Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagGoogle

touching chatbot
Chatbot computer program designed for conversation with human users over the Internet. Support and customer service automation technology concept.

A Chat with Blake Lemoine on Google and AI Sentience

Former Google employee Blake Lemoine claimed that the Large Language Model LaMDA was a sentient being. The claim got him fired. In this episode, Lemoine sits down with Robert J. Marks to discuss AI, what he was doing at Google, and why he believes artificial intelligence can be sentient.   Additional Resources

artificial-intelligence-sentient-ai-thinking-for-itself-using-computational-data-and-a-human-like-sense-of-consciousness-and-conscience-generative-ai-stockpack-adobe-stock
Artificial intelligence - sentient AI thinking for itself using computational data and a human-like sense of consciousness and conscience. Generative AI

Ex-Googler Blake Lemoine Still Thinks AI is Sentient

Lemoine posits that because AI can appear to act anxious and stressed, it can be assumed to be sentient

Blake Lemoine, who formerly worked for Google, has doubled down on his claim that AI systems like LaMDA and Chat-GPT are “sentient.” Lemoine went public on his thoughts on sentience in The Washington Post last June with his bold claim, and since parting ways with Google, has not backed down on his beliefs. Lemoine posits that because AI can appear to act anxious and stressed, it can be assumed to be sentient. Maggie Harrison writes at Futurism, An interesting theory, but still not wholly convincing, considering that chatbots are designed to emulate human conversation — and thus, human stories. Breaking under stress is a common narrative arc; this particular aspect of machine behavior, while fascinating, seems less indicative of sentience, Read More ›

computer-eye-stockpack-adobe-stock
Computer Eye

The Metaverse was a Bust. Will AI Save the Day?

Microsoft is counting on it, investing billions into AI research and development

Just a couple of years ago, the metaverse was taking the tech world captive with grandiose promises of revolutionizing the internet and representing the future of human interaction. Microsoft was among the moguls who embraced the metaverse project with open arms, only to face the harsh fact that the technology was underdeveloped, investors were skeptical of its viability, and a massive swath of the American public seemed simply uninterested in the product. But, it was new technology. It was exciting. It was supposed to be the future. Now, Microsoft is hailing AI as the destiny of the internet, again with the sort of optimism that directed their love affair with virtual reality. The company has jumped the gun and sought Read More ›

little bot boi
Businessman holding a light chatbot hologram intelligence AI. Digital chatbot, chatGPT, robot application.Chat GPT chat with AI Artifice intelligent developers digital technology concept.

Does New A.I. Live Up to the Hype?

Experts are finding ChatGPT and other LLMs unimpressive, but investors aren't getting the memo

Original article was featured at Salon on February 21st, 2023. On November 30, 2022, OpenAI announced the public release of ChatGPT-3, a large language model (LLM) that can engage in astonishingly human-like conversations and answer an incredible variety of questions. Three weeks later, Google’s management — wary that they had been publicly eclipsed by a competitor in the artificial intelligence technology space — issued a “Code Red” to staff. Google’s core business is its search engine, which currently accounts for 84% of the global search market. Their search engine is so dominant that searching the internet is generically called “googling.” When a user poses a search request, Google’s search engine returns dozens of helpful links along with targeted advertisements based on its knowledge of the Read More ›

hand in searchbar
Hand click searching data information networking. Concept for network web and technology

Whatever You Do, Don’t Ask GPT for Sources

The chatbot will give you a lot of links that don't necessarily direct you where you want to go

One of the more amusing things I’ve found from OpenAI’s GPT-3 and ChatGPT is the fact that it will very confidently provide you with sources on anything you ask—and they will often be completely made up. It will even provide fake (but real-looking) URLs for you! I stumbled across this feature when researching a previous GPT-3 article about how well it could write blog posts compared to real authors. I initially tried asking GPT-3 to include sources, and it generated complete nonsense for the sources. I decided that, for that article, sources were not the main question, so I left it out of the final queries. However, in response to my latest article about ChatGPT not being a Google replacement, someone commented Read More ›

person at the internet
Business man works in office with laptop. Concept of internet network. double exposure

Why ChatGPT Won’t Replace Google

With Google, the algorithm eventually leads you to content made by real people. With ChatGPT, you never leave the algorithm

To some extent, ChatGPT is a newer, easier-to-use interface than Google.  Unlike Google, it doesn’t make you waste time by visiting those pesky websites.  It not only looks into its database for content, but it also summarizes it for you as paragraphs. There is a problem lurking in there, however.  Being computers, neither Google nor ChatGPT cares about the truth.  They are algorithms, and they merely do as they are told.  Additionally, you can’t code the human mind into algorithms.  However, there is a fundamental difference between what ChatGPT does and what Google does that will prevent content generators like ChatGPT from displacing search engines like Google: Google eventually lets you out of its system. Ultimately, the goal of search Read More ›

google on ipad
Bangkok, Thailand 25 AUG 2020. Men hand using digital tablet for search information on Google.  Wireless Smartphone technology with intelligence search engine.

