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Futurology

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by Gauri03, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    In the 1960s, the computer systems that guided astronauts across 356,000 km of space from the Earth to the Moon, were no more powerful than a basic pocket calculator. A 100 years ago, average human life expectancy was less than 35 years. Common bacterial infections were a death sentence. Less than 20% of the world's population was literate. In the past 100 years, we have altered the landscape of human civilization, made possible by a technology explosion. According to a report in the Washington Post newspaper,

    -- A multimedia smartphone “now has more processing power than did the North American Air Defense Command in 1965.”

    -- “There is now one cellphone for every two humans on Earth,”

    -- What we are witnessing is “the fastest global diffusion of any technology in human history,”

    Where is this exponential growth of technology leading us? What will our world look like in 20, 30, 50 years? This is a thread to ponder these changes, dive deep into technologies that will transform human lives, and predict the future!

    A few of the most exciting technologies on the horizon are -- self driving cars, artificial intelligence, climate engineering, clean energy grids, private space exploration, drones, virtual/augmented reality, lab-grown food, nanomedicine, online education, and quantum computing among others. We can pick one at a time, and explore each technology and its implications for our society. Interesting news articles, books and other popular media are welcome starting points. We can dive deeper into the fundamentals as the discussion evolves.

    If you have thoughts to share, questions to ask, or fun trivia on any of these subjects, please do join us!
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
  2. kaniths

    kaniths IL Hall of Fame

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    OP goes first! #IL-0thLaw! :tonguewink:
     
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  3. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    OP goes first and from the looks of it, second and third and on and on... on this thread. : )

    Alright! Artificial Intelligence was the reason the thread was started, so let's begin there. There's been an explosion in AI research in the last decade. We can go into the reasons for this surge if there is interest, but for now here is a web-based AI -- Cleverbot -- that can chat with you like a human. Or it pretends to be a human. If you spend some time chatting with it, it will eventually fail, in the sense that it will give away it's nonhuman nature. So not a very good AI. Not going to pass the Turing test anytime soon. Not at all like what we see in movies or books, but fairly smart and getting smarter with every interaction. It learns from each interaction and gets better with time. Mind you, most people talking to it are teenagers so expect it to behave a bit like one! : )

    This was my chat with it. Go on try it. You can even try to confound it with silly replies and see how soon it starts giving nonsensical answers.

    CB.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
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  4. sokanasanah

    sokanasanah IL Hall of Fame

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    My favorite AI chatbot & conversation still remains MGonz from 1989. This conversation and article are part of 'The List' (!) although I am posting it here. (Hmmm is there a way of tagging posts so that they can be identified later as belonging to one group? Guess not? Never mind, I will cross-post on Pensées).

    The more technical article for the tech savvy science-y/AI/CS/IT folk is here.
    Book, here. (Not necessarily required reading. Won't be on the final).

    What would I want a young student to get out of this?

    I would say "an understanding of the nature of argument" (especially on the internet!) and a sensitivity to the larger context of a discussion, as alluded to in this brief extract:
    "... (this kind of) argument is stateless—that is, unanchored from all context, a kind of Markov chain of riposte, meta-riposte, meta-meta-riposte. Each remark after the first is only about the previous remark."

    Another quote from a different source (short and worth reading):
    (1) ".... moving down the line toward the increasingly vacuous and context-less: e-mail exchanges, then online chat, and finally “texting.” As we go down the line we lose more and more context and depth. Each back and forth depends, if anything, on fewer and shorter prior communications. Tweets, which seem like the lower-limit of texting, are virtually “stateless,” meaning that they often spew forth apropos of nothing."

    (2) "We are indeed sinking to that level, not by becoming more verbally abusive, but by becoming less verbal, period. We are moving as a society toward the vacuous and non-contextual as we embrace new modes of conversation."

    In the height of emotion, many arguments, on the internet or in person often devolve into "statelessness" - i.e. "Each remark after the first is only about the previous remark" (This is often obvious on IL!). A valuable addition to your mental arsenal, dear young student, would be an ability to recognize this and avoid stateless responses.

