Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

CategoryArtificial Intelligence

Smart car (HUD) and augmented reality navigation technology concept. Empty cockpit in vehicle and Self-Driving mode car graphic screen. Digital matrix blue tone.

Death Spurs Demand for More Oversight of Self-Driving Cars

The National Transportation Safety Board seeks uniform standards for the previously voluntary information provided by carmakers

Despite the hype and a few bad actors, here at the Walter Bradley Institute, we believe in AI. The deployment of any technology—dams, bridges, buildings—requires care and, at times, oversight. Not to slow down progress but to protect us from ourselves. As the great scientist Richard Feynman put it, the easiest person to fool is oneself.

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I Am Giving Up Cycling

It’s just not worth it if a machine can beat me

It’s not that I cannot cycle or that I don’t like to or that I’m not good at it (for a human). But just the other day, as I pedaled along, I was passed by a motorcycle. Its speed was incredible! I appeared to be pedaling in place as the machine zoomed into the distance. In that moment, it became all too clear that my days as a meaningful human were ending. The machine was my better. Okay. That is not true. I am not going to quit cycling. And, being passed by a motorcycle—a machine we built purposely to go faster than anything our two legs can achieve—is not a meaningful measure of my prowess as a cyclist. Many Read More ›

Business colleagues review automotive design concepts wearing a virtual reality headset.

Abandoning Reality: Getting Lost in Oculus Quest’s VR

Amazing. And time to remember the history. I was the chair of the first serious conference dedicated to virtual reality twenty-five years ago

Virtual reality got its start in the US Air Force’s investigation of heads-up display for pilots. Just as you see a candy wrapper on your dashboard reflected in the windshield while you drive, pilots could have nearly a instantaneous view of instrumentation simply by focusing their eyes from far objects to near.

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Scene of modern urban transportation style. People using smartphone to request a ride sharing, autonomous bus in bus stop. Electric truck and minivan moving on the road. Subway entry near to the inter

Gladwell’s Autonomy: The Future of Our Cars But Not Ourselves?

Malcolm Gladwell’s recent film probes independence, individuality, and what cars mean to us

In order to allow for autonomy to develop, the degrees of freedom available on the public roadways will probably have to decrease.

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Student guy is buying tickets for train trip on weekend in tickets vending machine. Bearded male with backpack on his back is choosing the ticket type on a display of self service tickets automat.

Random Comments on the Passing Scene: Carbon Computing and Much More

Child porn traffickers arrested despite their attempts to hide using high tech and Bitcoin

Also, McDonald’s doubles down on self-ordering kiosks, acquires automation firm.

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Robot's body

Would You Want Immortal Life as a Cyborg?

Would you give up your right arm for a robotic device that performs better? Think about it

Transhumanism can mean uploading one’s mind into cyberspace. But some transhumanists hope to slowly morph into “immortal cyborgs” with endlessly replaceable parts. Five years ago, we were told, we were all turning into cyborgs: Did you recently welcome a child into the world? Congratulations! An upstanding responsible parent such as yourself is surely doing all you can to prepare your little one for all the pitfalls life has in store. However, thanks to technology, children born in 2014 may face a far different set of issues than you ever had to. And we’re not talking about simply learning to master a new generation of digital doohickeys, we’re talking about living in a world in which the very definition of “human” Read More ›

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Chatbot / Social Bot mit Quellcode im Hintergrund

Should AI-Written News Stories Have Bylines? Whose?

Like it or not, AI is here to stay. So, how do we make the best use of it in writing?

Automation can help some aspects of writing. But media outlets get tech “google”-eyes and too often fail to ask the hard questions about what they are automating, how, and why.

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The Greatest Threat We Face From AI—and What We Can Do

Here’s a list of things that have really happened with artificial intelligence (AI), in order of increasing severity.

When we get to the end of the list, we will see that it is like beads connected by a string—revealing the most dangerous threat.

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Google vs. IBM?: Quantum Supremacy Isn’t the Big Fix Anyway

If human thought is a halting oracle, then even quantum computing will not allow us to replicate human intelligence

Google’s quantum supremacy claim is certainly fascinating and controversial, but even if true, it ultimately only amounts to an incremental and even inconsequential improvement in the state of AI and ML, due to the still-unmet need for a halting oracle.

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Beautiful Male Computer Engineer and Scientists Create Neural Network at His Workstation. Office is Full of Displays Showing 3D Representations of Neural Networks.

How Algorithms Can Seem Racist

Machines don’t think. They work with piles of “data” from many sources. What could go wrong? Good thing someone asked…

Some of the recent conflicts around algorithms and ethnicity are flubs that social media entrepreneurs will regret. Others may endanger life.

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Stock market Adobe Stock

Investor, AI Isn’t Your Big Fix

In investing and elsewhere, an AI label is often more effective for marketing than for performance

One company sought to leverage Watson, the AI Jeopardy champ, as a stock picker. But lightning-fast search and response don’t have much to do with predicting whether a stock goes up or down…

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3D Rendering of abstract highway path through digital binary towers in city. Concept of big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, hyper loop, virtual reality, high speed network.

How Do We Know What Superintelligent AI Will Do?

If superintelligent systems existed, logic demonstrates that they would be unpredictable

A lower intelligence can’t accurately predict all decisions of a higher intelligence, a concept known as Vinge’s Principle.

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