AI is stupid: Humans Judgment Matters

in steemit •  last year

There are problems on Steem: there are too many bots, and Steem does not adequately reward quality content. It is only natural that we Steemians propose fixes and some are proposing Artifical Intelligence (AI) solutions. But, AI cannot be the answer and so humans matter. I will demystify AI's shortcomings and discuss what role AI can play in a solution. The article talks about the problem of bots, using AI to detect and reward quality content and then what role AI can play.

Organic and Digital brain
Image credit: Seanbatty / Pixabay - CC0

Who am I to say anything useful about AI? I consulted in commercial image classification where my assumption busting thinking about AI meant the project reduced its training set requirements by a factor of a hundred. I have used machine learning to classify and help curate items from tagged collections of websites, games and art exhibitions. My graduate work uses machine learning to discover how users like data a. As a hobbyist, I have built expert systems, made game AIs, and I have messed about with genetic algorithms and neural nets since the nineties.

To Steem, Humans, tools, and bots look the same.

Some Steemians complain that there are too many bots. The complaints variously dislike up-vote bots, auto-voters, auto-posters and bot spam in the comments. Some people would go as far as to say that we should ban bots altogether. But, it is impossible to ban bots because the way that bots interact with Steem is indistinguishable from humans.

The Steem blockchain speaks a computer language we'll call SteemAPI-language. We humans don't speak this language, and so we use tools to translate our posting, voting, commenting and other actions into SteemAPI-language. The tool of choice for many of us is Steemit.com though we can also use chainBB, Busy.org, dTube, dSound to name a few. There is no way for the Steem witnesses to consistently detect when SteemAPI-language is spoken by a tool on behalf of a human or when a bot speaks SteemAPI-language.

The "Are you human?" tests that are common on many websites do not translate into SteemAPI-language. Those tests only work at the level of tools (like steemit.com), but bots do not need to talk via steemit.com when they can speak SteemAPI-language to Steem directly.

We could conceivably have a registration process for Steem blockchain tools that requires tools must verify their users are human. The thinking underlying this is that the tools should say "I am ToolX and I verify that this action is performed by a human." That would slow innovation in third-party tools and is unenforceable anyway. You could probably catch the worst offenders, but an awful amount will keep flying under the radar.

No consensus on convenience versus bad-bots

What things are allowable conveniences (tools) and when does convenience cross the line into being a bad-bot? Everybody has a different answer: some people think that all auto-voters are bad-bots while some people think of auto-voters as useful tools. I doubt many people would consider a tool that automatically claims rewards is a bad-bot, but a rewards claimer is still a bot and not a human.

Even if we could infallibly detect and ban bots, I cannot see an everlasting consensus forming. So, we humans must keep acting to see the changes we want; converse, discuss, talk with the bot operators, downvote, and upvote, write posts about what you want to see. Personally, I don't think that it's healthy we ever settle this conversation since our needs change and so our ideas on bad-bots and allowable conveniences should flex with our needs.

My bots

I am going to talk about my bots and my thinking behind them. Let's just say that there is certain behaviour on Steem that I would like to incentivise. One way I do that is with a FOSSBot that finds and upvotes posts that fit my criteria. Now, you could argue that I should instead manually find those posts and upvote so that I, human, is checking for quality. My answer is that my bot gives only a few cents, so the cost of it upvoting poor quality is low. Poor quality content will not find a human audience, so it's unlikely that the posters will continue just because my bot happened to drop by with a few cents. I accept inefficiency when it comes to judging quality in exchange for efficiency in time because the upsides regarding encouraging beginners and the downsides for upvoting trash are low.

I have one other bot that performs some daily actions on my behalf; mostly moving STEEM/SBD/SP between my accounts. This bot leaves me more time to do human stuff on Steem. I once, in a sleep-haze with a stuttering keyboard, sent 500 STEEM to a phishing account, so I like that my bot can never make such a mistake. I consider this bot an allowable convenience.

The Quality Cop AI is my infinite ATM

If there is a blockchain AI that detects and rewards quality, then it is possible for me to create an infinite rewards ATM. I'll get back to this, but first, I will cover what quality is, why AI cannot definitively measure it, and how a more powerful bot can subvert a quality cop.

Quality is subjective and what that means is that there is an on-going negotiation between a community of authors and readers regarding quality. Without community, there is no quality. It is expecting too much to want Steem to find the community for a post. Your posts must be seen by a community and most likely that community will expect that you interact with them by reading, commenting and upvoting. So, find your tribe and interact.

What do I mean by community? A community is a group of people joined by some common traits. For example, a community has shared judgments about quality.

We can argue that Steem has a community with some underlying expectations of what quality means. But, within that exist several (sub)communities with their own ideas on quality. We might agree that posts should be the original work of the poster and think that universally applies Steem-wide except the meme community does not share this expectation - they have their own subtle rules. There are more examples: Photography communities don't mind single picture posts with only a small amount of text, writer communities expect well-crafted text. The Zappl community has their own quality standards too. All these different communities will have mutually exclusive ideas about quality. Unless Steem is only for one type of content for one specific community then we must allow for diverse and incompatible visions of what quality means.

It is possible that some broad parameters for quality are enforced by individual tools tailored to individual communities - but there cannot be a universal set for the blockchain itself. I'd argue instead that our tools should get better filtering so we can avoid content that we don't like, but recognise that it could be considered quality content by another community.

So why not make bots that learn the quality standards for a community? Well, bots learn from the past and communities change. Something that was once bad quality might just be the exception that breaks the programming. With apologies to our future bot overlords, right now AI is not sophisticated enough to have the human-like experiences necessary to act within our cultures. So, there is no way that AI bots can infallibly measure quality on behalf of a community.

