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Messages - P3nT4gR4m

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Techmology and Scientism / Re: Weekly Science Headlines
« on: March 13, 2016, 09:41:08 am »
I think the next really major breakthrough in AI will come when we finally have enough computing power to model the whole-brain neural network of an animal such as a rat. We have a lot of theory, but unfortunately computers are just so far behind theory that we can't actually test anything. However, recently one of the world's most powerful supercomputers was able to successfully model the connectivity of one cubic millimeter of rat cortex in less than a year - about nine months if I recall - and that tells us that once the technology catches up, it will ultimately be possible to model the complexity of the networks that make up a mammalian brain. There will still be a lot of missing pieces, such as how and where memories are stored, and truly we know very little about brain function, but being able to model the connectivity should help us start to answer these questions, and that will be a good start in informing us how to move forward in developing true AI.

Spoken like a true neuroscientist  :) I've no doubt that being able to model an entire brain will yield tons of awesome data in the neuroscience space but, as you rightly point out - that's a ways off. Short term the advances are in domain-specific narrow-AI which is exploding right now. There's not as much public demand for an artificial entity that can eat cheese and navigate a simple maze (even though that'd be a pretty fkin awesome accomplishment) as there is for say medical imaging analysis or voice recognition or self driving cars.

Even if they gimp it to human comparable levels then it will still easily be able to pick the most relevant one due to being able to assess the whole game state instantly.

The thinking is they're not giving it access to the whole game state. Bear in mind AlphaGo is an evolution of the same system that beat all those atari games, based on only screen input. They'll take the same approach with Starcraft otherwise, like you say - it'd be kind of pointless. Bear in mind these game milestones are just that - milestones. They're not trying to bring to market new and improved chess computers, it's more about PR and measuring the capability of the tech to solve real-world use cases.

Again, I'd like to see a learning AI that isn't modeled on a human.

Because it would scare the shit out of everyone.  Also, it would probably be less likely to decide that we're only good for building out infrastructure as slaves, etc, etc.

AI's aren't really modeled on a human, per se, they're just algorithms that transform data in a vaguely similar way to neurons. Functionally they may as well be modeled on rat or lizard braincells. What's funny to me is that for each successful use case, they're giving humanity a serious kick in the ego since we're forced to accept there's another thing our brains are totally shit at. Don't get me wrong, I think our skullmeat is a pretty impressive piece of hardware (doubly so when you consider the "design process") but what we're finding out here is there are better tools for many of the jobs it used to be considered good at.

*update* Sedol just forced the machine to resign game 4. Looks like there's life in the old ape-configuration yet 8)

Techmology and Scientism / Re: Weekly Science Headlines
« on: March 12, 2016, 07:14:10 pm »
Not really. People still play chess. You just have a better training opponent to improve your skills on. The mindset that gives up is one that's all about competing and winning and bolstering ego. There's another mindset that just wants to improve their self for the sheer hell of being better at something.

I tried go a few years back but I never liked it much. The - too many permutations - thing stuck in my craw a bit. Every couple of centuries some smart ass comes along and invents a new strategic metaphor that applies better than the existing paradigm and all the Go players start doing it that way. Implicit here is the possibility that there's always a better way of approaching the game.

For the sake of exhibition and data collection, they're going to play out the last two games. He may have been trying to save face but Lee Sedol seemed cautiously optimistic about being able to figure out the machines strategy over the next couple of days, during the post match press conference. The pressure's off at least - he's already lost the 1mil prize purse :evil:

Techmology and Scientism / Re: Weekly Science Headlines
« on: March 12, 2016, 02:22:03 pm »
So the big news this morning is that Google/Deepmind's AlphaGo system just beat the current no.1 human player Lee Sedol at the game of Go, winning the first three straight rounds in a - best of five - competition.

The hype is that this is around a decade early, compared to best industry estimates from a month or so ago. Not sure I'm buying it as a quantum leap, tho. Deep learning is pretty much where everyone knew it was, aside from week on week improvements in setup and application. I think this is more an illustration that the human players don't really have a solid grasp of the game. This makes sense when you consider that a game of Go has more permutations than there are atoms in the universe and we already learned back 97 that even the relatively trivial task of examining all the possible permutations on a chessboard is way beyond the capability of the best players our species has to offer.

Either way, it's undoubtedly a significant milestone and unlike Deep Blue, which was programmed from the ground up to be a highly specialized, dedicated chess computer and nothing else, AlphaGo is a collection of general purpose learning algorithms which can be applied to any problem domain, merely by switching the training data. Make no mistake, machine learning is poised to have a much more significant impact than the traditional computing paradigm ever delivered and probably in a shorter timescale, to boot.

The word on the street is the next game-target is starcraft. For a whole bunch of reasons, mostly relating to overview limitations and long term planning, solving Starcraft will make the Chess and Go accomplishments look infantile by comparison.

So our OB/GYN "stripped the membrane" today. So supposedly baby girl will probably be here tomorrow or the next day.

Strikes me you'll make a hell of a father. Congrats and good luck!

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Primerica
« on: March 05, 2016, 11:23:41 am »
Stepson signed up to some pyramid scheme selling TV subscriptions. "Cult" is exactly the right word. There's no functional difference between him going door to door failing to sell Sky packages and someone else going door to door failing to sell historical fiction.

He chopped his hair and got a suit and started believing in himself, which was good. Unfortunately the most important lesson - how to fleece rubes for profit and lulz - flew right over his brainwashed head. Which is a shame, cos having your employees paying you for working there is one of the tightest business models capitalism has to offer :lulz:

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: What's it all for?
« on: March 05, 2016, 11:14:08 am »
Seriously.  I don't think we do well at all without adversity.

