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ref: -0 tags: artificial intelligence machine learning education john toobey leda cosmides date: 12-13-2010 03:43 gmt revision:3 [2] [1] [0] [head]

Notes & responses to evolutionary psychologists John Toobey and Leda Cosmides' - authors of The Adapted Mind - essay in This Will change Everything

  • quote: Currently the most keenly awaited technological development is an all-purpose artificial intelligence-perhaps even an intelligence that would revise itself and grow at an ever-accelerating rate until it enacts millennial transformations. [...] Yet somehow this goal, like the horizon, keeps retreating as fast as it is approached.
  • AI's wrong turn was assuming that the best methods for reasoning and thinking are those that can be applied successfully to any problem domain.
    • But of course it must be possible - we are here, and we did evolve!
    • My opinion: the limit is codifying abstract, assumed, and ambiguous information into program function - e.g. embodying the world.
  • Their idea: intelligences use a number of domain-specific, specialized "hacks", that work for limited tasks; general intelligence appears as a result of the combination of all of these.
    • "Our mental programs can be fiendishly well engineered to solve some problems because they are not limited to using only those strategies that can be applied to all problems."
    • Given the content of the wikipedia page (above), it seems that they have latched onto this particular idea for at least 18 years. Strange how these sorts of things work.
  • Having accurate models of human intelligence would achieve two things:
    • It would enable humans to communicate more effectively with machines via shared knowledge and reasoning.
    • (me:) The AI would be enhanced by the tricks and hacks that evolution took millions of years, billions of individuals, and 10e?? (non-discrete) interactions between individuals and the environment. This constitutes an enormous store of information, to overlook it necessitates (probably, there may be seriuos shortcuts to biological evolution) re-simulating all of the steps that it took to get here. We exist as a cashed output of the evolutionary algorithm; recomputing this particular function is energetically impossible.
  • "The long term ambition [of evolutionary psychology] is to develop a model of human nature as precise as if we had the engineering specifications for the control systems of a robot.
  • "Humanity will continue to be blind slaves to the programs evolution has built into our brains until we drag them into the light. Ordinarily, we inhabit only the versions of reality that they spontaneously construct for us -- the surfaces of things. Because we are unaware that we are in a theater, with our roles and our lines largely written for us by our mental programs, we are credulously swept up in these plays (such as the genocidal drama of us versus them). Endless chain reactions among these programs leave us the victims of history -- embedded in war and oppression, enveloped in mass delusions and cultural epidemics, mired in endless negative-sum conflict \\ If we understood these programs and the coordinated hallucinations they orchestrate in our minds, our species could awaken from the roles these programs assign to us. Yet this cannot happen if knowledge -- like quantum mechanics -- remains forever locked up in the minds of a few specialists, walled off by the years of study required to master it. " Exactly. Well said.
    • The solution, then: much much better education; education that utilizes the best knowledge about transferring knowledge.
    • The authors propose video games; this is already being tested, see {859}

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ref: -0 tags: john F kennedy quote opinion thought lie myth date: 04-14-2009 21:13 gmt revision:1 [0] [head]

For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived, and dishonest—but the myth— persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forbears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

—John F. Kennedy

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ref: notes-0 tags: neuroscience ion channels information coding John Harris date: 01-07-2008 16:46 gmt revision:4 [3] [2] [1] [0] [head]

  • crazy idea: that neurons have a number of ion channel lines which can be selectively activated. That is, information is transmitted by longitudial transmission channels which are selectively activated based on the message that is transmitted
  • has any evidence for such a fine structure been found?? I think not, due to binding studies, but who knows..
  • dude uses historical references (Neumann) to back up his ideas. I find these sorts of justifications interesting, but not logically substantiative. Do not talk about the opinions of old philosophers (exclusively, at least), talk about their data.
  • interesting story about holography & the holograph of Dennis Gabor.
    • he does make interesting analogies to neuroscience & the importance of preserving spatial phase.
  • fourier images -- neato.
conclusion: interesting, but a bit cooky.