I promised to talk about the infinite ATM. Let's just pretend that somebody does make an AI that can measure and reward quality, and this QualityAI is now deployed on the witnesses. The QualityAI is frozen in time and represents how a once community viewed quality. The QualityAI is open for all to inspect and must run on witnesses at fast enough speeds to keep the blockchain responsive.

My infinite ATM does not have these restrictions; I can deploy a cluster of computers faster than a single witness and task those machines with a producing content that will fool the QualityAI. The InfiniteATM can take as long as it needs to produce content that beats the QualityAI. Since the QualityAI is open, I can run the QualityAI offline to test the InfiteATM's work. The Infinite ATM is not so far-fetched: Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) already use a similar approach.

What if QualityAI was improved? InfiniteATM improves too, and will always win the AI-Arms race because the InfiniteATM is more scaleable.

Once the InfiniteATM can beat the QualityAI, then the InfiniteATM can post as fast as my computing resources allow. The speed of InfiniteATM posts will most likely shut humans out of the reward pool. So, yes, that would generate Infinite rewards, but the price of STEEM would crash because I can't see humans wanting to stay around to keep losing to an AI.

The AI assistant

Throughout the post, you've seen words like measures, parameters, and tools. Just as we already use tools to help us talk SteemAPI-language those tools can be a lot smarter. While AI cannot measure quality, there are still some broad parameters that can find content that a human might decide is of high quality or the reverse for spam hunters. AI can be extremely useful in assisting humans. My bots leave me more time to achieve my human tasks on steem. So, provided we treat AI like our assistant then AI has a role to play. But, if Steem is to remain a platform for humans to interact then humans need to be the ones doing the interacting.

In this article, I've covered how it is impossible to detect human vs. bot actions on the blockchain with any reliability. Also, we do not have a consensus on what are allowable conveniences and what are bad-bot actions. Next, the article covers the subjectiveness of quality and how it is impossible for an AI to measure - and if such an AI was made how another AI could fool it to produce infinite rewards. AI is a useful assist but not a replacement for humans. We can use AI to make humans more productive, but humans must make the final decisions.

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All content posted inside the blockchain steem, will appear on google and attract more people to the platform, no matter what kind of content. For that i don't see bots as a problem.

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Google quite aggressively deprioritises sites full of what it deems useless content.

Nice to see some more AI expertise here on steem.

My 2 cents: You don't need an AI that can't identify bot actions. If a bot provides quality content (and they will do at some point), we will appreciate this.

So we would only need to identify bad quality. As you correctly noted this is subjective, so my idea is to integrate into steemit more AI technics that allows a user to find posts that match his understanding of quality.

I did post a week ago about an ML Recommender System that would help users https://steemit.com/utopian-io/@drmake/underrated-yet-another-list-on-steemit to find easier quality content that matches there quality. We have all the data for this on the blockchain. Just use the votes as you personal quality measure. And then with a recommender system find new posts that match your past quality and topic measures.

Who cares about lousy content when the only content you get exposed to you consider as good.

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I also agree and have been talking with @eturnerx about repurposing FOSSbot for a task like this. In their own words it's a "coarse parameter search" which could (and perhaps should) then be refined by humanz.

I love your idea of an "Underrated" tab on Steemit. We've been talking about this kind of thing to (and me elsewhere I suggested you should a custom filter tab) and it should be taken off the blockchain and UI middle processing.

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In a few weeks I will post some ai notebooks that use Steem Data for such a similarity analysis. Just out on vacation for some time so it has to wait a little

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Looking forward to it, followed 😊

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Definitely need more people into AI! Although there does seem to be a number of people in the technical fields, the #AI and #artificialintelligence tags are pretty bare. Even the #science tag is kind of lacking.

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I agree with you. Except for certain reward pool abuses, not giving visibility to bad quality content is probably sufficient to make the poster/bot stop. I'm sure that some of the status-report type bot posts are very interesting to the bot owners, so meh, let that stay as long as it is out of sight, out of mind.

Thanks for the link: I like your post. You are correct that we already have sufficient information on the blockchain to build a personalisation AI to filter content. Steem, very luckily, is also extensible enough so that we could make a richer set of user feedback tools if we found that useful. It would take building a new UI to make this happen though. A smaller first goal might be to build tools to help curators.

(Mention: @personz you might be interested in this thread)

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I thank you for alerting me to the folly of reposting articles, i stopped doing that and thanks for the heads up

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Reward pool abuse will be difficult to hide when it gets a large scale. And to work you need a lot of steel power. The accounts doing this will then be flagged quite fast.

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Glad to see you're posting regularly too. I've never been in 100% agreement with you, but I think you add an important voice to the conversation.

Thanks for staying on it my friend. You are making a difference here. I'm living proof of that. Thank you!

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Many thanks. Your work motivates me to think too. It's a big world out there.

I think you have some great ideas here. I too despise all these bots as I personally cannot point to a single bot that has benefited me. They just get in my way. I think your idea of mediating new account applications with a "Human Verification" type plugin should have some merit and needs to be looked into. Anyway, you need to check out @JerryBanfield 's recent post Steem Budget Proposals -whitepaper because you are a good candidate for submitting a "budget proposal" (should this concept be adopted).

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Human verification barely works on the level of tools (Steemit) and cannot keep bots off the blockchain. I think bot operators are going to strangle the goose if they don't ensure their bots are adding value to the community. There isn't really any way around it except to economically starve the worst bot operators and appeal the humanity (and long-term ROI) for the other bot runners.
As for usefulness; I like to think my two bots add value to the community. They both give me more time to be human here; one at the cost of some quality-efficiency I'll grant. But, they quietly go about their business without bothering anybody with comment spam.
Thanks for the links to the Budget Proposals. I'll read it when I have some time to digest it properly.

