Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

TagRobert J. Marks

Robot holding blank advertising billboard 3d rendering

How You Can Really Know You’re Talking to a Computer

In a lively exchange, computer science experts offer some savvy advice

Claims that a given program has “passed the Turing test” should be treated skeptically because a program can be optimized to pass the Turing test without demonstrating any particular intelligence.

Read More ›
Businessman working on Desk office business financial accounting calculate

Can Accountants Survive an AI World?

Accountants, yes. Green eyeshades and masses of paper, mmm, not so much

AI in accounting means that businesses need accountants who can interpret the meaning of the blizzard of numbers more than ever. The successful accountant will increasingly have higher education and show a broad understanding of the business area and environment.

Read More ›
Doctor using finger to hold a brain model with both hands in concept of taking care the brain

Why the Brain Is Not at All like a Computer

Seeing the brain as a computer is an easy misconception rather than an informative image, says neuroscientist Yuri Danilov

As soon as you assume that each neuron is a microprocessor, says Danilov, you assume that there is a programmer. There is no programmer in the brain; there are no algorithms in the brain. However, it is "extremely painful" for many people to let go of the idea.

Read More ›
Sport and travel memory photos on a table

Do We Actually Remember Everything?

Neuroscience evidence suggests that our real problem isn’t with remembering things but finding our memories when we need them

One of a pioneer neurosurgeon’s cases featured a patient who could, unaccountably, speak ancient Greek. The explanation was not occult but it was surely remarkable for what it shows about memory.

Read More ›
Resting at office

If AI dumbed us down, would we even know?

Silicon Valley pros face the challenges head-on
Does the constant use of machine aids rob us of natural smarts? If not, how are they helping us? Are there ways we can change the mix? Read More ›
Hype time concept

The Top Ten AI Hype Stories of 2018, Updated

You can segue to each in the podcast and read the accompanying Mind Matters News story, as well as key updates
2019 has seen some remarkable revelations about Google, DeepMind, Watson, Sophia, and other AI faves. Check them out here! Read More ›
rafzin-p-1233065-unsplash
Computer user analyzing images on a scree

Sorry, AI can’t do our thinking for us

J. C. Derrick asked Robert J. Marks whether AI can outthink people or make humans immortal
Creativity, Marks argues, can only exist if the programmer places it in the computer program, which means that the program itself is not creative. People have tried "a bunch of different things and nothing seems to work. They can’t get smarter programs that way." Read More ›
jessica-ruscello--GUyf8ZCTHM-unsplash

A Closer Look at Google’s Search Engine Bias

If Google’s CEO honestly believes that there is no political bias, that is, in itself, a big part of the problem
If Sundar Pichai thinks that there is no bias in Google's algorithms, he is arguing against the nature of writing algorithms itself—not a good position for a computer guy to be in. Read More ›
Medical and healthcare,Male doctor or medical students or surgeon,anesthesiologists using digital tablet during the conference,Health Check with digital system support for patient,background banner

Why Was IBM Watson a Flop in Medicine?

Robert J. Marks and Gary S. Smith discuss how the AI couldn’t identify which information in the tsunami of medical literature actually MATTERED

Last year, the IBM Health Initiative laid off a number of people, seemingly due to market disillusionment with the product.

Read More ›
Hand above a red emergency button

Why an AI pioneer thinks Watson is a “fraud”

The famous Jeopardy contest in 2011 worked around the fact that Watson could not grasp the meaning of anything

Gary N. Smith explains that a computer’s inability to understand what “it” means in a sentence is because it doesn’t understand what any of the words in the sentence mean.

Read More ›
feifei-peng-n-rpm9Qo9T4-unsplash
Chain link fence obscuring brake lights

When High Tech Must Be Kept Secret

Universities that do national defence research try to manage the tension between intellectual freedom and national security

A plasma physics professor who interpreted the “fundamental research exception” too loosely ended up in jail.

Read More ›
Image of earth with different times against green vignette

How Do We Know Our Universe Is Not a Sim World?

It’s an interesting idea, say Bradley fellows, but for a number of reasons, it is not credible

The computer sim universe seems to be a way of dealing with the massive evidence of the fine-tuning of our universe without invoking traditional philosophy or religion.

Read More ›
British shorthair cats and Golden Retriever

Michael Medved Talks With Robert J. Marks About Animal vs. Human vs. AI Minds

With a glance at unique human creativity
Michael Medved talks with Robert J. Marks about animal vs human minds With a glance at unique human creativity Robert J. Marks: Sometimes the results of computation are surprising. But they are not creative because it has all been placed there in the computer program. Humans can do something external to that. Read More ›
Dallas-WBCNAI-Launch-2019
George Gilder, Jay Richards, and Robert J. Marks at Dallas Launch of Walter Bradley Center

Robert J. Marks: Are There Things About Human Beings That You Cannot Write Code For?

Bradley Center director Marks asks that question, relating the Center’s goals to human aspirations

“I think the most interesting and the most testable thing humans can do that you can't write code for is creativity,” Dr. Marks told the gathering. Understanding AI properly should lead to celebration rather than fear.

Read More ›
jakob-owens-422373-unsplash
Lit up electronic marquee of cowboy on horse

SXSW 2019: Grappling with AI’s immense culture shifts

Panelists Robert J. Marks and Jay Richards spot the human advantage in an AI-driven culture

From homeschooled teens to high-tech entrepreneurs to retired doctors to University of Texas students, Christ Church was full of Austinites trying to understand what the rapid growth of AI technologies means for their future.

Read More ›
Beef on a scale
Ground meat being weighed

What Do Thoughts Weigh?

Robert Marks thrashes out with Michael Medved why our minds are neither meat nor software

In a wide-ranging conversation, Robert Marks and Michael Medved tackle questions like what it means for something to be not just unknown but “unknowable.”

Read More ›
ekamelev-688454-unsplash

If Computers Thought Like Fruit Flies, They Could Do More

But even with more sophisticated buzz, there remain "non-computable" things that a computer cannot be programmed to think

Recently, researchers discovered that fruit flies use a filter similar to a computer algorithm to assess the odors that help them find fruit, only the flies’ tools are more sophisticated: When a fly smells an odor, the fly needs to quickly figure out if it has smelled the odor before, to determine if the odor is new and something it should pay attention to,” says Saket Navlakha, an assistant professor in Salk’s Integrative Biology Laboratory. “In computer science, this is an important task called novelty detection. Computers use a Bloom filter for that, Navlakha, an integrative biologist, explains: When a search engine such as Google crawls the Web, it needs to know whether a website it comes across has previously Read More ›

Robert J. Marks with Michael Medved
Robert J. Marks on Great Minds with Michael Medved

Robert J. Marks Talks Computers with Michael Medved

Computers can magnify what we do, he says, and that's the real threat
Recently, Robert J. Marks, director of the Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence, sat down with radio host and author Michael Medved to help sort through the confusion about what artificial intelligence can and can’t do, now and in the future. Read More ›
viktor-kiryanov-99411-unsplash

Virtual Railroads and West Virginia Back Roads

AI’s Temptation to Theft Over Honest Toil

Just as a train on a rail requires minimal, or indeed no, human intervention, so cars driving on virtual railroads might readily dispense with the human element.

Read More ›