An Omegle Chat about Uncanny Computers

You: howdy stranger
Stranger: hi
You: hey whats up

You: right now i’m trying to write a “2d” text editor
You: like, in the sense that you write text on an infinite plane rather than navigate page by page, line by line
You: trying to basically think about a nice UI for that
You: like, so, to access somehing you wrote, about cats, say
You: you would walk north 2 miles, make a left at a todo list and then walk west a mile
You: that sort of idea
You: im not sure if it will be all that useful
You: …
Stranger: ok, sounds nice, something like a mind map i suppose
You: yeah, like that, except less organized
You: my favorite thing about windows is the desktop
You: like, a have about a hundred files on there
You: it is a huge mess, but i sort of know where everything is
You: all other file storage methods, including folders even, sort of pale in comparison to that, at least for human information
You: i think of it as a giant desktop
Stranger: you should have a look at my desktop, looks exactly like that ^^
You: haha nice
You: i think my life is like that too 😀
You: like, my room, etc
Stranger: pretty nice
You: i don’t think it will be that hard i guess
You: maybe it will be like minecraft, with text
You: i imagine having physical “roads” that connect peices, where if you place your cursor on the beginning it will rush you to the ending
Stranger: cool concept, reminds me of some “real life hashmap”
You: hmm a real life hashing

You: and the most awesome moment of that time was when, like, 6 hours in, i stumbled upon an old mineshaft i had
You: like, i would start the game, and make a few mines, and then i’d get lost
You: when i finally had a kind of large mine, i was better at the game, and made like roads and tunnels, but eventually i stumbled upon one that i made in like the very first hour
You: it was an amazing sort of experience for some reason
You: im not sure if that is reproducible with the 2d text editor thing

You: yeah… nested folders are really a horrible way to store things
You: because you basically have to know what you’re going to be before you do it, so you’re at the right place
You: ive completely given up on organizing things into folders
You: likewise, in real life, i’ve completely given up on having a kind of structured environment

Stranger: i think it is not a human kind of thinking to structure things in a discrete structure like a folder tree
You: i remember an expert mnemonist (?) saying that the trick to memorizing a deck of cards is to imaginatively place them in a room
Stranger: have you ever interactively zoomed in a mandelbrot fractal ore something similar

Stranger: look: remember this fractal is your storage
Stranger: you can place things at some position
Stranger: and it is easy to remember
Stranger: much better than any discrete structure
Stranger: like a folder tree
Stranger: you look at it like a map and you start to zoom closer and closer as you remember where your file is

Stranger: it would be cool as a giant menger sponge, which is some 3d storage for photos etc.
Stranger: or use it as an interactive desktop

You: i think minecraft would actually be a great “desktop”
You: it just needs to be linked to files, or text, or something

You: i used to write things in my room, on random papers
You: or post them on my wall
You: to sort of simulate that
You: it didn’t actually last too long, the expeiment

 you know, people don’t realize that virtual reality isn’t, like, lightbikes and such
You: it is a new kind of mnemonic organization or navigation
You: i think

You: im not sure how much data the average person generates
You: a lot of photos i imagine, but probably not a lot of text
Stranger: it could be combined, text in photos etc.
You: one big chaotic mess
You: maybe there shoudl be like a constraint
You: i was thinking some sort of artificial gravity for texts, like a spiral or something
You: so like, the deeper you go, the older you go
Stranger: oh fuck yeah, a barnes hut algo rocking the whole data mass
Stranger: massive particles god damn

Stranger: it dynamically changes dependent on the gravitation value
You: the layout?
Stranger: fuck yeah
Stranger: data automatically structures
Stranger: some topic spotting algorithm with n gram analysis assigns a gravity value
Stranger: and some topic attractor is pushing the data into the right position
Stranger: like a self organising map of a neural network,
Stranger: thats the art or artificial learning
You: oh, a gravity value based on the content
You: like, based on keywords or something
You: wow, that would be interesting… sort of likea self-organizing mind map

You: like a constantly shifting, self-assembling data complex, slowly shifting itself over time due to some kind of gravity effect
You: i guess you wouldn’t really know where to find someting, exactly
You: but occasionally you would stumble upon relevant things

 it would mean you wouldn’t ahve to really “search” for things, but there would be a kind of suggestion feature

 this is sort of like web spam, or ad sense
You: but consider, like, if you were writing something, you had a search engine constantly running
You: and it would sort of display “ads” of relevant things you’d written earlier
You: that would be kind of interesting

 well, i’m thinking about, basically, a kind of “fuzzy memory”
You: like, the difference between computer memory and human memory is that the latter is fuzzy
You: but the former is more precise and more powerful, faster, usually
Stranger: you can not store the data itself fuzzy, but you can use the location in a fuzzy way
You: the 2d editor, keyword gravity, are all ways of introducing a kind of fuzzy, suggestive element to computer memory

 we generate so much data that we will never access again
You: but a kind of fuzzy suggestion might be able to solve that, somehow
Stranger: a path must get bigger if you use it often
You: and in a sense, we are sort of limited by what we currently remember, and a kind of random recall
You: right, a kind of ad-sense adaptation algorithm or something
You: “personal spam” is the idea sort of
Stranger: or maybe suggest some ball, that attracts your files in a circular arrangement
Stranger: files that you use often
Stranger: get a higher gravity
You: right … except it wouldn’t be files… it would be just text fragments or image fragments maybe
Stranger: and the files attract each other if they are related
You: files are sort of an artifical unity necessitated by computer systems but don’t reallly have any existence in the human mind
You: right
Stranger: you store actual files, but you work with links to the actual files
Stranger: they just hold keywords
You: keywords, fragments… there will be some algorithm to sort of split up the file
You: or maybe to split up an image
You: like, it would take a photograph and maybe split it up, find faces, buildings, etc
Stranger: you dont need to read the actual content, just imagin the context in which you use the file

 if you are mailing with someone and you writhe about something
Stranger: you send them a picture
Stranger: then all this persons and files have a relationship

 the computer knows that this guy who revived this image has something to do with it
You: so the gravity would take into account not only keywords but also context

 this stuff already exists on the interent, we just need a personal version of this
Stranger: google@home

 basically, our brains is probably just one big fuzzy retreival system
You: we do have a train of thought, but it is imprecise, and so we imagine it is random
You: this sort of hopes to extent that via the computer

 or maybe, if you are editing a photo, you have another screen where a computer is always churning and analyzing your data
You: and sort of brings up relevant fragments
You: it would be sort of like being stoned

 i mean, if the effect of drugs is a kind of disconnected memory retreival

 i can imagine like a cyberpunk novel where in the future, everyone just stays home and dwells in their own nostalgia or something

 like, the newest, computer-aided memory drug

You: yeah, i’m sort of aware of the brain interface stuff
You: but i think this memory manipulation and retrieval stuff is a more exciting direction to go in
You: it does sort of resemble a new kind of neural interface
You: the question is how “insightful” these personal spam-bots can be
You: or if they ever bring up, in practice, anything useful
You: like, traditional AI, there is the Turing test
You: about holding a dialogue with a computer in another room
You: but what if there were some test about the “insightfulness” of memory retreival

 where you can’t tell whether it is a person or a machine making these spam suggestions
You: like another sort of turing test
You: forget the dialogue
You: person A writes, say, a diary
You: and person B, who may be a machine, retreives relevant fragments from the diary, or from past texts
You: the machine passes the test if person A finds the fragmetns “shocking” or “insightful”

You: yeah, there are already all these memes about google suggestions being “uncanny”

You: i guess that is the ultimate turing test
You: whether the computer can evoke the uncanny


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