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Started by billy rubin, April 23, 2020, 08:48:08 PM

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Davin

Part two on modern software development.

Developing software in modern companies is not something simple like billy rubin is implying: Developer's program the software. In reality, there is a huge complex chain involved. For instance, in my company... let's choose one simple path for a new feature to keep things simple.

To start things off, an end user mentions to their supervisor that it would help them out if the software could do X.
Their supervisor (often the product owner) talks to one of our business analysts and they hash out what X is and how they would like it to work and makes sure that it falls in line with the business rules.
The BA talks to some of us software engineers and clarifies what X is and some some general ideas of how to incorporate that into the software.
Then some software engineers get together and estimate the complexity of the task of implementing X.
It gets put into a stack of thousands of other tasks that is ranked by the BA's and some product owners.
It eventually makes it's way into the small pile of things that one of us developers are going to develop in our three week period of software iteration time.
One of us software engineers will pick up that X task.
We look into it, design the solution, and then implement the solution in a branch of code (code based on the software but held separate for a time for complex reasons not important to this story).
Then the software engineer will get a few other software engineers to look through the new code to make sure it's good and clean looking and meets our coding standards.
Then the software engineer will create tests, both manual and automatic, to ensure that the new code is working as intended.
The new code is run with the old code through thousands of other automatic tests to make sure it didn't break any other functionality.
Then it gets merged into the code base.
Then it gets passed on to be tested by the BAs and product owners.
Then after the three week period of time is over, the software is released and the end users can now use feature X like they wanted.

The point of the story: there is a lot of responsibility to go around in the process of developing software that is not only on the developers. And this is a simple example, when there are electrical and hardware engineers involved it gets more complex and the responsibility spreads over even more people.
Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Tom62

Yes, Davin is absolutely right.
The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract.
Robert A. Heinlein

xSilverPhinx

Quote from: Davin on May 01, 2020, 05:03:37 PM
And then there's the problem of noise. Anyone who has developed for very delicate machines knows that there is noise involved and needs to be dealt with. If you think that computers are perfect creations that are separate from the chaos of the universe, you're seeing the illusion that the engineers and developers have created to handle the noise. Sometimes there's a tiny surge and a 0 becomes a 1. A lot of times when transferring data garbage gets introduced and needs to be verified and sorted out (check out internet package protocols). We've gotten good at handling these things, and making sure the end users do not ever see this, but it's still there, under the surface. Computers are not perfect logic machines they are still subject to the laws of physics that do interfere with their processing.

This intrigued me. I don't know a thing about programming computers but I wonder how quantum computing fits into this. Would the software be the same as in a non-quantum computer even if the way the computers work are different?
I am what survives if it's slain - Zack Hemsey


Asmodean

#48
Quote from: billy rubin on April 30, 2020, 09:17:09 PM
i would say that asmo the self-driving  freight truck is a tool in the hands of the engineers who wroite the driving program and somehow created the n-space that that would be consulted to retrieve the correct decision..
I disagree. It is no more a tool in the hands of its designers than your house is a tool in the hands of its architect. Otherwise, at which precise point, if ever, does the product become the consumer's tool, rather than the creator's?

Quotethe truck does care about saving lives, because it is onbly an extension of the mind of the programmer. it is the programmer who will or will not push the fat man onto the track, because the programmer makes the decision in advance, and writes the code that the AI will use to perform th eaction, based on the foreseen situation. unless i misunderstand AI. i am not a progrmmer.
I think you give the programmer too much freedom. Davin did a very good job describing the process, so I shall pick no nits here, and read "programmer" as "creator," for example "Volkswagen AG" rather than "Günther the VW coder."

Quoteso the asmo truck programmed to save th emost lives is reflecting a utilitarianismic mindset on the part of the programmer. so far as i know, there are no regulations on how to make theses decisions, just ethics seminars on the part of the industry.
Asmo is not programmed to save lives - it is programmed to deliver cucumbers and bicycle parts safely and on time. As a part of that function, it is programmed to handle situations, in which it may cause human and/or animal casualties. Then, it is programemd to minimize those. I know the distinction may be difficult to see if you measure it by result alone, but it is a matter of your approach vector, which is important when discussing applicable philosophies. Two plus one equals three, so does the square root of nine. A three is a three, but the ways of getting to it are very different indeed.

