Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagElon Musk

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Video player app on phone's screen and wireless earphones on dark background

“Deeply Unsettling:” Popular YouTube Host Concerned Over Online Censorship

After one of his videos was removed from YouTube, economist and talk show host Glenn Loury had questions.

Glenn Loury is a professor at Brown University and a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. In addition, he hosts the Glenn Show on YouTube where he interviews several different thinkers, writers, etc. However, one of Loury’s videos, an interview he performed with Mark Goldblatt, author of I Feel, Therefore I Am: The Triumph of Woke Subjectivism, was taken down from YouTube on the charges of violating the platform’s community guidelines. Loury and Goldblatt discussed the sensitive issue of transgenderism, and the latter’s opinion on the matter was deemed controversial enough to count as hate speech. In this video, Loury and his production assistant, Nikita Petrov, talk about online censorship, free speech, Substack as an alternative to Twitter/X, and how Read More ›

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bright iridescent thread floss for embroidery and needlework

Is the “Threads” App a Bust?

The app originally attracted around 100 million users but has tapered off dramatically.

Within the first week of its existence, “Threads,” the new Twitter-like app from the tech company Meta, saw a colossal decline in usage. The app originally attracted around 100 million users but has tapered off dramatically. Jody Cerrano reports, Zuckerberg’s statements about returning users coincide with estimates from third-party traffic analysts that reported the big dip in Threads users last week. At that time, Sensor Tower, a market intelligence firm, said that Threads’ daily active users on iOS and Android were down by 20%. The company added that traffic was not the only thing affected. Time spent on the app per user also fell, according to Sensor Tower, by 50% — from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. On Monday, the analyst Similarweb reported an Read More ›

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Mission Impossible: A Dead Reckoning With Artificial Intelligence

The villain in the new blockbuster movie is an artificial intelligence known simply as "the entity."

I walked into the theater expecting a typical villain in the latest installment of Mission Impossible starring the inimitable Tom Cruise. And at the film’s beginning, you’re definitely led to believe that the pale, sour-faced Russians are behind yet another espionage program destined to thwart America and conquer the world. But that’s only a front. The real villain in the new blockbuster movie is an artificial intelligence known simply as “the entity.” The impossible mission, tasked to Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is to track down a mysterious key, made of two separate parts, that apparently can unlock the entity and reveal what it’s capable of. God in the Machine Hunt and his usual gang of expatriates find themselves at odds with Read More ›

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Digital chatbots on smartphones access data and information in online networks. Robot Applications and Global Connectivity AI Artificial Intelligence innovation and technology

Musk: My AI Will “Understand Reality”

xAI, Musk's alternative to OpenAI, is shrouded in ambitious hopes

Tech giant and billionaire Elon Musk is starting yet another company, and this one has to do with the talk of the town: artificial intelligence. The name of the venture is “xAI.” It’s been an interesting week in the tech and AI world. Meta released “Threads,” a Twitter alternative, and OpenAI is now under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, calling the AI company into question for its data scraping methods and ChatGPT’s tendency to spin false information. Now that AI is the apple in ever tech mogul’s eye at the moment, I guess it makes sense that Musk is reaching for the branch of temptation. He’s been teasing his hopes for his own AI company for a few months Read More ›

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Sports concept of fighting without rules. Two athlete wrestlers in the arena of the octagonal scene. Mood fights without boxing rules MMA. Alternative look at sporting battles through the metal cage

Really, a Cage Match?

Rumor has it that Twitter CEO Elon Musk and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg are going to fight each other (physically, not figuratively) in a cage match.

Rumor has it that Twitter CEO Elon Musk and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg are going to fight each other (physically, not figuratively) in a cage match. Yes, you heard that right. After an online squabble, the two are purportedly interested in an actual fight. Today, the news broke that Musk has agreed to train with UFC legend Georges St-Pierre. St-Pierre offered his services to Musk in a tweet, to which Musk replied, “Okay, let’s do it.” No one really knows if this fight will actually happen, but it could. It’s ludicrous that men of such stature should be entertaining the notion of a cage match. Nonetheless, Zuckerberg is apparently trained in martial arts, and seemed open to the idea given Read More ›

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Birds symbol carry on dialog with each other. Plasticine illustration.

Twitter’s Copycat Rival is Coming to You via Meta. Will It Survive?

Meta will again co-opt the ideas of its competitors and hope for the best

Meta is reportedly trying to compete with Twitter by introducing a similar app called Threads. The app will be connected to Instagram and will allow a cross-over of followers, etc. Since Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, some have complained about loosened constraints regarding speech and expression. A number of formerly suspended accounts, such as those belonging to psychologist Jordan Peterson, the Christian satire site The Babylon Bee, and a number of other (mostly conservative) voices, were reestablished following Musk’s “takeover.” Now Meta is trying to capitalize. If they’re going to launch Threads, now is probably the best time to do it. Apart from the overarching complaints against Twitter and Musk, the platform is now limiting how many tweets a user Read More ›

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Smartphone screen with smart home technologies on a blue backdrop. Internet of things isometric conceptual image. Digital Residence utilizing a mobile phone's fingerprint to get access to IOT systems

