Posted in AI, Alexa, Artificial Intelligence, Google Assistant, MyCroft, Open Assistant, Siri

Real meaning of AI

I recently attend a conference of AI and Sustainability and came away with a different perspective. I have been doing this investigating for some time at other ‘AI‘ discussions and have resolved an understanding that what is being described as AI, as in Artificial intelligence, is in reality, only an example of the second stage of industrialist Revolution, the electronic analysis of (big) data to control manual (automated) machines.

The only element of the current AI (buzz) business that could be considered intelligent, is the intake, and analysis of data as a front end user interface to existing machine technology. Fundamentally the ‘Intelligence’ is only a programmed response to data changes which adapts limited machines, to adjusting to changes in the data, that it is designed to digest.

There is real AI, real sentience research going on, but it is years away from real applications. What the public has been seeing in Alexa, SIRI, Google Assistant, MyCroft and Open Assistant is just programmed ‘Simulated Intelligent‘ (SI) not real cognitive intelligence.

In the more extensive examples of ‘AI‘ or SI the ‘intelligence’ is just more complex, and adapts to more complex data sets than a simpler one. A device that converses with you is doing more analysis, of voice patterns, language syntax, and context. It does NOT understand what you are saying, it operates only within the limited, but expandable, programmed responses. So if a self driving car kills someone, it’s not the fault of the AI/SI it is the programmers fault for bad programming.

This whole interpretation of SI rather than AI will make for a great deal of Legal entanglements that will last for years. And meanwhile the development of real AI will develop to the point that when (I believe in when) there is a real AI, a sentient, cognitive Intelligence we will have to revisit the entire meaning of being alive.

And maybe then, we can worry about people losing their jobs due to AI.

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Posted in Personal

Mint installation on Acer Swift 1

After extensive cat training, I managed to get two of our black commandos to pull my custom laptop off the arm of my chair and onto the power connector. And after a visit to the repair shop, and being informed that the custom extended power connection. Hence the opportunity to buy a new laptop. The old custom Clevo Laptop was still as fast the the current batch of off the shelf laptops and the wife didn’t want me to build a new custom laptop. So the hunt was on.

The wish list was for a better screen (HD) Lighted keyboard all metal body, But cheap. I had never taxed the CPU in the old laptop so it could be a slower system, but it had to have an SSD as I had gotten used to one in the Clevo. What I found was a Acer Swift 1

The first thing that was required was to remove Windows 10 as I had no intention to use it. After booting into Windows, I set Fast Boot off, and intercepted the BIOS (F2) and shut off secure boot.

I then booted into my Mint 8.3 USB and wiped the 128GB SSD (Kingston) and installed the Mint Cinnamon 8.3 distro. Almost everything works, there was a issue with the Touchpad locking up at random, and the recommended solution was to set the BIOS for the touchpad to ‘Basic’ from Advanced, but that only helped a bit. However a Kernel update to 4.13 and then 4.15 the touchpad it fully functional.

Only one thing remains, The Swift 1 came with a fingerprint reader. It is not in the listed drivers for Linux, at least not yet because I think it’s too new.

But I’m happy with the the results, and I’m posting this from it.

Acer_Swift_1

PS: The screen is great, the look is great and I can live with the slower CPU. And I didn’t get the lighted Keyboard either 😦

Posted in Linux, Software, Windows

New Linux Mint convert

Last Christmas I bought a new ASUS TP200SA netbook(?) for my wife. It was familiar as I have the ASUS C100PA Chromebook, and I love it. This ASUS however came with Windows 10. She wanted it as a windows box as she was sure she needed windows to do some of the work she wanted to do. A false premise, I know, but one that a lot of people have.

And it worked Ok, at first, however Microsoft should never get into specing hardware, in this case, in an effort to produce a Chromebook ‘killer’ that used a similar specification. duo-core, 2GB ram and 32GB of storage. And while this works for a lightweight OS like ChromeOS, this is nowhere near adequate for windows 10. And the issue raised it’s ugly head with the first ‘Update’ that Microsoft forced down on the users who own these.

It doesn’t work, would never have worked, so MS has produced another dud of a product. Don’t buy one of these for Windows 10, you will hate it.

