Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

Robert J. Marks

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The Relational Person: Challenging the Dominant Model in Psychology

On this episode of Mind Matters News, host Robert J. Marks interviews Dr. Eric Jones, a professor of psychology at Regent University, about the concept of the relational person. Jones contributed a chapter on the topic to the recent volume Minding the Brain. Jones explains that the dominant view in psychology is the atomistic individual, which sees individuals as self-contained entities Read More ›

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The Limits and Possibilities of Artificial Intelligence

In this panel discussion from the COSM technology conference, the panelists address the limits and possibilities of artificial intelligence (AI). George Montañez, an Assistant Professor of Computer Science, discusses generative AI models and how they work by encoding relations between text and images. He also mentions the phenomenon of model collapse, where AI systems degenerate when trained on their own Read More ›

A woman is consumed by her phone. She is so focused on her phone that she is unaware of the world around her. The image is a warning about the dangers of addiction to technology

Talk More, Tech Less: Digital Wellness Tips From Dawn Wible

On this episode, host Robert J. Marks welcomes Dawn Wible, founder of the digital wellness organization Talk More. Tech Less., to discuss the impact of digital media on mental health and well-being. Wible emphasizes the need to be intentional about technology use and offers strategies for mitigating the negative effects of excessive screen time. Wible highlights five areas of life Read More ›

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Is Methodological Naturalism Necessary for Scientific Progress?

In this episode, hosts Angus Menuge and Robert J. Marks conclude their three-part discussion with Dr. Robert Larmer about his chapter on methodological naturalism in the recent volume Minding the Brain. The trio argue that methodological naturalism is not the only viable approach in scientific inquiry and that it can be an obstruction to discovering the truth. They suggest that explanations Read More ›

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The State of Innovation and the Impact of AI

In this episode, host Robert J. Marks discusses the state of innovation and the impact of AI with guest Jeffrey Funk, author of the book Technology Change and the Rise of New Industries. They discuss the hype around AI, the limitations of large language models like GPT-3, the slowing rate of innovation, the impact of Goodhart’s Law on academia, and the Read More ›

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Methodological Naturalism: Neutral Principle or Self-Refuting Philosophy?

In this episode, hosts Robert J. Marks and Angus Menuge interview Dr. Robert Larmer about his chapter on methodological naturalism in the recently published volume Minding the Brain. Larmer explains that methodological naturalism is the assumption that when pursuing knowledge, one must always posit a physical cause and never appeal to a non-physical cause. Larmer argues that methodological naturalism is not Read More ›

robot learning or solving problems

Can AI Ever Be Sentient? A Conversation with Blake Lemoine

AI can mimic sentience, but can it ever be sentient? On this episode, we return to our conversation with former Google engineer Blake Lemoine. Host Robert J. Marks has a lively back and forth with Lemoine, who made national headlines when, as an employee of Google, he claimed that Google’s AI software, dubbed LaMDA, might be sentient. Lemoine recounts his experience at Google and Read More ›

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Beyond the Physical: Embracing an Idealistic Worldview

In this episode of the Mind Matters Podcast, Hosts Robert J. Marks and Brian Krouse conclude their discussion with Dr. Doug Axe about idealism. They explore the question of where the mind exists in an idealistic worldview and how it differs from physicalism and substance dualism. They also discuss the implications of idealism for various scientific fields, such as neuroscience Read More ›

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From Material to Mind: Understanding Idealism

In this episode of the Mind Matters News podcast, host Robert J. Marks and co-host Brian Krouse continue their discussion of idealism with Dr. Doug Axe. In his chapter on the topic for the recent volume Minding the Brain, Axe presents four conundrums that support the move away from physicalism and dualism towards idealism. Axe discusses these conundrums with Marks and Krouse. The Read More ›

Magnetic resonance imaging

Healing the Brain: Insights from a Neurologist

Our brains are amazingly complex systems! But like most complex systems, there are lots of ways things can go wrong. But our brain is also adaptive, able to cope with or heal from some issues, either on its own over time or with medical intervention. On today’s episode, neurologist Dr. Andrew Knox discusses some of what can go wrong and Read More ›

