What computers still suck at. (my latest New Yorker essay)

What computers still suck at.
(my latest New Yorker essay)

Nature, nurture, … and luck!
(a new essay of mine in The New Yorker)

Nature, nurture, … and luck!

(a new essay of mine in The New Yorker)

A Grand Unified Theory of Everything  (my latest, in The New Yorker)

A Grand Unified Theory of Everything  (my latest, in The New Yorker)

According to the headlines, social psychology has had a terrible year—and, at any rate, a bad week… 
Things aren’t quite as bad as they seem, though  [read more, from The New Yorker, by Tumblr member Gary Marcus]
 

According to the headlines, social psychology has had a terrible year—and, at any rate, a bad week… 

Things aren’t quite as bad as they seem, though  [read more, from The New Yorker, by Tumblr member Gary Marcus]

 

Why is it so hard to figure out why humans are unique?
My contribution to the new science/literary magazine, Nautilus. http://nautil.us/issue/1/what-makes-you-so-special/where-uniqueness-lies

Why is it so hard to figure out why humans are unique?

My contribution to the new science/literary magazine, Nautilus. http://nautil.us/issue/1/what-makes-you-so-special/where-uniqueness-lies

Can Super Mario Save Artificial Intelligence?

Video games, human flexibility and the challenges in building smart machines

What We Should Fear : The New Yorker

What We Should Fear : The New Yorker

Six Ways to Limit Scientific Fraud : The New Yorker

Six Ways to Limit Scientific Fraud : The New Yorker

That moment will be significant not just because it will signal the end of one more human niche, but because it will signal the beginning of another: the era in which it will no longer be optional for machines to have ethical systems. Your car is speeding along a bridge at fifty miles per hour when errant school bus carrying forty innocent children crosses its path. Should your car swerve, possibly risking the life of its owner (you), in order to save the children, or keep going, putting all forty kids at risk? If the decision must be made in milliseconds, the computer will have to make the call.

[…]

Building machines with a conscience is a big job, and one that will require the coordinated efforts of philosophers, computer scientists, legislators, and lawyers.

Moral Machines – neuroscientist Gary Marcus, author of Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning, considers the moral challenges of Google’s driverless cars. 

More thoughts on irreplaceably human faculties here

(via explore-blog)

Is “Deep Learning” a Revolution in Artificial Intelligence? : The New Yorker

Is “Deep Learning” a Revolution in Artificial Intelligence? : The New Yorker

Part of creativity is just the guts to break the rules

Defining Creativity, on Studio 360

Half a trillion neurons, a hundred trillion synapses. I.B.M. has just announced the world’s grandest simulation of a brain, all running on a collection of ninety-six of the world’s fastest computers. The project is code-named Compass, and its initial goal is to simulate the brain of the macaque monkey (commonly used in laboratory studies of neuroscience).Are full-scale simulations of human brains imminent, as some media accounts seem to suggest?Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/11/ibm-brain-simulation-compass.html#ixzz2D5H25rUj

Half a trillion neurons, a hundred trillion synapses. I.B.M. has just announced the world’s grandest simulation of a brain, all running on a collection of ninety-six of the world’s fastest computers. The project is code-named Compass, and its initial goal is to simulate the brain of the macaque monkey (commonly used in laboratory studies of neuroscience).Are full-scale simulations of human brains imminent, as some media accounts seem to suggest?

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/11/ibm-brain-simulation-compass.html#ixzz2D5H25rUj

Ray Kurzweil, critiqued
Ray Kurzweil is, by all accounts, a genius. He holds nineteen honorary doctorates, has founded a half-dozen successful companies, and was a major contributor to the field of artificial intelligence… And now he has a new book, with a subtitle that suggests he has found another such idea: “How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed.”Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2012/11/ray-kurzweils-dubious-new-theory-of-mind.html#ixzz2D5HearNF

Ray Kurzweil, critiqued

Ray Kurzweil is, by all accounts, a genius. He holds nineteen honorary doctorates, has founded a half-dozen successful companies, and was a major contributor to the field of artificial intelligence… And now he has a new book, with a subtitle that suggests he has found another such idea: “How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed.”

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2012/11/ray-kurzweils-dubious-new-theory-of-mind.html#ixzz2D5HearNF

A “Fascinating intersection between Google and philosophy of mind”: Gary Marcus on Google Knowledge Graph and what it means:
Last Wednesday, with relatively little fanfare, Google introduced a new technology called Google Knowledge Graph. Type in “François Hollande,” and you are offered a capsule history (with links) to his children, partner, birthday, education, and so forth. In the short-term, Knowledge Graph will not make a big difference in your world—you might get much the same information by visiting Hollande’s Wikipedia page, and a lot of people might still prefer to ask their friends. But what’s under the hood represents a significant change in engineering for the world’s largest search-engine company. And more than that, in a decade or two, scientists and journalists may well look back at the introduction of Google Knowledge Graph as the dividing line between machines that dredged massive amounts of data—with no clue what that data meant—and machines that started to think, just a little bit, like people.
Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/05/google-knowledge-graph.html#ixzz1vjQofb5R

A “Fascinating intersection between Google and philosophy of mind”: Gary Marcus on Google Knowledge Graph and what it means:

Last Wednesday, with relatively little fanfare, Google introduced a new technology called Google Knowledge Graph. Type in “François Hollande,” and you are offered a capsule history (with links) to his children, partner, birthday, education, and so forth. In the short-term, Knowledge Graph will not make a big difference in your world—you might get much the same information by visiting Hollande’s Wikipedia page, and a lot of people might still prefer to ask their friends. But what’s under the hood represents a significant change in engineering for the world’s largest search-engine company. And more than that, in a decade or two, scientists and journalists may well look back at the introduction of Google Knowledge Graph as the dividing line between machines that dredged massive amounts of data—with no clue what that data meant—and machines that started to think, just a little bit, like people.



Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/05/google-knowledge-graph.html#ixzz1vjQofb5R

Learn Something New — Your Brain Will Thank You