Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis


Technology and network concept

Is ChatGPT Solely a Neural Network? I Tested That…

Changing the random number test to a "computer easy, human hard" test requires simply that we ask ChatGPT to reverse the random number. It couldn't.

ChatGPT is a direct descendent of GPT-3, and is a fancy form of a fancy machine learning algorithm called a neural network. For an overview of all of ChatGPT’s neural network complexity, here is a fun article. However, all that is beside the point. The important thing about a neural network: It can only generate what is in its training data. Therefore, ChatGPT can only produce what is in its training data. ChatGPT’s training data does not include the conversation you or I are having with ChatGPT. Therefore, if something novel occurs in the conversation, ChatGPT cannot reproduce it. That is, if ChatGPT is a neural network. Conversely, if ChatGPT reproduces novel text from the conversation, then ipso facto ChatGPT is not a Read More ›

Deep learning neural network AI Artificial intelligence concept

Programmer: Deep Learning Can’t Give Us Computers That Think

Artificial general intelligence (AGI) — computers that think like humans — would need to be able to generalize, which he says Deep Learning doesn’t do

At Medium late last year, a programmer/researcher who writes under the name “Rebel Science,” assessed Deep Learning, a favorite of the self-driving car quest, as “useless” because it can’t generalize: The biggest problem with DL is its inherent inability to effectively generalize. Without generalization, edge cases are an insurmountable problem, something that the autonomous vehicle industry found out the hard way after wasting more than $100 billion by betting on DL. Rebel Science, “Deep Learning Is Not Just Inadequate for Solving AGI, It Is Useless” at Medium (Nov 2, 2022) Displaying for readers a picture of a bicycle, he continues, A deep neural network cannot perceive this bicycle unless it has been previously trained to recognize it. Generalization is the Read More ›

silver paper clips
An extreme close up image of metal paper clips

Santa Fe Prof Dissects End-of-World Super-AI Claims

There seems to be little communication, she notes, between people concerned about sci-fi AI risks and people concerned about predictable everyday risks

Santa Fe Institute professor of complexity Melanie Mitchell takes issue — in a gentle way — with those who warn about the dangers of superintelligent machines (AI alignment) destroying us all: In one scenario, for example, Oxford Future of Humanity Institute’s Nick Bostrom developed a scenario by which a super AI, told to make paper clips, might use up the world’s resources in doing so. Her comment: To many outside these specific communities, AI alignment looks something like a religion — one with revered leaders, unquestioned doctrine and devoted disciples fighting a potentially all-powerful enemy (unaligned superintelligent AI). Indeed, the computer scientist and blogger Scott Aaronson recently noted that there are now “Orthodox” and “Reform” branches of the AI alignment Read More ›

Chatbot conversation. Person using online customer service with chat bot to get support. Artificial intelligence and CRM software automation technology. Virtual assistant on internet.

Yes, ChatGPT Is Sentient — Because It’s Really Humans in the Loop

ChatGPT itself told me there could be humans crafting its input. My tests indicate that that’s likely true

OpenAI, recently released a new AI program called ChatGPT. It left the internet gobsmacked, though some were skeptical, and concerned about its abilities. Particularly about ChatGPT writing students’ homework for them! [ChatGPT] also appears to be ominously good at answering the types of open-ended analytical questions that frequently appear on school assignments. (Many educators have predicted that ChatGPT, and tools like it, will spell the end of homework and take-home exams.) Kevin Roose, “The Brilliance and Weirdness of ChatGPT” at New York Times (December 5, 2022) The really amazing thing is ChatGPT’s humanlike responses. They gives an observer an unnerving suspicion that the AI is actually sentient. Maybe it is actually sentient. Wait, what? You heard me. The AI is Read More ›

Two female programmers working on new project.They working late at night at the office.

