When the Dead Talk

I believe I’ve come across a rather interesting use-case for artificial general intelligence (AGI): Simulating the minds of the dead.

There’s a number of entertainment channels dedicated to the concept of “uploading” one’s mind into a virtual computer environment. Upload and Black Mirror are two you’ll see referenced. But, we’ve got Her, and Max Headroom, Transcendence, Ex Machina, Altered Carbon and dozens and dozens of others. [Duke has pointed out that the below scenario is exactly that of the movie: Marjorie Prime (on Prime). Note: the Prime in the name has to do with the designation of the AI agent.]

But I think most of them miss the mark as to what will be the first use of this technology.

I get the idea from this article: Chatting with the Dead and where this leads me is this scenario: I don’t want to specifically exist someday as a virtual copy in some giga-qubit quantum computer but, I’d love to leave an interactive simulacrum of myself for my children and their children.

And that’s the idea. Uploading? Transcending this mortal coil for a quantum version? Nah, screw that. But, spending the time to teach an AGI to learn who I am, what I sound like, how I think… What my experiences have been like, in order to create a comfort-chat-bot for those that survive me? Yeah, I’d get into that.

So would a bunch of other folks I’m guessin’.

I sit down, ship up all my writings, photos, video snippets up into an AGI service that’s ready to mold a version of itself into my likeness. Then, spend a few hours over weeks relating stories, philosophies and such in order to teach my digital replica how to communicate as me.

When I’m gone, those who care to can then console themselves by interacting with my almost-me.

Mentioned in that article is a project called Replika. Their system wouldn’t be able to beat the Turing Test, yet, but, someday… Here I’ve joined that site and begun a conversation. Can you figure out who Elomy Nona might be?

Cosmic Voices Take #2

Still waitin’ on that third shoe, the last in the Bad-Things-Trio, to drop…

In the mean time, Anonymole got a job offer, so he won’t be kicked out onto the street.

I used to work for some guys in Utah (worked for them twice actually). Serendipitously, I received a call today, from the main guy there. He offered me a job writing Node.js, Rust, S3, DynamoDB, MongoDB, none of which I’ve ever worked with before. But, hey, they know I can learn what needs to be learned and quickly become productive. And the offer was more than I could have wished for.

So, once this month has passed—the love/hate relationship that it is, I’ll be heads down, elbows deep in crazy new programming languages.

A Programmed Life

A Programmed Life

Designed, on fields of white,
squiggles etched on skin, smelling of paint,
squeak and stutter, and moan,
the names of grandparents.

Coded, in ones and zeros,
patterns of coin flips, yes and nos,
never and always, pink and blues,
life and death.

Compiled, a life of choices,
branching, nesting, looping,
with ifs and whens and wheres,
while promises break and bleed.

Deployed, sons and daughters,
babble and banter at bugs,
expecting success and excellence,
ignorant of the cost, the time.

Disabled, shrink wrapped shelves of dreams,
of visions unseen, unbought, unused,
now sit in dusty chests, glossy
memorabilia, enquizzling toddlers.

It’s – in the Cloud

I’ve had to deal with Microsoft since the early 90’s. Most likely, unless you’re an Apple bigot, you have too. And I hate Microsoft. They’ve done like, three things right in their entire history: Windows NT, Visual Studio and Excel.

When they decided to compete with Amazon in the “Cloud” they tried to be clever and name their Platform as a Service (PaaS) – Azure. Blue. Really? Go look up the word in a dictionary and you’ll get “bright blue in color — like a CLOUDLESS sky.”

Geezus criminy, they can’t even get clouds right.

What they *should* have called this offering is: Olympus.

“Olympus! The fortress in the clouds populated by powerful god-like services.”

And then they’d have had a bevy of gods and their abilities to pick from to name their various offerings up there. Things like virtual machines, data storage, messaging, security, web-app hosting, web services, etc.

Mnemosyne : The goddess of memory

Ceres : The goddess of storage

Soteria : The goddess of security

Hermes : The god of messaging

(Oddly, they’d already adopted the Greek monster of guardians: Kerberos)

I can see a whole slew of great names for the cornucopia of stuff you can find in, ahem, Olympus Cloud Services.

Microsoft, pull your head OUT! Oops, too late. It’s too far crammed up there.

For reference, you can click this link to see a list of services that can be found on OCS (heh,heh): https://www.azure-overview.com/

~~~
Look at this list of Gods they could have leveraged. Opportunity lost.
  • Zeus
  • Hera
  • Poseidon
  • Demeter
  • Ares
  • Athena
  • Apollo
  • Artemis
  • Hephaestus
  • Aphrodite
  • Hermes
  • Dionysus
  • Hades
  • Hypnos
  • Nike
  • Janus
  • Nemesis
  • Iris
  • Hecate
  • Tyche

Taxes = Happiness

Name the happiest people in the world.
Name the highest taxes paid by people and corporations in the world.

Guess what? They (tend) to be the same people.

This is a simple plot (R code below) of 108 countries plotted by their “happiness quotient” in relation to their combined personal and highest corporate tax rate.

happytax

That line means that, in general, the higher the tax rate, the happier people reported to be (see cite below). This has been documented before. And a new report is due soon that will further elucidate this relationship.

The bottom line? If you take the recent US Republican tax bill that passed (Dec 2017), then what these fools have done is slid the United States BACKWARDS on that line. By reducing taxes (they say) across the board, they effectively want the Citizens of the United States to be more miserable than they are now.

Happy Holidaze!

[R Code]

lmod <- lm(happiness ~ taxrate, data = happytax)
plot(happiness ~ taxrate, data = happytax, pch = 19, 
 main = "happiness vs. taxrate", 
 xlab = "taxrate",
 ylab = "happiness")
abline(lmod)

[Cite:]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tax_rates
https://tradingeconomics.com/country-list/personal-income-tax-rate
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Happiness_Report