Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagRobert J. Marks

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Probability: Now for the Basic Arithmetic of Card Counting…

The advantage player who dresses like a bum (or worse) has it all worked out, in part with the help of a computer at home

In “Can a good hustler count cards like a computer?” (podcast), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks continues his discussion of card counting techniques with gambling ace Salvador Cordova, also a mathematician and engineer. An “advantage player,” Cordova made his living, in part, by beating the casinos from about 2005 through 2014. Note: This podcast involves a fair amount of discussion of specific numbers so the partial transcript below may be especially useful: https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/06/Mind-Matters-Episode-191-Sal-Cordova-Episode-3-rev1.mp3 This portion begins at approximately 12:00 min. A partial transcript and notes, Show Notes, and Additional Resources follow. Robert J. Marks: That’s the card counting system you use, Omega II? Sal Cordova: Right. If you see an ace or an eight, you just add zero Read More ›

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Roboter auf Tastatur, Methapher für Chatbot / Socialbot, Algorithmen und künstliche Intelligenz

Marks: Artificial Intelligence Is No More Creative Than a Pencil

You can use a pencil — but the creativity comes from you. With AI, clever programmers can conceal that fact for a while

(Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will (Discovery Institute Press, 2022) by Robert J. Marks is available here.) Some have claimed AI is creative. But “creativity” is a fuzzy term. To talk fruitfully about creativity, the term must be defined so that everyone is talking about the same thing and no one is bending the meaning to fit their purpose. In this and subsequent chapters we will explore what creativity is, and in the end it will become clear that, properly defined, AI is no more creative than a pencil. Creativity: Originating Something New Lady Ada Lovelace (1815–1852), daughter of the poet George Gordon, Lord Byron, was the first computer programmer, writing algorithms for a machine that Read More ›

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Risk Of Artificial Intelligence

The Software of the Gaps: An Excerpt from Non-Computable You

In his just-published book, Robert J. Marks takes on claims that consciousness is emerging from AI and that we can upload our brains

There are human characteristics that cannot be duplicated by AI. Emotions such as love, compassion, empathy, sadness, and happiness cannot be duplicated. Nor can traits such as understanding, creativity, sentience, qualia, and consciousness. Or can they? Extreme AI champions argue that qualia and, indeed, all human traits will someday be duplicated by AI. They insist that while we’re not there yet, the current development of AI indicates we will be there soon. These proponents are appealing to the Software of the Gaps, a secular cousin of the God of the Gaps. Machine intelligence, they claim, will someday have the proper code to duplicate all human attributes.Impersonate, perhaps. But experience, no. Mimicry versus Experience AI will never be creative or have Read More ›

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Croupier hands dealing cards on t blackjack poker table, gambling table with cards and chips

Can You Really Be a Card Counter Without Resorting to Magic?

Math nerd (and successful gambler) Salvador Cordova explains how card counters improve their odds in blackjack

Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks is back withSalvador Cordova, mathematician, engineer — and gambling ace. In previous episodes, they discussed why most players lose and how “advantage players” — those who understand the game, the players, the management, and the mathematical probabilities — sometimes clean out casinos. Of course, they also sometimes get kicked out, as has happened to Cordova, and new rules and precautions ensue. And, doubtless, new ways are found around them. In this new podcast episode, “Can a good hustler count cards like a computer?”, Cordova says a bit more about how the pros improve their odds from pure chance by card counting. He made his living, inpart, that way from about 2005 through 2014. Read More ›

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Poker. Playing cards in a casino. Dealer deals cards. Successful game. Online casino advertising.

Card Counting Strategies and Dangers

Some of the most successful card counting strategies include working with others as a team. Of course, casinos aren’t happy about successful card counters, so you might run into some trouble. Robert J. Marks and Sal Cordova discuss card counting, statistics, and gambling. Show Notes 00:07 | Introducing Sal Cordova 00:23 | Team Play 09:47 | The Big Player Model Read More ›

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October walk in the rain, a young woman with a red umbrella in the autumn city park, autumn look

Computer Prof: You Are Not Computable and Here’s Why Not

In a new book, Baylor University’s Robert J. Marks punctures myths about the superhuman AI that some claim will soon replace us

In a just-released book, Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks II explains, as a computer engineering professor at Baylor University, why humans are unique and why artificial intelligence cannot replicate us: ”Emotions that make us human will never be duplicated by a machine,” says Marks. “These include compassion, love, empathy, elation, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, pleasure, pride, excitement, embarrassment, regret, jealousy, grief, hope, and faith. Properly defined, creativity, sentience, and understanding are also on the list. These and other non-algorithmic traits are evidence of non-computable you.” Discovery Institute, “Are Future Humans Doomed To Be Replaced By Artificial Intelligence?” at PR NewsWire (June 21, 2022) Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will (Discovery Institute Press, 2022) is Read More ›

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Croupier behind gambling table in a casino

Can Casinos Ban Customers Who Might Get TOO “Lucky”?

