Merritt promptly converts the hypothetical question about salvatin for aliens—which depends, of course, on the assumption that Martians are beings much like ourselves—into: Are you there, God? It’s I, robot.
”As Smith observes, a computer can be programmed to detect instances of the word “betrayal” in scanned texts, but it lacks the concept of betrayal.”
If it was just noise, you may not hear that any time soon from the textbook mill.
Elon Musk sees technology as taking over the human world and we’d best consider our options. Ma points out that humans build computers but no computer has ever built a human: For Musk, technology is not a tool to promote humanity. Rather, technology will take humanity’s place of leadership in the world. Humans will have […]
If you believe that nature is all there is and you can’t otherwise explain the mind, the mind must be part of nature and therefore electrons are conscious. Unless you want to say that the mind is an illusion.
Statistician Gary Smith thinks the real danger today is not that computers are smarter than us, but that we think computers are smarter than us.
Apparently, design is okay if microbes do it: It seems so obvious that someone should have thought of it decades ago: Since parasites have plagued eukaryotic life for millions of years, their prevalence likely affected evolution. Psychologist Marco Del Giudice of the University of New Mexico is not the first researcher to suggest that the […]
In Scientific American: We are told that many physicists have “gotten interested in consciousness. Hard to see how the Hard problem of Consciousness will help.
This is further indirect evidence— not, of course, drawn out here—that the human brain did not develop the way it did simply to enable survival.
“The Green Bank Conference (1961), to which Lilly introduced “Dolphinese,” was a serious science meeting. The conferees were “totally enthralled” by the idea that communicating with dolphins would open to door to communicating with innumerable types of extraterrestrial intelligence… “
Edward Feser: When we grasp that formal nature of being a triangle, we are grasping something that is totally abstract. It applies to every single triangle that has existed, does exist, will exist or, for that matter, could exist, whether it is a triangle drawn in ink, whether it is a triangle drawn in sand, whether it is a triangle you construct by putting three sticks together, whether it is a triangle formed by the side of a pyramid, the idea or the concept is entirely abstract.
Eric Holloway takes on a reader’s question: Reader: Harris basically reduces everything to atomic physics and says all causality happens there, so the world is deterministic (i.e. no free will). While I vehemently disagree with that idea, I do respect that at least he can articulate himself well. Do you have any thoughts on the […]
One factor that helps diminish awareness of the fact of human exceptionality is the promotion of “buzz” concepts around animal intelligence that are not supported by the histories of disciplines and fall apart under scrutiny. But any time one fails (apes can be taught to talk!), another rises, seamlessly, in its place (elephants can be taught to communicate via high tech!). No one ever calls any of these people to account.
For decades, researchers were transfixed with the idea of humanizing great apes by raising them among humans and teaching them language. Emerging from the ruins and recriminations of the collapse, philosophy prof Don Ross has a new idea: Let’s start with elephants instead…
We know something’s changed when scientists need to make these points. Maybe underestimating the significance of human intelligence plays a role. After all, if we are just clever apes, maybe lettuce is just-as-clever apes too. Maybe salad is murder…