Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

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dissolving metaverse
introduction to the metaverse universe. Man wearing augmented reality glasses for future technology. transition to the virtual world.

More Bad News for the Metaverse

Virtual reality projects are losing steam across the tech industry in the wake of layoffs and investor skepticism

Big tech companies across the spectrum, including Meta, Microsoft, and Apple, are scaling back on virtual reality research and development. The technological demands of the metaverse are more advanced than CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg have anticipated, and employees are feeling the impact. Microsoft recently laid off 10,000 workers, cutting funding from the lab responsible for the production of its mixed-reality “HoloLens.” The army was originally in the works to use the Microsoft lens for aids in combat and training, but the technology has since been labeled as “dangerous and poorly designed.” Meta laid off 11,000 employees last November and continues to struggle to gain interest and traction for its ambitious metaverse project. A report from Insider notes that a combination Read More ›

google on ipad
Bangkok, Thailand 25 AUG 2020. Men hand using digital tablet for search information on Google.  Wireless Smartphone technology with intelligence search engine.

U.S. Department of Justice Sues Google (Again)

The DOJ claims the tech giant is unlawfully monopolizing the digital advertising market

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is suing Google, claiming the technology company has monopolized the digital advertising market. This marks the second federal anti-trust suit against Google. Google has led the digital advertising market for years, although companies like TikTok and Amazon are becoming more viable competitors. Despite the competition, Google still raked in $209B in advertising in 2021, per a briefing from 1440 News, and its 2022 financial report is expected to disclose similar numbers. The official complaint notes the benefit and importance of a “vibrant internet” in American life but emphasizes the centrality of economic diversity and competition. Section 4 of the complaint claims “the ad tech space is broken,” further explaining,   One industry behemoth, Google, Read More ›

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abstract ai generated illustration of a colored floating liquid in the trend colors pink, orange, blue and violet

Three Artists Launch Lawsuit Against Stable Diffusion

Content creators claim new AI tools violate copyright and intellectual property

Three artists, Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan and Karla Ortiz are filing a lawsuit against the AI image generators Midjourney, Stability AI, and DeviantArt. They claim the AI tools commit copyright violation and infringement of intellectual property. The lawsuit appears amid growing concerns among content creators over the increasing popularity and use of new AI image and text generators like DALL-E and ChatGPT. According to a report from Techspot,  The trio have launched a class action on behalf of all artists affected and are “seeking compensation for damages caused by Stability AI, DeviantArt, and Midjourney, and an injunction to prevent future harms.” The lawsuit alleges direct copyright infringement, vicarious copyright infringement related to forgeries, violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Read More ›

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Top mark on essay

Students Depend on ChatGPT for Final Exams

The new bot will only get better from here, but it won’t help students become better thinkers

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s new artificial intelligence chatbot, has made headlines for over a month now, and for good reason. It’s an advanced bot designed to problem solve. It can “converse” with people on a range of topics. A problem for us to solve now is how to deal with ChatGPT’s invasion into the sphere of education. Students report using ChatGPT on final exams and papers according to a recent write-up from The College Fix. One College of Staten Island student used the bot on both final exams and “got As on both.” He commented that “half the kids in my class used it.” The student also noted that he used the chatbot to complete a multiple-choice exam, on which he got Read More ›

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A man on the background of a gloomy city

Science, Safety, & Slavery to the State

Revisiting a 2022 conversation between Paul Kingsnorth and Jonathan Pageau

Paul Kingsnorth is a writer and novelist living in Ireland who operates a Substack account called the Abbey of Misrule. For years his work has focused on the many forms of civilizational control that human beings seek to exert over their fellow man and how such power, whether it be technological, governmental, or corporate, diminishes our humanity and freedom. He is also a newly converted Christian, and he wrote his conversion story for First Things last summer, which you can find here. In April, Kingsnorth joined Jonathan Pageau on his YouTube channel. Pageau is an Eastern Orthodox iconographer from Canada. In their discussion, Kingsnorth uses the word “Machine” to describe the massive technological control that’s now not so subtly creeping up on many western countries. From Read More ›

meta with human hand
Hand touch metaverse infinite loop unlimited technology futuristic digital connection background of virtual reality cyberpunk world or internet game innovation cyber network and hologram experience.