Quotewhat sorts of ethics are important to industrialists? are they the same ethics as those held bt the people asmo squashes?
They want to sell their product.


EDIT: this is not too far out of my alley, so I'll try to respond. If any-one wants to do better, please do  ;)
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on May 02, 2020, 02:25:52 AM
This intrigued me. I don't know a thing about programming computers but I wonder how quantum computing fits into this. Would the software be the same as in a non-quantum computer even if the way the computers work are different?
Yes. But also, no, and it's actually a bit of a problem. Low-level software architecture required for quantum computing is different to that required for digital computing.

It may well be that you can run a program on a quantum computer, written in a common programming language, like C++ or .NET. However, what you write will have to be compiled (Translated to lower order instructions - basically, your quantum equivalent of ones and zeros, although a quantum bit is not limited to those two states) to a "language" a quantum processor can use, preferably with some degree of efficacy.

So theoretically, you can write your high-level program in whatever framework suits you. It's the compiling down to assembly level (physical gates/signal processing) that's more challenging. How do you represent the states and such like.
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on July 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
In Asmo's grey lump,
wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.

xSilverPhinx

Quote from: Asmodean on May 04, 2020, 10:30:47 AM
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on May 02, 2020, 02:25:52 AM
This intrigued me. I don't know a thing about programming computers but I wonder how quantum computing fits into this. Would the software be the same as in a non-quantum computer even if the way the computers work are different?
Yes. But also, no, and it's actually a bit of a problem. Low-level software architecture required for quantum computing is different to that required for digital computing.

It may well be that you can run a program on a quantum computer, written in a common programming language, like C++ or .NET. However, what you write will have to be compiled (Translated to lower order instructions - basically, your quantum equivalent of ones and zeros, although a quantum bit is not limited to those two states) to a "language" a quantum processor can use, preferably with some degree of efficacy.

So theoretically, you can write your high-level program in whatever framework suits you. It's the compiling down to assembly level (physical gates/signal processing) that's more challenging. How do you represent the states and such like.

Heh, I like that answer: yes but also no.  :P

"Translated to lower order instructions - basically, your quantum equivalent of ones and zeros, although a quantum bit is not limited to those two states"

Yes, this is what I was wondering, about the 1s and 0s. I could be wrong (and most likely am), but a quantum computer can also be both 1 and 0 a the same time? If that's true, it would require some sort of software-level workaround, wouldn't it? :notsure:
I am what survives if it's slain - Zack Hemsey


billy rubin

#50
Quote from: Asmodean on May 04, 2020, 10:30:47 AM

I think you give the programmer too much freedom. Davin did a very good job describing the process, so I shall pick no nits here, and read "programmer" as "creator," for example "Volkswagen AG" rather than "Günther the VW coder."

maybe so, but the minutiae of a developer's workday doesn't address the relevant points about how or whether to construct an ethical model for a self-driving vehicle. whatever the process, in the end a product is delivered that reflects the decisions of the people planning it. they may choose one strategy, which reflects one set of values, or they may choose another strategy that reflects something else. or they may choose no strategy, in which case not to decide is to have decided, as i mentioned earlier.

Quote from: asmo
Quoteso the asmo truck programmed to save th emost lives is reflecting a utilitarianismic mindset on the part of the programmer. so far as i know, there are no regulations on how to make theses decisions, just ethics seminars on the part of the industry.
Asmo is not programmed to save lives - it is programmed to deliver cucumbers and bicycle parts safely and on time. As a part of that function, it is programmed to handle situations, in which it may cause human and/or animal casualties. Then, it is programemd to minimize those. I know the distinction may be difficult to see if you measure it by result alone, but it is a matter of your approach vector, which is important when discussing applicable philosophies. Two plus one equals three, so does the square root of nine. A three is a three, but the ways of getting to it are very different indeed.

so what do you think the approach philosophes are, how do they differ, and what do you see in the future. after all, the future is here.

