Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagHuman exceptionalism

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An ape observes the apocalyptic city after a human disaster

Hurry Up, Let Me Evolve Already

A review of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
The film, in keeping with the previous three in the series, is smart, exciting, and provocative. It forces the viewer to confront what it really means to be human. Read More ›
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3D rendering illustration of a broken marble fragment of head sculpture in classical style with pixel sorting glitched broken part in monochromatic grey tones isolated on black background.

Bizarre New iPad Pro Ad Says the Quiet Part Out Loud

Witnessing the rise of anti-human corporate tech

Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared the brand-new preview of the “thinnest iPad” to date, the iPad Pro, praising its portability and capacity. Capitalizing on the “thin” aspect, the promo commercial, titled “Crush!” has been turning heads and could also be accused of crushing the human spirit. The commercial plays to the song “All I Need is You” by Sonny & Cher, opening up with a metronome and a record player. Then, the scene broadens out to show a platform in the middle of a room piled with an array of gadgets and knickknacks, like a drum set, cans of paint, a trumpet, piano, bust of a Greco-Roman figure, a globe, chess set, and other goods that the mind naturally Read More ›

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Pen, Writing, Letter.

The Uniqueness of the Human Writer

LLMs are shortcuts, but sometimes the shortcut makes you miss the point of the journey
The place of the human writer in our increasingly automated world has been a point of debate for years, even before the advent of ChatGPT. Read More ›
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Aerial photo of mix color of stream in to river

Utah Goes Up Against “Nature Rights”

Utah is the fourth state — the others are Ohio, Florida, and Idaho — restricting rights to the human realm where they belong.
Indeed, it is our obligation as humans to benefit from the earth’s bounties in responsible ways. But nature rights would stifle our ability to thrive and shrivel the principle of human rights. Read More ›
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Blurred crowd of unrecognizable at the street

This New Year, Resolve to Stay Human

This year, we will continue to declare that human beings are unique and exceptional.
The transhumanist vision of life seeks to supplant our human limits with endless knowledge and longevity through the collective online database of humanity. Read More ›
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Foggy coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forest in Northern California, in the early morning light.

Planet of the Apes and Human Exceptionalism

This movie franchise makes us wonder what makes human beings unique.

One semi-random movie franchise I’ve been a massive fan of is the newest iteration of The Planet of the Apes. The original trilogy, directed by Matt Reeves (The Batman) concluded in 2017, but a “fourth” film is set to release on Memorial Day of 2024, and a trailer for it dropped this week. I’m starting to become somewhat “anti-trailer” given that more often than not they tend to either distort the hype of the film or give away the story entirely. But in the cases of movies I’m most excited about, I confess that generally I give the trailer a quick view. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is set years after Caesar, the founder of the ape colony Read More ›

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cute pig

Humans Are More Important Than Pigs

Mainstream bioethics has long sought to deconstruct human exceptionalism by claiming that species membership is irrelevant to moral worth.
The lives of human beings are unquantifiably more important than those of pigs. Read More ›
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Top view on blue ocean waves. Nature background.

The United Nations is Considering Granting “Ocean Rights”

Why is granting “rights” to oceans becoming a thing?
Common-sense environmentalism is no longer in style. The Ocean and Nature rights movements are symptoms of a viral anti-humanism. Read More ›
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Goal to success for level up with person climbing on route slope to mountain peak.human performance limit concepts.growth mindset and motivation.generative ai technology

Are We Approaching the Singularity?

Are humans progressing morally as well as materially? What does it mean to be human in the cosmos?

Are humans progressing morally as well as materially? What does it mean to be human in the cosmos? On a new episode of ID the Future, we bring you the second half of a stimulating conversation between Dr. David Berlinski and host Eric Metaxas on the subject of Berlinski’s book Human Nature. In Human Nature, Berlinski argues that the utopian view that humans are progressing toward evolutionary and technological perfection is wishful thinking. Men are not about to become like gods. “I’m a strong believer in original sin,” quips Berlinski in his discussion with Metaxas. In other words, he believes not only that humans are fundamentally distinct from the rest of the biological world, but also that humans are prone to ignorance and Read More ›

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Statue of the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates in Athens, Greece.

