Re: Right on schedule?

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From: Adam L. Beberg (
Date: Tue Jul 04 2000 - 15:54:37 PDT

On Sun, 2 Jul 2000, Eugene Leitl wrote:

> This assumes that all these machines are cooperating. You could do
> that with a Net worm, but your window of operation would be limited
> (watch for peasants with pitchforks), and subsequent infections would
> be harder and harder, as exploitable pieces of code are being found
> and removed.

Noone said the system has to be implemented via trojans and virii. It is
acceptable to do things legally :)

> These are remarkably biased statments. The brain is a distributed
> architecuture. Talking about coprocessors in this context is extremely
> misleading. I thought you were the one locked in constant battle with
> centralist thinking?

Most areas of the brain are extreemely specialized, with the ability to
adapt when dammage occurs. And I'm in a constant battle with bad design,
not centralization.

> Well, we still are very far away from the aggregated computation
> capability of those slow and stupi little creatures in a single
> installation. Distributed systems don't count, because the pipes are
> not fat and fast enough. Unless someone strings a lot of new fiber,
> and adds kick-ass switches, that is.

You only need lots of bandwidth for raw data, now knowledge, which is
generally very tiny. And raw data processing is always done better in
silicon then software, much like the human eye, it's a vector graphic
before it leaves the eye, and only change information is sent.

> Strange, I'd assume we're at best at insect stage -- if we had the
> right software, and the right massively parallel architecture (memory
> bottleneck will get you in single-grain installations). A very large
> DSP cluster could be as smart as a cockroach, potentially. If it's
> limited to text string processing, it would appear really smart. As
> soon as you have lots of resource sinks like a robotic proxy with
> machine vision etc., these MIPS suddenly start evaporating real fast.

Well, we have robots that can walk and play volleyball. AI that can have
a conversation as well as a sign-language enhanced gorrila, or a
confused person, but linked to knowledge databases so it's more
knowledgeable then the average result of the public school system.
Machines that can drive better then humans, and read the road signs,
unlike ~50% of humans that cant read. Understand spoken speech, take out
the trash, even fix dinner.

There isn't a whole lot a machine can't handle now days. In fact I cant
think of anything I _do_ that a machine cant do better. The machine just
can't _think_, because it's only programmed to do one thing... for now.
Since all I do is think (and type), i'm not too worried. If you cant
think, you will be obsolete in the near future, assuming you aren't
already but hanging on via unions and ludite fears.

- Adam L. Beberg
  Mithral Communications & Design, Inc.
  The Cosm Project - -

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