Monday, March 18, 2013

from napster to friendster - its all still piracy - according to Jaron Lanier

Just reading Jaron Lanier's new tome, "Who Owns the Future", which is, unsurprisingly, pretty good - one nicely put argument is about money as information (and its transformation as a record of past work into a model of future promises) - but the more striking point for me, especially in view of recent arguments about privacy and micropayment systems for cloud (OSN) services instead of eyeball time and surveillance analytics, is that when
you download some music for free, your appropriation deprives the author and performer of potential future revenue, but when the OSN company decide they can monetize all your pictures, life story, and interests, this is no different in reality, yet if you do a lot of music/game/movie piracy, you will get in legal trouble, whereas when wholesale invasion of privacy and monetizing of your personal informational property occurs, the big corporate pirates are rewarded by Wall Street investment.....

note.. there is now some doubt being cast on what is being charged by these guys for your life - so this is interesting, as it calls into question the price we'd have to pay for a privacy preserving service (i.e. it isn't the revenue google and fb are currently making divided by the number of users, because they revenue reflects possibly absurd profit margins, which are completely unnecessary once we dispense with adverts and analytics - lets say it could be as little as 1/10th of their current revenue - that'd be peanuts

paper estimating worthlessness of paying for boosting search rank result
plus press covverage

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Robot Ethics

so there's a lot of guff about in recent techblogs droning on about robots (drones) and ethics

here's a very simple thought experiment which doesn't need Terminator/Skynet to present a dilemma Real Soon Now

Cars are being fittted with devices that detect if they are heading for an obstacle and actve the brakes automagically to safely stop.....

However, if not all cars have such a tech, then the car behind might re-end you

the front and rear impacts represent different risks (the crumple zones in a car are more designed to absorp impact in front, rather than rear)

so if you detect an obstacle ahead, and a car behind and (assuming cooperation) a car behind with, or without a robot safety you choose to brake less so that you amortize the impact over two cars?

so do you want a robot to act in the interests of ALL passengers in all vehicles, or "selfisly" on behalf of "this car only"???

I.e. if we design robot brakers according to Asimov's laws, do we want the 4th law as well as the usual 1st three
[see the 4th law for ethical synthetic humanism, #101]

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
misery me, there is a floccipaucinihilipilification (*) of chronsynclastic infundibuli in these parts and I must therefore refer you to frank zappa instead, and go home