Archive for May 25, 2018


Synthesising catness

Still flying a bit with this AI stuff.

Hanoi (finish at 74m) speaks of AI “synthesising catness”. I can only surmise but I want to look into this. Presumably the AI is intended to assimilate all the data there is or was on cats. Commonalities – 4-leggedness, a tail (most breeds), whiskers, exploiting humans with cuteness, endless tedious clips. They can describe catness in this way. AI also has a scientific definition so it doesn’t make mistakes that might be made by humans. Is a meerkat a cat? I don’t know, I would have to do a search, and there would be a clear answer. AI would already know. Does that make AI more intelligent than me? By my definition of intelligent, NO – absolutely NOT.

But an attribute of AI is it knows facts, so no problem of manipulation of fake news with AI. Did Assad drop chemical weapons? AI would know. But AI would only know if the algorithms facilitated universal data collection. And if there is more profit in dropping bombs, then tinkering with algorithms to manipulate news would be a given. AI could know but won’t know because there will always be the 1% employing programmers?

Back to catness. We have a stack of characteristics that have been synthesised – far more than I have listed. Put those characteristics together do we have a cat? My answer. NO. I have a feel for what is a cat. This is a holistic or total feeling. I would describe “This is a cat (my holistic feeling) with black and white fur with a touch of ginger on its neck.” To make a point the AI might describe “Black and white fur with a touch of ginger, therefore it is a cat.” I start with the holistic feeling, the AI starts with particular attributes which it sums together thus concluding it is a cat because the attributes match the characteristics of catness in its database. I describe the cat from a totality that has attributes, the AI recognises attributes, sums them together, and determines from its database that it corresponds to cat.

In the case of cats there is little difference, in fact the AI might well have the edge because it has scientific knowledge that I don’t have. But then what about “my cat”? The longer I have “my cat” the more certain I am it is mine. But what about the AI? Will it know the cat is mine? In its database it might have stored far more characteristics of “my cat” than I would know, it will have photos of “my cat” to compare but will it know “my cat” like I do? What about when my cat has been out on the town, and staggers home disheveled and satiated? Mostly I will know my cat, no matter how different it appears, but will the AI? Maybe the recognition could also stem from something subconscious – a bond of “love”? If the cat has been on the razzle for a week and then returns home, it will be glad to see me (hopefully). It will radiate those feelings and I will pick up on them. This love or bond at present cannot be programmed or synthesised from data collection.

Now the problem with this is science as we now know it. At present science cannot measure this bond, conceivably such bonds might have physical characteristics such as a resonance not yet measurable or a particular wavelength not as yet measurable or even be described as a form of particle emission as yet not measurable. Therefore in the future it might be possible to humanise AI in such a way – but not now.

What is the motivation for such humanising? Here is where I am cynical. I could conceive of a situation in which humanising AI might make the AI more valuable – and therefore more profitable but at the moment that motivation seems slender.

It is early days but I want to draw a comparison with the way computers were introduced into the workplace. Every school programming textbook had as an important focus “user-friendly”. Computers were supposed to integrate seamlessly into the workplace routine. In practice computers were imposed on the workplace, and workers were expected to sink or swim – even losing their job. Now it is just accepted that we do things the way the computer wants us to. The bush mechanic became “educated” – schooled/trained – enough that they understood BIGJapan’s car assembly or they had no job.

This is the reality of the profiteering 1%-ethos that dominates the methodology of introduction into the workplace – what might euphemistically termed “integration into the workplace”.

Are the scientists being Oppenheimer?

Synthesising catness has its limitations that are beyond AI, and highlights the possibility of there being a “recognising bond” between cat and owner that is now not measured by science. What is there in this bond that we don’t know about ourselves, our humanity?

“Bush Mechanics” <– Previous Post “3 laws and drones” Next Post –>

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.

