An article in the Huffington Post speculates on the potential for technological devices to act as extensions of mind, inasmuch as mental activity that used to take place within the human skull is now effectively outsourced to The Cloud or to a small constellation of memory retrieval and calculating devices.
The Extended Mind hypothesis of David Chalmers and Andy Clark is invoked in support of the idea that the outsourcing of certain activities of mind bestows a kind of mind identity on the external device, when really all that has happened is that a slave has been identified to assume a function, creating the usual sort of co-dependency that typifies master-slave relationships.
But the fact that an external technological device has taken on a function previously assumed by the mind does not entail that the device itself becomes a mind, or an extension of a mind. A memory aid is a memory aid. When it can assume more of the contextualising work previously done by the mind in understanding the what or why of the memory or the sum, it might make more sense to accord it a status upgrade.
Lively Stuff from Planet BAM!
- Maths can help explain how our brains work: neuroscience is generating huge datasets
This mathematical neuroscientist author sees a need for more university-trained double majors in maths and biology. Given the data being generated by modern neuroscientific research, he claims that if you cannot conceive the algorithm, you can’t understand what’s going on. What emerges is a sense that integrated science and maths has a bright future.
- A corrective to doomsters, a DeepMind profile looks at some people actually doing AI
First published last year in Wired, this thoughtful piece talks to the founders behind the company that Google was inspired to pay £400M to acquire last year. They are working on a 20-year roadmap and are taking a sober view of the number of breakthroughs they are still away from THE breakthrough, if indeed that descriptor itself will ever be a singularity.
- Lists can just be clickbait, but this review of Top Tech schools will stoke discussion
It includes a lot of worthy outliers and so leaves out Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, and Cambridge (and a host of others), but it succeeds in escaping the Anglo-American goldfish bowl with nominations for Canada, the Netherlands, Singapore, Israel and Australia.
- And speaking of lists: a peek at some graduate companies of the Singularity University
SU founder Peter Diamandis celebrates several weddings of innovation and huge ambition
- A study that needs more research, but it’s an interesting plug for reading novels
There’s more substance to this older piece in the New York Times: “Your Brain on Fiction”