Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Misguided Intelligence

A very interesting discussion on Intelligence, started with a very thoughtful and well written article forcefully advocating checks on the use of natural as well as artificial intelligence being developed for future uses. He has also questioned whether the progress should be just for sake of making some hi-fi things for super rich or to address problems and improve the condition of common people. Misguided obviously means for wrong usage, either for use of a few or for bad purpose.
Intelligence, is also a two edged sword, can be used or misused. The point is whether, the development itself should be encouraged or discouraged for the fear of misuse.  A human being is expected to have a conscience, a mind, feelings etc to check his action. But what about a mindless Robot? Will it cause huge destruction or get destroyed?
Whatever way it is, you cannot stop progress in the field of science.
K.Natarajan (Jun 8, 2016) :

This could be over reaction to some tit bit news, hopefully they will not catch up feverishly in this country,  but that is how small fire starts,  boomerang to calamities, beyond control!

The recent focus on INDISCRIMINATE Technology Development  are grim reminders of The gift of Nature, turned to curse by Man, and must make us to THINK!

THINKING PROCESS, and the consequent building up of INTELLIGENCE , is Nature’s gift exclusively to man, to be profitably used for the benefit of fellow beings, but perversely used for exactly opposite purpose! sometimes frivolous,  sometimes vulgar display of position.

This is what comes to the mind with advancements in remotely operated flying objects, drones and auto driven cars., and lately crewless huge ships! (TOI  4-5-16) and a lot more!

What formidable weapons would they make in the hands of lunatics, religious fanatics!
What havocs they would produce, with our poor driving sense, spectrum of vehicles ranging from 2,3,4 wheeled and beyond, very badly maintained roads, unmanned vehicles flying at low altitudes over tall buildings and heavily congested cities!
Are we rapidly spreading in AREA , without covering DEPTH?

Intense effort in more air safety with our jumbo jets, improved landing with ill-equipped runways, enhanced safety features in our automobiles, better road conditions, ALL would be the need of the hour, one would think.

The 'attractions' that are planned inside a digital revolution automobile are all in the area calculated to divert his attention, like mobile communication, entertainment, needless information etc., making him forget that his machine COULD KILL. One would think that the direction should be towards airbags mechanism, wheel material and technology, break before hit  and auto speed control with digitization etc !

In the fast moving world, mobility is the landmark of development., to be made easily affordable to common man.The apt choice of train for going to Chennai from Mumbai, is One day by travel and 120 days to make that possible by reservation!, The computer booking starts 4 months in advance and gets closed in 10 minutes.
Assured train passage within a reasonable time must be the objective of 'core' and 'management' intelligence, put together, rather than the lopsided fancy projects, one sees!

In remote villages, children while away their times, for want of schools and means to reach them. One can see tens of school children on the roadsides waiting for a crowded khatara bus (when will it come, will it, nobody knows) to go to school or walk miles. When will this transportation improve? By drones and autonomous cars and self driven submarines!

When feminine charms, god given gift, are used perversely, we condemn it vehemently as PROSTITUTION. When Intelligence, god given gift, is used  badly, sometimes perversely, can we condemn them with the same vehemence as Prostitution of Intelligence? (strong words, disproportionate to the issue, maybe, the maddening race in defense destruction is at the back of the mind)

The drones and driverless cars and, maybe,  crewless ships  will continue to oblige IS for the same heartless ventures like WTC and equally diabolical counter measures.
Of course there can be arguments in favor, about the possible good uses they can be put to. When we conducted our first atomic explosion test, the famous scientist Dr Ramanna said that this could be used for interlinking the rivers of India!

Technology development should not be allowed to run amuck. Particularly  consumers oriented technology developments should be subject to strict ethical and moral censorship., REGULATORY included!

In the chain of Information-data-memory-intelligence and knowledge, from Vedic days, a gap existed between the penultimate  Knowledge and the ultimate  Wisdom, Wisdom being exclusively used for Realisation of Brahman .

