The Darker Side of the News

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

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CorruptUser
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:14 am UTC

Jumble wrote:
Sableagle wrote:To show they have no moral qualms about that, to show that nobody is safe. They are terrorists, after all. Which is the more terrifying thought, seeing a car coming charging at you with nowhere to jump to or seeing a car charging at your children with no way to save them?


Agreed. Only thing is, if you are stupid enough to die for a cause wouldn't it make sense to pick a cause with some form of moral anchor? I'm not much of a theologian but I've not seen a deity with a passable justification for murdering children.


Ba'al Hamon, God of Carthage, required child sacrifices. Interestingly, it was the nobles who had to offer a sacrifice, because it was their fault things got so bad. The gist of it was, whenever there was a crisis, i.e., food shortage, someone had to die. And it was better to kill someone you weren't yet attached to.

This was actually surprisingly normal for the world until very, very recently. Eskimo retirements weren't a thing, but they did murder newborns they couldn't take care of. The greeks would abandon newborns they couldn't feed, usually the girls, which is why they were so gay. Also why they were so murderous, seeing as the only way to get laid was to murder and rape in the next town over. The catholic church ran brothels, but would murder all the male children. The Aztecs... well you know. The Eastern Shoshone of North America (or one of the Shoshone tribes) killed ALL the female newborns, and got wives by either buying slaves or kidnapping them. The Canaanite cultures famously sacrificed to Moloch until 3200 years ago, around the same time that part of the world turned to constant warfare instead...

Be very, very VERY grateful you live in a world with condoms. Because without which, the only way to survive is some combination of murdering your children or murdering your neighbors.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Alexius » Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:03 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Mutex wrote:A car and a knife is all you need to pull off an attack.
Airlines already ban knives on planes; how long until they ban cars, too?


I don't think they let you do this any more:
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Zamfir » Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:29 pm UTC

Image

Not cheap though.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:43 pm UTC

"Watch out, they've got a car!" doesn't have the same threatening edge that "Watch out, they've got a knife!" seems to.

Though -- could you even start a car in an depressured cargo bay? It seems to me like the lower oxygen rate would screw up the combustion.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Liri » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:49 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:"Watch out, they've got a car!" doesn't have the same threatening edge that "Watch out, they've got a knife!" seems to.

Though -- could you even start a car in an depressured cargo bay? It seems to me like the lower oxygen rate would screw up the combustion.

This sounds like the start of a what-if. Pursue the threads.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby WibblyWobbly » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:06 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:"Watch out, they've got a car!" doesn't have the same threatening edge that "Watch out, they've got a knife!" seems to.

Though -- could you even start a car in an depressured cargo bay? It seems to me like the lower oxygen rate would screw up the combustion.

Imagine this scene, though:

*Young punk threatens Crocodile Dundee with his tiny car*
"That's not a car!"
*Crocodile Dundee brandishes massive SUV*
"This is a car."

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby pseudoidiot » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:11 pm UTC

Knife+Car

WHAT NOW

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:14 pm UTC

WibblyWobbly wrote:Imagine this scene, though:

*Young punk threatens Crocodile Dundee with his tiny car*
"That's not a car!"
*Crocodile Dundee brandishes massive SUV*
"This is a car."
Cue Jackie Chan's maniacal laughter in the distance

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:23 pm UTC

pseudoidiot wrote:Knife+Car

WHAT NOW


https://youtu.be/2_JTT3OsDJQ?t=13

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW2U0qORdLE

https://youtu.be/kLj4zaoMkRE?t=121

Yes, vehicle engines do "asphyxiate" at high altitudes. Brennerpass was enough to make my NT650V seem a little asthmatic and a Ninja 250 barely made it over.

"Watch out, they've got a car!" doesn't have the same threatening edge that "Watch out, they've got a knife!" seems to.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3xR05UiQco

Some of the people present may have felt threatened.

If you want actual numbers to stick to threats, Bill StClair can provide some.

