Archive for February 16th, 2008

Machines ‘to match man by 2029’

Machines will achieve human-level artificial intelligence by 2029, a leading US inventor has predicted”, says BBC.

And I say: bullshit.

I’ve worked on an AI project straight out of college. It was my first real job with computers. And I am not talking about “expert learning systems” or other such boring academic stuff, but a project about real AI. The goal was to create an intelligent “being”. I quickly mentioned the project in my Feb 2001 editorial at the now defunct BeNews.

I can tell you one thing: we are far, far away from real AI. Even OpenCYC at this point is simply a collection of data without any real intelligence behind it. In fact, when it comes to AI, people somehow think that it will be ready in “20-30 years time”. They were kept saying that in 1970 too. And each year, it would slip one more year. Just like in some movies and TV series where they depict some really high technology and space exploration that supposedly takes places only 70 years in the future (e.g. “Space: Above & Beyond”).

Personally, I don’t think that human-equivalent intelligence will be ready before 2100. And I am probably optimistic already.

Stupid consumers

Consumers are stupid. They go where the wind blows. I was just reading that the LCDs have taken over the TV market so much that there is the possibility of plasma companies (like Pioneer that only does plasmas) to exit the TV market or to move to higher-end. People buy the much inferior technology of LCDs not only because of the lower prices, but also because they have no clue which technology is better. The article and even the comments agree. Consumers just don’t get it.

We are very close in buying that Pioneer Kuro 50″ plasma with JBQ so we were looking around plasmas and LCDs at Frys last week. All LCDs had considerable less black levels and were over-sharpened on their default modes (even if you tinker sharpening, it’s how they are). The plasma image was natural, natural, natural. But I guess people fall for the over-sharpened saturated look, thinking that the more “into your eyes” an image is, the better the TV is. Most LCD TVs don’t even de-interlace the right way. You gotta pay a premium for that, and honestly, it’s worth the money.

I KNOW that I will be blasted for writing this blog post, but unless you are very poor and can’t afford a plasma (or you simply don’t use the TV much), you have no excuse for buying an LCD TV instead.