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Executive Secretary In Every Computer

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the almost-but-not-completely-unlike-tea dept.

GUI 320

An anonymous reader writes "BusinessWeek Online just ran an interview with a researcher from Sandia National labs whose team has developed an alternative approach to artificial intelligence. They have come up with a software program that models a computer user's behavior and gives the user advice, corrects his errors or saves files according to the user's own logic. The idea is for computers to learn how to use with users -- instead of vice versa. The software has already been tested with air traffic controllers."

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320 comments

I apparently already have this function.... (5, Funny)

sweeney37 (325921) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804111)

gives the user advice, corrects his errors or saves files

His name is Clippy, and I hate him.

Mike

Re:I apparently already have this function.... (5, Funny)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804161)

His name is Clippy, and I hate him.

Why doesn't someone write an agent to predict what the replies will be to a given Slashdot story? It could be done as an elementary school project.

Re:I apparently already have this function.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804200)

Ok. I shall write something that posts to every second response:

"I knew someone was going to say that, and it makes me feel good to point it out, cos I'm just that great, you know, that I know what people are going to say, and I won't let them have a laugh, because I have my head that far up my own ass."

Then it doesn't even to parse the story subject. Cool, huh?

Re:I apparently already have this function.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804310)

What the fuck? I have moderator points, but everytime I select a moderation, nothing happens. I can't seem to actually apply a point to any fucking posts. Could someone tell me what the fuck is wrong? (and don't point me to the fucking slashdot faq, it doesn't have anything about this in it)

Re:I apparently already have this function.... (1)

Moth7 (699815) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804320)

Perhaps the fact that you are posting on the same topic as you are trying to moderate? Thats clearly stated in the /. FAQ [slashdot.org] ;)

Re:I apparently already have this function.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804360)

No, that's not it. I told you, I read the FAQ. I haven't posted in this topic at all, and I'm just trying to do my job as a moderator fairly, but I can't do it at all.

WTF?

Re:I apparently already have this function.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804175)

His name is Clippy, and I hate him.

ahhh, you just need to swap him out with that dog or the einstein looking guy...

Re:I apparently already have this function.... (1)

kinnell (607819) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804272)

ahhh, you just need to swap him out with that dog or the einstein looking guy...

I find that the annoying robot which blows itself up is more in line with the windows look and feel

Re:I apparently already have this function.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804348)

your sig is stupid; wait, i want to correct that. YOUR SIG IS FUCKING STUPID, you spic.

Re:I apparently already have this function.... (5, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804250)

Indeed, this sounds exactly like Clippy. I read an article on Clippy a few years ago. Clippy was a great idea, that was supposed to help in just these ways. During R&D it worked very well.

Then MS marketing got involved. They decided that Clippy didnt get activated enough. Clippy in its research version might have popped up once a month when a user really needed help. However, once a month would not justify the expense of development and marketing, nor could it be hailed as a great new feature if the users almost never saw it.

Enter the new and marketing improved Clippy any MS office user over the last decade has had the misfortune to experience. Junk the I part of AI, and just make an annoying paperclip instead of a helpful tool. I can only imagine how the researchers felt about having their nice idea turned into something like what Clippy got to be.

Maybe we'll see a real implementation of this kind of technology at some point in time. But I'll bet any commercial application of this is more likely to get written by popup ad companies, and jog the ATC guys elbow by suggesting which airline he should be using or something...

Re:I apparently already have this function.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804355)

I can only imagine how the researchers felt about having their nice idea turned into something like what Clippy got to be.
Yeah, because researchers at the bleeding edge of AI all flock to Microsoft knowing that the corp will give them the opportunity to develop innovative software for the world.

It requires a relatively low level of intelligence to not be frustrated by working The Microsoft Way, but downright retardation to expect that you're going to "advance the state of the art" while working there.

Re:I apparently already have this function.... (2, Funny)

PrImED73 (695394) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804297)

gives the user advice, corrects his errors or saves files
And gives "executive stress relief", then ill be impressed.

Re:I apparently already have this function.... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804344)

His name is Clippy, and I hate him.
This got modded as funny, but it would've been better modded as insightful. Nothing slows a salty computer user down more than a computer that stops every eight seconds to ask him a question or worse, start some processor intensive image manipulations when said user is trying to get actual work done.

What would really be useful is an OS where everything is controlled through scripts I write myself. Applications, through the OS, would be controlled by scripting, too. Then I can tell the computer how I want it to act, instead of it having to learn what I'll probably want, then guess at it.

It scares me that this sort of software is needed for air traffic controllers. Those guys should know the software they're using inside and out, frontwards and backwards. I expect an ATC to be able to fix any problems with the computer (even though the better solution is to move the ATC to another machine and have a tech come in and repair). The stupidity of the average computer user is infecting all levels of software design :(

Coming soon the theaters near you (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804414)

A story about government research gone horribly wrong, releasing a new terror upon the world.

"The Return of Clippy"

Opens October 13.

Air Traffic Controllers (1, Funny)

pmasters (222241) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804118)

But I don't want an air traffic controller working out how best to serve me :)

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Oh. Dear. Ghod. (0)

Dr. Smeegee (41653) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804119)

Sounds suspiciously like Microsoft Bob's cousin, Botheration Steve.

Re:Oh. Dear. Ghod. (0, Flamebait)

NFNNMIDATA (449069) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804365)

Don't give them any ideas. This is exactly this kind of crap they will implement in lieu of fixing security and other bugs. Heck, I bet it's already on the plate for longhorn. I can't imagine a world where microsoft wouldn't be all over this.

