Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Typing fast and furious ...

... but on the emerging novel that's getting Extra Super Interesting, not a new post.

Most of you who visit here (my last survey demonstrated) also read my fiction. I hope -- and trust -- you'll indulge me for a few days while I concentrate on the book. There'll be a payoff, I assure you, once it's finished :-)

A burst of creativity?
Still, I wouldn't ever want your dropping by SF and Nonsense to be a disappointment. I think you'll enjoy the following Seriously Cool Things:

 Weird New Type of Carbon Is Harder (and Brighter) Than Diamond. (No word yet about how soon the new carbon allotrope will be available on a ring.)

Holometer rules out first theory of space-time correlations. (As in, yearlong test at Fermilab offers evidence that just maybe the universe isn't a hologram.)

Freefall space cubes are test for gravitational wave spotter. (Because no one ever claimed the quest for gravitational waves -- the last unconfirmed prediction of the Theory of General Relativity -- would come easily.)

Now you really must excuse me while I resume my feverish typing. Wish me luck!


Todd said...

I'll be happy to read another book (SF I presume).

I also thought of something regarding the previous post---Self-driving cars will have to be "semi-automatic" for some time, decades maybe (i.e., you take the wheel when the car misbehaves). The main reason: ambulances and emergency vehicles. No two situations seem to be the same---one has to instantly translate a (sequence of) 2d image to a 3d environment, deduce the best place to pull over, taking into account what everyone else is doing, and then carry out the plan. 70,000 neocortical columns do that well, but this isn't the strongest skill of AIs today. So, it will be a while before you can be harvested for organs for driving manually over a city!

Edward M. Lerner said...

Todd: the novel in progress is, indeed, SF. It's always nice to get encouragement from one's readers :-)

By way of segue to the second part of your comment, I'll note that, in part, the new novel deals with AI. And so, off we go to the wisdom of self-driving vehicles ...

In the post to which you refer I emphasized one side of the "is it a good idea?" debate. This, I believe, will be the counterargument: human drivers -- as will AIs -- make mistakes, but only human drivers drink (or take other chemicals that don't mix well with operating heavy machinery), fall sleep at the wheel, and get distracted.

Are those human frailties more or less of a danger on the road than AI shortcomings? For a time, it'll be ambiguous. After that, I suspect, the determining factor will be the weight of the legal liability self-driving cars will (pun intended) shift from drivers to car manufacturers.