Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagRobert J. Marks

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Is Your Mind Bigger Than the Universe? Well, Look At It This Way…

Surprisingly, there is a way to measure the mind that shows it IS bigger than the universe — information

Imagine you’re sitting at home, relaxing in your favorite easy chair. Go on, kick your legs up. Feel your limbs releasing the stress of the day, starting from the extremities, and progressing up your core to your head. Now, let your mind expand. Let go of what is holding your mind down. Feel it become free, outside of everything around it. Let the feeling continue until your mind is bigger than the universe. Now consider the question: if your mind is bigger than the universe, can it be within the universe? If a ball is bigger than a bag, can it be contained by the bag? Of course not. If the mind is bigger than the universe, then it must Read More ›

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Beyond the Physical: Embracing an Idealistic Worldview

In this episode of the Mind Matters Podcast, Hosts Robert J. Marks and Brian Krouse conclude their discussion with Dr. Doug Axe about idealism. They explore the question of where the mind exists in an idealistic worldview and how it differs from physicalism and substance dualism. They also discuss the implications of idealism for various scientific fields, such as neuroscience Read More ›

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From Material to Mind: Understanding Idealism

In this episode of the Mind Matters News podcast, host Robert J. Marks and co-host Brian Krouse continue their discussion of idealism with Dr. Doug Axe. In his chapter on the topic for the recent volume Minding the Brain, Axe presents four conundrums that support the move away from physicalism and dualism towards idealism. Axe discusses these conundrums with Marks and Krouse. The Read More ›

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Gregory Chaitin’s New Books About Math Make It Actual Fun

He is a favorite podcast guest of ours and, it turns out, a fan of Mind Matters

Gregory Chaitin has been busy recently. He has produced two new short books, which can be downloaded free: Building the World out of Information and Computation (2021), which he summarizes as According to Pythagoras: All is Number, God is a Mathematician. Modern physics is in fact based on continuous mathematics, dierential and partial dierential equations, validating Pythagoras’ vision. In this essay we shall instead discuss a neo-Pythagorean ontology: All is Algorithm, God is a Programmer. In other words, can there be discrete computational models of the physical world? This is sometimes referred to as digital philosophy. There are in fact two books on digital philosophy, both in Italian: • Ugo Pagallo, Introduction to Digital Philosophy, from Leibniz to Chaitin • Read More ›

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Napster, Spotify, and AI: How Will AI Escape Copyright Woes?

Robert J. Marks on AI and learning from past copyright cases.

Copyright lawsuits are abounding against generative AI. Since the advent of ChatGPT in late 2022, various companies, artists, and writers have raised concerns over AI’s plagiaristic tendencies. Robert J. Marks, host of the Mind Matters podcast, has the story over at Newsmax. Marks recalls the debacle of Napster, a music streaming service that provided music for “free” without payment to the artists. Not surprisingly, it was soon shut down. So how will it fare with generative AI? What’s the solution to all the impending legal woes in the realm of AI? Marks writes, Today’s Spotify keeps automatic records of song frequency and, from subscriber’s payments, distributes royalties accordingly. Similar methods could be applied to compensate content creators by generative AI. It’s not Read More ›

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Robert J. Marks on the Copyright Lawsuits Against the Chatbots

Essentially, the salad of material that the chatbot produces for users contains thousands of ingredients lifted without compensation from copyright holders

Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks published an article today at Newsmax on the swamp of litigation the chatbot developers are finding themselves in. Both the New York Times and Authors’ Guild are suing OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT for copyright infringement. Artists are suing generative AI firms. Essentially, the salad of material that the chatbot produces for users contains thousands of ingredients lifted without compensation from copyright holders. Marks, a Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Baylor University, points to the fate of Napster, an online music service that tried something similar at the turn of the millennium: It revolutionized the way people shared and downloaded music over the internet and allowed users to connect their computers to share Read More ›

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Unpacking Idealism: Animals and Consciousness

In this episode, co-hosts Robert J. Marks and Brian R. Krouse continue to discuss the concept of idealism with guest Dr. Doug Axe. The topic this time is idealism and its implications for animals and quantum mechanics. Idealism suggests that reality consists of thinkers and their thoughts, with physical objects perhaps being the thoughts of God. When it comes to Read More ›

