Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagCharles Q. Choi

blue earth seen from the moon surface

The Search for ET Should Quit Claiming Earth Is Not Special

How will we assess the raw probability of being alone in this universe when we have no other universe to compare with ours?

Nearly a year ago, MMN offered a series of stories on the many aspects of the intensifying search for extraterrestrial life. An earlier series examined the many hypotheses as to why we don’t see ET. On the one hand, we haven’t found clear evidence, just possibilities. On the other hand, the universe is vast, largely unexplored — and fine-tuned for life. As a result, how we rate our chances of success will likely be governed by prior beliefs. Data from the space telescopes about an increasing number of exoplanets enables more accurate science. Notably, NASA, sensing that the research landscape has changed, has developed a scale for assessing evidence-based claims about ET life. Let’s hope it also means more focused Read More ›

Lunar base illustration

The Search for Extraterrestrial Life 17

Interest in moon exploration and bases is growing and it turns out there is more water there (carried by the solar wind) than thought

In our universe: We’re always learning new things now. The universe “has 2−3× more light than expected from the integrated light from galaxies” “According to new measurements by New Horizons, the light coming from stars beyond the Milky Way is two to three times brighter than the light from known populations of galaxies – meaning that there are even more out there than we thought! – Matt Williams, Universe Today, (December 24, 2022) The paper is open access. While we’re here, rogue stars may be even older than we thought: “”We don’t exactly know what made them homeless. Current theories cannot explain our results, but somehow they were produced in large quantities in the early universe,” James Jee, an astronomer Read More ›

Robot eyes closeup

Sure, AI Could Run the World — Except for Its Fundamental Limits

But many of the basic errors, problems, and limitations have no easy solution

We are told that not only will AI take our jobs but it will take our bosses’ jobs and their bosses’ jobs and pretty soon., AI will be running the world… We can see those films on Netflix any night. Science writer and science fiction author Charles Q. Choi offers, in a longish piece at the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers’ online magazine, Spectrum, talking about the real world where “Neural networks can be disastrously brittle, forgetful, and surprisingly bad at math.” AI frequently flubs and it is not clear how to make it flub less. Here are brief notes on three examples of the seven he offers: ➤“Brittle” 97% of AIs could not identify a school bus flipped Read More ›