The Long Poiesis
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Paul E. Baxter: The work of von Foerster: summary of a summary

Paul E. Baxter: The work of von Foerster: summary of a summary | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it

The academic work of Heinz von Foerster was, and remains, highly influential in a number of disciplines, namely due to the pervasive implications of his distinction between first and second order cybernetics (and its antecedent ideas). Where first order cybernetics may be simply described as the study of feedback systems by observation, second-order cybernetics extends this observation of a system to incorporate the observer itself: it is reflexive in that the observation of the feedback system is itself a feedback system to be explained. While I am familiar with this concept, I am not particularly familiar with the body of work produced by von Foerster to instantiate this concept, although I have encountered numerous references to him, particularly when the subject is related to enactivism.

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'Pronoia' and other emotions you never knew you had

'Pronoia' and other emotions you never knew you had | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Scientists believe that if you put a name to a feeling, it can help that feeling become less overwhelming. Explore a list of 10 extremely precise words for emotions.
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Engineers plan to upload bee brains to flying robots

Engineers plan to upload bee brains to flying robots | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Engineers from the universities of Sheffield and Sussex are planning on scanning the brains of bees and uploading them into autonomous flying robots that will then fly and act like the real thing.

Bionic bees -- or perhaps that should be "beeonic" -- could, it is hoped, be used for a range of situations where tiny thinking flying machines should be more useful than current technology, which might mean seeking out gas or chemical leaks, or people who are trapped in small spaces. They might even help pollinate plants in places where natural bee populations have fallen due to the still-mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder.

It's important to note that this won't be an entirely comprehensive model of a bee's brain -- it's only going to be the parts associated with its sense of smell and vision. These modules will be melded with other software to form what the team call a "

Green Brain", one that can react to new situations and improvise rapidly just like a "real" animal or insect brain.

Via Wildcat2030
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Intelligent machines might want to become biological again – Caleb Scharf | Aeon Essays

Intelligence could have been moving back and forth between biological beings and machine receptacles for aeons
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20 ways gigabit-speed internet access might change our lives by 2025

20 ways gigabit-speed internet access might change our lives by 2025 | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Holodeck entertainment, full video lifestreaming, scientific diets and more 2025 predictions from Pew Internet’s new report. By Stuart Dredge
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The superhero of artificial intelligence: can this genius keep it in check?

The superhero of artificial intelligence: can this genius keep it in check? | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
With his company DeepMind, Londoner Demis Hassabis is leading Google’s project to build software more powerful than the human brain. But what will this mean for the future of humankind?
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Will we ever understand the beginning of the universe? — Ross Andersen — Aeon Essays

Cosmology has been on a long, hot streak, racking up one imaginative and scientific triumph after another. Is it over?
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From Competition to Cooperation | Primavera De Filippi | TEDxCambridge

The animal kingdom contains numerous examples of individuals cooperating with one another to achieve impressive outcomes without the need for planning, contr...
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The WELL: Bruce Sterling & Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2016

The WELL: Bruce Sterling & Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2016 | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
The WELL: Bruce Sterling & Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2016
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Superintelligence: fears, promises, and potentials | KurzweilAI

Superintelligence: fears, promises, and potentials | KurzweilAI | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom, in his recent and celebrated book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, argues that advanced AI poses a potentially major existential risk to humanity, and that advanced AI development should be heavily regulated and perhaps even restricted to a small set of government-approved researchers.

Bostrom’s ideas and arguments are reviewed and explored in detail, and compared with the thinking of three other current thinkers on the nature and implications of AI: Eliezer Yudkowsky of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (formerly Singularity Institute for AI), and David Weinbaum (Weaver) and Viktoras Veitas of the Global Brain Institute. Relevant portions of Yudkowsky’s book Rationality: From AI to Zombies are briefly reviewed, and it is found that nearly all the core ideas of Bostrom’s work appeared previously or concurrently in Yudkowsky’s thinking.

However, Yudkowsky often presents these shared ideas in a more plain-spoken and extreme form, making clearer the essence of what is being claimed. For instance, the elitist strain of thinking that one sees in the background in Bostrom is plainly and openly articulated in Yudkowsky, with many of the same practical conclusions (e.g., that it may well be best if advanced AI is developed in secret by a small elite group).

