Mind Matters Where Natural and Artificial Intelligence Meet

Monthly Archive August 2018

Pile of colorful children’s alphabet wooden block toys

Imagining life after Google

Reviewers of George Gilder's new book weigh in
If we have simply taken the big software, hardware, and social media companies who dominate our lives for granted, the reactions from the business world to Life after Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy should give us a lot to think about. Read More ›
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Could AI understand the universe?

World-renowned chemist thinks it might understand what we can’t, including consciousness
Atkins is arguing that the fact that we do not understand what consciousness is, far from being a barrier to creating artificial consciousness, offers the hope that, once we do create them, artificially conscious entities will understand consciousness but we won’t. The proposition sounds a bit confused, no? Read More ›
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Could HAL 9000 ever be built?

I say yes. Some reflections on the 50th Year Anniversary of 2001: A Space Odyssey
At one point on the trip from Earth to Jupiter, HAL becomes suspicious that the crew might be sabotaging the mission. HAL then purposely tries to kill all the crew. The most logical explanation for this act is a coding error. HAL was programmed to operate on the basis that the mission took priority over human life. Read More ›
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Robogeddon!! Pause.

Wait. This just in: AI is NOT killing all our jobs
Jay Richards, author of The Human Advantage: The Future of American Work in an Age of Smart Machines,sees it as more of a retooling than a meltdown. But retooling does mean change, work, cost, and risk. Read More ›
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Silicon Valley as a colonial power

Irish writer asks us to look more carefully at claims about “liberation”
The social media companies will force us to define ourselves over against the specifications of our would-be programmers. And say what you want about the conflict, it will never be dull. Read More ›
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Giant Google’s vulnerable spot

Social media are free because we are both the content and the market
Recently, we looked at philosopher of technology George Gilder’s Life after Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy. But what form would that decline take? A look at the advertising picture offers one clue. Read More ›
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Can a game prove that computers could really think?

Philosopher Daniel Dennett thinks so. Let's apply Occam's Razor and see
While I agree with Dennett that Occam’s Razor shouldn’t be used overzealously, we shouldn’t be too reluctant to use it either. The reason why Dennett rejects Occam’s Razor in the Game of Life is that if he didn’t, then nothing in the Game of Life would be capable of possessing cognitive states. Read More ›
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Ethics for an information society

Because machines can’t learn to solve their own ethical problems
AI (machine learning) was probably faster and cheaper but the whole point of the system was supposed to be justice which, whatever the explanation, proved too difficult to calculate… Read More ›
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AI tools for mass manipulation?

Machine learning can unleash a perfect storm of malice, experts warn
In 2017, a group of 26 AI researchers got together at Oxford and created a report which offers a number of examples of malicious technologies of the near future. Read More ›
MRI Image Of Head Showing Brain

Do big brains matter to human intelligence?

We don’t know. Brain research readily dissolves into confusion at that point
We also know very little about the human brain. Take this controversy about why the large human brain evolved... Read More ›
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Hell is a “parasocial” place

Where your "friends" may not even exist
Consumer digital hells can be dreadful indeed but they are mostly of our own making. The companies that profit from them are not forcing us to live in them. That said, students should be taught in school that the internet’s virtual world features a great deal of fakery, including fake friends. Read More ›
Close-up Shot of Hacker using Keyboard. There is Coffee Cups and Computer Monitors with Various Information.

Sometimes the ‘bots turn out to be humans

That “lifelike” effect was easier to come by than some might think
Companies sometimes pretend to be using AI or machine learning when they are actually using human employees for various reasons. One reason is that they have promised potential investors more high tech than they can deliver. Sometimes, as we learned recently at The Guardian, it gets a bit sticky... Read More ›
Biometric facial recognition on smartphone. Unlock smartphone as it scans his face.

Will AI liberate or enslave developing countries?

Perhaps that depends on who gets there first with the technology
Karl D. Stephan: Zimbabwe, an African country well-known for its human-rights abuses, has received advanced Chinese AI technology from a startup company in exchange for letting the firm have access to the country’s facial-recognition database. So China is helping the government of Zimbabwe to keep tabs on its citizens as well. Read More ›
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So what happened to Google Glass?

We are told that the “wetware” (humans) got in the way
It bears repeating: A technology is adopted when it solves problems as identified by users rather than problems as identified by developers. Read More ›
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Do children trust robots too much?

Maybe, but more study is needed, say researchers
Children could easily give in to peer pressure from other children to give an incorrect answer in place of a correct one. How much difference it makes that the pressure is supplied by a robot would surely depend on how the child is taught to see robots. Read More ›
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Why do we think money is real?

It is actually a constantly shifting network of agreements to trust others
It is actually a constantly shifting network of agreements to trust others. Maria Bustillos, editor of Ethereum’s culturemag, Popula, asks us to think about just what money is before we make up our minds about Bitcoin. Read More ›
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Screenwriters’ Jobs Are Not Threatened by AI

Unless the public starts preferring mishmash to creativity
An AI-generated film is not an altogether new idea. Rule-based expert systems were used to write short plays over a half century ago, in the early 1960's. Then, as now, don’t expect creativity. That is not what AI does. Read More ›
Roboter Arme

Could one single machine invent everything?

The king’s perpetual innovation machine was all ready to roll but then a skeptic butted in
Computers can never originate, they only regurgitate. Humans, on the other hand, can come up with original ideas, i.e. they write the programs in the first place. So, my proof shows that the human mind cannot be a computer program. Read More ›
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George Gilder: Life after Google will be okay

People will take ownership of their own data, cutting out the giant “middle man”
In his new book, he calls the successor era he envisions the “cryptocosm,” referring to the private encryption of data, represented by technologies such as blockchain. Read More ›
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Who creates information in a market?

Do exchange-traded funds (ETFs)' algorithms make personally gathering information obsolete?
Algorithmic strategies can only be as good as the information that goes into them.  Ignoring how the information is created causes us to misunderstand the dynamics of value creation.  Algorithms can leverage information, they can’t create it. Read More ›