I am a huge Pirsig fan – even thought of studying with the Liverpool crowd (Anthony McWatt) (might have started if there were distance leaning but not now). Pirsig died last year. To begin with his only book was Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (ZAMM), (I quoted him in my teaching dissertation – loved it Corgi [1976] ). When Lila first came out I couldn’t get into it. Years later I did, and now think it is better. I started a thing where I was bouncing off Pirsig – reading a bit then writing, I might well continue the Pirsig Platform. I saw he had died, I wanted to show my respect.

In ZAMM Pirsig was questioning AI even before there were computers (I surmise). Let me explain what I mean. If you read ZAMM there is tons of stuff, and one theme was motorcycle maintenance. I am not mechanical so I didn’t personally get it but I think my intuition did. He would go on about how you must CARE for your motorbike. He would talk of mechanics who just read the spec, did what they were supposed to, then got stuck and were unable to go anywhere. And there were mechanics for whom it was an art, for whom fixing the motorbike was a feeling of love (my words). They got into it, and the bike was fixed properly; the spec mechanics couldn’t do it.

In the 90s I was in Botswana driving a wreck. I am a getting from AtoB driver, that is what my car means to me; none of Pirsig and his bike. I was also relatively broke so couldn’t afford a decent car, yet apart from the women driving to game parks was my greatest memory of my time there. This part of ZAMM was never a part of me even though I think I got it. But the bush mechanics were magical. You would walk into their lots and there would just appear a load of junk. But they could fix cars. Of course they broke down again, and they could fix them again. These bush guys got ZAMM, and have now been made obsolete.

Now I have a new car, and it is all different. There are maybe car bush guys around in Thailand who could work ZAMM magic, but that is not profit for BIGJapan. They have designed these bush guys out of existence. Bush guys cannot now open the bonnet and tinker the car into working. Under the bonnet is now an intersecting connection of assembly units. If something goes wrong the mechanics find the unit and replace it. These are trained mechanics. BIGJapan trains them with specs. Symptom, spec, change unit. Car fixed. I made a decision to pay this way, and go to the showroom. My car is fine.

I had a motorbike here, and I had a bike bush mechanic – ether are lots of them here. I damaged the motorbike by driving it without oil – fool. A bush mechanic pulled it apart put it back together again, and it worked. Something else happened, he did the same. I had screwed the bike, he could bush-fix it always. But it was not the way I wanted to drive – not AtoB. Now my car is serviced, and AtoB is fine. For the big bikes these bike bush guys have already been designed out of existence, as small bikes are driven by the poor in all sorts of condition bike bush guys might survive.

Difference between bush guys and BIGJapan – I am now paying far more money. BIGJapan has designed people out of the process and I pay far larger amounts of money to drive. In Botswana I had no money, I couldn’t do it and I needed the bush guys. In Thailand I didn’t want a car – until I did. I had a small bike and the bike bush guy was fine. I got bigger and there were problems until I bought a big bike from BIGJapan paid far more and had no problems.

There is a relationship between my incompetence, quality bush guys and BIGprofit. And BIGprofit designs out human quality. Money wants quality now, it has no patience, and it doesn’t care about people. If I can pay the big bucks to the showroom it is not my problem that the bush guy’s family struggles.

So where do you go with this? Do I demand rich guys hang around the old car lots I used to waste time in whilst the bush guys tinkers? How can I?

I see AI in this way. Human quality will be designed out of the process. Our world will be changed to suit tasks that can be carried out by AI. Do the assembled cars have intelligence? No. Does it work? Yes, if you have the money. Will the AI have intelligence? No. Will it work? Yes, if you have the money.

But where are people in all this? Where are the bush guys with their skills? Earning scraps whilst a few trained and fitted in with assembly units. And the showrooms have pretty girls.

When your boffs are in the labs working on AI for BIGprofit to make human qualities obsolete, are they thinking Oppenheimer?

“Racist AI” <– Previous Post “synth catness” Next Post –>

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.