Tag Archives: Arthur Clarke

News, fake news, or else?

Yup that is the statement that I am going for today. You see, at times we cannot tell one form the other, and the news is making it happen. OK, that seems rough but it is not, and in this particular case it is not an attack on the news or the media, as I see it they are suckered into this false sense of security, mainly because the tech hype creators are prat of the problem. As I personally see it, this came to light when I saw the BBC article ‘Facebook’s Instagram ‘failed self-harm responsibilities’’, the article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-55004693) was released 9 hours ago and my blinkers went red when I noticed “This warning preceded distressing images that Facebook’s AI tools did not catch”, you see, there is no AI, it is a hype, a ruse a figment of greedy industrialists and to give you more than merely my point of view, let me introduce you to ‘AI Doesn’t Actually Exist Yet’ (at https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/ai-doesnt-actually-exist-yet/). Here we see some parts written by Max Simkoff and Andy Mahdavi. Here we see “They highlight a problem facing any discussion about AI: Few people agree on what it is. Working in this space, we believe all such discussions are premature. In fact, artificial intelligence for business doesn’t really exist yet”, they also go with a paraphrased version of Mark Twain “reports of AI’s birth have been greatly exaggerated, I gave my version in a few blogs before, the need for shallow circuits, the need for a powerful quantum computer, IBM have a few in development and they are far, but they are not there yet and that is merely the top of the cream, the icing on the cake. Yet these two give the goods in a more eloquent way than I ever did “Organisations are using processes that have existed for decades but have been carried out by people in longhand (such as entering information into books) or in spreadsheets. Now these same processes are being translated into code for machines to do. The machines are like player pianos, mindlessly executing actions they don’t understand”, and that is the crux, understanding and comprehension, it is required in an AI, that level of computing will not now exist, not for at least a decade. Then they give us “Some businesses today are using machine learning, though just a few. It involves a set of computational techniques that have come of age since the 2000s. With these tools, machines figure out how to improve their own results over time”, it is part of the AI, but merely part, and it seems that the wielders of the AI term are unwilling to learn, possibly because they can charge more, a setting we have never seen before, right? And after that we get “AI determines an optimal solution to a problem by using intelligence similar to that of a human being. In addition to looking for trends in data, it also takes in and combines information from other sources to come up with a logical answer”, which as I see is not wrong, but not entirely correct either (from my personal point of view), I see “an AI has the ability to correctly analyse, combine and weigh information, coming up with a logical or pragmatic solution towards the question asked”, this is important, the question asked is the larger problem, the human mind has this auto assumption mode, a computer does not, there is the old joke that an AI cannot weigh data as he does not own a scale. You think it is funny and it is, but it is the foundation of the issue. The fun part is that we saw this application by Stanley Kubrick in his version of Arthur C Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is the conflicting part that HAL-9000 had received, the crew was unaware of a larger stage of the process and when the stage of “resolve a conflict between his general mission to relay information accurately and orders specific to the mission requiring that he withhold from Bowman and Poole the true purpose of the mission”, which has the unfortunate part that Astronaut Poole goes the way of the Dodo. It matters because there are levels of data that we have yet to categorise and in this the AI becomes as useful as a shovel at sea. This coincides with my hero the Cheshire Cat ‘When is a billy club like a mallet?’, the AI cannot fathom it because he does not know the Cheshire Cat, the thoughts of Lewis Carrol and the less said to the AI about Alice Kingsleigh the better, yet that also gives us the part we need to see, dimensionality, weighing data from different sources and knowing the multi usage of a specific tool.