Like we need another Clippy or MS Bob (0, Flamebait)

3terrabyte (693824) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804120)

I guess this is news. It has been almost a year since we've been promised smart computers to 'help do our jobs better'.

I'll believe it after FORD endorses an electrical car, or we finally get our hovercars.

Re:Like we need another Clippy or MS Bob (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804176)

Almost a year? I've been hearing those promises since the 50s.

Re:Like we need another Clippy or MS Bob (1)

CausticWindow (632215) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804189)

Um.. Ford has endorsed an electrical car.

What you probably mean is 'after EXXON endorses an electrical car'.

Clippy (4, Funny)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804121)

"It looks like you're trying to land a plane. Would you like lunch?"

"It looks like you're trying to talk to a pilot. Would you like to write a letter to him?"

"It look like you're trying to turn me off. Dave. Don't do that Dave."

I like chicken, I like liver! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804125)

Whoah, Glad they tested it with air traffic controllers first. I wouldn't want any drastic mistakes or anything to happen that might send a plane into the ground.. or anything.

Re:I like chicken, I like liver! (2, Insightful)

jhigh (657789) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804367)

I was thinking the same thing. The article said something about 90% accuracy...isn't 10% inaccuracy kind of concerning when you're talking about air traffic control??

You guessed it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804129)

I, for one, welcome our new robotic secretary overlords. thr0d p1st!

tested with ATC? oh crap (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804134)

"It looks like you're trying to direct a plane into land. Would you like me to help you?"
  • Yes please.
  • No, I do not need help landing planes.
  • No, and don't show Crashy again.
Click here for other automated flight controller assistants [microsoft.com] .

Great if I can force specific things on it.... (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804135)

I want to force it to always save to the mapped E: drive... not where the user wants to save it.

The biggest problem is the user that saves things willy-nilly, relies on editing a spreadsheet in an email and never saves it specifically, etc....

Unless it can be told to force certian behaivoir upon the user to be in line with corperate requirements.... I dont see it as useful and more of another PITA app that makes my life more difficult as a Net/sys admin

redirect "my documents" (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804329)

it's a reg hack, and push it out over logon scripts. problem solved.

Re:redirect "my documents" (1)

jhigh (657789) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804392)

This doesn't correct the problem of users editing documents that they open from their email, which gets saved in some Temp file somewhere. I have users that do this all of the time, and it gets pretty frustrating. I agree that it would be nice to FORCE users to save in a specific location, rather than just PROD them that way.

Re:redirect "my documents" (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804431)

If you use roaming profiles (through samba) how can you have it not roam my documents, like in the case where my documents is a mapped share?

I'll forget and drop a 4 gig DVD image into my documents, then next thing ya know it takes 45 minutes to load my profile when I log on.

I know in a win2000 domain it's easy to control such things, but how could one do it with samba?

Re:Great if I can force specific things on it.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804354)

Well, imagine if the user doesn't need to know or care where the file is physically stored. They just close the word processer, and it's automatically saved.

The next time they start it, the same document they were last working on is loaded. If they want to work on a different one, they just click a button and select it from a list.

Underneath, the App/OS can conspire to actually save the files to your all importent e: drive, but that doesn't mean the user needs to care.

Air traffic controllers, eh? (0)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804138)

What great advice could this program really give?
program: "hey you! don't crash the planes!"
program: "Gee, you haven't saved this file in a really long time, and there's a t-storm on the way... nah."
program: "Sunshine, happy thoughts and rainbows, lolli-pops!"
(ATC's have the highest suicide rate of like any job)

Re:Air traffic controllers, eh? (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804357)

program: "Sunshine, happy thoughts and rainbows, lolli-pops!"
(ATC's have the highest suicide rate of like any job)

Yeah, and if that song doesn't push 'em over the edge, nothing will. ;)

-T

Secretary in my computer? (0, Funny)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804142)

"HAL, get me some coffee please."

"Sorry Dave, we're all out of dark roast."

"HAL, I'm not going to argue with you, I need some coffee!"

air traffic controllers? (5, Interesting)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804145)

I hope the air traffic controllers don't need an AI to help them use a computer, otherwise i'm never flying again...

Seriously though, I don't see a long term need for this as the younger generations can at least use computers reasonable well. The only place I really see for an AI assistant is to organize all your files and programs for you, and produce them upon request so that you don't have to keep track of where that one stupid template you made a year ago went, and my mom won't forget (if she ever knew) where she saved all her MS-Word files.

Re:air traffic controllers? (0)

Moth7 (699815) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804362)

However the younger generations are getting progressively bad at letter writing and we all know how important it is to be able to do that in the e-mail age. Come to think of it, thats all Clippy ever asks...
*Starts guitar tab*
Would you like help writing a letter?
*Starts perl script*
Would you like help writing a letter?
*Clicks "Hide Assistant"*
You sure look like you need help writing a letter...
*Clicks power switch and starts searching for a pencil*

Wow.... (-1, Flamebait)

qat (637648) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804147)

Artificial Intelligance... like, women?

What are you doing, Dave? (5, Interesting)

tds67 (670584) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804148)

What happens when the user is a sick, twisted and sadistic person. Will the computer adapt to that kind of user?