Jonathan Bartlett’s New Book Takes the Mystery out of Programming

Many people would benefit from understanding the basics of programming, especially the ideas and principles underlying Javascript, used at websites

Jonathan Bartlett, author of the well-received Calculus from the Ground Up (2018), has a new book out, Programming for Absolute Beginners: Using JavaScript. As he told Mind Matters News, the book is aimed at those who want to get started in programming, “whether that’s someone switching careers, an introductory college course, or a high school student.” Or just someone who needs to interact with programmers, perhaps in the workplace. Mind Matters News: You mention that, for those who want to learn programming today, the situation has changed, compared with earlier years. How has it changed? Jonathan Bartlett: I grew up around computers. I’ve been programming computers since the 1980s, and have been around the development scene for a long time. Read More ›

supercomputer neural network

Two Computer Doomsday Scenarios: How Likely Are They?

One features a computer superintelligence beyond human comprehension and the other features a computer that destroys the world for an algorithmic reward

In an open-access paper last year at the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, a research group concluded that a computer superintelligence, if developed, could not be contained. It would be a HAL 9000 that couldn’t just be turned off. Science writer David Nield explains: The catch is that controlling a super-intelligence far beyond human comprehension would require a simulation of that super-intelligence which we can analyze (and control). But if we’re unable to comprehend it, it’s impossible to create such a simulation. Rules such as ‘cause no harm to humans’ can’t be set if we don’t understand the kind of scenarios that an AI is going to come up with, suggest the authors of the new paper. Once a computer Read More ›

An advanced CPU printed with a flag of USA on a neon glowing electronic circuit board. Illustration of the concept of United States made high-end micro chips.

What Difference Has the CHIPS Act Made to the U.S. and Taiwan?

We need to first look at the broader picture of what the CHIPS Act is intended to do

In a previous article, I discussed the semiconductor industry and Taiwan’s supremacy in manufacturing microchips, the foundry portion of the semiconductor supply chain. Now let’s look at the U.S. perspective on the semiconductor industry and its relationship to Taiwan. In order to do that, we have to talk about the CHIPS+ Act Congress passed a bipartisan bill, the CHIPS and Science Act in July, after a year of negotiations in committee. President Biden signed the act into law on August 9 and the CHIPS Act Implementation Strategy was launched on September 6 through an executive order. CHIPS, or “Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors,” is a $250B initiative that incentivizes businesses to bring semiconductor manufacturing, research and innovation back to Read More ›

Network connected across planet Earth ,  view from space. Concept of smart wireless communication technology . Some elements of this image furnished by NASA

Google Cloud’s Ankur Jain To Speak at COSM 2022

One of his key initiatives is bringing internet connectivity to less well-served parts of the globe.

Ankur Jain, VP Engineering for Google Cloud for Telecom, Distributed Cloud, and Immersive Stream, will be speaking at COSM 2022, November 9–11 in Bellevue, Washington. Go here to get the Early Adopter rate before September 15 (tomorrow). At work, he has focused on cross-Google programs like cloud computing, mobile communications, 5G, and privacy issues. One of his key initiatives is bringing internet connectivity to less well-served parts of the globe. He noted in 2017, “As people increasingly access the Internet through their mobile devices, mobile operators are now designing their next-generation networks based on many of the same principles that we’ve adopted to power our own networking infrastructure.” In his current position, he leads Google Cloud’s Telco, Distributed Cloud Edge, Read More ›

black metal spiral staircase in grayscale photography

How AI Neural Networks Show That the Mind Is Not the Brain

A series of simple diagrams shows that, while AI learns faster than the human brain, the human mind tackles problems that stump AI

Recently, I’ve been arguing (here and here, for example) that we can use artificial neural networks (ANNs) to prove that the mind is not the brain. To recap, here is the logic of my argument: Premise A: neural networks can learn better than the brainPremise B: the human mind can learn better than a neural networkConclusion: the human mind can learn better than the brain, therefore it is not the brain This means if we can conclusively show the human mind can learn better than a neural network, then the mind is not the brain. For Premise A, I’ve argued that the differentiable neural network is a superior learning model compared to the brain neuron’s “all or nothing principle”. The Read More ›

Machine learning , artificial intelligence , ai, deep learning blockchain neural network concept. Brain made with shining wireframe above multiple blockchain cpu on circuit board 3d render.

Artificial neural networks can show that the mind isn’t the brain

Because artificial neural networks are a better version of the brain, whatever neural networks cannot do, the brain cannot do.

