Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagArtificial Intelligence

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illustration of future education classroom with robotic tech teacher . AI

If ChatGPT Had Children, Would They Be Geniuses or Blubbering Idiots?

It would seem that when AI begets more AI, the result is nonsense.

Can today’s artificial intelligence systems be used to train superior artificial intelligence systems of tomorrow? Can AI write better AI that writes better AI leading to a potentially god-like general artificial intelligence? In a recent insightful paper written by collaborators from Oxford, Cambridge and other prestigious institutions, the verdict is in for large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT. Repeatedly using the output of one LLM to train another results in what the authors call model collapse. If only the words from the original LLM #0 are used to train LLM #1 and only the output of LLM #1 is used to train LLM #2, and so on, the AI eventually suffers model collapse and becomes a blubbering idiot. The emergence of superintelligence by Read More ›

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illustration of blue water surface with rough wave with glitter glow light, theme of

When ChatGPT Talks Science

Can AI ever transcend its trained biases?

The other day I received an email keying off my blog post about “ChatGPT and inference to the best explanation” (or IBE). The author mused about the future of ChatGPT4’s knowledge base as it continually grows subject to human-assisted corrections. He speculated on the possibility of future versions, like ChatGPT4 or 5, inferring intelligent design (ID) as the most plausible explanation for the origin of life.  For this to happen, the email writer believes that the AI’s knowledge base would need to incorporate impartial references to ID concepts and their supporting arguments, unless the AI can independently arrive at such a conclusion. He then asks the implications if an AI, designed by humans, determines that a higher intelligence created its human creators. Read More ›

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modern full wall full-length bookshelf filled with colorful paper books, smart book background, generative ai

Novelists Against AI

17 authors are suing OpenAI for copyright infringement

17 prominent authors including George R.R. Martin and John Grisham are suing OpenAI, the company responsible for ChatGPT, for copyright infringement and “theft,” according to the Associated Press (AP). The authors are among many in the creative field who are expressing concern over the ethics of AI use. A spokesperson for the Authors Guild said that it’s imperative to stop AI’s theft to preserve America’s “incredible literary culture,” according to the AP. Hillel Italie reports, The lawsuit cites specific ChatGPT searches for each author, such as one for Martin that alleges the program generated “an infringing, unauthorized, and detailed outline for a prequel” to “A Game of Thrones” that was titled “A Dawn of Direwolves” and used “the same characters Read More ›

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Wooden chess pawn with king shadow

Inferring the Best Explanation Using Artificial Intelligence

With its wealth of information at hand, how well can AI make accurate inferences?

Even with the rise of large language models such as ChatGPT in the last year, I was still convinced that a mode of reasoning known as inference to the best explanation (abbreviated IBE) was not within the competence of artificial intelligence. In fact, I thought it forever beyond the reach of artificial intelligence. I commended Erik Larson’s book The Myth of Artificial Intelligence (reviewed here) for making what in 2021 seemed like an ironclad case that artificial intelligence research was stymied in trying to model and implement inference to the best explanation, or what has also been called abduction (in contrast to deduction and induction).  This week, however, all that has changed for me. I posed a question to ChatGPT4 (hereafter ChatGPT), Read More ›

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robot with glass laptop

ChatGPT is Getting More Impressive

Nonetheless, human intelligence remains qualitatively different from artificial intelligence.

A few months back I published two pieces (see here and here) where I was able to break ChatGPT4 (hereafter just ChatGPT). More recently I revisited some of the types of challenges I posed to it in the past that were able back then to break it. It handled the challenges with aplomb. The one challenge it still was unable to handle was finding patterns in numerical sequence, such as what is the next number after 2,4,6,8,… — this one is super easy, but more difficult ones that humans are well able to handle seem still beyond its capabilities, at least for now. Whether that ability can be trained into it remains to be seen, though the improvement I saw suggests that it Read More ›

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AI: Intelligent, Conscious, or Merely Evil? 

Venture capitalist Peter Thiel addresses burning questions surrounding AI at last year's COSM conference

In today’s featured video, watch Peter Thiel from COSM 2022 speak on how we should think about artificial intelligence. Is it really intelligent and even conscious? And is it likely to be a force for good, or does it have the dangerous potential to control us? Listen in to learn more on this broad and often contentious topic. Peter Thiel is an internationally known venture capitalist and investor. (REGISTER NOW FOR COSM 2023) COSM is an exclusive national summit on the converging technologies remaking the world as we know it. From artificial intelligence to 5G and WiFi6, from tokenized time to blockchain, from cloud computing to the quantum revolution, and from biotech to the nanotech revolution, COSM brings together some Read More ›

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Revisiting Marks, Lemoine, on AI and Consciousness

What is AI? In what sense can it be said to be "intelligent"? Could it ever be sentient, or conscious?

