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Current Topic: High Tech Developments | Mind over Matter
Topic: High Tech Developments 6:39 am EDT, Oct 19, 2004

] The big question, however, isn't whether people become
] more techno than flesh, but whether robots develop some
] form of consciousness - self-aware minds of their own.
] Sidney Perkowitz raises this question in "Digital People:
] From Bionic Humans to Androids" (Joseph Henry Press), a
] book that describes how a new generation of robots could
] serve as "the next level of humanity."

Probably soft, but an exemplar of an active and robust meme. | Mind over Matter

Building An Idea Factory
Topic: High Tech Developments 6:25 am EDT, Oct 14, 2004

] Inspiration is fine, but above all, innovation is really
] a management process.
] Ask most people who invented the lightbulb, and they will
] promptly provide the wrong answer: Thomas Alva Edison.
] Truth is, the famous inventor's 1879 debut of his
] incandescent light trailed others by decades. So why does
] he get all the glory? Mostly because of what he did next,
] notes Andrew Hargadon, author of How Breakthroughs
] Happen: The Surprising Truth about How Companies
] Innovate.

A pretty compelling review of the book.

Building An Idea Factory

IEI's World Brain Project
Topic: High Tech Developments 8:31 am EST, Jan 30, 2004

] IEI is busily transforming all of its advanced neural
] network paradigms into TCP/IP based systems. The overall
] intent is to convert many, if not all, of the TCP/IP
] nodes on the Internet into functioning neurons. The
] resulting freethinking entity will be capable of
] introspecting upon all human-originated content residing
] on the Internet and World Wide Web, and from that
] knowledge store creating new ideas and strategies that
] will inevitably transform our thinking and our planet. As
] this World Brain accumulates new knowledge, it will begin
] to create a "SuperNet" above the Internet, vastly
] overshadowing the present content stored there.
] This coming World Brain will not be accessed via search
] engines. We will simply ask it to introspect on the
] information we, as humans, seek.

Imagination Engines, Inc. (Stephen Thaler) is not shy about
proclaiming the potential of this technology.

IEI's World Brain Project

STLtoday - News - Science & Medicine
Topic: High Tech Developments 8:23 am EST, Jan 29, 2004

Stephen Thaler, the president and chief executive of Imagination Engines Inc., has developed a computer program called a Creativity Machine.

] What Thaler has created is essentially "Thomas Edison in
] a box," said Rusty Miller, a government contractor at
] General Dynamics and one of Thaler's chief cheerleaders.
] "His first patent was for a Device for the Autonomous
] Generation of Useful Information," the official name of
] the Creativity Machine, Miller said. "His second patent
] was for the Self-Training Neural Network Object. Patent
] Number Two was invented by Patent Number One. Think about
] that. Patent Number Two was invented by Patent Number
] One!"
] Supporters say the technology is the best simulation of
] what goes on in human brains, and the first truly thinking
] machine.

In a piece like this it's hard to separate the hype from the true advancements. The concept presented makes a certain kind of intuitive sense -- but maybe that's because it resonates with ideas and results presented by others.

The emergent behavior of the cockroach-like H3 robots sounds real similar to Rodney Brooks walking robots. (google on 'rodney brooks subsumption citations')

David Gelernter presented a concept of "affect linking" (The Muse in the Machine: Computerizing the Poetry of Human Thought by David Hillel Gelernter) which had a notion of dialing the level of creativity by accepting different amounts of fuzziness in matching ideas together.

This resonance is, perhaps, an indicator that Thaler may be on to something. A stronger indicator would be experimental data the show that Thaler's algorithm scales up to machines with greater than a cockroach-level processing power.

STLtoday - News - Science & Medicine

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