"singularity" entries

Four short links: 24 June 2011

Four short links: 24 June 2011

Eliza Aftermath, Open Textbook, Crowdsourcing Music Fingerprinting, Singularity Skepticism

  1. Eliza pt 3 — delightful recapitulation of the reaction to Eliza and Weizenbaum’s reaction to that reaction, including his despair over the students he taught at MIT. Weizenbaum wrote therein of his students at MIT, which was of course all about science and technology. He said that they “have already rejected all ways but the scientific to come to know the world, and [they] seek only a deeper, more dogmatic indoctrination in that faith (although that word is no longer in their vocabulary).”
  2. Computer Vision Models — textbook written in the open for public review. (via Hacker News)
  3. Echoprint — open source and open data music fingerprinting service from MusicBrainz and others. I find it interesting that doing something new with music data requires crowdsourcing because nobody has the full set.
  4. Three Arguments Against The Singularity (Charlie Stross) — We clearly want machines that perform human-like tasks. We want computers that recognize our language and motivations and can take hints, rather than requiring instructions enumerated in mind-numbingly tedious detail. But whether we want them to be conscious and volitional is another question entirely. I don’t want my self-driving car to argue with me about where we want to go today. I don’t want my robot housekeeper to spend all its time in front of the TV watching contact sports or music videos. And I certainly don’t want to be sued for maintenance by an abandoned software development project.
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Web operators are brain surgeons

Our increased reliance on web-based intelligence makes speed and reliability even more important.

As we become more dependent on our collective consciousness, web operators will be much more involved in end-user experience measurement, from application design to real user monitoring. We're in the century of the distributed nervous system, and web operators are its brain surgeons.

Comments: 7
Skinner Box?  There's an App for That

Skinner Box? There's an App for That

The very technology that makes our collective integration possible also distracts us from advancing it. In equilibrium, distraction and ambition square off at the singular point of failed progress. If the next generation of Moores, Joys, and Kurzweils are half as distracted as I am, we are going to find ourselves frozen right here, nodes in a wormy borg that never becomes a butterfly. My computer is turning out to be the interface to a giant network Skinner Box. But maybe Twitter is just God's way of making sure we're too distracted to destroy ourselves.

Comments: 31