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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

lorinc Re:A shift in economic metrics (509 comments)

People do not want to work less. If it were the case, we would see massive political propositions in that sense, which is not what we observe.

In France, the legal work duration is 35h/w (remeber the crappy commercial by cadillac), and people do not like it. Sarkozy was elected on the leitmotiv "work more, earn more", and proposed a system for taxes free overtime. Hollande reintroduced the taxes, and people got mad and angry. Every single week, you can hear some french politician saying we need to move back to 40h/w, and you never hear someone proposing to lower at maybe 32h/w or even below 30h/w - such proposition would not be highly impopular.

Basically, people want more, even if it's pointless and even if it 's harmful for the entire society. Stupidity? Tragedy of the anticommons.

about two weeks ago

The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

lorinc Re:Most humans couldn't pass that test (285 comments)

The most ridicule part being "must not be able to explain how". That doesn't even make sense for humans! If you ask artists, they'll tell you what their influences are, if you ask critics, they'll tell you why this particular piece of art was made this way and not in a completely different manner.

Fun fact: any program with yet unseen bugs that make their behavior totally unexplainable to their developers has passed the test. That gives you either an idea of the soundness of this crap, or a deep insight of what type of failure humankind is.

about three weeks ago

By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' and That Could Be a Problem

lorinc Re:AI is always "right around the corner". (564 comments)

It depends of what you expect from an AI. If it is a perfect replica of a human mind, with which you can talk and share life as if it were human, then it will probably never be around. But that's also pretty useless, and most development in machine learning (ML) are in a more abstract level than trying to solve a very specific goal like this.

Now if you consider AI to be completely new intelligent species, that behave in an intelligent way (volontary fuzzy definition here), then it's probably already there. I mean, the ML programs that dictate the behaviour of you insurance policies so as to send you sport ads when you're a bit overweight, or holidays at the sea when you're close to a burn out, that raise the price of things predicted to induce a loss and lower the ones of things predicted have big return in order to influence your choices, etc, that, to me, sounds exactly like what you do with your pets when you decide they should eat that instead of this for some reason they could not handle with their inferior minds. Now, if you think of all the interconnected ML programs searching for new optima every second and exchanging information, you can view it as the new superior species of this planet.

A very short example: the vast majority of the human race wants to put an end to automated short-sighted finance, just like the vast majority of dogs wants to get free from their leashes. Bot never will until their recpective superior species allow them to. We talked a lot of the facebook experiment lately, the real question is how long has it been already done by the machine to fulfill goals we are not able to grasp? Maybe the singularity is already there since a few years, and just like for peak oil, we'll know it some time after. If we get to notice something more intelligent than us is governing our lives.

about a month ago

Is Time Moving Forward Or Backward? Computers Learn To Spot the Difference

lorinc Shameless Ad (78 comments)

Seriously, the poster was presented yesterday at CVPR and ends up on /. today. There is nothing sensational about it. I'm getting sick of science turning into PR stunts all the time.

about a month ago

Microsoft To Launch Machine Learning Service

lorinc Re:Give WEKA a try (56 comments)

I have only one problem with fancy GUI that allow you to train a predicting model in 2 clicks: how confident can you be in your model, since all the parameters are masked and you have no knowledge about them? I still think it is dangerous to rely on a tool you don't understand and you can't control up to a satisfactory level, especially when it is to be used in prediction - something we expect to be highly reliable in many aspects due to old development of science like balistics.

I've written a ML library myself (also in Java, more lightweight than weka, but with no gui - although it comes with standalone binaries for some basic setups) and I can tell you there is no good default tunning that works well for every kind of situation. ML is seriously a young science that gets rapidly tricky even on very common problems, which is very different than field for which we have very accurate solvers that work most of the time (again balistics is probably a good example, at least because it is taught in school and sets the prototype of what we name science). I fear hidding the youth (and thus the imperfection) is only going to cause damage through misconception and false interpretation.

about a month and a half ago

The Sci-Fi Myth of Killer Machines

lorinc Wrong question (222 comments)

Asking if robots can be evil is about as futile as asking if a microwave can be happy.

That being said, there already are killer robots, with a pretty good track record in recent operations. But the evil lies in the humans who made them (from the top exec that launch the program to the small hand that does the job) and used them, not in the pile of steel and semiconductors.

caveat: Looking at your food, your microwave is probably sad, which explains their tendency to commit suicide.

about 2 months ago

The Exploitative Economics of Academic Publishing

lorinc And much better than others (72 comments)

JMLR is a fantastic journal, with high quality papers, high quality reviews, and completely open. The dream of many come true. I've always wondered why the idea did not spread to other fields.

If someone is willing to start a Journal of Computer Vision Research based on the same principles, count me in. I'll be happy to do editing/reviewing for such journal instead of well known IEEE/Elsevier/Springer journals.

about 3 months ago

US Military Drones Migrating To Linux

lorinc Re:Killer question (197 comments)

Also mir is dead. NASA confirms it.

Given that mir also means peace and considering what is happening in Ukraine, I sadly suppose you are right. Nonetheless I prefer puns when they don't carry a grim presage.

about 3 months ago

Google Using Self-Driving Car Data To Make Cars Smarter

lorinc Re:Still waiting to see 3 things (174 comments)

I am pretty much waiting for the other way around: when I, as a human, known that I am quite bad at handling the current situation and that the machine will do much better than I'll ever be capable of. In particular, I am thinking of traffic jams where you have to find maximum speed that maintains a smooth global flow, without falling into chaotic start/stop sequences like this:

Most humans typically tend to drive too fast in such situations, leading to an average speed well below what machines could very simply achieve. So basically, I'll drive when it's easy, and let the machine do the complicated stuff, as usual.

about 3 months ago

Women Increasingly Freezing Their Eggs To Pursue Their Careers

lorinc Re:Or foregoing kids altogether (342 comments)

Funny, I often say that I have enough students to make having children unnecessary.

about 3 months ago

Women Increasingly Freezing Their Eggs To Pursue Their Careers

lorinc Re:Or foregoing kids altogether (342 comments)

My wife and I are in the same situation, and I never understood the selfishness argument. Why is it selfish? To whom? What harm does it bring and to what?

