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Hardware & Technology / Re: Useful bookmarklets
« on: December 08, 2018, 12:46:43 PM »
Add jQuery to page for browser console use
javascript:(function(e,s){e.src=s;e.onload=function(){jQuery.noConflict();console.log('jQuery injected')};document.head.appendChild(e);})(document.createElement('script'),'//')

Water Cooler / Re: What's wrong with SERPs today
« on: December 06, 2018, 04:27:09 PM »
Cheers all, your thoughts as always very much appreciated.

I hope to resurrect this thread now and again and pick your brains on various aspects. Measuring intent is indeed a bit hard and it remains to be seen how much of Google's tracking allows them certain tactics in improving SERPs, e.g. retargeting based on query history, intent based on previous searches.

RE: privacy groups, cheers. There's definitely some efforts on that front.

All taken on board. Feel free to add more gripes about what could be done better.

Slightly OT, DDG is now doing 1% of Google's volume and their traffic chart shows exponential growth.

Water Cooler / Re: What's wrong with SERPs today
« on: November 30, 2018, 01:28:02 AM »
Most definitely with the algo tweaking thing, for surely a gimmick, but one that might resonate with people like yourself who understand the algo is a black box between you and the rest of the web.

Water Cooler / What's wrong with SERPs today
« on: November 30, 2018, 12:49:19 AM »
Part of my remit with Mojeek is to identify how to improve search engine results.

There's an emphasis on being a strong alternative to main search engines just now.

Obviously within this group there's an insane amount of experience in information retrieval and Google's weaknesses.

Free hand, how you you improve search results from your own perspective?

One line of thought I see often is simply offering an alternative to the strong brands that prevail in lots of results, and offering 10 different blue links. Separately, do you think there's a utility for offering  a toolbar/form that provides a way to customise the ranking algorithm? Is it just an interesting toy or real world useful option?

Web Development / Re: Terchnical SEO : You Should Read
« on: November 29, 2018, 06:51:55 PM »
That's kind of the point. Technical SEO is a specialisation and true enough, designers, programmers and all the other specialisations perhaps rightfully so don't know the specifics.

I'd agree that someone who transcends all the disciplines is pretty rare.

Web Development / Re: Terchnical SEO : You Should Read
« on: November 29, 2018, 05:50:57 PM »
99.9% of the planet think SEO is some outsourced outfit spamming your link in comments and submitting the site to 3000 search engines.

The article does show some of the complexities involved and the necessity of someone to actually know what they're doing instead of winging the lot.

The described problems are pretty subtle, definitely not a web dev or a programmers realm of concern, unless the programmer is hard into technical SEO. I'm a member in a good few FB groups and suffice to say a lot of people that call themselves SEOs are oblivious to this stuff.

Water Cooler / Re: John Henry and Gary Kasparov
« on: November 22, 2018, 07:26:10 PM »
>pets and livestock

Thanks for the correction. It's mentioned near the start of the video

Water Cooler / Re: John Henry and Gary Kasparov
« on: November 22, 2018, 10:52:25 AM »
I don't mean that there is a moral equivalence between slavery and using AI. I just mean to say that most things that we asserted were uniquely human, we have found are either true of other animals or are envisionable for computers. I don't place much stock in the uniqueness, let alone the superiority, of humans. Humans as an aggregate are unique, of course. Otherwise we wouldn't be able to tell humans from other things. I just mean that I don't believe there is any one characteristic that is and always will be unique to humans.

Time and again, we find arguments based on human nature don't hold up well. Man the toolmaker.

Makes total sense to me, Einstein had a good quote about judging a fish about its ability to climb a tree. Natural selection has let species all be experts of their own domain, it seems we're still trying to define what it is to be human and pinpoint how we're exceptional from all the others. Apparently being 'intelligent designers' and our ability to drastically manipulate our environment would be a close description, replicating our minds seems like it's still a lifetime away IMO.

'The MacReady Explosion' says that 10,000 years ago, our species accounted for 0.1% of land based vertebrates, and today it's 98%. Whatever it is we're doing and believe in, there's an over-reliance on it being correct :-)

gathering evidence, researching precedent and informing the sentencing phase are commonly algorithmically-driven

Precedents and technology will surely help, and codified laws and rulesets for constructing those laws... all great until there's a new edge case. The recent situation of those cake makers in Northern Ireland is perhaps a good example of where human moral judgement can't be easily replaced.

I don't know any specifics you might be referring to, but taking it to the extreme it does seem terrifying that someone could be condemned to imprisonment entirely by AI, even up to the point before verdict. Even in guilty pleas, seems (at least in Scotland) the court will spend time building up background reports to determine the sentence.

It is an interesting question of where the line can be and should stop.

explainable AI

It reminds me of a video I might have mentioned somewhere in th3core Daniel Dennett: "From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds" - he also advocates explainable AI, though most of the video is leading up to it.

