The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri May 25, 2018 4:59 pm UTC

It's a problem, but I don't think it's insurmountable.

I mean, cruise control was basically the first step towards this, and it wasn't horrific, despite removing some necessary attention workload from the driver. Additional driver aids have generally been added without causing deaths to spike. Sure, people not paying attention is a problem, but the amount of people not paying a lot of attention without any sort of assistance at all is really quite amazing. Folks on their phone, doing makeup, digging around in the car, all while going down the road, super common.

It's less that robots are messing humans up, and that humans are not well adapted to steering a ton of metal at 60 mph for long periods of time. It usually isn't the robots killing us, it's us killing us.

This just turned out to be a system way too reliant on the meat person it's supposed to replace.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby speising » Fri May 25, 2018 5:24 pm UTC

the car had a whole six seconds of confusion, though. if it had pinged the driver, as in "i'm not sure what that thing is, could you please have a look?", there would have been ample time, even for a slow human, to step on the brakes.
anyway, if you're not sure what that blob ahead is doing, the prudent course of action is to slow down. which, incidently, would have alerted the driver, too.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri May 25, 2018 5:41 pm UTC

Oh, I think we're on the same page here. An alert would have been reasonable reliance on the driver. Maybe it woulda stopped it, maybe not, but either way, it would seem like a very reasonable reaction to confusion about an object the vehicle is approaching and possibly would impact.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Fri May 25, 2018 6:20 pm UTC

It needn't even have been the disabled emergency braking at six seconds to go, purely precautionary slowing down (haptically alerting the occupant to focus on the road ahead, as a side-effect, without even flinging them around).

Cars decelerate/ease-off all the time under normal human control with following vehicles (when not tailgating!) adjusting themselves accordingly¹, and it shouldn't be a bad thing to act with caution. But, hey, that's what the developers need to have considered (and may actually have done, just not sufficiently in this case) when encountering temporarily unidentified 'blobs' crossing the limits of their sensors.

Again, I'm speaking from my armchair here.


¹ When they are too close, the second car may have to "slow faster", the third more abruptly yet, etc, but that's all part of good road-sense that only occasionally leads to problems at the moment. And surely a chain of (independent, non-convoyed) self driving cars could be far better at responding enough to not amplify the slow-down rather than have a day-dreamer in the middle of the pack panic and cause a 'road oscillation' in the stream of vehicles.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby commodorejohn » Fri May 25, 2018 6:43 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:It's a problem, but I don't think it's insurmountable.

I mean, cruise control was basically the first step towards this, and it wasn't horrific, despite removing some necessary attention workload from the driver.

That's not even remotely comparable, though. Cruise control removes an unnecessary demand on the driver's attention, enabling them to focus on the things more vitally in need of it. And while it does enable an irresponsible driver to pay less attention to things, it doesn't actively encourage it. That's a far cry from a system that is essentially premised on the "driver" not paying attention (and I'm sure they'd argue that no, no, that's definitely not what they intended, but get real - that's exactly the entire point of self-driving cars in the first place) until the actual driver (the AI) runs into a situation it can't cope with.

This just turned out to be a system way too reliant on the meat person it's supposed to replace.

Which is, again, the problem. The system as it stands can't cope with things without relying on a human, and humans can't cope with split-second context-switching into a life-or-death situation from a casual one, and somehow nobody sees a problem with the gap in capability that those two facts create for this system.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby gmalivuk » Fri May 25, 2018 6:49 pm UTC

On top of that, Uber placed another screen in the car and told the human driver to pay attention to it instead of primarily focusing on the road.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sardia » Fri May 25, 2018 7:32 pm UTC

[list=][/list] I guess the lesson is you pay full price and wait longer for Google to get it right, and Uber/Tesla blows.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby ivnja » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:25 pm UTC

Digital License Plates Roll Out In California

NPR wrote:California is testing new digital license plates on vehicles — opening up new possibilities and raising new privacy concerns.

The digital plates use the same technology behind Amazon's Kindle e-book reader to display large letters and numbers, as any other license plate would. But the devices are also able to show ads and personal messages and send data about their locations.

...

Reviver Auto says the company never shares data "with the DMV, law enforcement, or any other third party," and says users can turn off location data at any time. The company also says it has the same security standards that banks use in their online services to protect from hacking.


