Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

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Aerial view of farming tractor plowing and spraying on field

Are Synthetic Pesticides Actually Good for Crops?

Josh Gilder thinks that government policies relating to pesticides are leading to declining crop yields

Starting with the premise that any substance can be poisonous depending on the dose, Josh Gilder, founding partner of Reach Global Strategies argues that government policies related to synthetic pesticides, GMOs, and organic farming is reducing years of massive gains in agricultural production and is leading to declining crop yields and malnutrition. (REGISTER NOW FOR COSM 2023) COSM is an exclusive national summit on the technologies remaking the world as we know it. The mission of the conference is to stimulate debate and deliberation amongst industry leaders, illuminating the synergy between Seattle and the world and providing a scene of civilized conversation and exchange. (REGISTER NOW FOR COSM 2023) We’ve been sharing a number of lectures from past COSM conferences. This Read More ›

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Closed up image of a Female using TikTok application on a smartphone in home. 5 September, 2022. ChiangMai, Thailand.

TikTok is Storing Data in China, Contrary to Former Claims

TikTok CEO said user data isn't stored in China. Turns out it is.

Many online creators and entrepreneurs give sensitive data to TikTok, the China-owned social media app, so they can do business on the platform. That includes social security numbers. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew told Congress earlier this year that users’ data was stored outside of China in places such as Virginia and Singapore. Apparently, however, that is an inaccurate claim. According to a report from Forbes, TikTok has indeed been storing sensitive data on Chinese servers, where employees there can access it. Alexandra S. Levine reports, A trove of records obtained by Forbes from multiple sources across different parts of the company reveals that highly sensitive financial and personal information about those prized users and third parties has been stored in China. Read More ›

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video wall with multimedia images on different television screens, generative ai

AI Still Struggles to Take Out the Trash

How good is AI at content moderation?

How good is AI at content moderation? Also, why haven’t tech companies improved at filtering bad content? A new article at MIT Technology Review goes into some of the details of AI, content moderation, and the struggle tech companies have with “bad actors.” In particular, Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT still struggle with capturing the nuance and context of language; therefore it seems unlikely that AI will totally replace human content moderators. Tate Ryan-Mosley writes, Large language models still struggle with context, which means they probably won’t be able to interpret the nuance of posts and images as well as human moderators. Scalability and specificity across different cultures also raise questions.  -Tate Ryan-Mosley, Catching bad content in the age Read More ›

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A man on the background of a gloomy city

Science, Safety, & Slavery to the State

Revisiting a 2022 conversation between Paul Kingsnorth and Jonathan Pageau

Paul Kingsnorth is a writer and novelist living in Ireland who operates a Substack account called the Abbey of Misrule. For years his work has focused on the many forms of civilizational control that human beings seek to exert over their fellow man and how such power, whether it be technological, governmental, or corporate, diminishes our humanity and freedom. He is also a newly converted Christian, and he wrote his conversion story for First Things last summer, which you can find here. In April, Kingsnorth joined Jonathan Pageau on his YouTube channel. Pageau is an Eastern Orthodox iconographer from Canada. In their discussion, Kingsnorth uses the word “Machine” to describe the massive technological control that’s now not so subtly creeping up on many western countries. From Read More ›

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Silhouette of drone flying above city at sunset

Using EMPs in Warfare

EMPs are just one aspect of the ever-growing threat in our changing world. There are multiple types of frequencies which could affect your electronics and your well-being. Robert J. Marks and Sarah Seguin return to discuss these threats and the future of warfare. Show Notes 00:38 | Introducing Sarah Seguin 01:18 | Can Microwaves Make Us Sick? 03:15 | Can Read More ›

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power line NP background of the sunset, a lot of supports for wires

EMPs. Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

Sarah Seguin and Robert J. Marks discuss what might happen if someone tried to attack the United States using an EMP. What kinds of groups might use EMPs for terrorism? Are steps being taken to protect the country’s power grid? Show Notes 00:13 | 1989 Solar Storm 01:31 | HEMP Disruption 04:34 | Introducing Sarah Seguin 05:39 | The United Read More ›

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Abstract background of science and technology

Sarah Seguin on EMPs and How to Protect Your Data

With society’s ever-increasing dependence on technology, a growing concern is the threat of EMPs. Sarah Seguin and Robert J. Marks discuss EMPs, the physics behind such attacks, and potential ways you can protect your electronics and your data. Show Notes 00:12 | Introduction 02:12 | Electromagnetic Capability 04:18 | Defining EMPs 05:17 | The Physics behind EMPs 07:43 | EMPs Read More ›

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St. Basil's Cathedral. This was taken during my first night in Moscow. Decided to take a stroll down the Red Square to see all the sights.

Samuel Bendett on AI Development in Russia

What is happening in Russia right now with regards to development of artificial intelligence? In today’s bingecast, Samuel Bendett and Robert J. Marks discuss Russian military and non-military development of AI including autonomous weapons, entrepreneurship, and free enterprise. Show Notes 00:46 | Introducing Samuel Bendett, advisor with the CNA Adversary Analysis Group 01:37 | Samuel Bendett’s background 02:14 | Russian non-military development of AI Read More ›

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Finally froze while looking for this shot, but it was worth it.

AI Development in Russia — Part 1

What is happening in Russia right now with regards to non-military development of artificial intelligence? Samuel Bendett and Robert J. Marks discuss Russian non-military development of AI, entrepreneurship, and free enterprise. Show Notes 00:46 | Introducing Samuel Bendett, advisor with the CNA Adversary Analysis Group 01:37 | Samuel Bendett’s background 02:14 | Russian non-military development of AI 09:28 | Taking Read More ›

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Incognito warrior in iron helmet and red cloak.

What would Plato Say About Antifa? Or Darwin?

A careful reading of Plato and Arendt goes a long way toward explaining the current scene—but it is unsettling reading

In college, I hated Plato. We read his Republic, and, as a patriot and an idealistic young (small “d”) democrat, I was appalled at the hegemony of the Guardians and at Plato’s disdain for democracy. It seemed to me that his Guardians were the archetypal totalitarians, and that it was a fundamental human right — enshrined in the Constitution — to be ruled only by consent of the governed. In my dotage, I am more sympathetic to Plato — it’s remarkable how much smarter the old philosopher has gotten in the past 40 years! I am still uncomfortable with Guardians, at least of the secular sort. But I think John Adams got it right when he observed that “our Constitution Read More ›

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The economic crisis of 2020 with the red arrows indicating the economic recession in 2020.

Inflation Is the Least of Our Worries!

Yet some fear that the inflation dragon is about to roar

The Federal Reserve (the Fed) can throw the economy into a recession whenever it feels that it is in our best interests to be unemployed — typically because the Fed is convinced that an unruly inflation needs to be tamed by the discipline of unemployment. For example, in 1979, as the rate of inflation peaked above 13 percent, the Fed moved to make borrowing prohibitively expensive. When Fed Chair Paul Volcker was asked if the Fed’s policies would cause a recession, he replied, “Yes, and the sooner the better.” Interest rates reached 18 percent on home mortgages and were even higher for most other bank loans. Households and businesses cut back on their borrowing and spending and the unemployment rate Read More ›