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Charlie Stross

  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    Pigeon: https://appleinsider.com/articles/19/12/13/no-apples-new-mac-pro-isnt-overpriced/ Unfortunately non-computerized weapons are basically ineffective, until you get down to the level of assault rifles. Consider that during the 1992 Gulf war, roughly 90% of the destruction of Iraqi forces by allied bombers was inflicted by 10%...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    But it is odd that we are calling GAN “A.I.” These are all highly specialised networks trained for very specific tasks. They are each extremely efficient pattern-marchers for a given type of pattern. They are not in any way General...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    One talk was a quick history of the AI field. Ed Uni was one of the first three universities in the English-language world to conduct AI research (along with Stanford and I-forget-where-else in the US): it's the leading CS department...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    It's a joke, dude. The subject of talks in the IT Futures conference this year was the role of AI in the future of Edinburgh University, with talks on everything from AI-assisted captioning of courseware for the deaf/non-native speakers, to...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    Hmm - is Zuckerberg an actual fascist, or something else - is he "just" a panopticon-autocrat, for instance, or is there (as yet) no classification, or we haven't looked doen the right rabbit-hole in the past for his label? That...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    Do you consider Laundry to be science fiction or fantasy? They're fiction. Period. (I don't consider genre tags like "science fiction" or "fantasy" to be terribly useful; after all, almost all science fiction is actually fantasy when you scratch and...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    Michael2Bec: the audience appreciated it. I didn't get much feedback at the time (I nearly overran my slot), but as the next talk was "a history of Artificial Intelligence" by a professor at the oldest AI faculty in the UK...
  • Posted Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace? to Charlie's Diary
    (This is the text of a keynote talk I just delivered at the IT Futures conference held by the University of Edinburgh Informatics centre today. NB: Some typos exist; I'll fix them tonight.) Good morning. I'm Charlie Stross, and I...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    Corbyn ... was fighting an uphill battle with the media No shit?!? I was in Malaysia during the 2013 election campaign. The British news media in 2019 made the Malaysian media look neutral and unbiased (reminder: Malaysia at the time...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    JBS: I'm dropping back in (after a long weekend away) -- just to note that Landover Baptist Church is a long-standing satirical/spoof website thing. So much so that they don't need smileys to indicate parody. You may be confusing them...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    Perhaps I misunderstand how important your NHS is to most voters. Are people already unhappy with it to the point of supporting change to it? People are unhappy with the lack of funding for it -- see also: Tories --...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    It seems strange to me that I haven't seen anywhere near the comments on Corbyn's document dump that I expected. It's not so strange if you realize that 50% of the British newspaper industry is owned by just two foreign...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    They've begun to improve -- I'm off for a long weekend in Dortmund tomorrow and there's a South Indian restaurant there that actually hits British-compatible levels of spiciness, although there are big warnings printed on the German menu, apparently. It's...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    Chinese food comes in two major categories: Mandrin, what the court folk liked, and Cantonese, what everyone else ate. Um, no. You missed out the Buddhist vegan cuisine (developed to feed retired emperors who abdicated and retreated to a monastery,...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    When HK/the New Territories reverted to the PRC, if I recall correctly something like 50% of China's overseas trade flowed through HK. Fucking with HK was quite literally unthinkable. I'd like to know what percentage of the PRC's overseas trade...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    I figured (at the time) that we should be giving them UK passports with residence rights — and financial aid if they wanted to settle in Liverpool (which at the time was a basket case) and other depressed northern cities....
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    I've been in a food court in a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur (in Malaysia) that featured a couple of "European Food" restaurants. Which were about what you'd expect; schnitzels, pizza, pasta, chicken nuggets, steak, fried fish and chips, moussaka,...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    I blame Margaret Thatcher. She could -- and should -- have granted HK citizens full UK residency rights, but vetoed it for purely racist reasons in the early 1980s. And she was a bleeding-heart liberal compared to her current successors,...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    Americans tend to assume that the USA is the centre of the universe and everyone else's politics revolves around them. This can give them some unpleasant surprises, when dealing with the rest of the world....
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    still think that US financial interests are the key motivation. How many times do we need to repeat that they're not US financial interests? They're just financial interests that happen to have coopted the jurisdiction of the de facto planetary...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    A huge surge in enlightened people might have enormous effects on politics and resource use Here's your whacky option: if enlightenment can be induced, then obviously it'll cost money to achieve -- and as likely as not, it's going to...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    I may have been getting confused by the attempts to reduce the total number of MPs, which included reducing the number of Scottish constituencies: did it go through, or was it overrun by one Brexit-related snap election or another?...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    I like that plot trope so much that I'm making a note of it because it's exactly the sort of thing an aspiring minion of the New Management would come out with....
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    Not unless the ham is fried first, and served piping hot!...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    More extreme problems can be treated, but average care is continually getting worse. And costs have been rising a lot faster than inflation A phenomenon known to economists as Baumol's cost disease, and it's probably impossible to fix short...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    Point of note for Americans: what the British call "bacon" is what you probably call "Danish bacon", or even "ham". It's fried or grilled, piled up deep, and served between slices of buttered white bread, with nothing else (except possibly...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    To me the oddest thing about this is that it is even possible for anyone to think it is a good idea. They don't think it's a good idea, they think it's a lucrative idea -- for them, that is....
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    hardly anyone ever talks about "specialist" mental health and learning disabilities hospitals, and how much of this provision is now owned by US healthcare and investment corps. Specialist services get nibbled off first, because few people are directly impacted and...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    Surely the best current candidate for the mandate is Priti Patel, those dead dead eyes with the howling emptiness of the void behind them? Priti Patel hadn't emerged from the spawning vats when I first wrote the Mandate, circa 2013....
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    The Smiler was indeed based on Blair. (And bits of his speeches were lifted from Dame Shirley Porter during the Westminster Housing Scandal.)...
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