Code: Select all

.380 ACP              5.8 g @ 305 m/s        272 J
9x19 mm               8.0 g @ 360 m/s        521 J
.45 ACP              14.9 g @ 267 m/s        532 J
.40 S&W              10.7 g @ 351 m/s        659 J
.357 Magnum          10.2 g @ 376 m/s        728 J
.44 Magnum           15.6 g @ 360 m/s       1009 J
5.56x45 mm            3.6 g @ 988 m/s       1743 J
7.62x39 mm            8.1 g @ 721 m/s       2111 J
7.62x51 mm            9.7 g @ 860 m/s       3602 J
12-ga. slug          28.3 g @ 512 m/s       3724 J
7.62x63 mm           11.7 g @ 823 m/s       3962 J
.444 Marlin          15.6 g @ 716 m/s       4002 J
12.7x99 mm           42.5 g @ 923 m/s      18144 J
Toyota Aygo          890 kg @  30 m/s     398204 J
BMW F31             1770 kg @  50 m/s    2217809 J
Bomb 81 mm Mortar HE      705 g TNT      2949720 J
Cement truck           33 t @  25 m/s   10337244 J
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby SDK » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:08 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:Yes, vehicle engines do "asphyxiate" at high altitudes. Brennerpass was enough to make my NT650V seem a little asthmatic and a Ninja 250 barely made it over.

I'm skeptical that 1300 m would cause you any problem at all. I live at 1000 m, and frequently drive at over 1500 m with no problem whatsoever.

Though I have no idea about how a car's engine would fare at 10 000 m, remember that airplanes run on combustion too. Though they do use a compressor prior to that, I'm not sure if that's just for efficiency or because it simply wouldn't work otherwise.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:16 pm UTC

SDK wrote:Though I have no idea about how a car's engine would fare at 10 000 m, remember that airplanes run on combustion too. Though they do use a compressor prior to that, I'm not sure if that's just for efficiency or because it simply wouldn't work otherwise.
They're designed to handle bizarre altitudes, though -- like, you've got ramjets, which are by design incapable of drawing in enough oxygen to facilitate combustion -- they only start working when you're going so fast that enough air is getting forced in.

(But yeah, you're right, combustion would be possible at any altitude that your typical plane can fly at... just, maybe not without alterations)

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby DavidSh » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:46 pm UTC

Anyway, the average cargo hold of a civilian plane is pressurized, although maybe only to the equivalent of 2100 meters. An automobile engine should work, if they allow it to have fuel. Flammable liquids are usually prohibited in both checked and carry-on luggage.

For that matter, knives are allowed in checked luggage, so the real question should be whether automobiles are allowed in carry-on. And I think pretty much any automobile large enough to be hazardous is too large to be allowed for carry-on.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:52 pm UTC

DavidSh wrote:I think pretty much any automobile large enough to be hazardous is too large to be allowed for carry-on.
Anyone large enough to have a standard-size automobile in his carry-on luggage is too large to board most aircraft anyway.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby ObsessoMom » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:00 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:The greeks would abandon newborns they couldn't feed, usually the girls, which is why they were so gay.


I understand that your entire post is on the hyperbolic, outrageous gadfly side, CorruptUser, but I find it very hard to see humor in statements like this. Just sayin'.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:20 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:The greeks would abandon newborns they couldn't feed, usually the girls, which is why they were so gay.


I understand that your entire post is on the hyperbolic, outrageous gadfly side, CorruptUser, but I find it very hard to see humor in statements like this. Just sayin'.

It's still better than when he called every extremist a closeted homo.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:31 pm UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:The greeks would abandon newborns they couldn't feed, usually the girls, which is why they were so gay.


I understand that your entire post is on the hyperbolic, outrageous gadfly side, CorruptUser, but I find it very hard to see humor in statements like this. Just sayin'.


Not that much hyperbolism, actually. We can look down upon the "backwards" views on sexuality of our ancestors because we did not have to suffer through the living hell that was the world prior to birth control. And paternity tests. And food preservatives. And vaccines. And antibiotics. That's pretty much the definition of "privilege", as we never had to suffer from the horrors of not even that long ago.

And based on what part you quoted, I feel I should clarify that I don't view homosexuality as being "perverse" or anything like that, just that homosexuality was somewhat more tolerated in ancient Greece than in the past thousand or so years indirectly because of the female infanticide.


Ethics philosophy quarantine
Spoiler:
Oh, and I'm not actually a moral relativist. More of a moral nihilist, or really a moral anti-nihilist; there is no "inherent" morality (or meaning in the world), which gives humanity the right to create whatever morality (or meaning) we see fit ("we" as in plural; morals are worthless if it's just the individual). So, what is "right" is "whatever is best", and what is "best" will depend on what society is capable of. Today, the benefits of having "free love" far outweigh the problems, so long as safe sex is practiced, but if condoms and the pill were to disappear?



sardia wrote:It's still better than when he called every extremist a closeted homo.


