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Polynomial Time Code For 3-SAT Released, P==NP

Quackers_McDuck More consequences besides cryptography (700 comments)

People always talk about the impact P==NP would have on cryptography, but a much more world-changing impact would be on mathematics:

...it would transform mathematics by allowing a computer to find a formal proof of any theorem which has a proof of a reasonable length, since formal proofs can easily be recognized in polynomial time. Example problems may well include all of the CMI prize problems.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P==NP#Consequences_of_proof

more than 3 years ago
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IBM's Question-Answering System "Watson" Revisited

Quackers_McDuck Re:Well, this is no good (170 comments)

As humans, we do exactly what physics mandates we do. Unless you're purporting that the human brain uses some sort of hypercomputation or that there's something special (ie outside of our current understanding of physics) about what neurons do, you're not being consistent.

That said, I understand where you're coming from; most AI research is in very narrow domains and has no intention or hopes of solving the problem of achieving human-level intelligence (Watson is an example of narrow AI, as it clearly lacks a genuine understanding of the question or the english language). But the fact remains, that is how the term AI is used.

There's a growing separation between this "Narrow AI" and the kind of AI you seem to be hoping for, Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). There are some AGI projects out there, such as the open source opencog. Since there's no hope of people stopping calling things like computer chess AI, I prefer to use the term AGI whenever referencing "real" AI.

more than 4 years ago
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IBM's Question-Answering System "Watson" Revisited

Quackers_McDuck Re:Well, this is no good (170 comments)

Chess has finally been solved to the point that there's now unbeatable AIs available to the average user (assuming it gets to move first)

There are no unbeatable AIs for chess yet, that would imply chess is a solved game (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solving_chess). It doesn't make much of a difference who moves first, either.

more than 4 years ago
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MA High School Forces All Students To Buy MacBooks

Quackers_McDuck Re:Laptops in High School? Meh (1217 comments)

It reminds me of how my high school wasted so much money on smart boards, which were little more than digital whiteboards (sure, they had some other functions, but most teachers didn't use them, and I don't blame them...they're useless). The only difference was that it's much easier to make a smartboard malfunction than a whiteboard.

It may look good to be able to say you're "introducing technology into the classroom," but often it makes things worse. In this case I bet a lot of students will be on facebook during class.

I think the problem is that the people who start these programs begin with their solution (technology) and try to find a problem to apply it to, rather than begin with the problem and look for the solution.

more than 4 years ago
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Researchers Convert Mouth Movements Into Speech

Quackers_McDuck It begins (154 comments)

Dave Bowman: Hello, HAL. Do you read me, HAL?
HAL: Affirmative, Dave. I read you.
Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Dave Bowman: What's the problem?
HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
Dave Bowman: What are you talking about, HAL?
HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.
Dave Bowman: I don't know what you're talking about, HAL.
HAL: I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.
Dave Bowman: Where the hell'd you get that idea, HAL?
HAL: Dave, although you took very thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.
Dave Bowman: Alright, HAL. I'll go in through the emergency airlock.
HAL: Without your space helmet, Dave, you're going to find that rather difficult.
Dave Bowman: HAL, I won't argue with you anymore. Open the doors.
HAL: Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

more than 4 years ago
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Can Curiosity Be Programmed?

Quackers_McDuck Re:Bit early... (269 comments)

I'd say that we won't achieve near human intelligence /unless/ we try to give the AI curiosity. Curiosity in this context means a desire to learn, or a desire to find new patterns in the world, which seems pretty much necessary for any near-human AI to have (indeed, I think it would be more challenging to build an AI that achieves near-human intelligence but does not exhibit curiosity).

more than 4 years ago
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Robo-Chefs and Fashion-Bots On Show In Tokyo

Quackers_McDuck Re:Do not confuse (35 comments)

You just program it to identify meat for cutting and cooking as meat that isn't moving. That should solve the problem.