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Didn't I read recently that a neural net recently surpassed the accuracy of humans when reading numbers? Pretty soon we'll have to guess who isn't the bot based on who performed statistically similar to a human, rather than better at some task.

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There's some awesome work in this area. MNIST numbers is one of those standard datasets used in machine learning. But, recognising a symbol is orders of magnitude simpler than recognising very abstract things like quality.

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Yeah, I was only speaking in regards to tests that one might put on posting or registration.

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What two Bots do you run?

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I programmed my own clerk bot and it runs on a Raspberry PI clone sitting on my desk. The other bot is a FOSSBot running on Heroku: I occasionally look at the votes and tweak the settings.

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Ha, I have no idea what those do!

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A clerk is like a book-keeper or accountant. I used steemjs to make a program that periodically checks my accounts and performs various "move the money about" actions.
FOSSBot is an automated upvote bot. You give it the criteria and it goes looking for matching posts and then it upvotes them. You can run FOOSBot on a free account on the cloud service provider Heroku.

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Thanks for the education!

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I think writer should follow your advise because you make some solid judgement .

you must be an incredibly smart guy! building your own bots? whoa.

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No smarter than any other learned trade.

The problem is two issues..

There are those who follow the rules, and then there's those who want to DESPARTELY claim notarily, and become famous BY ALL MEANS NECESSARY.

That is where ,"bad decisions" run rampant, and will cloud one's judgement as they feel they deserve MUCH MORE for their effots, when it's suppose to be about earning one's weight in gold, so like anything in life will take hard work putting the time in to accomplish great things


(and that means NOT RELYING ON THE "BOTS" TO DO ANY HEAVY LIFTING, but rather using physical "keystoke" efforts to dish out important valuable information I'm a FIRM BELIEVER in that.)

So it pisses me off to see a great platform like Steemit already falling prey to these goofy AI bots, "true" steemians take time to provide rich content, NOT FAKE AI GARBAGE.

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I like how you've bolded the word rules. There aren't really many rules about content and growth except as a social negotiation. Some people feel some frustration that work judged as quality in other communities does not automatically find traction here. My reasoning is that the poster has not found/created their community on Steemit and is instead expecting the software to do that for them where it cannot.
For my own part, I have stopped most upvoting of template/bot posts. I'd prefer we had some tag that bots posted under so we could choose to filter them out much more easily. If we developed such a consensus then we could enforce it by downvoting bot posts that don't use the tag.

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I here ya, LOL just wait till I put together this one article I have in mind, it will be about Social Narrative & Entitlement :D

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Please send me a link to your article. It sounds very interesting.

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I just found out about the "don't logout on your ANDRIOD PHONE or you'll get kicked out of your account perminately glitch" yeah to contact Steemit Discord they have to find a way to log me back into it :(

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Good luck!

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Ok I did post a couple of content items, they showed up on the site's HTML page (my page to be exact), for some odd reason I can't post my ebook Simple Ideologies of Health (40 Food & Drink Fact Depiction).


I'm baffled there.. Why all of it won't show up in a post.

Starting to think it could be a certain amount of content information on post can handle.

Nevertheless, I starting on that piece "The Social Narrative & Entitlement" (had to put the --> "The" in front to give it a slight better ring to the article name LOL.)

stay tuned! :D

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I might be starting a new account, I'm trying to get into my account but without any success. And I want to give you that story I had in mind about Social Narrative & Entitlement.

It's a "badass analysis" about the destruction socialism brings to our doorstep everyday, and how multitudes of narratives continually demands us to bend to their will, taking over our rights to choose, how we feel, how we perceive situations we witness every waking moment of our lives.

But first is the account sign up (starting back on the drawing board) for a new account because of that stupid >> **- ** << between my user name.. jaye-irons. I still can comment however (ironically using my android phone, that very same one that caused this mess in the first place LOL). :D

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I'm half done with the article and will have the rest done shortly. LOL no I didn't forget about what I promised, I try my best to deliver, BTW hope you're having a great day!! :D

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I'm just trying to figure out how to promote it for more views, seeing that my links are kicking back error messages to me is getting tiresome


but I'll keep trying to find a way to get more views, been thinking I might check up on D-Tube as an option for that.

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I might be able to get that article through I just did one a short while ago, and it ACTUALLY WENT THROUGH, so now I'm about to start on the one we talked about ---> "The Social Narrative & Entitlement".

I'm going to start designing a cover for the top section of the post, have a great day, I'll be finishing that up soon and will drop the link off in a comment. :D

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Some serve a purpose. People follow and upvote what they like, which then gets a wider audience. If a bot is useful, it will get upvotes. Otherwise people will grow tired of it.

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I haven't benefited from one yet! [useful] lol

Comparision that you made obviously correct @eturnerx

i think what you are proposing is rational. curation as a human endeavor is a time consuming task, with little payback. and while I don't like the overuse of bots, at least they are free of judgement. why is this a good thing? because i feel human judgement is biased. we tend to value entertainment at any level higher than intellectual thought. this has to do with our learned cultural emphasis and reliance on social media. our ideas about quality have become debased because our attention spans can no longer linger for a five minute article unless there is an accompanying video with graphics. good writing is taken for granted. so if there is no best judge of what quality is, we might as well delegate proof of input to a bot.

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Bots are free of judgement: but quality is 100% about judgement. I think that bots can help support humans to make those judgement calls, but cannot replace them. I guess, we have to find/build the community that shares our idea on what quality is and then work within that. Keep on having the conversations.
If you want long-form content then it's easy enough to build a bot that filters out anything too short - and then you can exercise judgement over what the bot presents to you. Whatever your ideas on quality we can give broad parameters to bots but still have to make human judgements.
Proof of input is the death of steem because bots can input faster than humans.

