Is the Mind a Computer?

first_imgAfter a computer named Watson beat two contestants on Jeopardy last month, people are asking if the human mind is becoming obsolete.  What are the similarities and differences between gray matter and deep blue?    PhysOrg asked, “Machines beat us at our own game: What can we do?”  For one thing, they should have waited a few days, because the same PhysOrg on March 1 reported that Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) beat Watson the Computer in a subsequent match.  He told an applauding audience that it was a victory for “neuron based thinking, instead of semi-conductor thinking.”  But was Watson really thinking?  Are neurons and semiconductors just different instantiations of the same process?    The first article asked, “Watson’s victory leads to the question: What can we measly humans do that amazing machines cannot do or will never do?”  One immediate response was like a Jeopardy question: “Who – not what – dreamed up Watson?”  Obviously, Watson was a human creation: “While computers can calculate and construct, they cannot decide to create.  So far, only humans can.”    Computers are very good at sorting through databases of facts.  It’s a rather trivial operation to find an answer in a large database.  Human minds are not quite as fast at that mundane task, but that should not make us feel inferior (see 02/11/2011, 01/15/2011, and 11/19/2011).  That’s why humans subcontracted that work to machines of their making.  “Watson does just one task: answer questions,” a computer scientist said.  Computers known as expert systems have done well at finding solutions to problems, given the right inputs.  That’s not the same as thinking, feeling, choosing, creating, and knowing.    “Can Watson decide to create Watson?” is a good follow-up question to those who disparage the human brain.  “Experts in the field say it is more than the spark of creation that separates man from his mechanical spawn,” PhysOrg continued.  “It is the pride creators can take, the empathy we can all have with the winners and losers, and that magical mix of adrenaline, fear and ability that kicks in when our backs are against the wall and we are in survival mode.”    Don’t leave out art, music, language and spirituality: what the article called “song, romance, smiles, sadness and all that jazz” are parts of “that indescribable essence of humanity” computers just can’t duplicate at this time.  New Scientist discussed computer-created music and chance music from random audience actions, but reporter Kat Austen concluded, “from my experience it’s unlikely that audience-driven composition is going to be snapping at Chopin’s heels any time soon.”  Computers can probably duplicate the capacity of some humans for perfect pitch (see New Scientist), but even if computers can be programmed to generate music in sonata form, will they feel its beauty or know what they have achieved?  Sci-if notwithstanding, Watson’s creators recognize the great divide between mind and machine:“I see human intelligence consuming machine intelligence, not the other way around,” David Ferrucci, IBM’s lead researcher on Watson, said in an interview Wednesday.  “Humans are a different sort of intelligence.  Our intelligence is so interconnected.  The brain is so incredibly interconnected with itself, so interconnected with all the cells in our body, and has co-evolved with language and society and everything around it.”    “Humans are learning machines that live and experience the world and take in an enormous amount of information – what they see, what they taste, what they feel, and they’re taking that in from the day they’re born until the day they die,” he said.  “And they’re learning from all the input all the time.  We’ve never even created something that attempts to do that.”Artificial intelligence (AI) tries to create learning machines, but the article said, “there have been great advances in the field, but nothing near human thinking.”  Ferrucci has been working in AI for 25 years and admitted no one feels like they are getting near the finish line.  “I’m not sure we’ll ever really get there,” he said.  Readers will undoubtedly enjoy the response of Bart Massey [Portland State U]: “If you want to build something that thinks like a human, we have a great way to do that.  It only takes like nine months and it’s really fun.”  (He was referring, probably, to the initiation of the process, not childbirth and diapers.)Update 03/08/2011: An intelligence analyst at Mercyhurst College, Kristan Wheaton, is not worried about Watson.  According to PhysOrg, she said that computers may be good at extracting data, they are very poor at analyzing data, especially when the inputs have deceptive information like propaganda from state-run news sources.  “The technologies are improving rapidly, though, and there might be machines capable of mimicking human intelligence at some point, but the last job I think they are going to get is that of the intelligence analyst.” Update 03/10/2011: Live Science explored another skill humans have over computers: the ability to tell a good joke. Recommended reading:– Raymond Tallis reviewed two books on consciousness for New Statesman and challenged the notion that neuroscience is providing a material explanation for the mind.– Response to Tallis article by Denyse O’Leary on Uncommon Descent #1 and #2.  O’Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.– David Berlinski, The Deniable Darwin and Other Essays (Discovery Institute press, 2009), “The Soul of Man Under Physics” (1996) and “On the Origin of the Mind” (2004).– Michael Flannery, Alfred Russell Wallace: A Rediscovered Life (Discovery Institute Press, 2011).  Wallace, co-discoverer of natural selection with Darwin, denied Darwin’s materialism and believed the human mind and soul required intelligent design.– Previous entries: 06/25/2007, 08/13/2007, 02/16/2011, 02/06/2011, 12/06/2010, 10/22/2010.Think about thinking.  Now think about what you were thinking about thinking about thinking.  Now ask if it was morally responsible for you to follow those directions.  You just did things computers cannot hope to do.    Our brains have tools; we can concentrate on a test question, trying to recall something we memorized; we can practice a skill or a good habit till it becomes second nature; we can let our innate search engine find an answer, like a person’s name, while we turn to other things; we can take our brains to sleep; we can play Jeopardy; we can focus on creating a melody or visualizing a piece of art.  But we have awareness of self behind those activities, choosing to do them, like a carpenter using tools.    Raymond Tallis aptly said, “The idea of consciousness as a ‘show’ is ultimately derived from the bankrupt representational theory of the mind – a notion that things are present to us by virtue of being ‘represented’ or ‘modelled’ in the brain.  You cannot get to representation, however, without prior (conscious, first-order) presentation, so the latter cannot explain the former.”    If you could travel inside a working brain, you would see a lot of neurons firing, and a lot of neurotransmitters traveling across synapses (12/23/2010), but you would not see a thought, language, creativity, or a concept.  It would be like trying to figure out a movie by watching the electrons in TV set.  Brain damage and drugs can affect the mind and consciousness, but it does not follow that the mind is material.  The mind uses the brain, but mind is not a secretion of the brain, as some early Darwinists argued.  If it were, their own thoughts about that would be self-refuted.    As for the statements in the above articles about brains evolving or co-evolving with language, well, that’s the effect of old Darwine on the brain again.  Sober up.(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Urbana FFA hosts productive officer retreat

