Happy Christmas From Your AI Overlords

Happy Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

Your AI overlords are here!

And they are coming for IT jobs, too.

There are hypothesis by people that creative jobs will survive the AI onslaught and so people should concentrate on these fields.  This is factually incorrect. Music, paintings, ability to determine a factual statement given human created evidence (Google’s AI Drawing Game) show that AI is not only able to be creative, but that it can be inferential on levels equivalent to humans.

However, being able to create art does not make an overload unless you are Hitler.

The first link is in regard to a company that is transforming the daily business activities by basically replacing middle management with an AI ratings system. In essence, it allows employees to rate and critique each other and stores and analyzes this data. This emphasizes the role of people as “cogs” in a machine or a clock. Like in the movie “The Incredibles“.

Bridgewater even reports that one-fifth of its hires cannot handle a year at the company, and those who do survive are often found crying in the bathrooms.

This statement in the article seems to indicate that crying in the bathroom of an employer is a result of AI management. I have seen management make people cry in the workplace – with no AI involvement at all. I have seen management bully people in to working excessive hours with no AI assistance.

I’m not sure I see a difference between a human manager making a person cry at work or an AI manager making a person cry at work.

As far as the creative arts are concerned – well, I think that would be an easy computer algorithm to “assist” artists to make better art. I’m envisioning a “Black Mirror” episode where people’s like rating directly impacted their daily life. Why not set up Facebook pages – and you’ll know if the next piece of art you create is better than the last – by the number of likes you get? Instagram and a little data analysis would work even better.

So, say hello to you AI overlords – they are already here – a bit earlier than expected.

Technology Progresses Even When You Are Not Watching

There was a time when I was avidly into building my own desktop computers. My oldest son and myself built his first desktop computer. It was always exciting to me and I saved a few bucks over say buying a Dell and gave the satisfaction of having built a device that does a huge number of tasks (computers, not just for the internets).

Shortly after we built my oldest son’s computer I stopped really paying attention to computer component parts. At some point I’ll build a computer with my daughters and my younger son – but I suspect those will be tablets with Raspberry Pi motherboards.

Today, my hard drive (1TB) is out of space! It is a bit unreal as we always come in to new high capacity hard drives with the attitude “well I’ll never fill that up” even though we know we said that the last time we had multi-gigabyte hard drives, gigabyte hard drives and look at that snazzy 200MB hard drive on that 286.

So, it is not time to buy a new desktop computer, yet. This one is plenty fast enough to crunch through hundreds of millions of records in my SQL Server database that it just doesn’t make sense.

So, I went to Amazon to find a new larger hard drive.

Sticker Shock! Despite me analyzing data and making predictions sometimes you take a step back for two or three years and find…. wow, 5TB hard drives for $125.

I’ll never fill that up.

It just brings to mind the things I have been predicting about Watson level computing in the home, codops (Computerized Doppelgangers) and when it will be achievable, and the idea that one day there may well be billions more codops on Earth than there are physical humans.

If we want to admit it or not – we are definitely in the part of the curve where advances are coming ever quickly and soon to enter the singularity.

Hopefully, I will live long enough to see it.

Hopefully, humanity doesn’t screw itself up before we get there. Whatever that ‘there’ might be.

Don’t Thank God, Thank AI

There is a lot of strife out there – when things go well medically, people in general like to thank god. When things go bad we always sue the doctor, the hospital, the insurance company or any company even remotely related to the procedures involved.

Now, people might try to sue IBM’s Watson, or Enlitic’s software for diagnosing lung cancer. They will, I suspect, be going after these pieces of AI software less often than they currently go after current malpractice lawsuits. Early detection is the best method for treating lung cancer – and if Enlitic’s software can detect it better than humans can – then more people have a chance at surviving lung cancer.

Maybe, just maybe, we’ll start thanking AI for saving our lives rather than god. At least AI might have more of a personal hand in saving your life. We don’t tend to thank tools for saving us – nor the operators of tools such as ultrasound devices and ultrasound techs. So, I won’t hold my breath, but I’ll be happy if AI or ultrasound tech saves my life.

In the future, it might also be a question if you should thank AI, if it attains intelligence to be treated as a sentient being.

Lessons Learned in Government – Meaning of Words

I’m going to straight out state something that many people will disagree with – and then I’ll back it up.

The United States of America will never be a racially or sexually equal country.

I say this as a veteran of our armed forces. I say this thinking that the United States of America is probably one of the best countries in the world. No matter what I would like to think about my country – the facts and the symbolism are there. Even if we are the best country in the world there is always room for improvement.

And it all started in the beginning.

The basic problem is that when we started when the Constitution was written we were a divided nation. The whole “United we stand, divided we fall” idea is necessary in the United States of America because we are and always have been divided.

I’m not going to go over the whole Constitution of the United States of America here – just a bit – just the beginning to prove my point.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

If I read this now – as a member of the 21st century it seems to hold together. However; while some of the signers may have meant it the way I read it now, some most certainly did not.

In 1776 the only people who had the right to vote were white property owners. This requires we amend the Constitution to reflect what they really meant.

“We the White, Male, land owning people of the United States, in Order to form a more….”

This change in scope from decoding word meanings to actual implied meanings is the split in the United States of America in 1776 as well as it is the split in the United States of America in 2016.

In a recent meeting of NPI celebrating Donald’s winning of the office of President of the United States of America, Richard B. Spencer – head of NPI, said:

“America was, until this past generation, a white country”

“designed for ourselves and our posterity.”