With the new interpretations of Vedic concepts,maybe, this Wisdom in modern times, is just the discerning sense of application of Knowledge, for the benefit of fellow beings or being perverse, for discomfort and destruction ?!

Ps; what good will come out of this? Why do we keep writing, with the limitation well known?
Maybe the intense feeling of writing and reading will get transmitted to be received by some power that matters and some good may come,

Mohan Rao ( Jun 9)
 In my childhood when the technology had not yet penetrated my village, developing one’s intelligence was rather a simple affair. “See where you are going; listen for things going on around you; If you smell smoke, there may be a fire at a distance, be careful”, etc. Our parents packed whatever we wanted to know into our little brains even before we hit Grade 1. We were ready for life. After that, with the basic repertoire, we built upon our knowhow from schools, special training (swimming, driving etc) and that was it.  Society knew how to apprehend the ones that err, cause trouble and were ‘misguided’ and either bring them to justice or rehab them and life continued to be simple.

 As technology advanced, the problems started to take on a different dimension. Now, with automated vehicles from autos to cruise ships, trains to planes (perhaps one of these days) right in our midst, all packed with AI soft-wares and the like, intelligence ain’t what it used to be.
 As we speak, my city is deliberating how we can assimilate autos (cars, buses) to subways (trains) on our streets. Reports are already piling up on their desks and computers and most of them are people not overly technical and consultants come in to help them out. Nothing seems to be simple anymore. From the automated vehicles to almost all departments of the city hall seem to have responsibility for something or another and they get bogged down even before the meetings start.
 From the city hall to the vehicle makers to users to general public, every one needs to be trained before thousands of EVs or autos can be put on the road, including millions who commute to work on trains, and thousands who travel on cruises. This is the nature of global technologies we are contending with. Humans are humans and the societies know how to deal with them when they are misguided. With global technologies, it is a different matter.

 Politicians talk in generalities saying that the city is going to become a “smart” city. They talk of digital innovation hubs in the city, where even low-income kids can loan mobile hotspot devices, research kits, video special effect green screens, and 3-D printers and innovate for a future common cause.  They talk of shared narratives between public, users, manufacturers and the city. They talk of collecting primary data for the city, supported by GPS ground maps, satellite info, camera-generated info and machine-readable data on the streets. Lightning-fast Internets, broad-bands, sensors capturing all types of data, and big, really big data banks on clouds and systems to store and disseminate info.

 This reminds me of an anecdote my mother used to keep telling. First you buy a cat. Then you buy a cow to feed the cat. Then you buy a house to keep the cow. Then you marry so that someone can help looking after a house, a cow and a cat. So on and so forth.

 Politicians are also aware that they are not knowledgeable enough on the global technologies these days as much as they should. My grandson (9 year old) is in a boot-camp for computer nerds. I asked him if they teach him Java. He rolled his eyeballs and replied emphatically: “NO! We are learning PYTHON these days.” I got the message: that I am too out-dated. The local Ryerson University has an incubator for young ideas in the making. I was afraid to ask him what that was all about.

 What do we do with misguided techno machines, loaded to their teeth with AI software and can think for themselves, is another question. People can be incarcerated, but machines? The city wants to develop whatever is needed outside the box of a vehicle, and then get out of the way, if possible.
 Perversity of human behaviour leading to misguided actions is not new. What is new is the automated huge machines from peaceful machines to war machines that can run amok, kill thousands to millions, not because they are bad, but because the humans who let them operate the way they did, were misguided. From the early times, from sticks to knives, bows and arrows, from fire to large-scale arsons, humans have behaved both as perfect angels and misguided ogres. Right in our days, we see mega-planes going down, sometimes due to people that err, sometimes due to machines that fail, and many times with people who want to destroy the plane and kill other people in hundreds. Similar people can also sabotage war machines, drop bombs and run cruise ships down the Marianna’s trench.
Responsibilities should ultimately rest where they belong. No point in beating up a cat for spilt milk. Going back to the cave age is out of the question as well. Much water has gone under the bridge on this for millennia since I remember.
All in lighter vein.