Bostrom and Yudkowsky view intelligent systems through the lens of reinforcement learning — they view them as “reward-maximizers” and worry about what happens when a very powerful and intelligent reward-maximizer is paired with a goal system that gives rewards for achieving foolish goals, like tiling the universe with paperclips. Weinbaum and Veitas’s recent paper “Open-Ended Intelligence” presents a starkly alternative perspective on intelligence, viewing it as centered not on reward maximization, but rather on complex self-organization and self-transcending development that occurs in close coupling with a complex environment that is also ongoingly self-organizing, in only partially knowable ways.

It is concluded that Bostrom and Yudkowsky’s arguments for existential risk have some logical foundation, but are often presented in an exaggerated way. For instance, formal arguments whose implication is that the “worst case scenarios” for advanced AI development are extremely dire are often informally discussed as if they demonstrated the likelihood, rather than just the possibility, of highly negative outcomes. And potential dangers of reward-maximizing AI are taken as problems with AI in general, rather than just as problems of the reward-maximization paradigm as an approach to building superintelligence.

If one views past, current, and future intelligence as “open-ended,” in the vernacular of Weaver and Veitas, the potential dangers no longer appear to loom so large, and one sees a future that is wide-open, complex and uncertain, just as it has always been.

Via Spaceweaver
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Debunking the biggest myths about artificial intelligence

Debunking the biggest myths about artificial intelligence | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
From killer robots, to runaway sentience, there's a lot of FUD that needs clearing up.
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Troubles with Three-ism: Body, Mind, and Soul - The Los Angeles...

Troubles with Three-ism: Body, Mind, and Soul - The Los Angeles... | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
WHEN I WAS a wee Catholic lad growing up in the New York City suburbs of the late 1950s and early 1960s, I learned that good people go to heaven after they die. This was consoling. But it made me wonder precisely which part of me would go to heaven: my body, my mind, or my soul. Thanks to dead hamsters and such, I understood that bodies die, decay, and disperse. There was talk in school and at church of the resurrection of the body on Judgment Day, but that event, I reckoned, might not happen for several million years, and surely I’d be well ensconced in heaven by then. My mother tentatively explained that the part of me that loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and chocolate ice cream sodas would most likely not go to heaven, or, if it did, would not need or want peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and chocolate ice cream sodas anymore — possibly, I speculated, because, in the heavenly state, I’d be able mentally to conjure those great pleasures without there being actual physical manifestations of me or them. I surmised that those perfectly good human desires would either be gone (because my body would be gone), or somehow be eternally satisfied.

So, which was it, my mind or my soul that would go to heaven? Or both? And how did they differ? I didn’t want to go to heaven without my personality and memories. I wanted to be in heaven with my brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents, if not bodily then at least mentally. But personality and memories were, in my little boy ontology, associated with mind, and there was talk that the part of me that would go to heaven was something more ethereal than my mind. It was my eternal soul. But my soul, unlike my mind, seemed a bit too vague and general to be “me.” I wanted to be in heaven with me as me myself. Such were the vicissitudes of boyhood. I was troubled by three-ism. I was not, and am not, alone.

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The World Will Be Continuously Upgradable When Everything Is Connected

The World Will Be Continuously Upgradable When Everything Is Connected | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
One day in the future, we’ll look back in wonder at how our physical objects used to be singular, disconnected pieces of matter.

We’ll be in awe of the fact that a car used to be just a piece of metal full of gears and belts that we would drive from one place to another, that a refrigerator was a box that kept our food cold — and a phone was a piece of plastic we used to communicate to one other person at a time.

That’s because the future we’re rapidly moving towards is one where physical items become intelligent and interconnected — and as a fascinating result, their functionality changes.

There is probably no better example of this trend than the cell phone. The mobile phone used to be just that — a mobile phone. Now it’s your flashlight, your bank, your TV, and your funny, yet kind of dumb personal assistant. The cell phone — or really, more accurately, the hand-held computer — has become mostly a gateway to all the mobile services we use on it.