Ok, that one was excessive hyperbole, but I still stand by my hypothesis that it's higher than the average.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby mcd001 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:02 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:We can look down upon the "backwards" views on sexuality of our ancestors because we did not have to suffer through the living hell that was the world prior to birth control. And paternity tests. And food preservatives. And vaccines. And antibiotics.

Don't forget anesthetics! I am exceptionally glad to be living in a time period that's post-anesthesia.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:07 pm UTC

Unless I'm horribly mistaken, while anesthetics make our individual lives better their availability has little impact on the morals on society.

All I can really think of are the stories from a former coworker who was from Soviet Ukraine. He had his tonsils removed when he was a kid, but anesthetics were not widely available. So every kid was expected to be a "man" and not cry while the doctor did the surgery. So, what, more machismo in such a society?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Sableagle » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:28 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:So, what, more machismo in such a society?
Old article:
Homophobia and intimacy in a Russian sauna

Saunas are supposed to be relaxing but the prospect of this one filled me with dread.

I was to share it with two heavily armed Russian hunters - Yuri, a steely-eyed veteran of Russia's bloody war in Afghanistan, and Georgy, a burly businessmen who cut his teeth during the violent chaos that consumed Russia after the fall of communism.

The hunting lifestyle is idolised here in Russia. Russians venerate strong men to the point where it can become almost camp.

As gradually we adjusted to the heat, I decided to broach the gay issue. What did they think of this new law, I wanted to know. They were both keen supporters.

"Why should the gay lifestyle be celebrated?" asked Georgy. "It is just disgusting."

"Gays should be killed," he said, frowning. I said nothing. The already humid atmosphere became even closer.

Georgy had shown me photos of his three-year-old son dressed up, just like dad, head to toe in combat gear and pointing a toy gun. With growing trepidation, I ask the obvious question - what if your son was gay?

Now his discomfort turns to anger. "That is just not possible," he says, banging a heavy fist down on the wooden bench beside me.

I feel a hand hitch up my towel exposing my thighs. There is a rustle as the birch twigs are lifted from the boiling water and a faintly ominous hiss as - and I am guessing here because my eyes were firmly shut - he presses them onto the hot rocks balanced on the drum of the sauna.

There is a lovely woody smell from the boiling leaves. I gasp as he brings the scalding birch branches down on my back. He does it gently. This is not a whipping but a light beating and I have to admit it is very pleasant.

This will get your circulation going, Georgy tells me, cheerful again now.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby ObsessoMom » Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:55 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Unless I'm horribly mistaken, while anesthetics make our individual lives better their availability has little impact on the morals on society.


Spoilered for off topic:

Spoiler:
This thread isn't the place for this conversation, but I don't think the phrase "morals in society" means what you think it does.

[Much blather deleted]


Actually, it's so off-topic, I'll start a Serious Business thread (link here) for any who want to discuss it. Carry on.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:23 am UTC

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/28/upsh ... iness&_r=0
The robot/automation revolution will create even less jobs than predicted, says latest data. Whoops?
Who is winning the race for jobs between robots and humans? Last year, two leading economists described a future in which humans come out ahead. But now they’ve declared a different winner: the robots.

The industry most affected by automation is manufacturing. For every robot per thousand workers, up to six workers lost their jobs and wages fell by as much as three-fourths of a percent, according to a new paper by the economists, Daron Acemoglu of M.I.T. and Pascual Restrepo of Boston University. It appears to be the first study to quantify large, direct, negative effects of robots.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Chen » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:51 am UTC

I never saw that original paper that mentioned we'd end up with MORE overall jobs due to automation. As such, this one seemed like a pretty obvious conclusion. Even if new jobs were somehow instantly created, you're not retraining the existing people fast enough if at all. There will always be losers when new technology rears its head. The market tends to adapt, but very often after the fact, not prior to it. The only "solution" I can see long term is to make education more accessible and ensure people go into fields that are not as easily replaced by machines. Even that's a moving target though. Healthcare and other service industries where people like to see other people (education, child-care) are probably would be what I'd be betting on for more stable future employment.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Liri » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:58 pm UTC

It's going to be a difficult road until/if traditional jobs become obsolete and unnecessary. [sing-song]This is why we need a robust safety net/welfare state.[/sing-song]
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby elasto » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:33 pm UTC

Chen wrote:The only "solution" I can see long term is to make education more accessible and ensure people go into fields that are not as easily replaced by machines. Even that's a moving target though. Healthcare and other service industries where people like to see other people (education, child-care) are probably would be what I'd be betting on for more stable future employment.