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The 2016-2017 Urbana FFA officer retreat was held on June 1st and continued through the 2nd. After taking officer photos, goals were set for the upcoming school year. The focus was on chapter and team goals while setting up percentages for improvement. The picnic table for fair was sanded and finished by several officers, and others helped clean out and transfer items from Mr. Wilhelm’s shop for the school renovations. A lunch of BBQ chicken, beans, coleslaw and macaroni salad was prepared by the team. Plans for the new school year were made, officer meetings were planned, and events were scheduled. AET was updated as far as dates and meetings. The importance of uploading photos and keeping up to date were stressed. Students then broke out to work on personal duties like officer books, articles, receipts and disbursements, and correspondences. Lots of work was diligently completed and the team headed out for Indian Lake. During the first night at the campgrounds, tents were pitched and food was cooked over a fire. The officers and advisors played team bonding games and activities, after taking time to learn a little about everyone. The second day at the campgrounds everyone helped tear down tents and cleaned up. After driving to the dock, the team rode around on a pontoon boat, looking at the houses and environment. The group then went tubing from the back of the pontoon and enjoyed their time on the lake. Lunch was had at the Tilton Hilton. After a last trip on the pontoon back to the dock, everyone headed out to return to the school. The team is excited for a year together to grow together and succeed as a chapter.last_img read more

Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Episode 51 | Thoughts of Spring with Snow on the Ground

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest This week on the Ohio Ag Net Podcast presented by AgriGold, we get reaction to last week’s USDA Prospective Plantings Report from Superior Feed Ingredients Jon Scheve, Matt visits with Ohio’s CCA of the Year, John Fritz and Dale gets a dairy industry update from Scott Higgins with the American Dairy Association Mid East.last_img

