Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

Eric Holloway

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My best friend Pepper

Tech Hype Watch: Do Chatbots Really Understand Things?

Well-known author Robert Wright believes they do but he misunderstands how computers work
There is no way to build a computer that does not rely on 1’s and 0’s (computation), so computers that understand meaning are not possible. Read More ›
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Global computer network communication, internet business and marketing concept, blue transparent Earth globe on laptop keyboard macro view

How Ancient Philosophers Can Help Design Better Computers

The Kubernetes program, for example, steers groups of computers the way, in the ancient image, a navigator steers a ship
The program works a bit like our minds, creating information in the world around us by constant comparison, bringing order out of disorder. Read More ›
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3D rendering of abstract blocks of mathematical formulas located in the virtual space

Will Artificial Intelligence Revolutionize Math?

In an article in Nature, mathematician Thomas Fink makes the case that AI can rapidly falsify wrong conjectures. But what about its built-in limitations?
The limitations created by the nature of computing mean that a mathematician’s true job of discovering novel theorems is quite safe at present. Read More ›
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Glowing Digital Scheme Abstract Background. 3D illustration

Applying the Theory of Intelligent Design

What are ID's implications for economics, metaphysics, and computer science?

As my PhD advisor Dr. Robert Marks likes to say: “You have to make the queen of the sciences get down and scrub the floors.” Intelligent design (ID) is a science, and so ID has to get down and scrub the floors. To further this goal, I’ve come up with a schema for the ways in which ID can be applied, and what it in fact means for ID to be applied. The upshot of this schema is not only to guide brainstorming, but it also demonstrates that ID is already applied in many areas, unbeknownst to all. As they say, the best way to get something done is to take credit for someone else’s work. First, let’s identify what ID is. ID is Read More ›

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kid with apple on head

How Could Intelligent Design Help Us In a Conflict?

Well, what would happen if Daffy Duck teams up with Marvin the Martian?

In war, the goal is to eliminate a threat as quickly as possible, given available resources. We try to hit the center of a target with the fewest arrows. A key mathematical concept of intelligent design, active information, captures this dilemma. It also helps us understand the role of artificial intelligence might play in wartime. Active information Active information is the difference between two sources of information. Picture archers shooting at a target: 1. Endogenous information: What is the size of the target? And how difficult is the target to hit? It is the difference between hitting a squirrel and hitting the moon. 2. Exogenous information: How skilled the archer is who is firing the arrows? What difference does the Read More ›

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Tourists jumping off a large rock ledge in Amoudi Bay on Santorini Island in Greece.

How Is Intentionality Embedded in the Universe?

All efforts to extinguish intentionality and morality only serve to further establish their inescapable reality
The conclusion we must reach by examining our own intentionality carefully is that it has an ultimate origin from a conscious being outside of our world. Read More ›
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This is exactly what heaven looks like - looking over the top of a blanket of gorgeous pastel coloured fluffy clouds depicting heavenly lansdcape background ideal for a spiritual theme

Could Our Minds Be Bigger Than Even a Multiverse?

The relationship between information, entropy, and probability suggests startling possibilities. If you find the math hard, a face-in-the-clouds illustration works too
This article has equal entropy to gibberish letters of the same length, yet it contains information and gibberish does not. Much follows from that fact. Read More ›
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The universe within. Silhouette of a man inside the universe. The concept on scientific and philosophical topics.  Elements of this image furnished by NASA.

Is Your Mind Bigger Than the Universe? Well, Look At It This Way…

Surprisingly, there is a way to measure the mind that shows it IS bigger than the universe — information

Imagine you’re sitting at home, relaxing in your favorite easy chair. Go on, kick your legs up. Feel your limbs releasing the stress of the day, starting from the extremities, and progressing up your core to your head. Now, let your mind expand. Let go of what is holding your mind down. Feel it become free, outside of everything around it. Let the feeling continue until your mind is bigger than the universe. Now consider the question: if your mind is bigger than the universe, can it be within the universe? If a ball is bigger than a bag, can it be contained by the bag? Of course not. If the mind is bigger than the universe, then it must Read More ›

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Silhouette of human with universe and physical, mathematical formulas

Why Is Theology the Most Important Empirical Science?

Arguing pro or con about the existence of God has resulted in many successful and/or widely accepted theories in science
If generating testable theories in empirical science is the standard of success, theology has certainly succeeded, as the record will show. Read More ›
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Evil robot head with glowing red eyes in data center, Ai generated image

Can AI Really Start Doing Evil Stuff All By Itself?

We need to first talk to the man in the mirror before we go around blaming transistor circuit boards for what’s wrong in the world
Far from being independent superintellects, AIs — without human input — are subject to Model Collapse, where they start reprocessing information into nonsense. Read More ›
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Party Background with lights, confetti, balloons and serpentine

Can There Really Be an Ultimate Happiness Machine?

