Tag Archives | Intelligence

Chimps are sensitive to what is right and wrong

Rhys Davenport (CC BY 2.0)

Rhys Davenport (CC BY 2.0)

via ScienceDaily:

How a chimpanzee views a video of an infant chimp from another group being killed gives a sense of how human morality and social norms might have evolved. So says Claudia Rudolf von Rohr of the University of Zurich in Switzerland, lead author of a paper in Springer’s journal Human Nature. It provides the first evidence that chimpanzees, like humans, are sensitive to the appropriateness of behaviors, especially those directed toward infants. It also shows that these primates might only take action when a member of their own group is being harmed.

The researchers filmed two social groups of chimpanzees living in two Swiss zoological gardens while the animals repeatedly viewed film clips. The films portrayed the actions of other chimps unknown to them. The control clip showed chimps doing neutral activities such as walking or cracking nuts. The experimental clips included aggressive scenes, such as an infant chimpanzee being killed by its own kind, a small colobus monkey being hunted and killed by chimps, and socially aggressive behavior between chimpanzee adults.

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Better Living Through Technology

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Evolver has recently announced their newest learning lab course, Better Living Through Technology. Join Disinformation author, R.U. Sirius, as he explores the limits of human potential.

Discover the new drugs, machines and techniques that are extending the horizon of human potential.

Humanity is on the cusp of an extraordinary leap. New and emerging technologies promise an unprecedented wave of human self-enhancement. Advances in the areas of longevity, creativity, and biology will enable you to have a quality of experience that previous generations barely conceived possible.

Course details:

Guests: Steve Kotler, Dr. Terry Grossman, Dr. Andrew Hill, James Kent, Tim Cannon, Jay Cornell
5 Sessions • Starts June 24
Free Introductory Session: June 17
$149 + $30 discount if you signup by June 17 with code TRANSHUMANISM

If you’re hesitant about forking over $149 for this course, we urge you to at least checkout the Free Introductory Session this Wednesday.… Read the rest

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A Framework for Understanding our Ethical Relationships with Intelligent Technology

Hiroshi Ishiguro with the Telenoid R1

Hiroshi Ishiguro with the Telenoid R1

This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions.

How do we relate to technology? How does it relate to us? These are important questions, particularly in light of the increasingly ubiquitous and often hidden roles that modern computing technology plays in our lives. We have always relied on different forms of technology, from stone axes to trains and automobiles. But modern computing technology has some important properties. When it incorporates artificially intelligent programmes, and utilises robotic action-implementation systems, it has the ability to interfere with, and possibly supersede, human agency.

Some of this interference might be desirable. If a robotic surgeon can increase the success rate of a risky type of surgery, we should probably welcome it. But some of the interference might be less desirable. I have argued in the past that we should have some concerns about automated systems that render our public decision-making processes more opaque.… Read the rest

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The Automation Loop and its Negative Consequences

GlassCage250I’m currently reading Nicholas Carr’s book The Glass Cage: Where Automation is Taking Us. I think it is an important contribution to the ongoing debate about the growth of AI and robotics, and the future of humanity. Carr is something of a techno-pessimist (though he may prefer ‘realist’) and the book continues the pessimistic theme set down in his previous book The Shallows (which was a critique of the internet and its impact on human cognition). That said, I think The Glass Cage is a superior work. I certainly found it more engaging and persuasive than his previous effort.

Anyway, because I think it raises some important issues, many of which intersect with my own research, I want to try to engage with its core arguments on this blog. I’ll do so over a series of posts. I start today with what I take to be Carr’s central critique of the rise of automation.… Read the rest

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A five-step guide to not being stupid

Still from Stupidity

Still from Stupidity

David Robson Via BBC:

If you ever doubt the idea that the very clever can also be very silly, just remember the time the smartest man in America tried to electrocute a turkey. Benjamin Franklin had been attempting to capture “electrical fire” in glass jars as a primitive battery. Having succeeded, he thought it’d be impressive to use the discharge to kill and roast his dinner. Soon it became a regular party trick, as he wowed guests with his magical ability to command this strange force.

