Friday, March 6, 2015

Q&A - 6/3

Jürgen Schmidhuber

[Schmidhuber is an deep learning expert] General purpose quantum computation won’t work (my prediction of 15 years ago is still standing). Related: The universe is deterministic, and the most efficient program that computes its entire history is short and fast, which means there is little room for true randomness, which is very expensive to compute. What looks random must be pseudorandom, like the decimal expansion of Pi, which is computable by a short program. Many physicists disagree, but Einstein was right: no dice. 


It somewhat ties into this


Andrew Ng builds artificial intelligence systems for a living. He taught AI at Stanford, built AI at Google, and then moved to the Chinese search engine giant, Baidu, to continue his work at the forefront of applying artificial intelligence to real-world problems [..].

“For those of us shipping AI technology, working to build these technologies now,” he told me, wearily, yesterday, “I don’t see any realistic path from the stuff we work on today—which is amazing and creating tons of value— [..] for the software [..] to turn evil.”

The bigger worry, he noted, was the effect that increasingly smart machines might have on the job market, displacing workers in all kinds of fields much faster than even industrialization displaced agricultural workers or automation displaced factory workers.

Fear Roomba, Not The Terminator


The documents reveal that Nissan has set an aggressive schedule for the [self-driving car] project, planning to have prototype cars operating within two years. Google and Uber are both rumored to be pursuing the same goal, so a race for the mythical robo-taxi is on. (A European consortium is in the race too.)



Google and Facebook [are racing] to bring the Web to the developing world


The race is on, all over the place


The mass media is often [in] the opinion that the US economy has recovered strongly in recent years and many wounds of the 2008 debt crisis are healed. One look at the data is sufficient to see that such stories are pure propaganda [..] The US stock market climbs almost daily to new record highs, many financial professionals interpret this to mean that it is the US economy is dazzling and it will be the engine of growth for the world economy in the coming years [which is unlikely]; The reason is that many Americans [are still kneck-deep in debt].


George Soros

[The Alchemy of Finance] The large and growing U.S. budget deficit [before 1982] emerged as the unin­tended consequence of conflicting policy objectives. On the one hand, President Reagan sought to reduce [..] taxes; on the other, he wanted to assume a strong military posture in confronting what considered the Communist menace. These two objectives could not be pursued within the constraints of a balanced budget. To make matters worse, fiscal and monetary policies were dom­inated by two conflicting schools of thought. Fiscal policy was influenced by "supply-side" economics, whereas monetary pol­icy was guided by the precepts of monetarism [..].

In his first budget [Reagan] cut taxes and increased military spending simultaneously. Although a con­certed effort was made to reduce domestic spending, the savings were not large enough to offset the other two items. The path of least resistance led to a large budget deficit.

Since the budget deficit had to be financed within the limits of strict money supply targets, interest rates rose to unprecedented heights. Instead of economic expansion, the conflict between fis­cal and monetary policy brought on a severe recession. Unexpect­edly high interest rates combined with a recession to precipitate the international debt 'crisis of 1982.

People Don't Cause Crisis', Governments Do

.. as none of items described above have anything to do with the free-market philosophy. I am not saying battling the Soviets was not a worthy goal; in that end however some steps were taken whose side-effect was a crisis. Or turning China into world's manufacturing base with the hope they will turn into an innovating economy later on (which they are now), again, can be seen as a worthy goal. As a side effect to that, imbalances build up in the "global" economy, combined with other governmental missteps another crisis happened. Fine. (Or, not). But say that, instead of turning the finger to people trading with eachother and say it was all their fault.