Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

CategoryCreativity

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October walk in the rain, a young woman with a red umbrella in the autumn city park, autumn look

Computer Prof: You Are Not Computable and Here’s Why Not

In a new book, Baylor University’s Robert J. Marks punctures myths about the superhuman AI that some claim will soon replace us

In a just-released book, Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks II explains, as a computer engineering professor at Baylor University, why humans are unique and why artificial intelligence cannot replicate us: ”Emotions that make us human will never be duplicated by a machine,” says Marks. “These include compassion, love, empathy, elation, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, pleasure, pride, excitement, embarrassment, regret, jealousy, grief, hope, and faith. Properly defined, creativity, sentience, and understanding are also on the list. These and other non-algorithmic traits are evidence of non-computable you.” Discovery Institute, “Are Future Humans Doomed To Be Replaced By Artificial Intelligence?” at PR NewsWire (June 21, 2022) Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will (Discovery Institute Press, 2022) is…

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US drone attack on the convoy of the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, 3d render. Baghdad airport, Iraq.

Top Gun Maverick: Thrilling but Outdated by Today’s AI

How realistic is the continued use of manned aircraft in light of today’s technology?

I just saw Top Gun: Maverick. Everyone I know agrees that the movie is masterfully done and is thrilling entertainment. My emotions were whiplashed throughout the movie and by the end I was exhausted. But how realistic is the continued use of manned aircraft in light of today’s technology? Considering what today’s military drones can do, the story premise of the new Top Gun is technically outdated. The mission could be better executed by today’s drones, without risk of human life. Instead of riding your horse to the restaurant during a lightning storm, drive your Tesla or — better yet — get Uber Eats to deliver. Use the latest technology. The latest technology in drones is impressive. Consider some of…

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Health insurance, tax concept on blue background

Algorithms in Medicine: Where They Help … and Where They Don’t

Removing creativity, nuance, and insight from medicine may result in cheaper care but not better care

Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks continued his podcast discussion with anesthesiologist Richard Hurley in “Good and bad algorithms in the practice of medicine” (May 19, 2022). An algorithm is “a procedure for solving a mathematical problem (as of finding the greatest common divisor) in a finite number of steps that frequently involves repetition of an operation.” (Merriam–Webster) We most commonly think of algorithms in connection with computers because that is how programmers instruct them. Algorithms, Dr. Marks points out, can either sharpen or derail services, depending on their content. Before we get started: Note: Robert J. Marks, a Distinguished Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering, Engineering at Baylor University, has a new book, coming out Non-Computable You (June,…

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scoring during a basketball game - ball in hoop

Luck Matters More Than Skill When You’re at the Top

What? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? No, because… Prof. Gary Smith explains

With basketball fever at a high pitch… when LA Times sportswriter Jim Alexander talked to Pomona College business prof Gary Smith about what it takes to win, he got a different answer than some might have expected. If you are really good, it takes luck to win, Smith explained. What? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? No, because… “You can take the four best golfers in the world – any sport, but let’s do golf because it’s head-to-head,” Smith said in a phone conversation this week. “And they play a round of golf and see who gets the lowest score, and it’s pretty much random. Nobody’s going to win every single time. One guy might win more than 25…

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Asian businesswoman in formal suit working with computer laptop for Polygonal brain shape of an artificial intelligence with various icon of smart city Internet of Things, AI and business IOT concept

Robert J. Marks: Zeroing In on What AI Can and Can’t Do

Walter Bradley Center director Marks discusses what’s hot and what’s not in AI with fellow computer maven Gretchen Huizinga

What makes mankind special? And what does it mean to flourish on the frontier of a technological future? In a recent podcast, “What Does It Mean to Be Human in an Age of Artificial Intelligence?”, Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks discusses what artificial intelligence can and can’t do and its ethical implications with veteran podcaster Gretchen Huizinga This interview was originally published by Christian think tank, the Beatrice Institute (March 3, 2022) and is repeated here with their kind permission: https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/03/Mind-Matters-Episode-176-Beatrice-Institute-Rebroadcast-rev1.mp3 Here’s a partial transcript of the first segment, with notes and links: Gretchen Huizinga: Well, Bob, you’re not just a senior fellow and director of the Walter Bradley Center, but you’re also a co-founder and were instrumental…