The more I have this discussion with family and friends, the more it turns out to be pure jealousy towards us better enjoying our life. Most of them didn't expect it is that hard to raise children, and especially the many things you have to give up due to the lack of time to do it.

about 3 months ago

How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

lorinc Re:Pedantic Man to the rescue! (582 comments)

" just about every SSL-encrypted internet communication over the last two years has been compromised."

No, it really hasn't.

It's accurate to say that just about every Open-SSL encrypted session for servers that were using NEW versions of OpenSSL (not all those ones out there still stuck on 0.9.8(whatever) that never had the bug) were potentially vulnerable to attack.

That's bad, but it's a universe away from "every SSL session is compromized!!!" because that's not really true.

They were vulnerable to attack, that is to say, the security was compromised. He didn't say they were hacked, stolen, eavesdropped, or surreptitiously recorded.

No, not if they didn't enabled the compromised feature.

about 4 months ago

Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

lorinc Re:Yikes (342 comments)

Stop the bullshit. You're not changing your mind, you're trying to gain a lot very quickly by gambling.

If you don't understand the implications of what you're doing, please go to the casino instead of messing up our global economy.

about 4 months ago

How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

lorinc Re: Showed me the way (1037 comments)

This. The internet and the books of Richard Dawkins are endless sources of arguments.

about 4 months ago

Invention Makes Citibikes Electric

lorinc Wrong maths? (166 comments)

On the kickstarter page:

Power: 750 Watts continuous
Speed: 18mph without pedaling
Range: 12 miles with standard battery, 20 miles with extended battery
Battery: 240Wh / 400Wh

Well, it seems with the extended battery you can get about 32 minutes or 9.6 miles at 18mph, which is only half the range...

about 5 months ago

Your 60-Hour Work Week Is Not a Badge of Honor

lorinc It's over 9000... (717 comments)

Yeah, that's also my reaction. I regularly do between 50 and 60 hrs a week by working 11 - 12 hrs a day the whole week (and nothing the week end cause I would otherwise go insane), I've been doing occasonially 70 hrs (that is, add 10 hrs during the WE), and I think my max was around 80 hrs for some relly tough deadline near the end of my PhD. Right now, I finished a hard period, and I'll be calming things down to around 40 hrs a week in the few next month to regain some health. Seriously, 60 is hard, around 70 is just insane, and over that is ruining your health more quickly than anything else I've ever seen.

I've never met someone who was at work before me in the morning (8am) and still there when I quit (9pm) every day, and I'm "only" doing between 50 and 60. Of the friends that say they do big weeks, most of them try to call me before 8pm, so they're lying. So yeah, basically people count commute and lunch when they say over 60, and I am pretty sure not a lot of people have experienced a real 60 hrs week of work, without counting lunch, commute and pauses (which makes it around 14 hrs a day when you add these moments).

And anyone who has a kid and says he does over 50 is just lying...

about 6 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

lorinc Re:That's still limited (876 comments)

A cat is a cat, no more, no less!

about 6 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?

lorinc How To Reimagine a Library? Very Simple (231 comments)

Design a clean API and stick to well known coding standards.

This is /., no need to read more than the title.

about 6 months ago

Oracle Seeking Community Feedback on Java 8 EE Plans

lorinc Proper vectorization (109 comments)

All I'm asking for in Java 8 is the integration of vectorization instructions in the jvm. Please, do something for that >10x time factor compared to C++ with a compiler using correctly SSE/AVX instructions. I know most of the business doesn't care, but for the few who are still doing some computationally intensive processing (unrelated to databases btw), it is a game changer.

about 7 months ago

Elsevier Going After Authors Sharing Their Own Papers

lorinc Re:Wide Dissemination vs LockBox (259 comments)

Researchers agree these terms because they have no other choice. Ok, seems nobody outside the academic gets the sense of publish or perish.
Let me tell you why I continue to send my works to Elsevier (or the others) journals, whatever they are asking in the terms and conditions.

In my country (France), to get a research position you first have to get a "qualification" which involves a threshold on the number of journal papers you have. The higher the impact factor of the journal, the better it counts. Once you have this "qualification", you can try to get a position - the system is competition based, and most of the time it is based on the number of high impact factor journal papers you have. So yeah, basically, if you try to play the cowboy before you have the position, you'll never get one.

Now, I do have such position and I could put all my stuff on arxiv. But I also have PhD students, and they want to work in the academic. if I tell them to go the open access way, they'll never get the "qualification" and the position. Thus, we chase these "important" journals (read significant impact factor), and send the articles there. As long as articles in these journals is mandatory to get a position, we have no other choice than publishing there for the students.

To my mind, the solution lies not in the hands of the researchers, by is rather a political one. If the government dictates specific recommendations that positions should be awarded to people with open bibliography, the stupid behavior of Elsevier will die. As long as no political action is taken, it will continue as it was.

about 8 months ago


lorinc hasn't submitted any stories.



Project Death Star

lorinc lorinc writes  |  about a year and a half ago

I'm not american, but I'd love to see the US build a Death Star by 2016 (which ultimately uncovers the true evil nature of this country -- just kidding). I'm pretty sure there are enough nerds out there to have the government think about it, so stand up american geeks and vote!

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