Is your book on Google somewhere?
Is your book on Google somewhere? If it is, and Google books has a copy in its data-banks, then there is a strong chance that it has been part of the educational program for the infant artificial intelligence being gestated in the lofty labs at Silicon Valley.
The human condition is somewhat obscure, and there is no program that can write a human being, however with enough information about the way enough people think, the digital brain has a good chance at making educated guesses. This is what AI really is, as in a system of learning, guessing, discovering truth, adapting guess process through new learning. Of course it is a lot more clever than that, but in reality this is how anything, anyone learns. Perhaps what we cannot teach the machine is how to feel. Of course we need the correct biology and conscious awareness to be able to do so. A brain on its own isn't really a human.
So Romance novels have been included into the mind of this binary creature, perhaps in a hope that with an understanding of how people fall in and out of love, the fake brain can decide for itself how best to be kind, genuine, and empatically responsible. I am a little concerned about the repercussions of such activity, and how this entity will affect people. Computers lack imagination, they can't guess based on something abstract. In order for the 1 to become 1 when it was previously 0, there must be a true reading somewhere. Imagination requires the element of unsure, the pinch of salt, the leap of faith. Do you think a computer could ever get to this point? Is our imagination simply a product of everything we have learned, just like the AI system, or does it contain an element of us that is independent? At the very least we will feel the thoughts as they are conceived and this will be a uniquely human experience.
Teaching an AI mind about right and wrong might be tough, as we know there are many paradoxes when concerning absolutes in life. Some things that we know to be absolutely wrong, like paedophilia in human beings, are practiced quite openly in other species. Some things which we culturally find absolutely wrong are also practiced by other people in other cultures. If the brain is given a world wide starting point for its education, who knows what kind of mindset it will end up having?
To keep it busy, there will be a lot of fictional nonsense that inevitably ends up in books about people, and the learned behaviours and responses will not work in reality as well as expected. Nothing can truly mirror real life, and even one thousand books written by one thousand different people couldn't make a good picture. We must be alive in the world for a significant amount of time as an independently thinking individual before we can begin to call ourselves intelligent.
If Google thinks that reading books makes us intelligent, then in human terms, they'd be right. We learn a lot about life by discovering what other people think about it. Once we knit together all those points of view, we end up with a kind of mental star, in which our point of view hits bang in the middle. Reading helps us grow as people, and the more rich the text, the better.
And perhaps you fancy being the next primary school teacher to the AI at Google Labs, see if you can confuse it for a while eh? Get writing.
These-days, there are so many varieties of style we can wear. Some things are driven by sports, or music, others by tradition. Many styles are simply evolutions from previous ones, that began when someone famous decided to do something a bit different. In ancient England, if the King had a new look, then everyone wanted to do their own version. This theory lives today with famous people. It only takes a photo from a celebrity with a new dress or colour and the sales increase.
With modern culture, the media has the privilege of mirroring society back to us with the stories it chooses to promote. Often we have an element of extra drama in order to appeal to hungry consumers, and this then goes in as a learned experience. The mind can't really determine the difference between reality and fiction unless we are aware personally. So at the time we may be able to continually remind ourselves it's not real, the emotional responses will still be there and because they're biological in origin, the effects matter. This is where emotional learning happens, and we find ourselves responding the same way next time we experience something similar, after so much exposure to the fiction.
The way culture has portrayed the hooligan and the criminal means that certain types of clothing and style have become associated with that. More to the point, we have a situation where people feel the need to be who the media describe them as, and this is due to the expectations and projections of others according to what they have seen. It takes a very strong person to not become defined by society when the description is simply not available, we like to feel that we fit in somewhere and if we can't, it doesn't just affect us but it also affects how others view us as people. If we didn't have the media continually repeating stereotypes back at us, with an added dose of spice, then the need to reflect that back again wouldn't be so great either.
To put this into perspective using a common example. Remember Krusty the Clown from the Simpsons? Let's not think about tattoos, leather boots, ripped jeans, or even hijabs, lets think about a clown. Imagine a clown in the supermarket, buying a weekly shop. He's got his trolley, and his list. You may expect him to do something funny, seeing as he's dressed like a clown. We see his red nose, his green hair, his crazy trousers, we just know he's a clown and its his job to do funny stuff.
You may even avoid the clown so you don't get drawn into the show. We have seen them so many times, we just know what they do. But clowns are people, and their clothes are a form of work clothes. Like a uniform, or an overall. They take them off after, and this is why we don't see clowns in the supermarket. We just walk on by and we don't even know they're clowns.
What if their clothes were not their work clothes, but what they chose to wear everyday? Although not being a clown, like we have have seen them to be, and have learned that they are, they just act like a normal person.
Like Krusty, in the Simpsons, he may tell jokes but he doesn't act out a routine unless at work. It's that easy to make assumptions about people based on how they dress and by how we have been educated to perceive this.
The thing is, often our education is incomplete, and fairly biased. We all know that bad news travels fast, and good news is often distorted to speed it up, taking away the goodness. So maybe we just don't really know as much as we think we do about pretty much anything that we haven't seen in our own lives and around us all the time. Try to hold off judgments and concerns based on appearances. It is our behaviour that defines how we are perceived, and we each are responsible for our own. No matter how we choose to dress.
Faith in Humanity Restored
Faith in Humanity Restored
An almost complete collection of ransacked Ancient Egyptian antiquities has been returned, restored, and redisplayed with a greater emphasis on Education.
The Mallawi Museum, which is situated in the Al Minya Governorate, was looted during the social unrest of August 2013. Many items were stolen and traded during the mass confusion during brief periods of anarchy and reversal of government agendas. Having re-established sovereign stability, a list of all the missing artefacts was published internationally. It could be assumed that not many would return, but the majority did thanks to a small reward and a promise of no criminal charges.
Many items have tragically been destroyed as they were too large to steal. This is where the reconciliation must end, there is no way to retrieve these beautiful and ancient works. Including this sad note, the price of restoring the facility was over three quarter of a million pounds. The true price for art and culture is as high as anything else.
The museum at Al Minya wants to show the progression of society in the area from the time of the Pharaohs up until the Muslim era of today. They have made sure their new displays and exhibits truly educate and demonstrate the classical culture and traditions that still reverberate in society today.
Good these Games
I don't really go in for computer games in a big way. I'm not a big player and an eternal noob, but I do love them simply for my sheer entertainment. It like how I can go into a completely virtual world and do things I wouldn't ever do or even dream of doing in real life. There's that fantasy element which takes us to a new world, away from our own troubles.
The thing with games is that they can begin to feel like real life, and our mental reactions start to resemble the gameplay elements that we have learned over time. We begin sometimes to see the world we live in, in terms of the computer game world. Even if just a little bit.
I am sure many of us like the military style games. I've been playing Just Cause, and it's a lot of fun. An interesting side effect to this is that when ever I see some kind of static fuel tank, or a mobile phone mast, my game brain sees a target I have to blow up. I instantly recognise it as an objective, and of course in reality I just smile and think of the game, but I wonder if there's a positive side to all of this? If the games teach us to be mindful, aware, and reasonable in our actions, this will naturally translate. These things have positive results, and I do feel that the most successful games are those that resemble life to a certain degree in how we must behave, think, and act in proper ways in order to succeed.
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