* Posts by Dylan Byford

16 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Jan 2015

Are Asimov's laws enough to stop AI stomping humanity?

Dylan Byford

Re: Not meant to be taken seriously

Or philosophy and the constraints of epistemology etc - the laws are written and seem clear on paper but you try to apply these necessary rules to the contingencies of a messy, complex reality, there will be murky boundaries where it can come unstuck very quickly (i.e. what is a 'human being'? what is 'injure'?).

Why you'll never make really big money as an AI dev

Dylan Byford

"A macro in Excel ... did something I programmed it to do, but didn't expect it to do"

Hurray! Can I claim to have been coding AI most of my working career then?

Become a blockchain-secured space farmer with your hard drive

Dylan Byford

Re: Not quite buzzword complete

Don't forget Dev Ops!

Google's Chromecast Audio busted BT home routers – now it has a fix

Dylan Byford

Re: Not related to article:

My Chromecast Audio doesn't seem to work with anything. I know you can use Google Music but it makes me upload all my locally held music and I don't want to crash my broadband usage. Nothing else seems to work without it sounding ropey. Waste of money! Was hoping to stream music from MyCloud through it. Will happily unplug for the time being until BT and Google sort themselves out.

Hypernormalisation: Adam Curtis on chatbots, AI and Colonel Gaddafi

Dylan Byford

Re: Kissinger has a lot to answer for...

Having watched the film over the weekend and tried to follow it all back to root causes, I would say some racist types in 60s Beaconsfield had a lot to answer for.

Plus Kissinger. Of course.

British firm to build world's first offshore automated ship

Dylan Byford

This is nothing - I'm looking forward to automated sailing ships

You just need some wind-speed, directional and tilt sensors plugged into your feedback systems, get some automated windlasses and small motors for rope hauling etc. Of course, it would need to be exquisitely calibrated but not beyond a top-end AI surely?

Ubuntu 17.04 'Zesty Zapus'

Dylan Byford

Re: Ubuntu naming convention

They could just refer to it as '17.04', couldn't they?

I'm on 14.10 and been using it since it was launched - got no idea what animal it's supposed to be named after. I think you have to go looking to find it.

5 years, 2,300 data breaches. What'll police do with our Internet Connection Records?

Dylan Byford

Re: It was Today

I don't think you need to get stuck in bureaucracy with this, you just need proper transparency over how your data is being accessed. We can already see what data organisations hold on us but it is not a technical impossibility for them to share with us information on who has accessed that data and what their role is, when they accessed it etc (the reason why they accessed it would be more onerous, of course).

I have suggested similar with the care.data programme - give us a portal where we can see exactly who has accessed my health record and what organisation they come from. In addition, which organisation has my health record been shared with. It would make people think twice before hitting that search button.

How exactly do you rein in a wildly powerful AI before it enslaves us all?

Dylan Byford

Re: Fundamental Issue

If you follow an emergentist view of the world then intelligence may be very small beer. Something like a human mind but scaled up hugely may produce emergent properties that we have no means if predicting and possibly even observing or comprehending. In the same way that a honey bee cannot comprehend Hamlet.

Scary Trans-Pacific Partnership trade treaty signed off

Dylan Byford

Re: My exact thought

Why does it feel like all that dystopian cyberpunk I read in the 90s is gradually becoming reality?

Democratic government is dying. Welcome to the corporate plutocracy.

GCHQ's SMURF ARMY can hack smartphones, says Snowden. Again.

Dylan Byford

Re: re. *Not after actual fictitious Smurfs, ...

El Reg have to have their facts in order on this one.

Smurfs known to be aggressively litigious.

Activist pens pirate's map to 'liberating' academic journals

Dylan Byford

Time for universities to say enough is enough

Isn’t the actual printing of journals a relatively cheap thing to do nowadays? And if you’re going fully online, it’s essentially ‘free’ surely? The costs are in co-ordinating the peer-review and the editing. I’m not an expert but I get the feeling the peer-review side tends to be done by university-paid academics (for kudos / love of the subject etc) and possibly the editing as well.

Now, I believe the biggest customers of journals are universities. So … trying to get my head around this … aren’t universities (and ultimately students and / or tax-payers) paying both for the resources to produce content for journals and paying lots of money for the content they’ve provided to be shipped back to them with a ribbon on top?

Am I missing something?

Basic minimum income is a BRILLIANT idea. Small problem: it doesn't work as planned

Dylan Byford

Innovation would increase

I could foresee a couple of side-effects from this, which would benefit the wider economy in the long run:

1. More business start-ups

2. More musicians / writers / directors / actors etc

Both these areas have a high chance of long-term failure (sorry hopefuls, but it's true and I speak with some experience), with virtually no immediate income. People in these areas are willing to work for virtually nothing (for a time) but they need to be able to eat and put a roof over their heads. The current benefits system wouldn't allow them to this (I think Jarvis Cocker said somewhere that in 80s Britain it was a lot easier, because of the dole). By allowing the successful ones a little longer to get established (through the basic income), would increase the likelihood of more brilliant businesses being established and successful artists being discovered / developing their craft. The longer-term benefits to the economy would be huge.


Dylan Byford
Black Helicopters

Re: Yes, but

"My suspicious nature leads me to think it might be more about monitoring who is/was on a machine."

Even if the research wasn't carried with this in mind, it's a fair bet it's going to be used for this purpose. Given the news that the UK police have been quietly squirrelling away 18m photos on their national database, how long before they pick up on this new means of suspect identification?

PC: Right, that’s your fingerprints and mugshot taken...

SUSPECT: Is that all then?

PC: No, no. Now you sit in front of this computer and play minesweeper.


PC: You heard! Get clicking and find those little bombs …

SUSPECT: (MUTTERS) Minesweeper? Who plays that these days?

PC: I heard that!

Dark Fibre: Reg man plunges into London's sewers to see how pipe is laid

Dylan Byford

Other pre-existing infrastructure that could be used ...

I've always thought that you could drop a load of fibre pretty easily into the bottom of the UK canal network. This could connect some of the big regional cities very easily. Seems British Waterways has put it under the towpath in some parts of the system, but that seems a lot of effort. You could simply unroll it from a boat and let it sink into the mud, couldn't you? The total weight is going to mitigate against theft and the like. You'd have to dig it into the towpath around locks of course.

Ground control to 2014: A year in Space

Dylan Byford

It's still going ...

Can I put in a shout for Voyager 1? I know its big moment was last year but it's still sending back data (on these 'tsunami waves'). It's still adding to science.

We ought to be saying 'Holy S***t!' for every year now on that it still sends a signal, just for the sheer mind-bending enormity of what humanity has managed to do with what is now pretty old-fashioned technology.