Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

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Red sports car Josh Rinard Unsplash

What Vehicle Would Bob Buy?

Both empirical generalized information (EGI) and the Gini metric can generate useful information

Contrary to traditional Fisherian hypothesis testing, it is possible to create models after viewing the data and still quantify the generality of the model.

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asian business woman in a heated discussion

How Tech Savvy Helps Hong Kong Hold Off China

Several other factors help, including spirituality and a sense of unique identity as Hongkongers

The stakes are high. Hongkongers have been energized by the dramatic recent win for democracy at the polls. But so have the police.

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Shakespeare's Globe Theatre by the river Thames in Londob, UK

Can AI Prove That Shakespeare Had Ghostwriters?

An author’s unique style is like a fingerprint. AI can fill it in

Turning AI loose on some of these vexing problems should give literary scholars more to write about rather than less. The AI verdict may not always be right but it is bound to be food for thought.

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Milchstraße Panorama

Will AI End Astrophysics As We Know It?

Astrophysicists will certainly be spending much less time staring at very slowly changing skies

Far from reducing jobs in astrophysics, AI is likely to create many more of them. As far more information becomes available, talented people will be needed to interpret, teach it, and write about it for the public.

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Dog looking for drugs in luggage storage

Robot Police Dogs Spark Civil Rights Questions

Boston Dynamics says that its lease agreements require that the robots not be used to “physically harm or intimidate people.”

The civil liberties group’s concerns stem from the fact that there are few or no current legal restrictions on how the robots are to be used.

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Coffee shop interior design with white chairs and violet of flower.

Why the Millennial High-Tech Urban Lifestyle May Soon Cost More

In the wake of WeWork’s woes, analysts are questioning the business models we love

The problem is, WeWork is not a technology company. Neither is Airbnb or Uber. They all use software via the internet to leverage surplus physical space, whether the space is in an office building, a private home, or a privately owned car. 

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Tesla Cybertruck

What Can the Cybertruck Tell Us About Silicon Valley?

Does Elon Musk’s view of human beings help account for his new truck’s massive armor?

Pardon me but, while I know that a good truck needs to be tough, I never thought it needed to be a Mad Max-styled warrior vehicle. Apparently, Musk does. Why?

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Clouds tunnel

Do Near-Death Experiences Defy Science?

NDEs do not defy science. They sometimes challenge human senses. which are based on our biology

For example, if the human eye’s usual limitations were not a factor, previously unknown colors—which we know from science to exist—might be perceived.

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Black balls white balls Adobe Stock

Machine learning: Harnessing the Power of Empirical Generalized Information (EGI)

We can calculate a probability bound from entropy. Entropy also happens to be an upper bound on the binomial distribution

We want our calculation to demonstrate the notion that if we have high accuracy and a small model, then we have high confidence of generalizing. Intuitively, then, we add the model size to the accuracy and subtract this quantity from the entropy of having absolutely no information about the problem.

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Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla’s Cybertruck Runs on … Hype?

When planning for the future, Tesla should maybe think reality, not Mad Max

The steel ball thrown at the unbreakable window broke the glass. Twice. Unfortunately, Musk had to spend the rest of the demo with a damaged car in the background.

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digital graphic hologram

How To Be Human: A Mind Matters Short Film Review

This new film turns a conventional sci-fi storytelling premise upside down

Most AI sci-fi chronicles the struggle of sentient artificially intelligent (AI) beings grappling with how to become human. That makes sense from the viewer’s perspective. If I firmly believed that our humble video game algorithms would evolve into thinking, feeling beings, then I would, of course, conclude that they would struggle as they grappled with their newfound humanity. But a recent DUST release, How To Be Human, takes that narrative—and turns it upside down. Rather than an AI struggling to become human in a human-dominated world, we watch a human struggling to be more like an artificial intelligence in an AI-dominated world. Kimi (one of the protagonists) undertakes a journey in which she sheds all those things that make her Read More ›

Upload To The Cloud

Arctang Knows He Must Choose

Arctang stood aghast. “How could you believe any of this? Do you really think you are just a program on a computer?" —Trumind Serial, Part 8

“I can give you a taste of the future even before you undergo the operation,” Eclar explained, “I have a nouspace unit right here with me.”

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hot pizza closeup on a table in the background of a group or company of people friends

Pizza Robots Get the Pink Slip

True, the doughbots didn’t make good pizza. But is the message about them or something else?

I have nothing against robots. (I am against bad pizza.) I do, however, get very tired of the science fiction-fantasy of humanity-squashing robots. And that’s all it is: A fantasy.

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Concept of brain surgery or neurosurgery. Neurosurgeon holding scalpel in hand over 3D anatomical model of human brain. Brain surgery operations for treatment of diseases - tumor, aneurysm, epilepsy
Scalpel on model of brain

Some People Think and Speak with Only Half a Brain

A new study sheds light on how they do it

A range of neuroscience research findings is more readily explained by assuming that some aspects of thought–– abstract intellectual thought and free will–– are immaterial.

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light at the end of the tunnel

Why Medical Scientists Take Near-Death Experiences Seriously Now

Today, we know much more about what happens to people when they die—and what we are learning does not support materialism

Near-death experiences are generally seen as real, even among hardcore skeptics, and research focuses on how to account for them.

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Digital numbers Marcus Spiske Unsplash 1526374870839-e155464bb9b2

Your Computer Is an Autistic Savant

It knows everything except what matters

Computers, like a friend of mine, are great at very narrowly defined tasks, like playing Go, retrieving facts, and calculating correlations. But they are utterly unreliable for anything requiring true understanding, wisdom, or common sense.

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Missing piece

Machine Learning: Decision Trees Can Solve Murders

Decision trees increase our chance at a right answer. We can see how that works in a mystery board game like Clue

Entropy is a concept in information theory that characterizes the number of choices available when a probability distribution is involved. Understanding how it works helps us make better guesses.

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Artificial Intelligence and Transhumanism - illustration

Transhumanism—Is It a Dangerous Idea?

Some Silicon Valley greats hope to merge with machines to live forever. But what then?

The late philosopher Jerry Fodor (1935—2017) said that the reason “we’re all materialists” is that the alternatives seem even worse. Transhumanism, had he lived to see it develop, would give him pause for further reflection. 

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protest in hong kong 2019 june 12

Hong Kong: The Dread That Lies Ahead

They fear the fate of the Uyghurs, under "complete video surveillance"

They dread 2047 when Hong Kong comes completely under the jurisdiction of the Communist Party and is subject to the CCP’s rule of law rather than Hong Kong’s own laws under the current “one country, two systems” regime.

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