Ashok Malhotra (Jun 9)
   Reading such mails actually shocks the mind for a while, like you have seen the predator movies. I in fact needed to refresh my understanding of the term "intelligence" and also needed to "symptom sort" the matters of these two mails- but failed by n large,..the "lighter veins" remark making a further mockery of my resulting conundrum.

The Dictionary defines "intelligence" as:
1. capacity for learning, reasoning, and understanding; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.
2. mental alertness or quickness of understanding.
3. manifestation of a high mental capacity.
4. the faculty or act of understanding.
5. information received or imparted; news.
6. a. secret information, esp. about an enemy or potential enemy.
b. the gathering or distribution of such information.
c. the evaluated conclusions drawn from such information.
d. an organization engaged in gathering such information: military intelligence.
7. (often cap.) an intelligent being or spirit, esp. an incorporeal one.
  All this is in positive sense, attaching "misguided" to it will not give the intended meaning, but that is not the issue now.
   I will just like to summarize my understanding on such issues that, "at any point of time, every problem leads to its solution and every solution raises a new set of problems, and both remain in an unstable state of equilibrium" -this is a universal  law of nature, so no point in panicking.
    Actually "the generation gap arises out of the intelligence back lash", which need not be perceived as "misguided". Thanks

S Dayal (Jun 9)
Intelligence is indeed, a good topic.  Slowly intelligence has evolved.  Now a new term has been added to this, called "Collective Intelligence".  An example of this is given as, think if an Ant, a single ant's intelligence is limited.  But the "Collective intelligence" of all the ants, put together, make an ant hill, makes their ant hill, as sophisticated as the suburbs of New York City !

Also its well known as, Ants put together can move an, Elephant !

Even WANO has, very well developed courses on dealing with, gathering of knowledge, intelligently, and applying it the area of problem solving in the area of Operations and Maintenance in the Nuclear Field.  Intelligence as per (to my limited understanding) WANO, hass classified as (i) Individual Intelligence (ii) Group Intelligence (iii) Organizational Intelligence  

Also it is a well known fact, that Organizations, which are intelligent enough, are able to survive, in the ever changing Business Environment.


K.Natarajan (Jun 9)
In a way,  Mohan Raoji, your long response provides the real response also.
Technologies will grow like cactus, mankind will adjust to wade through, is the gist as I see.
The gist of my long submission was in the last para, moving away from the penultimate Knowledge to the ultimate Wisdom, in modern sense, acquiring the discerning ability between our love to fellow human beings and our love of technology,
which governs the application of technology.

Ashok Malhotra ji,
After we enter the metaphysical domain, a cleansing of the mind of conventional dictionary meanings, is the first need I felt to avoid confusion (I have stressed often on a new Glossary!)
Somewhere in the long journey, Technology in man seems to have left Culture way behind and regaining the balance is all Wisdom, the maturing of Knowledge, is about, is what behind my submission

We sportsmen are keen on putting a goal, even if it is on same side.!
Ashok Malhotra ( Jun 9)
I entirely agree with your thoughts Mr Dayal. I was merely countering the negative aspects of intelligence put forth, which will always be there, like good n bad, धर्म-अधर्म. If we reinforce the good, the bad aspects will be automatically destroyed.
Agreed Natarajan sir, you are a real sports man, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
AI, Artificial Intelligence, could be misguided Intelligence, if proper control measures are not incorporated in the incipient stage.
Had proper control measures been taken at the very early stage of fossil fuel utilization, similar to the conscientious nuclear people taking appropriate stringent measures with ALARA,, the carbon print would not have grown to the monster it is now.
This was what emphasized in the Misguided Intelligence and earlier ALARA  threads.


