Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

CategoryPsychology

little-boy-eating-a-cake-little-boy-emotionally-eating-a-little-cake-stockpack-adobe-stock
Little boy eating a cake. Little boy emotionally eating a little cake

Are Our Tastes in Food Shaped Even Before We Are Born?

A recent experiment suggests that prenatal exposure to food tastes and smells could impact diet preferences later in life, with health consequences

Recent research may shed some light: Researchers in Britain and France just published the first direct evidence showing that fetuses can actually taste and smell while still in the womb. These important findings could help scientists further our understanding of how human taste and smell receptors develop. But the most immediate implication is that a pregnant woman’s diet might influence their babies’ food preferences after birth. “A number of studies have suggested that babies can taste and smell in the womb, but they are based on post-birth outcomes while our study is the first to see these reactions prior to birth,” lead researcher Beyza Ustun, a postgraduate researcher in the Fetal and Neonatal Research Lab at Durham University, said in…

the-colossal-titan-is-comingattack-on-titan-stockpack-adobe-stock
The colossal titan is comingAttack On Titan

Big Tech Moguls vs. Historic Titans of Industry: What’s Changed?

Today’s Big Tech moguls were more likely to have been born into fractured relationships and may be seeking an eternal geek adolescence

If we had to compare the giants of industrialization of the late 19th through early 20th centuries — Andrew Carnegie, Thomas A. Edison, Henry Ford, Henry Clay Frick,J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and Cornelius Vanderbilt — with the giants of the contemporary tech world —Jeff Bezos, Jack Dorsey, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs,  Elon Musk, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg — would we see significant differences? Fred Bech tackles that at Expensivity. He finds that the immense fame, power, and wealth are comparable, as is the fact that they took inventions created largely by others and — via business acumen — transformed our way of life.Of course, that means new problems as well as new solutions. Staying in touch with far-distant loved ones is a blessing; viruses, hacking, and Twitter mobs are…

cyber-bullying-concept-people-using-notebook-computer-laptop-for-social-media-interactions-with-notification-icons-of-hate-speech-and-mean-comment-in-social-network-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
cyber bullying concept. people using notebook computer laptop for social media interactions with notification icons of hate speech and mean comment in social network

Social Media Can Literally Kill. It Killed Cheslie Chryst

Chryst’s suicide — and Constant Wu’s thwarted attempt — spotlight the toxic cyberbullying that is intrinsic to Big Tech’s formula for success

[This article is republished with permission from the New York Post (July 23, 2022) where it appeared under the title “Constance Wu’s suicide tweet proves social media can mean life or death.”] “Looking back, it’s surreal that a few DMs convinced me to end my own life, but that’s what happened.”  Last week, actress Constance Wu confessed on Twitter that she had tried to take her own life after she made “careless tweets” about the renewal of her TV show, ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” in May 2019. “So upset right now that I’m literally crying,” she had posted about the show’s renewal, which had forced her to give up another project she was passionate about. As would be expected on a public…

young-amateur-football-fan-supporters-cheering-with-confetti-watching-local-soccer-cup-match-at-stadium-friends-people-group-on-green-t-shirts-having-excited-fun-on-sport-world-championship-final-stockpack-adobe-stock
Young amateur football fan supporters cheering with confetti watching local soccer cup match at stadium - Friends people group on green t shirts having excited fun on sport world championship final

Researchers: Distrust of Science Is Due to Tribal Loyalty

In Part 2 of 4, we look at a claim arising from a recent study: We blindly believe those we identify with, ignoring the wisdom of science

Recently, a paper lamenting the decline of trust in science was discussed at ScienceAlert, a science news site. In representing the paper—doubtless accurately — for a lay audience, the write-up embodies the causes of legitimate public distrust. That is worth dissecting in more detail. Yesterday, we looked at the write-up in light of the government responses to COVID, which were all too often panicked reactions rather than trustworthy guidance. Then, in the wake of the debacle, the White House chose to set up a Disinformation Board to target non-government sources of alleged disinformation — which could only deepen existing distrust. We press on. The second point of four raised at ScienceAlert is that tribal loyalty is thought to create distrust…

3d-render-beautiful-woman-computer-generated-photo-realistic-to-to-illustrate-the-uncanny-valley-effect-stockpack-adobe-stock
3D render beautiful woman computer generated photo realistic to to illustrate the uncanny valley effect

AI: The Shadow of Frankenstein Lurks in the Uncanny Valley

The fifth and final excerpt from Non-Computable You (2022), from Chapter 6, focuses on the scarier AI hype

Wrapping AI in an impressive physical package can magnify the perceived impact of new technology. Doing so uses seductive optics. The confusing of AI packaging with AI content was evident in media excitement about a Buddhist robot who delivers messages to the faithful. “The world’s first sutra-chanting android deity, modeled after Kannon the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, was introduced to the public last week,” the report reads. The robot can “move its eyes, hands, and torso, make human-like gestures during its speech, and brings its hands together in prayer. A camera implanted in the left eye to focus on a subject gives the impression of eye contact.”1 Technologically speaking, nothing special is happening here. The messages from the Buddhist robot…

