how to crime, and May sees Roko as a good cop.  She may even be subconsciously probing Roko to see just how far she's left law & order behind.  Castlerook's right, though, it's more likely that, at least at the front of her mind, she's hoping Roko can provide her with an in with the Lost & Found room custodian before the department's next unclaimed property auction.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #187 on: 29 Sep 2018, 19:24 »

> screwed for mistakes you've already paid for.

Well that's life. You pay for your mistakes, to a greater or lesser extent, for the rest of your life. 
Doesn't matter how well I look after my teeth now, they're always going to be compromised by the poor care they got when I was younger.
Something that's been repaired is pretty much never ever quite as good as something that was never broken. Same is true of mental and social status as physical.
I don't suppose there might be a subtle distinction between destroying teeth and destroying a life.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #188 on: 29 Sep 2018, 20:23 »

I see a distinction in that one is physiological cause and effect and the other is an assembly of choices that employers and laws and licensing boards have made.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #189 on: 29 Sep 2018, 21:01 »

There are plenty of books who's intent and experience is wholly dependent upon absorbing the text in order. The sequential process of reading them reveals things and ellicits particular responses based on the timing of when specific elements are presented. Just downloading the information directly into your brain would fail to provide the experience of the book. Often it is not the information that matters as much as how the information is presented
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #190 on: 29 Sep 2018, 22:37 »

I don't quite get all  attention put on individual cities' police departments - are state and city police completely different and independent organizational units?

They are independent of one another. There are no villages, townships, or unincorporated communities in the state, those are part of incorporated towns and unless the town itself hasn't organized a police department thus necessitating the state police to patrol the town the town's department provides law enforcement. The state police, fire marshal's office, and Environmental Police are statewide and have legislatively mandated authority, thus operated in every city or town independent of the police chief and at times can overrule him/her and take over investigations. In all of the counties the local county sheriff's offices are impotent when it comes to law enforcement outside of providing aid in the form of communications, command centers, swat teams, K9 units, and additional manpower. They technically have police powers in their counties but are all but barred from exercising the option due to strong local police unions preventing the use without an emergency declaration.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #191 on: 29 Sep 2018, 22:45 »

And then you get into cases where there are police departments with multiple overlapping jurisdictions. I used to live in Raleigh, North Carolina. In Wake County we had:

* Multiple state police agencies - the State Bureau of Investigation, the NC Highway Patrol, the State Capitol Police and the State Fairgrounds Police (yes, the last two really were separate independent police agencies.) Plus a few others Iím probably forgetting.

* The Wake County Sheriffís Department

* Nine different municipal police forces

* The NC State University Police and the Meredith College Police (itís not unusual for colleges and universities in the US to have their own police forces)

* The Crabtree Valley Mall Special Police - yes, the mall cops were real police officers, with the power to make arrests and write tickets.

Try getting all of those departments to cooperate.

Your head would explode if you read the number of independent police agencies in the city of Boston...and I'm not counting the state-level agencies either!

BC, BU, Harvard, Tufts, Northeastern, Bunker Hill, Suffolk(University), Wentworth, MGH, Boston Public Health Commission, Boston Code Enforcement, Boston School, Boston Housing just to name a few....
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #192 on: 30 Sep 2018, 01:29 »

Thanks for everybody who helped explain US police force structure to the foreign heathen!

German police is structured similar to the Australian one, i.e. they only have two levels - federal and state.

This wasn't always the case:  Between 1945 and the 1970s, many German cities had their own, municipal police forces, but those were merged with state police in a reform in the 1970s, when they proved ineffective in dealing with federal-level threats (like the far-left terror group RAF). Today, many cities have their own code-enforcement forces, but they are not police, and don't have the same powers.

You can find e.g. the Cologne police's website - but they are staffed by what you'd call 'staties'.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #193 on: 30 Sep 2018, 06:21 »

I don't quite get all  attention put on individual cities' police departments - are state and city police completely different and independent organizational units?

