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Why Does Mathematics Interpret Reality?

In the latest issue of Communications of the Blyth Institute, Gordon Mullings presents his account of why mathematics and physics are connected

The amazing applicability of mathematics to the real world has caused many mathematicians, philosophers, and physicists to pause throughout history. How can something as abstract and ideal as mathematics apply to the real world?

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Schrift

Unexplainability and Incomprehensibility of AI

In the domain of AI safety, the more accurate the explanation is, the less comprehensible it is

With AI decision-making, a non-trivial explanation can’t be both accurate and understandable but it can be inaccurate and comprehensible. There is a huge difference between understanding something and almost understanding it.

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Photo by Hannes Richter

Bernardo Kastrup: Consciousness cannot have evolved

How many joules of consciousness would make you a human instead of a chimpanzee? How many more joules of consciousness would make you a genius?

Computer scientist and philosopher Bernardo Kastrup argues that evolution deals with things that can be measured quantitatively but consciousness cannot be quantified. 

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Futuristic and technological scanning of the face of a beautiful woman for facial recognition and scanning to ensure personal safety.

Teaching Computers Common Sense Is Very Hard

Those fancy voice interfaces are little more than immense lookup tables guided by complex statistics

Researchers at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) published a paper recently, deflating claims of rapid progress toward giving computers common sense.

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An abstract computer generated fractal design. A fractal is a never-ending pattern. Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales.

Are Divergent Series Really an “Invention of the Devil”?

The real villain in the piece is horrendously non-specific concepts of infinity. But that can be fixed

It turns out that hyperreal numbers (i.e., infinities that obey algebraic rules) resolve many of the paradoxes that previously plagued conceptions of divergent series. It is now possible to assign specific values to divergent series.

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the-expane-new-terra-season-4

The Expanse, Season 4: The Best So Far?

A Mind Matters Perspective: Unlike critic Zac Giaimo, I preferred Season 3 but it really depends on what you are looking for

Season 4 is, as critic Zac Giaimo notes, integral to character building and plot development for the overall series. I gave it 9/10 in an earlier review. However, I don’t know if I completely agree with Giaimo’s Amazonian optimism. Season 3 set up urgent questions that should be answered by the end of the show, preferably beginning in Season 5.

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Two female women medical doctors looking at x-rays in a hospital.

AI Can Help Spot Cancers—But It’s No Magic Wand

When I spoke last month about how AI can help with cancer diagnoses, I failed to appreciate some of the complexities of medical diagnosis

As a lawyer with medical training reminded us recently, any one image is a snapshot in time, a brief part of the patient’s whole story. And it’s the whole story that matters, not a single image, perhaps taken out of context.

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Young birch with black and white birch bark in spring in birch grove against the background of other birches

Researchers: Trees “sense” their height and weight

We have only recently discovered how complex plant communications are

Trees rarely just fall over but we seldom stop to think about why they don’t. Manipulating the weight of downy birch trees, the team discovered that a tree can adjust its stem thickening in relation to its height, especially if the stem is free to move a bit. They were able to test this thesis by studying a mutant tree that sadly lacks that ability.

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Citation

Anti-Plagiarism Software Goof: Paper Rejected for Repeat Citations

The scholar was obliged by discipline rules to cite the flagged information repetitively

Not only was Jean-François Bonnefon’s paper rejected by conventional anti-plagiarism software but the rejection didn’t make any sense. Bonnefon, research director at Toulouse School of Economics, was informed of “a high level of textual overlap with previous literature” (plagiarism) when he was citing scientists’ affiliations, standard descriptions, and papers cited by other—information he was obliged to cite accurately, according to a standard format. “It would have taken two [minutes] for a human to realise the bot was acting up,” he wrote on Twitter. “But there is obviously no human in the loop here. We’re letting bots make autonomous decisions to reject scientific papers.” Reaction to the post by Dr Bonnefon, who is currently a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute Read More ›

バイナリーコードの背景

Superintelligent AI Is Still a Myth

Neither the old classical approaches nor the new data scientific angle can make any headway on good ol’ common sense

The official Winograd Schema Challenge, organized by Levesque and friends to see if AI could learn common sense, was retired officially in 2016 for the embarrassing reason that even the well-funded bleeding age Google Brain team performed poorly on a test set of a few hundred questions.

