Cosmetic plastic surgery (CPS) gets a bad rep for the obvious reasons. It brings to mind superficial wealthy women living in glamorous places and spending someone else’s money on self-beautification. In a way it seems to be cheating—reversing the normal Darwinian structure of survival based on genetic fitness. However, cosmetic plastic surgery is an inevitable and expected outcome given psychology, natural selection, and changes in technology.
Internet pioneer David Gelernter explores the ethereal fuzziness of cognition in his Edge.org article, “Dream-logic, the internet and artificial consciousness.” He’s right about the imperfect and dream-like nature of cognition and conscious thought; AI theorists should certainly take notice.
“The antiscience tendency in anarchism, which does exist, is completely self-defeating on this score [questions of technology and revolution]. I mean, it is going to take, it is going to require sophisticated technology and scientific discoveries to create the possibility for human society to survive—I mean, unless we decide, well, it just shouldn’t survive, we should get down to, you know, 100,000 hunter-gatherers or something. Okay, except for that, if you’re serious about, you know, the billions of people in the world who—and their children and grandchildren, it’s going to require scientific and technological advances.” – Noam Chomsky
Many people, after having certain meditative experiences or taking certain psychedelic substances (especially DMT), emerge with a strong intuitive sense that they have been communicating with intelligent transhuman beings in some other “dimension”—a dimension quite close-by to us, but normally inaccessible to us due to the nature of our mind-architecture and self-structure.
Unless you were born about five minutes ago (in which case you’re probably not reading this article), odds are that in 90 years you will not still be alive, based on current life expectancy figures. But could something happen between now and then to give you a chance, no matter how old you are today?
This paper introduces a Partially Connected Neural Evolutionary (Parcone) model and its application to object and gesture recognition as part of the “China Brain Project”, which aims to build China’s first artificial brain, consisting of 10,000s of evolved interconnected neural net modules, each with its own little task, similar to Minsky’s agents.
Regarding a recent Wall Street Journal article by Russ Roberts—“Why Friedrich Hayek is Making a Comeback”—I have to react on several levels. I’ll start with one that is superficially emotional and immature… but that seems the most apropos and on-target reaction… and then follow up with added, calmer insights.
As civilization has advanced, education has become increasingly important—and increasingly pervasive. This trend will continue until “education” as a separate categories dies, replaced for those who choose to grow by learning that thoroughly pervades life.
The way science is taught, the way it’s portrayed on TV and in the press, the way it’s promoted by science-advocates and science bloggers, often seems to adhere to a rather pompous and hubristic view of science as the ultimate bastion of truth and certainty. So it’s been rather refreshing this week to see a group of real-world scientists shattering this image in the online event I’m A Scientist, Get Me Out Of Here!
When asked if the ongoing oil drilling blowout in the Gulf of Mexico makes them less or more supportive of emerging technologies, three out of four respondents to a recent IEET reader poll said it’s either irrelevant or it means we should push ahead even more. Less than one in five are concerned that our growing technological power has outgrown our ethical sensibility.