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faryl
faryl
1/10/2017 5:54:05 PM
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Re: Huawei has plans for IOT
And if they did, would they still want to make contact? ;-)

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faryl
faryl
1/10/2017 5:44:28 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Huawei has plans for IOT
Thanks! I *just* finished reading "Thunderstruck" by Erik Larsen (about Marconi & the development of transatlantic wireless communications) and am looking for a new historical novel to read. (I started reading a book about Plum Island, but don't like reading about experiments on animals :-/ )

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
12/31/2016 11:50:09 PM
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Platinum
Re: Huawei has plans for IOT
faryl,

Even if their senses are roughly the same as ours, suppose that instead of a voicebox, larynx, tongue, and jaw they have appendages they use for complicated sign language that involves motion and being able to change color like an octopus. (There's no reason to suppose one is likelier than the other; our language apparatus is mostly dedicated to communication, so their  "signal-tentacles" can't be). All our text communications -- which was most of our broadcast communication till very recently -- is representations of words. What happens when you try to represent tentacle signals? Much of ASL doesn't parse into words very well (the more fluent ASL people talk about a "hearing accent", meaning communicating in a string of word-analogs rather than a flow of ASL). If there were never any words -- and if people had, say, four or six "hands" that could change color on cue -- would they think a string of any repeated signal was meaningful?

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Michelle
Michelle
12/31/2016 8:16:07 PM
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Platinum
Re: Huawei has plans for IOT
@John Thanks for sharing your recommendations. Are there any movies that have made you think in the way these books have?

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faryl
faryl
12/31/2016 4:18:45 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Huawei has plans for IOT
I sometimes wonder if we've actually already "made contact" (or been contacted), but we just don't realize it because - as you pointed out - we're looking or listening for something that doesn't resonate/connect with our existing senses.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
12/30/2016 11:16:05 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Huawei has plans for IOT
faryl,

But that's a general rule in computation: processes that produce identical results don't necessarily resemble each other at all. Every human system of hand calculation I've seen, and I've looked at about 50 of them, for multiplying big numbers is some version of a box chart or area chart; but there are also log tables/slide rules, many old fashioned adding machines did something drastically different from either, analog tube computers did something else again ...

Peirce identified just three methods for one thing to stand for another: icon (resemblance), index (abstraction), and symbol (arbitrary assignment).  140 years later we've added one more -- a thing can stand for itself by being pointed at. Are those really all there are, or are there many more that the human brain just doesn't have the circuits for?

I often wonder if one reason why we haven't detected alien radio signals is because on some deep level we're looking for words, numbers, or pictures, and they don't use any of those.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
12/30/2016 11:07:09 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Huawei has plans for IOT
V.Newman,

Sadly, though, there are some specific points on which they had to dumb things down a little because test audiences just couldn't -- or wouldn't -- get it.  E.g. the Germans made the same disastrous assumption that many security people do, that you had to exclude passwords/keys that looked highly patterned and regular to human eyes (strings of the same digit for "too many" in a row) so that Turing and his colleagues were able to quickly identify huge ranges that they didn't need to test, saving many hours of time every day. That "well, of course a key needs to look like a jumble of numbers" assumption is so strong that test audiences refused to believe Turing was right, and that had to be trimmed from the movie (some of it survives in quick elliptical references).

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
12/30/2016 11:02:04 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Huawei has plans for IOT
faryl,

Quick recommendation: The Imitation Game and Breaking the Code, the two main biofictions about Alan Turing, both have as virtually their entire source Andrew Hodges's Alan Turing: The Enigma. If you're fascinated by anything concerning Turing (and who isn't?) then you need to read that book! Hodges had access to about as much Turing material, private, family,  government, confidential, and everything else, as anyone is ever likely to have, and also interviewed numerous important people who are no longer alive. It's one of the best biographies of a scientist or mathematician ever written.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
12/30/2016 10:53:27 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Huawei has plans for IOT
VNewman,

Oh, I do get that we are arguing about two things, where the line is and where we are, on a trajectory that will sooner or later cross the line (or I think in retrospect we'll see that it already has).

But one reason I think that is that modern programming long ago moved past the sort of contingency/decision table approach that seems to be what you're referring to; perhaps I'm misunderstanding that that's what you think is happening in a self-driving car?

There's no code in there that's saying "Object in path, identify, puppy with 80% probability, verify not being tailgated, choose evasive action from table," and so forth, not human written and not machine written.

Rather, there's a continuously maintained list of what's where, along with characteristics that cause everything in the field of "view" (since it's not just cameras but radar, infrared, reports from other cars and from traffic control, etc) to be assigned values for importance to protect, risk to car/riders, risk to other cars, etc., and the car isn't assigning "meaning" to any of it; it's selecting the best path available in that situation (including paths to a complete stop) to minimize likelihood of bad things ("bad things" range from "fiery explosion under gasoline truck" to "not making the light still 2 miles away" and are obviously weighted for uncertainty and danger as well).

It's running a program, but nobody programmed it to make that decision. The programmer knew many decisions like that one might come up but that specific one may well be unprecedented.

It's a bit like a fielder's choice in baseball. There's more than one defensible-after-the-fact thing to do and which one is really best is a judgment that can turn on tiny minutiae and differences in data flows, like what position the fielder's feet are when he catches the ball or his instant perception of the exact positions and speeds of two different runners and two different fielders. Any rule like "always try for the lead runner" or "always try for the batter unless your team is ahead by one run in the eighth or higher inning" or whatever would make the decisions worse on the average (and we'd all be saying the fielders were "only doing what the manager programmed them to"). So there's no table or script to refer to; just an assessment out of a limited set of possibilities based on a structured set of variables and parameters. (The car, too, has a limited set of possibilities; it can only accelerate within limits, can't reliably stop in a straight line on ice, can't teleport to the other side of a traffic jam, etc.)

And though it's simple and performed in a short time, I just don't see much difference between that assessment and "judgment."

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
12/30/2016 10:24:44 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Huawei has plans for IOT
Vnewman,

But this is looking like a distinction without a difference (except, again, for our human tendency to think that since we talk to ourselves in words when we think, that must be what thinking is). So a brake light plus lateral motion means "bad stuff highly probable in a few seconds, dead ahead," and a pointy-dangly on the truck ahead means "bad stuff more probable than driver likes across next few minutes."  You could describe both as a programmed reaction; the stimuli just differ in urgency (which after all is some function of uncertainty and danger, both of which are emininently quantifiable).

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