That Picard Series

This post is written some years before the series is promised to materialize.

This is a great idea. The one thing I’d love to see is a healthy, vigorous Admirer Picard from the 24th century, happily about in a n organization where he is useful, powerful, respected and completes his missions in life.

Kirk had trouble moving on to a desk job. But I feel most people in the world can’t be Kirk, and should progress step by step in life. THE one thing that the future may have a solution for us, is where do people go when they age? Sure, medical science can probably retard aging, but it is probably not to a point that elderly supercede the young in ability. If that were the case, the whole Human kind will have a strange change. I’m not sure where I heard of this idea of programmed death of individuals s a means of ensuring stability of the kind, it supports survival of the genome.

Perhaps in the vastness of space, social cancer is not a problem? Older population can drift into that infinite space and infinite combination. They don’t have to die and they don’t have to interfere with the survival and evolution of our genome.

A related matters is of course social structure. What happens when old people get old? Are they afforded additional power and resources? Or do they decay in their social stature? Or is it dog-eats-dog all the way to the grave? Perhaps Rear Admirer Picard had to wipe out the projects of competitors achieve that position? Star Trek is never one to belittle competition as a driving force of Starfleet success. It surely continues through the ranks.

One possibility is that reproduction is at such a rapid rate in the spacefaring age that it naturally supports aging. As your generation gets older, there are plenty of younger generation that needs your care and attention. The Admiralty tanks increases in depth: Admirer first grade, Admirer second grade…. Each grade guiding a younger grade. The pyramid increases in height and newborns form the base of it. Advancement in case of exceptional work is of course possible. One doesn’t necessarily need to wait for a child to be born to gain a direct report.

Picard and AI would be a vastly interesting conversation. Wow! Like if he had to put down an AI rebellion, (I know I know, yawn, Borg’s done to death) but if he had to fight a human created AI… And end up with a solution that I present repeatedly in this blog: mutual coevolution of human kind and computer kind. (I know I know, look at how borgs turned out…)

Wouldn’t that be worth something to ya?

I shrivel and shriek as I think of all these possibilities. Wow, the future will come, in Trek or not… There will be a day when all these woes are solved. Woohoo!!!

P.s. hopefully this doesn’t look silly at publication tine, it was written Q4 of 2018… So long ago…

Watching Jupiter Ascending

Why do we care about soul? Logically, it serves an axiomatic foundation to subsequent reasoning that distinguishes man from thing.

The Abrasix harvest human body material to create youth serum. People live, happy sad life die, all for the purpose of growing something that someone else needs.

So, let’s see, we grow livestock for meat, bacterium or fungi for medicine, fish for fertilizers.

A group of humans probably feel that the sophistication of our thoughts, the information we have created, is what makes us special. But certainly we write programs, whose natural course of execution eventually produces information that we need. After it produces the information, we literally terminate the life of that program, sometimes killing it using a command called ‘kill’. (And you wouldn’t believe how seriously hot and bothered some people get about programs that don’t die, and about programs that die unexpectedly. There is a great body of literature, written in natural human language, commenting on the life and purpose and mechanisms of programs with a focus of intelligence and passion and devotion and contemplation and conflict that can barely be overshadowed by those committed to humans)

Clearly, we still feel that life process and information process of a human is superior to the same of a cow or a thread of program.

I wonder if that will ever change?


Keep it up

I want to write and advocate for keeping historically important dataset in the public domain for historical references. Recently MIT removes data that have been in use since 2006 from their websites (news article, announcement letter)citing a draft of paper challenging the quality of the data with respect to biases against races, sex, etc.

While this knee jerk reaction is like an instinctive wipe with the sleeve when you feel snot and booger stuck on your face post sneeze, it really is not necessary. Everyone sneezes and knows what I’m talking about. There is no shame in a mistake like this. But removal of the dataset removes people’s ability to verify the claims in the draft paper challenging the dataset. ATM, it would appear to me that keeping the dirty data available may help us to learn about the process and bias in our world today. Perhaps someone wants to create an automated data repairing algorithm. Perhaps someone will want to verify a calibration algorithm that can use a large model trained on such a biased dataset so that we understand the relationship between data and model better.