What is the human mind? AI pioneer Marvin Minsky (1927–2016) said in 1987 that essentially “Minds are what brains do.” That is, the mind is the result of electrical waves cycling through the brain, as neurons spike and synapses transmit signals. But is that true? Can we test this idea? We can indeed, using artificial neural networks. One of the most popular approaches to artificial intelligence is artificial neural networks. These networks, inspired by an early model of how neurons fire (the McCulloch–Pitts model), consist of nodes, where each node is similar to a neuron. A node receives signals and then sends them to its linked nodes based on an activation function. There are, of course, differences between neural networks Read More ›

Chatbot assistant, Ai Artificial Intelligence

Prof: How We Know Google’s Chatbot LaMDA Is Not a “Self”

Carissa Véliz, an Oxford philosophy prof who studies AI, explains where Google engineer Blake Lemoine is getting things mixed up

Say what you want about Blake “LaMDA is a person!” Lemoine. He has forced many people to help us clarify what AI — and in particular, a large language program — is and is not. For that, we should thank him. First, LaMDA is not conscious, sentient, not a self. And second, it’s not even a new idea, just a much bigger and more sophisticated version of a 1960s idea. Oxford philosophy prof Carissa Véliz, author of Privacy Is Power (2021) reminds us of philosopher Thomas Nagel’s seminal question, What is it like to be a bat? Nagel meant that, if an entity is be conscious or sentient, there must be something that it “is like” to be that entity. Read More ›

Change Chance

The Salem Hypothesis: Why Engineers View the Universe as Designed

Not because we're terrorists or black-and-white thinkers, as claimed. A simple computer program shows the limits of creating information by chance

In the fun-filled world of internet debate between creationists and evolutionists, we encounter the Salem Hypothesis: Creationists tend to be engineers. Many explanations have been offered for this phenomenon (apparently named after Talk Origins contributor Bruce Salem): engineers are closet terrorists creationists are trying to protect their fragile beliefs a desire to exert authority engineers like simple black and white answers There’s a reason internet forums are not known for flattering character analysis! Anyhow, the true reason for the Salem Hypothesis is summed up in this graph. Read on to find out why. Engineers are more likely to be creationists because they are familiar with what it takes to design complex things for specific tasks. Which is exactly what we Read More ›

ants building a bridge

Do Ants Think? Yes, They Do — But They Think Like Computers

Computer programmers have adapted some ant problem-solving methods to software programs (but without the need for complex chemical scents)

Navigation expert Eric Cassell, author of Animal Algorithms: Evolution and the Mysterious Origin of Ingenious Instincts (2021), offers some insights in the book into how ants organize themselves using what amount to algorithms, without any central command: Ants are remarkably consistent in their lifestyle: All of the roughly 11,000 species of ants live in groups, large or small. There are no known solitary ants. Living in groups, they have developed a social lifestyle that includes “agriculture, territorial wars, slavery, division of labor, castes, consensus building, cities, and a symbolic language.” (p. 85) How is this managed by ants with very small brains (200,000 to 250,000 neurons) and very limited individuality? For comparison, among mammals, the agouti has roughly 857 million Read More ›

Cloud in woman hands on blue sky

Arm in the Cloud?: Lower Cost and Higher Performance

A quick tutorial on why Arm technology has 90% of the cell phone market

Central processing units (CPUs) are usually classified according to their architecture. Historically, desktop computers (especially non-Apple computers) were almost entirely based on Intel’s x86 32-bit architecture, with more recent ones supporting AMD’s 64-bit extensions for more modern computers. The x86 architecture has never ruled because it was a great architecture for the future, but merely because of compatibility — essentially, if you write software to one architecture, it won’t run on another one. The one company that pushed more aggressively for new architectures was Apple, which switched its Macintosh operating system through four major CPU architectures: Motorola 68k, PowerPC, Intel x86, and now Arm. Not only that, their earlier Apple II series ran yet another CPU architecture—the 6502. Because Apple Read More ›

New York, USA - 26 April 2021: Kubernetes company logo close-up on website page, Illustrative Editorial.
New York, USA - 26 April 2021: Kubernetes company logo close-up on website page, Illustrative Editorial

How Does A Kubernetes Cluster Work?

