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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Singularity
Posted: June 13, 2020 at 1:06 am
Source: Ashes of the Singularity
Twitter User @_rogame (via Videocardz) has spotted benchmarks of the upcoming Ryzen 7 3800 XT processor. This benchmark is from the notorious Ashes of the Singularity game and shows the performance gains that the new processor will feature.
The Ashes of the Singularity benchmark has been used to test both the Ryzen 7 3800 X processor and the Ryzen 7 3800 XT processor. This benchmark doesn't show the clock speeds that these processors had but does showcase the framerate that these processors produced. The Ryzen 7 3800 X processor on the crazy 1080p preset, at the resolution of 2560 x 1080, received a score of 5800 while offering an average frame rate of 60.3. When comparing this score to the Ryzen 7 3800 XT processor, which hasn't been officially announced so some technical changes may make this processor significantly better, on the crazy 1080p preset with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 gave the unreleased processor a score of 7400 while having the average framerate being 76.6 FPS.
AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT 12 Core & Ryzen 5 3600XT 6 Core Matisse Refresh Desktop CPUs Listed, Retail Launch on 7th July
That may not sound like a large increase in frames, but the significant change is when looking at just the CPU frame rate, which on the Ryzen 7 3800 X processor was 83.8 but on the Ryzen 7 3800 XT processor featured a score of 113.2. That means the newer processors offer an almost 34% increase when looking just at the CPU frame rate!
Both of the benchmarks shown above utilize an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 but there will still be a margin of 5% ish based on driver versions etc. Both of these processors feature a total of eight cores and a total of sixteen threads which means that the XT variant doesn't offer a core count change but is instead similar to the Ryzen 1200AF variant which offered faster clock speeds, although the Ryzen 1200 AF processor did feature a microarchitecture change while we aren't sure just how much of a difference (microarchitecturally) the XT variant will bring to the table.
The XT variant of AMD processors should have an increased clock speed which is projected to be around 200 - 300 MHz increase. This means that the already impressive Ryzen 3rd generation will offer both a higher core count as well as a higher core clock speed going forward. We were actually the first publication to tell you about the existence of the AMD XT series and the three SKUs that have been confirmed to be in the pipeline are as follows:
The AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT is suggested to feature a base clock of 4.1 GHz and a boost clock of up to 4.8 GHz (single-core) compared to a base clock of 3.8 GHz and a boost clock of up to 4.6 GHz on the existing Ryzen 9 3900X CPU. Similarly, the Ryzen 7 3800XT will offer a major base clock bump of 4.2 GHz and a boost clock bump of 4.7 GHz versus the Ryzen 7 3800X which features a base frequency of 3.9 GHz and boost frequency of 4.5 GHz. Finally, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT will offer a 4 GHz base and 4.7 GHz boost frequencies which are a definite improvement over the stock Ryzen 5 3600X.
Posted: at 1:05 am
The alleged Matisse refresh Ryzen 7 3800XT is already making its way in a number of benchmarks, recently spotted on 3DMark and now makes its way to the Ashes of the Singularity benchmark, paired with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 GPU.
As per rumours and leaks, the new 8 core and 16 threaded AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT CPU should come with 3.9 GHz base clock and with a boost clock speed of between 4.7-4.8 GHz, which seems unclear now.
Thanks to our tipster, @_rogame who again unearthed this benchmark, as we see in it the upcoming Ryzen 7 3800XT getting a score of 7,400 on the Crazy_1080p preset. The preset shows the game running at high graphics settings along with 16M shading samples and 12M terrain shading samples.
The CPU+GPU combo helped to achieve an average framerate of 113.2 FPSout of which 135.9 FPS for normal, 115.3 FPS for medium and 95.5 FPS for heavy batches. One commenter on @_rogames tweet also pointed out that these scores represent about 10% uplift from the original Ryzen 3800X, which is still pretty decent just by increasing clock speeds.
Obviously, AMD will be launching the Ryzen 7 3800XT and the Ryzen 5 3600XTandRyzen 9 3900XT CPUs in the coming days, which should give some time to defend Intels gaming-centric CPUs till the Zen 3 based Ryzen 4000 Vermeer processors arrive in the last quarter of the year.
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Posted: at 1:05 am
Destiny 2s Season of Arrivals features The Prophecy. This brand new dungeon and world space for three players takes place in the Realm of the IX, and the psychedelic and trippy location might be one of the coolest youve ever seen in the game. Its even reminiscent of movies like Tron and Cube. Heres our guide on how to beat each encounter, including the Kell Echo boss fight, so you can obtain your pinnacle rewards.