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Creative businessman with an idea

Study: When Solving Puzzles, Spontaneous Insight Beats Analysis

A study out of Belgium compared the results of analytical thinking and flashes of insight, both with and without distractions

CUNY journalism teacher Emily Laber-Warren reports at Scientific American on an interesting psychology study out of Belgium that divided the 105 undergraduate participants into three groups where each member was to solve to solve a group of 70 word puzzles under three different conditions,. The first group just had to solve the puzzle in 25 seconds or less, the second group had to also remember two numbers flashed on a screen, and the third group had to remember four numbers flashed on the screen. Each participant was asked to record whether the puzzle was solved by an Aha! insight or systematically, step by step. Laber-Warren explains: The purpose of making people remember random numbers was to burden their mind with…

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New ideas

Do Mathematicians Think Differently From Other People?

A math teacher illustrates some ways in which creative ones do but it’s really about imagination, not just getting the figures right

Math teacher Ali Kayaspor has thought a lot about how mathematicians have come up with fundamental ideas about the nature of reality and he shares anecdotes that give us a glimpse. But first, the cold shower: Unfortunately, there is no clear way to answer the question of how a mathematician thinks. But we can approach this question as follows; if you watched any chess tournament, the game’s analysis is shared in detail at the end of the match. When you examine the analysis, you will see a breaking point in each game. Similarly, mathematicians also experience a breaking point while working on a problem before finding a solution. Ali Kayaspor, “How Does a Mathematician’s Brain Differ from Other Brains?” at…

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Cyborg head with red eyes, surronded by wires and lights in a futuristic and ciberpunk enviroment

When the Terminator Ran Into Skynet at the Unemployment Office…

In an ID the Future podcast, computer engineering prof Robert J. Marks explores with Casey Luskin the limits of algorithms

In a podcast at ID The Future, Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks talked with host Casey Luskin about claims, games, and realities around artificial intelligence: In the course of the fast-paced interview, Marks touches on dystopian AI and the limits of computer algorithms (they can never do anything that is inherently non-computable, Marks argues), and discuss celebrity thinkers and entrepreneurs who’ve weighed in on the promises and perils of AI, such as Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Stephen Hawking. Marks calls on Nobel Laureate Roger Penrose to second one of Marks’s central arguments. The occasion for the conversation is Marks’s chapter in the recent Harvest House anthology, The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith. (2021) Marks…

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Chinese flag and big brother data surveillance

On What Terms Is Co-Operation Between the US and China Possible?

China analyst Miles Maochun Yu thinks that China’s new goal is to become the new global power first, then implement its ideology

A panel at COSM 2021 aired a disagreement between philosopher of technology George Gilder and political analyst Newt Gingrich. Gingrich argued that China is the greatest threat to global freedom while Gilder felt that claims about forced labor, for example, are overstated and that we must co-operate with China for technological advances. In the background is China’s 24/7 surveillance of the entire population, the door-to-door identification of and crackdown on religious believers, as well as on civil rights activists. The situation in China has changed a great deal over the past half decade which marked the Uyghur internment camps and the premature takeover of Hong Kong. As Michael Schuman puts it: China today is in the grip of the most…

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George Gilder and Niall Ferguson at COSM 2021 on Doom

Historian Supports New Anti-Cancel Culture University

Niall Ferguson hopes that the new University of Austin will unite traditional wisdom with new technology in a spirit of free enquiry

At COSM 2021 yesterday, prominent historian Niall Ferguson talked about his decision to sign up with the new University of Austin, founded in explicit opposition to rampant political correctness and censorship on university campuses, which is beginning to affect quality scholarship. In response to a question from the floor, Ferguson, author of Doom: The politics of catastrophe (2021), outlined the seriousness of the problem: Well, it’s just been announced this week that we’re trying to create a new university, University of Austin, committed to the fundamental principles of, of academic freedom of free inquiry. And the reason we have to do this is that we see so many limitations on free inquiry and academic freedom at the established universities. The…

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A small building among the rocks

How Do We Know Lincoln Contained More Information Than His Bust?

