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Alexa takes the top spot...

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Male
brisinger  Male  Lancashire 10-Aug-2019 14:39 Message #4748230
...in the tech list of the 25 people who will change our world. Some object to the use of a female voice as a subservient role whilst others interpret it as the smartest and most knowledgeable voice in our households. What are your thoughts?
Female
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire 10-Aug-2019 15:05 Message #4748233
I have heard that a lot of people have got fed up of Alexa listening in on all their private conversations. There is a new model in production called Alex and it won't listen to anything.
Male
Beach  Male  Dorset 10-Aug-2019 15:08 Message #4748234
Alexa is a toy compared to a proper machine learning intelligence resource but, at least, the thing is prepping humans for the real intelligence revolution to come.
Male
tumbleweed  Male  Gloucestershire 10-Aug-2019 15:13 Message #4748235
There's a new one out called Emma....it sees you as well....Emma See.....or MSE for short...

It thinks it knows everything about everything....but knows bugger all about nothing....
Male
NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire 10-Aug-2019 15:53 Message #4748245
They brought one out called Beach, it tells everyone how clever it is, and is very rude to people.
Male
SQL  Male  Devon 10-Aug-2019 16:34 Message #4748250
Beach - 10-Aug-2019 15:08

Alexa is a toy compared to a proper machine learning intelligence resource but, at least, the thing is prepping humans for the real intelligence revolution to come.

Artificial intelligence (a misnomer if there every was one) is a toy compared to the power of the human brain.

A crude type of 'artificial intelligence' was the cause of the major power cuts and widespread disruption of the last two days.

SQL
Male
SQL  Male  Devon 10-Aug-2019 16:40 Message #4748251
Minnie-the-Minx - 10-Aug-2019 15:05

I have heard ... There is a new model in production called Alex and it won't listen to anything.

Cannot be, the device needs to listen to the ambient sounds to be triggered by your voice. You are being listened to and logged all the time with any of these devices. The only way it can work otherwise is to have a push-button or similar to signal to the device that you wish to interact with it.

SQL
Female
Cautious1954  Female  Berkshire 10-Aug-2019 16:59 Message #4748254
It gives me some perverse pleasure to know Alexa is listening to me singing and never pipes up to criticise.
Male
Justaguy  Male  South East London 10-Aug-2019 18:04 Message #4748257
SQL you took Minnie's post literally, she was being humorous inferring that Men just don't listen ...
I know I possess this wonderful gift of being able to filter and block out a nagging female voice ;0) lol
Male
Beach  Male  Dorset 10-Aug-2019 18:51 Message #4748260
SQL was into computers when they were as big as refridgerators and like all old I.T specialists, he doesn't appreciate that his I.T experience is now 40 years out of date! :-)
Male
Beach  Male  Dorset 10-Aug-2019 19:11 Message #4748264
SQL commented; "Artificial intelligence (a misnomer if there every was one) is a toy compared to the power of the human brain."

Ha ha. I’ve always labelled that view, The Might Man Approach as if we humans, somehow, think that we should always remain at the top of the tree and be dominant over the rest of Christendom and beyond! And it’s funny, SQL, that you use the word power to describe the human brain as well.

Your comparison statement is not true though. Not true at all now that we are introducing automation, A.I and robotics into an ever expanding and increasing range of markets, disciplines and applications used by mankind. And anyway, who said the mighty power of the human brain had to be the benchmark or the physical model with intelligence held locally inside a skull case or a box? I mean; Nature has enabled creatures like bees and ants to perform tasks as complex as computing their locations just as accurately as GPS, using their own sensors and crowd sourcing of bee or ant information, with those insects lacking anything qualifying as a brain or technological infrastructure.

But lets get back to A.I

Specialised A.I, described as Narrow A.I or NAI, can, for example, recognise certain types of cancer way more efficiently than a human specialist given the same task. (An A.I based system can scan a global library of cancer images and provide a far more accurate diagnosis than even the best specialists on earth ... and it can do so in minutes.)

Humans have already extrapolated that same incredible A.I ability across thousands of other human activities including weather prediction, control of financial markets and flying a passenger jet as well as all the boring but vital tasks of scheduling professional duties, rotas and diaries of people like doctors who are all guided by A.I based software applications these days. Such systems are routinely built into software today, SQL, as you should already appreciate, with these applications now becoming as ubiquitous as the calculator or the spreadsheets we have also, long ago, taken well for granted.