    Note:
    "Stateless" is a technical word. The definition need not concern us here. For our purposes, it is more or less clear from the context above. For the insatiably curious, a one page animated intro is here.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
  5. sokanasanah

    sokanasanah IL Hall of Fame

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  6. Rihana

    Rihana Finest Post Winner

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    Elbot the Robot is a similar bot. I think it is updated with topical responses too. Has quite a few funny responses if you mention Trump. cleverbot seems to have too. I said "Trump will win", it said "Did Trump do 9 11" : )

    A fun way to introduce young ones to the chatbot concept is they write a program in their favorite language. Basic implementation - being prepared for specific words from the user.

    Timely thread. For reasons other than my own interest in it, I need to learn about NLP and do that quickly in the new few weeks.
     
  7. Rihana

    Rihana Finest Post Winner

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    Misery truly loves company. Just last night, I realized how hopelessly clueless I am about the latest slang - in particular, slang that involves compliments and insults. I was vetting an important presentation and product for someone, and it was well past 11 PM by the time I approved each one. Decidedly reassuring and a balm to my chafed pride to know that IBM's Watson is similarly handicapped.
     
  8. Akanksha1982

    Akanksha1982 IL Hall of Fame

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    In US, there is a growth cycle of 8 years driven by a growth engine and new technologies being developed to drive the growth of the next 8 years. 1984-1992 the growth was from the defense industry driven by the programs of President Regan. During this period, newer technologies (8086 processor, automation in semiconductor fab, networking, etc) got developed. In the next cycle, 1992-2000, the growth was driven by PC industry. During this period, web technologies, video and audio compression technologies developed. In the next cycle, 2000-2008, the growth was driven by web industry amazon, google, online transaction, video/audio streaming etc. During this period, touch screen display technologies, MEMS sensor technologies developed. In the next cycle 2008-2016, the growth was driven by mobile industry. During this period, energy technologies, sensor technologies, machine learning were developed. So we are at the start of the next growth phase. My guess is the next cycle will be driven by energy industry (long range electric cars, efficient solar energy conversion, bio fuel, etc). It is also possible that the next phase could be driven by what is called IOT (Internet of Things) industry. I will talk about the MEMS technology within IOT. The wikipedia Internet of things - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    explains about it. One of the main driver for IOT is the MEMS technology.
    upload_2016-8-22_11-55-40.png

    Over the recent years, MEMS (micro-electrical mechanical systems) have developed into smaller and smaller sizes (3mmx3mmx2.5mm) with different sensors packed into a single package. This makes it possible for different applications like iwatch, stabilizer spoon (for parkinson patients), Professional Skier's helmet, Professional runner's shoes (collect various data and send to cloud for analysis), image and video stabilization, google glass, augmented reality (pokemon go), virtual reality (Facebook's oculus), smart phones, drones, self driven bikes, cars, electric skate boards etc.
    In the next cycle, we may see applications like ability to control individual lights and color in a room, ability to remotely control appliances and other assets. Digitizing the information via MEMS gives the ability to reduce noise or enhance the quality using software rather than hardware. This is why today we have much better picture and audio quality than the earlier SLR cameras or videos. The gyroscope and accelerometer gives more precise sense of direction. This will give rise to applications like indoor navigation (step by step instructions to find someone's office in a campus or a particular store in a mall). Future phones will have 2-3 cameras allowing multiple focus areas to generate the pictures as clear as naked eye or create a 3-D picture. Developments in the fingerprinting MEMS sensor will lead to having the sensor beneath the glass, giving more image area on the phone and no need to enter password on computers. The keyboards and mouse will be obsolete with speech commands and touch screen displays. Drones will become smaller and smart using simultaneous input from various sensor and also with augmented reality. Machine learning technologies have helped to improve the yield and significantly improve the image and audio processing.

    Let's see what drives the growth for the next 8 years.
     
  9. Rihana

    Rihana Finest Post Winner

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    Looking for good (not too basic but too deep either) links for laypeople to read about neural networks and AI as used in the Prisma app.
     
  10. Gauri03

    Gauri03 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Will post some links tomorrow. Dr S might have some suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016

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