Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Warping In The New Year...

I've upgraded this from one of Jim's comments in the Moot, definitely deserves a post of its own -- thanks for this, happy New Year to you, too!
Speaking of Star Trek, you know 2018 is the year warp drive gets invented, according to TOS canon. Lieutenant McGivers says so, and she should know, since she's the ship's historian. ;->

MARLA: Captain, it's a sleeper ship.

KIRK: Suspended animation?

MARLA: Uh huh. I've seen old photographs of this. Necessary because of the time involved in space travel until about the year 2018. It took years just to travel from one planet to another. Then a brilliant industrialist named Elon Musk found a way around the laws of physics. . .

Hm. Why does she say "about" the year 2018? Is there going to be time-distortion effect? Or has the election of Donald Trump altered the time-line? Anyway. . . happy new year. ;->


jimf said...

Let's all celebrate the Easy-Bake Future (hey, I got nothin'
against sci-fi!):
When Will We Finally Achieve True Artificial Intelligence?
by Thomas Hornigold
Jan 01, 2018

The field of artificial intelligence. . . was officially
born when a group of scientists at Dartmouth College got
together for a summer, back in 1956. . .

The problem didn’t seem too hard: the Dartmouth scientists
wrote, “We think that a significant advance can be made
in one or more of these problems if a carefully selected
group of scientists work on it together for a summer.”. . .

It’s fitting that the industry of predicting when we’d have
human-level intelligent AI was born at around the same time
as the AI industry itself. In fact, it goes all the way back
to Turing’s first paper on “thinking machines,” where he
predicted that the Turing Test—machines that could convince
humans they were human—would be passed in 50 years, by 2000.
Nowadays, of course, people are still predicting it will
happen within the next 20 years. . .

Stuart Armstrong’s survey looked for trends in these predictions.
Specifically, there were two major cognitive biases he was
looking for. The first was the idea that AI experts predict
true AI will arrive (and make them immortal) conveniently just
before they’d be due to die. This is the “Rapture of the Nerds”
criticism people have leveled at Kurzweil—his predictions are
motivated by fear of death, desire for immortality, and are
fundamentally irrational. The ability to create a superintelligence
is taken as an article of faith. . .

The second was the idea that people always pick a time span of
15 to 20 years. That’s enough to convince people they’re working
on something that could prove revolutionary very soon (people are
less impressed by efforts that will lead to tangible results
centuries down the line), but not enough for you to be embarrassingly
proved wrong. Of the two, Armstrong found more evidence for the
second one—people were perfectly happy to predict AI after they
died, although most didn’t, but there was a clear bias towards
“15–20 years from now” in predictions throughout history. . .

I think of the latter as the "Nasruddin and the Shah's A[I]ss" effect.
Thomas Hornigold is a physics student at the University of Oxford. When
he's not geeking out about the Universe, he hosts a podcast, Physical Attraction,
which explains physics - one chat-up line at a time.

Cute, too. Speaking of cuteness (and Physical Attraction),
have you seen _Call Me By Your Name_ yet?

Visions of Gideon - Sufjan Stevens (Call Me By Your Name)

jimf said...

Khan Noonien. . . Sings.
This Unbelievable Research on Human Hibernation Could Get Us to Mars
By Gemma Milne
Jan 04, 2018

Please sit and entertain me.