Wednesday, June 12, 2024

3/26/24 - 3/27/24 Finding Redding's ancestors

Using ground penetrating radar, (GPR) finding long lost Redding ancestors residing in a small cemetery becomes an enjoyable learning experience for young and old alike.
Check it out, it's a fun and educational thing to do. :)

Thursday, June 06, 2024

Fractals+ :)

A shallow inland sea

Vue is now free! Said software has been on my radar screen for years. Now available for all to enjoy, the desire to create tiny bits of nature with some degree of competency with this extraordinary software is finally at hand. Enjoy. :)

Water World ...

Inflection Point

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

Who do you trust?

Image by Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

Apart from sleaziness, greed, lying and bullying, Sam Altman's an excellent CEO, right? Add to this is the fact Sam Altman Admits That OpenAI Doesn't Actually Understand How Its AI Works, a notion yours truly has been talking about for quite some time thanks to the rise of neural nets, the program driven analog construct needed to enable AI to react to the world in real time, something human coders cannot do in any way, shape or fashion.

Sam Altman Admits That OpenAI Doesn't Actually Understand How Its AI Works

OpenAI has raised tens of billions of dollars to develop AI technologies that are changing the world.

But there's one glaring problem: it's still struggling to understand how its tech actually works.

During last week's International Telecommunication Union AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva, Switzerland, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman was stumped after being asked how his company's large language models (LLM) really function under the hood.

"We certainly have not solved interpretability," he said, as quoted by the Observer, essentially saying the company has yet to figure out how to trace back their AI models' often bizarre and inaccurate output and the decisions it made to come to those answers.

When pushed during the event by The Atlantic CEO Nicholas Thompson, who asked if that shouldn't be an "argument to not keep releasing new, more powerful models," Altman was seemingly baffled, countering with a half-hearted reassurance that the AIs are "generally considered safe and robust."

As for being a legit CEO, well, that's open for discussion is it not?

More than six months after Sam Altman was fired, then rehired, one of OpenAI’s former board members is finally spilling the tea on what happened behind closed doors. Helen Toner, one of four people responsible for firing OpenAI’s CEO, says Altman’s incessant lying created a toxic culture that executives described as “psychological abuse.”

In her first long-form interview since Sam Altman’s firing, Toner tells The Ted AI Show that executives came to OpenAI’s board in October 2023 with serious allegations against the company’s CEO. According to Toner, two executives said they couldn’t trust Altman and showed the board screenshots of Altman’s manipulation and lying. These executives reportedly said they had no belief that Altman could or would change, and their testimonies pushed the Board to fire the CEO weeks later. This interview, released on Tuesday, comes after weeks of public backlash against OpenAI where the company’s truthfulness has been called into question by Scarlett Johansson and former employees.

Let's think about this. Apart from greed and duplicity on the part of Altman is the fact he hasn't a clue about how Open AI's code works, the dark secret every major developer of AI shares due to the fact of program driven hidden layers residing in neural nets enabling AI, as stated before, to react to the real world in realtime. 

Geoffrey Hinton, one of the "godfathers" of AI, is adamant that AI will surpass human intelligence — and worries that we aren't being safe enough about its development.

This isn't just his opinion, though it certainly carries weight on its own. In an interview with the BBC's Newsnight program, Hinton claimed that the idea of AI surpassing human intelligence as an inevitability is in fact the consensus of leaders in the field.

"Very few of the experts are in doubt about that," Hinton told the BBC. "Almost everybody I know who is an expert on AI believes that they will exceed human intelligence — it's just a question of when."

Hate to say it but yours truly has been talking about ASI for years, something somewhat comforting when people like Hinton, who will forget more than what this rube will ever know about AI, agrees with me regarding this most discomforting reality while our civilization moves further into the 21st century.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

G&B, aka The Wire Mill ...

Gilbert & Bennett, AKA The Wire Mill, is packed with history showing a different America where hardware was king with this instance being the making of wire fencing shipped all over the world from a small CT entity known as Georgetown. Video to follow before the long awaited EPA Brownfield Cleanup begins. :)

No trespassing

The passing of time

Checking things out :)

A vault of a different kind

Thinking of Italy

The game of baseball comes to mind :)

The dam

The eyes have it :)

Channeling the Bauhaus, American style

Air Conditioning



The Sawtooth ...

In transit

Infrastructure :)

I can see for miles :)

4th floor/view 2

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Singularity ... redux

Crystal Logic ... via Gemeni & R.E. 2024

Now we have it. The word's out. ASI, aka Artificial Super Intelligence,
is coming whether we like it or not. We are not ready for this. 

To whit.

Vinge's right. 2029/30's a viable time frame for AGI to make its presence known. ASI will rise soon after as it's a just a degree of intelligence above AGI as AGI's programming infrastructure will already be in place, able to make ASI a reality sooner rather than later because tech never sleeps, ever.