They are independent of one another. There are no villages, townships, or unincorporated communities in the state, those are part of incorporated towns and unless the town itself hasn't organized a police department thus necessitating the state police to patrol the town the town's department provides law enforcement. The state police, fire marshal's office, and Environmental Police are statewide and have legislatively mandated authority, thus operated in every city or town independent of the police chief and at times can overrule him/her and take over investigations. In all of the counties the local county sheriff's offices are impotent when it comes to law enforcement outside of providing aid in the form of communications, command centers, swat teams, K9 units, and additional manpower. They technically have police powers in their counties but are all but barred from exercising the option due to strong local police unions preventing the use without an emergency declaration.

Which state is this?  I was thinking Connecticut but their counties are just lines on the map now with no governing or taxation authority.  That redundant sheriff's office and county police department model is a big deal in New England.  Strangely enough, it got transplanted to Los Alamos NM - the National Laboratory there is the main employer and imports scads of East Coast academics.  And, yes, it can be a political mess when the state constitution says the sheriff is in charge but the local government is funding the county police for general law enforcement tasking.  (Saw that in Maryland and Massachusetts, too.)
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #194 on: 30 Sep 2018, 09:09 »

Here in the SF Bay Area, there's even the BART police.  Their jurisdiction is the passenger trains and train stations of the Bay Area Rapid Transit Authority. 

This overlaps with nine different county sheriff's departments and *umph* civil or city-level jurisdictions, as well as the CHiPs who are mostly supposed to be Highway Patrol. 

The Jurisdictional confusion facing a transit system that cut across so many established jurisdictions was cited as a reason for creating yet another jurisdiction with confusing rules of overlap.

But why a light-rail commuter system has such a need for its own police force, in addition to all of the above, is a bafflement to me.  They're essentially serving in the role of private security, except that because BART is owned by a government institution they have to be officially police?
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #195 on: 30 Sep 2018, 10:35 »

But why a light-rail commuter system has such a need for its own police force, in addition to all of the above, is a bafflement to me.  They're essentially serving in the role of private security, except that because BART is owned by a government institution they have to be officially police?

Drivers can only do so much to curb unruly (read: drunk/high/mentally incapacitated) passengers. And since much of the BART system is in areas inaccessible to other law enforcement agencies, having security guards on each train makes sense. Valley Metro here in Phoenix has such a system as well, and IIRC there may have been a huge overlap in jurisdictions when a high speed car chase ran cross-valley from Phoenix into Tempe earlier this year that involved the driver running on the light rail tracks for a good portion.

That would mean Phoenix police, Tempe police, Maricopa County sheriffs, the Arizona Department of Public Safety (because part of the chase was on the Loop 202 freeway), the Valley Metro security department, and even though it didn't reach the campus proper, it could theoretically have included ASU campus police as well.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #196 on: 30 Sep 2018, 10:58 »

Poll Results Post
What next for Roko?

1. Roko Basilisk P.I. (with May as her capable and tough receptionist) - 15 (28.8%)
2. SpookyBot makes a personal appearence to tell her about ways she can make a difference - 9 (17.3%)
3. Asking Elliott (stammering and blushing) if The Secret Bakery has any open jobs working with b... b... bread - 7 (13.5%)
4. Bubbles (clued in by May) gives her the 'one good Synthetic' speech - 6 (11.5%)
5. May personally pleas with her to stick with the force because they need some good cops - 5 (9.6%)
=6. A prolonged whodunnit story guest-starring Clinton, Melon and Emily - 4 (7.7%)
=6. Door security at The Horrible Revelation (which morphs into the prolonged whodunnit arc) - 4 (7.7%)
=8. "Basilisk, good job on the fight club case. Here's your gold detective's badge!" - 1 (1.9%)
=8. The Kirouac Option - She quits, buys a bike and rides off to find herself - 1 (1.9%)
x. Other (please specify in a comment)

Well, a fairly even distribution this week but I find it interesting that a lot of readers would like to see Roko still performing an investigative/enforcer role of some sort, even if it is closer to being a vigilante of some sorts (maybe acting as SpookyBot's enforcer). Maybe there is still room for a good cop in the cast?