And those services are constantly morphing and improving, changing what our smartphones can do without requiring the physical phone itself to change all that much at all.

Via Spaceweaver
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The Last Frontiers of AI: Can Scientists Design Creativity and Self-Awareness?

The Last Frontiers of AI: Can Scientists Design Creativity and Self-Awareness? | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Is creativity a uniquely human trait? What about self-awareness or intuition?

Defining the line between human and machine is becoming blurrier by the day as startups, big companies, and research institutions all compete to build the next generation of advanced AI.

This arms race is bringing a new era of AI that won’t prove its power by mastering human games, but by independently exhibiting ingenuity and creativity.

Sophisticated AI is undertaking increasingly complex tasks like stock market predictions, research synthesis, political speech writing—don’t worry, this article was still written by a human—and companies are beginning to pair deep learning with new robotics and digital manufacturing tools to create “smart manufacturing.”

But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Via Wildcat2030
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amitmahendruphotography's curator insight, April 20, 9:40 PM

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How Google DeepMind Plans to Solve Intelligence

How Google DeepMind Plans to Solve Intelligence | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Mastering Go is just the beginning for Google DeepMind, which hopes to create human-like artificial intelligence.
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Everything You Know About Artificial Intelligence is Wrong

Everything You Know About Artificial Intelligence is Wrong | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
It was hailed as the most significant test of machine intelligence since Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov in chess nearly 20 years ago. Google’s AlphaGo has won two of the first three games against grandmaster Lee Sedol in a Go tournament, showing the dramatic extent to which AI has improved over the years. That fateful day when machines finally become smarter than humans has never appeared closer—yet we seem no closer in grasping the implications of this epochal event.
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Learning to Program Cellular Memory

Learning to Program Cellular Memory | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Combining synthetic biology approaches with time-lapse movies, a team led by Caltech biologists has determined how some proteins shape a cell's ability to remember particular states of gene expression.

 

What if we could program living cells to do what we would like them to do in the body? Having such control—a major goal of synthetic biology—could allow for the development of cell-based therapies that might one day replace traditional drugs for diseases such as cancer. In order to reach this long-term goal, however, scientists must first learn to program many of the key things that cells do, such as communicate with one another, change their fate to become a particular cell type, and remember the chemical signals they have encountered.

 

Now a team of researchers led by Caltech biologists Michael Elowitz, Lacramioara Bintu, and John Yong (PhD '15) have taken an important step toward being able to program that kind of cellular memory using tools that cells have evolved naturally. By combining synthetic biology approaches with time-lapse movies that track the behaviors of individual cells, they determined how four members of a class of proteins known as chromatin regulators establish and control a cell's ability to maintain a particular state of gene expression—to remember it—even once the signal that established that state is gone.

 

The researchers reported their findings in the February 12 issue of the journal Science.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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IBM Watson Partners With XPRIZE To Inspire AI Evolution For Humanity... Only

IBM Watson Partners With XPRIZE To Inspire AI Evolution For Humanity... Only | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
To be built upon the Watson only, IBM announces partnership with XPRIZE to jumpstart artificial intelligence development that will benefit humanity. 

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Space architecture: Six buildings for the final frontier

Space architecture: Six buildings for the final frontier | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
By Cat DiStasio

Mars has captured the world's attention recently, but space agencies around the globe haven't forgotten that there's a whole slew of other plan...

Via Artur Coelho
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Panel: Alternative Economies and Reputation-Based Systems - COALA's Blockchain Workshops

Panelists: Michel Bauwens (P2P Foundation), Primavera De Filippi (CNRS / Harvard), Gregory Meredith (Synereo), Jason Potts (RMIT) Moderated by Constance Choi...


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Can Another Body Be Seen as an Extension of Your Own?

