Tag: ai

  1. Maybe we should start over.

    28 December 2023

    There is a conspiracy theory online called the Dead Internet Theory. So the story goes, some years ago people - actual, organic people sitting at keyboards or holding phones - stopped posting anything, anywhere online. Depending on who you talk to (and this includes credentialed folks who study various aspects of the Net, not just denizens of image boards or random users on forums), the proliferation of spambots, botnets, folks who use bots to age Twitter accounts to sell (link anonymized) for various purposes (like astroturfing) and SEO shenanagains effectively pushed organics out through sheer numbers. One person can use custom software …

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  2. Organics, AI, and what people want to believe.

    25 May 2023

    You pretty much have to have been living inside a farday cage with a stack of dead trees for company to have not heard anything about large language models taking the tech world by storm. Without going into too much detail (because that's not what this essay is about) you take some clever statistical math, a metric fuckton of GPUs, and several petabytes of text scraped from most of the Web, mix thoroughly with a couple of million USD from investors and some Python, and bake it all in a large network of virtual machines running in someone's network (usually …

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  3. Book review: To Be A Machine

    27 March 2017

    It seems like everybody is reviewing the book To Be A Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death by Mark O'Connell, and most of the book reviews are, to be frank, kind of pants.  The mainstream book reviewers seem to have read only the first and last chapters and make light (at best) or a joke (at worst) of the life's work of people who are actually doing the work in some parts of the medical profession instead of just playing "Won't it be nice when..." on Slack channels and Facebook.  A …

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  4. Deep learning gone wild, direct neural interface techniques, and hardware acceleration of neural networks.

    16 June 2016

    There is a graphic novel that is near and dear to my hearts by Warren Ellis called Planetary, the tagline of which is "It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way." This first article immediately made me go back and reread that graphic novel...

    The field of deep learning has been around for just a short period of time insofar as computer science is concerned. To put it in a nutshell deep learning systems are software systems which attempt to model highly complex datasets in abstract ways using multiple layers of other machine learning and nonlinear processing algorithms stacked …

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  5. Semi-autonomous software agents: Practical applications.

    03 February 2016

    In the last post in this series I talked about the origins of my exocortex and a few of the things I do with it. In this post I'm going to dive a little deeper into what my exocortex does for me and how it's laid out.

    My agent networks ("scenarios" in the terminology of Huginn) are collections of specialized agents which each carry out one function (like requesting a web page or logging into an XMPP server to send a message). Those agents communicate by sending events to one another; those events take the form of structured, packaged pieces …

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  6. Semi-autonomous software agents: A personal perspective.

    28 December 2015

    So, after going on for a good while about software agents you're probably wondering why I have such an interest in them. I started experimenting with my own software agents in the fall of 1996 when I first started undergrad. When I went away to college I finally had an actual network connection for the first time in my life (where I grew up the only access I had was through dialup) and I wanted to abuse it. Not in the way that the rest of my classmates were but to do things I actually had an interest in. So …

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  7. Semi-autonomous agents: What are they, exactly?

    16 November 2015

    This post is intended to be the first in a series of long form articles (how many, I don't yet know) on the topic of semi-autonomous software agents, a technology that I've been using fairly heavily for just shy of twenty years in my everyday life. My goals are to explain what they are, go over the history of agents as a technology, discuss how I started working with them between 1996e.v. and 2000e.v., and explain a little of what I do with them in my everyday life. I will also, near the end of the series, discuss …

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  8. Machine learning going from merely unnerving to scary.

    13 October 2015

    It seems like you can't go a day with any exposure to media without hearing about machine learning, or developing software which isn't designed to do anything in particular but is capable of teaching itself to carry out tasks tasks and make educated predictions based upon its training and data already available to it. If you've ever had to deal with a speech recognition system, bought something off of Amazon that you didn't know existed (but seemed really interesting at the time), or used a search engine you've interacted with a machine learning system of some kind. That said, here's …

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  9. DefCon 23: Presentation notes

    20 August 2015

    Here and behind the cut are the notes I took at DefCon 23. They are necessarily incomplete because they're notes, and I refer you to the speakers' presentations and eventually video recordings for the whole story.

    Applied Intelligence: Using Information That's Not There - Michael Schrenk

    • Knowing your operations and resources
    • More effective and efficient
    • Competitive intelligence
    • What's happening outside of your business
    • Know your competitors and markets
    • Collect, analyze, and apply external data
    • There is a professional association of people who do competitive intelligence
    • Applied intelligence is actionable and changes what you do
    • Most is useless unless you develop it …

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  10. A 3D printed laser cutter, aerosol solar cells, and reversing neural networks.

    09 January 2015

    3D printers are great for making things, including more of themselves. The first really accessible 3D printer, the RepRap was designed to be buildable from locally sourceable components - metal rods, bolds, screws, and wires, and the rest can be run off on another 3D printer. There is even a variant called the JunkStrap which, as the name implies, involves repurposing electromechanical junk for basic components. There are other useful shop tools which don't necessarily have open source equivalents, though, like laser cutters for precisely cutting, carving, and etching solid materials. Lasers are finicky beasts - they require lots of power, they …

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