Fast Minds and Slow Computers

The long term future may be absurd and difficult to predict in particulars, but much can happen in the short term. Engineering itself is the practice of focused short term prediction; optimizing some small subset of future pattern-space for fun and profit. Let us then engage in a bit of speculative engineering and consider a potential…

Tulips, Credit Cycles and The Risk Subsidy

Tulips Around four hundred years ago the Tulip was introduced into Europe from the Ottoman Empire.  The flower’s spectacular colorful variations of patterned petals, now understood to be caused by a type of Mosaic Virus, quickly endeared the bulbs to the wealthy classes as status symbols.  The dutch market in futures contracts which emerged for…

How AI could help us optimize diet and health

It occurred to me while eating breakfast this morning that today we should have what is required to solve the diet problem and perhaps reshape healthcare as a result. The human body is complex.  It has evolved to robustly regulate metabolism and growth along a very exact predetermined developmental trajectory using a wide variety of organic materials.…

The Intelligence is to Brains as Flight is to Birds Fallacy

We didn’t reverse engineer birds to create airplanes.  Instead we studied the mechanics of flight and used these principles to build wings and eventually 747s.  Likewise, we don’t need to reverse engineer the brain to create AI.  We ‘just’ need to understand the mechanics of intelligence and then we can build much faster and more…

Understanding the Brain: Where to Start

I’ve always had a strong interest in the brain, and lately I’ve been reading as much as I can to catch up in the fields of AI and computational neuroscience in particular.  The end result of my most recent reading is the accumulation of a perspective  somewhat different than that which I started with.  Consider…