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David Wood
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David Wood

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Chatbot "Eugene Goostman" is racking up accolades... for better or worse, a lot of AI research time and money goes into winning Turing-like tests with big data and hackery.

http://www.reading.ac.uk/news-and-events/releases/PR583836.aspx

Further reading... 

"30% success on the Turing Test, though, frightens me—for the human judges who confused him with a real boy, not humanity as a whole."

-http://parsely.tumblr.com/post/26084818502/me-vs-eugene-goostman

The server hosting the Princeton AI homepage for Eugene was apparently pretty fragile, and has gone down from the news-related traffic surge. 

But if you want an idea of the hackery involved in "winning" this "test:"

http://www.alicebot.org/chatbots3/Eugene.pdf
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David Wood

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Even as the emphasis shifts to the keyboard, experts say that learning to write by hand improves motor skills, memory and creativity.
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David Wood

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Every year analyst Mary Meeker delivers her Internet Trends Report, which is consistently clear, succinct, insightful, and broad. When she releases it, I stop what I am doing and zip through it. Mary just released 2014's as a slide share deck. As usual, it's a dense summary of where we are.

http://www.kpcb.com/internet-trends
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David Wood

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The FCC  (Federal Communications Commission ) is proposing rules that would allow ISPs (internet service providers) like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon to pick and choose your internet plan, what you do have access to and what you do not.

How does it work now: if you have an internet connection – you have access to all of the internet, the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you have internet access you have access to it all, free and paid. You have a choice to what you see and what you don’t. 

How it will work if this bill passes: your ISP will be able to give you different access plans to what you are able to see, which websites will be served and which ones you won’t have access to. More than that, this bill will also make it possible for your ISP to charge the website owners for making their websites available within their network. It will open a door to all kinds of abuse… because MONEY. It’ll start slowly, by reducing the load speeds and degrading the quality, but It’ll happen. 

If you are a user, it will affect you. If you are a website owner it will affect you. Most of us don’t realize just how important this is: right now you have a voice, but you may not have it for very long. If this bill passes, you may not have a place to speak up. So I urge you to do it now.

It is happening in the US, but it is only a matter of time until it happens where you are as well. You don’t have to be from the US to sign the petition and stop this madness. 

Some of you may know who I am, what I do and why. My project is a free health and fitness website oriented for at-home training and budget nutrition. It is a global resource dedicated to making fitness accessible and it is supported exclusively via donations (no pay-for-downloads, no ads, no product placement). Thousands all over the globe who cannot afford a gym membership, personal trainer’s time or even a pair of trainers use my website and it is changing lives every single day it is up. Projects like that will be the first ones to be eradicated. 

Everything we love about the web, the freedom of expression and freedom of information, everything we take for granted can be taken away from us. Speak up now, fight for what matters. 

Sign the petition:
http://act.freepress.net/sign/internet_fcc_break

Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take the sky WEB from me.

#netneutrality   #fccnetneutrality  
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David Wood

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A new breed of cheap but powerful handsets are about to transform industries and change the way we communicate.
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The statistics are shocking and the facts of the article seem impossible. Then you read the comments section, and everything is illuminated.
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Software patents aren't dead, but they just took a blow. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that a series of banking patents didn't cover a concrete software process but an...
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100-Year-Old Negatives from the Doomed Shakleton Expedition Discovered in Block of Ice in Antarctica 
For the past 100 years, a box of never-before-seen negatives has been preserved in a block of ice in Antarctica. Recently, Conservators of the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust came across the 22 exposed, but unprocessed, cellulose nitrate negatives during an attempt to restore an old exploration hut. The negatives are believed to be from Ernest Shackleton's 1914-1917 Ross Sea Party, a group that was stranded in the hut during a blizzard when ...
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"Written by people with either no time or no money, most software gets shipped the moment it works well enough to let someone go home and see their family. What we get is mostly terrible."
 
Pretty brilliant, must-read:
"...Then there’s the Intelligence Community, who call themselves the IC. We might like it if they stopped spying on everyone all the time, while they would like us to stop whining about it.

After spending some time with them, I am pretty sure I understand why they don’t care about the complaining. The IC are some of the most surveilled humans in history. They know everything they do is gone over with a fine-toothed comb — by their peers, their bosses, their lawyers, other agencies, the president, and sometimes Congress. They live watched, and they don’t complain about it.

In all the calls for increased oversight, the basics of human nature gets neglected. You’re not going to teach the spooks this is wrong by doing it to them more.

There will always be loopholes and as long as loopholes exist or can be constructed or construed, surveillance will be as prevalent as it possibly can be. Humans are mostly egocentric creatures. Spooks, being humans, are never going to know why living without privacy is bad as long as they are doing it."
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/cc +David Wood +Alexander Becker 
Once upon a time, a friend of mine accidentally took over thousands of computers. He had found a vulnerability in a piec…
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David Wood

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On Jan. 4, 2010, when my boss saw my letter to the editor in the New York Times, we had a little chat. It was rare for the federal security director at Chicago O’Hare to sit down with her floor-level Transportation Security Administration officers—it usually presaged a termination—and so I was nervous as I settled in across the desk...
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David Wood

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