Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis


Teenage boy in a bedroom listening to music through his smartphone

New Report: Parents, Don’t Give Your Kids Smartphones

This has become a national health crisis.

In the late 1800s, a patented medicine geared towards children called Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup was made accessible to the public. The product claimed to calm children down, help them sleep, and whiten their teeth. There was no prescription necessary for purchase, and furthermore, no disclosures of the ingredients. The stuff worked miracles. It really seemed to work. It turns out, unfortunately, that Mrs. Winslow’s magic potion was brimming with both morphine and alcohol. Nothing like getting a baby drunk to get it to go to sleep, right? Mrs. Winslow must have decided that drugging and intoxicating kids was the best way keep them in check. Consequently, medical companies started being required to disclose what was actually in their products, Read More ›

Stethoscope with financial on the desk.

The Practice of Medicine and Ongoing Issues with Opioid Addiction

How does our brain chemistry affect addiction? How has artificial intelligence changed medicine? Anesthesiologist Dr. Richard Hurley discusses opioid addiction from a medical perspective with host Dr. Robert J. Marks. Then, an anonymous guest details their own experience with opioids. Finally, Dr. Hurley discusses how computer algorithms have both improved and stifled the proper practice of medicine. Additional Resources

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Good and Bad Algorithms in the Practice of Medicine

Computers and artificial intelligence are restricted to being algorithmic. If something is non-algorithmic, it is not computable. Creativity, nuance, and insight are human characteristics that are non-algorithmic. What happens if you remove those human characteristics from the practice of medicine? Robert J. Marks and Dr. Richard Hurley discuss how algorithms can help and harm the practice of medicine. Show Notes Read More ›


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 Read More ›

A prescription pill bottle spilling out an assortment of pills

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

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 Read More ›