So, I know it’s kind of painful for a prestigious school, and professors and researchers who need to keep their funding etc… But in the name of science, I hope they recant and republish the “bad” dataset. It is history that factually happened, denying history in public is not a good habit to promulgate by leading American institutions. MIT can be a leader in this by doing something good for society by taking thoughtful and scientifically sophisticated actions. MIT doesn’t need to, and can not afford to, throw very simpleminded slogans of the social justice movement around and call it a day.

And overall, AI scientists can really band together and make this all work the same way. There will be another data mistake, let’s develop the procedures for handling of discovering error, or even planned convalescence by predetermining a dataset’s retirement date, in popular datasets that maximizes societal benefit through the advancement of science without undue sacrifice from the individual researchers.

And to begin, may I suggest that a simple step be taken. Each measurement be it an image taken, sound recorded, or a human opinion recorded for supervised training, all these just needs a bit of metadata: starting with a UUID and timestamp for each recorded measurement. Another way is to keep the data on a blockchain to ensure that they do not get corrupted or destroyed for the purpose of traceability, immutability and persistence.This way, the data gains useful digital integrity. They can be accessed and discussed in very precise ways. Another idea is to place cryptographic water marks on the dataset, right inside images to the concern of pyrrhic writers, with these properties: 1) Cannot be removed by someone without the private key, 2) can be easily verified using a public key to verify source to be an image from ML dataset so that “reverse image search engines” can refuse to service these requests, 3) said cryptographic watermarking algorithm used is implemented in open source software so that it’s effect on ML systems can be evaluated.(Think seemingly random and very small perturbations of pixels that have no useful pattern but is reliably verifiable) Again, if each data element had an identifier, we can actually produce a list of bad examples of especial concern when discussing them. Right now it’s just a bunch of images many file names sitting in a text file on researcher’s workstations. There is no easy and public way to discuss the quality of their analysis. Taking some of these steps in addition to those gathered for Datasheets for Datasets(Gebru, et al. 2018) will be doing a solid for our industry.

(By the by, the paper also ties in the idea of paying for data, in this case they may mean data like picture of private parts that people would normally not want to make public. A more general interpretation is taken by Andrew Yang in his UBI proposals which is partially motivated by the fact that many large companies, Internet and otherwise, are starting to leverage our data in very intimate ways and that it would be reasonable for them to do that, with our consent, by paying us for our intimate data.)

P.s. after reading TFA, I guess the news decided to leave out one of the facts of challenge which is that the dataset had easily identifiable private parts of people(easily identify to whom said privacy belongs, IMO). I suppose these would be a terrible thing to keep on the Internet. If considered PII and nonconsensual, then it would be illegal to keep any of them posted. TFA also mentions the existence of Child Pornography and some other ominous and unspeakable issues that they only revealed to the dataset creators. In all these cases, there should probably be some legalese in place of the anti-bias letter citing scientific and moral concern hiding legal and financial ones. It would be nice if MIT did not mislead and mis-lead the community.

P.p.s. It’s okay, it’s just chunky booger wrapped with slushy snot—everyone makes it. Instead of secretively wiping it off and then realize it’s stuck on the sleeves and wipe it on our pants, or a wall, or under the classroom desk…. lets flush it into specially designed paper with hot air. Let’s then put it in a jar and examine more carefully through the lens of time.🤢🤮

P.p.p.s. what does “offensive” mean? This is the top criterion for assessing model and dataset propriety besides non-objectivity and damaging effects(financial and physical hurt) From top google search results it seems one is offended mostly an emotional response. Even if one’s intelligence is insulted, it is the emotional feeling that we seek to comfort—i.e. apology required. Based on media reports of increasing violence and anger against Asians in very casual daily situations(example, or myself finding Stanford Asian Liver Center offensive despite their intentions, or when a lot of Asians find Trump’s “Kung Flu” and “China Virus” offensive.). I am to believe that many white people are very much genuinely offended if I walk on the street. Given that, I definitely do not want “offensive” to be a criterion of scientific moral propriety. Out desirable social norms should be expressed in quantifiable terms: racial parity, equality of opportunity, equality of benefit, equality of outcome, equality of progress, equality of arrival, equality of representation, equality of contribution, fairness of service in efficiency and effort, as measured by QIM, etc… These arguably subjective metrics are actually the most objective way to shape our technology. These metrics resonate deeply with both our rational and emotional minds, as well as our body, and all their extensions in our language, culture, technology and society, they all have innate design to express in terms of these metrics.