Life forms strive to be more of what they are. Grains of sand don’t. You need more information to strive than to just exist.

In Define information before you talk about it, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor interviewed engineering prof Robert J. Marks on the way information, not matter, shapes our world (October 28, 2021). In the first portion, Egnor and Marks discussed questions like: Why do two identical snowflakes seem more meaningful than one snowflake. Then they turned to the relationship between information and creativity. Is creativity a function of more information? Or is there more to it? And human intervention make any difference? Does Mount Rushmore have no more information than Mount Fuji? Does human intervention make a measurable difference? That’s specified complexity. Putting the idea of specified complexity to work, how do we measure meaningful information? What if an information-rich entity were scattered…

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The alien is studying the data set about the man.

Astronomer: ET Is More Likely To Be AI Than To Be a Life Form

Royal astronomer Lord Martin Rees explains that, apart from other issues, AI would last much longer in the hostile galactic environment

Prominent British Royal Society astronomer Lord Martin Rees thinks that ET will turn out to be AI: Human technological civilisation only dates back millennia (at most) – and it may be only one or two more centuries before humans, made up of organic materials such as carbon, are overtaken or transcended by inorganic intelligence, such as AI. Computer processing power is already increasing exponentially, meaning AI in the future may be able to use vastly more data than it does today. It seems to follow that it could then get exponentially smarter, surpassing human general intelligence. Perhaps a starting point would be to enhance ourselves with genetic modification in combination with technology – creating cyborgs with partly organic and partly…

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BIG letters inside a London store

Does Creativity Just Mean Bigger Data? Or Something Else?

Michael Egnor and Robert J. Marks look at claims that artificial intelligence can somehow be taught to be creative

In Define information before you talk about it, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor interviewed engineering prof Robert J. Marks on the way information, not matter, shapes our world (October 28, 2021). In the first portion, Egnor and Marks discussed questions like: Why do two identical snowflakes seem more meaningful than one snowflake? Now they turn to the relationship between information and creativity. Is creativity a function of more information? Or is there more to it? This portion begins at 10:46 min. A partial transcript and notes, Show Notes, and Additional Resources follow. Michael Egnor: How does biological information differ from information in nonliving things? Robert J. Marks: I don’t know if it does… I do believe after recent study that the mind…

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creativity imagination and dreams concept.

Jules Urbach, Founder of OTOY, to Speak at COSM 2021

George Gilder has called him "ingenious" and "the most inventive software engineer" he has ever met

Dozens of brilliant minds in technology will be flocking to Bellevue, Washington this November for the exclusive national summit known as COSM. Among them will be founder and CEO of OTOY and Lightstage, Jules Urbach. Philosopher of technology George Gilder has called him “ingenious” and “the most inventive software engineer” he has ever met. Gilder holds a a 20-year investment in OTOY. What has earned Urbach such high praise? Urbach has been a bold pioneer in computer graphics from a young age. At eighteen years old, he created one of the first CD-ROM games ever created, Hell Cab. Six years later, he founded Groove Alliance, which went on to produce Real Pool, the first 3D game available on Shockwave.com. In…

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Robot hand pressing computer keyboard enter

English Prof: You’ll Get Used To Machine Writing — and Like It!