What is AI? In what sense can it be said to be “intelligent”? Could it ever be sentient, or conscious? In today’s video, a distinguished panel of artificial intelligence (AI) experts, include Blake Lemoine and Robert J. Marks, debates the meaning of artificial intelligence, what the future holds for its application (both positive and negative), and how far AI can be taken in terms of mimicking and even exceeding human capabilities. (REGISTER NOW FOR COSM 2023) COSM is an exclusive national summit on the converging technologies remaking the world as we know it. From artificial intelligence to 5G and WiFi6, from tokenized time to blockchain, from cloud computing to the quantum revolution, and from biotech to the nanotech revolution, COSM brings Read More ›

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Hand of businessman using smartphone chatting with chat bot,  Chat with AI or Artificial Intelligence technology.

ChatGPT is Losing Momentum

Is the "hype curve" starting to flatten out?

ChatGPT’s traffic has declined for the third month in a row, according to Reuters. The Large Language Model (LLM) AI tool took the world by storm in November of 2022 when it was released by OpenAI, posing questions of academic integrity, and urging a host of tech giants to incorporate LLMs into their own platforms and search engines. Anna Tong writes, Worldwide desktop and mobile website visits to the ChatGPT website decreased by 3.2% to 1.43 billion in August, following approximately 10% drops from each of the previous two months. The amount of time visitors spent on the website has also been declining monthly since March, from an average of 8.7 minutes on site to 7 minutes on site in Read More ›

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Alone with the Universe

Artificial Consciousness Remains Impossible (Part 3)

The claim that all things are conscious (including AI) misunderstands the meaning of the term

Read parts one and two of the series to catch up to speed. I don’t subscribe to panpsychism, (a topic that has been popular in SA in recent years[26]), but even if panpsychism is true, the subsequent possible claim that “all things are conscious” is still false because it commits a fallacy of division. There is a difference in kind from everything to every single thing. The purported universal consciousness of panpsychism, if it exists, would not be of the same kind as the ordinary consciousness found in living entities. Some examples of such categorical differences: Johnny sings, but his kidneys don’t. Johnny sees, but his toenails don’t. Saying that a lamp is conscious in one sense of the word simply Read More ›

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Visualizatipon of human consciousness in artificial intelligence, process of thinking robot. Humanoid android on dark background with neurals connection. Created with Generative AI

Artificial Consciousness Remains Impossible (Part 2)

A machine no more “does things on its own” than a catapult flings by itself.

Read part one of this article series here. The following segments are responses to specific categories of counterarguments against my thesis, which you can read in part one of this article HERE. Please note that these responses do not stand on their own and can only be seen as supporting my main arguments from the first part. Each response only applies to those who hold the corresponding objections. “You can’t provide proof of intentionality and qualia because they’re subjective” If your mind doesn’t possess intentionality, “the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties, and states of affairs,” then you wouldn’t be able to understand any word on this screen in front of you Read More ›

Robert J. Marks with Michael Medved
Robert J. Marks on Great Minds with Michael Medved

Revisiting “Non-Computable You”

New podcast episode reviews the key ideas and insights of the book "Non-Computable You"

If you’re a regular reader of Mind Matters, you’ve probably heard us applaud and discuss the book by computer scientist and professor Robert J. Marks, Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will. The book is well worth reading and sheds much needed insights on our current technological moment where AI is either seen as the “greatest thing ever” or the tool that will enslave and destroy humanity, Terminator style. However, if you’re more of an audiobook kind of person, maybe you’ll just want to listen to a new podcast episode in which Dr. Marks discusses the key themes of his book with various hosts. You can listen to the podcast or download it for free here: Why Read More ›

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AI, Machine learning, Hands of robot and human touching big data of Global network connection, Internet and digital technology, Science and artificial intelligence digital technologies of futuristic.

Artificial Consciousness Remains Impossible (Part 1)

The cherished fiction of conscious machines is an impossibility

This article is an attempt to explain why the cherished fiction of conscious machines is an impossibility. The very act of hardware and software design is a transmission of impetus as an extension of the designers and not an infusion of conscious will. The latter half of the article is dedicated to addressing counterarguments. Lastly, some implications of the title thesis are listed. Intelligence vs. Consciousness Intelligence is the ability of an entity to perform tasks, while consciousness refers to the presence of a subjective phenomenon. Intelligence[1]: “…the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment” Consciousness[2]: “When I am in a conscious mental state, there is something it is like for me to be in that state from the Read More ›

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AI, Machine learning, Hands of robot and human touch on big data network, Brain data creative in light bulb, Science and artificial intelligence technology, innovation for futuristic.

