This week’s geek insanity news kicks off with a startling advance in Artificial Intelligence (AI). You have probably heard of AI in computer games, but such “intelligence” is limited to giving a computer a recipe, distinct instructions that it blindly executes, loosely speaking. In the past I mentioned a type of AI computer program called a Neural Network, which is something like an extremely simplified bit of brain.
Some boffins showed their Neural Network AI a classic game called Breakout, where you bounce a ball into bricks to bust them. The AI then figured out what it needed to do to score points just by watching the screen. The AI now defeats puny humans without breaking into a sweat. This computer can be thought of as thinking about how to play and how to win.
More sophisticated games, however, are way beyond the scope of this kind of observant artificial intelligence, it is still rather dense. But these idiot savants will become… savants ere long.
Other geek news:
Microsoft Anti-Virus/Malware software, “Security Essentials”, is reported to let in 40% of Malware. That’s like wearing a bullet proof vest that misses 40% of bullets aimed at the chest. But still more effective than the UK’s Customs Immigration Department’s ability to keep out floods of benefit seekers. MS Windows itself is not so safe for non-geek users to use on the Internet. Even geeks get stung from time to time. Matters will go to the devil if Microsoft follows through with plans to stop providing security fixes for Windows XP in the coming months.
“Piracy” news – Iron Maiden discovered that the South Americans were “pirating” their music like crazy. Did the band take the Music Industry approach and send in the Ringwraith lawyers to bully and extort? Not these old rockers. They organised a tour over there and made millions. This is the constructive side of Piracy – it creates opportunities, you just have to spot them. Marketers know this, yet music industry lobbyists insist suing is the way to go.
Last week we reported on how the UK Nanny State is inadvertently censoring sex ed. sites with its uncountable Internet porn censorship blockers. You can add Tech and Civil Liberties Websites to that list of inadvertently censored content.
The Channel Four Alternative Chrimbo Message was provided by the remarkable info warrior, Edward Snowden. He discussed the plagues of blanket surveillance that afflicts our societies.
Happy New Geek Year! Tune in next article when I will review – unlucky for some – 2013
More geek insanity next week but meanwhile please impulse purchase (Amazon UK) a remarkable invention of mine, the Culica Cube.