Yohei Igarashi argues that seamless machine writing is an outcome of the fact that most of what humans actually write is highly predictable

English professor Yohei Igarashi, author of The Connected Condition: Romanticism and the Dream of Communication (2019), contends that writing can mostly be automated because most of it is predictable: Instances of automated journalism (sports news and financial reports, for example) are on the rise, while explanations of the benefits from insurance companies and marketing copy likewise rely on machine-writing technology. We can imagine a near future where machines play an even larger part in highly conventional kinds of writing, but also a more creative role in imaginative genres (novels, poems, plays), even computer code itself. Yohei Igarashi, “The cliché writes back” at Aeon (September 9, 2021) Currently, humans’ ability to guess whether it is machine writing, he says, is only…

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Business Leadership Attributes and Features in Literature

What Does Super-Investor Peter Thiel Think You Should Read?

Some books to consider include history as well as business strategy. The two cannot be separated

Peter Thiel, whose name is practically synonymous with successful high-tech investing, will be speaking at COSM 2021. He has also offered some thoughts on books worth reading: Here are three of them, courtesy Kevin Rooke: ➤ The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz (Harper Business 2014): From Thiel: “Every management guide presumes that all great companies follow a formula. But successful startups don’t imitate; they build innovations that can’t be copied. Ben Horowitz knows no recipe guarantees success. He has written the first true guide for protecting a startup from self-sabotage.” ➤ Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder (Basic Books, 2010) From Thiel: “He tells how…

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Agentur

It’s AI Art — But Is That Really Art?

Much depends on the claque that agrees that it IS art

There are reports that AI has created wonderful music and great paintings. But who judges whether a creation is or isn’t art? 19th century writer Margaret Wolfe Hungerford claimed that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”1 So any analysis of AI art or music will be subjective. One person’s modern art masterpiece can be viewed by others as like a child’s finger painting. The same is true for music. The delightful chaos of Charles Ives music is interpreted by some as noise. The value of all art can cannot be quantized but, indeed, “is in the eye of the beholder.” The degree to which art is held in high regard can be emotionally manipulated. A great example is…

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Large format digital printing machine and moving print head

But Why Is “Depublishing” Cool Among Publishers Now?

Publishers now Cancel their own books in a righteous fury!

Withdrawing books instead of defending them is now “cool” because the industry has changed. Now, often, it’s about currying favor with government and powerful people, not with helping readers understand the world around us. To consider what’s changed, take one uproar around a biography of novelist Philip Roth (1933–2018) by a U.S. author Bill Bailey: Several women accused Bailey of predatory behavior. At a Louisiana private school where he had once taught English, he was said to have “groomed” eighth-graders for later of-age seductions to rape. And a woman said that Bailey had raped her at the home of a mutual friend who—in one of the scandal’s myriad ironies—was a book reviewer for the New York Times. In no time,…

Students sitting a test in an exam hall in college

When Universities No Longer Want You To Know Controversial Ideas

Perhaps The Economist might wish to consider whether reality matters

Yesterday, we looked at why the publishing industry has gone to war against books. In that case, it’s an economic decision, really. The industry no longer benefits from championing books that the establishment would rather you did not read — a major change from centuries of publishing history. Why it happened? Well, mainly, there are lots of other ways to get the news. And there are ways to make money from publishing without risking controversial books. The tendency has, of course, infected universities as well. The Economist has the story: What aren’t you allowed to know more about gender ideology?: Hours before Jo Phoenix, a professor of criminology at Britain’s Open University, was due to give a talk at Essex…

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Artificial Intelligence. Digital age in the global world of the future. 3D illustration of computer mind in decentralized cyberspace

ET Expert Thinks That ET Is Probably AI (Artificial Intelligence)

Given the immense interstellar distances, not being alive might be the only way ET could get here.

Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) astronomer Seth Shostak (pictured) confesses that these are exciting times for alien hunters like himself, what with the Pentagon’s anticipated July 25 report on unidentified aerial phenomena. Still, he doesn’t expect any big revelations: “I think it’s overwhelmingly likely that aliens are present in our galaxy. But I don’t believe they’re hanging out in our airspace. Not now, and not in historic times.” On the other hand, he goes on to say, every third star in our galaxy could host an Earth-like planet so the odds are we are not alone. Few life forms on Earth resemble humans, so why should extraterrestrials? But if we are not alone, what would ET be like? A gaseous…