Sal Cordova was good enough at card counting that his photo was circulated and casino nabbed his driver’s licence…

In a recent podcast, “When the house can’t win the game, it will change the rules” (June 9, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks continued his discussion with mathematician, computer scientist, and engineer Salvador Cordova on the mathematics of gambling — who wins, who loses, and why. Last week, we looked at the struggle between the casino and the “advantage player” who knows very well how the system works and spots its weaknesses. But now, what about banning a suspiciously “lucky” would-be customer outright? Here’s what happened to Sal Cordova: https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/06/Mind-Matters-News-Episode-190-Sal-Cordova-Episode-2-rev1.mp3 This portion begins at roughly 11:10 min. A partial transcript and notes, Show Notes, and Additional Resources follow. Sal Cordova: One of the better things is that Read More ›

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Handsome man playing in casino

The Struggle Between Casinos and Advantage Players

The scene is enlivened by assorted other characters who use romance to help in the struggle for a big win. Sal Cordova explains

In a recent podcast, “When the house can’t win the game, it will change the rules” (June 9, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks continued his discussion with mathematician, computer scientist, and engineer Salvador Cordova on the mathematics of gambling — why the odds are stacked against the gambler — or, depending on a gambler’s skill and knowledge of the circumstances, maybe they aren’t… https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/06/Mind-Matters-News-Episode-190-Sal-Cordova-Episode-2-rev1.mp3 This portion begins at approximately 00:31 min. A partial transcript and notes, Show Notes, and Additional Resources follow below. Marks and Cordova ended Episode 1 by discussing the famous advantage player Don Johnson who cleaned out Atlantic City for tens of millions of dollars in 2011. What was his secret? Sal Cordova: He Read More ›

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online poker player

Can A Good Hustler Count Cards Like A Computer?

Do you have to be a genius to count cards? What are the skills needed to learn this algorithmic art? And what happens if you get caught? Robert J. Marks and Sal Cordova discuss the ins and outs of card counting. Show Notes 00:06 | Introducing Sal Cordova 00:36 | What Does It Take to be a Good Hustler? 01:45 Read More ›

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Office syndrome, Backache and Lower Back Pain Concept. a man touching his lower back at pain point

The Challenges of Medical Care When Insurance Algorithms Rule

Pain management physician Richard Hurley is a veteran of many successful appeals to insurance companies that have refused to pay for treatments

In the first portion of Episode 187, “Good and bad algorithms in the practice of medicine” (May 19, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks and anesthetist Dr. Richard Hurley discussed where algorithms help in medicine… and where they don’t. In this portion, they turn to how to get good medical care when you are dealing with an insurance company as well as medical staff and institutions. The two types of institution are, as we will see, very different. Before we get started: Robert J. Marks, a Distinguished Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering, Engineering at Baylor University, has a new book, coming out Non-Computable You (June, 2022), on the need for realism in another area as well — Read More ›

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Croupier hands dealing cards on t blackjack poker table, gambling table with cards and chips

When The House Can’t Win The Game, It Will Change The Rules

Intelligent gamblers can try and beat the house, but the house will fight back. Casinos protect their investment in a variety of ways including surveillance, banning players, and even changing the game rules. Robert J. Marks and Sal Cordova discuss gambling, casino oversight, and “advantage players.” Show Notes 00:31 | Recapping How Don Johnson Cleaned Out Atlantic City 02:48 | Read More ›

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Health insurance, tax concept on blue background

Algorithms in Medicine: Where They Help … and Where They Don’t

Removing creativity, nuance, and insight from medicine may result in cheaper care but not better care

Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks continued his podcast discussion with anesthesiologist Richard Hurley in “Good and bad algorithms in the practice of medicine” (May 19, 2022). An algorithm is “a procedure for solving a mathematical problem (as of finding the greatest common divisor) in a finite number of steps that frequently involves repetition of an operation.” (Merriam–Webster) We most commonly think of algorithms in connection with computers because that is how programmers instruct them. Algorithms, Dr. Marks points out, can either sharpen or derail services, depending on their content. Before we get started: Note: Robert J. Marks, a Distinguished Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering, Engineering at Baylor University, has a new book, coming out Non-Computable You (June, Read More ›

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Casino BlackJack

Casinos: How Nerds Gamble and Win, Using the Law of Large Numbers

The American Physical Society created Las Vegas’s worst week in history and Don Johnson cleaned out Atlantic City. How?