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Robert J. Marks to speak at Big Sky Conference in Billings, Montana

He will focus on the way in which, while AI offers exciting possibilities, many claims for AI are provably overblown

Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks will be speaking in Billings, Montana, at the Big Sky Conference, “Artificial Intelligence and Transhumanism: Unraveling Science from an Ideology Driven Agenda” held January 26–27, 2024, at Emmanuel Baptist Church Gym. His topic will be “Artificial Intelligence, Transhumanism, and Our Future.” Dr. Marks is also a distinguished professor of engineering at Baylor University and the author of, among many other works, Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will (Discovery Institute Press, 2022), a defense of human uniqueness in the age of artificial intelligence. He will focus on the way in which, while AI offers exciting possibilities, many claims for AI are provably overblown and there are some powers AI will Read More ›

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ChatGPT: You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby  

Reviewing the bot's progress (and problems) from over the last year

ChatGPT is an example of “large language model” (LLM) generative artificial intelligence. LLMs like ChatGPT[i] have come a long way this year. Many writers, including me, have previously identified hurdles thought too high for AI to jump in the near future. In some cases, we were wrong.  Let’s review some of these claims and see how LLM’s have broken through. Can ChatGPT write jokes? Like Commander Data on Star Trek, AI doesn’t understand humor.  Joke writing is hit-or-miss with ChatGPT. I wrote about this in May 2023 where I became impressed with ChatGPT’s hits. I started all my joke writing queries with: “Complete the following to make it funny.”  Here are some of the more jocular responses with Q for Read More ›

An artificial intelligence robot writer creating generative AI writing

Can AI Write Screenplays for Films You’d Want to See?

That issue was the heart of the Hollywood writers’ strike. How was it resolved? Or WAS it resolved?

Spanish model agency owner Rubén Cruz was having a tough time recruiting models so he created one. They created Aitana, an exuberant 25-year-old pink-haired woman from Barcelona whose physical appearance is close to perfection. The virtual model can earn up to € 10,000 a month, according to her creator, but the average is around € 3,000. “We did it so that we could make a better living and not be dependent on other people who have egos, who have manias, or who just want to make a lot of money by posing,” said Cruz. Laura Llach, “Meet the first Spanish AI model earning up to €10,000 per month,” EuroNews, December 2, 2023 Aitana doesn’t look quite real, of course, but Read More ›

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Hope & Energy: Empowering Haiti Through Appropriate Technology

In the fall of 2022, the country of Haiti was facing a fuel and energy crisis, and in the intervening months, the situation has unfortunately not improved. In this episode of Mind Matters from the archive, host Robert J. Marks interviews Brian Thomas and Kayla Garrett from JustEnergy, a nonprofit organization that works in Haiti to provide solar energy systems Read More ›

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Marks: AI Creating More AI Equals Nonsense

AI "inbreeding" will always lead to model collapse.

Robert J. Marks, computer scientist and host of the Mind Matters Podcast, has a new article out in Newsmax on AI’s failure to meaningfully replicate itself, or build on its own programming apart from a human hand. He calls it “AI inbreeding” and notes that the process always ends in “idiocy,” writing, But what happens if someday much of the content of the web is written by generative AI? Many web scrapings will be from LLM’s and not creative humans. The generated material will be inbred and suffer from early signs of model collapse. Unchecked, the web might contain a lot of content that resembles a blubbering idiot. LLM’s like ChatGPT produce spectacular results. Under the hood, LLM’s impressively manipulate Read More ›

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After You Die: Near-Death Experiences With Glimpses of Heaven and Hell

Can near-death experiences provide evidence that the mind is greater than the brain? On today’s episode from the archive, host Robert J. Marks interviews Walter Bradley about near-death experiences. Dr. Bradley discusses the mind-body problem and delves into near-death experiences, including common threads, stand-out examples, and even some discussion of near-death experiences in the ancient world. Near-death experiences have gained Read More ›

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Minding the Brain: Unraveling the Mystery of Consciousness

Are the mind and brain distinct? What is the connection between our physical brain and our mental thinking? On today’s episode, podcaster Pat Flynn concludes his conversation with the editors of the new book Minding the Brain: Models of the Mind, Information, and Empirical Science. After discussing an overview of the philosophy of mind and the range of physicalist perspectives in previous Read More ›

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So AI is “Slightly Conscious” Now?

