Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

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Peaceful old man looking at his hound and holding the paw of it. Tranquil man is sitting in wheelchair and wearing eyeglasses. Hound is sitting near the chair

1000 Dogs Tested on Standardized Dog IQ test. What Was Found?

There were no breed differences for short-term memory or logical reasoning but some differences in how much they needed to interact with humans when problem-solving

Assessing dog intelligence is one of those sensitive areas because of the difficulty in agreeing on what to measure. Experts tend to say that border collies are the smartest dog breed but the response they may get is, “My shih tzu understands me and I am a difficult person to understand!” Nonetheless, a Finnish research group decided to try their hand at administering a battery of standardized intelligence tests (smartDOG) to over 1000 dogs between 1 and 8 years old, of 13 different breeds, with a minimum of 40 dogs from each breed. Here’s what they were testing for: The battery involves measuring different cognitive traits, from spatial problem solving to logical reasoning, to impulse control and an ability to Read More ›

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Abstract digital human face.  Artificial intelligence concept of big data or cyber security. 3D illustration

If Consciousness Is Not Physical, How Can an AI Duplicate It?

Robert Lawrence Kuhn interviewed Berkeley philosopher Hubert Dreyfus on the question before his death in 2017

At Closer to Truth, Robert Lawrence Kuhn interviewed the late philosopher Hubert Dreyfus (1929–2017) a couple of years back on the question “Is consciousness entirely physical.” The interview was released May 18, 2022 (10:03 min). Here’s the big question about consciousness, our inner experience of what things feel like. Is consciousness a product of the physical world alone? Because if consciousness is the output of the physical brain by itself, however complex, then consciousness as physicalism would defeat those who believe, or hope for, the existence of nonphysical realities. Some philosophers (physicalists) do maintain that consciousness is entirely physical or, more commonly, they dance around the point. For example, philosopher David Papineau said in 2020, “If only we could stop Read More ›

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Doctor Helps get up . Sick . Elderly Patient.

When It’s Not Clear If a Disorder Is From the Brain or the Mind…

Neurologist Andrew Knox explains to Robert J. Marks that some psychological problems appear as if they were brain problems — yet there’s nothing wrong with the brain

In the podcast released last Thursday, Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviewed pediatric neurologist Dr. Andrew Knox from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health on “Ways the brain can break” (#220, January 5, 2023). What follows is Part 4 of the discussion, “When it’s not clear if a disorder is from the brain or the mind…” Here are Part 1: How our brains are — and aren’t — like computers, Part 2: What is happening when children have strokes or dementia signs?, and Part 3: How do strokes, dementia offer insight into how the brain works? https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/12/Mind-Matters-220-Andrew-Knox-Episode-1.mp3 This portion begins at roughly 25:15 min. A partial transcript and notes, and Additional Resources follow. Epileptic Read More ›

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Digital chatbot, robot application, conversation assistant, AI Artificial Intelligence concept.

Note to Parents: Grooming and Wokeness Are Embedded in Chatbots

With or without tuning, all AI chatbots are biased one way or another. AI without bias is like water without wet

First impressions of a person can be wrong. Further interactions can reveal disturbing personality warts. Contrary to initial impressions, we might find out they lie, they are disturbingly woke,  they can’t do simple math, their politics is on the extreme left, and they have no sense of humor or common sense.   I have just described Open AI’s GPT3 chatbot, ChatGPT. Initially, users are gobsmacked by the its performance. Its flashy prose responses to simple queries look amazing.  But become roommates with the chatbot for a few hours and its shortcomings become evident .  It can’t get its facts straight, can’t do simple math problems, hates Donald Trump, and is being groomed to be “woke.” Its performance warts are so numerous that Bradley Center Senior Fellow Gary N. Smith hoists a Read More ›

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Health care researchers working in life science laboratory, medical science technology research work for test a vaccine, coronavirus covid-19 vaccine protection cure treatment

Gloomy News from a Nature Article: Is the End of Science Near?

A study in the premier science journal notes the long term falling off of truly original findings, as opposed to endless citations of others’ findings

Science writer Tibi Puiu reports on new findings that reflect what many today, have begun to suspect: Over the past few decades, the number of science and technology research papers published has soared, rising at a rate of nearly 10% each year. In the biomedical field alone, there are more than a million papers pouring into the PubMed database each year, or around two studies per minute… The new study revealed that the “disruptiveness” of contemporary science has decreased, rendering ever diminishing returns. In this particular context, authors define disruptiveness as the degree to which a study departs from previous literature and renders it obsolete. In other words, a highly disruptive study is one that completely changes the way we Read More ›

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Technology and network concept

Is ChatGPT Solely a Neural Network? I Tested That…

Changing the random number test to a "computer easy, human hard" test requires simply that we ask ChatGPT to reverse the random number. It couldn't.

