Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagRobert J. Marks

block-chain-concept-chain-of-network-connections-3d-rendering-stockpack-adobe-stock
Block chain concept - Chain of network connections . 3d rendering

What Would a Financial System Based on Blockchain Look Like?

Adam Goad talks about key differences between banks and blockchains in what creates trust and privacy

Could blockchain could decentralize finance by establishing trust and security without government regulations? In “What Is Decentralized Finance?” (September 1, 2022), computer engineers Adam Goad and Austin Egbert are back with Walter Bradley Center director (and computer engineering prof) Robert J. Marks to discuss how such a system might work. Or maybe not. It didn’t work with decentralized autonomous organizations… But then again, this might be simpler. A partial transcript, notes, and Additional Resources for the first half follow. What difference would decentralized banking make to the average customer? Robert J. Marks: When you pay Uber for a ride, you use a bank or a third party like PayPal, or Visa, or MasterCard, or something. Decentralized banking, hopefully, will let Read More ›

web-30-abstract-sign-with-blockchain-3d-illustration-stockpack-adobe-stock
WEB 3.0 abstract sign with blockchain 3d illustration

Why Didn’t Decentralized Organizations Work in the Crypto World?

DAOs broke down when people tried to make them interact with the outside world

Here’s the second part of Episode 3 of the discussion between computer engineering prof Robert J. Marks and computer engineering grad students Adam Goad and Austin Egber on the wild new online world. They’ve been talking about non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and what sort of NFTs survived the crypto crater: Now, in the second part of “The NFT Anti-bubble” (August 18, 2022), they look at what happened to the decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) that grew up along with crypto and NFTs: https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/08/Mind-Matters-200-Adam-Goad-Austin-Egbert.mp3 A partial transcript, notes, and Additional Resources follow. Austin Egbert: Could you give an example of what one of these DAOs was maybe trying to do? What service were they providing? Or what was their business output, so to Read More ›

metaverse-world-nft-art-gallery-avatars-and-vr-glasses-3d-illustrations-stockpack-adobe-stock
Metaverse world NFT Art Gallery Avatars and VR Glasses 3D Illustrations

Are NFTs a Bubble That Has Just Plain Popped for Good?

Despite the crypto crash, they seem to be developing a life of their own — in ticket sales, for example

Here’s the first part of Episode 3 of the discussion between computer engineering prof Robert J. Marks and computer engineering grad students Adam Goad and Austin Egbert on that wild new online world. They’ve been discussing what gives NFTs (non-fungible tokens) their value. Now, in “The NFT Anti-bubble” (August 18, 2022), they are looking at how NFTs are faring in the vast crypto crater. What still sells?: https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/08/Mind-Matters-200-Adam-Goad-Austin-Egbert.mp3 This portion begins at 00:15 min. A partial transcript, notes, and Additional Resources follow. Robert J. Marks: We have talked about non-fungible tokens kind of hitting the skids. Is this a bubble pop? Are non-fungible tokens going to disappear as kind of an interesting thing in history? Or are they going to Read More ›

nft-non-fungible-tokenscrypto-art-on-colorful-abstract-background-pay-for-unique-collectibles-in-games-or-art-3d-render-of-nft-crypto-art-collectibles-concept-stockpack-adobe-stock
NFT non fungible tokenscrypto art on colorful abstract background. Pay for unique collectibles in games or art. 3d render of NFT crypto art collectibles concept

What Gives NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) Their Value?

But first, a tour through the seamier side of the internet, supported in large part by the very blockchain that mints NFTs

Here’s the second part of Episode 2 of the discussion between computer engineering prof Robert J. Marks and computer engineering grad students Adam Goad and Austin Egbert on the wild new online world of digital money, fan gear, contracts, and art. In the first part, Adam and Austin explained how digital collectibles — non-fungible tokens (NFTs) — work (or don’t). In this second part, What are NFTs?, they look at how people use them, with a sidestep into the swashbuckling world of crypto crime: https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/08/Mind-Matters-199-Adam-Goad-Austin-Egbert.mp3 A partial transcript, notes, and Additional Resources follow. The discussion continued with the NBA’s use of NFTs as the new “trading cards.” How are NFTs like or unlike the iconic cards? Adam Goad: That one Read More ›

crypto-virtual-museum-and-metaverse-internet-nft-display-as-a-futuristic-streaming-media-symbol-as-augmented-reality-and-computer-media-concept-stockpack-adobe-stock
Crypto Virtual Museum and Metaverse internet NFT display as a futuristic streaming media symbol as augmented reality and computer media concept.

When You Buy a Non-Fungible Token (NFT), What Do You Own?

