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Mind Matters Reporting on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

Monthly Archive December 2019

Computer algorithm productivity efficiency, cyber security concepts

Why we don’t think like computers

If we thought like computers, we would repeat package directions over and over again unless someone told us to stop

Robert J. Marks: We have a number of aspects that we exhibit that are not algorithmic. I would say, qualia, creativity, sentience, consciousness are probably things that you cannot write a computer program to simulate.

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Smart cars with automatic sensor driving on metropolis with wireless connection

New Federal Regulations Favor a Shift to 5G Cars

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is abandoning the older DSRC protocol for cellular vehicle-to-everything (CV2X)

Auto manufacturers would prefer to just move ahead with 5G but safety watchdogs argue that lifesaving changes could and should be implemented now with DSRC.

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Night city

Moore or Less: Why the Exponential Speed of AI Can’t Be Sustained

Faster computers only help the performance of AI algorithms that require search marginally.

Exponential growth is often the beginning of a sigmoid or s-shaped curve where growth that appears to be exponential but eventually slows and reaches a saturation point. We see this in nature, for example, in bacteria. 

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Beautiful mandarin duck on the frozen lake in a park

Just a light frost—or AI winter?

It’s nice to be right once in a while—check out the evidence for yourself

About a year ago, I wrote that mounting AI hype would likely give way to yet another AI winter. Now, according to the panelists at “the world’s leading academic AI conference” the temperature is already falling.

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Tetris blocks concept of building and problem solving

Playing Tetris Shows That True AI Is Impossible

Here’s a look inside my brain that will show you why

The intensity of my mental processing brought about an observable brain state. The causality did not go in the other direction; the magenta brain state did not increase my conscious process. This type of observation causes a problem for those hoping to duplicate human intelligence in a computer program.

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Asia cyclist injured on the street bike after collision accident car and bike.

New Tech to Warn Drivers and Cars of Cyclists Ahead

Most people I have talked know (or knew) people who were struck by motor vehicles, either as cyclists or pedestrians

Hopefully, in ten years’ time, a bike suddenly emerging from behind a roadside dumpster will be fully visible to both the car and the driver long before a driver would usually see it today.

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Bitcoin bubble cryptocurrency with Tulip bulbs -Tulip mania market crash concept image

Bitcoin Is a Classic Bubble Investment

In large data sets, correlations are easy to find. Useful relationships are more elusive

My main interest in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin is in whether they are sound investments. I’m a value investor—I even wrote a book about that—and the short answer is no.

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the hypothetical planet nine in front of stars lit by the far away Sun

Nightflyers: A Mind Matters TV Series Review

Despite its flaws, Nightflyers does not deserve all the criticism it received.

It’s the saga of a ship of scientists making their way through the cosmos to unlock the secrets of a mysterious entity known as Volcryn. It turns out that Volcryn is not the only mystery; the Nightflyer holds many of its own secrets.

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Smart car (HUD) and augmented reality navigation technology concept. Empty cockpit in vehicle and Self-Driving mode car graphic screen. Digital matrix blue tone.

Death Spurs Demand for More Oversight of Self-Driving Cars

The National Transportation Safety Board seeks uniform standards for the previously voluntary information provided by carmakers

Despite the hype and a few bad actors, here at the Walter Bradley Institute, we believe in AI. The deployment of any technology—dams, bridges, buildings—requires care and, at times, oversight. Not to slow down progress but to protect us from ourselves. As the great scientist Richard Feynman put it, the easiest person to fool is oneself.

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Arrangement mit Zitrusfrüchten, citrus fruits

How Can Mind Interact with Matter?

Nature itself provides examples of how the immaterial interacts with the material

Nature is pervaded by immaterial forms like chirality that determine the properties of matter. This interaction is well recognized in science. It is in this sense that spirit and matter can and do interact.

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Archeological site of Phaistos in Crete

Can AI Help Us Decipher Lost Languages?