Can Another Body Be Seen as an Extension of Your Own? | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Among dance forms, tango holds a unique and potent allure. It showcases two individuals—each with a separate mind, body, and bundle of goals and intentions, moving at times in close embrace, at times stepping away from each other, improvising moves and flourishes while responding to the imaginative overtures of the other—who somehow manage to give the impression of two bodies answering to a single mind. For performers and viewers alike, much of tango’s appeal comes from this apparent psychic fusion into a super-individual unit. Michael Kimmel, a social and cultural anthropologist who has researched the interpersonal dynamics of tango, writes that dancers “speak in awe of the way that individuality dissolves into a meditative unity for the three minutes that the dance lasts. Time and space give way to a unique moment of presence, of flow within and between partners.”

Tango offers more than aesthetic bliss; like all artistic practices that demand great skill, it also presents a seductive scientific puzzle, highlighting the mind’s potential to learn and re-shape itself in dramatic ways. But it’s only very recently that scientists have started building a systematic framework to explain how a person might achieve the sort of fusion that is needed for activities like social dancing, and what the impact of such an interpersonal entanglement might be.

At the heart of the puzzle is the notion of a body schema—a mental representation of the physical self that allows us to navigate through space without smashing into things, to scratch our nose without inadvertently smacking it, and to know how far and how quickly to reach for a cup of coffee without knocking it over. We can do all these things because our brains have learned to identify the edges of our bodies using information from multiple senses and devote exquisite attention to stimuli near our bodily boundaries.

Via Wildcat2030
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Book review: Future War

Book review: Future War | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Will tomorrow’s wars be dominated by autonomous drones, land robots and warriors wired into a cybernetic network which can read their thoughts? Will war be fought with greater or lesser human…
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Genetic ‘intelligence networks’ discovered in the brain | KurzweilAI

Genetic ‘intelligence networks’ discovered in the brain | KurzweilAI | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Scientists from Imperial College London have identified two clusters (“gene networks”) of genes that are linked to human intelligence. Called M1 and M3, these gene networks appear to influence cognitive function, which includes memory, attention, processing speed and reasoning.

Importantly, the scientists have discovered that these two networks are likely to be under the control of master regulator switches. The researcher want to identify those switches and see if they can manipulate them, and ultimately find out if this knowledge of gene networks could allow for boosting cognitive function.

“We know that genetics plays a major role in intelligence but until now, haven’t known which genes are relevant,” said Michael Johnson, lead author of the study from the Imperial College London Department of Medicine. Johnson says the genes they have found so far are likely to share a common regulation, which means it may be possible to manipulate a whole set of genes linked to human intelligence.

Combining data from brain samples, genomic information, and IQ tests

In the study, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the international team of researchers looked at samples of human brain from patients who had undergone neurosurgery for epilepsy. The investigators analyzed thousands of genes expressed in the human brain, and then combined these results with genetic information from healthy people who had undergone IQ tests and from people with neurological disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability.

Then they conducted various computational analyses and comparisons to identify the gene networks influencing healthy human cognitive abilities. Remarkably, they found that some of the same genes that influence human intelligence in healthy people cause impaired cognitive ability and epilepsy when mutated. And they found that genes that make new memories or sensible decisions when faced with lots of complex information also overlap with those that cause severe childhood onset epilepsy or intellectual disability.

Via Wildcat2030
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Farid Mheir's curator insight, January 15, 5:57 PM

Brain research and work to understand the architecture of our brain and reverse engineer it into machines continues to bring wonderful insights into who we are and what will soon be possible with digital machines.

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Superintelligence: Fears, Promises and Potentials

Superintelligence: Fears, Promises and Potentials | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Bostrom and Yudkowsky view intelligent systems through the lens of reinforcement learning – they view them as “reward-maximizers” and worry about what happens when a very powerful and intelligent reward-maximizer is paired with a goal system that gives rewards for achieving foolish goals like tiling the universe with paperclips. Weinbaum and Veitas’s recent paper “Open-Ended Intelligence” presents a starkly alternative perspective on intelligence, viewing it as centered not on reward maximization, but rather on complex self-organization and self-transcending development that occurs in close coupling with a complex environment that is also ongoingly self-organizing, in only partially knowable ways.

Via Spaceweaver
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Spaceweaver's curator insight, December 13, 2015 9:12 AM

Very interesting read.