Well, I'm totally reassured.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:21 pm UTC

And what's to stop the plate being hacked by either owner or malicious third party to show false-plates (for fun and profit, in either case)? "Flipper plates" (and false covers) have existed even before even the Goldfinger car, but this could look 'normal' even after conversion.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby jewish_scientist » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:09 pm UTC

NPR wrote:Reviver Auto says the company never shares data "with the DMV, law enforcement, or any other third party," and says users can turn off location data at any time.


This is false. There is no maybe or some gray area; this statement is false. Reviver Auto will have to share data with law enforcement officers who produce a warrant just like phone companies do. Furthermore, the features of these plates that actually make them better than regular plates is that they can, "track stolen cars and enable electronic vehicle registration," both of which require the plates sending information to law enforcement. American law and the companies own statements show that Reviver Auto must be lying.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby idonno » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:37 pm UTC

The company also says it has the same security standards that banks use in their online services to protect from hacking.


This is how you blatantly lie to people without telling a single falsehood. They want it to sound like it is a safe as your money in the bank but banks protect the actual money by being able to reverse transactions. A simple google search demonstrates that their data isn't exactly locked inside a vault.

Also, if every license plate has gps tracking in it, it won't be long before standard operating procedure for stealing a car is to disable it. A broken kindle still shows the last thing on the screen so making a broken plate look normal would be trivial.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:18 pm UTC

Add a streaming element. If that fails, add a moving element to show that the valid connection is broken.
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(There are other ways to do it, and yet further ways to spoof those. Arms race, etc. I still think there are basic problems in other ways, but hey… )

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby idonno » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:21 pm UTC

I am not entirely sure the specifics of how the tech works but it is my understanding that the static nature of pages is how eink displays achieve such low energy consumption. Anyways, as you said, once you made this change, people will do something else. I find it highly unlikely that a surface level GPS at the same predictable location on every car will ever be an effective counter measure against theft and the obvious flaw makes it seem very likely that it is just their way of justifying putting a tracking device on every car to be exploited later.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:47 am UTC


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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby techblogger911 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:43 am UTC



You can but will you win?

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby speising » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:32 am UTC

The attendance wrote:While the humans had better delivery, the group agreed, the machine offered greater substance in its arguments.


The Machine wrote:“It is very easy to say that there are more important things to spend money on, and I do not dispute this. No one is claiming that this is the only item on our expense list. But that is beside the point. As subsidising space exploration would clearly benefit society, I maintain that this is something the government should pursue.”

is this supposed to be an example of better substance? i'm sure there's a name for this kind of fallacy. for one thing, the "argument" ignores the implicit budgetary constraints.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby commodorejohn » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:42 am UTC

Then again, I've seen humans make far more overtly inane arguments.

As seems to often be the case with AI, it seems like the simplest solution to passing the Turing test is to just define "humanity" downward...
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Mutex » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:52 am UTC

But why do we need an AI that makes arguments that are even slightly inane?

An AI that can take raw data and make strong arguments based on an analysis of it would be a very useful tool. It could export the argument in a format where every assertion is linked to a detailed explanation of the logic used and the supporting data.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:39 am UTC

(The computer just ate my rather long reply. Does it know something I don't? In summary, though...)

Computer concocts its arguments from source data. That argument isn't an uncommon one to find. It's very close to https://xkcd.com/1232/ in its counter argument to the obvious arguments against its position.

It could be that it was deemed "more substantial" because the weaksauce arguments contrary to the AI's assigned position were even worse. Or that the computer was the better at producing 'substance emanating' arguments from an ephemeral base position (in an argument about the future, it is entirely speculation and opinion as to what will be the best vector to take).

What would be interesting would be to have the AI construct both sides of the argument, applying equal debating skill to presenting both(/all?) sides of the issue and even counter-debating (both/all) its initial opening statements. (This stemmed from the prior post, and was originally my opening paragraph, and asked that as well as exporting the data that it used to support its position it should show the (negatively weighted) data used to downgrade its eventual choice of responses, and those would be useful to know. But then I also inserted a picture of WOPR playing Tic Tac Toe with zero players, just to make a cultural reference…) Removing "the better debater" from debates (where the aim is not just to discover the better debater, naturally!) might give better understansing of how powerful the relative supporting pillars for ewch answer actually are.


