@Bass: I see what you are saying, but I'm not sure if you have to go all the way to a general, true/real/AI ... Whatever ... To be able to use statistically based models that get you far enough... But then again, that may be all the brain does. Statistical empathy models.
Bass, I give a rats *.
Let's assume one day we'll be able to put an MRI that is safe and cheap into a helmet form factor, with an Oculus attached. Then you could at least make models of faces. Let's assume that active memories and thoughts could also be reconstructed with a certain level of accuracy. Then you could make models in realtime of not just what someone is currently seeing, but what they are thinking, and reproduce those thoughts in VR. There's no reason why this would just be limited to facial visual perception either, it's just that the human brain has a lot more going on when looking at faces, so that such a model has more data to perform the statistical analysis on (I think).
After sleeping on it I realize I let the surprise of this acquisition and my "prejudice" (I think that's what you meant, magicalclick, because discrimination, stereotyping and hate really does not fit, but "pre-judging" yeah, ok, I admit it) against Facebook get me all worked up for nothing. I am sure that Mark Zuckerberg really just has the best intentions in mind for his users and the world and "all the things" that he wants to connect and model to better understand. Note the 3rd high-level goal that Mark stated in the conference call was to build the knowledge economy. I let that sink in for a while, wondering what that could mean. Part of it is building platforms, like he said, but what else? I think he really wants to build a knowledge economy, just that simple. So a social network that allows knowledge to be used as currency, essentially, if that's what he's after, sounds like a good idea to me. I hope such a knowledge economy will replace our fragile economic situation world wide. An elite technocracy might seem similar to giving power to the elite running the temples, but now we have real knowledge that's totally right and not just made up stuff, so it's not the same at all, and our sources of knowledge are open and free for anyone to contest, correct, expand.
What could possibly go wrong? Knowledge is power and power is good. For those who have the knowledge it's good. So it's better to just jump on board now and use knowledge to fight back against ignorance and knowledge to help and improve and just be a better world. Yeah, sure, some people will use that knowledge to destroy, hate, kill, but what can you do about that? They'd do that anyways.
Also, it doesn't matter if we try to stand in the way of everyone and everything having a massive AI following for every second of the day, of every day of our lives, from cradle to grave, because of all the great benefits to humanity it will bring. An AI can tell us what to do when we need to do it, help us with diet, medicine, education and well, every aspect of our lives. It will, of course, be entirely benevolent because it will be programmed that way - to maximize the best possible scenario for everyone at the same time world-wide. So, yeah, sometimes you won't get your way, but on the balance, everyone will be better off, because the AI will equalize everything for everyone without any prejudice or consideration about who they are. Finally, the gap between the rich and poor will evaporate as everyone is elevated to their highest potential, and the AI redistributes wealth as appropriate to those in need.
The best thing is that happiness will be something you can easily simulate, and one could be living in a hole in the ground and still experience living in palaces in a utopia. I know that's far off, but it can happen.
So let's just be hopeful about an amazing future. I hope Oculus and Facebook really do make some awesome stuff together. If I got a chance to work there, I would do it. I would totally do it to make sure I am one of the ones that would program the AI to do the right thing, and has the ideology I want, embedded into it.
Seriously. This is all just paranoia, and I'm sure nothing bad will happen, and if it does we'll all be able to stand up with a unified voice to stop it and will fix it. A single corporation and/or AI could never oppose the entire will of the free world. If we can anticipate the possible bad scenarios, in advance, we'll be able to divert such possibilities, no matter how subtle, sneaky, and long term the plan of an AI might be to reprogram human brains to conform to the will of the AI.
Maybe watching "World War II in Color" recently, and then being recommended by YouTube, this video on propaganda http://youtu.be/hG9K5gU4Y18 which was apparently made by North Korea, has made me paranoid about how propaganda operates and all my concerns are totally unjustified. We're going to end up in a world with AI and VR and all that and the Singularity is near so let's just march bravely into the new world.
But the level of discrimination here is staggering. All the justification on your stereotypes and hate, and no, that's exactly what discrimination is. You find reason to crap on when it hasn't happen yet. And you pretend you have legitimate reasons, so you can feel good about yourself. It doesn't matter it will happen or not, it hasn't happen yet. What you are doing is exactly discrimination.
"Discrimination"? "Stereotypes and hate"? Are you kidding me? Facebook has already proven it cannot be trusted with users privacy, because this stuff has and is happening right now. The only part that hasn't happened is the use of VR to do it. And use of the words like discrimination and stereotypes and hate is totally out of whack. I'm venting concerns over personal privacy and ultimately, freedom for "every person and thing" that's connected on the internet from invasive marketing tactics, not spewing hate. The only thing that came even close is saying I despise their marketing tactics.
Just consider FB goals - this is from the conference call:
Mark Zuckerberg on the Oculus acquisition.
3 High-level goals for the next 10 years:
- Connecting everyone ... free basic internet services for everyone in the world ... near term efforts around messaging and growth.
- Understanding the world ... AI research group is trying to build a unified model of how every person and thing in the world is connected to each other.
- Building the knowledge economy ... really about building future technology platforms ... Oculus is a future platform.
I don't trust that kind of power in any corporation, especially one that has such close ties to the NSA.
1) face it, you are trolling FB. If MS bought it, I doubt you would troll as much.
2) stop putting on your tin foil hat because FB has yet to crap out the company they bought. Google and MS both have much worse record of craping out the company they bought.
3) most of all, stop pretending OR is not at fault. There are only few possibilities OR can be bought by FB and all of which are a result of OR's own action, not FB. If it is private company, it has to agree to sell, simple. If it is public company, it has to sell more than 51% of its stake to the market, simple. Both actions are all OR's action. FB can't buy it if it not for sell. Stop been ignorant to that.
Seriously guys, I don't care much about FB success. But the level of discrimination here is staggering. All the justification on your stereotypes and hate, and no, that's exactly what discrimination is. You find reason to crap on when it hasn't happen yet. And you pretend you have legitimate reasons, so you can feel good about yourself. It doesn't matter it will happen or not, it hasn't happen yet. What you are doing is exactly discrimination.
Trolling? Yeah, me and 1000s of others are just trolling. No, we're pissed off. And I definitely am blaming OR, so I don't know where you get that from. And it's not a conspiracy theory when companies really do work with the NSA (http://news.yahoo.com/facebooks-former-security-chief-now-works-nsa-134046598.html) and have direct relationships of the nature above. And if it was MS, I wouldn't be nearly as pissed, true, because they don't rely on advertising as a revenue model and I wish they wouldn't try.
Facebook conference call about the acquisition.
Palmer Luckey: "Why would we want to sell to someone like MS or Apple? So they can tear the company apart and use the pieces to build out their own vision of virtual reality, one that fits whatever current strategy they have? Not a chance."
Well, to me there's still too many open questions to be able to make my mind what I think about this. But at a first impression is quite positive to me. Oculus Rift should be safe financially at least for now, so they can drive VR forward as planned which is most important at this point.
I don't have Facebook account and it seems I don't need one to use Oculus Rift either.
They just got $75 million in VC funding a few months ago.