You are buying someone’s digital idea. Just what legal rights that NFT confers is an open question. But the NBA is now selling them…

In the first episode of the discussion between computer engineering prof Robert J. Marks and computer engineering grad students Adam Goad and Austin Egbert (here and here), the discussion started with the projected metaverse and slowly turned to the wild world of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens — like Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet. What’s worth knowing about this burgeoning digital world? Here are Bob, Adam, and Austin again in Episode 2, What are NFTs?, Part 1: https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/08/Mind-Matters-199-Adam-Goad-Austin-Egbert.mp3 This portion begins at 00:10. A partial transcript, notes, and Additional Resources follow. Robert J. Marks: We have been talking to Adam Goad and Dr. Austin Egbert both at Baylor University about Web3. Web3, which uses distributed computing, is the tool that’s Read More ›

analyst-working-with-computer-in-business-analytics-and-data-management-system-to-make-report-with-kpi-and-metrics-connected-to-database-corporate-strategy-for-finance-operations-sales-marketing-stockpack-adobe-stock
Analyst working with computer in Business Analytics and Data Management System to make report with KPI and metrics connected to database. Corporate strategy for finance, operations, sales, marketing..

The machine is not talking to you. You are talking to yourself.

At Futurism, Maggie Harrison discusses the reasons humans decide that AI is “alive.”

Maggie Harrison, a staff writer for Futurism, offers a no-nonsense talk to those who believe in the humanity of the chatbot LaMDA, as announced in June by Google software engineer Blake Lemoine: First, she notes, the idea isn’t even uncommon among software engineers: As Cade Metz wrote for The New York Times, many in the AI industry hold beliefs similar to Lemoine’s. One prominent inventor, Philip Bosua, told the Times he believes OpenAI’s GPT-3 (another language modeling system like Google’s LaMDA) is also sentient. Yet another said that though he think’s GPT-3 intelligence is somewhat “alien,” it “still counts.” There’s a clear, wide gap there between those who think the machine is alive, and the simple computer science backing those Read More ›

computer-engineer-working-with-laptop-at-cryptocurrency-mining-farm-stockpack-adobe-stock
computer engineer working with laptop at cryptocurrency mining farm

What’s Really Happening With Bitcoin and Other Cryptos?

In the first part of this week’s podcast, “Web3: The next generation of the internet” (August 4, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks talked with graduate student Adam Goad about Web3, the coming internet of more privacy on the one hand and a metaverse of avatars on the other. So, only as wild as you want it to be, maybe. Now, postdoc Austin Egbert joins the discussion as they continue with how, at worst, Web3 could be a bit like sci-fi film Ready Player One. (2018). Note: Re the metaverse, this week’s news reveals that Facebook executives are deserting Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse in droves: “ … recent retreats point to deeper turmoil inside Meta. Some suggest it lies Read More ›

automotive-engineer-use-virtual-reality-headset-for-virtual-electric-car-3d-model-design-analysis-and-improvement-3d-graphics-visualization-shows-fully-developed-vehicle-prototype-analysed-optimized-stockpack-adobe-stock
Automotive Engineer Use Virtual Reality Headset for Virtual Electric Car 3D Model Design Analysis and Improvement. 3D Graphics Visualization Shows Fully Developed Vehicle Prototype Analysed Optimized

Why Don’t Some Tech Moguls Like Web3, the New Internet?

Web3 is a decentralized, less controlled version of the internet, as George Gilder predicted in Life After Google

In this week’s podcast, “Web3: The next generation of the internet” (August 4, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviews graduate student Adam Goad and Dr. Austin Egbert, both in computer engineering at Baylor University, on the coming decentralization of the internet. With developments like the ones they discuss looming, Big Tech may be seeing a waistline trim. This is the Part I of the first of the three discussions. https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/08/Mind-Matters-198-Adam-Goad-Austin-Egbert.mp3 A partial transcript and Additional Resources follow. Dr. Marks began by discussing all the services he gets from Google, confessing that he has not needed to go to a library in over two decades. But… Robert J. Marks: Now, is Google just being nice in giving me Read More ›

cheerful-attractive-young-female-graphic-designer-smiling-and-working-at-her-desk-in-modern-office-stockpack-adobe-stock
Cheerful attractive young female graphic designer smiling and working at her desk in modern office

New OpenAI Art Program Does NOT Claim Copyright for AI

As DALL-E 2, which generates blended images in response to key words, moves into the art world, a key question has just been settled

A case currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals must decide if artificial intelligences should have patent rights on processes they were used to design. Throwing a wrench into the works, OpenAI has announced that artists using its new DALL-E beta software can sell the work: “Starting today, users get full usage rights to commercialize the images they create with DALL·E, including the right to reprint, sell, and merchandise. This includes images they generated during the research preview.” (July 20, 2022) First, here’s what DALL-E can do: Some worry about its impact on jobs in the arts: OpenAI’s press release for DALL-E 2 markets the advanced tech as a “powerful creative tool” that will speed up and inspire the creative Read More ›

abstract-computer-generated-fractal-design-3d-illustration-of-a-beautiful-infinite-mathematical-mandelbrot-set-fractal-stockpack-adobe-stock
Abstract Computer generated Fractal design. 3D Illustration of a Beautiful infinite mathematical mandelbrot set fractal.