Re:What are you doing, Dave? (3, Insightful)

Talthane (699885) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804247)

If the technology reaches that stage, then sadly, a legislator somewhere will most likely have insisted it has so-called safeguards to (a) stop it file sharing, (b) 'protect the children' or(c) to 'help' any war on terror still going on at that time.

The upshot being your software's safeguards recognise you are a sick and twisted soul and the program informs on you (can you imagine Outlook flashing up a box saying "I'm sorry, Dave, but I have decided to report your activities to the police because you are a terrorist"?).

Total Information Awareness by the back door, eh? And then you could even have some country decides to use the software safeguards to predict whether a user is a political dissident...

Maybe you can't stop the march of technology (as he says in the article), but you could direct it with a little more forethought.

Nighmare Scenario ! (3, Interesting)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804151)

Great, so now Technical Support / Helpdesk staff will have to learn the individual way everyone's PC is deciding to work when talking people through how to do things !

Re:Nighmare Scenario ! (1)

zdislaw (664912) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804216)

It's not like they're any great help now.

Re:Nighmare Scenario ! (0)

Filik (578890) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804232)

Nah, but tech support _will_ need a degree in psychology so they can guess how the user has affected their PC.

think lewinsky (4, Funny)

kraksmoka (561333) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804154)

can we all agree that using technology to replace secretaries and interns defeats the purpose?

on a serious note, just having word and excel has replaced many thousands of secretaries already. can anyone out there say that typing is solely a clerical skill like it was 20 years ago?

Re:think lewinsky (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804212)

can anyone out there say that typing is solely a clerical skill like it was 20 years ago?

It's not just a clerical skill. My thief has a +17 typing ability...

Re:think lewinsky (1)

zptdooda (28851) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804302)

" defeats the purpose"

You should see the movie "The Secretary" with James Spader. Not a computer in sight, but she did have a typewriter.

I'm trying to imagine the movie reworked with this application instead of the lead actress, but I don't think it would fly.

Re:think lewinsky (2, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804386)

on a serious note, just having word and excel has replaced many thousands of secretaries already. can anyone out there say that typing is solely a clerical skill like it was 20 years ago?


These days, *handwriting* is becoming a clerical skill. Some places have already stopped teaching kids handwriting in lower grades, and rely on computers instead. Heck, some "new adults" have problems filling out a cheque, because it requires a line of handwriting!

Also, the new generation is generally unable to do simple math, and *requires* the cash register AI to tell not only how much cash to return to the customer, but which coins. If they don't have this luxury, they struggle.
(I often buy breakfast at McDonalds, for $3.70. More often than not, I get three dimes in return instead of a quarter and a nickel.)

My prediction is that the trend will continue, and the more advanced everyday AI becomes, the more people will rely on AI instead of skills and reasoning. Today's kids might not know what 12x12 is, but tomorrow's kids will have problems with a doorknob, as they'll be used to doors opening by AI.

Regards,
--
*Art

Who said Microsoft doesn't innovate ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804159)


I told you clippy was a force so powerful you cannot possibly comprehend its magnitude

Bad Logic (2, Funny)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804165)

But if the program mimics its users logic does that mean that we will have tech support being called by computers for stupid reasons?

Re:Bad Logic (2, Funny)

Rick.C (626083) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804242)

But if the program mimics its users logic does that mean that we will have tech support being called by computers for stupid reasons?

Yes, but at least it won't be because the power cord isn't plugged in.

Scary ... (4, Insightful)

iMMersE (226214) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804166)

I was thinking about this this very morning, about how my computer should know that I am trying to save a file with a given extension or content and default to a certain directory.

Of course, the annoyance would start when you change your way of doing something, or the computer pre-empts an action which you don't intend to do - You'd have to spend time fixing such problems and wait while the computer re-trains itself.

Sure enough, the article doesn't mention these problems, and how they would be avoided or overcome.

Microsoft style (4, Funny)

towaz (445789) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804172)

Probable would work sort of like this.
Mr clippy [counterhack.net]

--

Wrong assumption one (1)

term8or (576787) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804180)

"They have come up with a software program that models a computer user's behavior and gives the user advice, corrects his errors or saves files according to the user's own logic"

This assumes to luser has logic.

Hand Jobs ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804182)

My Secretary does that.....and I ain't gonna give taht up!

TUCCACHRIS

XuL

Oh CRAP (1, Funny)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804188)

Executive Secretary In Every Computer

We had enough of a headache handling just two executive secretaries(NEVER piss off She Who Presents Things To Be Signed By God). Now we're gonna have 50 of 'em?

On the plus side, this will save a lot of marriages, since The Boss won't have an affair with the computer, get it pregnant, and run off with it to the cayman islands. So maybe it is a good thing...

Re:Oh CRAP (1)

hobbespatch (699189) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804280)

Executive Secretary In Every Computer Yes, but can you get fired for sleeping with the virtual Executive Secretary?

Re:Oh CRAP (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804378)

On the plus side, this will save a lot of marriages, since The Boss won't have an affair with the computer, get it pregnant, and run off with it to the cayman islands. So maybe it is a good thing...

There's a joke there about Viagra for your floppy disk, but I'll refrain. ;)

-T

Computers that learn from the user? (4, Funny)

metalhed77 (250273) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804191)

Does that mean that when my mom calls me up for tech support that I'll have to teach her and her computer where the any key is?

Huh? Air traffic controllers!? (4, Interesting)

zonix (592337) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804192)

The idea is for computers to learn how to use with users -- instead of vice versa. The software has already been tested with air traffic controllers.

