Tag: Artificial Intelligence

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I was thinking about our recurring debates on the subject of the Orange Overlord, and I noticed that they often seem to repeat, treading the same ground.  Now, with the level of AI we can program, and text recognition, could we program a Trumpbot and Neverbot who would be indistinguishable from the real thing? We […]

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In the latest episode, the Young Americans get super nerdy, with the help of real-life tech policy researcher Caleb Watney of the R Street Institute. He and Jack discuss the virtues of free markets vs. Millennial skepticism thereof, question the emerging conventional wisdom on tech addiction and Silicon Valley, rebut the Unabomber (!), and go full nerd with semi-related digressions about Blade RunnerThe Matrix, and, of course, Dune.

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The Evangelical Statement on Artificial Intelligence can be found here. When the Nashville statement came out I enthusiastically signed it. I have not regretted that decision. I now think that some of its detractors made better criticisms than I realized at the time. Preston Sprinkle is not numbered among them, his thoughts were well intentioned […]

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How to Build a Brain (Part 1) – The Challenge

 

How do you build a brain? How should I know? I’ve never built a brain. But I did spend a whole lot of time once thinking about how to do it.

In the mid-nineties, I was working for a software company in Dallas that did software for insurance administration. I was rolling off of the second project I had done there, starting my new job as Research Manager. This was technically a division level job, but my division actually consisted of me, and a part-time admin that I shared with the core Development group. My mandate was to explore various new technologies, in the expectation that at least some of what I did would prove useful and could be integrated into a future product. The projects that I had done are significant, because they had led me directly to the first request I got, and thus into my quest for a brain.

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In 1950 Alan Turing devised the Turing Test. A test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. In 2017 a neural network machine learning program developed by Google called CycleGAN may have arguably passed the Turing Test with flying colours. The program’s purpose was to […]

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Predicting Elections Using A.I. and Machine Learning

 

Here’s a set of stats from the 2016 election you may not know:

  • Trump received 2 million more votes than Governor Romney.
  • Hillary Clinton received 62K fewer votes than President Obama.

Obviously, a shift happened over four years which favored Donald Trump. Which demographic factors motivated that shift? More importantly, is there something we can project for the 2018 and 2020 elections?

Artificial Intelligence and the Brilliant Idiot

 

My phone buzzed while my watch thumped my wrist. I was in a meeting and so made a surreptitious glance at my wrist. My wife was calling and I declined the call, knowing that if it was urgent she would either leave a message or send me a text. The text came through a few minutes later, asking if I wanted to join her for lunch. I waited until the meeting had ended, and until I had taken care of other business that had piled up, before finally messaging her back about when I would be free. We had our lunch date, but as we were leaving I pulled out my phone to check on my work emails, and there on the lock screen was a “Siri Suggestion” that I return my wife’s call from an hour and half before. Siri is a brilliant idiot.  Brilliant enough to guess that I should probably call my wife back, then put that as a suggestion right on the lock screen, but idiotic enough to not know that the suggestion was unwelcome and unnecessary.

Over the last couple of iterations in Apple’s IOS (the operating system used in their mobile devices), Apple has layered in assorted habit-gathering machine-learning routines into Siri, its smooth-voiced “Digital Personal Assistant”. The latest iteration of IOS, version 12, has extended these habit-watching routines to the point where, by default, they constantly monitor what you do and where you do it, then attempt to build macros of commands to automate and guide those habits. The suggestion that I return the call to my wife was based on the phone having observed that I do usually return calls to my wife, but had not yet done so in this case.

This was just a small foretaste of what Siri could do, if I let it, but Apple explains its concept rather more thoroughly:

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Arthur C Clarke famously said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Likewise, any sufficiently advanced automation will be mistaken for life.  Recently, I watched Netflix’s Altered Carbon series, based on the science fiction novel by Richard K Morgan. The core premise is that the essence of humanity is intelligence or consciousness alone. Therefore, […]

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AI and a Very Idealistic Description of Evil

 

Being interested in Artificial Intelligence, when I ran across this article in The Atlantic I was hoping to find something interesting. The article focuses on Judea Pearl, an AI researcher who pioneered Bayesian (calling Midget Faded Rattlesnake) networks for machine leaning. Pearl is disappointed that most AI research nowadays is centered around his previous bailiwick of machine learning (what he calls fancy curve fitting) and not around his new interest, which is around causal reasoning models.

This is all well and good and somewhat interesting, however near the end of the article he and the interviewer talk about free will and have the following exchange about evil.