Focus Point - 2020

Monday, May 06, 2024

Escape from ...

Snake Plissken lives! Great cast, terrific action and awesome script, the Escape from New York crew  gets into it when NYC becomes the ultimate max prison colony for the ages, complete with the central  plot of getting the president  (Donald Pleasance) out of dodge from a city that's truly lost it's way. The reason for this segue centers on the fact Agent Orange could yet again become president, a notion both terrifying and extraordinary considering just how insane and corrupt this man truly is. With this in mind, an escape from America may be in the cards as quite frankly, the survival of democracy comes into play if The Donald succeeds in becoming POTUS yet again.

Canada's looking better all the time ...

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Knowing all the answers ...

Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito

Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

When looking at this picture of Roberts and Alito, one gets the notion these guys think they know all the answers regarding women's rights or in granting immunity to the presidency without questioning why the divine right of kings should not apply as America's not a monarchy but rather a republic where the president is elected, not selected by the powers at be.

To whit.

This week, the Supreme Court managed to fail to meet the already extremely low expectations most sane people already had for it. First, during the Idaho EMTALA case on whether hospitals receiving federal funding can refuse to provide abortions to women who are actively dying as a result of a pregnancy, we heard debate over which, and how many, organs a woman had to lose before an abortion becomes legally acceptable. By all appearances, it looks as though the court is going to gut the already laughably weak “life of the mother” protections by a 5-4 vote.

It followed up this abysmal performance with hearing the Trump immunity case the next day, and the comportment of the same five male, conservative justices was even worse. When Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked Donald Trump’s lawyer, “If the president decides that his rival is a corrupt person, and he orders the military or orders someone to assassinate him, is that within his official acts for which he can get immunity?”, he replied, “It would depend on the hypothetical, but we can see that would well be an official act.” 

Based on that one line of questioning, Trump’s argument should be going down in flames 9-0. A democracy cannot survive when its supreme leader can arbitrarily decide that it’s in the nation’s best interest to rub out his opponents, and then leave it to some future court to decide whether it was an official act, because he’ll get away with it as long as there aren’t 67 votes in the Senate to impeach. And given that it will have been established that the president can put out a contract on political foes, how many senators are going to vote to impeach?

Monday, April 22, 2024

From 4 to 7 ...

In Interstellar, Cooper experiences the magic of the tesseract, the Blender clip, seen above, shows what happens when one goes beyond the five dimensional space (4d + time) of the baseline hypercube, aka the tesseract. Seen below is the explanation of how this amazing sequence, scientifically accurate to a fault and profound to the max, was actually done. 

The tesseract sequence beckons. :)

Thursday, April 18, 2024

It's not all bad :)

It's not all bad :)

In reading this quote from yet again, Catch 22, remembrances of long ago rush in to fill my mind of days long gone, cherished in many ways yet often not, something I bet rings true for anybody reading this amazing passage from one of the truly great books written by Joseph Heller.

The essence of real

"It was miraculous ...

The orange one, you know, the hollow man millions follow without reservation, is a reality not thought possible to exist until now. With that said, Joseph Heller's Catch 22, a treasure for the ages, captures the essence of The Donald both astonishing and profound like the book this incredible writer authored back in the day.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

You can live forever ... if ...

By firing a pulse of light at a semi-transparent/semi-reflective thin medium, researchers can measure the time it must take for these photons to tunnel through the barrier to the other side. Although the step of tunneling itself may be instantaneous, the traveling particles are still limited by the speed of light. By taking high-speed images of this light pulse, we can construct a movie that appears continuous. 
Credit: J. Liang, L. Zhu & L.V. Wang, 2018, Light: Science & Applications

You can live forever ... if you're a photon. :)

In the expanding Universe, for billions upon billions of years, the photon seems to be one of the very few particles that has an apparently infinite lifetime. Photons are the quanta that compose light, and in the absence of any other interactions that force them to change their properties, are eternally stable, with no hint that they would transmute into any other particle. But how well do we know this to be true, and what evidence can we point to in order to determine their stability? It's a fascinating question that pushes us right to the limits of what we can scientifically observe and measure.

One of the most enduring ideas in all the Universe is that everything that exists now will someday see its existence come to an end. The stars, galaxies, and even the black holes that occupy the space in our Universe will all some day burn out, fade away, and otherwise decay, leaving what we think of as a “heat death” state: where no more energy can possibly be extracted, in any way, from a uniform, maximum entropy, equilibrium state. But, perhaps, there are exceptions to this general rule, and that some things will truly live on forever.

Light may be emitted at a particular wavelength, but the expansion of the Universe will stretch it as it travels. Light emitted in the ultraviolet will be shifted all the way into the infrared when considering a galaxy whose light arrives from 13+ billion years ago. The more the expansion of the Universe accelerates, the greater the light from distant objects will be redshifted and the fainter it will appear.