ChatGPT is a direct descendent of GPT-3, and is a fancy form of a fancy machine learning algorithm called a neural network. For an overview of all of ChatGPT’s neural network complexity, here is a fun article. However, all that is beside the point. The important thing about a neural network: It can only generate what is in its training data. Therefore, ChatGPT can only produce what is in its training data. ChatGPT’s training data does not include the conversation you or I are having with ChatGPT. Therefore, if something novel occurs in the conversation, ChatGPT cannot reproduce it. That is, if ChatGPT is a neural network. Conversely, if ChatGPT reproduces novel text from the conversation, then ipso facto ChatGPT is not a Read More ›

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Screaming portrait of capuchin wild monkey

Study: Monkeys, Not Humans, Likely Made Ancient Brazilian Tools

The stone objects, dated from 50,000 years ago, look like the ones made by capuchin monkeys today

There’s a danger in looking too hard for evidence of our ancient ancestors. Sometimes we could be seeing things that aren’t there. One group of stone tools from 50,000 years ago could, it is now suggested, have been made by monkeys: Excavations at Pedra Furada, a group of 800 archaeological sites in the state of Piauí, Brazil, have turned up stone shards believed to be examples of simple stone tools. Made from quartzite and quartz cobbles, the oldest ones appear to be up to 50,000 years old, which would put them among the earliest evidence of human habitation in the Western Hemisphere. However, the tools also bear a striking resemblance to the stone tools currently made by the capuchin monkeys Read More ›

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Deep learning neural network AI Artificial intelligence concept

Programmer: Deep Learning Can’t Give Us Computers That Think

Artificial general intelligence (AGI) — computers that think like humans — would need to be able to generalize, which he says Deep Learning doesn’t do

At Medium late last year, a programmer/researcher who writes under the name “Rebel Science,” assessed Deep Learning, a favorite of the self-driving car quest, as “useless” because it can’t generalize: The biggest problem with DL is its inherent inability to effectively generalize. Without generalization, edge cases are an insurmountable problem, something that the autonomous vehicle industry found out the hard way after wasting more than $100 billion by betting on DL. Rebel Science, “Deep Learning Is Not Just Inadequate for Solving AGI, It Is Useless” at Medium (Nov 2, 2022) Displaying for readers a picture of a bicycle, he continues, A deep neural network cannot perceive this bicycle unless it has been previously trained to recognize it. Generalization is the Read More ›

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3D illustration of Escher's inspired stairs

How Surreal Artist MC Escher Influenced Physicist Roger Penrose

Escher’s mathematical art was all the more remarkable because he had no formal training in mathematics

Last month, Robert Lawrence Kuhn interviewed eminent British mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose on a number of topics, including the influence of surrealist artist M. C. Escher (December 9, 2022/32:00 min). Here is a transcribed selection from the second part of the discussion in Part 1 above*, beginning around the 12-minute mark, with some notes: Robert Lawrence Kuhn: We talked about the impossible Penrose triangle which really opens up another area of your life in terms of visual representations of remarkable things. Penrose tiling really new ways of thing of seeing visual representation of fiery fundamental geometric and algebraic transformations and things. But what I wanted to ask you is, as youdeveloped that you had this interaction with the artist Read More ›

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Sick asian senior woman fainted unconscious at the table, fall face down,elderly female patient stop breathing due to heart failure, cardiac arrest,severe arrhythmia, sudden unexpected death syndrome.

How Do Strokes, Dementia Offer Insight Into How the Brain Works?

Neurologist Andrew Knox thinks the brain may store memories is an associative scheme, where previous memories are used to build up new ones

In the podcast released last Thursday, Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviewed pediatric neurologist Dr. Andrew Knox from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health on “Ways the brain can break” (#220, January 5, 2023). What follows is from Part 3 of the discussion. Here’s Part 1: How our brains are — and aren’t — like computers and Part 2: What is happening when children have strokes or dementia signs? https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/12/Mind-Matters-220-Andrew-Knox-Episode-1.mp3 This portion begins at roughly 18:25 min. A partial transcript and notes, and Additional Resources follow. The discussion began with the question, “How does the brain store memories?” Andrew Knox: There are different schemes for storing memories, but patients with Alzheimer’s seem to have Read More ›

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the drawings from the ceiling of Altamira cave in Santillana Del Mar, Cantabria, Spain

Do Cave Paintings From 20,000 Years Ago Show Symbolic Writing?