“It is our creation, our inheritance, and it belongs to us.”

He isn’t correct – and he is not incorrect. His words are chosen carefully. The word posterity weaves in with the Constitutions preamble I quoted earlier in this article. It matches the change – the literal meaning of the constitutions “We the White, Male, land owning people of the United States,…” that was the de facto of early United States of America’s history.

A lot of things have happened to who votes and who “People” refers to in the Constitution. This document shows the many changes to who a voter was over the history of the United States of America.

This highlights of the document are:

  1. 1870 – African Americans granted citizenship nearly 100 years after our country formed and 101 years before I was born.
  2. 1920 – Women are granted the right to vote
  3. 1924 – Native Americans granted citizenship and the right to vote (but this wasn’t enough)
  4. 1940 – Congress recognizes Native Americans have the right to vote
  5. 1943 – Chinese immigrants have the right to citizenship and vote
  6. 1971 – 18 year-olds are permitted to vote – this is the year I was born

Antonin Scalia who was a Supreme Court Justice in the United States of America indicated that you could not change the meaning of the words in the Constitution to their modern usage. The word people meant something different to the signers of the Constitution than after the hundreds of years of modifications to the voter, i.e. the “People”. That the words don’t mean something different because of the current time or interpretation, they only mean and permit what was voted upon by Congress at that time of the vote. He said people need to vote at the ballot box and have Congress enact laws or amend the Constitution. That there is no law preventing treating women different from men, only that women have the right to vote.

Antonin Scalia wasn’t 100% wrong, either. The problem is words and their meanings.

What do the words “We the People” mean to you? The point is; however, more than just the meaning of words. Do amendments about the vote cover equal treatment or do they just cover the right to vote?

The point is that the United States of America started out – not as a consensus, but as a ruling minority over a majority of other people – people of different religions, different skin colors, different historical origins.

No matter your interpretation of the words, the white supremacists are given power by the historical fact that this country was originally a White, Male, Landed country only. That George Washington owned slaves even after the revolution. Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. People (capital P in the Constitution) owned people.

The Lesson Learned here is that whatever new country that comes in to existence, either by revolution, creating a new home in the vast oceans, or in the depths of space – consensus needs to be created at least once – in the creation of that country. And that consensus needs to be on the definition of the words level for that constitution, that charter, that founding document(s). There can be no ambiguity.

We are quickly coming on an era where “people” whatever it means, may not be the only self-controlled entities on Earth. Our constitution is being stretched to cover all people of biological origin. What will it do to the first codops (computerized doppelgangers), the first AI, or the first cyborg?

What we do to those three categories of people will determine if codops, AI, and Cyborg have to fight biological humans for their rights. The time to be thinking about these formerly science fiction problems is now – before it is too late.

One final note:

Often, when a government is torn in two because the foundation is not built on consensus – you have to not only write and pass a law once, but you have to do it several times in order to say, “Yes, I really mean it this time.” This seems to apply the strongest in terms of rights to vote than on any other topic.

Computer Architecture, Watson, and Codops

Roger Zelazny wrote that life was a lot like the beaches of Tokyo Bay, that sooner or later everything cast off returns to its shores.

There was more to the above quote, but I’ve long since forgotten.  Something to the point that everything cast off returns to its shores – and sometimes if you wait long enough it will return again.

So it is with computer architecture.  In the old days everything was server architecture.  Computing power was expensive and you put all your money in to one major server and a bunch of dumb green screen horrors for everyone to strain their eyes attempting to read with ridiculously low numbers of dots per inch.  Something likevt100 (1), which looks better like term_cat and perhaps is more entertaining and useful with the cat in it.

Then there was the rise of the PC in all the wonderful clones, Apple versions, and the not affordable IBM machines with Microchannel that wasn’t able to work with everyone else’s clones but was supposed to be faster.

The PC has ruled for a very long time and then flavors of client server would rear its head – fleets of dumb terminals – companies with delusions of replacing PCs with dumb terminals perhaps as Remote Desktop machines connecting to a Remote Desktop server farm.

Now, we have the cloud with hordes of many different devices connecting and consuming the cloud services.

What does this mean for Watson and the idea of codops (computerized doppelgangers of humans)?  In previous blog posts I have outlined that there is a timeframe when businesses and individuals will be able to afford Watson level computing power, and the computing power to have codops.  This will be some time from now – but in terms of the history of humanity – not so long.

But the estimates to rest well with me.  They only consider the architecture of the PC – or the local processing.  We already; however, take advantage of services like Siri, language translation services, complex mapping and routing software – all from our smart phones – which are quite powerful in the range of the history of the PC.

The idea, then, is that under a client/server architecture – with massively powerful servers in a centralized geographic location – people will almost certainly have access to many different Watsons far before they can afford one in the home.

Do you want a codop?  A copy of you – acting on your behalf – helping with all the things that can be done by a virtual you?  Well, the timeframes I have outlined for codops in the home – is based on a local computing model.  Most certainly, long before that point in time the computing capacity will be available to households.

I’m just not sure how to quantify this server based architecture.  All I can say is that accurate information and answers to just about any question you might have – and a virtual being that knows everything your do – may be available (much) sooner than my estimates.  It will take more estimates to figure this problem out.

In figuring it out – if I come up with dates closer to the present – how can I make a prediction that might easily be wrong or perhaps just have a low confidence level?