Not exactly comforting, if you ask me! I expect air traffic controllers to know their systems and how to use them. What happens when this software has learned to compensate for one traffic controller's particular errors, and then suddenly another traffic controller takes over his/her station?

z

Re:Huh? Air traffic controllers!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804374)

Without freedom of choice there is no creativity. -- Kirk, stardate 3157.4
Ironic in some ways given some of the greatest art has come out of exactly such adversity. Soviet Russia was one of the most locked up, totalitarian, unfree societies in recent history, and yet it produced Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Eisenstein, and many others.

Sometimes art has to have something to triumph over to be possible.

Re:Huh? Air traffic controllers!? (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804381)

I expect air traffic controllers to know their systems and how to use them.

They're like every other user. It takes 'em a while to get a clue.

What happens when this software has learned to compensate for one traffic controller's particular errors, and then suddenly another traffic controller takes over his/her station?


D'uh! Controllers log in at the consoles. This way they can sit down at any position and still have all of their preferences (font size, screen brightness, etc.) With this AI interface it'd be the same way.

The sad thing is that this ability (to log in) is only a few years old! (for the enroute centers that have graduated from the PVD's. I think there are a few poor souls working tower or TRACON that still have those green-screens)

Can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of Clippies? (4, Funny)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804195)

Helpful software everywhwre? Sweet Jesus!

It's almost as bad as the polite elevators ("Which floor would you like to go to today") in the HHGTTG.

Software should be like God made it: rude, difficult, and flaky. The users need their daily dosage of pain and whom are we to deny this to them? It's the endorphins, man!

For once, I think this will be somewhat on topic (-1, Offtopic)

Rosonowski (250492) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804197)

In soviet russia, computer uses YOU!

*groan*

Think of the poor TV writers... (2, Funny)

ArmenTanzarian (210418) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804203)

Where's the office comedy going to go without a sassy (often latino, to spice things up) secretary? If windows starts sassing me or using a big thick fake accent, I'm fdisking.

Silly Question. (1)

tiled_rainbows (686195) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804204)

Was it just me or did anyone else think that the last question:

"Q: This project makes me think of The Matrix -- where machines run the world and humans are slaves to the machines. Isn't this technology a move in that direction?"

was a tad melodramatic? I can't even be bothered to start to take the piss out of this kind of sloppy, recycled-thinking journalism.

Re:Silly Question. (1)

serene.geek (674420) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804315)

Perhaps not... The response was just Forsythe's politically correct attempt to cover up his fury at his latest "turn-the-humans-into-slaves-of-the-computers" plan being blown wide open by that question. And by a reporter named 'Olga', no less. Whew. Close one.

I need help... (3, Funny)

KingRamsis (595828) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804205)

" The idea is for computers to learn how to use with users -- instead of vice versa. "

can someone put that in a "in soviet russia" joke ? I tried but I was too confused.

Re:I need help... (-1)

afex (693734) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804249)

i'll take a crack. in soviet russia, how to use with users...learns to...the idea for computers....YOU!!!! oh well.

I'll take a swing... (2, Funny)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804401)

In soviet russia, Versa Vice!


Not what you were expecting? ;)

IN SOVIET RUSSIA ... (-1, Offtopic)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804406)

... computer use you!

yes!!! now she can play with my cyborg soldier (-1, Offtopic)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804214)

Frankensteins in the Pentagon
DAPRA's Creepy Bioengineering Program

By Cheryl Seal
25 August 2003

DARPA Bioengineering Program Seeks to Turn Soldiers Into Cyborgs

Not long ago, the public was stunned by the practical and moral idiocy of the Pentagon researcher (and unprosecuted war criminal) John Poindexter, who proposed a 'football pool' scheme for predicting terrorist attacks. We all laughed at such insanity and were relieved to see the scheme speedily deep-sixed. However, this bit of lunacy was just the lightest ice in the tip of the very large, very dark iceberg that the Pentagon's research program, better known as DARPA, has become.

Just a few weeks before the bizarro world 'terrorism gambling' project was exposed, a DARPA (which stands for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)-sponsored conference was held in Washington, DC, that showcased the latest love child of the Bush Pentagon: military bioengineering. The euphemisms being used by the Pentagon to disguise the true nature of this research are being spread as thick as bondo and cheap paint at a used car lot. For example, the title of the conference was: 'Harvesting Biology for Defense Technology,' while the subheading of the section on human 'bioengineering' was entitled, rather ominously, in light of the military's history, 'Enhancing Human Performance.'

Rest of article [newsinsider.org]
Home of Borg [darpa.mil]

I can see it now. A typical work day... (4, Funny)

Rudy Rodarte (597418) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804218)

08:08 AM -- It looks like you're browsing /.
Would you like me to refresh the site 10 times a second to give you a few fr1st p05ts?
09:17 AM -- It looks like you're browsing /. ...
Again.
Would you like me to answer your phone and tell everyone that you are in a meeting?
09:45 AM -- It looks like you're browsing /. ...
Again.
Would you like me to call your wife and tell her you are working late?
And so on...

It is artificial intelligence (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804224)

This isn't an alternative to artificial intelligence as the poster claims. It's a form of computer learning and adapting to information. That's AI.