Note: For more information about the other activities and content for this season, check out our Destiny 2: Season of Arrivals guides and features hub.
Head over to each page below for the encounters that you need help with. Also, please be reminded that the recommended level for the dungeon is 1040 power level (PL). That goes up to 1050 halfway through, and 1060 once you reach the final boss.
You could still do your best to finish the encounters, but under-leveled players might find it quite a challenge. Try to have Taken-related mods like Taken Armament and Taken Barrier since these are the hostiles youll face.
The Entrance cavern and the basics The first part of The Prophecy dungeon doesnt have any loot, but its a way for you to learn the mechanics thatll come into play in later encounters.
Phalanx Echo boss fight This boss fight will have you facing off against a Taken Phalanx along with countless mobs.
The Wasteland (secret chest #1) This transition area takes place in a vast desert. A secret chest can be found here.
Hexahedron encounter This encounter in The Prophecy dungeon will confuse and frustrate you at times. Luckily, weve got just the right tips to aid you in a successful clear.
The Wasteland (again) and Singularity/Rainbow Road (secret chest #2) This area will remind you of Mario Karts Rainbow Road level due to the design, aesthetics, and sheer mesmerizing detail. Youll also find another secret chest here.
Kell Echo boss fight The final boss in The Prophecy dungeon is a Taken Kell, and it might just be one of the most hectic boss battles in Destiny 2.
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Posted: at 1:05 am
Each week, ex-KDHX DJ Chris Ward examines a song from his quarantine-based playlist dealing with isolation, loneliness, hope and germs. This song and more can be found on the Spotify playlist, Pande-mix: an end of the world playlist: https://spoti.fi/2WZGTJZ.
Two scientists are racing, for the good of all mankind. Both of them side-by-side. So determined.
What does it mean to permanently retire a favorite song? In scouring my brain for pandemic-related or pandemic-adjacent playlist songs, not once did this track spring to mind until, without reason, I was just standing at my sink. As Ray Stanz said, mouth hanging open: It just popped in there. The first 0.04 seconds of this song are in the indie rock Name That Tune Hall of Fame. The moment that gated drum hits, every time, is like someone rolling up a memory like a newspaper and swatting you in the face. Play it without warning in any coffee shop, and observe the instant Pavlovian responses.
I heard Race for the Prize for the first time the exact way everyone did: from someone you met in college, the first person you ever met who collects vinyl. As you wrestled with this new concept, making sense of why a Flaming Lips record that one band with that one hit was in the top 1 percent of their prized pieces of vinyl was the next mystery. In my case, it was future roommate and portal to the hi-fi lo-fi universe, Nick.
And, as clich a High Fidelity plot point as this is, my introduction to The Soft Bulletin by a record nerd would set me on a life-changing path of new music discovery in my post-punk, post-emo, post-wallet chain years. To go from punk to the black-rimmed glasses world of the Flaming Lips in 2000 was something akin to a Clockwork Orange-style reprogramming. It is also the whitest of music fan trajectories.
With groups of friends and soon-to-be-ex-wives and ex-boyfriends, we stood slack-jawed though the 2000s at the confetti, inflatable ball and costumed animal spectacle that is a Flaming Lips live show. And as those friends and relationships changed, the Flaming Lips live shows did not. Fifth, sixth, eighth, tenth, fiftieth timeconfetti, acid lights, giant Hulk hands, rinse, repeat. You could almost smash cut from me saying The Flaming Lips? Really? in 2000 to me and my friend Kate, both in rabbit costumes, in the pouring rain screaming our heads off at LouFest in 2012 (RIP LouFest).
That moment made it to the cover of Eleven Magazine (RIP Eleven Magazine), which seems like as good a time as any to close a musical chapter. Eventually, that thing happens that happens with all bands like the Flaming Lips who become part of the skin you live in. They become wallpaper. Race for the Prize became like Yesterday to me: a great song, and I never need to hear it again. Hell, it embodies Yesterday to me. To stare upwards at the vanguard at a Flaming Lips concert in the year 2000, the moment the lights go down, is to exist at the singularity of when your troubles seemed so far away. That is the prize youve raced to, and won. And you will never get it back.
This song and many more can be found on Chris Wards Pande-Mix playlist on Spotify.
