Post Reply 
Who wrote the lines of poetry "quoted" by Lincoln at the Soldiers' Home?
01-29-2016, 06:03 PM (This post was last modified: 01-29-2016 06:04 PM by David Lockmiller.)
Post: #7
RE: Who wrote the lines of poetry "quoted" by Lincoln at the Soldiers' Home?
(01-25-2016 01:02 PM)Gene C Wrote:  "Computers make excellent and efficient servants, but I have no wish to serve under them."
Spock - The Ultimate Computer, Season 2,Episode 24

Gene Roddenberry was the creator of the Star Trek series which I have enjoyed very much over the years and, yes, I did watch the episodes as they first appeared on TV when I was in college at the University of Illinois.

The prescient episode, here referenced by “our Gene,” related to Artificial Intelligence (A. I.) taking command of Kirk’s starship in a mock combat exercise against other Starfleet vessels. Things did not go as planned.

At the outset, Captain Kirk asked a pointed question:
KIRK: I'm curious, Doctor. Why is it called M-5 and not M-1?
Doctor DAYSTROM: Well, you see, the multitronic units one through four were not entirely successful. This one is. M-5 is ready to take control of the ship.

The following story, “Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates Warn About Artificial Intelligence” appeared in the Observer, by Michael Sainato, on August 19, 2015:

“Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history,” wrote Stephen Hawking in an op-ed, which appeared in The Independent in 2014. “Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks.” Professor Hawking added in a 2014 interview with BBC, “humans, limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete and would be superseded by A.I.”

Mr. Hawking recently joined Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and hundreds of others in issuing a letter unveiled at the International Joint Conference last month in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The letter warns that artificial intelligence can potentially be more dangerous than nuclear weapons.

Elon Musk called the prospect of artificial intelligence “our greatest existential threat” in a 2014 interview with MIT students at the AeroAstro Centennial Symposium. “I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish.” Mr. Musk cites his decision to invest in the Artificial Intelligence firm, DeepMind, as a means to “just keep an eye on what’s going on with artificial intelligence. I think there is potentially a dangerous outcome there.”

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has also expressed concerns about Artificial Intelligence. During a Q&A session on Reddit in January 2015, Mr. Gates said, “I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence. First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don’t understand why some people are not concerned.”

* * * * *

The countervailing force against measured restraint in government policy by all nations, friend and foe alike, as regards the advancement of military weaponry utilizing Artificial Intelligence is exemplified by the following analogous President Abraham Lincoln story. The source reference is from the book “Recollections of President Lincoln and His Administration” by L. E. Chittenden (Lincoln’s Register of the Treasury) at pages 212-14 (published in 1891).

Suggestions of the necessity of armored vessels for harbor defense were strongly pressed by Major Robert Anderson, very soon after he arrived in Washington from Fort Sumter. He reported that one of the Confederate batteries in Charleston harbor was covered with bars of railroad iron, in such a way that the guns of the fort made no impression upon it. Having learned from experience that a battery so protected was impregnable, and there being no reason why like armor could not applied to a floating as well as to a land battery, Major Anderson argued that the Confederates would almost certainly undertake the construction of iron-clad vessels, and we were not provided with similar vessels to resist them, they would take and hold possession of our navigable rivers and harbors, and so inflict an irremediable injury on our seaport cities and their commerce.

The action of the Confederate Congress in May, 1861, in appointing a commission to adopt plans for raising the Merrimac, then sunk in Norfolk harbor, and her conversion into an armored vessel, added force to the views of Major Anderson, and produced a strong impression upon Mr. Welles, our Secretary of the Navy, and at least one of his most competent subordinates.

Gustavus V. Fox was one of the President’s favorites. He had acquired Mr. Lincoln’s confidence by his intelligent views relating to the proposed reinforcement of Fort Sumter, immediately after the inauguration, and had accepted the office of Assistant Secretary of the Navy at his special request. He was an experienced retired naval officer, he possessed attractive personal qualities, his judgment was conservative, and he was always a welcome guest at the Executive Mansion. I was so fortunate as to have secured his friendship, and I have made several visits to the President in his company.

On one of these visits, in May, I hear the President ask Mr. Fox his opinion of armored vessels, and of Major Anderson’s suggestion. Mr. Fox replied, in substance, that he subject was under active consideration in the Navy Department, but that it was novel; it was very important, and though generally impressed with the practicability of such vessels, he was not yet prepared to commit himself to any fixed opinion.

The President, somewhat earnestly, observed that “WE MUST NOT LET THE REBELS GET AHEAD OF US IN SUCH AN IMPORTANT MATTER,” (emphasis added) and asked what Mr. Fox regarded as the principal difficulty in the way of their use. Mr. Fox replied that naval officers doubted their stability, and feared that an armor heavy enough to make them effective, would sink them as soon as they were launched. “But is not that a sum in arithmetic?” quickly asked the President. “On our Western rivers we can figure just how many tons will sink a flatboat. Can’t your clerks do the same for an armored vessel?”

“I suppose they can,” replied Mr. Fox. “But there are other difficulties. With such a weight, a single shot, piercing the armor, would sink the vessel so quickly that no one could escape.”

“Now, as the very object of the armor is to get something that the best projectile cannot pierce, that objection does not appear to be sound,” said the President.
Mr. Fox again observed that the subject was under active examination, and he hoped soon to be able consider it intelligently, and the conversation turned upon other matters.

When we left the White House, Mr. Fox observed that the President appeared to be deeply interested in the subject of iron-clads; that it was most important, but it was new, and would encounter all the prejudices of the naval service. But its importance was such that its investigation would be pressed as fast as possible, with a view of a least trying the experiment.

Within a few days there was a rumor that the Bureau of Construction in the Navy Department, through the influence of Mr. Fox, was engaged upon plans for an iron-clad vessel. As soon as Congress met, on the 4th of July, a bill was introduced which authorized the Secretary of the Navy to appoint a Board of Construction of three naval officers, to whom the plans for an iron-clad vessel were to be submitted, and, if the board approved them, the secretary was authorized to contract for its construction.

* * * * *
Science Magazine reported on January 27, 2016 at 1 PM:

Eighteen years after a computer beat then-reigning world champion Garry Kasparov at chess, a machine has defeated a professional player at the ancient eastern board game Go. The new advance is much bigger, artificial intelligence (AI) researchers say, as Go is such a computationally demanding game that even a decade ago some researchers thought a computer would never defeat a human expert. At the beginning of the game, each player has roughly 360 options for placing each stone. So after five plays, the board can be in any of more than 5 trillion different arrangements. In total, the number of different possible arrangements of stones stretches beyond 10 to the 100th power, rendering it impossible for a computer to play by brute force computation of all possible outcomes. The machine won not by virtue of overwhelming computational power, but by employing "machine learning" tools that enable it to teach itself and to think more like humans do.

* * * * *
I wonder who is going to build the M-6.

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 

Messages In This Thread
RE: Who wrote the lines of poetry "quoted" by Lincoln at the Soldiers' Home? - David Lockmiller - 01-29-2016 06:03 PM

Forum Jump:

User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)