Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

CategorySocial Factors

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How Did Twitter Become a “Virus of the Mind”?

A libertarian law professor reflects on the poisonous atmosphere and proposed remedies

Using engineering terminology, he makes the point that, whereas the blogosphere has been a loosely coupled system where craziness in one venue had little impact on another, new social media are tightly coupled systems, prone to maximal disruption

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Swarm Printing: Are AI Robots Tomorrow’s Construction Workers?

Robotic swarms specially adapted to operate in austere environments could be useful responses to natural and manmade disasters

While many traditional construction jobs will be lost, others will be created. Someone will need to design, build, service, and repair the robots.

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Autopilot Is NOT Just Another Word for “Asleep at the Wheel”

As a recent fatal accident in Florida shows, even sober, attentive drivers often put too much trust into Tesla’s Autopilot system, with disastrous results

Like all tools, AI systems, when used correctly, can augment our abilities, but they are nowhere near replacing us. And we endanger ourselves, and others, when we believe they can.

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Google’s “Civil War” Is a First For the Big Tech Industry

Not the sort of first to rejoice market analysts’ hearts

If a recent longform article at Fortune is any guide, tech philosopher George Gilder was onto something when he told Steve Forbes recently that the whole Google culture is “kind of self-defeating and wrong.”

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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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What One Thing Do AI, Evolution, and Entrepreneurship All Need?

They all need an input of creativity to make things happen.

Programs for AI and evolution share the limitation that nothing creative happens without the guidance of a programmer. And a thriving economy based on creative entrepreneurship is one of the things that cannot be automated.

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George Gilder speaking at the book launch of Life after Google

George Gilder: Why Student Debt Should Simply Be Wiped Out

Universities are preparing students to resent, not join, the new decentralized economy

“The colleges that took this money and enriched themselves, and hired hundreds more bureaucrats should have to give the money back.”

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George Gilder seated before speech at book launch

George Gilder: Why Does Google Seem To Be Having a Corporate Nervous Breakdown?

Gilder tells Forbes that its whole culture is “kind of self-defeating and wrong.”

"This whole business of aggregating people by giving them free stuff—in order to collect data to provide guidance for advertisers—it’s just a circuitous means of a business plan that I don’t think will finally prevail."

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Quell the cell and kids do well?

That sounds simplistic but it worked at a girls’ school in New Zealand

High goals, discipline and, perhaps most critically, a ban on cellphones, have seen St Joseph’s Maori Girls College reach the top 10 for University Entrance in this year’s high-school league tables, the NZ Herald reports.

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Search

Beyond the Google Search

Today's search technology may provide us with an "answer" we did not work for and won't remember

While a search engine or online encyclopedia may be a convenient first resort, you should see it as merely a starting point. From there, you can turn to other resources, either online or in person.

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Dramatic masks, crying and smiling

If Social Robots Could Cry, They’d Need Plenty of Tissues For This One

The spate of recent failures of social robot firms prompts a question: Are developers listening to markets?

It’s safe to say that most human beings alive today would not want a high level of emotional involvement with a robot.

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What It Really Takes to Build a High-Tech Company, Sell It, and Get Rich

Inventor and entrepreneur Hal Philipp offers a rewarding but cautionary true story

The road to the success that Hal Philipp enjoys today was laced with landmines. When money starts rolling in, entrepreneurs must expect lawsuits. But perseverance and a strong character won the day. 

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Scientists’ Definition of Life Excludes AI, but Includes Embryos

A sophisticated AI machine would certainly be worth a lot of money but it has no more moral worth than a broken toaster

Speaking of moral value, the professors’ proposed definition would certainly include the earliest human embryos, their status as “human life” often denied by those who wish to justify their wanton destruction or casual instrumental use as natural resources.

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Need Cash Fast? Just Pretend That You Wrote Software

Tesla is not the first company to announce software it hasn’t written, but it is indeed the most brazen

Software engineers call imaginary products “vaporware.” And if the tag fits, it wouldn’t be the first time that Tesla has marketed an illusion.

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Taxi in traffic

News from the Real World of Self-Driving Taxis: Not Yet

WayMo includes a human in all their “robotaxis,” just in case, because the vehicles (at last report) were still confounded by common conditions

Hype serves no one other than the early investors hoping to get their cash back. Calm evaluations—and an appreciation for the amazing beings that humans are—would serve all of us much better than overpromised claims that are doomed to under deliver.

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Will AI Teach Us to Love Big Brother?

A trend watcher fears that we’ll accept total surveillance if it controls crime and addiction

If China becomes the dominant world power through total control, David Mattin argues, it will erode the Western world’s governing myth that liberal democracy is the best system.

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Screws, bolts and nuts on metal background

Identity Politics Goes High Tech

Does high tech simply cater to tribalism or make it worse?

The simmering controversy sometimes explodes into serious charges. For example, The Department of Housing and Urban Development has launched a Fair Housing Act complaint against Facebook for targeting customers in a way that may constitute discrimination.

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George Gilder talks at CNAI Dallas Launch

George Gilder: Google Does Not Believe in Life After Google

He offers chilling insight into the ultimate visions of technocrats

If the surveillance technology developed for China catches on in the West, however numberless the Googlers' infinite parallel universes may be, Americans will be constantly and closely observed while sitting behind on the beach.

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Are Tesla’s Robot Taxis a Phantom Fleet?

Jonathan Bartlett suspects that a dire quarterly report is powering the fleet, not genuine innovation

Self-driving car entrepreneur Elon Musk is nothing, if not ambitious. Earlier this week, he promised to have a million robot taxis on the road by next year, taking dead aim at Uber and Lyft. But responses have changed in recent years from Wow! To “Oh. Really?”

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