During one of these demonstrations, however, Franklin became distracted, and made an elementary mistake – he touched one of the live jars while holding a metal chain in the other hand. “The company present… say that the flash was very great and the crack as loud as a pistol,” he later wrote. “I then felt what I know not how well to describe; a universal blow thro’out my whole body from head to foot which seem’d within as well as without; after which the first thing I took notice of was a violent quick shaking of my body.”

Clearly, intelligence doesn’t mean that you are more rational or sensible – a fact that we’ve explored before on BBC Future.

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Study: Internet Searches Causing Us to Think We’re Smarter Than We Really Are

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Andrew Moran via Career Addict:

The next time you perform a web search on Google or Yahoo be sure to remember that you’re not actually as smart as you think you are. Internet searches are convincing us that we’re smarter than we are, says a new study by Yale University psychologists.

According to the latest study, surfing the Internet for various tidbits of information gives people the false impression, or “widely inaccurate view,” that they’re intelligent. The experts warn this could generate over-confidence and a false sense of self-esteem, which could then lead to the bad decisions down the line.

The Google Generation

Researchers came to this conclusion when they performed a series of experiments on study participants. More than 1,000 students had taken part in the research study. In one test, an Internet group had been provided with a link to a website that explains “how does a zip work?” and the other group was given a print-out sheet with the same information.

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Are you afraid of technology? You shouldn’t be

Many people fear technology, and have great reservations about kids using smartphones and computers. Anthony Kelly/Flickr, CC BY

Many people fear technology, and have great reservations about kids using smartphones and computers. Anthony Kelly/Flickr, CC BY

Nary a week goes by that doesn’t see a new mainstream media story on the dangers of technology use. Just the other day I spotted one talking about how smartphones are making us dumber.

Yet the original study cited in the news story is actually more about how mobile phones help us to be more intuitive than analytical, and stop us from “overthinking”. But it’s particularly interesting that this study, like many others, gets framed up as a “fear of technology”.

It makes me wonder why many people appear to be so afraid of technology? To answer this question, we need to consider motivations, and perhaps even look at where this argument tends to appear the most, which is in reference to children and education.

Think of the children

The ABC caused some controversy in the mainstream media a couple of years ago when an episode of Play School showed a presenter using a toy computer to send e-mails and a toy smartphone to “tweet” his friends.… Read the rest

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Failure Is Success: How American Intelligence Works in the Twenty-First Century

514zcaXr01LTom Engelhardt’s new book “Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World” is now out!

via Tom Dispatch:

What are the odds? You put about $68 billion annually into a maze of 17 major intelligence outfits. You build them glorious headquarters.  You create a global surveillance state for the ages. You listen in on your citizenry and gather their communications in staggering quantities.  Your employees even morph into avatars and enter video-game landscapes, lest any Americans betray a penchant for evil deeds while in entertainment mode. You collect information on visits to porn sites just in case, one day, blackmail might be useful. You pass around naked photos of them just for… well, the salacious hell of it.  Your employees even use aspects of the system you’ve created to stalk former lovers and, within your arcane world, that act of “spycraft” gains its own name: LOVEINT.

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Fish Found To Equal Chimpanzees In Intelligence Test

Who knew that trout were so smart? A new study finds that coral trout actively seek hunting help from moray eels and collaborate to catch their prey, reports Wired:

Certain forms of collaboration are supposed to be so sophisticated that only the smartest creatures—namely humans and perhaps a few close relatives—are capable of them. Yet this exclusive club has a new and unexpected member: a species of fish, a class of animals seldom associated with high-level intelligence.

As demonstrated in a series of experiments published today in Current Biology, coral trout not only solicit the help of moray eels when they hunt, but also pick their hunting partners wisely. They know when they need help, and quickly learn which eels best provide it. It’s a seemingly simple yet surprisingly sophisticated cognitive trick.

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“Prior to our study, chimpanzees and humans were the only species known to possess both of these abilities,” said zoologist Alex Vail of England’s University of Cambridge.

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Slime Mold Colony Intelligence Explored In New Documentary ‘The Creeping Garden’

“A real life science fiction movie exploring a world creeping right beneath our feet, where time and space are magnified and intelligence redefined.

The Creeping Garden is a feature length creative documentary exploring the work of fringe scientists, mycologists and artists, and their relationship with the extraordinary plasmodial slime mould.”

The Creeping Garden – Trailer 2014 from cinema iloobia on Vimeo.

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