Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

CategoryTechnocracy

Hong Kong Protests pleafor peace Erin Song Unsplash B05XahTDS6k

Hong Kong: Face Mask Ban Fuels Fiercer Protest

The masks, like many of the protesters’ strategies, circumvent China’s omnipresent high-tech surveillance

The Chinese government may use violent behavior as a justification for obliterating the Hongkongers’ prized freedoms. As a possible precedent, the Uyghur people, as a whole, were painted as religious extremists, even though only about 1,000 people participated in violent protests.

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US vs. China: Trade Wars Kill Businesses Rather Than People

That’s why we don’t hear so many songs about them

Trade wars are important even if they often sound boring compared with other news. One panel at COSM will examine the underlying issues in the ongoing trade spats between the United States and China.

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The Three Laws of Robotics Have Failed the Robots

Almost no one out there thinks that Isaac Asimov's Three Laws could work for truly intelligent AI
Prolific science and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov (1920–1992) developed the Three Laws of Robotics, in the hope of guarding against potentially dangerous artificial intelligence. Jonathan Bartlett, Brendan Dixon, and Eric Holloway discuss what went wrong. Read More ›
Hong Kong 2019 protests Peter Y. Chuang Unsplash peter-y-chuang-LWzjqzhLjiA-unsplash

Can China Really Silence Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is tech-savvy and the protesters are adept at defeating even high-tech terrors

Some protestors use umbrellas to block the view of newly installed surveillance cameras while others dismantle the electronics. Others place traffic cones over tear gas canisters and then neutralize the gas with water.

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Popping water balloon / highspeed image
Popping water balloon / highspeed image

Fast Facts re the Google, Facebook Anti-Trust Probes

The 48-state pile-on comes just before an election year

The accusations by American states of a Big Social Media stranglehold on advertising come on the heels of the European Union fining Google $billions in recent years for anti-competitive activities.

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Your Software Could Have More Rights Than You

Depending on politics and court judgments, legal loopholes could lead to AI personhood

We have already witnessed an example of such an indignity. and consequent outrage, from many feminist scholars when Sophia the robot was granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia, a country notorious for unequal treatment of women.

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Joyful preteen lady beaming while embracing human like root

Tell Kids the Robot Is “It,” Not “He”

Teaching children to understand AI and robotics is part of a good education today

We are not truly likely to be ruled by AI overlords (as opposed to powerful people using AI. But even doubtful predictions may be self-fulfilling if enough impressionable people come to believe them. Children, for example. We adults are aware of the limitations of AI. But if we talk about AI devices as if they were people, children—who often imbue even stuffed toys with complex personalities—may be easily confused. Sue Shellenbarger, Work & Family columnist at The Wall Street Journal, warns that already, “Many children think robots are smarter than humans or imbue them with magical powers.” While she admits that the “long-term consequences” are still unclear, “an expanding body of research” suggests we need to train children to draw Read More ›

White polymer clay sheep gather around an electronic circuit on a blue background

Computers’ Stupidity Makes Them Dangerous

The real danger today is not that computers are smarter than us, but that we think computers are smarter than us

Many marketing decisions, medical diagnoses, and stock trades, loan and job applications, and election strategies are evaluated by computers. But, as my little experiment shows, the computer does not know whether a pattern is information or noise.

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Brain icon hologram with office interior on background. Double exposure. Concept of education

How Far Has AI Mindreading Come?

Further than we may think. And some trends are troubling
It’s becoming easier all the time to read signals from the human brain. But there are few or no safeguards, even in the free world, on who has a right to use the information and how. Read More ›
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Prof: Google Must Not Choose the Next President

Robert Epstein, a Clinton supporter in 2016, thinks Big Tech meddling is a risk. And, he says, he isn’t planning on suicide

He doesn’t want Silicon Valley to use its near-monopoly power over search engines and social media to manipulate the information available to the lone voter in the booth.

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Computer user analyzing images on a scree

Sorry, AI can’t do our thinking for us

J. C. Derrick asked Robert J. Marks whether AI can outthink people or make humans immortal
Creativity, Marks argues, can only exist if the programmer places it in the computer program, which means that the program itself is not creative. People have tried "a bunch of different things and nothing seems to work. They can’t get smarter programs that way." Read More ›
Superior Artificial Intelligence Wining Chess Concept

Confirmed: DeepMind’s Deepest Mind Is on Leave

The chess champ computer system just never made money
Co-founder Mustafa Suleyman is a philosopher and social justice activist who hoped to use the technology for fundamental transformations. But his AI ethics board lasted about seven days at Google. Read More ›
Man with cardboard box on his head on grey background

The Machine Knows You Are Angry

Okay, it knows if your facial muscles are twisted in a certain way… does the difference matter?
Five accomplished scientists representing different camps reviewed over a thousand studies of machine emotion recognition. Essentially, there seems no clear science basis for the claims made. Read More ›
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A Closer Look at Google’s Search Engine Bias

If Google’s CEO honestly believes that there is no political bias, that is, in itself, a big part of the problem
If Sundar Pichai thinks that there is no bias in Google's algorithms, he is arguing against the nature of writing algorithms itself—not a good position for a computer guy to be in. Read More ›
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What Others Are Saying About the New Google Insider’s Revelations

The documents' authenticity is not in dispute. What to do about them is another matter
Perhaps we cannot have a realistic discussion of the problems Google.gov creates unless we start with a willingness to pay for search engine services. That allows us to bargain as equals with respect to terms. Read More ›
Machine Learning object detection and artificial intelligence concept. Application detect object in picture. (Blur human face)

Whistleblower: Google Told Cops To Do a “Wellness Check” on Him

He can be seen doing a sort of perp walk on the video; some portions transcribed here

In the documents Vorhies unearthed,  Google seemed to be "intending to scope the information landscape so that they could create their own version of what was objectively true."

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Photo by Daniel Olah

Is Google a Cult? Or Does It Just Act That Way?

Project Veritas announces that a new rebel Googler has sent nearly 1000 documents on algorithm bias to the DOJ

While we prepare a news story on Zach Vorhies' revelations, it may be worth asking why one of the world’s largest companies has developed what appears to be the atmosphere of a political cult.

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San Francisco aerial view from sea side. Port of San Francisco in the front. City downtown and skyscrapers at sunrise.

A Silicon Valley Insider Asks the Awkward Questions

Billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel, speaking at COSM in October, has a history of challenging Valley orthodoxies

His question, “How can Google use the rhetoric of ‘borderless’ benefits to justify working with the country whose ‘Great Firewall’ has imposed a border on the internet itself?”, is timely. China’s government uses high tech for, among other things, sophisticated racial profiling.

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In China, high-tech racial profiling is social policy

For an ethnic minority, a physical checkup includes blood samples, fingerprints, iris scans, and voice recordings

The Chinese government seeks a database of everyone in the country, not only to track individuals but to determine the ethnicity of those who run up against the law.

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