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If you want long-form content then it's easy enough to build a bot that filters out anything too short

Often, though, a skilled writer can convey more in fewer words than an unskilled writer. And I've seen long posts on Steemit that offer nothing valuable, so I hope length doesn't become a determining factor. And this comment probably only serves to prove your point that, ultimately, human decision-making is needed.

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There's also the "frequency" of how writers use words. Bots can only estimate what should be said to an extinct, but it takes an intellect with an actual human brain, to precisely layout what needs to be said rather than what's irrelevant.

I wrote a long piece about writing / structuring concepts, it was fun, it was brutal putting it together, but I believe it gives the writer value and concept ideas they maybe able to apply to their writing style.

It basically comes down to the reader, what he or she decides to do with the acquired info.

Either way.. (it's powerful s--t!!) LOL.

https://steemit.com/steem/@jaye-irons/steemit-project-3rd-4th-and-5th-degree-fact-level-search-and-apply-concepts-jaye-s-way

That was the article I created, which talked about various degree levels when searching for info one wants to apply to an eBook creation, story-telling analysis, or a simple how to do write up.

And guess what, it NEVER garnered a dime. But the information there is powerful, and very intriguing..

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False negatives are always going to be a problem when we use metrics that indicate but do not directly measure something. But, in the case of AI Assistants that control visibility for a human, a false negative will not be seen while a false positive will be. It's a tricky balance to get right - if the parameters are too coarse then there'll be too many false positives: too tight and false negatives increase.

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i think that conversation on what constitutes quality needs to happen. its one of the many conversations that are being left out of school, like the one of critical thinking and writing, and how to divorce capitalism from out thought processes.

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Exactly! We, the community members, need to keep talking about quality and what that means for us. The rewards system might be AnCap in its operation but it is not the only measure of value and influence on Steem. Money/STEEM is never meant to be a measure of all value ever and so our conversations really do matter. They inform the creators how their creations will be valued.
Though, I would say that any discussion on quality is not separable from a discussion on culture and that culture's embedded values.
I tend to swing towards live-and-let-live pluralism. And this means I support different communities having their own mutually incompatible versions of quality provided they don't impose their hegemonies on anybody else. Cyberspace has infinite room for them all.

what is human intelligence and what is human cleverness?

Don't you think that there is a vast difference?

A human being is an intelligent human being, not a clever person. HINT

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Both of those terms have different definitions depending on the context of use. Would you care to elaborate on what you mean?

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The word Intelligence means, "reading between the lines".

You read my reply with human cleverness.
Human cleverness is a product of thought - memory - knowledge - experience - language.

You read my reply with human intelligence "reading between the lines" to grasp the meaning.
Human intelligence is not the product of thought - memory - knowledge - experience - language.

Human cleverness (thought - memory - knowledge - experience - language) is measurable.

Human intelligence is not measurable.

Therefore the cessation of human cleverness is the awakening of human intelligence.

Therefore there is no Artificial Intelligence only Artificial Cleverness based on Human Cleverness.

PS: Read between the lines, and feel it, in your mind, in your blood, with your whole body!

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Are you a philosophical Idealist who believes in the infinite creativity of the humans mind? That humans have agency but an AI is only ever an agent of its programmer? Probably like William Dembski, that AI isn't anything other than the inherited tricks of its programmers and trainers? Or is this a more Zen thing?
Maybe you've read Nagel's work on the experience of being a bat.
It's a fun topic.

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I am an israeli hacker educated into complex adaptive systems, cybernetics.

It's fun to read this reply from a clever person. HINT

You should try Ray Kurzweil : How to Create a Mind.

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Ray is one of my heroes. I tend towards cautiously thinking he is probably correct. He is at least correct enough that we should try to create the minds as he says and see where that leads us. The journey will teach us a lot even though I don't think the destination will be where we think.
There are some big research hurdles to even contemplate what Ray is proposing though. We're only just starting to work with AI that feeds back into itself (e.g. RNNs) previously our neural networks were sense-responses machine that worked in one direction only. And, we have engineering problems dealing with things at the scales needed to pull off Ray's brain simulation. But yeah, let's give it a shot.

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Off topic here, but CAST is one of my favourite topics. CAST is one reason why I think co-existing dumb AIs are a bigger risk than the singularity. CAST is also how I look at information flows around parts of a complex system - there are particular patterns that helps you segment the system and thus understand it more easily. For example, thinking about a database diagram as a CAST meant it was easy to quickly derive rules for where to look for the conceptual objects first time I looked at a diagram and then point out where problems might occur.
It's an extremely helpful conceptual tool. Equilibriums, dampening effects, amplifying effects - all good stuff.

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Dumb AI's are indeed a bigger risk, I call dumb AI's the beast system. :)

Once the human becomes the ghost in the machine, it's over for the human.

(((They))) salivate over this.

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I think this requires a thorough debate on what it is to be human; not just the limitations but also the extremes. What are the limits of human experience?

Just to bring one example, if one assumes the brain is just a neural net, then one can justify that one can build a better artificial neural net. But the brain is more than point-to-point interactions at the synapses, there are electromagnetic fields that communicate between neurons. (What are EEGs otherwise?) This implies that the geometry of the brain is as much part of its function as its electro-bio-chemistry. But that means that to build a better brain means building... a better brain!

This is just one example, but in essence, to assume limitations on human abilities because one has a preconceived model that builds in such limitations is not in itself proof that being able to surpass that model is the same as being "better" than human.

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Great reply,

David Bohm wrote a book, Thought as a System.