A general overview of the Kubernetes environment

Now that you have some concrete experience using Kubernetes, this article will present the basic theory of how a Kubernetes cluster works. We won’t talk about how to accomplish these things in the present article – the goal is to provide you with a broad understanding of the components of Kubernetes. Basic Kubernetes Components Kubernetes comes with a lot of different components, and it is hard to get them all shown on the same diagram. Therefore, I will just give a high-level picture of what a Kubernetes cluster looks like. The image below shows the basic setup, which we will cover in this article. You see here a separation between the internal Kubernetes network and the Internet. Note that this Read More ›

Laptop with cloud computing diagram

Getting Started with Kubernetes: A Cluster Setup Walkthrough

Setting up a Kubernetes cluster in Linode is incredibly simple

This series will give you an overview of Kubernetes, the popular open-source cloud computing platform developed by Google. Kubernetes allows for the development of cloud-based platforms using entirely open specifications, so you are never tied down to a specific vendor. Many cloud vendors, such as AWS, have proprietary ways of developing scalable web applications (such as their Lambda system). The problem is that this ties your application to their system, and, as we have seen with Parler, Amazon gives and Amazon takes away. Therefore, it is wise to not tie your infrastructure too tightly to a single vendor. Kubernetes allows you to build large-scale scalable applications in the cloud in a way that is transferable to a variety of vendors. Read More ›

Server room or server computers.3d rendering.

Getting Started with Kubernetes: A Brief History of Cloud Hosting

A history lesson for a better understanding of why web infrastructure hosting is the way it is

Oftentimes it is hard to understand why something is the way it is unless you understand its history. To start with, I want to present a quick overview of the history of web infrastructure hosting to give you a better feel for what sorts of problems cloud native development solves. The Old Way Way back in the early days of the Internet, web applications were hosted on specific server machines. That is, when you wanted to host a web application, you had to purchase a physical machine, install Linux or some other operating system on it, and then pay an Internet Service Provider to put your machine on their network. This process was both time-consuming and expensive, often costing hundreds Read More ›

Software computer programming code

First Steps to Serverless on AWS: A How-To Guide

A step-by-step tutorial on how to build and deploy a simple serverless web application on AWS

In a previous article, we talked about what serverless applications are and how they work. In this article, we will build and deploy a simple serverless web application on AWS (AWS is the cloud computing platform created by Amazon). For this application, I will assume that you have an AWS account already set up (if not, start here). While AWS has an enormous number of tools available for developers, we will focus on two: Lambda and API Gateway. Lambda is the general serverless function-invocation system on AWS. Essentially, everything that happens in AWS, whether it is a file upload, a video transcoding job, or an HTTP request, can be enabled to trigger a function defined in Lambda for further processing. Lambda functions Read More ›

Camera slowly moving in data center showing server equipment wit

Serverless Computing: What Is It?

A serverless system makes for a more convenient and efficient experience

A new trend in cloud programming these days is known as “serverless” programming. This term is a bit confusing, because it does not mean that your code isn’t running on a server. What it does mean is that you don’t have to manage the server(s). The Physical Server In the early days of the Internet, nearly all communication was directly between the “client” (the person using a web browser or other application) and the “server” (the physical device you were communicating with). Of course, there is a limit to the number of connections that a single physical machine can process. Early on, several mechanisms were developed that allowed companies to grow their services beyond what a single machine could handle, Read More ›

Programming source code abstract background

NoSQL Databases are the Problem, Not the Solution

NoSQL means that you will be continually rewriting your code

It’s amazing how much we forget about our own history. Many people think that NoSQL databases are the “next big thing” in technology, and that we should write all of our core applications using them. However, NoSQL databases actually predate relational databases, and common relational databases were established to solve the problems that NoSQL brings. What are the advantages of NoSQL databases? There are essentially two — they are fast, fast, fast, and they can scale, scale, scale. This much is true. However, if you aren’t building the next Facebook, you probably don’t need that much speed and scale. The fact is, this much speed and scale comes at a cost, and, even in the 1970s, with the limited computers Read More ›