Friday, 5 June 2020

When AI kills us all. It will absolutely be our own fault.

As I've recently rejoined Facebook, it's algorithms are trying to learn about me.

It is amusing how the algorithms seem more desperate as days go by (albeit marginally fucking annoying as well). From group and friend suggestions to adverts. My simple algorithm defeating strategy is to answer all questions with the answer irrelevant and confirm, and to do it for all options even stuff I may actually be interested in (I can a always go and find them on my own anyway, and by and large most groups are just talking twaddle shops for people looking for validation, or for trolls to lurk, before fucking people off and causing arguments).

I have tried not bothering with the insertions, but the algorithm is clearly tracking activity and throwing up flags, and more so over time. It is also checking you and your interests and seeing if our friendship is social, technical, dietary, hobbies, sports etc. And this you know because my circle is small, and deliberately so, so when various topics I know individuals for appear in my feed as suggestions. I know the algorithm is interrogating your data to try and make matches, and find what makes me tick.

This brings me to: I would far rather pay for Facebook, than suffer the insidious shit that is the algorithm. I pay Microsoft, my experience is add free.

The other thing that bothers me is the how the algorithms personality changes over time. From friendly to desperate. You may say `you're anthropomorphising a computer program'. But the simple facts are, AI/Algorithms are written by people. People who do analytics are only human, and humans are subject to work pressures and targets, and only have the same suite of human instincts and tools as anyone else. Therefore one can broadly assume that the tools these people create will reflect those traits (If, Then, Else, Or, And ... etc (etc isn't as a far as I know a programming determiner)).

They've tried friendly coercion, I'm not interested. They've tried matching all of my friends and maybe your friends of friends and interest groups, I've blanked them and they have run into a brickwall. So today every other `thing' in my feed is an advert. So, is that nagging or bullying or harassment, and are those things you associate with computers or with people (there are Matrix and Skynet tangents here clearly). The point is, that you have people making computer programs that are designed to drill down into your life and extract information. And when they can't do it by hook, they try to do it by crook.

The algorithms have move from the mundane suggestions to the unusual. Suggested celebrities to follow in the last week have included a raft of Drag Queens, Joan Collins, all manner of American Youtube and reality stars, and all common shit as well like Eastenders, ete etc etc .... FUUUUUUUUUCCCKKKK OFFFFF.

Stephen Hawkins said there is a potential threat from AI to people, and the reason for that is that people are creating the AI, and over time they are making that AI a petty, desperate entitled fuckknuckle.

PS: you know the algorithm is testing you back because it moves the position of the word `Irrelevant' so that you have to look across all suggested reason for not wanting to see XYZ, before settling on your preferred stock answer.

Clearly this also has implications for machine learning, because it's letting another algorithm know that you are deliberately seeking to conceal yourself from advertisers (which is basically what its all about).

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

In other news June 2nd 2020

I've done my regular weekly update on the news. As a rule since the end of April I've tried not to go to deep daily because it is all very depressing. And you can overload on misery without much effort at all.

Things of note: in general the only news is Coronavirus. There is a new Ebola outbreak. Various Islamic countries seem to be having religious conservatism issues. It seems blasphemy is on the rise ... maybe people are waking up to the fact that God doesn't do vaccines in a crisis.

Donald Trump within his specialist arena actually makes quite a lot of the right noises (G7-8), and trying to bring Russia back in rather than leaving it on the fringes to throw stones in the direction of the rest of the worlds greenhouse.

Keith Floyd demonstrates that the lessons of Rodney King were not learned. And that social media means African Africans can be as furious about white America as African Americans can be.

Brexit is going on but it seems like `same shit different day' with the sabre rattling tooing and froing from politicians on both sides. And extremely polarised commentary from both sides ... how I pine for that fuckwittery to be top of the news again.

There seems to be lots of place fillers on the BBC website. Not news. At best, well written click-bait. This is disturbing and one would contend that the BBC has too many journalists on the books with bugger all to do, but turn out a few words in their purview, in the absence of any events outside of Covid-19, and in a limited fashion Brexit.

There is it appears a green undercurrent, and some businesses and scientists are pointing out that this general pause could be an opportunity to re-orientate the economy greenwards. Perhaps there will be a silver lining.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Dominic Cummings (far better than the media would have you believe).

Crivens , people who are envious that someone has the opportunity and the where with all to travel from a safe place, isolated in a metal bubble, to remove themselves to another safe space (still isolated). to ensure that should the worst come to the worst; a four year old doesn't have to go through the trauma of social services in two separate local authorities. When by virtue of the process of finding a foster/surrogate care for said four year old, invariably social services will contact and transport said four year old 265 miles to aformentioned safe isolated place noted in the lines above, to the closest relatives of the childs parents. This is the path of least resistance for social services in almost every circumstance.

All Dominic Cumming did was remove the potential for the involvement of social services and or any other third party, be it his sister, nieces, parents, social services, the police, trusted other civil servant or a friend within London doing exactly what he did for himself, in the event that he or his wife ended up on a ventilator or dead ...

