Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by mikegarrison

  1. If you are a herbivore, a lack of fear tends to be dangerous. But running away from harmless things is also dangerous (unnecessary caloric output, plus the chance that you alert or even blunder into something actually dangerous). At some point many animals learn to be cautiously trusting around other animals that don't seem hostile.
  2. It's 30 years old now, but a decent place to start if The Language Instinct, by Pinker. When I was in college, my gf was working in Pinker's lab. She was doing things like searching through transcripts of kids' recordings, looking for very specific grammar errors. One thing that you find is that, unlike LLMs, kids learn language by figuring out the rules, rather than just associating the words from the usage that they hear. This can be shown by how they will make a certain kind of grammar error that they never hear adults say -- regularizing irregular constructions. A kid has likely never heard an adult say "Joe goed to the store," so it's clearly not the kind of learning that a LLM does where they just regurgitate the things they were trained on. Instead, the kids internalize the rule that you add -ed to the verb, but don't (at first) pick up the irregular nature of the verb "to go". They aren't just using things they have been taught by hearing other people say, because other people don't say it. Yes, it's a "pattern" that they learn -- add -ed to the end of the verb -- but that implies that have already recognized some words are verbs and some are not, and that different tenses have different suffixes, and so forth. If they were learning like LLMs, they would always use "went" instead of "goed", because all their training data uses "went".
  3. They are not. Pattern recognition is only one sub-system of the brain. Human brains are mostly focused on a few things: keeping you alive (breathing, heart, etc.), controlling your body (walking, etc.), language, and vision processing. But they also have a lot of other specific and general capabilities. Vision processing is much, much more than pattern recognition, which is why robots find it notoriously difficult. Essentially what you are doing is doing a real-time mapping of a 2D image into a 3D model. It's the much-harder task that 3D video games do in reverse, when they take a 3D model and project it into a 2D image. The reverse mapping is basically impossible (not enough data to find a unique solution) unless you already have a bunch of built-in concepts about the 3D world, like object permanence and the idea that objects obscure what is behind them. You also have to know, for instance, that an elephant seen from the side and an elephant seen from the front is the same elephant, even though the 2D patterns look much different. True language processing is also much more complicated than pattern recognition, and involves grammar like nouns, verbs, modifiers, and the like. Moreover, for it to be useful, you have to be able to use the same (or close enough) meanings as other people, as well as the same grammar.
  4. Nah. Chinese room problem is silly. No, wait, let me re-phrase that. The Chinese Room does not describe how human minds work. But it *is* a pretty decent analog for how these LLMs work. And that's why LLMs are not what people think/hope/fear that they are. I'm not saying human minds aren't computational devices. I think they are. But the LLM is not how human minds are built, and it's not a path toward anything we would think of as being actually intelligent. IMO, of course. But it's a pretty educated opinion on this subject.
  5. The point is that the whole method is fundamentally flawed. Not only is faking intelligence not intelligence, but it's not even close to intelligence. It's like if you studied an entire dictionary and learned exactly how every word is related to every other word, but still had no clue that any of them actually refer to a real world outside the dictionary. They don't exhibit "emergent capabilities". We *see* emergent capabilities in them, just like we see patterns in tea leaves and shapes in clouds and the face of Jesus on a tortilla. We interpret their babbling as meaningful, but the "emergent capabilities" being demonstrated are all on our side of the fence.
  6. IMO, these LLM that people have gotten all excited about seem to be excellent Wernicke's aphasia simulators. They are really good at sounding fluent but conveying no real meaning. https://garymarcus.substack.com/p/statistics-versus-understanding-the In that article, for instance, you see lots of pictures that AI generated when asked for an image of a person writing with their left hand. They all show right-handed people -- because the AI doesn't actually know what left and right is, and the images that they have been trained on overwhelmingly show people writing with their right hands.
  7. Side effect of reducing nuclear weapons stockpiles and testing. No ready source of plutonium.
  8. That's not responding to what I said. Or perhaps I misunderstood you. I am not disputing there is more information to be gained from Voyager 1. I was responding to the idea that it would be useful to learn new techniques for maintaining contact with 1970s probes. (The last part of the post I quoted.)
  9. It makes no sense to travel at high speed along the ground in thick air, when it is much more efficient to travel at high speed through the much thinner air at high altitudes. Power required for a ground vehicle is approximately related to the velocity^3, while power needed for an airplane is approximately related to just velocity. (This is because the faster a plane flies, the more drag it makes but also the more lift it makes, which means the power required due to drag is compensated by a reduction in power required to provide lift. That's not the case on the ground.) At low speeds, the ground vehicles are more energy efficient, but at high speeds the airplanes flying at altitude are more energy efficient. The vacuum-train idea (which existed long before "hyperloop") is an attempt to get that benefit of lower drag without having to accept the cost of flying to high altitude. But it has its own costs, such as the energy it takes to maintain a vacuum in a tube that is hundreds or thousands of kilometers long.
  10. I don't really see how solving this problem of keeping 1970s hardware and software alive remotely is going to have any direct applicability to new missions.
  11. I guess that mission was delayed for weather? And now seems to be delayed again?
  12. This is a preliminary report. The protocol for reports like this comes from ICAO Annex 13, and requires a preliminary report within 30 days that includes all factual information known at that point. No recommendations are in the Preliminary Report. A Final Report is due later, which includes all final conclusions and recommendations. The Final Report is to be issued within one year of the incident, if possible. If not complete, an Interim Report is due in a year (and another one every year after, until a Final Report is released).