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 ›

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Aerial cityscape view of San Francisco and the Bay Bridge at Night

Silicon Valley is All About Use, Not Truth

Of Athens, Jerusalem, and the "third city"

A new article from Wired by Luke Birgis discusses the mentality and culture of Silicon Valley, and puts the technological vision of life up alongside the classic dichotomy between “Athens” and “Jerusalem.” Athens was symbolic of reason, while Jerusalem indicated the spiritual life of the soul. Figuring out a way of connecting (or disconnecting) these two mythic kingdoms has long been the task of philosophers and theologians. Need religion be separated from reason? Are science and faith naturally incompatible? These are worthy questions in their own right. Birgis, however, identifies another burgeoning kingdom that is arguably reducing both Athens and Jerusalem to hypothetical rubble: Silicon Valley. The Valley’s core philosophy is neither reason or beauty, but value, or usefulness. Birgis Read More ›

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Human hand shakes artificial intelligence robotic hand, concept of union between human being and artificial intelligence, Generative AI

Artificial Intelligence: The Final Stage of Disembodiment?

The Internet invites a disembodied existence. Is AI the next step?

Dr. Read Schuchardt, professor of communications at Wheaton College (IL), identifies five primary ways digital technology can erode our lives and relationships, or produce what he calls “vices of the virtual life”: Speaking of disembodiment, which he regards as perhaps the primary negative effect of virtual life, Schuchardt writes, On the phone, on the web, on the TV, you are simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. This creates a mind-body separation that both mimics death and parodies angels, eliminates the possibility of natural law, and allows you to become pure ‘information,’ simply wearing the corporate body as your own. -Read Schuchardt, Media, Journalism, and Communication, p. 56. I’ve found this to be true in my own experience; time online produces an inner Read More ›

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Group of college students studying in the school library, a girl and a boy are using a laptop and connecting to internet

Teachers Gear Up for a New Year – and ChatGPT

Due to ChatGPT's popularity, many schools are seeking ways to integrate the technology into their learning environments.

GPT-3, released by OpenAI in November, swiftly undermined the integrity of many a student’s academic work. Professors across disciplines have had to contend with how to discern machine vs. human-generated work. Now, with a new school year underway, that challenge remains. Due to ChatGPT’s popularity, many schools are seeking ways to integrate the technology into their learning environments. But the question of how to do this remains murky. Bloomberg reports, But professors and administrators seeking to integrate generative AI into their curriculums are left with a big question: How? They need to find the right middle ground, said Steve Weber, vice provost of undergraduate curriculum and education at Drexel University. Educators can’t completely prohibit use of the tool and neglect to teach it, but Read More ›

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AI android robot playing piano. Generative AI illustration

Can AI Mimic Spontaneous Jazz and the Blues?

AI is getting better at imitating music and complex audio. But what are the limits, and what makes music like jazz and “the blues” unique? In this episode, Robert J. Marks sits down with musician James Hirsen to talk about AI deep fakes, its impact on the arts, and the personal aspect of music that makes it so special.  Additional Read More ›

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Cyber security, AI Mind, Network Management, Modern Data Center, Cloud Networking, AI Generated Art

Evaluating Yuval Harari’s Dystopian Views on AI

Does AI spell the doom of democracy?

Will infotech and biotech erode human agency, subvert human desires, and render free-market economics obsolete? At first glance, there looks to be a wide gap between the future of AI and the destruction of democracy. Some futurists claim to have jumped that chasm. In a cheery little column published by The Atlantic, Yuval Noah Harari posits AI will ultimately destroy democracy and favor Digital Dictatorships. He notes that liberal democracies have been anomalies and that history tends to favor authoritarian governance. What is his argument and does it hold water? We’ve been sharing a number of lectures from past COSM conferences and other videos. This video is just one of many you can find at the Bradley Center’s YouTube page. There Read More ›

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Internet broadband and multimedia streaming entertainment

Infinite Jest Revisited

The 1996 book by David Foster Wallace saw the Internet explosion, and its effects, approaching fast

David Foster Wallace was 34 when his magnum opus Infinite Jest appeared in 1996. He tragically took his life in 2008, but the title he’s known for best remains an awe-inspiring, controversial tome. UnHerd writer Sarah Ditum wrote a great review revisiting the book in which she writes, “He did not see the future. But he saw the forces shaping the future, and understood the ways they would deform people in turn.” Infinite Jest, a 1,000 plus page book with 200 pages of tedious endnotes to boot, imagines an American context not so foreign from our own where entertainment has become so powerful that it hopelessly addicts everyone who encounters it. The Internet was already budding in ’96, but the inevitable Read More ›

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Ocean Sunset Rays

Running from TikTok to Baptism and Truth

AI-powered social media is hurting kids, but look at the simultaneous revival happening, writes Robert J. Marks

“Digital fentanyl.” That’s the evocative term U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wisc. used to describe TikTok. In Robert J. Marks’ new Newsmax article, he decries the tragic effects of social media on teens. The data is in: social media makes kids depressed. Marks writes, Media-drenched teenage boys without girlfriends feel like social freaks. One in three teenage girls who use social have body image issues.Young adults who use social media are three times as likely to suffer from depression. Depression can lead to suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, female suicides aged 15-24 increased by 87 percent over the past 20 years and male suicides increased by 30 percent. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry says suicide is now the second leading Read More ›