U.S. Department of Justice Sues Google (Again)

The DOJ claims the tech giant is unlawfully monopolizing the digital advertising market

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is suing Google, claiming the technology company has monopolized the digital advertising market. This marks the second federal anti-trust suit against Google. Google has led the digital advertising market for years, although companies like TikTok and Amazon are becoming more viable competitors. Despite the competition, Google still raked in $209B in advertising in 2021, per a briefing from 1440 News, and its 2022 financial report is expected to disclose similar numbers. The official complaint notes the benefit and importance of a “vibrant internet” in American life but emphasizes the centrality of economic diversity and competition. Section 4 of the complaint claims “the ad tech space is broken,” further explaining,   One industry behemoth, Google, Read More ›

white glove stage
Hand in a white glove pulling curtain away

Google: Rank Censorship Behind the Scenes

We live under a state of highly sophisticated and ubiquitous suppression of disfavored voices

One year ago today (January 1st, 2022) we saw behind the curtain at Google. With vast information scattered across a billion websites, whoever controls the search algorithm largely controls information. And if Google.com were a stage, the spotlight is centered squarely on the first result, with some ambient light spilling onto a few supporting roles. The second page results are essentially extras, unlikely to catch the attention of the audience at all. About 25% of web searchers click that first result. Another 50% follow one of the next half-dozen. A scant 6% will ever make it to the second page.* If your breaking news, breakthrough product, or bold opinion piece isn’t in a starring role on that first page, it will languish Read More ›

Customer service and support live chat with chatbot and automati

Chatbots: Still Dumb After All These Years

Intelligence is more than statistically appropriate responses

This story, by Pomona College business and investment prof Gary Smith was #6 in 2022 at Mind Matters News in terms of reader numbers. As we approach the New Year, we are rerunning the top ten Mind Matters News stories of 2022, based on reader interest. At any rate: “Chatbots: Still dumb after all these years.” (January 3, 2022) In 1970, Marvin Minsky, recipient of the Turing Award (“the Nobel Prize of Computing”), predicted that within “three to eight years we will have a machine with the general intelligence of an average human being.”  Fifty-two years later, we’re still waiting. The fundamental roadblock is that, although computer algorithms are really, really good at identifying statistical patterns, they have no way of Read More ›

multiple-smartphone-screens-adobe-stock
Multiple smartphone screens

Getting Intentional About Your 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. Read More ›
Hacker Cyborg. Combination of robot and artificial intelligence

AI: The Potential and the Problems

Despite the hype regarding the seemingly infinite possibilities surrounding AI technology, artificial intelligence still has a number of humbling hurtles to overcome. Justin Bui and Samuel Haug join Robert J. Marks to discuss the latest developments in artificial intelligence.  Show Notes 00:00:56 | The Homunculus 00:04:09 | Introducing Justin Bui 00:06:54 | Fast AI 00:13:45 | Deepfake Technology 00:21:40 | Read More ›

strichcode-stockpack-adobe-stock
Strichcode

What You Need To Know About Surveillance Capitalism

A Harvard professor coined the term and her 2019 book sounds a warning about how Google and Facebook gain power and wealth selling YOU

The term “surveillance capitalism” was coined by Harvard professor Shoshana Zuboff in her book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. It’s a fascinating read, offering insight into the power that companies like Google and Facebook have amassed and the danger that power poses to our way of life. Here’s how she explained it to the United Kingdom’s Channel 4 News in 2019: Here’s how surveillance capitalism works, just in brief. It begins with these companies claiming, unilaterally claiming, our private human experience as their free source of raw material. So what do they do with that raw material? They lift out of it the rich predictive signals in our Read More ›

puppet-hands-from-leadership-controlling-our-lives-concept-stockpack-adobe-stock
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 Read More ›

Man showing tricks with cards

The AI Illusion – State-of-the-Art Chatbots Aren’t What They Seem

GPT-3 is very much like a performance by a good magician

Artificial intelligence is an oxymoron. Despite all the incredible things computers can do, they are still not intelligent in any meaningful sense of the word. Decades ago, AI researchers largely abandoned their quest to build computers that mimic our wondrously flexible human intelligence and instead created algorithms that were useful (i.e., profitable). Despite this understandable detour, some AI enthusiasts market their creations as genuinely intelligent. For example, a few months ago, Blaise Aguera y Arcas, the head of Google’s AI group in Seattle, argued that “statistics do amount to understanding.” As evidence, he cites a few exchanges with Google’s LaMDA chatbot. The examples were impressively coherent but they are still what Gary Marcus and Ernest Davis characterize as “a fluent spouter of bullshit” because computer algorithms Read More ›

cropped-shot-of-robot-playing-chess-on-wooden-surface-stockpack-adobe-stock
cropped shot of robot playing chess on wooden surface

Is AlphaZero Actually Superior to the Human Mind?