David Berlinski: Humans Are Unique

Some argue that humans are growing more peaceful, enlightened, and improved by the year, and that a coming technological singularity may well usher in utopia. Berlinski isn’t buying it.
In this conversation and in his book, Berlinski argues that human beings have a fundamental essence that is radically different from other organisms. Read More ›
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diversity and inclusion hands of peace.  women uniting for social justice

Humanity is Not a Terminal Illness

Anti-humanism has been part of the environmentalist movement for decades
Anti-humanism has become a hallmark of environmentalism. It is also becoming official government policy. Read More ›
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Hallway the emergency room and outpatient hospital. 3d illustration

The Small Steps That Lead to Dystopia

Revisiting a 1993 article warning about the future of assisted suicide

Editor’s Note: The following piece was originally published in Newsweek in June 1993. Today is my 76th birthday,” the letter began. “Unassisted and by my own free will, I have chosen to take my final passage.” Suicide. My friend Frances died in a cold, impersonal hotel room after taking an overdose of sleeping pills, with a plastic bag tied over her head suffocating the life out of her body. Frances was not a happy woman. She had family troubles. She suffered from chronic lymphatic leukemia and was facing the difficult prospect of a hip replacement. She also had a chronic nerve condition that caused her to feel a burning sensation on her skin. But Frances was lucid, aware and involved. Read More ›

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Man Presenting to Group of People

New Review of “Life After Capitalism” Amplifies Book’s Core Themes

Returning to the "mind-centered economy" where knowledge is wealth

A new review of George Gilder’s latest book Life After Capitalism from Samuel Gregg highlights the need for the return of the “mind-centered economy,” in which governmental bureaucracies no longer hamper human creativity and imagination. When capitalistic, democratic societies fall for materialistic presuppositions of the world, they end up resembling socialist contexts in which the state is everything and individual men and women are squelched. Gregg writes at the Acton power blog, [Gilder]takes this notion of the free human mind as the decisive factor in driving economic growth and applies it across the board to economic theory, technology, and our understanding of money. Looking at the question of incentives, for example, Gilder points out that they would yield nothing in Read More ›

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Artificial intelligence, robot thinking about world, looking at the city. Futuristic concept.

Can AI Create its Own Information?

The simple answer is "no," but why? Eric Holloway explains

AI is amazing. It is all the rage these days. Companies everywhere are jumping on the AI bandwagon. No one wants to be left behind when true believers are raptured to the mainframe in the sky. What makes the AI work? The AI works because of information it gained from a human generated dataset. Let’s label the dataset D. We can measure the information in the dataset with Shannon entropy. Represent the information with H(D). When we train an AI with this data, we are applying a mathematical function to the dataset. This function is the training algorithm. Labelling the training algorithm T, then we represent training as T(D). The outcome of training is a new AI model. The model generates new data. We Read More ›

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View from space of orbiting mother earth; view of China, South East Asia, India

You Can’t Have Infinite Growth on a Finite Planet…or Can You?

Busting the myths of population growth and economic scarcity

Wired recently came out with an interview with economics data analyst Gaya Herrington proclaiming the doom of humanity if we don’t “shift the paradigm” NOW. Herrington said, Very succinctly, we are at a now-or-never moment. What we do in the next five to 10 years will determine the welfare levels of humanity for the rest of the century. There are so many tipping points approaching, in terms of climate, in terms of biodiversity. So—change our current paradigm, or our welfare must decline. The Planet Can’t Sustain Rapid Growth Much Longer | WIRED Population alarmism is not a new chipmunk at the park. It’s been burrowing its nose into the popular imagination for decades now. But is the hype merited? Are we really Read More ›