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Posted: at 1:05 am
Published on June 12th, 2020 | by Steve Hanley
Broad Reach Power, a US-based independent power producer, has only been in business about a year but is already involved in more than $100 million worth of renewable energy projects. Steve Vavrik, managing partner and CEO of the company, tells Energy Storage News it plans to build 15 small scale battery storage projects in Texas this year and two larger systems in 2021.
The first systems will all be 9.95 MW/9,95 MWh systems. Thats because such small systems are exempt from many of the interconnection rules put in place by ERCOT, the grid operator for the Lone Star state. It manages electricity on the Texas Interconnection for 25 million customers, representing 90% of the electric load in Texas. We are eager to get these projects operating and chose this path, Vavrik says. One-hour duration systems were the best choice economically.
The smaller systems will provide energy stabilization services, such as mitigating the impact of price spikes and dips that expose generators, utilities, and retail electric providers to uncertainty in the supply-demand matching that occurs every minute on the power grid. Our storage systems can offer ways to mitigate that risk through short and long term contracts, either physical or financial.
Texas is becoming a US manufacturing hub, with companies like Tesla exploring the possibility of building new factories there.Industrial and manufacturing companies need an electrical grid that is cheap, clean and reliable, Vavrik says. The more all three of those factors can be improved, the more manufacturing and industry will be attracted to Texas. Which is where the larger 100 MW/100 MWh storage batteries planned for next year come into play.
The need for reliability services in Texas is Texas-scale! While we chose the smaller sites for speed-to-market, we are also developing the larger projects, Vavrik adds. Those larger batteries are expected to go into service in the summer of 2021. With battery system costs rapidly decreasing and system performance increasing, Vavrik says Broad Reach Power sees its developments this year and next as the start of a virtuous cycle.
More storage allows more low-cost wind and solar to enter the grid, which will improve the emissions and lower the power costs overall. Then cheaper and better storage systems can be added, which will allow further additions of cheaper generation technology.
Texas is becoming a renewable energy center in the US. It has been a leader in wind power for years, especially in West Texas where winds are consistently strong, but solar power is rapidly catching up. Broad Reach Power seems to have positioned itself to be right in the sweet spot of a rapidly expanding market.
Tags: Broad Reach Power, energy storage in Texas, grid scale battery storage, Texas
Steve Hanley Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him onTwitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.
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Posted: at 1:05 am
Neutron stars are strange things. They can form when gravity kills a star, crushing its remains into a dense ball the size of a small city. They are so dense that only quantum forces and the Pauli exclusion principle keeps it from collapsing into a black hole singularity. The interior of a neutron star is so dense that matter behaves in ways we still dont fully understand.
They are called neutron stars because their gravity destroys the structure of atoms. Electrons are squeezed into protons to create neutrons. Much of the stars interior becomes a sea of neutrons as dense as the nuclei of atoms. But we know these stars arent purely made of neutrons. They have atmospheres only a few centimeters thick. Young neutron stars have a sky of mostly carbon and as dense as diamonds. Like Earth, neutron stars have a rigid crust that floats on a fluid interior. This crust is made of iron nuclei. It actively changes, and can undergo starquakes, much like earthquakes on our world.
But it is the deep interior where things get strange. Although the interior of a neutron star is extremely hot, the density is so high that the neutron sea becomes superfluid. Its behavior is similar to that of liquid helium when cooled to only a couple degrees above absolute zero. The fluid interior can generate tremendous magnetic fields, turning these stars into magnetars and pulsars.
We cant observe the interior of a neutron star directly, so our understanding of them depends upon our understanding of its equation of state. For neutron stars, this is given by the TolmanOppenheimerVolkoff (TOV) equation. While this equation can work well for regular stars, it poses a challenge for neutron stars because neutrons arent fundamental particles.
Neutrons are made of three quarks, two down quarks and one up quark. Up and down quarks are only two of the six types of known quarks. In our everyday lives, and even in the hearts of stars, the quarks of a neutron stick tightly together. For all practical purposes, a neutron can be treated like a simple particle. But in the core of a neutron star, things get complicated. Tightly packed neutrons might melt into a fluid of quarks, and when up and down quarks collide at high energies they might produce other quarks such as strange or charm. Or they might not.
To answer this question, a recent study compared the physics of quarks with observed neutron star properties. The study started with a detailed theoretical calculation of the properties quark matter would have. One of these properties involves the speed of sound in quark matter. Since pressure waves from things such as starquakes travel at the speed of sound, it plays a crucial role in the structure of neutron stars.