As a parent of young children, for me this discussion is no mere academic exercise but a genuine concern.

My oldest has talked of wanting to become an optician, but that's something I can see being largely automated away. She also ponders becoming a teacher, which seems a safer bet.

My youngest shows an interest in hairdressing, which also seems a fairly safe bet. But with so many people chasing so few service jobs, will they have any kind of reasonable income or job security? Who knows...

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:18 pm UTC

Liri wrote:It's going to be a difficult road until/if traditional jobs become obsolete and unnecessary. [sing-song]This is why we need a robust safety net/welfare state.[/sing-song]

[sing-song]This is why we need a Butlerian jihad...[/sing-song]
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby addams » Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:03 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
Chen wrote:The only "solution" I can see long term is to make education more accessible and ensure people go into fields that are not as easily replaced by machines. Even that's a moving target though. Healthcare and other service industries where people like to see other people (education, child-care) are probably would be what I'd be betting on for more stable future employment.

As a parent of young children, for me this discussion is no mere academic exercise but a genuine concern.

My oldest has talked of wanting to become an optician, but that's something I can see being largely automated away. She also ponders becoming a teacher, which seems a safer bet.

My youngest shows an interest in hairdressing, which also seems a fairly safe bet. But with so many people chasing so few service jobs, will they have any kind of reasonable income or job security? Who knows...
I know; I should Not jump in here...
But; Fools rush in...

Elasto; Yes.
There will be Service Jobs.

There is nothing more interesting to most Human Beings than Other Human Beings.

The dull, repetitive, dangerous jobs in manufacturing and resource extraction will be 'taken' by machines.
Your children, I hope, will mature in a world where Helping other Humans in some manner will be well paid jobs.

Not everyone wants to 'Touch' other people.
We will need Civil Engineers and Architects.
We will need Programers, Chemists and Astronomers.

Hopefully; We will have armies of Psychologists, to go along with and help all the
Nurses, Yoga Teachers and Physical Therapists, Neurosurgeons, Orthopedic surgeons,
Oncologists and we'll need Veterinarians, treating both large animals and small.

All of those people will want and need Good Chefs, Professional Servers, Interior Decorators,
Landscape Architects and some, like Ronald Regan, will choose to have personal Astrologists.

Do not morn your child's future,
if caring intelligent people guide us toward clean energy and a clean,
wholesome wold filled with people helping people.

Let the machines make the Cars.
Let people move around in them.
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Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby ucim » Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:25 am UTC

addams wrote:We will need Civil Engineers and Architects.
We will need Programmers, Chemists and Astronomers.
Will we, though? As the existing, organic engineers and scientists put things online, the networked computers will be able to make correlations between the ("published") research, and draw conclusions, in a manner similar to the way it does now with financial calculations. It will be able to suggest topics for further research. Soon, it will be able to do so before the scientists and engineers do.

Soon afterward, the networked computers will be doing the actual science and engineering. People will be employed by them to run the telescopes. Maybe. Maybe only to build them. Maybe only to manage the machines that build them.

Maybe only to post pictures of kittens, while the network entertains us with new discoveries.

No, Science and engineering are vulnerable. It will take a little longer, but it will happen. Some of you will live to see it. Some of you will have created it.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby commodorejohn » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:48 am UTC

I'll believe that when I see it, and not before. Nobody has ever yet (to my knowledge) created a system that did more than automate the grunt work of science and engineering, and I've yet to see any compelling reason to believe that that will change any time soon. People have insisted that the change in that is just around the corner!!! for decades now. Obviously I can't say for certain that it's impossible, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:58 am UTC

commodorejohn wrote:I'll believe that when I see it, and not before. Nobody has ever yet (to my knowledge) created a system that did more than automate the grunt work of science and engineering, and I've yet to see any compelling reason to believe that that will change any time soon. People have insisted that the change in that is just around the corner!!! for decades now. Obviously I can't say for certain that it's impossible, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
The reason people keep saying "AI IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!" is because each time we reach that corner, we move the goal-post to the next corner. I'm not saying you're wrong to express some healthy skepticism, but also keep in mind -- if you own a smart-phone, you basically have the computer from Star Trek in your pocket.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Liri » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:56 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:if you own a smart-phone, you basically have the computer from Star Trek in your pocket.