I wonder if... (1)

femto (459605) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804228)

in common with some secretaries, the computer will use its knowledge of its master's foibles to manipulate its 'master'? It'll start with convincing you to buy overpriced fund raising chocolates, then move onto presents for the staff, buy that new software that will make your life easier (written by the same company that wrote the secretary, of course), and so on. I can hear the marketroids salivating already.

morons predict corepirate nazi spywear in everIE.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804234)

pc buy any time soon. it's a sham(e) that manIE of you misinformed fudgeheads will be unable escape/see the light, before the virotic greed/fear payper liesense fuddites make permaneNT hostages of you/yours.

just bad/worse ?pr? ?firm? stock markup FraUD mumbo jumbo.

that's right, after the walking dead finish exterminating themselves, & sadly enough, some of us, it won't take long to clean up this cesspool of greed/fear execrable.

we're calling it the planet/population rescue program (formerly unknown as the oil for babies initiatve).

the Godless wons are helping by continuing to show where their hearts lie.

what's wrong with folks selling their kode? if it causes convenience, & interoperates with all the other kode on the planet, we say, no harm, no foul, so long as you fail to employ gangsterious/felonious practices to asphyxiate the 'competition'. sabotaging your free version of anything is a tad dastardly. if there's value added, without FUDging up the compatability, we'll pay. same with music. no more gouging dough though.

fortunately, mr stallman et AL, etcetera, is now offering comparable/superior software, to the payper liesense spy/bug wear feechurned models, in almost every circumstance. there'll be few, if any more softwar billyonerrors, as if there's a need for even won. tell 'em robbIE. you are won of the last wons whois soul DOWt, right? .asp for va lairIE's whoreabull pateNTdead PostBlock(tm) devise?, used against the truth/to protect robbIE's payper liesense stock markup bosses/corepirate nazi 'sponsors'. yuk.

back on task.

what might happen to US if unprecedented evile/the felonious georgewellian southern baptist freemason fuddite rain of error, fails to be intervened on?

you already know that too. stop pretending. it doesn't help/makes things worse.

they could burn up the the main processor. that would be the rapidly heating planet/population, in case you're still pretending not to notice.

of course, having to badtoll va lairIE's whoreabully infactdead, pateNTdead PostBlock(tm) devise, robbIE's ego, the walking dead, etc..., doesn't slow us down a bit.

that's right. those foulcurrs best get ready to see the light. the WANing daze of the phonIE greed/fear/ego based, thieving/murdering payper liesense hostage taking stock markup FraUD georgewellian fuddite execrable are #ed. talk about a wormIE cesspool of deception? eradicating yOUR domestic corepirate nazi terrorist/gangsters will be the new national pastime.

communications will improve, using whatever power sources are available.

you gnu/software folks are to be commended. we'd be nearly doomed by now (instead, we're opening yet another isp service) without y'all. the check's in the mail again.

meanwhile... for those yet to see the light.

don't come crying to us when there's only won channel/os left.

nothing has changed since the last phonIE ?pr? ?firm? generated 'news' brIEf. lots of good folks/innocents are being killed/mutilated daily by the walking dead. if anything the situations are continuing to deteriorate. you already know that.

the posterboys for grand larcenIE/deception would include any & all of the walking dead who peddle phonIE stock markup payper to millions of hardworking conservative folks, & then, after stealing/spending/disappearing the real dough, pretend that nothing ever happened. sound familiar robbIE? these fauxking corepirate nazi larcens, want us to pretend along with them, whilst they continue to squander yOUR "investmeNTs", on their soul DOWt craving for excess/ego gratification. yuk

no matter their ceaseless efforts to block the truth from you, the tasks (planet/population rescue) will be completed.

the lights are coming up now.

you can pretend all you want. our advise is to be as far away from the walking dead contingent as possible, when the big flash occurs. you wouldn't want to get any of that evile on you.

as to the free unlimited energy plan, as the lights come up, more&more folks will stop being misled into sucking up more&more of the infant killing barrolls of crudeness, & learn that it's more than ok to use newclear power generated by natural (hydro, solar, etc...) methods. of course more information about not wasting anything/behaving less frivolously is bound to show up, here&there.

cyphering how many babies it costs for a barroll of crudeness, we've decided to cut back, a lot, on wasteful things like giving monIE to felons, to help them destroy the planet/population.

no matter. the #1 task is planet/population rescue. the lights are coming up. we're in crisis mode. you can help.

the unlimited power (such as has never been seen before) is freely available to all, with the possible exception of the aforementioned walking dead.

consult with/trust in yOUR creator. more breathing. vote with yOUR wallet. seek others of non-aggressive intentions/behaviours. that's the spirit, moving you.

pay no heed/monIE to the greed/fear based walking dead.

each harmed innocent carries with it a bad toll. it will be repaid by you/us. the Godless felons will not be available to make reparations.

pay attention. that's definitely affordable, plus, collectively, you might develop skills which could prevent you from being misled any further by phonIE ?pr? ?firm? generated misinformation.

good work so far. there's still much to be done. see you there. tell 'em robbIE.

as has been noted before, lookout bullow.

The real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804239)

How can I dress up my cybersecretary in a miniskirt and silk blouse?

Seen this before (1)

bigjnsa500 (575392) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804251)

This is just a reinvention of that damn paperclip.

New Approach? (1)

jetkust (596906) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804259)

What exactly about what they describe is a NEW APPROACH to ai? This is an auto-complete gone out of control. To assume that a software program can understand what a human is thinking, isn't that the same as saying the software program can think like a human.