In turns out that in pure quark matter speed of sound is independent of the temperature and pressure of the material. This is not true of neutron matter. Given some reasonable assumptions about neutron star interiors, pressure waves in the deep interior of a neutron star could free quarks from their neutrons, creating a quark core. The size of this core depends upon the total mass of the neutron star.
The authors note that there is some small possibility that neutron stars dont have quark cores, but there is other evidence to support the idea. Recent gravitational-wave observations of a merging neutron star confirm that its size agrees with the quark model. Astronomers have also recently found several neutrons stars with a mass greater than two solar masses. These large-mass neutron stars are much more likely to have quark cores.
While further studies are needed to confirm this result, it seems clear that the interior of neutron stars have much more structure than was earlier thought.
Reference: Annala, Eemeli, et al. Evidence for quark-matter cores in massive neutron stars. Nature Physics (2020): 1-4.
AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT & Ryzen 9 3900XT Price and Launch Date revealed by Amazon with big price hikes – Mighty Gadget
Posted: at 1:05 am
Amazon must be one of the worst companies for leaking product data, they recently made a listing for the PlayStation 5, and last year they launched details of the Garmin Fenix 6.
Today it is the latest AMD CPUs being launched in the next month.
The new 3000XT series is a refresh to the existing 3000X models, keeping user demand high and gaining plenty of press attention while they prepare for the Ryzen 4000 series.
I have already reported that the AMD Ryzen 3800XT offers up to 7.29% improvement in CPU performance compared to the AMD Ryzen 3800X when benchmarked in Ashes of the Singularity.
The two Amazon listings were not for the 3800XT but for the two models sitting above and below it, the 6-core 12-thread Ryzen 3600XT and the 2-core and 24-thread Ryzen 9 3900XT.
For the AMD Ryzen 3600XT, this was listed on Amazon UK for 249 and 284 EUR on Amazon Italy website. For comparison, the 3600X currently of 196 direct from Amazon but 190 for third party sellers on Prime. That is a 53 price difference giving a 27% mark-up from the slightly slower CPU.
Similarly, the Ryzen 9 3900XT listed for 570 EUR, which is 125 EUR more than Ryzen 9 3900X available on the same site giving a 28% difference.
Both listings indicate a shipping date of the 7th of July and AMD have the announcement date of the Ryzen 3000XT Matisse Refresh CPUs on June 16th.
Last Updated on 13th June 2020
Posted: June 7, 2020 at 9:45 am
Since the lockdown began, Devin Townsend has kept himself busy with his Quarantine Concerts and podcast series.
And now the Canadian musician has uploaded a stream titled Guitar Improvisation #1 a flowing ambient piece which clocks in at just over an hour.
Townsend says: Its been a strange week and I have been writing a lot of strange music. Amidst the more tumultuous stuff thats appeared, I often find it therapeutic for me to just simply play guitar in the mornings, and over the years I've kind of 'developed' a sort of chilled-out, ambient guitar technique.
This isn't meant to be focussed on, its meant to be a sort of wash that you can play while working, chilling, or creating something thats my hope at least.
I like playing like this, and in fact, I would say 80% of what I play with a guitar in my hand over the last decade or so ends up sounding something like this.
I had recorded some of it in the background of the podcasts which I will be continuing and was asked to post it, but it made more sense to me to do a fresh one here.
Townsend adds: Lots of people still think Im secretly the same raging metalhead I was in my mid 20s, but it has been a few decades since I legitimately felt that way.
This improvisation is one take with a bathroom break I edited out and I used a Sadowsky Telecaster and a Fractal AX-8 for the sound. Art for this and the podcast are done by my good friend Travis Smith at Seempieces.
Hopefully its helpful to some of you who need a sonic break. Thanks again for the ability to do this. Ill release this in a physical form if theres any interest. I really like echo.
Townsend will also release Empath: The Ultimate Edition this coming Friday (June 5) through InsideOutMusic.
The revamped version of his 2019 album will be spread across 2CDs and 2 Blu-ray and, along with the original album, will feature a wealth of bonus material, including demos and live cuts.
Devin Townsend: Empath - The Ultimate Edition
CD11. Castaway2. Genesis3. Spirits Will Collide4. Evermore5. Sprite6. Hear Me7. Why?8. Borderlands9. Requiem10. Singularity: Adrift11. Singularity: I Am I12. Singularity: There Be Monsters13. Singularity: Curious Gods14. Singularity: Silicone Scientists15. Singularity: Here Comes The Sun!