yeah but can I tell it to self-destruct
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby sardia » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:33 pm UTC

Liri wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:if you own a smart-phone, you basically have the computer from Star Trek in your pocket.

yeah but can I tell it to self-destruct

Yes, and the burns are horrific.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby commodorejohn » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:46 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:The reason people keep saying "AI IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!" is because each time we reach that corner, we move the goal-post to the next corner.

Only we've never actually reached that goalpost. We've created systems that can automate a lot of the boring grind, and that's great - but we've never come close to building something that can do the kind of comprehensive, adaptive, all-inclusive analysis that a human being can, let alone have ideas of its own. The closest we've come to any of that is carefully-designed fakery intended to make the more basic systems we do have appear more in line with what people have been trained to expect out of them (by which I of course mean AskJeeves.)

I'm not saying you're wrong to express some healthy skepticism, but also keep in mind -- if you own a smart-phone, you basically have the computer from Star Trek in your pocket.

Can I rig an iPhone up with vacuum tubes to see through time? No. No I cannot. And that's why I don't have one.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:17 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:Only we've never actually reached that goalpost. We've created systems that can automate a lot of the boring grind, and that's great - but we've never come close to building something that can do the kind of comprehensive, adaptive, all-inclusive analysis that a human being can, let alone have ideas of its own.
What would an AI capable of 'all-inclusive analysis' even look like? We've created actuary tables that can outperform a doctor's diagnosis; does that qualify? What about neural nets that can produce music, or dynamically synthesize voices well enough to fool the human ear? How about ones that can recognize faces, or tell you what's in a photograph, or translate a book so well you'd swear it was done by a human? Why don't any of these things count? Is it because they don't have a favorite color? We can build one that has a favorite color.

I think the problem isn't that we've never reached that goalpost -- it's that we don't know what that goalpost is. Like, can you actually describe a concrete task that a machine couldn't do more effectively than a person? There's a few, I'm sure -- but the number is dwindling.
commodorejohn wrote:The closest we've come to any of that is carefully-designed fakery intended to make the more basic systems we do have appear more in line with what people have been trained to expect out of them (by which I of course mean AskJeeves.)
At what point would you decide AskJeeves has crossed over from 'carefully-designed fakery' to 'genuine AI'? Can you give me a concrete example of something it would have to do?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Mutex » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:47 pm UTC

Liri wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:if you own a smart-phone, you basically have the computer from Star Trek in your pocket.

yeah but can I tell it to self-destruct

You can if it's a Note 7.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby commodorejohn » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:57 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:What about neural nets that can produce music, or dynamically synthesize voices well enough to fool the human ear?

Well, first off, we don't really have those. Algorithmic music comes in two flavors, too-abstract and too-formulaic, and neither would be mistaken for the genuine article (or at least for anything more than a generic studio backing band, in the latter case.) And anybody who's genuinely fooled by a vocaloid must be half deaf.

But, more to the point: none of those qualify because all they are is exercises in pattern-matching and applied algorithms. They can solve a fixed problem or follow a predetermined process, and those are both great and useful things. But they can't examine the problem or the process itself. They can't determine that a question is flawed, or figure out whether the end goal of the process is correct, let alone come up with a replacement. (And no, the "did you mean..." bit on a search engine isn't that. It's just more pattern-matching with similar queries that are more popular or have more results.) And until they can do that, there's any number of things that they'll never fully substitute for a human in.

