Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Artificial intelligence revisited

Artificial intelligence is a very interesting topic. It was what I originally wanted to do for my end of quarter project, but instead choose to focus on a more specific branch of artificial intelligence in Self Driving Cars. Part of what makes artificial intelligence so interesting is the threat artificial intelligence can pose to mankind. In fact, some major names in the technology world such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Stephen Hawking all believe that artificial intelligence is the greatest threat to mankind. The first person to really push for the fact that artificial intelligence exists and can be seen I Alan Turing. He made the Turing test which tests if artificial intelligence is intelligent. The first test was able to be passed if the robot could act like a human in a conversation. From 1964 to 1966 Joseph Weizenbaum created the A>I> ELIZA to disprove the Turing test but ended up proving it with ELIZA. Marvin Lee Minsky is a scientist and professor who researched artificial intelligence and wrote reports about it and pushed for studying it more at this time. At one point after this the Turing test said artificial intelligence was intelligent if it could beat a human at chess, this later then evolved into jeopardy after it could beat a human at chess. The Turing test would then evolve to say something else is what truly proved Intelligent in artificial intelligence each time it was beat. People imagined artificial intelligence as things like HAL 9000 form a Space Odyssey in 1968, then as time went on people imagined artificial intelligence as actual humans like in Ex Machina in 2014 and as machines like GLaDOS from portal and portal 2 in 2007 and 2011 respectively. Today Artificial intelligence has come to the point where we have robots like Sophia that act and think like a human. 


Startup.com was a very interesting documentary movie. The documentary follows two people who were friend since they were fifteen in high school. Those two people were Tom and Kaleli. Tom and Kaleli had reunited in their late twenties because they had an idea. The idea was to create a company that uses online revenue collection in an interface to help the user pay municipal governments. The main idea came from the need for an easy way to pay for simple fines like parking tickets. They decided that it would be easier and more convenient to pay for small fines like this online. Based off this idea they made their company GovWorks.com in May 1999. Immediately after deciding to make the company the two looked to euchre funding for the startup company. One of the partners they found for funding came from a friend named Chieh Cheung. Having him as a business partner turned out to be a bad idea later in the company. This is because shortly after the startup starts to take off, Tom and Kaleli believe that Chieh is not committed to the company. Tom and Kaleli then look into ways to try to get Chieh to commit to the company before ultimately deciding the best solution is to just buy him out of the company. This was the first struggle that tested their relationship even though there was manny more as the company moved on. It seemed like a very promising company when it went public but due to the economy, competition, and stress of running the business GovWorks.com went bust. Tom and Kaleli still made a decent profit off it though by selling their shares and ended up fine in the end. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Dot Com to Dot Bomb

The years of 1993 to 2001 are referred to as dot com to dot bomb. It was an interesting time frame because of the hype internet companies received. This time period had three different stages, they were an innocent beginning, Boom, Insanity, Bust, and the crawl back to sanity. At the very beginning of the dot com boom the world wide web was three years old. The world wide web was still young enough that many people had yet to take full advantage of it. The same could be said for HTTP which was two years old at the time. In the very beginning in 1993 Spry Inc. Founded by Dave Pool created Air Series to connect businesses to the internet. In 1993 Microsoft also worked with CompuServe and Free Range Media was conceived. 1994 was still considered to be the beginning in this timeline. In 1994 Free Range Media was incorporated and DealerNet was invented. Plus, in 1994 Spry Inc. came out with internet in a box and the second international World Wide Web conference was held along with the introduction of robotic arms. The big technology question of 1994 though was weather to choose Lynx or Mosaic as your web browser. The Boom era began in 1996. This is when Spry Inc. sold to CompuServe and Freezone sold to Thompson target media. Also, in 1996 super bowl began to see technology ads and three big companies were founded in US web, Amazon.com and Yahoo!. 1997 was the transition from Boom to Insanity. IPO.com was created for public offerings and venture capitalists, and in 1997 AOL took charge as the main internet company. Insanity in 1998 include AOL buying CompuServe and InfoSpace going public. The insanity era continued in 1999 with Yahoo acquiring Broadcast.com for 5.7 Billion and Luminant worldwide does an eight company roll up. The transition to Bust period begins in 2000. In 2000 almost, all super bowl ads were for technology and Loudeye technologies became an IPO. InfoSpace was valued as worth more than Boeing. But then Pets.com and MarchFirst go bust. The stock market begins to take a downturn. Then full bust comes in 2001. This is when Exodus communications and Luminant Worldwide declare bankruptcy. Freezone also closed its virtual doors and DrKoop.com goes bust along with many more .com companies creating the dot bomb.