CD21. The Contrarian (Demo)2. King (Demo)3. The Waiting Kind (Demo)4. Empath (Demo)5. Methuselah (Demo)6. This Is Your Life (Demo)7. Gulag (Demo)8. Middle Aged Man (Demo)9. Total Collapse (Demo)10. Summer (Demo)
Blu-ray 11. Castaway (5.1 Surround Mix)2. Genesis (5.1 Surround Mix)3. Spirits Will Collide (5.1 Surround Mix)4. Evermore (5.1 Surround Mix)5. Sprite (5.1 Surround Mix)6. Hear Me (5.1 Surround Mix)7. Why? (5.1 Surround Mix)8. Borderlands (5.1 Surround Mix)9. Requiem (5.1 Surround Mix)10. Singularity: Adrift (5.1 Surround Mix)11. Singularity: I Am I (5.1 Surround Mix)12. Singularity: There Be Monsters (5.1 Surround Mix)13. Singularity: Curious Gods (5.1 Surround Mix)14. Singularity: Silicone Scientists (5.1 Surround Mix)15. Singularity: Here Comes The Sun! (5.1 Surround Mix)16. Castaway (Stereo Mix Visualizer)17. Genesis (Stereo Mix Visualizer)18. Spirits Will Collide (Stereo Mix Visualizer)19. Evermore (Stereo Mix Visualizer)20. Sprite (Stereo Mix Visualizer)21. Hear Me (Stereo Mix Visualizer)22. Borderlands (Stereo Mix Visualizer)23. Why? (Stereo Mix Visualizer)24. Requiem (Stereo Mix Visualizer)25. Singularity: Adrift (Stereo Mix Visualizer)26. Singularity: I Am I (Stereo Mix Visualizer)27. Singularity: There Be Monsters (Stereo Mix Visualizer)28. Singularity: Curious Gods (Stereo Mix Visualizer)29. Singularity: Silicone Scientists (Stereo Mix Visualizer)30. Singularity: Here Comes The Sun! (Stereo Mix Visualizer)
Blu-ray 21. Empath Documentary2. Empath Album Commentary3. Genesis 5.1 Mixing Lesson4. Acoustic Gear Tour5. Intro (Live in Leeds 2019)6. Let It Roll (Live in Leeds 2019)7. Funeral (Live in Leeds 2019)8. Ih-Ah (Live in Leeds 2019)9. Deadhead (Live in Leeds 2019)10. Love? (Live in Leeds 2019)11. Hyperdrive! (Live in Leeds 2019)12. Terminal (Live in Leeds 2019)13. Coast (Live in Leeds 2019)14. Solar Winds (Live in Leeds 2019)15. Thing Beyond Things (Live in Leeds 2019)16. King (Official Video)
Originally posted here:
On The Beguiling Question Of Whether AI Can Form Intent, Including The Case Of Self-Driving Cars – Forbes
Posted: at 9:45 am
Can AI have intent, and if so, how will we know.
Lets start with a bit of a game or puzzle if you will.
These remarks all have something in common:
The devil made me do it
I didnt mean to be mean to you
Something just came over me
I wanted to do it
You got what was coming to you
My motives were pure
Whats that all about?
Ill wait a moment for you to mull over that question and form a potential answer.
Okay, now that you gave that some thought, you could answer that those are all various ways in which someone might express their intent or intentions.
In some instances, the person is seemingly expressing their intent directly, while in other cases they appear to be avoiding being pinned down on their own intentions and are trying to toss the intent onto the shoulders of someone or something else.
When we express our intent, there is no particular reason to necessarily believe that it is true per se.
A person can tell you their intentions and yet be lying through their teeth.
Or, a person can offer their intentions and genuinely believe that they are forthcoming in their indication, and yet it might be entirely fabricated and concocted as a kind of rationalization after-the-fact.
Consider too that a person might be offering acrid cynical remarks, for which their intention is buried or hidden within their words, and you accordingly need to somehow decipher or tease out the real meaning of their quips.
There is also the straightforward possibility that the person is utterly clueless about their own intention, and thus are unable to precisely state what their intent is.
And so on.
This naturally leads us to contemplate what intent or intention purports to consist of.
The common definition of intent or intention is that it involves the act of determining something that you want and plan to do, and usually emphasizes that the effort of intent encompasses mentally determining upon some action or result.