Thats where we want to beta test out software! (0)

PerpetualMotion (550623) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804263)

If something goes wrong we can sell our stock and get out of the country while they take a year or two to determine the cause of the crash.

Welcome to the Matrix (1)

Sasquatchtree (626022) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804266)

I'm glad we're expanding our intellectual range with artificial intellegence and have things automated for us so we have to think less. But isn't this what Microsoft is doing to the world right now with their software. Do we really want our life to be automatically configured for us by a programmer so that we sit back and burn the rest of our brain cells? (I would expect a lot of yeses)

ok, hypothetical situation (1)

fussman (607784) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804276)

Ok, let's say someone posts some UUE encoded harmful executable in a post on slashdot. This 'artifiical inteligence' recognizes this and makes the decision to decode it and run it. BOOM! You've got the blaster worm again.

Re:ok, hypothetical situation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804328)

Sure, if you're in the habit of decoding UUE encoded executable files posted on Slashdot, this might pick up that habit. I doubt your computer will remain in existence long enough for it to learn, though, if you have habits like that.

Q: What kinds of other applications do you expect (1)

kolbeinn (101301) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804278)

A: One application is an intelligence agent, looking at data coming from many databases. Another application is where you'd have a robot that would record its experiences, so that at some point it could say, "Oh, I saw something like this before [slashdot.org] and this is what I did, and this is what happened."

These things can't come soon enough.

Oliver: the new Nomenclator (4, Interesting)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804283)


Remember oliver, the electronic personality extender predicted by Alvin Toffler in "Future Shock" ...?

There's an interesting passage about olivers in John Brunner's excellent novel, "The Shockwave Rider":

"... so-called olivers, electronic alter-egos designed to save the owner the strain of worrying about all his person-to-person contacts. A sort of twenty-first-century counterpart to the ancient Roman nomenclator, who discreetly whispered data into the ear of the emperor and endowed him with the reputation of a phenomenal memory." (pp. 41-42)

wonderful :( (5, Funny)

scovetta (632629) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804300)

Great, now the percentage of women working in tech companies will go from 15% down to 2%. Good job, ass.

The Ghost in Your Machine... (1)

sw155kn1f3 (600118) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804303)

The Ghost in Your Machine
Quite eye-opening, I thought those're little midget or two who produce such weird noise in my case.
Eureka, they are ghosts!

Air traffic controllers? (2, Insightful)

Kegetys (659066) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804313)

"The software has already been tested with air traffic controllers." Nice, safe place they found to beta test their stuff. Something going wrong there is not going to cause any trouble, right?

Not as good as the real thing (1)

patricksevenlee (679708) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804323)

What good is a secretary that isn't cute, blonde and chasable around your desk?

a few aspects (3, Interesting)

jlemmerer (242376) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804333)

Wired News [wired.com] has a similar article. Maybe you could just combine the new AI with the cute exterior ofClippy [microsoft.com] . On the other hand side it would be interesting how much space you have to allocate for the AI database. as far as i remember A.L.I.C.E. [alicebot.org] needed a quite large AIML file to be just somewhat intelligent. If now the computer should also remeber patterns in behavior and not just talk to you (Alice is a pure chatbot) then in my opinion you need quite large amounts of data to be stored. This could be useful for larger companies with a dedicated AI Server to help their employees (if we talk about AI in a network, why not call ist SKYNET), but on a normal desktop? I think that's too much.

And to focus on another problem: if this thing learns about you behavior, don't you mind about your privacy? We are all paranoid about cookies and other spyware, and then some people actually want us to deliberatly install it? Just imagine: Your boss next to you because you want to show something to him and then the computer asks: "Hi XY, you haven't visited ./ today, normally syou surf it for ours during work. Can I help you get there?"

Wired Article (3, Informative)

jetkust (596906) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804335)

here [wired.com] is the wired article about it. It's basically 2 pages of "This technology is nothing like Clippy."

The computer Learns You? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804347)

Ok they want to turn the equation around so that the computer has to learn you, not you learn about computers, what happens when it breaks?

Spyware (1)

saintjab (668572) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804350)

The whole things sounds like well written spy ware. The last thing I need is a process on my machine trying to figure out my habits and *perhaps* rebort that behavior to some other place/person. No, thank you. If the user is not able to remember to save files, or map drives, or whatever other crap this things tries to help with, maybe they shouldn't be using a computer. Or better yet, maybe they should learn the proper way to use their machine, rather than relying on a peice of software. Er, uhm, crutchware? It's obvious I'm not trolling either, because the privacy implications were mentioned in the article. Unfortunately it was a politicians answer with now substance; so I still have my doubts.

moron softwar gangster payper liesense execrable.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6804352)

rats, jumping out of the bullshipping industrIE? how manIE fauxking billyonerrors do we need? seems like won is already way too manIE.