Ashok Malhotra (Jun 15)
  It just came to my mind: Stretching the argument of ALARA applied correctly to all aspects by their creators, even by God, there would be no Ravana, Kansa, Hitler, British n Muslim occupations of India n so on. What a utopian world it would be.

Mohan Rao (Jun 15)
We also used the same intelligence to create the concept of hindsight, gadgets called rearview mirrors, blindspot monitors and digitized versions of these gadgets for EVs. ICE-driven cars were misguided I; EVS are I. Are NPPs misguided I or I?
Both misguided intelligence and real intelligence were given to us by the same God? Or, is one called Satan?


Mohan Rao ( Jun 10)
Elon Musk is the billionaire founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX companies. Among his recent sayings: AI is a real concern for humanity and is we do not control it, we will end up like the housecat; it is our biggest existential threat; with AI we are summoning a demon; AI is becoming massively more intelligent than humans; we shouldn’t let power of AI be concentrated in the hands of a few, potentially leading to a world we do not want; power of AI should be broadly distributed such that the collective will of others will overcome the bad actors (some think that Musk meant Google when he said that); Musk also said he loves the idea of being a housecat.
 In a Swiss referendum, the government offered an unconditional basic income of 2500 Swiss Francs to each person (about 3000 $) per month to cover basis needs so that people can pursue creative and productive goals in life. People overwhelmingly said “ No, thanks.”
 Linda Wiegenfeld says that we are “wired to create” in a book with the same title. She outlines ten habits and more habits you have more creative you are: imaginative plays that create a sense of wonder; passion for work and getting motivated and inspired; daydreaming and letting the unconscious take over; solitude and hearing your own ideas and reflecting; intuition or inner voice or gut feel; being open to new horizons; mindfulness or observing and living in the moment; sensitivity of intense depth of feeling; positive coping and turning bad experiences into opportunities; thinking differently and love for innovation. Leonardo da Vinci, the Renaissance man did countless things such as painting, sculpting, math, inventions, music, anatomy, cartography, botany, writing and many more.
 David Suzuki, Canada’s environment guru, says our brains didn’t evolve in cities. Cognitive psychologist David Strayner says that being in nature allows the pre-frontal cortex, brain’s command centre to dial down and rest like an overused muscle. Nature can calm the brain and heal the body.
 Ref: Epoch Times, June 9-15, 2016

S Dayal ( Jun 10 )
Often it is said that, Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural stupidity.
Ravi Rustagi:
AI stands for Artificial Intelligence of computer acting like human brain. But whose brain? Humans differ mainly in their brain development. Someday, there will be need of evolving Internationally accepted Standard Brain unit, like SI units of mass, length and time, and conversion factors.
SI was evolved more than 50 years ago; the US, Britain and Canada still not agreeable to adopt SI system across the board. Oh boy, AI is not going to be simple, time and cost effective alternative to human stupidity!
Regards & in light vein.

Nandkishore Agarwal ( Jun 12)
I think the word AI for Artificial  Intelligence is quite popular unless one is talking about flights. This word is being used more and more these days in connection with industrial activities, computing, robotics and various other areas.

S Dayal (Jun 12)
First time I saw an application of AI was in Japanese washing machines.
These machines used to decide the amount of detergent to be used for washing clothes, irrespective of the color of clothes !

Ashok Malhotra ( Jun 12)
        Perhaps it is "fuzzy logic" based controls that are often advertised by the washing m/c wallas, the term "artificial intelligence" is a generic term for any system that learns by use and based on that adopts/modifies itself.
S Dayal ( Jun 12 )
It started with Fuzzy Logic.  Later on matured to AI.  In AI, the program code goes on increasing, as AI learns from its, experience.
Now AI based home sweep, mopping systems are being developed.  These AI based machines, are able to understand the home layout.  Able to differentiate between children's toys and scrap paper.
Also, they are able to go to a particular location in house and get latched for re charge, in case the battery goes low.
Price is a deterrent, so not ready for market yet.
Sounds like science fiction!

