Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

CategoryArts & Culture

Poker Esteban Lopez liEV4NUf2qU Unsplash

Can the AI Poker Champ Improve Real-World Decisions?

That’s the claim aired at Nature for Pluribus, the new Texas hold ‘em champ. Bradley Center fellows are skeptical

“The trouble is," says Brendan Dixon, "any technique that works by searching ‘to the end of the game’ will not help self-driving cars (as an example) one bit…unless they have also mastered predicting the future. There is no ‘end of the game’ for nearly all decisions we make.”

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Robot James Pond Unsplash 1483706571191-85c0c76b1947

Fake News Thrives on Fears of a Robot Takeover

The motion graphics artist tried to explain that he faked the amazing robot video

The convincing film was great for Tom’s Twitter feed but less great for what it says about our judgment as viewers. We believe too much AI hype. 

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AI Can’t Do Jazz Because Spontaneity Is at Jazz’s Core

AI “artists”—in all the forms presently available — merely replay their programming

As Ted Gioia makes clear in his discussion of jazz, swirling a bit of randomness into the mix will not help.

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Science Fiction Minimalist Cube Maze Modern Fantasy

1984 is 70 years old yet still feels current

Did Orwell prove a better techno-prophet than Huxley did in Brave New World?

In 1949, Huxley thought he was closer to the mark than his former student Orwell was. Later generations have tussled over the question, with revealing results.

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Man walking in tunnel

“Brilliant Vision” from a Century Ago Foretells Today’s Internet

In E. M. Forster's dystopia, people interact only through the Machine

In a wholly materialist environment, science and other disciplines have, by preference, ceased to explore anything but their own ideas.

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Painting Mike Petrucci Unsplash

AI Can Detect Art Forgery—and That’s Not All

It can also help with problems in art history that are not nearly as simple as forgery

By the very nature of collaborative work, if simple fraud for financial gain is not in question, many much harder questions remain, questions where AI might provide information that enables better judgment. But it’s hardly the stuff of “AI Is Taking Over.”

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Tree and mushrooms at night

Does Vivid Imagination Help “Explain” Consciousness?

A popular science magazine struggles to make the case

Vivid imagination doesn’t explain human consciousness (or the ability to abstract); they are one of its characteristics. The second film in the Science Uprising series mocks the prejudice that is always looking for "explanations" of consciousness that really aim at explaining it away.

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1973 Computer Program: The World Will End in 2040

Jonathan Bartlett offers some thoughts on a frantic, bizarre - but instructive - computer-driven prediction

Viewers may find the attitudes to experts and to computers shown in the video both quaint and disturbing. For that reason, the video is a helpful reminder of the limits of both.

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Film studio with cameras and movie equipment exposing edge of facade

Could AI Authentically Create Anything?

Brendan Dixon: The first question posed to me as an artist was,“What are you trying to say?”

Du Sautoy believes that AI will “in the distant future” achieve consciousness. For that, we have no evidence. It is a statement of religious faith akin to that of Anthony Levandowski's AI Church.

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Why AI Fails To Actually Create Things

Only one of the traits du Sautoy suggests is an essential part of creativity

Du Sautoy’s fourth trait—“originality of a truly independent nature”—is a useful part of the definition of creativity. It is, however, the one trait that he admits is missing from AI’s “creative” attempts

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the game of go
the game of go

Why AI Appears To Create Things

When AlphaGo made a winning move, it exhibited no more creative insight than when it played pedestrian moves

Our surprise at AlphaGo’s move says more about our inability to predict what a program will do than about any creative effort of the program. We’ve known for decades that we cannot predict the results of any moderately complex computer program.

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A Mind Matters Review: Sci-Fi Shorts of the Week

With human input, Sunspring starts to make sense

This week, watch a collaboration between deep learning and human creativity produce something far more coherent than Sunspring. And check out an animation on the pitfalls of emotional intelligence.

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AI and the Seductive Optics of the Frankenstein Complex

The fact that some AI makes you feel creepy is a part of its success

One of the factors contributing to fear of AI is the Frankenstein Complex.1 The term, coined by sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov2, originally described fear of the “mechanical man” in the science fiction of old. The complex is named for the young scientist, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, protagonist of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. He stitches human body parts together to create a monster. There is no AI in the story; he brings the monster to life based on an intelligence that was assumed to be resident in biology. “Frankenstein’s monster” later came to be called simply “Frankenstein.” Thomas Edison first filmed the story as a silent movie in 1910 but Boris Karloff’s depiction of the monster in Read More ›

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A Mind Matters Review: Love, Death, & Robots

Despite the trash and ruined expectations, several shorts were enjoyable and downright fun to watch

Love, Death, & Robots is rather ambiguous. Perhaps a more descriptive title would be Blood, Butts, and Some Sci-Fi Thrown In.

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A Mind Matters Review: AI Week at DUST, the sci-fi short films channel

Films you have time to see and think about

Looking for a good “robots, AI, ‘n sci-fi” fix to round out your weekend? Mind Matters has you covered for animations and shorts. For starters, check out DUST, a YouTube channel dedicated to short sci-fi. Its recent AI WEEK (February 11–18) offered “A collection of curated short films dedicated to artificial intelligence and its connection with humanity.” When I say “short,” I mean that the longest is about 30 min; the others are much shorter. So if you have just a few minutes to kill while downing a bowl of spicy curry ramen, I would recommend giving them a watch. For AI narratives, they’re not as clichéd as you might fear. Sunspring | DUST AI Week Runtime | 8:15 Cleanliness Read More ›

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Character from Zoe sitting in chair

A Mind Matters Review: Zoe (2018), an Android’s Love Story

Underlying assumptions aside, it's a great film with good acting and believable dialogue

Zoe is a great film but it presents a storyline often used to show how inexplicable and ineffable love is in order to get me to believe that it isn’t.

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Face of android for Detroit: Become Human

A Closer Look at Detroit: Become Human, Part II

One pillar, if you like, of the worldview of the “Church of AI” is the belief that our embrace of artificial intelligence is a step on the road to a higher form of life.

Looking more closely, we can see that the stupidity and insignificance of human beings is a central dogma in the AI religion.

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