Tag Archives | IBM

2001: Is HAL IBM?

hal9000

As if there weren’t enough Kubrick conspiracy memes floating about the auteur and his work, this interesting short video claims that the HAL 9000 computer that serves as the villain in 2001: A Space Odyssey is actually a veiled criticism of IBM.

Here is the gist:

For the most part audiences have assumed that HAL had genuinely made a mistake in predicting the AE-35 fault and that the conflict afterwards was due to HALs desire not to be shut down. However, there is plenty of evidence to support a much more sinister hypothesis … that HAL was actually ordered by mission control to kill the crew.

For starters there are a multitude of references to IBM. The three letters comprising HALs name come just before the letters I, B and M in the alphabet. This was claimed by Arthur C Clarke to be a coincidence, but the other references you’re about to see demonstrate that Kubrick simply did not want to publicly acknowledge the encoded references.… Read the rest

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IBM Forecasts Steampunk As Next Big Thing

Clearly the IBM trend analysts haven't been allowed to visit the likes of Dragon*Con or Comic-Con in recent years as they're just now realizing that it's a real trend:
Based on an analysis of more than a half million public posts on message boards, blogs, social media sites and news sources, IBM predicts that ‘steampunk,’ a sub-genre inspired by the clothing, technology and social mores of Victorian society, will be a major trend to bubble up, and take hold, of the retail industry. Major fashion labels, accessories providers and jewelry makers are expected to integrate a steampunk aesthetic into their designs in the coming year. Measuring public sentiment can help retail chief marketing officers customize incentives and services to be more in tune with what customers are asking for...
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New Jersey Congressman Is First To Beat Watson On Jeopardy

Rep. Rush Holt

Rep. Rush Holt

USA Today reports:

Two weeks after Watson trounced two Jeopardy! champions during a man-vs.-machine match, Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., beat the computer during a technology exhibition practice game.

“I was proud to hold my own with Watson,” Holt said of his win Monday night. “More importantly, I was proud to join IBM and other members of Congress to highlight the importance of science and math education and research and development.”

The games were meant to emphasize the importance of technology in global competitiveness for American businesses, as well as a need for more focus on math and science education.

It wasn’t Holt’s first time providing answers in the form of a question: The physicist has won Jeopardy! five times in the past.

In the first round, Holt won $6,600; Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., earned $1,000; and Watson made $6,200. No one actually received money for the games.

Read the rest
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The Tattoo Used in Auschwitz Was Originally An IBM Code Number

Here is another (controversial) chapter from my book 50 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know, published in 2003.

For more on me, look at The Memory Hole.

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IBM in Auschwitz Phone BookThe tattooed numbers on the forearms of people held and killed in Nazi concentration camps have become a chilling symbol of hatred. Victims were stamped with the indelible number in a dehumanizing effort to keep track of them like widgets in the supply chain.

These numbers obviously weren’t chosen at random. They were part of a coded system, with each number tracked as the unlucky person who bore it was moved through the system.

Edwin Black made headlines in 2001 when his painstakingly researched book, IBM and the Holocaust, showed that IBM machines were used to automate the “Final Solution” and the jackbooted takeover of Europe. Worse, he showed that the top levels of the company either knew or willfully turned a blind eye.

A year and a half after that book gave Big Blue a black eye, the author made more startling discoveries.… Read the rest

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Are Supercomputers Close To Replicating The Brain?

Citing competing teams on both sides of the Atlantic, this article describes "the race to develop cognitive computing by reverse engineering the brain." While IBM is using the world's fourth-fastest supercomputer, the same supercomputer is also being used by the Blue Brain project at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. (The head of the project notes the difficulty in "recreating the three-dimensional structure of the brain in a 2-D piece of silicon... It's not a brain. It's more of a computer processor that has some of the accelerated parallel computing that the brain has.") Meanwhile IBM still hopes "to noninvasively measure and map the connections between all cortical and sub-cortical locations within the human brain using magnetic resonance diffusion weighted imaging." With rapidly accelerating advances in supercomputer architectures, can a simulated human brain be far off?
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CounterTech – A(F)I: Artificial (Feline) Intelligence

SittingNow.com have employed the A.I. powers of Disinformation the Podcast host Joe McFall to kick off their new and improved 'CounterTech' series. This week, IBM scientists and their university partners announced a breakthrough in cognitive computing research: the simulation of a brain the size of a cat's. Using 144 terabytes of RAM and almost 150,000 processors, scientists were able to model a neural cortex with 1 billion simulated neurons and 10 billion synaptic connections. The researchers have subsequently been awarded $16.1 million for completion of phase 0 of DARPA's SYNAPSE project. The goal of SYNAPSE (Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics), according to DARPA, is "to develop electronic neuromorphic machine technology that scales to biological levels." In layman's terms, their goal is to put simulated brains onto microchips...
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