  13. Rightly or wrongly (and I will remind you that in general the system works quite well), the normal situation would go like this: 1) Design is certified. 2) Problems are discovered in-service (namely in this case that operating the inlet anti-ice system when it is not needed can get the inlet too hot). 3) Warnings are sent out to the operators. 4) A fix is designed. 5) The fix is made available for retrofit. Depending on how serious the problem is, the fix may be mandated by the FAA or it may be just recommended. Also what is normal is that derivatives of an already certified design can be themselves certified with the same design. Typically the workaround that was allowed to be used (in this case, a reminder to only use the anti-ice when it is needed) would just be extended to the derivative until an actual fix is completed. However, in this case, Boeing and the FAA decided to play it safe(r) and not complete the certification of the new derivatives until the fix was finished.
  14. I'm not saying that I think discarding a few batteries is major problem. I'm just saying that the chart that shows a marine exclusion zone doesn't tell you where the batteries would fall (which was the claim when the chart was introduced into the discussion). In general, I tend to think the "it all burns up in the atmosphere" thing is a (probably deliberate) oversimplification that just sweeps the debris issue under the rug. Stuff seems to survive re-entry from space fairly frequently. But mostly it just falls into the ocean or into some remote area on the land.
  15. I strongly doubt that zone applies to the second stage, and specifically the battery drop.
  16. The FAA (or EASA either) does not have the budget or expertise to not rely on the manufacturers themselves to do most of the certification work. I can only imagine how the SpaceX fans in this forum would be howling if that was the standard that applied to Starship. I have personally worked with many designated engineering representatives (experts employed by the manufacturer who are also the first line of certification for the authorities), and they take their responsibilities very seriously. They swear an oath (with heavy legal penalties) to represent the certification authorities and not the company when they are doing that work. Managers face serious legal penalties if they try to influence the certification work. And in pretty much all cases, the regulators have the final say. The engineers delegated to work for them on certification are only allowed to approve things that the regulators have already ruled on. Anything unexpected or novel has to be presented to the government-employed regulators for a ruling. Air travel is amazing safe -- far safer than riding in a car. The system you are fretting about works *very* well. Of course nothing is perfect, and if there are improvements to be made, then we should keep making them. But I assure you, taking the engineering experts that work for the manufacturers out of the certification loop would *not* be a safety improvement. And you know, we all fly on these airplanes too. So do our families and friends.
  17. When you are pitching to your boss, it's not great to lead with "We'll be going back to the moon! After you are out of office."
  18. No real surprise here. In case people didn't notice, the Dec 2024 announced schedule was timed so that it would take place during the (presumed) second term of the President who announced it. Presidents usually aren't interested in funding PR opportunities for their successors.
  19. When I was a kid, my dad had all kinds of funny-looking nuts and bolts in the garage. It was only years later that I realized these were aerospace fasteners. When he was getting through college, he worked at Boeing as a machinist. (He became a civil engineer, working for the Seattle Water Department.) Anyway, on his last day there, after he had gotten hired as an engineer, he had to take his toolbox home. While he was away from it, his co-workers thought it would be funny to fill it up with random fasteners and drill bits and such, as if he was trying to smuggle them out of the plant. He rolled it out to the gate, and the guard asked him what was going on. He explained he had gotten a job as an engineer, so he was taking his machinist tools home with him. The guard let him drive his truck in and helped him load it into the bed. Neither one of them knew it full of smuggled fasteners. I bet he *still* has some of those fasteners.
  20. The video you posted explained this. This option is the only one that, from the point of view of the cabin, makes it like the door isn't there at all. It lets them use a 3-abreast seat and has a full-sized window. The other options all take up space in the cabin and require 2-abreast seating in that row. Looking for indications that a bolt was even there in the first place.
  21. When I first joined Boeing, they had a program where engineers spent about four weeks at a voc-tech school, where we had to build various airplane parts following blueprints. This was supposed to teach us to make better blueprints. I spent my entire career in Airplane Performance (later called Flight Sciences) doing Noise and Emissions engineering. Never made a single blueprint. Anyway, it was a fun class. I still have the part I built (part of a 727 PSU) in my garage. I guess the point, if there was one, was that Hi-Locs were one of my favorite fasteners. Fun to use. Anyway I agree that, to the extent I understand the design, the bolts in question are not highly loaded and probably it made sense (or seemed to make sense) to use a castle nut just to retain the bolt, not to ensure some level of torque on the nut. Castle nuts should only be used in low-torque applications.
  22. Yes, two different boxes that record two different things. The CVRs are something of a compromise because pilots don't want everything they say being recorded but also understand that being able to access the CVR ultimately can help keep them safer. Many years ago, I actually used the cockpit ambient mic from a CVR to estimate the amount of hail an airplane flew through before both engines flamed out. It was of course an extremely rough estimate, but I was able to show that the plane very likely did fly through more hail than the engines were certified to be able to ingest.
  23. They do. Sort of. Like any door, there has to be a way for it to open. For the main cabin doors, that means pulling it in a little, and then translating it a little until it fits through its own opening. With this door it works a little differently, but if it is in place then it is a plug that can't fit through its own frame. Apparently this one was not properly held in place. But that's just an assumption. There will be a final report.
  24. But they had already flown the Saturn I, which used the third stage of the Saturn V as its second stage.
  • Create New...