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Old 01-28-2021, 01:49 PM   #121
Stormcrow
 
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Default Re: Complexity for computers and the real world

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
The cinematic part
If you call anything that we can't do "cinematic," then sure, ours is the only kind of computing there is. "Cinematic," in game terms, means an implausible event that exists purely to improve the film (story, etc.). In the mid-20th century, computers that respond intuitively to voice commands and can scan all recorded human knowledge to answer queries in a few seconds seemed a plausible path of computer development. It would require a divergent TL in GURPS, but we knew that already.

All I'm saying is that Star Trek, Traveller, etc. computers shouldn't be laughed off as primitive.
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Old 01-28-2021, 02:07 PM   #122
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Complexity for computers and the real world

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If you call anything that we can't do "cinematic," then sure, ours is the only kind of computing there is.
Only the natural language process has anything to do with computing.

The computer arbitrarily limiting its result set to knives is a misbehavior, in that it is not actually answering the question it was asked, it was answering a question that the person asking might have wanted to ask. Correct behavior when a query seems too broad to produce useful results is some sort of conversation with the person doing the query to try and narrow it down.

The computer producing a useful result set from the query is a general literary thing (present today as well) where writers underestimate the sheer quantity of red herrings the universe can throw at you.
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Old 01-28-2021, 02:10 PM   #123
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Default Re: Complexity for computers and the real world

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The cinematic part
Let's be honest; the cinematic part is they happen to have all this data on hand to begin with.
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Old 01-28-2021, 02:16 PM   #124
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Complexity for computers and the real world

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Only the natural language process has anything to do with computing.

The computer arbitrarily limiting its result set to knives is a misbehavior, in that it is not actually answering the question it was asked,
Something that happens to me all the time with search engines. Just usually less intelligently.

Last edited by David Johnston2; 01-28-2021 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 01-28-2021, 02:28 PM   #125
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Default Re: Complexity for computers and the real world

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Sometime that happens to me all the time with search engines. Just usually less intelligently.
I guess it could be going "most relevant results first" and treating "similar to jack the ripper" as an implicit matching point. In which case, for a properly keyworded database, something like this would work.
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Old 01-28-2021, 02:53 PM   #126
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Default Re: Complexity for computers and the real world

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Let's be honest; the cinematic part is they happen to have all this data on hand to begin with.
I wouldn't send out an Enterprise without at least loading its computers with a local copy of the 20xth century Wikipedia equivalent. Which would have 'list of mass murders' and 'list of serial killings' articles because those are already out there.

If not a larger and better-curated database. Storage media probably isn't much of a problem, between how dense it already is today and how big the ship is...
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Old 01-28-2021, 03:08 PM   #127
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Default Re: Complexity for computers and the real world

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What mid-20th century computer imaginings lacked in processing and dazzle they made up for in the ability to search and synthesize that blows our computers out of the water.

"Computer."
"READY."
"Criminological files. Cases of unsolved mass murders of women since Jack the Ripper."
"WORKING. 1932. SHANGHAI, CHINA, EARTH. SEVEN WOMEN KNIFED TO DEATH. 1974, KIEV, USSR, EARTH. FIVE WOMEN KNIFED TO DEATH. 2105. MARTIAN COLONIES. EIGHT WOMEN KNIFED TO DEATH. 2156. HELIOPOLIS, ALPHA ERIDANI TWO. TEN WOMEN KNIFED TO DEATH. THERE ARE ADDITIONAL EXAMPLES."
I don't know, a Mac with Macintalk (1986) connected to an FTP server using Hypercard (1987) to interface with the primitive search engines of the time could have done a reasonably competent job. By the 1990s it would have certainly done a better job though voice recognition didn't exist and when it first appeared it sucked.

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The cinematic part there is the natural language processing, the fact that the computer intuited that it should only list knife homicides, and the tininess of the result set. Being able to do the query isn't that exotic.
Actually, Kirk exact question is "Computer. Criminological files. Cases of unsolved mass murders of women since Jack the Ripper. "

A little later Spock states "Computer, digest log recordings for past five solar minutes."

The computer is recording the information in the trial and interpreted since the murder involved a knife (a weapon what Jack the Ripper used also) it should limits its responses accordingly.

The natural language processing is a separate piece of technology (likely tied into the computer) as shown in "Metamorphous"

As for the "tininess of the result set" note the gap between 1974 and 2105 considering WWIII happened in the 1990s could have destroyed a lot of records (otherwise how can you justify John Gill thinking recreating Nazi Germany was a good idea?! Also his knowledge was, even by 1960s standards, crap.)

I suspect the records between 1974 and 2105 are so fragmentary or nonexistent that the computer didn't have anything to work with or the murders were "solved" by blaming some other serial killer for them.

As they said in Wester world "There is a lot of ways to order that data." You don't need to invoke the cinematic card.
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Old 09-16-2022, 07:29 AM   #128
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Default Re: Complexity for computers and the real world

Thread necromancy time...

One question that went through my head...

If computer complexity goes up by a given value per tech level - and "Fast" computers gain a +1 bonus to complexity, while Genius grants +2 complexity, could it not be said that:

Standard Computers are the best of what current technology creates as "the norm" for now.

Slow computers are at the older technology that is still viable, but not the norm.

Fast computers are using next generation technology that is state of the art NOW, just not the ordinary stuff.

Genius computers are not just cutting edge per se, but the highly expensive cutting edge that has not been easily produced.

Note for example, that a TL 8 computer might be rated at complexity 6. By the time it hits TL 9, it will become Complexity 8.

This is the same as though it had used the "Genius chip" as standard production chips - and are the "norm" now.

But that begs a different question.

If by the time you hit TL 9 and are starting to build computers where the next tech level's normal complexity is only +1 higher than the current one, does that imply that you really can NOT have a Genius chip?

Put another way? Those chip upgrades that improve complexity to the current computer's complexity, are within the next level's complexity - but only if the next level's complexity is 2 higher than the present.

I would suggest then, that once you hit TL 10 - Genius Chips are no longer available and that Moore Law may be slowing down as computers hit their theoretical limits?

Since TL 12 is the limit for "knowable projected science into the future" - would there even be a "Fast" option for computer technology at TL 12?

Just thinking about the implications.
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