Friday, March 24, 2023

You Can't Say We Haven't Been Warned

Anyone who has ever watched the film Colossus - The Forbin Project or enjoyed the revamped Battlestar Galactica or read Robert Sawyer's The Terminal Experiment will know that artificial intelligence, whether embraced willingly or created accidentally, never ends well. Safeguards are overlooked or abandoned, or sometimes the A.I. develops unintended abilities that spell disaster for humanity. Hubris, as the Greeks taught us, can be deadly.

The speed at which A.I is developing in the real world suggests it is time for some sober second thought. The fact that that is not happening, as you will see in the following, is testament to the competitive nature of entitles like Google and Microsoft. We may currently be enthralled by developments like GPT Chat, but are do we truly understand it and its potential, both for good and ill?

If you only have time to watch one of the two following videos, watch the first one. The second one is a more in-depth examination of the topic.

No doubt those who oppose or urge caution in this rapid evolution of A.I. will be dismissed by many as Luddites. I have the feeling, however, that to label them thus is taking a real gamble with humanity's future.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Internet Sleuths

While the internet often does much harm to innocent parties, it also allows for a form of social and even criminal justice when bad things happen. Invariably, these bad things occur when people behave in ignorant, racist and unkind ways. One of the foremost sheriffs of this landscape is Michal McWhorter, a Floridian who uses as his Twitter handle TizzyEnt. Most of the mischief he chronicles consists of Americans behaving very badly, but the following, culled from the streets of Toronto, was originally posted by a Canadian, @thatdaneshguy, whose Twitter account, I see, has been suspended. 

It features two men (pictured above), one a professor at George Brown College, Tom Supra, and the other, Jerry Jarosinski, an employee of Klick Health, behaving in an indefensible manner.

One hopes that a measure of justice will ensue. Judging by some of the comments in response to this tweet, the odds seem good: 

Replying to and
Hey , I'm sure you don't want this kind of man teaching at your prestigious place of higher learning, especially considering what I'm sure is a diverse student body.

Replying to and
You should be ashamed to be represented by such a terrible, racist, and frightening person.

Replying to and
is this the sort of behaviour that's condoned by your company? This is pretty embarrassing for your company if it is. I can guarantee you that if I was a minority I wouldn't waste any time giving your company my business. Jerry Jarosinski needs a come to jesus talk.

Replying to and
has his @account suspended I wonder why. I hope it’s not because of both those racist from Toronto 🇨🇦 I saw it was on collage and young st. It’s a hate crime in Canada what those two did to that Asian woman. I hope he gets his account back he helps so much🙏🇨🇦

Clearly, the ball is in the court of George Brown College and Klick Health, which ironically has received accolades for inclusiveness. Feel free to spread the word about these two misfits.

I shall keep you informed of any developments in this sordid affair.