Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

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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.

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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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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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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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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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Ad Exec Quit the Industry Over Big Tech’s Relentless Snooping

He was shocked by the brazen attitude to invasion of privacy
As George Gilder warns, if social media are not charging us for the service, it is because we are the product. Their surveillance, in order to maintain profitability, becomes the price we pay for being the product. Read More ›
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How Much Difference Can AI Deep Fakes Really Make in Elections?

Maybe not much and that truth should make us uncomfortable
Lawmakers in a free society who are very concerned about deepfakes might want to specify exactly how they are more dangerous than innuendo and insinuation which, by their very nature, are much harder to detect and address. Read More ›
Brain under water 3D render, subconscious mental life and brainstorm idea.

Prominent Psychologist Offers Non-Reductive Approach to Consciousness in Journal Article

A new edition of Communications of the Blyth Institute highlights mind, consciousness, and machine learning

Rakover presents an initial sketch of a methodology that allows a better conceptualization of the method by which mental states get moved in and out of consciousness. The edition also features a review of Scott D. G. Ventureyra’s On the Origin of Consciousness.

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Will Facebook’s New Focus on “Community” Groups Prevent Abuses?

When you look a little closer at the proposal, you will see that the answer is no

Facebook's move to a more group-focused interface gives the appearance of stronger privacy and community orientation but the structure and logic of social media ensure that these are appearances rather than realities.

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Artificial intelligence electronic circuit. Microchip with glowing brain. 3D rendered illustration.

Science Uprising: Stop Ignoring Evidence for the Existence of the Human Mind!

Materialism enables irrational ideas about ourselves to compete with rational ones on an equal basis. It won’t work
If materialism were true, we would probably already have found the consciousness gene and the wobbly free will knob in the brain. Instead, we are left with the infamously Hard Problem of Consciousness and bizarre materialist attempts to make it Go Away. Read More ›
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Bacteria

McPathogens: Are McDonalds’ Order Kiosks Clean? Another Look

Can rebuttals exposing fake news be fake news themselves? Judge for yourself
I snapped a picture of a kiosk screen shown below during a recent visit to a McDonald’s in Waco, Texas. The picture is taken at an angle where smudge leavings are most visible. Read More ›
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Will Space Aliens Become a New Majority Religion?

Nearly as many young Americans believe in ET as in God, says religion prof

Popular culture is looking for high-tech ETs to be its saviors and Silicon Valley aspires to become those ETs. What could possibly go wrong?

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Detail of an old office machine used for calculations

Machine Learning Dates Back To at Least 300 BC

The key to machine learning is not machines but mathematics

Machine learning is not a new technique, but is simply a modern extension of a tool that we have had in our toolbox since the days of the Babylonians. It continues to serve us well to help us extrapolate our data to estimate the value of unknown results and to help find the signal in noisy data.

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In 2018, Sci-Fi Phoned the Seventies, It Seems…

…for high-tech overpopulation scares. How else to explain Avengers’ Thanos?, asks Eric Holloway
In last year’s Avengers movie Infinity War, the main villain is an alien named Thanos who kills half the population on each planet, to enable sustainability. Read More ›
Man's Hand Holding Mobile Phone Showing Electric Meter Reading
Close-up Of A Man's Hand Holding Mobile Phone Showing Electric Meter Reading And Holding Flashlight

Scientific American: No Consensus on Smartphones’ Effect on Teen Brains

Others continue to wonder why teens seem comparatively fragile
The editor's view is that "change is unceasing, and different does not necessarily mean worse – despite the fears of the “cluck-cluckers." We recommend several other sources for alternative context and background. Read More ›
robot sit down and thinking

How Do You Explain That Machines Won’t Really Think Like People?

Computation cannot become non-computational thought but it is difficult to prove that something can’t happen.
Jonathan Bartlett notes that some analysts resort to roundabout methods of explaining the problem. Read More ›