In an article in the Cambridge Archeological Journal, researchers say they’ve deciphered the dots and Y’s among the animal paintings

London-based wood carving conservator Ben Bacon has, with academic colleagues, shaken up Ice Age paleontology by demonstrating that the marks on the 20,000-year-old cave paintings of animals found across Europe could be interpreted as a lunar calendar timing their reproductive cycles: Prof Paul Pettitt, of Durham University, said he was “glad he took it seriously” when Mr Bacon contacted him. “The results show that Ice Age hunter-gatherers were the first to use a systemic calendar and marks to record information about major ecological events within that calendar.” News, “Londoner solves 20,000-year Ice Age drawings mystery” at BBC (January 5, 2023) The paper is open access. Bacon had spent many hours both on the internet and in the British Library, studying Read More ›

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blue bird on brown tree branch

What? Twitter is “neutral”? A thoughtful engineer responds

Despite appearances, Twitter is not a conventional public square, but a private corporation

This column by Texas State University engineering prof Karl Stephan is republished with thanks from Engineering Ethics (January 2, 2023) Back when I started this blog in 2006, the phrase “social media” was hardly used by anybody, according to Google Trends.  It began to climb above 1% of its current frequency of use around 2008, possibly in connection with the elections of that year, and has been climbing ever since.  Twitter, the social-media format that has become the default medium of choice for announcements by Presidents on down, was also founded in 2006.  From an obscure techie-speak term, it has turned into a routine and near-universal medium of expression that its leadership has claimed is as neutral as they can make it.  But Read More ›

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Internet law concept

You’ve Got a Robot Lawyer in Your Pocket (Really?)

The DoNotPay AI lawyer program might be useful for fighting parking tickets but it is unsuited to serious litigation where much more complex issues are at stake

The Gutfeld! program on Fox News on January 6, 2023, recently had fun discussing robots replacing lawyers to practice law. In faux serious rhyme, Greg Gutfeld intoned: “Can a computer that’s self aware, keep you from the electric chair?” Sparking the conversation was the report that an artificial intelligence (AI) smartphone app was slated to assist a defendant fighting a parking ticket in a currently-undisclosed courtroom: Gigabytes of text could stream forth addressing the near infinite number of questions raised about robot lawyers. For now, let’s just explore the “robot lawyer” app built by DoNotPay. The company’s website declares: “The DoNotPay app is the home of the world’s first robot lawyer. Fight corporations, beat bureaucracy and sue anyone at the Read More ›

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Lost and confused man walks puzzled on a penrose triangle. Perplexed person looks disoriented ahead, don't know which way to choose. Surreal and conceptual scene, mental maze, optical illusion

Nobelist Roger Penrose Talks About His Impossible Triangle

At Closer to Truth, the mathematical physicist explains to Robert Lawrence Kuhn how he understands the relationship between mathematics, the mind, and the physical world

Last month, Robert Lawrence Kuhn interviewed eminent British mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose on the relationship between mathematics, the mind, and the physical universe (December 9, 2022/32:00 min). Penrose likes to illustrate the relationship between the three with an “impossible” triangle (see below). Here are a couple of transcribed selections from the first part of the discussion in Part 1*, concerning the Penrose Triangle, with some notes: Robert Lawrence Kuhn: Let’s start with your grand metaphysical framework, your three worlds — three mysteries: the physical world, the mental world, the platonic or mathematical world — each connected to the other two in your famous diagram of an equilateral triangle. What’s the origin of this vision of yours of foundational reality? Read More ›

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photorealistic smoke sim in a sci-fi/knolling case - AI Generated

A Physicist Rejects the Idea That We Live in a Sim Universe

At IAI News, Marcelo Gleiser worries that the claim that we are simulated beings with no free will reduces our ability to tackle the problems humanity faces

