Difference in interpretation?

I like blue. This has nothing to do with me being in IBM. I have always liked blue.

Now let's say you hate blue and like some other color, say yellow. What is the reason behind this?

Why do you like what you like? Why do different people like different colors? Is it possible that we all like the same thing, but the way we interpret it is different? In other words, what is 'blue' for me is 'yellow' for you?

I am not sure why I feel this, but there is no way you can deny this because in order to know what my feeling for blue is you have to be 'me', and you cannot be 'me' unless 'I' am 'you'. Further, likings are based on intuitions and cannot be reasoned.

I have had this thought for a long time. Recently I was reading something on AI and I started wondering, “If all computers are made up of the same 'hardware' how can we instill different emotions in them?” The most straight-forward thought that comes to my mind is to instill it using software. This means that you can program a computer to like something and then configure a computer to interpret things differently so that different computers behave differently.

How are human beings different?!

Ok enough of this.

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Slaves of technology?

There was a time when there was no electricity. And then came this wonder. Today we take it for granted, although there are occasions when we need to go without power. It is a really dreaded feeling.

Now we are talking of cyborgs and things like pervasive computing (which means you don't even know you are using it). There are these wonders called Digital Homes, where it is possible that doors will not have knobs. Everything is controlled using biometric recognition or may be directly controlled by the brain!

In fact, if you read Ray Kurzweil's articles, you will go a step further into this. Kurzweil talks of virtual worlds and singularity.

All these sound really great! But is this over-reliance of man on computers/technology? Is there a limit to comfort? Can we live without these once it is available?

The more you rely on technology, the more riskier it gets, the more vulnerable we are to attacks. Consider world without paper money for example. There's just e-cash. Sounds great?

Now consider that the bank where you store your money has a really great virus attack and everything goes down in a moment. What happens? What if the home with no door knobs experiences some failure and you are not able to open the door? This might sound silly (perhaps for lack of a better example), but the problems are quite clear.

This does not in any way mean that reliance on technology is bad. After all that is how man progresses. Technology is a tool. It facilitates something that is otherwise tough or impossible to do. But over-reliance is bad. But what exactly is over-reliance?

Well, it is really tough to draw the line. It becomes an ethical discussion if we proceed on this. But this point is worth considering.

Suppose you have read Kurzweil's articles, try answering this question: “If you are given the freedom to live till eternity, what will you do?” Something that you should really consider!

2 days, 2 experiences

September 2, 2005:

As usual, after my office work, I improve my gyan in my fields of interest. I am trying out the newly discovered Clusty and hit upon something very interesting.

This site is called KurzweilAI.net. It is not something that I can describe, but here are some things it deals with:

* The Singularity.
* Living Forever.
* Will Machines Become Conscious?
* How to Build a Brain.
* Visions of the Future.

If you are not already excited, then you better not continue reading this blog. But if you are, then I suggest you start off with this:

Chapter 1: The Evolution of Mind in the Twenty-First Century.

I am tempted to tell you what is in there, but let me not, or else you will criticize me for curbing your interests after you read it.

September 3, 2005:

Early morning, I find myself attending a workshop in Le Meridian hotel, Sankey Road. This seminar is about:
Model Driven and Service Oriented Development using Eclipse, J2EE and Web Services.

The workshop was lead by Shridhar Iyengar, a distinguished engineer from IBM. It was one of the best workshops I had ever attended. It was jointly organized by Rotary Bangalore West, IBM and OMG.

Why I specially liked is that, this workshop dealt with upcoming trends in Software development. It talked about concepts like Modeling, Metadata, Service Oriented Development, Model Driven Architecture, Reverse Engineering, Reusable Assets etc.

I come to office today and find more interesting stuff:
Microsoft suing Google and Ballmer using offensive words against Google, making comments like Google will disappear within 5 years etc! (Is this more because of desperation?!)