The AI optimists can't get away from the problem of consciousness.

The idea that artificial intelligence could ever become actually “intelligent” is a minority view, but it’s espoused by some brilliant minds, including Jason Lemoine, an ex-Google employee who claimed the company’s developing AI system was sentient. Lemoine isn’t alone. According to Futurism, OpenAI’s top researcher, Ilya Sutskever, claimed in a Tweet this week that “large neural networks are slightly conscious.” Noor Al-Sibai writes, He’s long been preoccupied with artificial general intelligence, or AGI, which would refer to AI that operates at a human or superhuman level. During his appearance in the AI documentary “iHuman,” for instance, he even declared that that AGIs will “solve all the problems that we have today” before warning that they will also present “the potential to create Read More ›

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Minding the Brain: Why Science and Philosophy Need Each Other

Does science have to stay within a materialistic framework? It turns out, materialism itself isn’t science — it’s philosophy.  In this episode, Pat Flynn interviews Brian Krouse, Angus Menuge, and Robert J. Marks about alternatives to materialism and how scientific exploration leads us to deeper questions that science alone can never answer. Additional Resources

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The Big Problem for Physicalism

One physicalist theory after another has either ignored or falsified the central characteristics of consciousness

Editor’s note: We are delighted to welcome the new book from Discovery Institute Press, Minding the Brain: Models of the Mind, Information, and Empirical Science, edited by Angus J. L. Menuge, Brian R. Krouse, and Robert J. Marks. Below is an excerpt from Chapter 2. Look for more information at MindingtheBrain.org. By Angus Menuge The history of physicalism is one of extraordinary diversity: a wide variety of theories, with multiple versions, have jockeyed for dominance. Yet it is also a tale of persistent failure. One physicalist theory after another has either ignored or falsified the central characteristics of consciousness, intentionality, and rationality that define our mental life. We will begin by tracing the history of physicalism from the early varieties of behaviorism Read More ›

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Minding the Brain: Discussing the Groundbreaking New Book on the Mind-Brain Problem

Is the mind more than the brain? If so, what’s the difference? In today’s episode, Pat Flynn interviews the editors of the brand-new book Minding the Brain: Models of the Mind, Information, and Empirical Science. Together, they discuss different perspectives on the mind-brain problem, consciousness, and the limits of materialism. Additional Resources

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If ChatGPT Had Children, Would They Be Geniuses or Blubbering Idiots?

It would seem that when AI begets more AI, the result is nonsense.

Can today’s artificial intelligence systems be used to train superior artificial intelligence systems of tomorrow? Can AI write better AI that writes better AI leading to a potentially god-like general artificial intelligence? In a recent insightful paper written by collaborators from Oxford, Cambridge and other prestigious institutions, the verdict is in for large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT. Repeatedly using the output of one LLM to train another results in what the authors call model collapse. If only the words from the original LLM #0 are used to train LLM #1 and only the output of LLM #1 is used to train LLM #2, and so on, the AI eventually suffers model collapse and becomes a blubbering idiot. The emergence of superintelligence by Read More ›

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An Introduction to Minding the Brain

Is your mind the same thing as your brain? Or are there aspects of mind that are external to the biology of the brain?

Editor’s note: We are delighted to welcome the new book from Discovery Institute Press, Minding the Brain: Models of the Mind, Information, and Empirical Science, edited by Angus J. Menuge, Brian R. Krouse, and Robert J. Marks. Below is an excerpt from the Introduction. Look for more information at MindingtheBrain.org. Is your mind the same thing as your brain? Or are there aspects of mind that are external to the biology of the brain? This question, referred to as the mind-body problem or the mind-brain problem, has been debated for centuries and has captivated curious minds since the dawn of human contemplation. What is the relationship between our mental life and physical body? Intuition suggests our subjective experience of the world is tightly Read More ›