Can a human mind compute as fast as a calculator or spreadsheet? No it can’t.

We are currently in the process of witnessing General A.I, (GAI), a general purpose A.I capable of acting upon its own acquisition of knowledge and / or self learning, expanding and improving upon use of that knowledge. Indeed, the work now going into Google’s Deep Mind, Facebook’s own A.I and A.I and machine intelligence in general is beginning to tell us that human intelligence, while impressive to us, is only one way of comprehending intelligence or solving problems in the first place.

Point being; Since we hominids stood up, began to invent tools, (about 2.8 million years ago), and then improve upon those original tools, ideas and innovations, we have used human technology as a crutch to enhance our feeble minds and bodies enough to claim dominion on this planet and, along that same timeline, sure, we have now expanded, honed and sharpened that inventive mind.

But you must have a dilemma, SQL, because, on the one hand you wish to boast of the human mind’s incredible abilities BUT, in the same breath, you wish to deny that such a human mind could be clever enough to create an alternate intelligence technology that will, probably, usurp our own intelligence. (Or power as you like to label it).

The version of A.I that will surely do so is Super A.I, (SAI), and yes, make no mistake, that will be arriving within the next 20 years – 30 years. Though, perhaps, it might manifest in the next 10.

One thing for sure. There will be, possibly, months, weeks or only days to act when SAI arrives within our civilisation because, (despite Elon Musk’s ideas of us all wearing neural nets to connect with future A.I directly via a brain interface as a means of keeping an eye on it, any intelligence that can gobble up the whole of humanity's knowledge via a swift d
Male
Beach  Male  Dorset 10-Aug-2019 19:12 Message #4748265
One thing for sure. There will be, possibly, months, weeks or only days to act when SAI arrives within our civilisation because, (despite Elon Musk’s ideas of us all wearing “neural nets” to connect with future A.I dirctly via a brain interface as a means of keeping an eye on it), any intelligence that can gobble up the whole of humanities knowledge in a swift data burst, will already be viewing us mere mortals as no more than an insect pitched on a window pane.
Male
tumbleweed  Male  Gloucestershire 10-Aug-2019 19:44 Message #4748272
Probably for another thread, but are robots going to be any good at things like inventing, imagining, creating, writing novels for instance, cutting hair...many other things....or some anyway...
Female
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire 10-Aug-2019 19:50 Message #4748273
Beach,

I'd really like Stephen Hawking to have had more time to explore why he had concerns about AI. I know the obvious concerns, but even though I am not an intellectual animal, I still get something out of knowing the deeper issues of science.

Female
JustLyn  Female  Cheshire 10-Aug-2019 19:53 Message #4748275
Bris,

I adopted my son's unwanted Google Home and it is very entertaining at times, but it is set up to turn various lights on or off. Now I have a WiFi lamp I can just ask it to be 50% lit or something and it is very convenient.

I do forget I can talk to the gadget rather than look things up on my computer.
Male
SQL  Male  Devon 10-Aug-2019 21:44 Message #4748284
Beach - 10-Aug-2019 19:12

One thing for sure. There ... any intelligence that can gobble up the whole of humanities knowledge in a swift data burst, will already be viewing us mere mortals as no more than an insect pitched on a window pane.

And there you have made the classic mistake when considering intelligence. The ability to store millions of megabytes of data is a test of storage ability not intelligence.

By the way, I started working with computers in about 1966, and I kept updating it continually until 2010. I still update it now although at a more leisurely pace. I have designed and built computing devices using TTL devices, I have also designed and built complete silicon computing devices, I have programmed and used gate-array devices, I have worked on digital devices for some of the largest industrial enterprises in the UK, I have worked in the nuclear industry and have several other claims to have wide experience.

I also know what the difference is between 'artificial intelligence' and the ability of the brain of Homo Sapiens. If you want to calculate the value of 'Pi' to 1000 decimal places you use a calculating device (computer or the ilk). If you want to drive a car in the lanes of Devon you would be foolhardy in depending on any form of 'artificial intelligence' in my opinion.