The LLM Deep Fake—Follow the Money

Hype sells. Just look at what's happening with AI

Large language models (LLMs) are far more impressive now than they were just a few months or a year ago. Compare these exchanges I had with GPT-3 in June 2022 and with ChatGPT two days ago: Gary:          Can I improve my test scores if I study after taking the test? GPT-3:        That’s a good question. I’m not sure if you can improve your test scores by studying after taking the test, but it couldn’t hurt to try! ChatGPT:   Studying after taking a test is unlikely to directly improve your scores on that particular test since the test has already been completed. Once a test is finished, the opportunity to answer questions and provide responses has passed. However, studying after taking Read More ›

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robot  take over solarized image

Not to Worry–AI Isn’t Going to Take Over

AI hype isn't new. Here's Robert J. Marks writing on the topic in 2017

[The AI hype isn’t new. The history of exaggerating its potential goes back decades. In this article, Robert J. Marks echoes many of the views covered in more detail in his 2022 book Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will. Today we share it with you, originally written on October 3rd, 2017, and published at The Stream.] A.I. is transforming our world. Should we worry about that? Entrepreneur billionaire Elon Musk is worried. Woody Allen once said, “What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.” Musk thinks he overpaid for his carpet. He believes there’s a good chance the world as we know it is a sophisticated Read More ›

thinking with gears
Thinking mechanisms

New Conversation Article: ChatGPT Can’t Think

Will AI ever reach a point where it can independently analyze, think, and transcend itself?

Will AI ever reach a point where it can independently analyze, think, and transcend itself? Furthermore, will it ever become sentient? Some experts in the field, like Blake Lemoine, think AI has already breached the boundaries of sentience. Others, though, remain skeptical. A new article from The Conversation discusses ChatGPT, the Turing test, and the question of consciousness. For Turing, “thinking” meant simply passing the test, but his assumptions were misguided. Philip Goff writes, Turing was wrong, however, when he said the only clear notion of “understanding” is the purely behavioural one of passing his test. Although this way of thinking now dominates cognitive science, there is also a clear, everyday notion of “understanding” that’s tied to consciousness. To understand Read More ›

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Neurotechnology and Neuromodulation - Conceptual Illustration

Neuralink All Set for Human Trials

What could go wrong?

Neuralink, Elon Musk’s bio-engineering company that launched in 2016, received approval from the FDA to begin human experiments with its brain implant technology. The company has struggled for years to gain such approval, and up to this point, has been investigated on occasion for potential dangers the implants might pose. Musk, however, is optimistic about the technology, and thinks it may have the potential to heal a range of disorders and illnesses including autism, depression, and schizophrenia. However, the organization is being “probed” by various governmental agencies. According to a Reuters report, The Department of Transportation is separately probing whether Neuralink illegally transported dangerous pathogens on chips removed from monkey brains without proper containment measures. Neuralink is also under investigation by the U.S. Department Read More ›

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Aerial view of the Pentagon and the United States Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia

Fake Fire at the Pentagon

An AI image of a fire near Pentagon stokes panic

An AI-generated image showing a billowing fire near the U.S. Pentagon caused panic this week. False alarms of an explosion started to proliferate across social media, with even a Russian state outlet reporting on the situation, according to TMZ. Nonetheless, the image showed various distortions and was quickly dismantled as a hoax by a number of vigilant viewers. Even so, the image looks realistic at first glance, and was enough to ignite concern; the incident occurs amidst legislative talks on Capitol Hill over AI regulation. Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI (which was originally funded by Elon Musk) testified before Congress and noted that while he sees great benefits in new AI systems, the possibilities of their abuses are evident. The Read More ›

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3D rendering artificial intelligence AI research of robot and cyborg development for future of people living. Digital data mining and machine learning technology design for computer brain.

Opinion: They Were Right to Call for AI’s Pause

Could ChatGPT end up making us subservient to it?

Brad Littlejohn wrote an opinion piece at World claiming that Elon Musk and the many others who signed a petition calling for AI to pause research were onto something–and that the rest of us should pay attention. He writes, In a famous essay at the dawn of the personal computing era, “Thinking About Technology,” Canadian philosopher George Grant examined the statement, “Computers do not impose on us the ways they should be used.” It expressed, he argued, the quintessential modern idea of technology as simply an extension of human freedom. The claim is that we remain at all times the masters of our technological instruments, free to bend them to our will. More often, however, they have an uncanny way Read More ›

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TV studio with camera and lights

Tucker Carlson and the Decline of Cable TV

What does Carlson's move to Twitter mean for legacy media?

Tucker Carlson, longtime host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News, “parted ways” with the media empire, and just weeks later, announced that he would be starting a new, independent show. It was a quick turnaround. Interesting thing is, Carlson said the show would air not on cable television, but on Twitter. He said that Twitter is basically the forum where today’s ideas are formulated, exchanged, and debated, and that there’s currently no better place to practice video journalism. Here’s the clip of Carlson so you can hear him for yourself. Fox News lost considerable ratings since Carlson’s departure. He was their most popular host by a longshot. On the same day he was let go, CNN fired their own Read More ›

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Blue check mark logos on a heap on a table. Copy space. Verification concept

Is This the End of Twitter?