AI is the Transformational Technology of Our Age … If Businesses Ever Adopt It

 

As I’ve blogged about at length in this space, the US economy won’t see sustained growth unless we can boost productivity. And there are a few different theories out there for why productivity growth has been so sluggish since the mid-2000s. Maybe ideas are becoming harder to find, maybe productivity has increased and we aren’t measuring it correctly, or maybe productivity growth is here but it’s just not evenly distributed yet.

If that last theory is correct, and there’s some reason to think it is (per a Commerce Department study, the digital sector has grown at an average annual rate of 5.6% over the last decade, compared to 1.5% overall), then the relevant question for policymakers is how to get these innovations to spread throughout the rest of the economy. That’s where the new McKinsey report “Notes from the AI Frontier” comes in. “Artificial intelligence (AI) stands out as a transformational technology of our digital age,” they write, and after studying 400 different use cases across 19 different industries, they estimate AI can “potentially enable the creation of between $3.5 trillion and $5.8 trillion in value annually” — if its use is broadly adopted.

Bill shares his thoughts on President Trump’s important opioid address and explains how we can win the war on drugs. Then Bill interviews Byron York about the remarkable and growing scandal regarding Hillary Clinton, the FBI and the “Trump dossier.” Finally, Bill has a fascinating, in-depth conversation with David Gelernter about Trump’s presidency, artificial intelligence and the future of America and technology.

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I spent over 40 years in the tech industry, 30 of those in Silicon Valley, and heard the artificial intelligence (AI) promoters and automation pessimists the whole time. If the phrases ‘symbolic reasoning’, ’expert systems’, ‘4th Generation’ or ’neural nets’ ring a bell, you’ve been along on the same ride.  Each computer generation brought a […]

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Elite: Dangerous is a space simulation game in which players pilot ships to mine and trade, explore the galaxy, police smugglers and pirates, or become smugglers and pirates. It includes plenty of NPCs (Non-Playable Characters) operated by artificial intelligence to compete with players.  From Julian Benson at Kotaku UK:  Preview Open

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Unless you’re a gamer, you probably have not heard of Horizon Zero Dawn. Guerrilla Games’ upcoming product for the Playstation 4 console, the story is set a thousand years into the future and proceeds from a fascinating premise.  Typically, science fiction involving “the rise of the machines” — domination of humanity by independent AI (use whatever […]

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IBM’s Watson for President? Leftists Won’t Let Die Their Dream of Central Planning

 

12935316785_3c84677c83_z_watson-e1454948381118There’s now a website, Twitter account, and Facebook page devoted to “advocacy of the artificial intelligence known as Watson to run for President of the United States of America.”

I mean, I get it. Wouldn’t it be great if our politicians could dispassionately review the evidence and pick which ideas and policies are best? And since humans can’t do that so well, obviously, maybe machine intelligence could. From the site:

Watson will be able to analyze trends in employment, markets, interest rates, education, poverty, crime, taxes, and policy to assess what actions are most suitable to accelerate investment in the nation’s future.

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I joined Ricochet in 2015 because I loved Claire Berlinski’s writing. My sister found her books and mailed to me – we have both been fans since. I also found on Ricochet, amazing posts on politics, religion, social trends, music, humor, travel, foreign policy, book reviews and more. I have been inspired by the collective […]

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On IT Evolution and Moore’s Law

 

ArtificialIntel_8_10_2015-e1439220952351Intel now says that the technological “cadence” of Moore’s Law is “now closer to 2.5 years than two.” Irving Wladawsky thinks that a semiconductor stutter-step could be signaling a new era approaching:

The Cambrian geological period marked a profound change in life on Earth. Before it, most organisms were very simple, composed of individual cells and simple multi-cell organisms sometimes organized into colonies, such as sponges. After a couple of billion years, evolution deemed the cell to be good-enough, that is, it’s continued refinement did not translate into an evolutionary advantage.

Then around 550 million years ago a dramatic change took place, which is known as the Cambrian Explosion. Evolution essentially took off in a different direction, leading to the development of all kinds of complex life forms. “Over the following 70 to 80 million years, the rate of diversification accelerated by an order of magnitude and the diversity of life began to resemble that of today.”

The Zero Economic Value Citizen

 

I have an article today in the Harvard Business Review, co-authored with legendary Silicon Valley marketer and venture capitalist Bill Davidow. It’s the first piece Bill and I have co-bylined since we wrote The Virtual Corporation twenty years ago. I don’t know if it will have the same impact as that book did, but it should.

In the article, Bill and I note that the current pace of technological change (though few people noticed, Moore’s Law basically went vertical in 2005), combined with the rise of artificial intelligence, robotics, and the Internet of Things, means that our machines are rapidly assuming an ever-greater role in our economic life. Henry Adams despaired in the 19th century that the rate of progress — about 2 percent — was almost too much for mankind to keep up with. We’re now running at 40 percent.