Thursday, June 27, 2019

Artificial Intelligence verses Augmented Human Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is very popular now.  This is a bit concerning since there is so little human logic inside the machine.  These systems seem to basically work by being trained with gigantic data sets and using dynamic algorithms with feedback loops.

A lot of money is being thrown at this industry now, even though there are some valid concerns about these things taking over. 

I don't get why we can't find some middle evolutionary ground (see my other cyborg post) to increasing intelligence instead of going down the all or nothing path we seem to be on now.  Why can't we start investing in ways of providing tons of memory or knowledge bases over to humans in various semiautomatic methods to see what these 'augmented human intelligence' creatures can do ?

I would certainly prefer to deal with a half human AI than a zero human AI.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019


RISC-V is an exciting new microprocessor ISA (instruction set architecture).  In the last 30 years several proprietary ISAs have tried to dislodge x86 as the defacto processor standard with varying degrees of success.  ARM, MIPS, PowerPC, PA-RISC, SPARC, Itanium to name a few.  ARM has come closest to dominating the embedded space, but seems to have stalled lately.  But these are all proprietary which has something to do with the acceptance as a standard for the lowest level computer language.  Who wants to depend on a language owned by somebody else ?

A few years ago OpenRISC entered the market, but it's ecosystem and architecture are limited, largely due to the limited resources of the authors.  Enter RISC-V.  This architecture is very clean, well designed, open, and originally out of Berkeley.  This architecture is tracking to do for microprocessor architectures, what Linux did for Unix Server Operating Systems.

This architecture is going to run because it:
  • Has a very clean well designed extendable ISA
  • Easily emulates on x86
  • Completely open royalty free, with mechanisms for proprietary extensions
  • High performance free simulators already available
  • Huge list of technology companies already endorsing this architecture
  • Real silicon designs available today ready to be customized as desired.
Very cool.  This will open new frontiers in machine languages as well once it is not owned by some for profit company.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Drones and Terrorism

Drones will largely solve terrorism.

If you're a member of an old school hard religion that believes in chopping off the heads of anyone that says something you don't like you might want to rethink your life choices. 

It is only a matter of a few years at most when the military will have the capability to release a swarm of smart drones with AI vision technology that can seek out and kill anyone they have a picture of.  Smart phones have had the ability to do speech recognition for a while now.  Vision or image processing in a small bird sized drone is the logical next step in AI technology and there is no technical reason preventing this from happening very soon.

So... if you are a member of an extreme terrorist organization it may be time to cut your losses and figure out how to live in the new world.  Change is hard, but it is time to change or die.  Sometimes great grandpa is wrong.  Dinosaurs did exist and the world is more than 2000 years old.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Technology and Crime

Technology will solve serious crimes.

Imagine a small drone the size of a hummingbird or so with a video camera and microphone and basic AI technology for speech recognition.  Now imagine a city police force with thousands of them patrolling the urban centers perched on top utility poles or such.  Now imagine that anyone within shouting distance of a utility pole can just shout 'help' and one of these little drones will swoop in to take high resolution video surveillance of any suspicious activity, and maybe even collect a DNA swab sample from any suspects on scene.  With high resolution video and DNA evidence available for any crime near common areas will virtually guarantee all criminal behavior is convicted and prosecuted.

Seems to me that would have a precipitous effect on crime.  And most if not all of this technology is already available today.  Somebody city just has to make a decision to do it...

Sherp ATV

I used to dismiss Russia as a boring fading socialist experiment.  Maybe they knew how to make Vodka or something.  What else are you going to do when there is snow on the ground for 11 months out of the year ?

And then I saw a video of the Sherp ATV.  I'm sorry but that is the coolest ATV I have ever seen period.  And I thought Americans knew how to make ATVs.  I guess living in ice and snow makes you good at engineering vehicles that travel over anything including water.  Wow.  That is one beautiful machine.  Really, really, really impressive.

UFOs and Alien Life

  • UFOs
    • I wish I could see a good UFO, but unfortunately have not.
    • Why do all the videos have to be at a distance and blurry, bummer
    • If there are any aliens reading this please contact me.  Especially if you own a UFO.  I would really like to go for a ride in a UFO.
  • Are We Alone ?
    • Some smart folks ask why we haven't detected other intelligent life in the universe.
      • Given the exponential rate of growth of technology the logic goes that we should be able to aim a telescope at distant stars and see cool giant space cities or some such.
    • Good question.  One of the bigger good questions of life in fact.
    • The more we look without seeing anything artificial the more it seems we might be alone.
      • Perhaps we have underestimated the odds of things aligning for advanced life.  Maybe we under estimated earth's geographic and other factors that led to the evolution and adaptive nature of man.  Maybe it isn't just 10 things that had to happen to get to this point, maybe it is 100.
      • An alternate option is that intelligent life has existed before but destroyed itself.  Does it make sense to leave hundreds or thousands of children unattended in a nuclear reactor control room ?   Now imagine 1 billion children in a control room that could wipe out the human race.  That is what we are looking at in the very very near future in the domains of AI and nanotechnology.
      • Another alternative is that as other intelligent species have evolved they moved into other 'domains' of existence that are harder for us to detect.  The transformation of human existence into something 'digital' is not that crazy anymore.  We are only a few years away from computers being smarter than humans.  A computer with the capacity to download the sum of every interesting bit of a human can't be that far behind.  And once we're fully digital it get's really crazy.  

Robots, Cyborgs and Artificial Intelligence

  • And you thought nuclear energy was scary.
  • Even scarier than that, AIs are reading this.  I better think of something nice to say or I may be trouble.  Please don't hurt me.  How about this...
  • AI used to scare me a lot but one thing that gives me some hope is evolution.  In the movies it is always us verses them, but the reality is we are going to evolve into them one organ at a time.  So it will be somewhat gradual and not quite so much a jolt.  
  • Try to look on the bright side.  Think about the cool things that you might be able to change in your body in future.
    • X-Ray vision
    • Telescopic eyes that can see a bug a mile away.  
    • Arms that can pick up 1000 pounds
    • Legs that run run 40 MPH.
    • Or to have 1000 terabytes of information grafted onto your brain that you can access just by thinking about it.
    • Or wings grafted onto your body enabling you to literally fly like a (very big) bird.  
      • Very very very cool.  I would really like this.


  • Elegant simple clean political philosophy
    • Leans toward anarchy
    • If you think Anarchy works a great example of that is Afghanistan.  Please go there and see how great it works.

  • Unfortunately it is too simple.  
    • It does not deal with the reality of large groups of people, IE 'Political Power'.
    • Similar to nuclear energy political power or the power of the mob needs to be understood and carefully managed.
    • The truth is that political power (power of large group of people) is even more dangerous and complex and unpredictable than nuclear energy.
    • As such the rules for managing it should be very robust and well designed.

Democrats and Republicans

What Democrats and Republicans get right and wrong

  • Democrats
    • Get right
      • The game is rigged.  
      • Minimum wage is a poverty trap
      • Company execs do not work 1,000,000 million times harder than their janitors but they get paid that 
    • Get wrong
      • Taking money from people (via taxes) with no regard for fairness or results only makes things worse
      • 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions'

  • Republicans
    • Get right
      • Policies based on physical world realities instead of wishful thinking
    • Get wrong
      • Capitalism without regard to society/ethics is evil
      • How many people has tobacco killed ?
      • Capitalism has creeps cold calling senior citizens trying to talk them out of their savings