Monday, 16 March 2009

Artifical Intelligence vs Natural Stupidity

Many thanks to Stu for the link to the wonderfully-named spEak You're bRanes website, dedicated to highlighting just some of the utter rubbish that is spouted by our co-citizens on the BBC's "Have Your Say" site. As with all the best satire, I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

I did especially like “The Twat-O-Tron”, an automatic generator for the kind of rubbish comment that is so often posted in the hope of contributing to the debate, but which only enlightens us as to the nature of the poster. Some examples:


Libby Lefty Nutcase, scotland


Typical. when will people realise that the Scottish are destroying our once great country. True patriot must have two strikes and youre out. GREAT britain is going to the dogs.

Smart_Guy In the Know

I'm a bit worried now. We seem to have produced something that will pass a Turing Test. The thing is, Alan Turing presumably thought that if his test were ever to be passed by a machine, it would be a result of advances in the machine. We seem to have achieved this by bringing people down to meet the machine...

[/smug middle class intellectual mode]


  1. Added: Monday, 16 March, 2009, 14:59 GMT

    This is just typical, I couldn't care less but Prince Phillip is stealing my cartax, The only solution is to bring back the cane, Is it a tune too familiar from our media?!!

    UK stinks Immigration Central

    Recommended by 267 people

    what fun!

  2. I actually first saw that site because Blue Eyes has it in his blogroll. Yet more proof of the advantages of putting your links in your blog instead of in your sidebar.

    I think you might just be right about Turing Machines - just can't be certain any more whether you're talking to a very clever computer or a very stupid human.

  3. Bill, is that your comment or the machine's? :o)

    Stu - oh yes, I see it now. I follow Blue Eye's rolling blog list fairly efficiently, but haven't dug too deep into the fixed one. Must rectify that!

  4. Well I nicked it from Area Trace No Search's blog roll!

    It is a hysterical blog, very snobby but utterly addictive.

  5. I've forgotten what I came to ask now.

    It was about patents and Opel and how important owning patents is but I'm going back to play with the twat-o-tron.

  6. The answer was "yes". (Owning patents is very important. If no-one did, how would I pay my mortgage?)

  7. So if the Opel patents have been pawned to the US government by GM, and the Germans would like their Opel back then GM has rather lost access to a German government subvention. Presumably the Germans buy their patents back from whoever is holding them. I wonder if any other US multinationals have ceded patents of companies they have come to own.

    Thank you Mr P.

  8. It's not called intellectual "property" for nothing. If the patents have gone to GM then Opel no longer has them. Of course, if you bought Opel off GM then you would make sure you acquired a licence under any IP that you needed. But only if you were properly on the ball.

    Ask VW about the Rolls-Royce trade mark, for example...

  9. Are all the patents for the engineering and manufacturing industry of the UK that have been taken over by other countries now lost to any UK manufacturing and industrial recovery then? Would there have to be a buying back or licensing to even start a manufacturing recovery strategy? Who owns all the patents that had been centrifuged into British Leyland? Into any nationalised or government-consolidated industry later disposed of with other criteria predominating?

    How long do patent rights last?

    Sorry, Mr P., I should go home to think out loud.

  10. HG - one of the reasons Rover went down the pan was because Towers and his cronies sold all the IP to the Chinese company when pissed at a restaurant (so the story goes) leaving Rover with nothing but a rusting factory. Rover management was then left begging for a face-saving deal which is why the Chinese bought the rusting factory and promised to do something with it.

    I have yet to see the amazing new Rover sports cars we were promised.

  11. Would there have to be a buying back or licensing to even start a manufacturing recovery strategy?

    Possibly. It would depend on how relevant those patent rights were.

    Who owns all the patents that had been centrifuged into British Leyland?

    BMW. Many were sold/licensed to Land Rover (i.e. Ford)

    How long do patent rights last?

    21 years absolute max


    The thing is, though, most of our nationalised industries were not that innovative. Can you name one Rover car that stood out as being technologically excellent in its field? (All I can think of is the Land Rover idea for Hill Descent Control, which you now see on the BMW X3 and X5)

    Compare that to Audi (quattro), BMW (efficient dynamics), or Honda (V-TEC).

    If the hypothesis is that we lost all the benefit of the thinking that was done in those industries over those years, then I think we will get by somehow.