Comparing AI and the human mind is completely apples and oranges

The Google-backed AI company DeepMind made headlines in March 2016 when its AlphaGo game AI engine was able to defeat Lee Sedol, one of the top Go players in the world. DeepMind followed up this great achievement with the AlphaZero engine in 2017, which made the remarkable achievement of soundly beating AlphaGo in Go as well as one of the world’s best chess engines in chess. The interesting difference between AlphaGo and AlphaZero is that AlphaGo uses databases of top human games for learning, while AlphaZero only learns by playing against itself. Using the same AI engine to dominate two different games, while also discarding reliance on human games suggests that DeepMind has found an algorithm that is intrinsically superior Read More ›

closeup keyboard laptop and Google Ads AdWords app icon on smart
closeup keyboard laptop and Google Ads AdWords app icon on smartphone screen. Google is the biggest Internet search engine in the world. Moscow, Russia - April 27, 2019

Facebook and Google Face Big Legal Challenges

The FTC, dozens of states, and private citizens are coming after the big tech companies for antitrust violations

How has 2022 begun for our favorite Big Tech companies? With a good chunk of lawsuits. As technology companies grow bigger, they face bigger legal challenges. Here’s a brief rundown of a few such challenges Facebook and Google face in the courts in this new year: FTC Antitrust Lawsuit Against Facebook Moves Forward Let’s begin at the federal level. Last June, Judge James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia tossed out a lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) challenging Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp. According to Boasberg, the FTC failed to adequately show that Facebook holds a monopoly. Not to be dissuaded, the FTC re-filed with an amended complaint in August. Last Read More ›

Woman walking smartphone tik tok

Social Media Content Moderator Sues TikTok for PTSD

Social media moderators protect users from graphic content, but who protects the moderators?

A social media content moderator is suing TikTok, a popular video app, for psychological trauma developed from 12-hour shifts moderating endless graphic videos. Candie Frazier works for Telus International, a Canadian contracting firm providing moderation services to social media apps like TikTok. Frazier filed a complaint with the California Central District Court in December, alleging that TikTok and parent company ByteDance do not provide enough support for the psychological wellbeing of their contracted moderators, whose job it is to remove violent, graphic, and otherwise inappropriate content from the platform. TikTok’s popularity exploded in the aftermath of pandemic lockdowns, especially among millennials and Generation Z. As of September, TikTok reported 1 billion users every month. In her complaint, Frazier explains that Read More ›

Customer service and support live chat with chatbot and automati

Chatbots: Still Dumb After All These Years

Intelligence is more than statistically appropriate responses

In 1970, Marvin Minsky, recipient of the Turing Award (“the Nobel Prize of Computing”), predicted that within “three to eight years we will have a machine with the general intelligence of an average human being.”  Fifty-two years later, we’re still waiting. The fundamental roadblock is that, although computer algorithms are really, really good at identifying statistical patterns, they have no way of knowing what these patterns mean because they are confined to MathWorld and never experience the real world. As Richard Feynman famously explained, there is a fundamental difference between labeling things and understanding them: [My father] taught me “See that bird? It’s a brown-throated thrush, but in Germany it’s called a halsenflugel, and in Chinese they call it a chung ling and even Read More ›

close-up-image-of-coder-typing-on-computer-stockpack-adobe-stock
Close-up image of coder typing on computer

The Search for the Universal Algorithm Continues

Why does machine learning always seem to be rounding a corner, only to eventually hit a wall?

DeepMind, a part of Alphabet (i.e., Google), has made many headlines in the past. The biggest was its development of AlphaGo, which used reinforcement learning to beat the number one Go player at the time (2017). DeepMind generalized this into AlphaZero, which is supposedly able to solve any two-player game of perfect information. DeepMind has come back into headlines recently with the attempt to build an AI which can generate any algorithm. While they are starting with map data, the goal is to generalize this and generate any desired algorithm. The search for such a “universal algorithm” has been essentially equivalent to the search for a perpetual motion machine in physics. The allure of both is obvious. In physics, if you Read More ›

gold-bitcoin-on-dark-background-stockpack-adobe-stock
Gold bitcoin on dark background

COSM Speaker Peter Thiel: The Failures and “Self-Hatred” of Big Tech

Listen to maverick entrepreneur Peter Thiel’s talk from last year’s COSM conference. Thiel discusses his views of artificial intelligence, Big Tech’s monopoly, China, and the future of technology with legendary tech guru George Gilder. You can register now to hear Peter Thiel and George Gilder at this year’s COSM conference in November. Show Notes Additional Resources