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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

NY Times Rebuttal

I just read an article from the New York Times about another "AI is gonna destroy humanity" concept. Ho-hum.

I'm kind of getting tired of people crying "wolf!", and hollering "the sky is falling!". The only reason I'm taking issue with this one is the concept that the author, Kai-Fu Lee, makes in his second to last paragraph:

"So if most countries will not be able to tax ultra-profitable A.I. companies to subsidize their workers, what options will they have? I foresee only one: Unless they wish to plunge their people into poverty, they will be forced to negotiate with whichever country supplies most of their A.I. software — China or the United States — to essentially become that country’s economic dependent, taking in welfare subsidies in exchange for letting the “parent” nation’s A.I. companies continue to profit from the dependent country’s users...."

Seriously?

Why does the rest of the world still think that we are some monstrously rich nation-state that can just pay for the rest of the world? Granted, AI is eating our lunch right now. But come on, people, let's use some common sense. There are hundreds of thousands of people in America that are just as displaced from AI and machines taking their jobs. Do you hear them hollering that India needs to pay their way? Well, some actually are, but most of us know better. And frankly, Mr. Lee, you should too.

Massive taxation will NOT solve where the money will come from for a universal basic income. What WILL solve this dilemma is all the stinking data that EVERY individual human on this planet generates. Even the smallest backwoods company taps into that data for streamlining their operations. What needs to happen is tieing that data into a blockchain that places a monetary value to it for the individual that generates that data. Then the individual gets a portion of the payment that the backwoods company paid to XYZ megacorp that audits and compiles the data stream.

Until this happens, the mega corporations are gonna fight taxation tooth and nail. You think there is a problem with offshore holdings now? You ain't seen nothin' yet.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Acronym Soup

I'm watching a Miku Miku Dance video by Anonymous Boat F***er in YouTube today, and I read this comment to him:

lychanking 13 hours ago
Have you thought about doing these kinds of vids in vr?

To which I replied to lychanking:

Joe Nickence 1 second ago
I understand your question, but I had to smile and suppress a chuckle. Think about what you just asked. XD

Miku Miku Dance is broadly defined as Virtual Reality. Albeit more of a gaming engine for dance motions, along the lines of Unity and Unreal.

For a while the industry had it all figured out. We had "Virtual Reality", "Augmented Reality", and "Mixed Reality". These separated us from "Real Life". Occasionally I started to see "3D". Not too bad. Most understood that it meant old style flat screen virtual reality. I read a page many years ago by a person that used the term "Default World" to define what many call RL. I personally like that definition, so I use it a lot. And I prefer to use MR whenever possible. Now we have "Internet of Things" to add to the list, being powered by "Artificial Intelligence". But now I've recently come across a definition called "eXtended Reality". I actually do like that one, because it attempts to pull in and combine the blending of MR, IoT, and AI. Let's add "Immersive Computing" to the list. Oh, let's not forget "eSports", perhaps the most blended activity of the last five years.

Confused yet? You're not alone. As the big four, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and now Apple, attempt to jostle each other to be the ones to precisely define this hodge-podge of acronyms. Microsoft, perhaps, should be lauded for stubbornly sticking to the Mixed Reality label. However, they are choosing to simply ignore the individual acronyms AR and VR, that make up MR, never mind that they want to be your hub platform as well for IoT in the foreseeable future. Mixed Reality just doesn't reach far enough to blanket IoT as well.

I'm going to go out on a limb in this post, and officially say that I believe that XR, eXtended Reality, will eventually be the acronym that triumphs. So I'll be using that as I move forward.

Don't anticipate the gaming industry to capitulate to that one any time soon. For them, it's VR, with a respectful nod to AR. And most people that haven't curled up in a whimpering ball in the corner will keep to MR. IoT will interchange between commercial and residential applications and trudge along in parallel to MR, possibly dipping into XR as needed. It's an uphill fight, folks. One that has no clear winner for some time to come.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Backpedaling

Every once in a while I sit back and take stock in some of the things I've popped off about that irked me. The last one I posted about in my blog was about apps. I wasn't going to use apps anymore. they distracted me from what I perceived as a pure internet experience. I was going to do everything through my browser. Yeah, right. That lasted about two weeks. I'd find something, and I was encouraged to use my app. It turns out I needed the apps more than I realized. Most are back in my daily routine.

Another rant I did that was posted on my Facebook page. That concerned my use of the Steam platform. I felt it was becoming more of a nuisance than I cared for. Then I read an article about how Valve was allegedly ripping it's player/members/partners off. So I uninstalled it. Sorry I don't have a link. You'll have to do a search. I'm now seriously reconsidering reinstalling Steam. There are some things on it that I'm discovering that are becoming increasingly necessary to me, in terms of social interaction.

I equate these actions to the last century's dilemmas with railroads as they expanded across the continents. You knew the industrialists were taking excessive liberties against cultures and resources in order to achieve their goals. But that stopped no one from continuing to use the railroads, because it was something that had woven itself into the very fabric of society quickly. If you stopped using the railroads, you were missing out on opportunities. And outright sabotage was met with heavy handed justice in both the courts, and public opinion.

Apps are at the stage now that the railroads were at in the 1960s. Still quite necessary, but increasingly irrelevant as newer technology and concepts surge forward. Insiders are starting to whisper about how immersive computing is changing the way of the app economy. Which I feel it is as well. As for social networking? We are a social species. People used to gather around a communal fire in caves. We gathered in outdoor forums to spout off our opinions about senator's excesses. And now we are fully absorbed in our social apps. But apps are going to take a back seat in our lives, They will never go away. They are just computer programs, after all. Just like the railroads, ribbons of steel crisscrossing the globe was expected to evaporate as ribbons of asphalt took over. Railroads still serve an essential function, running in our background, and still annoying us when we need to wait for a train to go past.

I'm sure I'll discover something that I dislike about immersive computing in the future. Some smarmy app will break the immersion. Or a specific standard to get everything to play nice together will stall in committee. But accept that I'll rant and fuss. It's who I am. It's who we all are.