Older blog entries for Flanneltron (starting at number 92)

Kurzweil’s “How to Create a Mind” is Severely Lacking

A day after its release, I strolled into the Harvard Co-Op bookstore and read most of Ray Kurzweil’s new book, How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed. I then quietly placed it back on the shelf and wandered out of the store in a state of wonder. Wondering, that is, if [...]

Syndicated 2012-11-25 00:05:06 from SynapticNulship

Failure Does Not Necessarily Mean a Theory is Wrong

Many writers use a metaphor of the type “theory T has failed to explain phenomenon P” or “the field of F has failed…” For example: The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. [1] Ever since the Crash of [...]

Syndicated 2012-11-05 00:30:16 from SynapticNulship

Mechanisms of Meaning

How do organisms generate meaning during their development? What designs of information structures and processes best explain how animals understand concepts? In “A Deepness in the Mind: The Symbol Grounding Problem“, I showed a three layer diagram with semantic connections on the top. I’d like to spend some more time on the bottom of the [...]

Syndicated 2012-10-15 06:57:41 from SynapticNulship

Languages, Assemble!

Look what I found in my closet: This is my old Motorola 68HC11 microcontroller board. Here’s a close up photo of the microcontroller itself: For those who arenn’t familiar with these terms, a microcontroller is basically a computer on a chip. They are often very tiny and low powered, and are ubiquitous whether you realize [...]

Syndicated 2012-10-09 06:35:31 from SynapticNulship

A Deepness in the Mind: The Symbol Grounding Problem

The Symbol Grounding Problem reared its ugly head in my previous post. Some commenters suggested certain systems as being symbol-grounding-problem-free because those systems learn concepts that were not chosen beforehand by the programmers. However, the fact that a software program learns concepts doesn’t mean it is grounded. It might be, but it might not be. [...]

Syndicated 2012-09-29 09:20:50 from SynapticNulship

Why My Computer Didn’t Do (All of) My Homework

In my innocent early teenage years of computer programming I started dabbling in Artificial Intelligence (AI). I wanted my computer to write stuff in English. I’m not sure why, but I think the main triggers were: I found a BASIC version of ELIZA, the “THE PSYCHOANALYTIC CONVERSATIONALIST”. ELIZA is a chatbot originally created in the [...]

Syndicated 2012-09-11 08:04:31 from SynapticNulship

Hype Alert: Robot Learns Self-Awareness

What the Hyped News Article Implies An anonymous—aka spineless—person wrote a Kurzeilai.net article a few days ago titled “Robot learns ‘self-awareness.’” Self-awareness is in scare quotes. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to imply…maybe it was just a huge joke? Various other news sources are claiming similar things (e.g., BBC’s “Robot learns to recognise itself in mirror”). The [...]

Syndicated 2012-08-28 04:07:22 from SynapticNulship

The Disillusionment of Math

The Early Years When I was in elementary school, a consultant who offered optional advanced studies taught a small group of us some basic algebra. This was amazing to me at the time—solving for the mysterious x! The next amazing mathematical concept I learned of was imaginary numbers. Just like pornography, I learned about it long before [...]

Syndicated 2012-07-16 06:49:20 from SynapticNulship

Detectives and Debugging

Debugging a program—or any system, such as a robot—often involves reducing the amount of unknowns until only one culprit is left. The situation is like a mystery story. A detective interrogates all the suspects and gathers clues until everybody but one suspect has an alibi. Along the way various red herrings lead the hero astray. [...]

Syndicated 2012-07-15 14:59:52 from SynapticNulship

My Other Blogs

Guess what? I have non-technical blogs as well: The Adventures of Sam in Imaginary Danger A tumblog for my acting career. Mostly photos of me, behind the scenes photos, videos, notes about acting, screenplays, filmmaking, etc. The Immute Button A tumblog of found images and occasional photos taken by me. These images are mostly glitch, sci-fi, surreal, film noir, [...]

Syndicated 2012-07-14 21:26:40 from SynapticNulship

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