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RoboCup 2018 Montreal

The forthcoming RoboCup football (soccer) tournament in Montreal promises to be the largest yet. When established in 1997, the original mission was to field a team of robots capable of winning against the human soccer World Cup champions by 2050. Artificial intelligenceCognitive sciencecomplexitycomputational intelligenceEmbodied cognitionroboticsStigmergy

Norbert Wiener

Born on this day. Here’s an assessment of Wiener’s legacy from a few years back. Having read most of the notable work on “epistemic ignorance” (yes, there really is a specialized small literature) there is one prize that still alludes me and that is Wiener’s “The Theory of Ignorance” (1906), a philosophical demonstration of the…

The Nature of Consciousness

Sam Harris speaks with Thomas Metzinger about the scientific and experiential understanding of consciousness. Jump to 26:32 for the consciousness discussion proper — the first 26 minutes are for the most part a well-trodden exercise in mutual virtue-signalling. Discussion of the phenomenology of intuition . . . now that is interesting. Artificial intelligenceconsciousnessmeditationneurosciencephilosophy mindphilosophy of…

Measuring the Evolution of Contemporary Western Popular Music

This study from a few years back confirms what genuine music lovers already know to be the general trend in the homogenization of music. Full report in Scientific Reports 2, Article number: 521 (2012). Check out Thoughty2’s popular and rightfully scathing overview below. It was reassuring though to see some under 35s at a recent Pokey LaFarge show, Pokey himself…

Why Philosophers Are Obsessed With Brains in Jars

An old philosophical chestnut discussed in The Atlantic. Words and concepts used by a brain in a vat can’t be meaningfully applied to real objects outside of the brain’s experience, because the ability to have causal interaction with the specific things that words name is inherently how such words acquire meaning, Putnam argued. Artificial intelligenceCognitive…

Lo and Behold

Not Herzog’s best but certainly, as one would still expect, an insightful and elegant take highlighting some of the most disturbing and techno-ebullient aspects of this technology, a technology that surely marks the cultural tipping point, ushering in the global shit storm that we are now in. The section on AI is fascinating: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? You know we…