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Mind Matters Reporting on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

Monthly Archive November 2019

Snooping Dmitry Ratushny Unsplash 1455368109333-ebc686ad6c58

Machine Learning, Part 3: Don’t Snoop on Your Data

You risk using a feature for prediction that is common to the dataset, but not to the problem you are studying

As long as we can establish that our theories, hypotheses, and/or models are independent of the data, then we can trust that their predictive power will generalize beyond the data we have observed.

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old tree roots in a green forest

New Research Suggests That Plants Can “Think”

But what does that mean? Clearly not what some people expect

From time immemorial, we have endowed what we find in nature with our own characteristics. That is called mythology. The people who think that salad is murder or beg plants to forgive their sins are not helping the environment; they are incorporating a mythology into their lives

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child girl playing with counter toy at nursery

Babies Have a Number Sense Before They Can Count

The study showed that counting with babies makes a difference, even though their understanding is not very exact

The question was not whether the infants understood the exact numbers (they didn’t) but whether they understood that the researchers were, in fact, counting things.

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Detail of cyborg eye and robot.3d illustration

But Could Techno-Immortality Ever Be the Real Thing?

Oxford mathematician John Lennox looks at Ray Kurzweil’s techno-immortality from a Christian perspective

In these excerpts from the podcast, Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks talks with John Lennox about an AI immortality where we are told, for example, that we won’t need tongues because we can tap right into our taste buds.

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3D Rendering of abstract highway path through digital binary towers in city. Concept of big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, hyper loop, virtual reality, high speed network.

How Do We Know What Superintelligent AI Will Do?

If superintelligent systems existed, logic demonstrates that they would be unpredictable

A lower intelligence can’t accurately predict all decisions of a higher intelligence, a concept known as Vinge’s Principle.

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Digital Neurology

What If Technology Causes Some People to Live Forever?

What would it mean for them and for the rest of us?

The authors also warn, “We can be pretty certain, for instance, that rejuvenation would widen the gap between the rich and poor, and would eventually force us to make decisive calls about resource use, whether to limit the rate of growth of the population, and so forth.”

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jockey

Machine Learning, Part 2: Supervised Learning

Machine learning isn’t hard to understand; it’s just different. Let’s start with the most common type

The neat thing about machine learning is that the algorithm can extract general principles from the dataset that can then be applied to new problems. It is like the story that Newton observed an apple fall and then derived from it the general law of gravity that applies to the entire universe.

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Working in harmony wth nature concept

Jay Richards: Kurzweil’s Age of Spiritual Machines Is Fiction, like SkyNet

Kurzweil’s vision of computers taking over is “arresting,” Richards admits, but “your mind is running away from you if you think about technology in that way.”

In a recent podcast of ID the Future at the COSM conference in Seattle, Catholic University business studies prof Jay Richards looks at Ray Kurzweil’s “sunny” version of strong AI (computers are smarter than us and will take over but don’t worry), as per his book, The Age of Spiritual Machines (1999) vs. the pessimistic version (“Skynet” wakes up). In a discussion with Andrew McDiarmid, Richards argues the opposite view, namely that human beings possess something beyond the purely material, something even the most powerful computers will never possess. Podcast here. Excerpts: Jay Richards: (08:45) If you are a materialist who thinks we are purely the result of these blind, material processes, you have something to worry about [with computers Read More ›

Accountant secretary retro woman vintage office

Alan Turing’s original “computer” was actually a human being…

But will human beings now be thought of as computers?

We should reflect on how unthinking use of technology can shape us, despite our commitments.

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Alien world sunset

The Outer Worlds—A Mind Matters Game Review

You must discover the dark secret of the Halcyon space colony, despite the greed and corruption of a handful of powerful corporations

After the raging dumpster fire that Fallout 76 (2018) turned out to be, I hesitated to invest my time and money in another role-playing game (RPG) epic. But I am glad I did.

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Model baggage car.

Finally… the Ultimate Smart Machine

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a small startup called TruMind made the AI dream a reality—Trumind Serial, Part 6

While the skeptics said it could not be done, and even industry veterans and the most idealistic AI pioneers had serious doubts, TruMind revolutionized the entire world of technology seemingly overnight with the TruMind capsule.

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Self driving car on a road. Autonomous vehicle. Inside view.

Elon Musk Walks Back Full Self-Driving Claims

His Q3 earnings call with investors was a stark contrast to earlier claims about a robotaxi fleet

Of course, Musk blames other people for “misconstruing” his claims. This certainly isn't the first time he has palmed off responsibility for his own mistakes onto others.

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Autonomous cars on a road with visible connection

Self-Driving Cars: Florida Lawmakers Speed Through Caution Signs

Legislation seems fuzzy about who accepts responsibility when things go wrong with autonomous vehicles

I believe that most autonomous vehicle manufacturers will exercise an abundance of caution. But if laws are fuzzy, reckless manufacturers may escape blame and innocent riders, drivers, and pedestrians will pay for the resultant mayhem.

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Robots welding in a production line

Robot-Proofing Your Career, Peter Thiel’s Way

Jay Richards and Larry L. Linenschmidt continue their discussion of what has changed—and what won't change—when AI disrupts the workplace

We treat the assembly line as if it has always been here, says business prof Jay Richards, but it only dates back to Henry Ford, a century ago. It’s disappearing but work isn’t disappearing. It’s just changing a lot.

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