Big Layoffs Ahead for Zuckerberg’s Meta

Employee downsizing at the social media giant casts doubt on its relevancy and future

With recent headlines highlighting Elon Musk’s Twitter, Meta’s ongoing troubles have escaped some of the limelight, but are significant, nonetheless. This past week, Mark Zuckerberg announced over 11,000 layoffs across his company, focusing on recruiting and business, according to a memo. The layoffs will affect some 13 percent of the tech giant’s 87,000 employees. Meta, due in large part to its optimistic investment in the metaverse, plummeted in value this past year, and workers are feeling the consequences.   While the tech industry is seeing high personnel cuts this year, Zuckerberg did not have to hire as many people as he did, and clearly depended too much on the metaverse project for profit, which looks like it won’t be nearly Read More ›

robot army
Military artificial intelligence arms race to produce an AI enabled army with autonomous robot soldiers and weapon systems, conceptual illustration

Robots, Drones, and Modern Warfare

Robots might not take over the world like the sci-fi movies depict, but AI in modern warfare threatens much destruction

You might remember the blockbuster movie I, Robot (2004) starring Will Smith, who plays a tough-minded homicide detective named Del Spooner in Chicago in the year 2035. Humanoid robots serve humanity and have become incorporated into society. Still, ever since a robot saved Del at the expense of a little girl, he hates them and thinks they will eventually overrun the world. I, Robot imagines a society in which AI could physically overtake humanity. The technology we’ve created for our own use ends up using us, unto our own destruction. Movies like I, Robot, Terminator, and others envision sentient, human-like robots that threaten to jeopardize the meaning of being human. But is that the real danger of AI, or does Read More ›

fantasy v
NFT virtual land is an own-able area of digital land on a metaverse platform, NFT real estate is parcels of virtual land minted on the blockchain, conceptual illustration

The Danger of Deepfakes (and Deepcake)

In a metaverse world dominated by AI, life and art is in danger of being eclipsed

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other optimistic futurists think the metaverse is our collective future. We will exist in virtual nonexistence. We will eat, shop, worship, communicate, and marry in the metaverse. This is where progress is taking us. So, we’d best go along for the ride if we don’t want to get left behind. But “living” in a metaverse may be much more complicated than you might think. The question of identity, and who has the power to distribute identities at will, haunts the metaverse project, and there doesn’t seem to be an easy solution. In September, a Russian deepfake company called “Deepcake” (the name strangely makes me hungry for dessert) pasted the face of Bruce Willis on a Read More ›

futuristid dystopian city
Dystopian futuristic cyberpunk city at night in a neon haze. Blue and purple glowing neon lights. Urban wallpaper. 3D illustration.

AI Art Tool Can Generate Both Beauty and Horror

Making AI image generators mainstream might offer people an interesting new frontier to explore. But the tech has a serious dark side

The capacities of AI art generators have grown much in the past couple of years. Through complex algorithms, AI scans the internet and manages to make artistic composites, some sublime, others grotesque. Today, AI art generators have incredible potential, but their capacities can also be easily abused. According to a Wired article from September 21, Science fiction novelist Elle Simpson-Edin wanted to generate artwork for her newest book. So, she tried AI tools. Her novel unabashedly depicts gore and sex, but most of the AI tools she discovered included “guardrails” that sanctioned explicit content. That is until she found Unstable Diffusion, “a Discord community for people using unrestricted versions of a recently released, open source AI image tool called Stable Diffusion.” Read More ›

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Toraja Indonesia Weaving

Weaving the Technology of Our Lives

We have the ability to choose how to weave technology into our lives. How can we use technology in a healthy way? What are the consequences of being always connected and having everything available instantaneously? Andrew McDiarmid discusses technology, digital wellness, and freedom with Robert J. Marks. Additional Resources Andrew McDiarmid’s website Andrew McDiarmid at Discovery.org How to Glorify God 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 ›

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Moment of creation

What Does It Mean to Be Human in an Age of Artificial Intelligence?