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A concept of a city being hit by a weapon of mass destruction suffering terrible consequences caused by terrorism or an act of war by a hostile country launching a devastating attack with atomic bomb

What Can We Learn from History About Stopping AI Warfare?

International agreements can work, but only under certain circumstances

Historically, the key difference between the international weapons ban agreements that have been honored and the agreements that have not been honored is that the honored ones involved weapons of mass destruction (WMD). An effective ban on malicious AI requires the global community to first agree that such a form (or use) of AI would be a WMD.

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Fake News on TV. The correspondent as the doll controls the puppeteer. Lying information to trick people on TV

AI in War Means Deepfakes as Well as Killerbots

In its Gerasimov and Primikov doctrines of warfare, Russia makes this clear

In 2013, Russian Army General Valery Gerasimov published a strategic doctrine (the Gerasimov Doctrine) where he described applying non-military activities, including false or fake stories and publications, trolls, gas-lighting and technology generally as a form of warfare, like combat. The use of audio and video deep-fakes is expanding in Ukraine, the Baltic States, Western nations, and Africa.

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What To Ask a Programmer in a Job Interview

Does your candidate have the inner attributes needed to grow as a developer and face new challenges? Key questions can help you find out

Good computer programmers are very opinionated people. If you find a computer programmer who is not opinionated, that’s usually because the programmer hasn’t taken the time to think about the task. Those types of people tend to be order-takers, not inventors.

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Polygonal art of Bullish vs Bearish

Ransacking Flawed Data For Hidden Treasures Seldom Ends Well

The Internet provides a firehose of data that financial market researchers can use to interpret human behavior—but cherry-picked patterns usually vanish

The explosion of data has vastly increased the number of coincidental patterns that can be discovered by tenacious researchers. If there are a relatively fixed number of useful patterns and the number of coincidental patterns is growing exponentially, then the ratio of useful patterns to useless patterns must necessarily be getting closer to zero every day.

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Pro Tips for Hiring the Best Computer Programmers

It’s easier when we stop to think about how programming differs from other jobs

Hiring a programmer is different because you are rarely looking for a fixed set of skills. Nearly everything the programmer does is an invention. The thing you are usually hiring the programmer for is not a fixed task but the ability to adapt to whatever is coming up next. For example, twelve years ago, nobody knew the degree to which mobile phones would run our businesses. The idea of hiring mobile developers was unheard of.

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Coronavirus, MERS virus, Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome, 3D illustration

Censorship? But Coronavirus Doesn’t Care!

Back when SARS was a threat, social media wasn’t the giant it is today. Censorship, secrecy, and detention are less effective tools of control now

Coronavirus provides a test. The Chinese Communist Party offers mainland Chinese people security and prosperity in exchange for the sacrifice of personal freedom. But when the government cannot uphold its end of the agreement—security—the people may become less tolerant of the human rights violations. And the age of information makes it much easier to discover them.

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Quantum particle, quantum mechanics

Quantum Mechanics Shows That Our Universe Has Purpose

Not only can two physically separated particles influence each other, they can influence each other through time

Recent experiments in entanglement of particles in time as well as space show that our entire universe is imbued with final causality within its very fabric. This final causality must come from some source beyond the universe.

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Drone monitoring barbed wire fence on state border or restricted area. Modern technology for security.

Iran Conflict Shows Why the US Needs Autonomous Lethal AI Weapons

The bipartisan National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence recently released a sobering report about the U.S. lagging in development of killer robots

To remain competitive, the U.S. military must respond and adapt to new warfare technology including weapons using AI, sometimes called killer robots. This includes autonomous AI that acts on its own. Chillingly, unlike atomic weapons, the tools to construct lethal AI weapons are cheap and readily available to all.

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Würfel Fact oder Fake

Do Bots Spreading False News Really Threaten Democracy?

Researchers found that humans spread more false news than bots

The fact that humans outdo bots in spreading false news creates a huge practical problem for would-be reformers. If they want to rub out false news, banning bots from social media would be less effective than banning people.

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shopping online at home concept.Cartons in a shopping cart on a laptop keyboard

Does the Information Society Need a Free Market?

The Gilder Fellows’ July Seminar will wrestle with why Millennials favor socialism

Many Millennials yearn for socialism but, according to the Gilder Fellows scholars, socialism is—at best—irrelevant to the challenges of an information society.

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