Find Without Searching: Google Brings Universal Search to Google Suggest

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Google just announced that it has started to include some results from its universal search feature right into the list of suggested search terms beneath the search box. When you search for “weather in San Francisco”, for example, the current weather will appear right at the bottom of the suggested search terms without having to hit the enter key. This new feature currently works for 10 universal search features, including weather, flight status, local time, area codes, package tracking, answers, definitions, calculator, currency and unit conversions. Google plans to enable this feature for other results based on the universal search feature in the future. Chances are that Google will also include this feature directly in Chrome. Chrome’s address bar, after all, already features advanced support for suggest search terms. Related Posts Also New: Quick Scroll ExtensionIn addition, Google also announced Quick Scroll, a new Chrome extension. Once you activate Quick Scroll, a small box often appears at the bottom of a page after you click on a search result that makes it easy to find the most relevant parts of a page that relate to your search results. Quick Scroll can automatically find the most relevant content on a site based on the search you just performed and highlight the relevant part of a page. Tags:#news#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… frederic lardinois Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Shazam Gets New CEO: Music-ID App Maker Has Big Plans

first_imgOriginally founded in 1999 and based out of London after a failed attempt to gain investment in Silicon Valley, Shazam launched its service in the UK in 2002. It required you to dial in and play the song into the phone receiver – you’d then receive a text message identifying the artist and track name.  After the smartphone boom and its successful multiplatform app – alongside a slew of partnerships with international companies like Entertainment UK and the Indian streaming service Saavn – Shazam was able to branch out and secure further funding. In 2011, it launched its TV app, the backbone of which is its advertising arm generating revenue in the “double-digit millions” for the company.  Image courtesy of Shazam.  The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Shazam, a company mostly known for its music identification app, has hired Rich Riley as its new CEO. Riley comes from high up on the corporate ladder (formerly Executive Vice President Americas at Yahoo), but he’s only one piece in the company’s larger roadmap, which includes going plans to go public. With a successful second-screen television app and its accompanying advertising platform, Shazam is no longer just that neat app that helps you identify the song that you happen to be listening to. Switching from CEO to Exectuive Chairman, Andrew Fisher, who has helmed the company since 2005, makes it clear that Shazam has “ambitions to deliver a successful IPO,” he writes in the company’s press release. Shazam, which now has more than 300 million users in 200+ countries, became known to U.S. consumers in the early days of iOS as the go-to music discovery and identification app. However, the technology behind the function was in fact far older. Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#IPO#mobile advertising#music apps Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement nick statt Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaceslast_img read more

Himachal hydel projects pose threat to Himalayan glaciers

first_imgHydropower projects in Himachal Pradesh can accelerate melting of glaciers in the Himalayan region, a study by the South Asia Network on Dams Rivers and People (SANDARP) has warned.The field level study carried out by the environmental group on the four major Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded projects in the state show that activities for construction of the dams such as blasting and drilling could enhance the pace at which the glaciers are melting.The four projects – 195Mw Integrated Kashang Stage I, II and III, 402 Mw Shongton Karccham in Kinnaur, 111 Mw Sawara- Kuddu in Shimla and 100 Mw Sainj in Kulu – apart from being located in ecologically fragile areas, fall in seismic zone and are also being built on the catchments of glacial rivers. Some of them are so close to the glaciers that they are likely to accelerate its melting, the study notes.The ADB is promoting these projects under the ‘Himachal Clean Energy Development Programme,’ which, according to SANDARP, is an irony as all the tall claims made by the ADB regarding the safeguards adhered to by the project developers do not exist in reality.” It is surprising that the ADB’s environmental safeguard policies failed to identify the cumulative impacts of the project- related activities such as dams, blasting, mining, tunneling, road construction, dumping of muck and other related construction activities,” SANDARP convenor Himanshu Thakkar said.For instance, the environmental impact assessment report of Kashang project fails to mention that two more tunnels are planned on the same mountain side.advertisementIn total there would be three tunnels in a single mountain, which is under the threat of sliding down, Thakkar said.All the four projects will involve diversion of 221.54 hectares of forest land.The report is critical of the Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited, the executing agency for the projects.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more

