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Month: October 2020

Will Quantum Mechanics Produce the True Thinking Computer? – Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence

Some hope that quantum mechanics can explain human consciousness.

Maybe we are all quantum computers but don’t know it? Maybe quantum computers could think like people?

There is an odd relationship between the human mind and quantum mechanics, the science of entities like electrons that are too small to be governed by ordinary physics.

Some aspects of consciousness appear to be mediated by such elementary particles. Science writer Philip Ball explains,

Nobody understands what consciousness is or how it works. Nobody understands quantum mechanics either. Could that be more than coincidence?

Quantum mechanics is the best theory we have for describing the world at the nuts-and-bolts level of atoms and subatomic particles.


Notes on CBDCs

Talking of Bretton Woods, this IMF article alludes to a huge change coming but lacks real clarity outside of allowing much more fiscal stimulus via monetary mechanisms.


And tomorrow, the IMF holds a conference on digital currencies and cross-border payment systems..


But it’s not just the IMF. This was first floated by Mark Carney at the Bank of England over a year ago and set the course for a new system…


His big idea is a move away from the dollar, using CB digital currencies so its affects on world trade, flows and debts was not so pronounced.… Read more...


Fifth generation languages (5GL) are purely declarative: they express what needs to be done, the machine establishes how, and does it. To use them you must be clear about WHAT needs to be done, NOT HOW it should be done.

The problem is that with the Internet we have moved back to third generation langs, hence the importance of programmers again.

Smart contracts in the future should not need to be programmed, but ‘implemented’. That’s why there are startups that are building compilers that translate legal English into structures and application skeletons to build on.… Read more...

Académicos y Comerciantes

En la gente de perfil teórico o docente el objetivo es la precisión: completar un modelo aún a riesgo de que resulte impracticable. Es el caso de políticos y burócratas, que tienden a normalizar y regular todo. De esta forma, cualquier cosa que hagas está sujeta a algún tipo de normativa o impuesto.

En la gente de perfil práctico o de negocios el objetivo es lo práctico, los skills. Hacer realidad algo aún a riesgo de ser imperfecto. Es el caso de empresarios y emprendedores, que tienden (cuando se dan las condiciones) a saltarse las normas y convenciones con tal de conseguir eficiencia.… Read more...

If a robot is conscious, is it OK to turn it off? The moral implications of building true AIs – The Conversation US

In the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode “The Measure of a Man,” Data, an android crew member of the Enterprise, is to be dismantled for research purposes unless Captain Picard can argue that Data deserves the same rights as a human being. Naturally the question arises: What is the basis upon which something has rights? What gives an entity moral standing?

The philosopher Peter Singer argues that creatures that can feel pain or suffer have a claim to moral standing. He argues that nonhuman animals have moral standing, since they can feel pain and suffer. Limiting it to people would be a form of speciesism, something akin to racism and sexism.


Startups: Bad Advice and Magical Thinking

When you work in technology you are always bombarded by two things: bad advice, and magical thinking.

📌 Bad advice from professionals who recommend “content marketing” for everything and everyone.
📌 Magical thinking from other consultants, from investors, and from the industry in general.

A bubble in which everything is fantastic, you get rich in a garage and nobody fails; he just pivots.… Read more...

Go Lean or Go Crazy? Why it’s better to develop bottom-up

“We start from what is closer to what we know, and closer to what we can master, and when we nail that down, we find that there is a better way to improve the impact we achieve by moving one step “up” in the process.”

(From: https://hackernoon.com/how-do-product-teams-evolve-is-it-the-best-way-to-achieve-high-performing-teams-1072c3af02ea)

This conclusion is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time: it’s better to develop a very specific and simple concept, and scale from there to more abstract and ambitious functionalities. This is the bottom-up approach.

But 99% of startups follow the opposite path. They start with an academic business idea: “the great vision” with which to conquer the world.… Read more...

Artificial general intelligence: Are we close, and does it even make sense to try? – MIT Technology Review

Sometimes Legg talks about AGI as a kind of multi-tool—one machine that solves many different problems, without a new one having to be designed for each additional challenge. On that view, it wouldn’t be any more intelligent than AlphaGo or GPT-3; it would just have more capabilities. It would be a general-purpose AI, not a full-fledged intelligence. But he also talks about a machine you could interact with as if it were another person. He describes a kind of ultimate playmate: “It would be wonderful to interact with a machine and show it a new card game and have it understand and ask you questions and play the game with you,” he says.