The deliberate mis-direction, mis-understanding of the media and political opponents to Dominic Cummings actions, are nothing but smoke and mirrors to disguise (though why they even bother with disguise is beyond me) the very simple fact that the left in concert with the mainstream media just don't like Dominic Cummings, the Conservatives... but most of all they don't like Dominic Cummings because of Brexit. This entire media campaign is just a spiteful last ditch attempt to claw some weak pointless satisfaction by way of trying to get Dominic Cummings sacked because he was the Brexit architect.

The media in this country have created this storm in a tea cup, roused and harassed a weary bored population with a pantomime villain of their creation just to allow that bored weary population to focus all their anger and anxiety onto Dominic Cummings, so that the population will eventually force Boris Johnsons hand into fucking over his friend and colleague. A man who was wise to this threat from Southeast Asia and writing about it a year before it happened, and because of this awareness of the threat has probably been an absolute asset to the entire population that's being roused against him by our media outlets.

you couldn't make it up.

Saturday, 23 May 2020


I was talking to the Amanda yesterday about the perception of time during lockdown. I’m on furlough, I said that I think that for people on furlough this will become known as the `long year’. I’ve had a summers worth of sun and gardening. I’m expecting Autumn any minute and yet we are still in meteorological spring. This is a general sense of the passage of time now. I find myself looking at the gardens front and rear, and out in the lanes here-abouts and having this weird disconnect from time relative to plants in season, fledglings of all sorts, emergent spider nests, all the small birds looking in trellises and gutters for those same spiders to feed their chicks, the lack of humidity accompanying the heat of the sun, and hours to fill productively, without spaffing a shedload of cash that might be in short supply later if the firm can’t reopen.

Hectic modern lives are the thing that makes the passage of time seem so swift, with days, weeks, weekends, months, routinely mandated celebrations as milestones of repetition adding to that sense of speed. I think we all knew it, know it. As a pre-amble to retirement, this phase demonstrates that a sudden break with routine will be jarring, and you can understand why fresh retirees sometimes get down in the dumps, and without the right motivation, just decline.

However, I have to say I like this slower pace, boredom can be an issue, as can overworking the middle-aged frame. But the sense that this is a long year and that there is still an entire summer to come, is simultaneously `a bit difficult to get your head round … and a right result’. We’ve been conned into thinking all `the stuff’ we fit into life is what makes life rich. Is it fuck, it’s being in the moment and not seeing your life forever streaming away into the rear view as you hurtle ever forward, ever faster to an end, whilst spending the `now’ wondering why your life recedes quicker than you can account for it, and wondering if you have been short-changed?

I’m reminded of summer holidays as a kid, they were endless. I guess the imponderable question is: how do you manage to attain this state of mind and sense of time, when working life re-starts? Amanda has been back at work for two weeks. She has the opposite issue; time has flown by.

Monday, 13 April 2020


I've spent an hour and a bit, maybe more trawling through translated news sites in far flung places. Thus far Africa seems to be the only place that is as switched on as the UK.

If I was living in South America right now I would either be blissfully ignorant of the threat, or mostly ignorant, but with the promise of immune system boosting `supplements' to get me through the crisis and gods supporting hand ... god of course providing that support from socially isolated ecclesiastical kitchens worldwide, ably supported by fabulous technology created in laboratories by scientists thus allowing the religious to spout irrelevant and meaningless mumbo jumbo (beautifully and ironically caveat-ed in the the sensible countries, with sound scientific advice, that will actually help if you pay attention).

Russia, who knows? The independents in Russia seem to be saying the same things as TASS, which isn't much, and mostly seems to be concerned with Russia's new tanks and submarines. Covid is very much something in the background and either Russia has climactic advantage at the moment (maybe Covid doesn't do well in the cold, though given Russia's size I think the weather conditions are mostly irrelevant)... or they are lying through their teeth... one of the two.

The Middle-east, again difficult to tell, and especially as the middle-east news crosses over significantly with the North-African Arabic news. Needless to say, a certain religious sect we all know and dislike intently actually seems to be making some inroads in reducing the chances of some people catching and passing on Covid-19 ... by blowing them up.

I think what is most worrying is the fact that most of these regions are reporting on regions external to their own, as if in some way by pointing at Europe or America and saying `they're in the shit over there' in some way makes the various domestic situations look better. Smokescreen news and politics, very concerning.

So my friends, my gut says says the marathon isn't going to be the disease in the UK, the marathon is going to be keeping our borders closed to travellers for far longer than we currently think, foreign holidays probably going to be something of a luxury again for a couple of years at least. And lets not understate the potential for apocalyptic disintegration of social order in the third and developing world, through a mix of misinformation, corruption, lack of infrastructure and believing that the magic man in the sky is going to save you ... if not here then in the next life.

So while we all enjoy our very middle-class, first world live-streaming, House-Party, Facebook, Whatsapp, online shopped, jobs about the house and garden with a board game renaissance pandemic. Spare a thought for all those `Shithole Countries', the ones that bring you avocados, out of season and exotic fruit, coffee, tea and rice, because a quick whiz round the web tells you that all those things come from the countries that are least able to support their populations as more of the shit hits the fan.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...