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Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Market Musings]
2017-06-27 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Market Musings , 212 references
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You know you're in a bubble when...... smiley

Seriously folks, true "automatic" cars are five, ten, maybe 20 years off.

The issue isn't so much processing power, it's visualization and the speed with which rules systems must operate.  This is where the so-called "machine learning" reality hits the asphalt, so to speak.

Over a relatively short (~40 hours in most states) period of time behind the wheel and operating the controls a human acquires enough ability to process their environment and interaction with the controls of a vehicle to be considered "minimally competent" to safely operate said thing.  We then call them "licensed" (which is bull****, by the way; if travel is a  right then so is the use of machines common to the day for that purpose whether they be carriages or cars.)

So-called machine learning (ha!) has ingested millions of miles of vehicle operation via their various "sensor systems" and yet are incapable of fully autonomous operation.  Simply put a machine is not capable of synthesizing "out of scope" of whatever it started with and the parameters it began with.

As I have repeatedly noted so-called "artificial intelligence" is no such thing in reality.  I challenge anyone to show me just one instance of "out-of-scope" (that is, demonstrating true synthesis and thought) output from a so-called "learning machine."

Given enough data and a fast enough sieve you can probably produce a vehicle that is materially safer than humans -- 99% of the time.  The other 1% they can probably pull off the road and stop, so you wind up with a "five nines" reliability -- in other words, materially better than we have with people, and definitely "good enough."

However, this isn't going to happen tomorrow.  Or next year.  Or three years hence.

20 years hence, sure.  Will the first units be (well) before then?  Yes, but they'll be $200,000 devices, and nobody will be able to afford them.  This makes them engineering curiosity pieces and it won't be until the price comes down by a factor of 100 that you'll see them in what were formerly "rental" fleets.

Do I look forward to "hailing" what amounts to a robot cab, or renting one that I can get in the back of with a full bottle of scotch and drink it while it takes me "wherever"?  Yeah, that sounds kinda nice.  But until that vehicle is $20,000 it will not find mass acceptance nor does it work for "fleets" and that means the machine's cost has to be in the hundreds of dollars including sensors, not tens of thousands.

In other words you have to be able to buy the computer for $100 and the sensors for $500 -- and we're a hell of a long way from there.  Like a factor of 100 away.

Yes, it will happen.  Look at computer hardware from the 1990s to today.  But we're talking about the same sort of time and expansion of capability-for-dollar-spent before it happens, and anyone who thinks that these companies entering into "deals" today will mean anything 20 years from now has rocks in their head.

Or helium in their "investment" thesis.......

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