Again, I obviously can't say with certainty that it's impossible for that to change. But I will say that I've never seen anything that gave me reason to believe it will be changing any time soon.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby ucim » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:13 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:And anybody who's genuinely fooled by a vocaloid must be half deaf.
Certainly no True Scotsman would be fooled.

commodorejohn wrote:none of those qualify because all they are is exercises in pattern-matching and applied algorithms.
Is "thinking" really any different? I posit that it is just a more involved version of the same thing. The more different things you apply pattern matching to, and the more different algorithms you try out (and winnow), the more what you're doing looks like thinking. I see no boundary.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby eran_rathan » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:54 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:What would an AI capable of 'all-inclusive analysis' even look like? We've created actuary tables that can outperform a doctor's diagnosis; does that qualify? What about neural nets that can produce music, or dynamically synthesize voices well enough to fool the human ear? How about ones that can recognize faces, or tell you what's in a photograph, or translate a book so well you'd swear it was done by a human? Why don't any of these things count?


relevant:

Image

image recognition is hard. That's why almost all CAPTCHAs are image based, computers are absolutely shit at image recognition.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby commodorejohn » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:55 pm UTC

ucim wrote:Is "thinking" really any different? I posit that it is just a more involved version of the same thing. The more different things you apply pattern matching to, and the more different algorithms you try out (and winnow), the more what you're doing looks like thinking. I see no boundary.

That's an excellent discussion question. Personally, I don't know, but I don't think so. Because, again, in all such systems that we've invented thus far - to my knowledge - there's no such thing as a program that can assess whether the question it's set to answer is the right question. Ultimately, the top-level criteria are always set by human design, for human goals. In any case, possible or no, until machines become capable of true introspection regarding their goals and approaches, there will always be things they can't replace humans at.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:07 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:Well, first off, we don't really have those. Algorithmic music comes in two flavors, too-abstract and too-formulaic, and neither would be mistaken for the genuine article (or at least for anything more than a generic studio backing band, in the latter case.) And anybody who's genuinely fooled by a vocaloid must be half deaf.
I presume you're not familiar with WaveNet?
commodorejohn wrote:But, more to the point: none of those qualify because all they are is exercises in pattern-matching and applied algorithms.
Isn't that effectively what the brain is? -- an extremely complex, extremely interdependent tool that regulates internal functions while performing pattern-matching operations?
commodorejohn wrote: They can solve a fixed problem or follow a predetermined process, and those are both great and useful things. But they can't examine the problem or the process itself. They can't determine that a question is flawed, or figure out whether the end goal of the process is correct, let alone come up with a replacement. (And no, the "did you mean..." bit on a search engine isn't that. It's just more pattern-matching with similar queries that are more popular or have more results.) And until they can do that, there's any number of things that they'll never fully substitute for a human in.
So, would it be fair to say that you think the difference between AI and a human brain is that you can use a human brain to better understand a human brain?

I'm not setting you up for a gotcha, there; I'm just trying to understand what you think a human mind can do that a computer can't do. You're using a lot of abstractions, talking about examining answers from outside the scope of the question -- but we can program computers to examine the question, too. It sounds like you think the difference is that brains think, while computers follow their programming -- but we're following our programming, too. It just happens that our programmer is a hyper-aggressive four billion year old optimization process.
eran_rathan wrote:image recognition is hard. That's why almost all CAPTCHAs are image based, computers are absolutely shit at image recognition.
Aren't CAPTCHAs kind of proving my point, though? The ever-escalating arms race between questions designed to prove you're human and programs that can beat them indicates that the space of what humans can do and computers can't do is ever-narrowing.

Years ago, a CATPCHA might have been an image of a cat, asking you what it is. Computers can figure that out, now -- so CAPTCHAs today show you a picture of a street and ask you to select all the quadrants in which you see a sign. In a couple of years, computers will figure that out, too. It's pretty clear that as time goes on, our ability to distinguish between humans -- and machines designed to thwart our ability to distinguish between humans and themselves -- is decreasing. If anything, that tells me that anything a human can do, a computer can eventually (probably) do better.

(Sidenote: Idea for a CAPTCHA! Present a problem only a computer could solve. Only wrong answers let you through!)

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Liri » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:19 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:Well, first off, we don't really have those. Algorithmic music comes in two flavors, too-abstract and too-formulaic, and neither would be mistaken for the genuine article (or at least for anything more than a generic studio backing band, in the latter case.) And anybody who's genuinely fooled by a vocaloid must be half deaf.
I presume you're not familiar with WaveNet

That... is pretty easy to distinguish. I'm sure in some number of years it won't be, but not now. I think the biggest issue, by far, I hear in synthetic speech programs (including this one) is inappropriate vowel duration.
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