The good news is that I did my research beforehand on this laptop, and there were several people managing to get Linux to boot on them. Mosly having to delete the entire windows 10 partition. So knowing I had a solution I bought this. And when the wife finally got too frustrated with making Windows work, she ask me to convert it.

The previous Linux geeks were using things like Fedora but I wasn’t enamored of that distribution. So I tried out my favorite Linux Mint 18.2 and performed the steps I found here: TP200SA Linux Success! except where they used Fedora I used a live USB stick for Linux Mint 18.2. This work great, and I showed my wife how to use the install after she tried out the live USB.

Everything when great, and the install worked even the touch screen, a good surprise. However on the first reboot to the internal ‘ssd’ in the TP200 the track pad did not work, the touch interface work and I assumed that there was a setting that needed to be changed. Not! But after googling the Elan touchpad, I found this: Elantech Touchpad not working

had the same problem. After googling a lot I found a workaround: in /etc/defaut/grub

sudo nano /etc/default/grub
I added i8042.reset to the line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”i8042.reset quiet splash”
and then

sudo update-grub
Finally after a restart the touchpad works fine (multitouch included).

And then after I rebooted, it all worked. It does not auto switch to ‘Pad’ mode, but the wife never used that feature anyway, she is delighted to have dumped Windows, and with the addition of the Chromium Browser it synced up with her other Sony Laptop, and she’s using the touch screen all the time. Win!

Posted in history, Personal

Retirement — lingering thoughts.

I’m setting here debugging a SQL query from one of the people here, and thinking about my last full day at work before retirement, or what will pass for my retirement. I will be reducing my Career working hours to part time, so not a full retirement. This is not that I couldn’t give it up completely, it’s just that this is a lifeline in the off chance that I might go mad. But in my past, I have been in a quiescence where the boredom has sparked enlightened productivity. My two submissions to the DECUS program Libraries were the result of slow (bored) periods at work. And I have many thought projects, that when I feel the need to perform, will lift me.

But my real thoughts are about how fast I got here. Long ago, I knew that this day would arrive. Part of me believed that I wouldn’t make it this far. But in a flash it’s here. I have done many things, some that will never be done again by others, which makes them hard to share. Other lives I’ve lived are perhaps too personal to share. And due to my upbringing I have done most of these alone. I have never been a full time group member in anyone’s circle, and probably won’t ever be.

So if you are the least bit interested, ask, perhaps I’ll share a story or two (while making new ones in the future)

UPDATE: Well it’s been a year, and I’m done, Retired.

Posted in AI, Artificial Intelligence, Science Fiction

Alien Life, Alien Communication

After long thoughts about Alien Communication, SETI and movies like ‘Arrival‘. A brain fart happened when early morning I was awakened to birds outside my window. And the first thought was listening to Shortwave radio where I couldn’t quite make out the code. I could tell communications was in progress, I just wasn’t getting it.

This revelation was immediately, Oh birds, and then the inspiration that if we can’t understand Birds, or Whales or other species who communicate, how would we ever understand an alien communication, or even identify one, should we hear it. What if buried in the background noise of the universe, birds were chirping and singing away and we weren’t paying attention. Forget ‘radio’ transmission Signal/Noise rations what if the signal were the noise, the background ‘birdies’ we hear frequently on the Radio spectrum?

Posted in Amazon, AWS, Cloud, Google, Facebook, Networks

What constitutes the Internet

The recent hysteria about the massive and unfortunate AWS outage in US-EAST-1 and their S2 storage issues. Has raised the discussion about the vulnerability of the Internet. First lets be clear here, the Internet is NOT services like Amazon, or Google, or Dropbox, or any one of thousands of ‘Sites’ ON the internet. The Internet did not fail during the AWS outage, Sites on the Internet were offline, as in, “not on the Internet”, or at best unavailable as a facility there on.

The internet is a web, which can be fragile, but is mostly fairly resilient to most things, including facilities being disabled, or unavailable. So when you listen to talk about ‘LOSING the INTERNET’ take it with a grain of salt. It’s probably more about loosing connectivity with someones favorite destination on the Internet, facebook, Netflix whatever and less likely about the Internet actually being down.