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The Usefulness of Chatbots

The Usefulness of Chatbots

There has been a lot of discussion of chatbots recently, thanks to technological advances in Natural Language Processing and Deep Learning. However, there are still a great many limitations and caveats, and interactions with bots outside of a narrow context can often be underwhelming.

Chatbots can use a repository of predefined responses, and can attempt to choose an appropriate respond based upon analysis of input and context. This pattern matching retrieval method is limited to the contents of its corpus of interactions. 


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The Paradox of Parenting Our Parents

The Paradox of Parenting Our Parents

A good friend of mine shared with me this video from the Guardian.

I really do love the 'leaving the babies in the ballpit' part. That's actually one of the most likely scenarios. "You're all a bit mental and rather tiresome, so, so long, bald troggos."

Mankind may in fact have more to fear from a benevolent machine that cares deeply about animals than one that's generally disinterested in mundane creatures. Any sufficiently benevolent action will appear malevolent to a lesser-evolved moral mind.


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The Technological Wavefront

The Technological Wavefront

Magic often happens where ostensibly very different disciplines finally meet.

Ancient people had phenomenal technology before science was even formally invented: They had Antibiotics, hormonal birth control, wind-powered air conditioning, and built structures still extant today by processes we cannot fathom.

Roman concrete is still more durable than what we can produce today.

They were able to apply incredibly thin metallic films to objects comparable to electroplating or vapor deposition today, and were reliably working with nanoparticles 50 nanometres in diameter, in techniques we have yet to understand.


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Artifical Intuition

Artifical Intuition

ANN creativity is somewhat limited in some senses, but ridiculously powerful in others.

Despite a lot of marketing talk 'Cognitive Computing', ANNs are in many ways Artificial Intuition than intelligence per se. They are able to creatively fill in gaps and make intuitive leaps to make an appropriate response to a given situation (System 1 thinking a la Kahneman).

They are so powerful that they can in effect take over any human activity that takes no longer than one second, or a series of moments/loops like that (for driving a car, recognising faces, reading handwriting, understanding and labelling objects in a scene).


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