In last week’s podcast, “The house always wins in the long run” (June 2, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviewed mathematician, computer scientist, and engineer Salvador Cordova on the world of gamblers and how they try to improve their odds by physically manipulating dice (dice sliding ) and cards (false shuffling). Meanwhile, the house is relying on the Law of Large Numbers, which — being a mathematical law — wins out in the end. Sure, the Law may always win — but perhaps anyone can play it. Where we left the matter last time, in the first portion of this episode, Cordova talked about how “advantage players” try to make it work. In this second segment of Read More ›

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Multi Casino Games Concept

Gambling: WHY the House Always Wins in the Long Run…

The casinos are not cheating. They rely on the Law of Large Numbers, part of the mathematical structure underlying our universe

In this week’s podcast, “The house always wins in the long run” (June 2, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviews mathematician, computer scientist, and engineer Salvador Cordova on a subject on which he has strong views: gambling. Marks tells us, “I teach a graduate course on probability and stochastic processes. There I teach the stupidity of casino gambling. In statistics, there’s a theorem called the Law of Large Numbers. It teaches that you can’t win in the long run at casino games. Period. The law of large numbers is a mathematical truth. It’s a law as serious as the law of gravity. It’s why casinos always get rich and the gambler always gets poor. There is a Read More ›

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The House Always Wins In The Long Run

In statistics, there’s a theorem called the law of large numbers. It teaches you can’t win in the long run at casino games. It’s why casinos always get rich, and the gambler always gets poor. Robert J. Marks and Sal Cordova discuss gambling, statistics, and mathematics. Show Notes 01:06 | Introducing Sal Cordova 03:11 | The Famous Team: Claude Shannon Read More ›

Green wavy parrot is sitting on a white cage. The parrot looks out of the cage.

How “Stretch” Finally Kicked the Medical Opioid Habit

It wasn’t easy but it was the high cost of staying alive while managing his chronic medical disorder

In a recent podcast, “A first-hand account of kicking Fentanyl addiction: reversing Hebb’s law” (May 12, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviewed a man who got addicted to Fentanyl as a medical drug. Some opioid addictions begin in the hospital. In the previous portion of this episode, “Stretch” told Robert J. Marks how he became addicted while seeking relief from pain stemming from operations — because “neurons that fire together wire together ( Hebb’s Law )”. Then, when he sensed that drugs were ruling his life without really dealing with the pain, he set out on the road to recovery — and was surprised to find anesthetists and nurses in the recovery group with him. Now, in Read More ›

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Man having a migraine headache.

Medical Opioids: The War Between Chronic Pain and Addiction

“Stretch” tells Robert J. Marks, the surgeries did not really work and he became addicted to the painkillers while trying to live a normal, working life

In a recent podcast, “A first-hand account of kicking Fentanyl addiction: reversing Hebb’s law” (May 12, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviewed a man who got addicted to Fentanyl as a medical drug. Some opioid addictions begin in the hospital. In the previous portion of this episode, “Stretch” told Robert J. Marks how he became addicted to medical doses of opioids while seeking relief from pain stemming from operations — because “neurons that fire together wire together (Hebb’s Law )”. Now he talks about the experiences that set his mind on the road to recovery. Before we get started: Robert J. Marks, a Distinguished Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering, Engineering at Baylor University, has a new Read More ›

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Opioid Drug Prescription

Some Opioid Addictions Begin in the Hospital

In a recent podcast, “A first-hand account of kicking Fentanyl addiction: reversing Hebb’s law” (May 12, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviews a man who got addicted to Fentanyl as a medical drug. “Stretch” tells us how he got hooked and how he finally beat the narcotic, without once going to the street for help, though his experience was challenging, to say the least. Readers may also wish to read or hear anesthesiologist Richard Hurley’s perspective here and here. Before we get started: Robert J. Marks, a Distinguished Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering, Engineering at Baylor University, has a new book, coming out Non-Computable You (June, 2022), on the need for realism in another area as Read More ›

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Teenagers laughing during a group counseling session for youth

What Anti-Opioid Strategies Could Really Lower the Death Toll?

Anesthetist Dr. Richard Hurley discussed with Robert J. Marks the value of cognitive behavior therapy — reframing the problem

In a recent podcast, “Exercising Free Won’t in Fentanyl Addiction: Unless You Die First” (May 4, 2022), Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks interviewed anesthesiologist and pain management expert Dr. Richard Hurley on the scourge of opioids and what information strategies might help combat it.Yesterday, they looked at highly addictive opioids like Oxycontin, Percodan and Fentanyl and the many needless deaths that result from their misuse. Today, the focus is on strategies for prevention. Note: Robert J. Marks, a Distinguished Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering, Engineering at Baylor University, has a new book, coming out, Non-Computable You (June, 2022), on the need for realism in another area as well — the capabilities of artificial intelligence. Stay tuned. https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/05/Mind-Matters-News-Episode-185-Richard-Hurley-Episode-1-rev1.mp3 Read More ›

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Space background with spiral galaxy and stars

It’s a Wonderful, Complex, and Finely-Tuned Universe

What does it mean for something to be finely-tuned? Does fine-tuning extend beyond our own man-made systems and into biology and the universe itself? If so, what or who has done the fine-tuning? Robert J. Marks, Ola Hössjer, and Daniel Diaz discuss the concept of fine-tuning. Show Notes 00:02:17 | Introducing Ola Hössjer and Daniel Diaz 00:04:39 | No Free Read More ›