It gets better.

Through the vacuum of space, all light, regardless of wavelength or energy, travels at the same speed: the speed of light in a vacuum. When we observe light from a distant star, we are observing light that has already completed that journey from the source to the observer.

The big fundamental ...

Even at its very end, no matter how far into the future we go, the Universe will always continue to produce radiation, ensuring that it will never reach absolute zero, that it will always contain photons, and that even at the lowest energies it will ever reach, there ought to be nothing else for the photon to decay or transition into. Although the energy density of the Universe will continue to drop as the Universe expands, and the energy inherent to any individual photon will continue to drop as time ticks onward and onward into the future, there will never be anything “more fundamental” that they transition into.

And so it begins ...

Saturday, April 13, 2024

3D Interactive Anatomy ... Its Free! :)

Very cool, very French, don't worry, this app also works in English. Awesome without question.

Here's the site. Stellar to the max. L)

Check it out. You'll learn a lot. I know I did. 

Asymmetrical Warfare/rev II

Yours truly has waxed poetic about asymmetrical warfare with the poster child of cheap drones leading the way to changing the course of war forever as inexpensive tech can be produced by the thousands while expensive hardware used to combat said tech cannot. 

To whit

Any questions?

Saturday, April 06, 2024

Gravitons ... the quest begins :)

For over 100 years, researchers have tried in vain to marry general relativity to quantum mechanics without success as the science of the very large doesn't play nice with the science of the very small yet both entities give rise to the existence in which all things reside. With this being said, the possibility gravitons, the theoretical force carrier of gravity, may exist after all, a revelation potentially leading to the holy grail of integrating relativity to quantum into one theory capable of explaining how reality functions at deep level, may finally be at hand.

“Our work has shown the first experimental substantiation of gravitons in condensed matter since the elusive particle was conceptualized in the 1930s,” Du Lingjie, the study’s lead author from Nanjing University, told state news agency Xinhua, as reported by SCMP.

This experiment, which was published in the journal Nature, opens new avenues for the search for gravitons in laboratory settings.

The graviton, if it exists, is theorized to be massless and capable of traveling at the speed of light, embodying the force of gravity. Yet, its direct observation has eluded scientists until now, if the team’s research holds up. The recent findings stem from an excitation phenomenon discovered in 2019 when Du was a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University. This phenomenon led theoretical physicists to speculate about the potential detection of gravitons.

Some details ...

And so it begins ...

Friday, April 05, 2024

The Seventh Seal ...

Illustration by Ricardo Santos

As everyone knows, There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch applies to every endeavor, including AI, the open ended tech forever to remain unknowable thanks to code writing code in order for said tech to react to the real world in realtime, may soon become the stuff of nightmares but this time, it's a lucid dream civilization is currently having regarding the specter of AI and what it means to the future of mankind.

It gets better

Deep learning powers the most advanced AI systems in the world, from DeepMind’s protein-folding model to large language models (LLMs) like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. No one really understands how deep learning systems work, but their performance has continued to improve nonetheless. These systems aren’t designed to function according to a set of well-understood principles but are instead “trained” to analyze patterns in large datasets, with complex behavior — like language understanding — emerging as a consequence. AI developer Connor Leahy told me, “It’s more like we’re poking something in a Petri dish” than writing a piece of code. The October position paper warns that “no one currently knows how to reliably align AI behavior with complex values.”

Curvature 2018

It's all about the money.

In spite of all this uncertainty, AI companies see themselves as being in a race to make these systems as powerful as they can — without a workable plan to understand how the things they’re creating actually function, all while cutting corners on safety to win more market share. Artificial general intelligence (AGI) is the holy grail that leading AI labs are explicitly working toward. AGI is often defined as a system that is at least as good as humans at almost any intellectual task. It’s also the thing that Bengio and Hinton believe could lead to the end of humanity.


Bizarrely, many of the people actively advancing AI capabilities think there’s a significant chance that doing so will ultimately cause the apocalypse. A 2022 survey of machine learning researchers found that nearly half of them thought there was at least a 10 percent chance advanced AI could lead to “human extinction or [a] similarly permanent and severe disempowerment” of humanity. Just months before he cofounded OpenAI, Altman said, “AI will probably most likely lead to the end of the world, but in the meantime, there’ll be great companies.”

The Seventh Seal

When reading the Jacobin piece, an indirect connect to Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal readily comes to mind as a Disillusioned knight Antonius Block and his cynical squire Jöns return from the Crusades to find the country ravaged by the plague. The knight encounters Death, whom he challenges to a chess match, believing he can survive as long as the game continues.

Death and Antonius Block choose sides for the chess game

At least Death agreed but will AI?