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Bass Bass Knows the way the wind is flowing.
  • How would you defeat this argument against open source?

    , evildictait​or wrote


    Nope. Lots of companies regularly patch proprietary software without access to their source code, their permission or giving them money, and then sell the resulting product for money, and it's all perfectly legal.

    The simple reason is it doesn't infringe copyright. The patch does not contain the code of the underlying software (it can't - they don't have it), and they are not selling the underlying code, merely altering the user's machine so that the program runs faster or more securely.

    You don't need source code to legally find bugs, and you don't need code to legally fix bugs either.

    But you don't need to have the code of the underlying software for it to be considered a derivative work. Consider the fact that the sole purpose of a patch is to modify the behavior of a program you don't own the copyright for, and that the patch could not exist without the original program. I would argue makes the patch a derivative work.

    The test for derivation in software seems far more broad then what I just stated - simply linking in a library into your program makes your program a derivative work of the library. The GPL for instance exploits this interpretation of copyright law, and has won virtually all legal challenges. A patch that outright modifies behavior seems even more derivative.

  • Artificial intelligence could end mankind

    , JohnAskew wrote


    Dude since when does quantum physics become a religious argument.


  • Artificial intelligence could end mankind

    , figuerres wrote

    I liked the part in the movie "The Simulation Game" where  Turing talked about "thinking differently" and that while a computer may have a form of AI it would be different than a human intelligence.

    if it takes us a massive number of transistors to make something that functions on the level of a simple organic net work like a bugs brain then there is something wrong with the tech used.

    until we find a better analog I do not think we will have a real "AI"

    also we are not digital. I wonder if we need to create a hybrid system with some analog elements and some digital to get closer to making a "Real" neural network.

    but is this work pointless ? doomed to fail ? I think it is part of our human drive to create and pro-create that drives us to create a synthetic counterpart.


    Evolution doesn't always discover the most straight forward solution to a problem. When people thought to make a machine that could fly, they thought they needed to emulate birds. This made it a lot harder then necessary. We may sometimes take inspiration from biology, but we are looking for theories underpinning learning and intelligence that we can make mathematically rigorous statements of optimality from.

  • Artificial intelligence could end mankind


    Unfortunately I view religious belief as socially acceptable psychosis. It's strange to me that belief in the tooth fairy or Santa Claus is considered silly, but the ramblings of a character in a ancient sci-fi novel is considered sacrosanct by apparently "mature" adults.

    It's unfortunate that most arguments I've encountered against the possibility of AI tend to boil down to some fundamental belief in supernaturalism, and it shows that religion continues to corrupt thought processes the world over.

  • How would you defeat this argument against open source?

    , evildictait​or wrote

    And the concept that open-source software is free of control by a single entity is equally ludicrous. I can't just submit a patch to Linux and get it pushed out tomorrow. That patch needs to be accepted by a collection of open-source programmers who control the Linux kernel. I can't add a new tag to Mozilla's rendering engine and push it out. It's open-source, but the code is still controlled by Mozilla Corporation.

    Sure you can. git pull from Mozilla, git commit, git push to github. You don't have to have permission to do that. In fact, many people don't use repos from Mozilla or Linus directly. When you use Red Hat or Ubuntu, you are probably using THEIR Linux kernel and THEIR Firefox which derive code but aren't equivalent. That way they don't have to rely on upstream to push security patches. I do this too regularly.

  • How would you defeat this argument against open source?


    Why bother with that tool? Why not use the vuln you found to break into company's systems, steal the source code of the vulnerable product and patch it/release a patch yourself? Because that's illegal, right?

    The difference between proprietary and open is a legal distinction. You are opening yourself to copyright infringement liability if you start modifying someone else's software in which the license does not permit you to do so. Even for altruistic purposes. 

  • Artificial intelligence could end mankind

    , JohnAskew wrote

    @Bass:Science fiction.

    "we don't really know how" sums it up. Artificial Intelligence is a de facto oxymoron.

    It will always come up short.

    Intelligence cannot be artificial. And artifice cannot produce a sentient machine.


    Sentient, that's what AI purports itself to be. Play chess all you want, that's not intelligence, it's strategy from data. Programmers determine the closed system to play the closed game of chess, how will that algorithm think or procreate? It can only vomit. Asinine concept, AI, farcical, petulant, silly, the stuff of science fiction. 

    Machine learning techniques essentially learn an algorithm from data. The programmer in this case, doesn't tell the machine to do anything. He gives it a goal and a way to learn.

    Sentient beings have an a-temporal element about them which can never be approached with computer algorithms or temporal physics. The entire idea of AI is laughable and those who exalt it as something it can never be have some other agenda in mind (i.e. Musk).

    Are you making some kind of religious argument?

  • How would you defeat this argument against open source?


    The advantage of open source is anyone can fix it, not that you personally will fix it. With proprietary software, only the proprietor has the legal allowance to produce derivative works of the software. This is not so with open source. Essentially, the right to modify and redistribute is one of the only concrete distinctions between open source and proprietary - the distinctions relate not to technology but the permissions in the license.

    That does not guarantee someone will fix it - especially if it is not a popular piece of software. The only promise that open source provides is that someone other then the proprietor can legally fix it.

  • Artificial intelligence could end mankind

    I want to add my personal opinion is the breakthrough leading to AI in optimization. An efficient way to minimize some function with respect to its output. Sounds easy right? It's really * hard, but it's the key thing driving everything.

    Some of the stuff happening in 2014 strongly hinted towards the idea that we don't really understand how to do optimization (and somehow we still do really powerful things with our shitty understanding). We have powerful neural networks, but without the right optimization algorithm, they are not as powerful as they can be.

    Btw, by bad AI, I don't mean The Terminator. That's silly.

    I mean an unstoppable superintelligence that if designed incorrectly will consume all useful matter and energy in the Universe in a rate that converges towards the physical maximal possibility.

    You've seen pretty bad bugs right, you know like a bug in a critical system that cascades failures in other related systems? Badly designed AI could segfault the whole f**king Universe. Nobody will be around to file the bug report.

    It could even start off with the intelligence of a gnat and end up like this quickly. Hollywood's imagination is limited, and they require silly things like weaknesses humans can exploit. You need that happy ending to sell tickets!

  • Artificial intelligence could end mankind

    , JohnAskew wrote

    @Bass:sources, please.

    Sure. Here is a selection of some papers I felt were milestones towards AI in 2014. A background in statistics and machine learning is useful:





    Other things worth looking up: "Hessian-free optimization" and "Natural gradients". Also some of Bengio's work on alternatives to backpropagation. It's hard to say if this will led to true AI, but personally I don't think we are that far away, maybe one or two significant breakthroughs away. On a more philosophical level, DNA is less than a gig of information and only a tiny fraction of that is dedicated to intelligence. Thus, you can assume that the key to intelligence is subtle but not terribly complicated or heuristic.