What makes mankind special? And what does it mean to flourish on the frontier of a technological future? Robert J. Marks discusses new technology, what artificial intelligence can and can’t do, and the ethical implications of artificial intelligence with Gretchen Huizinga. This interview was originally published by the Beatrice Institute and is repeated here with their permission. Show Notes 01:32 Read More ›

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Clean vintage fabric blueprint background. Grunge and colorful paper with drawing. Modern fashion scheme texture.

Bad News for Artificial General Intelligence

The problem with complex systems is that a lot can go wrong. It turns out that the number of potential problems grows exponentially as you add more factors to a system. Justin Bui and Samuel Haug discuss contingencies and artificial general intelligence with Robert J. Marks. Show Notes 01:10 | Introducing Justin Bui and Sam Haug 01:28 | Exponential Explosion Read More ›

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Confused businessman with stressed and worried about  working mistake and problems.

The Entrepreneur’s Worst Mistake In New Technology Ventures

As a new entrepreneur, you won't make it to 100,000 users unless the product works well for your customers

I’ve worked with many tech startups over the years. By and large there has always been one overriding factor that has caused tech startups to falter — trying to build their application to handle too much traffic upfront. The goal of every tech entrepreneur is for everyone in the country to use their next product. Everyone is going to make the next star application, like Facebook. In order to accomplish this, tech entrepreneurs give a command to their tech team that is probably their worst mistake: “Make the application able to scale to millions of users.” That might sound like a reasonable request, but I can assure you that it is absolutely the worst possible plan of attack. Programming legend Read More ›

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Silhouette of drone flying above city at sunset

Using EMPs in Warfare

EMPs are just one aspect of the ever-growing threat in our changing world. There are multiple types of frequencies which could affect your electronics and your well-being. Robert J. Marks and Sarah Seguin return to discuss these threats and the future of warfare. Show Notes 00:38 | Introducing Sarah Seguin 01:18 | Can Microwaves Make Us Sick? 03:15 | Can Read More ›

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power line NP background of the sunset, a lot of supports for wires

EMPs. Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

Sarah Seguin and Robert J. Marks discuss what might happen if someone tried to attack the United States using an EMP. What kinds of groups might use EMPs for terrorism? Are steps being taken to protect the country’s power grid? Show Notes 00:13 | 1989 Solar Storm 01:31 | HEMP Disruption 04:34 | Introducing Sarah Seguin 05:39 | The United Read More ›

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Abstract background of science and technology

Sarah Seguin on EMPs and How to Protect Your Data

With society’s ever-increasing dependence on technology, a growing concern is the threat of EMPs. Sarah Seguin and Robert J. Marks discuss EMPs, the physics behind such attacks, and potential ways you can protect your electronics and your data. Show Notes 00:12 | Introduction 02:12 | Electromagnetic Capability 04:18 | Defining EMPs 05:17 | The Physics behind EMPs 07:43 | EMPs Read More ›

Human skull and science

Our Scientific Salvation Will Be The Death Of Us

Will we trust "the science" (meaning the scientists) to the point of madness?

Originally published at Patheos “The truly insane man is the perfectly rational man.” So says G.K. Chesterton. This saying is very counter intuitive today. The perfectly rational man is the ideal scientist, the man who knows reality in precise quantitative terms, the best kind of knowledge we have. Such scientific knowledge promises the secret of immortality. If we can understand the fundamentals of our physical existence, we can shape our existence in whatever way we wish. The rational man is the messiah of our scientific age. So, why did Chesterton warn us about the rational man? The problem is that rationality only deals with the known knowns and the known unknowns. Rationality does not deal with the unknown unknowns. The Read More ›

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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 Read More ›

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.

Read More ›