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October 04, 2006

Artificial Intelligence and natural stupidity

Writing about web page http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/04/us/04monitor.html?ex=1317614400&en=d5bb422359bbe0f4&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

The New York Times have an interesting article on “software that would let the government monitor negative opinions of the United States or its leaders in newspapers and other publications overseas.” This is the most ridiculous thing since they banned settling online gambling debts with credit cards last week. The article seems to imply that the sentence: “The U.S. is the first nation to have developed nuclear weapons. Moreover, the U.S. is the first and only nation ever to deploy such weapons.” is somehow indicative of a threat to the US.*

The professors in question argue that, “It can just as easily help the government understand what is going on in places around the world.” Which is a completely valid point, but utterly irrelevant. This isn’t about there being a good use for the technology – this is about an intended disgraceful misuse. The fact that Harold Shipman’s MD could have allowed him to save lives in no way excuses his crimes. Would you have trained Shipman if he told you upfront that he was intending to use his skills for murder?

  • Yes I know they didn’t say this was directly treated as such, but when an article lists two quotes – emphasizing that one of them is not indicative of a threat, and listing that as the other quote – I believe that implies that it is considered bad sentiment by their analysis.

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