Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

CategoryArtificial Intelligence

Joyful preteen lady beaming while embracing human like root

Tell Kids the Robot Is “It,” Not “He”

Teaching children to understand AI and robotics is part of a good education today

We are not truly likely to be ruled by AI overlords (as opposed to powerful people using AI. But even doubtful predictions may be self-fulfilling if enough impressionable people come to believe them. Children, for example. We adults are aware of the limitations of AI. But if we talk about AI devices as if they were people, children—who often imbue even stuffed toys with complex personalities—may be easily confused. Sue Shellenbarger, Work & Family columnist at The Wall Street Journal, warns that already, “Many children think robots are smarter than humans or imbue them with magical powers.” While she admits that the “long-term consequences” are still unclear, “an expanding body of research” suggests we need to train children to draw Read More ›

MP voting
Member of Romanian Parliament is voting by raising his hand

Will Government Intervention Solve High-Tech’s Problems?

At the COSM summit in October, a Wall Street Journal columnist will make the case for no

Andy Kessler, Inside View columnist at The Wall Street Journal “on technology and markets and where they intersect with culture,” is a skeptic of Big Regulation. He has seen the issues from a variety of positions, having been both a software designer and an investment broker.

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alchemy still life

Pursuit of the AI Singularity Is Modern Alchemy

Just as lead cannot just become gold, software cannot just become creative
Isaac Newton was a great scientist but he wasted a lot of time trying to turn lead into gold. Today, some great computer scientists waste a lot of time trying to produce AI that creates better AI without a programmer. Read More ›
Photo by TRΛVELER .
Hammer and nails

Is Technology a Tool or a Tyrant?

A conversation between tech entrepreneurs Jack Ma and Elon Musk outlines some choices

Last week noted U.S. technologist Elon Musk and Alibaba executive Jack Ma engaged in a friendly debate at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai. The two agreed on a lot. AI is useful, it isn’t going anywhere, and the technology will continually improve. Where they differed is what it means for us humans. For Ma, technology is a tool for our benefit. In his thinking, our technological future will bring us to a point where the average person need only work a few hours a week. Technology will automate away most of the treacherous or dull tasks and allow us to spend more time being human, engaging in the arts, and engaging with each other. Musk’s view of technology Read More ›

Resting at office

If AI dumbed us down, would we even know?

Silicon Valley pros face the challenges head-on
Does the constant use of machine aids rob us of natural smarts? If not, how are they helping us? Are there ways we can change the mix? Read More ›
concept of self-driving car

Will Industry Pressure Loosen Self-Driving Car Tests?

Right now, the regulatory agency is under pressure to accept the industry’s “softball” testing suggestions
The regulatory agency (NHTSA) needs to adapt. But trusting technical documentation alone or only testing already sold vehicles is grossly insufficient. Technical documentation is what engineers think should happen; it is not the future. And testing sold vehicles creates an incentive to skimp on tests. Read More ›
Photo by Gilles Lambert
Hands in dark using smartphone

Will we become mere apps of our smart machines?

At COSM, Ray Kurzweil will offer a glimpse of his foreseen Singularity where we merge with superintelligent computers

He believes that the merger will eventually make the whole universe intelligent. Kurzweil’s critics believe that the superintelligent computers he needs can’t exist. If the critics are correct, we have misread the AI revolution.

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White polymer clay sheep gather around an electronic circuit on a blue background

Computers’ Stupidity Makes Them Dangerous

The real danger today is not that computers are smarter than us, but that we think computers are smarter than us

Many marketing decisions, medical diagnoses, and stock trades, loan and job applications, and election strategies are evaluated by computers. But, as my little experiment shows, the computer does not know whether a pattern is information or noise.

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Hype time concept

The Top Ten AI Hype Stories of 2018, Updated

You can segue to each in the podcast and read the accompanying Mind Matters News story, as well as key updates
2019 has seen some remarkable revelations about Google, DeepMind, Watson, Sophia, and other AI faves. Check them out here! Read More ›
Brain icon hologram with office interior on background. Double exposure. Concept of education

How Far Has AI Mindreading Come?

Further than we may think. And some trends are troubling
It’s becoming easier all the time to read signals from the human brain. But there are few or no safeguards, even in the free world, on who has a right to use the information and how. Read More ›
iot machine learning with human and object recognition which use artificial intelligence to measurements ,analytic and identical concept, it invents to classification,estimate,prediction, database

Machines Are Not Really Learning

A bit of machine learning history helps us see why
Go talk to a neighbor or a friend. You’ve just done something that Deep Learning can’t do. Worse, it can’t even learn because that’s not a narrow, well-defined problem. Read More ›
Urban traffic Pexels

Are self-driving cars really safer?

A former Uber executive says no. Before we throw away the Driver’s Handbook…
Current claims that self-driving cars are safer are hype, not measurement. Meanwhile, Congress is expected to push for legislation next month to pave the way for widespread use of self-driving vehicles without a consensus on safety standards. Read More ›
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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 ›
Old Trumpet Brick Wall

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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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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