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Unpacking Idealism: Animals and Consciousness

In this episode, co-hosts Robert J. Marks and Brian R. Krouse continue to discuss the concept of idealism with guest Dr. Doug Axe. The topic this time is idealism and its implications for animals and quantum mechanics. Idealism suggests that reality consists of thinkers and their thoughts, with physical objects perhaps being the thoughts of God. When it comes to Read More ›

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A Commonsense Defense of Idealism

In this episode, co-hosts Robert J. Marks and Brian R. Krouse discuss the concept of idealism with guest Dr. Doug Axe. Idealism is the belief that reality exists exclusively in the minds and ideas of individuals. Dr. Axe explains that idealism suggests that the physical world is a product of divine thoughts, and that everything that exists is made up Read More ›

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Can Artificial Intelligence Hold Copyright or Patents?

Should AI get legal credit for what it generates? On this episode of Mind Matters from the archive, host Robert J. Marks welcomes attorney and author Richard Stevens to discuss the concept of legal neutrality for artificial intelligence (AI) and its implications for copyright and patent law. Stevens explains that AI is a tool created and controlled by humans, and therefore should Read More ›

solar energy and nature

Hope & Energy: Empowering Haiti Through Appropriate Technology

In the fall of 2022, the country of Haiti was facing a fuel and energy crisis, and in the intervening months, the situation has unfortunately not improved. In this episode of Mind Matters from the archive, host Robert J. Marks interviews Brian Thomas and Kayla Garrett from JustEnergy, a nonprofit organization that works in Haiti to provide solar energy systems Read More ›

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After You Die: Near-Death Experiences With Glimpses of Heaven and Hell

Can near-death experiences provide evidence that the mind is greater than the brain? On today’s episode from the archive, host Robert J. Marks interviews Walter Bradley about near-death experiences. Dr. Bradley discusses the mind-body problem and delves into near-death experiences, including common threads, stand-out examples, and even some discussion of near-death experiences in the ancient world. Near-death experiences have gained Read More ›

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Minding the Brain: Unraveling the Mystery of Consciousness

Are the mind and brain distinct? What is the connection between our physical brain and our mental thinking? On today’s episode, podcaster Pat Flynn concludes his conversation with the editors of the new book Minding the Brain: Models of the Mind, Information, and Empirical Science. After discussing an overview of the philosophy of mind and the range of physicalist perspectives in previous Read More ›

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Minding the Brain: Why Science and Philosophy Need Each Other

Does science have to stay within a materialistic framework? It turns out, materialism itself isn’t science — it’s philosophy.  In this episode, Pat Flynn interviews Brian Krouse, Angus Menuge, and Robert J. Marks about alternatives to materialism and how scientific exploration leads us to deeper questions that science alone can never answer. Additional Resources

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Minding the Brain: Discussing the Groundbreaking New Book on the Mind-Brain Problem

Is the mind more than the brain? If so, what’s the difference? In today’s episode, Pat Flynn interviews the editors of the brand-new book Minding the Brain: Models of the Mind, Information, and Empirical Science. Together, they discuss different perspectives on the mind-brain problem, consciousness, and the limits of materialism. Additional Resources

Spectrum Analyzer panel with hand

When the Government Controls the Spectrum

The federal government determines how the radio spectrum is used and who can use it. Turns out, renting out the spectrum to private companies is a billion-dollar business. The spectrum business goes to the highest bidder. But what problems does that pose in the long run? Google engineer Andrew Clegg discusses this and more with Dr. Robert J. Marks and Read More ›

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Why You Are Non-Computable

Usually Robert Marks does the interviewing, but today, the script is flipped. In this episode, we revisit the press tour Dr. Marks went on to promote the seminal ideas of his 2022 book Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will, which is about artificial intelligence and the non-computable traits (like creativity and emotional sentience) that make human beings unique.  Additional Read More ›