Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

Robert J. Marks


A First-Hand Account of Kicking Fentanyl Addiction: Reversing Hebb’s Law

Donald Hebb, the father of neuropsychology, is known for Hebb’s Law which states “neurons that fire together wire together.” This means that as you repeatedly perform an action which gives you pleasure or relief, the neurons between the action and the pleasure simultaneously fire. Dr. Robert J. Marks interviews an anonymous man called Stretch who describes his experience with fentanyl…

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Exercising Free Won’t in Fentanyl Addiction: Unless You Die First

In the 1960s, neurosurgeon Benjamin Libet noticed there was a signal in the brain that occurred before you knew you were going to do something. On the surface, it looks like you don't have free will. But Libet noticed that humans do have the ability to say no to these brain signals. He called this free won't. Dr. Robert J. Marks and Dr. Richard Hurley discuss the current opioid crisis, addiction, and detoxing in relation to the brain.

In the 1960s, neurosurgeon Benjamin Libet noticed there was a signal in the brainthat occurred before you knew you were going to do something. On the surface, it looks like you don’t have free will. But Libet noticed that humans do have the ability to say no to these brain signals. He called this free won’t. Dr. Robert J. Marks…

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EMPS, Swarms and Other Types of Terrifying Technology

Can you survive without your devices? Dr. Robert Marks and Sarah Seguin talk about the dangers to our electrical infrastructure stemming from modern technology. They also discuss various ways people can protect themselves during an EMP attack or another similar event. Show Notes 00:55 | Introduction 01:57 | Electromagnetic Capability 04:28 | Defining EMPs 05:35 | The Physics behind EMPs 08:00…

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What Does It Mean to Be Human in an Age of Artificial Intelligence?

What makes mankind special? And what does it mean to flourish on the frontier of a technological future? Robert J. Marks discusses new technology, what artificial intelligence can and can’t do, and the ethical implications of artificial intelligence with Gretchen Huizinga. This interview was originally published by the Beatrice Institute and is repeated here with their permission. Show Notes 01:32…

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Discussing Consciousness and the Mind-Body Problem

What does it even mean to be aware of something, to be conscious? Why do the vast majority of people only have one consciousness? Will computers ever experience consciousness? On this Bingecast, Dr. Robert J. Marks and Dr. Angus Menuge discuss these questions and more. Show Notes 00:01:36 | Introducing Dr. Angus Menuge 00:07:02 | Near-death experiences 00:10:32 | The…

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Design versus Naturalist Origin Theories of Animal Algorithms

The programming inside the animal brain is much like a game of Jenga. If one tries to pull the wrong block, then the entire stack comes crashing down. Robert J. Marks and Eric Cassell discuss how animal algorithms serve as the perfect example of irreducible complexity. Show Notes 01:25 | Introducing Eric Cassell 01:52 | What is the source of…

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Jaw Dropping Algorithms That Allow Social Behavior to Thrive

How do bees know how to build their hives? Insects have a wide variety of fascinating social behaviors. Where do they come from? Robert J. Marks and Eric Cassell, author of Animal Algorithms, discuss the origins of these mysterious instincts and how AI research has learned a great deal from nature. Show Notes 00:39 | Introducing Eric Cassell 01:01 |…

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The Astonishing Algorithms That Allow Animals to Navigate & Migrate

An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure to perform a specific task. We usually think of algorithms as being performed by computers. Did you know that animals have built-in algorithms of their own? Some of these amazing algorithms allow animals to migrate to new places and navigate back to previous locations. Eric Cassell discusses his new book, Animal Algorithms, with Robert…

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Randomness, Information Theory, and the Unknowable

In the 1960s, mathematician and computer scientist Gregory Chaitin published a landmark paper in the field of algorithmic information theory in the Journal of the ACM – and he was only a teenager. Since then he’s explored mathematics, computer science, and even gotten a mathematical constant named after him. Robert J. Marks leads the discussion with Professor Gregory Chaitin on…


