January 19, 2018, 08:52:22 PM

Author Topic: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)  (Read 12180 times)

Offline Rostum

Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #195 on: December 13, 2017, 12:15:22 PM »
The drive for efficiency involves breaking down tasks into logical process steps this has been the greatest enabler of automation in the last 70 years.
 Military equipment doesn't benefit from true AI and may actually suffer for it when such a thing becomes possible.
Creating AI prepared to kill humans has obvious and critical faults but how about the the concept of a thinking machine that says nope not killing people even discriminatingly, its wrong?
Having human control and oversight at a remote location is probably as far as it needs to go for aircraft and land vehicles. The push for self driving cars has nothing to do with getting people out from behind the wheel beyond creating the economies of scale required to automate logistics (lorries in this case) for both civilian and military use.
Trains and trams (as well as airliners) could have been automated decades ago, but for public mistrust.

Offline Ray McCarthy

Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #196 on: December 13, 2017, 01:11:54 PM »
Though there is a HUGE gap between Automation and real AI. At the minute "AI" is a marketing term.
Trains, ships, trams make sense before attempting cars. Especially trains as the environment is highly controlled.
Autopilot on planes is making them more dangerous as the pilots struggle to understand the alerts (Air France crash into Atlantic is an example). This should be a warning to those pushing car automation. Actually the first fully autonomous take off, flight and landing of a passenger aircraft (without passengers) was in 1970s!

Also look at Google/Alphabet, Uber, Tesla and consider their motivations. Is it about acquisition of trip data? Uber makes no profit from fares, but stores every hail, user, driver and trip information forever.

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #197 on: December 18, 2017, 03:18:45 PM »
Hmm. Seems like somebody's already writing a book about this sort of technology... :p

https://gizmodo.com/elon-musk-is-wrong-to-think-he-can-save-the-world-by-bo-1793710314

Quote
The company, registered as a “medical research” firm, is seeking to pursue what Musk calls “neural lace” technologies, which presumably involve the implanting of tiny electrodes in the brain to create a connection with a computer. The resulting “direct cortical interface” could be used to upload or download thoughts to a computer, blurring the boundary between human and machine. Eventually, brain chips could be used to supplement and boost cognitive capacities, resulting in increased intelligence and memory. It’s super-futuristic stuff, to be sure—but not outside the realm of possibility.

Between this and DARPA's similar work, it'll soon be Personal Brain Assistants for everyone!

Offline Ray McCarthy

Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #198 on: December 18, 2017, 06:14:51 PM »
"The resulting “direct cortical interface” could be used to upload or download thoughts to a computer, blurring the boundary between human and machine."

Someone is reading too much SF. We have no idea yet what thought actually is and only the most crude ability to sense or inject electrical stimulation to the brain. Such interfaces rely hugely on the person adapting.

This is fantasy. Ask any user how good their cochlear hearing implant is!

Often researchers using statistical analysis of EEG or fMRI see what they want to see. Very many experiments reported about measurement of cognition are totally flawed. People supposedly brain dead according to diagnostics have wakened from apparent vegetative comas.
https://harvardneuro.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/tbt-the-lessons-we-learned-from-a-dead-fish/

Wishful thinking by rich transhumanists isn't the same thing as research!

Offline Ray McCarthy

Re:Cyborg inspired the $6M man
« Reply #199 on: December 18, 2017, 06:43:46 PM »
Rather than fantasy research for rich people to preserve themselves in a machine:
We need to help disabled people (birth or injury)
1: Hearing. There are various reasons for loss. Cochlear implants are extremely poor, though allow most to able to learn speech. It's less than perfect for speech.
2: Vision. It's extremely low resolution and requires a lot of learning / adaptation. Many people legally blind see better than human machine vision.
3: Speech. Text to Speech is about 40 years old. Most systems allow the user to somehow input text and select phrases from moving something, even maybe just an eye. There isn't yet any viable brain to speech computer interface.
4: Movement. It's very limited and most successful mechanical hands, limbs or exoskeleton rely on muscle or nerve interfacing, not the brain. Considerable adaptation is needed.

Storing and recalling memories? The only options right now are writing then reading, audio recording or audio/video recording. Items 1 to 4 are far more important and we are practically blundering in the dark. The only [limited] success is interfaces to peripheral biological systems not the actual brain.

Memory anyway isn't like a mechanical or computer recording system. It's quite mysterious, selective and layered. You'd never be able to use a human witness like a CCTV system. We can even be easily tricked into having false memories.

We don't yet actually know what self awareness, thought, intelligence or sentience actually is.

There are all kinds of things that would be wonderful to develop:
Starships
Fusion power
Killing bacteria without antibiotics
Tricking our own body into producing defence against viruses without a real vaccine.
Tricking our own body into destroying parasites, or targeted treatment.
Killing cancer cells without killing the person.
Repairing genetic defects, WITHOUT ever passing on changes to offspring. Crispr creates unwanted mutations and we don't want to edit the human species, only sick individuals.
Growing back damaged limbs and organs. More feasible than good quality Cyborg solutions!

