Where to start…?

Dawn in my Treehouse feels warm, secure, and surreal. A mile away, wind generators roar with the pulsing beat of helicopter blades from a neighbor’s marijuana field fending off frost. I hear the fridge humming and the coffee pot clicking with heat while sending a fat burbling steaming stream into the glass carafe. My ears also ring from damage by 427 inch motors howling too close, or the squall of a 4-cylinder diesel engine … Continue reading

IT’s here.

Let’s dispense with some hair-splitting right up front. What follows lumps “machine learning” and “cognitive computing” and “artificial intelligence” and “advanced robotics” into one box that from here on shall be referred to as “Intelligent Technology,” or “IT.” IT includes self-driving cars, robots building those cars, computerized doctors, advanced game-playing algorithms, Amazon or Google or Apple or Facebook centers that parse “big data … all of it. All of IT.

Soon smarter than us

Three articles in the last couple of weeks didn’t shine quite enough attention on Artificial Intelligence. Sandisk announced a 400 gigbit microsd memory card for your phone. Huawei announced a new processor chip for phones that features a “neural processing unit,” or NPU. The Economist newspaper has a couple of stories, one about AI being able to determine sexual orientation (straight or gay) from photographs, another about AI’s ability to … Continue reading

Fear 3

Irish talks about fear. She fell, crushed half her face and lost her right eye. Of course she’s afraid of going back on the boat. No job and savings wiped out by divorce, she fears medical bills, as do many in much better shape. She fears for our relationship. After losing her job, the day before she fell, she asked me if I “could still love an unemployed miscreant.”  Her question … Continue reading

Piling on

Irish’s father died last Saturday. We’ll drive from the mountains to the valley tomorrow, pick up her sons in Eugene, and then head to the Oregon coast where the service will be held the next day. So much for 2017 making up for last year. The girl didn’t have enough on her plate over the last six weeks? Parkinson’s, losing her job over Thanksgiving, four days later the fall that nearly … Continue reading

Facebook

At the root of our “being,” just below consciousness and mostly hidden from us, pre-spoken emotions and urges guide our behaviors. As individuals we share many if not most of these, though where we fall on any one scale may be different from one to another. You may have one glass of wine and be content, but your brother’s seven are not nearly enough. You may be happy to sit … Continue reading