Recent Research: Imaginary Numbers Are Part of the Real World

If we try to leave them out of quantum mechanics, our description of nature becomes faulty

Imaginary numbers, beginning with the square roots of minus numbers, are part of the world in which we live, even though we can’t quite picture them. Try it. The square root of 1 is 1 (1 × 1 = 1). But what’s the square root of -1? It can’t be -1 because if we multiply -1 × -1, we still get 1. The two minus numbers cancel each other out. That’s why the square root of -1 is written as i. Now, here’s the odd part: Imaginary numbers are not just a conundrum; they are part of a science description of the world in which we live in: Though imaginary numbers have been integral to quantum theory since its very Read More ›

one-round-power-on-and-off-button-stockpack-adobe-stock
One round power on and off button

Taking Our Lives Back from Big Tech, a Step at a Time

If we don’t have the time to stop and reflect because we are too busy checking our social media…

In a recent podcast, “Weaving the Technology of Our Lives” (July 14, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviewed tech and culture writer Andrew McDiarmid on the deep ways Big Tech governs our lives — ways of which we are often unaware — and concrete steps for taking control back: https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/07/Mind-Matters-195-Andrew-McDiarmid.mp3 Here’s a partial transcript and notes. Additional Resources follow: Robert J. Marks: We have been talking about Jacques Ellul’s concept of technique… Andrew McDiarmid: Well, Jacques Ellul was a French sociologist, theologian, and philosopher of technology … Ellul’s lifetime spanned almost the entire 20th century, 1911 to 1994. He wrote books and articles throughout his career on how he saw technology impacting the “human adventure,” as he Read More ›

3d-render-beautiful-woman-computer-generated-photo-realistic-to-to-illustrate-the-uncanny-valley-effect-stockpack-adobe-stock
3D render beautiful woman computer generated photo realistic to to illustrate the uncanny valley effect

AI: The Shadow of Frankenstein Lurks in the Uncanny Valley

The fifth and final excerpt from Non-Computable You (2022), from Chapter 6, focuses on the scarier AI hype

Wrapping AI in an impressive physical package can magnify the perceived impact of new technology. Doing so uses seductive optics. The confusing of AI packaging with AI content was evident in media excitement about a Buddhist robot who delivers messages to the faithful. “The world’s first sutra-chanting android deity, modeled after Kannon the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, was introduced to the public last week,” the report reads. The robot can “move its eyes, hands, and torso, make human-like gestures during its speech, and brings its hands together in prayer. A camera implanted in the left eye to focus on a subject gives the impression of eye contact.”1 Technologically speaking, nothing special is happening here. The messages from the Buddhist robot Read More ›

abstract-digital-human-face-artificial-intelligence-concept-of-big-data-or-cyber-security-3d-illustration-stockpack-adobe-stock
Abstract digital human face.  Artificial intelligence concept of big data or cyber security. 3D illustration

Artificial Intelligence, Worshipped as God, Is No Ordinary Deity!

Not only will we be reborn into new, immortal silicon bodies but rules regarding theft don’t seem to apply anymore…

This article was published in The Stream (July 6, 2022) under the title “The Church of Artificial Intelligence of the Future” and is republished with permission. There is a church that worships artificial intelligence (AI). Zealots believe that an extraordinary AI future is inevitable. The technology is not here yet, but we are assured that it’s coming. We will have the ability to be uploaded onto a computer and thereby achieve immortality. You will be reborn into a new, immortal silicon body. Of course, through salvation in Jesus Christ, Christianity has offered a path to immortality for over two thousand years. Someday, we are told, software will write better and better AI software to ultimately achieve a superintelligence. The superintelligence Read More ›

Young businesswoman thinking while using a laptop at work

Marks: Computers Only Compute and Thinking Needs More Than That

Robert J. Marks talks about his new book, Non-Computable You, with Oregon-based talk show host Bill Meyer