Somewhere in the middle of that (now re-orderd) sequence of ideas, I also considered it ironic if the 'technophobic' side of that argument had been the one that had been given to the tech to argue towards. (Maybe it never was going to be an option. Either, not enough material to make it onto the short-list, or just bias and/or fear by the people drawing up the possible debating options, not wanting it to go this way?)


Yes, that's a summary.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:36 pm UTC

speising wrote:
The Machine wrote:“It is very easy to say that there are more important things to spend money on, and I do not dispute this. No one is claiming that this is the only item on our expense list. But that is beside the point. As subsidising space exploration would clearly benefit society, I maintain that this is something the government should pursue.”

is this supposed to be an example of better substance? i'm sure there's a name for this kind of fallacy. for one thing, the "argument" ignores the implicit budgetary constraints.


That's pretty weak. Basically, the argument is "the government should pursue everything beneficial to society, regardless of cost/benefit".

It did alright at framing this weak argument in words, but logically speaking, it's not a great argument. Traditional counterarguments tend to highlight related developments as being of high value. Hey, GPS turned out to be super handy. Demonstrating a large concrete benefit for money already spent highlights the potential for additional returns.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Mutex » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:39 pm UTC

It's admittedly hard to tell how well it works from that short clip. Maybe it goes on to give a detailed cost/benefit analysis and they just decided not to put that in the video.

Probably not though.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Dauric » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:43 pm UTC

The first computers to play chess weren't all that good at it either. That the computer is able to make an arguable point at all is something of an accomplishment
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby trpmb6 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:10 pm UTC

What would make it better is if it applies learning to it's already compiled set of raw input.

One of the most important things I learned on my high school debate team is to learn and adapt the different arguments and positions your opponents take. Then apply those to your future debates. (this was especially important when you didn't know what side of the policy position you were supposed to be supporting until 10 minutes prior)

Though I'm not really sure how much an AI can improve if they are given the exact same research data that their opponent has.

What really impresses me is how well the AI was able to formulate argumentative points and counter points.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:52 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:What would make it better is if it applies learning to it's already compiled set of raw input.

One of the most important things I learned on my high school debate team is to learn and adapt the different arguments and positions your opponents take. Then apply those to your future debates. (this was especially important when you didn't know what side of the policy position you were supposed to be supporting until 10 minutes prior)

Though I'm not really sure how much an AI can improve if they are given the exact same research data that their opponent has.

What really impresses me is how well the AI was able to formulate argumentative points and counter points.


Well, the big advantage of data is that a computer can churn through it faster than a person. Potentially, a computer might be able to use statistics(if it has the raw data on hand) in creative ways on the fly to better respond to unexpected arguments. Right now, debating involves a lot of preparation for specific arguments, and if your preparation doesn't match up with the arguments that arise, you can do pretty poorly. An AI could in theory pivot much more rapidly.

So, while it's not all that yet, it certainly could become good at it in the future.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Mutex » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:08 pm UTC

Is anyone else depressed by the idea the AI should have a designated position to make arguments for? Rather than being given a question to find the answer to in the most unbiased way possible?

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zohar » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:42 pm UTC

It would probably be interesting to have two AIs "battle it out" between themselves to reach the most compelling and clear reasoning for decisions.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby commodorejohn » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:12 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Is anyone else depressed by the idea the AI should have a designated position to make arguments for? Rather than being given a question to find the answer to in the most unbiased way possible?

There have been several programs written that help you to arrive at the right decision by feeding in & analysing all the relevent facts. REASON, though, is a program which allows you to specify in advance what decision you wished it to reach. The program then constructs a plausible series of logical sounding steps to connect the premise with the conclusion. The entire thing was bought up lock, stock and barrel by the Pentagon.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:25 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Is anyone else depressed by the idea the AI should have a designated position to make arguments for? Rather than being given a question to find the answer to in the most unbiased way possible?


I mean, if we're trying to develop AIs that act human, that would seem to be, rather than depressing, a significant mark of progress.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Dauric » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:01 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Is anyone else depressed by the idea the AI should have a designated position to make arguments for? Rather than being given a question to find the answer to in the most unbiased way possible?