You see a tradie knows that a monkey wrench is optionally also useful as a hammer, an AI will not comprehend this, because the data is unlikely to be there, the AI programmer is lacking knowledge and skills and the optional metrics and size of the monkey wrench are missing. All elements that a true AI can adapt to, it can weight data, it can surmise additional data and it can aggregate and dimensionalise data, automation cannot and when you see this little side quest you start to consider “I don’t think the social media companies set up their platforms to be purveyors of dangerous, harmful content but we know that they are and so there’s a responsibility at that level for the tech companies to do what they can to make sure their platforms are as safe as is possible”, as I see it, this is only part of the problem, the larger issue is that there are no actions against the poster of the materials, that is where politics fall short. This is not about freedom of speech and freedom of expression. This is a stage where (optionally with intent) people are placed in danger and the law is falling short (and has been falling short for well over a decade), until that is resolved people like Molly Russell will just have to die. If that offends you? Good! Perhaps that makes you ready to start holding the right transgressors to account. Places like Facebook might not be innocent, yet they are not the real guilty parties here, are they? Tech companies can only do so such and that failing has been seen by plenty for a long time, so why is Molly Russel dead? Yet finding the posters of this material and making sure that they are publicly put to shame is a larger need, their mommy and daddy can cry ‘foul play’ all they like, but the other parents are still left with the grief of losing Molly. I think it is time we do something actual about it and stop wasting time blaming automation for something it is not. It is not an AI, automation is a useful tool, no one denies this, but it is not some life altering reality, it really is not.

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Have at it

I just had an idea, it happens, we all do. It happens whilst I was watching the Downton Abbey movie, for some reason my mind wandered about time travel, the time travel stories we have seen in the cinema, the TV series and the stage of altering the past, yet what if this was different (it always is), I remembered a line in some Star Trek novel giving us “How can we set any station to something that never happened?”, or something of the sort. It gave me another notion, one I am not exploring in the story I was writing, so I am putting it here. What if aliens came to alter history, our history, not to do us harm, but to prevent us from harming them. Consider that we find the setting to dimensional travel (which is done by altering the vibration speed of the electron), it would allow us to see another dimension, this is not new, It has been done before. Yet what happens when we visit an alternative universe where we embraced MASER technology and during the 70’s we used masers to carpet area’s, that technology was not in our reality, so as it comes here, we see a much more powerful and less peace driven people use it as a weapon. When that time is changed, the victims of a maser mine take matters into their hands and decide on a timeline change, one that stops the dimension gap from being explored. So we get in the first  setting an alien invasion, in the second setting our technological advancement in the form leading to invention that were never ours and the stage that we have to be stopped, so how to go about it?

It was  simple application of drive, fears and expectations to set the brief in motion. Ah well, feel free to tinker with it. In light of what is written here, it takes some work, a lot more than the field I designed when I set towards meeting nowhere where we see 8 couples meeting on some kind of a station and no-one has a clue why they are here, or where they are. A setting that has us wondering the bottom of the sea and the vastness of space, so far I have the setting up to the cliffhanger of season 3, but I will admit that season three is still empty. Like season 1 where I set the option of what they did not see coming (and I know what is on the other end), so as they are in a stage where they are on a third between here and the sombrero universe, they went into season 2 and ending the season we see the second way station which is a lot larger and a lot closer to the sombrero universe. A vast connection of what might be, and why not?

So as we look into the IP I casually throw away (mostly undone IP), I see another setting of where we are, we are in a stage of ideas that are flowing over us like a waterfall (it is in my case), I would gladly hand that part over for some sleep, yet there is still the other part, how can we create original IP? Even as Netflix is throwing $17 billion this year alone at new series and the continuation of existing series. I am wondering if there is anything truly original left? When we see the old series and the originality that the set as well as the foundation for other series, I merely wonder, is there anything left? It makes sense for others to grasp at what DC and Marvel have and soon other comics will find their materials in a much stronger movie setting, but that is for another day. For now I need to ponder on original choices, even as my idea seems original, it is founded on the original story RendezVous with Rama, I openly admit that and even as I made a lot of it original, there is a link because my work is an homage to the original thinker Arthur C. Clarke. It is not always good what we make, but when we see the errors we design, we also tend to see around them, or to improve upon them, at least I expect that is what most of us tends to do, the rest? That is up to them.

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