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Out of the Blue

I mentioned that I ended up pushing off some of our leaf raking duties on my brother over the weekend. As it turns out, he had his revenge, as he managed to pass along some sort of cold to me. Besides avenging the labor imbalance, this also serves to suggest I should just leave well enough alone, as when I got a cold a few months back I mentioned it had been over five years since I'd had one, but after blabbing about that, have since caught two more. Thankfully, this seems mild so far, so here's hoping it stays that way.

Sniffly Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
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Links: The Lord of the Rings: Trilogy Marathon.
Stories: Global first: Brit visits all 201 states without flying.
Science: Risk of robot uprising wiping out human race to be studied.
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7. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 27, 2012, 18:25 Cutter
Creston wrote on Nov 27, 2012, 16:49:
But if we have no idea what the long term implications are, how exactly are we going to research it? These things DON'T EXIST. How are we going to study it? It's not science, it's not something that can be observed. All they can do is theorize about it.

It is observable. That's what science is. Hypothesis, experiment, observation, result. It's the reason why we have scientific laws AND theories. AI/neural nets, machines building machines, etc. have all been around for a good while now and they are fields that are only accelerating. How else would we design and implement them in the first place if we didn't know how? What we don't know are the long term ramifications. Think of it as introducing a foreign species into a closed ecosystem. We all know how well that works out.

Well, here's the theories : AI will eventually grown sentient and decide we compete for resources, and thus kill us (miraculously, apparently), it will grow sentient and decide we're stupid but hey, it's a big world, or it won't grow sentient.

Machines have no sense of morality. Even if they did develop morals there's nothing to say they would fall into line with what we generally agree is (im)moral. Better still, what about a foreign power or terrorist group introducing creating something intentionally malicious? Look at Asimov's I Robot as an example. What if the machines are well-intentioned but they see us doing irreparable damage to ourselves - as we do on a daily basis - and decide they need to take matters into their own hands to save us from ourselves?

There, study done. You can theorize about this shit until the end of time, but in the end, that's all you're doing.

No, that's an anti-academic point of view. Theorizing is how things come into existence initially. Fact is they do exist, they're growing, and we have no idea what any long term consequences might be. It was like when some of the physicists were taking bets on whether we'd ignite the atmosphere or not with the first atomic test. It's generally better to have all the angles covered - where possible - than just throwing the dice and seeing what happens. If you disagree with that go out on a nature hike and start eating random mushrooms one day to see which are tasty and which are deadly.

And I'll admit I didn't realize they were a private center, but even so, damn, can't they spend that money on trying to find out why kids bully each other, or something? You know, something useful?

We know the myriad reasons why kids bully each other, no study required. Personally I think this study to not only be valid, but is very interesting and I eagerly await seeing the long term results.

It's like those tards that got a grant for trying to calculate the mass of the fucking universe. Let's try to solve all the actually important things first, maybe?

Learning about the universe and how it functions helps clarify who we are and our place in it. It helps to build a path to where we're (should be) going. All these sorts of studies do bring us real, quantifiable advances - sooner or later. These guys aren't just sitting around pulling shit out of their ass to justify a salary. a very good friend of mine is a theoretical physicist and it's always exciting to hear him talk about this stuff and what we're learning and how it can be applied. I think that's the biggest problem with these sorts of articles, they never show the laymen the potential upsides to this sort of work. So people simply get all reactionary about it and say it's a waste of money and time, which is the farthest thing from the truth.
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