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KaTaPaYaDi – World’s Oldest Hashing Algorithm Monday, May 28 2007
algorithm and ancient and code and consonants and gurudev and hashing and hitxp and India and Information Technology and innovation and IT and katapayadi and language and mathematics and melakartha and programming and sanskrit and Science and vedas and vedic 8:11 am
Hashing Algorithm in Ancient Indian Music System Monday, May 28 2007
algorithm and ancient and carnatic and code and consonants and greek and gurudev and hashing and hitxp and India and innovation and katapayadi and mathematics and melakartha and music and programming and raag and raga and ragas and roman and sanskrit and Science and swara and vedas and vedic 8:01 am
Artificial Intelligence and Awareness Sunday, May 13 2007
artificial intelligence and artificial life and asimov and bacteria and code and gurudev and hitxp and Information Technology and IT and life and programming and robots and Science and Software and technology 5:42 am
‘I Robot’ – Remember this movie ?
Robots made up of intelligent software, want to overtake human beings and rule the earth, bla bla bla
The key is artificial intelligence, software that could mimic human intelligence and by the sheer processing power of the processors even overcome(?) human intelligence.
Some fear that one day computers will be more intelligent than humans. Artificial Intelligence will take over human intelligence. Then the computers/robots feel that humans are less intelligent than they are, and hence will take over humans as the dominant species(?!). Asimov suggested what is called Asimov’s laws to be embedded into the robots to ensure that robots never take over humans.
The Asimov’s laws are the fundamental laws which a Robot should always obey while executing any action. The robotic software should have these laws at the fundamental level preventing a robot from executing any action which violates any of these laws.
These are the Asimov’s laws
Law #1: A Robot should never harm a human being.
This ensures that a robot can never even think of anything which is dangerous or harmful to humans
Law #2: A Robot should follow all commands given by a human, provided first law is not violated.
This ensures that a robot always obeys to humans, but at the same time cannot be used by one human against other humans.
Law #3: A Robot should always protect itself, provided first and second laws are not violated.
This ensures that robots can save themselves in adverse situations, but not at the cost of a human life, and not at the cost of not following a human order.
Later on Asimov also inluded a Zeroth law, an even more fundamental law than the above three, and this says
A Robot should always protect the human race
And First law was modified as
A Robot should never harm a human being provided Zeroth law if not violated.
In other words, the Zeroth law ensures that robots not only are prevented from doing harm to human race, but also ensure the protection of human race. So tomorrow if there is an alien attack then Robots will fight the aliens as per the Zeroth law. OR say some wicked human tries to carry out a nuclear explosion which wipes out a large part of this planet, then the Robots will terminate that human, because the modified First law says that ‘A Robot should not harm a human only if Zeroth law is not violated’, in this case since the wicked human is causing a potential danger to human race, Robots will observe that Zeroth law is being violated by his action and hence will terminate him.
Looks like a science fiction? Well, for me it is common sense to hardcode these four laws as the basic of all robotic actions in every robot that we manufacture. Probably a more detailed and refined version of these laws will be more practical.
Now lets look at a more fundamental level. When we say Robots want to take over humans, or computers become more intelligent. What do we mean ?
Does it mean that Computers will be able to mimic or simulate intelligence on par with human intelligence ?
Computers will become really more intelligent?
My view goes that Computers just mimic human intelligence and are never truly intelligent. Why ?
My view dates back to those days when I used to think about a true answer for the meaning of life. In my +2 classes my professor asked a question.
A very tough question indeed. If we say things that move on their own consist life, then plants dont do so. (Except for some slow motion trees which over a period of years slowly move by spreading out their roots far away and cutting of older roots)
The text book answer was reproduction, things that can produce forms of their own. Things that can multiply and evolve.
I was not satisfied though. I used to think at a more fundamental level. For me being alive meant, being aware of one’s existence. ‘Awareness’ is the key. I know I am alive because I am aware of my existence. So my definition of life was ‘awareness’, textbook definition was ‘reproduction’.
My professor then was surprised by my answer, he asked me ‘Do you think bacteria or plants are aware of their existence’ ? I replied, ‘they have to be, probably the mechanism is different, we have brain, they have something else, Jagadish Chandra Bose had shown that plants have feelings and respond to things like music, heat etc. To respond they have to feel and to feel they have to be aware’.
Lets apply the textbook definition and my definition of life to Computers.
If we go by textbook definition, well computers/robots can be created which create more robots and computers. That is not a difficult thing to do. We just have to write programs which tell how to manufacture another robot/computer. So can we now say that since robots can manufacture more robots, robots have life ?
I dont think so. Because my definition is being aware. Awareness leads to information, interpretations, thought and then to actions. Key for robots to think that they are more intelligent, and are slaves of humans and hence should overpower humans and build an empire of their own, results from the feeling of ‘being ambitious’, ‘sense of slavery to humans’, etc. But to get all these feelings first the robot has to be aware of its own existence, which I think is the essence of life, and since Robots DO NOT HAVE THIS AWARENESS I conclude that robots or software only mimic intelligence coded in them by the truly intelligent humans.
