Philosophy


Can Robots Teach Us What It Means To Be Human?

NPR

Her response when William poses this question: "Well, if you can't tell, does it matter?" But our fascination with robot sentience may be leading us to overlook a deeper, and equally intriguing question: Could robots fundamentally change the way humans engage not with robots... but with other humans? The Hidden Brain Podcast is hosted by Shankar Vedantam and produced by Maggie Penman, Jennifer Schmidt, Renee Klahr, Rhaina Cohen, and Parth Shah. You can also follow us on Twitter @hiddenbrain, and listen for Hidden Brain stories each week on your local public radio station.


Machine Learning Vs. Artificial Intelligence: Unpacking Their Histories AdExchanger

@machinelearnbot

Treating the two terms as interchangeable or treating machine learning as a part of the AI landscape only complicates things. Typically, it is separated into techniques that have either a specific thing that they are looking to predict, which is called supervised machine learning, and classifying things, called unsupervised machine learning. AI refers to a very limited subset of methodological techniques, including neural networks or expert systems, that mimic cognitive systems of human intelligence. If you look on the machine learning Wikipedia page, the techniques used for typical AI applications are a subset of machine learning.


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#artificialintelligence

According to scientists and legal experts, responding to the bank's warning this November, there is now an urgent need for the development of intelligent algorithms to be put on the political agenda. Top of the agenda as far as Lightfoot is concerned is the economic impact if AI cuts large amounts of jobs and the incomes from people, how will they make a living and what will they do, a concern that Professor Toby Walsh, an expert in AI at Australia's University of New South Wales and a prominent campaigner against the use of AI in military weapons, says is justified and one that needs to be urgently considered. Though Professor Walsh and fellow AI expert Murray Shanahan, Professor of Cognitive Robotics at London's Imperial College were wary of calls for regulation of the sector, which they said, would inhibit research. According to Professor Walsh scientists working in AI have already started to exercise a degree of self-control over the exploitation of the discoveries being made in AI the areas that need to be focussed on are the ramifications of the technology.


When Neurology Becomes Theology - Issue 49: The Absurd

Nautilus

The patient's mother had died in a state hospital of Huntington's disease--a genetic degenerative brain disease. Though I didn't know it at the time, I had run headlong into the "hard problem of consciousness," the enigma of how physical brain mechanisms create purely subjective mental states. My first hint of the interaction between religious feelings and theories of consciousness came from Montreal Neurological Institute neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield's 1975 book, Mystery of the Mind: A Critical Study of Consciousness and the Human Brain. To see how this might work, take a page from Penfield's brain stimulation studies where he demonstrates that the mental sensations of consciousness can occur independently from any thought that they seem to qualify.


The Chinese Room Argument (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

#artificialintelligence

The argument and thought-experiment now generally known as the Chinese Room Argument was first published in a paper in 1980 by American philosopher John Searle (1932-). Searle understands nothing of Chinese, and yet, by following the program for manipulating symbols and numerals just as a computer does, he produces appropriate strings of Chinese characters that fool those outside into thinking there is a Chinese speaker in the room. Instead minds must result from biological processes; computers can at best simulate these biological processes. Thus the argument has large implications for semantics, philosophy of language and mind, theories of consciousness, computer science and cognitive science generally.



Why we need to create A.I.s that think in ways that we can't even imagine

#artificialintelligence

The superbrain that predicts the weather will be in a different kingdom of mind from the intelligence woven into your clothes. The superbrain that predicts the weather accurately will be in a completely different kingdom of mind from the intelligence woven into your clothes. The types of artificial minds we are making now and will make in the coming century will be designed to perform specialized tasks, usually tasks beyond what we can do. Our most important thinking machines will not be machines that can think what we think faster, better, but those that think what we can't think.


A classic quantum test could reveal the limits of the human mind

New Scientist

Over the past two decades, a type of experiment known as a Bell test has confirmed the weirdness of quantum mechanics – specifically the "spooky action at a distance" that so bothered Einstein. Now, a theorist proposes a Bell test experiment using something unprecedented: human consciousness. To test this idea, Hardy proposed an experiment in which A and B are set 100 kilometres apart. If the amount of correlation between these measurements doesn't tally with previous Bell tests, it implies a violation of quantum theory, hinting that the measurements at A and B are being controlled by processes outside the purview of standard physics.


Pre-Conscious Humans May Have Been Like the Borg - Issue 47: Consciousness

Nautilus

The internal voices that commanded bicameral humans eventually fell silent, and humanity was forever changed. In his 1976 book, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Jaynes theorizes that human consciousness--by which he means the ability and tendency to think about ourselves as individuals--emerged suddenly, and relatively recently in history, around 3,000 years ago. After the advent of writing, the internal voices that commanded bicameral humans eventually fell silent, and humanity was forever changed. If Jaynes is correct, the transformation from internally commanded, unconscious beings to thinking, reflecting people would have to be considered the most significant and far-reaching adaptation in the history of our species.


A Theory of Consciousness Can Help Build a Theory of Everything - Issue 47: Consciousness

Nautilus

Physicists, in other words, face the same hard problem of consciousness as neuroscientists do: the problem of bridging objective description and subjective experience. Foremost among those theories is Integrated Information Theory, developed by neuroscientist Giulio Tononi at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Physicists face the same hard problem as neuroscientists do: the problem of bridging objective description and subjective experience. Though inspired by the nervous system, Integrated Information Theory is not limited to it.