Chatbot conversation on smartphone screen app interface with artificial intelligence technology providing virtual assistant customer support and information, person hand holding mobile phone

Google’s LaMDA Not As Smart As Some Think 

Lacking in the media coverage of the suspension of the engineer is any definition of the key word, “sentience”

Google suspended an engineer, Blake Lemoine, for claiming that a Google AI project named LaMDA has become “sentient”. Google asserted that Lemoine had breached company confidentiality. But, in addition, Google disagreed with Lemoine that artificial intelligence at Google had achieved sentience. Eric Holloway has exposed the workings behind the curtain that show that LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) was trained using examples from humans to do exactly what it did. It’s behavior was planned. That’s what AI does: what it is programmed to do.  Here’s another angle that peels off more of LaMDA’s glitter.  Lacking in the media coverage of the suspension of the engineer is any definition of the key word, “sentience.” This is an example of the seductive semantics commonly used…

new-technologies-a-child-uses-a-futuristic-processor-for-augmented-reality-high-technology-and-communication-concept-tv-stockpack-adobe-stock
new technologies, a child uses a futuristic processor for augmented reality. high technology and communication concept. TV

Psychologist Promotes “Virtual Children” for the Good of Earth

The former technology advisor to the U.K. government thinks that parents may prefer no-strings AI children for $25 a month

What if you had a child who was simply a virtual reality, who had no existence about from your own wishes? British psychologist Catriona Campbell, whose aim is to secure “a healthy, human-centred relationship with AI,” thinks that’s the way of the future and better for the planet. The vision of the author of AI by design: A Plan for Living with Artificial Intelligence (Chapman and Hall/CRC, 2022, is spelled out at Study Finds: The overpopulation crisis could be solved within 50 years thanks to the evolution of “virtual children,” one of Britain’s leading artificial intelligence experts claims. Computer-generated babies that cost about $25 a month are likely to become commonplace by the early-2070s, according to Catriona Campbell. In addition…

teenagers-laughing-during-a-group-counseling-session-for-youth-stockpack-adobe-stock
Teenagers laughing during a group counseling session for youth

What Anti-Opioid Strategies Could Really Lower the Death Toll?

Anesthetist Dr. Richard Hurley discussed with Robert J. Marks the value of cognitive behavior therapy — reframing the problem

In a recent podcast, “Exercising Free Won’t in Fentanyl Addiction: Unless You Die First” (May 4, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviewed anesthesiologist and pain management expert Dr. Richard Hurley on the scourge of opioids and what information strategies might help combat it.Yesterday, they looked at highly addictive opioids like Oxycontin, Percodan and Fentanyl and the many needless deaths that result from their misuse. Today, the focus is on strategies for prevention. 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, 2022), on the need for realism in another area as well — the capabilities of artificial intelligence. Stay tuned. https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/05/Mind-Matters-News-Episode-185-Richard-Hurley-Episode-1-rev1.mp3…

woman-with-hygienic-mask-shopping-for-supplybudget-buying-at-a-supply-storeemergency-to-buy-listshopping-for-enough-food-and-cleaning-productspreparation-for-a-pandemic-quarantine-due-to-covid-19-stockpack-adobe-stock
Woman with hygienic mask shopping for supply.Budget buying at a supply store.Emergency to buy list.Shopping for enough food and cleaning products.Preparation for a pandemic quarantine due to covid-19

Historian Niall Ferguson on What We Can Learn From COVID

To start with how can we be pretty sure we are over it? Ferguson offers some evidence

At COSM 2021, Jay Richards interviewed historian Niall Ferguson, author of Doom: The politics of catastrophe (2021), on the lessons we could learn from historic disasters in interpreting the COVID-19 crises. Ferguson spoke at COSM 2021 (November 10, 3:00 pm) on “Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe”: Setting the annus horribilis of 2020 in historical perspective, Niall Ferguson explains why we are getting worse, not better, at handling disasters. The lessons of history that this country — indeed the West as a whole — urgently need to learn, if we want to handle the next crisis better, and to avoid the ultimate doom of irreversible decline. Generally, he sees the economic impact of the COVID shutdown as comparable to fighting World…

accusers who me
Concept of accusation guilty person girl.

Why Is Cancel Culture Such a Big Part of Our Lives Today?

To understand the Twitter mob’s destruction of lives and careers, it’s essential to address the immense power of groupthink

Just in time for International Women’s Day, Emma Camp, a female student at the University of Virginia, reports experiencing a wave of hostility when she suggested that non-Indian women could legitimately criticize the practice of suttee, by which a woman burns to death on her husband’s funeral pyre, voluntarily or otherwise. The reaction on Twitter suggests that Cancel Culture is its lifeblood. Meanwhile, virologist Julie Overbaugh, a National Academy of Sciences member who has made many contributions to the study of viruses, has been forced out of her teaching and research leadership positions because she had worn a Michael Jackson costume to a Halloween “King of Pop” party in 2009. Curiously, although one of her cited offences in connection with…

creative-businessman-with-an-idea-stockpack-adobe-stock
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…