Mohan Rao (Jun 13)
Dayal Saab: You might have heard people sometimes say with respect to some inanimate thing: “it has got its own mind”. You have to watch those things. Sometimes I used to feel that they have AI. In childhood, our school teachers used to keep a bamboo cane (now forbidden) to keep order in the classroom. We used to think that those little canes had AI. Worse you behave in the class, harder they come on you when they are used by the teacher. When I went to grade 6, I found out that the AI had something to do with the principle of levers (how much it hurt depended on where the teacher held the cane).
My grandfather used to own a school in the village. There were rules as to the use of the cane by the teacher: they should be kept inside the drawer hidden from the children’s eyes so that the canes don’t lose their AI; they can be used only on the flat palm and nowhere else; only one slap per bad behaviour; no beating for inefficiency in performance, etc. The system was all over the school system: we used to think it was the British rulers who brought it. Finally when they left India, my grandfather banned caning in the classes. Teachers replaced it with a foot ruler which was as you perhaps know a slat of soft wood with foot length with inches on one side and cms on the other. Thee was a rule at that point that teacher can use it only using the flat side. It hardly hurt. The rule breakers used to come back sneering after getting a slap from the flat side of the ruler.
Ashok Malhotra ( Jun 13 )
   I am eagerly waiting for the AI mopping machines to get rid of our ever troublesome n costly Baiees. But these m/c's would need to be caned daily since our h/hold layouts change daily n they will never learn it. Don't you agree?
Ravi Rustagi ( Jun 13 )
I heard an anecdote of a maid servant trying to google if there is a way for her to work from home.
I am certain that human involvement will ever be an important measure of progress at all times. Emphasis may change from quantity to quality, simple technology to use of complex Apps. Will there be a time of robots texting, sorry sexing instead of real humans?
I recall another joke:- a servant kissed the wife of the boss, saying the boss is busy at work, he asked me to pass on the good night kiss.
Hope it doesn’t happen in this lifetime.


Ashok Malhotra ( Jun 13)
I with a smile Sir,...."Getting Naughty at Eighty".....or "Humour with a Rumour"....(self coined).
Mohan Rao (Jun 13)
 In Canada we already have little gadgets that scour the floor or the carpet 24/7 and it won’t be long somebody comes up with these Gadgets with AI attached to them or ones that can be attached to your i-phone or Blackberry with an App. We only need to find a way of e-caning them so they can function better.

Ashok Malhotra ( Jun 13 )
We all know well by now how much the life has changed by the Industrial Revolution.
The flip side of this ever increasing complexity in such aids arises when the machines stop working, & that happens frequently in a normal house hold.
There was a time when any road side mechanic, at a nominal charge will repair my car, even I used to do many things myself. But now, even a simple washing m/c or an audio system or a TV, have proprietary parts n programmed chips, that can only be attended to by their manufacturers, at their own sweet prices and it creates a monopolistic practice that the authorities are neither  able to detect nor tackle, as well as a non competitive market, like the drug industry has been doing for a long time.
The consumer forums n the Govt. are no match to them. In fact a major part of a company's profits are generated from the after sale services. Often the consumers are led to conclude that replacing the gadget is easier than the hassle n cost of getting it repaired.
Ganesh Johorey (Jun 15)
I wish I had used ALARA to drinking and playing cards in my young age. Since giving up drinking alcohol and reducing card game I have lead a much healthier life.This principle should also be followed for accumulating wealth.It is getting accumulated because of Newton's first law of motion


Dear Malhotra ji, Mohan Rao ji,
Do I see some sarcasm and aggressiveness? We are not going to change anything and winning or loosing the argument is irrelevant. So why be an argumentative American or Argumentative Indian (or Canadian)
I am tempted to say "I am thoroughly misunderstood".
The Inducement for the mail is your sharp focus on various aspects of AI products in recent postings and  the heavy thrust by stakeholders on the gullible Indian market, causing the fear that it may come soon.
Like Brahman, Intelligence is one.
Application for good , bad, do not quite know , makes the difference.
The case is not against I or AI, but only needed caution in application.
Knowledge of Fission is intelligence. Application in NPP is guided Intelligence, application in nuclear bomb is misguided Intelligence? Modern smart politicians would say that even  nuclear bomb could be in the first category! Binary thinking is archaic, giving place to Fuzzy thinking, nowadays!