Recently, Bill Meyer interviewed Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks on his Oregon-based talk show about “Why computers will never understand what they are doing,” in connection with his new book, Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will (Discovery Institute Press, 2022). We are rebroadcasting it with permission here as (Episode 194). Meyer began by saying, “I started reading a book over the weekend that I am going to continue to eagerly devour because it cut against some of my preconceived notions”: https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/07/Mind-Matters-194-Bob-Marks-Bill-Meyer.mp3 A partial transcript, notes,  and Additional Resources follow. Meyer and Marks began by discussion the recent flap at Google where software engineer Blake Lemoine claimed that the AI he was working with was Read More ›

concept-of-robots-replacing-humans-in-offices-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
Concept of robots replacing humans in offices

Marks: Forget the Hype, “Thinking Machines” Can’t Replace Humans

It’s easy to picture, especially if we don’t know much about computers. And fears are easily exploited. But what are the facts?

Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks gave a talk in January at the Dallas Conference on Science and Faith on whether a robot will really take your job: “AI Apocalypse: Will Thinking Machines Replace Humans?” Just released on video: As a computer engineer, Marks looks at the pop culture worry a bit differently from some. His skeptical response has also been captured in a just-published book, Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will (Discovery Institute Press, 2022). The book makes clear that computers compute. They don’t really do anything that cannot be expressed as a computation. That’s both a strength and a weakness. The ability of an algorithm to sort through billions of online documents in Read More ›

person-clicking-on-a-laptop-while-holding-a-cloth-stockpack-adobe-stock
Person clicking on a laptop while holding a cloth

Why Computers Will Never Understand What They are Doing

Can computers be sentient? Are there things which humans can do that computers can’t? Is artificial intelligence really creative? Robert J. Marks talks about his new book Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will with talk show host Bill Meyer. Additional Resources Hear Bill’s podcasts at www.BillMeyerShow.com (broadcast from KMED / KCMD, Medford, OR). Purchase Robert J. Marks’ Read More ›

several-cards-stockpack-adobe-stock
Several cards

The Holy Rollers: Christians Who Gamble for God

Not only have many successful players been Christians, probability theory was developed in part by a philosopher who became a devout Christian

This last instalment of the writeup of the podcasts with mathematician, computer scientist, engineer — and part-time gambler — Salvador Cordova looks at why and how Christians like himself gamble without cheating. Cordova was one of the crowdfunders of a film on the topic called Holy Rollers (2011). The host is fellow engineer and Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks in “Card Counting Strategies and Dangers” (podcast, June 23, 2022): https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/06/Mind-Matters-News-Episode-192-Sal-Cordova-Episode-4-rev1.mp3 This portion begins at 15:47 min. A partial transcript and notes, Show Notes, and Additional Resources follow. Robert J. Marks: First of all, tell us what the movie was about, and then your involvement. Sal Cordova: It’s about one of the most successful card counting teams, blackjack teams. Read More ›

searching for solution paper airplane
The emergence of a problem and the search for solutions. Many options for solving a complex problem

Machines with Minds? The Lovelace Test vs. the Turing Test

The answers computer programs give sometimes surprise me too — but they always result from their programming

Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will (Discovery Institute Press, 2022) by Robert J. Marks is available here. What follows is an excerpt from Chapter 2. Selmer Bringsjord, and his colleagues have proposed the Lovelace test as a substitute for the flawed Turing test. The test is named after Ada Lovelace. Bringsjord defined software creativity as passing the Lovelace test if the program does something that cannot be explained by the programmer or an expert in computer code.2 Computer programs can generate unexpected and surprising results.3 Results from computer programs are often unanticipated. But the question is, does the computer create a result that the programmer, looking back, cannot explain? When it comes to assessing creativity (and Read More ›

a-group-of-people-playing-gambling-in-a-casino-stockpack-adobe-stock
A group of people playing gambling in a casino

Gambling: When advantage players team up, dealer beware!

On the other hand, the movie industry has made a good thing from films of the legendary exploits

Gambling has got to be a slam dunk exciting premise for films. Once again, mathematician, computer scientist, engineer — and part-time gambler — Salvador Cordova joins fellow engineer and Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks to talk about gambling and probability — how hard math types (advantage players) like himself have beaten the odds without cheating. And, this time, they discuss how their skills while working together can wind up as a movie. From Robert J. Marks in Card Counting Strategies and Dangers (podcast): https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/06/Mind-Matters-News-Episode-192-Sal-Cordova-Episode-4-rev1.mp3 This portion begins at 00:23 min. A partial transcript and notes, Show Notes, and Additional Resources follow. Robert J. Marks: Have you ever taken advantage of your skills embedding with other people? … Sal 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 ›