By referring to the mind or mental processing, the word intent opens quite a Pandoras box.
Simply stated, there is no ironclad way to know what someones mind contains or did contain.
We do not have any means to directly and fully interrogate the brain and have it showcase to us the origins of thoughts and how they came to exist. Our brains and our minds are locked away in our skulls, and the only path to figuring out what is going on consists of poking around from the outside or marginally so from the inside.
Now, yes, you can try using an MRI and other techniques to try and gauge the electromagnetic or biochemical activity of the brain, but be clear that this is a far cry from being able to connect-the-dots directly and be able to definitively indicate that this thought or that thought was derived from these neurons and those neurons.
We have not yet reversed engineered the brain sufficiently to make those kinds of uncontestable proclamations.
Overall, one could even argue that the whole concept of intent and intentions is somewhat obtuse and perhaps a construct of what we want to believe about our actions. Some would say that we want to believe that we do things for a reason, and therefore we offer that there is this thing called intent and thus it offers a rational explanation for what otherwise might be nothing of the kind.
For those that relish debating about the topic of free-will, perhaps none of us have any capability of intent and we are all pre-programmed to carry out acts, none of which relates to any personal intent and we are simply acting as puppets on a string (for more on my remarks about AI and free will, see this link here).
I dont want to go too far off the rails here but did want to mention the philosophical viewpoint that intent might not exist in any ordinary manner and we cannot assume as such that it does.
Since we are on a roll here about thinking widely, there is a handy catchphrase about intent from George Bernard Shaw that offers additional food for thought: We know there is intention and purpose in the universe, because there is intention and purpose in us.
Notice that this is quite reassuring, namely that since we generally believe that there is intention within us, ergo this somehow implies that there is an intention in the universe, and therefore we are able to remain sanguine and be comforted that everything has a meaning and intention (though some might counter-argue that the universe and we are all completely random and purposeless).
While we are on teetering on the edge of this precipice, lets keep going.
Maybe intent and intention is really a cover-up for the acts of humanity.
If you do something adverse, the intent might be a means to placate others about your dastardly deed and act as a distractor from the act committed.
On the other hand, maybe your act was well-intended, yet it led to something adverse, inadvertently and not by design, therefore your intention ought to be given due weight and consideration.
Time to quote another riveting insight about intent, this one by the revered George Washington: A mans intentions should be allowed in some respects to plead for his actions.
Note that Washingtons quote refers to mans intentions, but we can reasonably allow the meaning to include all of mankind, making the quote to encompass both men and women, restated as a persons intentions should be allowed in some respects to plead for their actions.
Overall, mankind certainly seems to have accepted the stark and generally unchallenged belief that there are intentions and that those intentions are crucial to the acts we undertake.
That being the case, what else has intentions?
Does your beloved pet dog or cat have intentions?
Do all animals have intentions of one kind or another?
There is an acrimonious debate about the idea that animals can form intentions.
Some say that it is obviously the case that they do, while others contend that they quite obviously cannot do so. The usual basis for arguing that animals cannot have intentions is that they mentally are too limited and that only humans have the mental capacity to form intent or intentions. Be careful making that brash claim to any dog or cat lover.
Can a toaster have an intention?
I ask because the other day, my toaster burnt my toast.
Did the toaster do so intentionally, or was it an unintentional act?
You might be irked at such a question and immediately recoil that the toaster obviously lacks any semblance of intent. It is merely a mindless machine that makes toast.
There isnt any there, there.
Without the ingredient or essential component of mental processing, you would seem to be hard-pressed to ascribe intent to something so ordinary and mechanical.
This brings us to a most intriguing twist and the intended focus of this discussion, namely, where does AI fit into this murky matter of intent and intention.
AI systems are increasingly becoming a vital part of our lives.
There are AI systems that do life-impacting diagnoses of X-ray charts and seem to discern whether there is disease present. There are AI systems that decide whether you can get a car loan that you wanted to obtain. Etc.
Is AI more akin to humans and therefore able to form intent, or is AI more similar to a toaster and unable to have any substance of intent?
Lest you think this is an entirely abstract point and not worthy of real-world attention, consider the legal ramifications of whether AI is able to form intent and whether this is noteworthy or not.
In our approach to jurisprudence, we give a tremendous amount of importance to intent, sometimes referred to as scienter in legal circles, and in criminal law make use of intent to ascertain the nature of the crime that can be assigned and the penalty that might ride with the crime undertaken.
