Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

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Prof: Google Must Not Choose the Next President

Robert Epstein, a Clinton supporter in 2016, thinks Big Tech meddling is a risk. And, he says, he isn’t planning on suicide
He doesn’t want Silicon Valley to use its near-monopoly power over search engines and social media to manipulate the information available to the lone voter in the booth. Read More ›
Urban traffic Pexels

Are self-driving cars really safer?

A former Uber executive says no. Before we throw away the Driver’s Handbook…
Current claims that self-driving cars are safer are hype, not measurement. Meanwhile, Congress is expected to push for legislation next month to pave the way for widespread use of self-driving vehicles without a consensus on safety standards. Read More ›
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Sorry, AI can’t do our thinking for us

J. C. Derrick asked Robert J. Marks whether AI can outthink people or make humans immortal
Creativity, Marks argues, can only exist if the programmer places it in the computer program, which means that the program itself is not creative. People have tried "a bunch of different things and nothing seems to work. They can’t get smarter programs that way." Read More ›
Critic Company Nigerian youth sci fi filmmakers

Nigerian Teens Create Sci-Fi With Cracked Smartphone

They love sci-fi and, well, if you are going to start, you have to start somewhere
The teens' project, Critics Company, has alerted people to the possibilities of digital media like YouTube to tutor themselves in skills that can fetch money or jobs or even help them start their own businesses. Read More ›
Autonomous cars on a road with visible connection

How self-driving cars can really work today

At Mind Matters News, we advocate self-driving technology that doesn’t confuse human and machine powers
A commitment to engineering over techno-utopia has bumped Mercedes, which has got the okay for driverless valet parking, into the lead in self-driving technology. Read More ›
Superior Artificial Intelligence Wining Chess Concept

Confirmed: DeepMind’s Deepest Mind Is on Leave

The chess champ computer system just never made money
Co-founder Mustafa Suleyman is a philosopher and social justice activist who hoped to use the technology for fundamental transformations. But his AI ethics board lasted about seven days at Google. Read More ›
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Crosswalk with fake car and pedestrians

Does a Western Bias Affect Self-Driving Cars?

How a driver is expected to act varies by culture
Self-driving cars (autonomous vehicles) will need to adapt to different rules and we will, very likely, need to change those rules to make the vehicles work. Read More ›
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Mathematics Gives Us Life Skills and Mental Tools

Unfortunately, some professors, like the one who attacked my recent article, seem to prefer pedantry
What makes you an expert today is not your clarity of thought but rather your ability to conform your thoughts entirely to the constraints of your profession’s vocabulary. Read More ›
Man with cardboard box on his head on grey background

The Machine Knows You Are Angry

Okay, it knows if your facial muscles are twisted in a certain way… does the difference matter?
Five accomplished scientists representing different camps reviewed over a thousand studies of machine emotion recognition. Essentially, there seems no clear science basis for the claims made. Read More ›
Girl pushing big stone hard, impossible and useless concept

Doing the Impossible: A Step-by-Step Guide

Often, in life as in calculus, when our implicit assumptions as to why something can’t be done are made explicit, they can be disproven
Calculus textbooks are the most dry and boring presentations of mathematics I have ever seen, even though calculus offers some of the most amazing insights. Unfortunately, most mathematics texts teach only the mathematics, never the insights. Read More ›
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Dolphinese: The Idea That Animals Think As We Do Dies Hard

But first it can lead us down strange paths
Down one of them, some researchers met a dolphin. Unfortunately for the dolphin. Read More ›
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A simple triangle can disprove materialism

Conventional descriptions of material processes do not help much when we are trying to account for abstract thought
Philosopher Edward Feser notes that there is a kind of mismatch between concepts and ideas on the one hand, which are abstract and completely general, and on the other hand, physical symbols and other material representations, which are always concrete, specific, and individual. Read More ›
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A Closer Look at Google’s Search Engine Bias

If Google’s CEO honestly believes that there is no political bias, that is, in itself, a big part of the problem
If Sundar Pichai thinks that there is no bias in Google's algorithms, he is arguing against the nature of writing algorithms itself—not a good position for a computer guy to be in. Read More ›
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What Others Are Saying About the New Google Insider’s Revelations

The documents' authenticity is not in dispute. What to do about them is another matter
Perhaps we cannot have a realistic discussion of the problems Google.gov creates unless we start with a willingness to pay for search engine services. That allows us to bargain as equals with respect to terms. Read More ›
Machine Learning object detection and artificial intelligence concept. Application detect object in picture. (Blur human face)

Whistleblower: Google Told Cops To Do a “Wellness Check” on Him

He can be seen doing a sort of perp walk on the video; some portions transcribed here

In the documents Vorhies unearthed,  Google seemed to be "intending to scope the information landscape so that they could create their own version of what was objectively true."

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Photo by Daniel Olah

Is Google a Cult? Or Does It Just Act That Way?

Project Veritas announces that a new rebel Googler has sent nearly 1000 documents on algorithm bias to the DOJ

While we prepare a news story on Zach Vorhies' revelations, it may be worth asking why one of the world’s largest companies has developed what appears to be the atmosphere of a political cult.

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Old Trumpet Brick Wall

Fan Tries Programming AI Jazz, Gets Lots and Lots of AI…

Jazz is spontaneous, but spontaneous noise is not jazz

As Gioia says, jazz depends on the “personality of the individual musician.” And the blindspot of AI creativity is: There’s no one home.

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San Francisco aerial view from sea side. Port of San Francisco in the front. City downtown and skyscrapers at sunrise.

A Silicon Valley Insider Asks the Awkward Questions

Billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel, speaking at COSM in October, has a history of challenging Valley orthodoxies

His question, “How can Google use the rhetoric of ‘borderless’ benefits to justify working with the country whose ‘Great Firewall’ has imposed a border on the internet itself?”, is timely. China’s government uses high tech for, among other things, sophisticated racial profiling.

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Herd of African elephants in National Park, Uganda

Elephants Who Fly — or Become “Persons” — Are Magic

Okay, it's impossible. But then why do thinkers who disbelieve the one believe the other?

For decades, researchers were transfixed with the idea of humanizing great apes by raising them among humans and teaching them language. Emerging from the ruins and recriminations of the collapse, philosophy prof Don Ross has a new idea: Let’s start with elephants instead.

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