Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

Monthly Archive September 2018

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George Gilder talks tech at World News Daily

In a three-part interview the tech philosopher explains why he thinks Google is doomed
“The Google dream is a supermind in the sky that knows everything,” Gilder told WND. “My dream is to distribute information as human minds are distributed.” Read More ›
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Google is collecting data on schoolkids

Some say it’s okay because the firm supplies a lot of free software and hardware to schools
Many parents may not be content to let matters rest there; they might prefer to pay taxes for school equipment and have less surveillance in our lives overall. Read More ›
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Will AI triumph?

Will that phone end up smarter than your kid?
If so, it might not happen in quite the way we are told to fear. U.S. kids spend more than two hours a day looking at screens "perform worse on memory, language and thinking tests than kids who spend less time in front of a device. Read More ›
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Do either machines—or brains—really learn?

A further response to Jeffrey Shallit: Actually, brains don’t learn either. Only minds learn.
Learning is an ability of human beings, considered as a whole, to acquire new knowledge, not an ability of human organs considered individually. Read More ›
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Inner peace: Is there software for that?

Tech billionaire funds neuroscience in a search for the secret of contentment
His approach to neuroscience is very different from that of the Dalai Lama, who facilitates neuroscience research to better understand contemplation as a path to inner peace. Chen’s focus is more on developing virtual reality. Read More ›
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Google Powering China’s Snoop Culture

They’ve suppressed the memo but can’t suppress the uproar around it
It may at first seem deeply ironic that a Silicon Valley ostensibly committed to liberal values would help to unleash this storm. But a political analyst carefully traces the growth in its enthusiasm for “smart government,” using the tools of information technology for social engineering. Read More ›
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The Hills Go High Tech

An American community finding its way in the new digital economy
At present, says Hochschild, Ankur Gopal and Interapt are sourcing as many new hillbillies as they can find: “For now, there is so much demand for I.T. workers — 10,000 estimated openings by 2020 in the Louisville metro area alone — that Mr. Gopal is reaching out to new groups. Read More ›
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Digital dictatorship?

China’s “social credit” system coming under scrutiny
It is not clear that most Chinese people understand the implications yet but many in the industry do. As of September 16, over 1400 Google employees had signed a letter of protest against Google’s involvement in Chinese censorship.   Read More ›
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Does digitization threaten science?

It enables new abuses, according to a Cambridge nanoscientist
The problem is not digitization as such, of course, but the mindset that it inadvertently encourages. Sometimes, for example, “citation rings” agree to cite each other’s papers so as to artificially inflate their rankings. Sometimes it graduates to “citation stacking” Read More ›
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Apes Can Be Generous

Are they just like humans then?
If we are to genuinely understand machines, animals, and ourselves, we need to clearly understand that it is the immateriality of human intellect and will—our capacity to think and act abstractly— that makes us radically (i.e. ontologically) different from any animal or machine. Read More ›
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Maybe iGen really IS fragile

Did social media's troll frenzies trigger the campus war on ideas?
Twenty-four-year-old fashion blogger Scarlett Dixon  posted a picture of herself having breakfast, “looking flawless on a freshly made bed flanked by heart-shaped helium balloons.” The orcs burst suddenly through the virtual gate. Read More ›
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Is the octopus a “second genesis of intelligence”?

Can its strange powers provide insights for robotics or the human mind?
What’s really interesting about these stories is that, while we are learning that there is much intelligence in the animal (and plant) world, including some that can be applied to robotics, very little sheds light on explicitly human intelligence. Read More ›
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Artificial intelligence is impossible

Meaningful information vs artificial intelligence
Because the law of independence conservation states that no combination of randomness and determinism can create mutual information, then likewise no Turing machine nor artificial intelligence can create mutual information. Thus, the goal of artificial intelligence researchers to reproduce human intelligence with a computer program is impossible to achieve. Read More ›
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You Have Just Six Emotions

At least it would be easier for the machines if we did
Efforts to enable machines to read our emotions are hitting a roadblock and, oddly enough, Charles Darwin, founder of popular evolution theory, plays a role in getting it wrong. Read More ›
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Is the future of jobs over?

Should people be paid to let machines do the work?
Recently, there have been short-term limited experiments with a Universal Basic Income but it’s hard to evaluate a transformative social policy with such limited and cherry-picked data. And, says Richards, paying people not to work would simply slow their move into the job markets of the digital age. Read More ›
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Coconuts go high tech

Plastics from coconut waste offer economic benefit to poor farmers from crop waste
One of Walter Bradley’s longstanding goals as an engineer and materials scientist has been to harness advanced materials technology to help the world’s poor, most of whom are poor farmers. Read More ›
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The true cost of “free” social media

It’s free but… are we? George Gilder points a way forward.
He thinks that expected massive increases in computing power will enable blockchain technologies that allow users to safely bypass the global data monopoly that Google and similar firms represent. Read More ›