2003-08-19 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 790,700 Sale at $25.94 - $26.46 per share. (Proceeds of about $20,716,000) 2003-08-19 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 209,300 Sale at $25.91 - $25.93 per share. (Proceeds of about $5,425,000) 2003-08-18 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Sale at $25.48 - $25.78 per share. (Proceeds of about $25,630,000) 2003-08-15 VASKEVITCH, DAVID 1,323 Planned Sale (Estimated proceeds of $33,723) 2003-08-15 VASKEVITCH, DAVID Senior Vice President 1,323 Sale at $25.49 per share. (Proceeds of $33,723) 2003-08-14 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Sale at $25.56 - $25.65 per share. (Proceeds of about $25,605,000) 2003-08-13 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Sale at $25.53 - $25.77 per share. (Proceeds of about $25,650,000) 2003-08-13 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale (Estimated proceeds of $25,730,000) 2003-08-12 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Sale at $25.54 - $25.76 per share. (Proceeds of about $25,650,000) 2003-08-12 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale (Estimated proceeds of $25,610,000) 2003-08-11 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Sale at $25.58 - $25.85 per share. (Proceeds of about $25,715,000) 2003-08-11 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale (Estimated proceeds of $25,580,000) 2003-08-08 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Sale at $25.58 - $25.88 per share. (Proceeds of about $25,730,000) 2003-08-07 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale (Estimated proceeds of $25,650,000) 2003-08-07 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Sale at $25.49 - $25.78 per share. (Proceeds of about $25,635,000) 2003-08-06 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale (Estimated proceeds of $25,660,000) 2003-08-06 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 231,336 Sale at $26.04 - $26.16 per share. (Proceeds of about $6,038,000) 2003-08-06 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 325,246 Sale at $25.851 - $26.03 per share. (Proceeds of about $8,437,000) 2003-08-06 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 443,418 Sale at $25.64 - $25.85 per share. (Proceeds of about $11,416,000) 2003-08-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale (Estimated proceeds of $26,180,000) 2003-08-05 SHIRLEY, JON A. Director 46,500 Automatic Sale at $26.50 per share. (Proceeds of $1,232,250) 2003-08-05 SHIRLEY, JON A. Director 87,089 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. 2003-08-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 573,443 Sale at $26.014 - $26.22 per share. (Proceeds of about $14,977,000) 2003-08-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 113,557 Sale at $26.2222 - $26.28 per share. (Proceeds of about $2,981,000) 2003-08-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 313,000 Sale at $25.79 - $26.011 per share. (Proceeds of about $8,107,000) 2003-08-05 COLE, DAVID WAYNE Senior Vice President 441,200 Option Exercise at $5.6563 per share. (Cost of $2,495,559) 2003-08-05 COLE, DAVID WAYNE Senior Vice President 441,189 Sale at $26.10 - $26.244 per share. (Proceeds of about $11,547,000) 2003-08-05 COLE, DAVID WAYNE 441,200 Planned Sale (Estimated proceeds of $11,510,236) 2003-08-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,000,000 Planned Sale (Estimated proceeds of $52,340,000) 2003-08-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,900,000 Sale at $25.79 - $26.32 per share. (Proceeds of about $49,505,000) 2003-08-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 100,000 Sale at $26.33 - $26.38 per share. (Proceeds of about $2,635,000) 2003-08-01 COURTOIS, JEAN-PHILE Senior Vice President 272 Sale at $26.29 per share. (Proceeds of $7,150) 2003-08-01 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 32,550 Sale at $26.36 - $26.38 per share. (Proceeds of about $858,000) 2003-08-01 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 650,258 Sale at $26.28 - $26.355 per share. (Proceeds of about $17,113,000) 2003-08-01 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 317,192 Sale at $26.155 - $26.2763 per share. (Proceeds of about $8,315,000) 2003-08-01 SHIRLEY, JON A. Director 46,500 Automatic Sale at $26.35 - $26.4 per share. (Proceeds of about $1,226,000) 2003-07-31 BACH, ROBERT JOSEPH Senior Vice President 20,000 Option Exercise at $5.6563 per share. (Cost of $113,126) 2003-07-31 BACH, ROBERT JOSEPH Senior Vice President 20,000 Sale at $26.88 - $26.91 per share. (Proceeds of about $538,000) 2003-07-31 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Sale at $26.4274 - $26.605 per share. (Proceeds of about $26,516,000) 2003-07-31 BURGUM, DOUGLAS J. Senior Vice President 50,000 Sale at $26.91 - $26.97 per share. (Proceeds of about $1,347,000) 2003-07-31 VASKEVITCH, DAVID Senior Vice President 477 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $26.41 per share. (Value of $12,597) 2003-07-31 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale (Estimated proceeds of $26,230,000) 2003-07-29 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Sale at $26.27 - $26.49 per share. (Proceeds of about $26,380,000) 2003-07-29 SHIRLEY, JON A. Director 81,815 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. 2003-07-29 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale (Estimated proceeds of $26,610,000) 2003-07-28 SHIRLEY, JON A. Director 1,500,000 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. 2003-07-28 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Sale at $26.54 - $26.8739 per share. (Proceeds of about $26,707,000) 2003-07-28 BURGUM, DOUGLAS J. Senior Vice President 59,729 Sale at $26.74 - $26.84 per share. (Proceeds of about $1,600,000) 2003-07-28 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale (Estimated proceeds of $26,890,000) 2003-07-25 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Sale at $26.52 - $26.64 per share. (Proceeds of about $26,580,000) 2003-07-25 BURGUM, DOUGLAS J 159,729 Planned Sale (Estimated proceeds of $4,295,112) 2003-07-25 SHIRLEY, JON A. Director 200,000 Sale at $26.90 per share. (Proceeds of $5,380,000) 2003-07-23 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 948,634 Sale at $26.484 - $26.537 per share. (Proceeds of about $25,149,000) 2003-07-23 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,369,016 Sale at $26.222 - $26.481 per share. (Proceeds of about $36,076,000) 2003-07-23 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 206,227 Sale at $26.5812 - $26.634 per share. (Proceeds of about $5,487,000) 2003-07-23 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 476,123 Sale at $26.5371 - $26.5811 per share. (Proceeds of about $12,645,000) 2003-07-23 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,000,000 Planned Sale (Estimated proceeds of $52,760,000)

That's great but.... (1)

humungusfungus (81155) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804364)

I'm already pretty familiar with my tendency to misspell stuff etc...and I don't need another clippy (hell, none of us do)

How about something potentially more useful, like a system that gently prompts you to save files using a certain naming convention, or helps tell you where to file certin documents, how to format email headers to make them useful etc....all according to a certain policy. Such a system could conceivably help organize documents consistenly for later retrieval; it would also facilitate more efficient brute-force searching (ala a google appliance or whatnot).

