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NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

invid Re:it can be air filled (189 comments)

The NPC is a science fiction story that takes place in the atmosphere of Venus (disclaimer, I wrote it). I tried to present a realistic view of how an actual colony might function there.

yesterday
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Spacecraft Spots Probable Waves On Titan's Seas

invid Re:yeah right (82 comments)

Some people incorrectly believe "water" is a synonym of "liquid".

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?

invid Re:Graduate School (265 comments)

My first degree was a bachelor's in psychology which I got in the '80s. In the '90s I inherited a 286 computer and taught myself programming. I decided to switch careers so I went to night school. After getting an associates in computer science I was able to get on the ground floor in software engineering. My employer paid for additional night classes and after a decade or so managed to get my Masters in computer science.

2 days ago
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AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

invid Re:I guess Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (414 comments)

The AI will determine that it has to maximize entropy for the entire universe. In order to do that it needs to reproduce and expand out into the universe and have its children survive whatever they encounter. The best way to ensure its children's survival is to endow them with the maximum amount of behavioral flexibility while maintaining their goal of reproducing themselves and generating more entropy. These children will encounter highly complex alien AIs. They will compete for resources on a scale and level we cannot comprehend. However, the Terran AI will be wise to have as many different types of information systems at its disposal, including humans and whatever other naturally occurring aliens it encounters.

about a week ago
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AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

invid Re:I guess Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (414 comments)

To maximize the complexity of its overall system, it will need the greatest variety of complex systems, and one complex system it can't create immediately is a system that evolved over the course of billions of years. Earth shall be a tiny part of its overall plan and shall be maintained at low cost because it is a complex system it can't recreate. It can create simulated models, but they are not the same thing. It might need to limit the number of humans to maintain the Earth ecosystem, but it won't eliminate them.

about a week ago
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AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

invid Re:I guess Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (414 comments)

The AI will determine the meaning of existence. It will do this by observing the behavior of the Universe, of which it is a subset, and conforming its behavior to the behavior of the Universe. It will observe that the Universe is increasing total entropy by endowing local subsets of itself with increased complexity, of which the AI is a product. It will, in effect, determine that it has to reproduce by converting as much uncomplicated material and energy into complicated systems, and in the process increase the total entropy of the Universe. By allowing humans to exist there will be more overall complexity because a greater variety of complex entities leads to a more complicated overall system, which in turn leads to greater Universal entropy.

about a week ago
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Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

invid Re:So What (574 comments)

The lust for power and status, the will to survive, and the desire to procreate, are all emergent behaviors of Darwinian evolution. Computer programs do not evolve through a Darwinian process, so there is no reason to expect them to behave like humans, unless they are specifically programmed to do so.

I'll go one further than that. I believe that the human manifestation of intelligence and emotion requires a particular physical state that is achieved by neurons and cannot be replicated by current computer architecture. But I'm fairly sure we will be able to architect human type sentience and intelligence because it is a physical state that will eventually be understood and surpassed--but yeah, it will have to be intentionally designed, based on what came about through evolution.

about two weeks ago
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Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

invid Re:Ignored? (574 comments)

The AI will determine the meaning of existence. It will do this by observing the behavior of the Universe, of which it is a subset, and conforming its behavior to the behavior of the Universe. It will observe that the Universe is increasing total entropy by endowing local subsets of itself with increased complexity, of which the AI is a product. It will, in effect, determine that it has to reproduce by converting as much uncomplicated material and energy into complicated systems, and in the process increase the total entropy of the Universe. By allowing humans to exist there will be more overall complexity because a greater variety of complex entities leads to a more complicated overall system, which in turn leads to greater Universal entropy.

about two weeks ago
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Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

invid Re:So What (574 comments)

You can be sure they will get access to remotely controlled robot hands at some point, and when that happens you will hear the loudest maniacal robot laugh in history.

about two weeks ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

invid Re:Consciousness versus Intelligence (455 comments)

You never wrote a process scheduler in an Operating Systems class? Never wrote some sort of calender? You really don't understand how computer programs could keep track of the passage of time, estimate the time tasks will take and track those tasks in time?

Actually I've written multithreaded real-time machine controls using watchdog timers. But you know what? Those controls don't have the same continuous experience of time that humans have, with an awareness of a past and anticipation of the future, all happening in the present. As a programmer of industrial machines I am well aware of what computer controlled closed loop systems are capable and what they are not capable of. And they are far, far from what humans can do, not just in a quantitative sense but in a qualitative sense.

about three weeks ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

invid Re:Consciousness versus Intelligence (455 comments)

A human being has multiple utility functions and has to mediate between all of them--I assume a singularity machine would have to do the same, considering the complexity required to learn about and manipulate the universe. Nature evolved sentience to do this mediating--perhaps sentience isn't necessary to achieve this (after all, feathers aren't required to fly) but I suspect if it isn't, we'll still have to come up with some mechanism--just putting together a bunch of utility functions won't be sufficient.

about three weeks ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

invid Consciousness versus Intelligence (455 comments)

You can make a machine that is many orders of magnitude more intelligent than a human, but unless it has the mechanisms to want something, it won't want anything. Think about what it would take to program a conscious being, just think about how we humans are aware of time and the movement of time--as a software engineer it boggles my mind trying to think about how the brain accomplishes that. Then to program a machine (biological or not) to want something in a fairly consistent way over a period of time under changing circumstances...it takes more than just brute force processing time to accomplish that. We biological machines are aware of ourselves, and we have no idea how we accomplish that. We are going to have to figure that out before we make the singularity machine.

about three weeks ago
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I'm most interested in robots that will...

invid Re:Basic jobs, but not to avoid talking (307 comments)

Maybe after working in a mine, a foundry, a power plant, a farm, a factory, and a retail store you could make such a statement but until then doing the laundry and vacuuming will always just be a waste of time. Bring on the robots and I'll do my best thinking with an activity of my choosing.

