Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

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Photo by Clem Onojeghuo

Can We Outsource Hiring Decisions to AI and Go for Coffee Now?

I would have fired any of my hiring managers who demonstrated characteristic AI traits immediately. So why do we tolerate it coming from a machine?

With historically low unemployment, employers are tempted to reduce costs and speed up the process using artificial intelligence (AI) systems. These systems might help but, for best results, let’s have a look at the problems they can’t solve and some that they might create.

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Pleasant girl and robot working in the office

Robots Move? Tax Them!

Some policymakers see robots as a direct threat to jobs and hope taxes will slow them down

Jay Richards asks: Just imagine if our government had taxed earlier technological innovations because they threatened jobs. Does anyone think a targeted “tractor tax” would have been a good idea in the early twentieth century?

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Group Of Businesspeople Identified By AI System

How To Fool Facial Recognition

Changing a couple of pixels here and there can stump a computer

Both computers and humans can be fooled by patterns that appear significant but really aren’t. But the bigger the computer, the more random patterns it can find in the vast swathes of data processed.

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Robot Predicting Future With Crystal Ball

Five AI Predictions to Watch in 2020

We'll check on these a year from now

Some problems experts hope AI can help with may be outside AI's capacities. Some people may simply want to believe doctored images and deepfakes, for example.

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Archeological site of Phaistos in Crete

Can AI Help Us Decipher Lost Languages?

That depends mainly on the reasons we haven’t yet deciphered ancient texts

AI can speed up translation of ancient documents where only a few scholars know the language. Whether it can help with mysterious unknown languages like Minoan A is another question.

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Clouds Michael Weidner-h-rP5KSC2W0-unsplash

Improve Your Job Chances by Scaling the Cloud

WBC Fellow Releases introductory book on Building Scalable PHP web applications using the cloud

One new issue that the cloud creates is that programmers are more often required to be “full stack” developers,” Jonathan Bartlett explains. “Unfortunately, most programmers coming out of college have little to no system administration experience. That’s why this book is based on the ‘full stack’ concept, showing how system administration and programming relate to each other.”

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Shakespeare's Globe Theatre by the river Thames in Londob, UK

Can AI Prove That Shakespeare Had Ghostwriters?

An author’s unique style is like a fingerprint. AI can fill it in

Turning AI loose on some of these vexing problems should give literary scholars more to write about rather than less. The AI verdict may not always be right but it is bound to be food for thought.

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Milchstraße Panorama

Will AI End Astrophysics As We Know It?

Astrophysicists will certainly be spending much less time staring at very slowly changing skies

Far from reducing jobs in astrophysics, AI is likely to create many more of them. As far more information becomes available, talented people will be needed to interpret, teach it, and write about it for the public.

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Coffee shop interior design with white chairs and violet of flower.

Why the Millennial High-Tech Urban Lifestyle May Soon Cost More

In the wake of WeWork’s woes, analysts are questioning the business models we love

The problem is, WeWork is not a technology company. Neither is Airbnb or Uber. They all use software via the internet to leverage surplus physical space, whether the space is in an office building, a private home, or a privately owned car. 

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hot pizza closeup on a table in the background of a group or company of people friends

Pizza Robots Get the Pink Slip

True, the doughbots didn’t make good pizza. But is the message about them or something else?

I have nothing against robots. (I am against bad pizza.) I do, however, get very tired of the science fiction-fantasy of humanity-squashing robots. And that’s all it is: A fantasy.

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Boeing 777

Boeing’s Sidelined Fuselage Robots: What Went Wrong?

It’s not what we learn, it’s what we forget

By all means, let’s build machines that enhance our abilities. But let’s not forget that the really amazing thing is not the tool, but the tool builder.

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Burnout

Boeing Workers, Please Don’t Kick the Robot on Its Way Out

The jetliner manufacturer’s decision to give the robots’ job back to machinists underlines the hard realities of automation. For example, it doesn’t always work

Robot error turned out to be a bigger problem than human error.

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Robots welding in a production line

Robot-Proofing Your Career, Peter Thiel’s Way

Jay Richards and Larry L. Linenschmidt continue their discussion of what has changed—and what won't change—when AI disrupts the workplace

We treat the assembly line as if it has always been here, says business prof Jay Richards, but it only dates back to Henry Ford, a century ago. It’s disappearing but work isn’t disappearing. It’s just changing a lot.

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futuristic cyborg man

Will Plausible Robots Replace Movie Stars?

A short film prepares us to think about it

Do I believe AI will be emotionally indistinguishable from human connection? No, personally I don’t. Nonetheless, I loved the short film. It was simple but very well-executed. If you’re looking for a short but thought-provoking film about AI to give your mind something to chew on over the weekend, I would highly recommend Sprites.

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COSM-3104

Tech Entrepreneur Peter Thiel says Silicon Valley is losing its touch

Peter Thiel also compared universities today to the Catholic Church at its worst

About the Big Tech companies, he says, “The story is not that they have done a lot of bad things but that they have not done enough good things. That remains the core challenge of Silicon Valley.”

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nice woman type on a laptop working at home freedom and happy. thinking looking outside

Can Predictive Text Replace Writers?

A New Yorker staff writer ponders his future and the machine’s

Predictive text analyzes what was written and guesses what comes next. Whole sentences, paragraphs, and essays. Seabrook tested it on his own work…

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Mähdrescher und Traktor bei der Ernte auf einem Weizenfeld

Technology Kills Jobs, Creates New Ones

On this week’s podcast, Jay Richards looks at the way new jobs have historically grown from the turmoil around the deaths of obsolete ones

Despite the continued march of technological change in recent years, the American employment picture has been bright, though many remain dissatisfied with their current circumstances or prospects.

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Technocracy Alex Kotliarskyi-QBpZGqEMsKg-unsplash

Anti-Technology Backlash: What’s Real? What’s Myth?

First, the Luddites, who started it all, were smarter than many people think

But there is not much point in being a traditional Luddite today. You don’t want to smash the robot; you want to bring the price down to where you can own a piece of it.

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