Author Topic: Episode #612  (Read 2645 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Episode #612
« on: April 01, 2017, 11:49:29 AM »
Forgotten Superheroes of Science: Jane Cooke Wright; News Items: Redrawing Dinosaur Clade, Bird Evolution, Elon Musk on AI, Smelling Breast Cancer; Who’s That Noisy; What’s the Word: Frisson; Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
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Offline yrdbrd

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Re: Episode #612
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2017, 04:47:06 PM »
Cara's mispronounced word of the week: "Jestalt."

But if we're being pendantic, we should also take Steve to task for "comprised of."

Offline elert

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Re: Episode #612
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2017, 05:26:05 PM »
Hadrosaur shares the same root as hadron (as in the Large Hadron Collider) — the Greek word αδρός (adros) meaning thick, robust, massive, or large. The opposite word in Greek is λεπτός, which is thin. Particle physics has the word lepton, but I  not aware of any leptosaurs in paleontology.

Offline Elapid

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Re: Episode #612
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2017, 08:44:19 PM »
If you really want to blow Bob's mind on the bird thing, not only do birds have lots and lots of air sacs, their respiratory system also contains two breaths at any one time.





I'm getting flashbacks to Ornithology and having to diagram all of this on tests...

Anyway, for an animal with really high physical demands, and the really high metabolism that requires. They don't have a diaphragm, either. It's pressure from their wing muscles on the upstroke and downstroke that cycle air through, which necessarily means that the faster wing beats result in faster breathing.

On top of that, though even ratites (emu, cassowary, ostrich, etc.) have at least some hollow bones, there is a group of flighted birds that do not:  Loons.

They're so incredibly adapted for diving, their bones are solid to decrease buoyancy. Just before taking the plunge, they flatten down their flight feathers, forcing any air out from their down. Their legs are also attached to their body exactly where you'd want a motor on a boat to make it as fast and maneuverable as possible - on the very, very back. This renders them physically incapable of walking on land, which leaves them doomed if they mistake a wet parking lot or highway at night for a lake or river, unless a human renders assistance.

....Also, now I'm disappointed in myself for not at least guessing on Who's That Noisy? I thought it sounded really similar to the 'croaking' sound that certain catfish make via stridulation...
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 09:45:06 PM by Elapid »
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Offline Friendly Angel

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Re: Episode #612
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2017, 09:40:48 PM »
Cara's mispronounced word of the week: "Jestalt."



Did she also say diploDOCus?
Amend and resubmit.

Offline danjam

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Re: Episode #612
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2017, 06:07:25 AM »
Wow, Steve is shockingly ignorant of AI risk concerns. That was incredibly disappointing to hear.

Edit: After listening to the rest of the segment... wow, that was painful to listen to from all sides. An incredible amount of misconceptions from everyone. I'll just recommend for anybody interested in the topic to read Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom. At this point it's really the best introduction to the ideas of General AI and AI risk.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 06:26:09 AM by danjam »

Offline lucek

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Re: Episode #612
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2017, 07:22:31 AM »
The forgotten super hero of science  made me think today. No one person is the discoverer of anything anymore. A little hyperbolic but it is pretty true. But this is a problem as research leads or heads of institutes get the credit for a teams work. Really this segment is kinda prospecting the myth of the lone maverick scientist

Offline lucek

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Re: Episode #612
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2017, 07:31:00 AM »
Oh also wow that science or fiction was soooo simple. Just laughing at ya guy

Offline 2397

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Re: Episode #612
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2017, 08:09:58 AM »
Is the SGU consensus that cats are not a threat to birds?

Wow, Steve is shockingly ignorant of AI risk concerns. That was incredibly disappointing to hear.

To me it seems like Steve's lack of worry is based on the immediacy of it. No one's working on it now, so it's not going to happen in the foreseeable future.

I'd disagree that we won't have a drive to create sentient machines. The sexbot market alone has a lot of potential for it.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 08:48:17 AM by 2397 »

Offline brilligtove

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Re: Episode #612
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2017, 10:24:55 AM »
Wow, Steve is shockingly ignorant of AI risk concerns. That was incredibly disappointing to hear.

Edit: After listening to the rest of the segment... wow, that was painful to listen to from all sides. An incredible amount of misconceptions from everyone. I'll just recommend for anybody interested in the topic to read Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom. At this point it's really the best introduction to the ideas of General AI and AI risk.