As such, this AI-related intent insight by a legal research scholar seems especially apt here: Because intent tests often serve as a gatekeeper, limiting the scope of claims, they may entirely prevent certain claims or legal challenges from being raised when AI is involved.
And, after providing examples of AI used by the government and AI used by financial planning systems, the researcher offers these sobering thoughts: All of these problems threaten to leave AI unregulated either because defendants that use AI may never be held liable (e.g., the governments use of AI may prevent a showing of discriminatory intent) or claimants that rely on AI may be left without redress (e.g., because a plaintiff that uses AI to make investment decisions is unable to show reliance).
A toaster that goes awry will hopefully be a mildly adverse consequence (I can choose to eat the burnt toast or toss it into the trash), while if an AI system that is able to drive a car goes awry, the result can be catastrophic.
Using AI for the driving of cars is a life-or-death instance of AI that is emerging for use in our daily lives.
When you see a car going down the street and there isnt a human driver at the wheel, you are tacitly accepting the belief that the AI is able to drive the car and will not suddenly veer into a crowd of pedestrians or plow into a car ahead of it.
You might counter-argue that the same can said of human drivers, whereby when a human driver is at the wheel, you likewise are accepting the belief that the human will not suddenly ram into pedestrians or into other cars.
If the human did so, wed all be quickly looking for intent.
Can we do the same for AI driving systems in terms of the actions that they undertake, and does it make sense to even try to ascertain such AI-based intent?
Todays question then is this: As an example of AI and intent, do we expect AI-based true self-driving cars to embody intention and if so, what does it consist of and how would we know that it exists?
Lets unpack the matter and see.
The Levels Of Self-Driving Cars
True self-driving cars are ones that the AI drives the car entirely on its own and there isnt any human assistance during the driving task.
These driverless vehicles are considered a Level 4 and Level 5, while a car that requires a human driver to co-share the driving effort is usually considered at a Level 2 or Level 3. The cars that co-share the driving task are described as being semi-autonomous, and typically contain a variety of automated add-ons that are referred to as ADAS (Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems).
There is not yet a true self-driving car at Level 5, which we dont yet even know if this will be possible to achieve, and nor how long it will take to get there.
Meanwhile, the Level 4 efforts are gradually trying to get some traction by undergoing very narrow and selective public roadway trials, though there is controversy over whether this testing should be allowed per se (we are all life-or-death guinea pigs in an experiment taking place on our highways and byways, some point out).
Since semi-autonomous cars require a human driver, the adoption of those types of cars wont be markedly different than driving conventional vehicles, so theres not much new per se to cover about them on this topic (though, as youll see in a moment, the points next made are generally applicable).
For semi-autonomous cars, it is important that the public needs to be forewarned about a disturbing aspect thats been arising lately, namely that in spite of those human drivers that keep posting videos of themselves falling asleep at the wheel of a Level 2 or Level 3 car, we all need to avoid being misled into believing that the driver can take away their attention from the driving task while driving a semi-autonomous car.
You are the responsible party for the driving actions of the vehicle, regardless of how much automation might be tossed into a Level 2 or Level 3.
Self-Driving Cars And AI Intent
For Level 4 and Level 5 true self-driving vehicles, there wont be a human driver involved in the driving task.
All occupants will be passengers.
The AI is doing the driving.
Lets return to the discussion about intent.
Is the AI that can perform self-driving the same as a toaster?
Intuitively, we might right away proffer that the AI is not at all like a toaster and that making such a callous suggestion undercuts what the AI is accomplishing in being able to drive a car.
Before we dig further into this aspect, Id like to set the record straight about the AI that is able to drive a car.
Some assume that the AI needed to drive a car must be sentient, able to think and perform mental processing on an equivalent basis of humans. So far, thats not the case, and it seems that well be able to have AI-based self-driving cars without crossing over into the vaunted singularity (the singularity is considered the moment or occurrence of having AI that transforms from being everyday computational and becoming sentient, having the same unspecified and ill-understood spark that mankind seems to have, for more on this topic see my analysis here).
For the moment, remove sentience from this discussion as to the capabilities of AI, and assume that the AI being depicted is computer-based and has not yet achieved human-like equivalency of intelligence. If AI does someday arrive at the singularity, presumably we would need to have an altogether new dialogue about intent, since at that point the AI would be apparently the same as human intelligence in one manner or another and the role of intent in its actions would rightfully come onto the table, for sure.