Technology can do so much. Can it really provide an answer to the eternal human quest for happiness?
What if we had a machine that could access and manipulate the internals of the human mind? It would fall victim to the halting problem. Read More ›
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Laptop illustration with file drawer, data stores concept, blue background. Generative AI

AI and the Chinese Room Argument

We still haven't cracked the mystery of human intelligence
80 years later, we are using the same paradigm, with much faster computers and vast data but we still haven't cracked the mystery of human intelligence. Read More ›
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Pipe line oil and gas valves at gas plant pressure safety valve selective

“Ghost Work” and the Enduring Necessity of Human Labor

Contrary to popular assumptions, the greater the automation, the greater the need for human labor.
As automation increases, the need for human labor increases, and as a corollary, so does the need for humans in general. Read More ›
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Greek Stoic Philosopher statue digital render

Ancient Greek Philosophy and Modern Blockbuster Graphics

The amazing computer-generated effects you see in almost every blockbuster today are only possible thanks to ideas proposed over 2300 years ago.
Ancient philosophy can be extremely useful, and entertaining, even when contrary to modern science! See it in the movies! Read More ›
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Business audit stock financial finance management on analysis data strategy with graph accounting marketing or report chart economy investment research profit concept. Generative AI

Life According to the Turing Machine

Is there more to the world than just data and digits?
"Virtually just like real life!" as advertisements proclaimed. All it did was give John a headache, and feeling he'd just wasted a couple of hours of his life. Read More ›
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software code in whiteboard

Does ChatGPT Pass the Creativity Test?

What does ChatGPT have to do in order to be considered creative?

What is creativity? Where does it come from? Why are some things humans do considered creative, while other things mundane? Can AI be creative? To answer these questions, let’s come up with a definition. Creativity at least means something new has been done. No work that copies what has come before is considered creative.  A Creativity Criteria Just doing something new is not enough either. If it were, then I can easily be creative by flipping a coin 100 times. That specific sequence of coin flips will only occur once in the entire history of humanity. But no one would say I was creative when I flipped a coin. This means creativity has to generate a new insight. However, these two criteria are not adequate, Read More ›

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Artificial intelligence, robot thinking about world, looking at the city. Futuristic concept.

Can AI Create its Own Information?

The simple answer is "no," but why? Eric Holloway explains

AI is amazing. It is all the rage these days. Companies everywhere are jumping on the AI bandwagon. No one wants to be left behind when true believers are raptured to the mainframe in the sky. What makes the AI work? The AI works because of information it gained from a human generated dataset. Let’s label the dataset D. We can measure the information in the dataset with Shannon entropy. Represent the information with H(D). When we train an AI with this data, we are applying a mathematical function to the dataset. This function is the training algorithm. Labelling the training algorithm T, then we represent training as T(D). The outcome of training is a new AI model. The model generates new data. We Read More ›

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Say What? AI Doesn’t Understand Anything 

Is that supposed to be a cat, Mr. AI?

Whenever I look at AI generated content, whether it be pictures or text, they all have the same flaw. The AI cannot comprehend what it is making.  Let me explain.  When we humans draw a picture, we are drawing a concept. We are drawing something like “cat climbs a tree” or “cowboy riding into the sunset”. It seems like this is what is happening with a picture drawing AI. We give it a prompt, and it draws an associated picture.  On second thought, maybe not…  When AI draws the picture, what is really going on is it is finding individual-colored pixels that correlate with the letters we typed in its massive database stored in the neural network. Very different than how we draw. We Read More ›

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3d render, abstract geometric background, colorful constructor, logic game, cubic mosaic structure, isometric wallpaper, blue green cubes

Minecraft: A World of Information

The world's bestselling video game captures the insight that information is created and consumed by human minds

What if I told you intelligent design theory is responsible for the most successful computer game of all time? This game is Minecraft. It has sold over 238 million copies, the highest selling game of all time.  What makes the game even more extraordinary is it was created entirely by one man, Markus Persson, over a weekend, who then later sold the game to Microsoft for $2.5 billion dollars. Hard to make this sort of thing up. How does Minecraft work? You can think of Minecraft like a computer game form of Legos, the popular building block toy, with added monsters.  You are dropped into an algorithmically generated world where you have to discover resources, find food, and build structures to survive the Read More ›

allure of the metaverse
Moving Forward to Metaverse, New Technology, Web3.0, Blockchain and the Next Layer of the Internet Concepts. Man Steps into Future Door. Futuristic Tone.

For BitHeaven’s Sake

A satirical short story on the transhumanist quest (and failure) to achieve immortality

Bob and Sue were on their way to church one morning. On their way they ran into their friend Fred. Fred was very wealthy, a billionaire in fact. Fred waved hi. Bob and Sue waved back. They asked Fred to come with them to church.  Fred said no, he had more important things to do. “What is so important,” asked Sue. “I’m off to the real deal,” beamed Fred. Bob looked confused. “Real deal about what?” “You have a fake promise of eternal life. I’m about to get the real thing.” “You can’t be serious. Start talking some sense.” “Seriously. Here’s my voucher, see it right here.” Sue grabbed the piece of paper from Fred and read it aloud. “Good for one digital immortalization Read More ›