With the vast complications of algorithms, the thrusting of intelligence into computer  took a new name, Artificial Intelligence and had to be built on Fuzzy logics, discarding the elementary Boolean guided binary logic, suddenly pulling the carpet under the normal computer expert, taking the expertise needed to dizzy heights.

Hence the apprehension about the deadly combination of Robotics, Fuzzy logics to evolve AI and the indiscriminate thrust before mankind is prepared for it., atleast in this country.

Maneuvering a car with steering wheel is within human comprehension. I am afraid the AI takes the intelligence level to beyond human comprehension

With NPPs a simple application of smart transmitters, will have to call for specially developed V&V processes.

In the domain of public utility, AI needs lots of Regulatory cover, at the initial stage itself, before the flood gates are opened.
Prevention is better than cure.
Since the first response is a joke, developing into a sneer,  a caution 'not altogether a laughing matter' is in order!

Sure, younger generation is smart and will take care!
Thanks, Johorey ji for your humour!
Anand Ghare (June 16)
As the thread is continuing, my fingered are also tempted to touch the keypad.
Let me take out some humour out of Jouharisab's mail. Now he thinks he could have applied ALARA principle to drinking and playing cards, because perhaps health is his top priority or primary concern NOW. I am sure he must have thoroughly enjoyed those moments having fun with these activities in earlier days.

That is life! You keep taking calculated risks and enjoy the thrill. Some times there are miscalculations and you complain about wrong data, assumptions, formulae or simply your Karma and then feel happy or relieved of any guilt.
And we may also call it failure or misguidance of intelligence!

I do not know much about AI. Are they adding EQ to it besides IQ?
If not, the fiery robots may lead the same fate of self destruction as the demon Bhasmaasur!

Ashok Malhotra
I can guess how dear an issue can be to an initiator, its like a child to a mother, but there will always be uncles n aunties around to look at things more objectively(?) and some times jealously.
 Coming back to the issue, I think we are getting some what mixed up on this topic of Intelligence vs MI. What is under the hammer is "Management or Regulation of intelligent machines", n not their invention.
   There is a big gap between an invention n the application of that. First we discover a beast for our aid n then chain it for a controlled performance. MI comes in at the stage when the chain rules for the beast are flouted. If we bind the inventor with the chain rules, that will perhaps snuff out all creativity.
     I am sure the apprehensions of Sh Natarajanji will be suitably addressed, sooner than later, by proper regulations, as we will shortly see for drones, but, like Satan can't be wished away, there will always be rogues around for MI.
Mohan Rao
Just to add to the conversation on Misguided Intelligence:
I gather that Apple is going to let third parties to work with Apple to develop useful interfaces using Apple AI and Digital Assistant. A scenario of future AI application will be as follows (say 5 years from now):
Imagine your day’s appointments have to be arranged. Uber, Oberoi and Taj will work with Apple’s Digital Assistant Siri to set up your agenda. Uber will send a cab to take you after your day’s engagements to Hotel Oberoi for High Tea with your clients. After one hour, two Uber cabs will fetch you and your wife and take you to Taj where your dinner would have been pre-arranged by Siri and Taj. After three hours, another Uber cab will take you back Home. Siri will add up the tabs and debit your account. All the arrangements will be done having you in the loop in making major decisions.
The whole arrangement by AI is perhaps a little too rich for my taste, but I wouldn’t call it misguided.
On another topic, Sony is coming up with Virtual Reality movies with already famous titles like Star wars, where you can wear a Sony headset and involve yourself in a virtual situations like a war, or walking with the dead, fighting an inferno, and whatever is new in the world of special effects loaded movies.


