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Open thread, Mar. 23 - Mar. 31, 2015

So if humanity had had no biological neural networks to steal the general idea and as proof of feasibility, would machine learning & AI be far behind where they are now?

NNs connection to biology is very thin. Artificial neurons don't look or act like regular neurons at all. But as a coined term to sell your research idea its great.

NNs are popular now for their deep learning properties and ability to learn features from unlabeled data (like edge detection).

Comparing NNs to SVMs isn't really fair. You use the tool best for the job. If you have lots of labeled data you are more likely to use an SVM. It just depends on what problem you are being asked so solve. And of course you might feed an NNs output into an SVM or vice versa.

As for major achievements - NNs are leading for now because 1) most of the world's data is unlabeled and 2) automated feature discovery (deep learning) is better then paying people to craft features.

What I mean...

When I read these AI control problems I always think that an arbitrary human is being conflated with the AI's human owner. I could be mistaken that I should read these as if AIs own themselves - I don't see this case likely so I would probably stop here if we are to presuppose this.

Now if an AI is lying/deceiving its owner, this is a bug. In fact, when debugging I often feel I am being lied to. Normal code isn't a very sophisticated liar. I could see an AI owner wanting to train its AI about lying an deceiving and maybe actually perform them on other people (say a Wall Street AI). Now we have a sophisticated liar but we also have a bug. I find it likely that the owner would have encountered this bug many times while the AI is becoming more and more sophisticated. If he didn't encounter this bug then it would point to great improvements in software development.

[POLITICS] Jihadism and a new kind of existential threat

What do Neoreactionaries think of the Islamic State? After all, it's an exemplar case of the reactionaries in those areas winning big. I know it's only a surface comparison, I'm sincerely curious about what a NR think of the situation.

While this is an interesting question - my take on the NRx was it was more anti-democracy then pro-Monarchy. So I think a better question for them would be: if fundamentalist Muslims become a democratic majority (via demographics) and vote in IS or the Muslim Brotherhood would that be a "big win" too? A less hypothetical question might be NRx's take on the state of Iraq's fledgling democracy.

[POLITICS] Jihadism and a new kind of existential threat

Russia is already approximately 15% muslim, with huge differential birth rates between christians and muslims. And that 15% understates the real issue for violence and control - who has the most young men. I've seen numbers that by 2020 (!) half the Russian army will be muslim, and that majority will only grow from there.

Doesn't this analysis depend on army technology not changing? 100 years ago this would be spot on but if in the next decade we continue to see smaller armies of people being more and more effective you could have a Russia with an even smaller army without muslim leadership.

The same is true for the civilian side. Even with large numbers of disaffected young males - near term technological surveillance could prevent them from organizing in any meaningful way.

Learning by Doing

Being 100x more productive is about not solving hard problems you don't need to. Spending time thinking about ways to avoid the problem often pays off (feature definition, code reuse, slow implementations, ect). Much of the best practices that you read about are solving problems you wish you had - I wish my problem was poor documentation because that means someone actually cares to use it. I was always surprised by how bad the code was out in the wild until I realized it was survivor bias - the previous owner deferred solving some problem for a long time.

Open thread, Mar. 23 - Mar. 31, 2015

I don't think we would be that far behind.

NNs had lost favor in the AI community after 1969 (minsky's paper) and only have become popular again in the last decade. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_neural_network

The only crossover that comes to mind for me is the vision deep learning 'discovering' edge detection. There also is some interest in sparse NN activation.

Open thread, Mar. 23 - Mar. 31, 2015

Question on infinities

If the universe is finite then I am stuck with some arbitrary number of elementary particles. I don't like the arbitrariness of it. So I think - if the universe was infinite it doesn't have this problem. But then I remember there are countable and uncountable infinities. If I remember correctly you can take the power set of an infinite set and get a set with larger cardinality. So will I be stuck in some arbitrary cardinality? Are the number of cardinality countable? If so could an infinite universe of countably infinite cardinality solve my arbitrary problem?

edit: carnality -> cardinality (thanks g_peppers people searching for "infinite carnality" would be disappointed with this post)

Open thread, Mar. 16 - Mar. 22, 2015

I'd look for a good headhunter in your field (assuming it is not too niche). Let them get the commission for finding you a job.

  • Update your linkedin profile and see if any contact you.
  • Talk to a recruiter in a company that is a near fit for you even if they aren't hiring now and ask if they have worked with any headhunters in the past.
  • Go to a Job fair in the US - not for job but to interview headhunters
Open thread, Mar. 16 - Mar. 22, 2015

Why even read left wing articles if they upset you?

My take is that if the public space was skateboarder and homeless friendly, the author could easily write a similar article on how that scares [insert other victim group] away from the public space.

As for why it is written that way, Kling's book The Three Languages of Politics is a good explanation. The left likes to think in oppressed verses oppressor terms.

Thanks for posting this article. There is a park being planned near me and there are certain architectural features I now want it to consider ...

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