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Closeup of Ben Franklin on a one hundred dollar bill for background IV

Life After Capitalism: Human Creativity Drives Economic Growth

Gilder once more rocks the archetypes of modern information theory and economics with a paradigm-shifting salvo of sheer brilliance

Author of national bestseller Life After Google and generation-defining Wealth and Poverty, venture capitalist, futurist, and pioneering thinker extraordinaire George Gilder pinpoints how the clash of creativity with power at the heart of economic systems leads to global cognitive dissonance and argues that the creation of the novel taps capitalism’s infinite promise and is humanity’s only path of escape from stagnation and tyranny. Gilder once more rocks the archetypes of modern information theory and economics with a paradigm-shifting salvo of sheer brilliance. The capitalist era is over — get ready for life after capitalism. For more than two hundred years, capitalism spread wealth around the globe, bringing unprecedented prosperity and progress, liberating human potential. But something has gone terribly wrong in the world economy. Read More ›

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Say What? AI Doesn’t Understand Anything 

Is that supposed to be a cat, Mr. AI?

Whenever I look at AI generated content, whether it be pictures or text, they all have the same flaw. The AI cannot comprehend what it is making.  Let me explain.  When we humans draw a picture, we are drawing a concept. We are drawing something like “cat climbs a tree” or “cowboy riding into the sunset”. It seems like this is what is happening with a picture drawing AI. We give it a prompt, and it draws an associated picture.  On second thought, maybe not…  When AI draws the picture, what is really going on is it is finding individual-colored pixels that correlate with the letters we typed in its massive database stored in the neural network. Very different than how we draw. We Read More ›

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An analyst uses a computer and dashboard for data business analysis and Data Management System with KPI and metrics connected to the database for technology finance, operations, sales, marketing

What Even Is Artificial Intelligence?

When we talk about AI, we're basically talking about computers

In a recent Mind Matters podcast, computer engineer Robert J. Marks puts the AI hype into perspective by investigating what it can and cannot do. Marks is of the mind that AI can offer a myriad of benefits to the modern world, and notes that the technology has already made inroads into various spheres of life including banking, accounting, and facial recognition technology. The danger lies in believing that AI can replicate human creativity and understanding. While AI can do a lot, it can never understand itself the way human beings can. Marks thinks this is essential to keep in mind. We are not machines. Here is a quote from the episode in which Marks sets some terms and definitions: Read More ›

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Catch the star. A person is standing next to the Milky Way galaxy pointing on a bright star.

A Return to the Reality of the Soul

Materialism has depersonalized the universe, but the evidence for the soul remains

Contemporary Western culture is disillusioned. Under the mainstream narrative of materialism, moderns struggle to connect their lives with a transcendent meaning beyond the self. In the United States, we enjoy a level of privilege and wealth foreign to the majority of prior generations, and yet we see “deaths of despair,” frightening rates of anxiety and depression, and heightened political tensions. None of this is news to you, I’m guessing. I’ve personally written a variation of that paragraph in other articles a number of times. The question behind our collective disillusionment is, frankly, why? Why do we struggle to make something of our lives? Why do we enjoy technological and scientific progress but lack the moral and cultural means to enjoy Read More ›

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Reflection of mountain range in lake, Grand Teton National Park

Should We Give Nature “Rights”?

The nature rights movement is more ideological than rational

The major science journals are growing increasingly hard left politically. The prestigious journal Science, in particular, has swallowed progressive ideology–including supporting the “nature rights” movement. The rights of nature–which include geological features–are generally defined as the right to “exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution.” Nature is, of course, not sentient. So, this campaign is really about granting environmental extremists legal standing to enforce their policy desires through litigation as legal guardians serving nature’s best interests. But the movement has a problem. It is clearly ideological rather than rational. So now, three law professors and a biologist writing in Science urge scientists to promote the agenda by giving courts a scientific pretext to enforce nature rights laws, or even, impose the Read More ›