SQL
Male
brisinger  Male  Lancashire 10-Aug-2019 21:57 Message #4748286
Now look what trouble you've started minnie ;-p
Male
Beach  Male  Dorset 10-Aug-2019 22:22 Message #4748288
Hi Tumbleweed,

The following text is performed without a safety net and no referring to Google. It has just come straight out of my head. :-)

Robots are just one means for A.I to exist in the same way as our bodies, limbs, etc, are one means for our organic brains to navigate itself around the world so, for this comment, I’d posit that we might use the term A.I, (rather than Robots), to address your query.

To start to answer your question, A.I is currently capable of writing decent "stuff" (though with caveats) ... but let me rewind a little before we both smile wryly and enjoy our shared, amicable, outlook in seeing the ridiculous and humorous in a topic ... in this case, perhaps, the limitations of A.I's current skill in writing "a novel" compared to its, current, impressive ability to aggregate and compose themed content.

As I write these words, (perhaps, without realising it), many of us benefit and enjoy the A.I creativity of having our information CURATED.

Curating a data feed is the ability for us humans to choose what info or news or media content we might wish to be presented with, whether that was a news feed, an array of YouTube videos exploring Orca killer whale documentaries or listening to our favourite tracks of music as worked out by Spotify's impressive A.I music choice algorithms.

A.I is brilliant at understanding such things although there is an argument that we humans, in setting up the kind of stuff we wish to see or hear, actually twist reality by encouraging these dumb, sycophantic, algorithms to only deliver news or other content based on our own, already pre-formed social, political or personal preferences.

But hang on …

We humans already hold that slanted view of the world so, really, the fact that a machine can do that also just lends further credence to the idea that A.I will, probably, develop idiosyncratic characteristics that would aid it to, eventually, become sentient and self aware itself. ie holding what we might, one day, describe as a personal A.I perception of its world.

But let me go back to robots for this next bit.

Armed with algorithms that can CURATE information into set themes, as described above, a robot with senses, sight, hearing, touch, understanding of speech, a sense of where it is in the world via GPS, WiFi location tracking or whatever, will have a nervous system that, like a human being, can place itself within a modelled, 4 dimensional, representation of its perceived world, just as we do … and react, interact … and comment … on what it believes it can see or experience.

Robots, A.I systems, (and autonomous cars), have been perfecting that concept for several years, to the point that we already have robots, A.I systems and autonomous cars working everyday in our cities.

As to A.I writing novels? (Pause). Well, sure. It was a surprise to me but … 1 The Road, based on the classic Jack Kerouac novel, The Road, is the first ever novel written by A.I, with the author being described as … a microphone, a GPS and a camera … hooked up to a “whole bunch of linear algebra.” :-)

But don’t be too scathing of the idea because existing A.I neural networks, given an opportunity to listen to Bach or Beethoven OR being allowed to train on the works of Shakespeare, actually do deliver pseudo versions of all of the above to a degree that sounds or reads exactly like those human creators.

Heck. Musician Paul McCartney admits to stealing inspiration, format and structure from the great composers himself so, what is so very different in A.I doing exactly the same thing?
Male
Beach  Male  Dorset 10-Aug-2019 23:05 Message #4748291
OK, SQL.

I admit it. I got you wrong. You are only 9 years behind as far as I.T is concerned.

Though after ... reading ... your ... last ...comment ... (yawn) ... I'm feeling ... rather ... sleepy. zzz
Female
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire 11-Aug-2019 04:03 Message #4748299
lol @ bris. I think they managed it all by themselves. :)
Female
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire 11-Aug-2019 04:03 Message #4748300
lol @ bris. I think they managed it all by themselves. :)
Male
MrQuiet  Male  Northamptonshire 11-Aug-2019 23:17 Message #4748394
Another fine mess you got me into Stanley.
Male
Colonel_Blink  Male  Buckinghamshire 12-Aug-2019 07:12 Message #4748409
I have a female voice giving me the answers on Alexa and a female voice instructing me where to drive in my car. So far they are doing a good job.
Male
badman  Male  Suffolk 12-Aug-2019 07:34 Message #4748410
Colonel_Blink . I have daughters that tell me where to go.
Male
brisinger  Male  Lancashire 12-Aug-2019 13:53 Message #4748447
I've found Alexa to sometimes have a dry sense of humour. Once I asked Alexa "what are nuts?" and she responded with one word... "testicles" lolololol

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