Walter Bradley: For a Greater Purpose

Mind Matters is published by the Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence, but who is Walter Bradley, and why does the Center bear his name? Listen in as Robert J. Marks and William A. Dembski discuss Bradley’s involvement in the Intelligent Design movement, share stories about his boldness of faith in academia, and talk about why they published…

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Bad News for Artificial General Intelligence

The problem with complex systems is that a lot can go wrong. It turns out that the number of potential problems grows exponentially as you add more factors to a system. Justin Bui and Samuel Haug discuss contingencies and artificial general intelligence with Robert J. Marks. Show Notes 01:10 | Introducing Justin Bui and Sam Haug 01:28 | Exponential Explosion…

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When AI Goes Wrong

AI must do what it is designed to do, but what if it doesn’t? What if AI begins behaving in bizarre and unpredictable ways? The more complex the system, the more that it can go wrong. Robert J. Marks discusses artificial general intelligence (AGI) with Justin Bui and Samuel Haug. Show Notes 00:37 | Introducing Justin Bui and Samuel Haug…

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Artificial General Intelligence: The Modern Homunculus

A homunculus is a little person created in a test tube. There was a time when some of the most prominent scientists in the world believed they could create miniature life in the lab. But while the search for homunculus has long since ended, there are some who believe they can find a similar kind of life through artificial general…

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Define Information Before You Talk About It: Egnor Interviews Marks

Has anyone ever given you some useless information? What does it even mean for information to be meaningful? This week, on Mind Matters News, guest host Dr. Michael Egnor interviews our own Robert J. Marks about information, as well as the creative limits of artificial intelligence, and why evolutionary algorithms aren’t the magic bullet they’re often presented to be. Show…

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The 2020 AI Smash Hits: Countdown by Bradley Center Brain Trust

There’s a lot of exciting stuff going on in the world of artificial intelligence, and while it can be hard to pick a favorite, the Bradley Center Brain Trust rounded out 2020 by narrowing it down to their top ten. Join us as we revisit those top ten stories with Robert J. Marks, Jonathan Bartlett, and Eric Holloway. Show Notes…

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The 2020 AI Dirty Dozen Hyped Stories: Countdown by Bradley Center Brain Trust Members

Is AI fundamentally flawed? Can Elon Musk merge man with machines? Will there ever be self-driving cars? Join us as we revisit the top 12 most over-hyped stories in artificial intelligence from 2020 with Robert J. Marks, Jonathan Bartlett, and Eric Holloway. Show Notes 00:01:10 | Introducing Jonathan Bartlett 00:01:37 | Introducing Dr. Eric Holloway 00:02:00 | #12: “The way…

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George Gilder: An Economic Genius Talks About Gaming AI

George Gilder talks to Robert J. Marks about his book Gaming AI: Why AI Can’t Think but Can Transform Jobs. Show Notes 00:00:45 | Introducing George Gilder 00:03:30 | Is AI a new demotion of the human race? 00:04:59 | The AI movement 00:06:39 | DeepMind and protein folding 00:11:42 | Code-breaking in World War II 00:13:50 | Interpreting between…

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Why is There Fine-Tuning Everywhere?

Robert J. Marks, Dr. Ola Hössjer and Daniel Díaz discuss the various theories proposed to explain the fine-tuning of the universe. Show Notes 00:33 | Introducing Dr. Daniel Díaz and Dr. Ola Hössjer 01:53 | Panspermia 04:59 | The Sims Theory 10:40 | Anthropic Principle 18:53 | Multiverse 26:03 | The Creator Interpretation 29:11 | Personal Beliefs 36:24 | Final…

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The Universe is So Fine-Tuned!

The universe holds a variety of constants which are finely tuned to allow for the miracle of life. Robert J. Marks discusses various universal constants and fine-tuning with Daniel Díaz and Ola Hössjer. Show Notes 01:09 | Introducing Dr. Daniel Díaz and Dr. Ola Hössjer 01:53 | Wiggle room 06:06 | More gravity, more weight? 07:37 | Other examples of…