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Artificial intelligence

Hanging by a Thread

From descriptions generated by two AIs of ten Rorschach inkblots. The AIs were part of an MIT project released in April, to examine the influence of biased data on machine…

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Known Unknowns

Here’s a story about how machines learn. Say you are the US Army and you want to be able to locate enemy tanks in a forest. The tanks are painted…

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The Minds of Others

Progress is impossible without change,” George Bernard Shaw wrote in 1944, “and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” But progress through persuasion has never seemed harder to…

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Deep Blues

From a conversation between Chen Zhiyan, a Chinese journalist, and three chatbots: Chicken Little, Little Ice, and Little Knoll. The interview was conducted on WeChat, a social-networking platform. It was…

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Crossing the Valley

Like campaigning politicians, pornographers — who are also in the business of galvanizing tired nervous systems — face one problem that never goes away: cutting through the numbness caused by…

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Everything That Rises

I have come to perceive a cosmos filled with superintelligent beings — a virtually infinite number of them, whose minds have transcended their earthbound bodies and are independent of any…

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The Transhuman Condition

By John Markoff, from Machines of Loving Grace, out this month from Ecco Books. Markoff has been a technology and business reporter for the New York Times since 1988. Bill…

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Come With Us If You Want to Live

“Just by a quick show of hands, has anyone heard of a D.A.O. or an agent before?” asked Jonathan Mohan. He was in his mid-twenties and wore a beige Bitcoin…

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March 2010