Fully Automated Luxury … Dancing? (A futuristic conspiracy theory in the making)
Vic Grout, Professor of Computing Futures, Wrexham Glyndŵr University
Download the PDF version: Fully Automated Luxury Dancing – Download Version 1
[Note/Disclaimer: Some of the discussion in this piece is shockingly brief. A limit of 10,000 words was planned and (just) adhered to.]
We’ve encountered Michael Moorcock’s masterpiece, Dancers at the End of Time, before on these pages: both as an example of sci-fi doing what it does best (providing a blank canvas for a bigger discussion) and the problems futurologists have with not seeing key disruptive technology (the Internet, in Moorcock’s case). But, for this post, an entirely different question to ponder: who exactly ARE ‘The Dancers’?
Because answering that puzzle (there aren’t that many clues to go on in the novel itself and obviously it is only a story) takes us to considering problems in (apparently) entirely different fields: environment, politics, economics, etc. (which is the important point really, of course) and may lead us to a view of the future quite at odds with current thinking right across the political spectrum. Specifically, what’s usually wrong with long-term ‘futuristic’ political and economic prophesising? Particularly the very well-intentioned left-wing stuff. What’s the one thing that everything from Karl Marx’s Das Capital to Aaron Bastani’s Fully Automated Luxury Communism appear to take for granted? (Spoiler alert: in simple terms it’s the belief that just because a political/economic system’s crap, it will naturally yield to something better – but we’ll come to that.)
Special Issue Information: Advanced Machine Learning and Data Mining: A New Frontier in Artificial Intelligence Research (Big Data and Cognitive Computing Journal)
Call for Papers
Without data, there is no machine learning (ML), so there is no doubt that big data and ML are inextricably linked. However, much research to date has tended to treat them as separate areas of development. As we are confronted with today’s difficult problems and the wealth of held data continues to grow, it is vital that new, innovative ways of examining, testing, and using big data to produce useful information are both researched/developed and integrated. Whether this be for the social good (health diagnostics, for example) or corporate gain (competitive advantage), given the exponentially increase in both the volume of data and the velocity by which it is generated, the need for the expansion of direct cooperation of mining big data with ML is long overdue. For this Special Issue, as the individual fields of advanced machine learning and advanced data mining are well established, the focus will be specifically on their intersection: the point―or points―at which one aids, needs, or enhances the other.
This new frontier is almost boundless, but will eventually become the norm. Automatically learning and improving from experience without being explicitly programmed gives great opportunities. The quality of the data being used, its speed of acquisition, and the effectiveness of processing are all of vital importance―if Microsoft’s AI chatbot Tay taught us anything at all, it is certainly this.
“Glyndwr University researcher seeks real world data to develop AI landmine clearance”
A landmine research project which aims to develop an artificial intelligence approach to mine clearance is being developed at Wrexham Glyndwr University.
The project – which is currently in its developmental stages – is being developed by Computing PhD student Alexander Bruckbauer who is working on building the model under the supervision of Professor of Computing Futures Vic Grout.
A good, punchy, witty reminder from Existential Comics that most people who drone on about the ‘Turing Test’, particularly news reports that some new software has ‘passed the Turing Test’, have never even read, let alone understood, Turing’s original 1950 paper.
Just to recap on a few essentials:
- The ‘Turing Test’, even by today’s common interpretation, relies on a human decision-maker, whose sophisitication in recognising AI presumably increases with the development of AI itself. It isn’t precise enough to be a ‘test’. It never was a ‘test’.
- Turing himself, never proposed any ‘test’, merely an illustrative game to compare impressions of intelligence.
- The figures Turing gave were a prediction of what might be possible, not a benchmark for passing any ‘test’.
- There is no ‘Turing Test’.
Read the paper!