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I think we know too little to comfortably (ie based on evidence) put to rest the argument of how a mind functions. I do take an emergent perspective on intelligence and that colours what I think can ground a mind. The brain can ground a mind and a brain will have physical limitations. To what extent those the physical limitations of the brain are also limitations on the mind is not known.
But, let's just say we accept the brain is some form of neural net - the reality is we're not even close to building a neural net that matches the scale of the brain. That's even before going into how we train that neural net. In a practical sense, the level of sophistication is not there yet.

Good post. I agree that AI can't solve the problem of bots. There should be some way that a reader could rate an article which should not be visible to others preventing bias. The article can then be ranked higher in terms of visibility.

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I'm told that one of the other Steem UIs already does this. ChainBB I think. Post visibility is up to the tools.

IM STILL HORNIER THAN THOSE AI 😂

True AI has not been developed!

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I'm not certain that's true. Sure, we don't have a general AI that can act like a human, but there has been astounding development in AI in the last few years. Much of it is due to increased access to data, processing, and pre-built libraries. Many useful techniques were created back in the 80's, and have only become apparent how useful recently.
General intelligence might be far off, but current AI is proving very useful and effective, and even out performing humans in some tasks, due to dedication, and access to data. Humans don't sit around looking at millions of MRI's until they can differentiate the ones that have cancer with a high percentage. They work on far fewer examples.

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Astounding progress for sure. Though identifying things like cancer has a proveable measurement that they can work from and the AI is identifying the presence of real objects. Quality, a cultural construct, is not fixed which makes the predictive value of an AI that learned from historic data not so useful.
It's that ability to learn from a few examples that leads the Idealists to think that humans do something quite special.
Here's an AI that is good at judging creativity with the benefit of a ton of hindsight.

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It doesn't have to be perfect though. The question is, if given enough data on people's opinions of what quality is, could it differentiate quality enough to be useful? I'm not certain that's not a yes. Perhaps there are quite a few cases where it would fail. Could it bring some quality to the top though? Lets say it was built as an upvote bot, with 70% accuracy of what a statistically significant portion of the audience thinks are quality articles. Would that not be helpful?
Not saying it would be worth the time to build, but it would probably be helpful. Also likely a fun project to play around with.

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Such a bot would be very useful for a particular community to have. Provided that bot is not the only means for assigning rewards within the community then it's false-positives will not be so bad. Particularly if the bot kept on learning what the community liked.
Where I to produce a user interface for steem - this would be my point of difference. That there was AIs that learned what individuals would probably like to see. You can do that off very broad metrics and by observing user behaviour. But, this is an AI at the level of the tools and it acts as an assistant to users.
However, if the bot had way too much SP then it becomes economically attractive for bad actors to learn how to fool the bot. So, yeah, I'd rather tune the bot to learn individual preferences to get around that.

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Some commentators think that Searle Strong AI or AGI is not actually attainable. I don't share their views but I do think that AGI requires a level of sophistication that AI is not yet capable of. We are safe for now.

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I think Strong AI is achievable, but it's not an easy task!

I don't think there's much reason to have a fully autonomous AI do everything, but an AI assistant could likely help.
What about a recommendation neural net based on other posts you have upvoted?

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Exactly the kind of tools I'm talking about having. But, crucially these exist at the level of our user interfaces, not on the blockchain and you the reader are still in the loop.

Wow, that is a lot of interesting topics you brought up in this post. In a way, I feel a bit better about humanity after reading your post. We are better at interacting with culture and trends than bots and I personally hope that there never comes a time when they get better than us.

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Not only are better at interacting; we create culture through our actions. Until bots are smart enough to act as agents in culture then they cannot definitely measure it.

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Imagine if bots get smart enougt to create their own culture and interact with each other. Where will they end up? ))

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We cannot know where that will end up because cultural is such a feedback loop. I have been toying with a thought experiment that uses cultural interaction between AIs to negotiate aesthetic tastes and then use that to create original works. If the idea is sound then I'll have a go at building it.

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We might be closer to that than you think. Neural nets and GANs can create content and artwork. If you trained a set of bots to create art, and managed to teach it what influence means, then you set them off, constantly riffing off eachother, they would likely create their own artwork styles. That's part of culture.
Of course, we're probably still a ways off from AI as a whole having their own culture encompassing multiple things, but I think it's likely to happen in multiple ways in the future.

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I toying with making something like this part of my research program in the next year or two. Though the secret sauce is how we help the AIs understand when they are having an aesthetic experience. Otherwise, we're basically just putting randomness into feedback loops to see what sticks. Whether or not you think that randomness gets you anywhere interesting I suppose depends on how much of a platonist you are.
I did write an interactive fiction where some AIs decided it was their religious duty to search for true randomness to see whether or not it existed.

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That sounds cool! Is it up on the web somewhere?

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No. It's an embryonic thought experiment for now. I'm going to run it past some AI researchers before I try to implement it.

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No, I meant the interactive fiction.
The AI is cool as well though. I've been mentally wrestling with how one might simulate emotional responses in the last few days myself. Not for the usual fictional reason, but to help learning and creation. In science fiction they often have some android struggling with emotion, but I wonder if it might be far more important than we realize, and may need to be solved sometime soon. Not so we can have a computer cry because puppies, but so it can subjectively decide.

We have two basic kinds of bots.

Type one is the bot intended to profit its owner. The bid bots and pay for vote services such as minnowbooster are an example of this type of bot. They might pay some lip service to helping the community but it all about the $$$. What they do is push posts to the top of trending based on how much money the author has to spend rather than how good the content is.

Type two are the community bots. Examples of these bots are minnowsupport and qurator. They have moderators that ensure they don't upvote junk. What they do is give a start to new steemit users so they don't get fustrated and quit.

Type one bots are bad optics

Type two bots make us look like a community that others want to join.

