Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

CategoryArtificial Intelligence

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Computer user analyzing images on a scree

Sorry, AI can’t do our thinking for us

J. C. Derrick asked Robert J. Marks whether AI can outthink people or make humans immortal
Creativity, Marks argues, can only exist if the programmer places it in the computer program, which means that the program itself is not creative. People have tried "a bunch of different things and nothing seems to work. They can’t get smarter programs that way." Read More ›
Critic Company Nigerian youth sci fi filmmakers

Nigerian Teens Create Sci-Fi With Cracked Smartphone

They love sci-fi and, well, if you are going to start, you have to start somewhere

The teens' project, Critics Company, has alerted people to the possibilities of digital media like YouTube to tutor themselves in skills that can fetch money or jobs or even help them start their own businesses.

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Autonomous cars on a road with visible connection

How self-driving cars can really work today

At Mind Matters News, we advocate self-driving technology that doesn’t confuse human and machine powers
A commitment to engineering over techno-utopia has bumped Mercedes, which has got the okay for driverless valet parking, into the lead in self-driving technology. Read More ›
Superior Artificial Intelligence Wining Chess Concept

Confirmed: DeepMind’s Deepest Mind Is on Leave

The chess champ computer system just never made money
Co-founder Mustafa Suleyman is a philosopher and social justice activist who hoped to use the technology for fundamental transformations. But his AI ethics board lasted about seven days at Google. Read More ›
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Fan Tries Programming AI Jazz, Gets Lots and Lots of AI…

Jazz is spontaneous, but spontaneous noise is not jazz

As Gioia says, jazz depends on the “personality of the individual musician.” And the blindspot of AI creativity is: There’s no one home.

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San Francisco aerial view from sea side. Port of San Francisco in the front. City downtown and skyscrapers at sunrise.

A Silicon Valley Insider Asks the Awkward Questions

Billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel, speaking at COSM in October, has a history of challenging Valley orthodoxies

His question, “How can Google use the rhetoric of ‘borderless’ benefits to justify working with the country whose ‘Great Firewall’ has imposed a border on the internet itself?”, is timely. China’s government uses high tech for, among other things, sophisticated racial profiling.

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Medical and healthcare,Male doctor or medical students or surgeon,anesthesiologists using digital tablet during the conference,Health Check with digital system support for patient,background banner

Why Was IBM Watson a Flop in Medicine?

Robert J. Marks and Gary S. Smith discuss how the AI couldn’t identify which information in the tsunami of medical literature actually MATTERED

Last year, the IBM Health Initiative laid off a number of people, seemingly due to market disillusionment with the product.

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Photo by Erik Mclean
Supreme money gun

Why Is DeepMind In Deep Water Financially?

Market analysts are wondering if the money is as smart as the machine

In an all-out botwar with the other tech Bigs, DeepMind could simply be paying top minds not to work for the competition while readying AI tools that pay better than winning at board games. Maybe.

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Dangerous driving and using a mobile phone

Whatever Musk says, Don’t Watch Netflix in Your Tesla

He’ll only allow streaming while stopped until “full self-driving is approved by regulators”

This is hardly the time to encourage drivers to believe that someday soon, distraction will be okay. Distracted driving claims the lives of roughly nine people per day in the United States.

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Lithium mine in Argentina satellite image public domain

Self-driving Cars: Following the Money up a Cooling Trail

The market for lithium for electric car batteries is slowing

One way we can assess entrepreneurs’ claims (think Elon Musk) is to ask, what physical components does the product require and how is the market responding?

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Chatbot conversation on smartphone screen app interface with artificial intelligence technology providing virtual assistant customer support and information, person hand holding mobile phone

You can build your own chatbot

New tools have made it comparatively easy

Natural Language Interfaces (the technical term for a chatbot) are becoming more and more popular. Many dial-in phone services have switched from numeric interfaces (“Dial 1 for sales, 2 for service, etc.”) to natural language interfaces (“Please say what you are calling about”). Where they have taken off though is with chatbots. Many online help systems at least start with chatbots, which collect basic information about a problem or situation and point to existing solutions before passing the contact off to a human expert. Additionally, the rise of the Generation Text, as well as the proliferation of chat-based groupware such as Slack, means that text-based natural language interfaces are one of the best ways of interacting with young people. Is Read More ›

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Why did Watson think Toronto was in the U.S.A.?

How that happened tells us a lot about what AI can and can’t do, to this day

Strictly speaking, the answer Watson spit out was "What is Toronto?????", which does sound distinctly less than certain. But the programmers had chosen not to program in the option of saying, “I don’t know.”

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Hand above a red emergency button

Why an AI pioneer thinks Watson is a “fraud”

The famous Jeopardy contest in 2011 worked around the fact that Watson could not grasp the meaning of anything

Gary N. Smith explains that a computer’s inability to understand what “it” means in a sentence is because it doesn’t understand what any of the words in the sentence mean.

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Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene: How to Spell Gud

Also, Google and Apple ditching college degree requirements is not really that new

Twenty years or so ago, when I worked in Seattle, Microsoft was famous for the testing coding skills of their applicants and asking Mensa-like questions. Degrees were secondary.

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relaxed man in autonomous car. self driving vehicle. autopilot. automotive technology.

Should Tesla’s Autopilot Feature Be Illegal?

A recent study from the United Kingdom suggests that maybe it should

Tesla may tell drivers that Autopilot is not the same as a self-driving car. But, just as cell phone manufacturers’ warnings not to “text and drive” are too often unheeded, so too may be Tesla’s warnings.

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Can Computer Algorithms Be Free of Bias?

Bias is inevitable but it should be recognized and admitted

Gregory Coppola’s revelations about Google’s politically biased search engine shone a spotlight on how algorithms are written.

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digital city scape with digit number elements illustration

Can We Write Creative Computer Programs?

As Robert J. Marks tells World Radio, people have tried making computers creative but no luck
The Bradley Center director pointed out, in a wide-ranging discussion, that programmers cannot write programs that are more creative than they themselves are. Read More ›
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George Gilder talking with Peter Robinson at the Hoover Institution

George Gilder on the Real-Life Prospects — and Limits — of AI

Gilder, who is organizing the COSM conference in Bellevue, Washington, in October, clears the fog about “the cloud”

The “cloud” of cloud computing, that Gilder predicted, is things, not ideas. Thus it is subject to the limits of things, as opposed to the limits of ideas. It’s reasonable to ask where that limit is. It is probably both a question and an answer that we can understand.

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Different types of computers and storage

Is the Human Mind a Computer?

As a software engineer, I'd say we need to be clear what the question is before answering it

Once we understand clearly what a computer is, we will see why consciousness is not a form of computation.

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