Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

Monthly Archive June 2019

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Random Thoughts on Recent AI Headlines: Google Gives Away “Free” Cookies…

Also, why AI can't predict the stock market or deal with windblown plastic bags
A good rule of thumb is that unexpected outcomes increase exponentially as a function of AI complexity. Read More ›
Vehicle heading into sunset Forrest Cavale 1739 Unsplash

True Believer Loses Faith in Fully Self-Driving Cars

Levandowski sees the future—and it is tech aids for safer driving
Fully autonomous vehicles—aka self-driving cars—are a techno-utopian fantasy that stands little to no chance of realization in the coming decades. The industry is slowly starting to separate that fantasy from achievable reality. Read More ›
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A Really Long Time Is Not Forever

No matter how our lives are prolonged, there is a hard stop to our universe
If eternity is what we truly want, then we should not let ourselves become distracted by technolongevity, and instead, seek our true heart's desire, and find out for ourselves if it is a sham or a reality. Read More ›
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“Brilliant Vision” from a Century Ago Foretells Today’s Internet

In E. M. Forster's dystopia, people interact only through the Machine
In a wholly materialist environment, science and other disciplines have, by preference, ceased to explore anything but their own ideas. Read More ›
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Social Media Censorship? Governments Weigh the Options

The United States may be going in the opposite direction from other Western countries
Social media monopolies may welcome an opportunity to avoid difficult issues by tacitly encouraging strict censorship of national platforms, along whatever lines a government prefers (the China model, if you like). Read More ›
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New Mind-Controlled Robot Arm Needs No Brain Implant

The thought-controlled device could help people with movement disorders control devices without the costs and risks of surgery

Beyond that, such research raises a philosophical question: If the mind is an illusion, how can it act directly on external things, by the force of decision-making alone?

Read More ›
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Can AI Combat Misleading Medical Research?

No, because AI doesn’t address the “Texas Sharpshooter Fallacies” that produce the bad data

In this week’s podcast, Pomona College’s Gary Smith, author of The AI Delusion, talks with Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks about why so many bad research papers are accepted in the science establishment and in media.

Read More ›
Cafeteria tables
Cafeteria tables

How Can AI Help Us With What We Care About?

Instead of making us part of things we don’t care about?

Despite the misguided hype, AI is just another tool. So it is encouraging to read about the ways that Japanese firm Hitachi is using AI as a tool to provide services that would otherwise be difficult or unavailable.

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Crop man with dog in fall field

Those Puppy Dog Eyes Are No Accident

The babyface dog is, according to a study of animal shelters, more likely to be adopted

Over thirty-three millennia of selective breeding shaped “a scant, irregular cluster of fibres” found around wolves’ eyes into eyebrows that communicate—to humans—a look-after-me doggy expression.

Read More ›
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Just Did It hashtag

Winning Tag Lines Are Hard Enough To Write…

But AI really flops at that

AI tools help us do things better, faster, or more efficiently. But they lack the mind needed to know when “I’m loving’ it” is the winning slogan—and stop there. 

Read More ›
Painting Mike Petrucci Unsplash

AI Can Detect Art Forgery—and That’s Not All

It can also help with problems in art history that are not nearly as simple as forgery

By the very nature of collaborative work, if simple fraud for financial gain is not in question, many much harder questions remain, questions where AI might provide information that enables better judgment. But it’s hardly the stuff of “AI Is Taking Over.”

Read More ›
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Photo from driver's seat with light trails ahead

The Real Future of Self-Driving Cars Is — Better Human Drivers!

Manufacturers are improving safety by incorporating warning systems developed for self-driving cars into conventional models

This human-plus-machine combination is proving more potent than the machine-only hype/promise.

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There Is a Glitch in the Description of DNA as “Software”

In contemporary culture, we are asked to believe - in an impressive break with observed reality - that the code wrote itself

Mainstream studies are funded in order to find out why much of the public doubts a materialist account of our origins. Despite the immense implausibility of that account, in the light of evidence, studies are not funded in order to find out why anyone does believe it. Why is that?

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elephant mask beautiful young hipster woman
elephant mask beautiful young hipster woman in the city

AI Is No Match for Ambiguity

Many simple sentences confuse AI but not humans

Because computers lack common sense, they cannot interpret statements that assume a background of general knowledge, as the Winograd Schema challenges show.

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Theologian, Battling Depression, Reaffirms the Existence of the Soul

J. P. Moreland reasons his way to the evidence and captures his discoveries in a book

It’s not often that a theologian admits to personal issues like anxiety and depression. But Biola University’s Moreland has written a book about how he coped by learning more about the nature of our immaterial minds.

Read More ›
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The US 2016 Election: Why Big Data Failed

Economics professor Gary Smith sheds light on the surprise result

Some of the stuff that made a difference, they couldn’t put in a computer. Some people say, if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t count but sometimes the things that count can’t be measured.

Read More ›