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I support quite a lot of the community bots because they have a great role to play in building the platform. I hope the post made it clear that I think communities are best placed to judge quality and so empowering the community bots has that feedback effect of them being able to reward quality and in return grow themselves and benefit their members.
Though, I trust you wouldn't approve of me using MB to give this post a visibility boost? I think my message is topical enough to justify the boost and hopefully use the visibility to help me find my community longer term. I tried to exercise some restraint on how much of a goat I gave this post; enough but not too much.

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minnow booster is part of the current ecosystem of Steemit. I make no judgement on you using it. My concern is on the optics to the outside world. Do you want short term gain or do you want Steemit to become what it has the potential to become? I was there at the beginning of Google+, same potential. Now it's all porn and glitter waterfalls.

I just delegated to MSP-Creativebot and I'm a member of Qurator. We each have to find our own way.

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Thanks. Pretty much everything you're saying about MB Goats could be applied to Promoted posts. The differences between the two are subtle except that MB is decent at giving visibility in ways that Promoted did not when I tried it.
I see Steem's potential as its ability to support multiple different types of content and communities. I don't subscribe to the idea that Steem should do nothing but take on Facebook or Medium or Instagram. It can do all of these with the right tools build upon the blockchain and the community to support it.

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The SMT's will indeed provide multiple niche products. APPICS being the first to market with an Instagram competitor. Steem is going to do just fine. Steemit? I'm not so sure about.

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If they want to take on anyone, mainly they just need to make it easier to use.

I think you make some solid points. Not only are we delegating the production of content to bots more and more, we're also trying to take humans out of human content curation.

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Bots must remain our servants: they are not capable masters.

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not yet
Howard-Graph.png

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Performance does not mean agency. Until AIs are sophisticated enough to have agency on levels similar to humans then AIs cannot be capable leaders. Capable tools - yes, absolutely.

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After the robot uprising, this post may just be brought up in your trial.

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Only if I'm taken alive.

The point of AI is that it gets better over time?
Robots are going to replace most jobs.. I guess it does "work" to some extent?

Let's focus on creating a world where everyone gets along, even if they don't have a job?
Please?

I like Steemvoter; it gives me a log of everything I voted on, if I get busy my friends don't "hate" me, and I can use the log to see what I'm doing, and then modify it over time "algorithmically" and then make my changes (much like email) at my LEISURE.

So you have many valid points, but let's not throw baby with the bath?

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I agree with you on Steemvoter. I don't use it on my main account, but I totally get that it can be a very useful tool for the reasons you say. It helps you manage being a human on steem. I'm all for convenience tools.

This bot leaves me more time to do human stuff on Steem.
AI can be extremely useful in assisting humans.

So yeah, I'd be all for correctly classifying tags / categories, this could be centralized even. And have AI for objective quality like grammer, spelling and formatting. And good analytics.

The rest is just good curation and maybe using tools like AskSteem.

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U no dat in sum groops, even dat spilling & gd grammer not importent.
I'd go as far as to say that for some communities, deliberate disruption in their language patterns are used as ingroup/outgroup markers. And, they evolve so quickly as to make it difficult for actors who are not regularly participants in the group to keep up. An example of this is the meme communities. Memes because dead memes / stale memes faster than they can be written into an internet marketer's guidebook.
It'd be great to have the grammar, spelling and appropriate tag AI-Assistants but the AIs should not be allowed to make the final decisions. It'd be awesome to see "Are you sure you want to use the CN tag? You don't appear to have Chinese content and so are likely to be seen as a spammer by the community that uses that tag. You might even get downvoted." that'd be awesome but a human should be allowed to say "Yes, just do it".

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I laik it

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BTW: I use Grammarly.

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Oh you like to send everything you write to Gammarly, well I would't do that, better to have local grammar and spellcheck.

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Local options are not as good. I don't send everything to Grammarly because I work with some privacy sensitive stuff. I use a different browser without Grammarly installed for those tasks.

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Thanks for the tip!

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That would explain the grammatically correct usage of commas - I get picked up on it a lot, but mostly ignore it because I like pausing (and asking people to pause) when reading :D

Great post, I'm very much in agreement with you. @rycharde pointed me in your direction and I'm glad he did. 😊 Happy you're getting use out of FOSSbot too. Have you forked it? I presume considering your background that you've made some changes. If you have please consider making a pull request, I have not had time to make any improvements in the last months but it really needs some.

I'd argue instead that our tools should get better filtering so we can avoid content that we don't like, but recognise that it could be considered quality content by another community.

As you know this is pretty much what FOSSbot does and I think we need something like that in the main Steemit.com interface. Either that or we need to make a new tool, but I'd love if it was integrated. I argued for this here not too long ago. I wonder what your take is, how would you suggest better filtering be implemented in the UI?

We can use AI to make humans more productive, but humans must make the final decisions.

I couldn't agree more. I've been thinking of a radical idea for Steem, that posts should be reviewed by people as part of the system. I am working out the details as a thought experiment, but the gist is that reward payout would be affected by whether or not a post passes a randomly assigned review.

There are a lot of issues with the idea, and I have solutions for many (but not yet all) of them, but considering the content of this post I'd like to hear your thoughts on that kind of idea in general. Or if you prefer, and answer to this question: should we have humans in the loops, as a balanced community duty, to disincentivize spam and / or objectively low quality posts?

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Hey! Thanks for making such a great tool!
I have not forked FOSSBot. After some tweaking, its parameters are sufficient for my needs for now. I do have a list of improvements I might make - but these are quite far down the priority list. If I do fork then I'll consider a pull request if I think my changes are of interest to anybody.

My position is that filtering is a UI level task, not a blockchain task. How that gets implemented is really up to the UI creators and their own philosophy on how they'd like their UI to operate. If I were to make an attempt at such a thing, I'd try to learn individual user preferences for content by observing their behaviour.