Shah Nawaz Ahmad
I am reminded of the lines from Pablo Neruda

'Man with his implements of gold
Has landed on the moon
But we
The children of the half-light
Do not know
What has been discovered
Is a new form of life
Or a new form of death'


Mohan Rao
 I like the poem. Discontents of intelligence are many. Under nature’s challenge man developed intelligence to predict the course of nature and to pre-select our route. But somehow, intelligence developed negative traits as well what I call its discontents. We are still walking around with this intelligence like a gunman walking around finger-whirling a weapon and we are getting into serious trouble now and then. Even figuring out whether we did the right thing to start with becomes often confusing. Although hindsight is 20/20 they say. Outgrowing this part of evolution is our challenge, As Pablo Neruda says, we are children of the half-light (?) not knowing often what we have discovered. Getting out of this vicious cycle is a matter of spirituality, consciousness and intellect that has to work at a different perhaps a global level.


Ravi Rustagi :
Johoreyji Newton's first law is violated from unbalanced forces of accumulation. Let us set it right. Newton's first law is sheer guided intelligence- object is either at rest or in uniform motion. No aggravation, emotion , senseless desire etc. this is Krishna teaching in BG.

Mohan Rao ( Jun 17 )
Headsets with AI, VR, 3-D are becoming more and more useful as we speak. Top end shops are using them for guiding customers have a try before they decide whether to buy or not - cars, homes, cottages, sports gears etc.

Shah Nawaz Ahmad ( Jun 17)
So true
But with so much information, but without the knowledge, I am afraid
We remain remain children of the half-light Perpetually

The concluding sentence comes close to the concluding sentence of the initiating mail of the thread, that wisdom in modern sense lies in right application of the inevitable discoveries of knowledge, the discerning sense of right and wrong application.
As difficult to acquire as the original sense of wisdom, realizing Brahman, or realizing Truth, or Self!

Shah Nawaz Ahmad
So right Natarajan saheb
The only certainty we have, is that we live in an uncertain world
That's the human condition
And we can only negotiate our way
Given the lodestar of our values and convictions
Never sure whether they are good enough
To serve us
Along the way


Mohan Rao
We have heard before that Russians are trying to develop advanced humanoids. Today’s Washington Post  reports on a unique story. From a Russian Prombot Lab, a humanoid escaped out of the lab gate which the Engineer had forgotten to close. Not only that, the humanoid got into serious trouble when it stepped into the traffic when all the drivers tried to avoid the humanoid and someone even took a video and posted on the YouTube. Finally police had to show up and take care of the humanoid. The robot had been trained to answer questions, give directions and organize people with various algorithms. I wonder if all the AI it had helped in saving itself in the traffic. What if it had walked into a nuclear arsenal and started meddling with the switches? Who should be be held responsible - man or the humanoid?

Mohan Rao (18/06/2016)
Stephen Hawking has often said that we should explore other planets for human habitation. Given the research currently in progress in US, European nations, India and perhaps some more (China), it may not be far off that we have some real options and we will be into trial phase.
Paul Sokoloff is a Canadian Botanist and a former crew member at the Mars Desert Research station in Utah and knows more about growing things on Mars than many of us. Mars does not have soil but has what scientists call regolith (some kind of red dust). Data sent back from Mars through landers and rovers have let botanists create simulants of this red dust which are made of volcanic rocks. One such material from the slopes of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, quarried by Orbitec Ltd (called JSC Mars-1 simulate) can be bought for 25 USD for 2 pounds. You will need to add fertilizers to it, they say, to be able to grow produce in soil-free conditions (i.e. hydroponics). This will get going a number of school projects by students to grow fresh produce in Mars-like conditions. They may even come up with AI with algorithms to figure how much moisture would be required, what kind of produce grows best, customizing hydroponics to Mars-like conditions, etc. in the years to come.
Together with answers to various other questions such as: which part of Mars will have the best conditions for humans; what all essentials will be naturally available and what else may need to be shipped from earth, what processes may need to relied upon for survival (potable water, air, need for bio-domes etc), one day, in our children’s life if not ours, living and working on Mars and coming to earth for vacationing  and seeing family and folks, may be realizable. Guided civilization or misguided intelligence, I do not know.

