Blade Runner 2049: Our Slaves Will Set Us Free

Blade Runner 2049 is a provocative visual and aural treat. It sparked many thoughts, two of which I make note of here; the relationship between the two should be apparent. What is the research project called ‘artificial intelligence’ trying to do? Is it trying to make machines that can do the things which, if doneContinue reading “Blade Runner 2049: Our Slaves Will Set Us Free”

The Lost Art Of Navigation And The Making Of New Selves

Giving, and following, driving directions was an art. A cartographic communication, conveyed and conducted by spoken description, verbal transcription, and subsequent decipherment. You asked for a route to a destination, and your partner in navigation issued a list of waypoints, landmarks, and driving instructions; you wrote these down (or bravely, committed them to memory); then,Continue reading “The Lost Art Of Navigation And The Making Of New Selves”

Artificial Intelligence And Go: (Alpha)Go Ahead, Move The Goalposts

In the summer of 1999, I attended my first ever professional academic philosophy conference–in Vienna. At the conference, one titled ‘New Trends in Cognitive Science’, I gave a talk titled (rather pompously) ‘No Cognition without Representation: The Dynamical Theory of Cognition and The Emulation Theory of Mental Representation.’ I did the things you do atContinue reading “Artificial Intelligence And Go: (Alpha)Go Ahead, Move The Goalposts”

Don’t be a “Crabby Patty” About AI

Fredrik DeBoer has written an interesting post on the prospects for artificial intelligence, one that is pessimistic about its prospects and skeptical about some of the claims made for its success. I disagree with some of its implicit premises and claims. AI’s goals can be understood as being two-fold, depending on your understanding of theContinue reading “Don’t be a “Crabby Patty” About AI”

Physical and Psychological Affordance

According to Wikipedia, ‘an¬†affordance¬†is a quality of an object, or an environment, which allows an individual to perform an action. For example, a knob affords twisting, and perhaps pushing, while a cord affords pulling.’ (A photograph of a tea set in the Wikipedia entry bears the caption, ‘The handles on this tea set provide anContinue reading “Physical and Psychological Affordance”