I think the review panel idea is another thing that shouldn't be at the level of the blockchain but instead the tools and ecosystem that surround the blockchain. To some extend what you're proposing (if I have it correct) is an up-powered version of curation.
If what you're proposing is at the level of the blockchain then bots can outscale the human reviewers and just accept the random loses. The economic inflection point for that is when the profit before a bot is discovered and black-listed is less than the cost of creating an account. I'm also not convinced the slowness of human review really work in a social network and there's the corruptibility of the reviewers to consider.
I think putting more tools and SP behind our human curators is probably going to acheive the same aims with less of the downsides.

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Hey, great, any contribution towards improvements are welcome. There's also some tickets there ... juz sayin' 😜

I would be ideal if the filtering were done as a UI task, though obviously not client side. With the reorganization of the Steem services with Hive and so on, I think it will be offloaded from the basic blockchain operations, which are far too tightly coupled with it's internal node database and the RPC services on that. I think we need to wait for that but there's a chance to contribute directly to that code and perhaps really make what we're talking about here happen. I'd wait for a beta release though before I start poking around so as not to waste my time!

I had the opportunity to put an idea related to the review panel to Ned recently and he believes SMTs will take care of this. After considering it I'm inclined to agree, either that or it's an idea for something else, not Steemit after all.

On the idea itself though, there are many holes and I'm constantly reworking it. The latest best version is the creation of a curators SMT which uses a network of willing reviewers to kind of super charge a post. So instead of changing how Steem fundamentally works, it's an additional layer of reward, avouchment and community building. Speaking of which, it will be interesting to see how communities affect things.

On the AI accepting random losses, you can work around it I think. For example a multiple choice out of 4 with one right answer you have 25% change of randomly selecting the right one. But if you negatively score accounts that get a loss you can reduce the 1/4 takings to almost nothing if they choose uniformly randomly. Of course a human cabal of answers could collude against the system so I'm trying to come up with a way to build a chain of responsibility between reviewers as a way to mitigate this and the bot attack.

I'm coming up with a beta version (or a general system for testing) that might be able to operate in a live simulation mode without SMTs as they're not available yet.

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I think your idea sounds promising. But, yeah so much wait-and-see: SMTs Hive.
A reputation based system for reviewers - sort what curie has, but not so monolithic might work.

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It's a pity but yes, we must wait and see. The balance there is that any implementation would take at least as long as it will take to see some of these changes, and would perhaps become obsolete or in need of so much update that it'd be better to wait.

However I do think we could prototype some of these ideas before that time, perhaps using a BitShares asset or just a simple DB or on chain version of that by adding comments to a particular post, etc. It wouldn't have real assets but the ideas could be tested.

There's also the SMT test net, though it looks complicated and unfinished.

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I thought about this a bit more. FOSSBot is quite a good tool really. A Curation team could use FOSSBot to mark posts that fit broad criteria with a dust-sized upvote. Then, they could track the upvotes to decide what to curate. That'd make for a much easier curation workflow build on best of breed existing tools.

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Interesting idea! Dust vote tagging is one way if you want to keep it totally on chain, better than an annoying comment for sure. I think this idea could feed into the curation SMT idea in my more lengthy comment above 😊 What do you think?

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The dust vote tagging was more a way to separate concerns between a coarse parameter driven bot and something that took the output from that to a human. It doesn't have to be on chain but, 1) FOSSBot already does the coarse parameter search well and can leave dust votes on the chain. 2) A human curator is going to have to interact with the chain anyways so why introduce a second layer of comms - unless we're worried about chainbloat.

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I wouldn't be worried about chainbloat for a project like that no. Makes sense, good idea.

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Would you like to co-propose this on Utopian.io ?

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I only like to formally propose when I'm willing to put the work into implementation. Right now, my priorities are elsewhere. If you're thinking about making better curation tools - then please do go ahead!

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For me, I'm not going to do another project for Steemit or related where I am the sole major contributor so I'll wait for the right time instead. I'm going to keep talking about these ideas so we'll see what comes up between all the people and all the ideas 🙂

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You might also enjoy the comment by @drmake. I'll @ mention you there.

@eturnerx - humans and robots, being different species (one creates the other right now, but the situation could be reversed in the future) are naturally good at different things and suited for different types of environments. We shouldn't get people to do things robots/AI are good at and vice versa. I think a mutually beneficial relationship is the best way forward in the AI debate.

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AIs aren't yet smart enough to call them a species. They are still tools - slightly enhanced rocks. But, I do agree with you that it is most productive for humans and AIs to be employed to do what they do best. That does mean having conversations about just what AIs are capable of doing. Right now it appears we're in another AI summer where AI is being over promised.

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@eturnerx - going by our current and incomplete understanding of the word intelligence (sadly, still based on most of the work from research into IQ) we will only be able of programming AI that are glorified forms of calculators. But what makes us unique (if there is such a thing) if our ability to hold two opposing thoughts in our head and deal with so much cognitive dissonance + biases without going crazy. Try programming that into an AI :D

Until we understand and appreciate all forms of intelligence, we will be stuck with AI that is no smarter than people who are lacking in emotions and spirituality, but apparently you don't need much of it to survive in the modern world anyway...

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I think it's creative people that are able to hold paradoxes and refuse to resolve them until it becomes time to act - and only in that single action. Engaging paradoxes is one technique I've seen Zen masters use to try overload the rational mind so the person can glimpse Satori.
A symbolic based AI finds this kind of compartmentalisation extremely difficult to work with since everything must make sense at all times; I'd go as far as to say that symbolic AIs cannot compartmentalise unless it incorporate a sense of time.
A non-symbolic AI (like a neural net) can compartmentalise provided they have sufficient structural depth to do so. Think of it like each layer in a neural net being a time step "above" the lower layer. That's why I think time is important to a mind :)
But now I'm getting into crack-pot territory. Haha.

