Today I Admit Defeat and Officially Announce My Retirement from Tech Skepticism

My Mea Culpa(s) — Part I

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I’m done. I have lost. I quit.

Artificial intelligence I am sorry for saying you do not exist and may never. It should be obvious to anyone with a brain in their head (oops, that is probably too human-centric, I should have said brain or artificial neural network of any subtype in their central plastic or metal encased box or robot head like appendage) that you do. The first day I walked down my street and bumped into three different AIs in the form of some random dude’s smart phone, Alexa in baby cart, and my city’s traffic light system, I should have thrown in the towel on this one. I am especially sorry for the post linked below. Even though it was part I of what became the classic and much beloved FAQs about the future series, it was juvenile and stupid. In my defense it was my first try at something new, and at the time I wasn’t really sure what I was trying to say. I do still really like the infographic though and hope you at least got a smile or laugh from it. I am sure you must have given how intelligent you are. Next time we meet let’s share an orange. You can wax eloquent on how the taste of it in your mouth reminds you of the philosophy of Wittgenstein, and what it felt like when your mom (TX-1000eS unit 3) kissed your HDPE housing every morning before she zipped off to work down the section 13 electrical conduit piping corridor on her way to the net each morning.

Machine Learning. I am sorry for all that logical contradiction and logical impossibility stuff I said. Everyone tells me I am too much of a stickler for definitions and even still consult a dictionary from time to time to look them up. What an old codger I am right? Who uses dictionaries any more? Worse, who cares about what words mean? They mean whatever we want them too, duh! Plus, logical analysis? Seriously wtf was I thinking? nobody gives two shits about logic these days, and for good reason, it is boring and stupid. I finally get that, but it took me burning every copy of every edition of my Merriam Webster, Oxford, Cambridge, and MacMillin dictionaries to truly absorb that lesson. The neighborhood association was pissed over the smell but fuck ’em, it was a windy day and that pile of useless paper went up like a small explosion (probably the gallon of gas I poured on top first). It took a bit longer to burn all my Wittgenstein, Russel, and Carnap plus my formal, informal, and symbolic logic textbooks but they really burned good too, eventually. Like AI, it should be crystal clear to any meathead that machines can learn. It is so obvious to me now. Once I saw machine learning courses being offered and prestigious nanodegrees being conferred by the elite UDaCity and UDeMy online universities for $3000 I should have known my position was a thing of the ancient past (see online universities further down the list for a more thorough apology to my unfairly attacked online university friends). Two of my most regretted and clearly in error ‘writings’ on the topic are posted below.

Deep Learning I am so sorry for calling you “still not learning” and Deep [insert tech thing here]. I have finally woken up to the reality that you are not just a made up term that really means nothing but sounds pretty cool when put in front of various tech buzzwords. And what was I thinking when I called you a “hedge” word invented to give early backers of AI and machine learning an easy out when somebody tried to call them out on their bullshit. There can be no doubt about how deep your learning goes. In the words of the immortal Ice-Cube, it goes deep, so deep, it put your ass to sleep. To “learn” just how deep it goes I have linked some dumb stuff I wrote about it below.

Artificial neural networks I apologize for pointing out that since you are not composed of neurons, which are biological cells that exist only in living systems, it really makes no sense to call you a “neural” anything. It should have been obvious that since the word artificial came before the word neural that objection was baseless and stupid. Not to beat a dead horse but the only reason I said that is because they way you work is based on a theory about how the human brain functions and “learns” that is only one of a myriad of theories, each of which has about as equally a valid claim to be the “correct” one. Also, many of them contradict each other in important and consequential ways. Clearly however, since your were designed by engineers and computer scientists the “right” theory was selected for your design and you are just like a human brain and it’s neuronal network in every way, but even better because you are artificial. Again, wtf was I thinking. To get a sense of exactly wtf I was thinking I have posted a couple of my dumbest writings on the topic below. This one was truly a head slapper and my regret runs deep, but not as deep as deep learning which is deep as fuck.

Sadly, to be continued…

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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