The Dog Days of Melancholy

These are the worst days of a time which one particularly painful aspect of life hangs overhead.

On a day like this, the highlight of the morning is the availability of a corner spot at Pete’s coffee. So welcoming, waiting for me with open arms, so soft and moist, it just feels so right… I quickly lay my shoddy claim to it, shedding my wintry coat over it to cover my corner seat at the corner table as if that will secure it for myself in perpetuity and in clandestiny. The dreary dank pop pumped into my head like buckshots through a shotgun, but doesn’t bother me. This is as they say, as good as it gets.

Knowledge Science and Technology

Now recalling an interesting declaration of endeavor in Machine Teaching in an earlier blog entry. One component of the vision is the creation of useful, verifiable, efficient and generalized knowledge communication. Let’s, for the purpose of this fam-blog-based communication, call this Knowledge Science and Technology(KST, and MT-KST) representing a subset of all that is required conscience Machine Teaching. (In particular separating epistemological considerations from pedagogical considerations. Secondarily, it separates Scientific and Technological concerns from Political ones: policies, laws, monitoring and enforcement. Lastly, while MT-KST cannot be developed for computers completely independent of its KR, it is still separate from internal representations that are more geared towards internal reasoning and operations)

One puzzling question is the definition of knowledge, what is knowledge?

One stab in the dark, in the framework of MT-KST, it would seem logical to dictate that knowledge is transmittable information. Untranslatable and undescribable knowledge, while possibly worth while for the host system to organize and remember, is not worth anything to others and therefore not knowledge.

A related problem is the ROI of the effort to form such knowledge. AFAIK, nobody reads this blog as I write it. Is it worth it for me to create it? If I can derive the Fermat’s last theorem in 1ms, is it worth remembering it? If the work to create knowledge can be embedded within my own thinking and doing process, then it needn’t be externalized into knowledge as communication. For another example, it would appear to me that opening my mouth is a procedure that needs no teaching. The effort to fully teach it via information transfer is not efficient or effective. Even though it is context for eating, it is something babies do before they were born.

This far we have gathered two types of information that is surely not required in MT-KST:

  • The knowledge that is not describable. A pathological example of this are statements that change meaning once interpreted: this sentence is untrue.
  • The knowledge that is pre-built in the communicating systems.(Redundant idempotent communication)
  • The knowledge that is trivially knowable through routine reasoning. (Performing cost-benefit analysis trading off communication costs with operating thinking costs)

What else? Can we describe knowledge further for MT-KST?

Quick Comment for Google AI Policy

There’s a blog post of google principals for ethical AI technology. One thing that catches ones eyes is this passage

Weapons or other technologies whose principal purpose or implementation is to cause or directly facilitate injury to people.

Which leads me to remember some old posts of my own blog regarding the matter. Humanisitic orientation to establish anchors in an ethics proclaimation is certainly very good. The one problem it does make unclear is the nature of human beings.

For example, is technology able o ecretly drive a nail into my tire while my car is parked outside of swimming gymnasium “injury to people”? From text, it would seem that nail in the tire is not damaging to my human person. But it does damage my social-economic person. Without a functioning car, I cannot do a lot of things to be part of the society and economy, but my person, for now, is still whole.

In particular, when it comes to google, the questions will be “is my email account part of my person?” Is my house “part of my person?” A tank with high powered cannon on the turret, is not primarily designed to damage my person, but it certainly is a weapon of fairly sizable destruction relative to my house.

While I’m griping, USA always lead the world in humanist ideals and also in technology (but maybe not together) to lean on international standards is an error on both sides

Technologies whose purpose contravenes widely accepted principles of international law and human rights.

It lowers USA corporation to the standards of companies from countries like PR. Of China and Republic of India. While we hold every country in high esteem, they’re all functioning countries keeping their massive population alive and happy, we’re not sure how they do it is how we should do it. We don’t want to sink as low as them.

Some recent example, BitTorrent, and virtual currencies, are all things whose purpose can be construed as to contravene principals or laws of most country. So on this side of the error, the policy inhibits technological advancements.

Its hard to think, discuss and write these things when Google employs half of your friends and aquaintences. But it is worth discussing further imho.

A Fault of Democracy

There seems to be a fault with democracy. Those who argue that

  • You can exercise a fair amount of political power by voting
  • You can choose to depart a democratic system by leaving it.
  • You can choose participate further by becoming politician and influencing the votes of others.

There is a matter of efficiency. Yes, in theory, an immortal participating in a democracy will get his way if he rightfully deserves it, according to the rules he agreed to. But most people are not immortal. The system, imho, is not efficient enough for most practical purposes, for us to exercise our inalienable liberties fully, or at all.

And forcing us to perform political acts, such as persuasion, can be compared to forcing us to perform physically offensive acts, on other people. Some find it unacceptably invasive and offending. Forcing us to spend time and money on politics is like depriving us of body parts or money. It seems unjustifiable.

As an example of police brutality… Recently, there was a video of a girl being beaten by police. After internet uproar, the police department posts body-cam of the same video. While the police man was short tempered, he was… By some standards, being asulted by the women under arrest. She definitely was resisting arrest.

21st century technology has not developed to the point where we can

  • Measure the burtality if the arresting officer. Perhaps by means of force sensors on his gloves and clothing. It would help to estimate the exersion made by him as well as the location and power of attack on him.
  • Assessing the public’s judgement of the event democratically. Perhaps by counting twitter sentiment?
  • Measure the degree of resistance exercised by the girl. Perhaps by force sensors on her clothing.
  • Measure the danger that the police officer and bystanders were under.

Is anybody working on the improvement of our democracy?

Do we want this type of improvements? This exercise while seemingly too restrictive for human policeperson(they cannot calibrate their motors to limit force of a punch), it is precisely the kind of system we would want to deploy when policebots are on patrol.

Since robots and other computerized systems can quickly adapt to new situations, and since they may even create new solutions to problems, as a transitional step, we should implement much more efficient democracy to assess each situation case by case.

Tesla should, for example, open up its data gathered during major accident for scrutiny by the public as well as regulatory agencies. The low-latency high-fidelity availability of data should be part of our great country’s auto-pilot licensing process.

It is our right to know and to weigh-in on these issues in a timely and effective manner.

Ps, what about privacy? Idk, but honestly, between running into a highway divide at 60mph not knowing why looking down from heaven and my wife knowing where I am driving to… I’d rather the latter than the prior, for the moment. I already changed my mind, several times, while typing that, but still, the momentary instinct is that people want to and deserve to know more.