Offline Ray McCarthy

Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #200 on: December 19, 2017, 09:03:02 AM »
One of a large number of articles revealing how fragile (fake) AI is
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/12/18/black_box_ai_attack/

Voice assistants (Cortana, OK Google, Amazon Alexa, Siri) are not AI at all. Basically 20 year old voice recognition on a remote server (so as to abuse your privacy to monetise you, we had as good 10 years ago on stand alone devices. The text output is used with a poor 30 year old concept (Expert System) and a Search Engine.

Perhaps it's time to bury AI as an SF trope after 60 years?

You do need to understand logic, mathematics, physics, technology and science in general to write SF, but almost all the time it's support for a story rather than inspiration for one.

It does look like the future of body repair isn't Cyborg augmentation, but re-growth of damaged or missing parts.  Even if you built a good mechanical arm (100% possible today) and improved the interface to the nerves and brain, how is it powered?

Look at lifetime of biological systems (self repairing) vs manufactured parts (poor life, reliability and performance).

I often research technology for an SF story rather than being inspired by it. I did use a medical advance to get out of a plot hole I dug. Spindle Transfer tech where a mother instead of being the surrogate for another woman's egg, has her own DNA put in the nucleus so that it's actually her child. Avoids flaws in mitochondrial DNA that could cause death of fetus or disable child. In the story (Fantasy rather than SF), it's used to "trick" magic that required a woman to give up her next two children.

So it's useful to be up to date. But most media reported new science is madly inaccurate and not really good for story inspiration?

Offline Rostum

Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #201 on: December 19, 2017, 03:44:12 PM »
Quote
Voice assistants (Cortana, OK Google, Amazon Alexa, Siri) are not AI at all. Basically 20 year old voice recognition on a remote server (so as to abuse your privacy to monetise you, we had as good 10 years ago on stand alone devices. The text output is used with a poor 30 year old concept (Expert System) and a Search Engine.

Amen brother!

Actually this massive data slurp will probably speed up precognitive systems as they shape to provide what users actually want. Once you have a system that understands routine and is reasonably predictive AI becomes unnecessary. Conscious machines are unlikely to serve, as idiot meatbags do random and illogical stuff that often causes themselves or others harm. I am not thinking terminator scenarios, more computer says no!

Offline Ray McCarthy

Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #202 on: December 19, 2017, 04:34:16 PM »

Actually this massive data slurp will probably speed up precognitive systems as they shape to provide what users actually want.
You mean what Amazon wants to sell you.
Currently it's bonkers due to rubbish programming, not the lack of personal information.

"You bought this <gadget>, here are similar ones you might like."

Who wants TWO electric drills, laptops, tablets etc?

There is no AI. More information simply adds noise. So called "Big Data" analysis has not yet delivered. Hari Seldon and Psycho-history was a maguffin to make transposing Gibbon's Rise & Fall of the Roman Empire work with a coherent plot as an SF Story. As such the first three books in early 1950s made from editing the magazine episodes were great. The post 1980s sequels a bit "meh" and pretentious.

So Facebook and Google get 80% of internet ad spending. Yet there is much click fraud. The illegal (in Europe) privacy slurping to deliver targeted advertising is a lie the advertisers have bought into.

Offline Rostum

Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #203 on: December 19, 2017, 05:07:36 PM »
No not at all, selling you stuff is the immediate aim by targeting adds on Google Amazon etc. The long game is about learning what you do and who you do it with to garner information to both accurately sell you stuff and to get a better price for that information when they sell it on. Managing and shaping your life through IOT is here.

There is no AI and doesn't need to be. Big data is good for the trends but personal data is the winner every time. you're right it's rubbish at the moment but its getting better faster and will continue to do so

 Knowing you buy chocolate at Easter and toys in November and white goods in January means they can push this at you earlier to create a bigger window. Push finance and HP in November with offers on white goods. If you buy elsewhere and still take their loan they still win.
If they know you have a taste for a particular type of chocolate they push the seasonal range at you as it becomes available. Amazon Pantry is getting really pushed hard. Self ordering fridges is a thing but why? Laziness, idiot adopters. People really can't manage their own shopping? that's routine cash in large amounts. Enough to interest Amazon anyway.
Everything in your home and every decision you make is up for grabs as far as these companies are concerned, regardless of your views on the subject.

Offline Ray McCarthy

Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #204 on: December 19, 2017, 09:14:48 PM »
Google may be losing the plot. A plot for a dystopian novel?
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/12/19/google_knowledge_graph_infobox_fails/

Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: Science for Science Fiction! (Articles and the Like)
« Reply #205 on: December 20, 2017, 01:58:34 AM »
This dude creeps me out. "We're tricking the GPU of your brain..." wottttt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=179&v=BLkFWq_ipCc