My assumption is based on the fact that ‘Awareness is a proprietary of life, and only natural life possesses awareness, and that awareness is not a byproduct of neural network or the process of being able to think’
Because if awareness results from the ability to think, then well robots could also gain awareness as they are able to think. Please note here that when I say ‘I am aware of my existence’, I mean that I am truly aware of it, not that I have some boolean variable which says that ‘I exist’
So forget about having some variable stored in a robot to tell it that its aware, that will be again mimcking awareness, not actual awareness
To summarize, my current views are that artificial life based on artificial intelligence in the form of computers, robots, software or what not is not true life or true intelligence, but only a simulation of life or intelligence, just like the way computers simulate a nuclear explosion, weather, flight etc
Education in IT era Wednesday, Apr 25 2007
This is the age of information. Internet is the sum of all knowledge gained by humans throughout our recorded history, (of course except for those behind the scenes R&D and classified information and technology in NASA, Pentagon, etc).
In this IT age, what should be taught to children as part of their education.
Do we need to focus on piling up their brains with more and more information ?
Do we need to concentrate on increasing their analytical skills ?
In other words, facts or concepts ?
Unanimously we all vote for concepts. Facts are now available at our finger tips. A simple search on the internet can retrieve a fact. And given that there is so much information available which is difficult for one single brain to grasp it all, we need to focus on creating specializations oriented education system.
But then ask me, I simply dont believe in ‘jack of all, master of none’
I have been studying a variety of subjects from IT to Physics to Mathematics to Music to History to Politics to Economics to Vedas to what not, and what I have observed is that as a person learns more and more wider range of concepts, theories, etc, it becomes more easier to learn even more things due to the inter-relation between these different fields and going in depth into a field also becomes easy than it would have been if one had studied that field alone !
In other words, to become a master of a wide range of subjects, all you need is strong fundamentals in all the related fields AND analytical ability to co-relate things between different fields.
Please note that, all these different fields are artificial classifications by humans, to make it easier to study one thing at a time, for instance nature does not distinguish between physics and biology, the reason for an apple to fall from a tree is explained in physics while the growth of the apple itself is described by botany, these are artificial classifications we did and there are overlappings too like biophysics, biochemistry, physiochemistry etc.
What I intend to mean here is that by restricting one self to a particular field we might get a particular depth in that field, but one will never get a complete picture of that field till he understands other fields also. This is the reason why today scientists have come across a road block in terms of enquiring more into a particular field. Say for ex to understand the true nature of life we need the person to be an expert in biology which defines how a body functions, and then chemistry which describes how the molecules in the body function, and even physics to see for ex how the brain functions at a quantum mechanical level. Now if you are doing a research on the very depth of life, one needs to be expert in all these fields to truly appreciate and understand the real definition of life, bcos as I said earlier, NATURE DOES NOT DISTINGUISH BETWEEN DIFFERENT FIELDS AS PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY, ETC
An expert in string theory, quantum mechanics, relativity, cosmology can have some hope of finding a Grand Unified Theory
A very good doctor, but with very limited knowledge of biotechnology is not a really good idea.
In other words, allow children to have as wide interests as possible to go to a greater depth in the ocean of knowledge. A broader view leads to a more analtyical, non prejudiced thinking, when you think from the views of experts in different fields.
This is the age of information. The more information one has, the more accurate he/she is, the more easier it is to understand, the more easier to relate, the more easier to investigate and dig out more knowledge..
I have seen people who are great experts at a particular software application, but the moment you show them the same computer screen but with some other application window opened, they get completely confused about where to click or which key to press, and they get so relieved when their familiar screen comes up again
Well, thats not how we want to be, dont be afraid of the unknown, for nothing is to be feared, its only to be understood. Take the untravelled paths, uncharted waters, unexplored landscapes, create new paths and be a different person, than to take the same old familiar paths and have no mark of your own…
I think therefore I exist
The Rise of India Wednesday, Apr 18 2007
This is what well known american writer Thomas Friedmann said about India recently
“When we were young kids growing up in America , we were told to eat our Vegetables at dinner and not to leave them, Mothers said, ‘think of the Starving children in India and finish the dinner.’
And now I tell my children: ‘ Finish your math’s homework. Think of the children in India who would make you starve, if you don’t'… ‘
Reverse Assignment Option Tuesday, Apr 10 2007
While writing a piece of software I got this thought about a feature that could be provided in programming languages (at least I am not aware of any language which has this feature)
Usually when we want to assign a value of a variable ‘a’ to another variable say ‘b’ all we do is write
Now consider this case. Suppose we want to assign the value of variable ‘a ‘ to ‘b’ if ‘c’ equals 1 OR else we want to assign ‘d’ to ‘b’, then we write
an easier way to write the above code would be to use a ternary operator as
Now consider another scenario, where we want to assign ‘a ‘ to ‘b’ if ‘c’ equals 1 OR we want to assign ‘a’ to ‘e’
Oops then we cant use the ternary operator, instead we have to fallback to our old friend ’if.. else’ as
Now wouldnt it be nice if this could be achieved using something like
a#(c==1?b:e) where # is the reverse assignment operator which assigns LHS to RHS !
so here if c==1 then # would assign ‘a’ to ‘b’ else it would assign ‘a’ to ‘e’ !!!
