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Mind Matters Reporting on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

Monthly Archive June 2019

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.

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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. 

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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.”

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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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Glitchy screen

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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Silhouette of a man against a dark, cloudy sky

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.

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blue digital binary data on computer screen

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.

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Adobe Stock Censorship peace cage Adobe Stock 22001967
Adobe Stock Censorship peace cage Adobe Stock 22001967

Jordan Peterson to Found New Free Speech Platform

Thinkspot is being developed as a free speech alternative to Facebook, YouTube, and Patreon

His proposal coincides with several recent Big Social Media decisions that have raised eyebrows.

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Person on road with light looking at the stars

Review: The Why, Not the How, of the Origin of Consciousness

Ventureyra’s new book treats the origin of consciousness as a “first instantiation of a new law of nature”

Many “how” explanations can seem pretty off-topic. Imagine a situation where a book club is discussing the works of Stephen King where one commenter keeps on bringing up the fact that all of King's writing was done on a Mac.

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Successful Generalization Is a Key to Learning

In machine learning, the Solomonoff induction helps us decide how successful a generalization is

In the model of generalization set out in the paper, imperfect models can get better scores but they are discounted according to the amount of error they have.

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Tree and mushrooms at night

Does Vivid Imagination Help “Explain” Consciousness?

A popular science magazine struggles to make the case

Vivid imagination doesn’t explain human consciousness (or the ability to abstract); they are one of its characteristics. The second film in the Science Uprising series mocks the prejudice that is always looking for "explanations" of consciousness that really aim at explaining it away.

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Silhouette of a person with words and numbers in the background

The Mind Can’t Be Just a Computer

Gödel demonstrated that fact and Turing tried to live with it

Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that there are truths in mathematical logic that lie outside mathematical logic, which means that the mind cannot be understood simply as a computer.

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