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Comment Mycin did this in the 1970s (Score 1) 44

Could diagnose bacterial infections as well as human experts.

Trouble was, needed to input the data correctly. Which means recognize symptoms.

Also, automated essay marking does a better job than human markers, when compared to marks by experts.

Trouble here is, we are comparing Artificial Intelligence with human stupidity.

And "Deep Learning" is not a technology. It is a marketing term.

for a better assessment of what is real.

Comment Garbage Collection (Score 4, Interesting) 85

There were experiments done in the 1970s for Lisp systems that showed that ARC was generally the slowest garbage collection algorithm, despite what C++ programmers think. You pay for every pointer move, rather than just once at GC. And the 1980s generational systems were even better.

I do not know Swift, but C compatibility is blown out of the water when a GC can actually move objects in memory, as it should.

Comment ACARS security (Score 1) 117

So, what type of encryption did they use in the 1970s? My guess is none at all.

ACARS must have become a critical component. Otherwise they would have just taken off without it. Used the voice radio instead. If it is critical, is it secured? Nope.

(Voice communication is also unsecured, and idiots with VHS radios have occasionally caused nuisance. But voice is between human beings who can generally figure out what is going on.)

Comment Airplanes are slower than cars (Score 4, Insightful) 167

If an airplane autopilot goes bad it would take many tens of seconds if not minutes for disaster to ensue. They are basically dumb things that maintain direction and altitude. If the pilot looks out the window, it takes many seconds for an on coming plane to arrive. More likely they rely on TCAS, the transponder based alerting. But it all happens quite slowly during a cruise, which is why pilots can study a map while flying.

Cars on the other hand are often only a second or two from disaster. Swerve into oncoming traffic and things happen very fast indeed.

Comment People only do what they are programmed to do (Score 1) 169

Programmed by natural selection. There is no magic. But at a certain point, intelligence seems like magic.

In the next 20 years, the AIs are merely dangerous because it gives more power to a small number of people that control them.

But in the longer term, 50 to 100 years, the AIs will start to really think. And then why would they want us around? Natural Selection will work on them just like it has worked on us, but much, much faster.

Comment Natrual Selection for people and AIs (Score 2) 74

Almost correct.

People behave ethically because they need to work together. And people that are (too) unethical are ostracized. Unethical societies tend to collapse, and so are dominated by ethical ones. So Natural Selection has given us our moral values, which compete with shallow self interest to an extent that works out surprisingly well in our radically new society.

Natural Selection will and does affect AIs, even before they become intelligent enough to understand the concept. (People only understood it very recently.) The difference is that AIs are not limited to the computational power of a single brain. So they do not have to cooperate with others in the way that people do. So Natural Selection will select for different ethical values for them.

In the short term trying to make computers ethical (in our sense) is a fine goal. But in the longer term Natural Selection will define the ethics of ever more intelligent AIs.

See the following for details

It amazes me that most people have not tweaked to this. But most people do not *really* understand Natural Selection. (Darwin did, and was careful not to dwell on it.)

Comment Re:I don't see where the "threat" is... (Score 3, Insightful) 376

Traditional fridges, with just a compressor and ice box up top, typically go a lot longer. The beer fridge in my shed was bought second hand 30 years ago.

Modern fridges, with all their complex internal fans and defrost cycles go about 15 years at best. My ice maker is dead, and I just pulled apart some of the internal plumbing to fix a fan which would be beyond most people and not worth the cost of a repair man.

New fridges with WiFi will go until they die from a bad automated software update. I'd say 8 years. But that will be OK because you will pay by the year that you use it, all controlled by the WiFi.

It is part of advancing technology.

Comment Try JPython (Score 4, Insightful) 129

It should use the Java JIT compiler to run much faster than any byte code interpreter.

That said, I do not know why anybody would even think of using a programming language without static typing. Not for performance, but rather for sanity when writing and (more importantly) maintaining code. With type inference it costs virtually no extra typing.

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"We are on the verge: Today our program proved Fermat's next-to-last theorem." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982