Just some crazy thoughts
Kissing – A risky business?? Tuesday, Mar 13 2007
I read this article about researchers being able to store ‘E=mc2 1905′ in a bacterial DNA. Genetic material is becoming the biological harddisk. Bacteria will be the future thumbdrives, USB drives and what not.
You dont need to take backups any more as bacteria replicate themselves in no time you will end up with multiple copies of the same data. No need to burn DVDs or backup on tape drives any more!!! Bacteria on an average need 20 mins to divide. So the bottom line is once in every 20 mins you can double the number of your backups!!
My thoughts then went even further!!
Bacterial backup are bioderadable, no need to worry about disposing unwanted data!!
What’s more striking is the thought about storing one’s private information. No need to store your private info in any external device anymore. Because there is always a risk that somebody might steal the device, say your mobile memory or your hard disk or a DVD.. So I thought why not instead store the info in bacteria and then store the bacteria within us!!
Humans have a great variety of oral bacteria in our mouth. They are harmless and always stay there, except that if you dont brush properly they will increase in n folds and will cause a bad breath!
So cant we store all our personal info in these oral bacteria!! This storage seems to me a lot more safer option than storing our personal info like credid card details, passwords, bank account numbers, social security data etc in some external device.
But be careful then, your saliva contains your personal data, dont get seduced by a stranger and start kissing, you risk your private data by doing so, Data thefts by kissing might be a common news item in the future
But you are at a risk even while you brush, somebody might be waiting down the sewage line hunting for your oral bacteria! Spitting becomes a risky business.. A better way out would be to encrypt the data in the bacteria so that only you can decrypt it..
Store the decrypting key, where else, in your brain!!
24/7 Health Monitoring Systems for Human Body Monday, Mar 12 2007
With a combination of nano technology, biotechnology and information technology humans in the future can have a 24/7 health monitoring system in and around their bodies.
Tiny molecular nanobots will be designed as expert systems on general health monitoring and will be injected into our body where they will stay forever. They will be travelling via the blood stream to all parts of body 24/7 tirelessly ensuring that all is well. Nanobots will have both basic and advanced functional knowledge and measurement apparatus to monitor hte body’s health.
As and when there are any threats to the body, internal or external, these nanobots will alert the external devices which will guide the person towards immediate measures to be taken to address the issue and at the same time the device will inform your family physician about the updated new status via the internet!
By the way this external device could be a part of your shirt’s button or a tattoo on your body!
When you go to the toilet everyday, the glucose measuring system in the toilet will make sure that your blood sugar levels are normal. This will ensure that you can identify diabetes in very very early stages!!
When there is an external virus/bacteria attack, the nanobot in your body will take a genetic finger print of the attacker and email the same to your physician’s server where the finger print is matched with known virus/baterial list and the details about the microbe is known without even having to take a blood sample from your body and all this happens much before your body starts to respond to the external invasion in the form of fever. In other words, you can treat external microbeal attacks without having to wait for your body to show symptoms like fever, cough, pain, headache etc
In case of an accident, say an accident in a street, the external device using its GPS tracking service pinpoints your current location exactly and rushes the SOS call to the nearest ambulance service with accurate details of your current location!! No issues even if there is nobody around you at the time of accident, the ambulance will arrive asap. The same holds good in case of a heart attack too!! Also, you can expect the external device to do basic first aid services and to give you appropriate instructions….
Today cancer can be detected only when it reaches an advanced stage where cure is difficult as the cancer cells would have started spreading out across the body.. Not so with nanobots around.. nanobots can detect a cancerous tumor in a very early stage of growth and all you have to do is have a intake of expert nanobots which are specialized in destroying cancer cells.
The nanobots based expert system acts as a complementary system to our body’s immune system. Well, ah, nanobots can also give slight electric shocks to restart a heart that has just stopped!! Expert nanobots can dissolve kidney stones at an early stage without you even feeling the slightest pain!! Well, they can even throw out unwanted cholesterol and fats!!!
All these are just the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come..
Well, as far the energy needs of these nanobots are concerned, either we can use disposable nanobots which will pass out of the body in the form of waste once their molecular batteries drain out.. or we can develop a more complex nanobot which use the body’s cellular energy currency ATP for their energy needs….
Finally, with the advent of genetics, we can incorporate this whole nanobot technology as part of our genetic make up where in every cell has its own health monitoring system which reports a organ level health monitor which in turn reports to a entire body level health monitor which then are required accesses and updates the external health monitor. You know I personally believe in a multi layered spread out defense system (even if the layers are bit weak its fine, have hundreds of different layers)rather than a single strong layer.. In case of a single layer system when the layer fails, the entire system fails.. not so in case of a multi layered system…
A multi layered defense system with adequate fall back mechanisms is what made internet withstand the recent DDOS attacks….
Super human body, mast maja maadi