Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis


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Interstellar Space Travel: But Why Not Dream?

What would we need to trim the daunting energy requirement for space travel down to size? It's a challenge
Viewing the heavens beyond our reach causes us to look up and stretch our imaginations to envision a realm vastly greater than our own. Read More ›
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Interstellar Travel: Fantasy or Destiny?

The energy required to power a spaceship to a nearby star, given current tech, is 4,800 times the total energy consumption of the United States in the year 2022
I think it’s fair to say that interstellar space travel isn’t even remotely possible with our current understanding of physics and technology. Read More ›
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Governor Huckabee Sanders Against Big Tech

Governor takes action based on Jonathan Haidt's research
It's a strong sign that political figures are starting to realize the negative effects of social media on young people. Read More ›
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How I Turned My Smartphone Into a “Dumbphone”

I've had it being a pawn of Big Tech
At the end of the day, I had to examine the real reasons I had an iPhone, and realized most of them were connected to distraction and entertainment. Read More ›
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Bizarre New iPad Pro Ad Says the Quiet Part Out Loud

Witnessing the rise of anti-human corporate tech

Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared the brand-new preview of the “thinnest iPad” to date, the iPad Pro, praising its portability and capacity. Capitalizing on the “thin” aspect, the promo commercial, titled “Crush!” has been turning heads and could also be accused of crushing the human spirit. The commercial plays to the song “All I Need is You” by Sonny & Cher, opening up with a metronome and a record player. Then, the scene broadens out to show a platform in the middle of a room piled with an array of gadgets and knickknacks, like a drum set, cans of paint, a trumpet, piano, bust of a Greco-Roman figure, a globe, chess set, and other goods that the mind naturally Read More ›

Closed up image of a Female using TikTok application on a smartphone in home. 5 September, 2022. ChiangMai, Thailand.

Is TikTok a National Security Risk?

Consuming without thinking is fertile soil for propaganda
To be clear, the bill does not actually ban TikTok. It is a forced sale. This is an important nuance. Read More ›
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Helpful Video Maps Out Gen Z Mental Health Crisis

The glow of the screen is swallowing a generation, and it needs to stop

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s new book The Anxious Generation topped the New York Times bestsellers’ chart two weeks in a row, and has been stirring up a lot of commentary in the meantime. Haidt’s basic thesis is that we have drastically overprotected children in the real world and woefully under-protected them in the virtual world. A new video helpfully lines out this argument, and shows why today’s generation, more than the Millennials who preceded them, struggle so intensely with anxiety, depression, and loneliness. In a recent interview, author and public intellectual Andy Crouch said that while he doesn’t know if it can be backed up neurologically, there is something about the “glow” of screens that wakens something primordial in the Read More ›

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Bob Metcalfe on Our Connected World

Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Jay Richards interviews Bob Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet

The Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence is pleased to be able to share the videos from the 2023 COSM conference, now available on YouTube. This annual conference explores the status and the future of our era-defining technologies, from artificial intelligence to electric vehicles to new developments in biotech. Today’s video features a conversation with Bob Metcalfe, a pioneer in the field of computer science and the inventor of Ethernet. Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Jay Richards interviews Bob Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet and recipient of the prestigious Turing Award, about the predicted pathologies of the internet and the reversals associated with the rise of connectivity.

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Anti-Aging: Is it Possible or a Pipe Dream?

A brand-new video on the topic of anti-aging technologies from the 2023 COSM conference

The Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence is pleased to be able to share the videos from the 2023 COSM conference, now available on YouTube. This annual conference explores the status and the future of our era-defining technologies, from artificial intelligence to electric vehicles to new developments in biotech. Today’s video features a discussion on anti-aging, and whether this is even a possibility. Matt Scholz, CEO of Oisin Biotechnologies, leads a discussion with Vered Caplan, CEO of Orgenesis, and Elena Sergeeva, Neuroscientist at Tufts and Harvard and co-founder of Tiamat Labs, about anti-aging biotechnologies — how genetic reprogramming of cells could negate the effects of aging and even allow a person to stay in perfect health indefinitely, essentially Read More ›

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U.S. Sues the Big Apple (the Tech One)

Apple claims the suit sets dangerous federal precedent
Apple has promised to fight the lawsuit, which may be the most aggressive it has yet to face. Read More ›
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Online Training: Real Education or Going Through the Motions?

Not all online trainings are bad. But many are procedural and pointless.
In some cases, I was convinced that the goal of the training was to pretend to convey information while not actually doing so.  Read More ›
Future virtual reality learning process for children in a kindergarten daycare using Vision glasses for multimedial training and imagination

Will Apple’s Vision Pro Be the Next iPhone?

Or end up like Google Glass? With Vision Pro, in order to see anything, including the ordinary world around you, you have to use the multiple mounted cameras

(This article by Texas State University engineering prof Karl D. Stephan originally appeared at Engineering Ethics Blog (February 5, 2024) and is reprinted with permission.) Back in June of 2023, Apple announced its Vision Pro, which the Wikipedia article about it calls a “mixed reality” headset. This week, in some parts of the world you can now buy your own Vision Pro—for $3,500. While this will not be an obstacle for wealthy early adopters, the rest of us will probably wait until the beta-version bugs are worked out and the price comes down. In the meantime, we can think about what this means for the future of humanity. That sounds either presumptuous or silly, but there is no question that Read More ›

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The Apple Vision Pro is Here

What exactly is the point of this new, painfully expensive piece of gadgetry?
Given what we've seen so far, it seems like this new release from one of the world's foremost technology companies is more of a fancy toy than a genuine tool. Read More ›
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Autonomous Vehicles Are Catching Up Fast

There are winners and losers. GM's Cruise was kicked out of California over safety issues but Alphabet's Waymo, which emphasizes safety, is still chugging along
Waymo wisely focused on Level 4 urban self-driving, which is an engineering problem, rather than Level 5’s total autonomy—that’s a philosophical problem. Read More ›
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Is Tech Still Innovating?

Is it just me, or is the world of technology feeling a bit … stale?
Maybe IT is slowing down. But maybe that is a good thing. Read More ›
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New Report: Parents, Don’t Give Your Kids Smartphones

This has become a national health crisis.
Haidt writes in The Atlantic that smartphones ought to be banned from schools because "they impede learning, stunt relationships, and lessen belonging." Read More ›
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The Wisdom of Elders for Navigating Modern Life

If you feel overwhelmed and frustrated about life in the digital age, here's a tip: talk to your elders.
Tech critic Andrew McDiarmid speaks of his friendship with Dorothy, a wise elderly woman he befriended who espoused a sound view of technology. Read More ›
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See Through the False Promises of Apple Vision Pro

The illusion of connection so shapes our desires that we may lose our taste for the real thing
Vision Pro isolates us by the mere fact of its presence since everything we see has this device in the middle. Read More ›

Is Neuralink Safe?

Musk says it is, but the evidence suggests otherwise.

Over the years, the company “Neuralink” has conducted a number of brain implant tests on monkeys, and according to a report from Futurism, a majority of those went south. The implants are supposed to aid cognitive abilities and perhaps even alleviate or offset certain mental disabilities. Now, an ethics group called Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is calling for an investigation. Elon Musk, who founded the biotechnology company in 2016, claimed that the affected animals had terminal illnesses that were unrelated to the implant tests, but others cry foul. Frank Landymore writes, Documents viewed as part of a new investigation by Wired, however, as well as testimony from a former employee, contradict Musk’s claims entirely — and the details are as upsetting Read More ›