That's not discordians - that's the human condition. Without adversity we become fat and weak and lazy and dumb and decadent and we vote for Trump who promises a fatter, weaker, lazier, dumber, more decadent future.

It always happens that way, going right back to the stone age. Then it all collapses and we get our adversity back and it's all good again. Except for the mountains of dead primates. For them, it's not so good.

I misread the title as "open bra" I'm just here for the tits  :argh!:

I have no idea how to resolve the problem.

I used to think something had to be done to "resolve the problem" but then I realised nothing could be done. Either "the problem" resolves itself or it doesn't. Maybe it stays a "problem", maybe it gets worse but that's it, that's all it is - a problem.

Problems may or may not be solvable. If they're not solvable then the best one can hope to do is avoid them insofar as avoidance is possible.

The world may go up in smoke tomorrow. Unsolvable. Unavoidable. Game over. A situation entirely beyond my control. Furthermore, I may become dead, via any number of alternative fates. Buses, gas leaks, glitches in my dna-code, hostile dna-code.

Many people (the vast majority) who are not me, decide to buy into this - democratic pantomime, feelgood bullshit because, for that brief second they put an x in a box, they feel hope. They feel empowered. The politician stands on tv and tells them they have the power, he quotes the holy constitution and they believe in a bunch of dog and pony crap. Me? I see it as propaganda. Media induced hope.

So the stage is set, the actors are spewing trite, predictable one-liners, designed by the best scriptwriters in the country, to incite and enflame the passions of the audience. The audience will exercise their "power" and, finally, some will claim victory and other defeat.

A year from now, everything will be exactly the same, save for a new baddie to blame for everything that's wrong with the world.

Vote for change. Vote for a job. Vote for a career. Vote for a family. Vote for a fucking big television, vote for washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin can openers. Vote for good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Vote for fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Vote for a starter home. Vote for your friends. Vote for leisure wear and matching luggage. Vote for a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Vote for DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Vote for sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Vote for rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Vote for your future. Vote for life . . . But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to vote for life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got democracy?

No words. Had to say something. Hang in there :cry:

Guess a lifetime of sleazy excess isn't actually good for you. Who could have guessed?

Wait what? This explains so much. Why wasn't I informed sooner?  :eek: :horrormirth:

Or Kill Me / Re: Installments...
« on: February 21, 2016, 09:10:00 am »
Thanks man.

Gotta admire that level of dedication. Run me through the list of possible suspects

Any pics of what all those things are looking at?

*edit* Mad robot fucker?  :eek:

That's goddam epic! Mrs P3nT wanted to look at space for her christmas so I ordered "decent beginner telescope" from intertubes. TBH I was a bit meh about it but she's always wanted to look at space and who the fuck am I to stand between a small blonde person and her - out of leftfield - desires?

My interest was piqued upon staring at what has become known to us as "The Lunar Terminator". It's fairly whizzing around out there if the speed it crosses the viewfinder is anything to go by. Next thing that happens is some new eyepieces turn up on the shopping list and suddenly I'm looking at MOTHERFUCKIN JUPITER!!! Through an attachment named after the singer of TAKE THAT of all things and what's more four of the goddamn moons were in the shot, perfectly evenly spaced, with Jupiter in the middle. I have a good enough basic grasp of the geometry of space (plus corroborating evidence since) to know that the chances of getting a break in the clouds in scotland, in winter, to coincide with what essentially looked like a dot to dot version of Saturn - astronomical!

Once in a lifetime?

So yeah, kinda digging astronomy now. Been going to a bothy, at the head of Loch Etive for years with some mates, usually for kayaking and shit but it turns out it's a pretty good dark sky site. Checked out the Orion Nebula there last weekend. Thought it was clouds at first. Guess it was - COSMIC MOTHERFUCKIN DUST CLOUDS THE SIZE OF A FUCKING HELL OF A LOT OF FOOTBALL STADIUMS!!!


Or Kill Me / Installments...
« on: February 19, 2016, 06:38:06 pm »
... seems an appropriate title for something that's been sitting on my phone, unfinished for about six months. The older I get, the less productive I seem to be.

Hatred of horses learns to ride
Into battle with the other side
Hand of god and fiery wing
Beating on the enemies of everything

Singing songs about revolution
And the words those bullets spoke
There was thunder in the distance
Human race went up in smoke

"This is where it starts to get beautiful"
Said the smart man to the king
He was dressed in pretty colours
Snaking vulture, gameshow grin

And he painted pretty pictures
As he flew into the air
And he left his people sinking
In the blood and guts down there

"This is where you pledge allegiance"
Said the preacher to the crowd
There was smoke and there was mirrors
There was music playing loud

Then another and another
Same damn corpse in different rags
Bearing rules and regulations
Wielding power and waving flags

"This is where the base metal learns to fly"
Said the chief of Warfare inc.
To the board of guys who paid his rent
And kept his wife in mink

He was sick and tired of slaughter
But addicted to the wealth
And he slept at night cos he told himself
That a gun don't shoot itself

"This is where the mothers lose their sons"
Said the actor on the screen
But they've earned a place in Disneyland
For their service to the dream

He's a study in sincerity
Autocued to "frown right there"
Mass manufactured sentiment
The news that really cares

"This is where our spirit fails"
Said the one who sees it all
The dice are loaded, deck is stacked
The clarion makes his call

While the stupid march relentless
The wise irresolute
Eternity or oblivion
Which target will we shoot?

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