Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagAndrew McDiarmid

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Close up of small caged colorful birds in pet store in morning sun

Can Elon Musk Really Stop Big Tech From Controlling Us?

We usually don’t realize how far it has already gone in efforts to control our thinking

Think it doesn’t control you? Andrew McDiarmid can offer you some examples of pervasive efforts to control our thinking: It appeared in Apple’s iPhone software update this year, when a “pregnant man” emoji was quietly added to keyboards. It’s seen in Google’s new (and currently stalled) “inclusive language” feature, which autocorrects gendered terms like “landlord,” “policeman” or “housewife.” Andrew McDiarmid, “Big Tech is subtly controlling our lives—and we need to fight back” at New York Post (May 7, 2022) Surely, almost nobody on the planet, apart from small pressure groups, had asked for a “pregnant man” emoji. The concept has nothing whatever to do with the serious problems many pregnant women face worldwide. Landlord? Again, many people worldwide face problems…

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Doug Smith on How To Get Off Big Tech’s Screen Drug

The most powerful technologies the world has ever seen manipulate us into spending more time than a typical full-time job looking at our screens

When Andrew McDiarmid interviewed Christian author Doug Smith about his book [Un]Intentional How Screens Secretly Shape Your Desires, and How You Can Break Free (2018, updated 2021), Smith offered some insights into are ruining our lives. Now in this episode (183), he talks about how to sever Big Tech’s strings: Show Notes and Additional Resources follow. Andrew McDiarmid: Let’s just briefly summarize the problem and then move into some of the solutions you present. So what are some of the ways that our screens are secretly shaping our desires? Doug Smith: Well, the long and the short of it is, it’s ultimately they use the most powerful technologies the world has ever seen to manipulate us into spending more time…

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Puppet hands from leadership controlling our lives. Concept

How to Sever Big Tech’s Strings

Doug Smith, author of [Un]Intentional: How Screens Secretly Shape Your Desires and How You Can Break Free, explains to Andrew McDiarmid how we can escape the subtle influence of Big Tech. He also emphasizes the importance of removing ourselves from our screens so we can enjoy the outside world and recapture our creativity. Show Notes 00:38 | Introducing Doug Smith…

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Man chained to computer

How Social Media Are Ruining Our Lives

If we can’t stand five minutes in a lineup without checking our phones, we have a problem

Recently, Andrew McDiarmid interviewed Christian author Doug Smith about his book [Un]Intentional: How Screens Secretly Shape Your Desires, and How You Can Break Free (2018, updated 2021). Smith tries to help us navigate the unusual time in which we live, when many are absolutely glued to screens”: Doug Smith: I mean, it’s the families at the restaurant, all looking at their screens instead of looking at each other. It’s the near misses on the interstate because somebody was on their phone. I saw a photo recently of people in Ukraine that were waiting for their train to escape the trials there, and they’re all on their phone, right? I have a friend that’s a missionary in Papua, New Guinea, and…

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The Secret Scheme of Screens

Our obsession today with screens is, often unintentionally, taking us to places we regret. We use these windows into the world for hours every day, often unaware how intentional content creators and app designers are in shaping our decisions and forming harmful habits. Andrew McDiarmid interviews Doug Smith, author of the book [Un]Intentional: How Screens Secretly Shape Your Desires and…

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AI(Artificial intelligence) concept.

Understanding the de Facto Cold War With China

High tech is currently a battlefield between freedom and totalitarianism

In “Hyping Artificial Intelligence Hinders Innovation” (podcast episode 163), Andrew McDiarmid interviewed Erik J. Larson, programmer and author of The Myth of Artificial Intelligence (Harvard University Press, 2021) on the wrong path he thinks some analysts are taking in terms of what machines can and can’t do. Plus they discussed Alan Turing’s change of heart. Then they looked at the critical fact that Big Data can easily be the enemy of new ideas. And now, the future …? https://episodes.castos.com/mindmatters/34ce0d74-aa74-4ad9-9599-e9ddf2be56a7-Mind-Matters-News-Episode-163-Erik-Larson-.mp3 This portion begins at roughly 38:23 min. A partial transcript and notes, Show Notes, and Additional Resources follow. They began with: How do we determine that we are not simply manipulated by social media? Larson recommended a book by computer scientist…

