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Artificial general intelligence: The domain of the patient, philosophical coder
Sure, some expert-level knowledge is needed if you want to program artificial intelligence. But AI expert Ben Goertzel posits that you also need something that Guns N' Roses sang about: a lil' patience.
Ben Goertzel: My cousin who lives in Hong Kong is a game programmer, and he loves what I’m doing but he just tells me when we discuss it, “I need immediate gratification.” And he codes something and he sees a game character do something cool, right? And if you need that, if you really need to see something cool happen every day AGI is not for you. In AGI you may work six months and nothing interesting happens. And then something really interesting happens. So I think if someone doesn’t have that kind of stubborn, pigheaded persistence I will tend to employ them doing, for example, data analysis, because that gives immediate gratification. You get a data set from a customer, you run a machine learning algorithm on it and you get a result which is interesting. The customer is happy. Then you go on to the next data set.
And if you explain the different types of work available actually most people are pretty good at choosing what won’t drive them crazy. So some people are like “Yeah, I want to do stuff that seems cool every day.” And other people are like “Well, I really want to understand how thinking works. I want to understand how cognition and vision work together, and that’s much more interesting to me than applying an existing vision algorithm to solve someone’s problem.”
So I tend to throw the issue at the potential employee or volunteer themselves, and sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. But I trust them to know themselves better than I know them anyway.
There are many different types and levels of problems that one encounters in doing AI work, and there are sort of low-level algorithmic problems or software design problems which are solved via clever tricks. And then there are deeper problems, like how do you architect a perception system? How should perception and cognition work together in an AI system? If a system knows one language how do you leverage that knowledge to help it learn another language? I find personally with these deeper problems this is the kind of thing you solve while you were like walking the dog in the forest or taking a shower or driving down the highway or something.
And it seems to be that the people who make headway on these deeper problems have the personality type that carries the problem in their head all the time. Like you’ll think about this thing when you go to sleep, you’re still thinking about it when you woke up, and you just keep chewing on this issue a hundred times a day. It could be for days or weeks or years, or even decades. And then the solution pops up for you.
And not everyone has the inclination or personality to be obsessive at sort of keeping a problem like an egg in your mind, in your focus, until the solution hatches out. But that’s a particular cognitive style or habit or skill which I see in everyone I know who’s really making headway on the AGI problem.
Sure, some expert-level knowledge is needed if you want to program artificial intelligence. But AI expert Ben Goertzel posits that you also need something that Guns N' Roses sang about: a lil' patience. If you want instant gratification, this isn't the line of work for you. Ben's most recent book is AGI Revolution: An Inside View of the Rise of Artificial General Intelligence.
Duke University researchers might have solved a half-century old problem.
- Duke University researchers created a hydrogel that appears to be as strong and flexible as human cartilage.
- The blend of three polymers provides enough flexibility and durability to mimic the knee.
- The next step is to test this hydrogel in sheep; human use can take at least three years.
Duke researchers have developed the first gel-based synthetic cartilage with the strength of the real thing. A quarter-sized disc of the material can withstand the weight of a 100-pound kettlebell without tearing or losing its shape.
Photo: Feichen Yang.<p>That's the word from a team in the Department of Chemistry and Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University. Their <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/adfm.202003451" target="_blank">new paper</a>, published in the journal,<em> Advanced Functional Materials</em>, details this exciting evolution of this frustrating joint.<br></p><p>Researchers have sought materials strong and versatile enough to repair a knee since at least the seventies. This new hydrogel, comprised of three polymers, might be it. When two of the polymers are stretched, a third keeps the entire structure intact. When pulled 100,000 times, the cartilage held up as well as materials used in bone implants. The team also rubbed the hydrogel against natural cartilage a million times and found it to be as wear-resistant as the real thing. </p><p>The hydrogel has the appearance of Jell-O and is comprised of 60 percent water. Co-author, Feichen Yang, <a href="https://today.duke.edu/2020/06/lab-first-cartilage-mimicking-gel-strong-enough-knees" target="_blank">says</a> this network of polymers is particularly durable: "Only this combination of all three components is both flexible and stiff and therefore strong." </p><p> As with any new material, a lot of testing must be conducted. They don't foresee this hydrogel being implanted into human bodies for at least three years. The next step is to test it out in sheep. </p><p>Still, this is an exciting step forward in the rehabilitation of one of our trickiest joints. Given the potential reward, the wait is worth it. </p><p><span></span>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Vaccines find more success in development than any other kind of drug, but have been relatively neglected in recent decades.
Vaccines are more likely to get through clinical trials than any other type of drug — but have been given relatively little pharmaceutical industry support during the last two decades, according to a new study by MIT scholars.
What would it be like to experience the 4th dimension?
Physicists have understood at least theoretically, that there may be higher dimensions, besides our normal three. The first clue came in 1905 when Einstein developed his theory of special relativity. Of course, by dimensions we’re talking about length, width, and height. Generally speaking, when we talk about a fourth dimension, it’s considered space-time. But here, physicists mean a spatial dimension beyond the normal three, not a parallel universe, as such dimensions are mistaken for in popular sci-fi shows.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.