Hello money, meet some ageing rope.
If all it takes to get $30M from DARPA is some arrows pointing at a 'Mr Funnel Head' smiley face I'm going to get my 3 year old nephew to knock a few ideas together!
Famed techsploration company BBN - renowned for inventing forerunner internet kit, and for giving the world the "@" symbol in email addresses - has received a hefty wedge of green from the US military to automate out of business everyone who uses the internet for a living. DARPA graphic explaining how you evaluate AI auto- …
"reading the internet and reprocessing it"
That would mean the end of the tabloid hacks who do thier reporting from Starbucks.
I bet Uncle Rupert and Dirty Desmond are already interested in the outcome.
But maybe not the end of the reg hacks -- someone has to do the dirty work and actually 'read' the things.
There is also the question of seeding the net with even more but deliberate total bollocks.
Like any technology, the machine reading program won't (yet) eliminate human beings. Instead it will free analysts from searching for stuff, and leave them analyzing stuff the machine found, weeding out the junk and keeping the good bits.
This might improve the quality of analysis possible. Then analysts should all keep their jobs. Or it might be that most analysts cannot do any better than cut and paste or make routine translations, in which case it was time for them to be re-deployed anyway.
The ultimate problem with such a program is that it automates thinking. Thinking is the one thing we do that cows and horses and until recently telephones didn't do. Nobody is working on a machine that will free us from the need to eat, however, so automating thinking is probably the dumbest thing any knowledge worker ever worked on. That and android robots.
Raise your hand now if you're working on any of these projects, so the rabble can know who to eat first.
That's easy if the "natural" language in question is Lojban.
Yes, the XKCD cartoon was right --- the drawback of using that language is that you can only communicate with the type of people that wants to learn that language. And those people are a bit... special.
Just one more "enabling technology" for Terminators to be constructed and operated under the control of Skynet. Couple this with the DARPA request for "intelligent" electronic components and chemicals which can "self-organise" themselves to form complex items such as routers, fuel cells, biofuel factories or medical drugs (as faithfully reported by El Reg, of course) and I think you can see where they're going - killing machines that can read, learn, adapt to any energy source, find new ways to communicate with their Skynet masters, even if you destroy all the transmitters and satellites, and manufacture toxins and poisons to eliminate even more humans.
This last aspect of the matter may have something to do with the fact that all authoritative analysis suggests that Machine Reading can never work
No but give us some money and we will get it to work.
After all we are cleverer than the last lot who tried it and have faster computers.
Been around in a support role for people trying to do this for 10 years now and they are no further ahead. The latest wheeze is to say there is a lot of useful information in unstructured medical texts give us money and we will cure ****.
Funnily enough drug companies seem to think that the case.
Is it just me that thinks this seems like a really REALLY bad idea? Don't get me wrong - the gene pool needs some chlorine, but a robot apocalypse is way down on my list of preferred apocalyptic scenarios. Indeed it ranks only slightly above the 60 tonne hummer sized bullet proof spider based apocalypse...
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