Mind Matters Reporting on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

TagTechnology

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Glasswing butterfly

Technology? Hey, Bugs Invented It All Before Us!

Do bugs really show no evidence of design? Computer engineers can test that

Bugs look like little robots, don’t they? Living robots, too, defying our best our attempts to recreate something like them. A 2018 science paper “It’s Not a Bug, It’s a Feature: Functional Materials in Insects” goes into just how amazing these little creatures are from a materials sciences perspective. The paper is open access so you can read it for yourself. But let me also illustrate some of the remarkable “technologies” insects use, captured on video: This bionic “dragonfly” really flies, sort of: But so do billions of wild dragonflies who fly very efficiently, in order to hunt: The range of material capabilities is astonishing. Cicadas have a clicking loudspeaker they use to amplify their racket. Tiger moths have a…

Magnet

Centralization Is Not Inevitable

Even technology is not inevitable; it comes and goes

The coronavirus has demonstrated that centralization has its limits. It's not inevitable, as a recent Analysis post suggests. I predict that when the dust settles on this coronavirus outbreak, the order-of-magnitude greater death rate in China, compared to the 2003 SARS outbreak, will be blamed on central planning.

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Photo by Chris Yang

Technology Centralizes by Its Very Nature

Here are some other truths about technology, some uncomfortable ones

To see what I mean about centralization, consider a non-digital tool, say, a shovel. The shovel doesn’t keep track of your shoveling, read your biometrics, and store a file on you-as-shoveler somewhere. It’s a thing, an artifact. So you see, the new digital technology is itself the heart of the surveillance problem. No Matrix could be built with artifacts.

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Bingecast: Hal Philipp on Patents, Litigation, and Entrepreneurship

If you’ve used a touchscreen, an automated door opener or automated faucet today, it is probably based on the technology of inventor and entrepreneur Hal Philipp. Robert J. Marks and Hal Philipp address patents, litigation, and entrepreneurship today on Mind Matters. Show Notes 0:00:52 | Introducing Hal Philipp 0:01:34 | Robot boxer 0:04:08 | Tektronix, Optical Technology 0:07:25 | Automatic…

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Bingecast: Yuval Harari’s Silly Dystopian Ideas

Will infotech and biotech erode human agency, subvert human desires, and render free-market economics obsolete?  At first glance, there looks to be a wide gap between the future of AI and the destruction of democracy. Some futurists claim to have jumped that chasm. In a cheery little column published by the Atlantic, Yuval Noah Harari posits AI will ultimately destroy…

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Room of aspiring startups

Advice for Budding Inventors and Entrepreneurs: Hal Philipp Shares His Experience

If you used a touchscreen, an automated door opener or automated faucet today, it is probably based on the technology of inventor and entrepreneur Hal Philipp. We continue our conversation with Hal on the Mind Matters podcast, revisiting his ambivalent relationship with Apple. Show Notes 01:20 | Advice to budding entrepreneurs 03:30 | Don’t Do This At Home 06:35 |…

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George Gilder with a microphone in the foreground

George Gilder: Why Entrepreneurship Can’t Just Be Automated

In business, an entrepreneur is the “oracle,” the one element that cannot be programmed or computed

Creativity always comes as a surprise to us. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t need it. We could program it on our machines. But because it’s always surprising, it can’t be planned.

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Gavel on patent law book

In Patent Disputes, the Bigger They Are, the Harder They Hit

Hal Philipp on Litigation and Why Owning a Patent is Only a License to Sue

If you used a touchscreen, an automated door opener or automated faucet today, it is probably based on the technology of inventor and entrepreneur Hal Philipp. We continue our conversation today with Hal on the Mind Matters podcast. Show Notes 01:30 | History of the Touchscreen 04:20 | Making Touchscreens Cheap and Reliable 06:00 | Defining a Patent 09:20 |…

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Hal Philipp: Formula One Racing Tech & Keyless Cars

Accidentally Founding an Ideal Business

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”  Today, this is far from true. Small entrepreneurs fall in the shadows of large corporate giants like Google, Microsoft and Amazon. So what does it take to bring a clever idea to market?  We talk to Hal Philipp, the inventor and entrepreneur who made touch screens inexpensive and whose technology is today used all over the world.

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Hal Philipp: Inventor of the Modern Touch Screen

Boxing Robots and Automatic Door Openers Too

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”  Today, this is far from true. Small entrepreneurs fall in the shadows of large corporate giants like Google, Microsoft and Amazon. So what does it take to bring a clever idea to market?  We talk to Hal Philipp, the inventor and entrepreneur who made touch screens…

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Mission Control Center (MCC), Houston, Texas, during the Gemini 5 flight.

STEM EDUCATION 1. Pursuing Nerd Quality Over Nerd Quantity

Reducing math and science to practice is what engineers do. Scientists didn’t put a man on the moon. Engineers did.
Overall, computer applications will impact our society and culture as much as electricity did. And we’re living smack in the middle of the transformation. Read More ›
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Is Technology Neutral?

Or does it change our world whether we like it or not?
People tend to be one of two minds when it comes to technology. One group views technology as directional—altering those cultures it reaches. They construct plausible narratives about how this or that technology has changed our culture. The second group views technology as neutral. They dismiss the narrative put forward by the first group, explaining that such changes are due to forces within the culture, not to technology. Read More ›