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Analytics data big business intelligence background bi

Why Big Data Can Be the Enemy of New Ideas

Copernicus could tell us how that works: Masses of documentation entrench the old ideas

In “Hyping Artificial Intelligence Hinders Innovation” (podcast episode 163), Andrew McDiarmid interviewed Erik J. Larson, programmer and author of The Myth of Artificial Intelligence (Harvard University Press, 2021) on the wrong path in terms of what machines can and can’t do. Now they look at the critical fact that Big Data can easily be the enemy of new ideas. https://episodes.castos.com/mindmatters/34ce0d74-aa74-4ad9-9599-e9ddf2be56a7-Mind-Matters-News-Episode-163-Erik-Larson-.mp3 This portion begins at roughly 30:00 min. A partial transcript and notes, Show Notes, and Additional Resources follow. Andrew McDiarmid: Are there lessons about the ethics of innovation from the past that would be useful to us today? Can you think of anything they learned about innovation in the past that we could really learn from as we’re innovating today?…

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Turing machine close-up

Did Alan Turing’s Change of Heart Set AI on the Wrong Path?

Erik Larson, author of The Myth of Artificial Intelligence, thinks Turing lost track of one really important way minds differ from machines

In the earlier part of this episode of “Hyping Artificial Intelligence Hinders Innovation” (podcast episode 163), Andrew McDiarmid interviewed Erik J. Larson, author of The Myth of Artificial Intelligence (Harvard University Press, 2021) discussed the big switch in computer science, roughly around 2000, from deductive to inductive logic — because Big Data made inductive logic more productive. Now they look at what machines still can’t do: This portion begins at about 12:39 min. A partial transcript and notes, Show Notes, and Additional Resources follow. Andrew McDiarmid: I found some of your podcasts on the web and in one of them you say, “I don’t know what a mind is, but I know what a machine is.” So how does that…

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Big data futuristic visualization abstract illustration

How AI Changed — in a Very Big Way — Around the Year 2000

With the advent of huge amounts of data, AI companies switched from using deductive logic to inductive logic

In “Hyping Artificial Intelligence Hinders Innovation” (podcast episode 163), Andrew McDiarmid interviewed Erik J. Larson, author of The Myth of Artificial Intelligence: Why Computers Can’t Think the Way We Do (2021) (Harvard University Press, 2021) on the way “Machines will RULE!” hype discredits — and distracts attention from — actual progress in AI. Erik Larson has founded two two DARPA-funded artificial intelligence startups. Inthe book he urges us to go back to the drawing board with AI research and development. https://episodes.castos.com/mindmatters/34ce0d74-aa74-4ad9-9599-e9ddf2be56a7-Mind-Matters-News-Episode-163-Erik-Larson-.mp3 This portion begins at 01:59 min. A partial transcript and notes, Show Notes, and Additional Resources follow. Andrew McDiarmid: Can you paint a picture first for us of what the AI landscape looks like today and why it’s not…

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abandoned robot sitting in a puddle

Hyping Artificial Intelligence Hinders Innovation

When AI is equated with human intelligence, innovation suffers. While artificial intelligence can help to improve our world, many people believe the myth that it can reach beyond the limits of its programming. Andrew McDiarmid, senior fellow at Discovery Institute, discusses the limitations and dangers of AI with Erik Larson, author of the new book The Myth of Artificial Intelligence.…

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Jay Richards: Kurzweil’s Age of Spiritual Machines Is Fiction, like SkyNet

Kurzweil’s vision of computers taking over is “arresting,” Richards admits, but “your mind is running away from you if you think about technology in that way.”

In a recent podcast of ID the Future at the COSM conference in Seattle, Catholic University business studies prof Jay Richards looks at Ray Kurzweil’s “sunny” version of strong AI (computers are smarter than us and will take over but don’t worry), as per his book, The Age of Spiritual Machines (1999) vs. the pessimistic version (“Skynet” wakes up). In a discussion with Andrew McDiarmid, Richards argues the opposite view, namely that human beings possess something beyond the purely material, something even the most powerful computers will never possess. Podcast here. Excerpts: Jay Richards: (08:45) If you are a materialist who thinks we are purely the result of these blind, material processes, you have something to worry about [with computers…