Manny Pacquiao willing to fight Floyd Mayweather anew if he comes out of retirement

first_imgManny Pacquiao enters the ring before fighting Adrien Broner in the WBA welterweight championship at MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 19, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFPLAS VEGAS — A rematch with Floyd Mayweather isn’t necessarily a slam dunk.That’s if you heard how Mayweather’s camp quickly snuffed questions about him coming back from retirement.ADVERTISEMENT Mayweather, who went out of his way to wish Manny Pacquiao inside his MGM Grand locker room, didn’t react about the possibility of repeating boxing’s most lucrative fight in 2015.Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said Mayweather is enjoying his retirement and has enough money to want another go at it.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsREAD: Manny Pacquiao gets visit from Floyd Mayweather in locker roomBut Pacquiao chose to be open about it. View comments Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town “If he (Mayweather) wants to go back to the ring, then go announce it and challenge me. Am active. I have the belt. If he’s willing I will fight him again,” said Pacquiao.Ellerbe said there are a few names for Pacquiao’s next fight including Keith Thurman the WBA super championship belt which is another version of what the Filipino icon just retained.Former WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia was also mentioned as a possible next foe.“I don’t pick my opponents, I let my promoter do that job,” said Pacquiao referring to Premier Boxing Champions which is aligned with Mayweather.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Manny Pacquiao: I have no plans to run for president PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausscenter_img LATEST STORIES Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more

FINAL THOUGHTS: Women’s open

first_imgPrior to the start of the State of Origin series, the two captains of the women’s open teams Louise Winchester (New South Wales) and Peta Rogerson (Queensland) shared their final thoughts.Lousie Winchester on…The women’s open division:“We know it is going to be a tough one that is for sure, New South Wales and Queensland are always the toughest games I’ve been a part of. You’ve got the best versus the best, you have got such quality players out there mixed with experience and youth. It’s always the quickest touch I have ever played and you know, Australia are world champions in touch and it’s the best of New South Wales against the best of Queensland. It is an absolute physical battle as well as a mental battle.The series 2-1 loss in 2012:“That [loss] really hurt us. Queensland deserved it, they outplayed us but we have had two years to think about what we need to do and to get the series win, especially in Queensland it will be something we are looking forward to and being a part of.”Peta Rogerson on…The Queensland team:“We’ve had a great couple of weeks with our preparation. Everything has run really smoothly and there isn’t an overly nervous feeling in the camp at the moment but I’m sure as it draws closer, it will build. I just hope all of our girls have a great series, especially the girls on debut, I just want them to have the opportunity to play really well.Playing in Queensland:“You’ve got your family and your friends who sometimes don’t get the chance to watch you play when you are travelling further away. It is always that extra special to play in front of them and that’s what makes it a bit more proud and important.Wearing the maroon colours:“Growing up as a girl playing touch, it was my dreams to make a Queensland team and every time I put on a Queensland jersey it makes me feel very, very special and very proud, and to captain these group of girls, it will be a great moment this weekend.”There are plenty of ways to keep up-to-date with all of the latest results, news and information from the 2014 State of Origin. The Touch Football Australia and State of Origin websites will be updated regularly throughout the event with all of the latest information and can be found by clicking on the links below: All of Touch Football Australia’s social media pages will be regularly updated throughout the NYC event, so be sure to ‘like’ and ‘follow’ us by clicking on the links below. Facebook – Twitter – (be sure to use the hashtag #soo2014) Instagram – (be sure to use the hashtag #soo2014) The TFA YouTube channel will also have highlights and live games streamed throughout the event. Please click on the link below to be taken to the channel, and be sure to become a subscriber to the channel – note, the link for the Open’s games by television production company, Power Productions – LinksCaptain’s tales: Womenlast_img read more

10 months agoWolves chasing Juventus fullback Rogerio

first_imgTagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Wolves chasing Juventus fullback Rogerioby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWolves are chasing Juventus fullback Rogerio this month.Sky Italia says Wolves have approached Juventus for Rogerio, currently on loan at Sassuolo.The Brazilian turns 21 next week and can play as a left-back or in a more advanced left wing-back role.Wolves are willing to offer €8m for Rogerio in the coming days.But Sassuolo would need to give the all-clear, as his loan with them runs until June 2019. last_img read more