The former is how formal, competitive debate competitions are structured. They're not teaching the computer to solve problems per-se, they're teaching the structured game of selling a solution to the audience.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Mutex » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:16 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
Mutex wrote:Is anyone else depressed by the idea the AI should have a designated position to make arguments for? Rather than being given a question to find the answer to in the most unbiased way possible?


The former is how formal, competitive debate competitions are structured. They're not teaching the computer to solve problems per-se, they're teaching the structured game of selling a solution to the audience.

Oh god.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:33 pm UTC

One day, we may be able to create the perfect politician. Able to be convincing enough about anything, regardless of it makes sense.

Ah, who am I kidding? It'd never work. Nobody would buy the person-suit or the wig of hair. It just wouldn't look quite human.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:21 am UTC


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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Chen » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:39 am UTC



Its a bit hard to blame automation when a person actually failed to renew his contract. How it took people three weeks to figure it out is just absurd though.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Mutex » Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:07 pm UTC

You can maybe blame automation for the fact that one mistake meant it got that far without anyone catching it. This assumes humans would have double checked it instead of just blindly following procedure.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:54 pm UTC

As I read it, there were two rigid rules that caused the delay. One, people without contract don't get access to the systems or ghe premises. Two, a new contract goes through a process of several weeks to approval. I have seen those same rules enacted rigidly without any computer aid. There is usually some hierarchic layer that can sign off on an exception, but that layer is high enough that they don't care about little things like one department missing out on the work of one guy for a few weeks.

And I have seen whybthebrules get rigid as well, exactly in those areas. Allow some discretionary leeway, and soon managers are putting half their contracts through the easier exception channel. Everyone and their pony has an access badge, because it's such bother to walk to the main entrance to pick them up. And former contractors still have read and write privileges 10 years after they left.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Chen » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:50 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:As I read it, there were two rigid rules that caused the delay. One, people without contract don't get access to the systems or ghe premises. Two, a new contract goes through a process of several weeks to approval. I have seen those same rules enacted rigidly without any computer aid. There is usually some hierarchic layer that can sign off on an exception, but that layer is high enough that they don't care about little things like one department missing out on the work of one guy for a few weeks.


I mean, I work for a fairly large company with big bureaucracy. But if one of my contractors suddenly lost all access, they'd just need to go to their manager (forget anything higher) and it would get sorted out pretty quick. At the very least someone would be able to find "oh yeah your contract wasn't renewed". Now re-creating the contract itself might take some time but the story here was that it was 3 weeks before they even figured out root cause. That's absolutely ridiculous. I mean, looking at the blog post there's a post from a director that got an automated response back from IT about it. Something like that would result in a very harsh conversation between the director who made the request and the IT director.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby speising » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:37 am UTC

Deep Video Portraits

this is quite chilling. they can indistinguishably transfer facial and upper body movements of a source to a target video.
Do not trust your eyes.
OTOH, it could be nice for dubbed movies. i always wondered how Star Trek's universal translator did lip-sync.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby HES » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:24 pm UTC

Combined with voice sampling, we're almost at a point where very convincing fake videos can be produced with minimal effort. We're going to need a new method of verification.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby elasto » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:03 pm UTC

There's (predictably) already porn being created using this technology, some of which is free and open source. Yes, with a little tech savvy you can put your favourite celebrity's head onto any porn clip you desire.

Fakenews will follow if it hasn't already. Imagine a video of a politician doing drugs being released a couple of days before an election, with no time at all to refute it or perform damage control. Even if politicians agree amongst themselves not to be a party to such dirty tricks there's nothing stopping a third-party actor or foreign state from doing it.

This tech is the equivalent of a WMD to democracy.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby addams » Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:43 am UTC

speising wrote:Deep Video Portraits

this is quite chilling. they can indistinguishably transfer facial and upper body movements of a source to a target video.
Do not trust your eyes.
OTOH, it could be nice for dubbed movies. i always wondered how Star Trek's universal translator did lip-sync.
By 1090 'they' could do it with Voice.
Two minutes of speech from any source could become anything you want the source to say for as long as you want it to.
But This! This is....Chilling. Okay. We go back to needing witness each with their own phones. How else can we know?
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