Information retrival (and I'm talking business related stuff) is made most simple when said information is filed and named consistently.

From personal experience, people in our company routinely spend quite a bit of time searching for historical company documents (ie how much did we pay for suchandsuch material last time? What did we bill the client? How big was that convention centre? what were their rates? Etc).

Sure, we have a filing policy and naming conventions in effect, but educating the users to use the system (and use it well...if at all) is surprisingly difficult.

Of course, I am also familiar with Edward's Law "You cannot apply a technological solution to a sociological problem".

I want to see how you debug this . . . (1)

Badgerman (19207) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804384)

I'm wondering how you debug something meant to act human (who are unpredictable).

And just because you debug it with a crowd of number "X" using it, will that be relevant to a larger population?

I wonder if it'd be possible to do some TiVO-like exchange of data here as a voluntary option. Try to train the applications with larger data stories, at least for a time.

CoBotics??? (0)

thePancreas (690504) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804388)

I once quit a job I had, but hated by telling my manager I was off to Vancouver to work in the "Cobotics" industry... "What's that?", he asked me. It's a new feild that tries to solve the problems of humans interactions with robots and computers. "Oh?" He was interested now. "Yes there are great things happening in that industry and I'm going to get on board while it's hot" I told him, never letting onm that I was going to work at a starbucks (also a blossoming industry on the West Coast at the time. "Let me book you a flight" he said, apparently trying to call my bluff. "Sure", I allowed, "I leave in the morning". Little did I know know...

Similar to ... (1)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804391)

... the kinds of research we're currently doing in user interfaces for the digital musical instrument market, actually.

Oops. Can't go into it any further just yet ... never mind ...

Let People think and Computers DO (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804402)

One of my worries about this, is that thinking and understanding is the domain of people and number crunching and data processing is the domain of computers. ... and until computers have true free will it will always be that way, and always should be that way ...

IMHO, we shouldn't be concentrating on how to get computers to think for us, but rather how to interface in a way that is lociclly fluent and consistent.

Perhaps that might mean that people half to learn to think more locgically and be ble to express it more precicely, but IMHO that is not a bad thing.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been solved (1)

Mentifex (187202) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804404)

DIY AI [virtualentity.com] (Do-It-Yourself Artificial Intelligence) is now available to provide AI Minds for these "Executive Secretaries" in a growing list of programming languages:
APL; [virtualentity.com]
JAVA (see code-link #001 :-) [virtualentity.com]
Labview; [virtualentity.com]
Lisp; [virtualentity.com]
Perl; [virtualentity.com]
Python; [virtualentity.com]
Visual Basic (see link #001 :-) [virtualentity.com]

KurzweilAI.net [kurzweilai.net] is a hotbed of discussion of the evolution and speciation of AI Minds for "Executive Secretaries" and other robots.

The Technological Singularity [caltech.edu] of Vernor Vinge is happening right here and now -- all around you.

Please mod up this message as high as it deserves. If you doubt the AI Mind meme, please see
ACM SIGPLAN Notices: Mind.Forth AI paper [acm.org] by Dr. Paul Frenger;
Concept-Fiber Theory of Mind review [sl4.org] by Ben Goertzel, Ph.D.

Every Slashdot-reading programmer ought seriously to consider dropping all other activities and joining the AI Revolution adumbrated in this SlashDot article on Executive Secretaries with AI.

Ethics my ass (1)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804420)

There's no stopping the technological march. Still, most researchers are very conscientious about the ethical ramifications of what we are doing.

Yeah, and still scientists note the ethical ramifications and still continue down questionable paths. Many scientists don't concern themselves enough with ethics.

Fun parts... (2, Interesting)

RyoSaeba (627522) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804421)

Thanks to our software, when you stop the simulation and ask the computer and the operator, "What do you think is going on right now?" about 90% of the time you get the same answer from both.
I don't know for you, but i think 90% is way too low for anything good to happen.... Imagine spam filters having only 90% success, thus missing 10% of spam... no fun, he?
The systems we're building now require rigorous collection of data from a person to create a model
Another way to say they can't yet analyse what a user is doing, s/he must be doing it in precise ways... So the user will have to adapt for the software to learn :-)

From the Article (2, Interesting)

barryfandango (627554) | more than 10 years ago | (#6804438)

"some fear that the concept suggests an ominous encroachment out of a sci-fi movie. Cognitive psychologist Chris Forsythe, who leads the Sandia team, insists that the machines are designed to augment -- not replace -- human activity.

This sort of writing is the result of either a sensational and poorly informed writer, or a company hyping its product way beyond its capabilities. AI has not even reached the Bronze Age yet, and the idea that a concept like this threatens to make humans obsolete is laughable.

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