25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 The Web Enslaves Us With Convenience

In The Matrix, Neo learns that humanity is enslaved by machines. The populace “lives” in a virtual world, unaware that their body heat is being used as an energy source. I see a sort of low-fi parallel of this in our relationship with Facebook. Every member operates in that “free” forum, largely unaware that they’re powering the thing by relinquishing their user data. This scenario is in stark contrast to what we once hoped the web to be. We imagined it as a means of liberating peo...
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22 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Algorithms are Subjective/Creative Things

he algorithm may be the essence of computer science – but it’s not precisely a scientific concept. An algorithm is a system, like plumbing or a military chain of command. It takes knowhow, calculation and creativity to make a system work properly. But some systems, like some armies, are much more reliable than others. A system is a human artefact, not a mathematical truism. The origins of the algorithm are unmistakably human, but human fallibility isn’t a quality that we associate with ...
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22 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Outsourcing our Thinking to Algorithms and Those Who Engi...

...even as an algorithm mindlessly implements its procedures – and even as it learns to see new patterns in the data – it reflects the minds of its creators, the motives of its trainers. Amazon and Netflix use algorithms to make recommendations about books and films. (One-third of purchases on Amazon come from these recommendations.) These algorithms seek to understand our tastes, and the tastes of like-minded consumers of culture. Yet the algorithms make fundamentally different recommend...
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18 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Emergent Curriculum

Whereas teachers and school boards typically decide in advance what knowledge children should receive based on their age, emergent curriculum is the technique of letting topics for study arise out of student interests and actions. Curriculum becomes what actually happens, rather than what was planned to happen. After all, children design their own “curriculum” all the time, simply by playing in, exploring, and studying the world. In schools inspired by the Italian Reggio-Emilia approach, ...
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04 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Picard Defends Data as Life

Commander Riker has dramatically demonstrated to this court that Lieutenant Commander Data is a machine. Do we deny that? No, because it is not relevant: we, too, are machines, just machines of a different type. Commander Riker has also reminded us that Lieutenant Commander Data was created by a man; do we deny that? No. Again, it is not relevant. Children are created from the 'building blocks' of their parents' DNA. Are they property? [...] Your honor, the courtroom is a crucible; in it, w...
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17 MAY 2013 by ideonexus

 Does the Future Need Us?

While we now know that Turing was too optimistic on the timeline, AI's inexorable progress over the past 50 years suggests that Herbert Simon was right when he wrote in 1956 "machines will be capable ... of doing any work a man can do." I do not expect this to happen in the very near future, but I do believe that by 2045 machines will be able to do if not any work that humans can do, then a very significant fraction of the work that humans can do. Bill Joy's question deserves therefore not to...
Folksonomies: automation
Folksonomies: automation
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If machines can do everything for us by 2045, what will we do?

16 MAR 2013 by ideonexus

 Understanding the Language of Science

...humanity does not understand the language of science. Therefore it does not know that all that science has ever found out is that the physical Universe consists entirely of the most exquisitely interreciprocating technology. Ninety-nine percent of humanity thinks technology is a "new" phenomenon. The world populace identifies technology with (1) weapons and (2) machines that compete with them for their jobs. Most people therefore think they are against technology, not knowing that the tech...
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"...the physical Universe consists entirely of the most exquisitely interreciprocating technology"

31 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 All Human Accomplishments are Works of Muscles

Muscles are in a most intimate and peculiar sense the organs of the will. They have built all the roads, cities and machines in the world, written all the books, spoken all the words, and, in fact done everything that man has accomplished with matter. Character might be a sense defined as a plexus of motor habits.
Folksonomies: biology
Folksonomies: biology
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Which carry out the will of their owners. All human character "might be a sense defined as a plexus of motor habits."

07 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Optical Illusions are "Brain Failures"

Human perception is rife with ways of getting things wrong. We don't like to admit it, because we have a high opinion of our biology, but it's true. Here's an example: We've all seen drawings that create optical illusions. They're lots of fun, but they should actually be called "brain failures." That's what's happening—a failure of human perception. Show us a few clever drawings, and our brains can't figure out what's going on. We're poor data-taking devices. That's why we have science; tha...
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They demonstrate how imperfect our senses are and why we need science and scientific instruments to show us the way.

23 APR 2012 by ideonexus

 Why a Machine Cannot Fully Imitate a Man

I specifically paused to show that, if there were such machines with the organs and shape of a monkey or of some other non-rational animal, we would have no way of discovering that they are not the same as these animals. But if there were machines that resembled our bodies and if they imitated our actions as much as is morally possible, we would always have two very certain means for recognizing that, none the less, they are not genuinely human. The first is that they would never be able to u...
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Descartes reasoning sounds like a precursor to the Turing Test.