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Messages - Cramulus

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1

Google's New AI Has Learned to Become "Highly Aggressive" in Stressful Situations
http://www.sciencealert.com/google-s-new-ai-has-learned-to-become-highly-aggressive-in-stressful-situations

I'm immediately struck by the sensational science reporting - you could tell this story in a lot of ways but they choose to go with the doomsday terminator apocalypse language again because that's the only pop-culture narrative for AI.

There's a really good series of essays by Douglas Hofstadter in Metamagical Themas which talks about writing computer programs to perform the iterated prisoner's dilemma. The core question is - IS COOPERATION ACTUALLY RATIONAL?

Short answer: to a degree, and it depends on your partner. In a 0-sum game, cooperation is never the best strategy.

I would expect machine learning to eventually sniff out the optimal strategy to maximize wins. If you are training it in a game where aggression is actually the optimal strategy, then yes, machine learning will test it.

The game they describe is a 0-sum game, a competition. Yes, it's set up so that both agents can tie. But if you stun your opponent you can deny them a point and get a higher score. The machine learning discovers this, just like how water poured on an incline will flow down hill. The article presents this as if the algo is making a moral choice, or is foregoing an optimal strategy in favor of an aggressive one. (the headline suggests the algo is responding to 'stress' which is flat out wrong)

If you build a game where cooperation is a winning strategy, a smart bot will cooperate. Here, they built a game where aggression gets you the high score, and the journalists are wringing their hands and anthropomorphizing it.

You CAN tell a valuable story about the dangers of AI using this research. I think it's misleading to set it up talking about how AIs "just come up with aggressive strategies" as if that's an inherent feature of machine learning. The fact is, it's a feature of competitive games, especially zero-sum games like the one the article describes.

I think the real story is about how we could foolishly deploy AI without considering the unintended consequences of optimization. I say - shift the narrative away from the tech and towards the people using it. The AI is amoral, it's just a tool, it's not going to 'wake up' and want to kill us. The danger is entirely centered on humans who are going to use these tools in a careless way.

2
The Secrets Forum / Re: NYC cabal meet-up?!
« on: January 05, 2017, 04:44:13 pm »
I work in NYC would would attend a meet up somewhere, preferably manhattan. There are a few other cats in the area I might be able to round up too.

3
*tight closeup of Cramulus’ face*

Take, Eat… This is my body.

*camera rapidly zooms out, revealing 100 squirrels crawling all over naked Cramulus*

Drink, this is my blood

*Camera focuses on the Stanley Cup, filled with mountain dew*

This is the blood of the covenant, which is poured out in remembrance of the 1980s

Do this in memory of Cramulus





*The squirrels turn into rose petals, which are carried by the wind, into a fire*

*A fireman with chicken wings stuck in his beard grabs a fire hose and blasts the fire, which just spreads for some reason, igniting a nearby elementary school. A guy yells "daaamn"*


"Amen."

4
The Secrets Forum / Re: FUCKING ORANGE EATING CONTEST
« on: December 08, 2016, 02:12:48 pm »
:argh!:  I had assumed that the fruit trucks outside of my building would have whole oranges. They only have diced oranges for fruit salad. This city is full of barbarians. 

5
The Secrets Forum / Re: FUCKING ORANGE EATING CONTEST
« on: December 06, 2016, 05:52:24 pm »
fuck all of you


no...


FUCK ALL OF YOU


no.... NO



FUCK YOU ALL

7
Techmology and Scientism / Re: I need someone smarter than me to parse this
« on: December 01, 2016, 08:15:51 pm »
All very valid criticisms, but not really touching on the part of the article I found interesting, which was the bit about the math inferring that there is very likely a single-source origin for consciousness.

this question lead me down a little rabbit hole of investigating the evolution of the Corpus Callosum (that little gray poop which connects your left and right hemispheres)

I found this paper, but it is mostly conjecture - sounds like its still a big guessing game.

9
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Unlimited Brazilian Hilarity Thread
« on: December 01, 2016, 07:48:18 pm »
Drug dealer spends 120 thousand reais to build a motel... inside the jail he was imprisoned at.

