WW 726: Quake Mode

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

I think @MaryJo missed TWiT on Sunday. :wink: Big tech is not doing well with AI. Nobody is doing well with AI at the moment and we really need to take a step back and come up with societal guidelines and a way of holding those implementing AI to account.

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yes, realize this. Microsoft is big on making sure they use AI ethically and doesn’t create a situation where it’s all bots and no human intervention. I’m optimistic that they might get it right on the PowerFx-GPT-3 type stuff…

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I hope so. I forgot to put a winky smiley on my post, hope you didn’t take it the wrong way.

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Why? Is there demonstrably a reason why this is necessary, or is it just moral panic? (Can’t believe I just used that phrase!! :joy:)

There have been dozens of examples over the last 5 - 6 years, or even longer.

HP’s vaunted camera recognition system, which failed to recognize people of colour.

That was 2009. Jump forward a decade and the facial recognition systems being used by police forces are still being “racist”. This was wonderfully demonstrated to US representatives, where their pictures were shown to the system and it marked all the white members correctly, but marked the black members as wanted criminals…

Some of these systems have been voluntarily taken off the market and many police forces around the world have banned the use of AI based facial recognition, until it can be proven to be gender and race neutral.

The AI based online exam monitoring system has been in the press here, in Germany, over the last year, because it is not accurate and it accuses students of cheating if they take their eyes off the screen during the whole duration of the exam.

There are also many examples of failed algorithms and AI in insurance, finance and other sectors.

Cathy O’Neils’s Weaons of Math Destruction is a great read on the algorithm side of the industry, but the AI side has even fewer controls and even the people who create the models can’t tell you how they work or whether they are accurate.

What about the AI used in self-driving vehicles. There have been dozens of failures of the Tesla system, where people have acted stupid, admittedly, but instead of the system stopping the vehicle and refusing to drive further, until the driver has resumed control of the vehicle, as it is supposed to do, they just carried on, until they had a fatal accident.

The Uber autonomous vehicle that killed a cyclist - the “driver” was charged, yet the programmers and the company behind the system weren’t charged and could carry on with their work.

There needs to be some sort of certification and proper, external testing of these types of systems, before they should be let anywhere near the public and when something goes wrong, those responsible for the systems need to be held to account.


Good point, and thanks


During the show, there was a part of the discussion speculating on who listens to WW. I’d like to add two sentiments:

a) Fully agree with Leo to say that by now, ideally you don’t run Windows (or Office 365 Business, for that matter) if you don’t want to be your own IT department. I simply don’t want to jump through the hoops of what Microsoft considers useful in their product design. That’s why I, as a tinkerer, try to use linux as much as possible. A lot has to do with product structure and the architecture of administration settings which seems geared to herd corporate users.

b) Additional perspective on who might listen: people who really enjoy you guys banging a proverbial two-by-four over 95% of Microsoft’s design and communication decisions. Call it a malicious streak or even sadism, but maybe it’s just good entertainment to have a weekly show entertainingly bash their center of attention for two hours each week. There’s also something consoling here: whenever the bluetooth kernel module or the CUPS server in my little linux install gives up the ghost and drives me up the wall, it only takes a good WW episode to make me not throw it all at the wall and go back to Microsoft.

The only thing that makes me scratch my head is that even though so many bad decisions appear to come from Redmond, they are, together with Apple, arguably the most commercially successful and seemingly unscrutinised tech company around. (Others may be raking in more, but they usually have bigger challenges with regulators and karma in general.) I do not understand how that can be. Is it simply all (develishly) good sales work?


You’re cracking me up. I honestly think both Paul and Mary Jo love Windows. I’m the mole in the operation.

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I agree. I believe they both love Windows & it’s obvious they both enjoy their job of covering Microsoft. I think Paul’s grouchy side occasionally comes out against Windows but that’s because he loves it so much he wants it to be the best it can be and well Microsoft doesn’t always listen to him lol.

I do love this show though. Even though I rarely use Windows anymore since I’ve transitioned to mostly using Mac. I still listen to this show religiously. I still have my Windows laptop but with only 8gb of ram it’s just slow.

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I think Paul is the living definition of a real fan. He “loves” Windows and therefore he gets angry when Microsoft mess up.

I think this is the big difference between a fan and a fanboy. Examples on the Apple side are more obvious, but Windows and Linux, as well as Ford, Cheverolet or NY Yankees etc. all have them. No matter what their idol does, it can do no wrong. A real fan, on the other hand sees those missteps and has no qualms in pointing them out in the hope that they can be rectified.


I’m glad that it’s love. Sometimes it sounds more like laborious marriage. Maybe it’s :musical_note: love and marriage :musical_note: . Which brings me to “Married with children”, entertainment, and back to Windows Weekly. Not the worst of association chains.

But kidding aside: no complaints for being critical of your subject! It’s excellently informative and fun to follow. Right now one of my favourite shows on the network.