Quote from: asmo
Quotewhat sorts of ethics are important to industrialists? are they the same ethics as those held bt the people asmo squashes?
They want to sell their product.

they wont if they violate local ethics with it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Elaine_Herzberg

in 2018 a young woman in arizona was killed by a self driving uber car. she was jaywalking with a bicycle, and the human in the car had given up control to the computer.

long story short, it was the car's fault:

QuoteThe recorded telemetry showed the system had detected Herzberg six seconds before the crash, and classified her first as an unknown object, then as a vehicle, and finally as a bicycle, each of which had a different predicted path according to the autonomy logic. 1.3 seconds prior to the impact, the system determined that emergency braking was required, which is normally performed by the vehicle operator. However, the system was not designed to alert the operator, and did not make an emergency stop on its own accord, as "emergency braking maneuvers are not enabled while the vehicle is under computer control, to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior", according to NTSB.[11]

the death wasn't the result of an ethical decision, it was just ordinary stupidity on the part of the programmers, who designed the program to recognize pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles, but who never considered that a sometimes humans pushed their bicycles instead of riding them.  the result of it all was that uber ceased testing self driving vehicles in several cities, was banned from doing so in arizona, and had to settle  wrongful death lawsuit with herzberg's family. so the industrialists who wanted to sell their product got a black eye, at the time. i don't know what has happened since.

the point is that if the industrialists want to sell the cars, and the cars kill too many people because of failures, systems or ethical, then the industrialists will not sell too many more cars. hence the need for an decision framework that will make enough acceptable decisions to keep the industrialists in business.

watching the behavior of rich industrialists over history, i think i can generally predict the focus.








more people have been to berlin than i have

Davin

Quote from: xSilverPhinx on May 04, 2020, 04:23:12 PM
Quote from: Asmodean on May 04, 2020, 10:30:47 AM
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on May 02, 2020, 02:25:52 AM
This intrigued me. I don't know a thing about programming computers but I wonder how quantum computing fits into this. Would the software be the same as in a non-quantum computer even if the way the computers work are different?
Yes. But also, no, and it's actually a bit of a problem. Low-level software architecture required for quantum computing is different to that required for digital computing.

It may well be that you can run a program on a quantum computer, written in a common programming language, like C++ or .NET. However, what you write will have to be compiled (Translated to lower order instructions - basically, your quantum equivalent of ones and zeros, although a quantum bit is not limited to those two states) to a "language" a quantum processor can use, preferably with some degree of efficacy.

So theoretically, you can write your high-level program in whatever framework suits you. It's the compiling down to assembly level (physical gates/signal processing) that's more challenging. How do you represent the states and such like.

Heh, I like that answer: yes but also no.  :P

"Translated to lower order instructions - basically, your quantum equivalent of ones and zeros, although a quantum bit is not limited to those two states"

Yes, this is what I was wondering, about the 1s and 0s. I could be wrong (and most likely am), but a quantum computer can also be both 1 and 0 a the same time? If that's true, it would require some sort of software-level workaround, wouldn't it? :notsure:
Like the Asmo said, they'd have to substitute the lower level machine code with the language. Any parts of a piece of software would have to include an interface library. Possibly a new boolean variable type, as opposed to trying to stuff it into the existing nullable boolean type, because I think we'd still want the functionality of that.

But the major bulk of a program wouldn't need to have any consideration for the quantum states. Much like as a developer I don't need to worry about packet loss when streaming or transferring a file, because those libraries handle that for me.
Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Davin

Quote from: billy rubin on May 04, 2020, 09:38:16 PM
Quote from: Asmodean on May 04, 2020, 10:30:47 AM

I think you give the programmer too much freedom. Davin did a very good job describing the process, so I shall pick no nits here, and read "programmer" as "creator," for example "Volkswagen AG" rather than "Günther the VW coder."

maybe so, but the minutiae of a developer's workday doesn't address the relevant points about how or whether to construct an ethical model for a self-driving vehicle. whatever the process, in the end a product is delivered that reflects the decisions of the people planning it. they may choose one strategy, which reflects one set of values, or they may choose another strategy that reflects something else. or they may choose no strategy, in which case not to decide is to have decided, as i mentioned earlier.
I don't think that's true at all. Also, not a very good deflection from what I said, straw men seem to be your go to. I brought it up because a lot of what you were saying doesn't make sense in the context of real life programming. You can, if you want, proceed down an entirely abstract discussion, but at that point it doesn't matter whether it's a self driving car or a person driving a car because you're simply talking about how to decide between certain options.