Of course another 70 thousand were spent as bribes for the jail's manager, who helped him negotiate with the constrution firm. Apparently the whole thing was up in 20 days.



I could spend whole weeks looking for this kind of news and not scratch the surface.

 :lulz: :lulz:
that's hilarious and amazing---
but how did he have it built inside the jail?

10
The Secrets Forum / Re: Spagbook
« on: December 01, 2016, 07:46:59 pm »
I guess I could let y'all peep the spaglette:



Oh my god she's adorable! That's a great picture.

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Bring and Brag / Re: Squiggles
« on: November 30, 2016, 10:39:31 pm »
Can I has a squiggle?

13
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Turning Purple
« on: November 30, 2016, 07:50:59 pm »
Another problem I'm having.

There's a narrative that "the GOP gave the voters a solution to their problems, and the DNC didn't".

There's something wrong with that assessment, and one that was a main part of the election season.  The GOP's solutions were bullshit.  Debunked, disproven, shown to be faulty, and damaging.  The Democrats repeated this, the media repeated this, the speeches repeated this.  The Trump voters didn't care.  They apparently preferred to be lied to, to be comforted, to be pacified, to be pandered to.

Repeatedly, fingers pointed to basic math, simple global politics, elementary science, and the voters decided that irrationality was more comfortable.

"Trump offered a solution" is not the truth. Trump offered comfortable lies.  The Democrats offered a solution, but all people could talk about were bullshit email servers.  Their solution wasn't great, but it was plausible

There's a story being developed now, heading towards "lying to the public is the best way to win elections."


We are living in the aftermath of the Perfect Storm. Its winds were the intersection of politics and entertainment. Its clouds were self serving media and poor media literacy. I think the current hydra has numerous heads, and there will be no simple approach - they have to be combatted individually.

I'm a pragmatist. I am mostly concerned with figuring out what specific actions will push the pendulum back to the left.


Since the election I've been keeping an eye on 4chan's /pol/ subforum (which is a disgusting place, don't go there) because I like to understand the shitbag's thinking in their own terms. It has highlighted, to me, how useless it is to appeal to some of these people in moral terms.



Aside from them -- I think that some victories can be won by appealing to people's better nature, ie, encouraging them to resist these racist trends.

But meanwhile - for many of the people who didn't vote blue (whether they voted Trump or just abstained),  that approach has not been working. In some ways it's made the problem worse. I saw Facebook FLOODED with these posts: "If you are voting for trump, you are a racist, unfriend me". And I talked to some Trump voters who said that kind of energy, over time, made them disengage. It didn't persuade them, it just made them tuck in and wait for it to blow over. And for those people, I think a different approach is needed.

I think about my Dad... He was a Sanders supporter. And then his property tax got jacked up by almost 30% in one quarter. Suddenly, his house was underwater. Once year after retirement, he had to sell his house and auction off most of his belongings. At that moment, he was reborn as a single issue voter: Taxes. And I can engage him about racism and he largely agrees, but that's not what he's basing his decision on.

So I'm not saying we have to abandon progressive principles and values... But I am saying that in the service of those principles we need better techniques, more tools in the kit.

I don't think that there's a single approach that will win working-class people back left. I think we'll need a mix of education, pointing out Trump's failures, and a healthy feel-good dose of Shaming.

Also, I think there is a lot of shitty liberal behavior out there, and that's become a narrative weapon against liberals. Though pinpointing that and addressing it will probably only further splinter the left.


I am also trying to imagine a news source which doesn't feed into the bubble-phenomenon of delivering the exact narrative people want to hear... Could one exist?

Because if a news source was CAPABLE of attracting both liberals and conservatives, it would beat out the partisan sources.

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Aneristic Illusions / Re: Unlimited Brazilian Hilarity Thread
« on: November 30, 2016, 06:57:35 pm »
And I hear they are dropping the "car wash" corruption investigations now??


Brazil seems so bleak, man. The whole world is swinging right in a crazy, dangerous way.




At least there are motions that the Supreme Court is going to legalize abortion.

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