Very complicated

Indeed, I think it's disingenuous for people to think there's no bias in-built into our thinking. I'm pretty sure that bias was good for keeping our family and brethren alive when spotting strangers, and an over emphasis on teaching/preaching equality nowadays means that we're taught to ignore or not celebrate our differences. I'm totally unsure whether an AI can overlook our own bias and whether that's a benefit or not.

IMO it's also questionable whether everyone should be treated entirely the same without considering their individual circumstances or whether a true equality algo would be better. Simple example of stealing a loaf of bread out of starvation or simply because they're hungry and don't value the consequences of stealing.

Very complicated. For a single entity to have an all encompassing view judgement obviously has huge potential to be problematic. If AI were to make it into judgements, I think I'd at least want many disconnected versions of it running.

I'm honestly not sure how I feel about all of the above. Like I say, it's mostly thinking in public to see what other people think.

I'm also unsure and glad you shared your thoughts on it.

I find Dennett's video most interesting because of its comparison to nature and how natural selection does not think or care, and how the environment is an essential component of evolution. AI does not have the requirement of survival, self-preservation or reproduction, and it seems like a huge challenge to map our own understanding of knowledge, morality, anything onto a system that's not based on the foundations of who we are.

All I'm sure of at the moment is that explainable AI is a nice middle ground that is a lot less contentious and much more accountable


Hardware & Technology / Re: Is Chrome worse than we thought for privacy?
« on: November 20, 2018, 07:05:40 PM »
Even the desktop share for Firefox has been decimated, but understandable that familiarity would be a reason

Water Cooler / Re: John Henry and Gary Kasparov
« on: November 20, 2018, 07:03:44 PM »
>>Which is not that unlike what many Europeans said of "savages" during the Age of Exploration and what some apologists for slavery said as well. The moral superiority argument is historically one of the last arguments that you pull out when your other arguments start to fail.

Bit of a stretch there I think. I don't think there's a moral equivalence there. AI and human history seem quite separate, and there's no splendid isolation end game.

>>Given the deep biases in humans and the many ways in which we can be manipulated, I wonder how long it will be until there is a type of civil rights movement that demands the right to Trial by Algorithm, precisely to escape the miscarriages of justice we see in the courts based on bias.

Can't see it happening. It's by human consensus (the jury), and until there's massive leaps in neuroscience, can't see how we'd suddenly change to using algorithms instead. At least in the current system you have the moral agency of the people in the jury to validate that choice... the drawback is what information is privy to them at the time of the trial and how they choose to interpret it. I don't think we can really replace human conclusions with AI ones without justification behind it. Saying that, I'm sure AI wouldn't conclude anyone's a witch... given the right inputs.

I'm interested in how a computer could discern between the idea of free will and accountability. Bit of a minefield in itself.

>>I do think that in our lifetimes, we'll see mediocre genre fiction pumped out by AI.

Merely aesthetic value :)

Hardware & Technology / Re: Is Chrome worse than we thought for privacy?
« on: November 20, 2018, 06:53:58 PM »
What I found astounding is the mass migration from Firefox to Chrome. How did that happen? Some story that Chrome was faster and more memory efficient I'd assume.

Perhaps it was, but there must've been a concerted effort to push that message, from Google itself.

The alternatives are there, sitting ready to be used. I don't know of a big enough reason to switch from firefox to chrome.

Water Cooler / Re: When Google Don't Pick the Best Image
« on: November 19, 2018, 08:29:15 PM »
Jimmy Saville

Water Cooler / Re: John Henry and Gary Kasparov
« on: October 30, 2018, 07:10:30 AM »
>3rd type of skill

Well there's no sign of computers having a code of morals yet, but pretty much those other two are things they'll just get better at, at least from the computational and problem solving angle. So we have morals on our side... err... well we could claim to or at least individuals amongst the race. No doubt given enough time there'll be algorithms to simulate a human-like moral code or advances in psychology will explain the landscape of the underlying motivations.

VR will at least keep some occupied. For me, I'd just want to avoid the can't beat em join em approach and start using tech to 'improve' our bodies.

I suppose there can be a feeling of existential crisis if machines can outdo all our greatest achievements...

Hardware & Technology / Cloudflare Nameservers
« on: October 25, 2018, 01:21:34 PM »
A C&P from what I've posted on a FB group - if you like hiding domains behind cloudflare but want to vary the nameservers a bit, this is useful.

Something possibly useful for you, a list of Cloudflare nameservers. - 436. Quite likely not all of them but a decent chunk. Something interesting I noticed is that their 'add domain / change nameserver' process gives you two specific nameservers to change to, they do this in case there's multiple people trying to add the same domain at the same time. It seems that after verification, you're free to change to any of the other namesevers. I haven't tested over a longer period of time, but it seems useful if not for simple diversity, and saves you creating multiple accounts. YMMV.

Hardware & Technology / Re: WebPerl | Run Perl in the browser
« on: October 22, 2018, 12:33:38 PM »
That'll make a lot of old schoolers happy

Played around a little bit of emscripten, it has the potential to be very powerful. They're tentative about enabling specific GPU stuff. Performance is meant to be great, plus AFAIK you get the benefit of obfuscating your client side code.

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