P.S.: I've got nothing right now, so someone else will need to start next week's WCDT. Sorry about that!
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #197 on: 30 Sep 2018, 11:37 »

Ok, I just have to say that I'm getting a hint of smugness that both of the last two weeks polls #1 results were ideas I put forward.

_____

Also, in case any of the people who were discussing how AI learn things are still mulling things over:

I'd posit that the AGI seen here would use similar (but more advanced) machine learning techniques that we tend to use for today's ANI.
AGI= Artificial General Intelligence, ANI = Artificial Narrow Intelligence.

It's worth understanding there is a distinct difference (as has been stated above) between storing a knowledge bank, and understanding what to do with the knowledge.
That understanding is what distinguishes an intelligence from a textbook, wikipedia page, or other "file". The challenge is making the AI understand what it's making a decision on, when it's making the decision, what the options are, and which decisions it should be making. Often this boils down to knowing how to locate "useful" data.

There's a few techniques, and techniques can be either "unsupervised" or "supervised", where the intelligence is guided to make the correct decisions.

The basic idea though, is when trying to teach it how to do something, you give it the situation as many times as possible, and let it see the patterns. Depending on the type of situation, you might be asking it to recognise something, or to make an A,B decision, or something more complex. In general, you'd either give it the correct solution, and let it attempt to figure out Why it's correct, or you'd let it draw it's own conclusions, and possibly after it's built up a number of possible patterns, tell it which ones to disregard (if any).

As an example, for my thesis recently, I was using object recognition software to teach an AI how to locate sharks in aerial view photographs of shallow waters. It not only had to locate them, but distinguish them from other possible objects, like boats, dolphins, people, seals, etc.

In practice, an AGI would likely be doing similar things, except spread over every situation it encounters, rather than trying to solve 1 task.

Years ago, in some of the dialogue, Jeph described that the initial spark of life was discovered by chance. Scientists were looking for it, but had no idea what would create it, and still (I assume) didn't exactly know what it was about that combination/arrangement of processing patterns in a neural network that created the sentience. However, unlike an organic brain, machine brains can be far more easily "paused" without affecting ongoing computation. This would allow every single piece of the extremely complicated network to be mapped and duplicated.

This would mean that every AI (except possibly spooky) begins "life" as a cloned "seed". Variances in learning following that would then create the unique individuals that we see in the comic. It's likely that some portion of that learning would happen before putting the AI into a mobile physical body. While not an exact analogue, I'd describe it as being quite similar to human development. Initially connected to the "life support" of a mother being, the mind is developed to handle all autonomous functions (which should simply be able to be downloaded as pre-learned subroutines), as well as the capability to Learn a huge amount later. Eventually it's awareness and understanding can be developed to an infancy, where the real learning and experience can begin. I doubt you'd see robots running around as true infants, stumbling on everything, as most of those kinds of things could probably be learnt once on one chassis, then transferred as firmware to all duplicate models. Any knowledge that is guaranteed to be common could probably be dealt with in a similar way, but they may choose to learn Everything manually, to maximise the ability to create unique environmental learning, and avoid iRobot type clones.

Just a few thoughts from a computer scientist/electronics engineer.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #198 on: 30 Sep 2018, 14:17 »

There are plenty of books who's intent and experience is wholly dependent upon absorbing the text in order. The sequential process of reading them reveals things and ellicits particular responses based on the timing of when specific elements are presented. Just downloading the information directly into your brain would fail to provide the experience of the book. Often it is not the information that matters as much as how the information is presented

Unquestionably true for us meat noggins, but Roko and company are robo-noggins.  As Momo demonstrated, at least some AIs do it the slow, human way for pleasure, but even they no doubt retain the ability to take info in the robot-conventional way (UltraMegaZippityfastUSB, etc) if the situation warrants.
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Re: WCDT strips 3836-3840 (24 to 28 September 2018)
« Reply #199 on: 30 Sep 2018, 14:53 »

They can absorb the information, sure, but that was not my point. My point was that simply downloading the data is insufficient. It is the process, in these cases, that's important. For purely factual information downloading would be fine, but for a lot of fiction, it is the process by which the narrative unfolds that provides the intended experience of the book far more than the events themselves.
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