Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

CategoryArts & Culture

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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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 ›
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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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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4er Golf flight

The Paradox of Luck and Skill

Why did Shane Lowry win the British Open golf championship? Because someone had to

In any competition including academic tests, athletic events, and company management where there is an element of luck that causes performances to be an imperfect measure of ability, there is an important difference between competitions among people with high ability and competitions among people of lesser ability.

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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 ›
Drawing gears

We went back to visit Gödel, Escher, and Bach…

Forty years after publication, how has a big explain-the-mind book withstood the test of time?

Is there evidence that human minds function like computers and can soon be reproduced in software, as Hofstadter believed?

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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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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
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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