The social media giant has been struggling on multiple fronts since Musk's takeover

Twitter isn’t in such great shape at the moment. In fact, rumors of bankruptcy loom over the company as financial woes continue to mount, and solutions seem few and far between. Dave Karpf is a professor of “internet politics” at George Washington University and wrote an article describing Twitter’s current predicament. He writes, A few weeks ago, Elon Musk said that ad revenues had fallen 50%. The site has experienced major outages at a higher rate than usual. During one such outage, Elon was laser-focused on the important stuff: reply-guying Jordan Peterson. The Twitter Blue rollout was such a disaster that he fired almost the entire team. Yesterday, he appeared to backtrack on his big plan to revoke legacy checkmarks. Twitter hasn’t been paying rent on its office space. It recently tried Read More ›

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Self driving car on a road. Autonomous vehicle. Inside view.

The Irony in Musk’s AI Distrust

As a leader in AI, why is Musk advocating a pause on its development?

Elon Musk joined a petition to “pause” AI research, citing concern over its potential harms and overreach. This is interesting, since Musk originally funded OpenAI, which is now at the forefront of cutting-edge AI systems like ChatGPT. In addition, Musk’s ventures with self-driving cars and his confidence in neural technology all cast him as a leader in the AI revolution. So why is he calling for a hiatus? According to a recent Slate article, the warnings against Large Language Models (LLMs) are a distraction from the more dangerous AI inventions like the self-driving car. Musk uses sci-fi alarmism to exacerbate the fear of a machine takeover, while his own experiments in automation have also proved to be dangerous for human Read More ›

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Elon Musk to AI Labs: Press Pause

The petition reflects growing concern over the proper role of AI in human society and its potential for overreach

Over 1,000 leaders and experts in technology and science, including Elon Musk, are now urging artificial intelligence labs to pause their research and distribution of new AI technologies. They believe moving forward so swiftly on AI research could bring about unintended consequences in the future, and that we don’t understand AI well enough yet to be casting so much trust in it. According to The New York Times, The open letter called for a pause in the development of A.I. systems more powerful than GPT-4, the chatbot introduced this month by the research lab OpenAI, which Mr. Musk co-founded. The pause would provide time to introduce “shared safety protocols” for A.I. systems, the letter said. “If such a pause cannot be Read More ›

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Cell repairing nanobot technology, illustration

Pre-order Immortality Now (It’s Only 8 Years Away, Apparently)

A Google engineer predicts the "singularity" is coming and that we should get on board

Ray Kurzweil, a former Google engineer, thinks that humanity is a mere “eight years away” from achieving immortality. No, he’s not a spiritual leader predicting the eschaton. He’s not telling you to seek union with God and achieve immortality the old-fashioned way. He thinks we’ll be able to live forever via age-reversing “nanobots.” These “tiny robots” will correct damaged cells and make us immune to disease, thus leading to radically increased human longevity. Stacy Liberatore writes at Daily Mail, Now the former Google engineer believes technology is set to become so powerful it will help humans live forever, in what is known as the singularity. Singularity is a theoretical point when artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence and changes the path Read More ›

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Artificial intelligence. Network in hive mind brain. Vintage futuristic poster.

Is the “Singularity” Already Here?

Two experts in the tech field warn that the singularity, as we've come to imagine it, might be right around the corner

The singularity refers to the future point when the human and the machine will merge––when the personal and technological distinction breaks down entirely. It sounds dystopian and far off. But, two experts in the tech field warn that the singularity, as we’ve come to imagine it, is right upon us. Writing for The Conversation, John Kendall Hawkins and Sandy Boucher comment, To understand why this isn’t the stuff of fairy tales, we need only look as far as recent developments in brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). BCIs are a natural beginning to the singularity in the eyes of many futurists, because they meld mind and machine in a way no other technology so far can. Elon Musk’s company Neuralink is seeking permission from the US Food Read More ›

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Landscape illustration with rocket taking off, vaporwave style. Generative AI

Developing a Penchant for Pynchon

The bizarre novel on the impact of tech on society turns 50 this month

50 years ago this month, writer Thomas Pynchon published the 1973 National Book Award Winner Gravity’s Rainbow, a 700-page novel/biopic on the absurdity and technocratic madness of modern life. While I haven’t personally read the book, I now plan to this year after reading an entertaining memorial review of the book over at Wired. Pynchon was famous for being un-famous—that is, for evading the limelight while making an indelible mark on the unfolding postmodern literary landscape. Along with tomes like Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, Pynchon’s book often seems devoid of a storyline with its cacophony of events, characters, and nebulous sub-plots. An Almanac of its Time But that might be kind of the point, according to this review Read More ›

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Ways the Brain Can Heal

Robert Marks and Andrew Knox continue their conversation on neurology, epilepsy, and mental illness. In this episode, they focus on the medications and practices that can help restore proper brain function, from antidepressants to forms of surgery to Elon Musk’s potential “Neuralink.” Additional Resources