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The Age of A.I. – empowering narratives or accurate forecasts?
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The Age of A.I. – empowering narratives or accurate forecasts?

An interesting new series ‘The Age of A.I.’ narrated by Robert Downey Jr. – this first episode looks at how AI’s interact with humans ‘Affective Computing’ using object recognition, NLP attempting to simulate human emotion, digital avatars which work like agents for us – similar to John M. Smart’s idea of a digital twin (I…

Why Technology Favors a Singleton over a Tyranny
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Why Technology Favors a Singleton over a Tyranny

Is democracy loosing its credibility, will it cede to dictatorship?  Will AI out-compete us in all areas of economic usefulness – making us the future useless class? It’s difficult to get around the bottlenecks of networking and coordination in distributed democracies. In the past quite naturally distributed systems being scattered are more redundant wer in…

Marching for Science with John Wilkins – a perspective from Philosophy of Science
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Marching for Science with John Wilkins – a perspective from Philosophy of Science

Recent video interview with John Wilkins! What should marchers for science advocate for (if anything)? Which way would you try to bias the economy of attention to science? Should scientists (as individuals) be advocates for particular causes – and should the scientific enterprise advocate for particular causes? The popular hashtag #AlternativeFacts and Epistemic Relativism –…

The Simulation Argument – How likely is it that we are living in a simulation?
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The Simulation Argument – How likely is it that we are living in a simulation?

The simulation hypothesis doesn’t seem to be a terse parsimonious explanation for the universe we live in. If what is most important is to simulate ancestors, what’s the motivation for all the hugely detailed rendering of space? Why not just simulate earth or our solar system or our galaxy? People often jump to the conclusions…

Why don’t we see more larger brained species in our ecosystem?

Why don’t we see more larger brained species in our ecosystem?

Species with larger brains seem to have a higher general intelligence. So why haven’t all species evolved larger brains? Possibly because general intelligence relies on a capability for social learning, so larger brains are only useful for species that rely more on social learning. – Kaj Sotala Larger brains cost require more fuel, larger brains…

Review of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari – Steve Fuller
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Review of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari – Steve Fuller

My sociology of knowledge students read Yuval Harari’s bestselling first book, Sapiens, to think about the right frame of reference for understanding the overall trajectory of the human condition. Homo Deus follows the example of Sapiens, using contemporary events to launch into what nowadays is called ‘big history’ but has been also called ‘deep history’…

Is Infinity Real?
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Is Infinity Real?

There is an interesting discussion at Quanta “Solution: ‘Is Infinity Real?’” – Is infinity a real physical phenomenon outside our models? Max Tegmark doesn’t think so – while admitting it is indisputably useful for mathematical models of physics, he believes that nothing is truly continuous – including space and time. Would an infinitely X* phenomenon…

Application Driven Science vs Curiosity Inspired Science
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Application Driven Science vs Curiosity Inspired Science

Given that it’s hard to know what will be found through scientific discovery should commercial application be the only reason to do scientific research? In this video Sheila Patek* said “Discovery-based research is most useful when new knowledge is sought for its own sake” – yes I agree with this [1], but fundamental scientific discovery-basted…