Consider then these forms of intent:
3.AI Developer Intent
Each of these forms of intent are significant in their own right and are not mutually exclusive, indeed they are overlapping and at times closely interrelated.
Understanding AI Intent
Lets start with the notion of inscrutable intent.
It could be that the AI system has an intent and yet we have no means to figure out what the intent is.
For example, the use of Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) oftentimes uses large-scale artificial neural networks (ANNs), which are essentially computer-based simulations of somewhat along the lines of what we believe brains do, though the ML/DL of today is extremely simplistic in comparison and not at all akin to the complexities of the human brain.
In any case, the ML/DL is essentially a mathematical model that is computationally being performed, out of which there is not necessarily any logical basis to explain the inner workings. There are just calculations and arithmetics taking place. As such, it is generally considered inscrutable if there is no ready means to translate this into something meaningful in words and sentences that would constitute an articulated indication of intent.
Next, consider explicated intent.
Some believe that we might be able to do a type of translation of what is happening inside the AI system, and as such, there is a rising call for XAI, known as explainable AI. This is AI that in one fashion or another has been designed and developed to provide an explanation for what it is doing, and thus one might say that could showcase explicated intent.
Many argue that you can just drop the whole worry about AI intention and look instead at the AI developer that crafted the AI.
Since AI is a human-created effort, the human or humans that put it together are the intenders, and therefore the intention of the AI is found within the intentions of those humans.
Posted: at 9:45 am
The stock and options markets are suffering from what might be called Neropathy. Just as the Roman emperor Nero played his fiddle as Rome burned around his palace, the markets are seemingly oblivious to the pain and destruction that has enveloped much of the U.S. and the world.
Despite massive unemployment and severe economic contractions sparked by an as-yet incurable virus, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index are nearing their highest levels ever. Not even days of nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd while he was being arrested in Minneapolis have tarnished the stock markets momentum.
Tens of thousands of people are demonstrating in the streets, venting their anger about police brutality and social inequities that never seem to go away. President Donald Trump is bellicose. He berated governors for being weak, while his defense secretary told them to dominate the battlespace in their cities.
Earlier in the week, the Congressional Budget Office warned that it could take more than a decade for the economy to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Yet the stock market marches ever higher. A key measure of the risk of owning stocks, the Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, is purring like an innocent kitten that is lapping up dour economic reports like sweet milk.
Some credit the Federal Reserve for rescuing stocks for the second time in a decade with low rates and easy-money policies, but others fret that the mighty Fed put could ultimately be overcome by the added risks of the latest events.
Exclusive data, tables and charts from Barron's Market Lab.
Michael Schwartz, Oppenheimer & Co.s chief options strategist, told Barrons that he is increasingly struck by the singularity of this moment in market history.
I have lived through many unique events over the past five decades on Wall Street, he says, but this market seems to defy all logic based on historical experiences and data.
Stock prices are driven by corporate earnings, and earnings are influenced by economic conditions here and abroad. The equity market doesnt seemingly reflect reality.
Since the S&P 500 bottomed on March 23, it has gained more than 37%, while many stocks and sector funds have experienced more dramatic advances.
Chris Jacobson, a Susquehanna Financial Group strategist, told clients that investors appear eager to look past headwinds including deteriorating relations between the worlds two largest economies, U.S. and China, that should suppress investor enthusiasm to buy equities.
The market is done with Buy the dip and sell the rip. Its now Buy the dip and buy the rip, Dennis Dick, a Bright Trading proprietary trader, tweeted on Wednesday.
Many investors are caught in the middle. They arent willing to sell and miss this extraordinary rally, but dont want to put new money in stocks at these high levels. We know that people are curious about how to participate in the stock market without taking on incredible risk. A solution: selling put or call options on the S&P 500.
Calls give a buyer the right to buy stocks at a certain price and time; selling them is a bet on the markets expected trading range. Puts give a buyer the right to sell stocks at a certain time and price; selling them expresses a view that prices will rally higher.
If the sellers are right, they collect a wad of cash, and if they are wrong, they roll the trade to another month and try again. Tax treatment is favorable60% of gains are taxed at long-term rates, while 40% are taxed as short-term gains.
The traditional S&P 500 trade is selling puts or calls that are 100 points above or below the indexs level, but some investors are updating the strategy to reflect the current market. They are using strike prices that are 200 points away from the market, reflecting the extraordinary price swings that now define this Neropathic market.
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