-- -----------------------------------------------------------
Dear Mohan Rao,
I am sure , sooner than  later , this group will get a mail from Mars, from one of our friends settled there, on Misguided Intelligence!

May be initially we would have to expect extra-terrestrial, intra-planetary emails only from male members of the Group until ladies reach Venus first :-)
Shah Nawaz Ahmad
It better be guided, for even if you are few seconds off, (not minutes, not degrees) we could land in another galaxy.
But it may still be fun!


Mohan Rao ( 18/06/2016)
Canada has announced a 2 M$ recruitment program for space "cowboys and cowgirls" super smart, ultra-fit and who are not claustrophobic. It is looking beyond ISS, says Navdeep Bains, our minister for innovation and science. I can see Mars exploration when he says "beyond ISS" .


Mohan Rao ( Jun 21)
Games Gods and Men Play
 We have been discussing various antonyms of some kind or another in the last little while: intelligence and Artificial Intelligence; humans and robots; reality and virtual reality; light and darkness; particles and waves. In another post, I opined with Francis Fukuyama’s statement about the End of History, that there is something in our destiny that after all the arguments makes us fall into two near equal positions but opposite to each other and we get more and more choked in the pipe of history. I would like to put this into some kind of perspective.
 The way evolution led us so far, we are born with a 3-pound universe (we call the brain) and from the moment we are born, we cannot but start to differentiate the world we live in. Good and bad, high and low, yes and no, up and down, day and night and so on. If you think about it, fragmenting the world with the senses evolution gave us has been what we do for a living.
We grow with this necessary obsession, but the way we are, we start to integrate this world again. Consider light and dark: If light is where we are, we put on drapes and curtains to shield ourselves from the sun. We wear sunglasses and go and sit in dark rooms with candle light for dinner. If it is too dark, we bring our lamps, open our drapes. We seem to want to integrate light and dark into one continuous spectrum and manage it without separating it. Think about it again. That is the case with every pair of situations, which I called antonyms and whimsically Games Gods and men play.
 On an evolutionary timeline, we moved from primitive life to where we are now. Along the line of progress, we have dealt with these antonyms in a perpetually changing fashion. First the industrial age, where we started to brighten up the dark room with electricity, we moved from slow walking pace to ultra-fast pace with various transportation, etc, In other words, we have been integrating antonymous situations with various technologies.
 Where we are now, it is the same story. We, as Homo Sapiens, have phenomenal intelligence and we moderate it so that we do not become our own enemies such as with arms and ammunition, We have created our mirror intelligence in AI and now wonder if AI is guided or misguided. We have created our mirror image in robots and we wonder how not to allow the robots to take over and need to be controlled so that they can work for us and not give us marching orders instead. With virtual reality we are creating a mirror image of reality, with all its warts, and we wonder if we did something admirable or something with the potential of becoming ultimately self-destructive.
Finally we are into differentiation and integration, Cartesian concepts of subdividing and summing it up, or of dispersing and then regrouping. So far the process has been creative and indeed the process of our evolution. But as we can see, the process is becoming more and more complex with every cycle of evolution, enough to wonder if we will be choking in the pipe of history.
Anand Ghare ( Jun 21 )
Fantastic summing up or placing in proper perspective by  Shri Mahanrao!
I think we have now graduated from subdividing and summing to Fission and Fusion!

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