collatz pivot/ new ideas

hi all, have been working on some other ideas re A(G)I, heavily promoting them all over cyberspace + analyzing/ collecting copious references, and havent been banging on collatz quite as much last few weeks. honestly its a bit of a (well deserved) break or respite. however, its always at the back of my mind. feel that am getting close to a solution but theres a lot of trickiness/ subtlety in the current stage.

here is a new analogy/ pov. the linear regression is finding a “global/ local gradient”. for the theoretical trajectory it is both, for the actual trajectory there are local perturbations/ disturbances/ noise fluctuations in the global trend. the picture is something like the wind blowing a leaf. the leaf has a very definite position but does a sort of multi-dimensional (3d) random walk in the wind. the wind is a general trend. now the basic idea/ question is whether the leaf will land at a given location/ circumscribed area given a predictable/ consistent wind dynamic.

further thought, another way of looking at it is that the leaf has a very dynamic/ even sharp response to the wind depending on what its current orientation is, and it also has an internal momentum. actually since the (real) wind is typically so dynamic whereas the linear regression is fixed (although arriving at the final regressions was dynamic, cf earlier saga of that), one might instead use the similar analogy of an irregularly shaped object in a (more consistent/ uniform) fluid flow, maybe even a field.

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AI 2017 part 2 highlights/ trends

hi all. 2nd half AI in 2017 was very fast paced and as usual its hard to keep up. many headlines on the subj. this is a 2nd half review.

seems like some of the biggest news is the increasing dominance of China in the area after the govt announced major initiatives, funding, and resolve/ determination.[b]

google/ deepmind continues to dominate headlines.[a] the other big news is googles alphago and alphazero that no longer required human training games![a2] officially its under the name of “reinforcement learning” but my feeling is that this technology is something like “directed learning” where the AI is manipulating its environment to “detect/ seek/ digest novelty,” and that this will be a key, paradigm shifting trend in the near future. the same algorithm also works in chess/ go!

starcraft[a3] and Dota are starting to show up in AI engines/ research and OpenAI just announced breakthru championship level play vs humans in Dota, and Deepmind is attacking starcraft. despite all this major domination, it looks like games will not move out of cutting edge research anytime soon.[c4]

another notable shift/ trend is that AI/ machine learning is starting to couple stronger with physics and robotics. eg Deepmind humanoid walking simulations etc.

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code 2017 highlights/ trends

hi all. heres my annual collection of coding/ cs-related links for 2017, tracking some trends. my leading item is the Damore controversy at google as capturing a lot of the zeitgeist.[a] it was just announced that hes suing.[a27]

godwins law is that most onlinne discussions eventually deteriorate/ degrade into an argument about Nazis. a similar observation may be made that a lot of controversies tend to end in lawsuits. ahmed the infamous clockbuilder comes to mind also.[k3]

the google Damore story captures the confluence of the diversity[e] vs “identity politics” being tracked here over the last few years. for me this story also captures how little freedom of speech or real intellectual freedom so-called “knowledge workers” have at corporations, no matter how supposedly openminded or “non evil” the corporations portray themselves to be.

yet do think Damore is on a quixotic quest. a smart guy but maybe not so emotionally intelligent. going off on a tangent. he seemed to get a bit distracted/ fixated on meta issues around his job. noticing that Google was not the corporate paradise that the propaganda pictured. so James, do you think you can have it better anywhere else? maybe you should ask (cohorts somewhat similar in ways) Snowden or Assange about that kind of idealism and where you will end up with it….

some libertarians espouse/ elevate/ glorify the decentralizing, individual-empowering aspects of technology, but as we look around the world, its hard to miss the opposite signs in widespread action around us. whitfield diffie inventor of asymmetric cryptography once excoriated “corporate imperalism” at a CFP (conference for freedom and privacy) around the turn of the century. it may have sounded radical at the time, but a decade and ½ later, it doesnt sound so extreme or unlikely any more. we live in an age that lacks simplistic compartmentalization.

so some years after andreeson announced “software is eating the world”, some of the breathless sheen/ hype/ buzz has now worn off the coding industry last year and some of its “dark side” became more apparent.[d] a few yrs after the facebook IPO, people are asking very tough questions about journalistic responsibility and integrity, and Zuckerberg announced a new years resolution to deal with fake news on his site. good luck with that! its something that the media has been attempting to solve for centuries, arguably since the invention of the printing press.

a new well written/ researched book on Shannon came out and its great to see some more appreciation/ awareness for his work for this sometimes hidden/ unheralded figure who ushered in the Information Age.[b2]

this new administration is a near 180 difference in geek mentality compared to the last one but [c7] was one highlight, where ivanka made some gesture toward coding for girls/ her own 6yr old daughter Arabella. there is very widespread resources now for youngsters to figure out coding such as inexpensive yet sophisticated toys, kits, and classes.[c] saw nearly a whole wall at toys-r-us with the latest.

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blade runner 2049 + ghost in shell

hi all. blade runner 2049 came out a few mos ago, liked it a lot. it did medium business at the box office worldwide and was something of a domestic underperformer. hey, the 1st one was too right?

am a neon collector and got some of the idea from this movie. isnt it neat that neon has a nearly 1-century long history at this point, and showed up in a big way in a scifi movie. a motif for the future.

one of the highlights for me of the new movie was the las vegas exterior desert scenes. amazing! mesmerizing!

another big highlight for me was the virtual gf character “joi” played by ana de armas. it was said in 1 of the original reviews that “the cyborgs/ replicants are more human than the human characters.” was thinking that about joi. it seemed she had more empathy/ emotional intelligence than anyone else in the movie.

so here is maybe some small )( discrepancy between geek taste and mass cultural taste. think lots of the movie was geek nirvana.

theres a scene where the blade runner buys a emanator instead of a emulator (the latter of which is a decades old real software engr technology). just a few letters make all the difference. the emanator gives joi a 3d body. sort of like dynamic 3d printing? seems completely physically impossible but thankfully that never stopped a great scifi concept.

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secret/ blueprint/ path to AGI: novelty detection/ seeking

hi all. kurzweil wrote in 2006 “the singularity is near”. foreboding words! but today, still maybe more of a feeling than a fact. definitely, the AI field has started to mature into a new steady advance period/ era in the last few years, also with a burst of energy/ enthusiasm/ innovation heralded by the Google Deepmind acquisition in 2014, and other massive shifts toward increased investment by large corporations and govts. the Musk Open AI initiative was announced in 2015.

the other massive milestone is the ready conquering of Go by Google in 2016 by AlphaGo. in late 2017, a new version AlphaZero was announced that plays superior to AlphaGo (at “beyond human grandmaster level”) after learning merely from the rules and reinforcement learning, ie no example human-level play presented as training whatsoever. AlphaZero also plays grandmaster level chess after learning “from scratch”. this breakthrough is not fully/ widely appreciated in some ways. it is the first case of a potentially more general algorithm for AI emerging from “previously relatively narrow” study of AI in games.

AI has the terminology “weak AI” and “strong AI” for different levels/ sophistication/ “ability”. more recently the term AGI, Artificial General Intelligence has been coined.

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