Dartmouth College physicist Marcelo Gleiser insists that the reality in which we live is not a simulation by advanced aliens or other intelligences — and that the fact that it isn’t is important. As the summary of his essay at IAI News explains, The idea that we are living in a simulation has become commonplace. Elon Musk, for example, thinks it is almost certain we are living in a simulation. But the simulation hypothesis comes up against insurmountable problems, and is, in the end, an excuse for us not to sort out our real moral failings… Marcelo Gleiser, “Reality is not a simulation and why it matters” at IAI News (January 4, 2023) The “simulation” idea may sound pretty far-fetched Read More ›

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Drug Addiction And Mental Function

This New Year, Resolve to Dive Headfirst into Life

Dr. Anna Lembke urges people to abandon isolating addictions and choose honesty and relationship instead

With the new year in full swing, people are considering resolutions and asking themselves what habits they need to change. For me, my negative habits almost entirely revolve around technology. Too much time checking social media, email, browsing Twitter and YouTube, going down the cat video abyss. Skimming news, articles, photos, and videos, diminishes the attention span and leaves one feeling empty, restless, and in greater need of a “fix.” It’s a socially acceptable drug, but no less addicting than the others. Lembke, medical director of Stanford Addiction Medicine, asks us in her book Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence (Dutton 2021), Why, in a time of unprecedented wealth, freedom, technological progress, and medical advancement, do we appear to be Read More ›

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Lunar base illustration

The Search for Extraterrestrial Life 17

Interest in moon exploration and bases is growing and it turns out there is more water there (carried by the solar wind) than thought

In our universe: We’re always learning new things now. The universe “has 2−3× more light than expected from the integrated light from galaxies” “According to new measurements by New Horizons, the light coming from stars beyond the Milky Way is two to three times brighter than the light from known populations of galaxies – meaning that there are even more out there than we thought! – Matt Williams, Universe Today, (December 24, 2022) The paper is open access. While we’re here, rogue stars may be even older than we thought: “”We don’t exactly know what made them homeless. Current theories cannot explain our results, but somehow they were produced in large quantities in the early universe,” James Jee, an astronomer Read More ›

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fantasy robot wedding couple

Orville Episode 10: You’ve Heard of Saving the Best for Last?

Well, decide for yourself if you think that’s what the writers did. Some of us would describe it in other terms

Episode 10 fails for many reasons, but it’s not the kind of terrible where the episode is so bad you can throw your head back and laugh. Not only is it bad; it’s boring. Mixed up scenes, clunky dialog, and pretentious diatribes spread through the story. The story opens with Moclans Bortus and Klyden renewing their vows. Apparently, the all-male Moclans have a ritual where they essentially run naked through the forest until the “dominate male” catches the “submissive male” and . . . I’ll let you use your imagination. This scene is painful to watch. Two overweight men shamble through the woods in G-strings and the viewer is subjected to every horrendous second. I’m sure you’re wondering, “what kind Read More ›

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Aerial view of Frankenstein Castle in southern Hesse, Germany

The Prophecies of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Andrew Klavan explores the world of the Romantics in new book and finds special insight in Shelley’s classic horror story

Andrew Klavan, acclaimed novelist and host of the Andrew Klavan Show at the Daily Wire, wrote a book about his profound encounters with the Romantics of the 19th century, called The Truth and Beauty: How the Lives and Works of England’s Greatest Poets Point the Way to a Deeper Understanding of the Words of Jesus. The Romantics include literary figures like Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and John Keats. While it’s common to highlight the Romantics’ veneration of nature, they were also living in the throes of the Enlightenment, in which atheistic materialism was becoming a minority alternative to theism. Klavan writes, “The wonderful success of science at explaining the material world threatens to create in scientists a bias towards Read More ›

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Military bomb defusing robot with shepherd dog in the background.

How San Francisco’s Gun Fears Prevented Lifesaving Innovation

Killer robots in law enforcement would reduce the death toll but they are a bridge too far for many politicians

In November, 2022, San Francisco voted to allow police to deploy killer robots. Less than a month later, the city reversed their decision. Initially, in an 8-3 vote, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors allowed law enforcement to use robots “as a deadly force option when risk of loss of life to members of the public or officers is imminent and outweighs any other force option available to SFPD.” Sounds like reasonable policy, but protestors held up “NO KILLER ROBOTS!” signs at City Hall and the Board of Supervisors caved. This may be a case of hoplophobia, an irrational fear of firearms. So-called “killer robots” can deploy explosives to allow passage through blockaded doors or, in extreme situations, kill those who put innocent Read More ›