Quote from: billy rubin
Quote
The recorded telemetry showed the system had detected Herzberg six seconds before the crash, and classified her first as an unknown object, then as a vehicle, and finally as a bicycle, each of which had a different predicted path according to the autonomy logic. 1.3 seconds prior to the impact, the system determined that emergency braking was required, which is normally performed by the vehicle operator. However, the system was not designed to alert the operator, and did not make an emergency stop on its own accord, as "emergency braking maneuvers are not enabled while the vehicle is under computer control, to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior", according to NTSB.[11]
the death wasn't the result of an ethical decision, it was just ordinary stupidity on the part of the programmers, who designed the program to recognize pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles, but who never considered that a sometimes humans pushed their bicycles instead of riding them.  the result of it all was that uber ceased testing self driving vehicles in several cities, was banned from doing so in arizona, and had to settle  wrongful death lawsuit with herzberg's family. so the industrialists who wanted to sell their product got a black eye, at the time. i don't know what has happened since.
This is not an accurate summation of what happened. It looks like you're trying to bend the facts to meet your narrative.

The detection AI messed up, but there are a lot of reasons for why that might have happened, and you've decided to claim one way without any supporting evidence. That's not very honest.
Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

xSilverPhinx

Quote from: Davin on May 04, 2020, 10:09:36 PM
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on May 04, 2020, 04:23:12 PM
Quote from: Asmodean on May 04, 2020, 10:30:47 AM
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on May 02, 2020, 02:25:52 AM
This intrigued me. I don't know a thing about programming computers but I wonder how quantum computing fits into this. Would the software be the same as in a non-quantum computer even if the way the computers work are different?
Yes. But also, no, and it's actually a bit of a problem. Low-level software architecture required for quantum computing is different to that required for digital computing.

It may well be that you can run a program on a quantum computer, written in a common programming language, like C++ or .NET. However, what you write will have to be compiled (Translated to lower order instructions - basically, your quantum equivalent of ones and zeros, although a quantum bit is not limited to those two states) to a "language" a quantum processor can use, preferably with some degree of efficacy.

So theoretically, you can write your high-level program in whatever framework suits you. It's the compiling down to assembly level (physical gates/signal processing) that's more challenging. How do you represent the states and such like.

Heh, I like that answer: yes but also no.  :P

"Translated to lower order instructions - basically, your quantum equivalent of ones and zeros, although a quantum bit is not limited to those two states"

Yes, this is what I was wondering, about the 1s and 0s. I could be wrong (and most likely am), but a quantum computer can also be both 1 and 0 a the same time? If that's true, it would require some sort of software-level workaround, wouldn't it? :notsure:
Like the Asmo said, they'd have to substitute the lower level machine code with the language. Any parts of a piece of software would have to include an interface library. Possibly a new boolean variable type, as opposed to trying to stuff it into the existing nullable boolean type, because I think we'd still want the functionality of that.

But the major bulk of a program wouldn't need to have any consideration for the quantum states. Much like as a developer I don't need to worry about packet loss when streaming or transferring a file, because those libraries handle that for me.

Ok, I think I understand it a little better now.  :thumbsup: Grazie!
I am what survives if it's slain - Zack Hemsey


Asmodean

#54
Quote from: billy rubin on May 04, 2020, 09:38:16 PM
maybe so, but the minutiae of a developer's workday doesn't address the relevant points about how or whether to construct an ethical model for a self-driving vehicle. whatever the process, in the end a product is delivered that reflects the decisions of the people planning it. they may choose one strategy, which reflects one set of values, or they may choose another strategy that reflects something else. or they may choose no strategy, in which case not to decide is to have decided, as i mentioned earlier.
As I am not the one pushing the developer angle, I'll happily drop it. My point is this; to overlook the consumer in this is a disservice to he "larger picture." Consumers have a lot of power when it comes to how a product performs. In Capitalist societies, those products are all made for a market, most of them - for a competitive one. You can try using legislation to push one agenda or another. We are also overlooking state nannying here. Ought there be a law? Probably. If and when it comes, however, I'd rather not have it be informed by a top-down, prescriptive philosophical system. Bottom-up reacting-to-circumstances works for me.