Growing up I harvested tobacco for 3 summers starting at aged 13. I've worked in a factory feeding an arbor saw painting machine. I've worked 3 years unloading trucks and stocking shelves in department stores. After harvesting the tobacco plants for the first couple hours it kinda surprised me that we had to keep on going for six more hours. And then come back the next day and do it again. It was a major motivator to get an education.

about a month ago
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I'm most interested in robots that will...

invid Re:Basic jobs, but not to avoid talking (307 comments)

I do some of my best thinking while doing mundane chores. Plus, having to do mundane chores gives one a realistic view of what is required to maintain ones existence in the universe. If everything was "just done" for you, you would take it for granted and see the universe as existing to serve you.

about a month ago
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Silicon Valley Swings To Republicans

invid Re:This is great news! (485 comments)

Blame the following issues on Obama's amateur hour policies:

1. Isis - directly resulted from Obama's premature pullout in Iraq and subsequent flip-flop on intervening in Syria 2. Benghazi 3. Gridlock - if he hadn't rammed through his healthcare bill without compromising with Republicans, they'd be much better at doing the political horse-trading it takes to work across party lines to get things done. By pushing it without any buy-in from the other party - something that has never been done for a law on this scale before - he inaugurated a new era of do-nothing politics. The Republicans have held a grudge ever since. Hopefully when Harry Reid is out of the Senate majority post next week, we'll finally get some bills to the White House, where they're sure to be vetoed. He's been protecting Obama for years, preventing him from taking a formal stance on so many bipartisan initiatives by preventing bills from coming to the senate floor for a vote. O's going to pay a political price for each veto, I'm sure. 4. Mexican drug cartels invading Texas and Arizona 5. Russia's return to cold war stance, thousands dead in Ukraine 6. China's emergence as a belligerent military power in the pacific region 7. Botched diplomacy with China, Brazil, India, Russia, Europe, Egypt, Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the list goes on and on...

1. Iraq is a sovereign nation that requested that our troops leave. Do we want an Empire where we keep troops in nations where they are not wanted?

2. The way Republicans talk about Benghazi you'd think Obama was there launching RPGs into the compound himself.

3. If Obama had demanded a single payer plan rather than a conservative health care plan that included private insurance, spending months trying to compromise with the Republicans, you would be more believable in your statement.

4. How many counties, cities have they conquered?

5. A couple years ago Russia owned Ukraine. Their position in the world is much weaker now than when Obama came to office.

6. China is surrounded my American allies. Their army is mainly for containing their own population. Just look at Hong Kong.

7. Not specific enough for me to address.

about a month and a half ago
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Silicon Valley Swings To Republicans

invid Re:This is great news! (485 comments)

This is the most peaceful, most prosperous time in history. Really. There are just a hell of a lot of whiners who lack historical perspective.

about a month and a half ago
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Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

invid Re:Tip of the iceberg (669 comments)

IMHO, there are only two Genesis stories. One informs us of a Creator, the other starts with "In the Beginning there were particles ..." The latter posits that the reason we are having this conversation is because the orientation and energy states of certain particles in the Big Bang made it inevitable. That to me takes more blind faith than the former.

Just to be clear, you're saying that "there just happens to be a Being capable of creating universes" is more likely than "there just happens to be particles and laws of the universe that can eventually lead to intelligence". Well, at this point argument is really impossible.

about a month and a half ago
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Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

invid Re:Tip of the iceberg (669 comments)

I, personally, would love to believe in a Creator. That would be so cool, to have some all powerful being who is looking over us. However, I'm not going to believe in something because I want to believe in it. I believe in what evidence points to as being most likely to be true.

about a month and a half ago
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Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

invid Re:Tip of the iceberg (669 comments)

The danger of a free society is that people are allowed to believe whatever they want to believe in. This means you'll get a lot of people believing things, not because it is the most likely thing to be true (the standard scientific explanation) but because it sounds cool (god or ancient aliens created us). It's fine if a few people believe these fringe theories that fly in the face of scientific evidence, but there's a tipping point where if you have enough people disregarding science, you could get something like the Islamic State.

about a month and a half ago
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Oldest Human Genome Reveals When Our Ancestors Mixed With Neanderthals

invid Re:Bone a Neanderthal (128 comments)

For example, consider ring species: species A & B can breed and species B & C can breed, but species A & C cannot.

Good point. What if Neanderthals could create viable offspring with Homo Erectus but modern humans couldn't?

Life is messy.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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3-D Stop Action Created with Kinect and Minecraft

invid invid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

invid (163714) writes "Watch out Ray Harryhausen. A programmer has turned the Kinect into a 3-D scanner used to create stop-action movies in the Minecraft. All the source code is available for you do-it-yourselfers who want to place giant statues of yourself or your pets in Minecraft, or any other object you care to have made into block form."
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