I wanted to yell at them, "Of course intelligence and self-awareness cannot spontaneously manifest! We are self aware! You're arguing that we were intelligently designed FFS!!"

Since I know they are not arguing for ID, I am not clear on what position they were actually attempting to argue. If they were trying to say that we are not going to create a replica of the human mind with human intelligence anytime soon, well sure. It is not at all apparent that self-awareness in any way depends on the physical structure that is running the program. I have no doubt that Kara and Steve have a much deeper understanding of how the brain works then most people who are considering the chances of an artificial general intelligence being created. But if an AGI doesn't have to mimic human information processing substrates to exhibit emergent behaviors and properties such as self-awareness - which seems likely - then AGIs could emerge from increasingly complex ANIs.

I personally know someone who is working with a neural network that has a number of nodes and connection topology that are getting in the range of the connectedness of human brains. I'm reasonably certain that particular system will not have the capacity to be more than a narrow artificial intelligence, but it has the kinds of characteristics that could be the foundation for an artificial general intelligence.
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Offline bligh

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Re: Episode #612
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2017, 10:39:16 AM »
Wow, Steve is shockingly ignorant of AI risk concerns. That was incredibly disappointing to hear.

Edit: After listening to the rest of the segment... wow, that was painful to listen to from all sides. An incredible amount of misconceptions from everyone. I'll just recommend for anybody interested in the topic to read Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom. At this point it's really the best introduction to the ideas of General AI and AI risk.

As a former AI researcher I have to agree with Steve on this issue.  The singularity argument as put forward by Kurzweil and likeminded futurists is pure speculation in my opinion.  Using Moores law to extrapolate when AI will surpass human level intelligence suffers from the fundamental flaw that it relies on the implicit assumption that given enough transistors everything else will follow...

Offline brilligtove

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Re: Episode #612
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2017, 10:40:19 AM »
If you really want to blow Bob's mind on the bird thing, not only do birds have lots and lots of air sacs, their respiratory system also contains two breaths at any one time.





I'm getting flashbacks to Ornithology and having to diagram all of this on tests...

Anyway, for an animal with really high physical demands, and the really high metabolism that requires. They don't have a diaphragm, either. It's pressure from their wing muscles on the upstroke and downstroke that cycle air through, which necessarily means that the faster wing beats result in faster breathing.

On top of that, though even ratites (emu, cassowary, ostrich, etc.) have at least some hollow bones, there is a group of flighted birds that do not:  Loons.

They're so incredibly adapted for diving, their bones are solid to decrease buoyancy. Just before taking the plunge, they flatten down their flight feathers, forcing any air out from their down. Their legs are also attached to their body exactly where you'd want a motor on a boat to make it as fast and maneuverable as possible - on the very, very back. This renders them physically incapable of walking on land, which leaves them doomed if they mistake a wet parking lot or highway at night for a lake or river, unless a human renders assistance.

....Also, now I'm disappointed in myself for not at least guessing on Who's That Noisy? I thought it sounded really similar to the 'croaking' sound that certain catfish make via stridulation...

I found these videos helpful in understanding respiratory systems that are more complicated than bags that empty and fill.



evidence trumps experience | performance over perfection | responsibility – authority = scapegoat | emotions motivate; data doesn't

Offline brilligtove

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Re: Episode #612
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2017, 12:35:06 PM »
Cara's comments about frisson reminded me of something, so I made a poll.
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Online Sawyer

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Re: Episode #612
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2017, 02:33:46 PM »
Cara seems to have taken over Steve's role of "mentioning books or authors while I'm in the process of reading them".  I haven't read The Reluctant Mr. Darwin but was excited to hear her reference Quammen's books.

She's also taken over the role of "leading 2017 Science or Fiction".   :cara:


Sci or Fiction stats:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IVvA030ZQmU8R7LhzRXmhBWA2AYxrfVpsbkQSIXY4dI/edit#gid=0

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #612
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2017, 04:07:22 PM »
I got SoF wrong again. Of course I "knew" that some dinosaurs have a second brain near the base of their spine. Well, I'm 68 years old and learned about dinosaurs when I was a teen. I never heard that the textbooks had it wrong.
Daniel
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