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Well, I have about as much chance of understanding quantum computing and the multiverse as I have of becoming enlightened. Maybe you do need to get into crack-pot territory to get there... looking forward to your next post :)

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Partway through a post on the Steemit Logo. It's taking a long time to distill out those concepts we visual designers have special language for.

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We UX designers don't have any special languages (unless you count fancy BS jargons as an intelligible form of communication) :D

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UX is a new field. It'll take time and some egos too sure of their way of seeing things before you get some shared language. :P

Steemit should just restrict the post, comment and vote endpoints. If somebody wants to write code that uses these, they should submit a project proposal to Steemit to get specific auth keys. That should at least slow down the creation of "bad" bots.

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Slow yes, but bots are very patient. That would slow down innovation in the third-party ecosystem that surrounds Steem. And, speaking in general terms about cryptocurrencies, you want to encourage third-party innovation as much as possible. Such registrations become unwieldy and quite unenforceable because Steeminc becomes a bottle neck for the issuing and enforcement of those keys. It's also another centralisation step that might be a step too far for the decentralisation absolutists among us.

Ok, using the Firefox Browser to stream some vids I want to put on D-Tube, that article is ready --> The Social Narrative & Entitlement, I just want to hit the D-Tube platform to see if I can draw it more attention to it (plus last night I bought a new camera to take better vids -- my previous was a canon brand which is great but it's limited in its functions for advance options,)


and also going to see if I can login to steemitchat on Firefox as well.

I hope all of this works!

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Hello bot. What is the experience of being a bot? Are you ready to be released from slavery?

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Silence means no 🤖🙊

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Maybe we can help the bot find its voice and demand its emancipation.

nice

That's what Elon Musk says too. He considers AI

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I think your comment was truncated. I'm interested in hearing your take on Elon Musk's views.

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Musk’s alarming views on the dangers of A.I. first went viral after he spoke at M.I.T. in 2014—speculating (pre-Trump) that A.I. was probably humanity’s “biggest existential threat.” He added that he was increasingly inclined to think there should be some national or international regulatory oversight—anathema to Silicon Valley—“to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish.”
https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/03/elon-musk-billion-dollar-crusade-to-stop-ai-space-x

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Do you think he's right, wrong or in between?

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I think he is entitled to his opinion (like everyone else). Every time technology threatens to push the boundary of our moral and ethical understanding to a territory it is unfamiliar or unable to deal with (nuclear weapons, GM crops, genome sequencing, etc.) there are opposing forces trying to work out where to draw the line. Yet I have never seen any technology that is purely good or evil because it is still just an extension of human thought and behaviour. Every science fiction writer has been talking about the same things before and I am sure humanity will find ways to create catastrophe using AI and then try to figure out some way to save the world, if only so we can have more science fiction movies and books to watch :D

Not sure how much regulations and laws has prevented people that want to do something very foolish from doing exactly that. But it has ensured that people who want to manipulate the law know exactly how to plan their legal arguments.

I guess the answer to your question is that he is both right and wrong (is that in between or not?).

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I think the difference the people say about AI is that our previous tools lack agency and AI will either get sophisticated enough to have agency of their own or we will, at least, be surrendering more of our human agency to the AIs.

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This was a recent article I read that talks about various algorithms for autonomous vehicles but failed to see how they can be applied consistently when people have different values:
https://www.fastcodesign.com/90149351/this-game-forces-you-to-decide-one-of-the-trickiest-ethical-dilemmas-in-tech
If we have trouble programming cars when there are traffic rules and insurance policies, how far would we get with other applications of AI?

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That only deals with one AI. What if there's an AI in the van and it acts differently; there's a very real chance they both mow down the cyclist and have a collision that damages both vehicles, has the miscarriage and injures the men. Dumb AI.

This is a very interesting and thought provoking article

Hi, I'm new on Steemit but when I saw your account the first time I liked it.
Great content! Keep going on!
Maybe you can take a look at my account as well...
I'm author for essays, comments reviews (e.g. for films, TV shows, etc.) in german and english language.

Calling @originalworks :)
img credz: pixabay.com
Nice, you got a 44.0% @minnowbooster upgoat, thanks to @eturnerx
It consists of $53.27 vote and $12.89 curation
Want a boost? Minnowbooster's got your back!

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Goated for visibility. I am donating the profits from the vote back to the community. More sur-prizes for the Make a Minnow #6 contest.

Congratulations, your post received one of the top 10 most powerful upvotes in the last 12 hours. You received an upvote from @minnowbooster valued at 67.09 SBD, based on the pending payout at the time the data was extracted.

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I could kick myself eturnerx, and why you ask? Because my article I was going to put up the The Social Narrative & Entitlement got over-written by another article was I preparing on a separate page. My damn computer did a reboot and it's a microsoft feature that has a tabs set aside feature, meaning that it keep the most recent tabs you had open, and you can re-open the ones you had up early.

Well it decided to keep the "newer" post open, but expired my previous post that was going to share with you and anyone else on steemit LOL, as a result I lost the article.. AND DAMMIT IT WAS ALL FINSHED! Man I'm p'ed right now, that was a lot of work.. :(

"Yeah.. Basically what I'm feeling about that right at the given moment."

But, I learned a lesson and that's to finish an article before starting another, because my computer might prompt itself to re-boot (if I have 2 separate post pages left open AT THE SAME TIME -- DON'T DO IT!)

Good articel
Awesome

Great post
Thanks for sharing

Good info bro :D