Quote
so what do you think the approach philosophes are, how do they differ, and what do you see in the future. after all, the future is here.
here are some applicable examples at their extremes;

Fatalism: if it happens - it happens. Follow the GPS. Period.
Nihilism: Protect cargo before people.
Capitalism: Do whatever sells your product in any given locale.
Solipsism: The truck and the people it is to run over may not be real.
Consequentialism (herein, Utilitarianism): The ends justify the means.
Asmoism: Seek to deliver your goods on time while minimizing damage.

[Must. Resist...]
...Intersectionalism: Asmo the Huwhite Self-driving Freight Truck is oppressing that Truck of Color over yonder. That racist, muh-sojinist, Nazi piece of shit! Ban it from Twitter immediately!
[.../Failure]

Quote
they wont if they violate local ethics with it:
Will they not indeed..? I think this is only partly true, otherwise, how are the sweatshop industries thriving by selling product to countries, where the ethical norm is to be loudly (and often, sincerely) appalled at the working conditions of the less fortunate?
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on July 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
In Asmo's grey lump,
wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.

billy rubin

Quote from: Asmodean on May 05, 2020, 11:49:24 AM

here are some applicable examples at their extremes;

Fatalism: if it happens - it happens. Follow the GPS. Period.
Nihilism: Protect cargo before people.
Capitalism: Do whatever sells your product in any given locale.
Solipsism: The truck and the people it is to run over may not be real.
Consequentialism (herein, Utilitarianism): The ends justify the means.
Asmoism: Seek to deliver your goods on time while minimizing damage.

[Must. Resist...]
...Intersectionalism: Asmo the Huwhite Self-driving Freight Truck is oppressing that Truck of Color over yonder. That racist, muh-sojinist, Nazi piece of shit! Ban it from Twitter immediately!
[.../Failure]


interesting summaries. some of them are obvously operatng right now, others obviously persist only within certain cultures. you left out another, which is the guiding philosophy of hnduism. i don't know whether there is a word in english for it, but it  consists of an acknowledgment that suffering and joy are conditions that apply to all living things, and how one experiences life is  athing that transcens individual life spans and is part of a cosmic scoreboard of just deserts. so th eorthodox hindu can look dispassionately at a starving beggar, reasoning that the beggar is paying a price for transgressions in  previous life, and can look forward to eventual elevation in a future one. in the meantime, the beggar starves. this is the current situation in india today, a nuclear power with a space program that has citizens scavenging the garbage dumps for survival.

the hindu approach might be to avoid accidents with self-drivingvehicles if possible, but accept them as inevitable and not worry too much about them when they occur.


Quote
Quote
they wont if they violate local ethics with it:
Will they not indeed..? I think this is only partly true, otherwise, how are the sweatshop industries thriving by selling product to countries, where the ethical norm is to be loudly (and often, sincerely) appalled at the working conditions of the less fortunate?

in america we don't pay attention to other countries. most of us don't know that other countries exist.

the key within socieites lik eamerica is to oppress the citizens to the benefit of the rich and simultaneously give them a false target for their anger. that's what being done now, for example. its very clear what our problems are, but we have a carefully cultivated false narrative that benefits those in power at the expense of the remaining 90 percent.

thjis pandemic has illustrated the situation very clearly. i don't like to susbstitute memes for thinking, in general, but i came across thjis today, and it pretty neatly summarizes the current ethical crisis in my country. some hyperbole, but mostly spot on:



if the pandenic disappears quickly, we will return to business as normal just as quickly. if it persists long er, there is a chance that social change will result, at a high price in lives.

we haven't got to the guillotine yet, if we ever do




more people have been to berlin than i have