That depends mainly on the reasons we haven’t yet deciphered ancient texts

AI can speed up translation of ancient documents where only a few scholars know the language. Whether it can help with mysterious unknown languages like Minoan A is another question.

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sport cyclisme velo tour de France

I Am Giving Up Cycling

It’s just not worth it if a machine can beat me

It’s not that I cannot cycle or that I don’t like to or that I’m not good at it (for a human). But just the other day, as I pedaled along, I was passed by a motorcycle. Its speed was incredible! I appeared to be pedaling in place as the machine zoomed into the distance. In that moment, it became all too clear that my days as a meaningful human were ending. The machine was my better. Okay. That is not true. I am not going to quit cycling. And, being passed by a motorcycle—a machine we built purposely to go faster than anything our two legs can achieve—is not a meaningful measure of my prowess as a cyclist. Many Read More ›

China and Australia puzzles from flags, 3D rendering

Weighing the Costs of China’s High-Tech Power

Western nations like New Zealand, Australia, and Canada must weigh Beijing’s demands carefully

Smaller Western countries, dependent on high-tech cooperation and the promise of huge markets in China, have muted their protests over Hong Kong and even accept Chinese government censorship in their own territories. That can put them in conflict with their own stated values.

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Business colleagues review automotive design concepts wearing a virtual reality headset.

Abandoning Reality: Getting Lost in Oculus Quest’s VR

Amazing. And time to remember the history. I was the chair of the first serious conference dedicated to virtual reality twenty-five years ago

Virtual reality got its start in the US Air Force’s investigation of heads-up display for pilots. Just as you see a candy wrapper on your dashboard reflected in the windshield while you drive, pilots could have nearly a instantaneous view of instrumentation simply by focusing their eyes from far objects to near.

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Three young excited men holding joysticks

Jonathan Bartlett recalls the Rise and Fall of PlayStation 3 Supercomputers

And how, at one point, he got kicked out of a WalMart on that account. Hey, high tech means vulnerability

When the PlayStation 3 came out, there was no other computer like it (late 2006/early 2007). The design was especially appealing for two uses: high-speed graphics and scientific calculations. So, despite its reputation, it got used for purposes other than playing games. 

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Scene of modern urban transportation style. People using smartphone to request a ride sharing, autonomous bus in bus stop. Electric truck and minivan moving on the road. Subway entry near to the inter

Gladwell’s Autonomy: The Future of Our Cars But Not Ourselves?

Malcolm Gladwell’s recent film probes independence, individuality, and what cars mean to us

In order to allow for autonomy to develop, the degrees of freedom available on the public roadways will probably have to decrease.

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Student guy is buying tickets for train trip on weekend in tickets vending machine. Bearded male with backpack on his back is choosing the ticket type on a display of self service tickets automat.

Random Comments on the Passing Scene: Carbon Computing and Much More

Child porn traffickers arrested despite their attempts to hide using high tech and Bitcoin

Also, McDonald’s doubles down on self-ordering kiosks, acquires automation firm.

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Web banner abstract smooth round pebbles sea texture background

Does the Bible Talk About Near-Death Experiences?

Walter Bradley points to an incident in the life of the apostle Paul in the New Testament that sounds like a near-death experience

Paul's remarkable vision, described in 2 Corinthians 12:2, could well have been a near-death experience. He was once stoned and assumed to be dead, his body abandoned outside city walls. But he revived. 

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Mobile phone addiction - Young man texting or looking at social media at night - insomnia, online obsession concept. Banner panorama.

The Feed: A Mind Matters TV Series Review

I started out thinking that the show was just the usual ho-hum tyrant-AI-takes-over flick and it is so good to be wrong!

Imagine a world where your mind is stored on social media. Now, what happens if someone steals, then abandons it. What will you do?

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The difference between right and wrong

Will Self-Driving Cars Change Moral Decision-Making?

It’s time to separate science fact from science fiction about self-driving cars

Irish playwright John Waters warns of a time when we might have to grant moral discretion to computer algorithms, just as Christians now grant to the all-knowing but often inscrutable decrees of God. Not likely.

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