Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

# CategoryArtificial Intelligence

## Peter Thiel: Artificial General Intelligence Isn’t Happening

That whole transhumanist movement is slowing down, he told COSM 2021. But, he adds, What IS happening should sober us up a lot

## Could Tiny Flying Computer Chips Monitor the World? They’re here!

A team at Northwestern University has developed a model based on the design of seed dispersal in nature

A Northwestern University team is developing electronic chips as small as a grain of sand, equipped with wings like those of wind-dispersed seeds. The hope is that these microfliers will monitor pollution and contamination — and surveil crowds via ultra-miniaturized equipment: About the size of a grain of sand, the new flying microchip (or “microflier”) does not have a motor or engine. Instead, it catches flight on the wind — much like a maple tree’s propeller seed — and spins like a helicopter through the air toward the ground. By studying maple trees and other types of wind-dispersed seeds, the engineers optimized the microflier’s aerodynamics to ensure that it — when dropped at a high elevation — falls at a…

## AI Tries Creativity! … by Kidnapping Newborns — Sci-fi Saturday

But the AIs seeking world dominance kidnap the wrong child

“The Shift” (2021) at DUST by Johan Samuelsson (July 8, 2021, 7:10 min) Many years ago tech giants lost control of AI robotic technology. By kidnapping and monitoring newborns, the Ai robots are now trying to master the one thing they have yet to understand – Creativity. The Shift is about creativity, and the things that separate humans from robots. The idea for “The Shift” grew from the development of new Artificial Intelligence (AI) focused technology that simplify, and replace humans tasks and jobs. As a motion designer I experience this constantly in updated softwares, and countless of plug-ins that simplify daily tasks. For example some crafts that took several hours to complete by hand a couple of years ago,…

## Asilomar AI Principles: Ethics to Guide a Top-Down Control Regime

Experts agree on a humanistic AI ethics program! Before we break out the champagne, let's ask some serious questions about their assumptions.

Get 1,200 artificial intelligence (AI) researchers and 2,500 other businesspeople and academics, such as Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, Ray Kurzweil, and David Chalmers, to all endorse one document about AI ethics. Voila! You have the Asilomar AI Principles with serious sound bite power: Experts agree on a humanistic AI ethics program! Do the Principles advance a worthy cause? To a certain extent, perhaps, in theory. Reading the text of the Asilomar Principles, however, you get a few vague ethical aspirations offered to guide a top-down control regime. Surveying the Principles’ 23 points, a few stand out as smooth, velvet glove power-grabbers. The points do it subtly, so as the holographic Dr. Lanning advised in I, Robot (2004), “you have to ask the right questions.”  At least one useful thing a 30-year litigation…

## Researchers: Is the Cost of Improving Deep Learning Sustainable?

At IEEE: System designers may have to go back to relying on experts again to tell them what matters, rather than on massive databases

Deep Learning is an approach to computer programming that attempts to mimic the human brain (artificial neural networks) so as to enable systems to cluster data and make accurate predictions (IBM). It’s the dominant AI system today, used to predict how proteins fold and analyse medical scans as well as to beat humans at Go. And yet, four Deep Learning researchers recently wrote in IEEE Spectrum that “The cost of improvement is becoming unsustainable.” As part of their special report, “The Great AI Reckoning,”they explain: While deep learning’s rise may have been meteoric, its future may be bumpy. Like Rosenblatt before them, today’s deep-learning researchers are nearing the frontier of what their tools can achieve. To understand why this will…

## Peter Thiel: Big Tech, As It Operates Today, Is Communist

Visions of the computer age have swung from big centralization in 1969 through big decentralization in 1999. Neither got it quite right, Thiel says

Philosopher of technology George Gilder revisits world class tech venture capitalist Peter Thiel’s live streamed talk at COSM 2019 in “ The failures and self-hatred of Big Tech.” Thiel, the author of Zero to One (2014) will attend COSM 2021 (November 10–12) in person this time, along with Gilder. Note: You can get the best rate if you register before October 31. The focus of the 2021 meet will be the paradoxes of the new world of technology. As we will see, Thiel is an expert at defining that world. This is the first of a four-part series on his view of the future, starting with his First Contrarian Idea, that the way Big Tech operates today is communist and…

## A Market Analyst Explains Why You Should Take Inflation Seriously

Bernard Fickser looks at the tech companies that are worth astonishing amounts, unrelated to their current product lines

Readers may remember Bernard Fickser from his series on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and how they can be made to work better. Now he looks at a more serious problem, the current (quiet) capitalization crisis: the growth in the perceived market value (market caps) of tech companies, far beyond the market value of any assets they have. He recalls the famous (and costly) Dot.com Bubble (1995–2000), when “tech and internet companies that had no actual products or prototypes or detailed plans for products were receiving enormous valuations simply on a promise and a prayer.” Many prayers went unheard and small investors suffered huge losses. Business prof Gary Smith highlights Bill’s Barber Shop in 2000, where locals had reckoned on secure prosperity…