Back in a Bit

Artificial yes-men

About two months ago, I began a project to build a computer program that could learn by probability. I’m not going to write up all the details just yet—only those relevant to this particular story.

As mammals, humans are equipped with emotional reflexes. Fear, for example, allows us not only to become physically prepared for a threat, but also to recall and calculate the events caused by previous threats to aid us in making judgements regarding the supposed imminent threat. Basically, we are designed to learn on a very basic and fundamental level.

Computers do not yet have such sophisticated capabilities. The concept of learning is one of the great challenges facing the information age. However, I came up with the idea of allowing a computer to carry out simple learning processes loosely based on the human emotional reflex—i.e. assess how to handle a piece of information by assessing how previous information was handled. I refer to these processes as the Cohesive Learning Engine.

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Isolated gripes

Living under restrictive Ministry of Defence rules, residents of Foulness feel increasingly cut off from the world…. The island is much the same as it was in 1915, when the MoD purchased the 6,300 acres. Whether by accident or by design, Foulness has been a unique social experiment for more than 90 years; arguably, it is the closest thing to a police state on British soil.

Exit wound

Examine your left hand for a moment. You see where you’ve got a small amount of relatively loose flesh between where your third and fourth fingers join the hand? Yes? I have a splinter there. This splinter has an exit-wound—it has found its way into my palm and then come out the back. Annoyingly, it simply refuses to me moved.