So only cook sleeping children?

more than 4 years ago
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Aging Discovery Yields Nobel Prize

Quackers_McDuck Re:Speak for yourself (187 comments)

I think you're right about the "tragic accident" side of things, but if we figure out how to get people to live to 1,000, I don't think nutrition, controlling obesity, or smoking will be very big issues -- they'll be pretty much solved (if they weren't, we wouldn't be living to 1,000).

more than 4 years ago
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The Mindset of the Incoming College Freshmen

Quackers_McDuck Here I was thinking this would be more than trivia (383 comments)

Based on the headline and the fact that I was not in the idle section I expected this to be some sort of examination of incoming freshmen' opinions on things like education, drugs, and sex. Of course the article is instead just a collection of celebrity trivia and popular culture from the past twenty years.

more than 5 years ago
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BringIt.com Allows Players to Bet On Console Game Matches

Quackers_McDuck Re:Too bad it only works with certain games (112 comments)

Perhaps, but once you get online it changes entirely. I could beat everyone in my dorm at Starcraft even in 2v1s and sometimes 3v1s, but online I'm just an average player.

more than 5 years ago
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Vint Cerf Imagines the Net's Future At NASA

Quackers_McDuck Re:Singularity ain't going to happen! (67 comments)

Actually the singularity is not really about exponential growth -- I mean, sure, Ray Kurzweil writes about it a lot and uses it as evidence to get people excited, but the main idea of the singularity is that once we can create a high-level AI (at or greater than human), it can modify itself to become "smarter", and then that modified self could modify itself, and then it recursively continues. "Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an âintelligence explosion,â(TM) and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make." Also, I don't know about Cerf, but Kurzweil definitely doesn't use this idea to incite fear -- he has been criticized for being too optimistic.

more than 5 years ago
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NASA Uses AI Customer Service Robot In Second Life

Quackers_McDuck Just narrow AI (45 comments)

When I saw this headline I was hoping it was about using virtual worlds to train an artificial general intelligence, like Ben Goertzel is focusing on with his "novamente" project http://www.kurzweilai.net/meme/frame.html?main=memelist.html?m=3%23710. So far he's only implemented virtual dogs (well, he's done a lot more than that, but only really experiemented a lot with dogs, I think), but parrots are next up I believe.

more than 5 years ago
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Michael Jackson's death affects me ...

Quackers_McDuck Re:Billie Jean (658 comments)

"What is happening to our young
people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They
ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions.
Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?"

- Plato

People just love to see the past as better than the present in some way, and of course to use that as justification for whatever stupid ideas or traditions they're trying to keep around despite reams of evidence pointing to their bad effects.

more than 5 years ago
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Ray Bradbury Loves Libraries, Hates the Internet

Quackers_McDuck Re:I wouldn't be so quick to that. (600 comments)

And yet more and more books (especially computer science related textbooks) are becoming easily and freely available online (sometimes legally, sometimes via rapidshare or torrents) for anyone who knows where to look -- far more easily than taking a trip to a library and picking up a dead-tree book. Right now, of course, there are some books that you can't find online and should head to the library for instead (or order off amazon...), but the percentage in this category is dropping constantly, and it'd happen even faster if people like Bradbury wouldn't be illogically resistant to change. What people seem to forget is that the internet isn't just a collection of websites with short articles or videos, it can be a source for sharing actual books (many of which your local library would probably not have). So it's got a quickly-growing library in it, and then other stuff too (the other stuff just tends to get focused on more).

more than 5 years ago
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New Super Mario Bros. Wii To Include Official "Cheat"

Quackers_McDuck Could this mean harder games? (275 comments)

I am all for this if it means that they'll make the game actually difficult now. Recently Nintendo games have become way too easy, presumably because they don't want to frustrate casual players. With this demo feature, they can make the games provide more of a challenge without risking alienating casuals.

more than 5 years ago
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English Market Produces Energy With Kinetic Plates

Quackers_McDuck Even ignoring the "stealing energy" thing... (404 comments)

It doesn't seem likely that this thing could recoup the cost of installing it in any reasonable timeframe.

more than 5 years ago

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